Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Fun Begins

The conventions are now mercifully behind us. I watched both of them at length and was struck by something:

In Charlotte I looked out upon the faces gathered and I saw, as the old Frank Sinatra song says, "all races and religions. That's America to me".

In Tampa I looked out upon the faces gathered - and all I saw was a private country club. That isn't America. That isn't even close.

WHOA! LOOK AT ALL THEM WHITE PEOPLE!

Hang onto
your hats, ladies and gents. Now the real show begins. I find it difficult to understand why I am so revved up to make sure that this president is reelected on November 6, until I am reminded of the ominous ramifications of a GOP victory - and what it would mean to our future....Too unbearably depressing to even think about. Although I'm just mild about Barry, part of me wants to believe (call it self delusion if you must) that when he no longer has a reelection to worry about, his inner-progressive mojo will grind into overdrive. Call it the audacity of hope. This is another one of those good news/ bad news scenarios:

Reelecting Barack Obama is a HUGE gamble for progressives and non-progressives alike.

That's the good news. Are you ready for the bad?

If this country is naive enough to elect Romney/Ryan in November we'll be committing economic suicide. On that happy note....

Obama's spe
ech to the delegates on Thursday evening was pretty good, no doubt about it, but it could have been a bit better. I was hoping for a knock-'em-out-of-the-park, barn-burner. What I got instead was well-crafted and sincere enough, but hardly the kind of historical oration we all know he's capable of. Still, the goods delivered by Clinton, Biden and the First Lady were enough to rouse the liberal base of the Democratic party out of its slumber. I have a feeling that they won't be foolishly staying home in a snit as they did in 2010. Voter ID laws be damned.

At least the Dems walked out of the convention center with some momentum behind them. Other than Condoleeza Rice's appearance, the GOP affair the week before was a total bomb - from beginning to end. Very few of us will remember Mitt Romney's acceptance speech. What we will remember (and what people can't stop talking about) is the sight of poor old Clint Eastwood talking to an
empty chair. That dandy little piece of political theater has been quite a hit on YouTube. The other keynoters who spoke (Chris Christie and Marco Rubio in particular) custom-tailored their appearances to be prologues for their runs in 2016. It's apparent that they're hedging their bets that der Mittster will be soundly defeated. Let's hope they're right.

"I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

-Will Rogers


Can it be? Do my ey
es deceive? Are the Dems finally getting their act together??? The convention's conclusion on Thursday night was something to behold - and to take hope from. For the first time in a long while the Democrats seem to be invigorated and emboldened. The long-slumbering giant of the American left seems to be awakening. Maybe they have remembered that theirs is the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. They now seem to be embracing their liberal roots - not running scared from them - as they have been for the last forty years. They're finally showing some guts. Take my word for it; this is a good sign.

So sit back and brace yourselves for what promises to be the dirtiest campaign in the history of human folly. You might be exasperated; you might be disgusted. But of this you may be sure: You won't be bored

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

Here is a link to the Frank Sinatra recording quoted at the top of this piece. This is Frank way back in 1945; it's a real beauty:

The House I Live In

FUN FACT: The man who wrote the lyrics to this outstanding song was named Lewis Allan (1906-1986). A few years later he was blacklisted for no other reason than his left-leaning beliefs. Can you believe that?

SUGGESTED READING:


Racism: Ignorance Seasoned with Paranoia

by Sheria Reid

Sheria's excellent piece in this morning's Los Angeles Progressive was inspired by an abysmally ignorant comment that was posted on this site (I get a lot of those). It's an honor and a joy to be even a mere footnote in this woman's biography.

71 Comments:

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, you didn't build this blog!

Just like Dave Dubya did not build his Hugo Chavez like censored blog! Dave could easily get a job fabricating reality in one of Hugo's nationalized newspapers.

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger Fabianna said...

We need Ross Perot to stir things up again. There is a third party this time around but she is not such an attetion grabber as Ross was.

 
At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m going with Romney this time dude, the economy sucks!

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

You're saying you're going with Romney this time because "the economy sucks"?

In January of 2009 we were hemorrhaging a quarter-million jobs a month. Obama's economic policies had a whole hell-of-a-lot to do with the turnaround. Are you absolutely certain you wish to go down that road again?

All the best,

Tom

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Joanne Noragon said...

There's a lot of big money to defeat, but it can be done. Obama's second term agenda I hope will tackle loose ends, like the big money problem.

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

I put it this way: "Funny thing. I look at the convention floor in Charlotte, and I see America. When I looked at the same in Tampa last week, I mostly saw angry white people."

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Tom and Avram: I put it this way on my FB status:

"Can't help but compare the crowd shots at the DNC to those in Tampa. Instead of a sea of white with a few symbolic African Americans, aka tokens, a few bought Latinos, there is real diversity: men and women of ALL shades, of ALL ages, of ALL races, of ALL faiths or not, of ALL economic backgrounds - students, housewives, farmers, factory workers, businessmen and women, teachers, firemen, veterans, etc. This is what it's ALL about."

But I think I like Tom's reference to a private club better. The other huge difference is what Avram points out -- "the angry white people." No smiles, no laughter, no joy.

I don't think we should expect Obama to make a huge swing to the left but I do think he'll be a little stronger because, if nothing else, he has seen (maybe a little later than so many of us)exactly what the GOP has in mind: the complete destruction of this country.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

I think Obama delivered just the speech he needed and we needed. It was claimed we supported him last night on some emotional need for a Messiah (irreligious though many of us are). He didn't give that but rather a sober analysis of what needs to be done and why he'll go the course for us. Those who want to go backward will find they never can anyway, those good old '50s, weren't so good as they think because they are basing them on a fantasy that didn't exist and was only on TV shows.

While it's true that the alternative is scary for me, I believe in Obama's 'steady and hold the course' way of governing. We just have to do all we can to also give him a Congress that will go with him. Otherwise, it's our own fault for this belief that gridlock benefits something. It doesn't. Decide where we need the country to go, then have the guts to support and work for it. And no, he hasn't done all I wanted either, but if I got in that office, I probably wouldn't either. Sometimes you have to do the best you can with a hope to work toward the whole in the long run. That's how I think he governs.

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger MEsule said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger MEsule said...

om, I always enjoy (if that's the right word) your Rant. "The Fun Begins" is no exception. At the end, Lewis Allen's name caught my eye. I learned just this week (on NPR) that Lewis Allen is the pen name of one Abel Meeropol who, among other things, wrote "Strange Fruit" and adopted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's young sons. A teacher by more than profession.

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anybody know when we will see the "Hope and Change" or was that a lot of hot air blown up our butts by a big bullshit artist to a bunch of suckers in 2008? Maybe Obama needs decades like FDR for us to realize that trickle down government by the .00001% in the US politboro in Washington DC does not work. Many of these academic buffoons, just like FDR's "brain trust" lol never had a real job. and like hugo chavez don't want to give up their power even when their policies have failed.

fridays job report was another failure, can we still blame it on bush? if Obama loses Nov 6, can he blame it on bush? its only fair. Only 96,000 jobs were created last month, when on average 120,000 are needed for new people entering the workforce. Oh, lets now lower the number of people looking for work, so we can lower the unemployment rate. Maybe next month before the election we can lower again the number of people looking for work so that we can say with our rose colored Hopey Changey glasses that Obama has lowered the unemployment rate below 8%. hooray, hooray, hooray, obama has lowered the unemployment rate below 8% and is saving us from going off the cliff! lol lol lol

we are still almost five million payrolls shy of where we were at the end of 2007, when the recession began. Think about that when you hear the central planners in Obama's administration talk of an economic recovery.

now slick willie clinton, who called obama "the amateur", is buddies with obama? lol lol on that phoney manufactured relationship. are the peeps really that naive? yes hillary and obama are best of buds too lol lol.

how come MSNBC would not air speeches given at the GOP by women and minorities? How dare these aunt and uncle toms not be a part of the DemocRATs plantation! please tell me avram "area 51" mirsky and leslie parsLIE!

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

MEsule....

You nailed it. They are indeed one in the same!

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Another scary thing about Romney as president is that it will most definitely be a repeat of Dubya's time in office. Everything will be decided and run by all of the people behind the scenes. As someone pointed out last week when Romney was governor of MA, he was not interested in actually doing or accomplishing anything, he just wanted the title. And frankly, I am beginning to think that Lady Romney wants the White House more than he does.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I wish we actully had a liberal media. They'd employ journalists to report the Big Truth instead of the Big Lies from the Right.

The Big Truth is the Republican Party represents the interests of only the economic elites and corporate Big Money. The GOP are the Guardians Of Plutocracy.

2007, when the recession began

The hateful troll would blame Obama for this, course. I'm happy Sheria was inspired to write a moving post on the hatred and ignorance reeking from every one of his words.

 
At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Picard said...

Oh there isn't a liberal media Dave? Can I get what you're smoking?

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger Doug said...

Obama's speech was far more tempered this time because he learned in 3 1/2 years that the opposition against him was such that his idealogues and policy agenda would not be so easy to implement.

Reality check... Dealing with malcontents in the W.H. is not the Disney land fairytale he thought it would be. But now is gut check time for Obama and he Democrats. I think which is more important for the dems is for them to recapture the House from the tea party elements of the GOP. Their brand of obstructionist governing is what has helped stymied the economic growth of this country. When you consider the Mitch McConnell plan for the economy which is to let it tank and pin it on the Prez so that they can take over, shouldn't we throw all of them out?

 
At 4:50 PM, Blogger Mack Lyons said...

Where was Anonymous @ 12:34 during the Bush administration? The same folks giving the same barn-burning screed as our anonymous friend were the same folks who were as quiet as church mice when the GOP was fully in charge of things.

There's nothing of note for them to mention about the Bush years, so they're focused solely on trashing the policies and actions of the current admin. On the off chance Rmoney/Ryan wins, the barn-burning screeds will turn into gloating for the first couple of years and then cease altogether. Meanwhile, the country will be obliged by King Willard and Queen Anne to sell its soul to the company store once more.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Good one, Mack. Doug, keep those little gems of yours coming. Music to the old maestro's ears!

Tom Degan

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


Sorry Picard,

There's no drug that can counteract your koolade. But you might feel less angry if you cut out the booze.

Nature's kindness would be healthier, and could help mellow you out and be more accepting of others. It helped Willie Nelson that way.

Deprogramming is really your only hope.

Start by repeating this one little truth:

A handful of corporations own the media.

A handful of corporations own the media.

A handful of corporations own the media.

Let me know when that sinks in and we can proceed from there.

 
At 10:51 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Tom Degan "In January of 2009 we were hemorrhaging a quarter-million jobs a month."
Lies! It was 741,000.

Anonymous "we are still almost five million payrolls shy of where we were at the end of 2007, when the recession began. Think about that when you hear the central planners in Obama's administration talk of an economic recovery."
Clearly, the solution is deregulation, increased defense spending, and tax cuts! U S A! U S A!

"how come MSNBC would not air speeches given at the GOP by women and minorities?"
"Indeed, a purposeful omission of the minority speakers would be 'pathetic,' except for one glaring detail that all of these publications themselves omitted: With the exception of black former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, MSNBC and Fox News covered and omitted the same exact speeches." (Emphasis theirs. via The Blaze)

 
At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s like a corrupt media ritual. The moment a Republican enters the Oval Office, America’s homeless are suddenly discovered, dragged before news cameras, and used as props to prove how heartless the current administration is. But as soon as a Democrat assumes office, the homeless suddenly disappear; presumably to a place with chocolate rivers and peppermint trees that only Democrat presidents are able to magically manifest as soon as the oath of office is complete.

The media’s been even worse with Barack Obama. Not only have the homeless vanished from news coverage, but so have America’s poor. But as NBC’s David Gregory made clear, if you even try to bring up the record number of food stamp recipients Barack Obama’s failed policies have created, you’ll be labeled a racist.

What is a cold, hard fact, though, is that in the last accounting available to us (May), America’s food stamp rolls increased by 173,000. In the last jobs numbers available to us (August), only 96,000 new jobs were created.

 
At 4:07 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

"But as soon as a Democrat assumes office, the homeless suddenly disappear."

Have another sip, pal.

 
At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Ronald Reagan said...

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"how come MSNBC would not air speeches given at the GOP by women and minorities?"
"Indeed, a purposeful omission of the minority speakers would be 'pathetic,' except for one glaring detail that all of these publications themselves omitted: With the exception of black former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, MSNBC and Fox News covered and omitted the same exact speeches." (Emphasis theirs. via The Blaze)

YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT!

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Picard said...

"A handful of corporations own the media.

A handful of corporations own the media.

A handful of corporations own the media"

This same old clap trap. As if this is supposed to be some kind of revelation. like WOAH corporations own media outlets! Is this the brilliant stuff you guys talk about in the drum circle? I could say the exact same statement about almost everything in the free market! MSNBC is a blatant left wing propaganda machine! but because they seek profit they're not leftist at all. Is that your position?

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Smokey Lagumski said...

Mack Lyons said:
"Where was Anonymous @ 12:34 during the Bush administration? The same folks giving the same barn-burning screed as our anonymous friend were the same folks who were as quiet as church mice when the GOP was fully in charge of things. "

Bill Clinton said on September 25, 2008:
“I think that the responsibility that the Democrats had may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress, or by me when I was President, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”


listen here Mac,

The financial meltdown happened in Sept. 2008 in the Housing and Banking sectors of the economy which barney Fwank and Chris Dodd chaired from Jan. 3 2007.

Prior to 2007 Bush and Republicans went before congress 17 times to try to rein in Fannie/Freddie. Blocked each time.

Barney "Lets Roll the Dice" Frank called GOP concerns about reigning in out of control Fannie/Freddie (where Barney's lover worked) a "Chicken Little Philosophy" (and the sky did fall Mr Fwank!).

Democrats in their own words Covering up Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac scandal. The only people dumber than the democrats in this video defending Fannie/Freddie are the people who keep electing these socialist idiots to run the plantation. Vote for me to run the plantation and I promise free stuff for you!

The social experiment, perpetuated by both Dems and Repubs, to put more people into their own homes FAILED. To blame it all on the Bush and the GOP is very childish and irresponsible Mac.

To say Bush and the GOP are soley responsible for the financial collapse is DISHONEST.

But listen here Mac, like Dave Dubya, keep your rose colored glasses on about Obama and how good the results are with trickle down central planning.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, there sure have been a lot of news articles about our homeless over the last 3 years. Count them for us Tom.

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, nothing 2 faced about Obama.

In his convention speech in Charlotte, President Obama vowed to block the Republican Medicare reform plan because “no American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”

But back in Washington, his Health and Human Services Department is launching a pilot program that would shift up to 2 million of the poorest and most-vulnerable seniors out of the federal Medicare program and into private health insurance plans overseen by the states.

The administration has accepted applications from 18 states to participate in the program, which would give states money to purchase managed-care plans for people who are either disabled or poor enough to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. HHS approved the first state plan, one for Massachusetts, last month.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Picard,

Is that your position?
No. My position is the media is corporate owned. “Liberal media” is the claptrap. You swallowed it with the rest of the koolade.

You admit they seek profit. There’s a word for that, son. It is called capitalism. The media is corporate capitalism. Unless your view is so extreme that all journalism is liberal and therefore evil, socialistic, and maybe communistic, and there are those who are that nuts, you may want to evaluate your beliefs.

"I admit it -- the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."
William Kristol, as reported by the New Yorker, 5/22/95

Soon the NY Times, CNN, and even MSNBC would be parroting Cheney’s WMD lies.

Think about who propagates the “Liberal media” myth. Rush and FOX(R) have been repeating the Big Lie to great effect. Show us a moderate who buys into that.

But no, corporate media is not the “liberal media”. If they were liberal they would all be like FOX(R) is for the Right, as in the famous “FOX Tea Party rallies”. Has CNN or even MSNBC hosted “occupy rallies”? No. How about “code pink rallies”?

No.

MSNBC did, however cancel Phil Donahue’s show for questioning Bush Iraq war propaganda. The show was the most viewed on MSNBC. Care to explain why they cancelled their most popular program?

Liberals, my ass.

MSNBC is but one of the NBC network channels. CNBC has plenty of Right leaning program hosts. How about that? Care to explain?

Who owns NBC? GE is a long standing military industrial complex corporation. Liberals, you say? This is why you guys sound so ridiculous to informed people.

MSNBC has four or five programs by Democratic leaning hosts. Unlike FOX(R) it’s not foisted into every cable and satellite subscribers’ homes either. Note the moderate corporatist Democratic Party has only MSNBC. And even MSNBC has a show hosted by a moderate Republican. FOX(R) has zero shows hosted by moderates or Democrats. Fair and balanced? I report. You decide.



 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Yup, there sure have been a lot of news articles about our homeless over the last 3 years. Count them for us Tom."
Okay. 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are
2440, 3420, 5220 and 14700. For comparison, 2006, 2007 & 2008 hit 1100, 1400 & 2300 stories.

Any more of your own punches I can help you duck in to?

 
At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"capitalism"
And we all know that CAPITALISM IS EVIL. Of course without that evil thing, there would be zero profits (another evil thing) to tax to get the income needed to operate the wonderful public sector sector jobs. Just ask those from Cuba, North Korea and the former Soviet Union.

For those of you who are so opposed to capitalism, and dream of socialism, have you ever wondered after the fall of the Union of Socialist Republics, why the people there did not pick socialism or communism as their form of economics? Instead they picked capitalism.

MO, your report tells us that we were better off when we didn't have Obama running our economy. Why should I give him another four years when with him as President, the economy has worsened?

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous: "For those of you who are so opposed to capitalism, and dream of socialism, have you ever wondered after the fall of the Union of Socialist Republics, why the people there did not pick socialism or communism as their form of economics? Instead they picked capitalism."

I don't oppose capitalism, per se, and nor do I "dream of socialism", but I'll answer your question anyway.

The people in the former USSR didn't "pick" capitalism. It was selected for them -- just like it was in Chile in 1973 (their "9/11"), and just like it has been in Iraq since the coalition forces invaded and occupied that sovereign nation, and just like it had, and has been, in a host of other nations before and since.

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"I don't oppose capitalism, per se, and nor do I "dream of socialism".

Another lie from Jefferson's Guardian.

"The people in the former USSR didn't "pick" capitalism. It was selected for them."

Who "selected" it for them?

Another lie from Jefferson's Guardian.

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Industrialism is the source of the capital vs. labor argument. I think that gets lost and most folks have lost the context of the debate. Once the industrial age was ushered in and began to mature, the capital vs. labor question was necessarily ushered in with it. And, it will always be an issue we must deal with. The problem (or reality) is that our industrialized economy cannot succeed without either component. Capitalism and socialism are two sides of the same coin - how do we approach an industrialized economy with the best results? That question is lost on us because we've never known anything else other than an industrialized economy. Perhaps the issue is that industrialism is bad and forces rational thinking humans into arguing for the better of two equally flawed extremes - who knows. Ideally, we would agree that there are components of both that make sense and try our best to fit our model accordingly.

I don't think most progressives want a totalitarian communist construct. No more than most "free market" proponents want to do away with all regulation or do away with all forms of public welfare.

In my mind, Chesterton sums says it well...

"Nobody likes the Marxian school; it is endured as the only way of preventing poverty. Nobody's real heart in is the idea of preventing a free man from owning his farm, or an old woman from cultivating her own garden, any more than anybody's real heart was in the heartless battle of the machines... I do not proposed to prove here that Socialism is a poison; it is enough if I maintain that it is a medicine and not a wine."

 
At 9:28 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "MO, your report tells us that we were better off when we didn't have Obama running our economy(*1). Why should I give him another four years when with him as President, the economy has worsened?"
Easy. Because the opposing party's plan won't work, if "work" is defined as "making most things better for most people".
"Deficit too big"? Theirs makes it bigger. "Taxes too high"? To make their already imaginary numbers work, if you're in the bottom 80% your taxes have to go up because, and I can't stress this enough, you can't shrink the deficit by cutting a few trillion out of programs while at the same time cutting revenues by five trillion. Etc. Etc. Everywhere Obama's nibbling-around-the-edges is mediocre, the GOP's version is downright vicious. As appalingly naive as Obama's insistence on forming a "Grand Bargain" with people who aren't arguing in good faith* is, the GOP's "program cuts for thee, tax cuts for me" plan is a recipe for a callous, ugly future.

*1. I like how you moved straight from "the liberal media doesn't cover homelessness when there's a Dem in the White House" to "Ah ha! So things are worse!" without even pausing to note that your first point was, politely, wrong. Don't fret about it. I won't. You're not arguing in good faith, I know, you're just arguing; marking and remarking your Tribal boundaries ("Everything Obama does is wrong, even if he does the opposite or does nothing at all! Whatever it is, or is not, or is and is not, is wrong! Outrage!"). Mostly, I'm just making fun of you. That I can do that and still argue, using the facts and reality you so studiously avoid, is pretty sweet.
*2. See: "Obama has to cut entitlements!" spin to "Obama cut $500B (or $600B or 716B) from Medicare!" (doubly ironic since they ran an election on the latter while at the same time their prefered budget kept most of those "cuts". Tripley so, apparently, since Romney recently said he'd undo them. Do you see them bashing themselves for this?), or Ryan bashing him for not accepting the Simpson-Bowles commission's report, even though there was no real report since the commission couldn't agree…in part because Paul Ryan himself helped sink it.

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"sums says it well..."

New way to say "sums it up" and "says" at the same time I guess.

 
At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because the opposing party's plan won't work, if", if "if" means allowing (or even forcing) people to become self sufficient, and self reliant then it will work. If the plans means more program to "spread the wealth", then it will not work. There will come a day, sooner than later, when the tipping point of those who who "get" from the govt their needs will tip to out number the people the govt takes from. Just about there now, with 70% of taxes being paid by 2% of the population.

The truth is by asking MO a question, he provided just one fact that prove things have gotten worse under Obama than they were before he became President.
Thanks MO, for shining the light of truth into the darkness of liberalism.

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous, you do know that over the past few decades the only group that's done well has been the top 1%, right? Even the 19% under them have only done okay. Most of the gains have gone to the already very rich. (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4)
Most everybody else is treading water or losing.

"But Modus," you say, "Americans are economically the freest freers who've ever been free!" To which I reply "No. The USA has one of the worst levels of economic mobility in the civilized world." To which you retort "Well, that's because of the terrible liberals and their terrible programs. Only good conservatives have good goodness." "Again, no." I say, "Blue states tend to have greater levels of economic mobility than Red ones."

"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Anonymous "The truth is by asking MO a question, he provided just one fact that prove things have gotten worse under Obama than they were before he became President."
Yeah, take that, moderate president backed by a generally feckless party and opposed by another party so committed to regaining power that it would rather burn the place to the ground than pitch in to help fix things after a real estate bubble popped taking ten trillion dollars with it!
Even if everything went right you'd still lose a decade (over and above the lost decade before that, and the decade or two of generally treading water before that one). With the above you've lost a lot more than that.

"Thanks MO, for shining the light of truth into the darkness of liberalism."
Good news; once the GOP regains control they'll cut things you need and give those above you tax cuts dwarfing the "temporary" Bush tax cuts.
Obama's idea is "shared sacrifice", where costs are controlled, edges are nibbled around (and, at worst, meeting the GOP halfway, only half screwing the poor, sick or old) and the already haves go back to paying Clinton-era tax rates. The GOP's plan for "shared sacrifice" is that you sacrifice and the already haves gets tax cuts.
But liberals are the bad guys.

Here: you can fix the budget (and stabilize the debt). The links are like games; games where your choices hurt people. Real, actual people. People just like you. See how few people (or how many) you can harm while saving the country.

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous: "Who 'selected' it for them?

Another lie from Jefferson's Guardian.
"

It was Mikhail Gorbachev's G7 meeting in July of 1991 where
the handwriting was on the wall
, immediately followed by pressure from the World Bank and the IMF (which, of course, was initiated through the tutelage of Jeffrey Sachs and the "Chicago Boys"). Gorbachev wanted to ease into capitalism and include many safety nets, but he was rebuffed and told it was their way or the highway. Along with Gorbachev's desire to create a democratic nation, the financial masters of the universe snubbed all his attempts and made him toe the line.

The rest is history.

By the way, the same scenario is playing out in Europe as we speak. They intend to privatize everything through economic shock therapy, and shred their social nets to nothing. After they complete the job over there, we're next on the menu.

Do you mean to tell me you weren't aware of this? Do you read anything besides comic books?

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why did Gorbachev not stick with socialism! Somebody forced him too?
Gee, it sounds to me like the poor USSR was in a real pickle. A pickle they created them selves by being socialists since 1917.

But like aways, you blame the banks for the failure of socialism instead of facing reallity that it doesn't work.

My question is after you have taxed the rich, destroyed private wealth, who will pay for the promises Obama makes to get elected?

Obama's idea of idea of shared sacrifice is having to walk around of golf instead of using a golf cart!

 
At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Former Republican Voter said...

Gee, it sounds to me like the poor USA is in a real pickle. A pickle they created them selves by deregulating capitalism, starting wars they couldn't afford, massive military spending, cutting taxes for the rich, and growing debt since Reagan took it from a creditor nation to a debtor nation.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous: "So why did Gorbachev not stick with socialism!"

Shouldn't you have had a question mark?

Anyway, that's essentially what he intended to do. He wanted to create a social-democratic state, based upon the Scandinavian model.


"Somebody forced him too? [sic]"

Exactly! But I've already answered that for you. See above. (time-stamp 12:18PM)


"Gee, it sounds to me like the poor USSR was in a real pickle."

Yeah, a pickle between going the way they wanted to go (a socialist democratic state) and the way the G7, World Bank and IMF demanded.

You got it!


"But like aways, you blame the banks for the failure of socialism instead of facing reallity that it doesn't work."

No, I blame the banks for the failure of capitalism. Socialist democracies work fine. Look at Sweden. Look at Norway. Look at Finland. They're all doing okay.

Now, look at the European nations who are being gutted under austerity programs (which are financed, controlled and monitored by the banks); they're all failing.

Once Europe is totally in shambles, we'll be next.

"My question is after you have taxed the rich, destroyed private wealth, who will pay for the promises Obama makes to get elected?"

Grassroots campaign contributions. Everybody pitching in five bucks will get him elected. He doesn't need the corporate and elitist blood money.

I'm sending him $100 today -- just to spite you.

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for Joe "Plugs" Biden to check into a Betty Ford clinic.

Joe whispered into the biker chick's ear, “Republicans want to put you in chains… and so do I.”

 
At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now, look at the European nations who are being gutted under austerity programs (which are financed, controlled and monitored by the banks); they're all failing."

The world according to Jefferson's Guardian now says Greece is failing due to austerity programs, not because of years of central planning by the socialists/communists who destroyed it.

Thanks for the laughs JG! Keep your rose colored socialist glasses and Che shirt on!

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Charles G. Koch said...

It shouldn't surprise us that the role of American business is increasingly vilified or viewed with skepticism. In a Rasmussen poll conducted this year, 68% of voters said they "believe government and big business work together against the rest of us."

Businesses have failed to make the case that government policy—not business greed—has caused many of our current problems. To understand the dreadful condition of our economy, look no further than mandates such as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "affordable housing" quotas, directives such as the Community Reinvestment Act, and the Federal Reserve's artificial, below-market interest-rate policy.

Far too many businesses have been all too eager to lobby for maintaining and increasing subsidies and mandates paid by taxpayers and consumers. This growing partnership between business and government is a destructive force, undermining not just our economy and our political system, but the very foundations of our culture. This is one of the main themes of those wildly popular blogs "No Corporate Rule" and "Dave Dubya's Freedom Rants".

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He wanted to create a social-democratic state, based upon the Scandinavian model.
Your proof.
After he was gone, why haven't the people voted in socialism if its so great.

"Gee, it sounds to me like the poor USA is in a real pickle. A pickle they created them selves by deregulating capitalism, starting wars they couldn't afford, massive military spending, cutting taxes for the rich, and growing debt since Reagan took it from a creditor nation to a debtor nation."
Yup and the democrats had control of the house and senate when that happened. Happy?

"My question is after you have taxed the rich, destroyed private wealth, who will pay for the promises Obama makes to get elected?"

Grassroots campaign contributions"

Now I know your on crack! When 50% of us don't pay taxes, and are just one paycheck from poverty, and 70% of taxes are paid by just 2% of us, you think that there will be any none govt owned wealth left to distribute? So how does sending Obama $ solve the problem of govt running out of money?

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CPUSA endorses Obama for the following reasons.

The huge voter surge in 2008 elected Barack Obama, the first African American president. In the face of non-stop opposition, he pushed through:

Affordable Health Care Act extends coverage to 35 million uninsured people, outlaws denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and extends until age 26 coverage of children under their parents [sic] plans.
Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for equal pay for women.
Stabilized the economy with $789 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that saved or created 3 million jobs. Invested billions in clean energy jobs, saved the auto industry.
Unemployment benefits for millions of workers despite Republican threats to shut down the government. Obama was forced to yield on Bush-era tax cuts for the rich that he wanted to terminate.
Appointed two women to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the first Latina woman, who support the rights of working people.
Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and used a recess-appointment to name the director over Republican opposition.
Created a new food safety agency to protect people from food-borne illness.
Ended profit-grab by private banks on students [sic] loans, reestablishing Federal control on these loans and used the savings to extend loans to more students.
Doubled the funding for Pell Grants to $32 billion, increasing size of the grant $819 to a maximum of $5,500.
Ended the war in Iraq and moved toward ending the war in Afghanistan.


The point here is not to accuse Obama of guilt by association. The endorsement of communists does not prove him a communist.

The interesting question, however, is this: why does the CPUSA, in speaking to its own members, urge them to support Obama by citing the very policies and decisions that Obama himself is most proud of?

The answer is as unavoidable as it is straightforward: the Communist Party regards Barack Obama's signature achievements and defining principles as consistent with, and conducive to, its own defining goal -- namely, the establishment of a socialist workers' state in America.

In sum, the Communist Party loves the same Obama policies and accomplishments that the Democratic Party establishment loves, that the mainstream media loves, that the unions love, and that Charles Schumer, Jennifer Granholm, Harry Reid, and Dick Durbin love. They want more of the same. The CPUSA sees what most of us see, and what the Democratic Party would somehow like to keep its permanent underclass -- um, that is, its voter base -- from seeing: the Obama agenda is driving America "forward" on "the Road to Socialism." The only difference is that the communists are honest enough to spell it out.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Hoodie McKlanahan said...

I agree with Anonymous.

Obama's a commie, not to mention otherwise anti-American and impure.

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post by "Hoodie McKlanahan" just displayed the latest liberal response to any negative news about Obama, the poster is a racist.

Keeping classy since 1931, liberalism failures

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Hoodie McKlanahan said...

the poster is a racist.

(Wink, wink.)I gotcha, bro.

That's what those liberals always call us. We know they are the real racists, because we know who the real Americans are.

You and I know the truth.

Keep it classy, Anonymous. Go get those dirty liberal racist commies.

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "The answer is as unavoidable as it is straightforward: the Communist Party regards Barack Obama's signature achievements and defining principles as consistent with, and conducive to, its own defining goal -- namely, the establishment of a socialist workers' state in America."
1. The alternate and quite reasonable hypothesis is that the other side is friggin' nuts, making Obama's edge-nibbling and "formerly Republican ideas" (Obamacare is farther to the right than Nixon's plan and the hated Universal Mandate was a part of the GOP's own alternative to HillaryCare, for God's sake) look better by comparison. He's not a commie/pinko. He's more Mod than Mao; a Rockefeller not a ChiCom. Incidentally, if you're against equal pay for equal work and for not keeping the food supply safe (among the other terrible CommieCrimes listed), you've not only not signed on to the social contract, you've torn it up and burned it.
2. Hint for the future: Plagiarizing the ironically named American Thinker is essentially an admission that you've already lost the argument.

 
At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoodie McKlanahan,

do you and Sheria believe Joe Biden's comment "going to put y'all back in chains" to be a bit of a racist comment?

At least Charlie Rangel thought it was a direct reference to the days of slavery.

Dave, whoops, I meant Hoodie, what would have happened if Paul Ryan had made that racist remark?

 
At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Hoodie McKlanahan said...

So it wasn’t really an endorsement. Breitbart says it is, so there.

Look what the racist commies said under “why Vote?” just before the list of Obama’s commie policies.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and many others, died for a most precious human right, the right to vote. Now, the same racists who denied Black voters ballot rights in the 1960s are trying to keep voters from the polls in 2012.

In the old days, they called it a "poll tax." They rode at night and wore white sheets. Today, they wear expensive suits. But they still steal elections by cutting off early voting, by imposing photo ID requirements that poor voters can't afford. It's called "voter suppression."

It will take a fight to defeat these dirty tricks. Voter suppression tactics violate the letter and spirit of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Everything from sit-ins to mass rallies on state capitol steps are called for.

The biggest dirty trick of all is fooling voters into thinking there is no difference. The huge voter surge in 2008 elected President Barack Obama, the first African American president. In the face of non-stop opposition, he pushed through:


Commie lies!

Yeah, let’s hear it for Anonymous!

1. Affordable Health Care Act extends coverage to 35 million uninsured people, outlaws denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and extends until age 26 coverage of children under their parents [sic] plans.

This is the complete government takeover of health care. Same as Russia. “Pre-existing conditions”? Too bad, we don’t want you sickies soaking up insurance benefits.


2,. Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for equal pay for women.

Give someone equal pay and the next thing the commies will want is equal rights.


3. Stabilized the economy with $789 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that saved or created 3 million jobs. Invested billions in clean energy jobs, saved the auto industry.

Better to have a capitalist Depression than a socialist recovery. Let Detroit go bankrupt.


4. Unemployment benefits for millions of workers despite Republican threats to shut down the government. Obama was forced to yield on Bush-era tax cuts for the rich that he wanted to terminate.

Obama wants to coddle the unemployed commies and punish the job creators for firing those lazy bums.


5. Appointed two women to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the first Latina woman, who support the rights of working people.

I told you! See number 2.


6. Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and used a recess-appointment to name the director over Republican opposition.

Just because Bush made recess appointments doesn’t mean Obama can. How dare anyone do anything against what the Republicans want?


7. Created a new food safety agency to protect people from food-borne illness.

If the Free Market says tainted food can be sold, that’s good enough for me.


8. Ended profit-grab by private banks on students [sic] loans, reestablishing Federal control on these loans and used the savings to extend loans to more students.

Everyone knows colleges are commie factories and banks deserve money for nothing.


9. Doubled the funding for Pell Grants to $32 billion, increasing size of the grant $819 to a maximum of $5,500.

See number 8.


10. Ended the war in Iraq and moved toward ending the war in Afghanistan.

How dare Obama the commie follow Bush’s agreement to withdraw!

Anonymous can see the evil plot. Those commies are pushing democracy down our throats!

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Hoodie McKlanahan said...

Look! Here’s proof! No wonder we fascists hate commies!


Look what the racist commies said under “why Vote?” just after the list of Obama’s commie policies.


Many people wanted more. In 2010 they failed to turn out to vote. Tea Party Republicans won a sweep. President Obama — and all the rest of us — have been fighting a defensive battle ever since.

Yet Ohio voters learned a bitter lesson. Tea Party Governor John Kasich rammed SB-5, a union-busting bill through the Republican majority Ohio House. The Ohio labor movement and its allies collected 1.3 million petition signatures to put repeal of SB-5 on the ballot. Last November, the people went to the polls and voted overwhelmingly to repeal this union-busting law.

Similarly, the Wisconsin labor movement and its friends collected over one million signatures to recall Gov. Scott Walker, a union-buster bought and paid for by the billionaire Koch Brothers.

The banks and corporations are spending billions of dollars, anonymously, under the U.S. Supreme Court's outrageous "Citizens United" ruling. It grants corporations the right to flood the airwaves with corporate lies and misinformation. Their aim is to strip away or privatize Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and other federal, state, and local programs that serve all of us. Thousands of classroom teachers and other public employees have been laid off because of misguided austerity policies that threaten the fragile economic recovery.

This is a fight by "We, the people!" against the secret minions of great wealth. The 99% of us are fighting back against the wealthy 1%. Barely over 50% of those eligible actually exercise their right to vote, the lowest rate of voter participation of any nation in the industrialized world. We fight a defensive battle with one hand tied behind our backs.

What if 100% of eligible voters exercised their right to vote? It would be possible to elect officials committed to rebuild the social and physical infrastructure, create millions of good, green jobs that will also reduce federal deficits. The wealthy would have to pay their fair share of taxes. It would generate new revenues to pay liveable Social Security benefits and provide "Medicare for all."

 
At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Hoodie,

You forgot to mention the roads and bridges and public schools and the Post Office that the GOP wants to take away.

The GOP also wants everybody to breathe dirty air and drink dirty water and put the used nukular aluminum tubes in our landfills.

 
At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Hoodie McKlanahan said...

Anonymous,
You said it better than I could.

That's why you're my hero, standing up to all these liberal racist commies.

And without facts, too!

That's mighty white of you.

Together we can keep those undesirables from voting in their nasty democracy.

Soon we'll live in the glorious one party dictatorship those liberal commies have been resisting.

Hail, Victory!

 
At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GOP also wants everybody to breathe dirty air and drink dirty water and put the used nukular aluminum tubes in our landfills.

Like the GOP wont drink the same water and breath the same air as the rest of us do.

Next it will be the claim of racism, yawn, do try to use some imagination with your lies.

 
At 12:20 AM, Anonymous James said...

It seems most Conservatives are dumb as dirt when it comes to being aware of the policies, goals and past history of their own political party.

A Republican talking point is "The EPA is a job killer" so they want to underfund it and gut the Clean Air Act and The Clean Water Act. Bush killed the Super Fund clean up program and Cheney protected the Fracking industry from any oversight by the EPA. The result is 100s of billions of gallons of water are being irreversibly polluted on a constant basis.
Since I an a Liberal, all these facts are just made up Liberal crap and you do not have to believe any of it.

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"It seems most Conservatives are dumb as dirt when it comes to being aware of the policies, goals and past history of their own political party."

You're referring to the party of Richard Nixon, correct? The President under whose administration the EPA was established.

I don't think most conservatives are dumb - as you and your pregressive friends out here would like to believe. But, if it makes you feel better about yourself, your call.

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Uh, "progressive" not "pregressive". Lest I should be corrected by one.

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

To be fair, Harley A., Nixon only started the EPA because he thought it would clean up hippies.

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous James said...

Harley, you misread my post. I only referred to the knowledge of politics.I know Conservatives who are brilliant but know very little about politics even though they follow it very closely. There is a huge difference between Liberal and Conservative websites in the scope and depth of the reporting.
In spite of my admittedly inflammatory phrasing, you have my respect for never posting personal attacks. You are a model of self control and maturity on this political blog.

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous: "He [Gorbachev] wanted to create a social-democratic state, based upon the Scandinavian model. Your proof."

Marshall Pomer, Introduction, in The New Russia: Transition Gone Awry, eds. Lawrence R. Klein and Marshall Pomer (Stanford: Stanford University Press: 2001), 1.

"After he was gone, why haven't the people voted in socialism if its so great."

Because Boris Yeltsin, who was always anti-Gorbachev, was more than willing to play the game. He parlayed his power to boot Gorbachev out and him in. The rest is history.

But, I forgot, why would I think you'd even remotely understand any of this?

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A.: "Uh, 'progressive' not 'pregressive'. Lest I should be corrected by one."

We only refer to those "with child" as "pregreesive". It's one of the few English nouns following a gender system of feminine and masculine. ;-)

 
At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's to prevent the people of the former USSR from voting in socialism now?

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I thought that was why Nixon started the Drug War !!

 
At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Edward Kerr said...

Very interesting blog Tom, I look forward to commenting from time to time especially on energy related issues.

On Romney: His stance on the energy issue is enough that I could never vote for him. That's ignoring all of his other, what's the word I'm groping for, flaws (though I wish him well)...

With best personal regards
Edward Kerr

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thank you for stopping by, Edward Kerr. Please feel free to comment any time you feel like it.

All the best,

Tom Degan

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Here's a link to Edward's energy blog, folks:

Edward's Energy Blog

Very cool!

Tom

 

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