Understanding Obama

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President Obama gave a rousing state of the union address that had us all pumped up and saying “YEAH! THAT’S THE GUY I VOTED FOR!!!”

Many are ready to go out and campaign for him now, but there are still those who are grumbling about the things he hasn’t done yet. These are people who wanted a Roosevelt type of president who would come in and kick ass and get things going. So since they didn’t get what they wanted, they’re ready to let the Republicans win. For this group, I’d like to offer an explanation for Obama’s actions from my own perspective.

When you watch President Obama’s actions, you have to take the area of the country where he grew up into consideration. Obama is not from the streets of New York or L.A. He didn’t grow up in “the hood” of a large city, nor did he grow up in the overt racism that exists in some areas of the south.

Barack Obama grew up where racism exists below the surface. He grew up where many of the people do or say racist things without ever realizing the racist nature of what they are doing or saying. Much of his adult life’s work occurred in the Midwest – an area of the country where racism exists, but in a much more subtle form.

Over 30 years of working in the business world, I’ve watched black co-workers work within this framework. Some handle it masterfully, and advance their positions. Others don’t get it, and quickly move elsewhere.

Those who are successful in this environment operate in much the way Obama has acted since he became President. If you understand it, you understand how smart he is, and how he has set the stage for a rockin’ second term. Genius.

In the Midwest, if a black man who is new to the company comes into his position and starts ordering, directing and demanding, he isn’t going to be looked upon favorably, and he’s not going to last long. The man who is successful is the man who can come in and take time to earn the trust and confidence of those around him. He sits in meetings and asks questions that tactically bring up points that others might demand. Over time, those who work around him begin to understand him as a person, and as he gains their confidence he can begin to take a more direct approach to getting things done. How long this takes depends upon the people around him. His ability to adjust to situations and opportunities will dictate what he does next. If he’s managed it properly, he will eventually be able to take a strong leadership role.

When people accuse President Obama of “leading from behind”, this is why. He knew from the beginning that he was working with a majority of white guys, and that the majority of Americans are white, so he needed to take a gradual and deliberate approach. He needed to act responsibly and earn the trust of those whom he serves. Since his inauguration President Obama has been in charge, but he’s had to be very careful about how he is viewed in the public eye – much more so than any other president in our history. Over the last 3 years he’s gradually become more public with increasingly controversial decisions, and also with the true role of leadership that he’s been performing all along. He’s done what he has needed to do the way he’s needed to do it, and he’s done it brilliantly.

The President is now in a position where he has to openly, and very visibly, take charge. He is prepared to do so. And, judging from what we all saw in the State of the Union Address, he is now very willing to do so. Most importantly, he’s given the American people time to get to know and understand him, and he’s given his opposition time to expose their true nature. As a result, more people are going to be receptive to his leadership – even those who would have rejected it before without really understanding why (“it’s just a feeling”).

Many have felt abandoned by Obama, mostly for very selfish reasons, and so they didn’t help in 2010. Don’t make that mistake this time. We’re getting the guy we wanted, but he’s not going to be successful without us. We’ve got to get him back into office, and we’ve got to get him the help he needs in the Congress – a Democratic majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate. It’s up to us.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012 - Pass it on

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Comments

You describe the corporate world very well, and DC is a Southern Culture where the "uppity" of any race don't do well in "the system." I would argue that voting for Obama is necessary just to keep the slavers out of the Manor Class, BUT, I would also encourage labor and the rest of the disappointed to get out and make a Left alternative possible for 2016. That is the best way to get Obama to move in the direction you want. If your colleagues just sit around and watch and see, he will continue to drift in the middle of the Center/Right pond.

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DRC, you are absolutely right. We've got to get behind him and show him our support so that he'll act, but in the process we've also have the responsibility of making sure he understand CLEARLY which what we want him to do. We also have to start thinking about 2016 and who can continue to push the center of the current political spectrum back to the true center.

Sitting on the sidelines isn't an option.

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Nor is squatting in the Middle. Go for it. I hope Obama is building his power to get things done, but even if he is just holding ground in the Middle, you have the right program for change we can believe in.

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Having read the President's book "The Audacity of Hope" I am really not surprised by the course of his first term. Much of the disillusionment with him, I believe, comes from the fact that many progressives believed the hyperbole coming from the right. For instance, during his campaign there was a story the right put out which said that he was the most liberal member of the Senate and, of course, they still ridiculously refer to him as a socialist. Actually Barack Obama is a very measured and cerebral person who does not take extreme leftist positions. Unfortunately he has taken a few extreme right-wing positions, particularly as regards national security as exampled by his opinion about the president having the ultimate authority to decide life or death. He noticeably takes seriously the idea that he is president of all the people, not just those who voted for him and his approach to the military, the justice department and to commerce reveal that he is a fairly moderate and typical Democrat in many regards. But he is also very smart and sophisticated which is what really bugs the Republicans.

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That was a damn fine post, politicalview!

Keep 'em coming. The world needs the gospel.

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Quote mdhess:

Unfortunately he has taken a few extreme right-wing positions, particularly as regards national security as exampled by his opinion about the president having the ultimate authority to decide life or death.

Well, I didn't say he was perfect.

I think there are times that he does things like this because he believes it's the right thing to do, but I also believe that there are times when he does these things to give the right what they want in order to

- silence them
- take away their argument
- and (most importantly) expose how wrong some of their positions are

We, the people, just need to make sure that he understands what we believe to be important. As a Constitutional scholar, I really think he believes that the direction should come from the electorate and not from any President's idiology.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012. Pass it on.

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Another main reason to support Obama - the Supreme Court. Thom talks about this all the time, but it's an important enough issue to keep in the conversation. God help our country if we are unable to reverse the Citizen's United decision before the next election.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012. Pass it on.

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There are people who might vote for Obama without feeling like "supporters." I think we can divide the point to give them credit for having a serious problem with the duopoly without giving the greater evil the game. The change we need is not going to come throught the Democratic Party, it will come from the pressure that makes the Democratic Party move left grudgingly and with a certain amount of feces throwing at Progressives. Check out the President/Parliament thread for more to this point.

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Here's what I'm thinking abut these days. I have been as disappointed as anybody in the modesty of the "change" that the election of Obama has brought about. Nonetheless, I can't imagine going down the path of ,"Obama should be primaried", or the moronic "they're all the same".

Remember the criterion that all those presidential historians used to rate the Presidents back in 2010? (Obama came in at #15, Bush at #36.) I think that it was a good, valid set of criteria. With all the disappointment in Obama, I believe that he will do very, very well given that same set of criteria. It is a disconnect between a theory of governance and an empirical evaluation of results. I struggle with this.

(BTW, the criteria assume a top-down authority structure).

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Clinton was the best Republican President, and Obama is the best emperor and might even be something of a reformer. As such, he is far better than the nutcases; but we still have to get rid of the empire, not just upgrade the management or reform its surface operations. I am not here to debate how well the pathological system is being run other than to keep Caligula or Domition from letting insanity run amok. There is no sane alternative to Obama, so keep him while we deal with what really matters.

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Clinton was the best Republican President until B.O.

Stop making excuses for him. He ran for the office, said he could do it.

Now go back and look at candidate O's 2008 speeches. When you see: "that's my number one priority as president" - or "I'm going to correct that when I'm president" parenthetically add (during my second term if reelected).

This last speech in Detroit, sent all of the tribal elders fawning over and regurgitating it as if it were factual.

One can't make good decisions from bad information.

The so-called Auto Industry bailout, which B.O. is clearly rewriting history so he can take credit for it (as if..) were from TARP funds (you know that giveaway program the Blue shirts like to bash [as they should] while saying the later Stimulus was OK, but too little [also, as they should]).

The Auto Industry bailout funds started flowing in 2008 over a month before B.O. took office.

It doesn't strike me as rational to praise him for not traveling back in time to interfere with the bailout or to pretend to remember him being in the lead of the push to do so.

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I wondered how long it would take for the Obama bashing to start. As usual it completely ignores his actual accomplishments, and attacks grey areas.

I'm not making excuses for how President Obama has (or hasn't) worked to achieve his goals. I'm simply stating that there's a method he's following, and I think that it's a sound method that not everyone recognizes. It's true that not everything that he promised has been accomplished, but a lot of it has been. And that which has been accomplished has been good for the country - even if it only meant stopping the actions of the Tea Party.

Like any other president, President Obama has to work in the real world. Given the poor state of things when he took over, and the obstruction that he's faced, both overt and covert, there's been a lot of good things happen - some of it very impressive.

There's still a lot to do, which is why we all need to get busy.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012. Pass it on.

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CARROUSEL IS A LIE!

chilidog
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The Auto Industry bailout funds started flowing in 2008 over a month before B.O. took office.
Not exactly true. I didn't know it before, but Bush did agree that some money for GM was in order in December 2008. His number was $13.4 billion. Obama escalated the bailout to $39 billion within months. I don't see how Obama doesn't deserve substantial credit for the success of the GM baillout. I haven't heard him give a single historical reference that wasn't true. He may not have initiated the bailout, but I don't think it's fair to deny him his part in it just to massage your bitterness over your disappointments.

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I was wondering how long it would be before the first minute critcism of B.O would be called Obama bashing. I am always amazed by these "personal" understandings which are put forth by his supporters in a manner that apparently is supposed to have some import for the rest of us. The problem is not Obama but the endless litany of excuses and the constant refrain of "wait until next time."

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not "wait until next time"

Quote semi permeable: I am always amazed by these "personal" understandings which are put forth by his supporters in a manner that apparently is supposed to have some import for the rest of us.

Ahh, but that's just the point. There seems to be a lot of "minute criticism" of Obama without any consideration for what the man has had to overcome to get done what he's been able to get done. So I pass on some insight I've observed by working in business in the midwest for over 30 years. I also had several black friends who have also worked in business 30+ years review the post prior to taking it live, just to verify my observations. If anything, my "excuses" are understated.

Don't just complain about what a politician is doing. Take a step back and understand why.

"Bashing" occurs when someone just constantly points out the negative. "Criticism"expands on the positive and corrects the negative. From my perspective, posts that just expound on the negatives are no better than the right wing chain e-mails that work to tear down progressive candidates in little bites.

It's an election year. We need to perpetuate the positive and push our politicians in the right direction.

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Political view said

Don't just complain about what a politician is doing. Take a step back and understand why

Semi meme responded

I heard Zizek speak about this recently. His concern is that .reality occurs in action and contextualizing the motives of individuals within their own personal "story" is a dangerous subterfuge for the truth. It may be a fine frame to use on the average human or if we were judging Obama only as a person. Instead we are really judging a presidency and a set of supposed priniciples bestowed upon him by an entire population

Politiclalview- there may indeed be much to what you have to say regarding in the context of his own individual circumstances, but for me I do not really care about that perspective. From the perspective of what is necessary to the survival of this country and what behaviors are even in the progressive ballpark are more to my concerns. I think folks are holding to the dream of Obama and the Democrats in a rather desperate and pathetic way. I am also sure there are many of you with a sophisticated political viewpoint who have much more sophisticated reasons for holding onto the dream than many others, but in my opinion the end result is the same old same old.

I have offered in previous conversations on the subject to try to outline what type of criticisms from the Obama critics are unacceptable, but have never seen any responses from Obama's supporters in regards to this. I really see no point in insisting that we recognize Obama has done some good things. What is important has been the overall picture.and sorry but that is bleak as shit IMHO.

I am really not trying to piss people off since I hate the internicine nature of this, but on the other hand, I can occasionally not keep my mouth shut on the issue

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Semi Permiable,

As I said before, he's not perfect. I don't agree with everything that he's done (or hasn't done). He's a man trying to make things happen under difficult circumstances. He has his pros and cons like any other politician. Right now, in this moment in history, President Obama is our best shot at restoring some level of a democracy to our country. Your narrow view of not caring why or how, but just getting what you want may serve you well. I prefer to take a different approach. I like the health care bill as a first step, along with other things that have been done in the last four years. Based on what I said previously, I think the level and pace of accomplishments are about to pick up.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012. Pass it on.

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Semi-p, the issue is how much 'criticism of Obama' just turns people off from activism or increases the chance of the worse triumphing. I think we need to expose the illusion of our system while working to minimize the damage to real people from the crisis we face. I give Obama failing grades in his response to the utterly failed No Child Left Behind. The Race to the Top is another failed approach, but it is not the craven pile Bush was pushing. Real support for well-funded public education is not what either party has stood for. Creatinig a public base of support for neighborhoods and child-centered education, and following the advice of people like Jonathan Kozol instead of the CEO model of Arnie Duncan would be great criticism.

Instead of making Obama the issue, push for what policies we want so it does not appear that it is just "both sides suck." Work with the Progressive Caucus instead of abandoning them. Put the electoral focus down ballot as well. Build the base instead of dividing it.

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Well said, DRC. There are very clear differences between President Obama and those running against him. If we organize our communities around the solutions we want, and band with other communities (e.g. the occupy movement), we can affect the change we want. But that change will only happen if the people receiving the message are actually willing to listen to it and make things happen accordingly. I highly doubt that any of the Republican candidates are likely to listen.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012. Pass it on.

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Quote politicalview:

There are very clear differences between President Obama and those running against him.

Not really.

The biggest difference is the federal judges, and in another thread it was shown that he didn't act in 2009 when he had the opportunity. I will be shocked if Scalia or Kennedy retire if he's reelected.

No Democrats have advocated raising taxes to anything higher than Clinton's policies. Which will come back automatically next year. If there are not 41 Democratic Senators to block more reckless tax policies, why bother even voting.

Tell me about some progressive candidates in House and Senate races this year. I will research further and contribute if I like what I see.

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Google the Progressive Caucus for a good start. I think you ought to have no trouble identifying many good ones. Peter DeFazio has been my Rep, and he gets elected in a very Purple, barely Blue, district. Fights the good fight even when it smells to high heaven. Send him your money and feel good.

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Politicalview said

Your narrow view of not caring why or how, but just getting what you want may serve you well

Semi P responded

I think you have a narrow view of my supposed narrow view. My focus is some loyality to progressive principles and an insistence that enough change occurs in this country to restore it to something approaching a democracy. So yes you are quite right that this focus does not include a close examination of Mr Obama's existential plight. But why should it? Especially when the point I made with Zizek, is placing such specific attentions may actually lead us astray from what is truly needed.

As to your seemingly rather cryptic "but just getting what you want will serve you wel.l" Now it may be that you are simply trying to imply that I am self serving without really specifying what it is that I want. What is it you are suggesting I want? I assume to disagree with Obama in any sense is a suggestion of "wanting" something else and that this is what you are referring to.

Also there is the possible suggestion from your phrase that I am not playing the negotiation or compromise game since we imagine that we actually witness the game of compromise within our political process. Sorry I am not convinced either that those in political power have a starting position that resembles the true democratic will of their constituents, or that such grossly initiated negotiations are done in a straightforward meaningful give and take manner once they begin. So to not accept the real politik and Mr Obama's positioning within in it really says nothing about my stance towards any true dialectic process IMHO

DRC I hope to get back to you on your comments

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I don't consider comparing a person's record with their statements about their record to be bashing.

I'm know I'm old, but in my day we called it being held responsible or accountable.

B.O. must have some accomplishments. Why not feature those instead of feathering falsehoods?

Dishonorable acts (like taking credit for others' accomplishments) are exactly the kind of thing that very effective counter-campaigns can use effectively in the last weeks before ballots are cast.

Do your own research (like the opposition will); be armed with independently available facts; and then rewatch B.O.'s speech to the autoworkers, which begins with what has historically been a GOP tactic - accusing others of exactly what one is about to do (trying to rewrite history).

Apologies, in advance, for any emotional turmoil you experience as a result of the partial lifting of the veil.

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Dishonorable acts (like taking credit for others' accomplishments)
I think President Obama is claiming credit for the GM bailout because he actually did it. Bush decided a couple of weeks earlier (December 19, 2008) that some help for GM was probably a good idea, and that throwing some small change at it would do the job. He thought that it was good enough to give GM a bridge loan, and that was it. (Cheney wanted to let GM fail). Hardly a fait accompli. Obama actually did the job and all the hard work. Nobody gets a prize just for thinking it was a good idea. Only the guy who actually did the job deserves credit for it. What's the big accomplishment in OKing a bridge loan?

The headline read like this "Bush Aids Detroit, but Hard Choices Wait for Obama"

From the Wall Street Journal at the time of Bush's announcement:

In essence, Mr. Bush's plan lets the auto companies survive through March. He leaves it to the Obama administration to decide many tough questions after that. Obama officials must wrestle with how much in wage and benefit concessions to demand from the United Auto Workers union, which strongly backed Mr. Obama's campaign and helped him carry Michigan over Republican rival John McCain; how to wring savings from the companies' politically powerful dealerships; and what concessions can be squeezed from debt holders, suppliers and other groups
Bush tries to protect his legacy. Obama does all the hard work. It's so like the Republicans to excoriate the other guy for doing something, then trying to take credit when it turns out to be a success.

(Interestingly, if you Google "bush gm bailout", you only start to see these claims about Bush actually being responsible for the bailout appear in right wing blogs starting about 6 weeks ago, and yet we see these pronouncements as though this is all just old history that everybody should know).

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When I read how Obama is just cleverly setting us all up for a "rockin' 2nd term," I'm reminded of this: http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/04/thank-you-arlen-specter/.

The denialism is incredible. But that's what rhetoric does. Those who are roused by rhetoric seem to confuse rhetoric with policy. They seem to think Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant really were opponents.

Campaign donations for both parties come from largely the exact same sources. There's no escaping that reality. Both parties are beholden to the same interests. And the back and forth between this party being in power and that party being in power (when actual power lies elsewhere) is a necessity within a managed democracy, as Sheldon Wolin refers to the US. It is crucial that there be an appearance of polarization. It enables plutocrats to much more easily push their agenda without having to resort to overt brute force, as seen in many other nation states run by dictators supported financially and militarily by the US Empire, whose members can then say, "see, we're a democracy, we're not like those evil regimes." See how that works? Nifty. US-backed Dictatorships

Pushing that agenda can actually be easier with someone like Clinton or Obama in office, because many of those who would ordinarily protest certain actions are silenced. They don't want to oppose the leader of their team, their pro wrestler. So, they either convince themselves that their guy is still fighting the good fight or that he's merely doing what must be done in the name of political expediency. But, make no mistake, I'm not suggesting that Obama is the problem. He's merely an actor in this drama that's been on stage for all of Empire's history. The "power" of the POTUS is vastly overstated besides. And the White House would be headquarters for Goldman Sachs regardless of the specific identy of the POTUS.

And then there's that tautology that says "we" (presumably the US population) could and should somehow push the nation back to some imagined glory days when patriotism was a virtue and income inequality (within the US) was briefly less substantial, referring to the post-WWII era. Ignoring both the impossibility of that given everything that's changed in the world and the fact that those imagined glory days were not glorious for the vast majority of the world's population, both human and otherwise. Patriotism was always nonsense.

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Patriotism was always nonsense.
That's how I feel about broad conspiracy theories. Don't forget to mention the Bilderbergs.

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Quote Art:
Patriotism was always nonsense.
That's how I feel about broad conspiracy theories. Don't forget to mention the Bilderbergs.

I feel the same way about grand conspiracies. Reality is stunning enough. Alex Jones and his ilk do a great disservice, especially when they actually start believing the crap they spew. Because of them, people start to confuse conspiracy with undeniable reality, such as the US Empire being plutocratic and heavily reliant on propaganda. I certainly don't think Sheldon Wolin, Robert Jensen, Chris Hedges, the late Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, David Korten, Richard Heinberg and the like are (or were, in the case of Zinn) grand conspiracy theorists (by the way, it's not lost on me that every person I listed is a white, American male, which itself says something about privilege). But I recognize that you and others may disagree. I also don't think any grand conspiracy is being promoted in this video: Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine

Again, I don't think Obama is the problem or the solution. I also don't think some third party warrior presents a solution. I'm anti-hierarchy and don't believe presidential politics will in any way prevent environmental and resource collapse, which will make all else irrelevant. I believe our species has to fundamentally alter the way in which we interact with one another, with every other species and with Earth itself. That's much greater in scope than a US-centric perspective that calls for a return to "better times." Since the latter, though impossible, is easier to wrap one's head around, I suspect most people would rather focus on it. But I recomend A Theory of Power as a good starting point for discussion.

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I don't believe you can help your candidate if you cannot be objective. It's fine that you have already made up your mind. In that case, you should be looking at ways to persuade those who are undecided.

Or as I suggest here, ways not to fuel the opposition's portrait of your candidate.

First of all, my printouts way pre-date anything from the last six weeks and include GAO reprts, etc.

December 19, 2008 is more than twice "a couple of weeks" before B.O. took The Oath.

The facts are not about what some people wanted, but what was done. In March 2009 B.O. declined to provide financial aid to GM and steered them toward Chapter 11. July 10, 2009 U.S. Govt. provided parcial funding for the Reorg.

Someone else called the first Loan chump-change. Well I don't consider it as such, but three-time chump change would still be chump change.

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The facts are not about what some people wanted, but what was done.
So, you're saying that George W. Bush was responsible for the success of the GM loan?

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Art said

That's how I feel about broad conspiracy theories. Don't forget to mention the Bilderbergs.

Semi replies

Art as you are probably now aware I have no respect for your hit run attacks on those who are interested the so called conspiracy theories. i am trying not to go out of my way to go after you again on this, but what can you expect when you continualy bring the subject up.

Since you mentioned the Bilderbergers what is your opinion? I assume you admitt they actually meet but it is simply a social occasion done in top secrecy?

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Being "objective" is a subject we have discussed at length elsewhere, and the answer was about the end of logical positivism and the need for an epistemology that deals with post-Newtonian reality. The idea that we can be judges who sit above the events and see what is happening apart from being in the midst of the action has been discarded for good reason. We deal with a much more interactive and pluralist complexity where 'honesty' is more important than being able to grasp the whole of reality. We cannot and should not be wanting to get out of the middle of the quantum mystery. We keep thinking alive by questioning and finding new questions where answers fail.

I find no inability of the posters here to get the ambiguities and nuances when they let go of the idea that it can all be proved. I think Dubya got tired of Cheney as the shitstorm was rising above his nose, and he has been fairly silent and withdrawn as an ex-failed President. He should have tried for Commisioner of Baseball, but that would have been too much for him too. It just wouldn't have been the Big Epitaph he knows will follow his burial. Still, the idea that money trumps peace is hard to forgive.

A new commander does not make the Deathstar Empire a force for peace. But, as with Vespasian, a reform Emperor is better than another Nero. Had Titus lived, we might even celebrate the progeny, but Domition was a reminder that too much power is not a good idea even when you get a good leader for an interim.

The ability to appreciate nuance and ambiguity matters. The ability to see the big picture and the better road to choose does as well. We need a lot more than what we have 'gives us.' Taking is not about settling for what is given.

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No. Why does everything have to be so extreme?

Baby Bush never got involved except to sign over authority to disburse TARP funds to Paulson.

What I believe is that the Auto Industry (which includes its workers and workers' organizations) are what saved their industry through their own hard work and sacrifices. If someone outside the industry gets any credit it would have to be Congress and the American taxpayer for authorizing and footing the bill for the TARP funds, which was done before B.O. took office.

B.O. gave up nothing and really didn't show up until it was clear that it was going to be a success story.

If you really want to put the kibosh on their success, keep giving B.O. all the credit so that those who want to try to damage him by assaulting his perceived successes will turn ALEC toward reducing programs that help sell their products (like tax credits for certain higher mileage, less polluting models, etc.).

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I have NO love for Obama, but as Bill Maher said on Friday night's program—even though everybody laughs at the clown car full of idiots that has been the Republican primaries, there is no guarantee that Mittens (I love that name!) won't win. It's happened before—remember 2000.

The only way that I see the possibility of hope is if Obama would quit and there would be a very popular, respected, well-funded Democratic candidate. I'm not holding my breath for that any more.

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Politicalview wrote: Those who are successful in this environment operate in much the way Obama has acted since he became President. If you understand it, you understand how smart he is, and how he has set the stage for a rockin’ second term. Genius.

poly replies: Maybe if he had to be ineffective for four years, he shouldn't have been elected. However, I see Hiillary as doing pretty much the same. I supported Obama over Hillary in the Dem. Caucus...and ended up with probably the same result. My true candidate, Kucincih, dropped out of the race by the time of the Dem. Caucus.

However, in the General Election, I voted Green Party. I voted for the policies I prefer..and lost. I'd have lost anyway, even had I voted Democratic..The only difference is, I have a clear conscience about it and no disappointment. I got exactly what I expected...a wee bit of sugar to make the bad tasting medicine go down instead of being told to buy my own.

I don't see governing to the right of Republican Pres. Eisenhower, or even the crook Nixon, as being a victory.

No one twisted Obama's arm to make him negotiate new outsourcing agreements. No one twisted his arm to make him assume for himself the title Assassinator-In-Chief though I'm certain a Pres Cheney or his ilk will love the new authority. A Presidentially proclaimed death penalty without trial or charges is the new order of the day. Constitutional scholar? Bad joke.

5 years to address global warming before its irrreversible. It Obama doesn't get some huevos and act in the next term, the party is over. He probably shouldn't have sabotaged the Global Warming Conference in Copenhagen...even to get re-elected. Consequences, for another four years in office may drastically exceed the benefits.

Supreme Court? Congress has the authority to expand its membership and over-rule the current corporatists. The number of its members is set by Congress, not by the Constitution..

He'll probably get re-elected, so at this point in time I'm more concerned about the make-up of the House and Senate. Once again after election day I'll probably say to myself, "woe is me and my poor country". Hopefully, that won't be the case. An enlightened Congress can over-rule an ineffective Pres.just as an unenlightened Congress can undermine him..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Progressives ought to be focused on House and Senate races while not giving aid and comfort to the Obama bashers running against him in the TV Charade. It is not just Democrats, it is Progressives that we need. State races matter too. Build it from the bottom up.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
what can you expect when you continualy bring the subject up . . . Since you mentioned the Bilderbergers what is your opinion?
I don't bring them up. You do. My opinion is that there are plenty of think tanks and "policy groups" in the world. From Wikipedia, here is a list of just those in the United States.

Acton Institute

[edit]N–Z

According to this article, " Members of a House of Representatives subcommittee on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of making politically motivated decisions in picking the winners and losers in the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies.". Was that a misfire? Should they have been blaming Bush?

Also, it says that some guy named "Ron Bloom, the former senior Treasury Department advisor . . . oversaw the Obama administration's involvement in GM's bankruptcy". Should that have referenced somebody in the Bush Administration?

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Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I don't bring them up. You do

Show mw where I brought it up in a thread where it was not the general topic as you did here. Did you not bring it up here?

Nice list of think tanks

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Semi permeable ...
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Nov. 10, 2011 8:36 am
Quote DRC:

Progressives ought to be focused on House and Senate races while not giving aid and comfort to the Obama bashers running against him in the TV Charade. It is not just Democrats, it is Progressives that we need. State races matter too. Build it from the bottom up.

poly replies: I agree with that. I just wish the Pres. would stop giving people so many good reasons to bash him.

They'll tie his failures to those running on the Dem ticket...even to really good candidates.. Not wise, but that's what happens.

Progressive Dems overcoming Obama's boo boo's may be their greatest challenge. Dems may win the battle and re-elect Obama, (Rep. Pres. candidates appear pretty wacky) and lose the war.with a defeat in Congress.

If they lose the war, the cause of their defeat sits in the White House.

The last Dem presidential candidate I enthusiastically supported was Jesse Jackson. After he was defeated in the 1988 Dem Convention..I ceased voting for them. The party of FDR died at that point. I'd like to see it resurrected.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Let's try to get back on topic, and thanks Polycarp2 for heading us in that direction.

I just spent the last two days with my head inside my laptop fixing a motherboard issue. Let me make a couple of comments on what I've read since I was last here.

What I call "bashing" is when anyone makes blanket negative statements without acknowledging the positive. To say that Obama has had no accomplishments is incredibly erroneous, and holds no intent to hold him accountable. Sure, not everything has been a success, and we would sure would have liked for him to accomplish more, but give the man credit for what he's accomplished, and let's get together and push him toward getting the rest done.

If you think that there's no difference between the political parties, you are mistaken. Have we already forgotten what it was like under W? Sure, the political climate hasn't gotten to where we would like it, but it's now moving in the right direction. It's absurd that in today's political climate Nixon would be considered a liberal and Eisnehower would be considered a socialist. But I happen to believe that gradual change tends to hold longer than sudden, immediate change.

President Obama, like the rest of us, has to deal in the real world. The point of my original post is that, had Obama been Warren Buffet he could have come in and forced things down Washington's political throat in much the same way as FDR. Since he's not a rich white guy, Obama had to earn the trust of the white population. It wasn't a "wait for a great second term" strategy. It was just a political necessity.

I'm not trying to be an apologist or make excuses for the guy. This is just how I see things going down right now. One thing's for sure. DRC is right about putting the focus on Congress. If progressives don't hold a supermajority in the Senate and a majority in the House, then we're going to spend another four years being very frustrated with our government.

Remember... Pelosi sent more than 200 bills to the Senate that were blocked by Republican fillibuster. We'd be having a very different conversation right now if those bills had made it to the President's desk.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012. Pass it on.

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politicalview
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Politcalview said

Sure, the political climate hasn't gotten to where we would like it, but it's now moving in the right direction.

I assume you mean we are sliding towards oblivion at a slower rate

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I remember a time when a Dem Presidential candidate said something to the effect, "We Dems don't go along just to get along".The candidate was Jesse Jackson.

That's pretty much the opposite of what Dems do today. They are complicit in the disolution of the middle class..

The outsourcing king and the first pres. to openly urge a disolving of the social safety net was a Democrat. Bill Clinton. .Reagan's ideas were put on steroids. Obama is taking pills from the same bottle. He urges bringing jobs home with one side of his mouth, and negotiates new outsourcing agreements with the other, etc., etc., etc..

Thom oftens plays speeches of FDR on his show. Jackson's speeches at the 1984 and 1988 Dem conventions were just as rousing and truth-telling.

Videos of them are available on You Tube for those interested in seeing what the Dem Party used to stand for.

The party promoted hope and change. So do Republicans. Political parties do that. However, Dems used to pinpoint the problems and offer solutions for what had to be changed. It wasn't empty rhetoric that said nothing and meant nothing.

FDR wasn't an empty wind bag who happened to have a silver tongue..

"Change you can believe in". Just exactly what is that?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

When you tack against the wind, it appears that you're going the wrong direction, but you're actually using the strength of the wind in your face to go against it.

N-O-R. Not One Republican, 2012. Pass it on.

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politicalview
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

My own preference would be not one Dem or one Republican in 2012. However, I hold a minority viewpoint.

A plague on both their houses isn't realistic at this point in time. The option seems to be, remove the current plague from at least one of them.

politicalview wrote: When you tack against the wind, it appears that you're going the wrong direction, but you're actually using the strength of the wind in your face to go against it.

poly replies: It's easier to ride a horse in the direction it's going. We seem to be doing that. .It's the cliff at the end of the road concerns me. It seems to me, a wise man would jump off the horse if he can't turn it around..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Developmental theory charts the move from childhood to adolescence as the doubting of received truth and order. Parents stop being gods and become flawed human beings. Santa either becomes a damn lie or a benevolent myth. Answers evaporate along with the received truth and discipline. The next stage requires dealing with unanswered questions and flawed authorities. It takes imagination to affirm what is worth embracing and rejecting what must be opposed.

The other relevant dynamic is the fact that maturity is not the end of a journey, only the end of the beginning of it. Moving from the Me the imagination focuses on to the WE of integrated selves in community and mutuality is what it takes to escape the Libertarian Fantasy that there is purity in "correctness." Freedom is not free of other people. Being Somebody has to be being with a lot of other Somebodies. Politics is not about "me," it is about how I intereact and identify with other real human beings.

I have to care about them as much as I care about myself. If Obama were "my President" and fulfilled all my wishes, it would be either a miracle or a moment of intense narcissistic fantasy. Why could we expect any President we elected at the end of the Bush/Cheney regime to be the solution is what we need to face. That we want more is great. But it is only great if it makes the commitment stronger instead of making disappointment and utopianism the mark of a True Progressive.

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DRC
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I'm one of those flawed human beings who tend to opt for utopia". A planet that works for everyone. rather than a few. If that isn't utopia, what is?

If we don't have a planet that works for everyone, we'll soon have one that works for no one..The merging of economic, resource and environmental collapse will see to it. Time is short. Not a whole lot of time left to play the usual political games.

JTwo examples:. If global warming isn't reversed in the next presidential term, it's irreversible. Party over.

Energy resource collapse in ten years. We'll either convert to renewables before that, or the party is over.

Univ. of Colo. lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY

Not a whole lot of time left to play political games.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Not wanting to use or participate in a dehumanizing system in order to alter said system is not synonymous with utopianism.

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 9:20 am
Quote Garrett78:

Not wanting to use or participate in a dehumanizing system in order to alter said system is not synonymous with utopianism.

poly replies: Use it. Just remember the urgency in altering it quickly.There isn't a whole lot of time left for the usual political games. Attend your party caucus and raise hell. I'll be at one tomorrow.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Alter thing A with thing A just doesn't seem too sensible to me.

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 9:20 am

Garrett wrote: Alter thing A with thing A just doesn't seem too sensible to me.

poly replies: Can a human being alter its body by going to a gym? All it needs is the information and the will to do it. It uses the body to make the alteration of the body.That doesn't mean it's easy. It takes concerted effort.

I do have a plan B. I'm moving in with my nephew next month to teach him gardening. I can grow edibles anywhere as long as there is access to water and the ground isn't covered in ice. I suppose that's why I was the monastery's chief gardener.

My primary personal concern is the well-being of those I'm personally involved with. At my age, I won't be personally effected much if things aren't quickly reversed.. I won't be here for the worst of it. My life expectancy is pretty much done. I'm fine with that as long as I know those I care for will be o.k.

Once people are exposed to the data, they get it unless it makes them so uncomfortable they plunge into denial. That's true for the man in the street or for those at the highest levels of society. Some of my relatives get it. Some don't.

My own sense is, if people didn't go into denial of the consequences of the direction we are going,, things would change rather quickly. Reliance on fossil fuels, for example, would end within a decade. Industrialized agriculture would be a foot note in a history book. Data shows that even in the short-term, it's unsustainable. .

Hope and denial often seem preferable to reality. The bliss of ignorance isn't long-lasting.

Plan A is to work within the system to quickly alter it. Plan B is preparation in the event Plan A fails..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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When Eric Holder eventually steps down as Attorney General, he will leave behind a complicated legacy, some of it tragic, like his decision not to prosecute Wall Street after the financial crisis, and his all-out war on whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.

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