You are doing a piss poor job of convincing progressives to reelect Obama.
I believed you guys were actually Republican trolls until I heard the same words coming out of the mouths of top Obama aides and in only slightly milder form out of the mouths of the president and VP himself.
Does that persuade you and make you want to keep reading?
I didn't think so.
So why do you repeatedly insult the progressive majority of DU and other progressive sites, to try to keep them in the Obama tent?
I am not 100% pleased with Obama, but I will be voting for him again. Your efforts mostly make me feel like an idiot for doing so.
If you sincerely want to help Obama win reelection, here's some tips that might help you warm up the base.
Enough with the insults. You know what I'm talking about--calling anyone who criticizes Obama from the left ''far left'' (going as far as to say we are as bad as the far right), ''the professional left,'' ''hopeless idealists,'' and perhaps most aggravatingly ''Obama haters.'' That last one is just fucking lazy. You borrowed it from the Bush PR team.
Also, when you come to a discussion board, expect that people are going to criticize your guy as well as praise him. If you want undiluted praise, go to Obama's campaign website. If you come to a site like this expect to have to defend some of his actions and do so as if talking to your peers not your children.
Retire some of these talking points:
That brings me to the one thing you guys do well, the list of Obama's accomplishments. Even your presentation there has room for improvement though.
There are a couple of points that you also avoid mentioning, like why Obama started with an economic team that included so many of the architects of our financial collapse, and why he lets firms like Goldman Sachs pick their regulators instead of picking their cellmates in the Federal pen.
Another area where you need to address progressive concerns is K-12 education. I'm glad Obama gave schools money to keep them from laying off teachers, but a lot of us who care about kids have trouble trusting him on this issue when he hired an education secretary who right wingers praise for his union-busting, mass firing of teachers, emphasis on repetitive standardized testing and privatized charter schools, all ''reforms'' backed by billionaire dilettantes rather than trained educators.
The problem with Obama's approach to Wall St, education, trade, and other aspects of foreign policy is that it is top down rather than bottom up--he appears to talk to almost exclusively the wealthy and largely does what they ask, rather than looking at the wishes of average Americans, who would like to see Wall Street subject to the rule of law and suffer the same kind of consequences a middle class or poor person would if they intentionally caused as much damage, and would like to have safe public schools that borrow the best practices of private schools, rather than privatizing public schools so our tax dollars can be siphoned off in profits and teachers treated like interchangeable burger flippers.
You must address these concerns if you want to get progressives in the tent, and address them in the way that Bruno Bettelheim laid out in his essay ''The Victim.'' He told about how as a concentration camp inmate he needed to get an SS guard's approval to get medical treatment for frostbite. He had to make his case to someone who had no sympathy, all the power, and a gun. So far, you guys have been arguing more like the guard than the inmate.
The one card Governor Scott Walker has to play is calling out the national guard, but what if protesters beat him to the punch?
If you know someone in the guard ask them if they will obey the order to disperse or even fire on their friends and neighbors, and what kind state they think they'd end up living in if they did. Then post their replies to blogs or here, anonymously if they want or with their names if they are willing.
It would be a good question for capitol and state police as well.
Reporters should be asking guard commanders the same question. (I'm going to email or call later today).
Even if they say they. Will follow orders, it will plant a seed of doubt.
If someone says they won't follow the orders, I would challenge them to join the protest in uniform--which would be a good idea for veterans among protesters right now. If the right doesn't mind calling teachers and other public workers lazy pigs, it will a lot harder for them to do if it makes them look like they aren't ''supporting the troops.''
Maybe if you know a someone in the military in Iraq or Afghanistan, especially public workers deployed in the guard, you could get video clips of statements of support.
We need to do more than beat the right here--we need to make them afraid to bash public workers and union bash ever again. We should make them BEG for the privilege to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act. This needs to be their Waterloo, and we need the troops on our side to do it.
1. Demand that he be prosecuted by our government for his already admitted war crimes and do a public allocution on any issues where he is still protected by ''state secrets'' privilege, especially on the true motives for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
2. Report to the Hague and demand that they prosecute him for war crimes.
3. Go to Iraq and Afghanistan, demand that they prosecute him for crimes against them, and until they start, he can pick through the rubble looking for missing dead, remove feces from the outhouses Iraqis had to use after we destroyed their infrastructure, and bath and care for the deformed children that resulted from the United States salting the earth of those countries with depleted uranium.
I have this vision of the conservative utopia looking like a shining, gated community on a hill with the rest of us living in a cardboard box shantytown at the foot of the hill, picking through the trash and sewage that ''trickles down'' from the gated community to survive.
The photo that best captures that with the right caption might capture the imagination of independents who sometimes swing toward the conservatives.
What have you got?
As I was leaving one of my two jobs the other day, I turned on NPR and heard Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on some NPR show taking calls. The first one I heard was from a part timer who laid out our problems pretty well: paid far less than full time colleagues, often no get no benefits, the lessened availability to students as we zip from campus to campus to patch together enough to survive, and the irony of all that given how important the president has said community colleges are. He also noted that a lot of the stimulus money went to one time building projects instead of persistent abuses like this.
Her answer was disturbing. She hemmed and hawed a lot and said this was primarily a state issue, and their job was mostly to insure that contracts were enforced. She went on to say it would be tough to fix issues like this because of the current budget crisis.
Even the host of the show said their would was little in her answer that would comfort the person asking the question.
While Solis is obviously better than the Bush secretary of labor who called teachers' unions terrorists, her answer is unacceptable for a number of reasons.
For one, the federal government intervenes in education at the state level all the time. It forced the steaming pile of excrement No Child Left Behind on K-12 schools, and more admirably, sets anti-discrimination conditions on colleges that take federal money. It doesn't take too much creativity to see how they could set minimum academic labor standards on colleges and universities.
I would have some sympathy for the budget argument if the first thing the Obama administration had done WASN'T giving nearly a trillion dollars to people on Wall Street who caused more economic harm than any terrorists could in their wildest dreams. He just recently reappointed Ben Bernanke who gave trillions more to the same crooks and refused to tell Congress how much he gave to which ones.
Wall Street hurts people on purpose to further enrich a very, very few. We do our jobs in hope that those we serve will be better citizens and better able to support their families. It is offensive for a supposedly Democratic administration to say they can do nothing for us while they give more than enough to fix our problems to sociopathic trust fund babies on Wall Street who spend the money on bonuses and parties and squirrel the rest away in offshore accounts.
TRANSCRIPT OF PART TIMER QUESTION:
CONAN: We're speaking with the secretary of labor, Hilda Solis. You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. And this email from Betsy(ph) in Cape Cod: I'm a part-time community college faculty member. We earn a small fraction of the salary our full-time colleagues earn for doing the same job, and many of us get no benefits. The stimulus money that was supposed to be going to keep jobs is frequently going instead to one-time capital projects. Even those of us who Re unionized - and we are the minority - are unable in the main to strike so there is very little we can do during contract negotiations. If educating people is as important as the president said, is strengthening faculty salaries, benefits and job security part of your agenda? If so, how do you propose to do it?
Sec. SOLIS: Wow. That's a big challenge. But it's one that I understand well as a former trustee of a community college and understand well the challenges, because many states by the way, who provide most of the bulk of support for funding for community colleges, their revenue has gone down. So, I know even in my own state of California many people have been pink-slipped, laid off. They've had to reduce class size and actually turn away a number of students that want to enroll in the fall, or postpone their education. So, I understand there has to be a need to help provide assistance and leadership for community colleges. And just to give you an idea, most of the training money that DOL is putting out - a lot of it will be going in partnership with community colleges. So, there will be an opportunity to hire up, to bring in more faculty and to also expand the services that community colleges offer because they are by and large the people that entertain the most number of people who go into a higher education.
CONAN: I didn't hear a lot in there that would her happier about in conditions in which she works.
Sec. SOLIS: A lot of - I think a lot of that - certainly we want to make sure that contracts are respected, collective bargaining agreements. There's always been an issue with respect to different bargaining groups, or groups that are represented in bargaining groups, that want to be a part of that. So, I think the continuance of involvement on the part of part-time faculty members I think is a legitimate issue and should be looked at. Because as it stands, you also find that that faculty member is not as inclined to stay committed to those groups of students that they do teach because they're off to different - other -what they call, freeway traveling or teaching…
Sec. SOLIS: …because they're going to find wherever they can get their salary paid. And it's unfortunate that that's what it's kind of turned to. I hope that we could end that in some way. But right now with the recession being what it is, I think it's going to be difficult.
Talk of the Nation, Aug. 25, 2009
Audio of the clip at Equal Pay for Equal Work blog.
I always thought banks worked the way Jimmy Stewart descrbed it in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE in the bank run scene, when he told people he couldn't give them back their balance because it went out in a loan for their neighbor's house. I thought lending had to be no greater than total deposits.
As I've heard more about fractioanl reserve banking, apparently banks can lend nine times what the have in deposits.
Here's my basic question: if they are lending money they don't have, why do they need to charge interest?
I thought if I took out a loan for say $1,000, the bank broke even when I paid back the principle and made a profit on the interest, so if I paod back $1,100, they made $100 profit.
In reality, they made $1,100 profit since the money didn't exist until they lent it to me.
This is even more infuriating when you think about the amount of interest credit cards charge.
Borrowing money from the mafia is a more honest transaction since they at least have to have the money they lend you.
It seems to me we should either require banks to have deposits equal to what they lend or if that's too big change for them,
Take away their right to charge interest.
They would still make $1,000 on my $1,000 loan since the money didn't exist before they loaned it to me.
Even more infuriating, our paper money is based on this same ponzi scheme. The Federal Reserve, a private bank, prints our money and gives it to government as a loan we must pay back with interest. They made it out of thin air, so they would profit even if we paid them only face value OR LESS.
The treasury makes our coins and that creates no debt apart from the cost of making the coin.
Why don't we make banks work on the same basis as other businesses instead of giving them a license to make money out of thin air? That would probably stabilize inflation more than any interest rate rejiggering by the Fed, which shouldn't exist in the first place.
gambled with money you didn't have, the buzzards will be picking your bones clean in the desert the next day.
When Wells Fargo execs canceled their retreat in Vegas, it was assumed that they had been shamed by bad publicity about partying on taxpayers' bail out dime. But federal investigators revealed it was because they feared being the latest victims of retaliation for Wall Street's heartless financial abuse of average Americans. And the revenge is being dealt by people with intimate access to them who they usually ignore: servants.
The lowest level of harassment comes from food servers, according to FBI agent Pete Gadamo, who has been tracking the crimes. "I've seen all the old favorites, from bodily fluids in drinks to feces in ice cream and frappacinnos to household cleaners in umbrella drinks. If that Drano martini had been handed to an innocent person by mistake, it could have led to a real tragedy."
Valets and maids who have access to untended laptops, blackberries, and cell phones, and have erased data, changed phone numbers by one digit, and changed their wives' birthdays. In one case, a valet called all the contacts in a cell phone and said it's owner was cooperating with an SEC investigation and named them as co-conspirators. In another case, a valet gave a bank exec the keys to someone else's black BMW identical to his own then reported the car stolen at gun point. The exec died in a hail of bullets after a high speed chase. Then the valet did the same thing with that execs keys.
Those with access to their rooms have put snakes and scorpions in their beds, and in one incident, the water jet in a bidet was replaced with an acetylene torch. "That poor bastard burned his balls off before he knew what hit him, and the doctor literally had to rip him a new asshole," Gadamo said.
Sex workers have gotten into the act too, putting Ben Gay on butt plugs, leaving clients handcuffed, naked, and ball-gagged for the maid to find, and secretly videotaping their clients sexual perversions and sending them to their board of directors and wives.
Gadamo said the perpetrators do these acts spontaneously and have no contact with each other. "It's really a shame since each person pretty much has to re-invent the wheel instead borrowing what someone else has done and improving on it."
By bringing this trend to light, Gadamo hopes to change this. He also says he sees little prospect of catching the culprits.
"However, if we do catch anyone, we will punish their crimes as severely as Wall Street's crimes have been punished," Gadamo said.
Posted by yurbud in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Dec 24th 2008, 01:15 PM
After World War I, the Allies imposed brutal terms on the defeated Germans, imposing not only reparations for war costs, but maintaining a starvation blockade AFTER surrender, and stripping Germany of territory.
After the Fall of the Soviet Union, we had a chance to steer Russia toward a stable, European-style social democracy.
Instead, the Wall Street types insisted that any economic aid come at the price of radical free market reforms that actually lowered the standard of living compared to Soviet days.
Likewise, the breaking away of former Soviet Republics may have been inevitable, but their quick integration into NATO and America siding strongly with poticial candidates in those countries based on how quickly they would open up to foreign investments. shed their social safety net, and allow us to use their soil as a base for military operations was a continual slap in the face of the critically injured but not dead Russia.
There are a couple of critical differnces between Germany after WWI and Russia after Communism.
Germany was a great industrial power, which could make her a powerful military adversary but she was poor in the natural resource to power expansionist ambitions: oil. Hitler didn't seize enough oil rich territory in time to fight the allies indefinitely and ran out of gas.
By contrast, Russia sits on the Caspian Sea Basin, where some of those oil reserves Hitler needed were, and American oil companies are trying to quietly pick them out of Russia's pocket, one former republic and pipeline at a time. One of those is in Georgia.
We have not only beaten Russia, we have taken their watch and are now trying to pry loose their fillings. How would you expect them to respond?
Russia also correctly sees us as trying to control all of the major oil producing countries in the Persian Gulf, adding occupied Iraq to our "ally" Saudi Arabia, and now Bush & Cheney are eying Iran's reserves as well. Would we allow Russia to gain control of so much of the world's oil and on top of cozying up to Mexico to suck oil from under our border?
Another way Russia is unlike Germany is Russia has about as many nuclear warheads as we do, and unlike the phantom threat from Iraq, Russia has the means to deliver them and a possible motive. This makes the Wall Street post-communist plan to belittle and plunder Russia suicidal. If you beat someone to pulp and keep pounding, if the only weapon he has to fight back is a hand grenade, he just might pull the pin even if it means killing himself as well as you.
Our business first foreign policy has led us into a costly war in Iraq, and if we attack Iran or make a misstep on Georgia, it could lead to World War that could cost billions of lives.
The great flaw of the Wall Street first foreign policy is it expects people to respond like sheepish employees given the pink slip and escorted out of the office. But when you are being forcibly removed from your means of survival, as is the case in Iraq, and we are now seeing in Russia, people do not go quietly, and more innocent bystanders than guilty parties end up dead.
Peace with dignity and security for all parties involved may mean less short term profits for Wall Street speculators, but as we saw with the Marshall Plan after World War II, a well-fed and well-treated former adversary doesn't take up arms against you again, and both sides can prosper.
We must choose between modest profits for most, stabilty,and life for all, or quick profits for a few, and war, and death for everyone else.
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