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Armstead's Journal - Archives
Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidency
Sun Jan 31st 2010, 11:41 AM
(Okay...Maybe this is a little "burp" after digesting all the news of the last couple of weeks. But I'm trying to synthesize what is happening, in my opinion, of course. Plus this was a response in an excellent thread by Tom Rinaldo, which you all should look at. (Link) ) Frankly, I think DU reflects a basic problem that has infected all politics and the public discourse. We yap back and forth at each other whether Obama is a great guy or not, or how awful republicans are or whether we need to...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidency
Thu Jan 28th 2010, 12:43 PM
Okay, in a nutshell, here is the crux of it, in my opinion of course. I and many others have said this in many ways. But it bears repeating in light of the events of the last week or so. And in light of all the conventional wisdom crap that's been peddled about what Obama "needed to do" in his SOTU speech. The Beltway pundits and strategists (and many among us amateur pundits and strategists) keep repeating a stupid meme. It usually boils down to this: "Obama has to figure out a way to placate...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidency
Tue Jan 26th 2010, 06:22 PM
Look at pretty much any issue these days and it boils down to this. We, the people of the United States, aided and abetted by politicians in both parties, have allowed wealth and power to become far too concentrated in the hands of too few people and too few corporations. Look at most issues and that is at the bottom of it. Jobs? You aren't allowed to make too much money, because the greedy oligarchs want it all for themselves. A shitty economy? Ditto. Healthcare? No need to say anything more...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidency
Sat Jan 23rd 2010, 11:42 AM
Obama's Town hall yesterday encapsulated what I believe is the problem with him and with the "centrist" faction of the Democratic Party. Yes there were a lot of good ideas, and Obama presented himself well personally. Obama tried to strike a "populist" tone, and used the word "fight for you" over and over again. But it implicitly did not get to the heart of the matter in the Big Picture. What is he "fighting" for? A lot of small tweaks to the system, mixed with a little bit of carefully craft...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Apr 24th 2008, 01:31 PM
Here is why I believe Obama would fare better than Hillary against McCain. I'm obviously biased to Obama, but I'm trying to look at this objectively. We have to see the election on two levels. One is: Which political party/ideology do you believe is best for the country at this point? The other is: Which candidate would be the best leader and manager of the country? If this election were between us and a larger-than-life, mercurial and bizarrely compelling GOP personality like GW Bush, I might...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Feb 06th 2008, 04:32 PM
One of the many bits of disinformation that is floated and repeated endlessly is that Obama is a closet Republican, while Hillary is a Real Democrat who will fight against the Republicans tooth and nail. Bunk. Bullshit. Nonsense. Foolishness. Neither candidate is what I believe a Democratic ought to be ideally. They're both too conservative for my tastes. I would prefer the nominee to be reflecting the message and approach of John Edwards, Paul Wellstone, Bernie Sanders and other progressiv...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed Oct 04th 2006, 10:43 AM
Foleygate is a symptom of a much larger shift that I believe is happening. Watching the actual Social Conservatives fighting with the Status Quo GOP Opportunists reflects a much deeper unraveling of the GOP Conservative Coalition. IMO it is a mirror image of what happened to the Democratic Party, when it could no longer contain and unify the Grand Liberal Coalition that was built in the first half of the 20th Century. Until the late 60's the Democratic Party had built a true Big Tent, by uni...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed Sep 06th 2006, 11:41 AM
This may seem trivial, but it got me thinking about how the on-air "environment" alters our perception of the content and the people who present thge news and interviews. Judy Woodruff seems like a striking example of that. Obviously the content is the most important aspect of news, and there is plenty to complain about on that level. However, even in the shallow environment of commercial cable and broadcast news, whatever content there is seems to be undercut by the intrusion of show biz. Jud...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Sep 05th 2006, 01:19 PM
This is premature, because all we are going by is speculation about their new schedule. And I am as pissed off as anyone about what happened to Malloy and why. But setting aside the Malloy debacle for a moment, the hints and rumors seem to indicate that AAR may be doing the right things in its new scheduling plans, both commercially and politically. Both in nuts and bolts and in ability to draw potential listeners, AAR may actually doing more to spread a real liberal and left/progressive mess...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sat Aug 12th 2006, 08:32 AM
The common political reaction on our side to this week's news about the apparent foiling of a plot to bomb airplanes has been to assume that it bolsters Bush and the GOP. In fact, the GOP has been trying to use it that way. But this morning it struck me. THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE.If you look at this week's news from a different angle, Dems now have a powerful argument against the whole premise of the Bush version of the War on Terror, and the Rove spin about how ineffectual the Democrats would be.....
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Mon Jul 24th 2006, 10:26 AM
Although the specifics differ, I see distressing parallels between the current situation in the Middle East and the so-called "debate" that led up to the Iraq Invasion in 2002-2003. And unfortunately, this may result in a future parallel to TODAY a few years hence, on a much larger scale. When the public sees the destructive ramifications of our current acquiescence to the neo-Cons in the current conflict in the Middle East, how will we express our regret as we are mired in a regiional war?.......
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Fri Jul 21st 2006, 11:38 AM
We bicker about whether the real culprit in the latest Middle East conflict is Israel or Hezbollah...In other circumstances it's Israel or the Palestinians...Or Iran....Or Syria....Or,Or,Or.. The real culprit, IMO, is the refusal of all sides to let go of tribalism. The real enemy is the notion that you do not deserve to live -- or you do not deserve to participate in a common society or share in a common good -- because you come from a different tribe. Personally, right now I'm royally pisse...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Jul 10th 2006, 11:30 AM
Bernie Sanders is just one example. He is very much to the left, and even describes himself as a democratic socialist. And he continually wins his statewide House seat by margins so strong that the GOP basically gave up on trying to defeat him. And despite the stereotype of Vermont as Lala Land, it is filled with hard-scrabble rural folks and blue collar hardasses. And most of them vote for Bernie because they know one thing about him. He's on their side and he's a fighter for their real inter...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Jun 20th 2006, 09:22 AM
Last night Gore was on Charlie Rose (PBS) for the full hour, and he gave the most amazing interview I've ever seen. It was light-years beyond his apperances on the cable talk shows, because Gore had the time to actually go into his arguments on global warming....Also he went far beyond that, to talk about the Iraq War, the Bush administrtion, Oil and geopolitics. Charlie Rose was less intrusive than usual, and he gave Gore all the space and the right questions that was needed for a real conver...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Jun 16th 2006, 01:22 PM
IMO, one of the biggest screw ups of the left side of the spectrum over the last 30 years is our failure to find the best way to address the very real concerns nd problems that average Americans have about liberalism and progressive policies. Failing to deal with that honestly has driven many people into the deceptive arms of conservatives and the GOP. Most Americans (of most political stripes) have a basic division in their souls. They are liberal in some respects but they are libertarian and ...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sun Jun 11th 2006, 11:32 AM
IMO the whole "religious values" debates misses the bigger point. I will agree with the conservative Christians on a core point. We have lost sight of values, and we have become a sinful society. Jesus would probably be appalled if he were to pay a visit to contemporary America. However, I think the Christian Right is missing the boat by misidentifying the cause of this moral decline. The Christian Right is fixated on the symptoms, rather than on the real reason for it. They blame their pet...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Thu Jun 08th 2006, 10:50 AM
This is my own opinion, but I think a lot of us on the left of center feel similarly about this. I was and am against the Invasion of Iraq. But I want as good an outcome as possible, for the US and for Iraq. If Al-Zarqawi is dead, I am glad. He was a rotten bastid, whose actions went beyond the scope of legitimate resistance or warfare. It will be especially good if his death helps to weaken the positions of the terrorists who have been attacking Iraqi civilians. On that basis I actually wil...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Apr 04th 2006, 11:30 AM
There seem to be a lot of mixed opinions about CNN's Lou Dobbs. Some say he's doing a great job at going after the administration and at bringing out important long-neglected issues like the abuse of corporate power, the scam of "free trade globalization," and the destruction of the American middle class and workers. But others say he is just another creepy conservative. His critics say his economic populism is just a pose. Or that he hates immigrants and foreigners and all non-white minorit...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Thu Mar 23rd 2006, 11:02 AM
This article sums up perfectly the fricking mess that the Bipartisan Corporate Concensus has created over the last 30 years. If the Democrats would take on this as a CORE ISSUE, the GOP would be consigned to oblivion. P.S. This was on Common Dreams, via Bernie Sanders website. (Link) 3/17/2006, Common Dreams Wanted: A High-Road Economy by Holly Sklar Waving the banner of "global competitiveness," corporate and government policymakers are running the U.S. economy into the ground. We are b...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Mar 21st 2006, 12:07 AM
They are different from one anotehr in their brand of Democratic ideology, and have their own styles. But they do have one thing in common. They all got frustrated with the glacial pace of the Democratic Party, and took brave steps to move issues forward. Feingold put talk of actual action against Preident Bush on the table. Censure at the least, and would opoen the door to actually talk about ipeachment in the mainstream. Murtha put Iraq on the table. A hawk, he made it safe for Democrats wh...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Mar 19th 2006, 01:12 PM
Reading DU is sometimes like experiencing bipolar mood swings. Sometimes the prevailing tone of posts is "We're winning!" Other times it's "We're all doomed!" .......And there are all degrees in-between that. So here's a very basic question. Stripping away the temporary ups and downs, and balancing the progress and setbacks -- Are you basically optimistic or pessimistic about the direction events are heading in the US? What is your sense of the trends, in terms of political developments and l...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Mar 09th 2006, 04:15 PM
All this agonizing and overthinking and strategizing and bickering....The Democrats (and all of the left half) have become the Party of Hamlet. No longer is the Kicking Mule its symbol of relentles determination....Instead, it's the gloomy overanalytical Dane.."To be or not to be?" Should Democrats go for the so-called Center or go left? Should it seek swing voters or rally the base? Should it be the party of traditional values and out-moralize the GOP? How open can we be about the Liberal Ag...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Feb 27th 2006, 03:08 PM
(Just have to get this off my chest.) Sometimes we get so hung up on labels that it gets silly. We also get caught up in various buzzwords, like "pragmatic" and "electable" and whether a particilar position is "too far left" or "too spineless." Personally, I find myself arguing like a centrist sometimes and arguing like a progressive lefty at others. In some instances I feel like a voice of moderation. At other times I feel like a radical rabble rouser. Anyone else experience this paradox he...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Feb 15th 2006, 11:49 AM
I just have to get this off my chest. The Hackett-Brown flamefest feels like anotehr straw on this particular camel's back...I apply this little rant to myself as much as anyone else. I think it's something we all are part of. All of the back-and-forth and circular firing squads on the Democratic/Liberal/Progressive side in recent years seems to me to be a case of missing the forest for the trees. What do we believe in? Really. What the hell do we feel strongly about which has prevented us fro...
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Posted by Armstead in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Feb 01st 2006, 12:42 PM
Corporations have acquired too much power. The economy has become monopolistic, rather than competitive and diverse. Politics has become oriented toward protecting the interests of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyone else. Our government has given up on its basic role in promoting the common good. "Free trade" globalization is eroding the base of our domestic economy and middle class, while also screwing the poorer nations by making them into colonies. Ownership of the media has ...
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