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Looney, and That’s No Debate

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Posted on Oct 14, 2010

By Eugene Robinson

OK, I want to make sure I understand. Two years ago, with the nation facing a host of complex and difficult problems, voters put a bunch of thoughtful, well-educated people in charge of the government. Now many of those same voters, unhappy and impatient, have decided that things will get better if some crazy, ignorant people are running the show? Seriously?

I thought I had come to terms with the whole tea party thing, I really did. I convinced myself that it could be analyzed as a political phenomenon, an expression of disaffection, a reaction to economic, social and demographic change that leaves some Americans anxious and unsettled, blah blah blah. But then came Wednesday’s debate in Delaware—featuring Christine O’Donnell, uncut and uncensored—and all my rationalizations crumbled. This isn’t politics, it’s insanity.

I know that O’Donnell is likely to lose to Democrat Chris Coons. But until Election Day—at least—we’re supposed to take her seriously as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate. Sorry, but I just can’t do it anymore.

Nor can I pretend that Carl Paladino, the raging bull from Buffalo, is qualified by experience or temperament to be governor of New York. Or that Sharron Angle, whose small-government philosophy is so extreme as to be incoherent, could possibly make a worthwhile contribution as a senator. Or that Rich Iott, whose idea of weekend fun is putting on a Nazi SS uniform and gamboling through the woods, is remotely acceptable as a candidate for the House.

When has there been an election with so many looney tunes running under the banner of one of our major parties? It’s not that they are ultraconservative, or even that some of them believe their psychic powers let them know what the Founding Fathers would have thought about, say, stem cell research. There are radical small-government Republicans who are also intelligent and thoughtful. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is an example.


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It’s just that there is a difference between being smart but wrong, and being O’Donnell.

She wasn’t as bad as she might have been in Wednesday’s debate—which is part of the problem: Expectations were abysmally low. After all we’ve learned about her sketchy past, after all the video clips of her indefensible statements, and after the first “I’m not a witch” television ad in American political history, O’Donnell could not possibly have underperformed.

But judged by any reasonable standard, she was mediocre and often ridiculous. Asked by moderator Wolf Blitzer whether she stood by her assertion that evolution is a “myth,” O’Donnell responded that “local schools should make that decision”—meaning, she explained, that she believes local schools should be able to teach creationism as an equally valid explanation of how we and our fellow creatures came to be.

But it’s not. If you believe at all in science and the scientific method, then you believe in evolution. And if you think it’s fine to deny American schoolchildren basic knowledge that all the rest of the world’s schoolchildren routinely learn, then what use could you possibly be in the Senate? At a time when there is widespread, legitimate concern about American competitiveness in the 21st century, O’Donnell would make our educational system dumber, not smarter.

O’Donnell told Fox News recently that if she is elected, she would like to serve on the Foreign Relations Committee. One imagines that Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao did not shudder.

The candidate displayed her mastery of geopolitics by saying nothing remotely thoughtful or insightful about U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, except to parrot Republican talking points—criticizing President Obama’s timetable for withdrawal, insisting we have a responsibility to “finish the job,” and betraying no evidence of having given the matter further thought.

Four years ago, in a failed Senate campaign, O’Donnell claimed that China had a “carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America,” and said she knew of this via “classified information that I’m privy to.” In Wednesday’s debate, she insisted that she had indeed received some “security briefs” while working with a humanitarian group that was planning a China trip. There are only two possibilities: She needs to be fitted for a tinfoil hat, or she made the whole thing up.

I’ve had it. Let’s be honest. If she’s qualified to be a senator, I’m the king of Prussia.

Now, will somebody please warn her that she’ll have trouble finding Prussia on the map?

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)
© 2010, Washington Post Writers Group

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By garth, October 19, 2010 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

I no sooner hit the Submit button here when I heard on the Stephanie Miller Show, Christine O’Donnell rhetorically asking Coons, where in the Constitution is there Freedom of Religion?

She outdid it.  Whammo.

Like Michael Hayden, Bush’s head of the CIA, did know about the ‘Probable Cause’ stipulation of the 4th amendment.

These are the people who want to return to the Constitution.  Which one?

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By QuantumBubbler, October 19, 2010 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

I’d like to hear Pelosi, Reid, Franken, Frank, Dodd, Hartman, Kerry outdo that.

Twilight Zone could become a highly rated diversion for the populace again…

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By garth, October 19, 2010 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Sharon Angle the Looney party candidate for Senator from Nevada saw the attention that Paladino and O’Donnel were getting and she decided to jump in the fray.

Addressing a classroom of Latinos and Latinas she said they looked a little Asian to her.  She couldn’t tell the difference.  To backtrack and cover the trail of spken evidence that could be used to determine her sanity, she said Canada is our most porous border.  She knows porous.  Her head has been leaking.

But that does not match the idea of a man I used to work with.  He was a well trained, highly educated chemist and he told me in all sincerity that the reason the population of China is so large is that they do not know what love is.  I stopped and paid close attention.  I knew I was in for a good one.

He reasoned that since they all look alike (to him) and they couldn’t tell one from another, procreation did not involve a commitment as a result of loving the other person.  It was just the old find ‘em, feel ‘em, fuck ‘em, forget ‘em cycle.

One last thing.  This guy had an adolescent son that no one knew about.  He said he didn’t let on that he had a son because the ‘kid might turn out to be a dud.’  Now that’s LOVE.

I’d like to hear Sharon, Carl or Christine outdo that.

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By garth, October 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

After this November 2nd, Christine O’Donnell might want to give up being a witch for good and gain her wisdom from an Eastern philosophy.  I’m thinking Confucianism, in particular.

As Confucius said, “Woman who fly upside down bound to have crack up.”

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By QuantumBubbler, October 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

“Looney, and That’s No Debate”, no, that is not a debate. That is looney itself. To be more specific it is a proto-fascist statement.

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By 3rd party voter, October 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

I’m beginning to understand a bit more about why our forefathers got onto wooden ships and sailed across the sea and away from Europe for months at a time.

Heeft iemand anders iets ruiken?

Ik denk, meneer, het is de geur van gewichtigdoenerij

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By Lafayette, October 18, 2010 at 6:26 am Link to this comment


rigor: Sorry I can’t stay to trade some glib diatribe with you - I have a 9 hour day of work ahead, you know - a real job. 

Have a nice day ... reveling in your triteness.

Btw, here is the Obama piece in WikiP. Since you are so sure about your sources (of damning information regarding Obama) I suggest you rewrite certain parts of the article’s text and cast your aspersions for the world to see.

Be sure to justify your entries, however, with detailed references.

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By Rigor, October 18, 2010 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

Hello LAFI - whats unsubstantiated is Mr. Soetoro’s
(aka Obama) claim to have been editor of the Harvard
Law Review; requires a thesis I believe [all other
editors have], so wheres this thesis? Or for that
matter anything that says he actually went to Harvard,
besides some obscure classmates that can’t be found now
who claimed to have seen him there.
Your just another lemming with a thesaurus. Sorry I
can’t stay to trade some glib diatribe with you - I
have a 9 hour day of work ahead, you know - a real job.

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By Lafayette, October 18, 2010 at 4:51 am Link to this comment


If one must point the finger of blame—and given the negligence and therefore crime, then one must—here is where to look for the culprits.

The SubPrime Mess was:
1) Bred on Main Street by banks and credit institutions that wanted to securitize (resell) non-credit-worthy loans,
2) Packaged by Wall Street which, according to the article cited above, knew full well that the debt instruments they were packaging for resale were Toxic Waste,
3) But given anyway Triple-A ratings, when the Credit Rating Agencies should have known that the packaged loans/mortgages were faulty (since they were negligent in their duty to inspect the underlying nature of the debtors),
4) Whereupon the Wall Street Golden Boys foisted the Toxic Waste upon global investors as “Bona-fide Realty Backed Debt Instruments”; which, when the market finally understood the underlying toxicity,
5) Caused seizure of the banking Credit Mechanism that could have done very grievous damage to the economy if not staunched (and therefore caused TARP),
6) But nonetheless reduced consumer Demand for goods and services, because they feared losing their jobs in the economic crunch,
7) Which indeed happened nonetheless and caused the Great Recession, one of the most severe economic contraction since the 1930s. And, lest we forget,
8) Such recessions in the past have rarely taken less than two to three years to finally overcome.

May the perpetrators be caught, prosecuted and jailed. Zero Tolerance in order to prevent such greedy and callous negligence to ever reoccur.


But, in the meantime, the American people will stop any real reform of the American economy and government by, in the mid-term elections, voting back into possession of Congress the Party of which the ineptitude originally caused the SubPrime Mess.

Meaning Zero Tolerance for the Banksters but Great Tolerance for the Republican Party.

Go figure ...

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By Lafayette, October 18, 2010 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

From the Associated Press: 

Obama has also signed into law at least a dozen other pieces of legislation of significance. They include:
-Making college loans more affordable.
-The Cash for Clunkers program that helped rejuvenate the auto industry.
-New consumer protections for credit card users.
-Making it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination.
-Increasing federal regulation of tobacco products.
-Cracking down on waste in Pentagon weapons acquisition.
-Making attacks based on sexual orientation a federal hate crime.
-Giving businesses tax incentives to hire unemployed workers.
-Tax credits for first-time homeowners.

So where is the love?

Polls suggest three-fourths of Americans disapprove of Congress.

What’s a guy gotta do? Work miracles? Was that in the original Job Description?

Oh, we put it in later? Yeah, right ...


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By Lafayette, October 18, 2010 at 3:02 am Link to this comment


rigor: A guy who nobody knows from nowhere, who still spends millions to keep his college transcripts under lock & key you consider thoughtful & educated?

Blah, blah, blah. References please, otherwise this remains what it is - unsubstantiated defamation of character. Aka, freespeach BS.

Is this all you’ve got as an argument? Go vituperate elsewhere if you haven’t a cogent rebuttal to post.

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By Lafayette, October 18, 2010 at 1:16 am Link to this comment


I think you may be repeating what I said. No matter.

Perhaps, yes, they are both similar expositions. But your reference to a “regulations don’t matter” begged a comment.

They no longer matter, yes, when presidents decide to neuter an oversight agency by a policy of prosecutorial laxness – meaning “no prosecution” of flagrantly negligent business practices.

This was a hallmark of the Lead-head – Cheney era of administrative government. It was on their watch (and that of Greenspan) that market oversight went to hell in a hand-basket – because of the silly nonsense that “markets regulate themselves”. And for this bit of idiocy we are now enduring terrible economic consequences.

Therefore, I ask: What repentance from the TeaParty candidates do you see for such injustice and incompetence? Where’s the “Excuse us, but we’re different and here’s why” (followed by a plausible political platform). Where’s that? Nowhere to be seen.

They think they have every right to govern and the past has no relevance whatsoever. Lead-head was just an “unfortunate” mistake. The Great Recession was something of an accident. Negligence of elected duty leads to accidents, yes, and negligence of one’s official responsibilities is blamable to a party.

My point: It is important for voters to understand the difference of wheat from chaff in the political harvest at election time. And they don’t, because either they don’t want to or they don’t make the effort to do so.

We live in a democracy. Meaning the responsibility for good governance is generally ours—we, the people, elect those chartered to assure that governance. If the Right has taught us anything during the past administration it is this: Let’s be more careful about who we elect and why. That notion remains relevant as we enter the midterm elections.

Congress is full of people who still think that Free Markets get it right all the time—they provide the right service at the best price and at all times. Anybody with the slightest notion of market economics knows that is a cute notion, but has no relation to reality. (Health Care being a prime, blatant example of Market Failure.)

Seeking desperately a scapegoat, then blaming Obama for our present economic plight is simply not on. God the Son could not have turned this economy around from the depths of the Great Recession without a miracle. (We were losing 800,000 jobs a month when Obama took office.)

Presidents are not miracle workers. Obama puts his pants on one leg a time.

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By gerard, October 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

Reminding Mr. Robinson:  There is a difference between being “smart but wrong” and being stupid and wrong.  People who are smart but wrong, are smart enough to change their minds.  People who are stupid and wrong ?  The never admit they are wrong and that is precisely the problem.  Too many stupid people who think they are right makes improvement impossible and regression inevitable.

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By Rigor, October 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Wait, wait, wait - 2 years ago we put some thoughtful
well-educated people in charge? , ?!
Are you freek’n nuts?
A guy who nobody knows from nowhere, who still spends
millions to keep his college transcripts under lock &
key you consider thoughtful & educated? He claimed 20+
years at the same church before realizing his preacher
was racist hate monger…
Traitor tunes or Looney left, the only words for this

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By Quinty, October 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette -

I think you may be repeating what I said. No matter.

Though to quibble I think Reagan and the Chicago School merely found a new
way of advancing some very old attitudes and ideas. Ideas which last unto today.
And had not the Democrats had a a super majority Glass Steagall would not have
passed. Republicans back then didn’t believe in government “intrusion” too. Not
much new about that.

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral
philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

John Kenneth Galbraith

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By Lafayette, October 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment


The elimination of Glass Steagall is a good example of this.

If a regulation is forgot, more than likely it is because it is working, not because it is overlooked.

Glass-Steagal worked until it was repealed when, ten years later, an economic calamity occurred that can be directly attributed to sort of banking negligence that G-S was supposed to prevent – too much risk with too little reserve capital to cover it.

Nobody had forgot G-S. A new mindset had arrived with Reagan however to supplant it. It was not just a mentality of the Nietzsche Uber-Menche, Master of the Universe, but also of the self-regulating markets that the Master had created. Which proved ultimately to be the same falsehood that the Nazi’s believed. Men are, after all, mere mortals and markets are not self-correcting.

They fail and when they fail, calamity may ensue. Which means that G-S should have been re-instituted, which the Finance legislation did not do.

There may have been good reasons to not bring G-S back. Time will tell ...

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By Quinty, October 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment


The thing is they are not “ineffectual.” Not when they are running for major office
and may win, becoming governors, senators, members of the House.

Collectively, “looney tunes” may be accurate enough. Some are just profoundly
dumb. Like Palin, O’Donnell, Angle….. Some are truly mean spirited, like Paladin
and Joe Miller.

But lumping all their views together, “looney tunes” works well enough to describe
them all collectively.

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By Quinty, October 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment


A problem exists, causing harm and damage to the economy, environment,
consumers, whatever.

The government steps in and introduces a regulation, which makes the problem

Time passes, the years slip by.

Everyone eventually forgets about the problem.

The interest though which is regulated complains about excessive government
regulation and interference. Government is seen as simply “overbearing” and
needlessly intrusive. As “part of the problem, not the solution.”

So the regulation is eliminated for the sake of greater freedom and progress.

And the problem the regulation prevented returns.

The elimination of Glass Steagall is a good example of this.

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By WriterChick, October 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Interesting. If these people are such loony tunes then why is there so very much press about them?  People rarely feel threatened by others they consider ineffectual and loony tunes.

Seems to me what you’re really afraid of is people who do not share your view of the issues and of course the best way to go after them is by character assassination, rather than debating their views.  Typical lib knee-jerk reaction. What a shock.


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By Lafayette, October 17, 2010 at 10:27 am Link to this comment


garth: Richard Wolfe Professor of Economics at UMASS makes the claim the regulation in the US is not the answer.  We’ve been there, done that. 

After 1930s all sorts of regulations were put in place.  And they worked for a while, but the oversser of these regulations were the ones created the problem to begin with.

I agree with the professor in that Lead-head proved that neutering the agencies, by putting a straw-man crony in charge, could be effective in deregulating oversight agencies.

But I disagree that we can do without regulatory control. It’s like playing baseball without referees.

The 1930s saw the implementation of the Glass-Steagal Act separating Commercial from Investment Banking. The act was goodness, since it put a firewall between the former that should be risk-averse and the latter that is inherently risk-prone.

What in heaven’s name got into Billy-boy Clinton (along with Robert Rubin) to propose rescinding the Act to a Rep Congress is beyond understanding. Billy-boy has since expressed publicly his regrets for signing the rescindment bill into law.

Since markets have a tendency to morph to meet consumer demand, it is necessary to have Intelligent Regulators that are somehow made independent – like the judiciary.

What is stupid is the regulator revolving-door by which they find themselves working for the businesses they once regulated—and that’s wise. For as long as that is possible, regulator personnel see vividly where their career progression lies. They become less effective as regulators, imo.

We all got carried away. Making a Quick Buck became a national pastime and nobody really wanted to see the mindless inanity end. But end it did and with a great bang. We are still paying the price for what was our own self-indulgent binging on cheap credit facilitated by unethical business practices. It was our own fault.

It is unwise to make a Faustian pact with the devil – he’s got the better odds.

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By balkas, October 17, 2010 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

There are vast differences between any democracy and any timocracy. In a
timocracy like the one swiss have, major regulations, laws, deregulations,
decisions to go to war, etc., are decided by voters.

In US, all major [de]regulations, reforms, lawmakings, etc., are formed behind
closed doors; possibly by only one to ten mn people.
It cannot get worse than that for domestic and aliens.

Of course, Swiss model cld stand improvement; however, they have not been at
war for a ?millennium and when at war only defend selves from austrians which
waged wars against helvetians for a century or two.

US, to date, had not waged even one defensive war; all its wars, cia terror, etc.,
were acts of aggression.
Nor has any empire or land ever threatened to invade and occupy US, let alone
attempted to do that!

Is it any wonder that hitler marveled at US ‘achievements’ thru terror and other
He did not hate it; he had been awed and inspired by the american ruling class’
And precisely why nazis in germany and US demonized bolsheviks and wanted
their governance destroyed.
But like saddam hussein, he, too, fell into a trap. And even germans of ‘14,
were lead to doom: exhaust it in a wrong and totally needless war [or for
trifling reasons], and move in for the kill.

Had saddam known this, he likely wld have not fallen for american lies.
And had ‘jews’ known the artifice, they most likely wld have never ever got into
mess that they are in now: eterne conflict with all muslims.

Can one wish a greater ill on ‘jews’ than being a total dependency on great
criminal minds; yet surrounded by eterne enemies?

Tnx for ur Left, Right, Wrong Ear and the Finger. also spricht bozhidarevski
and who finished last in his class. That had been the best thing that happened
to me. That way crooks never robbed me of my sanity!

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By Lafayette, October 17, 2010 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

O’Donnell: Four years ago, in a failed Senate campaign, O’Donnell claimed that China had a “carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America,” and said she knew of this via “classified information that I’m privy to.”

Is this what passes for intelligent political discourse in America?

The privy is where she belongs with her inanities.

(Privy = a toilet in a small shed outside a house.)

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By garth, October 17, 2010 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

“The SubPrime Mess was the camel that broke the straw’s back, because Financial Regulation is taken so very seriously in Europe. In fact, yes, it stifles business.

But regulation (intended to prevent disastrous negligence) is the price one pays to avoid economic calamity. And America could not even get that right in its hell-bent rush for (supposedly) “Free Markets”.


Richard Wolfe Professor of Economics at UMASS makes the claim the regulation in the US is not the answer.  We’ve been there, done that. 

After 1930s all sorts of regulations were put in place.  And they worked for a while, but the oversser of these regulations were the ones created the problem to begin with.  It behooved them and the other members of their inter-locking directorates to undo the regualtions. 

So they did.  The result was 2008 and its aftermath.

As an answer he cites as models the new types of companies that sprang up in garages California made up of engineers who had an idea and were sick of the top-down approach to business solutions. 

They shared ownership.  Mon thru Thurs they worked and on Fridays, they stategized.

From what I’ve heard, regulations hurt the small businesses.  For example, I knew a builder who wanted to increase his work staff: carpenters, electricians, etc.  He told me the cost and the amount of paperwork for him and his wife was stifling.

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By Lafayette, October 17, 2010 at 7:26 am Link to this comment


... while the fascists are poised to make serious inroads, where they will finish the job of unbalancing and unchecking the checks and balances.

That’s about as good a definition I have seen of a democratic Banana Republic. Most BRs are not democratic, meaning that the rich landed-gentry or the urban industrialists held a hold on power, more often than not by warped elections. It was easy to fool a population that consisted of uneducated farmers.

Ours is, however, an innovation of the same process but differently. We have a large great many relatively educated people at least high-school and even college – 40% of Americans have a two- or four-year degree. But evidently they are not using their intelligence and one must ask why?

Intelligence is one thing and employing it is quite another. An engineer might be able to conceive and build a rocket that will get an astronaut to the moon— but for some remarkable reason be seduced politically by a Sarah Palin (or take your pick from the TeaParty Primadonnas). And that political seduction has to do with upbringing.

The source of their political values colours their political opinion. One value that has an overwhelming effect is Individualism – that presumes that the rights of an Individual to fulfill themselves supersedes any rights of the Collective Group.

Philanthropy can be considered as the bad conscience of someone who has far more money than they need. Had that money been taxed away, it would be available for Public Services … say a Public Health Care option. Now that’s a fine example of a first-class Social Investment.

If a society believes that the individual must be free to pursue themselves at whatever undertaking, and then there are no limits, then it has decided that what is best for the individual is best for all.

If a society believes, otoh,  that what is best for all is best for the individual, then it imposes limits on what the individual may do or accomplish. The perspective is very different in each circumstance in terms of income taxation and redistribution.

Our American society is one of individual values. Europe is more a grouping of nations more collective in nature. These two outcomes may be historical in nature. Regardless, they are fact. Some will call the later relational and the former individual. The appellations don’t matter, the context in which a person finds themselves in relation to others that constitute the society in which they live IS important. 

But, since do not teach philosophy in HIgh School …  it is quite unlikely that a student will ask, “What am I? An Individual or a member of a Collective (community, city, state, nation)? Or both? Or neither?”

Who assists them in thinking of the differences and what they might mean to both themselves and the society in which they live. And if they do not think about that choice and its consequences, then they adopt those values that are prevalent within their family and community. 

The more a value is shared by a community, the more it tends to be adopted by all those who belong to that community— which is a characteristic of human nature. Unless, of course, if those values are questioned. But who will question them, if not ourselves? And in what context, if not at school? (Which is precisely the problem of creationism.)

Which is the objective of those who believe in Social Justice and not just Criminal Justice.


And so, what does it all mean? It means that it will take a long, long time before America changes values from Individual in nature to Collective. With our accent on Individualism, we may be practicing Social Darwinism ...

And it doesn’t help for the Conventional Wisdom to espouse the mindless slander that all pinkos-commies-socialists are the devil’s helpers.

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By QuantumBubbler, October 17, 2010 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

You said, “You might want to know that I am not the only one to find Americans beyond the pale. It’s a sentiment that is held by a great many Europeans who have lived in the US, but returned to Europe.”

I guess when you feel like you’ve gotta take a dump you’ve just gotta take a dump! You just dump on anybody? I said nothing to indicate I am a willing other side to the angst you apparently live with, concerning ‘Americans’ (a broad categorical confinement with no utility for understanding, but you’re just branding). Isn’t that the thought processes used by bigots?

Concerning regulations, at least here in the US, they tend to regulate more favorably for the regulated who have the closest relationship with their regulation makers. Over time, we have seen where that leads, more power in less people’s hands.

I think America would have worked if the local sherrif/jury system had of been enhanced instead of torn down to favor ‘regulations’ by ‘regulators’.

The simple ‘I’m pissed enough to put my money down and I’m sure that 12 out of 12 people will agree’ is real time and IMO a better system.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 17, 2010 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

The Left is fighting amongst itself, making bizarre accusations, particularly of the President, while the fascists are poised to make serious inroads, where they will finish the job of unbalancing and unchecking the checks and balances.

While the Left is figuring out who is REALLY “Liberal” and REALLY “Progressive” the fascists are moving in with the intention of making ALL Democrats and those to the left of them illegal.

Just like the SPD and KPD and other liberal parties unable to work together in Weimar Germany, even as the Nazis were on the brink of taking it all and destroying it all.

Starting in 1980, each shift to the Right has been further right. Today, Nixon, that bastard,  would be hounded out of the Republican Party and would be Left of the Blue Dog Democrats.

Meanwhile the moderate Democrats natter on sounding the message of their feeble achievements that fall on tin ears, while the far-left, in an opium pipe stupor, dreams of a revolution that THEY believe will put their ideas in charge, like Castro throwing out Batista, and create some Utopian Marxist state….right….

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By culheath, October 17, 2010 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

Lafayette: “You might want to know that I am not the only one to find Americans beyond the pale. It’s a sentiment that is held by a great many Europeans who have lived in the US, but returned to Europe.”

Bingo! I lived as an American ex-pat in Canada for 30+ years and the 6 years I’ve been back in the States has me more than ready to return north. This place is hopelessly inane, and yes, astoundingly puerile. It has become an extremely dangerous cartoon of itself.

There are of course the relatively rare jewels of folks like Robinson, but even so, the game is simply not worth the candle.

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By Lafayette, October 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

garth: After seeing these Tea Party\Republican candidates and hearing their spiels, I am beginning to doubt it myself

Good stuff! Lol!

Patent it.

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By Lafayette, October 16, 2010 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment


QB: If you’re so smart, and you know that stupid is the majority, then why not recognize then the majority can not handle the complexity of what has been wrought of our once simple government? 

You might want to know that I am not the only one to find Americans beyond the pale. It’s a sentiment that is held by a great many Europeans who have lived in the US, but returned to Europe.

If the US is the Greatest Nation on Earth, then why did the Europeans leave it? Because the standard of living here in Europe is more equitable. But why—you may ask—do so many want to enter into the US? Because when you are desperate enough you’ll do anything to better your lot and that of your family.

Can you possibly conceive that other nations have, now, finally, a standard of living that is as good as the US—if not better in certain respects. (Better Health Care, better schooling—I’ve put up in various forums here the indicators of how these two matters are shown to be qualitatively better in nations other than the US of A.)

What has happened to that huge stock of Good Will capital that the “Yanks” had generated after the liberation of Europe in 1946? Well, it’s been spent a long time ago.

After Uncle Sam having thrown his heft around in places where he ought not have gone—and particularly after the SubPrime Mess produced a Recession in Europe as well—a great many people (here) think Uncle Sam is out to lunch. America’s reputation abroad is at its nadir.

The SubPrime Mess was the camel that broke the straw’s back, because Financial Regulation is taken so very seriously in Europe. In fact, yes, it stifles business.

But regulation (intended to prevent disastrous negligence) is the price one pays to avoid economic calamity. And America could not even get that right in its hell-bent rush for (supposedly) “Free Markets”.

“Free”, me arse, when they bring people to their knees, putting them out of jobs as well as house and home. Where’s the “freedom” there?

Ain’t no such thing as “free to be poor, down and out as well as SOL”.


And, of course, we need a scapegoat in such circumstances—sp it’s the PotUS who’s the lightening rod.

Such puerile nonsense is typical of a nation that has regressed both economically and sociologically.

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By Lafayette, October 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

yogi: Please tell me and my fellow Americans; what was Barack Obama’s qualifications to run the office of the President of the USA?

Silly question. Read his profile.

Then take your vituperation elsewhere.

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By yogiman, October 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

OK, Christine O’Donnell is nuts and incapable of serving in the US Senate, but Chris Coons is.What’s the difference?

And you can’t pretend Carl Paladino is qualified to serve as governor of New York. You mention there being so many loony tunes running for office. You question so many being unqualified to serve in the office they are running for. Isn’t any one qualified?

Please tell me and my fellow Americans; what was Barack Obama’s qualifications to run the office of the President of the USA? There is only one qualification I can give him credit for; he is one helluva thief.

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By QuantumBubbler, October 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

I would be surprised to see is a well-educated left of center liberal progressive take to heart what they say about the Tea Party-like people (who are the majority), as in, most of the people are stupid (A Maher statement). Actually less than 5% of people have a handle on reality IMO.

If you’re so smart, and you know that stupid is the majority, then why not recognize then the majority can not handle the complexity of what has been wrought of our once simple government? Hence another good reason to get back to the Constitution. It can be more clearly understood by more people.

Mr Robinson may have appeared smart when he was sitting in college, taking tests and passing them to get his degree. But now he has forgotten his lessons and has drifted away from the higher institutions teachings, like everyone does when they get on with real life.

I can say and substantiate it with this very wrong statement from Mr Robinson’s 9th paragraph “Mr Robinson stated:

“If you believe at all in science and the scientific method, then you believe in evolution.”

No scientist is supposed to ‘believe’ in science, it is a tool. But if you do, then you can ‘believe’ in anything, evolution included. And if you want to believe there was a conscious intelligence involved in evolution, go ahead and do that. But if you site the parallel worlds of modern campus physicists, just don’t call them ‘Heaven’ or anything akin to that, you won’t get a good grade.

The well educated smart people are just like the tail-gating pedal stomping type-A willing to endanger others on the same road. After 20 minutes in traffic, there they are, next to you at the stop light again. And you are responsible for the accident.

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By garth, October 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Here’s an example of the ammo that the Democrats gave to the Republicans.  MA Congressman John Tierney’s wife laundered $46,000 of her brothers ill-gotten gains (He is currently on the run after leaving abruptly with seven million dollars.)  She was fined $ 2500.

Around the same time a young man, head of a household of four, could not pay his monthly Health Insurance Premiums of around 9 hundred dollars.  He opted out of buying health insurance.  In MA we have a mandate, so he was fined 2 thousand dollars.  One side of Lady Justice’s blindfold is diaphanous.

Some bum named Bielat, a nobody, is running against Barney Frank.  They had a debate.  Tip O’Neill was asked once if he’d debate his Republican opponent.  He said, “Like Hell.  Why should I give him name recognition.”  Guess who won.

The Democrats might have done it to themselves, but they will have done to us as well.

I don’t vote in either of their districts, but if I did, I’d still vote Democratic. 

In a previous comment, I read, “We have candidates here in Oregon that don’t believe in evolution….” 

After seeing these Tea Party\Republican candidates and hearing their spiels, I am beginning to doubt it myself.

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By marinemammal, October 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

We have allowed the powerful to make slaves of us all.  We should never have allowed ourselves to be sucked into the worker bee mentality.  Now is the time to start weaning ourselves away from the paycheck. 

We should nevermind what goes on in DC or Salem or Albany or Olympia or where-ever.  Let’s think local or get tribal.  Vote for people you know—who live near you and have things in common with you. 

This election is a farce with all the wingnuts running and the parties pretending that their candidates are legitimate.  We have candidates here in Oregon that don’t believe in evolution or climate change or education or health care or racism or gender issues.  We’re a blue state based on the voters in one small area around Portland. 

We have the power to turn our lives around.  Stop voting for rich white men, stop going to work, stop shopping.  The whole ballgame would grind to a stop.  That would scare the crap out of the “powerful”.

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By garth, October 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

I knew we were in trouble back in 2001, just after George W. Bush gave his first State of the Union address.  He had just been appointed by the Supreme Court, and John Roberts, the man who stormed the election offices in Broward County, Florida to stop the counting, was waiting in the wings to become Supreme Court Justice.

The Democratic rebuttal came on and that’s when I knew.  There in high back, red leather chairs sat Nancy Pelosi and Tom Daschle.  They looked like Ken and Barbie, and they spoke like mealy-mouthed renditions of those dolls in measured tones as if they were programmed and the voice software hadn’t been perfected.  That’s when it hit me—we’re in for a rough ride.

Later in the week, I watched C-SPAN2, the Senate, to see if I could get any hope.  And there was Harry Reid heaping praise on Ted Kennedy and kissing his ass.  (I thought, why doesn’t the guy clear his throat and speak up?  Is he really alive? Don’t these people have any self respect?)

It seems now like the Democrats were forced to re-take the helm in 2006, and it took them only four years to turn everything into a snack of graham crackers and weak, lukewarm tea.  They nuanced themselves to death. 

But it all came out loud and clear for big Pharma, health insurance, big oil, big coal, auto, banks and the war mongers.  They got a straightforward message.  Barack will dazzle the riff-raff with fancy rhetoric but for you guys, it’s busness as usual only better.  Ooo-la-la.

Now we are close to what might very well be the end of the line.  The Republicans, if they regain control will pick up right where Obama drove the bus, the end of the line.  Everyone off, except the ones who hold a special ID card.

For the rest, you’re on your own.  You know, Personal responsibility, and all that.

The Constitution does not say anything about Medicare and Social Security.  However, if you want to sell it to a shrewd, NY Banker, then maybe we can do business.  In the meantime get out of your house, you goddamn low-life squatter.

No job pays enough?  Get 4 McJobs. It’s uniquely American.

Remember, it’s the gays, gay marriage, gays in the military, gay teachers.  That’s where the problem lies. 

Support your local News media and buy at Wal-Mart.

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By Quinty, October 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Of course, someone might point out that this election may not be decided by the
center. That voter apathy on the Democratic or progressive side may allow a
stirred up right to take the prize. I don’t know what the final mix will be. But the
Tea Party slate should scare the bejeezus out of us and should convince us that if
Washington is paralyzed then more progressives are needed. In order to break up
the log jam of filibusters and Blue Dog reluctance.

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By Lafayette, October 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

gerard: The answer to bad government is not to elect more ignorant people.

True enough, but in a democracy the elected are simply a reflection of the electors.

It is grassroots America that dearly needs education, and not only as regards politics.

It would help, for instance, if Americans understood the meaning of Social Justice or even a Just Society. These are phrases not prominently found in the current American lexicon, the latter never having made it across the Canadian border.

But just thinking about them could maybe “get the ball rolling” where it is presently just gathering moss.

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By Quinty, October 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Gerard.

The political fault lines in our country leave a large “center.” Thirty, forty percent
on the right, thirty, forty percent on the left. So that shifting center will rise up in
wrathful indignation against the bums in Congress to vote them out. And
apparently intends to replace them with even worse bums.

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By gerard, October 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

It ought to be obvious, but I’m afraid it isn’t,judging from some comments here:  The answer to bad government is not to elect more ignorant people.

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By Lafayette, October 16, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment


ER: OK, I want to make sure I understand. Two years ago, with the nation facing a host of complex and difficult problems, voters put a bunch of thoughtful, well-educated people in charge of the government. Now many of those same voters, unhappy and impatient, have decided that things will get better if some crazy, ignorant people are running the show? Seriously?

Yep, ER, that’s about it. Dumber than dumb, isn’t it?

But let’s face facts, when it comes to politics the American electorate is laboring in the ignorance of facts. They are spoon-fed a political opinion by mindless media sound-bites and respond in a Pavlovian fashion.

As expressed elsewhere in this forum, there can be no political reformation until the grassroots convinces itself that it has had enough of:
•  Dogmatic Republican ineptitude,
•  The locust of lobbyists on Capitol Hill perverting democratic republicanism (small “r”, republican = belonging to or characteristic of a republic),
•  The gerrymandering of election districts that ossifies the two-party gridlock in Washington,
•  The lack of decent Public Services of which most modern nations avail themselves (even if it means higher taxes) – like a National Health Service. (In the United States, only 45% of health spending was funded by public sources in 2007, a much lower share than the average of 73% for OECD countries.),
•  The banishment of the M-I-C and its hold on Defense spending to the detriment of other Public Services, namely Health Care – whereby the average lifespan has diminished continually over the past decade. (The menace to American lives does not come from without, but within)
•  The unfairness of income distribution, by which 20% of the population owns 85% of the nations total wealth.
•  Etc., etc., etc. …. ad nauseam.

But the end of the above tunnel of misadventure is nowhere in sight.

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By elgordo, October 16, 2010 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

harry reed is not a loon? maybe not but he is definitely a crook. he has been living on a limited income. i would like to try living on 175,000 a year. he has to be around 70 or more he should find a rock. barney frank hes a weirdo. polosi,fienstein,schumer and others. i know they are just there to help. funny how rich they are when they leave, if at all. talk about experience! i forgot obama… has he ever actually held a real job or ran a business?

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By Quinty, October 16, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Wha’d'ya got, Ohmygod, against being well educated?

Sure, the “best and the brightest” royally screwed up. But no one from Harvard or
Yale ever criticized them?

In fact, the faculties of the better universities come in for a lot of criticism from
the right: for being too “liberal.” Or downright “socialist.” Having graduated from a great university does not mean, necessarily, failure. And I can’t see O’Donnell and Palin as advertisements for being under educated, or, more likely, uneducable.

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By Hank from Nebraska, October 16, 2010 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Yes, some of the Republican candidates are complete morons.  But what difference does it make?  Obama is intelligent, but he takes orders from his donors just like some of those Republican morons would.  Obama may, in fact, be more dangerous because he does such a competent job of seeming to represent us while selling us out to the special interests, so even intelligent voters stop resisting our fall into corporate totalitarianism.  At least we would harbor no false hopes for change with some of these Republican morons.  Morons or brilliant tools, it does not much matter who you vote for. 

This fall, vote only for people you can trust, otherwise leave the ballot blank. Vote Green, Socialist, Libertarian, or anything else, but don’t support the Republican/Democratic political machine.  Voting for the lesser of two evils still fills the Congress up with nothing but evil.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 16, 2010 at 4:35 am Link to this comment


First off, Brookings is and always has been a LIBERAL think-tank, not neo-con.  Maybe you are thinking of the Rand?

Second, all those things Dems did or agreed to were nothing and would have been nothing had not Bush turned a budget surplus into a trillion dollar deficit.  They were all the safety nets that got removed in case of a fall, but the fall was engineered by the 2001 tax cuts, the wars, and the TOTAL politicization of both the Federal bureaucracy and the judiciary.

The Dems have complicity but the lion’s share of blame is on Bush.  Who snuck the end of Glass-Steagel into the bill at midnight? Phil Gram, that’s who.

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By omygodnotagain, October 16, 2010 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

Inherit the wind
Sure Cheney and his gang supported by the Brookings, Heritage, Cato and a bunch of other Neo Conservative Institutions full of well educated know nothings messed up the country, but so did Clinton and his Oxford/Georgetown/Yale crowd.
After all it was Clinton who signed NAFTA, it was Clinton who pass the repeal of Glass Stiegal with the help of Robert Rubin/ Summers/Greenspan. When a Democratic Congress was voted in on an end the war platform, they did nothing. Publications like New Republic are run by former Harvard professor Marty Perez, then there is the Amen Corner of NYT, Washington Post and mainstream media all choke full of Columbia University Journalism alumni. If you think that any of these scumbags have any credibility well think again. Sure they have a degree with the name of fancy University of it, but they are clueless, corrupt and worthless.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

Every time some one votes for an unknown figuring they can’t do worse, they are surprised.  They can.

We still have a shred of a democracy, though Tom DeLay and Karl Rove worked hard to end that and create a “Perpetual Majority”...They failed but then Bush’s Supreme Court gave it new life when they said private groups could air attack ads and never reveal who was funding them, even if it was foreign corporations.

Remember: DeLay and Rove wanted to ensure that there was no democracy, merely 1-Party rule indefinitely.  Dick Cheney wanted to “postpone” the 2004 Presidential Election.  That’s how close we came to a coup d’etat, ending what started in 1787.

Think the Teaparty “can’t do worse”?  Better think again.

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By 0I812, October 15, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

oh, i ate one too.  Well, what can I say but writing these comments are my
masturbatory, ineffectual explosion of frustration to those of you who are at least
cognizant enough to recognize the systematic destruction of the ideals our fore
and fore fathers fought for. To what end is all this is what saddens me, deeply.  I
know what I am doing on a personal level is to affect positive change but wow, to
see what is going on on a national level is discouraging.  I wonder how many of
you are like me and venting mostly only on line, anonymous, ineffectual, as the
spin spreads and grips those caught in fear, which is all of us..  what are we
willing to lose before it is all taken away.  Gerard, I respect much of what you say
but how is this effective.  tex guy and others we are in the middle of a global
transition but should we be the turtle or should we be the dove flying past to the
next transition, as emissaries of peace and what that means.  I am no longer
afraid but am still confused.

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By kerryrose, October 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment


I do not question the endurance of the miners.  I am speaking of the ‘media event’ and the surrounding false emotion.

If you believe the media frenzy and rapt viewer attention was evidence of caring, compassion, and togetherness then you are lucky.

I, however, do not.

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By omygodnotagain, October 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

I gave you the score card for the brightest and best (where did that term come from Oh yes Mc Namara and the Vietnam War!!) You made no attempt to expain how such bright well trained individuals could cock up this country so badly. Not only badly, but with lies and deceit.  They get an F they have failed.
This woman for all her faults is more representative of average Americans.  I hope the first thing she does is vote against ANY more of our dollars going to Wall Street, if the government is going to spend money it should be finding ways to keep them in their homes, how about 50 year mortgages, how about low interest loans to reduce credit card debt.
Where are Harvard and Yale boys I don’t hear that from them, no they are giving it to their frat brothers. I would prefer Jesse Ventura in the Senate before Charles Schumer

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By Jimnp72, October 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Good job, Mr. Robinson! Please profile more of the teabag candidates!

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By Quinty, October 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Omygodnotagain -

How will O’Donnell flower once she is in the Senate?

Will God tell her how to go?

Will the Republican leadership, pushing aside God, tell her how to vote?

Will someone figure out for her what to say, how to say it, as well as how to

Will it be God or a most temporal force? One with more immediate practical
results than God?

If O’Donnell is the best we can hope for, in truth, we do need the help of God.
For we would be too damned foolish and stupid to rely on ourselves.

There plenty of bright people who went to Yale and Harvard. Having received a
good education at a good school should not be simply brushed aside as
“elitist.” Look at all the alum from top rank schools who are over on the left….. 
many good people there, some of whom have helped us too on our journey.

Reducing the fundamental dispute as to who is more qualified, those with
brains or those without brains, only demonstrates how far we have sunk. Who
would o’ thunk?

“Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.” A
nice quote.

George Jean Nathan

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By Fat Freddy, October 15, 2010 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment


Ahhhh, yes, the “White Shoe Boys”. I don’t know. O’Donnell went to FDU. If Temple is the college that local Philadelphians go to when they flunk out of a real college, then FDU is for New Jerseyians that can’t get accepted to Rutgers.

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By omygodnotagain, October 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Eugene, Eugene, Eugene you don’t get it, we have had the brightest and best, the elites of Harvard and Yale running the country here is the scorecard
1) 1.3 trillion trade deficit
2) Wars no one really knows why we are fighting
3) Millions unemployed and millions without health insurance
4)More people in prison than in college
5)A hollowed out manufacturing economy.
6) A healthcare reform that makes its mandatory to pay for or face court
7) An education system that produces students ranked 29th in the world by PISA, just above Latvia, and which 1.2 million drop out.
And the list goes on…

All done by the elite smarts like Larry Summers from Harvard, Bill Clinton Georgetown and Oxford, etc
The Elites end of term grade F
Look O’Donnell can’t do worse, who knows maybe she
has some insights like we need to direct money to jobs not Wall Street…something one of those smart kids couldn’t figure out

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By gerard, October 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

kerryrose, not to argue back, but the “balloon boy” crisis was a made-for-publicity stunt done purposefully by a person who was “media-savvy” and knew how to exploit himself and his family.
There’s little similarity between that and the facts concerning the Chile mining accident.  Think of it for a minute.  Those guys lived 2000 ft. underground for days and days, at first without even an “umbilical cord” to connect them, then weeks with frail contact and little help.  Imagine, if you can, what it would be like to endure and remain even halfway sane. I imagine that as survivors they feel literally “reborn.”
  At this point, with the fragility and fractiousness of the average American psyche I wonder if 15 or 20 of us could have come even closeto passing such a test.  And the people waiting up above!  Have you ever stood by and watched a mining rescue effort?  True, there need not be so many such accidents if safety provisions are “adequate”—but that’s a big question mark as no preparations can be guaranteed against the risks.  It’s just a case of more or less, and of course more is better and should be required by law.  But these people who endured this are more than a mere “spectacle” and deserve all the credit and understanding they get. 
  Basically, I doubt your generalization about how “most people” felt about this incident, but of course nobody can prove anything in that regard so there’s little use in speculating.  The important thing is how you and I responded, no?

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By sharonsj, October 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And don’t forget that a large percentage of Americans think the Earth is flat.  No wonder this country is a mess.

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By garth, October 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

“And to the person who wrote that Obama is a Republican, I would ask , how can you tell ?”

How I can tell:

Obama is like a gate keeper.  He ignores his mandate and ushers through all legislation that aids the Corporations and the status quo. 

He appointed a Justice Department that fits Lenny Bruce’s description of the Hall of Justice.  Shortly, it ain’t in here, amn.

Like W. Bush, he stands in amazement at the audience at these rallies.  He seems to be saying to himself, “All this bullshit works.”

Quayle was the most disconnected from reality that I ever witnessed, though.  A camera followed him to a rally in 1996.  He was making hand gestures, saying that the crowd was rushing toward him. 

There was no crowd.  The scattered people who were there were tending to their barbecues or throwing frisbees around. 

Reality never bothered Quayle, and it seems not to have bothered Bush and his neo-Liberal fart, Barack Hussein Obama.

I did have a twinge of sympathy for Obama.  He was probably picked early on to be President.  Clinton strove for the office.  Bush, well, who’s to say.  I heard stories of a meeting with him, George Schultz, Condo Rice and a few Hoover Institute wackos where they talked him into running for President when he was in his last term as Governor of Texas. But with the press being as unreliable as they are, one does not want to repeat any of their news lightly.

Obama, though, is a horse of a different color.  He came from Occidental College to Columbia.  What happened there? 

His Mama worked for the Ford Foundation.  His dad left them to pursue a PHD in Economics at Harvard.  After the PHD he high tails it back to Kenya.  Why?

He eventually gets killed in a drunk driving accident as an operative of the Kenyan Government. 

What a lovely story of hardship and world affairs, only one thing:  no Barack. 

Beri Beri, as I read now in Politico, hides away with three personages, who are heretofore unknown to the public discourse, in Air Force One. 

Married to Michele, the Dragon of the University of Chicago Medical Center, you’d think he has enough to contend with.  But Noooooooooooooooooooo.

He will some day have to face himself.  That is, if he wants some resolution about what this fiasco brought about by lies was all about.

The least of which is that he leave us prone to be overrun by women with PMS who never had the estrogen to join the Women’s Lib movement in the 70s.  They see it as their time.  Revenge!

But all you biblical, Tea partiers might do well to heed the words of your Bible, “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”

You would do well.

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By kerryrose, October 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment


The media hyped ‘balloon boy’ miner crises was what Hedges would term a ‘Spectacle’ in an illusion of caring the viewer is addicted to the spectacle.

I think for most viewers it wouldn’t have if the miners lived or died.  It was the spectacle that mattered.

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By Hammond Eggs, October 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

“Sorry, but I just can’t do it anymore. When has there been an election with so many looney tunes running under the banner of one of our major parties?”

You can include your guy, Obama, in there as well.  Even though he’s not actually on anyone’s ballot, the corruption and debasement he represents so well has spread like unchecked cancer in the so-called “Democratic” party.

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By Quinty, October 15, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Yes, the Tea Party is making stupidity a virtue.

What’s the opposite of stupidity? Elitist intelligence!

So what do we get?

“Vote the bums out!”

And replace them with worse bums.

Politics must be the one profession in which incompetence, ignorance, a lack of
experience and hallucinatory fantasies are seen as necessary qualifications. I
wonder if the same criteria would work for brain surgery? Or even changing a
lightbulb? Or feeding animals at the zoo?

And, oh yes, how could I forget Quayle?

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By felicity, October 15, 2010 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

It all really started with Quayle.  “I stand by all the
misstatements that I have made.”  Remember, this guy
was a Vice President.

And then we have George who behaved as if stupidity
were a virtue.

By this time, we have institutionalized stupidity.  We
are indeed living in fatuous times - not to mention
that we’ve become a nation with an attention span equal
to the amount of time it takes to soft boil an egg.

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By gerard, October 15, 2010 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

But kerryrose:  Why always look at such events emphasizing their worst aspects and denying the heroism involved?  At the same time people saw the rescue, they saw, and many probably came to realize, the dangers in mining operations everywhere.
  Some people are working as hard as they can to improve mining conditions.  They are having a very hard struggle, need more contributions, more volunteers. You can help to promote them, starting with West Virginia maybe?
  I’m into encouraging people to care, to become active, to unite, to see the real problems (which this rescue certainly revealed, as did the Massey disaster) and to have enough enthusiasm to get up out of bed in the morning and fight non-violently against the dirty energy corporations in every way they can.
  Too many people are stuck in neutral. I’m against pessimism and looking at the dark side all the time because it demobilizes people like nothing else!
It’s a dark tunnel to nowhere. We are surely mining here every day to help rid the world of a terrible darkness—and that ain’t no poetry!

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By Ray Comeau, October 15, 2010 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In defense of Christine O’Donnell

Is Christine O’Donnell’s revelation, some years ago, on a television Comedy Show, that she dabbled in witch craft any loonier that G.W. Bush`s revelation that God talked to him and told him to attack Iraq ?

And to the person who wrote that Obama is a Republican, I would ask , how can you tell ? The two parties are like Siamese twins.

At least the Tea Party ‘Loonies’s as you refer to them, are bright enough to know that all the bright intellectual people of both parties at present represent the same system for the future ( endless war, growing the gap greater between the rich and the poor, using born again Theocracy to foment wars while the Military Industrial Complex gets bigger and bigger, and controls the masses in the USA with the goal of controlling the world.

We in Canada have been experiencing our own mini version of what is going on in the USA , ever since Stephen Harper and his band of Right Wing Religious Zealots got elected. Perhaps his latest defeat at the United Nations will be the beginning of the end for Harper and his ilk. Along with that I would hope the Tar Sands environmental disaster which in part fuels USA wars will be shut down.

But, back to my point. In the absence of qualified trustworthy candidates , who care about Human Rights, the Christine O’Donnells of the world should be applauded for at least trying to stop the insanity. What is needed is a third party which is not owned by the big corporations and the Military.

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By Quinty, October 15, 2010 at 10:49 am Link to this comment


Years ago when Bush debated Gore he was considered the winner because “he
didn’t drool all over himself.”

When Palen debated Biden she became “the winner” because she didn’t drool all
over herself.

Now O’Donnell is seen as hitting one out of the ballpark because, though she
came close, she didn’t drool on herself either. And was actually able to begin a
sentence, move it forward a bit, and finally finish it. Though what she said often
didn’t make much sense. But no matter. In a political environment such as ours
where appearances are more important than realities she did well. It sounded
as if she were actually saying something. And she looked Senatorial, cute thing
that she is.

Then Angle debated Reid last night. I didn’t have the stomach for that one. But I
gather that Angle was able to complete a sentence too, and therefore came out
the winner. Too bad for Reid. Too bad for us.

Yeah, the American political scene just keeps coming up with more yucks. At
least votes can’t be bought for a shot of whiskey outside the polls anymore.
Can that be considered progress?

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By garth, October 15, 2010 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

“Laura Wells wants to create a State Bank to compete with the commercial banks so interest from student loans will stay it the state among countless other ways in which a non profit, publicly owned bank would help strengthen the California economy, not Wall Street.”
Good idea but not enough.  One of the Dakotas, N or S, I forget which, already did that. 

Now they are the Credit card capital, and they want the motgages sent to them to give the Robo-OK. 

The changes have to be deeper. 

To equate sex with money, they have to be emasculated.

We have to develop a strategy somewhat like what my brother said about his tennis strategy, “When the opponent comes to the net, “Use the balls ‘n all shot.”

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By kerryrose, October 15, 2010 at 9:39 am Link to this comment


Very poetic, but the fascination about the miners was not real emotion by the general public.  It was reality TV.

No one cares enough about the corporate abuses that got them stuck in the first place.  If people cared the conversation would center around prevention, so it won’t happen again. 

Nothing was learned.

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By kerryrose, October 15, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Why focus on O’Donnell?  Palin is being taken seriously as a Presidential candidate.

I wake up every morning and remind myself that I live in a country that will seriously debate and consider Palin as President.  It makes me respect the offices and officeholders of this country a whole let less because it is apparent that it takes nothing ‘deserved’ to win.

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By Devon Noll, MPA, October 15, 2010 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My husband and I were discussing the current flock of dingbats that are running on the GOP ticket this year, and we are wondering where sanity went in this nation.  But more importantly, we were discussing what the next few years would look like if this group of crazies ever made it into Congress.  While some will be easily defeated, some will actually win because those they are running against have failed to make it clear the danger that they pose.  These theocratic, ultra-conservative puppets of the wealthy and corporate interests could conceivably hold the control swing votes on many important bills, and with so many of them espousing values that are bigoted or misogynistic, bills could be compromised or gutted completely of any value to the American people. 

Consider this:  John Boehner is pandering to these clowns and the GOP is funding some of their campaigns, but more importantly people like Glenn Beck and Karl Rove are backing them, giving them credence and power bases far beyond what you see on TV. 

What will happen if the GOP takes Congress? 

Repeal of health care reform,except for the mandatory part which the GOP wanted for years. 

End to unemployment support for millions of Americans with no jobs in sight. 

Return to robber baron banking without oversight, meaning more foreclosures including illegal ones. 

Decrease in food stamps so that children are going hungry, after cutting school lunch programs again.

Privatizing of Social Security, reduction in Medicare benefits (as happened nearly every year under Bush), and extended retirement age so you have to work longer, because the elderly should not receive entitlements.

These are all on the GOP agenda and I can see it leading to only one place:  civil uprising by the poor and the elderly against the wealthy.  This is not a problem of one generation over another, it is a danger we as a nation face together - we have one enemy:  the corporations and the radical conservatives of this nation who have taken over the GOP and supplanted reasonableness with radical Tea Party candidates who would destroy this nation through ignorance and hate.

If this group, combining with the power of Boehner and Cantor and McConnell, controls Congress, we will face civil disruptions at a level so dangerous that war would be the inevitable conclusion because the President would have to enforce martial law to stop it, and that is never good when a military/industrial complex controls the country. 

We must ban together at the local levels to create communities that are self-sustaining and economically and food secure.  We must not vote for the crazies, but we must prepare for the possibility that they could take Congress and control its agenda for at least the next few years, and if a Republican wins the WH in 2012, at least a few decades.  We must come together to create a nation independent of the insanity of DC, and we must do it now. 

We can do it, we must do it, because if we do not, then the things that these crazies are talking about doing will lead only to poverty, anger, and war.  We can stop this in its tracks with sane community self-reliance and by not voting for them in November.  We must do both, and we have no time to wait for someone else to do it for us.  Everyone of every generation must come together to create a new kind of community and a new kind of nation - not return to one where half our population is considered chattel with no say about their own bodies, and where all of us are slaves to a corporate structure that will bleed us dry and then discard us like trash. 

Vote against these crazies and the GOP, even the moderates.  Vote in Independents who are progressive or real progressive Democrats (not the Pelosi Faux Democrats). And we must change ourselves now!

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By heavyrunner, October 15, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

“When has there been an election with so many looney tunes running under the banner of one of our major parties?”

It’s getting worse and worse because people with alternative views are not allowed into the discussion by the corporate media or the so called public media like NPR or PBS. We need the views of people from the Green Party. Otherwise the Republicans or the Democrats can just get away with sending up bad excuses for leadership secure in the knowledge that no opponents with good ideas will be given a chance to present themselves to the electorate.

The Green Party candidate in California, Laura Wells, doesn’t just have the best ideas, she is the best candidate in the election. She is very intelligent, professional, well spoken, mature and beautiful. She understands the issues and is a great communicator. As she says, “The values of the Green Party are California values.”

Given a hint of fairness in presentation of her ideas she could easily outdistance billionaire hacks like Meg Whitman. While the Democrat, Jerry Brown, is far better than Meg Whitman, the Republican, he is caught up in the race to the bottom and most of his ideas are anti worker and anti union. He repeats the mantra of “no taxes” like a trained cur.

Laura Wells wants to create a State Bank to compete with the commercial banks so interest from student loans will stay it the state among countless other ways in which a non profit, publicly owned bank would help strengthen the California economy, not Wall Street. Neither of the “Titanic” parties presents such a brilliant idea to solve California employment and funding issues. Meg Whitman’s “solution” is to eliminate the capital gains tax and Jerry Brown wants to take away government worker pensions. Both attacks on working Californians.

Laura Wells identifies the real source of our financial problems, greedy capitalist bankers, and she has a very reasonable and workable solution - eliminate them through legal competition.

I am chairman of our local county Democratic Party Central Committee, but I am considering resigning because my heart is with Laura Wells and the Greens in this race. The two “major” parties are the “Titanic” parties to Laura Wells not because they are huge but because they are leading us to disaster.

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By balkas, October 15, 2010 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

My above post is not clear in one spot. I meant to say that the ‘noble’ class thinks
that if innoble class of people want to think the way they indeed do, then that is
quite ok with the nobility.
I reread my posts, but as almost always, still miss some mistakes. Or maybe
correct them, but corrections get ignored by the computer. As u see, it is not my

in any case beyond eating right, my meritocratic assets are meaningless to me.

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By Peter Everts, October 15, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks, Gene.  It is about time someone called out the idiots for being idiots - regardless which side of the aisle they aspire to.  It would seem unfortunate though, that the “Party of Lincoln” (he must be spinning) has gone the way of the Dodo, literally AND figuratively.

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By gerard, October 15, 2010 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

I have a bone to pick with that SoTexGuy:
  The Chilean mine rescue brought the whole world together and reminded us once again that in spite of everything divisive, we are still all human beings in one world together—in spite of all the differences and quibbles that try to keep us apart.
The entire rescue was deeply symbolic as well:  We are trapped in deep political darkness, all of us.  Can we work together to make and operate a system that will reach through the dark and bring us back up to the wonderful living earth where we belong?

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By balkas, October 15, 2010 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

We guide selves solely by our feelings”; thus, labeling this profound fact with
mere label, and erroneous one, “ignorance” does not elucidate or clear the mess.

It appears much more realistic; or, depicting reality crystal clear to finally admit
the fact -after some 8k yrs- that people became ‘ignorant’ [watch it; it contains
false symbolic value].

“Gnore” is a latin word and it means to know; while the “in” standing for “not”.
Since this is so, a columnist substitutes a legitimate and sensible “not knowing”
with the word “ignorance’’  which over millennia had been imbued with false
symbolic values; by our sacerdotal-nobility class—largely used against the
‘ignorant’ people; i.e., the uneducated innoble class of people.

Oh yes, u can be screwed and quite well just by words alone. Remember, that a
noble [ceo, mullah, amir, lord, prez] is still noble and i still an ass.

So much for our great civilization. Actually, indigenes had been more civilized
than europe or asia and being a good exemplar, it had to go.

“Not knowing” elicits: how come u don’t know, say why are we in afgh’n. Isn’t
that ur business and duty to ur country to know that. Thus, yet another
exemplum must go!

yes, we do guide selves by feeling. Alas, they can be generated, mollified,
changed by facts and lies equally well and profound.
But if ulema, rabbis, priests, columnists, ‘educators’, ‘judges’, ‘teachers’, nearly
all lawyers/actors/singers; cia/army/fbi/police echelons, politicos, book
burners/writers/readers, sports people are in various degrees priveleged and
‘noble’, truthtelling is not an option

Anyhow, 99.99% fully agree with ‘nobility’. And think, i think, the ‘noblecalass’, if
they want to stay ignorant—and preferably forever—- why not be in noble
Thanks for ur Left, Right, Wrong Ear, and the Finger. Don’t forget the last one!

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By WriterOnTheStorm, October 15, 2010 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

WriterOnTheStorm is no mind reader, but is willing to wager that if the average
sitting senator’s private mental ambulations were suddenly public knowledge,
they’d appear no less on-the-margins than the subject of this piece.

One could make the case that the art of politics comes down to a carefully curated
public appearance of “reasonableness” within commonly accepted frameworks. If
we knew what these nominal “leaders” were really thinking, us huddled masses
would be even more afraid than we already are.

O’Donnel may not be a witch, but it’s safe to say her public persona is outside the
framework. And the subsequent squirming coming from the right is delicious.

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By sallysense, October 15, 2010 at 8:43 am Link to this comment



“say there… did ya see that debate on tv the other night?!”...


“that wasn’t a debate… nowadays from presidential debates on down… they use pre-planned reasons in place of reasoning… and they don’t even seem to realize that they’re not actually debating”...


“well then they should call it something else!”...


“oh they do!... on capitol hill they go through those same stale motions and call it their work!”...

(things need to change to get better… lotsa stuff to do… keep telling the lawmakers… ((no matter when their terms come to an end… and hopefully better workers begin!))... to wake up this government!... to care about the basics!... and stop misleading!... and end all the war!... and don’t waste anymore!...

and here’s one of many links that can be used to do that… and get congressional information etc too)...

(and there’s lotsa other stuff to do too!)...

the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to each’n'everyone!... smile

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By garth, October 15, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

“...voters put a bunch of thoughtful, well-educated people in charge of the government.”

That’s where we made a mistake or we were fooled. The charisma of a splendid education put a spell on us.  We need people who know what they are doing and put the country’s intersts to heart.  That is ‘We the people’ are first. 

The tea pary is not a reaction. It is the merging of the traffic of the odd ideas of reactionism.  They are Republican.  And Republicans are like a lot of Democrats, that is, blue dogs Democrats.

Alas, it seems they can’t lose.  They hype that America is a Right-center nation, even though that is demonstrably false.  And the claim goes unquestioned. 

Americans are progressives, or far left of center.  They want universal health insurance coverage, and they are willing to pay for it. They are for the end to these imperialistic wars.  They are for peace.  They question the blind backing of Israel.

Noam Chomsky gave a talk at MIT several years ago where he stated this fact and gave reliable survey results to back it up.

Do you believe Gallup, NBC News and Monica Crowley, a PHD in something or other and the voice of the FOX right-wing memorabilia, or do you believe your own eyes and your own experience?

Obama’s not a Democrat, and that is all the reason why we should re-elect Democrats.  The alternative is tantamount to suicide.

One paper predicts chaos.

This group thinks they know chaos and how it can pay off. 

We, as working Americans, know chaos, too.  We’ve lived it!

History has pushed the ball this far.  What makes them think that they can stop the forward movement and turn it around?

As Robert Burns wrote. “The best laid plans o’ mice and men gang aft agley.”

Stick to your guns.

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, October 15, 2010 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

I’ve had it. Let’s be honest. If she’s qualified to be a senator, I’m the king of Prussia.

Are you serious, or are you mocking the Republicans? Since you didn’t put it in quotations (“qualified to be a Senator”), I’ll assume you are serious. You are familiar with the US Constitution? The argument of being “qualified” to be a member of Congress was a fallacious argument when the Republicans used it, and it is still a fallacious argument.

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By Go Right Young Man, October 15, 2010 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

I cant see myself supporting any of the candidates Mr. Robinson writes of in this article.  With that said I can point to dozens of loons from all parties.  Harry Reed is a good example. 

Harry Reed, Senate Majority Leader at the time, publicly called the president of the United States a loser.  After making that statement he called the White House to say he didn’t mean to say it.  He explained that the remark was in his written text which, he claims, he failed to read beforehand.  - That’s a loon in the first order who happens to lead the democrats in the entire U.S. Senate.

Interesting how bigot Robinson missed that when thinking about this latest rant of his.

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By Fat Freddy, October 15, 2010 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

Now, will somebody please warn her that she’ll have trouble finding Prussia on the map?

It’s in South Eastern Pennsylvania. Duh. Having grown up in Moorestown, NJ, I’m sure she knows exactly where it is.,_Pennsylvania

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By Bud, October 15, 2010 at 5:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe the majority of Canadians are watching all of these screwballs running for office,and counting their blessings that they live in Canada.I guess I’m waiting for the inmates to gain control of the asylum.

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By SoTexGuy, October 15, 2010 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

.. AND .. about horses (or maybe just one end of a horse) as Senators or whatever… Texas is way ahead in this trend! Not even counting our governor Perry..

The mayor of one Texas town is actually a Billy Goat.. and to top that.. his official job is to guzzle longnecks!

Here’s a link:

Yeah buddy!

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By SoTexGuy, October 15, 2010 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

It’s Hedges’ excellent (but disturbing) book come to life.. the one about the ‘Death of Literacy and the Rise of Spectacle’.. If you haven’t read it through at least once, do it! It will help explain the current state of affairs..

The whole situation has also been superbly panned in the movie ‘Idiocracy’. When that first came out I chuckled at it.. Now? It was prophetic!

We’re living a tragi-comedy. Look at the last few days with the news-cycle (and all the workplace talk) obsessed with saving those Chilean miners! For heaven’s sake.. one news anchor proclaimed with a straight face that people across the globe were glued to their TVs watching with moist eyes the emergence of each man.. and celebrating their rescues with hugs and tears! I think it was likely true!  .. I’m so happy for them, really!

Hey, but what if as each man’ was shown alive coming from that tube the picture would switch to an explosion and scattered human bodies, maybe GI’s standing near taking photos (or souvenirs).. then the next miner emerges.. YAY!.. and the camera turns to a small child, too weak to move, smothered in flies and filth.. HUH? What’s that?!.. Surely some thirty miners down a hole in the earth working to retrieve shiny flakes and pebbles of a particularly ductile and persistent metal.. that’s really important.. let somebody else work out how to feed the billion plus starving people in the world.. let’s get back to the REAL NEWS!

.. more pictures of that cute Satan worshiper, please!

Now, about Mr. Robinson’s continuing attack on the voters for considering abandoning the darlings of the Democratic establishment.. is saying ‘We (the Dems) are better than them (the Repugs) really all you’ve got? Come on, we know that is true.. But are the Dems worth voting FOR? That’s the deal.


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By James Harbour, October 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not much opposed to battle reenactors.

Grow up - I’m kind of ashamed to call myself liberal with people like you running around pretending it’s anything but a show.  We don’t get on the case of actors who play Nazi’s in movies.

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By marcus medler, October 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

When it was clear that Rome was no longer a republic but an imperial/military state they too had many ding dong senators—gossip has it one was a horse.  Ask yourself,if a general calls and asks an elected official to—well lets say close the airport or say schools or better put 4,000 cops in the street to watch over an event—will that official say,“do you have a court order? Do you need to do this?

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