Question to you: What should the limits be for freedom of press when it comes to paparazzi behavior?
I think we can all agree that freedom of the press has been one of the most important aspects of our Constitution and the fabric of American truth because we need real journalism, not just government approved stories but real journalism to tell us what is going on. Wikileaks is proof of the importance of tearing off that wall between government secrets and the American people and how different perceptions can become once we know the truth.
However I want to take this the other direction. The one aspect I really don't like about one part of the media is the seemingly excessive paparazzi stalking and being outside every celebrities house (big stars or otherwise) and really harassing them constantly. It was this paparazzi harassment that killed Princess Diana. Now I doubt some people are in as much danger as others but nevertheless the tabloids (National Enquirer, Star, People, TMZ, etc) and the like have gotten over the top with having photographers stake out these peoples' houses and make sure that their lives are living hells.
Furthermore in a case like Casey Anthony, it's not even just the tabloid media doing it. It's the mainstream media. She gets released from prison after a 3 year court case in which, like it or not, the prosecutor's flimsy case was not considered enough to convict her and one in which a biased media shaped and formed opinions about her that made her just short of the devil to some people. Whether or not you think she was innocent or guilty, one cannot deny the media's slant over the past three years. Also, whether or not you think the jury was wrong we don't live in a third world country where our courts and the decisions of our peers get to be undone by emotional vigilante violence.
With Anthony, I can see that happening because of the way the media slammed her (Nancy Grace alone deserves several lawsuits about comments over this case) and because they just won't let her be now. They're reporting everything. When she was released. That she has gone into hiding and reporting on where this is not to mention speculating on future plans. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/... ) Photogs are in her face 24/7 and the media will not let up in reporting her every move.
And if you think the emotional crazies don't want to get her, think again. Another woman in Oklahoma was attacked just for looking like Anthony (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2... ).
They're putting her life at risk by covering her like this. Playing right into the hands of the lunatic crazies.
So I ask you. Should there be limits on freedom of the press in regards to paparazzi? Does this not conflict with other laws involving privacy?
I want your take. Let's discuss.
I think that in concept the origination of "Democratic Underground" was a pretty smart idea. In the political sense to support "Democratic" principles as named in our sites' title meant supporting Democratic Principles. In the past 70 years, those were mostly tied to the FDR's New Deal. No state or national Democratic Platform ignored these principles and a staunch defense of these beliefs was the defining factor of the two parties.
Even from my youth I knew that Democrats supported regular people and Republicans supported the ultra wealthy and corporations. That was clear as day and it was made so by the Democratic party's longtime embrace and defense of FDR's New Deal and its principles.
However if this set of Washington Democrats led by Obama, waver in anyway and make slashes, cuts or whatever tricky parlour game like named move to decrease benefits to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid... to me all bets should be off.
The site should define itself as standing for "Democratic" principles and define them in the rules. Here's what DU stands for, and run down a list (which it partially does now, but make that list the be all, end all - THIS is what we stand for, not any particular party statement). No longer should the Democratic in the name refer to party affiliation (the site contradicts itself, in some places it claims no party affiliation but in others you run the risk of banishment for working against or undermining democratic candidates and their campaigns) but rather to the democratic principles or ideology if you will of what FDR's social programs that passed or even the ones that didn't get to later on (government supplied college education and health care for everyone, etc) as the sticking point of what DU represents and what one needs to be to be a DUer.
For the past few years the Washington establishment party has coddled corporate interests and gotten further and further away from the principles that defined the party. It's to the point where they are now willing to smash those longstanding principles in an effort to aid Republicans in their attempt to loot, pillage and embezzle the entire treasury for their rich friends.
This is why I think a definition of principles by DU and a re-calibration of goals may be necessary. We should not be tied to a party that feels no need to be tied to us.
And in many ways and policies, especially militarily and economically, Obama feels the need to follow the same course as the man this site was created to oppose. That creates constant conflict and a heavy sense of hypocrisy here on the board when some incredibly frequent posters are able to espouse Republican ideals all over the place using Obama's Democratic election as a foil to any argument.
I just think it's time to draw the lines and decide: "What does DU stand for?" in a way that doesn't tie us to a party that has long lost its way and seems more compliant by the day to supporting the principles of the other side... which is exactly what the site was created to oppose, when Bush was thy name.
I have noticed, as many of you on FB and other social networks may have also seen, a lot of Republicans coming out of the woodwork trying to say this is Bush's victory and trying to assign credit to him for this.
I have been responding like this:
Obama set the plans in motion months ago and gave the order that did this last week. Bush had his shot at Tora Bora and had the military stand down. THIS, is Bush's legacy when it comes to capturing Osama Bin Laden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRY_BOYeySc
Read it and weep.
Feel free to do the same but tonight, no way in hell am I letting them get away with spreading misinformation to pretend to own this victory. I have been all over Obama about a variety of different things he has done policy wise that I have disagreed with but that in NO WAY compromises my ability to congratulate the President on a job well done.
(I thought I would re-post my blog post from tonight here, for DU readers to see it.. the original is up at: http://www.americanpolitik.com )
In every town, you see these now. Once a thriving epicenter for commerce and labor to co-exist and thrive. America the manufacturing powerhouse that took the ingenuity of the Industrial Revolution and turned it into an economic bonanza. From the 1930s to the 1970s, the sweat, blood and muscle of the American worker represented the kind of society other countries dreamed of. Balanced with high taxes on the rich and corporations paying their fair share, society was a place of relatively low unemployment. It was a place with a middle class that could more than keep up with the cost of living and inflation. It was where the much ballyhooed 'American Dream' was born. Born of the ability to find a job, go to work, get a good education for your children, own a home and a car. Sure there were incredibly inequities towards racial minorities and women but in general terms, the way the middle class was build and sustained itself, off of in house labor, laws to protect the Unions and workers and taxes that made the top tier pay their fair share, society worked pretty darn well.
Since that point though, something happened. A loud cry from the nation's wealthiest of them all came about as their new poster boy, Actor Ronald Reagan, was ushered into office. Using his tremendous acting skills he tricked many of the same baby boomers that had been out protesting Vietnam and speaking of peace and love while smoking weed at Woodstock, to put down their signs and joints and start caring about themselves. Their strategy was to divide America into different groups. The haves, who knew better than you and owned the companies you needed in order to be employed at all... and the have-nots, those poor people who went on welfare and stole your hard earned tax money with no actual will to go to work for themselves. They attacked Unions as threats to companies' ability to hire. Made them villains for demanding such incredible things as health care benefits or higher pay. Used the potential for strikes as a way to prove that they didn't care whether you had a job or not. Used Union dues as a way to pretend you were being taxed for their political agenda.
When Reagan went after the Air Traffic Controllers he did so to make a point. Unions had no place in this new Right Wing America. Corporate donors didn't want it and their political appointees would work on their behalf.
From that point forward the American experience has worsened dramatically. The American Dream became more a dream than a reality, so distant a dream in fact that it was like the one where you're sleeping with a supermodel who in real life doesn't know your name and would likely send security guards to rough you up if you got too close.
The Wal-Marts and powerhouse corporations took advantage. Wal-Mart stopped buying USA only products and started to push their suppliers to have costs for their products so low that in order to be featured in the store it was a pre-requisite to move manufacturing overseas. Pennies for the worker makes for cheaper product.
They continued to lower corporate tax rates, taking them all the way down from the one time 90% rate to a much lower 34% under George W. Bush. It was pretty amazing that when Democrats discussed returning the rates to the 39% they were prior to Bush that the Republican party, bought wholesale by their corporate masters and the media which was owned almost entirely by corporate entities whined like this was the beginning of socialism. Of course there were a lot of Americans with zero grasp of History to know what the hell socialism was or the prosperity we as a nation have had with strong unions and with higher corporate tax rates.
All of this made no sense anyway since Republicans (and many corporate Democrats who might have been Republicans in the past but thanks to Reagan shifting the entire political spectrum, real moderates no longer existed) used their powers to give tax break and loopholes galore to companies. To the point where GE and many other corporations don't even have to pay a dime to the IRS on their billions of dollars in earnings.
The tax burden has been consistently shifted in a way where the poor and middle class are expected to shoulder a heavier burden than the top 1% than own practically everything in the country. It's been said far and wide with complete merit this year that 400 people own more wealth than the bottom 150,000,000 combined. That's a staggering statistic.
You'd think, hey they convinced Americans and even Democrats like Clinton and Obama to fall for the trickle down economic nonsense, they used work training tapes and propaganda in the media to make union membership practically non-existent. They stalled forever on raising minimum wages while inflation priced people out of society and were gleefully overjoyed when those people, out of money no matter how hard they worked had to turn to credit debt to make ends meet. But that was never enough. Nothing is never enough. Greed is a disease. It needs to be cut out like cancer. Forcibly and physically. It exists to devour all in its path and continues to grow no matter what may temporarily hinder it.
Even with all of that they wanted more. They pushed for free trade agreements and then got Government officials to approve of and give tax breaks for outsourcing, sending your jobs overseas to pay workers pennies... not just for Wal-Mart but for every industry. Now you were expendable. The Manufacturing industry is on very weak if not last legs in this country. The places where you would normally see textile plants, automotive plants, paper mills, etc... they're filled with unemployed workers and abandoned empty building space that the cities can't fill with new owners or new hope.
Free Trade Agreements were just the start. They spent the 1990s lobbying to get media consolidation so they could snap up every TV and Radio Station as well as every newspaper in every town. They now controlled the message. They owned what you heard and what perspectives you were going to be informed from. Everything you would learn from here on out was told with spin. Your kids also would fall prey to this as they bought up the textbook manufacturers and pushed their corporate backed candidates in races for school boards where textbooks were approved. They now could rewrite American History in classes. Whitewash any negativity associated with our past. A deluded American public is defiant and much more apt to defend the dysfunctional societal setup here than ever demand change. So The Revolutionary War was a war based on high taxes from the Government (corporations pet cause) and not because people were mighty upset about the tax breaks being given to the East India Tea Company nor actual representation in Congress. The Civil War was about States Rights, not slavery. Hell slavery wasn't so bad, cheap labor never is, according to our new history professors.
They got Congress to enact laws protecting loan schemes and hedgefund managers who made money off of you losing yours and set you up to fail. Then when they drove everyone into an abyss where the lack of jobs added to the impossible payment conditions of the loans meant everyone had to lose their homes to foreclosure, they went to the Government and put their hands out to take your taxpayer dollars again with little to no oversight on how to spend it... took those billions and turned them into hefty corporate bonuses. A reward for ripping you off.
They even made sure they were well compensated in other situations as well.
Want to start some wars? Great! Our corporations will be there to provide minimal services with zero accountability, just use money laundering, er, war appropriation bills to transfer those trillions of dollars into our bank accounts.
Oil spills? Sure we'll clean it up but expect us to bill you for our mess. Oh and we want further tax cuts and more drilling permits, since you know, we've shown such massive responsibility with the ones we're operating currently.
Health Care Crisis? Sure we drove rates on insurance premiums through the roof so badly that you needed a massive "reform" but give us 40 million mandated new customers and no controls on future premium prices. Sounds like a win to us.. oh but we're still going to demand its repeal because we still aren't cool with paying out any actual claims let alone for those sick pre-existing people.
It would be laughable if it wasn't so horrific.
Americans are unemployed at incredibly high rates. If you look up any job site you'll notice most the jobs pay very low wages and have little to no benefits. The corporate elite have already won, haven't they? What's possibly left for them to pillage?
If this were a war, our city would be destroyed from firebombing raids, the last remaining structures still ablaze, a few survivors covered in soot roam the area listlessly unaware of what to do next. There is a class war in America but it's been waged by the ultra rich and it represents the conflict in Israel. The Israelis have missiles and planes and nukes and the Palestinians have rocks, sticks and the occasional suicide bomber. Not a fair fight and we've been annihilated in similar fashion.
What else could they want? They have everything already.
My ex-boss once said this about one of my accounts: "I never want you to be happy. If you make $1 million tomorrow in sales on that account, work for $1.5 million the next day and $2 million the day after that. Being happy means you're complacent and have given up trying in my opinion." Now he said this when at that point the account had never broke $55k in a single day. It let me know how vast his greed was and greed is an animal that never stops eating because it's never not hungry.
To me when is enough, enough? If I own at a company that isn't #1 in the world but is in the top ten, makes really good money to support me and my family and my workers. It shows some growth but doesn't always light the world on fire. Isn't it good enough to be comfortable? Do I have to keep that company growing bigger and bigger, taking on debt and risk to my own personal finances as well as the job security of my workforce? For whom am I doing this for? I imagine if you get into the stock market game you've already declared: "I am never going to be happy! I want to own it all and be a billionaire!" Giving away that sort of autonomy with your company means you don't mind having the influx of cash nor the masters whom you now must answer to. Myself, I see things differently.
You have to understand where these people are coming from. Their intense need for power and control allows them to take risks and have their companies obtain cash for the purpose of expansion and growth. They're cool with having to meet huge goals for their financial benefactors because they too want that growth. It increases their own pocketbook size. Step by step they use this as their ladder to power. They become more and more rich and they use that financial status to gain access to the politicians whom might have never given them a listen before. You realize really quickly that these people aren't there for their constituents, they're there for you. You can offer them a nice above the board $5k donation for their primary and general campaigns and another $25k, $50k, hell even $100k for some outside group that will advertise on their behalf.
Now the world is your oyster. Having zoning issues? Not anymore! Worried about getting a tax break for something? Have no fear! Want to gut the rights of labor so that you can make America a place of low cost slave labor like China or India and line your pockets with the profits reaped from not paying regular wages? Well now, we can do that...
And that my friends, is endgame.
That's what they want.
They want it all. The only way to get it all is to decimate the American workforce and their rights to the point of making us like China. They need no environmental regulations, no safety regulations, elimination of paying social security taxes or paying into Medical Benefits... and then they need to gut minimum wage.. to say, "stay competitive in the marketplace with other major industrialized countries"... since China and India are definitely industrialized at this point.
They go after Public Service Unions partially to break the last bastion of Democratic Party Support after their bought and paid for US Supreme Court gave them the Citizen United Ruling and allowed them to advertise with unlimited dollars to buy any election they wanted, this just whittles down their opposition quite a bit. Also though they did it because with those unions out of the way their Republican friends can bring in corporate low paid workers from private firms to do these jobs. The CEOs will negotiate a hefty fee for this out of your tax dollar but don't expect that to be reflected in these workers' pay or benefits.
Also by taking out teachers, they can work to force kids into corporately funded private schools which will double as a propaganda factory, telling children only what they want them to know and making them feel it's okay to be trained to work at their slave labor camp like jobs.
Going after schools and teachers is the last real hurdle to the total revising of the American Education System in a way that will lead kids to accept and understand the importance of corporate overlords and why critical thinking is dangerous.
They want it all and they have a few well outlined goals to take it.
Once they achieve endgame, that is the systematic destruction of the middle class and the regulations which protect them in the workforce, they can begin to institute their dream scenario. Jobs might return to America but it won't resemble previous American Industrialism.
For some companies overseas, they already see America the way we see China and India. Honda and Toyota and many of the German Auto Manufacturers have invested huge in building auto plants in Mississippi and Tennessee and Ohio. Why here? Non-union states run by Republicans that gave them sweetheart tax breaks. They can pay their workers rather low wages compared to the going rate of their profession and not have to deal with any of the usual "headaches" that having a strong financially balanced society might have. Being a good corporate citizen with a conscience costs money after all.
Look at what IKEA has done. In Sweden their workers would make $19 an hour and get 5 weeks paid vacation. Sweden's economy thrives, unemployment levels are reasonable and they have a government run health care system. Things are good for the Swedes. You'd think IKEA would say, "we've done very well here, let's continue to have great jobs in these conditions". But greed doesn't allow them to think that way. They want to make more money than they know what to do with.
So they come to a downtrodden town like Danville, VA. This town has been run ragged by other manufacturers bolting from their city for similar outsourcing reasoning. Greed killed them. Yet it seems by some sheer magic, they would be spared from the same fate as many dead towns now face, when IKEA came to open a plant. And then they did. Low wages near the minimum wage, only 12 days of vacation, most of which were dates picked by the company not by you, a horrible morale and just not a good environment.
They are but another symptom of what America is becoming. The endgame is near. Corporate lackeys like Scott Walker and the like, they are willing to fight this war (even stealing elections to make sure of it) this time whereas their predecessors may have balked in the face of overwhelming anger. The John Kasich's, Rick Scott's, Rick Snyder's, Mitch Daniels... they all feel emboldened to finally drive the final nails in the coffin of union existence on state levels. The Paul Ryans and Eric Cantors feel emboldened to make the attempts to go after Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid in Washington. This is it, they've wanted it all for years and now they're finally going after it.
We wander down a completely uncharted path. They've never been this close before. Not even in 1927 or during the Great Depression. It's up to us to fight them off.
Court battles, mass protests, civil disobedience, general strikes, the greatest get out the vote effort ever... The term "keep your powder dry" has never been so appropriate.
Are you ready to fight for the soul of America?
Tell me, Did you think you were electing a President who:
-Would continue the Afghanistan War (despite evidence that there really isn't any al-Qaeda there) and retain 50,000 troops in Iraq beyond his first term? (Word coming out was that the Pentagon will be getting an extension to continue Afghanistan well beyond this year's deadline).
-Would pass a Health Care Reform bill that was a major giveaway to health insurance companies and had ZERO public option plans to compete with and force the costs down of the greedy HMOs who broke the health care system in the first place.
-Would not go after War Crimes from the Bush Administration even after clear on the record admissions of guilt.
-Would continue to approve of and expand illegal wiretapping of ALL Americans.
-Would pass continued tax cuts of the obscenely wealthy even though the economy is in freefall and unemployment numbers just continue to get worse.
-Would the agree to lower estate taxes helping keep the obscenely rich's undeserving family members far more obscenely rich than they should be allowed to be.
-Would not fight (at all) to repeal DADT. (In fact his Administration fought against it's repeal in court) Wouldn't even bother to begin to fight for START or the DREAM acts.
-Advocates for yet another NAFTA-like free trade agreement, even after we saw the disaster of the last one.
-Appoints a Commission made up of mostly Republicans to basically advocate for the "reform" aka destruction of Social Security.
-Attacks the Democratic Base constantly. Blames them for everything. Kisses Republican ass at every turn, no matter how batshit crazy their demands are.
Yeah, neither did I.
Here's hoping for a legitimate primary challenge in 2012. If I wanted a Republican, I would vote for one. At least if it were one of them in office doing this shit, their party would get the blame for it and the American people would vote them out en masse the next election cycle. Instead it's us getting blamed for it and rightfully so when Obama so willingly concedes every time they want something. Enough of this. 8 years of Bush was enough.
I didn't see this posted here but I found it quite eye opening about exactly who Obama was listening to and how easily he appears to be swayed to the arguments of the Hawks. Seems like pertinent information considering today's announcement.
The Fall of Greg Craig
By Massimo Calabresi and Michael Weisskopf
Interviews with two dozen current and former officials show that Obama's public decision to reverse himself and fight the release of the photographs signaled a behind-the-scenes turning point in his young presidency. Beginning in the first two weeks of May, Obama took harder lines on government secrecy, on the fate of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and on the prosecution of terrorists worldwide. The President was moving away from some promises he had made during the campaign and toward more moderate positions, some favored by George W. Bush. At the same time, he quietly shifted responsibility for the legal framework for counterterrorism from Craig to political advisers overseen by Emanuel, who was more inclined to strike a balance between left and right.
The unseen struggle took place in the spring, but the results are emerging now. On Nov. 13, Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled plans to try Guantánamo Bay detainees in federal courts, as preferred by liberals, but he also announced he would try other suspected terrorists using extrajudicial proceedings out of Bush's playbook. The Administration is preparing to unveil its blueprint for closing the prison, but Obama will do so using some of the same Bush-era legal tools he once deplored.
But inside the White House, the mood had changed amid the furor over the release of the torture memos in April. McDonough and other NSC advisers assembled in the Oval Office to discuss it. Obama raised questions about security — were the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on board? Separately, his legislative-affairs staff warned of stiff congressional resistance — and Republicans responded on cue. Word of the plan leaked on April 24, and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell launched three weeks of near daily attacks on the idea of letting the Uighurs loose in the U.S. Dick Durbin, Obama's mentor and the Democrats' No. 2 in the Senate, called the White House asking for ammunition to fight back against McConnell and the Republicans. "What's our plan?" Durbin asked.
Unwilling to execute Craig's plan, the White House had no backup. Though Durbin thought it could win the fight, Obama's political team worried about antagonizing lawmakers at a time when the President was seeking more money for Iraq and Afghanistan as well as a host of economic concerns. "The precincts were reporting that there was going to be stiff opposition" to Craig's Guantánamo plan, says a top official. It became "a question of what is achievable," he adds.
Obama quietly killed the Gitmo plan in the second week of May; Craig never got a chance to argue the case to the President. "It was a political decision, to put it bluntly," says an aide. The stumble had long-term consequences: later that month, Congress blocked the release of Guantánamo detainees in the U.S. and restricted their transfer there for trial. The White House realized it had to start over on a signature issue.
Obviously there are battles to be had in the White House over policy but my concern is that Rahm Emanuel, ever so willing to bend to the will of the right wing hawks, will continuously allow Dick Cheney and others push their policy right back into pro-Bush Administration positions. They already practically are running the Bush era Pro-Corporation playbook. It just saddens me to know that we're going to do it on Gitmo, Afghanistan and likely torture as well.
WASHINGTON - Afghan President Hamid Karzai needed high-level American arm-twisting over several tense days — and meals that included "gallons of tea" and endless platters of lamb — before he finally agreed Tuesday to a run-off vote in the country's fraud-plagued presidential election.
A senior American official briefed on the meetings by Sen. John Kerry gave The Associated Press details of the negotiations with Karzai, talks that lasted late into several nights and went on for hours each day.
President Barack Obama singled out the work of Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, who, the president said, "have been working tirelessly throughout this process."
Kerry "was in the region traveling and ended up working extensively with Ambassador Eikenberry and was extraordinarily constructive and very helpful. So I think he deserves great congratulations," Obama said during a brief meeting with reporters after an Oval Office visit with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
MUCH MORE AT LINK:
As another Columbus Day passes, I'd like to take a moment to remember the Arawak Indians whose genocide began at the hands of the man we celebrate and teach children about in a glowing format every year.
As disgusting as it is to know that we have a holiday for someone responsible for nearly as many murders as Hitler, I would like to take a moment to give a rec to the entire race of people lost in the shuffle on this day.
Please rec if you agree.
We should have FIRST went after campaign finance reform and DEMANDED public financing of campaigns, thus ending the reign of lobbyists having any legal ability to bribe Congressmen.
THEN we should have went after Health Care Reform, Climate Change, etc. With all of these lobbyists having the ability to bribe Congress NOTHING positive is going to be accomplished.
Congress is bought and paid for.
I think a lot of people here usually get fired up in defense of Obama when many of us on the left are hypercritical of his every move. I get the whole, "he's our guy" argument even if I feel it's inadequate to just accept whatever BS is thrown our way all because that D next to his name gives him some sort of immunity.
But one thing I dismiss out of hand is that our criticizing him is the exact same thing as what the Freepers are doing.
Our disagreements with Obama are almost always based on policy decisions. There is almost always a substantive argument behind our criticism. Whether it be the poorly chosen, corporate-connected Administration picks he selects for certain posts, his defense of Bush's State Secrecy laws, Illegal Wiretapping or refusal to allow prosecutions against the war criminals in the previous Administration... or if it's refusal to even discuss Single Payer when it is clearly the best plan (and if you disagree, ask the CBO to do a report on the costs... I have a very strong feeling you'll be refuted very fast). All of these are legitimate policy debates and yes, it is our job to hold his feet to the fire on these.
On the other side, they have no such substance. It's about everything but legitimate policy debate. They trash his daughters, or the shoes his wife was wearing or a picture taken out of context that supposedly shows him ogling a 16 year old (it doesn't but the truth never mattered to the Freeptards).
They're still arguing the same incredibly phony and asinine premises that they were spouting in the General Election... namely that Obama is some foreign born terrorist.
Now, for all of the criticism you hear from me on the Administration, which I freely admit will continue as long as I disagree with him policy wise, you would NEVER hear such an argument.
The following email got to my inbox and beneath it you will see my response in bold... I responded to all 100 or so assholes that forwarded the message previously. How many do you think responded? None. Cowards, one and all. Yes it is VERY STRONGLY WORDED, but honestly I don't care about offending them and as you can tell by the incendiary way that they wrote their email, they obviously didn't care about offending Democrats. And yes, he's MY President. I voted for him. I WANT him to succeed. I just wish he would listen to progressives more in making the choices that affect us all....
Subject: FW: Very Interesting questions
Very Interesting questions
More questions, and this time some good questions.
While I've little interest in getting in the middle of the Obama birth
issue, Paul Hollrah over at FSM did so yesterday and believes the issue can be resolved by Obama
answering one simple question:
What passport did he use when he was shuttling between
New York , Jakarta , and Karachi ?
So how did a young man who arrived in New York in early June 1981,
without the price of a hotel room in his pocket, suddenly come up with the
price of a round-the-world trip just a month later?
And once he was on a plane, shuttling between New York , Jakarta , and
Karachi , what passport was he offering when he passed through Cus tom s and
The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions,
they must have answers.
It makes the debate over Obama's citizenship a rather short and simple one.
Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?
A : Yes, by his own admission.
Q: What passport did he travel under?
A: There are only three possibilities.
1) He traveled with a U.S. Passport,
2) He traveled with a British passport, or
3) He traveled with an Indonesia passport.
Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. Passport in 1981?
A: No. It is not possible.
Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department's "no travel" list in
When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a
British passport or an Indonesian passport.
If he were traveling with a British passport that would provide proof
that he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims.
And if he were traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend to
prove that he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British or American, prior to being
adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.
Whatever the truth of the matter,the American people need to know how he
managed to become a "natural born"
American citizen between 1981 and 2008..
Given the destructive nature of his plans for America ,
as illustrated by his speech before Congress
and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress,
the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.
If you Don't care that Your President is not a natural born Citizen and in
Violation of the Constitution, then Delete this and go into your cocoon.
If you do care then Forward this!
A cocoon indeed. Listen to yourselves. Nonsensical ramblings from people that don't want to admit that a black man is their President. We all know how shameful it is to call someone a "Nigger" so now you people have resorted to claiming "terrorist" because it's easier.
Barack Obama is not some radical Muslim terrorist. No matter how much you want him to be.
Snopes will clear up any doubt of course, though for those of you that watch Fox News, listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck or otherwise deny reality, I must warn you that Snopes only deal with facts and as Stephen Colbert put it: Facts have a well known liberal bias.
You all make me laugh pretty hard. Now you give a fuck about debts and deficits. Bush ran up more debt than all 42 previous Presidents COMBINED. Did you care then? Nope. You waved your flag, stuck a Support the Troops Bumper Sticker on and called anyone questioning the War of Choice in Iraq unpatriotic. The Wars have cost us $3+ Trillion, yeah way more than Obama has spent trying to save us from Bush's mess.
As Jim Cornette put it so aptly, Republicans ran us into the ditch and now they want to complain about the cost of the tow truck. Boo fucking hoo.
You didn't care when Bush's corporate buddies were using their Republican majorities in Congress as their own personal piggy bank and using the wars, not to find Bin Laden but to war profiteer and keep it going as long as possible so the CEOs of contracting companies could get rich.
You also didn't give two shits when those Soldiers you claimed to support saw Republicans cut their VA health benefits, keep them indefinitely on stop loss, didn't send them over with proper armor or equipment and were given water by Dick Cheney's company Halliburton that was contaminated.... with the remains of the dead.
Now you want to throw your tea parties and act like you're some Patriotic American who is cut from the cloth of our forefathers. Franklin, Jefferson and Washington would puke at the sight of you.
Obama has to raise taxes... OH NO! Oh wait it's only been aimed at the people making $200,000 or more. Too bad most of you don't make that in your double wide trailers.
CEOs and Republicans RAPED this country the last 8 years. Our children and grandchildren get to face a financial mess that 8 years of Obama's best plans may not be enough to overturn in their favor, since 8 years of Bush and 25 years of trickle down economics has put us right back at the verge of the great depression. They have a weak auto industry and no manufacturing jobs to look forward to, thanks to the Greed over all culture the GOP and CEOs endorsed. They have an environment in shambles thanks to allowing corporate polluters to do as they wish the past 8 years. Wages are in the toilet and health care, if an employer cares to offer it at all has blown so sky high that even people that are insured can't afford to get care because their deductibles don't cover enough.
The disaster you're talking about happened on YOUR watch.
So MOST Americans, not the 25% dimwits like yourselves, WOKE THE FUCK UP.
Obama won. AND IT WASN'T EVEN CLOSE.
Get your KKK or Neo Nazi rallies going and see if any of them have any tea bags for you to wave around.
Or maybe see if they have a job for you. Since Bush decided that Americans didn't need those anyway.
What a great fella YOUR IDIOT was.
I have long wondered if during recessions, companies that are otherwise still doing well, use the whole concept of a "recession" as an excuse to can workers so that their profit margins go up and the people at the top (namely CEOs) rake in the cash.
I was reading the newest issue of Internet Retailer (link: http://www.internetretailer.com/article.as... ) and found this to be somewhat disturbing.
In a survey of Internet Retailers, IR Magazine found the following.
In the first quarter of 2009 compared with the first quarter of 2008 did your web sales:
Stay the same 17.6%
Now 51.6% are seeing their amount of sales increase. Not bad for a recession, especially when you consider this:
By what percent did your web sales increase?
30.1% to 35% - 4.3%
35.1% to 40% - 8.5%
40.1% to 45% - 6.4%
45.1% to 50% - 4.3%
More than 50% - 25.5%
So for the 51.6% of retailers who are making MORE money during this recession, they are making out big. Over 49% of them are making MORE than 30% OVER what they made last year.
So then they should be able to invest more in their business or at least retain the status quo, right? After all how many businesses need to cut back when they are posting 30-50% increases?
In the light of the severe recession, do you plan to cut expenses?
Yes - 62.6%
No - 37.4%
So they're making a ton more money, but they are going to use the recession to cut expenses. And where do they plan to cut?
In what areas will you reduce expenses?
General and administrative - 47.8%
Marketing and advertising - 29.3%
Fulfillment and distribution - 17.4%
Technology - 17.4%
Other - 12.0%
General and Administrative... read: cut employees from the payroll.
Just in case anybody thought that corporations should be trusted, as our lovely idiot Blue Dogs and Republicans do, to do the right thing at all times, they are the ones that are creating the recession with their greed and now they are using it as an excuse to put good workers out on their asses.
Gotta love American Capitalism.
Who else thinks Schumer and Rahm got together and all but assured the DSCC will step in and make sure his primary opposition is ousted before they ever have a chance? It wouldn't be the first time they've done this for right leaners whom would fit in with the establishment. See: Klobuchar, Amy.
If the DSCC steps in we can kiss our chances of having someone even slightly progressive in the seat goodbye. They'll get every major star all the way up to Obama campaigning for him... in the primaries. There will be no way to raise money or stem the media tide that will go in Specter's direction thanks to the push by the DSCC.
I've seen, "we'll just primary him" in a bunch of threads now. Don't you think Specter wouldn't have switched if he wasn't assured that this would not happen?
Watch this: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=466...
Personally I worry that the real economic collapse is around the corner once these Alt-A/Option A loans reset (see 3:40 of that video for an eye opening chart). If we really want to stabilize the economy, shouldn't the Government step in and help force the refinancing of these loans to fixed rates? Even if it extends the loan periods from 30 to 40-50 years to make it viable, the more of these loans that are saved the less of a chance that everything collapses.... it's inevitable that there will be some defaults but we need to get the payments on these loans to retain their current or even a slightly lower rate if we want people to be able to maintain any spending ability and not further crush the market.
I know McCain mentioned this late in the campaign (to a major scoff here and amongst Republicans) but it might be that the only way to stabilize the economy is to pre-emptively force a mass refinancing of these loan types (as well as make them illegal to offer in the future).
Another thing, as someone who worked as a Mortgage Loan Servicer for WaMu in 2003 (and took serious heat for telling people to refinance to Fixed Rate mortgages and not ARM loans) I would think we should regulate that anyone who is purchasing their first house be forced to take a real estate course... even if it's only a few hours of classes, so they understand everything that comes with owning a home. You would not believe how many people had no idea about terms of their loans, how escrow worked, etc.
To go bankrupt you have to go through a quickie credit course to make sure you understand what you're doing and to help you understand how you screwed up in the first place. A similar requirement could help a lot of people understand how these loans work and be smarter about going into one.
The next wave may be much bigger than the first... if Obama truly wants to stabilize and prevent a second wave... I think mass re-financing may be the only way to go.
President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to prohibit the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques by ordering the CIA to follow military rules for questioning prisoners, according to two U.S. officials familiar with drafts of the plans. Still under debate is whether to allow exceptions in extraordinary cases.
. . . Obama's changes may not be absolute. His advisers are considering adding a classified loophole to the rules that could allow the CIA to use some interrogation methods not specifically authorized by the Pentagon, the officials said. They said the intent is not to use that as an opening for possible use of waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning.
Thoughts on this?
With the DLC/Right Wing of the party now taking firm control and basically deciding that on the key principles of what we disagree with Bush on there might not be much change, if any at all, are you starting to question whether or not you're a Democrat?
I always considered myself a Democrat based on the principles that the Democratic Party looks out for the regular people, ie the working class and the poor... and Republicans looked out for the Rich and Elite. Democrats were tolerant and inclusive of people from all races, religions, genders and sexual orientations and Republicans were mostly a bigoted bunch that looked out for White people. Obviously these are generalizations but it does appear that these hold some water when you look at the views of the Republican party.
But that's really not how it has been for some time has it?
Democrats say they're for the middle class but they rarely ever talk about or defend those in poverty anymore in public because they allowed Republicans to win every single god damn PR war of the last 30 years and now in the media poor = welfare recepient and welfare recepient = too lazy to work and more than likely to be stealing from people who do work hard for their money.
So the poor is ignored or even attacked. "Entitlement Programs" are the first things people look to cut every single time we need to cut back on Government Spending. Money that goes to the poor, sick or elderly is the first to be attacked. And ironically enough when those cuts are made, that money is just spent in some other wasteful way probably tied to some political favors for campaign contribution pork thrown into one bill or another.
Those middle class voters they defend? The Democrats have shown them love by using their unions to get elected and then doing zilch to help increase union membership. Republicans seemed to have won this PR front as well. Of course since Democrats seem to attend every fight with a White Flag of Surrender up before the first shot well you're not fighting for anyone if you're too afraid to fight.
Heck they even have enabled the destruction of the Middle Class by approving of Free Trade agreements like NAFTA, Most Favored Nation Status to China and other free trade agreements across the world that have given those countries a leg up on getting our jobs... manufacturing and otherwise. Oh and let's not forget the bankruptcy reform they helped Bush and the GOP pass. Always nice to make sure Credit Card companies have higher status than citizens do here.
They also decided that whatever image there was of peace protesting hippies in this party was going to be smashed into smithereens. Democrats were jumping all over themselves to support Bush's War of Choice in Iraq and even after it was proven the guy lied out of his ass about all of it, they still supported his policies of torture and breaking the law to wiretap all of us and to copy everything any of us have ever said or done online. They also rushed to his aid with the surge and when a new Administration, a DEMOCRATIC administration was elected, they kept on Robert Gates who was Bush's guy and made sure people were aware of how difficult it will be to pull out of Iraq. After all, we don't want those expectations to be too high now do we?
Oh and Democrats spent the last two years in power protecting Bush by refusing to even consider impeachment or to take any serious actions on his officials that a simple court ruling putting the ball back in their court didn't pretty much end. After all the court said the duty was up to Congress and a Democratic Congress can't be seen doing their job.
Gitmo, the haven for torture? Well now it's going to be difficult to close. Fuck all the people there who apparently didn't do anything so wrong that our Government, desperate for convictions, could hang them on. Thanks President Obama!
In fact the same next President voted for telecom immunity on the FISA bill... think he's going to end wiretapping if he won't even prosecute it for the crime it was?
All the people he's appointed are right-leaning centrists. The same group of people that mostly worked with Clinton in agreeing with the Republican Congress during his term and the same group that were pretty closely aligned with Bush in his last one.
All of us on the left... or even just the majority of people who sort of expected drastic change after the past 8 years of complete and utter failure? Fuck you! We have our guy now and he can do no wrong. Drink the kool-aid or get out.
This isn't the party I envisioned when I started to consider myself a Democrat as a kid. I thought fighting for the regular guy meant actually fighting.
My party wouldn't cave continuously on one issue after another without usually even a whimper explaining our side intelligently in the media.
My party would see an issue like Gay Marriage and try to redefine this as a basic human right, not cower and let Right Wing Talk Radio own the subject.
My party would see Universal Health Care as a chance to really help all Americans rather than planning it in a way that enriches HMOs and Pharmaceutical Companies while likely failing.
My party would never think of Social Security, Welfare or Medicare/Medicaid as the first target for spending when we could cut military spending in half, not affect soldiers' pay or benefits and pay down our debt in less than a decade.
My party would look to find peace in places of misunderstanding, not pick Israel over the Palestinians no matter how wrong they are and no matter how much worse that makes our standing in that region.
I know some people are going to respond, "Well fine, get the hell out" or something of the like. They'll be angry I don't blindly follow Obama or say "he hasn't even taken office yet". But he's already making policy. He's already picked his team and his team has a track record that is pretty damn clear.
If the DLC/Right Wing Centrists have complete control of our party I guess I have to wonder... do I belong in this party? Maybe it's off to the Independent Wilderness where my vote will count less because I'm not someone who sees a (D) and thinks, "Yes I have to vote for that person regardless of the fact that Rahm Emanuel recruited them as a Republican, asked them to switch parties just so they could win and so they could railroad the liberal/progressive out of the primary".... but hey they're still a Democrat so they're not as bad as a Republican right?
But what about when Republicans have switched parties just to win...
Then who are we voting for?
The ten most recent threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums.
Impeachment is the only cure for the Supreme Court
Did "NoElephants" pass away??
A Giant Union Is Planning to Protest the Oscars
Happy Valentines Day, old friends!
NEVER trust government. nt
By No Elephants
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
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