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      Prime Minister Harper pretty much confirmed it: ‘Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened’ Yup.  Never let a crisis go to waste. I’m very sad that MPs and their staff were scared, and I’m sadder that a soldier lost his life.  But one attack does not justify increasing the police state.  However, if [...]
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If Boromir had seized the ring…

Tolkien talks about WWII and speculates what might have happened if Boromir had seized the ring and taken it to Minas Tirith:

“The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusion. If it had inspired or directed the development of the legend, then certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annihilated but enslaved, and Barad-Dûr would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth. In that conflict both sides would have held hobbits in hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves.
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

Tolkien hated allegories but it’s hard to not apply his scenario to just about any situation where a besieged group gets its hands on an unaccountable, powerful advantage.  Once you abandon your principles in order to gain the upper hand, there’s nothing to stop you or others from allowing treachery after treachery to happen without restraint.  Someone is bound to get hurt and it’s usually the little people who have no desire for power or unlimited wealth.  The powerful hold them in contempt and scorn them for failing to be as ruthless and selfish.

Before long, the hobbit gardener would be patronizingly praised for struggling to pull weeds without pay.

**********************************

The accusations of neoliberalism have flown fast and furiously at Bill Clinton since Wednesday night when he reminded us all about what our lives *used* to be like before the Democrats seized the ring stabbed him and his wife in the back. We’ve gotten little lectures from Atrios, Thereisnospoon and Matt Stoller.  Matt seems to be having a moment of cognitive dissonance.  He clearly doesn’t love Barack Obama anymore.  But he, like the others, have completely lost the plot over Bill Clinton.  One of our commenters tried to explain it to my silly lady brains about what the neoliberalism thing is all about.  Unfortunately, he used Chile and Pinochet as an example.

Yeah, THAT Pinochet.  You know, the guy who made torture into an art form and trained dogs to rape dissidents?

Can anyone out there see Bill Clinton even coming *close* to behaving like Pinochet or entertaining ideas of being a ruthlessly cruel, powermad dictator?

Anyway, while I understand that the University of Chicago is now the new Isengard and Milton Friedman is Saruman the White (and have forbidden the kid from going there, I don’t care how many recruiting letters they send her or how close it is to Ira Glass), I think the neoliberalism thing has been blown up to ridiculous proportions and misapplied to Bill Clinton.

Furthermore, I think it is the delusional neoliberalism boogieman that has in a way contributed to the advance of the true neoliberal president, Barack Obama.  Yep, in your paranoid frenzy to avoid electing a person who was associated with the hated neoliberal William Jefferson Pinochet, you have managed to elect and promote the guy who seems to be completely devoid of any principles whatsoever.

If you crazy neoliberalphobics didn’t exist, the right would have to invent you (and for all I know, the right has invented some of you).  You have done more to help them achieve their goals than Bill Clinton ever could and they’ve been trying for 20 years to shut him up.  In four short years, your unbridled enthusiasm to nurture Barack Obama and protect the country from Hillary Clinton has resulted in the worst performance by a Democratic president in my lifetime.

I’m not actually sure that Barack Obama *is* a Democrat, to be honest.  He’s got a D by his name on the ballot but I have read Democrat after Democrat in the past few days who say that they do not feel like Democrats anymore. Whatever the party is, they feel completely alienated from it.  It is making it easier for them to feel comfortable with their third party vote this fall.  This is a party where a small group has seized control and our input is no longer required.

This is not a plea for Hillary Clinton.  I never give up on sanity returning to the party but it’s pretty clear that as long as the “neoliberalism is evil!” Democrats are vulnerable to the corrupt and authoritarian party leadership poking them when its necessary to squelch the voices of dissent, sanity will not return to the party any time soon.  Hillary’s presidential aspirations are over and were over in 2008.  She’ll move on to something else and if it turns out that she is more powerful than ever and bedevils the young, overeducated, grad student suckup guys who let their paranoia get the best of them, I can hardly wait to see it.

For the past four years, I’ve heard nothing but ridicule from these same party loyalist “neoliberalism is evil!” people who thought the PUMAs were stupid, uneducated, ugly, menopausal, working class women. And while a lot of former PUMAs let their anger take them places where Clintonistas should never go, there were a lot more of them who kept their heads down over the past four years so they wouldn’t have scorn and mockery heaped upon them.  Four years later, it is the “neoliberalism is evil!” clique and Obama faithful that look delusional and out of touch, sticking with a dying party that has gone out of its way to shed what it thinks are its losers.  Good luck to them.  No matter what happens this fall, they have managed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of the right and I want no part of that.

In the meantime, the rest of us will have to put up with the “You have to vote for Obama or the bad guys will win!” crowd freaking out for the next 8 weeks.  I am not afraid of what is to come.  As long as friends stick together and work for a better way to live, we will weather the bad stuff.  The last thing I will ever do is voluntarily surrender my principles in order to satisfy the mob.

“Why should a man be scorned, if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using Escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter. just so a Party-spokesman might have labeled departure from the misery of the Fuhrer’s or any other Reich and even criticism of it as treachery …. Not only do they confound the escape of the prisoner with the flight of the deserter; but they would seem to prefer the acquiescence of the “quisling” to the resistance of the patriot. (On Fairy-Stories)”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

***********************************

Take us out, Taylor:

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68 Responses

  1. The party would have been wise to at least consider a switch to Hillary at the convention, and try a course of self-correction, but that would presume the elites actually care about the Democratic constituency and the country. They don’t. This is why long term Democrats like most of us feel alienated from the party. It’s because the party brass think we’re a bunch of sheep who will go where we’re the shepherds order us to go.

    The Democrats have a problem. A BIG problem. By big, I mean existential. Every political institution needs legitimacy to survive. No exceptions. That legitimacy is eroding quickly. Now, the current coalition is being held together by various tactics; bribes, intimidation ( but the Republicans are EVIL!!! ) and by forms of intellectual capture as you describe in this post. I have a hard time believing this has much staying power. When the next economic crisis comes, whether it’s a financial crisis, another recession a supply shock, all hell will break loose.

    It’s hard to call yourself a political party if you don’t have any membership.

    • Pretty much.
      The Republicans are definitely being ruled by mob violence these days. The Democrats are vacuous and bear no relationship to the party I joined at the age of 20. There was a brief pause in the 90s where they had their shit together. Maybe the thing that has happened is that the Democrats have forgotten the value of good government. But whatever. I protested in 2008 and gave it a chance to correct itself in 2012. I’m through. Whatever happens from this point on will depend on how many other Democrats feel this way as well.

      • Funny you should mention the Republicans. They have been busy hog-tying their own rebel factions. Normally, they give Ron Paul a speaking platform at the convention. Now, they’ve buried him on Tuesday afternoons when no one is watching, but they’ve usually given him a spot. This year? Nothing. And his supporters are PISSED.

        You wrote a good post about the selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s VP last month. Ryan’s was a case of promoting a nuisance to neutralize his following. The Tea Party caucus blew up the Grand Bargain Obama had made with the House Republicans last year. I think it’s a little mischaracterized because the Tea Party wants to maintain Social Security. The GOP establishment want to eliminate it. So they promote Ryan to get the Tea Party in line in the off chance Romney wins in November.

        We live in interesting times.

        • The Republicans wanted to force all media attention on the deficit so that the Democrats would bite. It looks like it worked. The Democrats are now running their campaign according to the Republican game plan.
          Never count those bastards out. Just watch, at the debates, Obama will be pressed to be specific about his cuts and what might be cool for Republicans is definitely going to turn democrats off their kibble.

          • Yes, I agree. There were multidimensional elements to it. That’s why putting Ryan on the ticket was a clever gambit.

    • The party would have been wise to at least consider a switch to Hillary at the convention, and try a course of self-correction,

      There’s no chance that the current Democratic Party would think it, much less consider anyone other than Obama for president.

      Those people are delusional. That they bought Obama’s hopenchange is proof that they are incapable of rational thinking. Their mind is in another dimension, and I mean that *literally*. Their thinking is full of illogical reasoning. To them 2 + 2 = whatever answer they want.

    • The conventions are never about figuring it out, that is done before the primaries begin. The conventions are a coronation since anything less would be viewed as being disorganized not worthy of a vote,

  2. I’m not actually sure that Barack Obama *is* a Democrat, to be honest.

    I’ve thought he was a Republican in Democrat’s clothing since about May, 2007 (when he proclaimed, without giving any details at all, that his healthcare “plan” would be to “give insurance companies a seat at the table”). He confirmed my opinion when he gave up public financing, proclaimed Ronald Reagan a great President, flipped on telecom immunity, started talking about women getting abortions “because they’re blue”, and announced (during the Democratic debates, no less) that he intended to pursue a policy of unrestricted drone warfare in Pakistan.

    The Catfood Commission, suspension of habeas corpus, death lists, total inaction on unemployment, coddling of BP, and the NDAA have just been icing on the cake.

    He’s like George Bush on steroids.

    • I think he’s worse than George Bush because there’s a delusional aspect to him.

    • I remember hearing that one of B0’s former Harvard prof’s expressed surprise on realizing that it was young Barry who was running as a Democrat in 2008. “I always thought he was a Republican,” said the prof.

      I gather that the only problem was there was no way to use the Chicago machine for political advancement without a “D” after his name.

      • That makes perfect sense. But I doubt that he was a Republican in ideology because I believe he has none. His ideology is whatever works for Obama on any day.

        • No, he doesn’t have an ideology. That’s probably the only thing he’s been honest about:

          “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

          – Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope

  3. There’s an 800-pound gorilla in the room that few observers of American politics are willing to talk about, which is that:

    The Democratic Party has made its peace with Capital.

    This is a sea change in political perspective, and goes way beyond Obama and a small clique of DP leaders.

    • I’ve always heard that the sell out happened in the late 70s. The lobby “venture capitalists” started saturating Washington. It was a completely different Washington from what Bill and Hill knew in the 70s when they returned to live in the White House in the 90s. A thousand times more lobbying interests. The Dem Party in the late 70s decided to join with the big money to compete. Ironclad campaign finance reform with publicly financed elections was what was needed, not collusion. The five corps. that control the people’s airwaves make out like bandits with campaign ad money.

      Gore Vidal’s statement that we have the best government money can buy refers to the Democratic Party’s embrace meant of big money lobbyist. There is no party of the only two who get any propagandistic airwave converge with strictly the people’s interest, but rather corporate personhood (for all the benefits/ not legal downsides).

      • That goes along with my feeling that listening to Obama was the worst I’ve felt since the night Carter won in 1976. I have probably actually felt worse another time or two but the nightmare power of last night’s event took me by surprise.

  4. If the response coming out of the WH regarding today’s BLS report is not delusional, I don’t what else to call it.

    “While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. — WH Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger

    Underneath the 8.1% unemployment is due to the drop in the number of people in the labor force. And those people are not the old, but the young.

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The drop in the unemployment rate in August isn’t particularly good news for the economy — it’s driven mostly by nearly 400,000 people dropping out of the labor force, rather than more people finding jobs.
    But those dropping out aren’t so much the discouraged 30-, 40- or 50-year olds. In fact, the Labor Department said there was a modest decline in the overall number of discouraged job seekers.

    The drop is because so many young adults, aged 16 to 24, are no longer looking for work.
    There were 453,000 fewer young adults with jobs in August than in July. But despite that plunge, only 27,000 more young people were looking for new jobs. Most apparently stopped looking and left the labor force. And those numbers take into account seasonal factors such as younger workers returning to school.
    As a result, the percentage of young people who are counted in the labor force fell to its lowest level since 1955.
    The unemployment rate for young adults rose to 16.8% from 16.4% in July.

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/07/news/economy/young-adults-jobs/index.html

    • Actually, it’s all part of the plan. If you reduce the labor force enough, unemployment will drop to 0%. I just hope they don’t start targeting workers for drone strikes,

    • High unemployment is actually a good thing, it just needs to be spread around more so it’s not the same people always unemployed.

    • How about “deceitful”. Just call their response “deceitful” and you will be understanding their guiding ethical principles.

  5. It’s just weird that all these folks on the Dem side have to take this ritualistic dump on Clinton, and pretty off compared to the way most people react to him. I thought it was telling that in a comment thread at Talk Left Jeralyn acknowledged that pretty much all her commenters loved Clinton’s speech but that she disgareed and thought it underwhelming. A couple days later, sure enough, she heaped hosannahs on Obama’s speech, although even guys like Ezra Klein (who I knock around sometimes for his fanboi tendencies) agreed that it was kinda pedestrian and pretty limited in its scope and ambitions. I really don’t think the reactions to Clinton and Obama depend on any kind of objective assessment of how neo-liberal they are, it seems more visceral and less partisan and political than that. One guy can tell a compelling story that relates politics in every day terms to people’s lives, and the other guy is big on abstractions that sound good and that lots of people like, but leaves very little behind to build on. One guy helps you to understand the world around you, while the other guy tries to sell you on letting him understand it for you. To me, that’s the difference that people react to. Sometimes on this site I talk up Drew Westen’s sermons in The Political Brain for Dems to tell compelling stories, and I think that Clinton is either Westen’s best student or the one he might have had in mind when he wrote the book!

    • Anglachel blog gave an explanation that seemed right to me. The working class shares the Andrew Jackson ideology while academia is close to the Adlai Stevenson ideology. That’s the disconnect that we see. Clinton represents the Jacksonian voters while academia (Democratic Party insiders and other elites) never accepted the Clintons and found their man in Obama.

      • See, this is what puzzles me. Clinton is a fricking Rhodes scholar. He went to Georgetown and Yale. Heck, he probably could have gone anywhere he wanted. If he’s a hick, he’s a damn fine educated one.
        Yeah, he had a southern accent and a good old boy’s charm but if they thought they could roll him, they were very much surprised. I think that’s where the problem is. They thought he was far less sophisticated than he turned out to be.
        The fricking kennedys need to quit bogarting the stage. It’s a good bet that JFK’s term would have been a bust if not for the fact that a tragedy has frozen him in time and bestowed on him sentimental accolades that he did not deserve.

        • It’s not about how well educated the person is, but how well he fits with the “popular group” and shares their ideology, and to do that requires the art of boot licking certain people and bowing to their will. Bill never played the “American aristocracy” game. Think of it as paying one’s dues at the club. That’s why he was seen as white trash,IMHO

          Those people follow an unbreakable rule: Members only allowed.

        • Okay, clench your jaw and repeat after me ‘those Clintons are just not our sort darling”.

          I mean come on, they went to public school while Obama went to expensive private schools and grew up in gated communities. Besides, supporting him made everyone feeeeeeeeeeeeel so good, so liberal, kind of like teaching the housekeepers son to read.

          I was sick listening to Ted Kennedy’s sons say how they were such good friends with the Clintons but in 2008 they thought how important it was to carry on their uncle’s historic civil rights record, how much it would mean. Leave it to a Kennedy to completely miss the historic meaning and civil rights advancement of the first female president.

        • This is probably the tragedy for me of Bill Clinton. It’s clear to me that, for all the reasons you cite, Clinton punched every particular ticket you could name (education, achievement, etc.) to belong to the Best and the Brightest, and it’s also clear that on a pretty deep level he’s always wanted that. But two things doomed him, as DM and Teresa note – region and class. He could do everything he could think of, but he wasn’t their sort and never would be. There’s a particular kind of vitriol that attaches to him and LBJ that goes beyond the objective reasons for that feeling, whether it’s so-called neo-liberalism or Vietnam. And it goes back to a bunch of guys to the manor born looking down on what they saw as a wheeler-dealer from the Texas hill country and an overachieving Arkansas kid with a single mom from the wrong side of the tracks. DM is spot-on with the Anglachel reference, because there really are two cultures at the heart of the Dems, and Bill was on the “wrong” side of that divide.

          • In rural Arkansas, the fact that your granddaddy owns the general store is a big deal, especially in the 40s (memories of the Depression are close at hand). The guy who owns a car dealership in town (Clinton’s step-father in the town of Hope, which was a tourist attraction) is a much bigger deal. These are people of substance. Joe Kennedy ran rum during Prohibition, made money, became an ambassador (big donations?), bought elections for Jack, and cheated with Hollywood starlets, but the Brahmin Bostonians didn’t think his family was “lace- curtain” Irish enough. Marrying Rose (the martyr) was a step up (her father (Fitzgerald) had been the mayor of Boston).

            The Clintons and their friends were more interested in policy and governance than gracing the dining rooms of the Washington socialites. Obama is not part of the Washington social game, either.

          • CB, Obama not part of the inside the beltway social structure? HA! he’s their favorite social experiment. They embraced Obama and basked in the glow of his brainy black halo. “Listen to how articulate he is…look at how far we have come from our parents bigotry for supporting him”.
            You are so wrong CB, Obama is the ultimate insider, a harvard legacy. He’s the darling of the Kennedy clan. He can be bought and he was long ago. Unlike the Clintons, he only wanted to “play at those levels”. The Clintons on the other hand actually wanted to make the country a better place to live for average americans.

      • You’re getting into Move On dot org, Nancy Pelosi territory now. They were the ones that brag about wanting censure back in the late 90’s. They were so above Bill Clinton in their own warped minds they just had to help the fellow out.

  6. I didn’t watch/listen the Obama speech. I heard parts of it in the BBC news-through-the-nite report. Having Obama talk about FDR’s “bold experimentation” was like having a bad dog shit all over a very valuable Persian carpet. That was my visceral reaction at the time.

    Perhaps state and local level DemParty groups and organizations may still be worth working through and working with. Certainly I will vote for Dingell and Stabenow, and against Obama. I remain afraid that merely voting third party may not be anti-Obama enough. As that
    Harvard Law Professor from Brazil (Unger?) said, defeating Obama HAS to be JOB ONE this election. Can recruiting enough DDs (Disgruntled Democrats) away from Obama be enough to get Obama defeated if they leave the Prez line blank or vote for the Third Party of their choice?

    • “Can recruiting enough DDs (Disgruntled Democrats) away from Obama be enough to get Obama defeated if they leave the Prez line blank or vote for the Third Party of their choice?”

      Well, that depends on what state you live in and how its polls look in November.

  7. The elites of the Democratic Party hate Clinton because, despite his world class education and mind, he doesn’t come from a “good” family.
    So, he can never be one of “the best and the brightest”, to which I say, thank God.
    The Kennedys look at Bill Clinton and see Honey Boo Boo Child.

    • Obama didn’t come from blue blood. That explanation doesn’t seem right. I think Clinton never bowed to Ted Kennedy, but went about getting things done however he could. That’s what pissed the elites. They had no power with Bill Clinton.

      • Obama has a cool factor that Clinton doesn’t.

        • Also, it’s TTFW (Too Tacky For Words) to display open bigotry against African-Americans nowadays, but one may still freely display it against, ahem, “Ruddynecks”. Hence, even if the (Flaky) Upper Crust loathed Obummer, they wouldn’t dare say so openly. A Ruddyneck, no matter how polished and educated, is still considered fair game.

          • That’s a major reason for the culture-elite drive for “gun control”. We’ve got to do something about all those guns in the hands of all those people with the wrong color neck.

        • It might be better to say that Obummer has a factor that some people find cool. ;)

      • Just another vote for the view of DM and others here. Bill and Hill’s problem wasn’t social, regional, financial or anything except that they both had the nerve to just go and try to get things done that didn’t always serve the DC cocktail party circuit.

        Insufficient bootlicking. That’s all.

        I think that’s why Bill can deliver a speech that tells it like it is, but Obama can’t. It’s why Hillary can actually do some good as SoS, but everything Obama touches just turns into more money for the 1%.

        I think it’s also why, as time goes by and the contrast becomes clearer, people are finding more affection for the two of them. It’s not just the last time the economy was good. It’s also the last time anyone in power was even slightly in our corner.

  8. Maybe it’s all the extra alcohol I’ve been drinking, but I can’t believe it was only last night that Obama graced us mortals with his big speech.
    It’s already faded into the mists of time.
    Talk about forgettable.

  9. In something totally unrelated, this Arizona judge took the opportunity during proceedings on a guy charged with groping and sexually assaulting a woman in a bar to lecture her on how it wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t been there. Victim blaming really sets me off, and if y’all feel likewise it would be great if you signed the petition on the attached link, calling for the judge to be forced out. Thanks!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/arizona-supreme-court-judge-jacqueline-hatch-should-step-down-for-unjust-sex-abuse-case

  10. Bill And Hillary are policy wonks. They LIKE the intricacies of government policy and I think they want the policy to work for as many Americans as possible. I don’t get the sense that Obama cares all that much about policy. He’s more interested in getting a deal passed and the policy implications are just not that important to him. It’s a ” ticky mark ” mentality.

    • There was no policy in Obama’s speech (which I did listen to). It was devoid of policy and plan while he castigated Romney for not laying out a plan. It was an empty speech. There was nothing about how anything gets done, just a lot of “shoulds” never any “hows.” It isn’t surprising because in 2008 there were never any plans either. That’s what frustrated us. We listened to Hillary and knew point-for-point her plans – the “hows.” The Obama supporters would get in our faces and yell racist and sexist epithets. Nothing has changed.

  11. Riverdaughter…

    Ouch!

    I definitely did not intend my comment on the plague of neoliberalism to provoke such a walloping counterpunch from you, especially since we are both essentially playing on the same side of the net.

    In fact I was gob-smacked that you could have interpreted what I wrote as equating the arch-villain Pinochet with Bill Clinton. Jeeze Louise! I wouldn’t make that leap any more than I would equate Maggie Thatcher with Pinochet or, indeed, the rather large list of fellow travelers on the neoliberal crazytrain who are currently in charge throughout the European Union with Pinochet. Not even the Deutsche dumpling Angela Merkel. Nor even the hapless, feckless, fantasist (and neoliberal) Obama with Pinochet (though as the current prezzy he is certainly “lacking the necessities” for his job as the old Dodger GM Al Campanis once remarked in a slightly different context.)

    But without getting tangled in the weeds of a non-debate with you, in the nearly 40 years since that stinkbomb first went off in Chile, the neoliberal crazytrain has become chock-full of fellow travelers of all degrees, stripes and complexions. And sad to say, that plague has become so pervasive today it hardly requires a vampire like Pinochet in the vanguard.

    For all that was admirable about the Clinton years, his charm and persuasive powers did succeed in steering much of the professional Democratic party into the neoliberal/corporate cannibal/bankster veal pen (that would be the real terrible triangulation). And he was way too tight with too many of the party’s “neo” wing: the aforementioned gruesome threesome of Summers, Rubin & Geithner (not to mention double trouble: Erskine Bowles and Rahm Emanuel). And I’m not even talking about the Pete Petersens of this dark world. But to say Clinton was infected by the germs of neoliberalism is not to say he has succumbed from the disease (and is most certainly not to say he can be equated with Pinochet!).

    His most admirable quality, it seems to me, was/is that he has never brought a nail clipper to a gunfight like the current WH occupant. When the GOP tried to devour him after his unforced error with “that woman…”, he shellacked them, understanding full well they were not honorable political opponents but aliens from outer space.

    Furthermore, I would vote for him today over the Obama impersonator. Indeed, you may recall a previous comment of mine when I suggested I would like to see Obama switched out at the convention in favor of Hillary, who I have always thought was less neo and more liberal than Bill.

    BTW, the Big Dog’s speech on Wednesday was aces…!!
    (and speaking of aces, Jennifer Granholm absolutely rocked the casbah!! every speaker after her sounded like they were sleep-talking on ambien)

    ps:

    as for your remark about your “silly lady brains” in reference to my brief summary of neoliberalism’s ground zero and the dwarf Milton Friedman’s sorcery, you really know how to hurt a guy…

    other than that, Riverdaughter, keep up the good work as always…

  12. Off topic: About my new name.

    Since Tolkien’s works are referred to in this thread, it seems like a good time to explain my new name.

    I wanted to make a Hobbitish name for myself.

    LOTR readers will remember that “Hamfast” was the name of Sam’s father. It means “stay-at-home”, according to Tolkien. More literally, “home-fast”, with “fast” as in “fastened” rather than as in “speedy”.

    I thought it would be a good name for me, because I can’t afford a car, or at least don’t think I can, so I don’t get out much except to go to work and the grocery store. I use buses and cabs. So, I do stay at home quite a bit.

    As for “Ruddyneck”, I am a white Southerner from a modest background, which is my definition of “redneck”, even though I fail to fit the stereotype in many ways. :mrgreen: “Ruddy” is a synonym for “red”, and it seemed to me that “Ruddyneck” would make a good Hobbit family name, rather like “Proudfoot”.

    • A rose by any other name…

    • Any further rumors of Ivory Billed Woodpeckers along the Cache River?

      • Alas, I’ve heard of none.

        • Alas indeed. But if I were to “see one”, my first suspicion would be that it were actually a pileated woodpecker dressed up as a prank to look like an i b woodpecker. Not dressed up by itself, but dressed up by someone who caught it and repainted it with an i b woodpecker color scheme.

          Every birdwatcher in the southern riverside swamps should be alert to that possibility.

  13. Hillary had the brass ring in her grasp when the Democrat elite stopped the carousel slapped her hand away and handed it to Obama. That’s all you need to know about rings.

  14. Still angry about how Hillary was treated. Not over it yet. If she were President, we wouldn’t be in such a shitpile of misery. Sorry for the language, but that’s how I really feel.

    • If Joe Cannon is right the shitpile will get deeper and stinkier. Willard is promising SCOTUS nominees that will overturn Roe v Wade and insane deficit reduction legislation.

      So, do we step in and save the O-bots from themselves of let them go to hell under Romney?

      Who’s for throwing Kossholes under the bus?

      • Roe v Wade is already dead. Yup. Women should save up money in case they need to travel to California, NY or New Jersey for an abortion. Or they could do their research and learn how to do it themselves safely (I’m sure there are ways) or maybe they could make their own stash of RU-486. All you need is access to organic and analytical labs. Learn retrosynthetic chemistry. Women act like they’re totally helpless. This is the 21st century. Sure it would be better to be able to go to a doctor to get the procedure done but abortion rights are almost dead in this country. The feminist movement was absent for 40 years and this is the result. When feminists begin to realize that equality must come first, then we’ll get our shit back together but at this point, I’m not worried about Mitt appointing a pro-life justice. I’m more worried about him appointing a pro-wall street justice. In that case, either Obama or Mitt could do that. The Supreme Court will never outlaw Roe. They don’t need to and it’s such a valuable political football.

      • Take the pain. Let Romney win. If the so-called “Democrats” in the Senate really oppose Romney’s Supreme Court nominee picks, they can filibuster, they can apply secret holds, they can use all the weapons which the Senate rules provide them. They would thereby prove that they are Democrats.

        If the so-called “Democratic” Senators permit President Romney to get his choices of SuCourt nominees, that proves they are not Democrats. That proves that they are Vichy CollaboRat collaborators.
        And that would be good to know. It is good to know who all your enemies are.

        • This is exactly the same argument that Oliver Tambo, Nelson
          Mandela’s law partner said about the 1948 South African federal election. In that election, the governing United Party were promising (very) slow reform so that maybe even someday, every adult South African could vote. The National Party were horrified by that and promised Apartheid, which among other things, would remove whatever rights that non-white South Africans had.

          Mandela writes in his autobiography that he was horrified when the Nationals won that election. He was also surprised when Tambo said he liked the results because we will now know who our friends are since they will now be forced either to go along with the Nationals or oppose them. In any case, the era of promising reforms and not really doing anything was over.

          • Are you suggesting that the difference between the Rs and the Ds here and now is like the difference between the National Party and the United Party there and then? Are you suggesting that Romney is playing Verwoerd to Obama’s United Party Whomever? Because if that is what you are suggesting, then it would seem to follow that we should all vote for Obama to save ourselves even the risk of pain of decades of Americapartheid to be started by Willard Mitt Verwoerd.

            If you are not suggesting we all vote for Obama, then what is the purpose of your comparison?

        • I can understand the attraction to that scenario and in past years I might have embraced it. However that is what the republicans have been doing over since Clinton’s second term and without him being smart enough to triangulate this country would be in worse shape than it is. We have one party dedicated to doing nothing but getting back in to power. We don’t need another one.

          • We don’t? Doesn’t that depend on what another party would do with that power if they got into it? I would support a militant Class War Socialist Party devoted to getting into power to use that power to crush and destroy the Republican Party and reverse its upper class aggressionary agenda. Right now we have one party dedicated to getting back in to power and the other party dedicated to nothing but false-flag secret-agent collaboration to help that one party get back into power. Is that better?

            The whole drive to vote for ABOOR (Anyone But Obama Or Romney) is predicated on the notion that we will survive 8 years of President Romney and 8 years of President Ryan after that while we use those 16 years to build some kind of social and political counter-offensive movement to reconquer government and society with. If we are now saying that the pain of 8 years of Romney and 8 years of Ryan after that will terminal and unfixable, doesn’t that make the case for re-electing Obama to spare ourselves that terminal pain? Is that a case we really want to find ourselves making?

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