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Mandate Of Heaven

Mandate Of Heaven

By Orville Schell

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Say It Ain’t So, O!

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Posted on Aug 4, 2011
White House / Pete Souza

President Obama talks with senior advisers in the Oval Office ahead of this week’s deal on the federal debt ceiling.

By Stanley Kutler

(Page 2)

With the raising of the debt ceiling, the oratorical passion that for weeks gusted through the congressional cave of the winds quickly subsided, and both sides retreated to hollow and unconvincing victory statements. The president appeared a bit shamefaced and embarrassed by the whole affair. But not others. The Wall Street Journal, our paragon of small government, one strictly bounded by revenues and spending limits, wasted no time in resuming hostilities against the president on another front, as it chastised him for not leading the Libya adventure, saying we cannot rely on NATO—our “Keystone Allies.” “No one else” but the U.S., the Journal contended in an editorial Aug. 1, “has the means or the will to see a war through to its end.” Yes, Libya! The debt ceiling measure was akin to the Christmas truce of 1914.

Our problems with governance lie far beyond the character of Obama, or with the Lilliputians who run Congress. Our “leaders” will not lead; worse yet, they refuse to honestly confront the nation’s interest or needs.

The level of our political “discourse” is dictated by historical amnesia and a post-factual rendering of historical reality. The fulsome adulation of Reagan fails to note that he reversed more than six decades of American dominance as the world’s leading creditor nation to that of the world’s leading debtor nation. Where in all this newfound national concern about our debt is there any recognition of George W. Bush’s disposal of a surplus, his administration’s laissez-faire acceptance of misdeeds in the banking community, the invocation of a “too big to fail” doctrine to rescue failing banks and the squandering of resources on dubious wars of choice?

Such revelations and reversals of policy are far beyond the capacity of our dysfunctional political system, one greased with a tsunami of special-interest money in the guise of campaign contributions that effectively serve as a conduit for legalized bribery. We are cooked—and to a well-done turn.

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Stanley Kutler is the author of “The Wars of Watergate” and other writings.


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By Inherit The Wind, August 13, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Sorry for the delay in response, I was busy in the Middle School playground the Wind made of this debate.

If Entropy posted such I must have missed it. All I noted from that worthy was his intent to abstract himself from society and politics.
************

So, in addition to myself, you have now in the last few days, without justification, gratuitously insulted:

Entropy2
Shenonymous
Annarcisse
Leefeller

Who are you going to add to your list of people to insult today?
John Poole?
Project Mayhem?
JDMysticdj?

And I’m the one who turned this into a playground????


(Let’s not forget who started this pissing match, when “somebody”, for no damn good reason called me “uncivil”)
Your projection and cognitive dissonance are becoming problematic, not just for you bug for everyone else.

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By ardee, August 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Project Mayhem, August 7 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,

I wonder if the way to build a progressive third party might involve meshing your long view Green Party grassroots activism with entropy2’s notions about community and self-sustainability? I’m thinking here about a movement united in purpose, but focused on growing networks based in local community activism and education. I don’t think a third party can be successful without a few component pieces:....

Sorry for the delay in response, I was busy in the Middle School playground the Wind made of this debate.

If Entropy posted such I must have missed it. All I noted from that worthy was his intent to abstract himself from society and politics.

As to the suggestion at hand, I worked for decades , since our group was founded in the turmoil of the anti Vietnam War demonstrations in fact, with a group that worked within the communities, not only in political organizing, but in the founding and certification of, the remodeling etc. of senior centers, day care facilities, food distribution and homeless shelters as well.

Politics, I believe, cannot be abstracted from the community, but must grow as a support of the needs of that community. But those who advocate for no political actions at all do not have my support, those who claim loyalty to a political group, and especially those who claim to recognize the flaws within that group without ever noting a plan to reform it, force me to question their motivation and to look askance at their sincerity.

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By ardee, August 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Worthy of the repetition I think. Further it shows that I attempt to debate with fact that founds my opinions. A shame there is not counterpart among the loyalist democrats.

Does anyone not understand the differences between the German political system and our own? In Germany, there are SIX political parties, which form coalitions to govern. The wind probably knows this, which actually makes his statements even more reprehensible in fact.

Does anyone not understand that here, in America, we have a Duopoly that has a stranglehold on the national political stage. The Green Party, and any other third party as well, has had to struggle to gain ballot access, to appear in public at all, to get media attention and the like.

In light of said facts the rise of the Greens has been rather remarkable. Using a strategy of seeking local office first they have managed, each election cycle, to gain more offices, to gain more ballot access as well. That I believe the rise of third party politics is the only peaceful way to end the ownership of the wind’s party by corporate interests is my way.

That the Ill Wind, and his cohorts here become increasingly desperate, increasingly strident and increasingly selective in their responses, ignoring much of the substance of my responses, as any perusal of the thread quickly shows, makes their own arguments weaker with each subsequent posting.

Not once do they deign to describe how they will alter the path of the Democratic Party, ignoring the blatantly ass kissing Obama gives to his wealthy donors while appointing a stream of thieves and venal financial folks to his administration. Instead the Wind chooses to lie through his teeth regarding the American Greens, calling them failure because they did not keep up with some stupid timetable. That is why I give the rascal such short shrift, his blatant dishonesty and refusal to come to grips with the failures of his beloved Jackass

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By Inherit The Wind, August 11, 2011 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Is that all you can show as proof Artie, fart jokes?

You quixotically support a party that makes even the gross ineptness of the Democrats since 1994 look like political wizardry and wisdom and when that’s pointed out and demonstrated by the fact that YOUR party has been less successful than even the Socialists and the Libertarians, your response is brilliant:
Fart jokes.
Not even clever fart jokes.
Not even funny fart jokes.

Since that seems to be near and dear to your heart, I withdraw my suggestion of you seeking mental health.  Instead, I believe your thinking and reasoning capability will be better served by a proctologist and a few good high colonics.  Then you may finally be able to get your head out of your butt.

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By ardee, August 11, 2011 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

I am well aware that you work for the Green Party.  The point I was trying to make is that you can’t prove that this is a better way to spend your time than working for the Democrats or some other party, or doing some other kind of activism, or doing nothing.

If I may get a word in over the continuing obnoxious prattle of our resident Ill Wind.

I omitted the smiley face I intended to place after that comment to show it was merely a humorous gesture. Sorry.

That I work for the Greens is a choice I have made, after proving to myself  that there was no point in continuing to work for the Democrats. I have, in every response to the poster, who apparently ‘Inherited the Democrats’ as some sort of religious conviction, posted my reasons for refusing to support that corrupted and venal party.

Each time my posted reasons were ignored and ,worse, no reasons for The Smelly One’s religious faith in his own chosen party was forthcoming. This seems a commonality to the few here who continue to support democrats, even when they urge change they give no way to accomplish it, only spouting an insistence upon blind loyalty.

I have stated, on numerous occasions, that I believe the way out of the swamp of corporate money that owns our government at present is by inserting elected officials who are pledged to avoid taking said monies. Currently that is the Green Party alone. This is why I work for them.

At least I do work for my convictions while the small coterie of crap spewers who worship all things Jackass never note what they do to support their own opinions, other than ignore valid arguments in favor of sophomoric rants, or, in the case of your fellow distaff contributor here, sidetrack legitimate discourse with nonsense and then claim memory loss.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 10, 2011 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

And neither can ITW.  In fact, even a master logician and rhetorician like me cannot provably declare which form of activism is the best.
***********

I cannot argue with that, Anarcissie.  (Well, all except the “master logician and rhetorician like me” part smile  )

However, one CAN, with a great deal of confidence, identify ineffective forms of activism, and, worse, forms of activism that create undesired results (by the activists and/or for their sympathizers).

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By Anarcissie, August 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

ardee—On the contrary, I do play well with others.  The first law of the jungle is ‘Get along.’  I am well aware that you work for the Green Party.  The point I was trying to make is that you can’t prove that this is a better way to spend your time than working for the Democrats or some other party, or doing some other kind of activism, or doing nothing.  You can explain why you prefer it, but you can’t prove anything.  And neither can ITW.  In fact, even a master logician and rhetorician like me cannot provably declare which form of activism is the best.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

, but, being an anarchist, I guess you do not play well with others….
**********

Cognitive dissonance reins supreme! Projection at its finest!  Look in the mirror Ardee, and you’ll see the one who cannot play well with others.

Do you get some sort of sick pleasure out of insulting people for no damn reason?

Get help, now.

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By ardee, August 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, August 9 at 7:57 am

Had you paid attention you might have noted that I do work for the Green Party, currently ramping up towards a voter registration drive for the coming election. I have stated this several times in fact, but, being an anarchist, I guess you do not play well with others….

If ITW was any more childish his head might explode. If he was any less childish I would cut and paste the many salient points I used in my responses. I guess he thinks folks here cannot read. Hey Windy, get an adult to read my responses, pick out the number of points I made and you ignored, then stick your head in the toilet and flush.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 9, 2011 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

But I don’t choose to support the Dems.  They sold me, and you out, repeatedly since 1994.

I see the Dems as the most likely vehicle for a new movement, as the TeaParty has used the GOP as the vehicle to advance THEIR fascist, reactionary agenda.

It’s a shell and a structure that no third party has. It can be used to create the bulwark against rising fascism.  But like the TeaParty, the fight has to be fought in state and local party primaries first, and get the incumbents out and new ones in.

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By Anarcissie, August 9, 2011 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

It seems to me that arguing about the goodness of the Democrats versus the goodness of the Greens is like arguing about a couple of baseball teams.  Your arguments, like your support, have a vanishingly small chance of affecting any actual political outcomes.  You are, therefore, in the realm of fandom, and whether you choose to support the Democrats or the Greens, or to stay home and post angry articles on the Net—or pass out watching television and drinking beer—is a matter of personal taste and satisfaction with no other likely material effect.  But of course if you really enjoy getting all enraged as your fingers fly across the keyboards dealing verbal death and destruction to your half-dozen competitors and fellow fans, don’t let me get in your way.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 9, 2011 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

In my every response I included salient points to explain my opinion. In return I got bullshit, distortion and off topic stupidity.
***********
Salient point? WHAT salient point? That I’m somehow a “shill” for Obama and the Democrats? How is THAT a salient point?

I haven’t made your case for you. I’ve proven that your Green party is useless and ineffective.  Being a terminal victim of cognitive dissonance, you are incapable of viewing contradicting evidence…like dogs being color blind, you simply cannot discern it. Your brain refuses to process anything that challenges your closely held beliefs.  Just like a religious fundamentalist.

More’s the pity.

You have offered one and ONLY ONE valid point: that in Germany, being a parliamentary and percentage-based system the Greens had an easier time getting traction.  But they still had to have a valid appeal to the German voters, something the Greens in America have never shown.  The Germans escaped the “tree-hugger” image. The Americans have not.

And, if you are typical of the American Green Party, it’s doomed to always been seen as nothing more than “tree-huggers”.

You started this pissing match by falsely and with malice calling me uncivil SOLELY for offering a slightly different POV than yours.

It was uncalled-for, unjustified, and a flat-out lie, which is a problem you have.  That’s why you piss off even more people than I do.  You piss them off because you don’t think other POVs deserve respect.

Then you lie about the person, as you have done here, to try to cover your tracks.

Even when you are right you twist things up and insult people unnecessarily until you are no longer right but are now wrong.

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By ardee, August 9, 2011 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, August 9 at 12:09 am Link to this comment


Can we stop the polemics and get back to debate?

In my every response I included salient points to explain my opinion. In return I got bullshit, distortion and off topic stupidity.  When in subsequent posts I deliniated the reasons ITW’s retorts were such my replies were ignored and I was further insulted. Typical, by the by, of he and others here as well, one in particular.

I am not one to turn the other cheek. So sue me. I have been quite willing to discuss, and just as willing to descend to the level of the respondee.

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By ardee, August 9, 2011 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, August 8 at 7:21 pm
You are not even aware that you prove my salient points with every subsequent post.

Do not dare to speak to the points I raised, oh no, too hard for you I guess. Instead attack me personally, what a brilliant debating technique, the Peewee Herman defense in action. You should be so proud.

Is it a coincidence that the two biggest shills for the Democrats on this forum, Ill Wind and Shrewnonymous both descend into virulent garbage spewing when someone, anyone, posts specifics about their party?

Shame on you, Windy, not a single word about why you defend your party, instead an increasingly shrill series of personal attacks. You need to look in the mirror, and then contemplate how you are doing your case any good at all.

Do your really believe the crap you spew about the Greens is effective. It is, in reality only you in the Middle School playground , hurling what you believe to be hurtful insult. Shame on you and the stench you bring to this debate.

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By Lafayette, August 9, 2011 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

Can we stop the polemics and get back to debate?

This is not kindergarten, boys ‘n girls ...

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By Inherit The Wind, August 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,
You really need to go back on your meds. You’re an angry old man, angry that the world hasn’t recognized your genius, still living in a fantasy world where if you can JUST convince enough people of your “brilliance”, they’ll throw of 230 years of political behavior and rush out and elect the Green Party to every office from dog-catcher to President, led by the honorable, but extremely obnoxious Ralph Nader.

You remind me of the old men who used to be Communists in the 30’s and had to quit the Party to feed their families and STILL argued 19th Century dialectics like it meant something.  Bitching and moaning that “The Revolution” was sold out and bought out. Never did it occur to them that it was THEIR premises that were burned out.

The Greens have failed in the United States. 26 years of going nowhere while the nation has been butt-raped by the “Reagan Revolution” and its corporate sponsors and the Greens haven’t been able to do ONE DAMN THING to stop.

In fact, the ONLY thing the Greens succeeded at was putting fucking George W. Bush in the fucking White House instead of Al Gore so his corporate buddies could REALLY butt-rape the nation.  Haven’t you noticed that over the last couple of weeks the butt-rape was completed?

Where were the fucking Greens? Off lauding St. Ralph?  They can’t even claim Dennis Kucinich as one of yours, he’s still a Dem.

Now for the stupid assertion that I haven’t said what Dems should do.  Of course I have: Draft Howard Dean to raise a primary challenge to Obama. 

But, Oh! He’s not good enough! It has to be St. Ralph on a dead-at-the-starting-gate “third party” or nothing…which gets you nothing.

You don’t even have the BRAINS to realize that the TeaParty, however they worked, has just exerted in two years about 10 million times the influence the Greens have generated in 26 useless years.

At least MoveOn and others have figured out that the Progressives and the Left need our own version of the TeaParty, an angry pissed-off bunch of Lefties willing to STOP FIGHTING AMONG OURSELVES (in other, words, for characters like you to stop saying the same stupid shit that nobody listens to OR IS GOING TO LISTEN TO!

I swear, you’re the guy on the Titanic arguing yourself into a spittle-spraying fury about the arrangement of the deck chairs and how you need to confront corrupt ship builders WHILE THE DAMNED OCEAN LINER IS SINKING!

Stupid, close-minded old fool!

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By ardee, August 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

To all who read the words of The Ill Wind and might be taken in by his half truths and selective responses.

He claims, in his blind loyalty to all things Jackass, that the American Green Party is a failure because it has not emulated the rise of the German Greens. Those with a modicum of sense would immediately see the propagandized crap this wind blows.

Does anyone not understand the differences between the German political system and our own? In Germany, there are SIX political parties, which form coalitions to govern. The wind probably knows this, which actually makes his statements even more reprehensible in fact.

Does anyone not understand that here, in America, we have a Duopoly that has a stranglehold on the national political stage. The Green Party, and any other third party as well, has had to struggle to gain ballot access, to appear in public at all, to get media attention and the like.

In light of said facts the rise of the Greens has been rather remarkable. Using a strategy of seeking local office first they have managed, each election cycle, to gain more offices, to gain more ballot access as well. That I believe the rise of third party politics is the only peaceful way to end the ownership of the wind’s party by corporate interests is my way.

That the Ill Wind, and his cohorts here become increasingly desperate, increasingly strident and increasingly selective in their responses, ignoring much of the substance of my responses, as any perusal of the thread quickly shows, makes their own arguments weaker with each subsequent posting.

Not once do they deign to describe how they will alter the path of the Democratic Party, ignoring the blatantly ass kissing Obama gives to his wealthy donors while appointing a stream of thieves and venal financial folks to his administration. Instead the Wind chooses to lie through his teeth regarding the American Greens, calling them failure because they did not keep up with some stupid timetable. That is why I give the rascal such short shrift, his blatant dishonesty and refusal to come to grips with the failures of his beloved Jackasses.

I note, in another thread, the Wind’s fellow loyalist, and another one who uses deceit and selective responses in addition to attempted character assassination, is taking quite a beating. She is ,in fact, exposed for what I have been noting she is all along. While I regret the disharmony there really is only one way to out these scurrilous fellow travelers , sad to say.

The Democratic Party is in need of saviors not apologists. I would support the efforts of any who proposed a strategy to do exactly that, but these uberloyalists have never, not once suggested an inkling of how they intend to return that party to where it once stood, where it was when labor universally supported it as it supported us.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,

I’m sorry, but you demonstrate yet again you are incapable of reasonable discourse.

You have a POV. You cannot prove it, you cannot answer the inconsistencies reflected by that POV.  So you sink to childish personal attacks because, I must presume, you cannot make a logical defense.

The really sad thing about you is that our views are not that divergent, but since I won’t follow you diktats of unprovable absolutes, I much be “uncivil”.

You need to be a mensch.

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By ardee, August 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Worthy of repetition:

Y’know ITW the phrase “none so blind as those who will not see” comes immediately to mind as I read your rather thoughtless and surface response. You are far too much like your distaff counterpart here in this.

Sad but true. I will certainly attempt to avoid further exchanges with you both.

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By Lafayette, August 8, 2011 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

CENTRISM

RL: Thank you for positioning yourself with a definitive ad hominem - left = loonie from which I can only surmise right = right.

You surmise wrongly.

The extremism of the Right is just as offensive as extremism of the Left. Both are based upon absolutist political policy.

Have a go at learning Centrist politics. (Aka “political center”, where - after the calamity of absolutist Communism and absolutist Nazism - most Social Democrats took refuge.)

POST SCRIPTUM

Ayn Rand has done more harm to our nation - with her devotion to Individualism - than Karl Marx’s fervor for the proletariat to whom all capital assets should belong.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 8, 2011 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

Ardee,
Any incivility stems from you, not me.  You have this warped idea that people who disagree with you, even slightly, are therefore being “uncivil”.  You need to grow up and get a bit more perspective, no matter how many chronological years you have.

The Green Party has labored here in the USA for 15 or 20 years at least, if not more, (remember, the election of 2000 is now 11 years behind us) and has floundered the entire time.

According to Wikipedia, the Greens in Germany were born in the late 1970s.  By 1984 they actually elected members to the European Parliament…in less than 10 years.

The Green Party in the USA and Canada was born in 1985, 26 years ago.  In that time only Elizabeth May, in Canada, has been elected.

The inferences are clear: The Greens have been effective in Germany, barely effective in Canada, and totally ineffective in the United States.

I wish it weren’t true, but it is.

I know, it’s very, very uncivil of me to cite supportable facts, dates and figures.

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By ardee, August 8, 2011 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, August 7 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Y’know Ardee, the American version of the Green Party failed miserably, especially when compared to the wildly successful Green Party in Germany.

Y’know ITW the phrase “none so blind as those who will not see” comes immediately to mind as I read your rather thoughtless and surface response. You are far too much like your distaff counterpart here in this.

The information that the German Green Party did not spring immediately to power but endured a struggling infancy , just as the American Green Party is doing now, was easily obtained if you had the slightest interest in honest debate.

That you choose to put the American Greens in the past tense reflects rather poorly on you as the record is plain. Use a damn search engine and note the steady if unspectacular rise in chapters, ballot access and elected candidates.

You know, ITW I attempted a civil exchange of information with you, but your type cannot help themselves I guess, especially when you know, deep inside, that you are on the wrong side of history and current political trending.

I wish you a speedy recovery as I see you in a different light than I do your incorrigible fellow partisan.

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By bogi666, August 8, 2011 at 2:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NEWS FLASH, SCOTUS decision declares that words don’t constitute speech and talking to declare speech 1st Amendment protection is now a crime. According to the SCOTUS MONEY is the only form of speech that has 1st Amendment protection and to criticize this SCOTUS by voicing opposition to this ruling is illegal. Furthermore, talking during a trial is not permitted and those whom advocate the use of voicing as being legitimate speech will be guilty of Treason against the SCOTUS and the USG. Only money can be used to determine speech worthiness. It will simplify judicial proceedings as those with the most money will be adjudged as NOT GUILTY.

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By Anarcissie, August 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Project Mayhem—People are doing some of the things you’re talking about, but as you know, ‘the Revolution will not be televised.’

However, I don’t think they’re going to be numerous enough to form a mainstream political party; and when the day comes, they may not want to.  I certainly don’t, although I’m not going to try to stop those who do.  Well, maybe a little, with some carping here and there.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Y’know Ardee, the American version of the Green Party failed miserably, especially when compared to the wildly successful Green Party in Germany.

Would I have LIKED to see the Greens succeed here the way they did there? Sure!  Despite your sniping and comments about “loyalty to the Democrats” I am pragmatic.  I’m not “against” the Greens except when they inadvertently help the Republicans. 

I think Anarcissie’s analysis is more perceptive than yours: The elements in the Democratic Party that could form a TeaParty-like entity, albeit Progressive, simply aren’t there in the Dems.  Hate to be wrong but I think Anar’s on to something this time.

Yes, I would LOVE to see a successful Progressive challenge to the Democrats, and, whether it replaced the Dems as the GOP replaced the Whigs, are takes over the Dems, as the TeaParty has taken over the GOP, doesn’t really matter to me, as long as it’s viable and successful.

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By Project Mayhem, August 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,

I wonder if the way to build a progressive third party might involve meshing your long view Green Party grassroots activism with entropy2’s notions about community and self-sustainability? I’m thinking here about a movement united in purpose, but focused on growing networks based in local community activism and education. I don’t think a third party can be successful without a few component pieces:

1.) A plan, or series of plans, that offer models for self-sustainity and for growing a local economy, whenever possible. People need to see evidence that self-sustainability can be successful, and that they can live with pride and dignity without having to rely on Wall-Mart for their basic needs.

2.) A dedication to critical education and to building close-knit communities. A third party would need a literature that speaks to working men and women. It’s important, however, for a party literature NOT to be a propaganda, but rather a document which outlines the threats to democracy in plain, sober language and outlines some of the ways they can be combatted. If it’s a true progressive party we’re after, a top priority is to start weening people off the corporate media so they can get their heads back in the game. In this, perhaps we can learn from early union organizers who helped workers learn to read and think critically about their condition (think Eugene Debs).

3.) A roadmap for the expansion of local networks into regional ones. Managing the logistics of communication, coordination, and mutual support would be key to sustaining a movement seeking as it grows over time and distance.

Just some food for thought. I do think that progressives of all stripes need to be in it together for it to get off the ground. I appreciate the need to start locally and provide strong examples of working progressivism for people to emulate, but it can’t stop there. Once folks assume local responsibility and begin to understand their transformative potential, then a third party movement might pick up some steam, but it has to be a dialectic of action and critical dialogue, not just one or the other.

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By ardee, August 7, 2011 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

A third party? Not likely. How about a hi-jacking of the Democratic Party to the Left the way the TeaParty hi-jacked the GOP to the Right?

You are certainly bright enough to know of, or learn of, the ascendancy of the Greens in Germany, ITW. A rather long struggle followed by an overwhelming victory, one sadly turned by that rascally Jaschka Fischer. But it is the ascendancy that I seek to note. The German Greens are still a significant force in the politics of that nation.

The dismissive nature of your comments regarding third parties leaves you in a trap of your own making. I would love to hear your suggestions for the reformation of your beloved party, even as you seem to more and more regret their every action or inaction.

Remember, my loyalist friend, the GOP invited the Tea Party, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries in fact, into its fold with the intention of using such fanaticism to get Shrubya re-elected. Now, like the boy who rode the tiger, they are finding a bit of difficulty in the dismount.

The Democrats, conversely, have purposely silenced the progressive caucus, the black caucus, and all progressive speech after the creation and rise to power of the DLC. Secondly, there is no manufactured left wing group out there with access to large amounts of money from some left leaning version of the Kochs’.

Thus, any reform would have to come from within, not sparked from necessity without. Any ideas? Mine own is to understand that we got into this mess over a longish period of time while our citizenry became disinterested and fractured. Thus I think it will take time and the intervention of a new way ( third party politics) to rescue us from this morass.

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By Anarcissie, August 7, 2011 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

ITW—The dynamics of the Democratic and Republican parties are rather different.  Since the ‘success’ of the Southern Strategy, much of the rank and file of the Republican Party have been drawn from the religious and social right, whereas the leadership of the Republican Party, like that of the Democrats, is drawn from the upper classes, the elites.  The Democrats, unlike the Republicans, have taken care to drive passionate ideologues of any sort out of their party.  So there is an enormous tension in the Republican Party which doesn’t really exist in the Democratic Party.  The Tea Party represents an expression of that tension, a revolt against the leadership by the rank and file.  Proggies look wistfully at the exciting combats of the Tea Party and wish they could do the same, but in fact they don’t exist in a Republican-style tension with their leadership.  They may not like what’s going on, but they are obedient.  And most of them will line up to vote for Mr. O in the primaries and the general election.

Therefore, I would say that proggies who want to be noticed will have to go outside the Democratic Party.  They will seldom win anything but at least they may be able to get the word out.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 7, 2011 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

I didn’t expect Obama to walk on water.
I didn’t expect him to magically produce solutions no one thought of that now were clearly the miraculous path to recovery and peace.

What I expected of Obama was that he would DO THE RIGHT THING! 

I expected nothing more, and I’m not satisfied with anything less.  In that I have been horribly disappointed.  I don’t care if he failed in that because he’s inept or because he never intended to do that.  The end effect is the same.

The steps he needed to take were clear and obvious, but Obama didn’t take them.  From the moment he allowed Larry Summers, a “fail” as an economic adviser to marginalize Paul Volcker, the most effective Fed leader of the last half century, and made NO move to repeal the MCA, the Patriot Act and the changes to FISA, I was disappointed.  These were obvious things to do.

You don’t need to walk on water.  You just need to do the obvious.

A third party? Not likely. How about a hi-jacking of the Democratic Party to the Left the way the TeaParty hi-jacked the GOP to the Right?

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By Not One More!, August 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

You can’t be failing if it was never your intent to protect the public trust over the financial interests of the corporate elite.

Kucinich said in a different article, “I don’t think the president of the United States ever accepted a deal he didn’t want.”

Obama didn’t fail to uphold basic principles of democracy and peace. He never had them in the first place. Obama (and most elected members of the democratic party) never had any intention of upholding basic principles of humanity if they are contrary to corporate interests (and their henchmen).

A viable alternative to the two corporate parties has always existed. Just like any block of stone can be carved into any figure (a bird, a cat, a rat). It just would have required that people vote third party (or none of the above).

Instead, for some psychological reason, people continue to vote for the status quo even though it is obvious that they are voting against their own interests. Unless, of course, you are one of corporate elite or their henchmen.

This is the reality of voting for the lesser of two evils.

“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don’t want, and get it.” - Eugene Debs

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By bowwowboy, August 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More calls for a third party? Or rather a third party
that actually makes a difference? It will never
happen here (and I say that as someone who worked on
Dr. Spock’s presidential campaign for the People’s
Party in 1972). The structural ossification of our
electoral system virtually guarantees that any uppity
outsiders will be relegated to the margins (although
activists can claim the usual moral/symbolic
victories), as Professor G. William Domhoff noted at
the height of the Bush Terror (unfortunately, the
author shows extraordinary naivete about the ability
of the Democratic Party to respond to the pressure of
“egalitarian activists” within its ranks, as supposed
ally Prez Hopey-Changey’s repeated betrayals have
demonstrated):

When it comes to electoral systems, the United
States is the most extreme of the countries with a
single-member district plurality system, meaning that
its third parties have been very small and ephemeral.
They rarely win more than a percent or two of the
vote, and rarely last more than one or two elections
when they do receive more than a few percent. This
striking difference also is one key reason why so few
socialists were elected to Congress in the 20th
century. In a study of the percentage of Socialist or
Social Democratic party members in national
legislatures across the world, only South Africa had
less—zero—than the two who made it to the House
of Representatives a few times in the first quarter
of the twentieth century. More leftists were elected
to Congress in the 1930s and early 1940s as Democrats
—from California, Washington, Montana, Minnesota,
and New York—than were ever elected earlier as
socialists. They weren’t fully open about their
socialism, or their sympathy for the Communist Party,
but their views were well known to everyone involved
in politics at the time.

The election of a president from the nation as a
whole accounts for the even greater rigidity of the
American two-party system. In a parliamentary system
with single-member districts, there is at least a
little room for the creation of post-election
coalitions between two parties, which is why new
labor or socialist parties were able to grow quickly
in England and Northern Europe at the beginning of
the last century.

At this point the thought might occur that it would
be possible to change the electoral system, as was
done in Belgium and other countries due to the rise
of labor and socialist parties. But the changes in
Belgium and elsewhere were made by the dominant
parties, not the insurgents, so such a change seems
far less likely in the United States than making
major alterations in the economic system. Even if the
great majority of citizens wanted a system of
proportional representation for the election of
Congress as a whole, Article V of the Constitution
says that “no State, without its consent, shall be
deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate,” which
means the small states could block any such change
for the Senate. As far as the House, it is not going
to happen there either because the citizens and
politicians in the least populated states would lose
a tremendous amount of political power. Even liberal
little Vermont, with a population of around 600,000,
surely would line up with highly conservative states
in the Great Plains because it would lose the only
House seat it now has. Face it, the United States is
tied to geographical units for choosing its Congress.
That’s because of the nature of the original
colonization patterns, the Constitution, the nature
of the expansion of the country westward, the huge
size of the country, historical sentiment, and on and
on. Nor would it be possible to abolish the
presidency and have a parliamentary system.

Sorry, we’re fucked.

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/change/scie
nce_egalitarians.html

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By RayLan, August 6, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

@Lafayette
Thank you for positioning yourself with a definitive ad hominem - left = loonie from which I can only surmise right = right.
End of discussion - (I should say rational discussion)

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By Marian Griffith, August 6, 2011 at 9:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@anarcissie, ardee e.a.
It does not really matter what we feel about Obama. It only matters who the democrats put forward as their candidate for presidency.
And if those who believe that a decade of neocon rule and the destruction of social institutions should be reversed do not rally behind this candidate then it is all but a given that the next president will be a republican and they will pick up right where they left off. The progressive half of the voters will be ignored. Left will be defined as those few republicans willing to concede that some form of taxations might be needed. And the Tea party will, in the best Fox Television style, be considered to be the new centrum of politics.

But I guess we can rest contented that we ‘did show him whatfor!’

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By rumblingspire, August 6, 2011 at 8:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a government of the people for the people we are a failed state.
Let us Contract For The Dissolution of The United States Of America.
Let us not think “too big to fail” but rather too broke to fix.

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By prisnersdilema, August 6, 2011 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Obama is a simulacra, just a tool of the plutocracy. He is adept at using progressive
ideology and symbolism to betray progressives, as Bush was using conservative
symbolism to betray conservatives.

Obama’s betrayals of those that voted him into office, keep mounting up.

Like a wife beater who is apologetic the next day sweet talking his way back into the
good graces of his wife, with flowers and candy. Obama smooths over every act of
betrayal, with promises, and rationalizations. But the neighbors who have witnessed the
beatings wonder when the wife is going to get it, and pick up the kids and flee to the
woman’s shelter.

Only now the woman’s shelter is no more thanks to budget cuts.

Our biggest problem in this country, is not the Tea Party, or the deficit, or the stock
market. It’s president Obama.

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By Anarcissie, August 6, 2011 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

ardee—When someone uses a term of vulgar propaganda like ‘looney-left’ there is obviously not much point in taking them seriously.

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By ardee, August 6, 2011 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, August 6 at 12:50 am

Way to avoid any points I made, Lafayette. To speak to polemics when you insult those who chose to avoid voting with lies and distortion brands you rather well in fact.

Thanks ever so much for making my original point so effectively.

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By Lafayette, August 6, 2011 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

RD: Lafayette are you really striving to be the democratic version of that slime trail leaving GRYM?

Thank you for your concern, RD, but I am quite pleased to remain with the simple task of rebutting your Looney-Leftist nonsense.

Your bent for polemics is self-evident.

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By Timothy Gawne, August 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(sigh)

Obama is a corporate shill, a whore for the rich and powerful.

Anyone who continues to deny the utterly obvious is complicit.

Stop whining.  When someone stabs you in the back, you fight back.

We need to:

1. Get a new democrat in the upcoming primary.  We need suggestions!  We
need volunteers!  We need draftees!  And we need to stop focusing on why of
why does Obama the Whore of Wall Street keep doing what is billionaire sugar
daddies pay him to do, and work to settle on an alternative.  Now.  Time’s a
wasting.

2. publicly despise Obama pour encourager les autres.  We don’t have the spare
billions to throw around like our enemies.  But we do have our contempt.  Social
pressure is still valid.  What is our problem anyhow?

3. The next time someone says we need to start a letter writing campaign to
convince Obama, the whore of Wall Street, that he is making a mistake by
listening to all those Wall Street advisors that he himself personally chose, I am
gonna barf.

Thank you for your consideration.

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By ardee, August 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

The last time, at midterm elections, those disgusted with Obama (because he could not walk on water and pull this country out of the worst recession in 80 years) stayed away in droves - thus letting the Crazies into the HofR. Only 48% of voters showed up.

Let us NOT make the same mistake yet again!

Those disgusted with Obama might object to your simplistic nonsense, but, as I objected to Obama prior to his election, I feel exempt from your loyalist garbage. I wish you would stop the slander that disguises your propagandized political view. Heck, Lafayette are you really striving to be the democratic version of that slime trail leaving GRYM?

I doubt that those who refused to vote for the democrats expected Obama to “walk on water”, and that stupidity alone labels your rant as so much democratic party propaganda. Perhaps the objection was to Obama’s slavish devotion to the very people who have destroyed our economy?

Perhaps the youth vote might be seen as a bit mercurial, perhaps the crap we got from both the Democratic Party and its titular head, the president , the inability to put forward a plan, the inability to combat the tea party led GOP, the refusal to take a stand and speak to the nation with common sense instead of cowardice might have had something to do with democrats staying home. Perhaps the Koch brothers wealth turned the election a bit right but they were certainly helped along by a democratic party that plainly had not a clue.

Bushs’ agenda continues, the endless war continues, torture and rendition continue as well. The corporations flourish, the rich are richer than ever, and we the people are poorer with each passing quarter.

I do agree that we the people should not make the same mistake again. But we disagree , obviously, as to which mistake was made. The mistake is believing in either party and that seems rather plain to any whose nose is not still firmly imbedded in DNC backsides.

I believe that building a third party in this nation is a necessity if we wish to pull back from the fascism that encroaches upon us all, that has co-opted BOTH political parties.

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By david451, August 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

The latest furor over which Obama presided was a manufactured crisis—a beautifully executed sleight of hand.

It has been reported for weeks in the alternative and economic press that the debt ceiling issue was not a crisis.  Economists have been saying for weeks and months that increased employment and wages are the critical need, not deficit
reduction.  And today we see the official unemployment rate has dropped from 9.2 to 9.1% (and the WH is falling down in self congratulation!).

The current level of debt, while high by historical standards, is not unserviceable given that interest rates are so low.  And the great bulk of the latest increases fall back into the laps of the Republicans, who authorized two (three) wars, the enormous bank bailouts and the reduction of taxes to historically low levels.

In fact, the debt “crisis” was designed to provide cover and misdirection—to create a false urgency—that allowed a non-existent problem to be solved through deficit reduction.  As Rahm Emanuel famously said “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste”, even if you have to make one up yourself.

Going forward from the crash in 2008, you can find in Obama’s statements and deeds his intention to gut the social system in America.  The creation of the Simpson-Bowles “cat food” commission was an early flag, and then just last year
the G20 summit declaration included this statement: “The advanced economies have committed to fiscal plans that will at least halve deficits by 2013.”  He even took the time to dine with the leading conservative pundits to assure them of his intentions.

No, Obama has delivered exactly what was expected of him, and he has done so under the cover a manufactured crisis.

Go to http://corporateconstraint.blogspot.coom for more.

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By norman harman, August 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In criticizing the narrow vision of the Republican’s recent political maneuverings
Mr. Kutler asks, “but where was the national interest?”

Well, in today’s Libertarian/T-Party-driven Republican politics, having a
“national interest” is tantamount to advocating communism.

The Democrats, although they sometimes vocalize broader interests, are too
gutless to actually fight for a “national interest” and anyway, are to beholden to
corporate money to have much interest in it.

The corporations have long held considerable sway over both parties but were
kept in check to some degree by their inability to outright own the political
system due to numerous campaign funding laws.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case those laws
have been rendered null and void, thus allowing the corporations to own the
whole game.

We no longer elect government officeholders, we merely ratify the choices
corporate money has made for us, knowing that whomever we elect from either
party will already have been vetted, bought and paid for before the polls even
open.

VOTE AGAINST THE MONEY!

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By Marian Griffith, August 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I guess that the first course of action should be to make campaign donations illegal and fund each party with a fixed amount of money (perhaps even indexed for inflation).
That at least stops the excessive influence of the rich and the corporations on the elections. It might even return political debate since flooding the television with agit prop and disinformation about the opponent is no longer financially possible.

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By RayLan, August 5, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

@ardee
“Our government is obviously no longer OURS”
All the truth in a single phrase. But then the governement does not own itself either- it is the big-monied interest - the multi-national moguls who govern.

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By Anarcissie, August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

I agree with Mr. Sirota, not Mr. Kutler.  Mr. O is tough and savvy enough; he has toughly and savvily kept the Democratic Party and especially its proggies from interfering with the plans of his donors and supporters.  I have been especially impressed with the way his operatives broke up and neutralized the anti-war movement after using it against Bush.

The question which remains is, ‘Why are his proggie marks such suckers?’

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By Son of Palestine, August 5, 2011 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

“Such revelations and reversals of policy are far beyond the capacity of our dysfunctional political system, one greased with a tsunami of special-interest money in the guise of campaign contributions that effectively serve as a conduit for legalized bribery. We are cooked—and to a well-done turn.”
=====================================================
A good diagnosis indeed of our dysfunctional undemocratic political system, but the real issue should be how to fix this disaster before it’s too late!

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By aacme88, August 5, 2011 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

“No one else” but the U.S., the Journal contended in an editorial Aug. 1, “has the means or the will to see a war through to its end.”

And the understanding that if that end is not 10-15 years down the line we have not milked the situation for everything that the corporations could possibly squeeze out of it.

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By Marian Griffith, August 5, 2011 at 12:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@john Poole
—-Why would anyone vote for someone who got it so wrong regarding the ease of toppling the Libyan despot?—-

It certainly did not keep the voters from reelecting Bush jr. when he made similar predictions about Iraq and presented grandiose plans about how his ‘short victorious war’ would result in tyrants all over the middle east and beyond suddenly see the light and mend their ways (and welcome their new American overlords).

Mind, the people who re-elected Bush jr. despite his, by then, proven lies large scale corruption and general incompetence, would think nothing of blaming Obama for far less and calling him unfit to lead because of that.
Oh wait, somebody here just did that.

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By Lafayette, August 5, 2011 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

A LONG HAUL

LeC: When is a real alternative going to develop?

The last time, at midterm elections, those disgusted with Obama (because he could not walk on water and pull this country out of the worst recession in 80 years) stayed away in droves - thus letting the Crazies into the HofR. Only 48% of voters showed up.

Let us NOT make the same mistake yet again!

IT’S BROKE

Like it or not, we have a two-party system. Third-party efforts are all over the place (on the Internet). But, when in our recent political history have they ever succeeded?

The political system is broken - by gerrymandering and a naive political mentality that lets BigMoney manipulate the vote by means of brainless, defamatory Media Messages. There’s a lot to accomplish in educating and informing the grassroots American public.

We can adopt a Progressive Agenda (the core of which should be More Social Justice for we, the sheeple) and put it to the candidates at the next election and the one beyond. Whether or not they adhere to that Agenda could be the central criteria for voting or not to elect them. (The Rabid Right has their credo, so the Left needs a viable alternative platform.)

The result should be to change the Political Class that has got us into this mess (by selling their soul to BigBusiness).

But let’s do it within the construct of a two-party system. Not because we want to do so, but because we must. We will be wasting our efforts otherwise.

STRATEGY TIME

If the above happens, we will certainly create a Democrat subset C-party (“C” for Chardonnay ;^) with great influence there. Sufficient numbers elected could mean the Party regains control of both Chambers of Congress, which should be at the very least its objective. And a Progressive Agenda would influence the Democrat Party.

And maybe, just maybe, we, the sheeple, could win the next election and the one after that - and the one after that.

If Obama signs on to a Progressive Agenda, so much the better. Unlike many commenters on this forum (some of them shills for the Replicants), I am not so disgusted as to want to dump him.

Changing horses in midstream makes no good sense.

MY POINT: No QuikFix

Given all that is broke with the system, it’s a real long haul. Any political/economic reformation is not going to happen overnight - so let’s well understand at least that reality.

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By LeCouve, August 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Ok, I got the gist of hundreds of Truthdig articles that Obama is not the crusader of hope for the middle/lower class that lots of progressives hoped for.  So: I am all for true progressives turning their backs, in mass, against the Democratic Party.  But to what?  The Green Party?  Is that for real?  Really?  When is a real alternative going to develop?

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By Birch, August 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

Listening today to the press conference of SOD, Leon Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen, makes you realize why we will never get our priorities straight as long as we believe we have a God-given right to police the world. While our economy is tanking and our people are jobless and with the most expensive health care system in the world, these guys are talking about our responsibility to other countries and continuing wars and interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and any number of other places where we have covert activities going on. And claiming in the process that this has to be the top priority of our country. This is madness, sheer madness. Our house is burning down and all they can think about is what is happening in other countries, half a globe away. You can’t have “national security,” if you don’t take care of your own people first. There is something seriously wrong with the entire leadership of our country and that extends beyond just the politicians.

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By Lafayette, August 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

ROADKILL ON THE HIGHWAY OF LIFE

Taxes are the real third rail in American public life. The American Revolution slogan “no taxation without representation,” often misunderstood in rendering our history, now is so distorted and twisted as to virtually paralyze our public life.

Bingo on this one, SK.

We, as a nation, are still mired in the Success Ethos, by which we define ourselves by how successful in terms of accumulated riches we have managed to achieve.  (Trophy-wife, 2.3 blond-haired kids, far-too-large house out in the burbs and, of course, the his ‘n hers Beemers.)

Which is also why we are an intensely “kick-as” and competitive society. Love thy neighbor? Screw you! What’s in it for me?

And taxation, of course, is at the heart of our accumulation of riches. After all, why not be “kick-ass” and be a “risk-taker” if the rewards are so glorious – you get to keep almost 75% of the take, presuming that your bet wins. And the job dislocations to China - ain’t seen none yet on Wall Street.

Besides, what the hell, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Hey! If I don’t rake it in, someone else will instead! Right?

WRONG

Well, to each their own cookie. Because it does not always crumble the way one might think. There are some places on this God-forsaken earth that actually care about the general well-being of society as a whole - in terms of Social Justice - and not just the specific well-being of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or any other zillionaire honcho of the day lauded on the cover of Forbes Magazine.

What we have made and what threatens to encrust itself for generations to come is a Darwinian Society where the fittest survive. All the rest are road-kill on the Go-Fast Highway of Life; where there is, in effect, no speed limit.

MY POINT

We are a nation that is losing its Moral Compass.

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By ardee, August 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Our government is obviously no longer OURS. The longer we play the game of voting for either major political party the deeper will be our descent into third world status.

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By flaco, August 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

Once again, what do we do about it? Vote again? Massive monkey wrenching( a dream, I know)

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By caped amigo, August 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Couldn’t agree more. We the people are desperately in need of leadership. I WILL
NOT OBEY THE CORPORATE STATE!!

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By Wes Samuels, August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Legalized bribery is the right name for it.  It’s amazing to hear our officials and news commentators disparaging Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. for corruption, when our own government in Washington has become strictly fee for service.

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By john Poole, August 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Will Obama play the race card if he loses? Maybe. He doesn’t want to lose in 2012
but how could he not dread another four years of rancor after a win. Libya could
be his LBJ moment. Who has the nerve to stand up at a White House press
conference and ask,  “Why would anyone vote for someone who got it so wrong
regarding the ease of toppling the Libyan despot?”  (“Days not weeks”).

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