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There’s Hope for Republicans Yet

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Posted on Jan 12, 2012
AP / Charles Krupa

The hands of Newt Gingrich, whose recent attacks on Mitt Romney have been aimed at blue-collar voters.

By Robert Scheer

There is a full-blown debate going on in, of all places, the Republican Party about the failings of the governing, corporate-sponsored kleptocracy. Not so on the Democratic side. Spared a primary battle, the incumbent president need not defend his economic record, which is basically a redo of the save-Wall-Street-first stance initiated by his Republican predecessor.

That bipartisan establishment consensus, in which the enormous power of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve was harnessed to bail out the financial industry swindlers while ignoring the plight of their victims, has been challenged only on the Republican side, where the libertarian Ron Paul has tapped into the enormous populist rage among voters.

There is no comparable dissent among leading Democrats, who have been loath to take on Barack Obama’s embrace of crony capitalism—that fatal melding of Wall Street wealth with Washington political power—the way Paul and even Newt Gingrich have powerfully challenged Mitt Romney, the GOP’s Obama doppelgänger.

Yes, doppelgänger, and please don’t try to scare me with those hoary tales of how Romney is the second coming of the far right on social issues, when his entire tenure as Massachusetts governor proved quite the opposite. The issue in this campaign is the economy, and on that, by the time of the general election, there will be no serious substantive difference between the two major parties’ candidates. Both will squarely be on the side of the financiers who created this crisis.

The attacks on Romney’s association with the rapacious Bain Capital could apply with equal force to the Clinton administration veterans whom Obama has entrusted with managing the nation’s economy. The list begins with Lawrence Summers, who pocketed more than $8 million in Wall Street loot during the period when he was a top economic adviser to the Obama 2008 presidential campaign. Summers received $5.2 million from the D.E. Shaw private equity fund, which was up to the same sort of shenanigans as Romney’s Bain Capital.

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Imagine the outrage among Democrats if a President Romney were to rely on three successive chiefs of staff with résumés as steeped in banking greed as those Obama has appointed. The first to guard the gate to the president was Rahm Emanuel, whose political career was generously backed by Magnetar Capital, an Illinois hedge fund that was a major purveyor of subprime mortgage-backed securities. Then came JPMorgan Chase’s William Daley, paid $5 million a year as the representative of that company in Washington, working to soften Obama’s already tepid efforts at reregulating the banks. And now, Jacob Lew, another Clinton-era retread who made himself wealthy between Democratic administrations by being COO of Citigroup Alternative Investments, specializing in betting that people’s mortgages, which other branches of Citigroup sold, would go belly up.

What has changed in American politics is that the growing army of disenfranchised stakeholders now fit as comfortably within what has been thought of as the plutocratic Republican Party as within its faux-populist rival. In an attempt to exploit the palpable populist anger in the Republican base, Romney’s opponents, as The Wall Street Journal reported, opened a “Pandora’s box of bitter attacks” claiming “in his business career he was a corporate predator, a heartless shredder of companies and jobs and the personification of all that is wrong with capitalism. ...”

It is a line of attack that has worked because, as the Journal’s Gerald F. Seib points out, “Today’s Republican Party has become steadily more blue-collar, more populist and more influenced by voters who act as much like independents as Republicans. All of that makes the idea of attacks on capitalist behavior arising from the traditional party of capitalists a little less bizarre.”

The stats to back up that assertion are compelling; according to exit polls, 75 percent of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire had family incomes of below $100,000, and almost half did not have a college degree. It was from their ranks and among the nearly half of voters who identified as independents that Paul and third-place finisher Jon Huntsman pulled much of their support.

National polls support the notion of a more populist Republican base, and as the combined results of WSJ/NBC News polls over the last year show, blue-collar voters were slightly more likely to identify as Republicans than Democrats. Most startling was the finding from those same national polls when respondents were asked which party was responsible for the economic crisis: “Republicans were precisely as likely as Democrats to blame ‘Wall Street bankers.’ ”

But as the presidential election is now shaping up, voters will not be given a choice to rebuke Wall Street by either major party. Expect razor-thin differences between Romney and Obama on the key issues at the heart of our economic crisis—the ravages of predatory multinational corporate capitalism that turns the nation state into a vehicle for ill-gotten gain, mocking both Adam Smith’s claims for the invisible hand in a truly free market and the assumptions of Jeffersonian democracy in which governance is in the hands of the common folk who are also stakeholders.

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


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



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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, February 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

hiya aquifer… and thanks for the well-wish…

and as far as farther on goes…

sometimes crossing bridges before one gets to them…
leaves too much roadway outta the picture to begin with…

anyways…

can only say for sure that obama won’t get my vote!...

and ron paul is the only republican who will get my vote!...

Report this

By Aquifer, February 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

Sally,

First off, hope your family health problems are better ....

“their names and messages are readily known and heard at many places…”

OK, it has taken me awhile, but i guess you are saying that they were/are top contenders because they were/are well known. i think what confused me is I couldn’t really figure out how you could support both Nader and Paul as they seem so totally different in so many ways, I was having a hard time trying to figure out what the common attraction was ...

So if neither Paul nor Nader is on a ballot this fall, which looks like will probably be the case, and Stein is, what will you do?

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, February 5, 2012 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

hiya aquifer… regarding your re-question…

like had re-said earlier…

their names and messages are readily known and heard at many places…

(and though previously answered… this delay due to family health problems lately)...

Report this

By Aquifer, January 21, 2012 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Sally,

Thanx for continuing to engage ....

I guess what I am trying to figure out, honestly, is what makes someone a “top contender” in people’s eyes - what do Ron Paul and Ralph Nader have in common that makes them “top contenders” in your eyes?

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, January 21, 2012 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

hiya again aquifer…

to me what connotes a top contender…

applies to both ron paul and ralph nader…

and as thorough and notable as your committment to jill stein is…

still my vote’ll go for the best choice as this’un sees it…

like had said before…

the massive mess of our nation’s system needs correction…

and to correct that mess means to be rid of it…

and the best tools we got are we-the-people as a whole!...

and as far as the most viable major individual tool in this presidential election goes…

the best tool this’un sees is ron paul!...

you asked me questions…

and have given you my simple answers…

so perhaps you’re looking for certain things that you won’t see from this’un…

still it doesn’t change any of the heartfeltness of that poem…

just because we happen to see some things differently…

and too… anyone’s various conclusions to my political opinion is one thing…

and my answers that lay it out as plainly as it appears to me is another…

(the loyalty and earnestness of your endeavors are notable indeed)...

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer… no problem…since you’re curious

—the design was hijacked from a Boston Red Sox logo, the sox colors were real (and odd) from my dresser drawer and I was going for a high-contrast look like on the tri-color Bob Marley poster that’s in wide circulation. 
Or a 1948 Leaf baseball card.
That didn’t quite come across, did it?
The thick black border was to include white “oddsox” lettering but it looked redundant.

the name “oddsox” was just something that popped into my head at the time…

thanks again for asking about it.

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By Aquifer, January 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

oddsox,

Wasn’t looking for “hidden meanings”, just sort of friendly, human curiosity - thought maybe the plaid was for a Scots heritage and the orange was? Thought it was kind of neat ...

Figured folks picked their “symbols” and names for a reason, and being a curious soul, i often ask ..

That’s all ...

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By Aquifer, January 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Sally,

Well Ralph was never a “top contender”, and his message was, as far as I can tell, decidedly different from RP’s

As far as RP being closer to “correction” than any of the top contenders - that isn’t saying much, you will have to admit ...

So, in sticking with the “top contenders” it sounds like you are going with the “lesser of 2 evils” with RP in this case being that “lesser”, OR you must support RP’s agenda, those are the only 2 reasons I can think of to support him. If the former - I think that reasoning is what got us into the pickle we are in - failing to aspire to those “common dreams” i found in your poem. If the latter - well that is a whole different discussion - one i guess you do not want to have ...

That is what i got out of your posts - 

I guess that’s as close as i will get to finding out what i wanted to know ...

Not “redirecting” anything, Sally, my inquiries couldn’t have been more direct ...

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 18, 2012 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Aquifer, glad you like my avatar, thank you.

The green argyle sock has found it’s mate and I’m wearing them today in your honor.
The yellow sock, like it’s mate, is now also missing.

Hence, no more odd socks in my drawer.

Conclusion: Don’t read too much into the oddsox logo—it didn’t turn out the way I wanted, anyway.

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, January 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

aquifer: “I guess that is what i am trying to tease out here”

...

or attempting to redirect by stretching farther…

since this’un had already said…

“whereas ron paul is a top contender…
as his name and message is readily heard and known at many places”...

and the same goes for ralph nader’s name and message…

and again…

“ron paul’s work record shows his message…
and that’s more of a step towards correction than any other top contenders”…

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By Aquifer, January 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Sally,

“ron paul’s work record shows his message… and that’s more of a step towards correction than any other top contenders…”

I guess that is what i am trying to tease out here - why limit your choice to the “top contenders”? When you voted for Nader, he wasn’t a “top contender”, so why do you limit yourself to them now? I really do want to know ...

Is it that you like his political philosophy (“libertarian”) better than Stein’s (“lefty/progressive”)? particular positions he holds?  or just that his chances are supposedly better than hers?

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By Aquifer, January 17, 2012 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Oddsox,

PS - what do the colors stand for - the green plaid and the orange?

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By Aquifer, January 17, 2012 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

oddsox

“The best ideas from each will become part of the national discussion (and then co-opted by the Repubs and Dems?).”

Alas and alack, i wish that were so ...

The “best” ideas are often hidden or deliberately buried because they are “inconvenient” for TPTB. It takes a concerted effort to just keep their heads above water until that time when they can catch a breeze and sail ...

In the best case scenario “the truth will out” but that often takes decades and is fought all the way.

As for “passion”, yes, i do have that, which i hesitate to admit because in “lefty” parlance that too often means a dearth of “empirical facts” and “reasoned thought” which are the cardinal virtues of the “rational” left, though i have found that much of what passes for “rational” thought in these circles often fails the smell test.

But in any case, my “passion” is not arbitrary nor is it detached from reality. In my former profession (medicine) I have seen too many cases where patients who didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell got out of bed and left the hospital because someone(s) would not bow to the “rational” odds of survival but hung in there. And i have seen folks opt for treatments that gave them little odds and exacted much for the chance to live longer or better - not strictly “rational” either - but out of a passion for life. Yes there is a time to quit - but as far as i can see folks often quit much too soon in their political lives. I think that is where Dr. Stein is coming from as well - if you listen to her interview with Rothschild (lousy feed - Greens really do need to get better AV equipment - LOL)

“Passion” is the fuel which keeps “hope” alive and though Obama has given “hope” a bad name - without it there is despair and death - not a sentiment a person or a country can afford. Again i have seen too many cases of loss of hope leading to death ... and the “empirical” sciences are catching up with those observations ...

That being said - due diligence in whom we place our hope to the extent we place some of it, as we must, IMO, outside of ourselves, is required, and a discussion about what we are entitled to “hope” for. In this light i proffer that we “hope” for a fulfillment of our aspirations as human beings and in this i do believe I differ from many here in that i refuse to accept that those aspirations be limited to the best TPTB tell us we can expect. So i proffer this as well:

“One can also put it in terms of the well-known definition of politics as the ‘art of the possible’: authentic politics is, rather, the exact opposite, that is, the art of the impossible – it changes the very parameters of what is considered ‘possible’ in the existing constellation [8].”  Slavoj Zizek: The Political and its Disavowals

That is why i am making a “desperate”, if you will, attempt at trying to get us out of this rut where we allow ourselves to be crippled by the deliberately injected lethal memes, or downright lies, of “can’t win”, “spoiler”,“lesser evil’ and all that crap that keep us herded in the pen and prevent us from reaching for those aspirations.

You cannot achieve what you cannot conceive, so i am pleading for folks to suspend their disbelief as to what is “possible” - unless we do we will continue to be screwed.

As i said, if folks would vote their aspirations, and support or critique candidates on the basis of how well their positions, programs, policies match them, instead of succumbing to those memes - we could have a vibrant politics, a useful politics .... And politics is the lifeblood of a citizenry ...

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, January 17, 2012 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

hiya aquifer…

most of those running this nation have strayed far away from our constitution…

ron paul’s work record shows his message…

and that’s more of a step towards correction than any other top contenders…

it’s gonna take a major overhaul of the whole system…

since the government’s operations are in such a massive mess…

and that mess is what needs to be corrected…

and to correct any mess means to be rid of the mess…

and the best tools we got are we-the-people as a whole!...

and as far as the most viable major individual tool in this presidential election goes…

the best tool this’un sees is ron paul!...

and no… the media doesn’t make my decisions…

didn’t vote for obama before…
as had checked out his work record…
and he wasn’t worth my vote…
and he still isn’t…

and have voted third party (for ralph nader) several times already…

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 17, 2012 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

Aquifer, you write: “the (links)with the interviews led only to 10 sec intros ...”

I think that was the point—Stein SHOULD (or will?) be on the Today Show and/or Olbermann & others when/if her campaign reaches critical mass.

My belief is it’s healthy to have multiple parties (or independents) out there. 
Greens, Libertarians, Justice, whatever—go for it. 
The best ideas from each will become part of the national discussion (and then co-opted by the Repubs and Dems?).

In this election year there is a “passion vacuum.”
It’ll be filled by people like you, Aquifer:  pro-active supporters of Dr. Jill Stein (or Rocky Anderson, Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and others.)

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By Aquifer, January 17, 2012 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

oddsox,

Thanx! for listing those links - they were good for listing the sources, though the ones with the interviews led only to 10 sec intros ...

Th one re “candidate” was interesting, esp. for the comment at the end - “if she gets on enough ballots, she should be included in the debate(s)”. The gist of the conversation - we won’t cover her platform or ideas or examine how they fit into the nat’l discussion, but if she gets better known, we’ll follow her ... meanwhile, on to ..... Herman Cain, or some other “nationally known” figure.

And I do appreciate it that your opposition is based on a “principle” - no to marijuana - as opposed to her position as a 3rd party. If we could get to THAT level of discussion on a wider basis, i think this would be a much more interesting election ....

The Greens are on multiple state ballots - it will be interesting to see how many are required before she meets the “high” standard these folks require ....

PS - I have been meaning to tell you, I like your “picture” (smile - i would use the emoticon for it, but that yellow face that shows up when i do annoys the hell out of me!)

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 16, 2012 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Aquifer, looks like someone who DOES support Stein is thinking along with me on the need for TV exposure:

Countdown w/Olbermann…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=lszH7WaEB8Y&feature=endscreen

..and the Today show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=V4pplY79OQE&NR=1

.. and Bloomberg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObYQjmDzsi0&feature=related

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, January 16, 2012 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Aquifer, here’s that interview with the “announcing you’re running doesn’t make you a candidate quote.”
http://www.beatthepress.org/taxonomy/term/1947

(wish Truthdig had a way for each of us to scroll thru old posts, it took a while digging this up.

I’m not opposed to Jill Stein running, but she won’t be getting my vote. 
I’m strongly opposed to legalized recreational marijuana, for one thing.
That gives me pause w/Ron Paul, too.

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By Aquifer, January 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Shenon,

“You can think what you want but the legislation is there regardless and speaks for itself. “

Well, it is, and does,  indeed - the entire healthcare delivery system (except for Medicare and VA, so far) delivered into the hands of those wonderful insurance companies who, for example, refused to pay for a transplant for a 17 year old, until it was too late. He is not only leaving, he is further delivering, health care in(to) these folks “tender mercies”. And then there is NDAA ...

Look we could go on and on - you clearly wish to defend Dems - I have no allegiance, not any more. I was one for decades, until I couldn’t take it any more - too many betrayals, too much crap. They are now to the right of Richard Nixon, for Pete’s sake. They have a choice - they have made it. It’s the wrong one, IMO. There may be a few progs in the bunch, but as long as they are beholden to the Dem machine, they will be allowed to chatter for the base, but nothing more - Kucinich on Air Force One was the quintessential demonstration of that for me - he picked party over principle, as will they all, and if they don’t they will be dumped, or worse, sabotaged ...

As for Obama and Wall Street money - he was the best investment WS has made in some time - starting with his support of TARP, proceeding on to Geithner and Summers, then to no prosecutions of bank fraud (read Bill Black on that).

“She has not been articulate enough to get herself into the news that most people watch.”

Ah, yes, unlike Herman Cain ....

“She is quite the unknown quantity.”

Which is why I am doing what I am doing here and wherever I can ....

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By Aquifer, January 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Sally,

“she’s not a top contender in other ways… as hadn’t heard of her except for a couple’a websites…”

That is why i am trying to spread the word - she is a Green, doesn’t take corporate cash, so you will not see lots of bought and paid for media. And her positions on taxation and the influence of corps on our country make her a persona non grata in the corporate media.

One of my gripes/frustrations for a long time has been how we decry the influence of money and the MSM in politics, yet we allow them to define who the “contenders” are. It seems to me if we really want to get somewhere, we need to vote for what we want and need, not for “the best” the MSM allows.

Paul is a libertarian, he thinks the social safety net programs (SS?Medicare, etc.) are unconstitutional and would do away with them, if not immediately, over time. He would leave women’s ability to make reproductive choices, among other things, in the hands of the states. IMO, as far as things i feel are really important, he is Jekyll and Hyde: it is the Jekyll part that is being advanced and the Hyde is being hidden or stuffed under a rug. He would set the social justice movement back decades,  the “common dreams” i refer to.

Obama is a bummer - but I also think that folks who feel betrayed by him are jumping out of the frying pan into the fire with Paul. Yes, the wars are god awful and we need to get out, but it does not mean we have to shoot ourselves in the foot to do it. There are better folk out there, IMO - and they are available to be chosen.

Paul is a Rep, part of the “duopoly”, the Big 2 - I wonder if he ran as a 3rd party whether folks would be so enthusiastic, or would they decide he wasn’t worth it.  And that is the gist - if you decide on the basis of principle, who would you choose? If you decide on the basis of who is big on the screen, isn’t that falling for the same “illusion” you decry? I think that is why we are in the mess we are in - “the lesser of 2 evil” meme has dominated for too long. We have refused to honor our common dreams, IMO, because we have settled for so much less for so long.

All I am asking, suggesting, nay, pleading for, is that folks support candidates who represent their needs and aspirations, not the best the MSM says we can get. If money and air time “control” politics it is because we have decided that money and air time are legitimate determinants of who is worthy. We don’t have to support the ones with the biggest bank accounts or the most media exposure - we can choose the ones we would really like to see get elected. If you like Paul better than Stein based on their positions, so be it - let us discuss that, but if we let the media decide who “the contenders” are, we will keep circling the drain ...

Thank you for engaging ...

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, January 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

They, neither, were “abandoned” by the Democrats.  There were
mitigating but very different reasons for their respective defeats. 
I like both Feingold and Grayson and actually donated to both of
their 2010 campaigns.  In Grayson’s case the $6 million he got
wasn’t enough to overcome the heavy Republican investment, and
his questionable ads against his opponent who he labeled “Taliban
Dan” and stringing together misleading clips to claim Webster
endorsed the subjugation of married women produced a lot of
voter disaffection.  Not too good a campaign move!  Anyway,
fiercely liberal, Grayson expects to find political conditions much
more propitious this time around thanks to redistricting which in
2010 was heavily Republican which also contributed to his defeat.

Feingold is a brave liberal warrior through and through and his stand
on all of the major issues have all been on behalf of the
welfare of all Americans.  He’s run for political office both state
and federal for 28 years. He’s not had all easy races.  His Republican
opponent in 2010, Ron Johnson, was new to politics presented a serious
threat through expensive and clever television commercials highlighting
an overall sense of discontent at Washington.  The usual Republican
tactic politics of fear.  The state of Wisconsin was not as progressive as
popularly thought at least in 2010.  Feingold was painted a Washington
insider when that was against public sentiments.  But laudably, he did
not take outside money which probably left him short on campaigning
against his opponent’s unlimited funds.  MoveOn and unions did help
him nonetheless.  Though it was not enough in a time when disaffection
of Washington was the flavor of the election.  We can only give support
again this time around for him.

As far as my list of Democrat successes, it is not based on hearsay but
on fact, and not up to differences of opinion.  You can think what you
want but the legislation is there regardless and speaks for itself.

I did support Obama and it has been a checkered three years.  He has
kept some promises and others not.  I think anyone who campaigns for
POTUS would find themselves in the same boat.  What exactly does Stein
promise?  She has not been articulate enough to get herself into the
news that most people watch.  What does she think she can actually do
with a contrary Congress?  She is quite the unknown quantity.  Get her
elected to something and maybe just maybe she can make a case for
herself for higher office. 

Obama’s pockets of Wall Street gold is actually a defensive act
heretical as that might sound for liberals, including myself, who think
money in politics is the evil of the century.  Since campaigns are with no
doubt at all structured on a money edifice, and Republicans are packing
anonymously unlimited millions and millions of dollars of funds, Obama
noted he would take every dollar he could get but also that he supported
getting the money out of politics.  He needs to get reelected and he has
to fight fire with fire even if that means money from Wall Street.  But you
can bet your own bottom dollar given his blatant criticisms of Wall Street,
it won’t be very much in comparison to his opponent.  When public
funding is the law of the land, then American politics will lose its stink.

Liberals voting for a Democrat is quite consistent.

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, January 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

hiya again aquifer…

it’s nothing personal…
would say the same thing to anybody else…
when the same situation applies…
and have done just that…
ask others…
(and it’s the same tone and flavor…
am not playing favorites…
to do that wouldn’t be being fair to others)...

(and hopefully you can understand that…
and not take it personally)...

as it’s got to do with the use of illusion in today’s society…
and the impact of that…

mainstream banks on illusion’s hook line and sinker…

global overblown illusion wrecks havoc on our planet…

(and we can’t condemn corporate mainstream’s use of illusion…
and not confront it in our own lives… can we?)...

you’ve mentioned jill stein and her website to me several times…

and have checked it out…

and while she may be a worthy candidate is some ways…

she’s not a top contender in other ways…
as hadn’t heard of her except for a couple’a websites…

whereas ron paul is a top contender…
as his name and message is readily heard and known at many places…

and enough of his message makes enough sense to me…
to wanna vote for him in both the primary and november election…

and yes… to me the status for supporting his candidacy is conceivably feasible…

and this’un would not reregister republican for any other republican candidate…
since to me the rest of ‘em are no better than obama…

and as far as your and my past conversations go…
don’t know why our conversations today would change anything…

(to me it’s important to see and recognize the best we can…
what’s going on through illusion these days…
as overblown illusion is running our government…
from elections on up)...

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By Aquifer, January 15, 2012 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

Sally

“if you wanna ask me something… ask it to me outright…but please don’t superimpose it into something else…as if it was part of that something else when it wasn’t… as using illusion to direct the conversation onto another route… is what the big shots have been doing for years on the masses of people…”

Whoa,  sorry if you mistook my attempt at allusion to be an insertion of illusion into our conversation. For me, as a prog. the choice of RP as the limit of “conceivable feasibility” is limiting indeed,  and a RP admin, in my estimation, would be stifling of the dreams of a great many. Excuse me for using a term I thought we had in common - “common dreams”. My response was in complete keeping with the gist of my engagement with you on the subject of RP and why him and on discovering “conceivable feasibility” suggesting expanding that definition so that you might embrace someone (Jill Stein) who clearly in my mind embraces more of the prog agenda of social justice - the “common dreams” of all.

The tone and flavor of this conversation seems to be deteriorating rapidly and is considerably different than those around one we had some time ago on CD, (which i took to be that of mutual respect). It is in light of the memory of that conversation i approached you - but ah, yes, apparently times have indeed changed ... I shall keep that in mind ....

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, January 15, 2012 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

hiya again aquifer…

your original question to me…

“”Sally, why do you limit yourself to “the top contenders?
And who defined who those “top contenders” are?
Look at this with a poet’s eye, listen to it with a poet’s ear,
understand it with a poet’s heart ....”“

and my original answer to you…

“”how limiting is it to let conceivable feasibility speak for itself ?...”“

but now…

you side track onto a different road…
by adding a suggestion that implies something else instead…

“”Sally,

“how limiting is it to let conceivable feasibility speak for itself ?...”

Hmmm, “conceivable feasibility”  - perhaps i am suggesting that you expand what you consider to be “conceivable”, that all might achieve their common dreams instead of the few ... “”

if you wanna ask me something… ask it to me outright…
but please don’t superimpose it into something else…
as if it was part of that something else when it wasn’t…

as using illusion to direct the conversation onto another route…
is what the big shots have been doing for years on the masses of people…

it implies things that weren’t there to begin with…
and it misleads away from the original course…

big shots do this all the time with their news and advertisements on tv and online etc…

and it’s a major method that’s been used to influence the american mind…

so if you wanna ask me about…

“that all might achieve their common dreams instead of the few ... “

then just ask me about this different subject matter fresh and outright…

but please don’t try to hook it to your original question to me…
nor to my original answer to you…

because it wasn’t there…

(we can pull from a grab bag a world full of answers…
for those sidetracking matters layered on each bottom line…
whether purposeful or brainwashed or not knowing any better…
they tend to evade that prime issue or frame a trade or re-define!...

it keeps happening these days in a land where corporate advancement…
uses think-tank manufacturing so folks won’t think for themselves…
leading people into patsy molds holding lesser self-awareness…
it feeds ulterior motives when what is needed most is help!)...

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By Aquifer, January 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

Sally,

“how limiting is it to let conceivable feasibility speak for itself ?...”

Hmmm, “conceivable feasibility”  - perhaps i am suggesting that you expand what you consider to be “conceivable”, that all might achieve their common dreams instead of the few ...

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By Aquifer, January 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Balkas,

“the world ‘elites’ [personal supremacists] envy american supremacists of their success in convincing, say, 99% of americans that that ideology is the only valid on. thus, i expect that once again 98% of balloting americans would vote for it!”

I agree with the first, but not with the second, at least with regard to your percentage ...

“no, it does not! the welfare, the dole in usa, canada, or even finland is a ‘given’, and not an inalienable inheritance or right.
the implicatory structure of the labels “dole”, “giving” differ too much from the label “rightful inheritance”;  ...”

Again, I think you paint with too broad a brush - there is a contingent here, how large, don’t know, but i think (hope) growing that doesn’t think of social programs as “doles” but as providing the means of supporting basic human dignity. They do not have the “echo” chamber media behind them, but they are a substantial lot ....

oddsox,

“make sure she gets enough signatures to get on the Virginia ballot—and 49 others.”

She’s workin’ on it - there is a Green primary, but the Greens have a ballot line in multiple states now, and are working on more.

What you seem to ignore is that one doesn’t get on the media unless one owns one or the folks who do let you in the door.

Folks like Maddow and Moore won’t deal with her - you forget, she is not a Dem and they are, they will not feature a “rival” for prog support. The “liberal/progressives” you refer to are the more left wing of the Dem party - they are acceptable to the media, and their job is to make sure lefties don’t leave “the fold” - Dems first, progs second ..

“One studio pannelist commented about Dr. Stein:
“Announcing that you’re running doesn’t make you a candidate.””

Citation? I am curious ... In any case, when the Green primary is over, I do believe she will be “a candidate”

“If Dr. Jill Stein wants proper exposure, that’s where she needs to be. ”

So, how about lobbying to get her there .... or are you opposed to her?

Shenon,

“I can only hope that the invertebrate Democrats there now are contrite or are replaced by those who would stand firm.”

Well, considering that the Wall Street financed DLC still runs the show, and considering that progressive Dems were discouraged so that blue dogs would run in southern states for the purpose of getting that Dem majority (party over principle) and considering that folks like Feingold and Grayson were abandoned by the Dem money bags central committee in favor of plopping money out for Reid and that Kucinich was frozen out of the prim debates last time around without a peep from Obama, I think your “hope” of that happening is, shall we say, less likely to be realized than mine of getting Stein in.

As for your recitation of all the wonderful things the Dems have done, well let’s just say reasonable minds can differ on that one ..

As for what “we” expected of Obama, well I expected pretty much what we got - I didn’t support him last time around, for all sorts of reasons.  He isn’t up to taking us where we need to go, he doesn’t want to ... his pockets are too weighed down with Wall Street gold.

“Electable” - as in able to be elected or chosen. You can argue she won’t be, but not that she can’t be - that will be up to us. Again , it amazes me how willing we are to let the MSM make these decisions for us .... 

Well, folks, you can continue to settle for what we have, as apparently you have done for awhile, as we continue to circle the drain, or you can opt for something better - until you do, loudly and persistently, and in increasing numbers, you won’t get it. That is pretty clear, or at least it should be by now ....

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By Shenonymous, January 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer, Jan. 13 7:18 pm - ”Yup - Obama started out with a Dem
Sen and Dem House and what the hell did they do with that, pray
tell?  Oh yeah, I know, those Blue Dog Dems just wouldn’t cooperate,
well they were all Dems, damn it, and we got Zip!”
 

Perhaps you are unable to make distinctions. 

It is obvious that governing is a lot harder than campaigning.  And
even though the bright light of candidate Obama dimmed, he was still
able to be more successful than thought in his 1st year to stabilize the
economy even in the face of a taxpayer-funded stimulus hated in many
partisan quarters.  In three years it has not tanked again, at least not yet. 
Time will tell on that one, but so far the country hasn’t.  He also rescued
two of America’s largest carmakers, General Motors and Chrysler saving
uncountable jobs as parts supply houses and shops must be added into
the equation besides all of those who worked for the auto giants.

He said he would end the war in Iraq, he did; he said he would bring
health insurance to all Americans, he did that. And in spite of the
Republican screeching for repeal, insurance premiums can be expected
to rise 25% without the insurance mandate according to the Hill Report
just a day or two ago, and Politico also foresees that dropping the
mandate is likely to slow spending; he also promised to erect a cap-
and-trade system to curb global warming and promised to clean
America’s stained reputation by closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay. 
He did not do those last two.  Will he keep his promises if he had 4 more
years?  Our political system is often debilitated with its checks and
balances system and a president simply can’t tell perverse Congress
what to do.  And financial king players are pouring unending dollars into
Congressmen’s pockets to block Obama.  All legislation takes time and
often requires ugly compromises. Even uglier when no compromises are
possible with a Congress that is lopsided with those who vowed to make
Obama a one-term president?  I can only hope that the invertebrate
Democrats there now are contrite or are replaced by those who would
stand firm.

After three years, many of Obama’s liberal supporters feel let down, I am
among them, mainly because I wanted him to show more of a sturdy
confrontation against the voracious and goose-stepping Republicans. 
We expected him to wave a magic wand and fix everything immediately. 

The first two years, even with a Democratic majority, he had to deal with
incredibly colossal problems left by the Bush-gutting democracy in every
way imaginable: the war, the depleted national treasury and decimated
economy, joblessness, inadequate education, infrastructure in horrid
condition, the environment. Until the mid-term when the bitter turned
rancid Republicans took majority in the House and a near majority in the
Senate, then it went insane.  Seems like the rancor of supporters is
manufactured out of unreasonable expectations, falling for the maligning
Republican litany devised specifically to eviscerate Obama, which they
have…. almost.  It looks like he is recovering, though, from his initial
shock that there could actually be a Republican Congress that had long
knives out from day one to disembowel him.

And…
”Of course anyone who meets the statutory qualifications for office
is electable - sorry, that is not a legitimate issue, no matter how many
times you and a zillion others repeat it.”
  This does not make sense. 
Those who meet the qualifications may of course run for an office but
that does not mean they are electable.  And it most certainly is a
legitimate issue if someone is said to quality for the highest office
in the country!

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By oddsox, January 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer, I was hoping you’d write—“no Oddsox, Dr. Jill Stein has been on with Olbermann and David Sirota’s radio show and is scheduled for Chris Hayes this month and Maddow is going to give her a shout out. 
Chris Hedges and Michael Moore are interviewing her now for a mixed-media piece….”  something like that.
After all, these are liberal/progressive media forums and most likely to give her a fair hearing. 

Instead you ask:  “Ah, so the MSM is the legitimate “decider” as to who is legit.”
Well, it’s not a matter of who’s legit, (though she chould definitely learn from Gingrich, Santorum, Perry and Huntsman and make sure she gets enough signatures to get on the Virginia ballot—and 49 others.)
It’s about being taken seriously. 
One studio pannelist commented about Dr. Stein:
“Announcing that you’re running doesn’t make you a candidate.”
Even if Stein’s message resonates, people are going to ask “Why HER?”
The questions become “Who is viable?  Who has credentials?”

TV is the main newssource for likely voters.
Them’s the facts, that’s all. 
Fighting it won’t help. 
If Dr. Jill Stein wants proper exposure, that’s where she needs to be. 
Why wouldn’t she WANT to get max exposure?

Also, you write:
“If you can’t get on the MSM, you have no worth, huh?”
Not “no worth.” 
No chance.

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By diamond, January 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Romney and Gingrich are like two scorpions in a bottle. Watching them try to destroy each other will be hugely amusing and then Ron Paul can toddle on to the stage, pick his way through the wreckage and talk about ‘freedom’ with his tongue firmly in his aged cheek. Good times.

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By balkas, January 14, 2012 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

instead of saying that there is a near-total absence of a second political party in good old usa, i could have been even more educational if i
said the following:
there is total absence of the THOUGHT [aka, as socialism] among clero-plutocratic class. and, it being antipodal to the thought of unlimited
individual freedoms, rights, is rejected a priori by every MSM columnist, general, judge, plutocrat, elected politico; all cia/fbi agents, ?all
police people, ?all teachers, et al.
so why wouldn’t those people who enjoy the greatest freedoms, security, safety; posses 10 room mansions, yachts, private jets, shares in
very profitable industries reject socialism a priori?
and i am not thinking of just usa ‘elite’—world asocialistic ‘elites’ think, i expect, exactly as does usa ‘elite’.
and the world ‘elites’ [personal supremacists] envy american supremacists of their success in convincing, say, 99% of americans that that
ideology is the only valid on.
thus, i expect that once again 98% of balloting americans would vote for it!
ultimate reality show in usa had been, is now, and will be for decades or even centuries enlargement and/or maintainance of the ultimate
personal freedoms.

one could ask me, But how about social assistance [welfare, new deal, or whatever] in usa? doesn’t the existence of at least one socialist idea
in usa contradict my assertion that socialism is totally absent among usa ‘elites’?
no, it does not! the welfare, the dole in usa, canada, or even finland is a ‘given’, and not an inalienable inheritance or right.
the implicatory structure of the labels “dole”, “giving” differ too much from the label “rightful inheritance”; thus, i’d like to have s’mone else
to take over the study of difference between the two ideas.
i say damn the giving and bless then inheritance!
and every imam, mufti, amir, lord, priest, buddhist monk, rabbi, boyar, count, guru, sri, shrink, prince, reverend should be ashamed for
insisting people give one another anything. thanks

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By sallysense, January 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

hiya aquifer…

how limiting is it to let conceivable feasibility speak for itself ?...

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By Aquifer, January 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,

“owned by the very predatory robber-barons who took 30 years to create this mess. How very clever.”  ... could think one man could fix this mess in three years. What an exercise in solipsism.” (quoting Arouete)

Notice - over 30 years, and who has been in office over those 30 years - the robber barons have been in charge, but they operate through BOTH major parties. Nobody thinks one man could fix this mess in 3 years - that is a straw man. The point is he didn’t TRY to fix it, he is contributing to it ...

“became a Republican so I could vote in their preliminarilys for the biggest ass holes out of the bunch, how do you think we got GW Bush?”

Finally! Now we know who to blame! It wasn’t Nader after all, it was Leefeller! Thanx for owning up, man!

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By Aquifer, January 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

mr freeze,

“you might at least give him credit for pulling us out of Iraq…...So he’s damned for escalating on the one hand and ignored for fulfilling a promise on the other. You seem to totally forget who was running the war efforts in the last administration….........you conveniently forgot didn’t you?”

Hmm, well perhaps what you “conveniently forgot” was that the Iraq withdrawal was forced by the agreement made between Bush and Iraq at the end of the Bush admin. Obama wanted to stay longer and tried to renegotiate the SOFA, but the Iraqi’s wouldn’t agree to give US forces immunity. Oops

Shenonymous,

“Surely you can be more specific.”

Yup - Obama started out with a Dem Sen and Dem House and what the hell did they do with that, pray tell? Oh yeah, I know, those Blue Dog Dems just wouldn’t cooperate, well they were all Dems, damn it, and we got Zip!

“Jill Stein is completely untested as a politician and is not electable to the highest
office in the country.  It is delusional to think she could be.”

Of course anyone who meets the statutory qualifications for office is electable - sorry, that is not a legitimate issue, no matter how many times you and a zillion others repeat it. As to whether she is qualified for holding office,  that is a matter of opinion. What are the qualifications for holding an office? Intelligence? Education? Experience? Positions they hold on issues?

As for being tested as a politician - hmmm, don’t we need a few more principled states(wo)men and a few less politicians? There are a whole lot of very experienced “politicians” out there i wouldn’t want as dogcatcher, let alone Pres.

“As will I for the reason already stated, to defeat Republicans.”

Well, there ya go - never mind that the “electable” Dems are a bunch of sold out, unprincipled hacks, at least they are not Reps!
Can’t you see that is precisely why we are in the stew we are in - ducks in a shooting gallery, going to “one” end and getting shot, swimming to the “other” end and getting whacked again - thinking we are making real choices when all we are doing is moving back and forth in the same track?  What will it take for folks to understand .....

Sally,

“the only top contender bettering us is the conscientiousness ron paul brings!..”

Sally, why do you limit yourself to “the top contenders”? And who defined who those “top contenders” are?
Look at this with a poet’s eye, listen to it with a poet’s ear, understand it with a poet’s heart ....


oddsox,

“I’d expect to at least be seeing her on Chris Hayes by now… maybe I missed something, please correct me if I’m mistaken.

They’d better get busy—college campus tours and TruthDig blogs won’t get them enough exposure to be taken seriously.”

Ah, so the MSM is the legitimate “decider” as to who is legit. If you can’t get on the MSM, you have no worth, huh?  How bizarre - we complain about how money is corrupting politics, yet we reward those who use that money to get - on the MSM! The same MSM we decry for spinning the news, being tools of TPTB. I thought the internet was supposed to free us of the tyranny of the MSM - but apparently they are still the arbiters, the “deciders” of who is “legit”, a “contender”, “worth it”.  THAT is why we are sliding downhill, my friend - we continue to let the MSM make our decisions for us ...

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By Mary Tracy, January 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The article does not address some important distinctions:

1) The attack of public sector unions by Tea Party Republicans (fake populists), with the Democratic Party rallying to the union’s defense.
2) The differences between Republicans and Democrats regarding the top marginal tax rate.
3) The Tea Party’s fake populists, who wanted no government bailout for the auto industry, many of them voicing support for busting the UAW.

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By Shenonymous, January 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, Jan 13 10:51 am ”at least there are two of us,” make
that at least three of us.  435 seats in the House of Reps, 242
Republicans, 193 Democrats, 2 Independents. The Senate has
100 seats, 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans, 2 Independents. 

After processing through committees, bills must first pass both
Houses by a simple majority vote, then it is sent to the President
to be signed and becomes law.  If he does not sign the bill, it goes
back to both houses, which then must pass in each by a two-thirds
majority vote. 

In the House of Representatives, 435 is not an even number, so a
simple majority is 218, and 1 vote can decide an issue, 217 + 218 =
435.  193 Democrats are 25 votes short.  That is less than one-third
but it causes problems of passing liberal legislation in the House.

A simple majority is also required in the Senate, out of a hundred, 51
votes.  While Democrats holds a 51 seat majority, there are about a
dozen who are BlueDogs who often vote with conservative Republicans,
with one Independent, Bernie Sanders, who votes with the Democrats,
and Joe Lieberman and Independent who most often votes with the
Republicans.  So an additional 15 Senate seats would solve that and a
2/3 majority problem when necessary.  15 is a lot less than one-third
but there in the Senate also impedes liberal legislation.

Everyone who plans to vote should learn at least the bare minimum by
visiting the website of The Legislative Process.  Yes, do vote for an anti-
democratic Republican asshole if you think it is in your own best interest.

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_law.html

Sanders always votes with the Democrats…and so will I.
http://sanders.senate.gov/
From his website:  January 12, 2012
“It’s no secret that the people of our country are angry and frustrated
with Washington and their government.  They correctly perceive that we
face enormous problems: a collapsing middle class, increased poverty
and a growing gap between the very rich and everyone else; sky-high
unemployment; 50 million Americans without health insurance; a
deteriorating infrastructure; the continued loss of our manufacturing
capabilities; the ongoing mortgage and student loan crises, and the
planetary challenge of global warming.  And on top of all of that, we
have a $15 trillion dollar national debt. The American people want
action.  They want their government to start representing the 99 percent,
not just the top 1 percent.  With that goal in mind, let me say a few
words about some of the issues that I will be working on when Congress
reconvenes in January.

With more than 23.7 million Americans unemployed or underemployed,
15 percent of our workforce, we must be aggressive about creating the
millions of new jobs we desperately need.  It is simply not acceptable
that high school or college graduates are not able to find work as they
try to begin their careers.  It is horrific that millions of older workers,
who were looking forward to secure retirements, find themselves
unemployed and facing the possibility that they may never again have a
job.

One of the fastest ways to create jobs is to rebuild our crumbling
infrastructure - roads, bridges, railroads, airports, water systems,
wastewater plants and aging schools.  While we spend 2 percent of our
GDP on infrastructure, China spends 9 percent and Europe spends 5
percent.  We also need to make sure that Vermont and all of rural
America gets the quality broadband and cell phone service that we
deserve in order to be able to compete in the 21st century.  When we
rebuild and improve our infrastructure we not only create a significant
number of jobs, we make our country more efficient and productive.  I
will continue to fight for a substantial federal investment in
infrastructure.”

Link to his website to continue reading his sentiments.

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By Leefeller, January 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

For years I voted third party, (Peace and Freedom) and finally realized I was wasting me vote and as a result, back then, at the time we ended up with Ronald Regan, (The greatest Republican still living in small minds)  so I came to me senses and became a Republican so I could vote in their preliminarilys for the biggest ass holes out of the bunch, how do you think we got GW Bush?

So this year I hope to vote for the biggest Ass Hole of the Republican Bunch, but this year has become the hardest it has ever been to choose from,..... what a selection!

Geez, by the time they get to my state, I will only have one or two Ass Holes to choose from? Maybe I should move to Iowa so I would always have a horn of plenty to choose.  Damn, I had been rooting for Bachmann, well I hope Sanatorium is still available when they get here, by the time the primarily s get to my state, I will feel like I at Good Will getting old picked through worn hand me downs!

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By Leefeller, January 13, 2012 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Arouete astutely commented the following;

“Sorry, stop blaming Obama for not doing more when We Duh People turned right around hamstrung him with an obstructionist Tea-Party Congress owned by the very predatory robber-barons who took 30 years to create this mess. How very clever.”

Why be sorry,.... if it is the truth, well as I see it also, at least there are two of us?

A set up from the first day, a great plan to make Obama a one term president, geez how many times have we heard this from the divisive Republicans and the third party folks?

It seems to me Congress is more then one third of the problem!

Yes, Arouete again comments below as I see it, except I have referred to it as ‘whining’, but ‘spoiled child’ works for me and explains a clear lack of maturity coupled with the apparent lack of common sense!

“Only a spoiled child throwing a hissey-fit, or a feverish selfish little clod of ailments complaining that the world will not devote itself to making them happy, could think one man could fix this mess in three years. What an exercise in solipsism.”

Some folks just seem to never grow up, unfortunately it seems like their are more hissey-fits then common sense, which makes one suspect a lot of clowns believe in Never Never Land!

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By oddsox, January 13, 2012 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

“...the libertarian Ron Paul has tapped into the enormous populist rage among voters.”
R.Scheer

Populist rage—yes indeed.
(sidebar: Note the lower-case L.)

Ok, I’ll confess.

A lot of the reason I enjoy Ron Paul’s candidacy and hope he sticks around is because he freaks out so many people! 

He pisses off big-government liberals.
He angers right-wing hawks.
He confuses the know-it-all Mainstream Media, they don’t know what to do with him.

And he freaks out those who see Romney vs. Obama as Coke vs. Pepsi and are seeking 3rd-party alternatives.

“We need a choice, but not HIM!!”

Well, there you have it. 
You Greenies, Socialists, Justices and other outliers have the same choices as the rest of us.

We each can vote for an imperfect candidate.
Or vote for somebody who hasn’t been elected to anything higher than a Precinct Town Meeting Seat. 
Or we can stay home.

Nothing against Jill Stein but where else but on TruthDig and the Nation is she even mentioned?
Maybe Salon?  Huff Post?  Media Matters?

I’d expect to at least be seeing her on Chris Hayes by now… maybe I missed something, please correct me if I’m mistaken.

Same for Rocky Anderson, although he did appear on O’Reilly.  Nearly 5 years ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKRR5_NdnLo

They’d better get busy—college campus tours and TruthDig blogs won’t get them enough exposure to be taken seriously.

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By sallysense, January 13, 2012 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

this ex-forty-year democrat who’s now a no-party-affiliation…
will no doubt re-register republican for the primary’s designation…
as lame excuses that perpetuate the same itinerary won’t change things…
the only top contender bettering us is the conscientiousness ron paul brings!...

...

and also… (regarding obama)...

from obama whose start in politics slyly wiped worthwhile opponents off his ballot…
under a guise of highest concern about integrity in governmental selection…
to so much unconstitutional hypocrisy in his words’n’deeds in official capacity!...
my heart cares too much about america to keep quiet as he runs for re-election!...

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By Arabian Sinbad, January 13, 2012 at 2:33 am Link to this comment

“Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.” (I.F.Stone)

Go to the link below and read very serious and interesting stuff!

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p—9_Bennett.html

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By Shenonymous, January 13, 2012 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

Aquifer, Jan. 12 5:46 pm, ”We tried that, didn’t work ...” Surely you
can be more specific. 

No third party will win the presidential election this year.  Jill Stein is
completely untested as a politician and is not electable to the highest
office in the country.  It is delusional to think she could be.  Nor could
any other third-party candidate, except for Bernie Sanders, who could
make credible show at it, except he won’t.  He supports Obama.  As
will I for the reason already stated, to defeat Republicans.

The Republican anti-government mission is to obliterate civil rights,
encourage racial discrimination, promoting public illiteracy, keeping
money in politics, to continue their 30-years war on women with the
intention to erode women’s legitimate ownership of their own bodies,
mutilate health care and opportunities for women and their families,
would overturn the hard won affordable healthcare law that provided
health care for millions and specifically for women, the Republicans
would end guaranteed maternity care and renew the insurance
companies ability to discriminate based on gender.  The Republicans
would insidiously turn this country into a Christian theocracy, persevere
and promote the Party’s intention to decimate social programs such as
pension benefits, privatize Social Security, to asphyxiate public workers
bargaining rights, obstruct public works projects that would fix
infrastructure and provide the desperately needed jobs for Americans. 
These are just a few of the hideous anti-humanistic problems that define
Republican objectives.

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By Non-Compassionate Liberal, January 13, 2012 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

Obama, Romney.  If that’s the final TWO, the One-Percenters can’t lose!

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By Cellphone Charger, January 13, 2012 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

Mitt might not be the perfect choice but i think he is the most electable one.

Go Mitt!

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By Outraged, January 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

Quote: “There is a full-blown debate going on in, of all places, the Republican Party about the failings of the governing, corporate-sponsored kleptocracy. Not so on the Democratic side.”

Completely false. Do you really think this, Mr. Scheer? Do you truly believe that they are having an HONEST debate? I think not. Sure… they’re blathering whatever they think will win their unsuspecting voting group. But is any of it true? No. Not a word of it. It’s not a “full-blown” debate, it’s a scam directed at the same folks they’ve been deceiving for decades. Sad, I think. But it’s not a debate, although they’d love for us to believe it’s one.

Additionally, what in the world would compel you to make the claim that the debate of the populous is missing on the Democratic side of the aisle other than a complete DISREGARD of the facts.

Quote:“has been challenged only on the Republican side, where the libertarian Ron Paul has tapped into the enormous populist rage among voters.”

Lest I forget….. oh yes, that “populist” Ron Paul, that “populist” who wants to end Roe v Wade, that “populist” who wants to end Social Security, that “populist” who wants to do away with the EPA, that “populist” who wants to return us to the middle ages.. why is it I just can’t get “with the program”.

“Populist”.....????

I think NOT.

Sad.

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By Outraged, January 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

Quote: “There is a full-blown debate going on in, of all places, the Republican Party about the failings of the governing, corporate-sponsored kleptocracy. Not so on the Democratic side.”

Completely false. Do you really think this, Mr. Scheer? Do you truly believe that they are having an HONEST debate? I think not. Sure… they’re blathering whatever they think will win their unsuspecting voting group. But is any of it true? No. Not a word of it. It’s not a “full-blown” debate, it’s a scam directed at the same folks they’ve been deceiving for decades. Sad, I think. But it’s not a debate, although they’d love for us to believe it’s one.

Additionally, what in the world would compel you to make the claim that the debate of the populous is missing on the Democratic side of the aisle other than a complete DISREGARD of the facts.

Quote:“has been challenged only on the Republican side, where the libertarian Ron Paul has tapped into the enormous populist rage among voters.”

Lest I forget….. oh yes, that “populist” Ron Paul, that “populist” who wants to end Roe v Wade, that “populist” who wants to end Social Security, that “populist” who wants to do away with the EPA, that “populist” who wants to return us to the middle ages.. why is it I just can’t get “with the program”.

“Populist”.....????

I think NOT.

Sad.

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By rockpicker, January 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

Lest anyone forgets what got us into Iraq, and the “war on Terra”, have a look at this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuC_4mGTs98

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By mrfreeze, January 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

Aquifer - I’ll repeat my statement: Obama did not choose to enter these wars. If you were being at all fair in your “criticism” of his actions, you might at least give him credit for pulling us out of Iraq…...So he’s damned for escalating on the one hand and ignored for fulfilling a promise on the other. So sorry, but you’re making a ridiculous point.

You seem to totally forget who was running the war efforts in the last administration….........you conveniently forgot didn’t you?

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By Tuscany, January 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Vote 3rd party.  Look up Rocky Anderson on wikipedia.  You’ll be impressed by what you see.  The man walks the talk.

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By Tuscany, January 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes to Rocky Anderson.  He is our last hope

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By Aquifer, January 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

Scheer

“But as the presidential election is now shaping up, voters will not be given a choice to rebuke Wall Street by either major party.”

No, but they will be given a choice by another party http://www.jillstein.org

Shenonymous

“Electing Democrats to replace Republican congressmen/women is what will
get this country back on the course that is one responsive to the needs
of the people not the small few who have most of the national wealth.”

We tried that, didn’t work ...

Astra 2012

“Yes! There is only one candidate not bought, incorruptible, honest and consistent.”

Yup, http://www.jillstein.org

mrfreeze

“None of these current “wars” were his (Obama’s ) choice.

Choosing to escalate in Afghanistan certainly was, and he could have ended them as soon as he got in office ....

Leefeller

“I do not know if it is even possible, but the 99 percent needs to be represented, the huddled massed need to keep an eye on who goes into Congress, Obama and Romney are only one part of the puzzle!”

Agree, so why not pick someone who does represent them?  http://www.jillstein.org

“For now I will vote Obama, unless something better comes along with a snowballs chance in hell of making it,”

Well, the problem is unless people vote for them that “something better” won’t have a chance, now will she? Your statement is a self fulfilling prophecy, surely a guy like you can see that?

Whosyour,

“Does Scheer offer an alternative? Green Party? Occupy Wall Street? Not especially.”

That’s the problem! “Prog” bloggers don’t push Prog candidates - how dumb is that!

gerard,

“Everybody knows what is wrong, but almost nobody has any fresh ideas about how to fix it.”

Oh, dear, I think you know what i will say http://www.jillstein.org

balkas

the almost total absence of a second political party in u.s.

Hmmm, ALMOST, but not completely (see above)

galeww

“But, how do we do it?  We, the people, how?
I would be interested in hearing suggestions.”

Well, I guess it is obvious by now what my suggestion is ...

prisners,

“The alrernative green party may be the only other solution to another war…”

Yay!

Ohiolib

“God bless people like Bernie Sanders”

Bernie is a 3rd party representative - hmm, maybe we need more of them (see above)

Arouette,

“If the electorate throws these corrupt bums back in they deserve all they get ..”

Yup - all those corrupt Dems/Reps need to be thrown right out the door!

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By rockpicker, January 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

It takes few words to tell the truth.

Stop looking at the trees, and see the forest.  It’s dying.

All three branches of government play for the same team.  Get it?

Blue.  Red.  Both teams belong to the puppeteers.  It’s an illusion to think you have any meaningful choice.

George Carlin was right.  “They gotcha by the balls.”

If you want to make significant change, work to change the way money works.

That’s it.

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By Shenonymous, January 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

If one is apathetic, that is, indifferent, unresponsive, uninterested,
unemotional, then that is what one is, indifferent (lacking concern),
unresponsive (one is either unconscious or dead, let us assume the
former), uninterested (lacking interest, curiosity, or attention),
unemotional (having little feeling about something).  So who exactly
has to ‘confront’ their apathy?  Using the perennial “we” is assuming,
misleading, and deceptive, and at worse, untruthful.  It is wishful
thinking at best and presents no reason for the apathetic to become
concerned, responsive, interested, and emotionally involved.  It is
irrational and a sentimental appeal to others who are apathetic and
think the same as the accuser.  No reasonable arguments are offered
to the apathetic to become involved, to change.

Those who do not want to participate in American politics do not have
to.  You can bitch all you want but you affect nothing.

I certainly hope more Democrats in Congress will be divisive. The best
divide is more Democrats, less Republicans.  No one is saying the divide
has to be even.  Then better government for the people is possible. 
Nothing else is.

Yes, it is the one issue that needs to be resolved and that is to get the
money out of politics, both for Republicans and Democrats.  Problem
is…how to do that.  It has to be done through Congress, through
congressional legislation.  If all the congressmen/women are in the
pocket of Wall Street, then we are pissing in the wind.  There are just a
few politicians who are not.  Bernie Sanders is one.  I am not sure about
any other.  Congress is composed of more than 500 politicians in House
and Senate.  How the fucking hell does anyone think they are going to
get a majority vote on any financial or social reform?  All political reform
must begin at the bottom, at the local city level up through county,
including judges, and state, then the politicians sent to Washington.

In the meantime I am choosing the liberal party, the Democratic Party,
over the cancerous malaise of the conservatives, the Republicans.  I am
well aware of the corruption of both parties.  But I refuse to give up my
right to choose and dedicate my efforts to changing the political
mentality of Congress through electing politicians who will represent the
people.

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By Margaret Currey, January 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even though Obama is also on the side of corporations people must remember who said that Corporations are people and Obama did not put that through that was done by the Supreme Court that gave us W as president.

Voting is as much as for the president as for congress, hopefully a new congress (minus the Tea Party) will change things for the better, if not I fear that democracy will be just a memory for the U.S.

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By rockpicker, January 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Law is being applied selectively in the west, in every case, from economic fraud to pedophilia, in order to protect the criminal banksters and their minions and puppets.

Cynicism has replaced faith, while skepticism supplants trust.  Why bother with the elaborate hoax of self-governance when recent events prove the game’s inexorably rigged to the benefit of our corporate masters?

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By david451, January 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Not a dime’s bit of difference. But, really, does that surprise anyone?

Robert Scheer says in his piece:

“Expect razor-thin differences between Romney and Obama on the key issues at the heart of our economic crisis”.

But this is the norm, not the exception, especially as corporate money now so openly lubricates both political machines. There is nothing new here.

If Romney can endure and prevail in South Carolina, we’ll be (mercifully) past the preliminaries, and we’ll watch as the two most accomplished and mendacious politicians for each party portray the interests of the monied class as that of the 99%. And either, or both, will succeed.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

GaleWW

I am not sure if you some Democratic Party shill or not.


I do know that the Democratic Party do not want progressives to vote. They want you/us to just go away and be quiet. Progressives not voting will give them further political cover for them to continue to bow down to their corporate masters. That was the intention of the hope-change Obama campaign and betrayal. They want us giving up.

Rocky Anderson for president

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By kazy, January 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous: “Electing Democrats to replace Republican congressmen/women is what will get this country back on the course that is one responsive to the needs of the people not the small few who have most of the national wealth.”

Have you not been paying attention these past 3 years? We have a Democrat in office who had the House and Senate when he was elected and we got crap. No change. A watered down republican style Health Care. Campaign promises that were never kept. Indefinite detention. I’m sorry but I really don’t see the difference between Obama’s administration than that of the Republicans except that Democrats do more handwringing but end up voting against the wishes of their constituents anyway because “Daddy” knows best. Obama - a Democrat - is on the wrong side of liberal and progressive issues. Endless War, empire, steadfast devotion to the Israeli government, due-process-free assassinations, multiple-nation drone assaults, escalating confrontation with Iran, the secretive, unchecked Surveillance and National Security States, the sadistic and racist Drug War, the full-scale capture of the political process by bankers and oligarchs — Romney is fully supportive of President Obama’s actions - there really is no difference between the 2 parties because they ALL work for Wall St. Wouldn’t you work for Wall Street if you were paid the money these politicians are paid? We do not have voice with either party.

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By Textynn, January 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The two party scam is a sure fire dead end.  As it was designed to be.  Anyone voting for Obama after he turned out to be the most duplicitous cold blooded liar is truly weak minded and as easily led as a puppy with a piece of bacon.

America has one card left and that card is to vote third party like our lives depends on it.  If not, we will continue to see an impoverished working class working their days away for sub pay and food stamps while the likes of the Six Waltons are worth more than the bottom third of Americans combined.  This is the model that is being strengthened and continued.  We simply must stand up to the Rogue government captured by the OnePercent and Obama is their man.

Walmart Loses Major Pension Fund: Robert Greenwald and Ed Schultz Discuss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no87KvDQG8g

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By Blueokie, January 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller -

You’re right about the unionization of Germany, it was mandated by the U.S. and the Allies after WWII.  It was recognized that the quickest way to get broad acceptance to the new system was to have an economic and political system that worked well for the greatest number of citizens.  Where unionization wasn’t mandated it was heavily encouraged, Boards of Directors were required to have substantial worker representation.  This and policies such as socialized medicine, pensions, high quality public education, and quality public services.  These things made the system work for everyone and encouraged citizenship.  This model worked so well that recently Wall Street and its European spin-offs have decided to work their pretend economics magic, and strip Germany of its capital via the Euro.

Here in the U.S. we got the G.I. Bill, The National Security Act of 1947, and a front row seat at the bottom of the cliff Wall Street drove us off, as they collapse the top of the cliff onto us with the co-opting of Europe.

Best column from R.S. in a while, reminds me of a description of our current duopoly:  Party A and Party B both believe in killing puppies.  Party A believes it should be done painlessly and quickly, Party B believes in leaving them in a box by the side of a country road.  The issue becomes, “How can the other side be such inhumane monsters?”.  Marketing decides the winner.

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By norman harman, January 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s really only one solution to this cesspool of corruption:

VOTE AGAINST THE MONEY!

Rocky Anderson says he won’t accept corporate funding for his campaign. That
makes him my candidate.

VOTE AGAINST THE MONEY!

Jill Stein is running on the Green Party ticket, it’s unlikely she’ll get any
corporate funding.

VOTE AGAINST THE MONEY!

Don’t fall for Ron Paul’s alluring foreign policy talk. It’s bull, his libertarian
philosophy contradicts everything he says about American foreign policy. How
can he reign-in the wars when he believes there should never be any
constraints on corporate behavior? Corporations are the biggest promoters and
beneficiaries of war. Plus, libertarianism is exactly what corporate globalization
is all about. Paul’s radical-libertarian policies would be even more disastrous
for most Americans than the luke-warm libertarianism we’ve been watching
destroy the world for the last 30 years. Libertarianism = unregulated and
untaxed capital = massive concentrations of corporate wealth = total corporate
corruption of democratic government = fascism.

VOTE AGAINST THE MONEY!

There’s only one way we’ll ever get our government back from the corporate
scum who currently own it:

VOTE AGAINST THE MONEY!

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By Arouete, January 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Hope for the Republicans? Hope, wrote Lord Byron, is “the paint on the face of existence.  Just a touch of truth rubs it off and then we see what a hollow cheeked harlot we’ve got hold of.”

The GOP candidates are so corrupt and devoid of integrity they will “embrace” anything that might serve to pull the wool over our eyes and any so-called “dissent” is cynically confected for just that calculated purpose.

Even if they can find a minstrel show carnival barker to peddle their snake-oils we all bear witness to a very public snake-pit of vipers who sink their fangs into each other. Dissent?  They will still always and only embrace their Bible-thumping bigotry, their irrational intolerance, their investment in ignorance, their hostility to free inquiry, and their contempt for gays and other oppressed minorities.  Like all sociopaths who mulct the system for personal profit and do harm to others as some demented exercise in virtue, they are utterly devoid of conscience and incapable or remorse for the harm they have done. Since you refer to Jefferson I paraphrase his confession to John Adams (in a different but similar context) that ‘Some people should tremble to believe there is a just God.’  Throw the bums back in?!  “What immeasurable folly!”

When what we mostly have are Internet propagandists and a corporate media staffed by sycophant chicken-_hit journalists one wrong question away from the unemployment line its at lease good that some can tell it like it really is: http://open.salon.com/blog/f_arouete/2012/01/10/the_republican_rights_gay_marriage_as_bigot_bait

Sorry, stop blaming Obama for not doing more when We Duh People turned right around hamstrung him with an obstructionist Tea-Party Congress owned by the very predatory robber-barons who took 30 years to create this mess. How very clever.

Only a spoiled child throwing a hissey-fit, or a feverish selfish little clod of ailments complaining that the world will not devote itself to making them happy, could think one man could fix this mess in three years. What an exercise in solipsism.

If the electorate throws these corrupt bums back in they deserve all they get and they will prove that the public relations spin-doctors are spot-on when they presume the American people are ignorant sheep eager to be fleeced and sodomized by their not-so-good shepherds and then chopped up for cheap mutton. It will also prove, George Bernard Shaw’s remark that “Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve… [for it] ... substitutes election by the incompetent many for the appointment by the corrupt few.”

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By ohiolibgal, January 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

The Big D democratic party has, over the last 20 or so years, morphed into what moderate republicans used to be not long ago.

You’ll hear the leaders of the democratic party join the righties in branding the far left as loony, the “professional ” left, like it’s a bad thing. Wanting a level playing field, a fair tax rate, affordable health care for all, education opportunities for all, etc, this is loony?

God bless people like Bernie Sanders for fighting the good fight but they, like we, are up against a formidable and ruthless enemy. Nuts enough to argue that corporations are people. I’m with Bill Moyers, who says he’ll believe that when Texas executes a corporation.

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By prisnersdilema, January 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

I will have a very dificult time voting Republican if it comes to that…..it’s looking more
and more like it’s Ron Paul or WWIII….

But on the other hand, the Democraric party, is working on a worse reputation than the
Republican one…..


The alrernative green party may be the only other solution to another war…

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By Leefeller, January 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Good point Freeze!  Michael Cavlan RN I have heard Rocky and a little bit of the Greens and probably agree with what they mostly have to say, except I wonder if they did just happen to become our President, what is there to believe they would keep their words and not just do what Obama did and keep only part of it? It would seem foreplay is eminently better then the constipation!

For now I will vote Obama, unless something better comes along with a snowballs chance in hell of making it, Rocky and company included!

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By galeww, January 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Dear Shenonymous,
I once believed as you.  When I voted for President Obama, my heart was filled with hope for change but when he waltzed out Larry and Timothy—I knew I’d been duped.  I’m still not over the betrayal.

There are social issues which divide the parties, profound ones,  but both parites are completely untied in their support of Wall Street criminals.  It is the most important issue of our time, yet, for the first time in my life, I may not vote.  What is the point?  Voting for the lesser of two evils is no longer acceptable.

Until ALL money is out of politics and out of politican’s pockets (I forget who said that) America will remain under the thumb of Wall Street and special interests.  If Republicans and Democracts could unite and demand free elections, we would have a chance of reclaiming our country.  If not, there isn’t a chance in “you know what”-

But, how do we do it?  We, the people, how?
I would be interested in hearing suggestions.
Gale

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By balkas, January 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

true, nothing works in ‘america’ except some powerful families or 0001% to 10% of ‘americans’ [or higher grade americans].
there is only one reason, as far as i can make out, why most european lands’ 0001% to 10% class, does not have the same or similar
econo-military-political powers as does the same or similar percentage of the richest people in ‘america’.
and that’s the almost total absence of a second political party in u.s.
[it being a region-unlike finland, norway, poland, et al also helps rein in most ‘americans’]
you just cannot get away with so much corruption, brazen lying, showmanship at election time, sable rattling, etc., in, say, austria, as
one can in the multi-ethnic region called “america”.

but even canada, an extremely bellicose land, the situation for most canadians is vastly better than for most ‘americans’. the cause
for it is the fact that we have second political party.
the question arises is this party now moving left or right?
in case of israel and defense of its crimes against humanities, it had moved quite a bit towards the right.
not yet, tho on social issues! or so it seems to me! thanks

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By mrfreeze, January 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Memory Stick - “Perhaps you are referring to the “core humanity” displayed by drone bombs that are classified.”

Sorry, it’s the President’s job to wield the powers of the military when we’re at war. It’s a myriad of “bad choices” a president must make. None of these current “wars” were his choice.

Having said that, I wonder what ugly military things are going on in the minds of the Obama’s opponents? I wonder what ugly wars they want to start, how many millions they would kill (the old fashioned way) of our own people as well as our supposed enemies. If you’d like to reduce this to a matter of degrees…..hmmm, I’ll take Obama over the likes of Romney, Gingrich and even Ron Paul who (if he could ever become President) would wield the same weapons….You’re fooling yourself if you think we’re withdrawing from our “empire” status…

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By rockpicker, January 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous;

It is delusional and divisive rhetoric that claims more democrats will fix the problem.  Both republicans and democrats share the blame for what’s been done to this country.

Who sold us NAFTA?  Bill Clinton.  When was Glass-Steagall rescinded?  During the Clinton administration.  Who created incentives to ship our manufacturing base overseas?  Both reps and dems.
And now that the international globalist bankers have flat-lined all the western economies in order to force sovereign nations to accept their ‘New World Order’ as their only salvation, what is the democratic leader of the ‘free’ world’s response?

“They were unethical, but not illegal.”

George Carlin was right.  “They gotcha by the balls.”

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 12, 2012 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

It appears that TruthDig is doing everything in it’s power to avoid any mention, article about Rocky Anderson with the Justice Party or Jill Stein with the Green Party.

Ask yourself why is that?

This moment of TruthDigging was brought to you, free from corporate influence. Be they the Koch Brothers or George Soros.

As an aside, I fully back Rocky Anderson.

Michael Cavlan
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

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By rockpicker, January 12, 2012 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scheer underlines a point non-partisan critics, such as Charlie McGrath,  have been making for years.  It makes no difference who you elect, as long as you accept the choices offered by the ruling elites.

How do you prefer your fascism?  On republican white?  Or democratic wheat?  It makes little difference to the bankers who run the shop.  Either way, you buy what they’re selling. 

It’s high time we stop focusing on individual specimens and step back far enough to see the entire forest is dying.

Chris Hedges sees it.  Max Keiser sees it.  Greg Hunter and Gerald Celente and Michel Chossudovsky all get it.

Left and right are two sides of the same coin.

You’re toss.

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By gerard, January 12, 2012 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Everybody knows what is wrong, but almost nobody has any fresh ideas about how to fix it.  Voting won’t help. Not voting won’t help. Talking won’t help. Not talking won’t help. So now what? “Waiting for Godot”?

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By alton grimes, January 12, 2012 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Having said all of this,I wonder if there is any hope
left for America? “We the people” seem to be on board
a kind of “runaway train”. But I am also concerned
with our inclinations to tear one another to pieces
over our disagreements. Countless men and women have
endured unbelievable hardship in order that we may yet
have some semblance of a “political discussion”. Why
not begin tempering the spirit of our “point of view”
with the spirit of our professed patriotism?

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By Lew Dunbar, January 12, 2012 at 11:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“odd sox:  I mostly agree with you except for the “no unions” thing. By and large, the unions are practically impotent these days especially in the face of the behemoth corporations. Had we had a more pro-union state, many of the present problems would perhaps not be so severe. While it’s true that there has been some corruption with unions in the past (and perhaps present), the fact is that those who attack the unions are doing so mostly for selfish reasons, e.g.  Gringrich’s attack on Romney for Bain Capital’s past history.”


I agree with you that private sector unions are much less powerful now than they were 30 years ago. Gutting our manufacturing sector did this. We still have a public sector union force(government workers) that carries much poltical clout. They contribute almost exclusively to Democrats and likely will be a strong voting block for Obama.

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By Leefeller, January 12, 2012 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

As a Union Representative for many years, yes Unions can be corrupt just like anything else, look at our politicians, people need to keep a wary eye out for unwarranted opportunism, corruption and it lets face it corruption is not unknown in all circles of society!

According to another poster (sorry I forgot his/her name) said they lived in Germany, mentioned in Germany Unions and businesses work together with the government to better the county. Union Members actually sit on boards of the corporations in Germany. I remember reading in Sweden, professional people had mutual respect for labor working people and there was no looking down or up,  not sure if this is still the story in Sweden?

As for Democrats and Repulcians being equal opportunity corruption politicians can be from any party.  I feel the system needs to get the money out.  People interested in getting the money out realize it will take a new Constitutional Amendment!

Overturning Citizens United absurd Supreme Court ruling, labeling Corporations are people too,  is important to change, but our government needs a major purging enema with battery acid and no more of this high colonic touchy freely stuff, with YoYo Man music and rose water!

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By oddsox, January 12, 2012 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Katie Corbet, don’t get me wrong.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t HAVE unions (and in both public and private sectors, so as long as their inherent differences are accounted for.)
Unions are needed when and where workers are abused and I believe there will be a resurgence of Unions soon. 
They’ll become smaller and for specialized skilled positions—more like Guilds.  (but I digress…)

What I’m saying is Unions (like corporations and PACs) have no rightful place in our political system. 

If you like a candidate and want to support him, go ahead. 
But maybe I belong to the same union (I was a Teamster once) and want someone else.

As for big money, fine. 
If the Koch Brothers and George Soros want to play leapfrog with political contributions until they go bankrupt, I’m good with that. 
But they contribute as individuals and with full disclosure, just like you and me.

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By who'syourdebs, January 12, 2012 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Considering this article’s title, I hope Mr. Scheer’s tongue is firmly placed in cheek, because there is no hope for or from Republicans at all—period—nada. Any faux-populism uttered by Gingrich or Perry is pure bullshit aimed only at weakening Romney enough for them to get a foothold, and will prove transient as a flashbulb. True—in the economic sphere, there is not much difference between the two capitalist parties and their handling of Wall Street, but the reader of this article only learns that at the very end. Does Scheer offer an alternative? Green Party? Occupy Wall Street? Not especially. My, what a clever guy he is to provide such insight. There ARE in fact issues where there is some difference between Democrats and Republicans, like in my state where “Bitch” Daniels is trying to push through a Right-to-Work bill, and Democrats are trying to stop him. I’m for that! Uh, the stopping, I mean.

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By balkas, January 12, 2012 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

folks, there is no longer nationalism—there is only individualism. this may or may not be more true for a region called “america”
than, say, a region called “india”. [we need more study of this phenomenon]
and the region called “america” is populated by thousand and one ethnicity; deeply estranged from one another;
fearful/distrustful/often hateful of one another; with different and from top down declining econo-military-politico-monetary-
educational powers.
but, then, one wonders if usa had ever been a nation and not in actuality a multi-ethnic region; ruled by powerful families; with help
from about 5 to 10% of well paid americans.
with excellent health care; early retirement with great chance of double dipping; good pensions and other perks.
is it any wonder, that in such a regional disunion and dysfunctional state of affairs, only a few thousand families can rule it so
effortlessly?
and both the ‘india’ and ‘america’ full of dreams and nightmares; with a class of people called untouchables; in ‘india’ tho much more
numerous than in ‘usa’.
however, let’s not be surprised if in decades to come the untouchable class of people in ‘america’ begins to approach percentage of
untouchables in ‘india’.

i am wondering what is going on in china? is it emulating the rich families of ‘india’ and ‘america’. no more collectivism and full steam
ahead to individualism, pollution, arms race, militarism, wars of conquest, etc? thanks

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By they call me the working man, January 12, 2012 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Pavlov rings his bell and the people say corruption every time they say union. Is there an institution that is immune to corruption? What is the extent and actual impact of union corruption? I’m not trying to attack the previous poster as the existence of it was appropriately put into question, but I just wanted to throw that out there before the trollies jumped.

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By oddsox, January 12, 2012 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

“Spared a primary battle, the incumbent president need not defend his economic record.”
—R.Scheer

Don’t kid yourself. 

Oh, yes, for now, it’s nice being Obama. 
Just returned from a Hawaiian vacation, kickin’ back in DC and lookin’ Presidential watching the various Repubs get voted “off the island.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6KVzcYurDY

The press?  They’re “occupied” elsewhere. 
Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina—flyover territory.  Sweet to be rid of them for a while.

And, look—we had a nice Christmas, the market’s up, the dollar looks good (compared to the Euro anyway) and even unemployment numbers are better.

But Obama’s turn will come.
He’ll have to answer the two dreaded questions:
1) How are we better off now than 4 years ago?
2) Given another 4 years, what will you do?

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By Katie Corbet, January 12, 2012 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

@ odd sox:  I mostly agree with you except for the “no unions” thing. By and large, the unions are practically impotent these days especially in the face of the behemoth corporations. Had we had a more pro-union state, many of the present problems would perhaps not be so severe. While it’s true that there has been some corruption with unions in the past (and perhaps present), the fact is that those who attack the unions are doing so mostly for selfish reasons, e.g.  Gringrich’s attack on Romney for Bain Capital’s past history.

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By oddsox, January 12, 2012 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

You know it’s a full moon in a leap year when I pimp a column by David Sirota, but read this:

http://www.salon.com/2012/01/10/what_makes_a_progressive_president/singleton/

Checks and balances are indeed built into our system for a reason. 
As Sirota points out, they can help us with our choices.

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By ElkoJohn, January 12, 2012 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Gotta hand it to Wall St,
their most brilliant move
was to select Barack Obama
as leader of the Democratic Party.

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By oddsox, January 12, 2012 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, it bears repeating, I’m with you to a point.

We need to get CORPORATE money out of politics.
The way to do it is to prohibit political contributions except from breathing, legal, mortal US Citizens only.  No corporations.  No unions.  No PACs.

Wouldn’t this abridge the First Amendment right of free association? 
Yes, those of corporations, unions and PACs. 
It wouldn’t for breathing, legal, mortal US Citizens. 
Which is why we need to overturn Citizens United and dissolve the notion of corporate personhood.

All this will have to wait now, until after the election. 
And this election will be about Jobs.

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By Memory Stick, January 12, 2012 at 8:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@mrfreeze:

“Go ahead and rant against President Obama (not perfect) but I’ll take his core humanity over the viciousness and amoral values of republicans any day”

Perhaps you are referring to the “core humanity” displayed by drone bombs that are classified.

Disgusting. You got the government you deserved. Some of us did not. I cannot say more as it would be censored, but this: Partisans are the most disgusting people that ever crawled out of the slime that was creation. If only I could avoid your type for the rest of my life.

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By westcoaster, January 12, 2012 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Ron Paul is against publicly funded healthcare,
public schools, ...and probably against public
streets…

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By Katie Corbet, January 12, 2012 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

The Democrats are just as disgusting as the Republicans. At least the Republicans are quite brazen that they support a plutocracy and make no bones about it. The Democrats on the other hand claim to be for ordinary working people, education, opportunity etc. BULLSHIT! Just look at the fact that at times, the wealth of the Democrats in congress equals or exceeds the Republicans, so as far as I’m concerned, they are all equal opportunity hypocrites. The populist rhetoric that the Democrats have been using for decades to hold on to power is just rhetoric: empty, hollow words. They have no intention of changing the status quo because the status quo gives them status (and wealth and power). They figure that as long as they keep spouting their populist focus-grouped tested propaganda talking points the people will continue to vote for them, i.e., the Democrat’s populist brand ™. In the meantime, the Republicans know all too well the game the Democrats are playing and resent them for it because they too play the game as well, with the difference being that their “brand” is that the rich are “job creators” ™.  In the end, both parties are stock owners, private equity “Bain” style investors, insider trading special treatment seekers and large commercial real estate owners. Their tactics seem to be based on a yet unwritten book that should be titled “How to fool the masses and get rich fast doing it.”

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By westcoaster, January 12, 2012 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

I agree with Scheer that both parties are morally
bankrupt.

I recently joined Democratic Socialists of America.
http://www.dsausa.org/dsa.html

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By race_to_the_bottom, January 12, 2012 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Devastating video. Almost a full half hour (!) exposé of Mitt Romney’s life as a corporate raider by a PAC supporting Newt Gingrich.

http://www.winningourfuture.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLWnB9FGmWE

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By Leefeller, January 12, 2012 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Nothing will change if and until we get the money out of politics! This is as close as I prefer to saddle up with an absolutism.

By the way, people should be looking at their Congress choices with as much scrutiny as they are slicing and dicing Obama. There is supposed to be a balancing act in government, if my deluded memory serves me right there are three components to this balance of power, and far as I am concerned the House is supposed to represent the populism or huddled masses, while the Senate supports the kleptomaniacs and the President supports whatever he happens to find moving.

The power of the president seems to be in his chance to make selections for the Supremos and how that works out is again on what moves the president.

Comparing Obama to Romney seems a bit of a stretch, I must admit I was not impressed or over joyed with Obamas choices of change which turned out to be an old suits like Summers and Immanuel, but he did bring out Elizabeth Warren, I doubt Romney would do that?

Sheers article is critical of Obama and far as I can tell Obama deserves it.

Get the money out and come on,  just look at the Democrat states, they did not pull the Red State Crap sponsored and choreographed by Koch Brothers and ALEC, (not going to list it for you)  so if you want to believe Democrats and Republicans are the same so be it! (Mass Media is not allowing anyone to shout warnings from the roof tops, are the Democrats trying to be heard?)

I do not know if it is even possible, but the 99 percent needs to be represented, the huddled massed need to keep an eye on who goes into Congress, Obama and Romney are only one part of the puzzle!

Washington seem like a broken clock sitting on its hand, which seems never right any times a day!

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By Tom Degan, January 12, 2012 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is the problem boiled down to the essentials:

The problem with the GOP is that they long ago forgot that they are (or at least they were) the party of Roosevelt - Theodore.

The problem with the Dems is that they long ago forgot that they are (or at least they were) the party of Roosevelt - Franklin.

A third party is in order. In fact it’s long overdue.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

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By Arabian Sinbad, January 12, 2012 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

@ thecrow, January 12 at 5:04 am

Thank you for posting the speech of Ron Paul, which I have not heard before!

If it is possible in politics that words will be translated into principles, and further matched by actions, then Ron Paul might be the right man to lead America out of its dark age.

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By mrfreeze, January 12, 2012 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Remember that scene in “The Terminator” when Kyle has Sarah in the car and he screams at her: “it doesn’t feel, it doesn’t have compassion, it doesn’t believe in mercy, it won’t stop until you’re dead!” He could very well just replace the Terminator with the Republican party. Those scum bags are intent (gladly in fact) to kill off every social, cultural and economic possibility to anyone who is “one of those freeloaders” who has the temerity to be born.

Go ahead and rant against President Obama (not perfect) but I’ll take his core humanity over the viciousness and amoral values of republicans any day….....

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By http://MoneyedPoliticians.net, January 12, 2012 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Populism is a political necessity, to be dropped immediately after the election. The citizens do not fund the elections; the Fat Cats do. Only a 100% turnover and public funding of campaigns will fix the system.

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By Dr Bones, January 12, 2012 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

3rd party or write in.  Don’t vote for either criminal party.

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By Astra2012, January 12, 2012 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes! There is only one candidate not bought, incorruptible, honest and consistent. That’s enough for the establishment to do its dirty tricks not to let him win.
They push Romney’s nomination knowing perfectly well that he would lose with Obama. But both are “theirs” anyway.
Ron Paul is not! And he would win with Obama.

He would be the president for the people.The establishment is really scared of that!

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By Arabian Sinbad, January 12, 2012 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

I predict that Mitt Romney will seal the nomination of the Republican (i.e. Repugnant) party. Therefore, the choice would be between two evils, as there is only razor-thin differences between Romney and Obama on the key issues at the heart of our economic crisis.

I know that I and many others of my friends and acquaintances will refuse to participate in this mockery game, known as American Democracy. Despite serious reservations, I might only consider voting for Ron Paul if he is the “Repugnant” nominee! Otherwise, I will vote for myself and initiate a new form of democracy!!! Ha… ha… ha!!!

Sad, sadness and more sadness is what I see on the horizon of rapidly declining America!

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By balkas, January 12, 2012 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

katie corbet, well put. what you said, needs saying.
alas, allack, veh ist mir, even for the poorest, least educated, least participating
people in usa governance, money would win out over peace, healthcare, justice, end
of kleptocracy, etc.
they, too, have been taught from knee high that money is measure of all things. they
as well as all others [me included] have been pavloved to evaluate wealth with
personal value.
re-education or depavlovization is needed. but not a single person, as far as i know,
is asking for it.
and without proper education/enlightenment, i expect only further atrophy,
degradations of value of life; more wars, poverty; less healthcare, eduation,
freedoms, knowledge, etc. thanks

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By balkas, January 12, 2012 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

for me, and till death us part, there’s ONE USA AND ONE IDEOLOGY, and
not two or more. perhaps, it is this what scheer meant to say when he
said that there would be just “razor sharp differences between the two
parties’ choice for presidency”.
and whoever wins the presidency, judiciary and congressional branches
of the ONE AND UNCHANGING GOVERNANCE, would not, i expect
change in spirit, anyway. how about the banksters, clergy, lobbyists?
how much would they change in their ideological leanings?
is any wonder that moneypeople are so silent? for, money always wins
out over all other considerations. [and not just in usa, of course] thanks

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By Tom Degan, January 12, 2012 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s the problem boiled down to its essentials:

The problem with the GOP is that they long-ago forgot that they are (or at least they were) the party of Roosevelt - Theodore.

The problem with the Dems is that they long-ago forgot that they are (or at least they were) the party of Roosevelt - Franklin.

A third paqrty is in order. In fact it’s long overdue.

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

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By Katie Corbet, January 12, 2012 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

As progressives, we all go through our daily reads of our favorite progressive websites to get what we feel is a truer prospective of the headlines and issues of the day. In a quest to attract us, many of these sites use familiar attention grabbing techniques. Some sites employ what Fox News does by attempting to find any little criticism they can get their hands on, even if it borders on tabloid style tactics. Other sites are more intellectually oriented and strive for coherence and validity in their arguments. The familiar themes tend to focus on corruption, greed, corporatocracy, racism, sexism, the environment and the like. Most of the arguments hold true of course and I have no objection to the arguments I read in my preferred websites of choice.

However, there is very little discussion and critique on us as individuals. This absence of a critical judgement of us playing and abetting a role in the sad state of affairs that ails us helps our opponents. Our brothers and sisters in Europe and the Middle East have been taking to the streets to oppose austerity and other measures they feel are oppressive. But where we? Why did it take three years to start an occupy movement of our own? And why is it that only when the middle class started to suffer that we decided to take action? The working poor and minorities have had not a recession but a depression for decades now. These minorities feel that they will fight for justice when it only affects them and that their prior silence speaks volumes.

At some point, we need to confront our own apathy. It is true that we are under tremendous pressures and influences from the “powers that be” but at some point we also have to criticize our own selfishness in letting the situation reach the point that it did. We need to realize that we are no longer thinking beings but passive consuming juveniles that demand anything and everything and when things no longer go our way we start to complain. We need to realize that, yes, we are (or were?) an empire and the empire dirty work for us was done in the background for our convenience. Until we confront this reality, our brothers and sisters in the rest of the world will not take us seriously we need to prove to ourselves and the world that we are truly ready to start to occupy and that we have indeed have erred.

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