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Hogwash, Mr. President

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Posted on Jan 26, 2011
White House / Chuck Kennedy

Q & A - Live Chat with Robert Scheer


A live Q & A session related to this column took place on January 27, 2011 at 11:00 am PT.

Click here to view the transcript.


By Robert Scheer

What is the state of the union? You certainly couldn’t tell from that platitudinous hogwash that the president dished out Tuesday evening. I had expected Barack Obama to be his eloquent self, appealing to our better nature, but instead he was mealy-mouthed in avoiding the tough choices that a leader should delineate in a time of trouble. He embraced clean air and a faster Internet while ignoring the depth of our economic pain and the Wall Street scoundrels who were responsible—understandably so, since they so prominently populate the highest reaches of his administration. He had the effrontery to condemn “a parade of lobbyists” for rigging government after he appointed the top Washington representative of JPMorgan Chase to be his new chief of staff.

The speech was a distraction from what seriously ails us: an unabated mortgage crisis, stubbornly high unemployment and a debt that spiraled out of control while the government wasted trillions making the bankers whole. Instead the president conveyed the insular optimism of his fat-cat associates: “We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.” How convenient to ignore the fact that this bubble of prosperity, which has failed the tens of millions losing their homes and jobs, was floated by enormous government indebtedness now forcing deep cuts in social services including state financial aid for those better-educated students the president claims to be so concerned about.

His references to education provided a convenient scapegoat for the failure of the economy, rather than to blame the actions of the Wall Street hustlers to whom Obama is now sucking up. Yes, it is an obvious good to have better-educated students to compete with other economies, but that is hardly the issue of the moment when all of the world’s economies are suffering grievous harm resulting from the irresponsible behavior of the best and the brightest here at home. It wasn’t the students struggling at community colleges who came up with the financial gimmicks that produced the Great Recession, but rather the super-whiz-kid graduates of the top business and law schools.

What nonsense to insist that low public school test scores hobbled our economy when it was the highest-achieving graduates of our elite colleges who designed and sold the financial gimmicks that created this crisis. Indeed, some of the folks who once designed the phony mathematical formulas underwriting subprime mortgage-based derivatives won Nobel prizes for their effort. A pioneer in the securitization of mortgage debt, as well as exporting jobs abroad, was one Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, whom Obama recently appointed to head his new job creation panel. 

That the financial meltdown at the heart of our economic crisis was “avoidable” and not the result of long-run economic problems related to education and foreign competition is detailed in a sweeping report by the Democratic majority on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to be released as a 576-page book on Thursday. In a preview reported in The New York Times, the commission concluded: “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”

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Just the warning that Obama has ignored by continually appointing the very people who engineered this crisis, mostly Clinton alums, to reverse its ongoing dire consequences. As the Times reports: “The decision in 2000 to shield the exotic financial instruments known as over-the-counter derivatives from regulation, made during the last year of President Bill Clinton’s term, is called ‘a key turning point in the march toward the financial crisis.’ ”

Obama appointed as his top economic adviser Lawrence Summers, who as Clinton’s treasury secretary was the key architect of that “turning point,” and Summers protégé Timothy Geithner as his own treasury secretary. The unanimous finding of the 10 Democrats on the commission is that Geithner, who had been president of the New York Fed before Obama appointed him, “could have clamped down” on excesses by Citigroup, the subprime mortgage leader that Geithner and the Fed bailed out along with other unworthy banking supplicants.

Profligate behavior that has hobbled the economy while running up an enormous debt that Obama now uses as an excuse for a five-year freeze on discretionary domestic spending, that small part of the budget that might actually help ordinary people. Speaking of our legacy of deficit spending, Obama stated, “ … In the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets. But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in.”

Why now? It is an absurd demarcation to freeze spending when so many remain unemployed just because corporate profits, and therefore stock market valuations, seem firm. Ours is a union divided between those who agree with Obama that “the worst of the recession is over” and the far larger number in deep pain that this president is bent on ignoring.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 30, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Without disagreeing with Anarcissie, kulu, but to emphasize it, I
believe if you read my post at January 28 at 4:07pm carefully you
would see that ignorance is what I said, is the reason third-parties
are precluded, and exploitation of the people occurs.  So we are in
agreement about this.  MaxShields also expresses grass roots
education is a crucial key to permanent change.  While there is
biased press for conservatives there is also a biased liberal or “for
the people” press as well.  Main stream media is accused of bias but
it has instances of bias across the entire range of political positions,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bias_in_the_United_States#Watchdog
_groups (copy and paste the web address into your browser)

FactCheck and After the Press are two of the watchdog groups
http://www.factcheck.org/  and http://afterthepress.com/?page_id=2 
that keep tabs on the mass media news and reviewed for accuracy. 
They have an email list for those who want to check out the latest news
items as well as an archives to research past stories.  Believing the truth
has to be mined out to be found in them, I am not so much interested
in blog rolls.  On the whole, Truthdig has a left leaning bias.

I disagree that the need for power is not a rule of nature or genetically
hardwired.  Just watching newborns and their struggle for survival at
their mother’s breast is proof enough.  Babies are born demanding
attention and satisfaction.  And if they have acquiescent parents, they
will have power over them to do what they desire.  This could last a
lifetime.  Through their learning some parents have come to understand
this wrestling for power and do not allow Baby to rule the roost.  Power
is a natural need and has to do with the sense of control, first for one’s
own survival as an organism, but later when seen that others may be
controlled it develops into pecking orders and contentions (wars) and
belief systems that some are more privileged than others.  A fascinating
book, The Descent of Power, is a free ebook by Robert Green,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/30859747/The-Descent-of-Power—
Thoughts-on-The-Great-Transformation-and-How-to-Master-It-by-
Robert-Greene-an-ebook (copy and paste the web address into your
browser)

Everything else follows from this human condition: weakened education
opportunities and scope, biased press, government propaganda,
advertising, a rigged narrowing of opportunities for alternative
candidates in elections etc., as you listed.

All political systems eventually sink into polarization and come to mean
money and power.  We see that this has happened through history.  The
thing is, we have evolved to see it but not well enough at times to stop
it to sustain the basic need to have countervailing forces that control
each other.  Dominance cycles and merges of parties occur from time to
time.  Over the long haul, meaning over history, the people find ways to
force the balance to return when upset.  This has shown up in various
and extremely diverse ways.  Egypt and other middle eastern countries
are going through a huge turmoil that eventually will settle into
something the people will accept.

Besides the homogenous and mosaic nature of American society,
the Electoral College is the next big thing that makes it most difficult
for a third party to win a presidential election and therefore affect
government in a big way.  Although it is possible to win without
winning a majority of the popular votes, a victory requires a party to
have widespread support throughout the country in order to win the
presidency.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 30, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Since there are so many of you and one of me on the apparent
sides of the many-faceted crystal called American politics, you will
have to tolerate more than one post from me as I try to give each of
you respect for your thoughts and opinions.  Mine is not a case of
Submit Button Tremor (SBT)!  Poor Emile, we can only feel sympathy
for you… and our email service.  We will suffer your St. Vitus Dance
of the TD Submit Button.  Mine is a case of verbosity and opinionitis
(VO/OV), not in that order.

I do not dismiss the Green Party as a solution, ardee.  I am saying
they do not have the hearts of enough people to be effective.  Their
important message then has to be adopted by the party that does. 
The 72% of the voter population Democrats need to take up the banner
of the Greens or be convinced to become 72% Greens, which you and I
know will not happen; and the Greens will also have to appeal to the
Independents who are confused about which side to join with.  I do not
think I am in complete agreement with Cyr, but I think he has elements
of insight that 3rd parties cannot be a serious threat to the two-party
system.  What I think he missed is that while 3rd-parties can be a
threat to Power since issues that are important to parties like the
Greens will ostensibly influence the people’s party, Democrats, who
will seriously take up their liberal causes.

At January 30 at 2:27 pm, I think MaxShields expresses it correctly. 
While both major parties appear to be closer than ever in their actions
and genuflection to corporate power, the two parties are distinct,
structurally… and original ideology.  That is the problem that needs
strongly addressed.  Separating individualistic motives of the liberal ilk,
meaning partitioning issues on behalf of the people, only allows the
conservative component of American politics to thrive and ascend to
power.  Clear as day, that is actually their strategy.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 30, 2011 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

kulu, January 30 at 8:22 am:

‘... Shenonymous

You say, “Americans as a people like power. It is in their
genes. And I would bet sociologists would be able to prove most national peoples also do. Hegemony is the game the world plays.”

This is an assertion which even if true is not a rule of nature or a genetically hard-wired fact. ...’

Certainly it is reasonable to suppose that every willful being desires the power to work its will, and that would be genetically hard-wired and a rule of nature.  Of course even humans discover, soon after birth, that there are other wills in the world, and limits to their own.  They have to cut a deal, to agree to get along with the other willful beings.  One of these deals is, in part, the national state, to which the desire for power is often transferred.  History is so full of examples of people supporting aggression on the part of the state to which they are subject, that one can hardly come to any conclusion other than that the desire for personal power has been so transferred.  The United States does not appear to be an exception, although its peculiar status as an island nation may have reduced its people’s consciousness of other nations, and thus the desire to conquer them.  However, the U.S. government, almost always with public support or at least condonation, has attacked dozens of other countries without any direct threat or provocation on their part.  Only a few generations ago they supported racism, slavery and genocide.

Curiously, this desire for and performance of conquest, which we usually call ‘imperialism’, has bankrupted those modern states which practiced it most assiduously, as it is bankrupting the United States now.  One would think reason and common sense would restrain indulgence in the pleasures of it.  But apparently the desire is too strong.

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By MaxShields, January 30, 2011 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Just to complete the thought on the Green Party (or any 3rd party). I do think that GP can be viable at the look level. However, even there, there can be a strong tendency to adapt to the status quo; align with one of the two parties for political expediance.

It really is a matter of grassroots education, and the mix of the populous. Two parties do what they have to to survive and coopting and marginalization are two predominant tools used by those powerful parties.

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By MaxShields, January 30, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

The issue with the Green Party in the US as a national party is this: by the very nature of the party it’s decentralist. The party maps to a biological understanding of nature, which is less top down, but localized. It is not a command-and-control party. This means that while, I for one align with it in many respects, it has an enormous challenge before it to work “within” the status quo system.

I have frequenly chided the party for its attempts to run Presidential candidates which are anethema to its very existence. The Green Party has had much success in smaller European nations, and Australia. All have parliamentary systems which readily allow many parties. The US is a Republic and it’s structure pushes out other parties.

While many of us can agree that the 2 parties are essentially the same, primarily because they are controlled by more or less the same money sources; structurally they are distinct.

Again, I would say that rather than fighting the existing structure by attempting to make another party more viable, on the stage with the other parties, etc. I prefer to focus on local scale where change can and does happen. Size does matter. Take a look at some of what is going on in Vermont.

Perhaps one of the most important first steps is to do what they did in Vermont and pass a state resolution to eliminate corporate personhood through a Constitution Ammendment. Beyond that I would like to hear from those here who think that a 3rd party in a duopolistic system can work (given our form of government).

In the end, parties are at bottom formalized special interest groups.

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By ardee, January 30, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, January 28 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (ardee):

“Those who dismiss the Green Party as a solution to this problem are entitled ,of course, to their own opinion. As a supporter of that party, if only because they pledge to shun the corporate monies that are the cause of our diminished democracy.”
____________

Unfortunately, the GP has insisted upon dismissing itself, by self-limiting its goal to that of only becoming a 3rd party not needed. What’s needed is an alternative that wants to become the heavy-weight contender (the 2nd party needed) to knockout all the corporate party’s (R) & (D) candidates… rather than just seek to influence Democrats to be all the Democrat they could be.

I must say that I find your rhetoric confusing. That a third party “limits” itself by being desirous of being a third party seems semantic silliness, if you will excuse the phrase. That there are currently only two major political parties seem to make the phrase “third party” an obvious and logical one.

But we are not here to discuss such word play, only to deal with the path we need to take to rescue an ailing democracy and restore the democratic process to its rightful place, protecting and nurturing the needs and rights of its citizenry.

People seeking to build a 3rd party in America can’t ever be any serious threat to Power, because their inadequate “3rd party” goal proves that they fail to understand the most basic realities of the true nature of the current system now that they seek to only moderately modify. There’s insufficient time left for a 3rd party to glacially slow evolve into the 2nd party it needs to become, to be useful. For the electoral path to be useful, what’s electorally needed now is a revolutionary 2nd party of strong and forceful opposition — not a party that wants to work with the corporate party. What’s needed is a natural persons supported political party that resolutely wants to totally destroy the corporate persons’ (R) & (D) party, and eliminate the corporate state.

I am afraid that time is what we have, and public funding of elections, by the by, means exactly that, and not the definition you gave it in the unpasted paragraph ...darn word limitations, despite Emile’s apparently short attention span to the contrary.

The growth of third party politics is necessarily slow , hampered by the control of the two party system over the process. But rapid solutions seem absent from your own treatises here as well, Mr. Cyr, Further, many believe, myself included, that the system as intended by the founders is an inherently decent model needing only reform and renovation rather than a wholesale overthrowing.

I reject the politics of my youth, violent revolution, as simply impractical and place before you and this forum a sample of why I think the Greens a peaceful way to make progress:

http://www.gp.org/platform.shtml

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kulu's avatar

By kulu, January 30, 2011 at 3:22 am Link to this comment

Their is no doubt that two party systems of government are not working to improve human well-being, freedoms, sustainability outcomes or anything else - certainly not in the English speaking world. But I’m not so sure that it is necessarily the two party system itself that can be blamed for the world’s woes. In my view it is money; those that have it and those who lust for it (and the power that it brings) that has come to dominate most governments and hence their actual but unexpressed lack of concern for their countrymen or others around the world.

I would suggest that the prevalence of two party systems in the English speaking world has a lot, or maybe everything to do with money’s role in entrenching these systems. That is the problem we have to address in every way possible. Voting for a third party such as the Green Party is one prong that can be used against this money influence but there are others.

Shenonymous

You say, “Americans as a people like power. It is in their
genes. And I would bet sociologists would be able to prove most national peoples also do. Hegemony is the game the world plays.”

This is an assertion which even if true is not a rule of nature or a genetically hard-wired fact. If it is true then I believe there are reasons for it being so, ignorance being one of them. And the people are being kept ignorant by many means eg weakened education opportunities and scope, biased press, government propaganda, advertising, a rigged narrowing of opportunities for alternative candidates in elections etc.

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By Bill, January 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its still funny to see people still believing this
election stuff is actually real. It has been fake for
hundreds of years and completely fake since 1900. Both
major parties are owned lock stock and barrel by the
bankers….and controlled by the CFR, Trilateral
Commission and the Bilderbergers. There is NO choice.
Zero. Wake up people.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

MaxShields, you say the two-party system has “outgrown” its
usefulness, but that is a conclusion you and a few other comrades
who think so have come to.  I don’t agree with that view and I know
many on this side as well.  But you have not said what you think
would work instead.  Americans as a people like power.  It is in their
genes.  And I would bet sociologists would be able to prove most
national peoples also do.  Hegemony is the game the world plays. 
Configure it however you want, democracy, plutocracy, corportocracy,
oligarchy, monarchy, autocracy, domination is the prize of nations. 
How our government operates within that parameter is the game
board and what those who intuit morals and justice must struggle to
force the government to be, moral and just.  But make no mistake it is
the game.

I don’t disagree with your description, nor BR549’s.  But I think it pays
too much attention to how it does operates under certain directorship,
and not enough of how it should and can operate for the benefit of all
of the people.

It is more than what systems and structural issues we have been
weaned on since birth, it is also seeing what has worked in the world
throughout history and what has not.  It is empirical, evidential.  I don’t
disagree that stability is shattered in many parts of the world, but I
don’t agree that the US is unstable, contrary to your and other’s
perceptions.  But I completely agree that it is bottom up action that is
the only viable way to effect change.  I have been preaching that on TD
over many a forum for a long time and I hear agreement so it is not a
new perspective. 

See, too many just elucidate what the problem is, beautifully describing
every aspect of sociopolitical life and what ought to be done, but the
crux of the matter is that action is what is needed.  Local involvement
and speaking out not only to those on blogs but out there in real life. 
Bloggers may only exist on blogs and might only exist there
continuously without ever stepping out into the real light.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

BR549, January 29 at 5:05 pm – “…right now we have two factions of a
single party to choose from.”

That is why I believe a movement within, to internally change the party
back to what its ideology means is what would be the most propitious
way to go.  Nothing may not change because there is no clear feeling
among the people or no understanding how their politics must function
“on behalf of” themselves.  As ThomasG put it on another forum, it is as
if the people were slumbering.  It is just a way of saying they do not
keep the dynamics of “their” politics in the front of their minds.  They
are preoccupied with the mundane course of their individual lives. 
Louder voices are needed and clearer ones, and we do not have any
voices.  Trading one ideology for another to achieve what the one was
supposed to do is in my view delusional that any change can happen. I
think of the “pushmi-pullyu” from Dr. Doolittle, an animal with heads at
either end of its body and which was constantly trying to walk in two
directions at once.  It is in the dynamic of the people where success
lies. 

True as you and several are saying and I am too, words are just words,
descriptive terms like liberal, conservative, socialist, anarchist,
Democrat, Republican, Green, etc., really are empty abstractions until
they are seen in operation then they have meaning and only then.  The
United States is a polyhedronic governmental entity and not easily
managed.  A hundred issues rear their heads like a hydra on a daily
basis so that before one can be dealt with sufficiently, another fire-
spitting monster cuts in line for immediate attention.

And I think it is true that astute minds such as Kucinich and Gravel are
dismissed by those who would wield power.  (The two others you
mentioned do not appeal in any way to my sensibilities, but then that is
just a case of different viewpoints, which I can tolerate.)  Kucinich and
Gravel both rode the Democratic ticket.  And I liked what both had to
say on various issues and supported both of them once I understood
their positions.  However, a candidate must be able to attract the hoi
polloi voters and Kucinich just doesn’t do that.  It is called charisma.
Mike Gravel also lost attraction for the general public.  There are
reasons why these kind of guys don’t catch on.  And there will be
reasons why third-partiers won’t either unless they elevate a shiny
ornament who as well speaks to truth.  That is just the nature of the
population.  The notion of self government is pure fantasmagorical as
well.  Which is really another issue and may be beyond this forum.  I
think the elements of Republicanism, ultra-conservative Republicanism
will always be around even if the Democrats ever divorce themselves
from the alleged duopoly, and that is the center bull’s-eye as far as I
am concerned that needs vigorous attention.  I don’t agree with the
notion that the Democratic Party is a Siamese twin of the Republican
Party but again, how we see things depends on a few other differences
that comes from life experiences.

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By MaxShields, January 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous

The reason I find Obama particularly disgusting is that there are somethings that the CIC/POTUS can do that a mayor or councilor cannot: END THE US KILLING!!!

To fail at that, regardless the economic debacle is to fail as a moral human being. And that, in my book, is not excusable. Regardless what regime started this, Obama, is as you’ve said, the guy in power. He could and still can bring these horrific murders to a halt. That he has not simply adds him to the list of war criminals. As long as the US holds on, however shortlived, to its empire, these criminals will not be tried or treated as such in a US court of law.

But in any universal law of justice these are perpetrators of crimes against humanity. While I may disagree with Obama on his faux sense of clean coal, use of nuclear energy as “green” and “sustainble” and even his legalization of the Patriot Act, I cannot simply disagree with someone who attacks innocent civilians and children in the name of political convenience (cloaked under the guise of ridding the world of Al-Qaeda).

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By MaxShields, January 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 29 at 4:07 pm

The two party “system” though never in the constitution, was institutionalized much like everything else we have that has outgrown its usefulness, but gain enormous hegemonic power, control the air waves, debate, and the overall American narrative. Both these parties are owned lock-stock-and-barrel by corporate and special interest money; with a mass media that assures continuous propaganda to bolster their existence as THE ONLY SHOW IN TOWN.

These are systemic and structural issues. We can, as we’ve been told since birth, see this as an imperfect, but the best humans have been able to come up with, system; one that assures stability, blah blah blah. But that stability has been shattered. It is an incredible system for assuring a strong plutocracy rules in spite of nominal elections; and what is really not a representative form of government. To achieve the latter we’d need to have a multitude of parties representing a wide range of approaches and perspectives.

This much I will say, regarding a third, or more precisely a true alternative party, is that systems find means to survive. If the “3rd” party is not killed when it is most vulnerable, at birth, it will need to function within the world created by the status quo…a powerful plutocracy which requires mass injections of finance and the support of some of the most hideous gangsters on the planet.

So, I have concluded that the problem is one of scale. Top down solutions promote the status quo by their very nature. Only small, human-scaled living patterns can over time, transform this paradigm we are stuck in. We must localize our human condition, if we are to change it. It is, in the final analysis, delusional to think that a party or a personality will change anything. Obama is nothing more than the problem incarnate; as was GWB, Clinton, and on and on.

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BR549's avatar

By BR549, January 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 29 at 4:07 pm
“Third parties in the United States get no traction.”

I agree, but right now we have two factions of a single party to choose from. Back in the 1800s, when there still was a difference between the parties, I would have agreed with your assessment, but not today, not as long as people are still led to believe that our “two parties” are still separate and distinct.

Secondly, much of the political disharmony we have today has been exacerbated by individuals’ disenfranchisement from the system. Polarization keeps the masses quarreling amongst themselves while legislators keep writing bills that further separate the population from the common ideals that brought everyone all together in the first place.

So, I would offer that what you say was valid at one time, 150 years ago; I just think it’s far less valid today, and as long as that “one party” keeps everyone believing that there is still a two party system, the ship keeps sailing in exactly the same direction ...... and look where we are. NOTHING has changed as far as our hegemonic foreign policy for decades. No matter which party gets in office, we’re still headed for the rocks, wasting our wealth, resources, and technologies on some pathetic version of a defense policy on steroids. Carter puts solar panels atop the White House and that nitwit “Red Ronnie” Reagan tears them down in defiance. And since Reagan, every president has systematically and intentionally taken us further into war and further into debt. When we ever do get oppositional candidates, they are summarily dismissed from the debate stage, as were Gravel, Kucinich, Paul, Barr, etc., who by the way all opposed NAFTA, and for good reason. In 2008, Obama wouldn’t discuss his position on NAFTA; he couldn’t take that chance during the election.

If we ever really do establish a second party, the Rs & Ds would be out of a job overnight. These sociopaths just don’t understand why they have to conform to such minor trivialities such as public trust or taking an oath.

My two cents

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 29, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

oddsox—I thought the baroque pedantry of my response would amuse you.  At least I restrained myself from quoting Goethe.

Shenonymous—It is true that new parties, with the exception of the Republican Party of 1854, have seldom fared well in the U.S.  However, some of them, like the Progressive and Socialist parties, unquestionably affected the mainstream—pulled it the direction of their concerns.  The effect can be paradoxical, of course: George Wallace’s 1968 candidacy pulled racist voters out of both parties, which caused both to run to the Left on racial issues, since it was assumed that the racist vote was locked up but the non-racist vote was not.  I don’t know what the effect of a serious proggie attempt to create a viable national party might be, but it is probably an academic question since I don’t notice any new organizing going on.  Marching fingers on Truthdig and Alternet and the other usual suspects, that’s about it.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 29, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

GRYM—Instead of worrying about my attitude toward the masses, why don’t you try engaging my statements at face value?  If you disagree about my assertion that the common usage of terms like ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ are incoherent in mainstream or even Truthdig discourse, why not try to show that they are actually coherent?  Then at least one of us might learn something.

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By oddsox, January 29, 2011 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

the larger question re Obama’s speech:
Are we truly in a Sputnik moment, or has Obama merely opened the “second envelope.”

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 29, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

It is not my intention to dictate what anyone must believe.  I may
try to convince others to believe what I do and I often do that, but
I fully believe I do not have the right to force others to embrace my
ideas. And while I would allow others to try to convince me of their
views, I intensely care that other’s do not attempt to coerce me in
any way
to choose and accept and live their beliefs as the final
authority. These are liberal principles. 

Third parties in the United States get no traction. There have been
55 political parties founded in the US beginning with the Democratic
Party in 1828 and Republican Party in 1854. The Prohibitionists tried
in 1869 and the Socialist Labor in 1876, but neither they nor any other
have survived to make a governmental difference except the two that
dominate today. The Greens have I believe kept environmental issues
front and foremost, and we should be grateful, but even they are a
minor blip on the political radar screen.  Bernie Sanders, the socialist,
and the best politician in my estimation in Washington, had to run as
an Independent.

The Independents are the ex officio third-party that has no party
organization and those of a liberal bent or conservative or neither find
a haven in the Independent status.  Sanders usually affiliates and sides
with Democratic issues in Congress and the Dems have really never
campaigned against him. He was supported by but never signed on with
the Vermont Progressive Party and had been a member of the Liberty
Union Party but left them in 79.  I only mention those two parties
because they were third parties that had no leverage, like all the other
third parties do not have in this country.

Using a loose 100% count of registered voters, where there will be
Greens and other parties having a percentage, they are comparatively
small, the reality is that the US has de facto a two-party system with
the Democrats registering 72%, Republicans 55%, and 42% as
Independents.  The two dominant parties have won every US POTUS
election since 1852 and one or the other has controlled Congress since
1856.  I recommend reading “American Government: Institutions and
Policies” by James Q. WIlson, J. Diiulio and Meena Bose and “American
Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction” by L. Sandy
Maisel to gain insight into the American political theater.

While it might be viable in other countries, it is PITW to try to generate
an effective third-party here.  There are many liberals who are
frustrated, disappointed in their Democratic Party. I acknowledge that
and feel part of that group. It is my opinion that change must come but
change within the scope of the Democratic Party. Potent energy to
change, I firmly believe, exists and is really the only salvation for the
general population.

I think it is chasing a chimera to think a third-party has much of a
chance to come alive and non compos mentis to think democracy can
be supplanted by any other form of government. The US is much too
disparate in a number of important ways for the idea of an effective
third-party to take hold.  I think most who dream of such an entity
just do not fathom how many people there are here and legally have
a voice, but morally do also.  Americans essentially are unsophisticated
in education, and that is the way the Republicans want to keep it so
that they can schmooz the ignorant and provincially intolerant.  To get
the population better educated is the vital concern, and Democrats
must be made to use their 72% registered voters to make education a
priority. Not just education, but a liberal education and by that I don’t
mean politically liberal but a broad and general knowledge of the
history of the world and to learn to have the ability to analyze and
judge the merits of any position.  I too am willing to listen to other
arguments.

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By oddsox, January 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Anarchrissie, yes, I’m familiar with the Churchill quote, one of my favorites. 
T’was my tongue-in-cheek attempt at humor, you see.
My objection to Sheer’s sentence was more its grammar than its content….
Alas, humor explained is humor lost.

MaxShields, nothing funny about those emailed petitions you mention.
Like you, up with them I’m loathe to put. And with them I have nothing to do!
By the way, next time you get one, try sending to the listed email address for the 2000th signature.  It’s usually a phony.

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/probPrep.asp
Problems with Prepositions
Or just look up the Guide to Grammar and Writing – Principles of
Composition
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index2.htm
From my own college daze recollection…for you who have visceral
reactions to preposition usage who may have learned that ending
a sentence with a preposition is a serious crime of grammatical
correctness, and while it might make someone who is overly
conscientious, it does not take a grammarian to blanch occasionally
at a sentence-ending prepositions.  It is an easy rule to break but for a
reason.  Although it is often easy to fix the possible vulgar preposition,
quite often it really isn’t.  Attempts at correcting it often result in an
awkward sentence, i.e., “Please note where in “Shakespeare you are
quoting from” would not really be a major improvement by saying or
writing “Please note from where in Shakespeare you are quoting.” ?? Based
on dubious historical precedent, the rule itself is a latecomer to the
rules of writing. I’ve read about two classic examples that those who
dislike the rule are super keen to remind us of Churchill’s comeback:
“That is nonsense up with which I shall not put.” And we should not
ever forget the indignant child’s complaint: “What did you bring that
book that I don’t like to be read to out of up for?”

But for those who require formality, check out “Tips for Using
Prepositions Properly,” at
http://tinyurl.com/4kate3w
to see the section on Ending Sentences: …“In many cases, this rule
makes perfect sense; otherwise you would expect to see “never end a
sentence a preposition with!” In truth, the rule is far more complicated.
For instance, people often ask one another “where did you come from?”
It sounds much clunkier to say, “from where have you come?” or to use
the antiquated “whence have you come?” In everyday use—in fact, even
in formal writing—“where did you come from” is entirely appropriate
and encouraged because it is a commonly used, commonly accepted
phrase. However, there are times when you may need to reconsider
your use of prepositions at the end of a sentence because writing it
properly simply makes the most sense. The gratuitous preposition
tacked onto the end of questions like “where is the theater at?” and
“where are we going to?” can be omitted entirely to create “where is the
theater?” and “where are we going?” Similarly, “that’s the girl Bryan’s in
love with” can easily be said and written as, “that’s the girl with whom
Bryan is in love” without sounding silly.”

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By Go Right Young Man, January 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, - “If you’re going to use terms like ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’, ‘leftist’, ‘rightist’ and so forth you have to define them in advance, at least.  In the present mainstream they have become incoherent and almost entirely meaningless.’

-

You do baffle me.  You keep repeating how you do not agree with how the above terms are used.  Due that inability to agree with others, you belittle everyone else in how they employ these terms.

Once again you seem to be implying that because you can’t find reasons to agree, it must be others who are incoherent in how they view the world.

Why is it you never fail to come off as viewing yourself above the ignorant and filthy masses?  Is that how you truly feel?

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By BR549, January 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

“Maybe the destruction of language has something to do with our predicament.”

Comparing the nonsensical legaleze language of today’s legislature with the flowing oratory of the founding fathers, I’d say something was really wrong with our educational system. We go from coherent multipage multiclausal sentences 200 years ago to adults today having the attention span of a Concord grape.

Charlotte Iserbyt points out the problem we have today in her book, “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.” 
http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

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By Anarcissie, January 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Emile—Chomsky is of course correct.  If you’re going to use terms like ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’, ‘leftist’, ‘rightist’ and so forth you have to define them in advance, at least.  In the present mainstream they have become incoherent and almost entirely meaningless.

The Democratic Party, for instance, should properly be called the Conservative Party, since their main stock in trade is the now traditional mild social Democracy of the New Deal, almost 80 years old, and the ability to say, ‘We’re the ones who aren’t crazy.’  I suppose it wouldn’t be a bad program, actually, if they hadn’t been sucked into the vortex of progressive imperialism during and just after World War 2.  Now, it seems, they can’t escape orbiting the drain.

Maybe the destruction of language has something to do with our predicament.

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By MaxShields, January 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

By oddsox, January 28 at 5:45 pm

At last I have finally found who keeps sending me those pesky emails asking me to sign petitions to request President Obama to do/no do.

And who said hope does not spring eternal? Those nasty realists?

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By Anarcissie, January 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

oddsox—I think rule against ending a clause with a preposition is a gratuitous artifice, probably devised by some overly-Latinized 18th-century pseudogrammarian.  In fact, the use of actually post-positioned ‘prepositions’ with adverbial force is a characteristic of Germanic languages, of which English is of course one.  This is especially the case with colloquial and slang like ‘suck up’.  Recall Winston Churchill’s response to a similar criticism: ‘This is the sort of thing up with which I will no longer put!’

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By oddsox, January 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Obama has begun either the 2nd half or 2nd quarter of his presidency.  His must-do list:

—Break up the “too-big-to-fails”
—Bump the top 2% to 39.6% income tax & make the rest of the Bush-now-Obama tax cuts(including the $5M/35% Estate Tax)permanent.
—Fix the Health Care law one-page-at-a-time
—Eliminate payroll taxes (a tax on labor). 
—Fund Social Security with a non-regressive National Sales Tax (a tax on consumption).

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By oddsox, January 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

“His references to education provided a convenient scapegoat for the failure of the economy, rather than to blame the actions of the Wall Street hustlers to whom Obama is now sucking up.”

Hate to nitpick, Robert, but you’re proving Obama’s point re: education.
It’s “up to whom Obama is now sucking.”

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By the worm, January 28, 2011 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Got in late to the ‘discussion’ re third party.

However, a third party is the only option for liberals.

Whether Green or otherwise, a third party is our only way in the future.

No more Democrats - Democrats are only (I know it’s been said often before)
Republican Lite. For us to have any influence, we are going to have to leave the
two party system. Whether it takes several years, a decade or three, a third party is
the only hope for liberalism in America.

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By kulu, January 28, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

MaxShields,

Well said. An advantage of arriving late on the scene of these commentaries is that I get to read the other posts before I comment and at times put my foot in it.

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By David J. Cyr, January 28, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (ardee):

“Those who dismiss the Green Party as a solution to this problem are entitled ,of course, to their own opinion. As a supporter of that party, if only because they pledge to shun the corporate monies that are the cause of our diminished democracy.”
____________

Unfortunately, the GP has insisted upon dismissing itself, by self-limiting its goal to that of only becoming a 3rd party not needed. What’s needed is an alternative that wants to become the heavy-weight contender (the 2nd party needed) to knockout all the corporate party’s (R) & (D) candidates… rather than just seek to influence Democrats to be all the Democrat they could be.

The GP doesn’t take corporate “contributions”, but it does seek to have corporate party distributed “public” funding. A new political paradigm won’t come from sharing money with the corporate (R) & (D) party’s gangster candidates. All the money in elections should be removed, and replaced with equal access. That could result from developing a strong and fiercely partisan people’s political movement party dependent upon amassing massive amounts of individual volunteer efforts. It won’t ever come from begging to get corporate state distributed campaign funding.

People seeking to build a 3rd party in America can’t ever be any serious threat to Power, because their inadequate “3rd party” goal proves that they fail to understand the most basic realities of the true nature of the current system now that they seek to only moderately modify. There’s insufficient time left for a 3rd party to glacially slow evolve into the 2nd party it needs to become, to be useful. For the electoral path to be useful, what’s electorally needed now is a revolutionary 2nd party of strong and forceful opposition — not a party that wants to work with the corporate party. What’s needed is a natural persons supported political party that resolutely wants to totally destroy the corporate persons’ (R) & (D) party, and eliminate the corporate state.

There is no 2-party system, and there is no duopoly to divide and conquer. There is only one corporate party, and even that 1-party system is only in an apparent political control of everything worth controlling, since all those individuals who seem to be so powerful and in control are actually just merely corporate manufactured interchangeable “electable” parts that are installed by the Money that owns them. Those interchangeable parts are in fact pre-installed before any votes are ever cast. Those seemingly powerful politicians are nothing more than actors playing roles — just fictional characters providing theater of distraction.

The two major factions of that one corporate party (the Republicans and Democrats), and their wholly owned subsidiaries (i.e. Conservative and Working Families, etc.) were provided to keep natural persons occupied in competition to determine which collection of carbon-based creatures can be the global corporate owned government’s most useful fools.

A self-limiting, self-deprecating “3rd-party” seeking reforms is wholly inadequate — useless. Only a real system changing revolution could possibly now be sufficient for any prospect of humans surviving the unsustainable Age of Global Corporatism. The permafrost is no longer permanent. It’s defrosting!

You’ll know when the true alternative non-corporate and anti-fascist people’s political party needed arrives. it won’t ever seek corporate party distributed “public” funding. It will thrive well upon the volunteer efforts of natural people locked in mortal combat with the corporate state that is the monstrous THING that all the Republicans and Democrats (by whatever label they hide behind) support and defend.

We Don’t Need No Stinking 3rd Party:
http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=482&Itemid=1

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By BR549, January 28, 2011 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Emile,
POTUS = President of the United States
SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States

Shen,
“To keep burbling the 2nd Amendment is symptomatic of dementia.”
“5 Yups for Democrats!  May they live long and prosper.  And for the rest of you who are disaffected….ho hum.”

In my post that you apparently found so disturbing, I hadn’t come down on you for your views, but only attempted to bring up the same problems with language that Emile had brought up to Mr. Chomsky. Are you normally this caustic in the morning?

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Emile, you seem to have a submit button tremor.  You are
clogging up our email notifications.  Could you coalesce your
thoughts and be a bit considerate?  Or we would think you
have an attention span deficit.  Sigh.

ardee, again I appreciate your observations and sentiments.  Have to
be off to work but will give them due deliberation later.  I’ve always
thought the Greens were a good organization.  I may not agree that
a third party is a viable possibility.  But it is worth the discussion.

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By ardee, January 28, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

As per usual ( with rare exceptions as do we all) this excerpt from Shenonymous viewpoint is worth the reprint and comment, in my own opinion.


Before I go any further, I am not a defender of Obama.  But it is my belief that he should not be the target of the left progressives or liberals.  Not that he should not be criticized or scrutinized.  He is replaceable, however, and he is not the worst enemy that the left ought to gather all their energy to defeat.  He is a sideshow.  When he capitulated to the Republicans and allowed the taxes lapse for the rich was when I lost my faith in him.  But that does not mean I have abandoned my beliefs of liberalism.

The Left has ample targets I am sorry to note, and that the GOP and its shadow puppet, the Tea Party, are working to ill purpose does not preclude the critique of Obama and the Democrats. Thus we agree,she and me, excepting perhaps for emphasis. I have found that the declared enemy is sometimes far less destructive than a supposed ally that is, in reality, not.

I would only add that, in my own case, I stand against more than two parties, I react to a rancid system, one rotten with the influence of corporate control through extravagant use of “filthy lucre”.

When he spoke the other day of going after that tax asset of the super rich, I was highly skeptical it would happen.  I am hoping he lives up to that pledge, however if he doesn’t then as POTUS his goose is cooked.
No more empty promises.

I then await your coming into the light, shouldn’t take long to realize that however elegant the speech, the actuality will not measure up. I think that you will be an asset in the advancement of third party politics, she. ( only a bit tongue in cheek…...)

In my estimation the target should be the conservative Republicans and the Tea Partiers.  That is what all on the left, center or far, should have their eyes on.  If leftist progressives want to have a government to their own liking, then that is the quarry in order to pull the left back from its having been bludgeoned to move to the right.  Even if Obama would give away the farm, it would be a vacant effort if the conservatives were made impotent.

With all due respect I offer, again, that Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Libertarian, Flat Earther, whatever, are secondary to the real problem, the damn system itself and how the control of said (damn) system has been usurped as has the will of the people, by the few, the wealthy, the arrogant.

The phrase,“what’s good for General Motors is good for the nation” continues to run through my mind decades after it was uttered, if only because it does reveal the mind set of those who have worked so steadily, and to such effect, to control our legislators and diminish the role of we the people in our own governance.

Those who dismiss the Green Party as a solution to this problem are entitled ,of course, to their own opinion. As a supporter of that party, if only because they pledge to shun the corporate monies that are the cause of our diminished democracy. I am still open to other, rational solutions.

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By Mr. Muhammad Zamiluddin Khan, January 28, 2011 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do not want to argue with NC ,rather I want to articulate how I feel as to “words”.true the functional meaning of a word largely depend how the public view its meaning and as a boy I was told the public use 25% of the words they have in their memory and that is also for one dimensional meaning.I did not research the issue so I can not vouch the finding ,but the argument is not baseless as to this kind of behavioral observation.One dimensional meaning of the word do sometime neglect other dimensions of the word,such as temporal and spatial meaning of a certain word and how the “attributes” of “Data” get defined by that and its linkage to human thought process.For example, the meaning of the word “conservative” that Noam Chomsky gave has in his own observation has “temporal” dimension,i;e, losing original functional meaning and in Europe still it has ,according to him, true meaning to some people and when this word"conservatism’ is described for a thinker in USA the public thought process would presuppose a “Republican” supporter in the general everyday conduct of business-point is all these things define the “Attributes of Data” that I presented in my Book “Space and Freedom:A Muslim Perspective-An Essay on Water,Health and Religion” that I published in Dhaka,Bangladesh and did receive letter of appreciation from Professor Henry Rosovosky of Harvard University.I am interested to know Professor Noam Chomsky’s opinion as to my above observations.Thanks.Mr. Muhammad Zamiluddin Khan aka Zamil Khan {Muhammad Khan,‘92HSPH]

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2011 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

Yabutt, elections are the really real.

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By Shenonymous, January 28, 2011 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

And are you, David J. Cyr, the f’n a—hole you are not pretending
to be?
  There is something to be said about italicizing mutual
disrespect that can be positively gratifying says the Siren Liberal. 

And BR549, there are shades of conservatives and liberals.  Some
are even black or brown or red or yellow.  And quite a few of my
liberal relatives have guns, but think AK47s are a bit over the edge,
and Glocks that fire 30 rounds.  And mot all FAs support the 2nd
Amendment and not all FAs oppose it.  And are you suggesting
sedition BR549?  To keep burbling the 2nd Amendment is symptomatic
of dementia. 

5 Yups for Democrats!  May they live long and prosper.  And for the
rest of you who are disaffected….ho hum.  Here is a bit of reality,
liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans alike have
political candidates one of which will win elections and administer this
country, non-liberals, non-conservatives, non-Democrats, and non-
Republicans do not.  Do the math.

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By BR549, January 28, 2011 at 2:05 am Link to this comment

We’re back to those monikers again. Both sides have commandeered their respective terms and altered their stances on their issues. They are both different species of chimera.

Would that the populace had an easier way of grading their representatives, something like a Myers-Briggs test for the candidates. They couldn’t assign their own ratings; that would be left to professional graders. If using numbers, a “9999” might then translate to someone who was:
1. honest
2. “fiscally” conservative
3. Supports all aspects of the Constitution
4. has read every piece of legislation he/she voted for

.... while a “0000” could refer to the majority of $3,000 suited chair warmers
that we have in office now.

Something like that. And Shen, not all “conservatives” or Republicans support the 2nd Amendment, and not all “liberals” or Democrats oppose it. I think what people will be finding out as the dust settles is that people are slowly wising up to the Constitution and that in order to avoid the despotism and tyrrany (what we are seeing today) there has to be a 2nd Amendment. As a species and as a society, we just haven’t evolved far enough for the caliber of our representatives not to fall victim to the temptations of avarice. Whether it’s here, Russia, Italy, Somalia, until we evolve to the point where the less spiritually connected individuals just don’t need firearms, we won’t be using our AK47s for tomato stakes in the garden just yet. To put it another way, there are a lot of people on the gun websites who DIDN’T vote for Bush or McCain. Toss that one around for a bit. Many of them understand that the issues are far larger than the scumbags we have pretending to represent our interests, no matter which side they claim to be on.

To quote one article, “The NRA does not endorse conservatives; it endorses Second Amendment supporters,” and as an NRA member, that is very much the case. Membership is very much mixed on the issue, despite the media’s attempt to paint NRA members as Tea Party whackos or whatever they can find reason to giggle about. Many of the people at the firing range believe in many of the liberal causes, but they also vehemently understand the need for the Second Amendment and support the Constitution.

The only things that has changed since the founding fathers are our population and our technologically; spiritually, we have regressed. How that somehow makes the 2nd Amendment less needed today than yesterday is beyond me.

“The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against tyranny, which though now appears remote in America, history has proven to be always possible.” [Senator Hubert H. (“Mr. Liberal”) Humphrey]  (Senator Humphrey would be rolling in his grave if he saw what what was happening today)

“Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.” [John F. Kennedy]

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By David J. Cyr, January 28, 2011 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a mythical Siren):

“Since about the Reagan era, however, the word “liberal” has been so much used as a derogatory term”
____________

Derogatory for good reason, but not soon enough!

A “liberal” is someone who is always saying that they really, really want good policies for people… but then they go vote for Democrats.

A “progressive” is a person pretending to not be (D) fucking liberal that they are.

NOTE: The songs of the half woman and half bird Sirens of Greek mythology were intended to lure sailors into the rocks, where their ships would be wrecked and the sailors would die.

Deception is what Democrats do. They deserve far more disparagement than they get.

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By Shenonymous, January 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

Fair enough! 
MaxShields
ardee
BR549
and
David J. Cyr
From all of your comments today, I believe it is possible to have a
productive, perhaps even constructive discussion.  I am encouraged. 
I may be all over the forum in my thinking through what you all have
said to put together some cogent and coherent thoughts.  I think each
of you have put out very important ideas that all Americans who are
concerned about their government ought also to give some thought to.

Seems to me, though, that an effort to clarify further what liberal
means is called for.  So I will take up some extra space to do just that
and because I am replying to a quartet of articulate speakers.  The
moniker “liberal” has evolved over time. In the 19th century meant
classical liberalism but after World War II, it came to refer to left-of
center but anti-socialist and anti-communist and was called new
liberalism. McCarthyism and their vehement reaction to Communism
used most left-wing political terms, which included “socialism” and
“social democracy” as repugnant and odious.  As a result, the former
Roosevelt New Dealers and others to the left of center assumed the
name “liberal.” 

Those whose views were closer to classical liberalism took the name
“libertarian,”  a political attitude that most closely resembles what we
now see as Conservatism rather than to Liberalism.  Since about the
Reagan era, however, the word “liberal” has been so much used as a
derogatory term by U.S. Conservatives that much of the left now adopts
the term “progressives,” and this is this the situation as it is today. 
However, I and many others, have chosen to redeem the term liberal
because it represents exactly those values some of which I have already
noted. 

The following views could be considered typical of American liberalism
today: Support for government social programs such as welfare,
medical care, unemployment benefits, and retirement programs.
Support for public education, trade unions, the right of labor to
organize, regulation of business, i.e., OSHA, are against child labor,
monopolistic practices, etc. Liberals support civil rights such as,
opposing discrimination based on gender, race, age, religion, sexual
orientation, or disability; supports rights of women and minorities,
particularly racial and religious minorities, the disabled, and
homosexuals.  Additionally supports programs like affirmative action
and multi-lingual education. Liberals support broad voting rights,
abortion rights.  Beyond these, liberals support strong environmental
regulations, public transportation, government funding to alternative
energy research,  Liberals also support minimum wage requirements,
and strongly supports opposition to the death penalty.  Furthermore,
liberals support animal rights as an issue of ethical human behavior,
and supports gun control.

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By Shenonymous, January 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

2. Shenonymous reply to the TD Guys.

I have to say what my limitations are with respect to the Rock Creek
Free Press, I cannot take it too seriously. Too much conspiratoriality
and I am always put off by too much sensationalism and leftist
partisan hyperbole.  The stories are way too turgidly turbid for my
sensibilities.  I was not sure which story BR549 you are headlining. 
Neither am I a supporter of Assange.  But since he apparently has
broken no laws and in all eventuality will not be prosecuted.  I have
no problem with that.  I’ve been reading about Mumia Abu Jamal
for the same number of years he has been incarcerated!  I used to
listen to his radio broadcasts on NPR and thought it was a travesty
he was incarcerated with improper judicial action.  I know the murder
of a policeman is the issue.  I do not know if Jamal is guilty or not. But
the fact that his case has been on the front burner for 29 years is an
insanity. 

To say that ardee and I are stuck on names (monikers) shows impaired
vision in my opinion.  I don’t think either of us are, but he is well able
and will have to speak for himself.  I often make the argument that
abstractions or conceptual ideas are useless until they are applied to
some reality, some actual experience.  And I admit to using the generic
label, or ‘name’ if you prefer, liberal.  However, while the term is
exceedingly ambiguous is difficult to define because of the changes in
definition through history, I proceeded to elucidate in a prior post and
above in this one what I meant not leaving it exactly in the conceptual
realm.  Much of the definition, though, also contains many other
conceptual words such as freedom, liberty, dignity, security, and justice
and they each would need to be further discussed to clarify what I
consider is their meaning.  But I am going to let that go for now and
assume that they can be taken up as someone calls for it. 

Before I go any further, I am not a defender of Obama.  But it is my
belief that he should not be the target of the left progressives or
liberals.  Not that he should not be criticized or scrutinized.  He is
replaceable, however, and he is not the worst enemy that the left ought
to gather all their energy to defeat.  He is a sideshow.  When he
capitulated to the Republicans and allowed the taxes lapse for the rich
was when I lost my faith in him.  But that does not mean I have
abandoned my beliefs of liberalism.

When he spoke the other day of going after that tax asset of the super
rich, I was highly skeptical it would happen.  I am hoping he lives up to
that pledge, however if he doesn’t then as POTUS his goose is cooked. 
No more empty promises.

In my estimation the target should be the conservative Republicans and
the Tea Partiers.  That is what all on the left, center or far, should have
their eyes on.  If leftist progressives want to have a government to their
own liking, then that is the quarry in order to pull the left back from its
having been bludgeoned to move to the right.  Even if Obama would
give away the farm, it would be a vacant effort if the conservatives were
made impotent.

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By heavyrunner, January 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

I decided in advance that I would grade the speech on how directly Obama addressed global climate chaos and greenhouse gas emissions since burning the rest of the oil will be suicide.

He gets points for talking about electric fast rail.

But what we need is leadership and a ten times bigger than Marshal plan blueprint to convert our economy to electrically powered transportation fueled by solar and wind. We have to hope that the rest of the planet will follow if we lead.

But the speech really did little to change us from the course of suicide we are on.

There was no mention of the greatest challenge we face. We have to NOT burn the remaining oil.

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By ardee, January 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

I am a Democrat and I equate that as synonymous with liberal values where the disparity between the wealthy and the middle and poor strata of the American population is out of control.  I believe that wealth and social status are not an entitlement to rule.

I thank you for the continued civility,Shenonymous. Politics is a difficult debate, especially as the need to find solutions is ever greater . I hope Max , and we all in fact (me for sure), learn to discuss with civility.

When I was a lad, I heard exactly this definition of why I should be a Democrat, from my parents and grandparents also. In a family that included Milton Friedman ( yeah that one) one had to be constantly prodded lest we turn out like Uncle Miltie. But I believe that this was true then and is not true now.

I see a Democratic Party so enamored of corporate funding that they are actually abandoning the working class. Being a democrat does not, nor should not mean being a member of that party.

We certainly share the same values and yearn for the same goals as well. It is only the path taken that separates us. Perhaps, when you have more time you can show me how you see turning your party from its rightward swing. Obama certainly faces hostility, yet his words do not match his deeds, a fair assessment I believe. As the GOP moves to the extreme right the Democrats also move rightward, filling the gap, or trying to. The continuation of rendition and torture alone would make me reject the Obama administration. I trust you understand this.

Both you and Mr. Cyr denigrate the possibility of third party politics resolving, or helping to resolve this abandonment of the working class, of families, of children, seniors, the very health of our nation. I see no other way currently open to me. A party that rejects corporate funds is so very necessary, as is a party that could be used to advance progressive agendas in our legislature. As little as a half dozen elected Greens could be a force that would speak to the deafening silences regarding campaign finance reform, an end to the bloated military budget, real health care reform etal.

Thanks for listening.

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By MaxShields, January 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous

Take a look at this link below. It’s not exactly far left. It is symptomatic of a yuppy WH that wants to dance with the big boys.

How Walmart execs fleeced the White House on ‘healthy food’
http://www.grist.org/article/2011-01-25-how-walmart-execs-fleeced-the-white-house-on-healthy-food/

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By BR549, January 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

MaxShields:
“We had a nit-wit for a president, now we have a dim-wit.”

AMEN, and well put. The first one didn’t have enough of an I.Q. to read the Constitution and thought it was “just a piece of paper;” the latter one knew all too well what it represented but chose instead to forego those minor technicalities as he sweet talked the population to unconsciously cave in to a globalist agenda.

We’ll have to see what form of half-wit the “system” tries to hustle us with as their next Judas for 2012.

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By MaxShields, January 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 27 at 1:38 pm

I am not new to TD, just not a frequent poster lately. You and I would go round and round during the 2008 campaign season. Your support for Obama continues regardless of what he does. Your excuses never end. He, in your mind, apparently, can do just about no wrong. He, like you, are a victim of posters like me or the Tea Party or the Republican Pary.

What you fail, and I don’t think I or anyone else will change your mind, to see or want to understand, is that I don’t see this as simply an Obama problem. He has embraced the status quo in its most onerous and hegemonic core in the American politic; but he did not start this; he did not start the Iraq war or even begin the Afghan invasion. He did not create the Corporatism that runs this collapsing empire. He didn’t have to; it was there when he ran to become ever more part of it. He didn’t simply inherit a failing economy, he embraced its essence with all of the strength and gusto that a U. Prof can muster.

Shenonymous your position denies all of this. You see him as a victim of a nasty world. That might be the talk of a mother who wants to shield her son from the nastiness of the meanies out there.

All well and good. He should have run for the POTUS then. He should have put on his cordigan sweeter and taugh at some University and played hoops and go to Hawaii on his on time and dime. BUT he didn’t. That he is what he is is not my fault.

It’s not the meanies out there that is the problem. The system is rotting to the core. He presides over it and believes, like Reagan before him, he must stay the course. The course is to end up with more deregulation, an even more robust corporate owned plutocracy, and a health care system that amounts to nothing more than a corporate owned privatized insurance program with a mandate that everyone must buy insurance. That’s some solution!!!

What about Gitmo, the escalation of Afghanistan, the continued (with no end insight) occupation of Iraq, the trillion dollar defence budget (highest its been since the end of the Cold War), the strengthening of the Patriot Act. Just ask small farmers and environmentalists how bad Obama has been…This guy, unlike the wacko GW Bush, is a FRAUD. He may believe his own bullshit which means he’s in DENIAL. He’s wife is sucked in by Wal-Mart the biggest retail corporate entity on the Planet. These are the yuppies we thought were at last gone. They don’t know trouble when it slaps them across the face.

We had a nit-wit for a president, now we have a dim-wit.

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By BR549, January 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Shen,
I’ll tell you what I am seeing here. We all know something is wrong and yet we can’t quite put a finger on a solution to right the wrong. It has been going on for so long that the American populace has become slowly acclimated to becoming prisoners in their own homes. We are sovereigns, or at least we were in the beginning, yet without formally changing the Constitution, people in power have finagled their way back to being lords of their dysfunctional medieval castles.

Personally, I think both you and Ardee are stuck on monikers (no offense). Liberal vs. Conservative, Left vs. Right, Democrat vs. Republican; what do these mean? They don’t mean anything anymore and yet we, as voters, have little else to describe our convictions to
others.

We are all passengers from a sunken ship and are being blown by the wind across the ocean. After a week at sea, with tempers getting short and food and water running out, we see an island on the near horizon filled with coconuts and vegetation. We see also that the wind is going to blow past the island and because of poor planning we have no paddles. The Conservatives, that leftover remnant of Federalist mentality, is too fearful to leave the poorly equipped raft, while the Liberals are all jumping off the raft, willy-nilly, forgetting the minor detail that none of them know how to swim.

I don’t dare even call myself a centrist because the population who are laboriously stuck on these monikers are missing the whole point.

I do understand your take on third parties, but then, I think when we have so many factions across the country attempting to address their unmet needs, THAT is a symptom of Washington being out of touch, and it has been out of touch for a LONG time. They call themselves Republicans and Democrats, but we keep adopting Federalist policies no matter which way the wind blows in Congress or the executive office. Why is that?

BTW, author David Swanson has written a nice excerpt from his book, “War is a Lie”, in the January edition of the Rock Creek Free Press, which is also online at   http://www.rockcreekfreepress.com/CreekV5No1-Web.pdf  (on page 6). If we want to understand how our government is really motivated, this article’s description of how Pearl Harbor REALLY happened is worth the read. It’s no wonder why what we vote for never seems to satisfy either the conservative or the liberal voters.

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By RdV, January 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

It serves the terminally corrupt corporate ruling elite who have co-opted Government to actually have a Democrat to their bidding. So many on the Left are willing to make excuses for Obama for the same Bush policy—or the continuation of Bush policy—or even worse than Bush policy because he is their guy who postured as a progressive to win. They will tolerate and excuse from Obama what they would be out on the streets protesting from Bush. They recycle the same pattern of advise, apology and denial.
  How can anyone make him do it—when any attempt to hold him accountable is shouted down by partisan true believers and those who keep hoping that just around the next bend, Obama will reveal his true progressive self.  Notice that the Right makes him “do it” all the time, and with them Obama seeks unity. For the Left, Obama has nothing but contempt.
  Thank you so much, Mr Sheer, for telling truth to power, during a time when forces—more than ever conspire against the bait and switch.

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By David J. Cyr, January 27, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (ardee):

“I have been vocal in my belief that third party politics is the way to combat the Duopoly Party’s abandonment of the American worker, others seems convinced that only a violent revolution can save us, a notion I reject.”
____________

Those who have attempted to build a “3rd party” have all failed before they even started, because America has had no use for a party not wanting to be the party needed. What was needed was a 2nd party; a party of strong opposition to the one corporate (R) & (D) party.

The reason elections have become useless for any good purpose is that for too long near everyone who has said they had good intentions has stalwartly supported the corporate party that has nothing but evil intentions. The objective reality is that Republicans and Democrats work together, using different tactics to accomplish the strategic goals they share. They only differ on some cultural issues, and how it would be best to get their evil done. Republicans and Democrats are not separate political entities; they are factions within one political entity: the corporate party.

Evil succeeds whenever Republicans and Democrats are perceived to be different.

I participated (past tense) within the Green Party, because I considered it to be the proper function of elections to provide peaceful means to end injustices, and to provide good solutions to bad problems. Elections should have provided the possibility for alternatives promoting change for good to be chosen, rather than just two choices to maintain every evil. But elections haven’t allowed good choices to be chosen, and they won’t.

I’m no longer an advocate for a 2nd party because the liberals have clearly won. After a long strong effort, liberals have finally succeeded in ensuring that elections can’t possibly serve any good purpose… that elections will now always serve the corporate state’s purpose. Liberals have made violent options the only options available. People either support the overthrow of the corporate state, by whatever means necessary, or they support the continuum of the foreign and domestic violence constantly done by the corporate state.

We could have had the viable 2nd party of opposition we really needed, when elections could have likely had a chance to be effective for good purpose, if the corporate party’s Democrats hadn’t moved on in and murdered SDS in the 60’s. Conceptually, the Greens could and should have been the 2nd party America needed. But, just like SDS, the Green Party was full of unreconstructed liberals, afflicted with an incurable affection for the Democrats’ liberals who ensure that corporate party evil always gets done.

The corporate state wouldn’t allow elections if the liberals didn’t force the “ignorant” fools to vote for Republicans, and the conservatives didn’t force the “intelligent” fools to vote for Democrats.

The Violence of “Nonviolence” :

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=492&Itemid=1

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By Bob Higgins, January 27, 2011 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

The very idea of criticizing the party and its leaders (including this president or any other)is to publicly point out its faults, publicly eliminate the corruption within and make it a party that is responsive to its members, thereby making it stronger.

What is idiotic is to continue the pretense of being just like Republicans and continue to creep ever farther to the right in a vain attempt at some mythological “bipartisanship.”

Those who think that the way to win elections and govern as a Democratic party is to camouflage themselves as Tories should simply change their registration and vote Republican.

You will find plenty of like minded people on the right side of the aisle.

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By RayLan, January 27, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

FiftyGigs
“to undermine the Democratic Party WHICH YOU IDIOTS YOURSELVES CONSIDER WEAK”
The Democratic undermined itself - it is weak - The Reps bark and it jumps.

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By MaxShields, January 27, 2011 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, “Most of the cranks on TD who are pissed at Obama forget a couple of things; he is popular with the Americans who vote, and he is running
this country whether you like what he is doing or not.”

Yes much like the constant referral to GWB’s personal appeal as someone you’d like “having a beer with” or some such nonsense.

Frankly I don’t think you’d get the point. You prefer the role of victim.

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By FiftyGigs, January 27, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

What a bunch of morons!

Your strategy for attacking the powerhouse conservative movement is to undermine the Democratic Party WHICH YOU IDIOTS YOURSELVES CONSIDER WEAK, and offer Americans revolution, anarchy, destruction, and mayhem.

Revolution is the progressive version of “repeal and replace”. Irrelevant noise from insincere people dedicated only to self-aggrandizement.

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By Shenonymous, January 27, 2011 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

ardee – I appreciate your criticism.  Why am I here?  I do not have
much time this morning to respond to any comment you may have
from this response, but I offer this reply to you.  I see Obama as
working towards getting something done in an environment of
political hostility.  And I make the comment that the venom shot at
him ought to be directed at the more virulent politicians such as
Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann and others of their ilk.  See
Shenonymous, January 26 at 2:34 pm.  As his opening comment to
this forum, MaxShields scorns my view, MaxShields, January 26 at
3:14 pm.  It seems to me that his narrow view of liberals, called by
MaxShields the “liberal class” is what hinders progress.  He uses the
term liberal class to mass together anyone who holds to liberal ideas
which in reality is a vast and disparate group.  It is a strategy to muddy
the issues and give his, and apparently yours as well, farther, much
farther, left sentiments more anchorage, more “political glamour.”  It
has been my frustration with liberals, and the leftists who apparently
do not consider themselves liberal by MaxShields’ standards, that they
have not found any equivalently popular voice to counteract the Tea
Party titanic channeling of conservative Republican convictions that
would erode to the bone any decent life for ordinary Americans out
of their personal greed and need for power.

I am a Democrat and I equate that as synonymous with liberal values
where the disparity between the wealthy and the middle and poor strata
of the American population is out of control.  I believe that wealth and
social status are not an entitlement to rule.

Just to make it clear, the following are my beliefs which are the same as
what “liberal” Democrats believe:  Rights of the Individual means a right
to life, liberty, dignity, security, equality of opportunity, justice, privacy,
and private ownership of property.  It means, a freedom to participate in
the political process, free to worship or not to worship as one decides
for oneself, freedom of assembly, inquiry and expression.  Democratic
ideals respects human life, respects the rights of others, are tolerant of
others ideas and views.  I believe societies need laws that are agreed to
and accepted by the majority of the people, and also allows and
protects dissenting minorities, that government is elected by a voting
population, that government respects and protects individual rights and
freedoms, and guarantees civil liberties.  If you don’t agree with these
values then we are definitely on different sides.

I do not believe a third party is a fruitful way to go in this country.  It
has been attempted at least 50 times besides the two parties already in
power.  Third parties never get the traction with the voting population
needed to effect any change.  I believe change must be made because
of their numbers by the rational Democrat liberals and to counteract the
desperate attempts by the conservative Republicans to prohibit ordinary
people from achieving what they are entitled to. Except for the right to
exist, I do not believe in natural rights, or natural law nor any bestowed
by any supernatural being.  I believe we humans make rights and laws
for us to live by because we have learned that is the most civilized way
to interact and survive as a species.

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By pundaint, January 27, 2011 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

I’ve seen the world “revolution” on 3 different sites this morning.  This is a new high for me.

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By ardee, January 27, 2011 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 26 at 11:41 pm

regarding:

Most of the cranks on TD who are pissed at Obama forget a couple of things; he is popular with the Americans who vote, and he is running
this country whether you like what he is doing or not.  In the two years he has been President, I have never seen one time when what a TD critic, from Sheer to Hedges or any truthdipper who said anything they
thought was ‘important’ that Obama paid any attention to it.  If you are so right, if your logic is without any defect or error, is faultless,flawless, then there must be something wrong with the way you
present your views.  You should be able to convince him of your views.
He has an email service: http://www.barackobama.com  And there are those
Democratic groups who also advise him you could contact.  The bravado on a blog is all that you do.  It is bombast.  Singing for the
choir who sings the same songs just cannot be very gratifying unless sing-alongs is your thing.  It is just a lot of sputtering.

Then why, I wonder, are you here? Do you now intend to adopt the persona of that inconsequential bit of excrement, GRYM, whose only purpose seems to be to brag and boast that the right is more popular than the left all the while ignoring the great harm being done to the middle and working classes by that group?

You are correct in your view of the left as fractured and almost voiceless, though I add the proviso that politics in this nation is and always has been cyclic in nature and the pendulum will swing once more. But I fail to understand your two major points;

that the way to make progress is to petition our President, especially in light of his love affair with the financial community sharks whose every working day is consumed with ways to amass great wealth at the expense of the rest of us, and,

that forums like this one are useless and those who come here posting critical opinions of Obama are “cranks”.

I do understand that you are a Democratic Party loyalist who sees no alternative but to continue to support a party that fails to support you. I guess we cranks will have to continue to speak to each other, bounce ideas off one another until some coherent direction makes itself known to us.

I have been vocal in my belief that third party politics is the way to combat the Duopoly Party’s abandonment of the American worker, others seems convinced that only a violent revolution can save us, a notion I reject. You do not speak to the indifference of your party to the plight of the families, the workers, the children , the elderly. You do not register a complaint about torture or perpetual war for profit, a policy Democrats embraced wholeheartedly as their own two years ago. Nor do you speak to ways to turn around your party, only to the “absurdity” of seeking other directions.

Perhaps your latest target deserves your wrath for daring to express passion. Perhaps you fail to understand that which drives most here to loathe your party’s betrayal of our values.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, January 27, 2011 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

Mummies swaddled in iPods, embalmed with television,
inculcated with nanobots drilling flagellum tales
into the formaldehyde brains of dead pharaohs,

exacting pagan idolatry entombed in pyramid schemes:
a failed foreign policy, a failed monetary policy, a failed energy policy.
And the high priests of currency intoning

hieroglyphic holy scat
in a chamber filled with contagion
and grave robbers worshiping golden idols.

Oh how the geologists of the future
will be amazed at the perpetuity
of our superstition, technology and truculence.

D.R. Zing, State of the Pharaohs (for Robert Scheer)

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By plainsman, January 27, 2011 at 2:43 am Link to this comment

“When the truth is known to lies.
And all the joy within you dies.”

Jefferson Airplane was singing about a relationship.

Seems the words also apply today to a different relationship: The US Government is cheating on the American people.

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/222265-VIDEO-Gov-Jesse-Ventura-Proves-9-11-Cover-Up-Will-America-s-Government-Fall-

And, what Barry is saying was said much more succinctly by Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat cake.”

We are, it seems, watching a prelude to American Revolution, Take 2.

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By D. E. Lyles, January 27, 2011 at 1:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The U.S. Is nothing but a fascist police state at home and a murdering bloody handed bullying imperium abroad. A rotted zombie colossus stumbling over the world crushing the life from the people and the earth. The implosion is coming. Capital is sucking every resource out of the populace. They are sawing off the branch they are sitting on but their blind greed, hubris and over reach will destroy them. Be strong and patient. This colossal putrefied corpse of a nation is speeding headlong for a fall.

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By SteveL, January 27, 2011 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

Third party time for me.

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By Shenonymous, January 27, 2011 at 12:36 am Link to this comment

MaxShields, you made no real point regarding Obama and appear to
have a closed system mind.  But you seem to relish trouncing me! I
just laugh at your vanity.  It’s all right.  The world is made up of all
kinds of people.  Do you react as a pompous _ _ _ regularly?  Why
do you think anyone should pay attention to what you say?  Do you
think you say anything really important that will improve this country?
It appears to me that you are just spouting off some conceited air. 
Your omniscience complex is showing.  It is people like you who just
sit around at their computer pontificating on TD that will actually do
nothing to improve the lot of humanity.  Just a lot of electronic hot air
issuing forth.  Nothing constructive.  They dreadfully populate Truthdig.

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By ElkoJohn, January 27, 2011 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

Well at least some of the folks see Obama & his Democratic Party
without the rose-colored glasses.

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By Mark Myword, January 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ray Duray, you are the first individual other than myself who i’ve seen evoke the
names of Scholes and Merton. And further along that line , do you know their
connection to LTCM?
I am proud of Robert Scheer’s steadfast declaration of truth to power.

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By radson, January 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

That was quite the speech by President Obama and quite the reaction by certain prominent members of the Govt . Admiral Mullen was seen to be ’ mulling ’ considerably on certain occasions and uncertain to
protocol ,which leads to the thought of consternation between the White House and the Pentagon .Good “boy’ Giethner was elated when ‘O ” mentioned the importance of the corporate state and the invaluable
contributions by the seasoned crooks.The Foreign Policy aspects of the speech were next to non -existent with regards to the status quo ,yet that was to be expected ;the harsh sanctions against Iran are starting
to take effect ,the draw-down of US occupation forces in Iraq ,along with a functioning Govt. in the said country—really .Maliki must be feeling rather contented with the encouraging words;that we are finally leaving .Not so for Mr. Karzai because the ghosts of September past is still the ‘benchmark’ of infamy in an America that fears or is it Shuns it’s past ;in order to resuscitate a cat with nine lives ,called Bin .So with
the help of fifty nations -we will hunt you down - where-ever you are ,perhaps a shovel would be handy to find ‘him’.Now how can you conflate Panama ,Columbia with South East Asia and Americas’ new found
friends in Asia especially Vietnam ;after the Genocide that America perpetrated against the Vietnamese citizens .Although President Obama didn’t mention Vietnam in his speech directly ,the emphasis is understood .Hugo Chavez should not take the reference of Columbia lightly and Brazil is another ‘bric’ in the wall ,or is it .Having said the above I find it surprising that President Obama would mention the need
to go ‘green’ and actually criticized the British with reference to BP and the folly of the petroleum industry;and the global damage that is being caused by these most selfish corporations.And yes I agree in Education
but what kind and under who’s influence is the most important question actually facing America.

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By Me, January 26, 2011 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This reminds me of something Arnold Schoenberg wrote about critics, and I’m paraphrasing,:

If you had a fived legged cow the critic would write that it didn’t even have 4 legs.

And you can’t condemn a man merely on the fact he worked for a company you hate. Just because someone worked or works at JPMorgan or GE. Doesn’t automatically prove they are in league with Satan. You really need to connect his actions while employmed there to the situation you are condemning.  These guys probably are despicable.  But you telling me they work for the same company as Racheal Maddow is not going to convince me.  Are you really trying to sell me on the premise that if you work for GE you should be hated?  I hope not.  And if not you turn your whole piece into a rant and a not excedingly engaging one at that.  And while it is convenent and factual that Geitner ““could have clamped down” on excesses by Citigroup”.  I can argue that fact is applicable to 100s of millions of credit addictied Americans.  It is our culture that lead to this meltdown.  But swing for the fences on these guys.  You want to rant?  Then get on a higher horse.

You seem to lack any ability to put Obamas actions into perspective.  You conveniently avoid political reality.  I think you should run for president and get elected and then do all the things you wish Obama would do.  For the record if I was president you would like me.  But I never thought Obama was going to do what I would do.  And if you ever thought he would, you were delusional. 

For me, Obama is a dividing line between the old America and a new America.  This is the beginning of populist movement that will takes decades to solidify and find real focus. Change in America has always gone slowly and while I support you losing you patiences, I’m also here to shine a light on a reality.  You dont agree with Obama?  Don’t vote for him and see if you agree with the new republican president more.

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By Bob Higgins, January 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

The President’s speech sounded as if he and his wordsmiths had just returned from a long sojourn in some fairy land where full employment and economic justice prevail.

What he offered in his address was more of the same hollow panaceas, noble sounding bromides, continued wars, more tax cuts for business and spending cuts for the rest of us.

His stomach for kowtowing to republicans and the economic power elite may have been the model for the new Starbucks size.

Given another two years of moving toward and through the center, I expect that Obama may win the CPAC straw poll and be elected as a Republican in 2012.

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By Joe, January 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for putting into print what I was thinking to myself after watching the SOTU speech. I’m tired of the hypocrisy, deceit, and triangulation.

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By David J. Cyr, January 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (Lori F):

“We need a constitutional amendment that states only people are people and money is not speech. Then, have all elections run with a set, finite amount of money given to all candidates who collect enough signatures on a petition.”
____________

For that to perhaps possibly occur electorally, the majority of voters would need to repeatedly — election upon election, decade upon decade — regularly and reliably civil-disobediently only ever vote for true alternative natural person candidates, who either had no or negligible funding. That would mean the majority would have to regularly never ever vote for any corporate person candidates (no Republicans and no Democrats)... and not for any candidates from any of the corporate party’s wholly owned subsidiaries, like the WFP. Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

With the technology available today, candidates shouldn’t need any money for their campaigns, and shouldn’t be allowed to collect or spend any money on their campaigns (including their ballot petitioning). Volunteer support only; no paid staff allowed anyone. All candidates should simply be provided equal access to the public, and not allowed any media access other than that equal access provided. Money has only one purpose in elections: to make the elections about who has more money, rather than who has better ideas.

The Democrat answer to too much money spent in elections was to spend far more money in elections. Bad idea.

The Democrat answer to too much war waged was to wage more wars. Bad idea.

The Democrat answer to too much denial of healthcare was to mandate higher costs for greater denial of healthcare. Bad idea.

The Democrat answer to too much fossil-fuel dependence was to just change the fossil-fuels to be more dependent upon. Bad idea.

The Democrat answer to climate change is to allow banksters to profit from pollution swaps, while the climate keeps on changing. Terminally bad idea.

It was the liberals who made elections now serve no good purpose; none. Elections can’t ever possible serve any good purpose again unless the majority of voters never ever vote for any liberal again… or any of their conservative partners.

A “conservative” is someone whose evil done doesn’t require any intelligence, because liberals get all the clever evil done for them.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough human habitable planet time left to politely procedurally fix the now human species existential problems that conservatives and liberals have unitedly together created.

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By chip, January 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Soon we will be “celebrating” the 10th anniversary of
9-11, get your flag pins ready.

I was just watching a tape I made on 9-12-01

Gold had spiked from 272 up to 286 overnight.
Oil had shot up from 27 dollars to 29 dollars a barrel.
The euro. was .91 against dollar.

Just a few facts our press will not be bragging about as they wave the flag.

They just mentioned the Federal Reserve Bank
(THE FED) is NOT government owned and is actually privately owned.The largest share holder being Chase Manhattan bank, Citibank is second.

The last time I checked “China” held about
900 billion of our debt and the “FED” held
over 5 trillion.

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By chip, January 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Soon we will be “celebrating” the 10th anniversary of
9-11, get your flag pins ready.

I was just watching a tape I made on 9-12-01
CNBC Europe.

Gold had spiked from 272 up to 286 overnight.
Oil had shot up from 27 dollars to 29 dollars a barrel.
The euro. was .91 against dollar.

Just a few facts our press will not be bragging about as they wave the flag.

They just mentioned the Federal Reserve Bank
(THE FED) is NOT government owned and is actually privately owned.The largest share holder being Chase Manhattan bank, Citibank is second.

The last time I checked “China” held about
900 billion of our debt and the “FED” held
over 5 trillion.

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By MaxShields, January 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 27 at 1:42 am
“You recoil from the bravery to stand up for your convictions to the man to whom you field all your criticism.”

I made my point regarding Obama and you came back with some kind of childish - “stand up”.

Yours is a contrived argument. Do you march this out everytime criticism of Obama is made? It’s trite.

As far as Rand Paul, again, you pay no attention to what I’ve posted. You want this to be about Republicans and Democrats. Therein lies the root of the American political systems collapse.

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By TAO Walker, January 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

“C-in-C” has long actually stood-for “Cheerleader-in-Chief”....and, of course, “CONman-in-Chief.”  The latest temporary Oval Office occupant sure-as-hell has no effective authority at-all over the U.S. military and it’s “private sector” camp-followers….never-mind any CONtrol over those shadowy merchants-of-death lurking behind it all.

Looks like last night’s clear message to theamericanpeople, after stripping-away the mandatory “exceptionalist” bullshit with its feel-good boiler-plate, and the usual super-sized serving of mooseturd-pie-in-the-sky, boils-down to this:  What you see is all there is….but you better look fast, because even that unpleasant prospect is disintegrating and evaporating right before your lyin’ eyes.  In other words, the only thing remaining to be seen is when the artificial-life-support (i.e.; massive “deficit-spending” of make-believe “money”) finally gets its plug pulled.

There is in actual fact no “future” to “win,” and the zero-sum, ‘dominance’-paradigm, sucker-punch fools’-game of the “Here-and-now, Boys (‘n’ Girls?)” privateering pyramid-scheme is over….and “your huddled masses” in “America” and everywhere in the “global” maximum security regime are the really big LOSERS!  So either get used to all this CONtrived “individual”-ized misery, in the virtual world-o’-hurt, or….

ALL TOGETHER….NOW!!!!

HokaHey!

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By Shenonymous, January 26, 2011 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

Please MaxShields say where I’ve repeated myself.  Are you just
seeing double?

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By MaxShields, January 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 27 at 1:05 am

Why do you repeat yourself? Do you believe that if you post it enough your position of talking to the POTUS would become, magically, more credible than the first time you uttered it?

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By Shenonymous, January 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

You shrink, MaxShields, from courage.  You belittle me but you grow
small.  I may be naïve, and I don’t deny it, but you boast and bluster. 
You recoil from the bravery to stand up for your convictions to the man
to whom you field all your criticism.  But you strut your intellect on the
likes of a blog.  How funny.  Instead of Obama, why not throw all your
acrimony at someone like Rand Paul who would take 500 billion dollars
from every good program that benefits the ordinary American and not
take one cent from the corporatocratic elite?

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By Arouete, January 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

Truthdig! Can you PLEASE give us a READABLE size type font ?? The work around is a nuisance! ALWAYS a surprise.

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By MaxShields, January 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 26 at 11:41 pm

It is a tad naive to think that I should be sending Obama advice. It may be possible that a person in the Presidency could truly transcend (as I stated below) system which has emerged and the baggage of empire that is the very essence of this political system. (He wears it well. He, unlike you, Shenonymous, is not naive.)

Much of the analysis on this man has been fully addressed here and elsewhere. I can add little else. He embodies the system as it does him. It is a corporate owened and operated system. He knew it when he ran. He took the money and he knows who HE listens to. And it aint you or me. What he does as far as you and me, is attempt to appease. He is a faux progressive. He never was and really never even tried to be more. But the naive souls who wander around defending him and his policies as if he could be someone he isn’t is pitiful.

Look at the people who has has chosen as his intimate advisors. That speaks far louder than any State of the Union. People are extremely tired of him. He reminds us of exactly why this system can not self-correct without major groundlevel change - Egypt style..it may be coming sooner than you think.

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By Joe Burke, January 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pretty much captured my thoughts on the State of the Union speech.  Looked much like Clinton’s embracement of Newt’s “contract” after his first “mid-term”—and like his co-opting of the Conservative right wing agenda that bought him his second term. Clever politics. Just have to sell out your soul—and everyone who was counting on you—to make it work.

Clinton sold his buy embracing Rubin’s dismantling of the financial legislation that ultimately undid the economy.  The bastard. Obama just did the same thing…which, to my way of thinking earns him the same epithet. Tricky talk. Clever politics. Crying shame.

I’d much rather see a one term president with spine—and appropriate outrage over the “state” of our hijacked political system that embraces outright deceit and fraud before the welfare of it’s people.

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By GrannyBgood, January 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Well, there was a strong start and it sat me upright when he said he was going to stop giving subsidies to the OIL COMPANIES (be still, my fluttering heart!) and instead use it to fund clean energy! .
(Whoa! Boehner looked a bit stunned too and wouldn’t clap for THAT! He grimaced and pouted, rolled eyes, etc, through much of the rest of the speech, i.e. whenever Obama espoused a good idea…Good indication of O’s chances of getting any of this through the Repug Congress!)
Obama also proposed taking subsidies from the Banking sector and using it to help with college tuitions…I sure can go for that too, as well as funding infrastructure projects like high-speed rail and internet (unless, of course, they use it to censure and propagandize US!).
Another great thumbs up go to his call to end the tax cuts for the super-rich, and that this July he wants to bring the troops home from Afghanistan (stoney-faced generals scowling in defiance)...but needless to say, the media played all this good stuff down.
We will see if any actual POLICY comes from these recommendations.

All in all, much of it was a nice trip through La La Land (“Now that the Recession is over..”?) with the Chief Dispenser of Hope.

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By REDHORSE, January 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

“——there ain’t no light nowhere—”
                  Jimi Hendrix

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By Shenonymous, January 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

MaxShields, January 26 at 3:14 pm – As far as I am concerned the
Tea Baggers is a pathetic political aberration.  But, I do not see any
leftist group having anywhere near a similar effect on the public. 
So where are the popular attractive collective left voices?  On blogs? 
Ridiculous. 

Why, MaxShields, do you not offer your advice to the President? 
Surely your insights would be valuable to him?  Why wouldn’t he
listen to you?  There must be some reason.

Most of the cranks on TD who are pissed at Obama forget a couple
of things; he is popular with the Americans who vote, and he is running
this country whether you like what he is doing or not.  In the two years
he has been President, I have never seen one time when what a TD
critic, from Sheer to Hedges or any truthdipper who said anything they
thought was ‘important’ that Obama paid any attention to it.  If you
are so right, if your logic is without any defect or error, is faultless,
flawless, then there must be something wrong with the way you
present your views.  You should be able to convince him of your views. 
He has an email service: http://www.barackobama.com  And there are those
Democratic groups who also advise him you could contact.  The
bravado on a blog is all that you do.  It is bombast.  Singing for the
choir who sings the same songs just cannot be very gratifying unless
sing-alongs is your thing.  It is just a lot of sputtering.

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By prisnersdilema, January 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

I am one of those people Samson, who is praying, each an everyday I also find some
way to commit an act of rebellion. From the posts here I am reassured that I’m not the
only one.

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By Samson, January 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

This is Herbert Hoover’s and Ronald’s Reagan’s economic plan ... support business, give all the money to wall street.  Hope some if it trickles down on those of us struggling to find any cake to eat.

The dang Democrats elected Herbert freakin Hoover in the last election, and can’t admit to themselves that this is what they did.

Hint, the millions of Wall Street dollars in Obama’s campaign finance disclosure docs ALWAYS spoke louder than his fake words in his fake campaign speeches.

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By Samson, January 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

To BR452

Study the fall of the Soviet Union and eastern Europe.  The whole world was amazed at how quickly it happened.

There, and here, you see a populace that knows that something is very wrong.  Life keeps getting harder.  And the system seems corrupt in picking who gets to live in luxury and on ‘top’.

There, and here, the populace doesn’t seem to have an option to do anything about it.  Both places had elections between candidates that offered little differences around the edges.  Both places had riot police to greet any who didn’t accept this as the only alternative. Both place top the charts on percentages of their population in prison.

Yet, in the Soviet Union, when the people got even a sniff that change was possible, then millions of people were out in the streets demanding it.

When change does seem possible. When it seems ‘safe’ to get out and join the protests because of their growing size and momentum, then suddenly the disgruntled millions come out of their homes and call for the change for which they’ve been silently praying for so long.

Its like an avalanche, when it starts to happen, it happens much faster than anyone can believe. That’s a lesson to learn from the fall of the communist bloc.

In America, you see a population desperate for change. A con-man puts a the word ‘change’ on the front of his podium, and the people flock to him. The Tea-partiers promise change, any change, and suddenly they grow in popularity. Even the constant insiders like Sen. McCain run their campaigns promising change from themselves.

Seems like the snow is all packed and jammed up by a political system that denies all change.  But, even though its been like that for awhile, don’t think that an avalanche couldn’t develop very quickly.

The left needs to be telling people what real change from and towards the left would look like. Convince the people that it could really happen and be good for them, and that avalanche will start to rumble.

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By Samson, January 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

At 1 year before the Dem Primaries, and some 20 months before the 2012 elections, Mr. Scheer is willing to be quite critical of the Democrats.

This in sharp contrast to the constants streams of Dem propaganda that dominated this site before the last election.

The trick is realizing that at some point before the next election, Mr. Scheer and this site will revert back to Dem propganda.  Maybe we could start a pool on the day?  Can I pick June 1, 2012?

This is why nothing ever changes.  Because when push comes to shove in elections, most of the progressive/leftist/whatever voices in this country bailout before the election and support pro-war, pro-corporate candidates.

Change will come when the opposition in this country actually runs candidates and supports them.

As long as we keep electing pro-war, pro-corporate Democrats, this is what you get.

Mr. Scheer, you’ve shilled for the Democrats in every election.  Right now, you sound as ridiculous as the French police major in Casablanca who’s shocked to learn there’s gambling in Sam’s place.

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By BR549, January 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

Lori,
I can guaranty you that whatever level of “nice” you’re trying to do, the globalists behind this are hundreds of steps ahead of you. The only thing that would throw them off guard is if the whole country revolted at once, thereby establishing too much of a mandate. That isn’t about to happen, well not quite yet anyway, so they continue to use our own tax monies under the guise of FEMA to build the detention camps, and to knowingly constrain the food supply under Codex Alimentarius and the phony Food Safety Bill. They realize the importance of supplements, now that they have spent the last 60 years of raping the soil and giving back to it virtually nothing.

The water companies across the country, which used to be local public utilities are being bought up at an unprecedented rate by foreign owed companies. Very slowly, from back during the Reagan Administration through the present, these people have been taking one chink after another out of the armor we once had. This is result of the Federalist mentality finally coming to roost under the guise of “banking”.

All the nice talk isn’t going to go very far, since these people are outright evil. Years ago I read M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie.” It’s a good primer for understanding how evil manifests itself today and the weakness of certain people; particularly many members of Congress.

I say all this because, as much light and forgiveness as I would like to spread over these people, they are operating on a totally different wavelength and you can save yourself a lot of makeup trying to cover up the bruises from banging your head against the wall by understanding what you’re up against.

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By Dan Treecraft, January 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE GREAT CHIEF OF THE HOPEY NATION has spoken.  We hope the Great Spirits
of The Corporate Powers are pleased with The Corporate Sockpuppet in Chief’s
inspiring words.  The Great Status Quo can rest assured that all of the resources
of The Great Chief’s vast treasury will continue to flow their way.  They, the
grateful Great Spirits of the Corporate Powers, know that the generosity of their
political-finance departments will not go unrewarded, as we go forward into
America’s great bright future.  Blessed are we the little squaws and stick-fetchers
of the Great United States of Political/Financial Corruption.

THE GREAT CHIEF OF THE HOPEY NATION has spoken.  Let us return to our TV
sets, and await the generous flow of providence from our divinely inspired
leaders.

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By the worm, January 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Essentially, the ‘message’ was:

We took care of the wealthy; they’re doing fine today.

So, now it’s time to cut taxes for the wealthy.

The middle class? They’re powerless - who cares.

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By McTN, January 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

I felt somewhat alienated from this country after listening to the president’s sotu. Obama has made his point of view very clear, so much clearer and specific than when he was campaigning and making speeches prior to his election.  If he had given a speech using these viewpoints of the country, I wouldn’t have voted for him.  But you see how hard it is to pin candidates down when you never have an opportunity to press them on anything and must rely on mainstream media to do your asking for you.

Scheer is right when he accuses the president of sidestepping current problems and possible solutions. Education is not the reason corporations take jobs to India or China or hire illegal immigrants—uh, profits?  And with unemployment still a huge difficulty for so many, particularly older workers and minorities, how can he propose legalizing millions of illegals whom he believes are all industrious and innovative?  Illegals can afford to work for nothing because in Mexico the wages translate into substantial income. Corporations recruited these illegals and shoved the costs of their labor onto now cash-strapped local govts who were obligated to educate the children and hire ESL specialists and whose hospitals were obliged to treat them.  But instead of speaking ill of corporate malfeasances, the president subsidizes and hires them.  As an American worker with an advanced education, I am insulted.  If I’m not relevant, it’s not because I don’t have the wherewithal to do the job.

This is his solution—build up business and help American citizens deserve employment by better educating them.  Give me an effin break.

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By David, January 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Innovation is the way forward. That was the best part of the speech.

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By fightback, January 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Is there any doubt that, other than a few Supreme court justices, Obama has been a disaster for the left? His shameless hiring of the worst of Wall street should make it clear that is no friend to the working man and the poor. His promise to ‘reorganize the government’ was an important comment. I fear that man now more than Palin - Palin is an ignorant baffoon and no one thinks she has the backing to become a real threat. But given a handsome, eloquent, liberal-appearing servant to the rich - who can behind pretty words and a mask of progressive verbiage, steal more wealth and rights from the average people - we should fear him now and fear where this may lead. To those that think we must get Obama reelected in 2012 - I suggest we stop being naive and start a real 3rd party - organized to fight for and not just beg for change. I’d rather the face of a blatant member of the rich rulling minority in the White house than a deceiver - the deceiver is more dangerous. Wall Street profits are up - indeed - would that we could drag the man and all the congress and senate members through the homeless shelters, the unemployment offices, the food pantries, the divorce courts, the VA hospitals etc and show him the real America.

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By AT, January 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OU WANT TO TALK ABOUT your bank, or AT &T.firts your
governmentled by a Liberal,elected, HOW COME their
policy were so repressive, is it because electioN doNt
mATTER/
TO BE CONTINUED.

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By Big B, January 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Most folks still can’t deal with the fact that there has always been two Obama’s. Oh, he has always been the same one, it is we the people that created another one. You know, the liberal one, the one we hoped beyond hope would be FDR. But as we closed our eyes and rubbed the fir off our rabbits foot, the other O’bama emerged, the real one, the one that never once promised a liberal agenda. The Ronald Reagan in blackface.

Barry’s SOTU speach was everything we have come to realize about this white elephant of a president. It was long on bold statements and short on facts. Barry and his corporate beneficiaries have once again handed the people a shit sandwich, and told us if we don’t like it, cut off the crusts.

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By Lori F, January 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

I have a bit of trouble with most of the hot and bothered comments below because they are mostly all complaining without offering any solutions.  Let’s act, not just complain! Let’s change the game of how pols get elected. Obama, as all politicians in our present system, must respond to the money, because that’s how politicians now get elected. At present, as many of you have noted, because corporations are considered “people,” and money is considered free speech, it’s “One dollar (or $1 million), one vote”, not “One person, one vote.” We need a constitutional amendment that states only people are people and money is not speech. Then, have all elections run with a set, finite amount of money given to all candidates who collect enough signatures on a petition.  The money would come out of our taxes.  IMO, that would be one of the best uses of taxes!  I believe left, right, and center can agree on this, if we keep our sights and our rhetoric on the “bottom line,” rather than bickering across the political spectrum. There are several websites that are dedicated to this goal.  Hightower lists them at http://movetoamend.org/news/hightower-8-ways-were-making-america-better-place.  It will be a long, hard road (so were blacks’ and women’s suffrage), but if we don’t try, we’ll never get there.  “WE (not Obama) are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”  If you have any other suggestions as to how to get the money out of politics, I’m all ears.

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By scotttpot, January 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

The Comcast / Nbc Merger means we will have another Fox News
to further catapult the propaganda.
Money and Ideology contol our media and is contolling our reality.
It was fun and noble to pretend that it mattered who won our ‘elections’, but that
illusion has been unmasked.
How can anyone doubt Chris Hedges is correct?

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By Bird48, January 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Excellent column. I admit I didn’t listen to the speech because the sound of O’s voice and the look on his face make me want to puke. Nonetheless, I did read the transcript and it was full of the same old bullshit he has been blathering on about for two years. This was nothing but the opening salvo in his re-election campaign and he got to reach all those people out there with free air time on all networks. Pretty clever.

As he goes on with his famous bipartisanship watch out for the next capitulation—selling out Social Security for getting the Repubs to raise the debt ceiling. They are already lining up to insist he cut spending and he will be more than happy to accomodate their every wish. What a shill.

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By Alan MacDonald, January 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

As far as Obama and his SOTU speech are concerned, Obama essentially serves the same disguised role that Polish guards served in the Nazi Empire’s work camps; to deceive the prisoners into thinking that they were dealing with anything less than true Nazi SS guards, to relax their communal defenses, and then to uncover any pockets of resistance and facilitate the beatings for the Nazi Empire overlords—- in other words, a stooge.

Of course, Obama serves this function with much more guile, finesse, and sophistication than an ordinary Polish prole. But then, he is serving a much more sophisticated, and Two-Party ‘Vichy’ facade of 21st century global corporate/financial/militarist Empire than was the Nazi Third Reich Empire. For we are now in the Fourth Reich Empire.

But, of course, Obama said NOTHING in his phony SOTU about the Empire, the “Unspeakable”. He did not give a candid or deadly honest SOTE speech, nor even whisper about the State of the Empire.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine
“Democracy over Empire” party headquarters

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By LT, January 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m glad someone else is calling out the liars in the Beltway.
They continue to cut education, then say education and skills is the reason for “outsourcing”.
BS - it’s mainly about cheap, cheaper and cheapest labor.

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By BR549, January 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

Ingrid,
“Obama MUST work with Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, corporations, and individuals,left-wing and right-wing fundies, the entire spectrum from the wealthy to the indigent!”

That would be great in a democracy, but what we have is just a shell, an illusion, while the bankers are being placated by the likes of the trash we have in our three branches of government who can’t seem to view the founding documents as anything other than old pieces of paper. Since we have not been able to rise any further in global social evolution, those documents STILL have all the relevance that they had 200+ years ago. Technological evolution does not equate to social evolution. If anything, we’ve regressed and yet we are being asked to believe that the failure is from the founding documents being “inelastic” and that we should have a “living document”. B.S.

Our elected individuals have failed miserably in being deserving of the public trust and yet they want to make us believe that we are ready to graduate to the next level of government. They should try passing the first level first and after they get an “A”, then move forward, but these people want sit in the back of the class and throw spitballs, get halfway through 6th grade and then think they deserve a high school diploma.

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By BobZ, January 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Obama is certainly not the president we progressives hoped we would get, but
he was pretty honest in his book “Audacity of Hope” that he strongly believed in
bipartisanship and working with the Republican party. And he may have been
right when he wrote the book, but Republican’s have now become radically
right. The comments coming from freshman Republican congressmen are
downright scary. Right now I am way more afraid of the Republican’s than I am
disappointed with Obama. Yes, he blew “smoke up our a—” last night but then
what president hasn’t in a SOTU speech. At least he didn’t threaten to downsize
Social Security and start taking away the remaining New Deal safety nets. No
doubt we are now under the thumb of the corporatists and the Citizens United
decision hasn’t even fully kicked in yet. It will only get worse. Hedges is right -
the liberal movement in the U.S. has become ineffectual and effete. We get a
few bones thrown to us, but we are rapidly moving to the inverted totalitarian
society depicted in Hedges book. All we can hope for is that the Republican’s
overstep their perceived mandate and start impacting the economic well being
of their tea party supporters. Start taking away the pension benefits of retired
police officers, and we may start to see some “second amendment remedies”
and it won’t be pleasant for the tea party movement. And if they make it legal
for states to declare bankruptcy, the bond market will collapse and take
equities with it and we will be back in the second great recession or worse.
Republican politicians like to shoot their mouths off to appease their idiot base
but at some point it becomes very dangerous.

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