OT - Who will run for President on the Republican side?

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Submitted by briansd1 on April 26, 2011 - 10:11am

List of potential candidates:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/2012-repu...

Which one do you like? (some have withdrawn).

Mitt Romney
Sarah Palin
Newt Gingrich
Michele Bachmann
Jon Hunstman
Ron Paul
Rick Santorum
Herman Cain
Buddy Roemer
Chris Christie
Rick Perry
Michael Bloomberg

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 25, 2011 - 8:51am.

pri_dk wrote:

Don't forget that 9% unemployment means 91% employment. Most people still have jobs and probably won't see the need to take a chance on someone who's been advocating extreme solutions.

It it simply impossible for the Republicans to promote any credible jobs plan without contradicting the "hyperbolic ventilating" we've been hearing from them since '08.

All it takes is a little common sense.

Pri: Do you really believe that unemployment is ONLY 9%? Have you done any reading on this subject at all? REAL unemployment, that is the TRUE measure of unemployment that includes underemployment and those out of work for more than a year, is actually in the 15% to 17% range.

Also, your jab at the lack of a Republican plan conveniently ignores Obama's total lack of leadership on this issue. Hence my reference to the chattering classes at the NYT and WashPost (and, yes, they're widely read on the Left and Center-Left), as they provide an excellent "finger on the pulse" of the Democratic Party.

You elide often, my friend, and posit "facts" that aren't, like your "facts" surrounding the Nazis and Soviets in the 1930s and 1940s and their actions in Central and Eastern Europe. If the facts don't fit the circumstances, so what, right?

Submitted by jpinpb on August 25, 2011 - 9:07am.

I have to agree that I don't believe the unemployment numbers out there. I wish they would report the U6 numbers. My brother who has a masters degree is unemployed. He said the hardest job he's ever had is finding a job. He looks and applies every day and is demoralized and traumatized by the difficulty in getting a job, traveling everywhere for day-long multiple interviews. And his unemployment ran out, so he is not falling into U3 numbers. My other cousins who were unemployed each found part-time jobs, so they are happy to have any work, but again, I don't think they fall into the U3 number either. It's ugly out there.

Submitted by briansd1 on August 25, 2011 - 10:38am.

Before picking the winner of the president election next year, let's first pick the winner fo the Republican primary.

I think that Romney will win. I'm going for the establishment candidate.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 25, 2011 - 11:39am.

briansd1 wrote:
Before picking the winner of the president election next year, let's first pick the winner fo the Republican primary.

I think that Romney will win. I'm going for the establishment candidate.

Brian: I think the Republican primary will show the true colors of the GOP. It will pit Romney (Establishment/mainstream GOP) against Perry (Tea-vangelical wing).

Its gonna be interesting. Especially interesting are the parallels being drawn to the 1980 election between Carter and Reagan. Of course, Carter had a primary challenger during the 1980 Democratic primary, so its somewhat inapt, but there are some similarities.

Don't underestimate Perry. I'm not backing this guy at all, but watch out. He's coming from a sharp-elbowed state, where anything goes and he seems to both irritate and scare Karl Rove all at the same time, and that's no mean feat.

Submitted by eavesdropper on August 25, 2011 - 2:53pm.

pri_dk wrote:
Do you guys really think that individual voters are using the logic below?

"If unemployment is above 8% I'm going to vote for the Republican guy, even though he doesn't have plan and he's promised to cut my Social Security, Medicare, and my nephew's unemployment benefits. But if unemployment is 8% or less I'll stay with Obama."

Seriously?

Don't forget that 9% unemployment means 91% employment. Most people still have jobs and probably won't see the need to take a chance on someone who's been advocating extreme solutions.

There will be no Republican job plan of substance. They've painted themselves into a corner. Cutting government does not create jobs in the short term (it literally does the opposite) and no one that is hurting economically is going to want to elect a new President and wait for the long-term plan to go into effect.

It it simply impossible for the Republicans to promote any credible jobs plan without contradicting the "hyperbolic ventilating" we've been hearing from them since '08.

pri, I don't think the vast majority of voters use any logic at all in deciding who to vote for, particularly the Tea Party contingent.

The reality of the situation doesn't matter anymore. For several years now, Americans have been creating their own reality, choosing exactly what they want and don't want to hear.

Difficult as it is, I make it a point to occasionally to tune in to Fox News and their pundits, and to go on some of the more popular right-wing websites/message boards. I am absolutely shocked and appalled by some of the "inaccuracies" (I'm practicing restraint here) that are being perpetrated. It is like visiting a mythical universe, an alternate "reality" for the followers. There is no concern about accuracy in reporting: the sites, even the more respectable ones that are run by people with journalistic credentials, use each other as sources for confirmation of these stories. The really sad part is that many in the Republican U.S. Congress also use these sites for their source of the accurate informations and stories they use to support their positions.

Before anyone here gets their panties in a bunch, the left is guilty of this also. But, I don't care what anyone says, it is not nearly as prevalent as it is on the Right. That could be attributable to the fact that the Right got a much earlier start on this business, and the Left was really slow on the uptake.

Trust me, there's a huge contingent of people out there that are fed up with the Republicans and the Tea Party, but will vote for them anyway because of blind hatred (or, at least, strong distaste) for the Dems and the Left. There are also many who will simply not believe anything negative they hear about the Right. They've completely bought into the Fox News/Limbaugh/ Beck/ Hannity/Coulter version of a liberal-Muslim-socialist revocation of the Constitution and takeover of America, and NOTHING is going to change their minds. Because that would mean that they would be forced to admit that they had been "taken" and "mislead", that they had fallen for a con job. So their pride will let them blindly join in on pushing America over the edge.

Again, I have just as much a problem with those on the Left who engage in prevarication for the purpose of polarization. I don't care what their intention is, or how nicely or intellectually they word it: if it is untrue and meant solely to inflame, and adds nothing to a reparative dialogue, it's unAmerican as far as I'm concerned.

Don't count the Republicans out: I hear far too many people, even nice, reasonable, rational ones, parroting their "policies" and "solutions" for America's jobs problems. And more and more of them are unwilling to even listen to their close friends and family members who try to expose them to evidence to the contrary. They'll get angry, or simply walk away, so that they can continue to pretend to themselves that they're on the "right" side, and that they didn't fall for a con job.

And the other problem is that the left is way too silent and unwilling to act on the bullshit that's going on, and offers no candidates that truly offer an alternative to the "empty-suit" or radical Republican candidates. Just like the Republican Party is acting on the desires and politics of a relative few (i.e., the Tea Party), the left represented in both the rightwing and the mainstream press is the liberal-spending, save-social-programs-at-any-cost Democrats. And there are a helluva lot of people from both parties who are feeling completely disenfranchised, who will choose a candidate on a which-one-will-cause-the-least-harm basis.

pri_dk wrote:
And who cares about Dowd, Milbank, and Krugman? Do you think the people who read them are going to vote Republican?

Yeah, I do. I like a lot of what I read in their columns. But there are times that I get good and pissed off at what they're selling. But I'm one of the very few people these days that not only reads things in their entirety, but who also thinks about them carefully (incidentally, a Piggs trait, which is why I hang out here). I accept some things, and I clearly reject others. That's always been something that I've valued and appreciated as an American right. And I simply don't understand why the people who are so gung ho on maintaining personal freedom waste so much energy and emotion on efforts that will strip us of those rights. And it's largely attributable to their refusal to exercise those rights by reading opinions from people on all sides of an issue, and critically evaluating the material, by rejecting some things and accepting others.

Why is that so difficult? Why are Americans so content to give up that basic right, and, instead, allow others to dictate to them how they should feel, and how they should vote?

Incidentally, if the presidential election was this November, I would *seriously* consider casting my vote for Gary Johnson over President Obama. But chances are strong that this rational, bright, experienced, capable-of-critical-analysis, decisive Republican will never come close to getting the nomination. Go figure.

Submitted by eavesdropper on August 25, 2011 - 2:55pm.

jpinpb wrote:
eavesdropper wrote:

I would never waste a language like French on insults. Besides, I'm sure that you are confident in my abilities to accomplish that quite effectively in English.

You are a delight to read in any language ;)

jp, you are a wonderful boost to my ego!

Submitted by eavesdropper on August 25, 2011 - 3:10pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
eavesdropper wrote:
Does this sound better:

"Je vous en prie, mon énorme sac de merde parfumée!"

I would never waste a language like French on insults. Besides, I'm sure that you are confident in my abilities to accomplish that quite effectively in English.

Eaves: Yes, being referred to as a bag of sweet smelling shit is MUCH better!

My point exactly, Allan! At least I didn't refer to you as "my little cabbage", which is an error I come upon frequently in books and articles ("mon petit chou"). At least I'm assuming that it's an error.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Of course, if we're moving towards the scatological, German is so superior. Alles ist bescheissen really conveys it much more graphically (and gutturally) than French, which is a much prettier language.

Yes, I confess. Not much that's more satisfying than cursing in German.

At the same time, there are quite a few very lovely expressions of endearment in German. Rather contradictory language in its expressiveness.

Alas, I am illiterate in Deutsch.

Submitted by Arraya on August 25, 2011 - 3:49pm.

Uh-oh! Don't worry, Wall Street is not that influential.

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/177...

Wall Street executives turn back on Obama, start donating to Romney
By Jake Interrante and Bob Cusack - 08/22/11 05:15 AM ET
Dozens of Wall Street executives who supported President Obama in 2008 have donated to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign this year.

According to a review of fundraising data, 67 people who work in the financial sector and live in the New York City metro area gave to Obama in 2008 and to the former Massachusetts governor in 2011.

The reversals come in the wake of Obama's tough rhetoric on Wall Street — most notably last year, when the president was pushing Congress to pass what has become known as the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Submitted by briansd1 on August 25, 2011 - 5:30pm.

Excellent commentary, eveadropper. I love it that you consider different issues, such as eduction and economics when looking at politics.

Thank you for taking the time to write complete answers.

The problem with blogs and the Net is that we have become scatter-brained and just want headlines and simple answers.

The Net is about brevity because people don't want to read long articles as they jump from page to page. I will read long articles, but I'm not good at writing long comments.

I'd love to hear more of your opinions on what's fueling the bitterness and anger in politics these days.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 25, 2011 - 7:23pm.

briansd1 wrote:
Excellent commentary, eveadropper. I love it that you consider different issues, such as eduction and economics when looking at politics.

Thank you for taking the time to write complete answers.

The problem with blogs and the Net is that we have become scatter-brained and just want headlines and simple answers.

The Net is about brevity because people don't want to read long articles as they jump from page to page. I will read long articles, but I'm not good at writing long comments.

I'd love to hear more of your opinions on what's fueling the bitterness and anger in politics these days.

Brian: I will give you credit on this one. Every once in a while you post something that just nails it, and this is it. Excellent post, and it encapsulates a lot of my frustration with the "Post Fact World" we live in. Not enough time to delve into issues, or respond completely (or even coherently sometimes), all while dealing with the vitriol from those who don't agree with your viewpoint (and I'm as guilty of this as anyone).

Submitted by eavesdropper on August 25, 2011 - 11:32pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
briansd1 wrote:
Excellent commentary, eveadropper. I love it that you consider different issues, such as eduction and economics when looking at politics.

Thank you for taking the time to write complete answers.

The problem with blogs and the Net is that we have become scatter-brained and just want headlines and simple answers.

The Net is about brevity because people don't want to read long articles as they jump from page to page. I will read long articles, but I'm not good at writing long comments.

I'd love to hear more of your opinions on what's fueling the bitterness and anger in politics these days.

Brian: I will give you credit on this one. Every once in a while you post something that just nails it, and this is it. Excellent post, and it encapsulates a lot of my frustration with the "Post Fact World" we live in. Not enough time to delve into issues, or respond completely (or even coherently sometimes), all while dealing with the vitriol from those who don't agree with your viewpoint (and I'm as guilty of this as anyone).

Thanks, Brian. I'm not so concerned about the brevity of the net. After all, if someone brings something up that grabs my interest, but doesn't elaborate much on the topic, I always have the option (if not the time) to go in search of more information myself. In fact, I really like the web for that reason. Wikipedia gets a bad rap, especially from educators (and I understand where they are coming from). But for an intelligent and high-achieving student, consulting with Wikipedia can give them an idea of what avenues to explore in a complex topic, and of how much weight should be given to certain aspects of the information they'll locate.

No, what concerns me about the web is the amount of stuff that is totally fabricated, and the fact that a very large percentage of the population automatically assumes that it is true, and unquestioningly accepts it. But what really chaps my butt is not only the degree to which this false info is spread around by people who heartly endorse its supposed veracity, but that people who represent themselves as respected journalists use this stuff as "proof" in order to support their own opinions, and confirm their validity. It's the equivalent of a gigantic chain letter.

For instance, I read an outrageous claim about the healthcare bill on an extreme right-wing blog. It was presented to the readers as gospel truth because it had been taken from an extensive analysis of the bill that had been performed by a well-respected highly intelligent individual who had worked in the "healthcare area". I went in search of the original bill, and when I compared his "analysis" with it, it was immediately apparent that the author was neither intelligent or experienced in the health-care field. It was one piece of "conspiracy evidence" after another...absolutely absurd....written by a Joe-the-Plumber type named Peter Fleckenstein, who described himself as an "entrepreneur". Yet, almost immediately, the right-wing blogs were full of this asshat's claims, presented as "think tank-generated evidence". To this day, I'm still seeing this shit used to scare the crap out of the average American, who apparently cannot perform 30 seconds of due diligence to check the validity of the info before forwarding it to someone else who needs to be frightened. Fleckenstein's analysis, in one form or another, appears on virtually every well-known right-wing website, and quite a few left-wing ones. This, apparently, was enough to convince a U.S. Congressman of its validity, and he continues to use it to "educate" his constituents in speeches and in mailings.

This has been going on for so long, during which time the left, the Dems, and the mainstream press did nothing to call these liars out on their blatant violations of one of their sacrosanct Ten Commandments. Over time, they've taken it as society's blanket tacit approval of their tactics, and believe that they have license to lie as blatantly and outrageously as they like. And our God-fearing, Bible-thumping leaders continue to present the lies as the truth.

Submitted by harvey on August 26, 2011 - 5:47am.

That's all very nice eaves, but the left is just as bad, correct? They just think they are better than the right because they use elitist facts.

(BTW: Real Americans only speak English on message boards. We don't need some European language here. Don't forget that English is the language that Jesus used to write the Constitution.)

But seriously I agree with what you are saying, and it's frustrating.

Krugman (gasp! a liberal!) described the dilemma pretty well:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/opinio...

Some of us have long complained about the cult of “balance,” the insistence on portraying both parties as equally wrong and equally at fault on any issue, never mind the facts. I joked long ago that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read “Views Differ on Shape of Planet.”

It's true. No matter how extreme the bullshit one side presents, it has to be given "equal" consideration. That's how we end up with people like Christine O'Donnell getting as much attention as credible candidates.

Of course we have this nonsense because the "mainstream" media won't call BS when they see it, the "fair-and-balanced" media actively promotes the BS, and the "internet" media has no filtering whatsoever.

It's a bizarre irony that the information age is slowly degrading the critical thinking skills of society.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 26, 2011 - 8:56am.

pri_dk wrote:

It's true. No matter how extreme the bullshit one side presents, it has to be given "equal" consideration. That's how we end up with people like Christine O'Donnell getting as much attention as credible candidates.

Of course we have this nonsense because the "mainstream" media won't call BS when they see it, the "fair-and-balanced" media actively promotes the BS, and the "internet" media has no filtering whatsoever.

It's a bizarre irony that the information age is slowly degrading the critical thinking skills of society.

Pri: This is just hilarious. So, if I'm reading this correctly, only "qualified" candidates need apply to hold the levers of government and the media should only give airtime to those "serious" enough to merit it. Yeah, I think that's what John Kerry, war hero, was saying when he chided the media for paying ANY attention at all to the Tea Party.

Uh, you said you were in the army, right? Was that the U.S. Army? If you'll recall, the U.S. Army is a huge, convoluted mess and made up of people from all over the country (actually all over the world), from all walks of life and all ethnicities and social classes. In its own bumbling, stumbling fashion it functions quite well, just like the US as a whole.

The authoritarian, autocratic line you're spouting has a more of a place in Russia or China (or 1930s Germany, which you seem to have a good handle on, historically speaking) and not the US.

Pick up a book on US History and read up on the utterly bizarre cast of characters that have made up this country's elected officials and then come back and talk about Christine O'Donnell. Was she bugshit crazy? Yup. Did she every right to run for office? Yup. Its America, Chico, and if you wore a uniform, that is EXACTLY what you were willing to die for.

I don't condone the nonsense emanating from the Radical Right, anymore than I condone it from the Loony Left. It is what simultaneously makes this country great, while periodically debilitating us, too. Underneath all the screaming and hysterics right now, the system is actually functioning just the way its supposed to.

Submitted by eavesdropper on August 26, 2011 - 9:30am.

pri_dk wrote:
That's all very nice eaves, but the left is just as bad, correct? They just think they are better than the right because they use elitist facts.

I hear what you're saying, pri (refer back to my earlier post: "Before anyone here gets their panties in a bunch, the left is guilty of this also. But, I don't care what anyone says, it is not nearly as prevalent as it is on the Right."). When I have a completely close-minded far-Right FoxNews true believer pull out the "elitist-intellectual-ivory tower academic" label, I tell them that I can't help it if I've made a point of making education/the search for knowledge a lifelong pursuit, and I'm not about to apologize for it. And what's more, I deplore political correctness, so I'm not going to dumb down in what I'm saying or writing to make him and his pals feel better about themselves.

pri_dk wrote:
(BTW: Real Americans only speak English on message boards. We don't need some European language here. Don't forget that English is the language that Jesus used to write the Constitution.)

Wait a minute: I thought the people who believe they are closest to Jesus boast of their ability to speak in tongues......

pri_dk wrote:
Krugman (gasp! a liberal!) described the dilemma pretty well:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/opinio...

Some of us have long complained about the cult of “balance,” the insistence on portraying both parties as equally wrong and equally at fault on any issue, never mind the facts. I joked long ago that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read “Views Differ on Shape of Planet.”

It's true. No matter how extreme the bullshit one side presents, it has to be given "equal" consideration. That's how we end up with people like Christine O'Donnell getting as much attention as credible candidates.

Of course we have this nonsense because the "mainstream" media won't call BS when they see it, the "fair-and-balanced" media actively promotes the BS, and the "internet" media has no filtering whatsoever.

I used to shake my head in disbelief at the way in which the MSM would totally buy into the Right's accusations that they were liberally biased. While there's no question that there are some papers and news outlets whose editorial policies are a bit more liberal, the truth is that much of the media is owned by individuals of a conservative bent...and they no longer hesitate to interfere in what content actually ends up on the pages or on the air.

The MSM is so worried about trying to appear balanced that they would play up ridiculously minor liberal misdeeds to compete with conservative hijinks, which, in turn, they would play down so as to not appear liberally-biased. I was especially disgusted by the completely blind faith and adoration the MSM afforded George W. Bush, which was particularly appalling after watching them keep the whole Monica thing on the front page for over a year. It took the horrors of Katrina to finally get the MSM to hold this guy and his administration accountable for anything, despite the unbelievable number of fuckups they had orchestrated in the previous 4 years.

The MSM hasn't been able to report on any conservative misdeeds for 12 years now without the far Right immediately bitching that they are liberally-biased. I find it difficult to believe that they really buy into that label. They need to pull on their big-boy pants and stick up for their right, and their obligation, to report the news. Because many of the far-Right Republicans were essentially "Pols Gone Wild" during the aughts, and frequently caught red-handed in hypocritical activities because of more than therapeutic doses of hubris, doesn't mean that the MSM is unfailingly liberally-biased when they report the stories.

And you and Krugman are spot-on: If it wasn't so inherently dangerous to our nation, it would be laughable when the press treats the psychobullshit coming out of Bachman and O'Donnell and Angle as legitimate and intelligent policy dialogue, worthy of extensive analysis. Just the fact that Sarah Palin gets away with refusing to meet with press and answer their questions, choosing to (aside from her ultraconservative pep rallies) communicate solely by Twitter; watching the MSM breathlessly present each new SarahTweet like it's been penned by a Churchill-like political intellect. But the MSM is so worried that they're going to be labeled "biased" or "liberal" that they go completely out of their way to place their imprimatur of legitimacy on these intellectually bankrupt fanatics, and treat them with kid gloves.

A few of the MSM outlets have gotten a little better about accuracy, putting their concerns over being labeled by the far Right on a back burner where it belongs, and focusing on performing the job of the Fourth Estate: reporting the news so Americans can make informed decisions. But mediocrity abounds in the majority of the MSM because of their quest to make everyone happy, and feeling "represented".

Does liberal bias exist in the MSM? Of course it does. Is FoxNews the ONLY media outlet that isn't liberally-biased? Of course not. Believing that every MSM outlet is liberally-biased is as absurd as buying into the claims that FoxNews is fair and balanced.

pri_dk wrote:
It's a bizarre irony that the information age is slowly degrading the critical thinking skills of society.

Yes, it is. What's more is that it's a cruel reality that we have squandered the enormous educational potential of the internet. Used properly, our students could have been learning much more material of a critical nature and a higher degree of difficulty. What's more, they'd be retaining that material for longer periods of time, and using it to accelerate and enhance their developing critical thinking skills during adolescence and early adulthood. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on school computer labs, individual laptops for poor students, and software, allegedly for the purpose of helping students to learn more and learn better via internet access. So why is it that they are continuing to drop out or flunk out of school, and scoring low on standardized and other tests?

Submitted by eavesdropper on August 26, 2011 - 10:03am.

Allan from Fallbrook][quote=pri_dk wrote:

Pri: This is just hilarious. So, if I'm reading this correctly, only "qualified" candidates need apply to hold the levers of government and the media should only give airtime to those "serious" enough to merit it.....Pick up a book on US History and read up on the utterly bizarre cast of characters that have made up this country's elected officials and then come back and talk about Christine O'Donnell. Was she bugshit crazy? Yup. Did she every right to run for office? Yup. Its America, Chico, and if you wore a uniform, that is EXACTLY what you were willing to die for.

I don't condone the nonsense emanating from the Radical Right, anymore than I condone it from the Loony Left. It is what simultaneously makes this country great, while periodically debilitating us, too. Underneath all the screaming and hysterics right now, the system is actually functioning just the way its supposed to.

Allan, I don't have an issue with people like O'Donnell or Palin or Bachmann running for office, or even with the media affording them exposure. What I do object to is journalists treating them with kid gloves, and the manner in which they present them as serious, qualified candidates who are on the same level as their opponents. As far as I'm concerned, when I see journalists and media outlets justifying a candidate's refusal to answer legitimate campaign-related questions, or going along with their Twitter-only communication policy, or not calling a candidate out on an obvious falsehood, or smoothing over a candidate's lack of knowledge in matters relating to foreign policy and the U.S. economy, or explaining away statements that are just plain batshit in nature, they're acting as the candidate's public relations representative, not as journalists responsible for reporting the news.

If the potential for disaster wasn't so significant, it would have been funny to read the articles and reports on the above candidates, and observe the way in which the press/media presented them as qualified and high-functioning individuals. What is even more disgusting is the clearly favorable treatment afforded these ladies. Don't believe it? Then someone needs to explain to me why Alvin Greene didn't get the amount and the quality of MSM exposure that O'Donnell and Angle did. Instead, his candidacy was treated as a hilarious joke by the press, who focused on his lack of funds and backing, and his seeming inability to communicate, rather than on his platform, which, IMHO, was no more batshit than those of O'Donnell and Angle (hey, that is not an endorsement....of ANY of them).

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 26, 2011 - 10:23am.

eavesdropper wrote:

Allan, I don't have an issue with people like O'Donnell or Palin or Bachmann running for office, or even with the media affording them exposure. What I do object to is journalists treating them with kid gloves, and the manner in which they present them as serious, qualified candidates who are on the same level as their opponents. As far as I'm concerned, when I see journalists and media outlets justifying a candidate's refusal to answer legitimate campaign-related questions, or going along with their Twitter-only communication policy, or not calling a candidate out on an obvious falsehood, or smoothing over a candidate's lack of knowledge in matters relating to foreign policy and the U.S. economy, or explaining away statements that are just plain batshit in nature, they're acting as the candidate's public relations representative, not as journalists responsible for reporting the news.

Eaves: Let me turn this a little on its head, if I may.

You make a very valid point, but can we go a step further?

During the Obama Presidential campaign, he railed fervently against torture and the erosion of American civil liberties, specifically Gitmo and the two Patriot Acts. He also promised to close Gitmo and repeal the Patriot Acts. Clearly none of this has happened and, actually, we've seen a marked increase in various "sub rosa" activities, none of which bode well for privacy and civil liberties.

Shouldn't this merit FAR more attention in the media than it does? It isn't incorrect or inappropriate to point out that the MSM got positively dewy and moist over Obama during the campaign and much of that luster still remains. There really haven't been hard questions on those programs and policies that continue to exert a very deleterious effect on American rights and liberties and it does beg the question: Why?

So, yes, your point about McDonnell et al is well taken, but what about the MSM and their nearly complete incuriosity about issues carrying far more weight than whether or not O'Donnell was a witch?

Submitted by Arraya on August 26, 2011 - 10:42am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Underneath all the screaming and hysterics right now, the system is actually functioning just the way its supposed to.

I agree with this, but probably not in a much different way than you do.

The real division in America today is not between Democrats and Republicans, but between average citizens and the corporate and financial elite.

We have all become pawns and serfs in a game of pseudo democracy rigged by the corporate state.

No amount of massaging the propaganda line or finger pointing is going to be able to rectify the growing obvious discrepancy between what the bottom 80% experience every day and the media created fantasy world paraded across TV screens in dramas, sitcoms and mass media commercial culture. The future is coming into view and something has got to give.

eavesdropper wrote:
When I have a completely close-minded far-Right FoxNews true believer pull out the "elitist-intellectual-ivory tower academic" label, I tell them that I can't help it if I've made a point of making education/the search for knowledge a lifelong pursuit, and I'm not about to apologize for it.

What's driving that narrative, Eaves? Go deeper.

All our political institutions are now being either overrun by, or co-opted by the dictates of the corporate and national security state. What are the liberals doing? Complaining about the "dumbing down" or lack of critical thinking of Americans. Well where did that come from, eh? They don't wanna go there.

http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/12/am...

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

One explanation might be the effect of 40 years of deep fried industrial chicken pulp, and 44 ounce Big Gulp soft drinks. Another might be pop culture, which is not culture at all of course, but marketing. Or we could blame it on digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

But a more reasonable explanation is that, (A) we don't even know we are doing it, and (B) we cling to institutions dedicated to making sure we never find out.

As William Edwards Deming famously demonstrated, no system can understand itself, and why it does what it does, including the American social system. Not knowing shit about why your society does what it makes for a pretty nasty case of existential unease. So we create institutions whose function is to pretend to know, which makes everyone feel better. Unfortunately, it also makes the savviest among us -- those elites who run the institutions -- very rich, or safe from the vicissitudes that buffet the rest of us.

Directly or indirectly, they understand that the real function of American social institutions is to justify, rationalize and hide the true purpose of cultural behavior from the lumpenproletariat, and to shape that behavior to the benefit of the institution's members.

Interestingly, both author Joe Bagaent, self described redneck socialist and Chris Hedges, liberal Author, former NYT writer, devout Christian and graduate of Harvard Divinity School both have come to the same conclusion. Liberals stopped being liberals 40 years ago. Hedges adds the the only difference between a liberal and conservative in todays America is a conservative has values worth fighting for.

Carlin said something to the effect of what the American ruling class DO NOT want is a nation of well informed, critical thinkers.

Submitted by briansd1 on August 26, 2011 - 10:56am.

Arraya wrote:
Carlin said something to the effect of what the American ruling class DO NOT want is a nation of well informed, critical thinkers.

There is truth in that a docile populace is more productive (more likely to work, and less likely to complain). That in turns creates more wealth for the society.

A servant who is an intellectual and reflects upon class discrepancies is less likely to work with a smile.

The French are poorer than we are because they think too much and work too little.

What is the balance between working and thinking? If you think too much, then you can't work. But if you don't work, you don't have money. And if you don't have money, you need to work but then you can't think.

Service in America is better than in Europe because the workers think that will move on to bigger and better things (a myth Arraya pointed to). But without that myth, servive will be worse.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 26, 2011 - 11:10am.

briansd1 wrote:

A servant who is an intellectual and reflects upon class discrepancies is less likely to work with a smile.

The French are poorer than we are because they think too much and work too little.

What is the balance between working and thinking? If you think too much, then you can't work. But if you don't work, you don't have money. And if you don't have money, you need to work but then you can't think.

Service in America is better than in Europe because the workers think that will move on to bigger and better things (a myth Arraya pointed to). But without that myth, servive will be worse.

Brian: I'm curious. When was the last time you visited France? You seem very enamored of the French, specifically their culture, and it seems you have this vision of French people strolling along the Left Bank, smoking Gauloise cigs and all with copies of either Camus or Sartre in their back pockets.

The idea that the French are all "intellectualizing" in their spare time isn't very accurate, unfortunately. Like most of Europe, they're busy consuming American monoculture with the rest of the planet (those that can afford it, that is).

The French electorate has moved rightward as well, and now Sarkozy is aping the expressions of National Front leader Marine le Pen (yeah, THAT le Pen).

Submitted by wooga on August 26, 2011 - 11:20am.

Hedges adds the the only difference between a liberal and conservative in todays America is a conservative has values worth fighting for.

If you compare the "big centralized government" wings of the two parties this is correct. You have the progressives/Obama on the left and neocon/Bush (aka 'compassionate conservative') on the right. Both favor the merger of corporations and state - with the difference being the neocons want corporations in the driver seat and the state acting as an arm of the corporations (corporatism), and the progressives want the state in the driver seat and the corporations acting as an arm of the state (fascism). And yes, those are the historically accurate terms.

There are plenty of people on both sides who wish we had a viable "separation of board and state" party. We don't, and won't (i.e., the libertarian party will never get widespread acceptance; people just love to boss other people around too much). The next best thing is someone who will at least shift power away from the federal government towards the state level, where corruption can at least be avoided by "voting with your feet". It's called "federalism".

Submitted by briansd1 on August 26, 2011 - 12:45pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
The idea that the French are all "intellectualizing" in their spare time isn't very accurate, unfortunately. Like most of Europe, they're busy consuming American monoculture with the rest of the planet (those that can afford it, that is).

Yeah, that's the sad part. Globalization at work.

The French have great ideals, but those ideals conflict with tribal instincts and the self desire for money and consumption.

That's why I ask what the balance is. You can't have intellect without the money and resources to implement your ideals (all talk no actions). Intellect without money, or with the desire for money, often leads to hypocrisy, as is often the case in France.

But I do enjoy talking to French people. I still think there's more political awareness in France.

The world is full of contradictions. There are no easy answers.

Edit: I should add that Arraya is the Frenchman among us. He complains constantly about the system but he's unwilling to look at the best solutions that will work for the realities we face.

To answer your question, I have not been to France for about 5 years because the Euro is too expensive and I can spend my money elsewhere. Europe and America will always be there. For travel, I'd rather go to developing countries that will not be the same in 10 years.

But I do keep in touch with French culture through friends and relatives. I watch France 24 online and it's like a replica of American MSM. I'm amazed at the anglicisms that have sneaked into the French language. It's chic to use American business and media words in France. Another example of globalization at work.

This is for eavesdropper:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJnXah0TRDY

Submitted by wooga on August 26, 2011 - 11:44am.

Allan, I don't have an issue with people like O'Donnell or Palin or Bachmann running for office, or even with the media affording them exposure. What I do object to is journalists treating them with kid gloves, and the manner in which they present them as serious, qualified candidates who are on the same level as their opponents

eavesdropper, I can't believe you think the media treats O'Donnell, Palin, or Bachmann with "kid gloves." They are regularly mocked and ridiculed for saying stupid things. Ask anyone who has only a passing familiarity with politics, and thus is relying solely on political news as spoon fed them by the media, and they will tell you that Palin is stupid.

The people who support Palin or O'Donnell (and Bachmann is falling more and more in to this category) are largely doing so because they see these women as being unfairly bullied. Palin is an 'underdog' who many people personally connect with, so an attack on Palin makes these people even more aggressive defenders. Going after Palin with even more gusto is not going to sway her remaining followers.

Someone else who is stupid is Joe Biden. But the jokes about him are usually good natured ribbing, and acknowledge that Joe Biden honestly wants to do what is best for the country. Even if it is an insanely dumb idea like 'high speed rail.'

Submitted by Arraya on August 26, 2011 - 12:58pm.

wooga wrote:
Hedges adds the the only difference between a liberal and conservative in todays America is a conservative has values worth fighting for.

If you compare the "big centralized government" wings of the two parties this is correct. You have the progressives/Obama on the left and neocon/Bush (aka 'compassionate conservative') on the right. Both favor the merger of corporations and state - with the difference being the neocons want corporations in the driver seat and the state acting as an arm of the corporations (corporatism), and the progressives want the state in the driver seat and the corporations acting as an arm of the state (fascism). And yes, those are the historically accurate terms.

Well, this is a common secular libertarian narrative which overlaps with an anarchist narrative. One interesting thing that I have watched emerge over the past 5 or 6 years is the different narratives. The far left and libertarian right have a common narrative on the complete corruption that is taking place(which I agree with) - which led to our economic situation - with some minor variations. Whereas, the mainstream right completely explains it away in a different way(a way that I think is ideologically pleasing rather than based on reality) and the mainstream left kind of acknowledges it, but not with their party(though it is dramatically changing). The tend to turn a blind eye with their party.

But the problem is, how would you even tell the difference between "state" decisions and "corporate" decisions under this construct. These positions are all held by people that are either lawyers or businessmen - with a rotating cast of private industry folks in key appointment positions from the same multi-nationals. When hedges was speaking he was talking more from a "spiritual" angle than structural. People get hung up on definitions and "isms" in todays world - we have one guiding "ism" with all the dominant minority which both parties serve- it's profitism. All we have in DC are prostitutes for money and they will DO whatever it takes to get campaign money(which is systemically perform) and SAY what ever it takes to get votes(which is do a little dance for their constituents and practice their righteous indignation). Within both parties this produces a different type insanity.

Submitted by harvey on August 26, 2011 - 1:28pm.

Allan, nobody is claiming that anybody should be banned from running from office. You know this, and your response was pure strawman.

Krugman's point is well articulated and I'm sure you understand it, even if you refuse to accept it.

Eaves certainly gets it, and she is absolutely correct in her assesment of how serious the problem is.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 26, 2011 - 1:55pm.

pri_dk wrote:
Allan, nobody is claiming that anybody should be banned from running from office. You know this, and your response was pure strawman.

Krugman's point is well articulated and I'm sure you understand it, even if you refuse to accept it.

Eaves certainly gets it, and she is absolutely correct in her assesment of how serious the problem is.

Pri: Pure strawman? Do you understand what a strawman is? That's where I construct a false argument, attribute it to you, and ask you to defend it. I didn't do that. I took what you wrote and, more importantly the implications therein, and responded.

Sorry, but those were your words, not mine. And, I note that you didn't respond at all, but fell back on the "strawman" retort in order not to do so.

You have been ducking solid responses and have instead come back time and again with either memetic arguments or a false equivalence (If One Doesn't Believe A, One MUST Believe B, i.e. if I don't agree with the president with "the funny sounding name", I must be a Tea-vangelical nutbag).

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 26, 2011 - 2:00pm.

Arraya: Dude. When are we gonna spool up some Marxian dialectic here?

I want to discuss the conflict between dialectical materialism and "pure" Marxism (that is, Marxism uncorrupted by the totalitarian influences of Stalin and Mao).

Kidding aside, we are entering a revolutionary period (from a socio-political vantage) here. I think we are about to see the entire societal construct, especially the post-WWII welfare state as epitomized by the Eurozone, get swept away.

I believe that the events of 1968 and 1989 are going to pale in comparison to this. This will be truly epic and epochal.

Submitted by Arraya on August 26, 2011 - 2:19pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

I think we are about to see the entire societal construct, especially the post-WWII welfare state as epitomized by the Eurozone, get swept away.

After that is done - then the revolution comes:)

The way I see it, Marxism is an explanation and a decent one. It's not structural.

You want dialectic - well the right has a dialectic stating that there is two opposing forces 1: the debtors 2: the savers and this will be rectified via the destruction of the welfare state.

Marx would spin this on it's head and say that is a false dialectic set up by the monied elite. In reality the destruction of the welfare state will show the true nature of the class system and be rectified another way.

But, I agree, the welfare state as we know it is going to get destroyed

Though, agree with the marxian dialectic

Submitted by harvey on August 26, 2011 - 2:38pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Sorry, but those were your words, not mine.

Can you help me out and cite the post where I said people should be banned from running for office? I do see where you attributed it to me, I just don’t see where I said it.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on August 26, 2011 - 3:29pm.

pri_dk wrote:
That's all very nice eaves, but the left is just as bad, correct? They just think they are better than the right because they use elitist facts.

(BTW: Real Americans only speak English on message boards. We don't need some European language here. Don't forget that English is the language that Jesus used to write the Constitution.)

But seriously I agree with what you are saying, and it's frustrating.

Krugman (gasp! a liberal!) described the dilemma pretty well:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/opinio...

Some of us have long complained about the cult of “balance,” the insistence on portraying both parties as equally wrong and equally at fault on any issue, never mind the facts. I joked long ago that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read “Views Differ on Shape of Planet.”

It's true. No matter how extreme the bullshit one side presents, it has to be given "equal" consideration. That's how we end up with people like Christine O'Donnell getting as much attention as credible candidates.

Of course we have this nonsense because the "mainstream" media won't call BS when they see it, the "fair-and-balanced" media actively promotes the BS, and the "internet" media has no filtering whatsoever.

It's a bizarre irony that the information age is slowly degrading the critical thinking skills of society.

Pri: Okay, I'll play. Shown above is your thread, in its entirety and untouched in any way.

Starting from the top:

1) Reference to the "left elite" marking a clear contention that the left is more elite and better educated. Presented as a comedic aside to attempt to deflect any later attempts to assail this point.

2) Reference to "real Americans", followed by the aside that "English was the language Jesus used to write the Constitution", marking a clear delineation from Comment 1, wherein the "left" was identified as "elite" and "real Americans" were identified with the "right", with the right being made up of ignorant, overly religious ideologues. Presented as a comedic aside to attempt to deflect any later attempts to assail this point.

3) Reference made to Paul Krugman's "liberalism", again establishing not only Krugman's leanings, but his inferred superiority of the above "left elite". As with Comments 1 and 2, this is presented snidely, but with the goal of preventing an honest rejoinder, since it is presented as a joke. This is one of the cheapest rhetorical tricks going, in that it allows an author to make a point, but then fall back on "it is comedy" (much akin to Jon Stewart's standard fallback when confronted for his lack of objectivity when "reporting" the "news"). In this instance, I did NOT question the contents of Krugman's article, despite your contention to the contrary, and thus did I confront you with the strawman accusation.

4) Reference made to "extreme bullshit", which clearly implies that certain points of view or politics are "correct", whilst others are not. This clearly misses the point of both representative democracy AND objective journalism, in that the latter's mandate is to present ALL points of view equally and allow the READER to make up his/her mind as to the best course of action. An autocratic position, such as that espoused by John Kerry when confronting the press ("Please stop paying attention to the Tea Party") is clearly contrary to this position, in that it demands complete control and removes the right of the informed to make their own decisions. Your support of the autocratic position is further augmented by YOUR use of the word "equal" (YOUR quotes added for emphasis), thus denoting your derision for the notion of equality, especially as it relates to people like Christine O'Donnell (reference to which follows immediately in your post). Your mention of Christine O'Donnell, right after your use of "equal" and "extreme bullshit" (quotes mine) indicates not only your position, but your contempt for those not "qualified" to run for elected office (an honest inference based on YOUR words).

You want me to continue, or is this enough for you?

Submitted by briansd1 on August 26, 2011 - 3:35pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

I think we are about to see the entire societal construct, especially the post-WWII welfare state as epitomized by the Eurozone, get swept away.

And what is to replace it?

Will that prove beneficial to the average American?

As eaves pointed out before, the period after WWII saw millions of Americans entering the middle-class and acquiring an education for the first time ever. America was a young country with great social mobility (at least for Whites).

Generations later, people are more entrenched in their social classes. Institutions have become old and stagnant and mainly concerned with perpetuating their power.

If the social safety net is dismantled, will we see a return to the social stratification of the 1920s?

Arraya wrote:

After that is done - then the revolution comes:)

And what will the revolution bring us? There are no guarantees that the revolutionaries will be able to lead. In most likelihood, they won't. I personally don't want a bunch of proletarians without education or understanding of economics running the world.

What about the transition period? Did you consider that there will be a period of untold suffering and poverty?

Why are you so eager for a collapse of the exiting order when you are unsure of the future?

I feel more comfortable with Mend it, don't end it.

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