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    • Who Goes To Prison For America’s Crimes? The Whistleblowers.
      There’s a joke about the CIA and torture, in that the only person who went to prison for torturing people was the guy who revealed the torture. Daniel Hale, the guy who revealed that drone bombing killed 90% innocents, is now off to his stint in jail. He seems tough, maybe he won’t be driven to multiple suicide attempts like Manning was by the deliberate mis […]
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Primary Responsibility

I just realized the other day that Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias are still in their twenties.  When I was their age, I was working full time and caring for a kindergartner.  My life was full of routine and responsibility, paying my bills and making sure the kid was well fed, dressed and safe.  I could still have fun, within boundaries.  The constrictions on by time and life were not too much to ask, though the money was tight.   I was the first person in my working class family, ever, to get a degree and that in a fairly difficult subject.

Things are different for the Matt and Ezra types who, it appears, never had to struggle economically for their ivy league sheepskins or current cushy positions behind the megaphone.  Now, that could be interpreted as a bitter remark, full of class resentment.  But to be honest, I see them as perpetual adolescents who have yet to feel the environmental stresses that would force them to grow up.  These immortals are going to live forever.  They just don’t live on the same tier of Maslow’s pyramid that the rest of us are occupying, or sliding down.  Their decision making processes, what and who they support and why, are radically different from ours. What they write about will not affect them personally.  They have the luxury of distance.

Of the most frequent contributors to The Confluence, half of us have either been laid off or have had an immediate family member laid off.  We have seen our salaries disappear, our health benefits gone or become prohibitively expensive, seen our family support team disintegrate.  The Mother of All Recessions is very real to us.  And we are not the steelworkers and industrialized disadvantaged, the low skilled workers of thirty years ago, not that there’s anything wrong with working with your hands.  No, the frontpagers of The Confluence who have lost their jobs are economists, academics, mathematicians.  Their laid off family members are chemical engineers and cheminformaticists.  These jobs require years of training and education and experience.  In this Recession, there is a fundamental shift in the nature of the jobs being lost.

This time, there is a plague of locusts, out of control, eating the seed corn.

The reason why this is happening is not because there are structural changes in the economy.  No one who has been paying attention to the pattern of unemployment believes that.  The reason why this is happening is because no one is stopping it from happening.  Congress and the White House have taken a very hands off approach to dealing with this problem. It’s not even good for business, although it will take a few years for that reality to sink in.  The result is a severe weakening of the economy.  If you are in constant fear of losing your job, you don’t spend money.  If you don’t spend money, more people lose their jobs.  It’s a vicious cycle that leads to deflation and depression.  You don’t have to be an economist to understand this, though Dakinikat can explain it to us now that she has plenty of time on her hands, when she’s not shopping for a salary.

I get very angry when I read about our expectations of the 2012 and 2016 elections.  There is a resignation that Obama has the Democratic nomination all sewn up.  There won’t be any money for a challenger.  That small evil group to which no one we know belongs has already made the decision for us.  We aren’t invited to participate in our own democracy.  It’s the Matt’s and Ezra’s and BTD’s out there who have crafted this conventional wisdom because there is no stress on them to perceive things differently.  To them, it goes without saying that Obama will get the nomination.  It’s tradition.  It’s his turn still; no one else gets their turn until Obama is through with his two terms.  It’s just incomprehensible to contemplate that anyone else would have the rudeness and incivility to challenge him.  And besides, all of the African Americans would abandon the Democrats.

That last statement is an indication of how disconnected the progressive blogosphere really is.  Do they really think that people who can’t get decent jobs are going to pass up the opportunity to vote for someone who they think can actually help them?  That they are so wedded to identity politics that they would forget which politician shoved them aside for the wealthy and well connected and which politiician has a history of doing the right thing?

It’s always been a mystery to me why the Matt, Ezra, Kos, and Chris Bowers types of the self identified “creative class” hate the Clintons so much.  They excoriate the Senator from New York for voting for the Iraq War Resolution even as they give John Edwards and now, Barack Obama a pass.  They complain about NAFTA, when North America is not the problem.  They lament the welfare reform bills without having any conception of how damaging welfare is for families.  No one *wants* to be on welfare, even if there will always be a tiny subpopulation of people who will need ongoing support because they are mentally or emotionally unable to cope with the outside world.  But somehow, the harshness of the actual bills, get attributed to the Clintons when their terms were actually hammered out by movement conservative Republicans.  They forget that the last truly liberal justices appointed to the Supreme Court were Clinton appointees.  Elena Kagan is no Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

And now, I am receiving emails blaming the Republicans in advance for proposed cuts in Social Security.  I have an idea, Jim Dean, why don’t you ask Barack Obama to disband the commission he put together to decide where the cuts will be?  And by the way, I’ve been paying into social security and the babyboomer trust fund since I started my career.  My retirement investment decisions were based on a portion of my income coming from social security.  It is too late for millions of us who are still decades away from retirement to make a course correction, nor do we want to.  We paid into it, we believe in it and we want Barack Obama and the Democrats to stop using it as a political football.

Social security has taken the place of abortion in scaring voters to the polls.  The curtain has been pulled back on the abortion issue.  This incarnation of Democrats doesn’t really care about women.  All they care about is manipulating enough of the people most of the time.  It is the same with Social Security.  I’m calling it out.  This is beyond reprehensible.  There’s an element of political calculation here that is evil.  If Republicans retake Congress this fall, it sets Obama up as a hero for defending social security from their most draconian cuts. Democrats may think they have the media eating out of their hands and can push this meme down the throats of every voter out there but voters are getting wise to them.  They see the disconnect between words and their lives.

We are invisible, Hillary told us in 2008.  We are still invisible.  But we are not powerless.  And we need not be helpless and drifting, waiting for the next wave to propel us towards some predetermined outcome.  If Matt and Ezra and the rest of the progressive blogosphere are disappointed by Obama, they should know by now that he’s not going to change.  He is what he is.  This is the guy they married.  He’s careless, inexperienced, immature, self-agrandizing, manipulative and selfish.  More time with him, persuading him to be better than he is, isn’t going to work.  He isn’t a secret progressive.  He is a political opportunist.  If your lives aren’t getting better *now* when he has all of the votes he needs and all of the money to influence people and all of the crisis required to exert his power, then your lives are not going to get better.  He is saving it all up for the moment when he thinks you will abandon him and then he will scare you into staying.  That’s what’s going on here.

If you stay with him, you are irresponsible.  If you don’t threaten him with a primary challenger, you accept the system as it is.  If you don’t allow someone else to take over the reigns and actually govern for the benefit of all of the people, then you allow the continued suffering of millions of families who will lose their tether to the middle class.

No one is entitled to four more years in order to check some accomplishment off of their life list.  Those four years have meaning to the rest of us.  And even if it is hard, we owe it to each other to not allow our country to be squandered and consumed by the ravenous few to the detriment of the many in order to preserve some kind of conventional wisdom.  That may mean voting for a third party, or one that already exists or it could mean insisting that Barack Obama step aside in 2012.  If we wait until 2016, it could be too late.

We all need to accept responsibility for what happens to us in 2012.

Starting now.

124 Responses

  1. Righteous rant!

  2. Beyond Awesome!!!!

  3. I was the first person in my working class family, ever, to get a degree and that in a fairly difficult subject.

    We have that in common.
    Great rant!

  4. well said–thank you!! They are adolescents. They remind me very much of children I used to teach. The draft used to force young men to grow up and now too many parents are enabling them.

    I really think that you are correct – the dems will try to scare us and Obama will throw us a bone right before 2012. Btw, this 27 hour trip to the gulf just reminds me of how stupid he thinks we are. It is so obviously a photo-op that it is insulting. It would be better to not go at all.

  5. I stopped listening to or reading Matt or Ezra or “the boys” when I finally realized by own son is older than they are. Good grief.

    True story.

    • Sorry…meant to say: Great Rant!!!!

    • Doesn’t it make you wonder why these boy geniuses are running the show?

      • Cuz their Mommies/Daddies never said, “Cut the crap” while giving them the “Don’t bullshit me” look?

        Cuz their Mommies/Daddies wanted to build their self esteem, thereby making them think the world circulates around THEM?

        Cuz they’re frikkin idiots?

        Three choices—pick one. 🙂

        • Oh wait…I thought of more:

          Cuz their Daddies never said “Get your ass out there and mow the yard,” since actual sweating is for the lower-class, bitter clingers?

          Cuz they never had to work a full or part-time job all the way through college, and Mommie/Daddy paid for all?

          Cuz they thought they were in the kewl crowd in high school, never realizing they were actually being laughed at as witless suckups?

          That’s all I got, so far.

          • Cuz Axelrod/Gibbs/Obama marked them as the easiest to manipulate early on?

            He was, after all, the ONE they’d been waiting for. (Barf)

          • Yep, that’s the one. They were raised with certain expectations and behaviors. Getting ahead means adopting the mannerisms of the people you would like to succeed. Axelrod et al had them pegged from the beginning. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

        • Add to that their societies also also enable their bullshit. Mommy and Daddy alone without society are not enough to let them run the show.

      • They’re this generation’s “best and brightest.”

        (This is also the “crack baby” generation.)

  6. Nailed it!!

  7. Excellent call to arms.

    It’s always been a mystery to me why the Matt, Ezra, Kos, and Chris Bowers types of the self identified “creative class” hate the Clintons so much.

    I don’t think it’s about the “creative class” as much as it is simply about class. They came from the right families and went to the right schools. That’s why they get to drive the big car now.

    I think CDS is a class war against those who do manage to break the other glass ceiling. I think that’s why they went after Bill with a vengeance. (I also think that’s why they went after Martha Stewart–how dare she think that she’d arrived!)

    • When we say they “hate” the Clintons, we mean HATE.

      (We need to keep reminding people what they said back when the election was still undecided by the RBC and we could have still got a real leader.)

      • Frontpager Joe Sudibay at Americablog on 5/21/08:

        It’s hard to take Clinton’s call for fairness seriously when she was the only person on the ballot in Michigan. I mean, come on, that’s so Soviet. This just rings hollow and really lacks credibility. Not to mention, Hillary herself said the Michigan election didn’t count and she didn’t even care if her name was on the ballot. She only cares now that it gives her a way to keep her name in the papers, and hurt Obama’s chances in the fall against McCain. Remember, the only way that Hillary can credibly run for president again in four years is if Obama loses. And that’s exactly what she wants. That’s why today she basically called the Democratic party unprincipled (pot meet kettle).

        So, everyone who thought Clinton was going to find a way to wind down the race was wrong. Instead, Clinton will take this to the convention — not for Florida and Michigan — but for herself.

        Obama should be out campaigning against McCain, but he has to deal with this lunacy instead. When will the superdelegates put an end to this nonsense?

        One more thought: Does anyone else find it disturbing that despite knowing Obama, our nominee, was heading to Florida to mend fences and start the general election campaign against McCain, Hillary Clinton decided to go to Florida to rub salt in the wound? That says it all, really.

      • That hate is who they are at their core.

      • My impression was that CDS was very much pumped up by the Obama campaign. The hatred of the Clintons was encouraged and provoked because the generational “us” and “them” was a great deal of what motivated the OFB. On that level, it’s the easiest thing in the world to understand, the oldest trick in the book: create an enemy, incite hatred and use it as a bonding tool.

        • And that is why, to this day you still see the ” Baby Boomer” hate in comments. They are so stupid that that they know noting of the increased taxes in the 80’s.

  8. One of the worst and most negatively effective Republican presidents we’ve had in generations, is a Democrat. If Obama continues this insidious erosion of our civil liberties, our social and medical government based institutions, and the middle class itself, we will be a hollowed out third world country.

    We don’t want this to continue. And the vast majority of people don’t want this result. The media is not on the side of people. Nor are many of the “prog” bloggers. They’re not even on the side of their very survival. To them and many in the political class, it’s all just a routine game.

    • It’s a game to them because they don’t think they will be effected by what happens to the country. If they have a large enough trust fund, or sell out for enough money, they may be right.

      Meanwhile the rest of us go down the tubes while they play.

    • Obama is actually far worse than I thought he would be. And that’s saying something.

  9. There is a resignation that Obama has the Democratic nomination all sewn up. There won’t be any money for a challenger. That small evil group to which no one we know belongs has already made the decision for us. We aren’t invited to participate in our own democracy. It’s the Matt’s and Ezra’s and BTD’s out there who have crafted this conventional wisdom because there is no stress on them to perceive things differently

    I disagree. I don’t think this is because of BTD, Ezra, Bowers, Yglesias, etc. I personally don’t listen to any of them and consider them discredited. I don’t get the impression that many here at TC listen to them either, other than to keep track of their antics.

    Some of us are more hopeful about the 2012 primaries and some of us are more pessimistic. I think that’s natural for any community of voters that’s been through what we’ve been through together.

    • I think Obama will be the Democratic nominee because he and his puppetmasters and followers control the Democratic party structure. He won’t win the nomination because he deserves it, he’ll win because any challenger will get stomped so hard that what happened to Hillary in 2008 will look like kisses from Aunt Harriet in comparison.

    • They are part of the mainstream media now. Their megaphones have increased in size exponentially. Whether or not we read them or agree with them, their position of influence means that their beliefs and expectations filter through the blogosphere. Go check out the people you are following on Twitter and see who *they* are following.
      This is what we called a Haka during the 2008 campaign. It is a loud, intimidating war chant designed to scare you into accepting your fate. What we do here at The Confluence is a counter Haka. We give it right back to them. Our goal is to tear a rift in consensus reality and show people what is really going on. We do not repeat memes because they have become accepted, even if we don’t read the meme makers or agree with them. If we don’t like the meme, it is our responsibility to push back. HARD.

      • Here’s a push back, Obama can’t possibly win in ’12. Look at what a horrible job he’s done. Look at the economy. If the Democratic party doesn’t primary him and work hard to push him out, they are toast. And what’s more, their party will fall into permanent obscurity.

        • Now you’re getting it.
          And if I were a Congress person with a nice senior position or committee chairmanship, I’d be pretty pissed right now at how Obama is taking my acquiescence for granted.

          BTW, here’s a real Haka:

          Now, if we could only train a bunch of stupid, working class, r@cysts to do that…

        • In a just world, this would be absolutely correct. From your keyboard to God’s ears.

      • Well I don’t exactly approach today’s MSM as the most reliable of sources either 🙂 , I take them through a jaundiced filter too. I’m not falling for any haka or memes. I watch pretty carefully where I’m getting my information from and evaluate the sources. I think this is much more basic, at least for me. I’ll never forget and I’m not ready to forgive–Hillary was our chance in 2008, and 2008 was our chance at Hillary. Every day seeing the consequences of not picking her makes me more angry, not less, about what was taken from us. After being burnt in 2008, I do not want to get my hopes up for what I’ll always hold out hope for in my heart of hearts–one day being able to call Hillary Clinton Madame President of These United States. She is the only smart populist center-left pol out there right now who has what it takes to draw the lines and FIGHT for us. I don’t think I’ll get the chance or the privilege to vote for her again, but I also want Hillary to prove me wrong on that. I think that is a very different thing than the kind of resignation that the Axelrod machine and the Better than Ezras want us to believe in.

        • Every day seeing the consequences of not picking her makes me more angry, not less, about what was taken from us.

          Oh God, yes.

          • It is so very clear. Even Hillary herself must see this and think these thoughts and wonder at her own prescience.

        • She can never prove you wrong unless you help start a drumbeat to bring her back. And that drumbeat will never start if you are absent mindedly banging someone else’s drum.

          • Djembe in hand, let’s begin!

            (I suppose MYIQ can cue up Different Drum or We Got the Beat or something equally appropriate.)

          • I’m not absentmindedly doing anything or banging anyone else’s drum. I’m a voter sorting through the best I can. I do my part to keep the Hillary drumbeat going. We all have our different ways.

          • Things would be a lot more straightforward if everyone believed that O has exaserbated the situation and Hillary could fix things. But they don’t. A lot of people of all races buy the line ABG was slinging the other day–cyclical, 8 years of Bush, Rome can’t be built in a day, yadda yadda yadda. If you don’t believe that a change at the top will have a significant effect, then it starts to look like O is being treated unfairly and pushed to the back of the line. People still talk about H being denied her roll call vote, well maximize that by a million in being denied the chance to run for a second term when you don’t think he’s doing a bad job and think anyone else would be an equal victim of unavoidable economic circumstance, and it gets complicated.

    • Beautifully said, Riverdaughter. (There is at least one patent attorney now unemployed to add to the rest of your list.)

      I think our only hope in 2012 is if President Obama decides not to run. He will only do that if he believes he is sure to lose. He can’t take the stain of a loss on his record — he would find an excuse not to run if that were the case.

      If he gets out, Hillary would step up.

      It is a long shot. If that does not happen, maybe we can write in Riverdaughter for President!


  10. Righteous rant! Voters matter in elections. F*ck both legacy parties.

  11. We need more ads like this:

    • I helped to pay for that ad. I’m a member of Women for Melancon and we’re on top of every misogynistic thing that fucker has done and the latest polls show the race is dead even. It was supposed to be a tough go for Melancon. I think Carville is helping with some of those ads.

      • One of these days some politician who got caught with his hand in the nookie jar will be doing his public confession and his wife is gonna say “fuck this” and start whaling on him right in front of the cameras.

        I’d pay a dollar to see that.

      • keep up the great work, hope you can kick him to the curb

        • I just think its funny how well Melancon is doing in a basically purplish red state by playing to the same demographic that Axelrove kicked to the ground two years ago.

          Melancon shows real apathy (oops empathy) for the people the earn livings down here fishing, crabbing, and getting their hands and feet muddy and for women who are hurting because Jindal/Vitter pull the plug on everything related to education and health care. He’s got traction with the traditional Democratic base. Funny how you don’t hear much about this race in the prog blog plages.

  12. I live for your posts RD – simply brilliant !

  13. You can’t make this stuff up. It may be small change for pork but it’s just embarrassing.

    • It’s incompetence. The robot telling jokes is probably a grant to develop artificial intelligence, and jokes just happen to be what the engineers use. If the robot can develop funny jokes, then it’s a success. I could see where the other stimulus money would have benefits, but given the state of the economy, it’s not a good time for a ministry of silly walks.

  14. In a similar vein, Bob Herbert is back ….

    The Obama administration seems to be feeling sorry for itself. Robert Gibbs, the president’s press secretary, is perturbed that Mr. Obama is not getting more hosannas from liberals.
    Spare me. The country is a mess. The economy is horrendous, and millions of American families are running out of ammunition in their fight against destitution. Steadily increasing numbers of middle-class families, who never thought they’d be seeking charity, have been showing up at food pantries.

    The war in Afghanistan, with its dreadful human toll and debilitating drain on the nation’s financial resources, is proceeding as poorly as ever. As The Times reported on Friday, an ambitious operation that was supposed to showcase the progress of the Afghan Army turned into a tragic, humiliating debacle.

    And while schools are hemorrhaging resources because of budget meltdowns, and teachers are losing jobs, and libraries are finding it more and more difficult to remain open, American youngsters are falling further behind their peers in other developed countries in their graduation rates from colleges and universities.

    This would be a good time for the Obama crowd to put aside its concern about the absence of giddiness among liberals and re-examine what it might do to improve what is fast becoming a depressing state of affairs.

    • I wouldn’t say he’s back. He’s actually assuming Obama wants to turn things around and gives a shit. Try harder Bob.

      • Maybe Bob just realized that most of his readers come from that near-extinct middle class.

  15. Yes. It is hard to know if liberalism doesn’t work so much as Obama doesn’t know how to do it. Of course not knowing that was just one of the prices we paid when the Obamabots forces Obama down our throats at the caucuses and then at the convention. We can only hope that the “insipration” the Obamabots get to feel at seeing the Obamas in the White House is worth the sacrifice to us all who wanted something more. I don’t want Hillary to challenge Obama in the 2012 primary becuase I am certain she will be accused of being a racist again and even if she wins the primary, Obamabots will stay home for the general. I am looking at Mitch Daniels…that is how desperate I am.

    • She can take the accusations. She has now acquired a teflon shield against the media. It doesn’t matter what it throws at her, voters don’t believe it. No one in their right mind believes that Hillary Clinton is a r@cyst. That meme is rapidly losing its punch. Obama wouldn’t be the first African American president anymore. The novelty has worn off.
      Now, he’s just like any other president who is worse than average.

    • It is hard to know if liberalism doesn’t work so much as Obama doesn’t know how to do it.

      Does Social Security work? Medicare? Rural Electrification? The Interstate Highway System? The Voting Rights Act?

      • The post office (yes, they still deliver a letter for $0.44 cents to any address in the U.S.). Since internet banking is the way to go, I don’t mail payments, but I did for years and my payments got to their destination.

      • Those things all work but they are not examples of “instant gratification” liberalism which is what too many people want.

        Take the votes of conservative Republicans away from the Voting Rights Act and it would almost certainly have failed as well.

        Of the programs cited, the only one which didn’t take many years to actually start working is Medicare and it’s not properly funded. Even it works but needs better funding to keep doing it.

        • Close. It’s not instant gratification they want. It’s symbolic victories of a very high minded kind. Sort of like the Judean Peoples Front giving men the right to have babies even though they haven’t got a womb, though it’s nobody’s fault, not even the Romans.

          • LOL. Great people those Romans.

          • Ouch. Sounds about right though. I really think though that people expect too much from stimulus packages when there are better, and more liberal, ways to jumpstart an economy.

            For example, instead of low ball unemployment compensation, it would be much better to help companies make their payrolls so long as they keep people employed. Shorter work hours for the same pay, however you want to do it, it would eliminate the huge dislocations in people’s lives.

            I’m sure if we thought about it, with an open mind, a lot of effective strategies could be developed. If nothing else, look to the Depression and the CCC etc for things that worked. What’s not acceptable is doing nothing in the midst of a crisis.

            Where can I join the Judean People’s Front?

    • If Hillary decides to run in 2012, and it will be her decision, she will have a plan. In fact, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that if she is running in 2012, she has already decided and her plan has already begun. (Note: I don’t know that she is running and I don’t know her plan.)

      • I agree with you. Never underestimate the Clintons. There is no way on earth Obama can carry Ohio, Pa., Florida, Colorado, Virginia.

        And just because AAs tell pollsters they support him, doesn’t mean they would vote for him against Hillary.

  16. RD, great post. I don’t give Obama the 2012 nomination. I know better. I would have never guessed that things would turn out the way they did in 2000, 2004 and 2008. To guess, particularly the way the economy is, that Obama has a straight shot to the nomination is a little premature. Having said that, it was easy to see that outside extraordinary circumstances, the Ds would win in 2008. Unless things change, it will be very difficult for any D to win in 2012. Hillary is the only one that can make a good case to the voters that she’s the person to lead us out of the morass. I don’t see another D that has what it takes to beat the GOP in 2012. I don’t see the pieces in place for Hillary to do it all over again, but life is full of humor and heart break. It can happen.

  17. “No one in their right mind believes that Hillary Clinton is a r@cyst.”

    Who says they are in their right minds? I gave a year of my life and my disposalbe income on the 2008 Hillary campaign and – especially at the Dallas caucuses – I saw mindless opposition to Hillary by the democrats.

    But here is where I think you are RIGHT…

    “That may mean voting for a third party, or one that already exists or it could mean insisting that Barack Obama step aside in 2012. If we wait until 2016, it could be too late.

    We all need to accept responsibility for what happens to us in 2012.” you are GREAT, riverdaughter – keep it up.

  18. Maybe that’s what we’re looking for. Maybe we need to organize to demand that Hillary is the nominee in 2012.

    • Right on! I received a DNC plea for money two weeks ago. One of those forms with questions, such as how important is it to devote more money to re-electing Obama? I wrote on the front page and asked them to remove my name from their lists.

      Mentioned that this life-long Dem who voted, volunteers, and donated was now an Independent. I said that I’d return when caucuses (gamed systems) were replaced by actual votes, the supers were gone, the conventions fair. Didn’t mention HRC. My P.S.: “I’ll never vote for Obama.”

  19. No one thought GWB could win in 2004 after his administration horrors in the first term, but he did. It’s impossible to speculate the outcome in 2012 for me. I pray Obama decides he’s tired of being criticized for taking so many exotic vacations, partying, entertaining the pro sports teams, waiting for his private concerts to start, and winning everything….including the prizes he wasn’t even eligible for (PPP).

    BTD’s most recent post on Hillary being the only chance for the Democrats (and the country) in 2016 was fascinating. I remember well how permanently dropped my jaw was during the primaries with his Obama love. I’m amazed he has a voice anyone listens to….he is so obvious with that chip firmly planted on his shoulder. One commenter called him on it a week or so ago, which earned him one of BTD’s famous bully responses.

    • I didn’t think W would win in ’04, I knew he was going to win. As soon as Kerry did that “reporting for duty” bullshit convention, he was dead meat. He was probably dead meat anyway though. I had voted for Dems all my life but didn’t vore in ’04 because I detested Senator Thurston Howell III.

      • I never counted on voters not showing up to get rid of G.W. His incompetency and illegal acts were too much. Come to think of it, make 2008 scenario in 2004, I would have voted for Obama. What a horrible thought.

        • If I had thought Kerry was one bit better than Bush, or Obama, I might have gotten past personally detesting him. But I didn’t think he was then and still don’t.

          • I don’t like Kerry one bit, and I held my nose when I voted for him. He’s a weasel.

          • I don’t regret voting for Kerry over Bush, but Kerry deserved to lose with the kind of campaign he ran. Kerry fought more for Obama than he fought for himself to be president.

          • It takes “special” talent for a bona fide war hero to let a draft-dodger portray him as a coward.

          • In fact, it seemed like Kerry stopped running as soon as Obama gave tha e “awesome” speech at his convention. Hmmm.

          • Sophie, hmm indeed. That 2004 campaign was where 2008 was fixed, imho. Or where the pieces were set in motion.

          • I think the plan was for Edwards to be the meat puppet in 2004 (or 2008) but Kerry was able to spend $6 million in Iowa to win the caucus.

            I think the blowback from that National Guard memo made people distrust the media enough to vote for Bush in the end.

  20. I want to clarify about “liberalism working.” I meant “in the face of this economy.” Let’s admit that no one who mattered, politically, saw the economic bust of 2008 coming. And, this DEBT is no joke. I know Hillary would have done better than Obama to meet the challenges, but I doubt it would have looked like traditional liberalism. Hillary losing the primary caused a Sea Change for me. I plead guilty to idealizing her but I also knew that she was prepared and qualified. The experience made me realized that all along I have valued competence and actual movement forward as a human race MORE than pure idealism. The idealism of my youth finally matured into something achievable just to have it dashed by the undeveloped idealism of the next generation. Ugh. …the human condition.

    I haven’t given up entirely; I am just owning the pragmatism of competence and real results. If Hillary is still up to this kind of leadership – she needs to let us hear her independent voice. I have seen the lions in my life age and I am a realist. I will love her no matter what she does. The world churns on.

    • Ginny, I completely reject the idea that no one saw the economic bust coming. The DEs Moines Register saw it coming when it endorsed Clinton in 2007. There were hedge fund managers who saw it coming, some of whom even tried to warn the SEC. Read The Big Short if you want to know who saw it coming.
      And I’m sure that obama’s backers saw it coming. That’s why they poured so much money into his campaign.
      History shows us that the correct way to get out if a depression is to spend money. If that makes deficit hawks uncomfortable, too bad. Without employment, you can’t replenish your tax base. Without a tax base, you can’t bring down the deficit.
      I doubt you will find anyone here worrying about the debt. What we needed was a much bigger stimulus package. MUCH bigger. If you want to talk about the debt crisis, maybe you ca. Talk to Tea Partiers who are unknowligly getting their talking points from newt Gingrich. I prefer to not discuss a discredited notion here.

      • OK. Assume you get a MUCH bigger stimulus package. Where do you spend it to get bang for those bucks? Unless it’s spent wisely it just goes down the rat hole. Roads and bridges will create work but not permanent jobs, unless we all become construction laborers for life.

        What’s been missing in discussions of stimulus is how will what is spent create good permanent jobs. I’d like to see that discussion take place because, you’re right, most of us are not worried about the debt in these times. We are still mostly sovereign in our own currency after all.

        Where can I join the Judean People’s Front?

        • Should we deficit spend and where to deficit spend are two different questions. Wasting money is something we can all oppose, whether liberal or conservative.

          • Right. To me there is no question that we should spend so that conversation should be over, especially among us. Where to spend it is wide open and it would be nice to gen some ideas there.

            There’s some really nice peel and stick solar panels available made in America. Spending money to get people to retrofit homes and commercial buildings with those would be stimulative in several ways. It would beat the hell out of spending money on programs for window insulation.

          • It’s actually hard to “waste” stimulus spending as long as it makes it into the hands of people who will use that money to pay for living expenses. It’s when you try to filter it through rich people or banks (or bombs) that it goes nowhere.


        • Cutting back H1B visas for good-paying jobs that American youth can train for, but don’t because there are few opportunities when a country with a large population develops good universities to train its people for the jobs and accepts lower salaries for the opportunity to work/live abroad, is a start. If we didn’t have unemployment problems at home, and if the H1B visas workers I encounter were exceptional (which means fewer by definition), then I would get the point. As it is, parents who made a good living in high tech that I know recommend that their children go into something else because a lot of the jobs are being “outsourced” from within.

      • “Discredited notion” that our present national debt is a problem? Huh? That is certainly is not what Hillary is saying. She has to deal with China, who owns our debt, and she isn’t so happy about it. “It “(our debt) keeps her from being able to stand up to the China Leadership and the harm that they do in the world.

        Please don’t paint just anyone who thinks the debt-is-a-problem as a Tea Party wanna be. Or… do what you want – it is your blog! All I am saying is that we need Hillary’s independent voice, her actual leadership. If you have the magic words to get that to happen.. tell me what they are, or better yet, just SAY THEM! I admire your work. If anybody can do it you can. If she is running I am there.

        • I’ve been a moderator here for about two years now, and I was a regular in the blogosphere for a couple years before that.

          Your original comments triggered my troll alarm as did this latest one. What you are doing is called “concern trolling.”

          It’s obvious to me that you’re here to infiltrate and sow dissension (the “I plead guilty to idealizing her” line was a dead giveaway.) The only real question is whether you’re a genuine wingnut or an Obot plant sent here to make us look bad. Either way, you can tell whoever you work for you failed.

          Buh-bye now.

          • River Daughter! This is just to you and I don’t care if you don’t post it. I don’t work for anyone (literally!) and I don’t blog as a rule. I was a Berkeley Hilstar, a PUMA (weren’t you at the PUMA house in Denver-under the stairs on your lap top – churning out great stuff- or was that confidential – sorry, don’t post it?) and I have practiced criminal and civil law in the San Francisco Bay Area for some 30 years. So I argue for a living and I don’t much feel compelled to agree with anyone. I am good friend of mine sent me an email with your blog about the primary and told me it was great –so I sounded off… maybe not so thoughtfully or too glumly? I don’t like making the same mistake twice and I just want to know what would be different if we did this all over again (meaning the Hillary Campaign.) Obviously the financial terrain is different than during the last presidential primary. Look at what is just happening financial to the military/national security – the “spend down” is handwriting writing on the wall. No one in the know is even arguing about spending down. Much of government is to follow suit. Priorities need to get named and executed. That is all I am saying. NOT to dash the fight for social justice but to get it done competently or Win the day like water around a rock. Ideas are needed. Whose? Yours? Mine? Hillary’s?
            I am NOT really “for” Mitch Daniels! If Hillary doesn’t run and a republican can beat Obama, then I would prefer to see someone besides one of “the usual republican suspects.” I am just throwing thoughts out as the economy has me stumped and I am not hearing any answers. I grew up in Indiana and they are doing much better financially than California right now. Ergo Mitch Daniels assertion that the country needs a “truce on social issues” to get the economy back on track wasn’t all together unappealing. Financial tragedies are happening all around me and to good people that I know. Also, we own a small farm and the laborers are in no man’s land with immigration issues……What are the answers??? Oh,. And I DO FEEL like “we” got took by folks who were more self serving in the democratic primary. That realization was very chilling. But, it does not make me a tea party thinker. I believe we have a global responsibility.. But back to the point..
            I don’t know that much about you but PLEASE don’t “name” me just to rid yourself of the challenge to think differently about finances. I bet I have been at this feminist business longer than you. I campaigned for the ERA ratification in Indiana in 1972 and have news clippings to prove it.
            This exchange is rather odd as I REALLY admire what you do. I could never do what you do. My thoughts are not as disciplined as yours. And then there are the contradictions “.. Difference between- the principles of – politics and governance..” Which are sometimes impossible to distinguish in the blogosphere? My head spins… AND I have taken enough time up just with these few comments to have thrown my whole day off. Please forgive me if I don’t get back to you after this.
            Parting request! Address the financial issues more realistically and let fair challenges be stated. If Hillary comes back, SHE WILL ADDRESS TEHM and you will look very much beside the point.

          • My my my, where do I begin?

            First of all, I’m not Riverdaughter. I’m the petulant clown. (She makes drugs – I take ’em)

            You practice law in the SF Bay Area – where specifically? The Bay Area is a huge region geographically, and includes SF, the San Mateo Peninsula, San Jose/Silicon Valley, the East Bay, the North Bay as well as Napa and Livermore Valleys.

            Where is this small farm located? The nearest small farms are a couple hours from SF – you might even be my neighbor!

            If your laborers are in “no man’s land with immigration issues” then you must be employing undocumented workers. That is a crime. Why not hire workers with papers, or better yet, citizens?

            Sorry, my troll radar is unconvinced, despite your claims of credentials.

            Should I ask Katiebird for a second opinion? She can smell a troll from a mile away in a hurricane. But I better warn you – she’s not nice like me, she’s vicious.

        • There’s a difference in the type of national debt a country has. It’s either structural or cyclical. Cyclical gets bad during recessions. We have a lot of cyclical debt right now. The way to remove it is to end the cycle of joblessness and dependence on government programs by improving the economy. Then, that goes away. Right now, we have a lot of cyclical debt because the economy has been so bad this century. You’re not going to make any of it go away by removing government spending. You’ll make it worse. The more the economy goes bad and the worse joblessness becomes, the more cyclical debt you attract with out doing anything.

          As Keynes prescribed, you run balanced budgets and surpluses during good times which is precisely what Clinton did. You do not go crazy with tax cuts and spending when the economy is good. However, you have to stimulate demand with deficit spending when the economy is in a severe contraction period. Like NOW. You’ll make the deficit worse by making the economy worse if you obsess on the deficit now. It’s a FUTURE problem. Not a NOW problem. Once the economy grows and creates job, worry about the deficit and only the structural part of it. The cyclical part will go away with the growth in the economy.

    • You must be new here – Dakinikat has done numerous posts explaining Keynesian economics.. There shouldn’t even be a debate about deficit spending any longer – FDR settled the issue as decisively as Lincoln settled slavery.

      BTW – we don’t idealize Hillary. She was just a far better candidate than any other.

      • Here’s the way I saw it:
        Obama = enabler
        Hillary = rehab.

        You don’t have to be a liberal hero or a perfect person to get my support. All that was required was a willingness to stick to some core Democratic principles and have the knowledge base and commitment to do it. As Tina Fey once said, “bitches get stuff done”. That’s what I wanted.

        • I have this up on the sidebar at my little wordpress corner… .

          A Woman of Strength & Substance…
          A Woman Who Can Get Things Done
          Tori Amos, December 2007: “We, as citizens, who love our country . . . need someone who is not warm and fuzzy. That’s not what we need in a leader; you need strength, you need people who can draw lines. This is not a popularity contest . . . . We have to remember Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher. Whatever (their) politics were, these were strong women who could get things done. I think Hillary is a strong woman.”

        • honk honk!

      • Keynes did suggest spending money in good times and bad times. If the national debt were only about 25% of GDP, a $3 trillion stimulus would double the debt, but still be less than half of the current debt because there has been almost no reduction in the last 50 years.

      • Okay, let me take another try at this. Sorry for the confusion.
        I have a photo of Hillary shaking my 13 year old son’s hand with me beaming next to them. I had to make the big contribution for that. How do I post it? Next to it on my bulletin board is an article entitled “This is What a Real Feminist Looks Like” – because so many of my women friends were getting confused during the primary. I don’t agree with Hillary on everything. I am not an active democrat any more even though I think of myself as a better democrat than the present democrats. For example, I am still devastated that gun control has been lost in “the political realities.” Is that still a core democratic principle?
        I am not pushing credentials here. I don’t know what Dakinikat’s are. She sounds brilliant. I did miss her previous economic posts and more than some economic concepts are over my head. But I do know and talk to economist here in Berkeley – University of Cal; Nobel Prize winners, Council Directors, Head of the Economics Department etc. Many of whom were for Obama. So credentials be damned. BTW -what do you supposed Christina Romer quit over? I am trying to find out if she will criticize Obama back here in Berkeley. In any event, I consider the economy a moving object and not “closed” for discussion. Since Hillary is a combination of politics and governance I need to hear from her own independent voice regarding the solutions that are achievable. We NEED SOME that aren’t happening to say the least.
        I am off to the farm in Mendocino which is considered beyond the Bay Area. I mentioned I was a lawyer? We grow grapes and the laborers are paid $13 an hour. They tell us they are legal. We didn’t hire them and don’t employ them in as much as we use a reputable vineyard management company. (If you are really worried about illegalities you should be beside yourself about the MJ crop in the emerald triangle. Decriminalizing MJ in Mendocino has been horrible for Mendocino. ) I want people to be treated fairly but I don’t believe in open borders. I believe the law should be enforced but that the government is complicit in this hypocrisy so we need reform…So many, many problems that don’t have any foreseeable solutions. Thank you, Obama.
        I am not among them who believes I have all the answers. About Hillary, however, I am certain. She is the best that is out there; The best in my life time.

  21. Today is the anniversary of VJ Day, There’s good video of Honolulu on Aug 14, 1945 at IowaHawk’s.

    The World Was Happy

  22. Just opened Flipboard and found that someone had tweeted this post and it was now a feature I. My own personal magazine. Talk about echo chambers.

  23. RD, I’m coming late to the party. This is everything I been trying to say but badly. Especially Obama using Social Security like Roe v. Wade. I wish more people could read this.

  24. Excellent post

    The reason why this is happening is because no one is stopping it from happening.

    Indeed and if one suggests they do do something , they blink like moles suddenly in a flood light. They can’t even imagine what you are talking about.
    The very concept of goverment doing something about such things is slipping away. The thing about the Clintons is they remember the point of government….but in this and other ways, they stand alone.

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