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Old 09-23-2011, 06:31 AM   #381
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I think you can tell how evil an energy company is by how aggressive it's being with it's advertising.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen the bullshit "Fracking is completely safe" ad. It's being run all of the time.
i don't know, there must be exceptions to the rule. i don't remember ever seeing an mlgw (memphis light, gas, and water) commercial but they're pretty fucking evil. very corrupt.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:48 AM   #382
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i don't know, there must be exceptions to the rule. i don't remember ever seeing an mlgw (memphis light, gas, and water) commercial but they're pretty fucking evil. very corrupt.
Oh, I mean as an inverse to the intensity of what they are advertising.

I'd love to go on, but I'll stick to Obama in this thread.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #383
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #384
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:18 AM   #385
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When governments can no longer bribe people with their own money, the scam ends.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:05 PM   #386
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When governments can no longer bribe people with their own money, the scam ends.
From a mostly non-partisan outsider, I can assure you, there is little evidence of bribes in US politics. Certainly not involving 'the people'. It's entirely an auction, and 'the people' have absolutely nothing to do with it. Pesky.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:10 PM   #387
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Yeah, it's not bribes. It's completely legal to buy a candidate in the United States. It's called "campaign donation."
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:47 PM   #388
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$1 billion to elect a President, either side. Some percentage of that for whatever other position or office. All candidates on both sides with both eyes on that prize above all else.

It's bought. You're broken. Both sides.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:43 PM   #389
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It's entirely an auction, and 'the people' have absolutely nothing to do with it. Pesky.

that's too much of a simplification.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:59 PM   #390
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A debate, of sorts, between Melissa Harris-Perry at The Nation and Joan Walsh at Salon over how to make sense of apparent differences between black and white liberals in level of discontent with Obama.

Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama - Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry
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The 2012 election may be a test of another form of electoral racism: the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts. If old-fashioned electoral racism is the absolute unwillingness to vote for a black candidate, then liberal electoral racism is the willingness to abandon a black candidate when he is just as competent as his white predecessors.

The relevant comparison here is with the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Today many progressives complain that Obama’s healthcare reform was inadequate because it did not include a public option; but Clinton failed to pass any kind of meaningful healthcare reform whatsoever. Others argue that Obama has been slow to push for equal rights for gay Americans; but it was Clinton who established the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Obama helped repeal. Still others are angry about appalling unemployment rates for black Americans; but while overall unemployment was lower under Clinton, black unemployment was double that of whites during his term, as it is now. And, of course, Clinton supported and signed welfare “reform,” cutting off America’s neediest despite the nation’s economic growth. Today, America’s continuing entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan provoke anger, but while Clinton reduced defense spending, covert military operations were standard practice during his administration. In terms of criminal justice, Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which decreased judicial disparities in punishment; by contrast, federal incarceration grew exponentially under Clinton. Many argue that Obama is an ineffective leader, but the legislative record for his first two years outpaces Clinton’s first two years. Both men came into power with a Democratically controlled Congress, but both saw a sharp decline in their ability to pass their own legislative agendas once GOP majorities took over one or both chambers.

These comparisons are neither an attack on the Clinton administration nor an apology for the Obama administration. They are comparisons of two centrist Democratic presidents who faced hostile Republican majorities in the second half of their first terms, forcing a number of political compromises. One president is white. The other is black.

In 1996 President Clinton was re-elected with a coalition more robust and a general election result more favorable than his first win. His vote share among women increased from 46% to 53%, among blacks from 83% to 84%, among independents from 38% to 42%, and among whites from 39% to 43%.

President Obama has experienced a swift and steep decline in support among white Americans—from 61% in 2009 to 33% now. I believe much of that decline can be attributed to their disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation. His record is, at the very least, comparable to that of President Clinton, who was enthusiastically re-elected. The 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent.
Are white liberals abandoning the president? I don't see evidence - Joan Walsh
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I couldn't find any polls measuring "white liberal" support for President Obama, but it's safe to say many white liberals are disappointed in the president. I think Harris-Perry is wrong when she generalizes about two things: that white liberal disappointment is due to "the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts" (which she calls "a more insidious form of racism"), and that it's likely to lead to white liberals "abandoning" Obama in 2012.

...[H]er Clinton-Obama comparison, while provocative and sometimes interesting, has a lot of practical problems. It's sad, for many reasons, that we don't have a more recent Democratic president whose support we can examine. But using Clinton means we're reaching back 15 years to his reelection, and 20 years to his first campaign...[I]t's hard to usefully compare the attitudes of a hard-to-define demographic group--"white liberals"--across a span of 20 years, factor in the specific ups and downs of two presidencies, and come to any fair political conclusions. It's especially hard given the enormous difference in the economy during their two presidencies. Clinton presided over one of the strongest economies in American history; Obama inherited the worst mess since the Great Depression. Clinton probably gets more credit than he deserves for the economy, while Obama gets too much blame. But it's nearly impossible to compare voters' opinions of the two presidents given that stark contrast. With a booming economy, Obama would be riding higher with all voters, of every race.

In the absence of reliable poll data about white liberal opinion on Obama and Clinton, we at least need some specific anecdotal evidence. I understand why Harris-Perry didn't want to single out any particular individuals, but it's hard to know this is happening, let alone debate why, unless we can identify representative white liberal constituencies and individuals, and compare their support of Clinton and Obama. At different times and on different issues, liberals and progressives, whites included, howled over Clinton's decisions, from DADT to welfare reform to the reckless behavior that led to his (absolutely outrageous and politically motivated) impeachment. If we take Congress, two white liberal lions of the Senate, Ted Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, crusaded against and voted against what was, for liberals, Clinton's most disappointing policy, welfare reform. Most white liberals in Congress voted against it. (His white Health and Human Services deputy, Peter Edelman, left the administration over it, calling it "the worst thing" Clinton had ever done.)...On MSNBC, liberals Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews helmed a lineup that was hugely critical of Clinton (today Matthews is one of Obama's leading defenders, while Olbermann, once a passionate supporter, has left both MSNBC and the Obama camp). The New York Times editorial pages, helmed by white liberal Clinton critic Howell Raines and featuring (once-liberal) Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich, savaged Clinton and Al Gore. White progressives at The Nation attacked Clinton harshly on NAFTA, welfare reform and his Wall Street-friendly economic policies, while defending him from impeachment, much like Salon. ...Obama critic Michael Moore was also a Clinton critic, who famously supported Ralph Nader over Gore in 2000.

It's also problematic to compare Clinton's reelection numbers with Obama's midterm approval ratings. What people tell pollsters in times of disappointment, and how they then vote, can be two very different things...Barring more major trouble with the economy or a big misstep by the president, I expect Obama's support by all demographic groups to be higher at the ballot box than it is in opinion polls today.

...The difference between Clinton's booming economy and today's broken one creates political problems for Obama in another way: He was largely elected due to Americans' fears that we were headed into an abyss, and their faith that he would bring the economic change he promised. Like a pilot taking over with a plane in a nose dive, Obama kept the economy from crashing, but he hasn't lifted it into smooth skies. Maybe it makes me an unrealistic and entitled white progressive--that's pretty much what black author Ishmael Reed called Obama's white critics--but I think it's clear that even with a recalcitrant Congress, the president could have done more than he did to dismantle the rigged system that let Wall Street destroy the economy, as well as more to help its casualties. ...Many politicians share the blame: Democrats and Republicans let the financial sector rig the rules to enrich itself and impoverish the rest of us for the last 30 years. They've gotten increasingly rich by lending us the cash we didn't get in raises since wages stagnated in the 1970s, after the Democrats began running away from economic populism (but that's another, longer story you can read about in my book next year). But given the political opening to challenge that system in 2009, Obama essentially left it intact. As I wrote last week, Obama appointed the Clinton economic-team veterans most friendly to Wall Street--most notably, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers--while excluding and/or marginalizing the Clinton vets most critical, like Robert Reich, Laura Tyson and Gary Gensler. And whether it was the Volcker rule getting commercial banks out of speculative, proprietary trading, or efforts to sell shady derivatives on "exchanges" for the sake of transparency, or a contingency plan to force the toxic behemoth Citibank into bankruptcy, Obama let important reforms either die on the vine or be diluted into ineffectiveness. He had a rare window to change the system radically, and it's now closed. Meanwhile, over the last decade, progressives--of every race--have become far more sophisticated, and outraged, about the naked control Wall Street and corporate America exert over politicians, including Democratic politicians.

...I acknowledge that [Michael] Moore's recent comment, "I voted for the black guy and what I got was the white guy," betrays some racial ickiness, but so did Cornel West's insistence that Obama fears "free black men" because he's half-white.

There is one point on which I agree with Harris-Perry, at least partly. She argues that much of white liberals' disappointment with the president "can be attributed to their disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation." I think there's some truth there; I've written it about myself, right after the election. I wrote that one reason I was skeptical of candidate Obama in 2008 (apart from the fact that, correctly, I considered him an economic centrist) is that I looked to him to be a transformative, Martin Luther King Jr. figure, rather than a politician, and that I was "scrutinizing his every move not only for political efficacy but for moral, political and racial justice. It was too big a burden to place on our first black presidential nominee, and now, on our first black president. I also came late to the realization that Obama represents an advance beyond King in terms of our foreordained roles for African-Americans. We want them perfect, we need them to be the country's conscience, to make us better than we are. It's been very hard to simply view a black politician as an American leader." ...And yet, the president bears some responsibility for expectations that he'd be "salvific." His dreamy "We are the ones we are waiting for" campaign encouraged projection.

...As long as we're looking at the president's racial support, let's look broadly. While white liberal support for Obama has almost certainly dropped, so has his support within every group. Why are Latinos abandoning Obama? Two-thirds of Latinos voted for the president in 2008; the Gallup tracking poll showed Latino support dropping to 44% at the end of August, though it jumped up above 50% this week...And while black support remains strong, it's declined, too. Obama won 95% of black voters in 2008, and his approval rating hovered in the 90s for most of his first two years. This week, it's at 82%, and it's been steadily in the 80s since February. That's still high, but it's not the enthusiastic, near-unanimous support that elected him. The president himself acknowledged the rising volume of African American discontent in his speech to the (increasingly critical) Congressional Black Caucus Saturday night.

...Finally: Looking for racial motives to explain white liberal disappointment with Obama, in the face of so many economic reasons, seems unnecessarily divisive. It's hard not to notice that despite our admirable 40-year crusade to purge racism, overt and unconscious, from Democratic politics, most Americans, of every race, have grown worse off–-and meanwhile, the same proportion of African Americans live in poverty as when Dr. King tried to launch a Poor People's Campaign. As progressives have focused on the real and corrosive legacy of racism against minorities, one American minority has done very well, and that's the richest 1%, who now earn a quarter of the nation's income, up from 8% of it under Jimmy Carter. ...I believe we need to pay much more specific attention to the grinding disadvantages of class as well as race if we want to undo the economic disaster of the last 30 years. Those of us who believe in economic justice must work harder to define a new vision, and a new language, of inclusion and prosperity for everyone. Blaming racism for a diverse assortment of white liberals' diverse complaints about the president won't get us there.
I almost cut everything preceding the bolded part out of Walsh's response, because while she does an excellent job laying out why liberals in general might be dissatisfied with Obama's economic policy, none of that really addresses the specific question Harris-Perry is asking, save for the point that "white" voter support is not the same thing as "white liberal" voter support. What Harris-Perry identifies as the "ineffective leader" complaint and what Walsh identifies as the erosion of "salvific" "projections" may be, I think, the same thing. You could perhaps subdivide that into different kinds of "projections" (I rather doubt MLK is the right characterization for whatever totem Michael Moore had in mind), regardless, having seen several exchanges like the above play out between friends and students of mine, my sense is that this is the factor most likely to be left unsaid.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:33 PM   #391
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while i agree and think that Obama's considerable achievements have been overlooked, partly due to a sputtering economy (compared to Clinton's roaring economy), but part of that is also his fault.

he absolutely invited us to believe that he was the one we had been waiting for, that he was the great hope that liberals have always believed would come and save us all from history and move us into a utopian future. Obama understood this very, very well, and he knew that, consciously or subconsciously, his life story is *exactly* what liberals believe is the stuff of real American exceptionalism.

so he has played a part in whatever disappointment white liberals might feel, because he not just allowed but invited them to project whatever qualities they wanted upon him.

and i suppose i'm just repeating what's been outlined in the article, but i also think that such wistful thinking evaporates when you're in the voting booth and potentially looking at a lever with the words "PERRY/RUBIO (R)" on them.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:56 PM   #392
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I was pretty startled by that "But Obama asked for it" twist at the end of Walsh's article, and I guess I'm not buying it, honestly. All presidential campaigns seek to present their candidate as the one to make America work again, all presidential candidates need egos large enough to believe that they personally are special enough to deserve to lead the country--this stuff's par for the course with presidential systems, you get the checks and balances but also some inevitable deus ex machina bullshit in the bargain. Obama isn't unique in this way. To me the signature feature of his campaign was an outward-directed emphasis on building a movement, a network of future activists and in particular youth activists that might be useful to the party in other ways in the future--that's what I took all the "we" stuff to be about. You could certainly make an argument that an election campaign isn't an enduring enough foundation from which to launch initiatives that in truth we need unions, environmental groups, civil rights organizations etc. for, but that doesn't make it a stealth vehicle for coaxing participants and supporters into projecting their personal and collective salvation fantasies onto the candidate. It's not the candidate's responsibility to warn or admonish, "Look, support me for the right reasons please, okay."
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #393
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I think Obama is keenly aware that the liberal messiah was never going to be white. I think his very post-ness ("goodbye to all that") was something utterly unique about him, and only him, and while I agree that every candidate wants you to project your hopes and dreams upon them, I think Obama alone was able to racialize it by deracializing it, if that makes sense.

As for white's greater disappointment -- and while I know all too well the double-standard of having to be exceptional to be normal, as well as the burden of those who are the status quo looking to you to elevate them through their faith in you, and what double-standards they both are -- well, you've got to ride the tiger you rode in on. And elevating otherness in one set of eyes becomes socialist/communist/Maoist/hitler/Antichrist in the eyes of another.

But how could Obama have ever won without this? On paper, HRC was easily the stronger candidate (with evident baggage). McCain too. They held the most enduring brands in politics denoted by their last names.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:32 PM   #394
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not that it matters, but Hillary got more votes than Obama in the primaries, Obama got the Democratic nomination a bit like Bush got the Whitehouse in 2000, he (his people) worked the system
don't count the votes in Mich and Florida

Hillary would have easily beat McCain, any Dem could have won in 2008, the Bush/Cheney fatigue was palpable.

It is a shame Obama got thrown to the lions, he could have gone down as one of our greatest Presidents in 2016 or 2020, with a bit more seasoning in the Senate.

Now, he will go down as the brilliant amateur .
A footnote.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:29 PM   #395
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everyone knew the rules in the '08 primaries.

this is in no way comparable to a 5-4 SCOTUS decision.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #396
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yeah, I do feel we have discussed the 08 primary enough.

I just feel winning the 08 election was bad for Obama, it is a terrible time to be the Chief Executive.

I think it is likely that he will be out next year. And if the economy does slowly turn around he will get labeled as being a poor executive.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:28 PM   #397
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HRC's last name was very much a double-edged sword for her, I think, on paper and otherwise. Useful when she was able to essentially present accomplishments that were really her husband's as her own, not so useful when it came to lingering smears that were essentially about her husband rather than her.
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I think Obama is keenly aware that the liberal messiah was never going to be white. I think his very post-ness ("goodbye to all that") was something utterly unique about him, and only him, and while I agree that every candidate wants you to project your hopes and dreams upon them, I think Obama alone was able to racialize it by deracializing it, if that makes sense.
I think I understand what you mean re: racializing by deracializing (and it's a much more sophisticated argument than Walsh was making), but I still tend to see that image as one some supporters projected onto him, rather than something he claimed himself. Obama is relatively young for a 'black leader' and surely that generational factor does play some role in his racial self-concept, as does the fact that he's the biracial child of an African and an American, that he grew up in the only US state never to have a white majority, that he spent several years as a schoolchild in Indonesia, whom his closest friends and mentors have been over his life, and no doubt various other factors. None of those nuances make him 'post'-racial though, I don't recall him ever suggesting anything to that effect, and I'm not sure African-American primary voters would've warmed to him if he had. As far as broader readings of 'post-,' that he somehow embodies the end of the Culture Wars (hence "liberal messiah"?) in other ways as well, I never really saw or understood that one either. An openly expressed longing for it, sure (the "More Perfect Union" speech being a particularly eloquent example), but not a claim that he, or we, have actually transcended it.
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As for white's greater disappointment -- and while I know all too well the double-standard of having to be exceptional to be normal, as well as the burden of those who are the status quo looking to you to elevate them through their faith in you, and what double-standards they both are -- well, you've got to ride the tiger you rode in on. And elevating otherness in one set of eyes becomes socialist/communist/Maoist/hitler/Antichrist in the eyes of another.
Yes, as a re-election obstacle it is what it is, but in addition to condescending double standards (what a thoughtful, reasonable, model black man!) and 'elevated' white guilt (what a transformational person I am for liking this guy!) there's also always been the possibility of simply respecting convictions or insights that are clearly hard-won, and not the afforded pretty talk of someone who's never been challenged. I think the socialist/communist/Maoist/hitler/Antichrist reaction stems in part from an inability to imagine or recognize a positive response beyond the former two.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:54 AM   #398
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Obama kills even more Al Qaeda.

Who was Anwar al-Awlaki? - CBS News
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #399
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or was it the CIA that W put in place?


(in a year or two Obama's military will be catching these guys and giving them make-overs)
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:11 PM   #400
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For those of you in living in the "moral gray area" I know this is a bit of a conundrum but for those of us in the good/evil, black and white world it's great news.
So even though I risk sounding like a bloodthirsty hater at a GOP debate let be just say, "Wahoooooooooo, nice shootin' Prez!!
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