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Ralph Nader Was Right About Barack Obama

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Posted on Mar 1, 2010
AP / Chris Carlson

By Chris Hedges

We owe Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney an apology. They were right about Barack Obama. They were right about the corporate state. They had the courage of their convictions and they stood fast despite wholesale defections and ridicule by liberals and progressives. 

Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush. He promised us that the transfer of $12.8 trillion in taxpayer money to Wall Street would open up credit and lending to the average consumer. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), however, admitted last week that banks have reduced lending at the sharpest pace since 1942. As a senator, Obama promised he would filibuster amendments to the FISA Reform Act that retroactively made legal the wiretapping and monitoring of millions of American citizens without warrant; instead he supported passage of the loathsome legislation. He told us he would withdraw American troops from Iraq, close the detention facility at Guantánamo, end torture, restore civil liberties such as habeas corpus and create new jobs. None of this has happened.

He is shoving a health care bill down our throats that would give hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the private health insurance industry in the form of subsidies, and force millions of uninsured Americans to buy insurers’ defective products. These policies would come with ever-rising co-pays, deductibles and premiums and see most of the seriously ill left bankrupt and unable to afford medical care. Obama did nothing to halt the collapse of the Copenhagen climate conference, after promising meaningful environmental reform, and has left us at the mercy of corporations such as ExxonMobil. He empowers Israel’s brutal apartheid state. He has expanded the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where hundreds of civilians, including entire families, have been slaughtered by sophisticated weapons systems such as the Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of victims’ lungs. And he is delivering war and death to Yemen, Somalia and perhaps Iran.

The illegal wars and occupations, the largest transference of wealth upward in American history and the egregious assault on civil liberties, all begun under George W. Bush, raise only a flicker of tepid protest from liberals when propagated by the Democrats. Liberals, unlike the right wing, are emotionally disabled. They appear not to feel. The tea-party protesters, the myopic supporters of Sarah Palin, the veterans signing up for Oath Keepers and the myriad of armed patriot groups have swept into their ranks legions of disenfranchised workers, angry libertarians, John Birchers and many who, until now, were never politically active. They articulate a legitimate rage. Yet liberals continue to speak in the bloodless language of issues and policies, and leave emotion and anger to the protofascists. Take a look at the 3,000-word suicide note left by Joe Stack, who flew his Piper Cherokee last month into an IRS office in Austin, Texas, murdering an IRS worker and injuring dozens. He was not alone in his rage.

“Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?” Stack wrote. “Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political ‘representatives’ (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the ‘terrible health care problem’. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.”

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The timidity of the left exposes its cowardice, lack of a moral compass and mounting political impotence. The left stands for nothing. The damage Obama and the Democrats have done is immense. But the damage liberals do the longer they beg Obama and the Democrats for a few scraps is worse. It is time to walk out on the Democrats. It is time to back alternative third-party candidates and grass-roots movements, no matter how marginal such support may be. If we do not take a stand soon we must prepare for the rise of a frightening protofascist movement, one that is already gaining huge ground among the permanently unemployed, a frightened middle class and frustrated low-wage workers. We are, even more than Glenn Beck or tea-party protesters, responsible for the gusts fanning the flames of right-wing revolt because we have failed to articulate a credible alternative.


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By C.Curtis.Dillon, March 2, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

I’m going to come to the defense of the middle class which is getting bashed mercilessly in this thread.  First some background.  I was born blue collar in Southern Illinois.  My father came home from WW2 and took a repairman’s job with Famous-Barr in St. Louis.  He was very handy and did many special jobs for the owner.  He was a trusted employee but never got above the labor class despite a sterling career in WW2 as a platoon leader.  I guess he wasn’t “management caliber”.  My mother worked at Union Starch until I was born and she took sick from a stroke.  Both died young.

Through hard work and some good luck, I was able to attend a very good school in Illinois and the Ph.D. program at Stanford.  In those days, that was a very liberal school, having survived the anti-war marches of the late 60’s.  It was a time of great optimism about our future.  We got out of Vietnam and things looked very good for our country.  As for the forgotten labor class, I saw great hope that their lot would be significantly improved.  Labor unions were growing greatly in those days and there was optimism that working conditions and wages would grow so they too could be part of the middle class.  Even farm workers were organizing.  This was before the disasters that Jimmy Hoffa and the UAW perpetrated on the labor movement.

Unfortunately, Ronald Reagan happened and all that optimism was destroyed.  He destroyed the labor movement and turned the country hard right and pro-business.  And I saw all the gains made by the labor class destroyed.  Even then I knew the demise of labor would also destroy the middle class.  That was the group the wealthy hated the most.  We were well paid and getting excellent benefits.  But it was harder for them to destroy us because replacements had to be educated and that took time.  But the opening of China and India gave them all the help needed and now everyone below the top 10% is at risk.

Many blue-collar families sent their children to college and gave them an opportunity to do better.  That was the “American dream” and it was the right thing to do.  And yes, many middle class families forgot their labor class brethren which was a serious mistake.  But many of us saw the coming disaster but were unable to do anything other than make our small contributions to help.  My family tried to buy only “Made in USA” products and to support local farmers as much as we could.  We were always liberal in the traditional sense but it became harder to support blue collar causes.  I bought many American cars but they were universally crap in those days and I needed cars that were reliable as I traveled a great deal.  American cars were not nearly good enough.  I bought other USA products but again they were not of good quality.  Who’s fault was that?  All too often it was the blue collar worker who didn’t see the need to do a good job.  Or the white collar manager who placed quantity over quality.

What I’m saying here is that we are all to blame for the state we find ourselves in.  We were all too complacent and self-interested to do the right thing.  We allowed our political elite to destroy all of us and to give our future to the 1%.  We are not well served by pointing the finger at each other and projecting blame.  That is what the elite want ... division.  So we need to come together and put aside petty differences so we can fix this mess.  If not, we are lost for good.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 2, 2010 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Unfortunately people need to Fact-Check as they read from factcheck.org.  While I applaud the organization’s efforts I find their research often lacking.

In their “Cheney vs. Biden piece they take Biden out of context. Also there was no military tribunals operating when Richard Reid plead guilty. - Those are but two from numerous examples.

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By kompatriot, March 2, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“It is time to walk out on the Democrats. It is time to back alternative third-party candidates and grass-roots movements, no matter how marginal such support may be. If we do not take a stand soon we must prepare for the rise of a frightening protofascist movement, one that is already gaining huge ground among the permanently unemployed, a frightened middle class and frustrated low-wage workers. “

What a demagogue.

This is possible; perhaps more possible than any of us are comfortable with. But it is only one of many potential roads, and I think most of them are more likely anyhow.

What a lot of peacenik liberals don’t understand, for whatever reason, is that Obama’s policy is an emergent reflection of the system itself. He’s one cog in a massively complicated system. Granted, he’s a big, important cog, but he is not all powerful.

Backing a third party would be paramount to shooting ourselves in the foot. Republicans are already putting out the fires they lit with tea partiers to avoid that disaster; best we don’t follow them into the woods, eh?

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By ofersince72, March 2, 2010 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Well at least we know why Pelosi never proceeded
with impeachment proceedings now.

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By stcfarms, March 2, 2010 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Obamatrons see racism everywhere. Being a breed (like Obama except for a
different second race) I know something about racism, most of the comments
about Obama are NOT racist. Legitimate criticism of Obama is forbidden
because he is black overlooks the fact that he is either a crook or an idiot. I
voted for a black man to be president (Neil DeGrasse Tyson) because he
actually has a brain that I respect (yours, not so much).

Your math skills (50% plus 40% plus 10% plus 1% equals 100%) are truly
revolutionary, it explains why you support democrats. Your assumption that I
am a member of a third party is not supported by the evidence, I am an
anarchist. I must conclude that you do not live in Illinois where only politicians
that ‘play ball’ with the powers that be are allowed to run for office. Chicago
style politics are well known throughout the world, we even let dead people
vote (as long as they vote for the democrat).

Shenonymous, March 2 at 8:50 am #

Obama holds the attention and is a lot smarter than anyone on this forum.  He
is called a socialist communist by the Right and a Republican in fascist
clothing
by the Left.  It’s hysterical.  By reverse psychology, it seems if both sides hate
him, he must be doing something significantly brave and on a correct course,
even if it is a golf course.

Someone keeps adding up 100% as 101%?  Some innumerate?  It’s a joke,
right? 
Another reason why third partiers won’t get off the ground…again.

Racists are as racists do…and say. 

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 2, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

So nice to see the same cast and crew of happy faceless cronies doing the Ralph Nader song and dance routine again.

Yes Chris, such greatness and innovative profoundness producing unparalleled air freshener creativity, one must step back and gasp over the stench of newness, overall feeling of giddy excitement while once again eating reheated SOS.

Maybe one should read the article?

Ralph Nader, XOXO Ralph! Ralph! Go Ralph, Go!

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By elisalouisa, March 2, 2010 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

I would go along with you greenferret except as Mr. Hedges puts it: “The
damage Obama and the Democrats have done is immense.” We do not have any
good choices because the power elite control both parties and really put in
Obama. As usual they outfoxed us by doing so for we thought he was one of us
and not on their payroll. We should have known and looked deeper but we were
too eager to have one who would lead. Thanks to Obama and his
transfer of $12.8 trillion in taxpayer money to Wall Street and Obama’s broken
promises we have been further weakened because many people have lost hope
and the power elite rule with an iron fist. Their tentacles can reach out to
almost anyone and anything and would strangle any movement that would be
a threat. You must remember, since they have both parties they also have the
CIA and FBI not to mention tons of money. Do you really believe your innocent
Green Party is a viable contender?
People know this in their hearts and they also know that protests,
demonstrations and other forms of dissent would not be a threat to them as
long as main stream media is firmly in their hands. My big concern is that soon
they may also control the Internet. Is this possible? I hope not.

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By Dave Schwab, March 2, 2010 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

The Green Party isn’t just about the environment. Green Parties around the world (in over 100 countries) share a commitment to the four pillars of Green philosophy: grassroots democracy, social justice, nonviolence, and ecological wisdom. Check out gp.org .

2010 looks to be the best year for US Greens in a long time. Campaigns for governor in CA, MA, IL, ME, OH, NV, and TX are helping to spread Green ideas, and hundreds of local and state legislature races are putting Greens in a position to build locals and win.

Greens are changing the system, by refusing corporate money and supporting instant runoff voting, public financing, proportional representation, abolition of corporate personhood and other needed reforms.

Yes, it will be years in the wilderness before Green Party US has power to rival the corporate-sponsored parties. I can’t say how many years, but right now there are lots of people ready for an alternative and the Republicrats aren’t gaining in popularity, especially among the younger generation.

The sooner we get to work building the Green Party, the sooner we’ll have a viable alternative to the corporatist militarist duopoly.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 2, 2010 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

Lots of laughs.

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By ardee, March 2, 2010 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, March 2 at 8:50 am

Gee, yet another in a long,long history of pompous and arrogant assumnptions about folks she doesnt know. Who woulda thunk it?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 2, 2010 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

What a chorus!  Predictably with precision, the same gargly voices gargle the
same tune.  How can anyone get out of something they were never in?  Is
anyone pretending to have been in the political party known as Democratic? 
There is no one here on this website who is so phony as to pretend they were
once Democrats, is there?  Very few authentic Democrats haunt this website. 
For years now there has been nothing but fuming, bellowing, and begging to
enlarge third parties (which is fine if political erectile disfunction is desired). 
But don’t think affectation gives any legitimacy to the current Hedges rant.  It is
Hedges as usual and he has offered just another useless canard to pound for
the particular purpose of peevishly pouting and persistently provocative
political carping. 

It is absurd to think national politics is about democracy. The voice of the
people is heard through representatives and this is not a homogenous country. 
There are 50 unique sovereign states and Arizona is quite unlike New Jersey, et
al.  Direct democracy happens only at the local level for local elections, which is
how all those politicians happen to be in Washington.  When “the people” vote
for a national candidate, it is only for a “representative” to Washington. 
Presidents are selected by the electoral college system.

Hedges does not know how the world turns because he is not of this world
and Nader is past tense.  And yes, there are a few radicals, a…very…few… real
radicals whose voices are…hoarse. 

Question:  From the perspective of the Naderites and the Kucinichians, which
one is presidential material?

If I were Nader or Kucinich I would not be very happy with TD supporters as
only negative vibes are being sent out that are not really very attractive to the
masses.  Just a suggestion:  Do a reality check.

Seems like there is a market for fast-frame glasses for those whose optic
nerves are on a fuzzy slo-mo track.

Obama holds the attention and is a lot smarter than anyone on this forum.  He
is called a socialist communist by the Right and a Republican in fascist clothing
by the Left.  It’s hysterical.  By reverse psychology, it seems if both sides hate
him, he must be doing something significantly brave and on a correct course,
even if it is a golf course.

Someone keeps adding up 100% as 101%?  Some innumerate?  It’s a joke, right? 
Another reason why third partiers won’t get off the ground…again.

Racists are as racists do…and say. 

Smartly observant comments Mcoyote.  A few of us have frequently asked for a
definition of the “we” to be given.  None is ever forthwithcoming.  It is beyond
the intuition of the regular TD residents.  Unless brought about by catastrophe
and its accompanied immediate need (Haiti, 9/11), change is only permanently
effected from within, viz, assimilation.  Otherwise only partisan arguments
supervene. Government intervention is imperative for the circumscribed and
exploited unhuddled masses.

For anyone who wants to know political reality better and avoid the wrath of
Khan via a non-partisan medium, check out:
http://www.factcheck.org/

Let the lemming fun begin.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 2, 2010 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

dzent1, (Unregistered commenter)

-

You may be right.  But let us not forget that it was Mr. Hedges who, for several years, steadfastly claimed that Iraq, Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Patriot Act, enhanced interrogations, rendition and Domestic Surveillance were all sure signs that a “Neo-Con fascist Cabal” hijacked the White House.

In light of the fact that a new, democratic liberal, administration openly and actively supports all of the above it is abundantly clear that Mr. Hedges was exorcising an over-active imagination. Put simply; Chris Hedges, as it turns out, was simply wrong.

How this is not clear to everyone who reads Mr. Hedges today continues to baffle me.

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By stcfarms, March 2, 2010 at 2:10 am Link to this comment

You put words in my mouth that were not there, read the original quote, it is
perfectly clear.  The math of the author added up to 101%, a number that does
not exist on the per cent scale. I grew up on an off the grid dairy farm milking
89 head by hand and shoveling bullshit. I suspect that I did more labor by the
time I was 17 than maybe you have in your life. I have no problem with labor,
only unions. No one owes you a job, if you are so damn good you can always
compete. I do not pretend to be anything other than an obnoxious Indian
breed with a ninth grade education and an attitude. I do not give respect to
anyone, they earn it.


By LJL, March 2 at 3:58 am #


For John Ellis:  Maybe stcfarms meant that the 1% was a part of the 10%, but it
is certainly not how he wrote it.  Which reminds me of old Mayor Daley who
was furious once when the Tribune quoted something ridiculous he’d said the
previous day. “Don’t quote what I say,” he responded, “quote what I meant to
say.”  But I was really more put off by stcfarms’ snotty attitude towards the
working people of America.  Anyone who pretends to be a liberal or a
progressive should, at the very least, respect labor.  I know you and I are
probably at odds on Obama, but we can, I hope, agree that workers should not
be disrespected.

Report this

By stcfarms, March 2, 2010 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

As an Indian/French breed I can tell you that much of the ancient wisdom of
both civilizations will be passed on to the survivors of the Malthusian
bottleneck. Perhaps only those that know science and nature will survive and
make this the last extinction level event. No one race has cornered the market
on wisdom, it is just that some races have quit listening to their elders.

The idea that wealth is money is wrong, wealth is being self sufficient in food,
water and energy. The ability to pass on your genes and wisdom to the next
generation is the greatest wealth of all. Money is just a tool that is useful in
the civilized world.

I had an uncle that was a ‘rainmaker’. My uncle had no ability to make rain, he
had a bad knee that told him when it was going to rain. He would go off
hunting or fishing for long periods until his leg hurt, then he would come to
the grange hall and sell his rainmaking skills. Business was good because he
noticed a natural phenomonon and used it to his advantage. He was full
blooded Indian and he lied like a dog.

Facts are what they are, it is the ability to tell the facts from the lies that leads
to wisdom. Sapience is earned when you have eliminated all pre conceived
notions and base your knowledge only on facts. We are in full agreement that
nature equals wealth although we may have a minor disagreement on the
symbol for wealth. Might I suggest a pine tree?

By samosamo, March 2 at 3:54 am #

I don’t think there has been a real happy feeling of being alive ever since
the europeans invaded North America and preceded to decimate the native
indians, surely there was that good old feeling of killing as many ‘savages’
as possible to steal the land and a facade of a ‘job well done’ which
created a pleasurable happiness that was based on killing people who were
considered to be of the lowest life.

That was too bad because if any one culture, society, civilization was ever
more attuned to life and nature, the good feeling of living together and
PRACTICING respect of their fellow persons by not lying, not stealing not
coveting what was his neighbor’s, it was the Native American Indian.

Strange to read about how generals in the calvary who would kill those
indians would admire if not stand in awe at the fact and admit that the
indian would NOT LIE.

I do say that now that there are almost 7,000,000,000 people on this planet
and the greed that pushes far too many people, that just trying to get in
touch with nature much less LIVE in touch with nature is about a long lost
concept.

Nature = $$$$$


“Erus ka da wanke day” A warrior walks among you.

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By liecatcher, March 2, 2010 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

The Star-Spangled Banner
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Additional Civil War period lyrics
In indignation over the start of the Civil War,
Oliver Wendell Holmes SR.
added a fifth stanza to the song in 1861 which
appeared in songbooks of the era.

“When our land is illumined with liberty’s smile,
If a foe from within strikes a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that tries to defile
The flag of the stars, and the page of her story!
By the millions unchained,
Who their birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave,
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.”

And now here we are:3-2-2010

What was once the land of the free & the home of the
brave
Is now a carcass of sheeple &  home of the knave
The rocket’s of perpetual wars propel us deeper into
a debtor’s abyss
While Wall Street’s bankster bonuses give them bliss
And we the people keep getting screwed without even a
kiss
Doing everything possible to remain master, the
populace the slave
Robbing the poor & sending men,women & children to an
early grave
The fascists control the money, food, energy &  water
Making it easy for a genocidal slaughter
Ready & waiting are over 4000 military bases in the
United States
Poised to carry out our fates
The military industrial conspiracy has a private
militia solution
In case our neighbors in the National Guard hesitate
with out execution

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By plainsman, March 2, 2010 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Well said Mcoyote

George Carlin says much the same in his inimitable manner:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

Report this

By LJL, March 1, 2010 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment

For John Ellis:  Maybe stcfarms meant that the 1% was a part of the 10%, but it is certainly not how he wrote it.  Which reminds me of old Mayor Daley who was furious once when the Tribune quoted something ridiculous he’d said the previous day. “Don’t quote what I say,” he responded, “quote what I meant to say.”  But I was really more put off by stcfarms’ snotty attitude towards the working people of America.  Anyone who pretends to be a liberal or a progressive should, at the very least, respect labor.  I know you and I are probably at odds on Obama, but we can, I hope, agree that workers should not be disrespected.

Report this

By samosamo, March 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

““By Tennessee-Socialist, March 1 at 11:39 pm #
Gmonst: I think that the main reason of why most americans are
so anti-social, so narcissists and so unfriendly is because that
unfriendliness angry behaviour of most american middle and
lower classes citizens is caused by a viscious cycle.  People
realize that others around them in America are very unfriendly
and evil,  so why should they be friendly, friendly and
cooperative in an evil, violent hostile society.  So they think that
by behaving evil, violent and on the deffensive toward others
they would get a boost of ego, a boost of superiority over their
neighbors.  And i think that is why most americans are
narcissists, unfriendly and evil, because they cant be friendly,
cooperative and humanist in a jungle depressive society like
America.
America has never been the pursuit of happiness. Bullshit, most
people in America have never lived happy lives, but really
depressive, angry and violent.  Living in America causes anger,
depression and rage.  Only a few 10% to 20% of the US
population have lived happy and emotionally stable.
There has never been happiness for the 80% of US citizens since
1776.”“
***************************************************

I don’t think there has been a real happy feeling of being alive
ever since the europeans invaded North America and preceded
to decimate the native indians, surely there was that good old
feeling of killing as many ‘savages’ as possible to steal the land
and a facade of a ‘job well done’ which created a pleasurable
happiness that was based on killing people who were considered
to be of the lowest life.

That was too bad because if any one culture, society, civilization
was ever more attuned to life and nature, the good feeling of
living together and PRACTICING respect of their fellow persons
by not lying, not stealing not coveting what was his neighbor’s,
it was the Native American Indian.

Strange to read about how generals in the calvary who would kill
those indians would admire if not stand in awe at the fact and
admit that the indian would NOT LIE.

I do say that now that there are almost 7,000,000,000 people
on this planet and the greed that pushes far too many people,
that just trying to get in touch with nature much less LIVE in
touch with nature is about a long lost concept.

Nature = $$$$$

Report this

By Danielle E. (Beth) Lyles MS, March 1, 2010 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a not a “liberal” nor a “conservative”. I am a revolutionary. While my liberal identifying friends are marginally less annoying than my conservative identifying friends, in the end they are only for a good cause as long as it represents zero risk to their property and privilege however meager it may be. As the abolitionist Frederick Douglas said of Lincoln when he signed the “Emancipation Proclamation”; liberals are half-hearted, lukewarm and tardy.

Perhaps you wonder how a person becomes a revolutionary. One becomes a revolutionary with acts not words. I try to commit a revolutionary act every day by confronting materialism and selfishness with giving to and caring for others less fortunate and/or less able, by deliberately breaking unjust laws, by refusing to be exploited by corporate power, by not using banks, by not buying with credit , by refusing to be afraid just because someone in authority says I should be, by taking the best care of my body, my mind and my spirit that I am capable of.

You can start by getting rid of the televisions that make you stupid and the cars that make you lazy. Refuse to be held hostage by your FICO score and default on every loan you have outstanding. Learn to hunt and grow food. Help your neighbors. Display your solidarity with the poor, the prisoners and the workers. But above all do not be afraid for fear is the weapon of choice of the globalist financier/top tier executive class and their bought and paid for government lackeys.

Your loyalty to the police state will not save you only revolution will.

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JohnMcD's avatar

By JohnMcD, March 1, 2010 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

Dang, Obama had such a nice set up after 8 years of Bush.  All he had to do was diligently undo Bush’s most unpopular moves, and he could have easily been re-elected.

But we see time and time again - the name of the game in politics has nothing to do with what the people want. 

Its time to stop voting for whoever they say is “viable” and start voting for individuals whose POLICIES are viable.  Well, that would be nice eh?  I almost wouldn’t be surprised to see a multi-party campaign for president in 2012, even if Obama does grab the “center” (corporate/military center) and win anyway.

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By liecatcher, March 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

Ralph Nader Was Right About Barack Obama
Posted on Mar 1, 2010 By Chris Hedges

Hey Chris Hedges:

What’s needed is not an apology, but an understanding of how a sincere
knowledgeable humanitarian can become obsessed with schedules,
deadlines, the perceived need to publish or perish, & miss what’s going
on around him, in sharp contrast to the Washpro mainstream media
hacks, e.g., who only care about their paycheck & pleasing their fascist boss.
Having said that, welcome to the real world of evilization, where the fascists
are raping & plundering MOTHER EARTH & destroying we the sheeple.
Democracy In America has been a lethal fiction since December 23,1913
when Woodrow Wilson gave us the Fed, Income Tax, &  weakened our tarrif laws.
“READ MY LIPS” was the de facto President during
the Actor’s reign in the W.H. Clinton betrayed America. The two oil men in the
W.H. started with stolen elections & pushed we the people into a debtor’s abyss.
It sure feels like OBAMAGEDDON judging from the speed at which Bush3 is
robbing us blind, especially when he gave the cabal’s pride & joy, Ben Bernanke,
carte blanche & he immediately sent $trillions to his masters in Europe with
arrogance, impunity, & zero accountability.The “stimulus” hoax was one of
the greatest thefts of all time, & the banksters (GOVERNMENT SACHS) used our
interest bearing taxpayer dollars to buy oil at 35 dollars/bbl, store it in off shore
tankers & drive the price up to 80 dollars/bbl, sucking out more of our lifes blood.
Furthermore, by actually tightening credit, as their predecessors did to create the
last “great depression”, these miscreants clearly exacerbated the current cataclysmic
economic collapse causing millions of people to lose their homes, jobs, & futures.
THE NEW WORLD ORDER / ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT is upon us, & now the
Bush crime family can hold up the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner.

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By ofersince72, March 1, 2010 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

Hey bob,

with all troubles our country is facing , he
might be on to something

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By dzent1, March 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To GO RIGHT YOUNG MAN:

You have absolutely NOTHING to teach a Progressive, except as an example of how to ruin an entire nation in the name of GREED.

Your patronizing tone has us rolling on the floor, in fits of laughter and derision at your short memory and unmerited comments.

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By mike112769, March 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt—-You are exactly right.

Bob—-Really? Out of all the troubles our country is facing, you bitch about pot? Get a clue.

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By dzent1, March 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not a thing in your article I disagree with. Right on, Chris.

Won’t get fooled again. The new Boss really was the same as the same as the old Boss…

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By Anarcissie, March 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

prole:
’... “Here in the United States, at the beginning of the twentieth century, “Millions of people in the United States read socialist newspapers. They elected socialist members of Congress and socialist members of state legislatures.”…and the result was, nothing much changed in the long run. . . .’

I’ve heard and read many theories about how the threat of the Socialist Party caused the Democrats to institute the New Deal in order to save capitalism.  The trouble is, everybody wants to win, and they lose sight of the fact that sometimes you can win (something) by losing.

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By William W. Wexler, March 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

“For example, by clinging to his ‘my way or the highway’ moralizing in 2000 he single-handedly delivered America to George W for eight years. “

Utter bullshit.

You need a new excuse, this one doesn’t hold water.

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By radson, March 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Chris for your opinion ,but you omitted education for whatever reason.The duopolistic electoral system in the USA ,is not in reality “dual” it is one and the same ,when the Corporations fund both the
Donkey and the Elephant simultaneously then it becomes a Win Win scenario,therefore there is only ONE political Party in the US. This talk about a third Party is in essence a second option ,that the Grass Roots has to strive for ,in an attempt to bring an alternative to the table.When Noam Chomsky talks about the funding of the major political parties in the Presidential Race and the sway that the Lobbyists hold in the outcome of the Dems or the Reps in the election process,with regards to the results ,his assessment is very accurate,the wealth of the members of Congress and the Senate also confirm the leaning of many members.Mr. Nader may be attempting to influence the Elites from a Top Down approach ,with due regards to his book ,but how significant will that actually be ,when one considers wealth and the ‘easy life’ is difficult to abandon,after all money seems to be more important than moral values and equality .The outstanding question remains the promotion of a viable ‘movement ’ to counter the Status Quo that has been
dominating the Electoral outcome.The Grass-roots for change ,is in it’s infancy ,much of the opposition is ‘diluted ’ and the movements ‘fragmented’ somewhat like the countries that are being exploited at the moment.The Coalition of the Willing has to be redefined ,in a sense that there are many organizations out there that oppose Globalization and it’s negative manifestations,hence the key to a successful alternative lies
in the unification of the ‘Various ’ identities that are opposing the Status Quo ,into one body that encompasses a common objective.The Hawks have Imperialism and Corporate Capitalism along with the War on Terror as their driving force ,the opposition must unite under Humanity and the Welfare of the Planet and the promotion of her Children and wildlife ;for without the future will be grim indeed.

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By the worm, March 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Does Obama ‘listen to Republicans’? Yes. Here are some examples.

1.Ignoring previous Republican crimes, misdemeanors and profligacy ?– e.g.
kidnapping, rendition, illegal wiretaps, torture,  tax cuts for the wealthy. ??

2. Supporting a stingy stimulus that was half of what was needed and ?was
one-third tax breaks, not jobs.??

3. Accelerating the Bush bailout, $ 4.3 Trillions in bailouts, ?guarantees and
purchasing assets from the private sector at well above market ?value.

??4. Escalating a meaningless and fruitless war.??

5. Gutting real financial reform and substitute finger wagging and silly ?taxes
and fees, while banking fees continue up, lending freezes and credit ?tightens.??

6. Not helping people with bankruptcy and mortgages remediation – ?
accelerating middle class decline.??

7. Fiddling around and not passing a jobs bill.?

8. Rejecting the only option that would have extended coverage and cut costs
(single payer).

Question: What usually happens when Obama ‘listens to Republicans’?
Answer: Democratic principles are violated, the wealthy are taken care of,
corporate welfare is heavily funded, and the middle class loses. Watch for these
themes when ‘the final’ plan for Health Care is announced by Obama tomorrow.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, March 1, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

maybe the middle classes in America are like the chinese fighter of the video game Tekken, in which he stabbed himself in order to kill his opponent in the back of him, i mean some sort of masochism

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By Jim, March 1, 2010 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The author should have noted that Obama helped pass the FISA bill before election day. This and Obama’s failure to fully admit that the Iraq war had no real justifications from the get-go was why I voted for Nadar. And I’d do it again. Nothing is more of an attention killer than a dishonest man. Obama is really good at side-stepping around taking a solid moral stand on most issues, so far tallying him up as a untrustworthy man in my book.

That FISA vote may not have been a tell-tale sign for the general public, but I’m sure most truthdig readers saw it as goodwill gesture to the Telecom companies and the surveillance/millitary complex nurtured by Bush.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, March 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Gmonst: I think that the main reason of why most americans are so anti-social, so narcissists and so unfriendly is because that unfriendliness angry behaviour of most american middle and lower classes citizens is caused by a viscious cycle.  People realize that others around them in America are very unfriendly and evil,  so why should they be friendly, friendly and cooperative in an evil, violent hostile society.  So they think that by behaving evil, violent and on the deffensive toward others they would get a boost of ego, a boost of superiority over their neighbors.  And i think that is why most americans are narcissists, unfriendly and evil, because they cant be friendly, cooperative and humanist in a jungle depressive society like America.

America has never been the pursuit of happiness. Bullshit, most people in America have never lived happy lives, but really depressive, angry and violent.  Living in America causes anger, depression and rage.  Only a few 10% to 20% of the US population have lived happy and emotionally stable.

There has never been happiness for the 80% of US citizens since 1776

.

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By stcfarms, March 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Conceptual thought is not like the useless knowledge gained from rote
memorization in college, it requires a brain. If you want to know how to fix the
problem you need only ask. The problem is crooked politicians, fire them. I
fired them in 1977 when I went to the barter system and became self
sufficient. Yes, I earn very little money but there is more to life than money.

The money that Obama has spent on bailouts and war could have built
millions of windmills. The windmills would have created jobs, lowered costs
for electricity (making America more competitive), would have significantly
reduced our atmospheric carbon output and taken some power away from the
powers that be. Obama is very well educated, too bad that he is not very
bright.


By KDelphi, March 1 at 10:14 pm #

Yes, if you could only get the math right, I’m sure that would fix this mess that
the bourgeoise have gotten us into..please go on. Dont waste any time
commenting about anything substantive..obama smart, obama ivy league,
obama fix

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By Mcoyote, March 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

What’s a “progressive” anyway?

“Progressive”- It’s just another weasel word.

“Progressive” is merely a term that was salvaged from the scrapheap of history, sorry but that’s too great a metaphor not to steal, by the alleged “left” in this country because the Limbaughs, Kristols,et al had so demonized the word “liberal.” That’s basically it, plain and simple. The problem is, that in spite of the fact they were led by one of the biggest imperialists and warmongers, the original Progressives,were a bunch of Bolsheviks, compared to the hegemonic capitalists who wrap themselves in the “progressive” mantle today.

While some of us here know that modern-day liberalism was founded to be a capitalist-friendly “third way” between socialism,and conservatism, most people do not. If they did and truly understood this history they would not waste all of their time and effort into trying to make “liberals”, and The Democratic Party in particular, into the socialists they might want them to be.

A “progressive” is someone who cannot admit to the systemic failure of the society. Through this stubborn blindness, they reveal their own fundamental loyalty to the social system as a whole. The solution to the “anti-democratic” turn in American politics is not to question its foundations but to proscribe “more democracy” or “real democracy”, without evaluating for a minute whether the ““turn” is really an aberration. In economics, a “progressive” is one who blames an excess of greed, a deficiency of regulation, or the corruption of the state rather than the normal operation of capitalism. In this way, “progressives” are identical to Libertarians who, in the face of insurmountable evidence, continue to insist that it is “too little” and not too much “free enterprise” which is the problem.

We need a capitalism based on good intentions says the one, based on a strengthening of the “individual” claims the next, and one purged of racial corruption declares the last. Fixing capitalism is the highest and in fact the only slogan of all of the above, and this in the most trivial and unhistorical way possible. Those are the last and the only words of this brand of “radical” criticism which is actually a radical support for the society as it exists… if only that society could be “allowed” to achieve its “true” nature.

All too often “progressive” has come to mean someone who will offer unconditional support to The Democratic Party no matter what.

A progressive is someone who believes in the system.

Progressives and liberals are as ready as conservatives to support government interventions in our lives and on the world stage. The country in question may be Sudan, Afghanistan or perhaps Iran. The clarion call is the same. “We must do something” because “we” are superior, all knowing, and chosen by a divine force to make the world in whatever image we choose.

No one asks how “we” is defined, or if the presence of the United States is needed or wanted. No one asks about the history of past interventions and their usually negative outcomes. It is assumed that Americans are good and know what is best for the world, despite a long history of numerous brutalities carried out across the globe.

Modern “progressivism-liberalism” is occupying the space where the Left should be, confusing and misleading people, steering people away from accurate perceptions and clouding their minds, preventing them from asking the right questions because they think they already have the answers. That is dead wood that needs clearing. If we are willing to kick over the beehive of modern liberalism you will see the true face and the true nature of the ruling class war against the people with crystal clarity. As it is, we can’t even see the enemy now. We are looking out the tent flap watching for the approach of those dreaded right wingers, and the enemy is behind us right in our own tent.

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By samosamo, March 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

““By Gmonst, March 1 at 10:02 pm
““I have always agreed with Nader’s views, but I don’t vote for
him because it won’t do any good.  If Nader had won the
election any time he ran, the establishment would completely
shut him down. “”
**********************************************

Salient point, but the idea of voting for Nader or a 3rd party is
not just a presidential thing, what is needed is that
congressional repubs and dims are voted out by the ‘other’
parties, so no, voting for Nader won’t help, there has to be a
congressional turn around and turnover.

Then the D&Rs; will resort to assassination, sabotage,
terrorism and any devious means necessary to get ‘their’ fuck
boys back in office.

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By centerfire308, March 1, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

good to see the left finaly wising up to the bogus left/right paradigm. lets not let the dems or the reps keep us from “wasting” our votes and voting independent. both sides are liars, bought and payed for by the NWO/International banksters. vote them all out, left and right. they are too intrenched. if a rep. is in, and there is no third party vote dem. if a dem is in, and there is no third party vote rep.

Stack wrote. “Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies.,

Not just their cronies, THEIR MASTERS!!!

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By c.hanna, March 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

What a bunch of defeatists on this board.

STC FARMs:

It appears that you believe the “hope” is in the middle class. This is nonsense. The middle class is a complacent group because they have benefited quite nicely from the Power structure that is in place.

I’ve been in both economic brackets; middle and working class. The Middle class is loaded full of Wanna Be’s. This is part of the major problem. They emulated the rich. Bragging incessantly about their 401K’s, vacations, and such that most were indebted up to the hilt for to carry off their illusions of grandeur.

Few of these middle class folks ever gave a damn that their 401k’s were full of investing into Military Industrial Complex corporations that build WMD to maim, kill, and terrorize the 3rd world.

It is almost ALWAYS the working class and poor that rise up to the inequalities:

Were the civil rights movement advocates mostly from the middle class?  NO.

Were the Workers that struggled against the corporate tyranny (many who died for the fight - some at the hands of the “great” rockefellor dynasty) for Unions and workers rights mostly middle class?  NO

Were the Bolivians that fought off the corporations trying to take control of their water mostly middle class?  NO

Tell me WHEN did the middle class really stand up to the elites? They don’t really. They are the appeased class, the class fed the big burgers to keep them satiated to keep them quiet.

Oh…well, you might get a few middle class out in the oceans harrassing Japanese liners, or some middle class women protesting people wearing fur. But they aren’t going to rock the boat the Elite set up as long as they benefit.

WHEN did any Middle Class individual REALLY stand up to the establishment about the health care industry…until it started affecting them. NEVER. They are obviously ok with 50,000 pre-mature deaths a year, as long as they can keep their own insurance cards.

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By malek, March 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

excellent article. i voted nader 2k,04 & 08. nearly all of the prominent progressive and liberal “leaders” livelihoods are dependent on democratic party leaning organizations & individuals; the same is also true of the well known   progressive & liberal organizations.

anyone who values getting a   book published & publicized, speaking fees, think tank jobs, articles published in prominent liberal   magazines, web & tv coverage must stay in the   good graces of the dem party. they have to be obedient to keep the Soros money flowing.

articles like mr hedges, especially when advocating voting 3rd party can be career suicide. what i respect most about Nader is his willingness to make that sacrifice for the greater good. i can’t think of another “leader”  who’s willing to do the same.

ps…many of the Green Party “leaders” are stealth democratic party operatives.

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By LJL, March 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

Now I’m curious, stcfarms.  I feel like one of the “50% laboring class without the ability to achieve high school”, That’s because I can’t figure out your “concept of per cent.”  How do you think 101% describes the whole population?  Maybe you mean that the “1% High Society with the ability to achieve 90% of all wealth that passes from father to son” is arithmetically superfluous, so maybe they don’t really exist? I thought per cent means (loosely translated) ‘part of one hundred’.  So what am I missing with my not quite high school understanding.

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By KDelphi, March 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

Yes, if you could only get the math right, I’m sure that would fix this mess that the bourgeoise have gotten us into..please go on. Dont waste any time commenting about anything substantive..obama smart, obama ivy league, obama fix…

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By truedigger3, March 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

LJL wrote:
“Adult politics consists of hindering the worst while encouraging the better outcome.  Politics is always a matter of grays”
____________________________________________________

But there is no “matter of grays” anymore. Both parties are exactly the same but with different rhetoric and different posturing but are serving the same masters.
Can you tell me what Obama did or is doing differently from W Bush??!!
Obama is rolling on the same tracks which W Bush was rolling on. It is the same train, on the same tracks, and is going to the same destination, but with different color and different whistle.

.

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By KDelphi, March 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

“The hypocrisy and ineptitude of the Democrats become, in the eyes of the wider public, the hypocrisy and ineptitude of the liberal class. We can continue to tie our own hands and bind our own feet or we can break free, endure the inevitable opprobrium, and fight back. This means refusing to support the Democrats. It means undertaking the laborious work of building a viable socialist movement. It is the only alternative left to save our embattled open society. We can begin by sending a message to the Green Party, McKinney and Nader. Let them know they are no longer alone.”

BTW—I didnt vote for Obama, so no apology is due..in fact, I sent both of them $5 each….

Obama is the worst thing to happen to true progressives wince reagan..Stealth Bush…

Still trying to “outsmart” each other, I see…for being so smart, you guys sure are dumb….like Shakespeare said in Julias Caesar, the wolf cant be a wolf without the sheep being sheep..or something like that. Im sure someone here has it memorized…

We have had the “smart guy” folks. If that were the problem, there wouldnt be one…if you “like the guy” too much, you end up with Obomba…

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By Gmonst, March 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Politicians with very very few exceptions are selfish, lying windbags.  Politics seems to attract the selfish, egotistical yet charismatic type.  They are never interested in anything other than getting elected and reaping the benefits (money) which can be had from elected office. Being windbags, they say whatever they need to get what they want.  They are not evil, only extremely selfish and usually shortsided. 

I have always agreed with Nader’s views, but I don’t vote for him because it won’t do any good.  If Nader had won the election any time he ran, the establishment would completely shut him down.  Nothing would happen because we haven’t changed as a people.  Personal change will proceed political change.  We want to live our selfish short-sided lives and have someone else fix it so we can keep living them without worry.  Its really that we live in an unsustainable and unnatural way.  Solar panels and Priuses won’t change that. 

Us peasants (which includes the middle class) are running up an ever steeper hill which year after year is propped up further by our own selfishness.  The selfish politicians are a reflection of our collective short-sides selves.  Like work horses after carrots we trudge on day after day after the illusion of some kind of satisfaction brought about by material goods.  We need everything to be always getting better, we are never satisfied with what we have, we are too enamored of the glitz and glamor of the new.  Its our collective selfishness which breeds this selfish system.  We are not the victims, but the perpetrators.  All we need to be happy is food, shelter, and fellow human companions. 

That being said, I am a scared, selfish, hypocrite that lives everyday off the suffering of others in far away places, I consume too much, and contributes to the long term suffering of Earth and its creatures, and I want to change.

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By samosamo, March 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

I leaned towards o in the lead up to 2008 but I caught his
expressions of favoritism towards both the aristocracy and the
aipac and from there I knew I could not vote for this guy, but I
never realized how much he would just turn into another w,
with darker skin and acting like he was on the other side; o
really played the ultimate ‘promising’ politician when he began
doing nothing different from what w & dick were doing, as a
matter a fact, which is so IN EVERYONE’S FACE, nothing
different since rear-end ronnie reagan became the traitor in
the white house.

I agree with chris hedges, as I did in 2008, this country
desperately needs to get away from the repub/dim one party
system but if that is to happen by election, there will have to
be a oversight of these next elections, 2010 & 2012, that will
hopefully insure a legitimate winner because now the cat’s out
of the bag, so to speak, because the appointment of a mulatto
won’t be as easy the 2nd time because now it is known where
o’s loyalties lie and because his running and being elected
president was so easy as a minority that negated the ugly
voter fraud of 2000 and 2004….. well just keep a sharp eye
on 2010 elections and worry like hell about what the 2012
election will be like(more like a combo of 2000 and 2004 I
rather expect, with the supreme court calling the winner.)

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By stcfarms, March 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps you are right, I should have ‘dumbed down’ my response for those
that do not understand the concept of per cent.

By LJL, March 1 at 9:03 pm #

A word in the ear, stcfarms:  your arithmetic is a little off.  50% plus 40% plus
10% plus 1% overshoots one hundred a bit.  Aren’t you a little bit embarrassed
that you wrote, “When you learn to count to 100 perhaps people will listen to
your views.”

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By elisalouisa, March 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

True, the damage Obama and the Democrats have done is immense. That is, the
damage they have done to the millions of Americans looking to them for change.
They have accommodated those who pay the bill, the power elite. That is who they serve. Stop trying to blame us Chris, we are no match for their money, their
ruthlessness, their murderous ways.  You must know that is the reason there are so many wimps running the country, starting with Obama. Those who do not
play their way are toast, either before election or after. Third Party? No way, never get off the ground and for more than one reason.

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By LJL, March 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

A word in the ear, stcfarms:  your arithmetic is a little off.  50% plus 40% plus 10% plus 1% overshoots one hundred a bit.  Aren’t you a little bit embarrassed that you wrote, “When you learn to count to 100 perhaps people will listen to your views.”

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By LJL, March 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

The political naivete and ignorance of engaged Americans seems to know no bounds.  Those who blithely speculate about third parties pushing out the established parties are dangerous dreamers.  Why dangerous?  Because their political energies are drained away in self-satisfying proclamations of their own moral purity, while the corrupt old world spins insult and exploitations unhindered.  That was the reason the Republican National Committee funneled money into Nader’s 2000 campaign.  Because by giving green stuff to the Greens they could channel votes away from the Democrats.

The only place where the Greens ever took national office was in the late 90’s in Germany when they decided to compromise and as the Bundnis 90 form a Rot-Grünen Koalition. Only because they engaged in the adult politics of give and take compromise was it possible for Jascha Fischer to become Foreign Minister and thereby help stall some of the evil being perpetrated by Bush at the time. 

Adult politics consists of hindering the worst while encouraging the better outcome.  Politics is always a matter of grays, and those who claim only to be willing to settle for a brilliant white outcome will invariably end up promoting the triumph of the worst.

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By stcfarms, March 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

When you learn to count to 100 perhaps people will listen to your views. Is the
election of the lesser of three evils any better than the election of the lesser of
two evils? Socialism, capitalism, communism and all the other isms eventually
are controlled by profiteers and other bottom feeding scum. The masses have
been dumbed down to the point where they are incapable of conceptual
thought and it will take generations to create an electorate that is capable of
choosing an honest leader. Nature eats the weak and the stupid, soon it will
have a feast on Americans…

“You can always spot an honest politician, six feet above his head is a large
granite stone with his name on it”

By John Ellis, March 1 at 11:51 am #

VOTING MAJORITY — ENRICHING ITSELF UPON OUR MISERY

The illusion is, we have 10% temporary poor, a 90% middleclass deep in debt
and a 1% rich who own everything but the debt.

Truth is we have:

50% laboring class without the ability to achieve high school.

40% intelligent middleclass with the ability to achieve great jobs.

10% Country Club class with the ability to achieve terrific homes and a fat
401k plan.

1% High Society with the ability to achieve 90% of all wealth that passes from
father to son.

And so, the 50% laboring class never votes, and the voting majority we think
most gullible, has us trained to be slaves most emotional and fear driven
controllable.

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By c.hanna, March 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

“And anyway Hanna knows what the answer is but is too ideologically embarrassed to say it outloud.”

I am?

I don’t think I’m the one hung up on ideologies. Its clear that you are beholden to whatever guy is representing YOUR party. That is ideology. Ideology becomes evident when people keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting change, but getting the same results.

I reject both these parties, not because of some ideology, but due to their obvious corruption. I mean, how much shafting over do the people in this country want to take before they realize they are only helping the current corporate-controlled government body to do the shafting.

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By omygodnotagain, March 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Ron Paul is our last best hope.

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By ocjim, March 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

From the time of Reagan to now, the political paradigm has changed. Neocons have taken us down the right-wing path of corporate welfare, a rising gulf between rich and poor, and propaganda. They have the people believing their drivel, including many Democrats. The more progressive Democrats cringe at their own shadows fearful of doing anything egalitarian, thinking they’ll lose votes. Voters are brainwashed and anesthetized into thinking individualism reigns while rich individuals pick their pockets.

Obama runs scared too thinking an 8-yr reign trumps any real reform, including a non-profit health care system that works and holds down costs. It’s a low-risk political decision that’s built on politics not what is good for our country. That’s why we are still wasting money on Iraq and Afghanistan. It insures that money for more vital needs will be limited.

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By Jon, March 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Democratic party is useless and so are Democrats in Congress, not to mention the president, the ‘conciliator.’ I suspect that leading up to the 2006 elections, Democrats decided to use the ‘it’s so awful only we can turn things around,’ and I suspect also that Democrats are still playing this game with their supporters (the ones who flocked to Obama).  Namely, just let things get worse and worse, and the public who ran to Obama to be saved, will do so again.  I think the current Democrats in Congress and the party at large (I mean the leadership and operatives) want more not less, American citizen and worker suffering so as to guarantee another series of Democratic party wins in 2010 and 2012.  I say this for many reasons, one being that rather than pass unemployment benefit extensions last week in the face of Sen. Bunning’s sole refusal, Harry Reid caved and closed the Senate for the weekend.  1.2 million Americans find themselves as of TODAY, March 1, without unemployment benefits. Harry Reid couldn’t get the job done, so he went home.  This is what Democrats are about: making the situation so bad and harsh that they hope we would never allow the GOP back in power. 

Somehow, we have to end this game Democrats are playing.  Third party comes to mind.  But right now, the only two models in town we can purchase are: GOP and Dem., neither of which works for the citizens, but instead works overtime for banks and corporations.

Notice also if you will, that while magically, Reid got a Patriot Act renewal bill to Obama over the weekend, there was no effort at all to get an unemployment benefits bill to the White House over the weekend.  Reid turned out the lights on America’s unemployed, and went home, letting GOP’s Bunning run the show.

I say: nuts to this style of Democratic governance.

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By LJL, March 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Pretending that both of the major political parties are as different from one another as Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum as c hanna does is just as dumb as saying, “All Chinese look the same to me.”  Granted, both parties are American and since America is a crazy capitalistic country, both are capitalist friendly.  But within those parameters there is a real difference between the two.  Democrats are far more favorably disposed to the rights of individual citizens and likewise inclined to some degree of regulating private enterprise.  The Republicans not.  Unfortunately, since they are political parties in America, they are both super prone to answer the bugle call to war, because on the whole Americans are a war crazed mob. Very few Americans renounce all wars, they all find some reason or other that justifies blowing up their neighbors.  If you don’t believe me just say out loud, It was absolutely wrong to fight Adolph Hitler.  Very few are going to say it.

As to c hanna’s befuddlement whether Gore would have been any better than Bush, the question is so transparently disingenuous that it would be demeaning to answer it.  And anyway Hanna knows what the answer is but is too ideologically embarrassed to say it outloud.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

We are in a Catch 22 to vote for someone else in sufficient numbers one needs to equalized the voting and politicking with the established parties but they are the ones that can change that so we must take over the Dems/Repubs. See the dilemma?

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By c.hanna, March 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

LJL

But you miss the point. We have to start by not voting for the two political parties that are offered up to us to vote for. Sure, maybe nader took votes from Gore, but can you honestly say that Gore would have been better? Clinton was responsible for the 75 days of bombing in Yugoslavia. They knew darned well they were killing innocent civilians, destroying hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure. There is NO WAY anyone can say for certain that Gore would have been better. He is part and parcel to the established Corporate-owned government.

The whole argument to keep voting for your democratic candidate or your republican candidate so the other can’t get into office, is really become a lame excuse for a so-called “democratic” society.

A real democracy does not have members of CFR and Business Roundtable picking out TWO candidates for the rest of us to pick from (both of which are always corporate friendly). A REAL democracy has more than two prominent parties and all parties get equal air time. We don’t have that by a long shot.

The fights between dems and repugs is a ploy of divide and conquer…it keeps people befuddled by the “little” issues, while the country is being devastated right in front of our faces. The Democrats have been called on their blatant lies. They continue to pull their game while the elephant is in the living room and we are all suppose to not see it!

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By prole, March 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

“Social change does not come through voting”…if it did, voting would be outlawed. “It is delivered through activism, organizing and mobilization that empower groups to confront the hegemony of the corporate state and the power elite”…groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, FARC and many other expanding and evolving grassroots Resistance formations courageously battling the closely interlinked terrorist governments of the tottering New World Order. So it was nice of the admirable Howard Zinn to remind everyone that, “Here in the United States, at the beginning of the twentieth century, “Millions of people in the United States read socialist newspapers. They elected socialist members of Congress and socialist members of state legislatures.”…and the result was, nothing much changed in the long run. “Newt Gingrich… who looks set to run for president, called Obama the ‘most radical president’ the country had seen in decades. ‘By any standard of government control of the economy, he is a socialist,’ Gingrich said. If only the critique were true”…well, relatively speaking the first point sadly, probably is true; but the second point sure ain’t. Radical and president is obviously, Amerika’s greatest political oxymoron. “A shift to the Green Party, McKinney and Nader, along with genuine grass-roots movements, will not be a quick fix. It will require years in the wilderness”…and quite possibly years in a highly-politicized penal system. “We will again be told by the Democrats”…that the prison-industrial complex is for dissidents, too. “We will be bombarded with slick commercials about hope and change and spoken to in a cloying feel-your-pain language”…while Fallujah, and Kandahar and Gaza are bombarded for real with cluster bombs and chemical weapons. “The hypocrisy and ineptitude of the Democrats become, in the eyes of the wider public, the hypocrisy and ineptitude”…of the wider public. “We can continue to tie our own hands and bind our own feet or we can”…let the bipartisan, one-party state do it for us. “This means refusing to support the Democrats. It means undertaking the laborious work of building a viable socialist movement. It is the only alternative left to save our embattled open society”…very sage advice but probably altogether wasted on a petrified public. “We can begin by sending a message to the Green Party, McKinney and Nader. Let them know they are”…much too principled for a decadent Amerikan society and are condemned to be almost alone in their quixotic struggle, noble as it is. Only the Resistance is left now to “break free, endure the inevitable opprobrium, and fight back”.

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By c.hanna, March 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges: “Social change does not come through voting. It is delivered through activism, organizing and mobilization that empower groups to confront the hegemony of the corporate state and the power elite.”

Well guess what Mr Hedges?

Now there IS the possibility of REAL activism at the local level, where people in small “cubes” can then join with other cubes, creating the biggest, most massive collective of individual activists this nation has seen.

There is a model that the union of Machinists and Aerospace workers have created for the purpose of unemployed individuals. But we can take this model and apply it in many other activist situations. Its up to us…

You can read my brief outline and then follow the links.

UCubes: PEOPLE POWER thru Power Blocks:
http://www.americanpendulum.com/2010/03/ucubes-power-blocks-of-unemployed-activists-growin/

Folks, we gotta set aside the fear and start moving forward. As long as we are stuck in the fear mode we are like deers in front of headlights.

Peace

C. Hanna

(btw: I’m proud to say that I voted for Nader!)

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By mikel paul, March 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

To Ardee…
Personally, those who throw stones at you know not the size of your mitt. Good grab.

To the Nader Haters…
We can argue his personal historical intent. We will never know. What we do know is he almost always spoke for those unheard and some would say even those unborn. Bottom line is he brought light to issues many worked diligently be left in the dark, and many times he did so all by himself. He is one little proof that concern for others stumps policy….any policy.
The rape and pillage shall continue as we continue to ignore each other and have the smallness to attack each other here. Children and art await our integrity.
“The goal of the fight is not to win, it is to be fair”. Somebody said it. I repeat it.
peace

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By Frank, March 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

LJL, I can’t believe you are still holding onto this ridiculous idiotic belief that Nader is the reason Bush won.  Yeah, how dare someone vote for the best candidate for the job - according to your logic we should settle for the lesser of 2 evils even though an excellent 3rd alternative exists.  You are being willfully obtuse.
The problem is that the populace of the USA is just too damn ignorant and stupid to think critically anymore.  People care only about winning, not what their party actually does.

Perhaps the US shouldn’t recover, perhaps it should be encouraged instead to burn itself out in the last throes of imperial contractions before it leads the destruction of what is left of our natural resource base in the name of corporate growth.

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By davidwdeitch, March 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, Chris Hedges, for a fine piece. Better late than never. To begin the
process of the left separating itself from the Democratic Party it’s a good thing to
extend apologies to Nader and McKinney who fought the good fight, not only
against the usual right wing demons, but more tragically against a misguided left
leadership that did its best to elect Barack Obama. Among this leadership I
include the late Howard Zinn and other apostles of lesser evil politics. I don’t
know that this left leadership has the guts to submit to serious self-criticism.

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By barb, March 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, we confess. all us jews. its our fault. its always been our fault. we didnt mean to kill jesus, but hey, as lenny bruce said many yrs ago, it just got out of hand. so, yeah, it was us.
while obama hasnt lived up to the hype yet…. its only been a year. think about how much he is really like dubya. and then get some medication for yourself. you are just way too negative for me. so what is your solution? re-do the election where ralphie wins, throws all the money changers out in one swell foop? yeah, i see that happening… ya say ya want a revolution? it would be nice. but our system will fall to the right wing before progressives can get it together. and if we keep fighting we’ll never get it together. so, i hate to say it, we gots ta go slow.
chill out chris.

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By LJL, March 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges always offers up an entertaining read that alludes to the nice and good but invariably veers off into the comical.  That’s because he can’t help being moralistically enthralled by his own rectitude.  I lay his malady to over much Christianity in his background. Of course, it is easy for Hedges to maintain his moral purity because he never has to make any real world decisions that we know about, he just talks about what others do.  Nader on the other hand has lived a political life of demonstrable “hypocrisy and ineptitude”.  For example, by clinging to his ‘my way or the highway’ moralizing in 2000 he single-handedly delivered America to George W for eight years.  (I know he and his vehemently deny this with the ferocity of Nazis denying the Holocaust, but their denials cannot erase history.)  The reason Democrats and the real left have not abandoned President Obama is not because they are hypocrites.  Rather they are adults who intelligently realize that this is America with long ingrained faults and not a candy colored fantasy land where truth and goodness are only a snap of the finger away.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

In place of politics, check on a fellow citizen, see if you can be of assistance in some way. Forget altruism: helping one another is the ultimate selfish act, it contributes to actual survival. Forget hope, try the unconsidered possibility of actual reality. Politics by its very nature is not equipped to deal with that.
Real human actions are not about engaging in the insane games put forward by the powerfully crazy. You owe no one an apology, it was never your fight from the start.

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By William W. Wexler, March 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, Chris, for stating the obvious.

The Democratic Party machinery has worked very hard to demonize Nader and hang on to the Progressive wing of the party.  The Progressives are the ones who go to rallies, knock on doors, donate money, talk the candidate up, etc. etc.

Progressives got thrown off and under the bus in about March 2008, a few short weeks after winning the Iowa Caucus, which arguably propelled him on to victory.  I was part of his Iowa campaign, and realized that I had been lied to about change in March when Obama started making a sharp right turn.  He’s no Progressive.

The problem most Progressives have with Nader is that they don’t want to vote for him because then Democrats won’t win and then Republicans will run the government.  Guess what?  The Democrats won and the Republicans are STILL running the government.  The health care reform bill is a piece of shit that shouldn’t even be passed.  We’re still in Afghanistan, Iraq.  Gitmo is still open.  Bush/Cheney have been let off the hook.  I could go on and on but I feel like I’m preaching to the choir.

I think Nader is getting too old to run, but he really, REALLY, has some good thoughts on what governments ought to be doing (and NOT doing).  If you would like to read some of his position papers and writings, please visit

http://www.nader.org/public_interest.html

-Wexler

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By ofersince72, March 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

“On July 4, 1776, fifty-five representatives of the
thirteen colonies dedicated “our lives, our fortunes
, and our sacred honor” to the pruposes stated in the Declaration of Independence.  The problem in 1776
was political freedom; the problem today is far greater—the very survival of civilization. Yet it
is doubtful if there is one legislator in the entire Congress of the caliber of the maen who led the
revolution.  Congressmen, in their compulsion to do
what they have to do to get re-elected, continue
to seerve the interests of the proprietors of and
economic system which has ruined the land, impoverished the people and bankrupted the government.  Meanwhile, the underlying causes of these problems are ignored as we move from crisis
to crisis.
  The attitudes of the people of the nation toward
Congress cover a broad spectrum. There are those who are angry for a variety of reasons. there are those
who feel no hope of any improvement.  There are even
a few who out of ignorance of the facts still express
confidence in the government.”

J.H…..1982….written after attempts to alert
Congress and the world of the pending carbon dioxide,
investment money and population crisis.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, March 1, 2010 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor: I agree with you there.  In fact real smart philosophers in USA are even apolitical.  Because they live in the truth, they know the truth, and they real-realists (closer to truth) than the exploited majority of americans who are utopians, not realists.  Like Jim Morrison who was apolitical because he was smart.

Only dumb and naive americans think that by reading alternative news sites and writting bloggers we can overthrow the capitalist imperialist zionist system in America

.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, March 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

THE MIDDLE CLASS OF USA IS GUILTY OF TREASON AGAINST USA !!

I have noticed that the middle classes in America, the people who have stable jobs, and are still living a normal life with basic needs met and a kitchen full of food do not care about the corporate-fascist system of the US government, and about the major wars being waged by The Zionist Warmongers. 

The middle class is really evil, it’s anti-USA, and it is anti-patriotic. I doesn’t care if we all are beating the bullets economically.

So i think that what we must do is only to have relationships with people who are in need of a change in America.  Not with the middle class apathetic, conformist narcissist people and with the upper class elitists.

.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, March 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The photo accompanying this article is quite
appropriate.  Last month Harpers Magazine noted in
their Index section that Obama had surpassed in his
first year in office the number of golf games Bush ‘43
had played in his entire eight years as president.

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By Farid, March 1, 2010 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America needs a second party.

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By Southern Gal, March 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There will never be the perfect time to go third party. The Democrats will lie during the next presidential and Congressional campaigns and make campaign promises that they don’t intend to keep. We so called progressives will fall for their lies and justify voting Democratic by saying that they are better than the Republicans and that third parties can never win.  If we are serious about making a slight dent in corporate control of our country’s politics, we have to vote third party. It’s time to form a truly Progressive Party. I refuse to be taken in and lied to again and again by corporately controlled Democrats and Republicans. We have seen the results of Democrat’s control of Congress and the White House. With all the power they held, they still succombed to their corporate masters. Yes it will take time to run viable third party candidates, but every minute lost is time that can’t be gotten back.

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By Aarky, March 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many people voted for the Democratic party in 2006 and 2008 because they were so enraged and disgusted with the actions of the Republicans and the Bush regime. One of the major reasons I voted Democratic was that I had a deep fear that we would d be in a war with Iran within six months if McCain was elected.eN Some of Obama’s problems are his own making! He should have had a broad purge of the sleeper agents left behind by Bush/Cheney and he certainly shouldn’t have appointed people such as Rahm Emmanual as Chief of Staff or Larry Summers and Tim Geithner to high office. We would have had a lot more confidence if he would have come out swinging for the issues he talked about before the election. My main gripe is that he and Hillary tried to out grovel each other with AIPAC and other Zionist lobbys and they are both still parroting the Israeli BS that the Iranians are building nukes when our own intelligence experts and the Russians say otherwise. I would advise all of out pi**ed off writers here to comtinue to write and call their Democratic members of Congress. The House just voted overwhemingly to revoke the exemption from anti-trust laws for the insurance companies. I just sent a message to my two US Senators that started, “You have waffled too long on the issues that were important to the Democrats who elected you and also the Republicans who should have voted for you. Just for once, stop listening to the lobbyists in their Armani suits and vote for a bill that will help control the insurance companies”.                          Sorry for the mess, my delete button stopped working.                                                                                                                                                                          alp need assistancei;loisiwr   vif of staff ?w

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By antispin, March 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Beerdoctor,  You gotta cure for that?  Take six beers and call me in the morning?

To get more perspective on how we got so damned bamboozled, Recall Reagan’s Presidential directive number 77:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB177/03_NSDD-77.pdf

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/062908.html

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB177/index.htm

http://electromagnet.us/dogspot/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=360

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By Cynthia, March 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This picture of Obama playing golf reminds me that if you plan on being a top bankster while Obama is in power, make sure that you become one of Obama’s favorite golfing buddies, because in exchange for playing a good game of golf with him, he’s likely to strong-arm his prosecutors into getting you off scot-free for your criminal activities.

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/8/25/who_is_obama_playing_ball_with

And if you plan to being a whistleblower to nail banksters for their fraudulent activities while Obama is in power, think again, because his prosecutors are likely to make you into a scapegoat and have you hauled off to jail.

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/7/why_is_the_whistleblower_who_exposed

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By omop, March 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

When are people going to accept he raelities of Washington, DC?

  One reality according to US Supreme Court Justice Feliz Frankfurter:-

  ” THE REAL RULERSIN WASHINGTON ARE INVISIBLE AND EXERCISE POWER FROM
    BEHIND THE SCENES.”

  A different reality as expressed by the late Ariel Sharon.

  ‘Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that
that I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American
pressure on Israel.

  We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it. ‘ –

  Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001

  THEY SAID IT. SO LETS KEEP THE AD HOS ASIDE.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 1, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Rule Number One: Politics is a meaningless sucker bet to convince the rubes that they actually can do something about the ownership elite, who not only steal all their economic treasure, but also their own family’s blood for the sake of insane wars.
Rule Number Two: Questions? See rule number one.

If you know something is totally insane, why do you keep pretending it is not?

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By Night-Gaunt, March 1, 2010 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

“THE GOP = Appear to be patriotic, flag waving, constitution loving, Lee Greenwood playing Americans, However, follow the money - they are New World Order globalist who are pro Wall Street, pro Communist China, pro Fed, pro illegal immigration,  pro outsourcing American jobs, pro shipping our manufacturing base overseas and just all around lying sacks of manure. “Jim Knapp

Well you have it partly right. However Communism as such (Lenin/Stalin type) is dead and being replaced by a fascist Capitalist corporate state (Mussolini/Franco type in China. All with barely a ripple. Except for the poor being left in the wind like here. Millions of them—-their economic divide could lead to a civil war there soon.

They are globalists but their base is in the USA just as with all the previous empires as they grow globalist they still had the home country. Once our Republic falls then the Empire shall rise from its ashes.

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By ofersince72, March 1, 2010 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Thank you Cris Hedges,  and I owe you an apology,
sorry for my critisizm.

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By john, March 1, 2010 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I said 2 years ago that America needs a president with courage, not good policy because good policies are not possible in America these days without courage. For years America has been a proxy state for Israel in the Middle East fighting the wars for them. Now she is one step closer to being the vassal state by having a president who has been cultivated for years to be the ultimate spokesman for Israel in the world.

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By Jim Knapp, March 1, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Our country needs a revolution, voting for a Democrat or a Republican is not revolutionary, it is big business as usual.

If we don’t overthrow our corporate oligarch government and eliminate our domestic enemies, either through the ballot box or by force, we will inevitably be overthrown by our foreign enemies.

Neither party represents the average hard working American.  America needs a populist third party alternative to break up the corporate globalist controlled oligarchy we now have.

THE DNC =  On the surface they appear to represent a march towards socialism, the welfare state, amnesty for illegal aliens, multiculturalism,  and a beacon to those who look to the government for free cheese. However, if you follow the money and their votes, they are nothing but globalist whores for big business and Wall Street just as much as the Republicans.

THE GOP = Appear to be patriotic, flag waving, constitution loving, Lee Greenwood playing Americans, However, follow the money - they are New World Order globalist who are pro Wall Street, pro Communist China, pro Fed, pro illegal immigration,  pro outsourcing American jobs, pro shipping our manufacturing base overseas and just all around lying sacks of manure.

Worried about splitting the vote?  Well turn to the words of Republican Senator Jim DeMints for comfort… “I’d rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who believe in the principles of freedom than 60 who don’t believe in anything

A third party would not need to vote out every RINO, neocon, Republican or Liberal Democrat. We only need to take 10% of the House seats; this is very doable in conservative states.  With 10% of congress we could control the agenda in Washington.  Eventually, as the party proved itself and grew, we could take the Whitehouse.

http://www.thirdpartypatriots.org
Facebook: Third Party Patriots

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By mrfreeze, March 1, 2010 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Gerard - Thanks for proving my point: Nader is NOT presidential material. His ability to inspire organizations is wonderful. Washington is NOT about getting things done. It’s about process.

John - Nice ad hom. I’m not sure what point you made.

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By MeHere, March 1, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

To those who keep saying that the left is inert, that it doesn’t have a credible
alternative, that the fault lies entirely in the trashy corporate media…. It is not true.  Who hasn’t heard of third-party candidates?  Why do Democrats continue to vote for “the lesser of two evils?” Why do they continue to blame Nader for Bush’s presidency?  Why didn’t they vote for Nader instead in that first election or in any other?  Why do so many educated, well-informed liberals say they vote for Democrats “because a third party will never win?”  Of course, it won’t, unless they provide it with their support and their votes.  Nader, the Greens, and Socialists
have been clear about what they stand for and what changes need to be made.
They and their supporters have been working hard at this. Let’s be reasonable and
try to understand that there are many issues to look into and questions to be
answered before we can say that third-parties can’t get their act together.  What
act can we honestly demand from them? A magic act?

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By Hulk2008, March 1, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

To uriah:

  We thought we were doing the right thing when we voted back in November 2008 - just like 2004 and 2000. 
  Trouble is our choices were limited.  At least some lip service has been given to leaving Iraq at some point.  McCain and Clinton both were more likely to stick around in Iraq.
  I am a big Nader fan, but his followers number fewer than Tea Baggers - so what’s a greenie liberal to do ?
  I guess I could move to Canada and get into one of those long lines for health care.  Maybe a long line is better than having no place to even line up at all. 
  Until the for-profit free market types make health care too expensive for over 75% of us, nobody will consider that the so-called “free” market has failed us miserably in a number of instances.

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By Bob, March 1, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, but I think you forget how much more harmful George W. Bush was to our
country than Al Gore would have been. Do you seriously think Al Gore would have
gone to war with Iraq? Or even started a war in Afghanistan? I don’t.

Yes, for all their flaws, Democrats are better than Republicans as a whole.

If the Green party really wants to be taken seriously, they should drop their
support for legalized marijuana and try to build a stronger party from the ground
up, fielding candidates in local city elections. As people become more
comfortable with these local candidates, they can move on to state offices. I don’t
think they stand a chance of winning a big office before they have won many
smaller offices.

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By marcus medler, March 1, 2010 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

A third party, we only have one! Just get behind
the socialists-call it christian socialists,
democratic socialist, green socialists whatever,
but a real debate with some sort of plank
adherence is needed. I am surprised people
even refer to Obama as a democrat, after all he
raised his own money! I see him as a brand. He
acts like a free agent in sports, team loyalty is
secondary, just the jersey. This sort of politics
makes it easy for the real owners [rulers] to
stay hidden. Party connection means little and
an agenda [visions, goals, political belief] is
hollow, and easily abrogated.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 1, 2010 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges nice idea but until we undertake political reform, not mentioned, the idea of a 3rd party will die. Until the monopoly of the two party system is broken nothing else will be able to happen. Remember that. I shouldn’t have to tell you the obvious should I? The whole reason why the Libertarians are “losertarians” is that they don’t have a chance in hell of an equal chance to run. Same with the Green Party or any other. Can you imagine what it would be like if at least 3 other parties had an equal chance on equal grounds for making their case on a national level?Without the right first step all else will come to naught.

Also it started 30 years ago when Reagan ascended to office, not the past 8. From that time you can plot the things that make our country great for the rich an corporations & churches today. [It goes back to the 1934 attempted “Business Coup” that just barely failed.]

Actually Bubba it is the Right that have no new answers just the same ones that helped us into this shitty situation. (I include both parties in that.) Or don’t you remember?

In his last book, Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?, Martin Luther King, Jr referenced Henry George in support of a guaranteed minimum income.[8] George’s influence has ranged widely across the political spectrum. Noted progressives such as consumer rights advocate (and U.S. Presidential candidate) Ralph Nader [9] and Congressman Dennis Kucinich [10] have spoken positively about George in campaign platforms and speeches. His ideas have also received praise from conservative journalists William F. Buckley, Jr. [11] and Frank Chodorov [12], as well as free-market economists such as Milton Friedman [13], Fred E. Foldvary [14] and Stephen Moore [15]. The libertarian political and social commentator Albert Jay Nock [16] was also an avowed admirer, and wrote extensively on the Georgist economic and social philosophy.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_George

Like defunding our massive military complex that spends 10X what the entire world spends on arms and surveillance. That alone would save us trillions a year. (878 + bases) All those off the book projects that have their monies hidden in other places like the FDA etc should also be closed down and accounted for. Bring our military back and retrain them as doctors and nurses we need so much. End the Drug War that allowed the fascist camel into the tent of Liberty in the first place too. Equality for all not just some as today and all the yesterdays will also be a good start. Return the corporation to their traditional role as a positive factor in our country. Where every 5 years they must prove themselves worthy to exist. How do those sound Bubba?

John Ellis we have 1% ultra rich, 10% rich then the rest is down hill. They all own some 75% of our wealth alone. [Not counting foreign assets.] That means that the 25% is divided between the remaining working poor/poor at 90%.

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By gerard, March 1, 2010 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

MrFreeze—GoRight:
  Re: Ralph Nader:  “—despite being right, lacks the social skills and interpersonal acumen to lead people.”
  Being right ought to count for more than social skills or “interpersonal acumen” whatever that is.
Nader probably knows more about how this country works than anybody alive.  He has led several large, successful reform movements.
  It is true he has a pesky disposition, comes off as a nag etc. etc.  But I hope to God he is right just one more time—that is, in the thesis behind his fictional interpretation of our current situation entitled “Only the Very Rich Can Save Us.”
Imagine that!  It’s a dream—but behind the dream is the secret—access to power.  Who has it? Who can get it? Who can speak truth to power?  Who will?
When?  Why?  How many will it take? How long will it take? 
  From Wikipedia:  “Throughout his career, Nader has started or inspired a variety of non-profit organizations, most of which he has maintained close associations:
Citizen Advocacy Center
Citizens Utility Boards
Congress Accountability Project
Consumer Task Force For Automotive Issues
Corporate Accountability Research Project
Disability Rights Center
Equal Justice Foundation
Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights
Georgia Legal Watch
National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest
Pension Rights Center
PROD (truck safety)
Retired Professionals Action Group
The Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest
1969: Center for the Study of Responsive Law
1970s: Public Interest Research Groups
1970: Center for Auto Safety
1970: Connecticut Citizen Action Group
1971: Aviation Consumer Action Project
1972: Clean Water Action Project
1972: Center for Women’s Policy Studies
1973: Capitol Hill News Service
1980: Multinational Monitor (magazine covering multinational corporations)
1982: Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
1982: Essential Information (encourage citizen activism and do investigative journalism)
1983: Telecommunications Research and Action Center
1983: National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest
1988: Taxpayer Assets Project
1989: Princeton Project 55 (alumni public service)
1993: Appleseed Foundation (local change)
1994: Resource Consumption Alliance (conserve trees)
1995: Center for Insurance Research
1995: Consumer Project on Technology
1997?: Government Purchasing Project (encourage purchase of safe products)
1998: Center for Justice and Democracy
1998: Organization for Competitive Markets
1998: American Antitrust Institute (ensure fair competition)
1999?: Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest
1999?: Commercial Alert (protect family, community, and democracy from corporations)
2000: Congressional Accountability Project (fight corruption in Congress)
2001: Citizen Works (promote NGO cooperation, build grassroots support, and start new groups)
2001: Democracy Rising (hold rallies to educate and empower citizens)” (end quote) 
 
Give credence where credence is due.

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By uriah, March 1, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just what are any of you doing about any of this?

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By Hrmf, March 1, 2010 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1) There’s only so much Obama can do in a system that’s /designed/ to be “gridlocky”; those same checks and balances that protect us from the tyranny of a runaway single branch of government can also prevent progress. It’s a double edged sword and it’s hard to imagine any good way of fixing it besides electing “good” politicians. Although I think Obama can do a lot more, he’s really at the mercy of Congress for so much, so blaming him alone isn’t helpful. For the record, I voted for Nader each time he ran.

2) There comes a point when countries become so big, so dispersed, and so divided that they may be ungovernable. Serious thought should be given to reconstitution of our nation’s structure (like a bi-national state with separate heads of state, congresses, and laws but a common currency and fluid borders as we have now.) The alternative is potentially decades without progress (at best) or violent revolution/civil war (at worst.)

How long can we go being a developed country with no universal health care, no universal higher education, underfunded infrastructure, and no universal jobs program (with unemployment that is likely to continue to rise or at least stay at this frightening level)?

A subject that has been taboo for a long time needs serious - really serious - consideration.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 1, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

I am dismayed to find the UK. Guardian is reporting that the president’s doctor had warned him to “moderate” his alcohol intake during his physical exam yesterday.

Why am I reading about the president’s doctor warning him about too much alcohol in the Guardian and not New York Times or Miami Herald?

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By carol, March 1, 2010 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If they’re (Gingrich, et al.) going to call us socialists… we might as well enact some socialist legislation…

They would never know the difference…

ps… thanks for the quote from the pilot who crashed the IRS office… at least in that quote, the guy was making some sense.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that for more people…

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By postalnut, March 1, 2010 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Before the judicial coup of 2000 in which a right wing Supreme court installed
GWB as our next president, Ralph Nader claimed that there was very little
difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. This, he claimed was
due to the fact that they are both beholden to the same corporate interests.
During Bush’s reign of terror we watched the very weak and complicit Dems give
Bush everything he wanted. This, despite the Dem takeover of the House and
Senate in 2006. They continue to this day to rule the same way even now with a
Democratic administration. The Republicans still control the national debate on
every issue and the Dems can’t seem to get anything done. They have proven
Ralph Nader correct more times in the last nine years than I care to remember.

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By mrfreeze, March 1, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man -

I find myself agreeing with your point that Hedges is suffering from a little historical myopia with regard to President Obama. Let’s not forget that the politics/economics/cultural de-evolution of the last decade was predicated on the manipulation of the public via 9/11. As our nation coasted along on 1-issue leadership, the rest of the pressing issues were neglected.

Instead of accepting the fact that Washington will not change in a day and that there is brinkmanship and, yes, oh gosh, deal-making in politics, Hedges, as well as most Obama critics, resort to sophomoric name-calling.

I don’t know about you, but Ralph Nader ALWAYS sounds like a buffoon to me. He’s the smart kid in class who, despite being right, lacks the social skills and interpersonal acumen to lead people. Gadfly perhaps. Presidential material, no.

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By Sadiku, March 1, 2010 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree wholeheartedly with Chris.  Everything about the democratic party, in my opinion, is repulsive.  They are just another group of lying beholden politicians whom have copiloted the country to it’s present dismal and depressive state. This article has prompted me to take action and I will be calling the green party today to see where I may assist in any way I can.  The left needs to abandon the democratic party ship enmasse.

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By Charles Andrews, March 1, 2010 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No Rich, No Poor

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By Michael, March 1, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The solution isn’t socialism.

The solution starts with people and government living within it’s means.

A market driven economy can delivers great prosperity if left alone, ( this means no bailouts, and expanding debt).

Sadly Mr. Obama seems to have missed his opportunity to change Washington. He has continued down the path set out by the previous administration

The unhealthy marriage of big business and big government will deliver a fascist totalitarian state sooner rather than later.

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By Hammond Eggs, March 1, 2010 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

I love the accompanying photo, suitably titled “The Culmination of the Civil Rights Movement”. Love those saddle shoes.  Obama played more rounds of golf in his first 9 months than Bush played in 8 years.  There are no words in the English language adequate enough to describe the betrayal of this skinny, totally corrupt judas.  VOTE THIRD PARTY!  STOP SUPPORTING THE DEMOCRATS!

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By Feral Cat, March 1, 2010 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

W I E M A R U S A

A good buddies wife basically won’t listen to much criticism of Obama. But during the Bush Regime, it was all truth to power, yadda yadda. Of course, it’s been just a year since Dick Cheney left office, and we can’t expect much in action in that time, but the lip service paid to the Hopefulls and Changelings is becoming more and more obvious. Where’s my bailout?

I voted for the black woman and I’m damn proud I did.
When a sitting member of Congress is turned away from her elected duties, you gotta wonder….

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By Old Rebel, March 1, 2010 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem isn’t Obama—it’s the alien occupying power called DC that’s the problem.  As long as we prop up the DC Empire, it will serve only the interests of the powerful.  Having so much political and economic power concentrated in the central government makes real change impossible.

That’s why both principled liberals and conservatives are looking to local self-determination as the only real hope.

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By Tennessee-Socialist, March 1, 2010 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Dear Chris Hedges and friends: I really don’t know what to say about the voting behaviour of US voters.  I don’t really believe that American voters get what they deserve.  And what i think is that US voters voted for Bush and Obama because the USA media sells to the middle and lower class americans (The great majority) that Bush, Obama, Palin and most of the mainstream candidates are like Hugo Chavez politically.  Both Republican voters and Democrat voters have this idea that their favorite candidates are socialists for the people.

Republicans from their personal point view thought that Mccain was in favor of a populist reformist free market system of small-businesses for America.  While Democrats thought that Obama was a socialist who was going to natioanlize giant corporations, end the wars, and increase spending in welfare services such as Food Stamps and Free Medical care for americans.

Both were sold to us by CNN and FOX news as populist reformists for the people. But neitheer Mccain was a free-market pro-small businesses and Obama is not a workers-socialist.

So the blame should go toe mainstream media.  I think that US citizens should find a way to destroy CNN, FOX news, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO, but i dont really know how. 

I think that a socialist party should rise to government first and from a government possition close the capitalist mainstream TV stations.

But there is a catch-22.  The catch-22 is that it is almost impossible for a Socialist Workers Party to rise to government power in America while CNN, FOX, UNIVISION and TELEMUNDO exist.

.

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