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    • Cambridge Analytica, FaceBook And Inevitable Abuses That Inevitably Happen
      So, you’re probably aware of the furor over Cambridge Analytica. They scraped Facebook’s database, and used the psychological information to craft their campaign. They have also been caught on tape admitting they do dirty tricks like honey traps, and propaganda (knowing lies). And there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. First of all, it […]
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Sunday: Divide and conquer with racism

I was going to write about how David Broder is Public Enemy Number One.  However, it’s more disturbing to see how accusations of racism are cropping up just when *real* unity would seem to be very important.

Let me just say for the record that unless Barack Obama is Jesus Christ himself, he is subject to the same comparisons and criticisms as any other imperfect human being on earth.  I have not seen any evidence of his perfection so as far as I’m concerned, he’s accountable for what he does or doesn’t do.  The extra melanin in his skin only gives him an advantage in the sun.  It doesn’t confer infallability on the bearer.

Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about why the renewal of accusations of racism directed against those of us who dare to criticize Obama are so destructive.  As I see it, it prevents the left from coalescing and gaining critical mass to oppose the unDemocratic policies that some of his banker friends and advisors would like to pursue.  As long as the Obamanation is stoked to stamp out racism, as defined by Obama’s friends, we can’t get ourselves a posse to take the real bastards on.

So, all you Obamaphiles out there have to ask yourselves, when it comes to accusations of racism, what’s it worth to you?  Is it worth your committment to social responsibility and an economy that’s fair to people who work?  Is it worth having only half the strength you need to prevent the dismantling of Social Security?  Because if you spend half your time and energy trying to distance yourself from those of us you wrongly accuse of racism, that’s what you’re going to end up with.  In my opinion, it’s much better to put down the gun and coordinate your messages with us.

Think about it.

In the meantime, we’ve gotten mixed reviews over the nested comments. In general, the edge is going to having them nested so you can actually reply to someone.  But the “newest at top” is not faring so well.  So, I am putting it up for a vote.  Majority wins.


A letter to President Obama (or should I say “Jock in Chief”)?

(crossposted from Heidi Li’s Potpourri)

Dear President Obama:

One of your Cabinet Secretaries, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is striking a chord with women abroad and at home as she mixes in, with her discussion of global warming and economic security, the issue of women’s empowerment, as a matter of democracy and social justice. Might you consider taking a lesson from the Secretary of State? If you did, you would incorporate her message about the importance of women to democratic politics and economic security into every aspect of your own programs and many of your public statements.

Those of us interested in the emancipation of American women would be delighted to hear you echo Secretary Clinton when she states, “I think that it’s imperative that nations like ours stand up for the rights of women. It is not ancillary to our progress; it is central” or “We have to highlight the importance of inclusion for women. We have to make clear that no democracy can exist without women’s full participation; no economy can be truly a free market without women involved.” (Secretary Clinton, February 20, 2009).

You, Mr. President, are in a flurry of summits, initiatives, and speeches, leading up to the announcement of your budget this Thursday, February 26, 2009. Those who wonder whether you understand the significance of women in the U.S. economy need to hear you speak at home in terms your Secretary of State speaks abroad. We need to hear this partly because many of us doubt whether you are as forward thinking about women’s issues as we would expect a Democratic president who will be seeking our votes again ought to be but also because we doubt you are as forward thinking about economic matters as we expect a Democratic president to be. Women do not dominate the boardrooms and executive suites of Fortune 500 companies; they do depend heavily on Social Security; they are a major source of small business initiatives in this country. When you discuss “entitlements” or “business” this means something different to the majority of women than it does to the majority of men.

Even in symbolic ways, we need you to do better if you want us to trust your commitment to women’s empowerment. Just recently you cooperated with Men’s Journal, a men’s lifestyle magazine, that along with so many other publications, decided to devote a cover story to you. This is the cover:Mj_cover

For those who cannot read the headline, running alongside a photo of you holding a football in your hands, it says: “Barack Obama, Jock in Chief: His Moves, His Trash Talk & His Weekly Power Basketball Game.”

Mr. President, I am not sure whether you are proud of being depicted as a trash-talking jock-in-chief – that seems to me to fulfill both sexist and racist stereotypes you yourself might find personally offensive. But the magazine editors certainly mean this headline to be laudatory, although they would never write the same sort of headline about a woman president or cabinet secretary and mean it to have the connotations of hipness and coolness they meant this one to carry. (“Trash-talking” is not a phrase used to praise powerfully positioned women.)

You, Mr. President, could by word and deed use your bully pulpit to discourage this sort of sexist pigeonholing not only of yourself but therefore of what power is supposed to look like or be like. I have written before about the need for you to convene a Presidential Empowerment of Women Advisory Board, to be as significant and influential with you as you suggest your PERAB and PIAB (Economic Recovery and Intelligence boards, respectively). This is becoming more urgent, not less. If you want the American economy and American democracy to remain strong, you must empower the 51 percent of the population who are women to participate as fully and on fair terms in our society.

Yours truly,

Heidi Li Feldman, founder and president, 51 Percent

STFU and GTFO is not a cogent rebuttal

Shut the F**k up!

Shut the F**k up!

We recently have seen David M-M-M-My Sirota and former PUMA Chuckie Lemos respond to substantive arguments with personal insults and spittle-flecked rants.  There must be something in the Kool-aid these days because lots of Obama fluffers seem to be going bug-fuck nuts

Obama’s “Fiscal Responsibility Summit” and the Week Ahead

FDR signing the Social Security Act

FDR signing the Social Security Act

It’s going to be a big week for the Obamagharchy. In order to short-circuit the coming Obamageddon, our Dear Leader is making “fiscal responsibility” the focus of his week. On Monday, President Obama will meet with lots of “experts” and think tank denizens to discuss the future of what is left of the social safety net: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The meeting will take place on Monday from 1-4:30PM in the State Dining Room of the White House. According to Politico, the event will open with

addresses by President Obama and Vice President Biden. It’s set to include members of both houses of Congress from both parties.

The opening session will be followed by “breakout” sessions of five topics: health, tax policy, Social Security, contracting and procurement, and the budget, each led by senior officials.

The budget director, Peter Orszag, will be leading the health breakout — a policy area on which he’s long focused, and one expected to be front and center in the budget.

Christina Romer and Larry Summers will lead the Social Security session…

One hundred and thirty guests, reportedly including forty-four blue dog Democrats and a number of Republicans, have been invited to participate. Some of the invitees from Congress whose names have been published are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Jim Matheson, D-Utah, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-South Dakota, and Dave Camp, R-MI (ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee). CIA Director Leon Panetta will also attend because of his experience working on the federal budget in the Clinton Administration.

Also invited to attend are “leaders” of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an organization begun by billionaire Peterson to push for “reform” (read elimination) of Social Security and other “entitlement” programs. William Greider wrote about Peterson’s project in a column entitled “Looting Social Security” in The Nation last week. Continue reading

Sitting at Obama’s table: The Secret Health Care Talks

New York Times

New York Times

Does anyone else want to burst into tears when they read about millionaires trying to make health care affordable?

Health Care Industry in Talks to Shape Policy

Since last fall, many of the leading figures in the nation’s long-running health care debate have been meeting secretly in a Senate hearing room. Now, with the blessing of the Senate’s leading proponent of universal health insurance, Edward M. Kennedy, they appear to be inching toward a consensus that could reshape the debate.


While not all industry groups are in complete agreement, there is enough of a consensus, according to people who have attended the meetings, that they have begun to tackle the next steps: how to enforce the requirement for everyone to have health insurance; how to make insurance affordable to the uninsured; and whether to require employers to help buy coverage for their employees.


Kennedy aides summarized discussions of the stakeholders, known as the “workhorse group,” in a recent memorandum obtained by The New York Times.

“While there was some diversity of views,” it said, “the sense of the room is that an individual obligation to purchase insurance should be part of reform if that obligation is coupled with effective mechanisms to make coverage meaningful and affordable.”

The ideas discussed include a proposal to penalize people who fail to comply with the “individual obligation” to have insurance.


Their motives vary. Some say the moment to overhaul the health care system has arrived because of a confluence of events, including Mr. Obama’s election, the growing number of uninsured and the relentless increase in health costs. Some want to protect the interests of their members and could ultimately oppose the legislation, depending on its details.


Not once in the article is there a definition of “affordable” — which makes me doubly (if possible) skeptical of the eventual plan. But, then lets look at who’s doing the talking: Continue reading