Progressive alternatives to Obama

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Postby Faramond » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:03 am

That's quite a time-delayed double-post, Cerin. How did you manage it?
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Postby Cerin » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:46 am

I didn't amplify on my previous statement because it didn't seem necessary. But perhaps it's not as obvious as I'd thought.

The only way to assess how good a guess is, is to compare it to what eventually transpires. In the case of 'what would Clinton have done if she'd been elected President in 2008', we'll never know; since we'll never know, we can't evaluate the guesses; since we can't evaluate the guesses, one is as good as the next -- which is to say, they are all but vain conceits (or, as I said previously, etc.).
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Postby Faramond » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:19 am

It is not obvious to me; I don't even think it is correct.

The error in your proof is here: since we'll never know, we can't evaluate the guesses.

Evaluation does not require certainty. If one does require certainty for evaluation then the scope of questions one may consider are very narrow. We have to evaluate how people will likely act all the time, otherwise how could we vote? The discussions in this forum routinely require evaluation that cannot be backed by certainty. I am very much in favor of people remembering how much uncertainty there really is in what will happen, but what you say goes too far in the other direction.

Of course, there are plenty of counterfactuals to the claim that one guess is as good as another. The guess that Clinton would have supported legislation to privatize Medicare as President is surely worse than a guess that she would have supported universal health care as President.
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Postby basil » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:59 am

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/ ... essuring-n

New York's AG Schneiderman is opposing the quick and cheap penalties against banks for their mortgage crimes and is doing a more thorough investigation.

BO and the WH are after him for doing that.

I think I have found something Obama is a "Fierce Advocate" for.

Da Bankstas.

b
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Postby Cerin » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:23 pm

Faramond wrote:Evaluation does not require certainty. If one does require certainty for evaluation then the scope of questions one may consider are very narrow. We have to evaluate how people will likely act all the time, otherwise how could we vote?

I don't say we need certainty for evaluation; I say, we need a reality by which to determine the accuracy of a guess. If we don't have such a reality, then there is no factual case to be made that one guess is better than the next. Our evaluation of such guesses will simply mirror our related opinions. It is a useless exercise (imo).
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Postby Faramond » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:24 pm

Cerin wrote:
Faramond wrote:Evaluation does not require certainty. If one does require certainty for evaluation then the scope of questions one may consider are very narrow. We have to evaluate how people will likely act all the time, otherwise how could we vote?

I don't say we need certainty for evaluation; I say, we need a reality by which to determine the accuracy of a guess. If we don't have such a reality, then there is no factual case to be made that one guess is better than the next. Our evaluation of such guesses will simply mirror our related opinions. It is a useless exercise (imo).


The reality you use to determine the accuracy of the guess is the record of what Clinton has done and what she has said she would do if she was President. We are dealing with a hypothetical, yes, because Clinton has not been President these past four years, and yet a moment's thought will confirm that one guess as to what she would have done can indeed be far better than another guess, based on the reality of her history.

Gandalf's Mother already said it: we certainly have enough information about her, her beliefs and past record, to offer educated guesses as to how she might have acted.

If you are going to disparage those educated guesses ( based on the reality of her history ) then it appears to me you really do want certainty.
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Postby Cerin » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Faramond wrote:If you are going to disparage those educated guesses (based on the reality of her history ) then it appears to me you really do want certainty.

Certainty doesn't seem to me to be the correct concept here.

There is no set reality of Mrs. Clinton's history, there are only our subjective individual analyses of the reality of Mrs. Clinton's history, which yield a huge variety of opinions on her character and ability, which in turn yield our various speculations about how she would have performed if elected President in 2008. Without an actuality (Mrs. Clinton as President) to assess our guesses against, there can be no determination of how accurate they are. It is a futile exercise. Our assessments of guesses will simply reflect our opinions about Mrs. Clinton. So for example, those whose interpretations of Mrs. Clinton's history lead them to despise her, and whose interpretations of Mr. Obama's history lead them to admire him, will probably conjecture that she would not have been as successful as they judge him to have been; those who share those assessments of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama will evaluate those guesses as good, and those who hold starkly different opinions about those two individuals and their history will assess those guesses as poor. This is nothing but a waste of everyone's time, imo (perhaps others would find it sufficiently amusing to be worthwhile?).

So yes, in the matter of guessing, I require an eventual actuality to compare guesses to, in order to render the exercise worthwhile, of guessing and evaluating guesses. Absent such an actuality (what I think you are calling certainty) I disparage all educated guesses equally; that is to say, one is as good as the next because they are all worthless, in my estimation, as is any speculation about something that might have been but wasn't.

On the other hand, a guessing game about what kind of President Rick Perry might be based on his history and performance in office would not be as futile at this point, since there is some possibility of comparing those guesses to a future reality.
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Postby Faramond » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:59 am

And yet, Cerin, after all that there is still a simple counter-example to your claims.

"Hillary Clinton as president would have supported signing Universal Health Care" is a far better guess than "Hillary Clinton as President would have fought against Universal Health Care".

Do you think this is wrong?

One does not need a "potential actuality" to see this is true. For every candidate for President ( even Obama ) we must make these kinds of assessments, these kinds of guesses, about how they would perform in the future. ( And Hillary Clinton may yet be President. ) Why should it matter that for just one of the candidates the guesses might be proved or disproved later? The choice for all of them must be made now, well before any guesses can be verified. By the time the guess can be evaluted against reality it is too late to do much good -- the vote has already happened.

And the guesses for all but one candidate will be a waste of time by your standards, since those others will not be President. So what if they might be right now? Unless you stick to evaluating just one candidate who you are sure will become President, you are wasting your time.
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Postby Cerin » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:30 am

Faramond wrote:"Hillary Clinton as president would have supported signing Universal Health Care" is a far better guess than "Hillary Clinton as President would have fought against Universal Health Care".

Do you think this is wrong?

Yes, I think this is wrong. Either guess is so far improvable, in my opinion, as to be worthless speculation, because there are so many variables that would have been immediately different with Clinton (or anyone else) taking charge instead of Obama. I believe you have to imagine a different Presidency in its entirety, not artifically plugging a different person into Obama's Presidency at any given point. Worthless, worthless, worthless. Useless. Futile. A waste of time and energy.


For every candidate for President ( even Obama ) we must make these kinds of assessments, these kinds of guesses, about how they would perform in the future.

Yes, we must make them for candidates. We needn't make them to construct imaginings of what failed candidates would have done differently had they been elected!


( And Hillary Clinton may yet be President. )

I very much doubt it, though I allow the miniscule possibility for discussion purposes. And I would have no objections to an exercise of guessing how Clinton might perform as President in 2012, were she to become a candidate. It would be an important exercise. However, she will never now become President in 2008, and cope with that set of problems at that moment in time; we will never know what kind of President she would have been then (more's the pity), and our guesses are beyond the means of testing. That's the exercise I'm objecting to here, for its utter futility.


Why should it matter that for just one of the candidates the guesses might be proved or disproved later? The choice for all of them must be made now, well before any guesses can be verified.

It doesn't matter that for just one of the candidates, the guesses might be proved or disproved later. I'm not objecting to people speculating about how candidates for future office might perform in those offices. Indeed, I agree it is a necessary process. That wasn't the question put forward, to which I raised my objections.


And the guesses for all but one candidate will be a waste of time by your standards, since those others will not be President.

No, that isn't what I've said. I've agreed it would not be a waste of time to speculate about how people might perform as President, who are offering themselves for that position. I don't think it's a waste of time to speculate about what might yet be! I think it's a waste of time to speculate about what might have been, but wasn't.
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Postby Faramond » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:40 pm

Either guess is so far improvable


So your standard is provability, or having a means to test the guess. And yet later you waive this standard for all the candidates for president who will never be president. Why is not the speculation of what they would do as President also worthless? I think you have not explored the full implications of the standard of provablility.

A benefit of speculation of what someone would have done as President is that we actually know what happened in those years. This actually makes such speculation easier. Future speculation is actually much more uncertain at the time of speculation because we don't know what events will occur during the Presidency. Even when accounting for the truth that a President does shape events, the uncertainty is still much greater for future speculation.

The value of asking what Hillary Clinton would have done as President is to create a kind of control case against which to judge President Obama. She was the primary Democratic alternative. ( John Edwards? ;) ) So for those who think Obama has been so terrible, or so great, the question is how would a realistic alternative have done. And I know what you will say: we can't know how someone else would have done. But we can put a probability boundary around how someone else would have done, those of us who are willing step away from strict "provability" and look at political record and policy positions. This is not worthless to us. It helps us evaluate President Obama and make decisions for the future. It is not just an exercise for "amusement", as you have impolitely suggested.

People must often speculate on that which may later never be proven. It happens all the time. It's how we should vote, as I've mentioned before. Bernie Sanders will never be president. Does that mean people who speculate on what he would be like as President are engaging in worthless behavior? For example, as Presdient, Sanders will cut military spending drastically. This is a common method of candidate advocacy, this kind of future speculation. And it is improvable. But maybe by making a case for Sanders now they pave the way for someone like him to be President 20 years from now. This position you have adopted is completely at odds with how people talk about politics, about how they come to decisions.

Cerin when introducing a linked article wrote:The focus is on disgruntled former Hillary supporters wistfully thinking about how much tougher she would have been.


Why would you link to a piece with this kind of focus if you consider speculation on what Hillary would have done worthless?

You introduced this topic, Cerin. Then Gandalf's Mother replies to the idea you introduced into the thread, and you retreat into your current stance that all such speculation is worthless, even to the point of repeating a post verbatim. ( I think this kind of reply is disrespectful. ) Why did you link to a piece with speculation on how tough Hillary Clinton would have been as President?
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Postby Cerin » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:49 pm

Faramond wrote:Why is not the speculation of what they would do as President also worthless?

Because the speculation is engaged in while the possibility of their being President exists. It's the difference between 'would have been' and 'could be', between the irrevocable past and the yet to be determined future.


A benefit of speculation of what someone would have done as President is that we actually know what happened in those years. This actually makes such speculation easier.

No, it makes it more futile, because it is utterly artificial. We know what happened with one person as President. Any number of things would have been different with someone else as President -- choosing different staff, adopting different priorities, establishing a different dynamic with the Congress, presenting a different face to the world. It is hopeless, and so I say it is pointless, to conjecture about what might have been, because an undefinable set of things would have been altered.


Even when accounting for the truth that a President does shape events, the uncertainty is still much greater for future speculation.

Yes, of course, because the future hasn't happened yet. That's why speculating about it makes sense. It makes no sense to speculate about what has already happened. I find the whole notion absurd. I would have thought everyone would, but I see that I was mistaken in that assumption.


But we can put a probability boundary around how someone else would have done, those of us who are willing step away from strict "provability" and look at political record and policy positions. This is not worthless to us. It helps us evaluate President Obama and make decisions for the future. It is not just an exercise for "amusement", as you have impolitely suggested.

My suggestion wasn't impolite. That is the only value I can see. However, I'm willing to accept that you see a value there that I do not recognize.


People must often speculate on that which may later never be proven. It happens all the time.

I agree. That is not what I have been talking about. I have been talking about people speculating about the past -- what someone would have done had such and such occurred. I see no value in such speculation. None whatsoever, except an occasion to reiterate individual assumptions and prejudices.


It's how we should vote, as I've mentioned before.

And I agree with you, as I've mentioned before.


Bernie Sanders will never be president. Does that mean people who speculate on what he would be like as President are engaging in worthless behavior?

I wouldn't tend to engage in such speculation about someone who isn't running for President; I would see no reason to do so. I might have a wistful passing thought about how nice it would be to have a President like so and so, but I doubt I would actively conjecture in specifics. However, speculating about even unlikely future events does not seem worthless in the same way as does speculating about what would have happened in the past if such and such had been different. At least when speculating about the future, we have a current shared reality upon which to base our speculations. When speculating about the past, there is no set reality, because one alteration of the past would change an infinite number of other things in the past. There is no solid ground.


For example, as Presdient, Sanders will cut military spending drastically.

I think the Congress determines the military budget . But as you've said, Sanders will not be President, he is not seeking to be President. Knowing that removes any incentive for me to consider the question. If others wish to speculate about something that will never be, that's up to them, of course.


This is a common method of candidate advocacy, this kind of future speculation.

Sanders has made it pretty clear he is not going to be a Presidential candidate. He is campaigning to hold his Senate seat. I'm not sure it is common for people to speculate about what someone would do as President, who is clearly not going to run for President.


This position you have adopted is completely at odds with how people talk about politics, about how they come to decisions.

No, this position you have postulated is at odds, etc. The position I've adopted is that conjecturing about what might have been is useless. It is you who are trying to broaden the scope of my comments to include speculation about the future. I have said, I think speculation about the past, and what might have been, is worthless. I have explicitly stated that I do not think speculation about the future is worthless. That is your idea, not mine. Stop trying to attribute it to me.


Why would you link to a piece with this kind of focus if you consider speculation on what Hillary would have done worthless?

I explained why I was linking to the article (in part because I didn't want anyone mistakenly assuming that I subscribe to such useless speculations myself). I explained that what interested me about the article were the personal anecdotes about a spreading brush fire of discontent, and my hope that it was true, and that it would lead the President to an epiphany (ha, ha). This is what I said (emphasis added):

Cerin wrote:This is an anecdotal piece from the Daily Beast, about growing disgust with Obama among Democrats. The focus is on disgruntled former Hillary supporters wistfully thinking about how much tougher she would have been. What interests me, if the writer is correct in likening the discontent to a growing brush fire, is the possibility that Mr. Obama will realize how thoroughly he has failed the country and announce that he won't seek a second term, leaving the way open for someone willing to lead. It mentions secondhand that even members of his administration are aghast at his failure of leadership.

DailyBeast


As I thought about this, I was recalling Pres. Johnson's televised speech announcing that he would not seek reelection. I looked up the text of the speech, not remembering much about it, and was shocked by what it shows about the degradation that has taken place in our national character in that time. Can anyone imagine this President bothering to speak to the nation in such detail about our present conflicts, which seem practically forgotten domestically until something dramatic happens, like the recent SEAL team deaths? Can anyone imagine a political leader speaking with this humility, sincerity and complexity today? Johnson was a man driven all his life by his fierce political ambition; he devoted his whole life to politics, yet in the end he laid aside the Presidency. Maybe it will happen again? (One can dream.)

Johnsonspeech



I think this kind of reply is disrespectful.

And I have explained why I repeated my first reply verbatim. Clearly, I was mistaken in my assumption that the uselessness of speculating about the past is obvious to everyone.
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Postby Faramond » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:55 am

Cerin, the distinction you are making is artificial and at odds with how most people discuss politics. A thought experiment about what the past may have been like with a change of variable does have value to many people, whether you can see it or not. It can help frame the present and the future. It is true that such speculation is ultimately unverifiable, and should be used with caution, but that does not make it worthless. The contemplation of how a person's character and beliefs would have interacted with a specific set of circumstances can have great value to understanding how that person would do in differenct circumstances, or to judging how the original person did in those circumstances.

Whatever point you thought you were making with your initial post bringing in what Hillary would have been as President, some posters naturally responded to that aspect of your post. At this point it was in play. GM made a very astute analysis of what Hillary would have been like as President based on things we know about her, and your response was not substantive and did not advance the conversation. A substantive response would have cited facts or interpretations of Hillary Clintons political actions and positions, instead of stubbornly denying the whole premise.

If you feel you must make the same point twice in a row, at least elaborate the second time. Don't assume your point is obvious.

I have no doubt you will carve up this post as well, but I have said all that I need to say about this.
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Postby SeverusSnape » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:17 am

Please move on.

Thank you,

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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:32 am

Well, whatever you think of President Obama, he's read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings!

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2011/08 ... goes-geek/

-GM
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Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:52 am

It's a shame Pat Paulsen is no longer with us, or perhaps he could run. :wink:
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:12 am

Looks like his son Monty may be throwing his hat in the ring:

http://www.paulsen.com/pat/2008/the-pau ... s/#more-67

In any event, I am rather thrilled that President Obama has publicly declared himself a Tolkien geek.

-GM
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Postby Democritus » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:19 am

Gandalf'sMother wrote:Looks like his son Monty may be throwing his hat in the ring:

http://www.paulsen.com/pat/2008/the-pau ... s/#more-67

In any event, I am rather thrilled that President Obama has publicly declared himself a Tolkien geek.

-GM


Clearly a man of taste and discernment. :wink:
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Postby basil » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:43 pm

More and more I see things like this

http://juanitajean.com/2011/09/03/dear-mr-president/

Dear Mr. President,

September 03, 2011 By: Juanita Jean



I love you. I voted for you. I worked for you. I believe in you.

The reason I supported you over Hillary Clinton in the primary is that Hillary was unsuccessful in getting health care for all Americans, and then she quit the fight for the next seven years. She dropped it. I want someone who will fight for me. And even when they lose, they will get up and fight again. I believed you would do that.

Fight, Mr. President. Fight for us.

For the past decade, we have tried it their way. The Bush tax cuts do not create jobs. All the cards are on the table face up, Mr. President, so nobody should have a problem seeing that. Tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs. Well, except for former Republican Senator Phil Gramm who is helping them hide their money in tax havens overseas.

It didn’t work for Hebert Hoover and it’s not working for you.

Since the rich did not create jobs with their windfall profits, we can. Put the tax rate back to what they paid under Bill Clinton and start rebuilding this country. People need jobs and, frankly, they don’t care if their paycheck comes from Joe’s Pavement Company or the United States of America. We still have buildings, walking trails, state parks, bridges and schools built by the WPA. They stand today as tribute to a man who fought for America and Americans, Franklin Roosevelt.

The Republican Party has made it clear that they are willing to destroy this country to get elected. Please prove the opposite, Mr. President. Simply say, “I do not care if I am not re-elected. I will save this country.” I know you believe that. We need you to act on it. Now.

When I read yesterday that you had ditched the EPA’s smog standards, I cried. I am on supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day. Yes, I smoked for 20 years like you and John Boehner. But, I also grew up in the heart of the petrochemical industry and now live 5 miles from the largest coal burning plant in America. There are days that I cannot go outside because the ozone levels are unsafe for even healthy people.

But, I did not cry for me. Hell, I’m old. I smoked. I knew I lived in foul air. I cried for the children on the playground, who have become victims of a profit line. We are no better than a third world country. We need you to fight for our children’s lungs.

You have an opportunity to save this country before Grover Norquist drags it to the bathtub to drown it. Tell them how the cow ate the cabbage and dare them to stall, play games, filibuster, or tell the unemployed to stuff it. I know you can stand up to John Boehner and Eric Cantor. I’d just like to see it.

I know your political consultants are telling you some horsehockey that the American people are tired of fighting in Washington. Are they also telling you that your base is tired of getting beat? Didn’t you hear that loud and clear in 2010? We didn’t lose, Mr. President, we stayed at home because we were tired of having sand kicked in our faces and taking it. We need you to muscle up, Sir.

I also know that your consultants are telling you that your base will still vote for you because they cannot vote for Rick Perry. It breaks my heart that the Democratic Party has become that cynical. Has our ethical baseline fallen that low? Worse yet, it is unimaginable and horrifying that the United States of America is governed with that philosophy.

Like the deadbeat dad Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, I will be watching your speech on tv next Thursday night. It seems to me that you can either speak to him or speak to me, but Mr. President, you cannot speak to both of us.

The Republican Party has boxed you in so that you cannot govern as a Democrat anymore. It seems to me that you have two choices: you can accept that you will spend 6 more years capitulating to them or, you can take the training wheels off the bicycle and put the petal to metal by learning from Harry Truman that you can fight against a reactionary Congress and give the American people a choice, not an echo.

And if you cannot bring yourself to fight for us, if you do not have the stomach for a battle, that is understandable. But step aside and give your base an opportunity to elect the champion we so desperately need.

We will always love you, Mr. President, but your base is weary. Lift us up.

Sincerely and humbly yours,
Susan D Bankston
Richmond, Texas

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Postby The Heretic » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:08 pm

basil wrote:More and more I see things like this

http://juanitajean.com/2011/09/03/dear-mr-president/

Tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs. Well, except for former Republican Senator Phil Gramm who is helping them hide their money in tax havens overseas.

It didn’t work for Hebert Hoover and it’s not working for you.

Jaunita Jean is suggesting the president not do what Hoover did, which is good advice.
But what Jaunita Jean should know, but does not, is that what Hoover did was not cut taxes.
Hoover raised taxes, increased spending and regulation.
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Postby Cerin » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:09 am

According to this article from Democracy Now, a former mayor of Salt Lake City has registered a new party (Justice Party) with the Federal Election Commission, with the intent to run for President. The summary article is followed by selected quotes from an interview with the candidate:

Ex-Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson, Former Democrat, Launches Third Party Presidential Bid Against Obama, GOP

A new political party has entered the fray as an alternative to Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2012 elections. On Monday, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced he will run for president with the newly formed Justice Party. Although hailing from a solidly red state, Anderson has been known as one of the most progressive mayors of any major U.S. city in recent years. During his two mayoral terms from 2000 to 2008, Anderson was an outspoken champion of LGBT rights, environmental sustainability, and the antiwar movement in opposition to the Iraq War. Vowing to fight the influence of money over politics, Anderson kicked off his campaign on Monday with a pledge to limit individual donations to $100 a person. Anderson and the Justice Party say they hope to build a grassroots movement heading into the November 2012 elections. "We launched the Justice Party because the entire system is so corrupt," Anderson says. "It’s so diseased. We know that the public interest is not being served by anyone in the system right now, particularly the two dominant parties who have sustained this corrupt system and who are sustained by it."


--------------------------------------------------


Rocky Anderson: Well, actually, I consider this a second party. The Republican-Democratic parties have—although they’re at an impasse, much to the detriment of the American people, on some issues, they really, through their collusion, have brought this country to its knees economically. Without the Democrats colluding with the Republicans, we would not have engaged in an illegal, aggressive war against Iraq. We’ve seen Democrats and Republicans together granting retroactive immunity to the telecom companies. Then-Senator Obama promised this nation, before the primary, before he won the Democratic primary for the presidency, that he would join a filibuster against telecom company immunity. And then, as soon as he won the nomination, of course, he not only didn’t—he didn’t back off—only back off on his promise to join a filibuster, he voted for the legislation. Who in this country gets Congress to grant them retroactive immunity for committing clearly felonious acts?

And then, now we see the same thing. He comes into office, and he says, "Let’s look forward, not backwards," when it comes to war criminals, people who have engaged in torture, clearly in violation not only of international law, but domestic law. So, we have this two-tiered system of government. Not only a two-tiered system in terms of our economy, with very few privileged people cleaning up while the rest of us are suffering in so many dramatic ways because of the economic upheaval, but we have this special class of people who aren’t even held accountable under the law. And all three branches of government are part of this. The courts allow the executive branch to come in, and they dismiss cases on the basis of the subversive state secrets doctrine, where the executive branch gets to determine whether these cases go forward—victims of torture, people who are challenging illegal surveillance programs by the government. Amy, this is unprecedented in this nation and so completely contrary to the notion of an equal justice system.

Amy Goodman: President Obama delivered a widely discussed speech in Kansas last week that many saw as an overture to the Occupy movement and its opposition to corporate dominance of the U.S. economy. In what was widely described as a preview of his re-election campaign, Obama positioned himself as a defender of working-class Americans versus Republicans who favor the wealthy.

President Barack Obama: There are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: we are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules. I am here to say they are wrong.

Amy Goodman: That was President Obama. Former Salt Lake City mayor, now presidential candidate, Rocky Anderson, your response?

Rocky Anderson: Well, it’s total hypocrisy. President Obama received more money from Wall Street than any other candidate has ever received in a presidential or any other election campaign. And he surrounded himself with all these alumni from Goldman Sachs. Not one person, Amy, has spent one day in prison as a result of the massive financial fraud that we know took place by these Wall Street firms, and the people that work for them, that did so much damage to the American people. All any of us have to do is look at our pension plans, our 401(k) accounts, and we can see the direct impacts of this economic disaster, brought to us through, by and large, these criminal acts committed by these Wall Street firms and their employees. And not one of them has been brought to justice under the Obama administration.

When they make these campaign contributions, they get a very good return on their investment. But it’s no different, really, than the polluting industries making their campaign contributions, and then the EPA wanting to impose more strict ozone standards, and President Obama basically vetoing the EPA. We know that’s not in the public interest. President Obama has to know that’s not in the public interest. He’s serving the interest of those polluting industries. That’s why we don’t have real healthcare reform in this country. We’d have a universal healthcare system like the rest—every other nation in the industrialized world, were it not for the corrupting influence of the money flowing in from the medical insurance industry. So, that’s what—the failure, in terms of every major public policy issue, to serve the public interest can be attributed to that corrupting influence of money. Just follow the money, and you’ll see why Congress and the White House are pursuing these policies that are so inimical to the interest of the American people.

Amy Goodman: We recently ran a headline that shows President Obama continues to pull in huge donations from the financial sector, with more money from Wall Street this year than all other Republican presidential candidates combined. According to the Washington Post, he raised a total of $15.6 million from banks and other financial firms, with nearly $12 million of that going to the Democratic National Committee. Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has raised less than half that much from Wall Street, around seven-and-a-half million. A top banking executive and Obama fundraiser told the Washington Post reports of Wall Street antagonism toward Obama "are exaggerated and overblown ... [but] it probably helps from a political perspective if he’s not seen as a Wall Street guy." Rocky Anderson, that was from October.

Rocky Anderson: Well, and it’s been evident from the very beginning that as long as people are not being held accountable under the law, as long as there are not sanctions, as long as we continue having banks that are considered by these regulators, who, by the way, are these Wall Street alumni who end up going back to Wall Street and raking in millions of dollars—but when they get to decide that these banks are too large to fail, we’re just setting ourselves up for another major economic disaster. We need a party. We need candidates. We need people in public office who are pledged not to just represent the people’s interest in the same system, but to change the system and get the corrupting influence of corporate and other concentrated wealth out of our electoral system and out of our system of governance.

Amy Goodman: So what does it mean to run for president exactly? I mean, specifically, technically, practically, what are you going to do around the country? How is your name registered? How is the Justice Party registered? How did you even come up with the name of the Justice Party?

Rocky Anderson: Well, I registered with the Federal Election Commission, the Justice Party. And we did a lot of vetting over the name, probably took too long to do that, but we got a lot of input from all over the country. And it seemed that the notion of justice—economic justice, social justice, environmental justice—that’s what the people in this country want. They want an equal playing field. They want the laws to apply to everyone equally. And they don’t want our Congress and our president simply serving the interests of the economic aristocracy in this country any longer.

Amy, there is a greater economic disparity between the very wealthy and the rest of us in this country, greater than at any time since the 1920s. And we need to get things back to the point where we’re building up a strong middle class. You know, when you hear about Newt Gingrich proposing that we give these massive tax favors, once again, to the very wealthiest, and not giving a break to the middle class and the poor in this country, that—it’s an obscenity. The loss of revenues from the Bush tax cuts, which have been perpetuated now both between the Republican and Democratic parties, it’s been devastating to our economy. It’s been devastating to our budget. And the next generation—it’s like we’ve taken out this credit card in the name of our children and just ran it up recklessly, not bringing in the revenues to help pay it down. We’re paying more in interest payments—total waste—more in interest payments every year on the accumulated debt than it takes to run 13 departments of the federal government. We can do much better than this as a country. And we, as a people, need to understand, we can do this from the bottom up.

<snip>

So, what does it mean to run for president? We’re going to do this very differently. It’s going to be through a grassroots movement. We’re going to use social media. If other nations can carry on their revolutions and bring in a complete change of government through that kind of grassroots organizing and use of social media, how democratizing, how amazing is that? Those are the kinds of things we’re going to be doing. And we’ll show that that’s how we can win elections, by appealing to the people on the streets, people who are impacted every single day by this failure in terms of public policy at both the congressional level and in the White House.



democracy now
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Postby vison » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:18 pm

A new Ralph Nader emerges. Or Ross Perot.

Pointless.
GM is alive.

Osama bin Laden is dead.
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Postby basil » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:59 pm

President Rocky? :rofl:

But really, I would have a President Spiderman if it meant getting the country back on line and in the right direction. And I know enough of Anderson through some interviews he did on shows like Maddow's. Buddy Roemer from LA also looks interesting.

President Buddy? :rofl:

Obama is extremely fortunate in having the type of opposition he's likely to see next year. Nobody likes any of them, not even their supporters. ( Obviously, I do exaggerate a bit here. :) )

But Obama's nitty-gritty activist base that helped with getting the vote out for him is shaky too. Reading stories on leftie sites around the web I see comments that tear into him stem to stern. At best, a great deal of disappointment, a sense of betrayal.

And the criticism is not just from the activist base:

http://www.americablog.com/2011/12/hill ... ma-as.html

The Hill: Dem lawmaker blasts Obama as "arrogant, alienating"

By Gaius Publius on 12/13/2011 09:30:00 PM

Here's Democratic House member Dennis Cardoza (CA) writing in
The Hill:

After observing President Obama for the last three years, it has become obvious to me that the president might prefer to be a university professor rather than do the job he holds today. While he might not realize that he feels this way, the evidence is very clear to those who work with or watch him closely. ...

In the president’s first year in office, his administration suffered from what I call “idea disease.” Every week, and sometimes almost every day, the administration rolled out a new program for the country. There was no obvious prioritization and, after the rollout, very little effort to actually pass the latest idea/imperative/plan/edict. ... This lack of focus also made it easy for congressional Republicans to stall and foil many of President Obama’s best initiatives — which they did with relish!

Early in his administration, President/Professor Obama repeatedly referred to “teaching moments.” He would admonish staff, members of Congress and the public, in speeches and in private, about what they could learn from him. Rather than the ideological or corrupt “I’m above the law” attitudes of some past administrations, President Obama projected an arrogant “I’m right, you’re wrong” demeanor that alienated many potential allies. Furthermore, the president concentrated power within the White House, leaving Cabinet members with no other option but to dutifully carry out policies with which they had limited input in crafting and might very well disagree. From my experience, this was especially true in the environmental, resources, housing and employment areas. Not by coincidence, these areas have also been responsible for much of the president’s harshest critiques.



He adds that Obama's "'arms-length' attitude" has cost him much, both in wins and in empathy. For example, "A senior housing official recently told me ... [Obama] had personally never met with a homeowner who had been foreclosed on."

Read on; there are other examples.

While Rep. Cardoza still prefers to vote Democratic in 2012 (duh), he's concerned that Obama's virtual "student body" (us) may not.

GP


It's my belief this summer and the national party conventions will be violent. I'd be both pleased and surprised if not.

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Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:10 pm

So, basil, is it your position that if a person is otherwise eminently qualified, but has a funny name, that person is completely unqualified?
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Postby Lord_Morningstar » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:00 am

vison wrote:A new Ralph Nader emerges. Or Ross Perot.

Pointless.


I doubt this will go anywhere near as far as Nader or particularly Perot's bids for the Presidency did. If he lasts until the election I expect he;ll pull some votes in Utah, but I doubt that the Democrats will be hurt all that much by losing votes there.
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Postby Cerin » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:00 am

vison wrote:A new Ralph Nader emerges. Or Ross Perot.

Pointless.

It is not pointless. What is pointless is to continue on as we are.
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Postby basil » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:04 pm

Pointless to the extent it's not likely we'll see someone else besides the latest Republican Flavor of the Month or Obama in the WH a year and a month from now.

Having a point in that voters not satisfied with any of the choices we'll have next fall can make a point.

I saw a comment on the web that fits our predicament to a "t".

Alternatively, if voting mattered, god would have given us candidates.


WASS

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Postby portia » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:42 pm

It annoys and frustrates me to see people writing letters to the President like the one aobve, as if the person in the White House could simply wave his magic wand and make taxes on the rich higher, put bankers who behaved unethically--or stupidly-- in jail, etc. And then such people profess to be disappointed when the President does not make the elephant disappear.

Wake up and learn some Civics, folks. There are THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT and it is not possible for one branch to rule alone.
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Postby Cerin » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:40 pm

portia wrote:It annoys and frustrates me to see people writing letters to the President like the one aobve, as if the person in the White House could simply wave his magic wand and make taxes on the rich higher, put bankers who behaved unethically--or stupidly-- in jail, etc. And then such people profess to be disappointed when the President does not make the elephant disappear.

I haven't read the letter you're referring to, but this President had the power to increase taxes on the rich by standing firm in the face of Republican blackmail earlier this year when the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy were set to expire; this President could have led on the issue of Wall Street being held accountable for its crimes, rather than stacking his cabinet with insiders and pressing for no accountability. People have valid complaints about this Presidency; it doesn't mean they think the President has a magic wand.
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Postby portia » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:02 am

Cerin, I do not agree. "Standing firm" does not and never has made the opposition disappear. If the matter at hand gets resolved, it will be by some sort of compromise. Compromise, by definition, is where no side gets all it wants.

On Wall Street: As much as it irritates me to say so, very little of what happened that shouldn't have happened with the mortgage crisis and related problems was illegal at the time. The people involved mostly did what tax lawyers have been doing for decades: they looked for and found the holes in the law and arranged themselves to slip through those holes (Madoff didn't do this; he prepared false statements and that was illegal). IMO slipping through the holes in this case was foolish and self-destructive, but not illegal; not something someone can be convicted of a crime for. I hope investigation will turn up some sort of crime, but so far as I am aware, none has turned up, yet. Obama is not to blame for refusing to try to convict people of crimes that didn't exist when the acts were done.

(Hope springs eternal; remember Al Capone was not convicted for murder, bootlegging or rackets, he was convicted of tax evasion.)
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Postby Cerin » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:01 am

portia wrote:"Standing firm" does not and never has made the opposition disappear.


I didn't suggest standing firm generally made the opposition disappear. You were complaining about ignorant people who believed that the President had the sole power to raise taxes on the rich. Last year, he did have that power. The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were set to expire. Republicans claimed they would refuse to extend unemployment benefits if the President didn't agree to extend those tax cuts. Instead of allowing tax rates on the wealthy to go up as scheduled and forcing the Republicans to either back down or make good on their threat, the President gave in to them and agreed to extend the tax cuts. That isn't compromise, it's cowardice.
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