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Reich begins: "It has been said there is no high ground in American politics since any politician who claims it is likely to be gunned down by those firing from the trenches. That's how the Obama team justifies its decision to endorse a super PAC that can raise and spend unlimited sums for his campaign."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)



The Sad Spectacle of Obama's Super PAC

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

08 February 12

 

t has been said there is no high ground in American politics since any politician who claims it is likely to be gunned down by those firing from the trenches. That's how the Obama team justifies its decision to endorse a super PAC that can raise and spend unlimited sums for his campaign.

Baloney. Good ends don't justify corrupt means.

I understand the White House's concerns. Obama is a proven fundraiser - he cobbled together an unprecedented $745 million for the 2008 election and has already raised $224 million for this one. But his aides figure Romney can raise almost as much, and they fear an additional $500 million or more will be funneled to Romney by a relative handful of rich individuals and corporations through right-wing super PACS like "American Crossroads."

The White House was surprised that super PACs outspent the GOP candidates themselves in several of the early primary contests, and noted how easily Romney's super PAC delivered Florida to him and pushed Newt Gingrich from first-place to fourth-place in Iowa.

Romney's friends on Wall Street and in the executive suites of the nation's biggest corporations have the deepest pockets in America. His super PAC got $18 million from just 200 donors in the second half of last year, including million-dollar checks from hedge-fund moguls, industrialists and bankers.

How many billionaires does it take to buy a presidential election? "With so much at stake" wrote Obama campaign manager Jim Messina on the Obama campaign's blog, Obama couldn't "unilaterally disarm."

But would refusing to be corrupted this way really amount to unilateral disarmament? To the contrary, I think it would have given the President a rallying cry that nearly all Americans would get behind: "More of the nation's wealth and political power is now in the hands of fewer people and large corporations than since the era of the robber barons of the Gilded Age. I will not allow our democracy to be corrupted by this! I will fight to take back our government!"

Small donations would have flooded the Obama campaign, overwhelming Romney's billionaire super PACs. The people would have been given a chance to be heard.

The sad truth is Obama has never really occupied the high ground on campaign finance. He refused public financing in 2008. Once president, he didn't go to bat for a system of public financing that would have made it possible for candidates to raise enough money from small donors and matching public funds they wouldn't need to rely on a few billionaires pumping unlimited sums into super PACS. He hasn't even fought for public disclosure of super PAC donations.

And now he's made a total mockery of the Court's naïve belief that super PACs would remain separate from individual campaigns, by officially endorsing his own super PAC and allowing campaign manager Jim Messina and even cabinet officers to speak at his super PAC events. Obama will not appear at such events but he, Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden will encourage support of the Obama super PAC.

One Obama adviser says Obama's decision to openly endorse his super PAC has had an immediate effect. "Our donors get it," the official said, adding that they now want to "go fight the other side."

Exactly. So now a relative handful of super-rich Democrats want fight a relative handful of super-rich Republicans. And we call this a democracy.


Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "The Work of Nations," "Locked in the Cabinet," "Supercapitalism" and his latest book, "AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America's Future." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on publicradio.com and iTunes.

 

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+68 # AndreM5 2012-02-08 10:24
Great sentiment but I disagree that if Obama refused to allow his own Super PAC he would in some way "not allow our democracy to be corrupted by this!"

The corruption is already there in spades abetted by the Supremes. It will take a lot more than moral high ground to put that genie back in the bottle.
 
 
+9 # Susan W 2012-02-08 14:58
While it is very true that "the corruption is already there in spades" the reversal has to start somewhere and where better than with O?

Judging from the loons on the Republican side it would take a real monumental screw-up for O to lose the election so why does he neeed such astronomical amounts of money? Surely he can raise his billion without a super PAC and then he could take The "moral high ground" for a change rather than sink in the muck with his opponents.

This move makes it abundantly clear that there is no true difference between the greed and ambition of both parties.
 
 
-5 # RLF 2012-02-09 05:25
The 'loons' on the republican side show that they expect another few years of bad economy and are willing to wait until 2016 to take back the gov. so they can be known as the gov. builders not the austerity party, like Obummer will be known after the next four.
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 12:42
Susan W, I love this comment!
 
 
+7 # John Locke 2012-02-08 16:44
AndreM5: The super packs are more of a diversion...the real issue has always been the financial support for the politicians, and that was a long time before Citizens United... Wall street hands out money to both parties, and particular candidates... the candidates once elected follow orders, or they are cut off. The only difference with the Super Packs is that we now have the 1% fighting each other to see who can spend the most...I like it...its a great waste of their money...even if Citizens United didn't exist what was the difference. It was the same, the elections cost what, billions between all the candidates and the Congress and President... they raised that money before from the same source...
 
 
+5 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-08 20:56
Well, the difference is that after Citizens United the actual source of the bribes can be hidden. At least with disclosure and with limits on corporate spending the voters have a chance to see who's bought by whom.

I don't think Obama should be hammered for this; he's been put into this position by a corrupt system. But I'd sure hammer him for his repeated deal-making with these corrupt sources. I'd fault him not for the money he's raising but for the truly despicable policies he's pursued throughout his first three years.
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 12:24
Richard Raznikov: If you can't understand that Both parties are controlled by the same money you're either very naive,...or still living in a fantasy world. Obama sold his soul to Wall Street, Think what he has Done... his hands were not twisted behing his back...He did exactly what he was told to do... Richard its time to wake up, nap time is over...
 
 
+2 # NRESQ 2012-02-08 23:03
Hey John Locke: I've read all of your comments on this blog. I appears you have a fundamental problem in that you don't seem to understand that this country is a 'representative democracy'. What that means is that any person or group ("faction" was the founding father's preferred term) is free to assert their interests through their governmental representatives . That has always meant political contributions. Like it or not, call it the ugly side of democracy if you will, but that's the way the system was set up and was meant to work. The genius of our founders, however, was two-fold: Create a free society that allowed ALL factions equal access to their government, and the factions would tend to balance themselves out (Super PAC's fighting Super PAC's), and create a system whereby the minority would not always be subject to the "tyranny of the majority", i.e. everyone has the same Constitutional rights which the majority may not take away (although lord knows the Republicans continue to try, and have on many occasions succeeded). So, rather than whining about who is being controlled by whom, you should be more interested that each side is working against the other in competition to be the temporary 'controller'. The founders saw that factions tend to form, dissipate, and new factions arise, which is precisely what has happened. Thus, President Obama's move to support Super PAC's is not only logical, IT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE FOUNDERS OF THIS COUNTRY MEANT TO HAPPEN!
 
 
+6 # AndreM5 2012-02-09 08:41
Not quite. The founders hated the idea of political parties EXACTLY because it would lead to this sort of corruption and mutual deal-making. These are not in the best interest of the Republic.
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 12:48
AndreM5: High Five. You understand the moral dilemma that concerns Reich and me.
 
 
+1 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 18:27
Where do you find support for the assertion that "the founders hated the idea of political parties..." In any event, if every President, Senator, and Representative was a 'free agent', there would still be competition for his/her vote, because there is competition in the marketplace and in life. By the way, what IS in the best interest of the Republic?
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 12:35
NRESQ: I Respectually disagree with your "post" you have been lost in waves of propaganda....A llow me to try to help you figure all this confusion out... Contrary to your post where is this so called representative democracy... I don't see anyone representing the interest of the 99%. only the 1%...I see Wall Street holding America hostage through a TWO party system that THEY control both parties...both the republicans and democrats are controlled by the same MONEY...whether YOU vote Republican or Democrat the Banks win...they control both parties and ALL their candidates... Don't lecture me about the system, I understand fully how a representative democracy is supposed to work... it has been hijacked! face it, face that fact...while you continue playing the voting game... all you do is change the face of the jailer, and the Banks have both jailers in their pocket... Time to wake up, as I said before nap time is over.
 
 
-1 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 18:44
Gee whiz, John, why are the rest of us "lost in waves of propaganda" while you have somehow divined the truth that the rest of us are missing? The fact is, there is nothing new in your writings on this blog. Indeed, your rhetoric would be applicable in virtually ANY AGE of this country's history. Powerful monied interests can be said to have ALWAYS controlled our government. How is the current time any different? Your posts in 2012 would not have been out of place in the late 1800's in response to the 'robber barons' of the gilded age. Yet somehow this country has always endured, and prospered, and created the largest middle class of any country in the history of the world. These facts are not seriously in dispute. Forgive me, but your call to arms that "The system has been hijacked!" and "Time to wake up..." sounds naive and in any event is devoid of any real ideas. What are we to do? Take to the streets? Who is leading the rabble? To what end? What changes need to be made? Someone below said you are a "scholarly writer". OK, although I must confess I've not encountered your work. Perhaps you can point me to something that shows some developed ideas about constructive change that you think should occur. Until then, the system seems to be working just as the framers intended, and working well. As has been said, the American system of government is the worst ever devised by man, except for all of the others.
 
 
-5 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 13:56
NRESQ: With all due respect, John Locke is a scholarly writer and an expert in political analysis. If you re-read his comments you may find you've missed something.
 
 
+3 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 18:48
Well, that means one cannot respectfully disagree with Mr. Locke? Rather than telling me about Mr. Locke's expertise, perhaps you can enlighten me and the rest of us here of your thoughts on what I may have missed of Mr. Locke's thinking. That would be far more interesting than chiding me for apparently disrespecting Mr. Locke, who is clearly quite capable of defending himself.
 
 
-5 # John Locke 2012-02-09 23:01
NRESQ: Disagree with facts.. Not BS... apparently you have some issue you need clarifide. Perhaps you really need to take a look at your idle's record. Sarcasm, my friend, is what a fool uses when he can't defend his weak position. Perhaps try enlightening us all with the great feats and deeds your idle has accomplished, but honest claims nor more of the BS that has already been put up here...things he has actually acomplished!... not the sham of closing the cuba prison that is still open, or ending the Iraq war where we were told to leave after Obama wanted to hang on and get immunity for the civilian killings there... and to lose more American lives...maybe explain NDAA, and TSA Scanners being deployed against civilians on our streets. and military hardware being "Given" to local police...or perhaps explain Obama's use of Homeland Security to quash OWS encampments. I have backed up mine. These are verifiable. Maybe try the same thing, if you can? If someone is not treating you with respect maybe look at the reason! maybe you don't deserve it!
 
 
+3 # Timaloha 2012-02-09 20:28
Scholarly writer, huh? Then how come he can't spell words like idol (he wrote "idle"), throwing (he wrote "throughing")an d nonsense (he wrote "noncence")? He's made these errors repeatedly.
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-10 11:41
Timaloha: sorry if I type to fast for your brain, perhaps look at the message and be just a tiny bit less critical. maybe just maybe you might learn something.
 
 
+3 # AndreM5 2012-02-09 08:39
Are you saying anything different from what I did? Great we agree. They you might agree that one "special" quality of the Super PACS are that they are forever exempt from campaign finance laws (anonymous, unlimited) unles we can muster a constitutional amendment. Tall order.
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 14:28
AndreM5: Believe it or not, The super Pack doesn't bother me, They are pitting money against other super packs...My idea is to ignor the two party system and go for a real candidate, Let the 1% spend all their money on the candidates they control...while we back a real candidate who is not on their payroll
 
 
0 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:01
That's the plan? Back someone "who is not on their payroll"???? So you advocate a third party candidate? Well, let's see. We know one thing for SURE: That candidate is gonna need money, LOTS of it. Where's that coming from? Oh, us? Then we'll need an organization that can collect literally hundreds of millions of small-donation dollars (because we don't want our candidate taking large donations, lest he/she get "hijacked" by that very system we're trying to ignore, er, defeat. Anyway, the internet is a proven vehicle for raising large amounts of small donations, and is thus a boon for democracy, right? Oops, those 2 big political parties figured that out already. So we're in competition with them for the same small donation dollars. Whew, this political stuff is hard work! So, miracle upon miracles, we raise tons of small donation money, take our message to the people, and elect our guy/gal president and/or we control one/both houses of Congress. Now what? What do we do to change the system to keep ourselves in pow--, er, I mean, to make the system more "fair"? Public financing of campaigns? OK, fine. How's that going to work? Candidates can only spend so much money on their campaigns--an amount we say--and that's it. No influence, er, corruption, through donations by monied interests. Great! Wait a minute, all those monied interests are now doing their own advertising, independently of the candidates, of course. We've created, wait for it, Super PAC's!
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 23:47
NRESQ: Maybe if you actually thought it through and stopped fighting the truth you just might accomplish something, even if by accident. Of course it will be hard work, but look at the alternative more of the same only a different puppet... you know the definition of insanity...its doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different out come...isn't that what you have been doing, voting a party line and having your rights taken away. maybe for a change try someting different... it is not just us here, there are people all over the country that are seeing the failure of the two party system...OWS showed us how to motivate people...Now stop the nonsense and think!
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 22:22
AndreM5 is correct in saying our founders were concerned that political parties would succomb to "corruption and mutual deal-making" so prevelant in politics today. The idea originated with Plato who stated in "The Republic" this would not be good in an ideal Republic which he designed in accordance with justice. To combat corruption and injustice of any kind, his political leaders were Philosopher Kings. They were exempt from owning private property and from making more money than was needed to subsist. Why did they do it? Because if they were virtuous enough to lead and make decisions for the masses, it was their duty.
 
 
+24 # Barbara K 2012-02-08 13:06
We have to remember who we are up against here. We have to fight fire with fire. We can no longer stand on the sidelines and hope for the best outcome. Mr. President, go get them! We must play as dirty and the Rethugs/tbagger s. They are not nice people and we know it. Knock them down, bowl them over and kick them out of our government. We can take that lesson from them and beat them over the head with what they are dishing out.

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!

we must never help them take us over, we can do it with our vote and muster up the might to fight them back on every lie that dribbles out of their mouths -- our very existence is at stake
 
 
+4 # bugbuster 2012-02-08 14:50
Yeah, Barbara, but what do you *really* think?
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-02-08 16:46
Barbara K: Or democrat! its the same party. with only a different face...puppets are puppets, you have to see who is the real voice. Not Obama, or have you still blinders on?
 
 
-2 # Susan W 2012-02-08 20:12
I agree with you but you will never convince the Obots that their man doesn't walk on water. See what happens every time I make a comment criticizing him--thumbs down in droves.
 
 
+4 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 11:50
Call me names if you want, but in my humble "Obot" opinion, only a delusional person, or someone in some sort of strange political denial, could believe that there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

If you'd just as soon have George W. Bush as President as you would Barack Obama, I think you are either grossly misinformed, horribly mislead, a right wing Tea Partier, a racist, an idiot, been recently hit in the head with a two by four, or just another citizen with an honest difference of opinion about whether or not my man can walk on water.

But that's not really the reason why we give you thumbs down in droves. We simply disagree with you.
 
 
-4 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 14:18
Markhalfmoon: You disagree with Susan W
because you disagree with her moral principles. I have read Susan's posts carefully and am certain she's in no way, "grossly misinformed, horribly mislead, a right wing Tea Partier, a racist, an idiot, hit on the head with a two by four..."

To the Reich editors: Please publish this Post or you will have allowed some-one to be slandered without any defence.
 
 
+1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 15:52
Not being familiar enough with Susan W's moral principles, I can't say that I disagree with them. Out of the choices I gave in a (failed) attempt at levity, I think she is merely "just another citizen with an honest difference of opinion."

slander |ˈslandər|
noun
the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation

libel |ˈlībəl|
noun
a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation.
 
 
0 # Susan W 2012-02-09 20:41
I don't see any evidence of my calling you names but it is quite obvious you have a problem with my pointing out the obvious moral failing of your beloved O. I will continue to hold him to the same standards I do anyone and I will not grant him or you any justification based on the childish rationale that "everybody is doing it". That went out somewhere in grade school. If you and your fellows do not stand up against the power of money and corruption then you should all fall by the wayside and I will continue to search for someone of true principles to bring this country back to what it could be.

So to return to the grade-school metaphors--"sti cks and stones may break my bones..." Grow up and stop with the name calling.

The lesser of two evils is still evil.
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-02-10 10:44
Susan W: Thank you: That is what I have been trying to make them see...

The lesser of two evils is still evil
 
 
-1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-10 14:44
"The lesser of two evils is still evil." That fits nicely on a bumper sticker, but what in Hooterville does it mean?

Getting hit on the head with a broomstick and being set on fire both both hurt. 'The lesser of two pains is still pain.' But, I've gotta tell ya, given the choice, I know which line I'm gonna be in. That's right, that looooooong friggin' line.
 
 
+4 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:09
Well, thanks for clarifying. Look, it's not that there's no difference at all but that the differences –– in terms of actual policies –– are miniscule. Seriously. Look at the programs and executive decisions, the appointments. The Big O sounds great but then what does he actually do?
I will certainly say that on many vital issues, there is little or no difference –– issues of war and peace, corporate hegemony, NAFTA and trade, banking and finance, spying on citizens. These are NOT minor concerns. To turn a blind eye to the truth about this administration is to guarantee that things will continue to erode. And we don't have a lot of room left.
 
 
-2 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 12:13
Susan W: You are my HERO, because you have the courage to take the higher road & stand up for your PRINCIPLES, and risk.."thumbs down in droves". It's obvious you have taken or taught Ethics 101 which is at the center of this moral dilemma which I will put forth:

Should a candidate for the POTUS use "corrupt" means that defy principles of a democracy the POTUS promises to protect because his opponents are doing the same thing or worse, and because in his opinion, he's the better candidate and this will give him a better chance of winning?
 
 
0 # Susan W 2012-02-09 20:53
In a word, no. I truly believe that if a POTUS stands up against corruption the people will be with him because they want someone who stands for the better part of human nature. It's all in the message.

Getting down in the muck with his opponents after saying he wouldn't, makes him just another hypocrite regardless of why he says he does it. Doing that does not make him a better candidate but merely the other side of the same coin.
 
 
-1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 12:53
If a President is faced with this particular moral dilemma, there is only one answer in an Ethics class and that is No.
 
 
+3 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:12
dorian b, I'd be happy to give you a 'thumbs up' except for your use of the noxious acronym, POTUS. Awful. Grotesque. Can we call the President, President? Thanks.

Also, it's Supreme Court rather than you-know-what.
 
 
+2 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 13:48
Richard. Your "Thumbs Up" is greatly appreciated. Thank you for telling me to stop using that Noxious acronym. Despite our disagreements in regard to Ron Paul and "situational ethics", I like your comments. You express your ideas clearly and they are always well-written, which is why I give you lots of "thumbs up" After all, we still live in a democracy. I think...
 
 
+1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 22:30
Moral dilemmas, such as the one I stated above are taught in Medical Ethics, Legal Ethics, and other Post Graduate courses and the end never justifies the means.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 12:49
Susan W: Don't be concerned about the thumbs down. You're still playing to people who are politically asleep and believe it makes a difference to vote democratic...Th ey may need to see more of their rights go before they wake up, if they ever do...
 
 
-1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 16:00
Zzzzzzzzzz. I'm just bored with that tired old 'you must be asleep because you don't see things my way' argument. Whenever I see the words "wake up" in the comments, it's a red flag that I've come upon one of those fortunate and sage souls who are blessed with the gift of knowing everything. I stand humbled and appropriately in awe. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 18:17
markhalfmoon: exactly.
 
 
+2 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:14
Hey, markhalfmoon: wake up! Hey, really, wake up! You okay? You okay?

Man, had us worried for a minute. Make noises or something. Thanks.
 
 
-4 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 12:55
Susan W: Every time I make a comment criticizing Obama for endorcing SuperPAC's, meaning unlimited funding
forever exempt from finance reporting laws, I get thumbs down! Nothing new.
 
 
-1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 20:29
I wrote a rather long comment that was not criticizing Obama and it's disappeared altogether. I don't know what's up.
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 00:26
Comments are not being censored. Just take time to Post. Apologies to the editors!
 
 
+5 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 11:33
John, that's simply not true. Are you saying that Elizabeth Warren is the same as Scott Brown and that progressives in Massachusetts shouldn't even bother to waste their time voting for her because "puppets are puppets?"

Are Dennis Kucinich, Barney Frank and Barbara Lee the same as Eric Cantor, Allen West and Michele Bachmann? Are you seriously trying to tell me that there's no difference between Al Franken or Sherrod Brown and Rand Paul or Lindsey Graham?

And if you are one of those people with a memory disorder so severe that you honestly believe that Barack Obama is just the same as George W. Bush, then shit, there's no point in even going on. Your version of reality is clearly on the opposite side of the universe as mine.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 13:13
markhalfmoon: You site exceptions, But, what will they accomplish when the house the senate and the president are under wall streets controll...NOTH ING...they don't have to control all members only a majority and they do... My memory is fine, I question yours...But lets add here the following Bush passed the Patriot act... which was actually drafted 10 years prior waiting for the right time to be enacted, Obama passed NDAA allowing for the imprisonment of american citizens while voiding the 1st. 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments. I guess your intellectual impairment didn't consider this, and Dennis Kucinich, Barney Frank and Barbara Lee were in office and made no attempt to stop it except to vote against it... but democrats supported the bill, Nancy Polisi who is also bought and paid for..voted for it...Wake up, If you have a brain use it...THINK
 
 
+1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 12:03
Environmental protection & EPA = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Regulations on industry = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Regulations on financial institutions = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Consumer protection = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Women's access to safe family planning options = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Gay marriage, gays in the military, equality and non discrimination against gays = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Education spending and well paid teachers = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Reversing Citizen's United = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Equal pay for women = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Unemployment benefits = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Insuring workplace safety = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Funding for public radio and TV = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Making health care accessible to all and moving toward universal health care = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Campaign spending limits = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Appointing openly gay officials = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST
 
 
-6 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 14:39
Just an aside, markhalfmoon: Obama is backing down on contraception for women since you listed "Womens access to safe family planning options". It's in the news today.
 
 
0 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 16:36
Wrong. From today's news (link at the bottom) Check the date:

Obama contraception rule fight marks culture wars' return

By JONATHAN ALLEN | 2/9/12 6:39 PM EST

President Barack Obama, with one swift contraception regulation, accomplished something his rivals have struggled to do: unify the Republican Party and fire up its base.

“You never look for a fight, but you never walk away from a fight, and we will embrace this one a thousand percent,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a former head of the New Jersey chapter of Right to Life.

On the other end of the Republican spectrum, Connecticut Senate candidate Chris Shays, a supporter of abortion rights, agreed with Smith and called on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to “abandon your ruling” on the contraception regulation.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72702.html
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 18:03
markhalfmoon: you must approve of Obama's record... you are trying to quote it, lets take a real look at it ok:
- Signed the NDAA - an indefinite detention bill - into law
- Waged war on Libya without congressional approval
- Started a covert, drone war in Yemen
- Escalated the proxy war in Somalia
- Escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan
- Will maintain a presence in Iraq even after "ending" war
- Sharply escalated the war in Afghanistan
- Secretly deployed US special forces to 75 countries
- Sold $30 billion of weapons to the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia
- Signed an agreement for 7 military bases in Colombia
- Touted nuclear power, even after the disaster in Japan
- Opened up deepwater oil drilling, even after BP disaster
- Did a TV commercial promoting "clean coal"
- Defended body scans and pat-downs at airports
- Signed the Patriot Act extension into law
Continued
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 18:04
-markhalfmoon: here's more that your idle has accomplished
- Continued Bush's rendition program
- has kept Guantamino opened and prisoners there
- extended Bush tax cuts to his wealthy friends
- approved the use of military tribunals for american citizens he "may" bring to court.
- dismantled The writ of Habeas Corpus
- has approved TSA scans on streets in America...
- expanded military presence in Australia
- Obama's new war in Uganda
- Obama sends 100 US combat troops to Uganda
- Obama Waives Penalties on Countries That Employ Child Soldiers
would you like more? I have more!
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 18:14
markhalfmoon: there is so much more I could post Obama's problems all night...
but I guess you approve of this anyway!

Obama accommodates Turkey's request for drone aircraft in fight against Kurdish separatists
Obama quietly renews U.S. embargo on Cuba
secretly sold bunker-busting bombs to Israel:
assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula,
cozies up to Uzbekistan dictator" - lobbies congress to sell more military equipment to one of the world's most repressive leaders
U.S. to build new massive prison in Bagram, Afghanistan
Pushes NAFTA Style Trade Policy Despite 2008 Promise
Obama said that if the Palestinians try to achieve statehood in the UN Security Council, the US will oppose the proposal
Obama abandoned a contentious new air pollution rule
Carrying out A secret war in 120 countries
U.S. millions fund world’s newest army, South Sudan, despite worries of its human rights abuses
 
 
0 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 21:32
Oh crap! I should have known I'd have to face down this litany of worn out canards, scraped off the walls of the insular professional left echo chamber before this was over.

Well, I'm going to have to get back to you after I wake up tomorrow. I have too much to say in response to all that to deal with it as sleepy as I am. And after that I'm probably going to have to quit this thread. There's only so much banging of one's head against a wall that one can take.

And by the way, Obama is not my idol. He's just my President. The best chance at fulfilling more of my wishes than anyone else who can actually get elected.
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-10 09:24
markhalfmoon: I am impressed by your decision to vote for the man that just cut your throat...That takes real forgiveness. You are a true christian. Now get in line the lyons are hungry.
 
 
-7 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 16:53
Look again! Just happened.
 
 
-1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 18:04
What are you talking about? Show some evidence.
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 14:39
markhalfmoon: Nonsesence, Now be honest and tell us how many were not blocked by obama? ...for every one you can show there will be three that you can't.. its a game my friend, I give you one point and take three for me... can you not really see that?
 
 
+1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 16:51
Honestly, no I really cannot see that. So you tell me. Point out how many were blocked by Obama.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 20:47
markhalfmoon: Most all you stated above I don't know of any he actually moved forward with, maybe you can find some?
 
 
+2 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 12:09
Toning down belligerent rhetoric against Iran and North Korea = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Separating church and state = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Decreasing military budget = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Outlawing torture = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Support for hate crime laws = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Improved relations with Cuba and Venezuela = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

DREAM Act = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Safe sex education for high school students = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Support for the arts = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Reversing 'global gag rule', allowing US aid to go to organizations regardless of whether they provide abortions = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Nuclear arms reduction = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Increasing fuel economy standards = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST

Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research = Democrats: FOR - Republicans: AGAINST
 
 
+2 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 16:06
What's thumbs down about all that? Is it not true? Or is it that it messes up the whole"Republica ns and Democrats are the same thing" fallacy?
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 18:24
markhalfmoon, Maybe tell us how many from each party and explain why each failed to pass?
 
 
+1 # Barbara K 2012-02-09 15:39
John Locke: No blinders, a very high IQ so I can think well too. I don't attack others on here, so I'm also polite. But, aside from that, I am entitled to and have as much right as you or anyone else to post my opinion.
 
 
+3 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:21
Someone said Mr. Locke, if that's his real name, is some kind of political expert. The more I read the more he sounds like a simple-minded provocateur. I honestly have no idea what he's talking about. Vote for nobody?
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-10 09:31
NRESQ: Of course you have no idea what I am talking about. That does not surprise me in the least. Maybe try thinking about what I have been saying and what you think is real... Please explain to me how giving Obama another 4 years with the house and senate will make any difference. Did we not do that in 2008? and what did he do? he took away our 1th, 4th, 5th, and 6th, amendments. Now I ask you what would you expect giving him another 4 years...I shudder to think... isn't that insanity to try something again that we did and it failed?
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 10:09
"Baloney. Good ends don't justify corrupt means" as Reich said.

He's talking about the importance of Obama taking the high ground in order to preserve the quintisessentia l meaning of a "true democracy" which is antithetical to "play as dirty"" as"Rebugs/ tbaggers" because they do it and "they are not nice people"!

What's wrong with this picture?
 
 
+1 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 17:02
The means ARE the ends. At the same time, this is still the real world. Obama's decision is no more a betrayal of his promises than most of what he's done over the last three years. I'm much more concerned with drone attacks on civilians, wars everywhere, and destruction of the Bill of Rights at home than I am whether he gets super pac money. On that level, under this system, that's how corrupt it is, period. Don't expect Romney or Santorum to be bothered by principles.
 
 
-5 # John Locke 2012-02-09 18:24
Richard Raznikov: agreed
 
 
+2 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 22:39
Richard: How can the end and the means be the same thing? The end is a goal of some kind. The means are the way or the methods you use to achieve a goal, or to win in a competition or a game or an election.
 
 
-2 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 11:31
"If one GOOD man does not stand up in the face of evil, evil will prevail".
 
 
+3 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 12:28
Well, that would look good on a bumper sticker and it's liable to evoke a chorus of 'right-ons' at a meeting, but if this one good man does this symbolic 'standing up' in the face of these conniving bastards and allows them to grossly outspend him and he loses this election, he will have helped "evil" prevail.

When I was a kid in the ghetto going to meet a challenge to an agreed upon honorable fistfight and my opponent showed up with a baseball bat, there was no dishonor in me spontaneously grabbing a broomstick in an attempt to even the odds.

It would be dishonorable and irresponsible of President Obama to allow these crooks to cheat us out of a fair election by having only the Republicans able to use a superior unfair advantage.

Do you folks *want* Republicans back in office?
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 14:43
markhalfmoon: which one are you referring to? Obama or Romney? They will both take away more of our civil rights... I guess you prefer a democrat to do that over a republican. I guess you want a choice who will be your jailer, I choose not to be in the jail.
 
 
+1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 16:27
Markhalfmoon: Morally speaking: The end never justifies using a corrupt means to attain it. The ability to choose a higher principle in the face of evil is what distinguishes a human being from an animal and there is nothing in this world worth compromising your integrity. Karmic evolution has demonstrated how true this is throughout the ages.
 
 
0 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 17:02
A "corrupt means" would be Obama having an unfair advantage over the Republicans by breaking the rules or cheating.

The Republicans changed the rules to favor themselves. It is not "corrupt means" to adjust to those new rules in order to not be beaten by the opponent's new unfair advantage. It's just plain good old fashioned common sense.
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 16:50
Posters: Is this a "thumbs down" X 2 for
1) A man being GOOD in a moral sense?
2) A GOOD man having the courage to stand up to evil and corruption?
3)Or the prevailing attitude on this POST
that "any means justifies the end"?
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-09 12:41
Barbara K: How long do you intend to sleep. How long do you intend to ignore the real world? is your head still buried so deep you can't see what is happening? "You" are a part of the real problem, being to naive and childish to see or even care to try to understand reality...The Reality is BOTH Republicans and Democrate are owned lock stock and barrel by wall street... Voting Democrat is an "illusion" there is no difference between the party goals...They are both controlled and do as they are told...Like I keep trying to tell you and others who don't get it.. wake up...Nap time is over...
 
 
0 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:23
WAKE UP AND DO WHAT, JOHN?
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 20:55
NRESQ: I am so glad you asked...lets stop playing their game. This has been planned for way over 100 years. since at least 1860...Break away from their playing field, lets find a real candidate from a third party. I actually like what Rocky Anderson says. lets agree on who and support him and show both parties and their financial handlers... that we know their game and we aren't going to play by their rules..."more of the same is insane". If we really want to save our democracy we need to break away from the control both parties are under. Then reverse all the things both Obama nad Bush have done!
 
 
+6 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:05
Quoting Barbara K:


NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!


So easy, so simple, so uncomplicated. Go Seahawks! Go Lions! Go Bears! Wait a minute, maybe not.

Stop ignoring the plain facts: the Democrats are slightly smarter as a whole, slightly more functional, but just as crooked. Who do you think finances BOTH parties? Why –– after the Bush outrages –– did Obama appoint the same people who caused the financial meltdown to his own cabinet? Geithner, Summers, Bernanke (reappointed). Why did he bring lobbyists for Monsanto into his cabinet?
Yes, the fronts for the G.O.P. such as Romney and Santorum are miserable cretins, but that's little comfort since the Democrats are not any cleaner, just better able to lie without dribbling, to use your excellent term.
I don't know what the answer is. There are severe problems with third parties and alternative candidates. But we had better do something because right now the system is broken. NEVER VOTE FOR HOOKERS, LIARS, AND THIEVES. Not many left, are there?
 
 
+1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 13:50
Great Post, Richard.
 
 
+16 # Virginia 2012-02-08 13:14
What you say and do travels further and has more impact on history than how much money raise. The top-of-mind memories of Presidents for most people were their passionate remarks and accomplishments . Hard to recall how much money Kennedy raised.

Obama would be better off to hire talented writers that are more general public connected and gather an advisory board without ties to Wall Street, GS or the entire financial community. And then look for some compassionate alternatives to burying the lives of 36 million folks devastated, depressed and financially ruined by the Wall Street bank fraud and foreclosure. 7 million homes were on the ground floor of the initial collapse of the towers of the economy. 4-7 million+ more are in the eminent pipeline. There are 2.8 Americans per home.

The pathetic grand gesture of $2000 for 750,000 people in the AG Settlement and his "responsible" $3000 reduction for "current" homeowners is an example of just how out-of-touch he and his current staff are. It's a pittance of what is needed and really at stake.
 
 
+16 # tomrunr 2012-02-08 13:50
To have even a small chance off reforming campaign finance, we have to Win the Election.

Too often the Left thinks that information, logic and common sense will win elections and we are often correct. But in the face of the tsunami of cash that is Citizens United, we Have to fight fire with fire. Or resolve to lose election after election.

i.e. I don't like the Designated Hitter rule in the American League, but until the rule is changed, I don't want my team sending a pitcher to the plate when there's a hitter on the bench...
 
 
+20 # bugbuster 2012-02-08 13:51
In a perfect world I would agree, but not this time. I don't really care what the president has to do to win. The whole point of this election is to shut down the wing nuts so that our political system can have at least a chance to start to heal.
 
 
+12 # FLAK88 2012-02-08 13:55
Baloney to you, Bob ! Do you want to win this election or be a loser Democrat cry baby ? This is what drives me nuts about Democrats (I switched to Decline to State years ago); they have a loser mentality that is always preceded by their 'moral high ground-play by the rules- aren't we sweet' mentality. No killer instinct, no competitiveness , no ruthlessness. What do they think this is, an American Presidential Election or a high school prom ? I hate the Citizens United decision and I despise the U.S. Supreme Court majority, but I also want to either get rid of a few of them or at least be in a position to replace anyone who quits. I'd also like to repeal Citizens United. How are we supposed to do any of this if the Presidency is lost because of stupid, ideological thinking ? Reich can afford to be idealistic, Obama can't.
 
 
+1 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:31
Quoting FLAK88:
Reich can afford to be idealistic, Obama can't.


Don't worry, he isn't. Strange dispute over the money situation. Last time, Obama raised a record amount and was lauded for doing it 'cleanly'... except it turned out his biggest contributors, in the millions, were banks. This time he refuses to get run over by enormous sums raised under the idiot Supreme Court authorized system and he's vilified.
What's terribly wrong with this President is his policies, not this money decision. He'd be a loony to not use the same options the G.O.P. is using.
I have serious problems with his policies and feel betrayed by his awful first three years; I don't buy the 'G.O.P.-made-me -do-it' excuses and think they're phony; his foreign policy is horrific and brutal. He's in bed with some evil people.
BUT, he's right to use the weapons available. Don't kid yourselves, he would get the bankers' money anyhow.
 
 
-1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 13:55
Richard Raznikov:
Quoting: "Reich can afford to be
idealistic, Obama can't".

Richard: "Don't worry, he isn't!"
 
 
-21 # Hammy 2012-02-08 14:06
Let's face it. If one truly surveys the political scene the only person who seriously does what he says is Ron Paul. He's the only peace candidate in either party. And he would never support a superpac.
 
 
+19 # JCM 2012-02-08 15:35
Ron Paul might be the most sincere candidate but nearly everything else he stands for is totally unacceptable and would be ruinous for the country.
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-08 18:41
JCM Including both Obama and Romney!
 
 
+2 # JCM 2012-02-08 20:21
Wrong, absolutely wrong! Obama has plenty of problems most of which come from the extremist conservative republican ideology of no regulations and no taxes for the wealthy. Romney believes in this extreme ideology. With a filibuster proof majority in congress Obama would empower the middle class and create laws and regulations to protect us all. Romney would continue the extreme conservative ideology that has and is destroying our country. That’s plenty of difference between these two. Take your pick.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 13:16
JCM Just like he did with NDAA? right? sorry But I am right...
 
 
-2 # JCM 2012-02-09 14:23
Your choice, John is simple, (especially because there is no third party candidate nearly strong enough to win the election) to vote for every democratic type candidate and give Obama a chance to restore this country or vote for the Republicans that have been eating away at our wealth and democracy since Reagan. Even with all the policies we might consider wrong headed, Obama's direction is infinitely better than his opponents. If you are not willing to see that political reality then you might as well be a Republican, because if people listened to what you say you would enable their victory.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 17:27
JCM: Restore the country for who King George...Your idle has already stripped away your rights... What more would you like him to do. maybe padlock your home?
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-10 09:49
I see, I thought it was obama that signed NDAA into law. Gosh if I am wrong pleasae help me understand... you are all so brilliant i need your guidance!


Sarcasm folks...
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 18:27
JCM: I must have missed the arm twisting when he signed NADD, and took away our rights, where can I see the video?
 
 
+1 # JCM 2012-02-09 21:42
John, apparently you don't like either party and want to vote for an unknown or relatively unknown third party candidate that you must think has a strong possibility of winning. You of course have the right to think this way. I believe that there is no third party candidate even close to winning the next election. For me, the political reality is that either Obama or a Republican candidate will be the next President. So voting for a third party candidate would, to me, be a waste. Now the decision between Obama and any Republican, for me, is easy as I have basically stated in some of my other comments. Obama has made what I would consider many mistakes in his policies, as you have often stated, but the extreme conservative republican ideology is vastly more destructive to this country that my vote will go to Obama. Now, if you don’t realize how much more destructive the Republican Party is to this country I would be glad to present some history to you or suggest a web site or two. But not tonight!
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-10 10:06
JCM: Now you are discussing the issue without passion, now we can communicate.

Assuning I am correct and both parties are controlled, there is a viable option and we can make it work. Join together and decide on a candidate we can approve, support him through an email campaign, we all have at least 10 people we know who will agree with us...if 10 times 10 times 10 etc. goes out soon we cover the entire US. and what did it cost us? then there is social media... OWS ahowed up the way...Do we not at least owe them a try to save the democracy? and we can set up a super pack to support advertising, set up a bank account and if 10 million people donate one dollar each...it is a good start...it will take education but we have the time if we start now...

We are not each others enemy. We see things differently, I have tried for decades to wake people up and we are now in the end stage of our country. If we do the same thing over and over, our Democracy will go just like each attempt before us.
 
 
+1 # JCM 2012-02-10 11:01
All I can say at this point is without Ralph Nader, Gore would have won and history would look a lot different. However you feel about Gore the incredible lies, mistakes, deregulations and financial collapse that occurred would have at least been greatly lessened with Gore. That said, I would not want to participate is any function that could reduce the possibility of Obama winning. If you are really serious about a third party then I would suggest starting now for the 2016 election!
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-10 12:05
JCM...No time, by 2016 there won't be any choice. I may just sit back and listen to you all squirm and complain, when Obama, if he does win, comes down and takes away the rest of your rights... They are moving now very fast, afraid of a real revolution... Watch as more cameras are placed around your cities and the TSA Scanners are employed. Watch how the police will be even more militarized, and homeland security will have a presence at the local level...and watch how many posters here just disappear, also be careful of your computer, you can be watched from the back doors. its all about choices, sometimes we make the wrong ones.
 
 
+2 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:35
[quote name="JCM"Obama has plenty of problems most of which come from the extremist conservative republican ideology of no regulations and no taxes for the wealthy. With a filibuster proof majority in congress Obama would empower the middle class and create laws and regulations to protect us all.

Yes, and a pony for everyone! Yes, he'll turn his back on his entire cabinet, the corporations who back him, his banker friends, and he'll EMPOWER US! You want power, JCM, you're going to have to take it, because that phony will NEVER be on your side. 'Protect us all', from what? His destruction of the Bill of Rights?
 
 
0 # JCM 2012-02-11 06:15
So what is your alternative!
 
 
-4 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-08 21:03
Quoting JCM:
Ron Paul might be the most sincere candidate but nearly everything else he stands for is totally unacceptable and would be ruinous for the country.


Totally unacceptable? Ruinous? You mean like preventive detention? Patriot Act? Wholesale warrantless wiretapping? Wars all over the world? Targeted assassinations? Drone killings of civilians? Extending Bush's idiotic drug war? Extending Bush's tax cuts for billionaires? The fact is that Ron Paul is right on all of these issues and Obama and Romney and the other clowns are wrong.
I am amused as hell that people write so passionately about how we have to stop the Republicans when there's almost zero difference between them and Obama on nearly every issue.
You can disagree with Paul on his economic theories and his deregulation notions, but Obama has betrayed everything he claimed to stand for.
 
 
+1 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 12:38
He has not. Why don't you list everything he claimed to stand for that he has betrayed. Without making shit up that he never said and without phony examples like not closing Guantanamo, which he signed an Executive Order to do two days after being sworn in.
 
 
+1 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:44
Quoting markhalfmoon:
He has not. Why don't you list everything he claimed to stand for that he has betrayed. Without making shit up that he never said and without phony examples like not closing Guantanamo, which he signed an Executive Order to do two days after being sworn in.


Betrayals? Not enough room, but we'll try several of the most important:
* NAFTA. He was going to change it to fix its anti-labor and anti-environmen tal features. Hasn't said a word in 3 years.
* civil liberties. He denounced warrantless wiretapping but has expanded it. He denounced incursions into the Bill of Rights but promoted and signed NDAA.
* kidnapping and 'rendition' –– he denounced it but continues it.
* denounced the Bush tax cuts, then extended them when all he had to do was let them expire.
* went to court to keep citizens from suing Bush administration crooks after saying during the campaign that crimes needed to be prosecuted.
* denounced torture but approved construction of more 'black sites' and the targeted assassination of 'suspected' terrorists.
There are dozens more. He was going to fix the banking system and wound up promulgating rules which let them all off the hook. Just look at the 'settlement' just signed, which keeps the biggest felons out of jail. Nice.
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 22:55
Richard, Ron Paul is a bigot, which trumps his Isolationism and anything else he proposes. Why can't you see that
we can not have a racist, chauvinistic, homophobic antisemite lead our democratic nation as POTUS.
 
 
+12 # Timaloha 2012-02-08 17:09
Ron Paul is a war candidate and he isn't even smart enough to know it. If the US enacted his bring-all-the-t roops-home/clos e-every-oversea s-base plan, wars would break out all over the world the very next day. How long do you think it would take North Korea to start marching their 4 million-man army south without the U.S. Army sitting there as a deterrent? Or for China to take Taiwan if we didn't have air and sea power there and in Japan?
 
 
0 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-08 21:07
Yup, if we stop bombing civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and half of Africa, wars would break out everywhere. What are you smoking? It's America's wars that are causing such destruction.

The rest of world used to respect us. Now they fear us. You think that's good?
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 14:50
Richard Raznikov: I agree with you here, We are the enemy we see when we look in the mirrow. We invade for resources, oil and drugs...

A Good movie to watch ids "Born on the 4th of July" Ron Kovac's story, maybe this will open some peoples eyes? maybe not?
 
 
0 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 17:49
Look, the US has always been in the business of invading for resources. It was founded on invading for resources. Land, water, timber, beaver pelts, tobacco, gold, silver, copper and other minerals, uranium, and much more.

Everyone who doesn't agree with you is not stupid or politically naive. I've seen "Born on the 4th of July." I've read "Born on the 4th of July." I have interviewed Ron Kovic.

The rest of the world began fearing US hegemonic military aggression since its first major imperialist war against Mexico began in 1846, and then against Spain in 1898.

A student of international affairs would see that wars would indeed break out if the US military presence were suddenly withdrawn, because that is precisely what has been preventing various political factions and liberation struggles all over Africa and parts of Asia and the Middle East from exploding.

It's pretty fucked up, but if it all were to bust loose at once, we would see slaughter on a World War III scale.

I'm not an ignorant blind flag-waving patriot who buys all of the fairy tales that were so difficult to make us ghetto kids believe back in the early 1960s. We knew it was bullshit before everybody else.

It's only my opinion, but from my perspective, I can see and have experienced a difference between those rabidly racist 'colored folk' hating Republicans and the tolerable and influenceable Democrats.
 
 
+5 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 18:09
Yes, yes, we've all seen 'Born on the 4th of July," and hung out with Ron Kovic. I had lunch with him about fifteen years ago and he made a pass at my girlfriend. I respect what he's done but I also think he's a jerk.

The world would not suddenly blow up if the U.S. stopped running everything. Our withdrawal would enable people who don't have the armaments we do to get a shot at self-determinat ion. You remember self-determinat ion. It's something we claimed to be in favor of once, before it got so easy to remote-control kill people.

Yes, overall, the Democrats are more decent and humane and probably smarter than the loonies in the G.O.P., but that's not much to brag about. The squirrels on my deck are smarter than Santorum. Better disposition, too.
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 19:24
markhalfmoon: Good post, excellent... when you argue with intellect, I can approve it, even if i may not agree. But in this case I agree with most of what you said... except that war would break out if we left the country... I believe our presence in those countries make their issues worse and therefore terrorism erupts...we are in what 120 countries, including Germany, the UK, France Israel and Japan, I hardly think if we left those countries war would break out, S. Korea possibly? but as i said I think...no facts presented...tha t was a good post, and showed thought... all I am trying to do is make people see reality...and think...to give us all a chance to save the very little thats left of our democracy...aga in good post and continue them with the same thought involved
 
 
+2 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 20:12
Oh, look. Markhalfmoon got the John Locke seal of approval for his post! In other words, someone agreed with John Locke so he must be OK. The rest of us, we're napping, pill taking, semi-comatose cretins who cannot think, have no intelligent ideas, and, worse, refuse to march in lockstep behind John Locke (making his exhortation to us to "THINK" all the more ironic). We're either with him or against him; we are either right thinkers who agree with him or we're stupid. Hmmmmm. Who does that sound like? Oh, right, a REPUBLICAN! Some progressive thinker you are, John. Sheesh....
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-10 12:12
NRESQ: maybe try thinking, and I might agree with you also...But therein lies the real problem doesn't it, THINKING is the issue with you...just keep your mind closed, I know, I know, you don't want to be confused with facts your mind is made up...No worry


SIT, STAY! Good boy!
 
 
0 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 20:37
Look, the US has always been in the business of invading for resources. It was founded on invading for resources. Land, water, timber, beaver pelts, tobacco, gold, silver, copper and other minerals, uranium, and much more.

Everyone who doesn't agree with you is not stupid or politically naive. I've seen "Born on the 4th of July." I've read "Born on the 4th of July." I have spoken with Ron Kovic.

The rest of the world began fearing US hegemonic military aggression since its first major imperialist war against Mexico began in 1846, and then against Spain in 1898.

A student of international affairs would see that wars would indeed break out if the US military presence were suddenly withdrawn, because it was that is precisely what has been holding back various political factions and liberation struggles all over Africa and parts of Asia and the Middle East.

It's pretty screwed up, but if it all were to bust loose at once, we would see slaughter on a World War III scale.

I'm not an ignorant blind flag-waving patriot who buys all of the fairy tails that were so difficult to make us ghetto kids believe back in the early 1960s. We knew it was bull before everybody else.

It's only my opinion that from my perspective, I can see and have experienced a difference between those rabidly racist 'colored folk' hating Republicans and the tolerable and influenceable Democrats.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-10 10:21
markhalfmoon: This was a good post. I agree with you, now if I can get you to look just a little deeper. You seem to understand that wars like Vietnam and Korea and now Iraq and Afghanistan and soon Iran have been using our kids for political purposes (resources for the top feeders) and as you say the Ghetto kids saw it first... Maybe that is so, obviously they saw the senseless purpose to fight the "white" mans war, as I have herd it called. But it was wall streets war. and the military industrial complex's war...it took the young men and women from the colleges to wake up the US. and they did bring the war to an end.... Now why are we not learning from our own history of how this government works? Thw two party system is a form of entrapment, they give us an occasional carrot. But take the entire bushel basket for themselves. I am saying lets get out from under their thumb and ability to control the President... do we not at least agree with this? if so that is a beginning.
 
 
+3 # Timaloha 2012-02-09 17:19
As a disabled veteran, I'm not in favor of war or bombing anywhere. But just how much respect will we get by abandoning all our allies, as Paul desires? And why do you Paulbots always accuse someone who doesn't agree with you of "smoking something?" Aren't you the ones dedicated to pot?
 
 
-3 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 18:11
Quoting Timaloha:
As a disabled veteran, I'm not in favor of war or bombing anywhere. But just how much respect will we get by abandoning all our allies, as Paul desires? And why do you Paulbots always accuse someone who doesn't agree with you of "smoking something?" Aren't you the ones dedicated to pot?


'Abandoning our allies'? Such as who? Much of the world is afraid of us; the rest are in uneasy acceptance of our presence. Our 'allies' almost unanimously would welcome the U.S. getting its troops out of their countries.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:10
Timaloha: I respect that you are a disabled veteran. From your perspective, do you really believe that all these wars have been necessary to protect America? Vietnam... we were really there for the assets of the Golden Triangle and they were moved by Air America (CIA and DRUGS) I lived through and again watched Born on the 4th of July...I saw the same police brutality that we witnissed in Oakland...I recall Kent State and Jackson State... and I see the same thing here in America right now... If we had to really defend this country I doubt anyone here would not step up, but our invasions of other countries is not to protect our Democracy, or to give the people there a taste of it, as we install a dictator anyway...Ron Kovak believed in the system and America and was brain washed by the peopaganda, but he woke up and spoke up... He was a hero in more ways than one.

We don't have to abandon allies, but we need to stop killing people all over the world.
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 22:56
Timaloha: High Five? Love your comment!
 
 
-5 # RMDC 2012-02-09 05:01
Timaloha - you must be smoking something illegal. N. Korea would not attack the South. The presence of US troops in S. Korea is the reason why the two Koreas have not re-united in all these years. The official policy of the North is re-unification. The US is against that.

Your statement that war would break out all over is really false. Sure there would be small wars, but that is what the UN was designed to prevent and resolve. Let it do its work. US imperialism is the great cause of war in the world. End US imperialism. Paul stands for that.
 
 
+1 # phantomww 2012-02-09 08:37
Of course the official policy of the Norht is re-unificaiton. that is re-unification under a communist dictatorship. Now that would bring peace! then the people of the South could starve just like the north.
 
 
+5 # Timaloha 2012-02-09 16:56
Oh, my mistake! I didn't know Ron Paul and his bots were okay with SMALL wars! That's so much different!
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:11
Timaloha: a very intelligent come back...
 
 
-2 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:25
Oops, sorry! Ronnie does have his own Super PAC's too! See the big news that came out today. Dang! Another one bites the dust, right John Locke?
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:13
NRESQ: I think its great that these characters want to spend their money fighting each other for the prize. are you buying into the sham?
 
 
+16 # giraffee2012 2012-02-08 14:06
Agree with all above. President Obama cannot lay down and let the opposition spam the TV networks while the President sends messages on these blogs to us few with a moral high ground.

Remember Americans are addicted to TV, IPods, and anything that spins a message to the Masses --

President Obama has collected a large amount of money with $117.00 ave / per person. HE SHOULD ADVERTIZE this fact - but what he collected cannot compete with the Supremes' stupid decision to let our government bought by the "person hoods" who don't wear clothes, don't eat, bath, marry, have children etc.

VOTE in 2012 and as BarbaraK said "NEVER EVER VOTE REPUBLICAN" or we end up like the Syrians ("we the 99%)
 
 
-5 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:16
giraffee2012: so you prefer a democrat take away your rights rather than a republican, hummm, I guess you approve of NDAA...
 
 
-8 # seeuingoa 2012-02-08 14:24
Dear Barbara K,

Usually I agree with you, but this opinion of yours is pure Machiavellian:
the end goal justifies the means.

Can we please have some principles!
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-09 23:18
You're my MAN, Seeingoa. You're not only a man with principles, you know about Machiavelli, a corrupt Prince who used any means to gain his ends. A Machiavellian actually believes the end justifies the means which is why his philosophy is central to the teaching of Ethics.
 
 
+6 # Billy Bob 2012-02-08 14:35
Since Obama has bought into the repug tactics, at this point, it's all a matter of trust.

Has he earned our trust?
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-08 23:42
I don't think so, Billy Bob, Do you?
 
 
+2 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:29
Who ya gonna vote for, Dorian? Who out there among us is as pure as the driven snow for you and John Locke to support? Principles are great. Naivete, while touching, is dangerous.
 
 
-4 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:19
NRESQ: Thats why we are trying so hard to wake you up. I can tell you this..It isn't going to be a republican or a democrat.
Is obama Pure as the driven snow?
Your god is a fool, bought and paid for, read what i posted above about what your idle has already done to us...
 
 
-5 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:20
NRESQ: Yes naivity is dangertous so maybe its time for you to wake up...
 
 
-2 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 22:51
I think the puppet on the right is closer to my point of view... I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking... hey, wait a minute, it's the same guy. Bill Hicks was right.

Nobody's claiming any snow-pure candidates here. The question is whether any of them are that clearly distinguishable , not in our rosy imaginations but in real life. That's Obama's problem. He looks good, but his policies mostly stink. Is he better than Romney? Sure, but so is Nixon. Is he MUCH better? No, and that's deeply sad because he sure should've been.
No, NR Esquire, I'm not naive. I've been in politics on all levels for more than forty years. I'm aware that one nearly always has to pick someone who is slightly less awful. But in 2012 we're looking at a really hard situation.
The argument Reich makes is the wrong one, in my opinion, because the system is already thoroughly riddled with corruption and the corporations are going to own it anyhow. They already own Obama.
 
 
-2 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 00:03
NRESQ: Thank you for asking. I might have voted for Obama before he signed the NDAA bill into law compromising our constitutional right to due process. The Republican candidates are not an option for me because of their lack of concern for people who the impoverished, public education, social programs and the environment. I have been researching Rocky Anderson and am finding him a strong contender for my vote. BTW,I am not naieve. I'm a 74 y/o FT professional who has worked on democratic campaigns for years. You'll have to ask John Locke who he plans to support.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-10 10:29
dorianb@fuse.net: I am seriously considering Rocky Anderson. I will never vote republican or democrat as long as wall street controlls them.
 
 
+15 # uglysexy 2012-02-08 14:51
Oh stop Dr. Reich! How do we get liberal appointments to the ultra right supreme court without Obama. The court opened the floodgates and now we have to swim until we can turn off the spigot.
 
 
+3 # John Locke 2012-02-08 18:47
uglysexy: PLease explain how presidents and congress got elected before the Citizens United decision. The only difference is now we have the battle of the super packs.. they are fighting each other...the candidates still have the same money source...Wall Street, and are still being controlled... its a diversion... we are arguing Citizens United while its business as usual...and the winner is still being controlled by the puppet master...who ever wins we lose...don't you see that?
 
 
+9 # ganymede 2012-02-08 15:16
I'm with Barbara K on this one, even though this is not taking the high road. This time around the Republicans have to be totally decimated so we can get on with the process of rebuilding and reinventing this great country of ours. The Republicans are hopeless and unwilling to cooperate in this process, not that they have any longer anything worthwhile to contribute. Leftwing/Libera l purity is a nice thing, but rightwingers have always taken advantage of the passivity of the left to gain power and rob us blind. Fortunately, their money and crappy propaganda is not working so well for them and demographics are also working against them. There is a shrinking pool of angry, shortsighted, white people people to fuel their numbers. Knocking the Republicans off the national scene for 4 years will be doing them a big favor as well. They really need to look at the damage they've done to this country and reformulate what conservatism is all about.
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:25
ganymede: Tell me how much more of our rights will it take for you to surrender before you see obama for what he is...a puppet, as dorian says an empty suit...

Apparently you also approve of his NDAA Bill, and TSA scanners on the corners of America. Maybe you feel safe like that... I don't
 
 
+3 # JCM 2012-02-08 15:30
I understand you're upset, Robert, and maybe it would have been better for the President to hold out, maybe not. More importantly, who do you want our country to elect? The election is getting nearer and as it gets nearer still we will need your complete support. You have many followers, Robert, and what you say and how you say it can make a real difference with who our country elects!
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-08 18:55
JCM: I am truely Sorry to bust the bubble; but it does not make any difference who we elect...When will you see that, what will it take for you to understand both parties are controlled by the same players.. their money is the voice the puppets speak. and that is both the republican candidate and your idle Obama... Everyone should vote a third party candidate it is throughing away your vote to vote Democrat or republican they are both controlled and are against the 99%... Think and see the hand writing on the wall...
 
 
-4 # JCM 2012-02-08 20:35
There you go again. What we need more than anything a third party candidate can do for us is to vote for every democratic supporting candidate you can. Only with a filibuster proof congress will we have any chance of restoring the health of our country. A democratic third party candidate would only enable the Republicans to win. A conservative third party candidate would help Obama but the reality of this next election will be either Obama wins and we have a chance to succeed as a country or he loses and the destruction continues.
 
 
-7 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-08 21:15
Thank you. Exactly. Look, I wish there were a substantive difference with Obama. I not only voted for him, I worked for him and contributed hard-earned money. But facts are facts. Look at everything from the Monsanto guys in his administration to the GE CEO running his 'jobs' committee, to the bankers on his staff, to the deeply horrible drone assaults... everywhere you look his policies are indistinguishab le from Bush's. I never would have believed it, but it's right there in front of us.
Oil drilling in the gulf, nuclear power subsidies, same tax deal for the rich that Bush put into effect, wiretapping and other surveillance, prosecuting Bradley Manning while the bankers get richer and none of those felons even got charged.
How can anyone think that 'VOTING DEMOCRATIC" makes any difference in the face of everything we've seen?
 
 
0 # JCM 2012-02-09 07:05
If you want to know the difference between the two parties just look at what passed in the house during the 111th Congress and compare it to the 112th. The bills passed in the 111th mostly empower the middle class. Bills passed in the 112th empower the 1% and restrict women’s rights. Anyone who thinks there is no difference between the two parties isn’t being honest or isn’t really paying attention.
 
 
+4 # NRESQ 2012-02-08 23:19
John Locke: See my comment on your basic premise that "both parties are controlled by the same players" in response to your first comment, above. Your second premise is also wrong: THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PARTIES, and it is therefore VERY IMPORTANT whom to support. Although the various monied interests in this country will contribute to whomever is in power at any given time, because that for them is good business, the parties themselves have very different values and stand for different things. Don't believe it? Wait until the next Supreme Court vacancy and watch the fur fly! Or listen to a Republican talk about 'Obamacare' (a term that makes me cringe) and how its leading us straight to European-style socialist hell. And so on. While both parties, when in power, actively court, listen to, and then enact laws and rules to support monied interests in this country--INDEED , THOSE ARE THEIR JOBS AS ENVISIONED BY THE FOUNDERS--they nonetheless each have a value system and outlook for the country they espouse and attempt to push forward. No one can seriously argue that George W. Bush and Barack Obama have governed in a similar fashion. That's why we see so much passion on both sides when the other is in power. Finally, like it or not, a vote for a third party candidate in this country WILL ALWAYS BE A WASTED VOTE. Its the equivalent of saying, "None of the above." Perhaps momentarily satisfying, but ultimately a futile gesture swept away with the wind.
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 13:20
NRESQ: Maybe just put your head back in the sand... your to impaired to see whats going on, You have no idea how the game is played, you get a bite of the carriot while they take away something... You fall right into the trap and the illusion, I can't wake everyone up. and I can only take people like you to the water, But that is all I can do, whether you drink it is up to you, you have two pills I guess you don't want the purple one
 
 
+7 # gdp1 2012-02-08 15:34
....a corporation is just a pile of money"...Wendel l Berry. When money talks, the truth is silent...Russia n proverb
 
 
+8 # Majikman 2012-02-08 15:38
The old saw "You don't bring a knife to a gun fight" is exactly what our politics has become. I loathe the position that Obama has taken, but I also see that he has no choice.
He needs to take lots of pages from FDR's play book and go after the bastards with all guns blazing.
 
 
+7 # Art947 2012-02-08 15:42
We must continue to remember that the repugnicans are doing all that they can in many states to prevent Democratic supporters from voting. It is therefore even more essential to be able to get our message out to the moderates in the electorate who provided the margins of victory in 2008. Getting that message out will cost lots of money. Remember that these super-pacs are supposed to be message-oriente d, not candidate-orien ted. Countering the lies of the right-wing will take repeated messages, probably ad nauseum to accomplish the mission. If you heard the lies from the mouth of Rick Santorum last night, then you know what I mean. If you didn't hear him, just realize that he used the classic Orwellian message of equating denial of choice with freedom!
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:30
Art947: all I can say is republicans are honest about what they want, and that is the difference, they admit the want to do away with entitlements and abortion and birth control, and that is the differencve between the two parties, Obama tells you what you want to hear and then does what the republicans want... One party two faces and one puppet master.
 
 
+4 # newfwalker 2012-02-08 15:52
I hate to say it, but in this case the end totally justifies the means. If Obama foregoes the super-pac, he will lose; simple as that. There are way too many people in this country who respond only to endless repetition of negative ads, & that's what the Republican SPs are throwing their $$ at. And all those aforementioned people are also the ones whose prejudices & fears are easiest to tweak. Can't afford the risk.
 
 
+1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-08 23:37
Newfwalker: I understand you are saying that a "corrupt means" is justification for a "good end" because, If Obama foregoes "Super-Pac" support, he will lose and we "can't afford the risk".

Please, correct me if I am wrong
 
 
+5 # MichaelSSmithNJ 2012-02-08 16:08
If obama didn't take Super PAC support he would be fighting with one hand tied behind his back He didn't realy have choice as for public financed (taxpayer financed) I have a bit of problem with because I do not like the Idea that my tax money will go to candidate whom I am voting against, (the Republican of course) while I would be limited or even prevented from donating to the one I am voting for (The Democrat of course)
 
 
+3 # HerbR 2012-02-08 16:11
My grandmother used to say - in German, of course- "Man muss sich nach der Decke strecken", a translation of which is: "One has to make ones body conform to ones cover".
In politics, as in other matters, the game is to win. One has limited choice about how the game is plaid. Others lay down the rules. There's no glory in losing on "principles", as there is no sense in going without a blanket.
Sad ? yes. Put your mind to the remedies, sir !
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:37
HerbR: so all is fair in politics, even killing your opponent? and scruples are excused because to win is all that matters! That is a very sad commentary, and What I get from your post, is a politician must do what his master tells him, otherwise he won't have the money... That is where we are now...If we as a nation have sunk to that level, and can not restore decency to politics, there is no reason to continus as a democracy....
 
 
-2 # cassandrapt 2012-02-08 16:44
Thank you Robert!! I sent an email to Obama saying essentially the same thing you just said!! Then I heard the liberal pundits saying 'well, he had no choice,' and I thought I must be extremely stupid or extremely naive! However, many small contributions CAN close the gap, and it would make a wonderful statement about people having genuine power to change the fixed system. I know I would have been energized. As things stand now I will refrain from sending in my meager few dollars. A drop in the bucket!!!
 
 
-2 # cassandrapt 2012-02-08 17:43
The comments here fail to address the possibility, as Robert pointed out, that the campaign might raise more money from individual contributions. I know I would be energized, as I was in 2008, to send in my meager donations, which I will not be doing now. Multiply that by millions!!!!
 
 
+2 # CavKChas 2012-02-09 04:08
How can you possibly say that you will not be sending donations now? Do you realize the consequences of President Obama losing in 2012?????? He has to fight fire with fire. WE MUST WIN AND WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT TOO!
 
 
-2 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:39
CavKChas: Yes Bush passed the patriot act, Obama fought that fire by passing NDAA...
 
 
+1 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:39
Cass: Dr. Reich did not make the case that President Obama cannot do BOTH. If he's not ideologically pure enough now, you're certainly free to withhold your money and support. To me, it makes the President that much more viable.
 
 
+8 # NM*Woman 2012-02-08 18:09
Liberals live in a fantasy land -- sure we can play by our own virtuous rules, but we'll lose against people who play as dirty as the Republicans do. The President should do anything he legally can to win this election--we must not lose or we'll lose what is left of our democracy. After we win, then we should change the rules. It's wrong to expect the President to go to a gun fight armed with a knife.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-10 15:34
NM*Woman: Maybe Obama should send a hit squad to take out his competition, he seems to have no problem assasinating American citizens, You think?
 
 
+7 # DFrenkel@changecatalyst.com 2012-02-08 18:37
I am for forming a Super Pac that has its sole goal humiliating the five supreme court judges for the stiupidity of their decision. That is the kind interpretation compared to the reality which is less flattering. Some of those five judges knew damn well that this was not something that could rely on keeping the fund seperate from the candidates.

Corporations are not people and they do not have a vote. They should have no role in elections. They should have no right to domate any funds. Only those people who may vote in any election should have a right to donate to that candidate. And then only nomonal sums so there is no chance of it having a quid pro quo.
 
 
+1 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-08 21:18
Thank you. A sane proposal.
 
 
+3 # kacarvey 2012-02-08 19:19
I am behind Obama on this one...speaking as someone who has donated $10 off and on because that's what I can afford. Besides, who says a Super Pac has to run only the worst kind of negative ads? There is still a higher ground, but we are stuck with the reality of the supreme court decision.
 
 
+4 # angelfish 2012-02-08 20:10
The President NEEDS a level playing field! The ReTHUGs are armed to the teeth with MILLIONS of anonymous dollars that are, for all intents and purposes, out to BUY the Presidency out from under us. We the People MUST not let that happen! Sitting quietly on the side-lines while they wield the mighty sword of their anonymous millions is NOT an option if we are to keep the Nut Jobs OUT of the White House in November! So, as far as I'm concerned, the President can fight Fire WITH fire! We have too much to lose. We have already seen what happens when we smile sweetly and let them ride rough-shod over us! Never Again! No more trying to fight this fight with one arm tied behind our back! We MUST be free to wage this battle on EVEN Turf! The People, UNITED will NEVER be defeated! Vote them OUT in November!
 
 
-3 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-08 23:21
Reich has written a highly relevant editorial about Obama compromising himself by endorcing SuperPac support to raise an unlimited amount of money for his campaign. This comes at a time when our country is declining morally as well as economically. Susan W stated, "This move makes it abundantly clear that there is no real difference beween the ambition and greed of both parties." I paraphrase Seeuingoa who spoke of Machievellia, an historical opportunist icon known to use "corrupt" means to achieve his goals. Reich said "The sad truth is Obama has never occupied the high ground on campaign finance"..."He hasn't even fought for disclosure of Super PAC funding".
Do we really want the leader of our country to use "corrupt" means to ensure an election win? Wouldn't we prefer our POTUS to be a man of principle and conviction who "will not allow our country to be corrupted in this way" and who is willing "to fight to take back our government"!
 
 
-4 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:41
Maybe Dr. Reich should run for President, or anything for that matter. His views about what is necessary in politics might migrate more toward reality and away from the purely academic and idealistic.
 
 
0 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 00:08
I wish Robert Reich were running for President! He's the kind of man we need in times like this.
 
 
+6 # CavKChas 2012-02-09 04:05
I do not think that Reich or any of you who say that President Obama should not have done this, could REALLY KNOW THE POWER OF THE REPUBLICAN SUPER PACKS. Just look at the "taste" of them in Florida among republicans! It is too late to play the martyr this time. We have to work to overturn Citizens United!
 
 
+5 # Exotikat 2012-02-09 04:08
I don't agree with Reich. I saw him defending his position on Ed Schultz last night, and I listened to the "impartial" idiots on NPR bleating about Obama turning his back on his own stated principles yesterday afternoon. Anyone who thinks they should stand on principle and allow a Republican back into the White House can be accused of having suicidal tendencies. As one wag put it - you don't bring a knife to a gun fight. It's that simple.
 
 
+1 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-02-10 05:59
Exotikat states, "As one wag put it--
you don't bring a knife to a gun fight".

Is this what our presidential elections
have come down to? Sounds more like a
third world country than a democracy.
 
 
-1 # RMDC 2012-02-09 05:04
If Obama were using his electoral clout to enact truly progressive policies, then I would support him. But he does not. He won the presidency after a brilliant campaign, but the immediately began to fill his administration with neo-cons and banksters who followed just the same policies that Bush followed. So what is the point.
 
 
-2 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:44
Really???? What it sounds like to me is that President Obama made some choices you disagree with. So, he's no longer worthy and is, in fact, in league with the "neo-cons." Instead of having an honest disagreement with the President, you must demonize him. How is your thinking different from the Republican way of thinking? Some progressive.
 
 
0 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 21:43
Quoting NRESQ:
Really???? What it sounds like to me is that President Obama made some choices you disagree with. So, he's no longer worthy and is, in fact, in league with the "neo-cons." Instead of having an honest disagreement with the President, you must demonize him. How is your thinking different from the Republican way of thinking? Some progressive.


Oh, please. Poor Obama being demonized? The list Locke enumerated is a good start, but there are dozens of instances, noted by several people here, and what's the response? We're 'demonizing" him? This is not some game. Where are the answers to these charges? Did he not hop into bed with Monsanto? Goldman Sachs? General Electric? Are the major corporations hiding profits and evading taxes? Did he not escalate domestic spying? Drone attacks on civilians? Government contracts for Halliburton and others who have been found to commit fraud? He has NO standards or moral character. THAT'S what enraged people. This is not therefore an 'honest disagreement' –– it is outrage because of what he's done. How about addressing these specific failings? Name-calling doesn't cut it.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-02-10 10:38
NRESQ: Its not a mere disagreement with a policy its a take over of our democracy, or do you really approve of the patriot act and NDAA. He extended the patriot act and signed the NDAA... do you not really see anything wrong with the picture?
 
 
+7 # USA2012??? 2012-02-09 06:32
As much as I deplore what has happened to our political system no one should be surprised that Obama has sought the same kind of monetary assistance as the GOP. To put it simply he won't win without it: money talks in America.

The saddest aspect of all of the money being thrown into the election process is we're no longer the democracy most of us have been educated to believe we are. I seriously doubt the Obama camp could amass the amount of money necessary to effectively combat the GOP. Unfortunately, this type of government most definitely doesn't represent a democracy which is supposed to be representative of all American citizens. :-(
 
 
+4 # Onterryo 2012-02-09 06:41
You are naive if you believe that the American voter is smart enough to not be influenced by continued negative advertising. Are you willing to take a gamble on that? I am not. I don't have a problem with Obama's Super PAC but what he needs to do is talk about the positive things they have done and will do and fight back against lies and deceit. Spend those hundreds of millions inundating Americans with the positive. Yes, make your points about the Republicans and their presidential candidate, but deal with the weaknesses in their platforms and what impact that will have on the middle class and poor. Keep hammering their platform and raising yours based on facts. People are influenced by overwhelming negative advertising but they can be brought back from the "dark side" by overwhelming and truthufl positive advertising.
 
 
+4 # Onterryo 2012-02-09 10:14
George Monbiot of the UK Guardian said it best:

But when I survey this wreckage I wonder who the real idiots are. Confronted with mass discontent, the once-progressiv e major parties, as Thomas Frank laments in his latest book Pity the Billionaire, triangulate and accommodate, hesitate and prevaricate, muzzled by what he calls "terminal niceness". They fail to produce a coherent analysis of what has gone wrong and why, or to make an uncluttered case for social justice, redistribution and regulation. The conceptual stupidities of conservatism are matched by the strategic stupidities of liberalism.

Yes, conservatism thrives on low intelligence and poor information. But the liberals in politics on both sides of the Atlantic continue to back off, yielding to the supremacy of the stupid. It's turkeys all the way down.

That was the point I was making and it will probably take Super PAC money to fight back because we know this will come down to a dogfight at the worst and a tennis match at the best with each side trying to score points. Obama and the Democrats need the funds to stay in the fight/game and win!
 
 
+1 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 19:49
Maybe Mr. Monbiot, in his apparently infinite wisdom, missed the part about democratically elected government. One would presume that 'liberals', by which he means the Democratic Party I assume, seek to appeal to the greatest number in order to get elected. Therefore, in that manner they, and the Republicans, for that matter, are a REFLECTION of the electorate. SIGH... If only it were so easy to lead people to what WE THINK is in their best interests! Just ask John Locke!
 
 
+1 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 17:23
Much as this has been the usual fun, the debate between those who think Obama is actually his image instead of the ugly reality and those who think he ought to forego the superpac money out of principle, it's time to get to the real world.

First, whatever your opinion of Obama, he has no practical choice given the present system.
Second, he's been in the pocket of the super rich from the beginning; where do you think his cabinet appointments came from? Salazar, Geithner, and the rest.
Third, please, please, please stop with this "can't do anything until he's got a filibuster-proo f Senate" nonsense. That's a fallacy which the administration and the party have propogated to excuse their pathetic record. Presidents don't need 60 votes and never have. They need 50 (plus the Vice President's tie-breaker). What happens when the GOP filibusters? Nothing, you let them talk until they stop, either voluntarily or because the mail overwhelms them. Then you pass the bill. That's how it's always been done. But Obama did not have the will to push a progressive agenda and Harry Reid is useless as Majority Leader. That's what happened.
Stop giving these guys a pass. It's Obama's reactionary policies which have actually empowered the right-wing nuts to become bolder and crazier. He had a landslide in 2008 and huge, workable majorities in both houses and he gave it away. That's the bottom line.
 
 
-4 # markhalfmoon 2012-02-09 18:14
Simplistic.
 
 
+5 # NRESQ 2012-02-09 20:01
Uh, Richard, you need to take a look at how the filibuster rule is actually practiced in the Senate of the United States, and how it has been abused by the Republicans in the last several years. First, any Senator can put a hold on ANY legislation ALL BY HIMSELF, just by informing his colleagues. The unwritten rules of cooperation in that august body is that such 'holds' are respected by both parties. If the Senator later determines to filibuster a bill, that's it. Its over. They no longer require the recalcitrant Senator to speak even a minute. Alas, there is no "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", and no Jimmy Stewart talking his guts out until he can no longer stand up. The Senate does not stop business. They just move on. So, check your facts before posting. And since the rest of your post is based on that premise, your comments about President Obama not having "the will to push a progressive agenda" are plain wrong. The President has limited power in the face of Congress, whose arcane procedures are exploited by those affected by the legislation. He's the President, not a dictator. The founders of this country, in their great wisdom, wanted power diffused among the 3 branches of government. President Obama could no more force a progressive agenda on Congress than George W. Bush could force a religious agenda. So, don't be so sure about what is--or isn't--the "bottom line." It's said politics is the art of the possible. Those who don't compromise get nothing.
 
 
+2 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 21:52
Yeah, I know all about it, Senators can 'put a hold on' and so forth... Are you aware of the fact that that is merely an operative rule which can be changed by majority vote? It's corruption which keeps it in place because it provides a cover for Senators to 'pay back' their corporate sponsors without having to take unnecessary heat for forcing people to vote. It's cynical and it's a sham.
It does not, therefore, negate my additional comments but in several respects it doesn't anyhow. What exactly forced the President to take universal health care 'off the table'? If you really understood politics you would know that he could quite easily –– although it would've taken guts –– brought everybody into Medicare. He would've caught heat but he could've done it and by this time it would've been accepted. Tell me again how the threat of the G.O.P. in the Senate forced him to order drone attacks and political murders; how it forced him to let the banking criminals off the hook; how it forced him to bust the medical marijuana dispensaries; how it forced him to renew the Bush tax cuts for the super rich.
As John Locke might say, wake up. Look beneath the damned propaganda and the fake television news. The truth about this President is not cheery but we'd better face it.
 
 
-4 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:53
NRESQ: Your wrong again the Senate still uses filibuster, and needs at least 60 members to invole cloture under Senate Rule XXII...two-thir ds of those senators present and voting (as opposed to the normal three-fifths of those sworn) needing to vote to end debate. look it up... and stop making claims that are incorrect.
 
 
+3 # Richard Raznikov 2012-02-09 23:01
For some reason, my earlier response to this post was not shown. I am very much aware of the rules and how they operate, however they are changeable by majority vote. The Democrats could easily have done that but decided not to. Why? Because their own 'sponsors' want them to have the same power to stop problematic legislation. The President and his party could have done the right thing and didn't. That's the bottom line.
My facts, therefore, don't require checking. Look at the history of Congress and how things have evolved. There's an agreement between the two parties to let the 'rules' be as they are. Remember when the G.O.P. threatened to change those rules years ago and the Democrats were then stalling on some of Bush I's program? Called it the 'nuclear option.'
Politics is the job of marshalling support and figuring out how to get your work done despite the odds. I've known many politicians, including a speaker of the California Assembly. You get your program done by hardball, not by ass-kissing and playing nice. And the Democrats are not getting it done. I mean Harry Reid, good grief.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-02-09 21:43
Richard Raznikov: Richard thank you. one of the more intelligent posts on this thread
 
 
0 # giraffee2012 2012-02-09 20:44
http://discussions.latimes.com/20/la-pn-pelosi-goes-after-colbert-in-spoof-ad-20120209/10?sort=asc

Best darn ad about super-pacs I've seen!
 
 
-1 # Sweet Pea 2012-02-11 10:10
Most of the people that I know have decided that any person that would run for President on the Dem. or Rep. ticket are just inherently corrupt. Kucinich proved that anything that resembled an honest dork couldn't get enough support to be President.
 
 
+1 # jimyoung 2012-02-12 18:39
I left the Republican party (or they left me) about the time Elizabeth Warren did. I left because a fund raiser told me we had to fight dirtier than Democrats, and I wouldn't. Now that I see Gingrich's disgusting GOPAC memo, "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control," I see a little more of the group that took over and destroyed my old party. See http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4443.htm and just think if any decent human being would actually encourage his friends, children, or students to deliberately use language so spitefully to spur fear, intimidation, or ridicule of chosen "others." It doesn't seem to matter what they are talking about, just use these words. It seems only slightly less divisive than wrestling promoters and makes no sense at all when we want honest discussions of the best thoughts of all our citizens.

Newt will get no more respect from me than he gives others.

The more important point, though, is this must not be a circus about only the presidential race. It seems a deliberate distraction from the backdoor, in the trenches power grabs at every local, state, and federal office they can get. If they must use Super Pac money, use it to fight at all the lower levels being sabotaged by the ALEC crowd, and to fight for a constitutional amendment against the travesty of Citizens United. We must know where the money is coming from at the very least. Only a fool could claim it doesn't corrupt.
 

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