on point's Journal
Obama often talks a good game, but has failed to back his words with follow through action time after time.
I support the new direction for sure (progressives have only been screaming it for months now after all), but he will have to PROVE himself through action.
He has lost our trust and will have to earn it back.
Now lets see him tackle the other items on the classic Rachel Maddow scoreboard for which there is super majority support in the country.
By blurring the distinction between parties, he has given the prized independents nothing to differentiate from the repukes and to the democratic base he has proven to be too far right for them to like. Result is lukewarm result for somebody who is continuing to lead the country in the wrong conservative direction (80+ percent of the country these days) and is not the alternative he promised to be. No one is happy with the choices before them which is pandering moderate right and dangerously loony right, when what the country needs is a return to the DEMOCRATIC LIBERAL principles which puts people over the powerful and is working towards the long term betterment of everyone.
It's like playing a dead key on a piano, there just isn't a note to hit there. No response. Until and unless Obama gets that clue, the country is going to be holding their enthusiasm for someone else, because they hate having to hold their nose for Obama. Only when he starts hitting the notes where the country actually is, like support for single payer, will he be able to strike a chord.
I think something can be said for not giving churches special tax status but treating them like all other non profits. That would truly be a separation of church and state. But history has shown the dangers in states being able to control religion, especially with preference for one over another, which is usually just a symptom of an even bigger problem - when religions control states.
To avoid this we would have to grant the greatest right of freedom of expression and right to belief such that the state could not interfere in them. Such freedom is the professed aim of a liberal state. But this might mean that an organization has to be free to organize and express itself through collective action which would inevitably mean that speech is money. It might also mean that religions could participate in pursuit of state.
Thus the bargain struck that they would stay in separate worlds. This was struck back in the 1700's. Is it time to revisit this given our new experience and how it has played out?
I think this is a worthy topic.
One of the problems we face is that economic model and analysis used by the repukes, and now obviously by Obama is wrong.
The whole supply-side model does not work. We got into the economic difficulty, including the large accumulated debt and the deficit by following this model.
The longer we follow this model, the worse our economic situation will get and the more everyone will stand around saying 'gee it's bad and getting worse what can be done to fix the economy?"
There can be no fix unless the erroneous diagnosis is dropped. Big business and the wealthy are not starving for capital, they are awash in it.
Robert Reich and Paul Krugman have got it correct, but no one is listening to them, least of all the President who seems beholden to the Chicago School of Economic Fools who brought us this supply-side delusion.
It is no accident that there is a population overlap on right between those people who don't believe in science (evolution, the age of the earth greater than 5000 years, climate change), don't know history (the repukes created the debt, 6 Trillion under the Bush the Liar alone and debt cutting only makes the recession worse as any empirical study will show), and are not fact based logical people. They BELIEVE in things. Facts and logic do not matter to them Our country is in the hands of delusional fools and until they start being called out on all of these things, we are headed for the destruction of the country. I am afraid it will only be this that will finally force them to open their eyes and go 'oh I guess we were wrong". I only hope then there are enough pieces left to try and put the country back together again.
My rough estimate for the the entire spend on the military given war, defense and other budgets together is about 800 billion / yr. Cut it 500 billion and that should leave 300 billion / yr which is still FAR more than anyone else spends.
Time to tell Pentagon that is the budget, period, make do. Yes this might clip the wings of the military, empire building corps and politicians, but I think that would be a good thing.
Yes I want to reduce the debt, and I think they are being too timid and looking in all the wrong areas. Here are my suggestions:
Massive cuts to the military
Restore taxes on wealthy to prior levels (raise them at least to Clinton levels of 45 %)
End Corp welfare
Put in place SIngle Payer Health care to reduce medical costs by 2/3
Cut Congressional benefits to 401k match like the rest of us.
Rough estimate I think that comes to at least 8 trillion over 10 years. Cut that first and let's see how the budget stacks up then.
Only afterward can you talk to me about 'share the burden' cuts to the average person
It is inevitable.
The whole idea of propping up housing prices was an economic fantasy. A waste of money to save the banks, not the people. (Sorry to those people underwater) Housing prices are never going to come back if people can't afford them. The basic rule of thumb is that people should pay no more than 30% of their income. They were paying more before the recent recession. Now that wages have dropped, the house prices must drop too.
Loose money in supply side economics fraud from Greenspan and neo cons simply created a asset price inflation, which just popped, and will eventually end up in currency inflation, which we are just starting to see. Now the wealthy are busy buying up extra houses as an investment, since they have cash and the rest of us can't get loans. They think they can sell them later, or rent them.
This means people may be driven back into times when they rented tenements and lived many people crammed together, or the wealthy will loose their shirts, or the wages will have to come up.
If people in the USA are going to be paid the wages of third world countries, then the prices of the assets they buy are going to have to be priced equivalent.
Many funds were said to be 'overpaying' in good times, so redirected payments to execs and dividends
This could have been seen a mile off. I know I saw it coming. When times were good, stocks booming etc, many trust funds were told to use high rates of return as 'normal' and so reduced their contributions. The money then went in many many cases to bonuses for the executive staff - 'look how they saved the company money' it was said at the time!; or were paid as dividends to stockholders. These never should have been paid and the funds should have stayed the course so that they had enough money.
Frankly, I think this constitutes fraud. They promised employees the money as part of their labor contract and didn't put aside enough money.
I also wonder about these companies, like GM, that declared bankruptcy so they wouldn't have to make good on employee contracts, but yet didn't see fit to cancel exec multi-million dollar pension schemes and benefits.
Another case of fraud I say.
Stats and polling is a science. Granted practitioners do not always do the prep work, or sample validation they need to do to validate the samples.
However, your points 1-4 are examples of poor quality work, and are not problems with polling science per se.
1. True that not every population will follow a normal distribution on every question. Usually this work is done up front to qualify and profile the population in order to use it later and tied to larger predictive things like income. This pre-work for the US was generally done long ago and is out of date and needs a serious re-work. Even if the population does not follow a normal distribution, there are still probability tests with error margins that can use any of these other type distributions.
2. There is supposed to be an 'other category' for those who don't agree with the questions posed. Really good samples might also phrase the questions in different ways to see if that correlates to changes in the distribution to see if there is introduced bias. They would also do a test of their samples on a 'complete' sub-population to validate the larger sample.
3. A poll is a snapshot in time and does not indicate past or future behavior. Mis-understanding of what a poll is. Also, unless the poll is somehow anonymous, there is also peer pressure bias introduced as people may say what they think is politically correct.
4. You missed a major population bias which is very important now. 'Calling' people is no longer a random sample as people who have land phones, answer them to unknowns, and are willing to talk to pollsters are not representative of the population as it may have been in the 50s and 60s. Other population studies have shown this 'called' population to be older, whiter, more rural and more conservative. For political purposes, more 'republican'.
As I said, the science of polling is good, even though some of the practices of the firms done today are not. Work on pointing out the flaws and bias in the practice, not in the science itself unless you have worked out some new quantum fractal alternative reality probability theory deserving of the Nobel prize. Otherwise, the progressive wing begins to resemble the know-nothings of the ignorant and delusional right wing.
The science of polling is legitimate, even if some polls (and perhaps some firms) are not. It has nothing to do with whether you were contacted or not. Do not confuse a vote (where everyone participates) with a poll where only a random, representative sample is used, with a margin of error to reflect potential error.
The Nut job right is the group that rejects education and science because "Reality has a known liberal bias", and besides "knowin things is so elitist". They are Neo-liths. Don't join the nut jobs by rejecting science because you don't
1. Get it ( so study up on probability, stats and sampling)
2. Are unhappy that some firms are betraying that science to further their political beliefs
The native language of the speaker or writer, that is the person talking about the place, should make the determination. All languages have their own rendering of the places that makes sense not only from a pronunciation point of view, but also from an historical point of view and their own cultural context.
To the degree that places themselves try to change their names, especially if it as about respect, native speakers should try to respect that change within reason. This takes time to evolve and be accepted, but in no case should it be in the native language of the place that has changed its name. It should still be rendered in the native language. It is, after all, that language's name for the place. What's more is it needs to be accepted by the people speaking the language. Thus Germany is Germany, not Deutschland nor Allemagne (French).
Kampuchea renders well in English, accords with English naming conventions and is likely to be accepted in English over time with practice. Other languages will have to make their own determinations however. Turkiya is never likely to be accepted because it is not an English name and does not follow the naming/ spelling conventions that English uses to name countries. Zhong-Guo has a better chance of acceptance than Zhōngguˇ because it uses only valid English characters to spell the name and the spelling somewhat accords with English standards. Again though, that does not mean it will work or be the same in other languages which have other naming conventions. Suppose there is a language out there that always adds a prefix or a suffix to a name to designate it as a 'place'. That makes the name different than what the country is proposing for itself, but it works inside of the native language.
Bottom line, native speakers determine how to name and pronounce a country name, not the inhabitants of the country being named. Stay with the native speakers, and put the new name in parenthesis or quotes side by side with the native one if trying to help the evolution, until it is accepted. This is the convention when using specialist terms or foreign terms.
The proper response here should have been it is none of your business. To be forced into having to clarify, is to then say in essence "oh I am not one of those nasty Muslims, I'm a christian".
This is despicable and reeks of Nazi fascists tactics "Oh I'm not jewish, I'm a christian" would be a similar response from a different era.
Giving in to these nutcases, instead of going after them and calling them out to be the fascists they are, is to help them in their mission to take over the country.
I am so tired of these people complaining of the "gay agenda" trying to take over the country (I have never seen such an agenda), where the christian lunatic right agenda is very clear and very pernicious. They want to institute a christian fundi nation, where there is no separation of the church and state. They are actually just projecting and revealing their own tactics.
In fact, I think the whole move to privatize schools is their reaction to being told they can't teach religion in public schools. Their response "OK then, we will just kill the public schools. All that will be left is private schools and we can teach in some of those"
These people are dangerous to health of the nation.
HIs agenda explains why the 'America on wrong track number' is going up. That was the situation before the election and people voted for a different track, not the same o same o track.
The US (and the global environment) is in desperate shape and some wishy washy do nothing reform in name only image marketing pablum just isn't going to cut it anymore. The time for tinkering around the edges has been spent.
We need serious, large scale dramatic reform while we still have the chance to shape the outcome. If we wait much longer, not only will the change be forced on us, but it may take a chaotic and disastrous path that no one in his right mind would want (except the crazy Armageddon lovers of course).
I think what is really riling the Whitehouse is that their pre-determined fall marketing image campaign isn't selling to the base. And that may be the fundamental disconnect. While we are looking for a better image marketing campaign, a MUCH BETTER ONE in fact, what we are really looking for is substantive change, not the image of change.
We are on the wrong track, and we need a change of direction.
Bottom line is the president has failed to fight for a progressive agenda and to deliver on the 'changes' he promised.
I would be happier if they did hold to a position, fought for it and perhaps even lost. Then at least the difference between the repugs and dems would be clear and then it would be worth supporting the dems. Now they are just corp sell outs, like the repubs, but better because they are merely corrupt instead of corrupt and CRAZY.
If they are finally getting the message that we are fed up, then good. The proper response is to re-assess your agenda and methods. The repug response is to demonize your opponents when you have no real suitable answer. They grow more like them everyday.
We did not work for a party that moves ever more to the right with nary a whimper because they are afraid of their own shadow and repugs saying 'boo'.
If you want our support, then support us.
We didn't leave you. You left us.
This, like health care and upcoming climate change legislation, has a fancy title and lots of marketing as reform, but in actuality it falls far short.
THIS is why real dems are not "excited" by the so called "accomplishments" of the Obama admin.
They are marketing vehicles for image improvement, not substantive, real change "we can believe in".
I think the breaking point came for me when the Whitehouse did everything it could to avoid discussing, considering, or supporting a public option, let alone single payer, because it had already sold out. A fact based review, instead of a hiding of the facts, would have shown this to be the way to save our health care. Instead it became more important to save our health insurance system. Corporations before people.
The ten most recent threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums.
Fewer people getting married.
By No Elephants
I'm sorry to hear things have been so bad over here, and here's why --
By Leopolds Ghost
Happy Fathers' Day to all the Dads.
By No Elephants
Deleted. Triple post.
By No Elephants
Deleted. Triple post.
By No Elephants
NSA vs Snowden -- Follow the Money
Jeb Bush : 'Immigrants create more businesses than do US citizens' and "are more fertile..."
By Leopolds Ghost
Enthusiast, did you get a pm from me this morning?
By No Elephants
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.