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Intro: "If you want to appreciate what Barack Obama is up against in 2012, forget about the front man who is his nominal opponent and look instead at the Republican billionaires buying the ammunition for the battles ahead."

Photo: Top row, from left, Rob Sachs/AP; Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg/Getty Images; Patrick McMullan. Bottom row, from left, John Miller/AP; Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle/AP; Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images. (photo: Photo-Illustration by Darrow)
Photo: Top row, from left, Rob Sachs/AP; Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg/Getty Images; Patrick McMullan. Bottom row, from left, John Miller/AP; Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle/AP; Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images. (photo: Photo-Illustration by Darrow)

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A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+30 # Barbara K 2012-04-23 09:27
We need to show these communistic sugar daddies that their nasty ads will not buy the election. We are intelligent people who can ignore their nasty, expensive ads, and vote Democratic no matter what lies they try to pass off. We know better.

VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC AT ALL LEVELS,

Our future depends on it. Get out and vote. Ignore the nasty ads, that's what I use my Mute button for.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2012-04-23 09:57
Quoting Barbara K:
We need to show these communistic sugar daddies that their nasty ads will not buy the election. We are intelligent people who can ignore their nasty, expensive ads, and vote Democratic no matter what lies they try to pass off. We know better.

VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC AT ALL LEVELS,

Our future depends on it. Get out and vote. Ignore the nasty ads, that's what I use my Mute button for.

"Communistic"?? ???
 
 
+13 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-23 10:54
Yes -- communistic?? More Presbyterian, overweight, bald, or Hungarian, I'd say, since they MIGHT be one of those -- but never communist.

Do people know what communism is actually about? Seems not, for most.
 
 
+7 # Skippydelic 2012-04-23 12:01
Quoting reiverpacific:
"Communistic"?????


BLUTO: "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!!"

OTTER: "Germans?"

BOONE: "Forget it; he's rolling..."
 
 
-35 # Martintfre 2012-04-23 10:03
//VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC AT ALL LEVELS,//

That way democrats will never have to be held accountable for their miss deeds.
 
 
+3 # noitall 2012-04-23 22:57
Wisdom from experience. It worked for the GOPs, making the 99%'s point...exactly !
 
 
+14 # RMDC 2012-04-23 10:40
"Fascism is the corporate control of the state" -- Mussolini. Communism is the control of the state by the working class or labor. These are not communists. They are pure fascists. The sad fact is that Obama works for them, too. Obama is a much nicer guy. So I guess friendly fascism is better than the other kind.
 
 
+2 # Regina 2012-04-23 16:59
And no matter how communism is defined, the old USSR under Stalin was a fascist regime, under a bloody dictator whose crimes against "the working class or labor" were as vile as Hitler's and Mussolini's and other contemporaneous tyrants.
 
 
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-23 21:15
Yup.

Although some prefer to say USSR under Stalin was totalitarian oligarchy, it is described as state capitalism -- same as provater capitalims except the dictators are government oligarchs instead of corporate opligarchs, and both are stages of fascism.

Stalin liked to lie and say it was communistic for propaganda purposes (much as Hitler called the Nazis socialists), and the US propagandists went along in demonizing both the USSR and socialism/commu nism.

Communism, and the earlier stage of socialism, is actually economic democracy where the workers decide how to work, what to make, and what to do with the fruits of their labor (profits), and that has not yet existed on a large national scale (and the fascist empires, when they see it beginning to work, make war and destroy it so it won't set a good example).

Real nation and world-wide socialism and communism is the system of the future (although perhaps not very far away), much as democracy was in the feudal period (although that was never fully realized either because it never determined a nations economy, and only political democracy is useless if an oligarchy or despot controls the economy and wealth, at which point political democracy becomes a sham).
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 08:25
Bravo, bluepilgrim...i t is all to rare to see such an intelligent, nuanced comment with a real appreciation for the actual theory and history that so many on these boards just spout on about without (it seems to me) often having any clue as to the real nature of the terms (.e.g, socialist, communist, stalinism...etc ) they are going on about. A pleasure to read a comment that truly tries to educate others....not to mention that i suspect we share a similar political take on things.
 
 
+7 # brianf 2012-04-23 11:03
It's not wise to blindly vote for Democrats at all times. It is more important to vote for the best Democrat in the primary, so that you have a chance of electing good people. There are several bad Democrats in congress who are more conservative than moderate Republicans used to be. The slide to the right of the past few decades is partly because people blindly vote for whoever the Democrat is and don't bother to vote in the primaries.
 
 
+12 # pernsey 2012-04-23 16:12
I will vote democrat across the board. I know voting for republicans is voting against my own interests.
 
 
-9 # RLF 2012-04-24 05:58
I don't think I'll bother to vote...they are all the same S#*t. Better to spend my time protesting.
 
 
-7 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-24 08:16
You would vote against a green or socialist or a good independent? People have to get beyond the 'republocrat/de mocan' false choice framing and machine or we will all continue to go over the cliff.

Voting for Democrats is ALSO against your own interests, and you can vote for others or write in a candidate.
 
 
+3 # readerz 2012-04-24 09:57
The trouble is, the lesser of two evils may lose if he/she is not elected at every level of government, be it Federal, State, or Local. Yes, look at who is running in the primaries and vote there. Yes, vote for the best candidate. But don't forget that Republicans vote as a block, and mathematics is the worst dictator: if the block all votes the same, those with varying opinions will always lose. Then Congress pushes through laws that are terrible, or the Senate does not allow a good bill to come to the floor. Right now, Democrats are always the lesser of two evils; if there is an exception, vote for them as long as they don't vote with conservatives in a block.

However, I hope that some of the states are re-drawn, or the Constitution re-written as far as the Senate and Electoral College rules go, because as it is right now, some very low-population mining states rule the rest of the country, deciding which bills get to the Senate floor, etc. In British history, there were districts that had no population but a major representative, and high-population areas with less representation. At a certain point everything had to be re-drawn. It just makes sense; there is no way to have a real country otherwise. And for one state to consciously pollute another and get away with it because of commerce laws is no government at all.
 
 
-2 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-24 10:22
The 'lesser of 2 evils' doesn't hold up to the reality of where that has brought the country, and it is actually allowing the oligarch to order people who to vote for by simply throwing up something even worse.

Voting for a 'lesser' is just a mind game which gives away any power of the people in the polling booth they might otherwise have. It is, in reality, not a lesser evil, to be stabbed to death rather than shot.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 08:29
one could also reasonably argue that in fact Obama is the more effective of two evils rather than the lesser...he has been able to do things to our civil liberties (with overwhelming democratic support) that most dems/progressiv es would have been up in arms had Bush tried to get them through....howe ver, that does not mean that it necessarily follows that there is no difference between all dems and all repubs or that voting vs. protesting should ever be presented as an either or proposition and as bluepilgrim points out there are other options (at least for those of us in solid democratic states for those worried that a vote for a third party would lead to a republican victory but this is another discussion) than simply the democans and republicrats
 
 
0 # pernsey 2012-04-26 20:32
I could do that, but when the republican wins it would be partially my fault and Im not going to chance that. Im voting straight Democrat.
 
 
+3 # jlohman 2012-04-23 09:29
It matters not whether you are Left, Right, or in the middle. What matters is whether you play the game of cash (bribes to politicians, of course). Money works! And ONLY a 100% turnover in November will reverse it.
 
 
-21 # davidhp 2012-04-23 09:46
I see where the Obama administration is pushing for U.S. troops in Afghanistan until 2024 now - this is not change I believe in. How much more blood is going to be on the hands of these "progressives".
 
 
+4 # noitall 2012-04-23 22:55
Don't you remember? George bought it now we own it. Opium fields and all.
 
 
-6 # Daniel1 2012-04-24 08:53
I thought that was what MoveOn.org stated "We bought the Democrats party and we own it outright, and they had better listen if they know whats good for them" So how is this any different then some person claiming that Business and the "Rich" are doing the same thing as MoveOn.org and other left wing groups? Or is it ok when the left does it but not the right? This is why I am an independent voter, as BOTH sides speak out of two sides of their mouths.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 08:33
The problem Daniel1 is that Business/the Rich understand correctly that they do in fact "own" the republican party whereas MoveOn and other progressives are completely delusional if they believe that (perhaps a different segment/faction ) Business/the Rich do not also own the Democrats...FDR , e.g., simply represented a different wing of Capital but he did in no way "owned" by labor or the working class
 
 
+21 # angelfish 2012-04-23 09:55
We MUST fight to get these "Evil Geniuses" OUT of our Government! We are supposed to be a FREE Country, not one sold to the highest bidder! They are killing us with their greed and lust for more and more of everything that rightfully belongs to ALL the People! Romney is their servant. Beware and remember on Election Day. The People, UNITED, will NEVER be defeated!
 
 
-56 # Martintfre 2012-04-23 10:00
So how much is Sorose, Buffet and others pouring in?

How much are the tax payers being forced to pay for Obama's re-election? ie Acorn/Solyndra/ Gm/Fanny May Freddi Mac/AIG ... ANY corporation that received a bail out should not be permitted a single dime in contributions - it is simply a vicious cycle where the tax payers are robbed to support companies that deserve to fail - but those companies buy politicians (with tax payer monies) forcing the tax payers to bail them out ...

The ultimate no wind scenario for The forgotten man - the tax payer
 
 
+7 # Merschrod 2012-04-23 10:42
I'd like to see the "no wind scenario" but we are stuck with the hot air of the politicos from all sides. We get wind burned no matter what.
 
 
+4 # NanFan 2012-04-23 13:15
Quoting Merschrod:
I'd like to see the "no wind scenario" but we are stuck with the hot air of the politicos from all sides. We get wind burned no matter what.


Best quote of the day!

N.
 
 
+6 # PaineRad 2012-04-23 20:44
Now that is just about the most bizarrely ignorant comment you have come up with to date. Nothing like just throwing out a bunch of names without knowing what they have done now or in the past. GM has mostly spent on lobbying. Acorn does not exist thanks to the edited and dishonest O'Keefe video. Solyndra was prohibited from contributing to campaigns as is GM and AIG. Martin, you might want to do a little research instead of just bellowing. Bailed out firms ARE prohibited from donating to campaigns.

But here's a question for you. Should defense contractors, which are bailed out on every contract by the very nature of their cost plus contracts, be permitted to fund campaigns, lobbying or "independent expenditures"? Because they can and do spend taxpayer dollars doing that now.
 
 
0 # noitall 2012-04-23 23:00
That's now WIN not "no wind", you prove that that's not true. Those jobs that you're willing to toss that "deserve to fail" solve their problem by moving abroad and hiring kids and paying no tax at all.
 
 
+13 # dick 2012-04-23 11:16
I wonder why we rarely address the issue of the effectiveness of garbage political ads on the electorate. After all, the incompetence of the electorate is the underlying issue here. Instead of checking photo IDs, we need to check vulnerability to crappo advertising. The Soviet people knew Pravda was trash. Why do Americans pay ANY heed to partisan ATTACK ads? If we'd ignore them, or better yet, laugh at them, all the $$ would be wasted. They're certainly not very subtle, & would be wasted on, say, Swedes or Norwegians or Danes. How STUPID are we?
 
 
+4 # Regina 2012-04-23 17:12
Very stupid, over all. As long as teachers have to teach to arbitrary texts and tests, people in their student years will never learn logic, critical reasoning, and most of all, science. Only in America do people fall for the stupidity that sciences are matters to be voted on rather than discovered, learned, and applied. But thinking is dangerous -- if taught to think, people might cease to swallow the baloney fed to them in all those monster ads that all the media spew into their lives.
 
 
+18 # jwb110 2012-04-23 11:19
Harold Simmons absolutely meant the word kill in it's dictionary sense. This is a WHITE backlash at a BLACK President and anyone who thinks that this GOP election will not be racially motivated is a damned fool.
There are millionaire Blacks in America. Now is the time for them to step up. If they don't they should be ready for another era of Jim Crow.
 
 
+13 # moby doug 2012-04-23 12:28
‎"The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or, what is most important of all, the banker of the backer." - J.R.R. Tolkien
 
 
+11 # amye 2012-04-23 15:25
Wow! The NYT might be making it out of the dog house with this article, and if they publish more of this kind of commentary! After their complete support of the horrific Iraq War, I may start reading it on a regular basis again! This is exactly what the country needs to know before the biggest election of our time!! No one is really happy with Obama, but trust me Romney will put the death nail in the coffin of our country if he is elected!! He will be worse than Bush if you can imagine it! An empty suit a million times over! Or as they used to say The Emperor With No Clothes!!
 
 
+4 # tclose 2012-04-23 22:21
Sorry, amye, this is New York magazine, not the NYTimes. Your kudos are misplaced.

But you are right about the impact a Romney win would make on our American institutions.
 
 
+6 # Listner 2012-04-23 17:38
There are more people in this country who need Obamas policys than there are rich people. The problem is that half of those people are listening to Fox News and thinking they're telling the truth. So with half listening to bogus news and a large part swayed by "turd blossoms" lies just before election day, we get Bush. Twice !! This absolutely MUST not happen again. I'm not all that happy with Obama but giving the country back to scoundrels is unacceptable. Blog , blog , blog , till your fingers hurt but don't let this happen. A buck or two to the Obama campaign won't hurt either. If five million people give a buck , well you get it. The economy improves , people go back to work , tax revenues increase , we replace some of the environmental rules and regulations Bush ran roughshod over , bingo , we look like rock stars.
 
 
+1 # robjh1 2012-04-23 19:31
Give me one of those sugar daddies. I got some things for them to pay for. LOL!
 
 
+3 # PaineRad 2012-04-23 20:20
It is not very often that I think Frank Rich is full of it. But this article starts of with a premature ejaculation when he suggests that everything is different than expected. Just wait until the conventions are over! You ain't seen nothin' yet! It is far, far too early to make such bold pronouncements.

At that point I predict that we will see corporations pouring tens of millions of anonymous dollars into Super PACs from Karl Rove's Crossroads to the US Chamber of Crime and Slavery.

But meanwhile he has done a very, very useful thing in exposing a few of the early leaders in the race to destroy America. AlerNet, The Nation and several other of the actual liberal media (as opposed to the economically conservative and occasionally socially moderate mainstream media)have been for months exposing a few of the backroom funders here and several more there of the bank-rollers that push the 1%, its all about me and not at all about anyone else, agenda. These guys and the hundred or so guys and gals who attend the Koch brothers' retreats need to be exposed for their blatant bribery and selfish destruction of American prosperity and productivity.
 
 
-9 # Daniel1 2012-04-24 08:48
Oh PUH-LEAZE. It is so very hard to take this seriously when you have Frank Rich complaining about the people donating to the right wing, when he does not say one thing about the stolen union dues given to the left wing by Union bosses (and I know as I retired from Chrysler and was a member of UAW Local 12 Region 2 and when I became a chapter 16 objector, meaning I refused to let the Union take my money and give it to people I dont like but they do; my union dues dropped from 40. a month down to 16 a month. Shows exactly how much is taken from a member for political reasons and this is suppose to be illegal in the US) And I dont see him complaining about George Soros, the convicted felon that donates hundreds of millions of dollars to left wing causes even though by Federal law and Federal Campaign law he is not allowed to do this because he is a convicted felon. You cannot have it both ways here like Rich is trying to do.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-04-26 08:45
Daniel1, please tell me which unions are genuinely left-wing as i would love to join up...unfortunat ely, most of the left-wingers in the unions were purged decades ago (with a few exceptions of course) but the "bosses" are hardly left wing...the UAW, for the most part, has been selling their members down the drain for decades and in this most recent rescue agreement essentially sold all of their future members down the river to try and protect their ever shrinking current membership...as for Soros, he was not convicted in the US bur rather in France so how is this in any way relevant or applicable to US election laws?
 
 
+1 # Tiffany49 2012-04-24 09:44
Could have sent a lot of kids to school, or fixed a lot of folks teeth, or even started a few businesses . . . instead of mostly worrying about their own taxes . . . with all that cash! This is a sad commentary on our society.
 
 
+2 # WestWinds 2012-04-24 21:26
Seems they forgot to include Dick Cheney (who is in the process of naming himself for Romney's VP!!!)
 
 
+1 # Above God 2012-04-26 10:52
What is Democracy but 51% telling the other 49% what is is and what to do?
 

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