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Barack Obama Is A Big Fat FOX News Toady Coward – And So Are We

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So that right-wing creep Andrew Breitbart, who specializes in feeding tapes to Faux News that have been edited to fit in with his wacko narrative that progressives are more crooked or nuts or racist than him, comes up with his latest con.

1. Butt Me No Butts

He releases a tape to show that the folks at the NAACP are racist hypocrites. Why does he do this? Well, the NAACP had the temerity to ask the Tea Party to get rid of racists in their midst, which they started doing (Tea Party rallies have featured posters of Obama with a bone through his nose as a witchdoctor and slogans that say “The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s Ovens”).

Let me be clear: Breitbart is to journalism what a warthog’s butt is to Einstein’s mind.

So what happens? The NAACP attacks the speaker on the Breitbart tape, US Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, who was telling a story of how she changed her mind 24 years ago when, in her job to help black farmers, these poor white farmers asked her for help, and she didn’t put her full force towards helping them, but passed them on to a white lawyer, and when the lawyer did nothing for them, she came to realize that what she did was about helping poor people, the have-nots against the haves, no matter what color they are, and she fought for them like crazy after that (this is a lady whose father was murdered in 1965 by a white man who was never charged).

The Breitbart tape was edited to just show the beginning of the story about how Sherrod felt uncomfortable about helping white farmers, and the Breitbart tape had a title card that said this happened while she was working for the USDA … all to give the impression that she was a racist, and that the NAACP people listening to her were racists.

That’s what Breitbart does; he’s a typical rightwing smear machine, a throwback to the McCarthy era. He diarrheas his poison like an elephant who went Neanderthal on a field of blueberries.

So what does Sherrod’s boss, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, do and what does the White House do? They fall for Breitbart’s crap, and insist that Shirley Sherrod be fired before the Glenn Beck Show can attack them that day on Faux News.

Funny thing is, Glenn Beck ends up defending Sherrod and attacks the White House for firing her.

Because meanwhile CNN and Rachel Maddow have gotten hold of the white farmer and his wife, now deep in their 80s, who say that Shirley Sherrod went beyond the beyond to help them for two years and saved their farm and couldn’t have been more helpful, and they became good friends, and Shirley Sherrod says hello to them on TV, and tells them, now that she has the time, she wants to come and visit.

Then the NAACP apologizes because, they say, they were “snookered” by Breitbart and Faux News.

Snookered my ass. Breitbart’s tapes about ACORN were exposed as total BS. So why did the NAACP, on Breitbart’s “evidence,” react with an attack before asking the woman herself about it, or at least waiting to view the full tape?

2. A Mad Rush to Injustice

We know who Breitbart is. Some hippie banged his GF when he was in high school and the wound has never healed; he’s still trying to get even. In earlier times, when journalists fabricated stuff, they got thrown out of the profession, and banished from the media, but now you get a platform all over cable news for being a lying blowhard of a scumbag.

The bigger question is this:

Why were Vilsack and the White House in such a mad rush to fire Shirley Sherrod before the advent of the Glenn Beck Show that day, insisting that she pull her car over and submit her resignation on her BlackBerry? Not giving her a chance to explain anything?

Here’s why: the White House and Obama are scared poop-less of the right wing noise machine. Obama has made such a fetish all his life of charming the pants off white people — starting with his grandparents who sacrificed everything to get him into the best private high school in Hawaii, and ending with his charm assault on the US electorate in 2008 — that now, when he’s charmed his way into the highest office in the land, he still bends over backwards to keep up his post-racial BS by taking the criticism of Breitbart and Glenn Beck and Faux News seriously.

3. Don’t Blame the Troops For the General’s Mistakes

If Obama didn’t do this personally, then someone on his staff did, because that is the atmosphere of cowardice about race and everything else that Obama has instilled in his White House and his administration.

It doesn’t matter if Obama only heard about this so late that he had to make a late-night call to Vilsack to reconsider, who has now apologized and offered Sherrod a new job. You can’t blame the troops for the general’s mistakes (the secret police in Communist Russia operated under Stalin’s orders, even though the Russian people thought that if Stalin knew what was going on, he’d stop it).

Any rot emanates from the top. The cowardice of the White House starts with Obama. He gave his top job of White House Chief of Staff to Blue Dog enabler Rahm Emanuel. He gave his top economic jobs to economic war criminal Larry Summers who made sure derivatives were unregulated under Bill Clinton, and to Wall Street toady Tim Geithner, who made sure that Goldman Sachs got 100 cents on the dollar from what AIG supposedly owed them, and then tried to hide this from Congress. These three anti-progressive Wall Street bastards sure weren’t the change that his supporters voted for.

Obama’s cowardice in making those appointments (instead of having someone like Joseph Stiglitz on his economic team) is a cowardice that infects his entire administration. Obama has spent more time courting the right wing than his own progressive base. He might call it inclusiveness; I call it cowardice, a cowardice that springs from political calculation. Many years ago, when he started his career, he calculated that he had to become a credible black man, because his ease with white people raised suspicion among blacks. So he became a community organizer among poor black people, became a Christian in a black church, and married a black woman (his girlfriend at Columbia was white). A friend tells me his nickname at Harvard was “Mr. President,” because his ambition was that nakedly obvious. Obama is a man whose sincerity is calculated. That doesn’t make his sincerity bogus; merely calculated. With Obama, principles and calculation go hand in hand, like with any politician.

4. No Heads Will Roll

Now that the Shirley Sherrod fracas has been exposed as the high-tech lynching of a good woman, what is Obama going to do?

My guess is, not all that much. I’d be surprised if any heads roll. General McChrystal had to malign Joe Biden openly in print before Obama fired him.

Sherrod herself asked what her grandchildren would think if they heard that the first black Agricultural Director was fired by the first black president.

Mind you, I still think Obama is a better president than any of the candidates supplied by the reckless “Cut-Taxes-of-the-Rich-and-Kick-the-Middle-Class-Now-That-They’re-Down” GOP. These are the guys who apologized to BP and want to run the Bush-Cheney playbook again. The gap between them and reality is wider than the gap between Nelson Mandela and Lindsay Lohan. Their dumbfuckery is greater than all the dumbfuckery of history put together in the totality of the immensity of all dumbfuckosity to the most infinite dumfuckallity of desperately dimwitted dumbfucked dumbfuckelosity. Let’s face it, the Bush-Cheney presidency was the most dysfunctional government since Caligula, who made his horse a senator. Just think of the GOP’s presidential aspirants, all bad jokes in a John Cleese sketch about stumblebum politicians: John Flip-Flop McCain, Sarah Dumbass Palin, Mitt Suck-Up Romney, Newt Big-Lie Gingrich and Jeb Right-Wingnut Bush. The bar they set is lower than the one established by BP semi-CEO Tony Wayward, who in his Congressional testimony was such an evasive BS merchant, an irate Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) asked him: “Is today Thursday, yes or no?”

5. What Should Those of Us Do Who Still Love America?

What are we to do, those of us who still love our country enough not to be so un-American as to give rich people more tax cuts when so many of them are shielding their money from the IRS in Swiss banks? In 2007 Goldman Sachs paid 1% taxes; how much did you pay?

It is becoming increasingly evident that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party should do something bigger besides making sure that Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman get thrown out of office ASAP — they should primary Obama in 2012. Not that a primary candidate would win. But Obama has to be scared into growing a spine. He has to be reminded who voted for him (the minute he walked into the White House, he acted as if the 13 million email addresses of his young supporters did not exist).

FDR had a spine. LBJ had a spine. Obama does not, even though he has done more good than Bill Clinton ever did. By 2014, the health insurance industry will not be able to kick out people with a pre-existing condition, although it may be too late to save my friend’s brother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer this year. But this one little thing in the health care reform bill will actually save lives. (Of course, the bad Obama things go on forever, from not closing Guantanamo to the Afghan war where Obama is backing corrupt opium warlords against non-corrupt religious wingnuts because of some asshole Petraeus COIN theory, instead of getting the hell out.)

However, in the health care reform debate, Obama did not fight for the public option. He kept mentioning that he favors it to keep the industry “honest,” but when push came to shove on that issue, he and Rahm were MIA. Obama only ever fights when he knows he’s got the votes. He NEVER fights when he thinks he’s going to lose.

He thinks losing for a principle will make him look bad or weak. That is not what leadership is about. That’s not what change is about. That’s what cowardice is all about.

In this latest political brouhaha, the White House and Obama have established their credentials of cowardice for all to see.

Which is ironic, in view of the fact that Obama is the best president we could possibly have now, even though he is hobbled by a GOP who held up unemployment insurance because they think it encourages people to stop looking for work. This makes it all the more of a pity that Obama kowtows to the likes of Breitbart, Glenn Beck, and Faux News. If you’re going to be a coward, you should at least choose worthier boogiemen.

6. The Problem Is Not Just Obama, It’s You and Me

It’s not just Obama who’s the problem. It’s you and me and the people next door. We’ve been taking it up the posterior from Big Oil and Big Pharma and Big Agribusiness and Wall Street, all of them subsidized by our tax dollars. They love big government when it is subsidizing them. But when middle class or poor people need a cut of the pie, suddenly government is “intruding on our lives” and our wonderful “free market” is being “regulated” to death. We all know what the “free market” is: it’s the rigged market where the casino capitalists of Wall Street can make 40% of corporate profits in one year and small businesses die like flies and subsidized big business exports all our jobs to slave labor outfits in other countries.

A majority of Americans have fallen for the bizarro narrative constructed by our elite. It started with Ronald Reagan, who lowered the top marginal tax rate from where it was at 60% to a ridiculous 28% right after he took office, and there was talk of wealth “trickling down” from the top to the bottom. Yeah, sure, if you believe in trickle down, I’ve got a bottle of pee labeled lemonade for you to share with your loved ones. Under Bush Two trickle down morphed into gusher up from the poor to the rich, and it is this that the GOP is fighting to continue. Another thing about Reagan: he’s the guy who started the whole tradition of vilifying black women that now happened under Obama, when Ronnie picked on “welfare queens” as the America’s prime villains.

Whereas before Reagan, a regular guy could work for General Motors all his life and afford a home for his family and retire with dignity on one salary, suddenly and mysteriously it all changed after the Reagan tax cut, by the most bizarre coincidence ever in the economic history of humankind, inexplicably and miraculously, to the point that today most middle class couples struggle to get by on two salaries. Ask a member of the elite what’s going on when he turns off his golden faucet and opens his $6,000 shower curtain, and he’ll tell you that in the “free market” there are winners and losers. Yeah, sure. In our “free market” the banks get to borrow millions from the Fed at 0.2% interest and then go play with it. My granny with Alzheimer’s can make money on that.

And they say the people at Goldman Sachs are smart. If they’re so smart, how come they ran crying like babies to Congress to bail them out with our tax dollars? If they’re so smart, why do they need a rigged market to make money? Goldman Sachs were about to go under like Lehman Brothers because there was a run on them. Believe me, Goldman Sachs is way, way dumb. They’re just not quite as dumb as the other assholes on Wall Street, who have their jobs because they’re so useless, Daddy sent them to Wall Street because that’s where the dumbass gentlemen C kids of the elite can sell crooked derivatives to their contacts running pension funds. Wall Street is a protected reservation for the disabled offspring of the elite. And these are the entitled bastards who’ve bought Congress wholesale, who were the biggest contributors to Obama’s campaign, and whose lobbyists write our laws.

7. The BS of Morning in America

For Reagan’s re-election campaign, the elite hired the advertising genius Hal Riney. Riney came up with the brilliant “Morning in America” campaign, and that’s when our elite realized they could control the narrative and the voice of American populism with prime BS. They went ahead and bought up all the media properties, and changed the laws so they could destroy all diversity of media in every big city.

The result? Today, after constant propaganda about the “free market” and government “takeover,” most Americans are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. We love the guys who are screwing us, even a vulgar shithead like Donald Trump that I wouldn’t allow near my dinner table for fear of barfing before I got to the soup. We non-elite Americans have only two options: to suck dick or take it up the Hershey tunnel, and we’re happy to pick one or the other; some of us even like to switch hit between oral and anal. We rant and rave about the fat cats on Wall Street, but we don’t move our money out of the “too big to fail” banks like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and into small community banks and credit unions.

The lower-earning 80% of Americans have to share 15% of the shrinking American pie, yet the latest incarnation of populist Americans, the Tea Party folks, who are older, wealthier Republicans, are saying that spending is out of control (on Social Security, NOT on subsidies for big business or on wars; by them, it’s okay if we blow trillions on whacking Arabs who had nothing to do with 9/11, but hell, we’ve got to cut Social Security, it’s the “responsible” thing to do). These Tea Party deaf-dumb-and-blind humans say the government is “taking over” our lives with “social engineering” and that Obama is a “socialist.” They represent a typical section of the petit bourgeoisie, who have traditionally been more scared of the classes below them than of the upper classes who are shafting them along with everyone else.

The whole charade is more absurd than Eugene Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros. While we’re burning and our elite is fiddling, what are the Tea Party people doing? They’re complaining about the quality of the firewood.

America has lost its mind and keeps losing its mind. In Europe they’re coming down hard on the banks and on the outsize bonuses that inspired the reckless behavior that led to meltdown.

In America, we’re still right behind the Wall Street mantra of IBGYBG: “I’ll be gone and you’ll be gone, so let’s make the deal and let the suckers pay in the end.”

And some known masters of supreme assholicity, like Andrew Breitbart, Faux News, and Glenn Beck, have the White House so poop-scared they’re prepared to throw a good woman under the bus. At this point their bus has to be bigger than Sarah Palin’s mouth to contain all the good people they’ve thrown under it.

No amount of apologizing can excuse their first reaction of utter cowardice in the face of a known liar’s fake threat.

Gadzooks and forsooth, folks. The sane mind boggles. But, but, and but again: there’s more to this than just another political flap.

Obama the coward reflects the prevailing ethos driving all of us: we are a nation of cowards. Until we show some spine, we shouldn’t expect to see any from Obama.

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About Adam Ash

  • Andy

    Obama is weak. He let’s an eighth grader turned governor Jan Brewer of Arizona boss him around on immigration like he works for her and what does he do when she demands to meet with him while in DC? He to her demands and is summoned at once, same with the troops on the border they keep on setting the bar higher and Mr. Obama’s response is how high. Pathetic.

  • Bill B

    Nice article. Can’t argue with much

    As far as the Sherrod thing goes this administration has no confidence in itself otherwise it would be comfortable in doing due diligence before acting and let the critics, half baked and otherwise, be damned.

    Ironically this might be worse than if Sherrod had been harboring those racist views in the present; They could’ve played it off as a rogue hire. Instead there’s no hiding from their rush to judgement where they look like buffoons.

    Gibbs can try to share the blame with the media and punditocracy but in the end it was their call and they blew it…bigtime.

  • Glad someone wrote on this. Breitbart really screwed the pooch and it’s nice that so many conservative commentators, including many on Fox news have called him on it.

    BTW, the Tea Party has been “purging” racists since they first started showing up over 2 years ago, but no one started paying attention until recently. It started with barring the Larouche people from most tea party activities and recently extended to some hypersensitivity about vaguely racially colored remarks from tea party organizers.

    If you search on YouTube there are some great videos of neo nazis being harassed and outed at Tea Party rallies. There are now these guys with signs that say things like “Democrat Shill” who hold them up behind the KKK/Nazi/Skinhead types. Hilarious.


  • Dan

    umm, exactly what has Breitbart done besides expose a black racist who was screwing over white farmers 24 years ago.

    I hope they don’t re-assign her to Obama care death panels.

  • I love Adam’s article, even though, or maybe because, it goes way over the top multiple times.

    The Sherrod case is riveting. She’s a great and eloquent woman and I hope we’ll be hearing a lot more from her.

    [Despicable snake Dick Morris predicted tonight on O’Reilly that her real racist history will reveal itself in coming days. He is even worse than Breitbart, quite a feat.]

    The Obama administration does indeed often come across as cautious to the point of timidity. But keep in mind that they are facing a potentially disastrous midterm election, along with a a loud Chorus of No from the GOP in Congress.

    The reason for the debacle, if it happens, will be the unemployment rate. From the left, Paul Krugman and others blame this on too little stimulus — while on the right the $800 billion stimulus bill is derided as a gigantic folly.

    But the stimulus bill, the healthcare bill, the just-passed financial reforms, and the still-possible energy bill are really rather amazing accomplishments. Yes, they are all patchworks of compromises, as virtually all legislation is, but they are historic, not small, and certainly not timid.

    I mean, look how thoroughly they horrify libertarians.

  • Perhaps Dan intends to be funny. If so, try harder, employing actual wit next time. If not, possibly actually watch the tape.

    Mrs. Sherrod gave a beautiful and moving speech about becoming enlightened, about how she moved beyond the racial resentment she had developed growing up in the Jim Crow south, where her father was murdered by a white farmer and the Klan burned a cross on her family’s lawn.

    And she didn’t “screw” the white farmer she was assigned to help. That farmer even today credits her with saving him from losing his farm.

    We can only hope you are someday enlightened to move beyond your constant stream of vitriolic, unpleasant comments, often involving gays or racial minorities. I am not holding my breath.

  • Doug Hunter

    “I mean, look how thoroughly they horrify libertarians.”

    True, I find little ‘amazing’ about government power grabs and transforming our children into debt slaves. I would say to each his own, but your ideology doesn’t allow that. I must be a slave in your worldview, in mine you are free. That’s the difference between us.

  • Dan

    you should try to be more observant handyguy and find some enlightenment yourself. Mrs. Sherrod revealed her ugly tale of racism that was received by NAACP members with laughter and cheers. They weren’t cheering redemption (which was in the original Breitbart clip by the way), they were cheering discrimination.

    There is no telling how many white farmers were screwed over before Mrs. Sherrod overcome here racist inclinations.

    If a white guy had said these things…. good God. So much for blacks not being capable of racism because they’re not in positions of power. This was 24 years ago!

    I’m happy she came around, but she should never have been in that position in the first place.

    Still, screwing white farmers over financially is better than what they get in Zimbabwea, and now South Africa.

    Breitbart is a hero for exposing liberals for what they are. Lies told about him only make him more powerfull.

  • Dan

    I love the digital electronic age. Now that the journolist scandal has been exposed, we now know that leftists conspire to conceal racial stories damaging to their god, Obama, and with extraordinary malice, falsely shrieks about racism on the right where there isn’t any.

    In their astounding stupidity, they haven’t even understood how Breitbart got to them this time. Hint: the exposure is really about the NAACP not Sherrod.

  • Bill B

    Funny how people see things differently.

    Dan see’s cheers and laughing in support of racism and I see people relating to her percieved ‘predicament’ – ie having witnessed/experienced so much discrimination themselves they saw the albeit (no pun intended) dark humor of her deliberating how much help she was going to give this white farmer she also perceived (rightly or wrongly) as doing backflips to show his superiority.

    Maybe the reaction was in bad taste but an absolute leap to say it endorsed racism.

    According to her story she had her ‘conversion’ right then and there and helped that very same family. Should be noted she was working for a private group at the time.

    If a white did such things and experienced the same conversion I’d pat him on the back.

    Breitbart moved the goal posts when he realized he was busted and just like you twisted the reaction of the audience to suit your agenda.

  • Bill B

    Yea right – this is what Breitbart wanted all along – to post a correction on his website, have one posted on the video and be the scorn of everyone left of Attila The Hun! Yea – keep telling yourself that.

    He’s seriously damaged his chances of being taken seriously. Although with our msm he’ll probably slither back in soon enough.

  • Dan

    Nice try Bill B. The correction posted is only to correct the fact that the tendancy for discrimination that Mrs. Sherrod finally overcame happened before She was Federally employed.

    Breitbart has full integrity intact.

    I think maybe the reason we see things differently is because I would like to hold blacks to the same standards as everyone else. You know, like equality. It’s really uncomfortable to pretend that blacks who have been getting institutional preference for–in many cases– their entire lives should be justified for the “dark humor” they see in the rank hatred for white men.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Breitbart has full integrity intact.

    On what planet?

  • Jay

    Do you have a picture of one of these racist Tea Party signs? I have heard all about them but have yet to see one.

  • TJ

    Breitbart was obviously too brilliant for poor Adam…uhhh, Adam, the point was to show NAACP members clapping when Ms Sherrod claimed to have discriminated against whitey. This had nothing to do with Sherrod and everything to do with the reaction by NAACP members in the audience.
    I guess that was a bit too subtle for you. I’ll ask Mr Breitbart to spell it out for you next time….if you still have a free column here on ….where are we? BC bloggers or some such “infantile musings website” established by some kid in his mom’s basement?

  • TJ

    Bill B, thanks you for your ringing endorsement of racism when practiced by “the right people”.

  • Dan

    So just to be clear on this. Breitbart posted the redemption portion along with the racial discrimination portion from the outset. The news media including Fox so far, along with Adam here are inaccurate.

    That’s not to say Breitbart posted the entire speech, which included more redeeming material (good stuff to an audience that obviously could use it) but enough to put Mrs. Sherrod in a more sympathetic light and still capture the obvious racism of the intended target group.

  • Jordan Richardson

    So basically, Breitbart was using bait?

    Btw TJ, love the shirts. I especially like the ones that have half of Jesus crying. Very moving, especially in purple.

  • Adam Ash

    Hey, you Breitbart defenders.

    Faux News has been running a GOP playbook — “white people, here’s how black people are taking what is yours” — since its inception, using “evidence” sucked out of Breitbart’s and other political operatives’ fraudulent butts. They’re trying to convince worried white people like you that Civil Right workers, Obama, etc are the real racists, and scared white people like you are more noble than Civil Rights workers. This BS started under Ronald Reagan, who demonized black “welfare queens” while he was giving our money to the rich and running up deficits doing so.

    So you Breitbart defenders are dupes. You’re suffering from Stockholm Syndrome (google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

    You’re suckers. You’re patsies. While we’re burning and our elite is fiddling, you’re complaining about the quality of the firewood.

    Enjoy being screwed by Breitbart. You and him deserve each other. But know this: he’s screwing you. You’re his victims.

    I hope for the sake of your souls, that one day you might experience the same redemption that Shirley Sherrod talked about. Until then, rave on. You’re welcome. You’re shrinking. You peaked around 2005, and it’s been a downslide since then.

    To paraphrase FDR, I welcome your hatred. I welcome your vicrtimhood. I welcome your suckered existence. Please don’t leave. You’re always good for a laugh. Thank you.

    Adam Ash

  • zingzing

    if anyone thinks sherrod was talking about being racist, they seriously need to get an education in english. you can get credit to your race by going to the school of your choice. they’ll insert it into your ass.

  • Bill B

    As always conservatives just don’t do very well with nuance.

    Although this is actually a good ways away from nuance.

  • paulycy

    In the tape Sherrod clearly states “It’s still about black and white but…” as the audience agrees. No amount of vitriolic spin can change the fact that she remains a racist today. Sharrod simply added marxism to her racial bigotry, making her – by choice – an even worse person unworthy of public service.

  • President Obama and his administration proved this author wrong. So…kudos to OBAMA!

    The only weakness that I see is the conservatives unwillingness to move to a green environment were everyone would prosper.

  • Baronius

    I’m a huge fan of Breitbart. But he messed up on this one. I hope that the Left learned a lesson about taking things out of context to make them sound racist, though.

  • Bill B

    re # 24 – that knife cuts both ways but a lesson for *ALL* for sure. Too many freakin’ lessons…


    On another front I have to wonder if the tea party *establishment* would’ve distanced themselves from Mark Williams had the NAACP not beefed about his idiotic screed.

    Much of this is about them calling him, and the tea party out for harboring/not distancing themselves from racist elements.

    You can rant all you want about plants in the gatherings or more significantly whether the % of racists in the TP movement is anymore than the republican/conservative movements themselves, but the bottom line is to be taken seriously on a national stage they must purge those elements, preferably not while being dragged kicking and screaming that they’ve been so horribly wronged in the process.

    Wouldn’t be enough to do it for me as there are other factors about the movement that wreak like hell but that’s another story.

  • Baronius

    Bill B, the tea party movement is just that, a movement. It’s not an organization. You can’t purge an informal group whose only requirement for membership is showing up in a park one afternoon.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “I hope that the Left learned a lesson about taking things out of context to make them sound racist, though.”

    obviously the right needed to learn the message as well, baronius. and if that’s the lesson you see in this, maybe you should take a look at your breitbart fandom. you still won’t admit that he was behind the similar hit job on acorn. maybe because you think the ends justify the means. but that’s the slope you’re standing on.

  • John G

    you keep drinking that koolaid and crap the left feeds you all you want. the truth is the truth and time will tell who is telling the truth and who is a schrill for dummycrats and progressives that just hate my country and try and pit Americans against each other. Hope to be your judge jury and executioner should you be found guilty of treason. Sick of your kind lying to me and my countrymen. We shall have mercy for the ignorant and stern punishment for those who deceive the people of America. May God have mercy on your corrupt souls. Blacks, whites, hispanics, Asians Indians have been plagued by your kind far too long. May you suffer as much as those you prey on. All to push your hateful and racist agenda of controlling the masses. Well look around your vile messages have only brought us together all ethnicities are starting to see you and the King (Obama) truly have no clothes and no way to move our graet country forward. Many people did not want Obama in office because of his political leanings towards marxism,Me personally thought if it were to be then so be it. Barak is exactly what we need in todays day and age in America! Obama will slap us all in the face and hopefully wake the rest of us up and see the path of no return we are now on. Thank you very much President Obama your actions alone have awaken Americans that did not see this path we were on coming But I did and only seen a rainbow at the endof this trail of doom you have set before us. Thank god for the electorol process America has and at the ease we can reverse all this foolishness at the ballot box.

  • Doug Hunter

    “the truth is the truth and time will tell who is telling the truth”

    Not really. The ‘truth’ is what the majority believes it to be, the winners rewrite history to make themselves the good guy, and there is no control group or any way to compare what might have been… in short ‘truth’ is an unverifiable illusion created by propaganda and power.

    Waiting for truth to assert itself without the above is like sitting a gun in the floor with no bullets and expecting it to defend you… the truth must be grabbed, loaded, controlled and aimed to function.

  • Adam Ash

    “May you suffer as much as those you prey on.” — John G

    Dude, you need to take your meds. Or soak for an hour in a warm bath. Or find yourself a woman. Or get out more. Otherwise you run the risk of having a water tower and a high-powered rifle in your future.

    Adam Ash

  • John G

    Adam ash, No meds or or warm bath for me. You can call people or groups that you don’t like names all you want but facts are facts, Fox news is more trustworthy than any other news organization out there. The Tea Party is more trusted than the Dummycrats or the weekneed repubicans that don’t stand for anything. Be careful Adam Ash I see a suicide vest in your future assembled by those who would send you among the innocent trying to create fear and mistrust in our homeland. Be weary of those who might invite you for a measuring and fitting of a vest and send you out for martyrdom. Please stop ingesting the brownies and drinking the Koolaid before it’s too late and you go Boom.

  • This is, far and away, the best piece I’ve read in Politics for quite some time.

    I don’t agree with all of it, but Adam’s vitriol is well-stocked and well-aimed, and no mercy is given to any quarter. Exactly what good political writing should be.

    Nice to see him giving as good as he gets in the comments too.

  • Doug Hunter

    #32 Very true. This writing is refreshing even though I disagree with much of it.

  • Baronius

    Good political writing? A look through the list of Latests and Recents is a survey of catastrophe, and this article is no better.

  • Amused

    The whining crybaby that writes this silly blog CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH: his silly excuse for a president is nothing more than an empty suit with a tissue-thin resume. Such wimps run scared of FOX because that is the only network that actually tries to be fair. Although Palin will probably never become president, it’s nevertheless very amusing to watch the liberal c0c|

  • Baronius

    Zing – We haven’t talked about the ACORN thing in a while. When last we did, I was unfamiliar with the then-current debate. I’ve since looked into it, and I don’t see what the big deal is. Of course it was edited to make the people look bad. The California tapes were nowhere near as incriminating as the East Coast ones. In fact, it looked like the people on the California tapes weren’t taking the O’Keefe and Giles seriously. But on the East Coast tapes, the ACORN workers definitely were willing to advise O’Keefe and Giles on illegal activities. And as the tapes were released, ACORN lied about their content. I don’t care how O’Keefe was dressed; he asked about ways to funnel money from prostitution into a political run, and some of the ACORN workers were cooperative.

  • Baronius, this is good political commentary in that Adam remains faithful to his broad political values while taking a hot poker to the bottom of the president for whom he himself, presumably, voted. At the same time, he takes plenty of potshots at Obama’s opponents to make sure that they don’t get too comfortable either.

    All done with a sharp sense of humour as good as that of Stewart or Colbert.

    It’s a refreshing change from all the doom-laden hyperbole and whining that have been the main staples here recently.

  • zingzing

    baronius, the tapes were overdubbed so that it appeared that people were answering different questions than they were being asked. breitbart and o’keefe are the criminals.

  • Baronius

    “humour as good as that of Stewart or Colbert”

    If you mean that it was stale before it was even written, then we agree.

  • Baronius

    Oh, and preening. I forgot preening.

  • Baronius, based on some of your recent comments, your idea of good political commentary appears to encompass the work of, among others, the barely articulate, petty and logically-challenged Mr Cotto.

    You’ll forgive me, then, if I take your assessment of this piece with a pinch of sodium chloride.

  • There’s no arguing taste, as they say, but anyone who is “a really big fan of Breibart,” and who also finds Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert “stale” and “preening,” has a paired set of esthetic and ideological blind spots large enough to qualify as a disability.

  • Adam Ash

    Nice to see you’re still the same old grumpy grudge. Hi there.
    Dr Dreadful,
    Thank you for your kind words. We do what we can.

    Adam Ash

  • Baronius

    Dread, I gave Cotto’s first article a thumbs-up, criticized his second one, and generally haven’t commented on most of them. You have to go back about a month to find a comment of mine on any of his threads. Your comment #41 is a misrepresentation of me. Stop it.

  • It’s been that long? All right, I take that back. It stuck out in my mind, is all.

    Herr Baron, you’re the conservative commenter on this site I have the most time for, but you have been noticeably more curmudgeonly of late. What gives?

  • John Wilson

    Good article. Very lively and pointed.

  • zingzing

    doc: “Herr Baron, you’re the conservative commenter on this site I have the most time for, but you have been noticeably more curmudgeonly of late. What gives?”

    isn’t it obvious by now?

  • Adam Ash

    Dr Dreadful:

    As the conservative movement’s mind (!?) closes down more and more (epistemic closure, anyone?), Herr Baron gets more and more grumpy. His long-faded conscience is beginning to rear its pretty head, and that irks him. Watch what happens when Obama gets re-elected in 2012: the fight between Herr Baron’s conservative mind and centrist conscience will be driving him nuts.

    Adam Ash

  • Chlotilde

    No. 19 is truly a bizarre comment. I doubt AA has watched even a minute of Fox News or spoken to a Republican in his life. To suggest that the party is racist is just pure ael-serving propaganda. The racists at the tea parties are democrat plants and it is the democrats who are pimping race hate.

  • Kayfabe

    so do you wear tinfoil hats under your white hoods?

  • The racists at the tea parties are democrat plants


  • STM

    “The racists at the tea parties are democrat plants”.


  • No, Stan, it’s true, I swear. If you look at one particular video of a Tea Party rally you can distinctly see a potted geranium on a windowsill wearing a blue Obama rosette and with a ‘darkies go home’ sign stuck into the dirt.

  • STM

    Doc, you reckon Baron’s been MORE curmudgeonly than usual??

    Nah, haven’t noticed that … but you’re right about other stuff and you do have to give the bloke his due, he is open to reasonable arguments … his and others.

    I like ya too Baron, for what that’s worth 🙂 I might never vote for you if you were running for parliament, but I’d buy you a beer if you ever found yourself down this neck of the woods.

  • STM

    Doc, do they tend to be the same people as the ones who turned up at those Ron Paul rallies wearing 1777 leggings, Ben Franklin wigs and tri-corn hats??

    See, my view is that the tea party movement might not be all that bad, especially if it leads to a revival of proper tea drinking in the US.

    I also reckon Mr and Mrs Obama should do what Liz and Phil the Greek do at Buck House.

    They should throw a nice tea party on the lawns on the White House and invite all those lovely people from the tea party movement.

    However, I am a stickler for etiquette and all invitees would have to learn to bow or curtsy when they’re introduced to the President and his missus.

    But for a free cuppa, a piece of cake and a chicken, cucumber or watercress sandwich with the crusts cut off … it’s all worth it. Why not?

  • Mark

    I think that his (often over the top) conflict with RN has worn him down a bit which is a shame. I await his second wind.

  • Mark

    btw It’s always a weird pleasure to read your anally fixated writing, Adam. Kudos.

  • I promise to lay off.

  • Speaking of which, Stan, did you hear about the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, having his invite to a Buck House tea party rescinded?

    Can’t say I blame Her Maj, myself. Griffin’s a horrible little toad, and most of her subjects are some shade of brown, after all.

  • Dan

    “the tapes were overdubbed so that it appeared that people were answering different questions than they were being asked”—zing

    If it appears they’re answering different questions than they’re being asked how would you make sense of it? All the film I’ve seen, they seem to be answering the questions they’re asked, and elaborating to such extent as to preclude any possibility of misunderstanding.

    Face it dependent statist snivelers, Breitbarts exposed your hucksters and hacks for the piggish insult to human dignity they truly are. No editing tricks are necessary. His targets are so used to being sheltered from exposure by MSM, they’ve become complacent.

    I didn’t realize it at the time, but in retrospect I can’t think of a better way for history to unfold. Obama may have dashed your hope, but he’ll make up for it with extra audacity.

  • Baronius

    Dread, after you informed me that I’m a big fan of Cotto, I lost faith in your insights on my comments. I will say this: if I’ve been more curmudgeonly lately (I prefer the term “schizoid personality disorder”), it ain’t because of Obama’s successes. Among the other things I haven’t seen much of are: the rank-and-file Democrats facing the truth; the high-ranking Democrats telling the truth; the GOP establishment doing anything other than gloating over victories they haven’t won yet; one single Tea Partier studying an issue. If these things started happening, I’d be happier than a puppy juggling rainbow-colored bunnies.

  • STM

    “most of her subjects are some shade of brown, after all.”

    Well, yes, especially if you count all of those with suntans down here in the South Pacific, the Caribbean, etc.

    The only real whiteys are in the UK. Even Canadians tend to get suntanned walking around in the snow.

    I didn’t know that about the BNP bloke. Good. The last thing you want is to give any kind of official sanction to that sort of lunacy.

    Right is one thing; to the right of Attila the Hun is another.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’d be happier than a puppy juggling rainbow-colored bunnies.

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  • The last thing you want is to give any kind of official sanction to that sort of lunacy.

    Yes: unfortunately they did let his mate, who’s a fellow member of the European Parliament, in. I like to imagine that Liz gave the bloke a crafty knee in the nuts when they were being introduced. If not, I’m sure she has other, even subtler ways of making people she doesn’t like feel tiny.

  • STM

    Bet ya London to a brick she does. Would it be frosty, or what???

  • STM

    Baron: “happier than a puppy juggling rainbow-colored bunnies”.


    Geez, Baron, that’s not an image I’m going to be able to hold in the mind for too long.

  • Adam Ash

    “happier than a puppy juggling rainbow-colored bunnies.”

    Baron, that’s very funny. My faith in your essential humanity is restored. I agree with EVERYTHING in your comment. Your politics suck eggs, but you elevate the discussion. A wingnut you aren’t.

    But doesn’t it disturb you that you have such mentally-challenged crazies wishing painful death on liberals such as John G on your side of the fence?

    The moral equivalence you and Breitbart make between the far right and the far left is bogus. They both have bizarre conspiracy theories etc, but the folks on the right are OUTRIGHT liars. Breitbart was on some MSM channel a few mornings ago and said the NAACP folks were racists because they clapped hands when Sherrod started her story. I watched the tape, THEY DID NOT CLAP HANDS. Your guys pull “facts” out of their butts. And no one on your side asks: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

    Maybe you are smarter than that, but FOX News et al are moral cowards and NON-DECENT liars to an extent the Left has never been capable of. Obama a “socialist”? The man who’s giving Goldman Sachs a free pass? Give me a break. Rosa Luxemburg would be spinning in her grave. Yet the suckers on your side believe all this, and all Breitbart’s crap, even in the face of the white farmers saying Sherrod helped them and is not a racist. To the FOX News believers, their wingnuttery trumps the facts.

    You’re not just on the wrong side of history, my man. You’re on the wrong side of decency. “Good” conservatives are getting scarcer than “good” Germans were.

    Nixon was to the left of Obama (he put the EPA in place, etc). What’s happened to conservatives? What’s happened to Americans? How much longer will guys like you, with actual minds, be slaves to the un-American FOX News, owned by an ex-Australian, whose second largest investor is a Muslim Saudi prince?

    You have the mind to wake up, Baron. But do you have the decency?

    Adam Ash

  • Nixon was to the left of Obama

    This kind of meaninglessness is the result of trying to apply a single linear yardstick to all politics and policies past and present.

    Nixon was open to big-government solutions, in part because he saw the presidency, or at least his presidency, as imperial. Fiscal conservatives never embraced him.

    But his racially charged law-and-order posturing [‘the Southern strategy’], his horrendous war crimes, and the rabid anti-communism he used in his rise to power all set him apart from Obama.

    He was a right-wing opportunist the way Clinton was a liberal opportunist.

  • Adam Ash

    You’re right, handyguy.
    I stand corrected.
    Thank you.

    Adam Ash

  • Baronius

    Adam, if it helps, I definitely don’t think there’s moral equivalence between the far right and the far left.

  • zingzing

    you can say that again.

  • Baronius

    Alright, Zing, now we’re getting somewhere. We can probably also agree that the problem is greedy, racist, stupid, power-hungry liars?

  • Mark

    Personally, I think that the problem is systemic/cultural/social; the solution, on the other hand, rests with greedy, racist, stupid. power-hungry liars. Something of a catch.

  • zingzing

    oh, baronius…

  • Adam Ash

    In #73, Mark hits it on the nose. Could be we’re fucked for all time.

    The journey that started with Reagan and continued with Bush-Cheney and Obama has done systemic damage of such horrendousness, our grandchildren might be living in underground bunkers and surviving on catfood or something. By the time we come to our senses, there won’t be much left for our senses to enjoy.

    On the other hand, maybe Obama discovers he has gonads in his 2nd term and some of the damage is reversed.

    Adam Ash

  • Nerve Damage

    Lets start from the beginning. You forgot two facts right out of the gate. 1. Fox didn’t run the story until after Sherrod resigned. 2. The NAACP, who called for Sherrod’s resignation along with the White House, was the owners of the original tape. Keep that in mind when you rewrite the article with facts.

  • Adam Ash

    Nerve Damage:
    Let’s start with the facts.
    1. FOX ran the story about the racist employee of the Dept of Agriculture the day BEFORE Sherrod resigned.
    2. I slammed the NAACP in my article as hard as I could.

    These facts are different from your “facts”.
    Which means you’re either uninformed/dumb or a liar.
    Which one is it?

    Adam Ash

  • Arch Conservative

    “Obama does not, even though he has done more good than Bill Clinton ever did.”

    Huffing paint again Adam?

    Obama is just another run of the mill race-baiting, politics of victimization liberal…………

    I actually agree with you about a lot of the things you said about the super rich and how they take advantage of the middle class and poor. Unlike you though I think it’s a phenomena that transcends party politics. Both parties have proven in the last 40 years that the welfare of this nation comes second to political ambition. Unlike you I do not feel the need to absolve the individual of all personal responsibility and instead blame others. Unlike you I don’t believe that acknowledging the ugly, selfish side that capitalism can bring about necessitates blind faith in some leviathan central government.

    It is a great, admirable, noble thing to want to help those less fortunate or those more in need than oneself. But when push comes to shove, regardless of what nation or culture you may find yourself in, life is a contest of survival of the fittest. Always has been, always will be.

  • Jordan Richardson

    If life is “survival of the fittest,” surely one who works through life to the highest office in the land (some say “leader of the free world”) would be more than just a “run of the mill” individual.

  • Adam Ash

    “Obama the coward reflects the prevailing ethos driving all of us: we are a nation of cowards. Until we show some spine, we shouldn’t expect to see any from Obama.”

    Arch Conservative:
    That was my conclusion, did you read it? Don’t lay your dumb narrative of the left on me, when you yourself represent such a dumb narrative of the right.

    BTW, If you knew anything, you’d know that the latest research says that those societies that survived, and were the fittest, were those that learned how best to co-operate. The reason America is declining and being overtaken by China is that we have unlearned how to co-operate, because our political system is so dysfunctional, and because WE are so dysfunctional, and this dysfunctionality is very much increased by the likes of YOU and your mind, which on the evidence of your post, hinges on the Neanderthal, who weren’t fit enough to survive.

    I sincerely hope you can soon prove that you are a worthy representative of the right, like Baronius is, and not just another crazy fundamentalist like many others I could mention. Shape up, dude.

    Adam Ash

  • Arch Conservative

    Jordan…the novelty of Obama’s skin color is the only thing that is any way unusual about him. He has been able to pass two major peices of legislation because his like minded political party dominates Congress, not because of any leadership skills that he possesses.

    Adam I kind of skimmed through your article. 7 pages….C’mon. That’s just being self indulgent.

    As for the rest of your comment you’ll get no argument from me. Our hyper competitive, materialistic society dictates how we view our society and our place in it. I would like there to be more co-operation and consideration for others. However I am aware of the fact that I am to put myself out for others, the favor may not be returned and I may lose out.

    It’s a common myth perpetuated by fascist leftist moonbats that conservatives lack sympathy, empathy and compassion for others. In reality I believe the left has managed to dilute and pervert the aforementioned concepts. The left’s version of compassion is having a massive federal government rob you blind to redistribute wealth to those that it sees as deserving of your money. In contrast, the traditional conservative view of compassion and charity is that the individual is allowed to decide who is deserving of compassion and proceed to donate of one’s time or money.

    In their approach the left creates what has often been referred to as “moral relativity.” They seek not to expect any kind of responsibility of the individual but rather blame others entirely. The only discriminating factor in applying this approach is wether you yourself share the left’s political views. If you do, then you become an untouchable. If you’re even slightly right of center in your sociopolitical views then your are to be villified and personally attacked.

    Let me just say something for the record. I am not referring to all liberals…I’m talking about your hardcore leftists, the ones that have taken over the Democrat party.

    To be fair I don’t care for the extremism we currently see on the right either. I don’t think some guy waving a bible at you screaming about how you’re going to hell is what the founding fathers had hoped for us.

    The extremism I see on the left is far more pervasive and harmful though.

    Label me a neanderthal if you will but I’m just giving you my two cents on the world as I see it at this point in time.

  • Good writing, Mr. Ash, in the best of the muckraking tradition. Same goes for the comment thread. You must have hit the nerve with some, pun intended, judging by the intensity of the responses.

    A couple of observations.

    First, I tend to disagree with you about the prospects of Obama doing an about-face. One doesn’t acquire spine, character, integrity at whim. There are by-products of a lifetime. So I don’t hold much hope for that, regardless of the political exigencies which may or may not arise or changes in the political climate.

    Which brings me to my second point. You argue about the successes of this administration, citing legislative victories in the area of healthcare (you might add as well the financial regulation act, about to go into effect). Well, as part of my response to you, I’d say that these measures were long overdue and would have passed under any Democratic administration (under Hillary, for example), and with greater effectiveness, I’ll venture to say. So in my view, the credit doesn’t go to Obama but the tenor of the times. The time was ripe, in spite of the Chief Executive’s timidity. If anything, he had hurt the cause (more than helped it) by acquiescing to inferior, loopholes-ridden legislation. A less comprehensive but more ambitious act, more progressive on key points but cleaner, would have been far preferable. And so, we’re stuck, for the time being at least, with the old collusion between Big Business and Big Government, without having made the clean break. It’s the same old story.

    Thirdly, I would stress the deleterious impact of the administration. It has been uniquely inept in the area of communication as regards the “hope and change” agenda. (I’m ignoring the effectiveness of Obama in the campaigning mode; that’s not only past tense but irrelevant as well.) Not only did the president fail to inspire the country (think of FDR, as a counter-example, or JFK, or Bobby Kennedy’s potential, from the more recent past); he had in fact contributed to an ever greater division. Not saying now that a reactionary movement could have been altogether avoided; but at the hands of a more skillful and genuine leader, the division would have never reached the present proportions.

    The way I see it, Mr. Ash, inspiring confidence and good will in the people is perhaps the most important trademark of good presidency – setting the tone, that’s what I’m talking about. And in this, I consider the most important of respects, the present occupant of the White House has been an abject failure. No about-face of any kind, whether as part of window-dressing or real, is going to reverse the course. The damage has been done. Anyways, the usual trajectory of even initially successful politicians is fall from grace. Repairing the tarnished image is almost unheard of.

    You speak of “cowardice” and how it affects us all. I beg to disagree. Tell it to the radical, progressive Left. From the git-go, they had they reservations, now only confirmed. As to the condition of hoi poloi, the “unwashed masses,” the Tea Partiers and the bunch, well, they’ve always been inflicted with cowardice, cowardice bases in ignorance. (Again, the intended consequence of a policy intent on keeping ’em uneducated, barefoot, and pregnant, the legacy of America.) Yet, it’s precisely those masses that needed addressing, not the radical Left. Well, the administration thought it had sufficient mandate to ignore a significant portion of the population either because it thought it could do without them or that they were past saving. But in ignoring the masses, it ignored America.

    Ultimately, I agree with Mark, of course. Our problems are systemic and beyond fixing in terms of mere leadership. Still, good and effective leadership could at least prepare the ground for bigger and better things to come. But this is not the present predicament. All we’ve got to look forward to in the immediate future is a voice of reaction. Thanks, but no thanks.

    One final comment in passing, with reference to poster Dan’s entries. It is fairly apparent than Dan hadn’t had much experience mixing with black people. He speaks of them in the abstract as it were. His reading of the NAACP response to Ms Sherrod’s confession is colored by his ignorance. Black folk are far more religious and spiritual than the whites. Had Dan any real, person-to-person contact with the blacks, attended some of the Black churches, he would have known how genuinely sincere they are in matters of conversion and faith. Where he sees the NAACP applauding Ms. Sherrod’s alleged racism, those who know better see her coming to terms with her faith and personal growth.

    I was going to comment on Archie’s “survival of the fittest” world picture, but Jordan beat me to the punch.

  • I tend to disagree, Adam, with your characterization of Archie. He’s a far more honest and genuine representative of “the right,” (if such be the case, which I doubt)in my honest opinion, than Baronius has even revealed himself to be. Archie often comes across as a fundamentalist nut, but there has been a great many changes in his world picture of late (none in Baronius, I might add).

    For one thing, he doesn’t lack the decency impulse or quotient, sadly missing, by your own account, in Baronius’s often articulate but self-defeating deliberations. And that’s far more important in my book than any education and sophistication that the best schools can buy.

  • Bill B

    RE # 26
    Baronius – That is a copout – Besides, it’s exactly what was done to Mark Williams. Indeed you can’t force a group/individual who espouses repugnant positions to ‘go away’ but you can distance yourself from them and purge them from a albeit loosely organized national structure.

    National Tea Party Federation

    That being said I do realize why Repubs/Conserves may not be familiar with the practice, even with a multitude of opportunities in their midst, so I recommend ya’ll of a more lucid status follow the lead of one William F. Buckley who was the first to have the stones to put the Birchers where they belonged, on the fringe, back in the 60’s when they were making inroads into the repub/conserve movement. A quick survey of the present right side political landscape shows no one of such stature. Too bad.

    Read a short recap of it here.

    My how the movement has gone off the deep end.

  • Arch Conservative

    “And that’s far more important in my book than any education and sophistication that the best schools can buy.”

    Kudos to you Roger.

    Simply having a degree does not, as a general rule, make one a better person than not having a degree. It also does not necessarily make one more insightful or informed.

    Corny as it may sound, it is true. Life itself in it’s entirety, the good, the bad, the spectacular and the mundane, provides the greatest and most useful education that a person could ever want or need.

  • Arch Conservative

    Bill B talking about Bill B?

    Is you moniker a tribute?

    The thing about the Tea Party as a general movement is that it is ridiculously simple to ascertain what is in fact all about for one with an objective mind and an appetite for the truth.

    The tea party movement is at it’s most basic level about exactly two things.

    The first being that our federal government is much to large and spends much too much money on wasteful, usless things.

    The second is that the federal government is much too large and much too often interferes unnecessarily in the lives of private citizens.

    That’s it.

    The far left, which is all about the state controlling every aspect of our waking lives, realizes the populist sentiment that exists at the heart of the movement so they have taken to labeling it as a whole racist. It’s quite sickening really. But then, everything the far left does is degenerate, perverse and sickening.

  • Cogent thinking has always been at premium, Bill B. And it’s true across the political divide. What we’re getting from both the Right and the Left are sound-bytes, buzzwords, mere slogans to make us feel better. Those shortcuts are hardly a substitute for cogent, ground-breaking thought. But we’ve grown accustomed to platitudes. If platitudes are what the American public is willing to settle for, platitudes they’ll get.

  • Bill B

    Not sure what your questions are getting at Arch.

    re the tea party if what you say is true, where have they been for the 8 years prior to Obama? Gov sure didn’t shrink during Bush and spending was thru the roof. It’s a bunch more than that and just listening to their sky is falling careening toward socialism rhetoric, to name just a couple of their soundbites, shows how much more is at work here. They started protesting 2 months into Obama’s presidency for cripes sake! Where were the cap hill protests when Bush started TARP?

    Anywho that wasn’t what I was talking w/Baronius about anyway.

  • Adam Ash

    Arch Conservative:
    I apologize for calling you a Neanderthal. I mistook you for some of the crazies here, and I shouldn’t have.

    Like you, I believe in personal responsibility. I’ve heard enough black Americans whine about the system while they countenance systemic failures in their own communities that are bizarre. I like people who fight back, like Dr King and the Black Panthers and Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, not people who whine about how systemic racism — which is very real — keeps them down. That’s why I like Shirley Sherrod. Would that all blacks — and whites — were like her.

    I think though your analysis needs to take two things into account:
    1. It’s the Republicans who expand government, in order to hand out subsidies to Big Oil, Wall Street, taxes to the rich et al, and who make deficits. Reagan said government is the problem, but after his 8 years there were more people working for the government than ever before. It’s the Dems who shrink government, like Clinton did, who also left us with a surplus. The Right believes in a strong central government that carries out the wishes of the privileged — they don’t try to spread power around, they try to centralize it. It strikes me as central planning by the rich for the rich and of the rich, and it’s the reason why we’re losing our entrepreneurial mojo.

    2. You say:
    “In their approach the left creates what has often been referred to as ‘moral relativity.’ They seek not to expect any kind of responsibility of the individual but rather blame others entirely. The only discriminating factor in applying this approach is wether you yourself share the left’s political views. If you do, then you become an untouchable. If you’re even slightly right of center in your sociopolitical views then your are to be villified and personally attacked.”

    I think this is a straw man erected by the likes of FOX News and their forebears. I think what lies behind this thumb-suckery is the old playbook of the right: “hey white people, here come the black and poor people to rob you of what is yours.” It’s presented as a zero-sum game, instead of saying if we can help the least among us with better education, etc., then we will expand the pie for everyone.

    That is all for now, Arch Conservative. Again, I’m sorry I leapt to a conclusion about you that was at best graceless and at worst just plain fucked up.

    Adam Ash

  • Bill B

    Agreed Roger – Except I think the right exploits this much more than the left, and more effectively. Not as extensive on the left as I see it as I see the left as being more diverse, getting it to agree on stuff is like herding cats, and they’re also prone to eat their own.

    In the end the old saying rings true; we get the government we deserve.

  • The reason why the left is so much more agitated and prone to disagreement among their own is precisely because it hasn’t lost intellectual vitality. The Right may be better at exploiting its positions better precisely because it is far more united (on account of their few-in-between, long-stagnated and stale ideas. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

  • Adam Ash

    Arch Conservative:
    I’ve now read what Roger wrote about you, and I’m happy to add my agreement to that.

    Unlike Baronius, you don’t get unnecessarily grumpy. Myself, I can get grumpy, and I count it as a failing.

    I agree with what you say about Obama. I think there is no mystery there, between the promise of candidate Obama and the letdown of President Obama.

    I don’t think it’s that he lost track of what a president is supposed to do, which is to inspire at least half of us to live up to our better angels. No, I think this dude was, like all candidates, vetted by the powers that be. Goldman Sachs et al, big Oil, big Pharma, they all invited him over for coffee (or brandy and cigars) a long time ago, when they knew he was a comer, and he’s just one more dude co-opted by the club who is doing the bidding of the club, albeit with a semi-populist flavor that is quite meaningless in the context of our plutocracy-ruled “democracy.”

    However, what if, in his second term, when he has nothing to lose, and serious thoughts about his legacy and his place in history assail him, and in his heart he listens to the voice of his humanitarian idealistic white Mom … what if … what if … I’m still hoping.

    Adam Ash

  • Well, Adam, I’ll take my lead here from Solon who, when asked by a Persian monarch to comment on the quality of life and character of one of Solon’s contemporaries – Herodotus is the source – Solon remarked that no epitaph should be written until the person is dead: only then we’re in the position to judge their life and works.

  • Arch Conservative

    Well Adam……

    I think that both Bush and Obama have proven that both parties will exponentially grow the federal government if it serves their purpose. Also let’s not forget that Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming by a GOP Congress on the balance budget and welfare reform.

    As it is I really no longer call myself a Republican, only a conservative. As much as I despise the Democrats I’m not very thrilled to know that the GOP has a good chance to take Congress this fall as they’re not any more inclined to exhbit any fiscal restraint. I think that is the best of all possible situations though…one party having the White House and the other controlling congress. It serves to minimize the damage they can do.

    I didn’t vote for McCain in 2008. I voted for Chuck Baldwin. I will probably vote the Constitution party again in 2012.

  • John Wilson

    85 – Arch Conservative

    Are you really saying that LACK of education is better than education?

  • John Wilson

    81 – Arch Conservative
    “…the novelty of Obama’s skin color is the only thing that is any way unusual about him.”

    So, you count his Harvard education in constitutional law for nothing? His speaking ability? His history of bi-partisanship?

    Can you think of any president, or any politician, who is just like Obama except for skin color?

  • John Wilson

    94-Arch: “…both parties will exponentially grow the federal government…”

    Demonstrates Archs lack of education and misuse of ‘exponential’.

    Of course government growth is proportional to government size, which is the mathematical situation that gives rise to exponential curves. Any freshman student of differential calculus would know that.

    It is also true ‘exponential’ describes many decay curves that approach an asymptote (such as 0), and saturation curves that approach a limit.

    But I suppose you just mean ‘exponential’ to mean ‘big’ or ‘extravagant’, or something else vague, and rather pejorative.

    But your misuse speaks ill of your education and your disrespect for words and concepts.

  • He didn’t say any such thing, John? Are you baiting him.

  • “But your misuse speaks ill of your education and your disrespect for words and concepts.”

    I disagree. In spite of Archie’s frequent recourse to pejorative terms, he’s more attuned to meanings and conceptual connections than many BC posters. I think it’s rather petty to single out his misuse of the term “exponential” as reflective of his native intelligence or to belittle his education. In my nearly two-years experience with Archie on BC, I would never accuse him of disrespect for words and concepts – and certainly not on the basis of this one example.

  • zingzing

    not that i’m going to get into the business of defending archie, but i believe he does have a degree. i know that he at least went to school, although he clearly hated it. he’s compared it to leftist reeducation camps frequently. so maybe he did drop out.

    there’s good archie and there’s bad archie. bad archie comes out frequently and makes ludicrous, hateful comments that serve no purpose. good archie holds sway for large swaths of time, however. it’s like a bipolar disorder set off not by chemical imbalances, but by political events.

  • John Wilson

    The core problem with Obama is that he is a Corporate Statist, he, like Clinton, believes that societal power rests in the hands of large corporate (and other institutional) organizations, and that this is just and proper.

    Of course one expects republican presidents such as the Bushes to be Corporate Statists, since they were born to it. Reagan required some experience, until corporatism made him rich and powerful, before he recognized the holy righteousness of Big Companies and their servants, government agencies.

    The Tea Party folk react to Obamas statism with a resentment they couldn’t afford themselves when a Bush or Reagan was president because of the cooing sounds such men directed toward the right. But now they are unleashed, and it’s a bonus that they get a legitimate reason to bash a black guy without betraying any racism. How sweet.

  • Adam Ash

    Another way to put it is that Obama believes that all of society’s problems can be solved via private enterprise (that’s why he favored our present healthcare system WITHOUT the public option) but that private enterprise should be a little more regulated than the GOP believes, who want private enterprise to be deregulated to such an extent that rich people can fleece middle-class and poor people to the maximum.

    I, on the other hand, believe that not all of society’s problems can be solved by private enterprise. Some of society’s problems — the law, cops, education, defense — need to addressed by a mixture of government and private enterprise. That would include healthcare too. Medicare for everyone, and private doctors for the rich who want the best care, damn the price. When it comes to education: public schools for everyone, and private schools for the rich who can afford it, damn the price. Etcetera. The private enterprise/government mix works in many areas, sometimes really well, sometimes not so well.

    I also believe banking is simply a public utility. Let there be government banks and private banks. North Dakota has its own state-owned bank. Which is why North Dakota is the only state with a surplus, and with the least unemployed workers, and with the least foreclosures of all the states.

    Wall Street is a concept that has outlived its usefulness, and only manages to hang on to its Neanderthal status because it has bought Washington. It does not add any productive value to America. On the contrary, it destroys the country on which it battens. Its entrepreneurial functions can be taken over by venture capitalists. Its banking functions would be done more reliably by smaller community banks and credit unions. And its casino functions? Well, they should be heavily regulated — unto death if need be.

    Adam Ash

  • “I, on the other hand, believe that not all of society’s problems can be solved by private enterprise.”

    You had better believe it. In fact, private enterprise running amok cannot be ignored as one of the determinants that brought us to the present.

  • Adam Ash

    Indeed. The myth of the “efficient market hypothesis” or the “free market” (code for rigged market) so heavily promoted by the Wall Street Journal, the US Chamber of Commerce, Milton Friedman and the Chicago School, and now the Supreme Court, is an American brand of fundamentalism that has brought us, and the world, immense harm — and will, unfortunately, continue to do so.

    Adam Ash

  • Jordan Richardson

    Archie does NOT get unnecessarily grumpy? Is this backwards day?

  • Well, I’m sure glad we’re in agreement here. People like Doug Hunter, one of the most reasonable exponents of the conservative position – at his better moments, I hasten to end – would have me believe that opposing the blind dogma of the free enterprise as being the end all and be all is somehow inimical to his admittedly outdated, eighteen-century notions of personal liberty and freedom.

    As far as I am concerned, even the most enlightened exponents of “free markets,” thus understood, fail to comprehend the bind they happen to be in – the dear price that is being paid daily for the sake of preserving however slight traces of these outmoded, ill-understood notions.

  • Let’s make it then a “dump on Archie” day, going with the flow, as it were.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Are you really saying that LACK of education is better than education?”

    Did you even read what I wrote John?

    If you did and you understood it then you’re going to great lengths to twist the meaning of what I said which basically was that having a formal education is not the sole indicator of the character of a person, how well informed they or how insightful they can be.

    I don’t see how any reasonable person could contrue my earlier comment to imply that I place no value at all on formal education.

    For the reord I have a Bachelor’s from the University of New Hampshire and was actually accepted into the School of Public Health at Boston University. I did not attend for financial reasons.

    On the other hand are you saying that an individual that does not possess a college education can not be intelligient, well informed and possess a a thorough understanding of the issues of the day John.

    Forgive me but you tend to come off as some arrogant, elitist snob employed in the halls of academia.

    As for my comment about the color of Obama’s skin. I’m not alone in saying that there’s a disticnt possibility that had he he been white he may not be the president now. Lots of other politicians atteneded IVY league schools that’s no big deal (just more proof of the fact that you feel the school a person wents to dictates their worth as a human being) his oratory skills and leadership…………well roughly one of this nation isn’t all that impressed with them. So no…….I see absolutely nothing remarkable in the man and judging by hill recent poll numbers nor do most Americans. He’s a media creation with no real experience in the areas of foreign policy, economics, or management. he served one purpose well though. Millions of white liberals are still patting themselve son the back for being so open minded as to vote for a black guy. Never mind that unemployment has crept up to almost 10% under that black or that that black guy has pretty much carried out the same policy in Afghanistan and Iraq that the hated Bush did.

  • “As for my comment about the color of Obama’s skin. I’m not alone in saying that there’s a distinct possibility that had he he been white he may not be the president now.”

    Shoot, Archie. Geraldine Ferraro made that very point during the primaries, arguing that Obama’s “mystique” wouldn’t have carried him as far as it did had he been white, that he was, in a manner of speaking, an affirmative action choice, an unknown quantity, a candidate whose greatest value was symbolic, etcetera, etcetera. She wasn’t the only one, of course, but she was the most vocal. (Of course, it got her fired.)

    So yes, you’re on the right track here. It’s not only a “distinct possibility,” as you say: a “good probability,” IMO, is a much apter term – especially in light of how close the primaries have been, down to the wire.

    Little is talked about it these days, but one could well argue that Hillary has been screwed by the Democratic party establishment – they were so anti-Clintons! – by so-called “super-delegates” and machinations behind closed doors.

  • Zedd


    Yes Obama is a coward for playing the game however, I think he has been courageous to push for discussions that are more nuanced in a nation where simple (barely thought through) reactions substitute for solutions. In a post GWB climate I cant imagine anyone else having the nerve to slow things down and actually require that matters be relayed in a way that displays their complexity.

    However, yes, he’s a coward but more so pragmatic. Any braver, he would not hold the seat he has and reform would never occur.

  • Zedd

    Good article as always (vuvuzela blasting).

  • Zedd, the seat he’d won he would hold, win or lose, for at least four years

    Sometimes less is more.

  • Zedd

    What I find more frustrating is how the news media continues to say that when things are presented in their complexity that we the public cant understand. It infuriates me. They say this while commenting on what has been presented thusly suggesting that THEY are smarter than the public. What’s even more interesting is that on none of those occasions has the issue been too vexing or complicated at all.

  • Zedd


    He cant get things done if he is unpopular. The Legislative body also responds to polls and public sentiment. They would not support his initiatives if he was disliked by our flaccid public.

  • Adam Ash


    I beg to disagree. Obama beat Hillary fair and square — by collecting more money from Wall Street and his army of small supporters than she could.

    Plus, his message of change (vs hers of experience) was what the country wanted to hear. She was totally outclassed, and only found her oratorical feet after she had lost.

    Obama presided over a smooth machine, which he ran like a master. She presided over a squabbling bunch of assholes, with her main man, Penn, being the biggest asshole of all, since he didn’t have the common sense to see that the election was about change, which she as a woman embodied. Instead her campaign banged on about her experience and about how she’d be Ready On Day One — in other words, she ran a Dukakis campaign of competence, which got him nowhere and which got her nowhere.

    Obama was brilliant at getting the honkies to love him, as he had been all his life. And now as President, he has vanished so far up the posteriors of Big Business, he has forgotten how to charm the plebs out there, and his approval numbers are in the toilet.

    It’s going to be interesting to see him campaign for his party’s likely defeat in November 2. Either way, he can’t lose. In fact, a GOP House and Senate would help him win big in 2010, because they’ll probably waste the country’s time with subpoenas about total BS instead of legislating, and their program — cut taxes — will be seen for the deficit-increasing imbecility it is.

    Adam Ash

  • Well, I’m not going to dispute irretrievable past.

    Zedd, my argument is that he squandered his popularity, first with the radical left and then with the hoi poloi. As far as I’m concerned, corporate bailouts were his undoing.

    He could have come across as a true progressive, since the sentiment against Wall Street was as its high (just as in the case of GW right after the 9/11. The question of the moment was not Wall Street but Main Street, the escalating rates of foreclosures and unemployment. Instead, he took his eye of the ball and squandered his political capital.

    His unpopularity is in no small measure a consequence of failed policies and public perception. Whether another set of policies would have been more effective, this we’ll never know. But public perception he could do something about.

    You’ve got to distinguish between oratory and communication skills. In the first area, speaking of Obama’s campaigning mode, he excels. In the second, he stinks.

  • Shoot, Zedd. I shouldn’t have to be saying this to you. Compare Nelson Mandela, a person of true integrity and backbone with the present White House occupant.

    It’s the person’s integrity and unshakable beliefs that make them a great communicator; it’s not something you can learn in Harvard or Yale taking post-graduate courses in the art of rhetoric.

  • Adam Ash

    Yes Zedd,
    The MSM’s belief that they are smarter than the public is beyond infuriating. Our commentariat are the biggest dumbfucks that ever lived — on the right, the left and in the center.

    What a bunch of suck-ups to power. I find it weird that the best articles about the state of the nation have all come from Rolling Stone magazine, for chrissake:

    1. Matt Taibbi’s takedown of Goldman Sachs, after which the MSM went, ohmigod, yes, that’s true, let’s pile on!

    2. Dickinson’s exposure of the fact that far from cleaning up the regulators who under Bush-Cheney had had coke-and-sex parties with Big Oil … Obama’s oil man Ken Salazar had kept most of the worst offenders in place and had changed sweet fuckall.

    3. Hastings’ piece on General McCrystal which got the asshole General fired. In this case, the MSM, true to form, just prattled on about what the General had said about Joe Biden & company, completely ignoring the fact that the piece was a brilliant exposure of why we should not be in Afghanistan.

    It’s not that our commentariat thinks we wouldn’t follow in-depth analysis: the truth is our commentariat themselves are incapable of writing it.

    They’ve vanished so far past the sphincters of the powers that be, and they’re so deep in there, they can neither see clearly enough nor have enough room to move their hands enough to write a few paragraphs of actual truth, let alone anything meaty the rest of America can sink their teeth into.

    Adam Ash

  • John Wilson

    Obama was elected because he was a safe, uh, token. Middle of the road, mixed, not angry. Thereby we could all discharge our heritage of racism, we figured. Once elected, we could go back to our old way, which includes lynching, apparently, even if only figuratively.

    And so it goes.

    We’re screwed, if only by our own proclivities.

  • John Wilson

    The truest and most direct words on our MSM:

    “The MSM’s belief that they are smarter than the public is beyond infuriating. Our commentariat are the biggest dumbfucks that ever lived — on the right, the left and in the center.

    What a bunch of suck-ups to power.”

  • There are notable exceptions. Whether you want to count them among the MSM, that’s another question.

    Adam, you write: “the truth is our commentariat themselves are incapable of writing it [i.e., in-depth analysis].”

    Yet, a paragraph of two above, you say: “the MSM, true to form, just prattled on about what the General had said about Joe Biden & company, completely ignoring the fact that the piece was a brilliant exposure of why we should not be in Afghanistan.”

    So which is it, then? Is it a problem of literacy or problem of the will?

  • Zedd


    You cant compare the situation in SA in 1990 to a country that has been established for over 200 yrs., in the economic climate that we are in, post 911 and GWB for goodness sake.

    However, what you don’t know is that Mandela was a moderate. There were many, many more who considered him too compliant.

    However, AGAIN, what sustains great nations are smart strategists who don’t govern based on passion but reason – understanding that their societies are fragile and a balance must be struck as change is effected.

    Most of the Utopian models speak to the utility of a strategic molding of the population’s ideals.

    We HAVE changed. Change has occurred. We are not focused on Iraq. There is NO conversation about evil doers and those who hate freedom. We are seriously battling for healthcare reform. No politician dared bring up UHC a couple of years back. Do you remember the climate just a couple of years ago? What about 5 yrs ago? Heck I remember whispering at lunch, talking to some guy about how stupid this war is. We were all afraid of being called unpatriotic and un American(??).

    The change we need is not for any ONE President to give us everything we want. The change we need is for Washington to get smart. For real dialogue about real issues to take place. Right now, it’s happening. The conversations are much less simplistic and pelleted with cliches and feel good nothingness. We are talking about issues and the challenges that it will take to get passed them. WHILE in the midst of the most difficult economic time in our history.

    Come on guys. Being unreasonable with your leaders perpetuates the lies. You seem to want them to lie to you.

  • Adam Ash

    Yes, there are notable exceptions. For example, Matt Taibbi and Paul Krugman, both of whom do not let any fear of loss of access get in the way of speaking their minds, and in Taibbi’s case, often at great length.

    Their backgrounds are not the usual reporter’s or pundit’s route. Taibbi cut his teeth on co-owning and writing a weekly in Moscow, and Krugman was gotten in by the NY Times to write about economics, and when he discovered that Bush was talking shite early on, was the FIRST writer, long before anyone else, to consistently go after Bush-Cheney, months before 9/11. Krugman was a lonely voice, only later joined by many others.

    I think it’s a problem of will and lack of thought, and also this: these MSM people all live in an inside-the-Beltway and inside-the-power-elite bubble.

    I’ll never forget Anderson Cooper once snidely saying about some dude who impersonated his dead mother to collect her Social Security: “He did it for $8,000 a year. It doesn’t make sense, that’s peanuts.” To Anderson Cooper, who earns millions a year, that is indeed peanuts, but to most of us $8,000 a year can make a big difference.

    The MSM cannot appreciate how the rest of us live, because they’re cushioned from us by their privileged bubble existence. That’s what’s wrong with most of the folks in the power-elite bubble. They have no idea. You can’t really blame them. Their cluelessness stems from their very existence.

    Like Shirley Sherrod said, she wants to talk to Obama, to tell him about the lives of regular Americans, because he hasn’t lived anything like it, and doesn’t know.

    Adam Ash

  • Zedd


    While I agree entirely with your comments on the MSM, I wouldn’t put it in those words. Still a lady you know….

    “What a bunch of suck-ups to power”

    That is the biggest problem. They want to be part of the in crowd. They want to hob nob and be invited to stuff and have witty conversations with those that they are charged with holding accountable.

    The Reagan administration did an amazing job of frightening the MSM into compliance. They accused all of them of being liberals and they spent two decades trying to prove that they weren’t, while the nation dumbed down and the elected officials got lazier and stupider. All sorts of ridiculousness was left unchecked because no one wanted to be accused of being a liberal. Rush Limbaugh came to the fore (several decades back such an imbecile would not have had a chance). But because of the climate, he was barely checked and his nonsense prevailed until we now end up we end up with Fox.

    Now you have the annoying bubble heads on CNN believing themselves to be the paramount in hard hitting journalism.

  • Zedd

    Okay, my next rant was going to be about how Anderson Cooper can not… well what you said. Whats unfortunate is that he is one of the best because he doesn’t need to be liked by the elite like some of the rest. However, he cant identify with the public much.

  • Adam Ash

    It’s true that the whole atmosphere and conversation has changed since the change from GWB to BHO.

    However, the disappointment is that Obama is not seizing the moment like he could, and like he promised. The BP oil disaster, for example, is a GREAT moment to launch us on a green energy path with the national will that infused the Manhattan Project, or led us to land a man on the moon. But Obama, who has the potential to seize this moment, has NOT seized it.

    He appears to lack the courage of his convictions, or the will to deliver the change he promised, or he is so beholden to his corporate backers that he has turned into a Profile in Cowardice instead of Courage.

    Yes, the conversation has changed, and Obama is doing many good things, for which he deserves great credit, but he is letting down his own potential and the potential of this nation, that could be great again, if he decided to lead us to greatness — instead of doing what he is doing, which is to lead us to incremental steps of slow improvement.

    I find it terribly sad.

    Adam Ash

  • Zedd


    I think that you are so deeply immersed in your world on the left to the point of not having a clear understanding of the political climate.

    He cant talk about Green when the economy is a mess. Green means attacking certain industries. At least they will see it as an attack. Workers in those economies that are having the most adverse effect on the environment are not necessarily white collar.

    This is a bad time. I really tricky time. No leader would please the people right now.

    However, I think he is doing really well under the circumstance.

  • Dan

    John Wilson #97, Websters New World dictionary defines exponentially as: of or increasing by very large amounts etc. Which is exactly the way Arch Conservative utilized the word. Boorish behavior deserves egg on the face.

    I think what some of you are missing about MSM is they do not have free reign to shill for leftist politicians anymore. They abused the public trust in a way that left a void to fill.

    First Rush Limbaugh stepped in and became popular, not just because of his talent, but because he began to demonstrate exactly how the deceitful game was being played.

    Showing people how they are being manipulated, while maintaining a high standard of integrity yourself sells. Big.

    Rush opened the door for an honest, non-agenda driven news network by discrediting the leftist biased MSM over and over again.

    Now, for the first time we get to see the stories the MSM buried. It’s a good thing.

  • Adam Ash

    If Obama decided to come out heart and soul for Green Energy, he could easily finesse those who’d say he’s destroying jobs in the oil and coal business — he could say he wants to create new unexportable jobs alongside the old jobs.

    I’ve got nothing against Rush Limbaugh and FOX News pushing their right-wing agenda against the cowardly centrist agenda of the MSM. What I think is despicable is that they lie all the time. ALL THE TIME. The Breitbart operation of the Big Lie, and the FOX News operation of the Constant Big Lie, smack of Goebbels.

    FOX News is owned by an ex-Australian and their second biggest investor is a Muslim Saudi Prince. This is the un-American operation that Glenn Beck, O’Rellly and Hannity are shilling for. The question should be asked of them that was asked of McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

    To the extent that you defend these liars, you are a dupe of a Muslim Saudi Prince and an ex-Australian, Rupert Murdoch, who peddles his formula of sex and right-wing propaganda all over the world. His own children are totally embarrassed by FOX News, but it makes too much money for Rupert to pull the plug. Lies make money — and produce dupes like you.

    Adam Ash

  • Zedd


    I agree with the spirit of your position but I think there is some naivety there as well.

    Developing a practical and comprehensive green economy would take more than 2yrs to design. We are and have been simply trying to stay afloat. Green is a luxury right now. Implementing that economy means us dismantling the way that we do just about everything. While this may sound glorious, it is more than risky and more than complicated. We are talking about a nation that is steeped in doing things simply because that is how we do them. For goodness sakes we cant switch to the metric system.

    The first Black man in office cant be a revolutionary, not in America. CANT.

    So don’t bother to be disappointed, it’s a waist of emotion. He CANT. We are much further than we have ever been and we will progress. Some of us by virtue of our life’s experiences understand that more than others.

    Intense revolution creates catastrophe. Human beings are not so pliable. Things don’t fall back into place easily. You of all people should know that. I’m sure you know a lot of displaced relatives because of a major shift in society (even if its for the right reasons).

  • That Dan [or anyone] could with a straight face refer to hyperbolic, greedy clown Rush Limbaugh as “honest” tells us most of what we need to know about the commenter himself. [Limbaugh has perpetrated enough of his own racially-charged provocations to make Breitbart look like a pale imitation, albeit with New Media flashiness.]

  • Zedd, the voice of moderation. It seems to me you were more radical, on certain social issues at least, six months backs.

    You do make fair points. I wasn’t offering strategies however – that’s a different mode – only expressing disappointment.

    You still didn’t address my main points, though, that of public perception and the function of effective communication. Given your take on things, Obama was bound to be perceived as a failure (what is it, by at least half of the country by now?), no matter what. But this argument doesn’t make any sense in light of the conditions under which he assumed office. What you’re saying in effect is that he was bound to be elected (by a fairly sizeable majority, let’s face it), and equally bound to become unpopular once elected. This line of reasoning is absurd.

    You have just got to allow for the possibility that serious missteps were made insofar as the general public and public perception was concerned, and that’s in spite of the Republican counterattack machinery. Say what you will, but I call is an error in judgment, a failure to adequately read the pulse of the nation. As to the reasons why, that’s irrelevant. It could be inexperience, arrogance, character deficiency, over-ambitiousness (trying to do too much in the time allotted), desire to leave a legacy. I’m not a mind reader, so I can’t answer any of those questions. But the brute facts remain: the country is more divided than ever.

    I’ve already alluded to one such misstep – corporate bailouts, favoring Wall Street over Main Street in the midst of the growing unemployment and foreclosure crises. The public sentiment was ripe at the time, his electoral victory barely succeeded the biggest ever scandal in the financial sector. Just like Bush in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, riding a wave of popular support, he faced a unique opportunity to mobilize the country behind the anti-Wall Street sentiment, and go for it. AIG, Goldman Sachs, etc. – all those firms should be allowed to fail. The biggest banks and financial institutions could be “nationalized,” if only for a stretch, under the concept of “the state of exception.”

    Would the Republicans object to a policy denying the bailouts? Sure they would, just as they have to Obama having authorized them. But think, even in the present, all-divisive climate, the financial reform legislation just passed is still popular with the public, and that in spite of the Republican opposition and Obama’s tarnished image. How much more could be accomplished with a stern anti-corruption policy (both in the financial sector and yes, governmental agencies too) we’ll never know of course. But my argument is, the golden opportunity was there and as far as I am concerned, it was squandered.

    Carpe diem, an ancient poet once said, a phrase which over time acquired political connotations. Well, that just didn’t happen.

    I must disclose my ideological bias: the collusion between Big Government and Big Business is what I regard as the crux of the problem. (I’m giving you a diluted version, because I’ve long crossed even that line.) So from my standpoint, not much has changed.

    You speak of legislative acts of historical significance. Perhaps, but it’s too early to tell. But as I said, less oftentimes is more. We need more than a bandaid, not when radical surgery is in order.

    Lastly, you speak of unreasonable expectations of administration delivering more. I haven’t expressed that sentiment, so again, I’ll say that less is more. I’m more concerned with setting a new tone for the nation, I mean the entire nation, and in this respect I think the administration failed. Consequently, what we’ve got to look forward to in immediate future is the voice of reaction. Not a desirable effect, I’d argue, of – to use your words now – “effective presidency.”

    If you address my concerns, I’ll know we’re on the same wavelength.

  • Dan

    Adam, Naturally I’m certain that you are the dupe. Because we are polar opposite in ideology, It rouses my curiosity about how anyone could understand things in such a fantastically perverted way from my own carefully considered, honest, and lucid world view.

    You mention the famous quote asked of Sen. McCarthy, but what I know is that when the Venona papers were declassified, the decryptions of Soviet cables contained within identified some 90% of the 81 persons, recommended by McCarthy for investigation, as Soviet operatives.

    See. Even an fabled leftist assumption designed to claim moral high ground is contentious.

    I suppose your outing of a “Muslim Saudi Prince” investing in Fox News is supposed to appeal to some prejudice you think right wingers have. Hilarious. Elton John played piano for Rush Limbaughs wedding.

    I guess you could say that capitalism has the effect of bringing us all together.

    Speaking again of Rush Limbaugh. He is the one who broke through the propagandist leftist monopoly on news media. You don’t get him and I understand why, But it is such an important developement in societal evolution that it deserves to be examined:

    Rush doesn’t “push” a right wing agenda as you say. He is a conservative and those traditional founding principles of meritocracy, individualism, property rights etc. do leak out, but he isn’t preaching an agenda. for example, I’ve listended semi-regularly for years and I don’t know where he stands on abortion (reproductive rights to you). When his pain reliever addiction got him in trouble, liberals scoured the archives for what they were sure would be hours of hypocritical railing for stricter drug laws. Didn’t find any.

    No, the central, main, focused purpose of Rush Limbaugh is to expose leftist politicians and their media allies in the lies and manipulations that have been perpetrated on the American public.

    Breitbart is following in those same footsteps. Now that cameras are commonplace and personalized, leftist have a harder time perpetrating fraud. That’s why certain “iconic” congressman don’t get away with claiming to be called “nigger” 15 times. Individuals have footage of the incident, and Breitbart publishes it.

  • Adam Ash

    Yes, I know from personal experience how upsetting a revolution can be, and I also know that life goes on nevertheless (even in besieged Gaza women still fall pregnant and have babies).

    And yes, I probably am naive. But I’m not asking for a revolution: I’m just asking for green energy technologies to be implemented alongside the old oil and coal ones in a modest way for a start. Let the oil and coal industry implement them, I don’t care. But we could give a little more stimulus to technologies that make us oil-independent, environmentally a little more responsible, and make us partake in new businesses that the Chinese government is already heavily investing in. Do we want to be outdone by the Chinese, for chrissake?

    This Green Energy initiative is a smallish change that young people are all for, since they studied everything about the rainforest etc in school.

    It’s not a tough sell at all. It’s not a big revolution. It’s just a modest change of emphasis. It can be done, now, by Obama, if he got his tongue out of his butt. The country could get behind him on that. It could give us a little hope in the future.

    If that’s naive, so be it. But please, let’s start, let’s get the ball rolling. Let’s start just slightly bigger than we have already. You don’t have to get overly ambitious to get started. But you have to start, dammit.

    Adam Ash.

  • Many people worked in the horse and buggy trade, but we moved on…and I’m sure many families relied on the trains and steam boats of years gone past…it’s time to move on once more…

    We must leave all fossil fuels behind.

    Did I read Adams’ comment correctly when he said he didn’t care if the oil industry remains in charge of our energy consumptions future?


  • “. . .[I]f the oil industry remains in charge of our energy consumptions future,” we’ll be just as screwed as before.

    Except they’ll be screwing us with green, not with brown. Some of course will view it as progress.

  • Adam Ash

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. You think Limbaugh (just another superrich dude milking the plebs) is honest; I think he and Breitbart lie. You think the left lies. So be it (though it would be interesting if you could mention a recent specific lie by a recent specific leftie — besides bringing up Dan Rather again).

    As far as the Saudi prince goes, I brought him up because I think all Saudi “royalty” are bigger scumbags than Goldman Sachs.

    They oppress their people … they export their extreme fundamentalist Wahhabi religion all over the world — to the point that their madrassas in Pakistan spawned the Taliban … most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis … the main terrorist of all, Osama Bin Ladin, is a Saudi, whose family, the builders for Saudi royalty, was in business with Bush One, James Baker et al … and our troops were stationed near Mecca to prop up the Saudi regime, and this troop presence was the main spur for the 9/11 attack on my city of New York.

    Don’t get me started on Saudi princes, Dan. Your Glenn Beck and O’Reilly and Hannity should be goddam ashamed of themselves helping a Saudi prince stay rich.

    That is all.

    Adam Ash

  • Dan

    Handyguy is bitter from past embarrassments. But he does demonstrate some of the dishonesty of the haters of Rush Limbaugh.

    When Rush was casually considering applying for an owner-partnership of the St. Louis Rams, ugly, vicious smears of his character were launched from most every liberally biased news organization. They reported on some 9 racially charged statements Rush allegedly made in the past. Of course, 8 of them were totally fabricated, and the one statement concerning Donovan McNabb was recounted in the same false malignent interpretation as it was at its inception.

    Yet here’s handyguy, still uninformed, foolishly clinging to yet another liberal media slander. He doesn’t care because he has no intention of reasoning or debating in a civilized manner anyway.

  • The problem with Dan [as with several other one-off outside commenters drawn to this thread through Digg] is that he accepts Rush’s and Breitbart’s pronouncements completely and swallows them whole — he exerts no skeptical, critical thinking at all. If Rush or Breitbart say it, it must be so, and it must be repeated [sometimes verbatim].

    If people like Adam and myself ought to approach left-media positions skeptically and critically [much of Adam’s article and comments follow Rachel Maddow’s script quite closely], similarly Dan, as Baronius and Nalle did in at least this one case, ought to consider all information skeptically, with a grain of salt. Whatever its source.

    You may enjoy Rush as much as Adam and I love listening to Rachel. But we’d all three be better off questioning the pronouncements of even our favorite commentators. Nobody’s perfect.

  • I have rarely noticed you “debating in a civilized manner” yourself, bub.

  • Adam Ash

    These are the biggest corporations in the world by revenue:

    1. Walmart
    2. Royal Dutch Shell
    3. Exxon Mobil
    4. BP
    5. Toyota

    There is no way we get green technology without their participation. Currently they’re a stumbling block, except for Toyota, but with the right mix of taxing carbon and giving tax breaks to green initiatives, they can be persuaded to partake in the green revolution.

    Energy is their bread and butter. If they were to devote just 10% of what they do towards the green instead of the brown, the green revolution would be happening.

    Yes, it’s nice to wish BP and Exxon and Shell dead, considering how they’ve despoiled the environment and caused the deaths of many in developing nations. But there they are: they’ve got the might and the main to help the world go green much faster than if we relied solely on new startups.

    Heck, Bill Gates reinvented himself as a humanitarian after being the biggest shit as the founder of Microsoft, whose company cheated and bullied their way the top and bullied and cheated to stay on top.

    It’s possible for BP and Exxon and Shell to redeem themselves, too. In fact, I’m relying on it, otherwise our grandchildren are going to be living in underground bunkers or something.

    Adam Ash

  • Hello Roger 🙂

  • Where is GE in your list, Adam?

    They are poised to create clean renewable energy now.

  • Hi, Jeannie.

    You do realize of course you’re like a Lady Bear, hibernating for a stretch and then you reappear up again.

    Welcome back!

  • Thank you for the exclamation point! Lady Bear, I like that. 🙂

  • Dan

    Adam, agree Saudi Prince isn’t good guy. It’s just not a concern where he invests his money.

    It’s tragic to think that only because of a random geographical oil depository are these people in control of so much wealth. They had next to nothing to do with the technology that produced a market for it, yet they are obscenely enriched, while depriving the people of both freedom and wealth.

    I can’t agree with you on your green technology future though. I wish it were true. But it’s not like throwing money at something makes it happen. The Manhatten project developed a technology that was within our grasp already. It was an intense reapproach of an already developing idea.

    If real, meaningful advancements are made in green technology, they most likely will come from private enterprise with a for profit motive. Government can throw money around, but they will worry sooooo frickin much about diversity, safety, public perception, and their own corrupt cronyism that the effort will be decisively counter productive.

    Hanyguy, good points.

  • By the way, zealous defenders of Limbaugh and Breitbart, as well as Sarah Palin, and even Fox personalities like Bill O’Reilly, routinely refer to a wide swath of stuff as “the Mainstream Media,” “the Lamestream Media,” or the MSM. Basically they include anyone who is to their own left in this category — which is to say nearly everybody.

    But organizations and commentators like MediaMatters and Rachel Maddow have just as many bones [or nits] to pick with the Main Stream Media as Breibart does. Rachel’s principal beef for months now has been that the MSM gives credence to political stunts like the O’Keefe Acorn tapes and the coached town hall meetings rants, treating them as hard news, and with insufficient skepticism.

    She convincing claims that MSM coverage ignores the substantial evidence of corporations using phony “nonprofit” web sites to lobby against policies and proposed legislation.

    Whether Maddow or MediaMatters are right or wrong, lumping them in with the MSM just fuzzes up the issues.

  • Much of the proposed ‘green tech’ federal money would come in the form of tax breaks for reseaarch and for job creation. This is a positive incentive for private industry, and need not be heavyhanded or bureaucratic.

  • “The Manhatten project developed a technology that was within our grasp already. It was an intense reapproach of an already developing idea.”

    Good point. A question, though: Wasn’t the Manhattan project government-run? Just asking.

  • Clavos

    This is a positive incentive for private industry, and need not be heavyhanded or bureaucratic.

    Unfortunately, whenever the federal nomenklatura deigns to give us back our own money, it invariably IS “heavyhanded and bureaucratic.”

  • Sometimes private industry needs a few carrots…and sticks. That the carrots and sticks are often imperfect doesn’t mean we should do away with them entirely.

  • John Wilson

    Not content just demonstrating an ignorance of math, Dan adds technology and spelling to his repertoire of failed subjects. “The Manhatten project developed a technology that was within our grasp already. It was an intense reapproach of an already developing idea.”

    What nonsense. The Manhattan Project was a science project. International, at that. It revealed a FAILURE of technology, especially in the USA, as engineering courses were dominated by capitalistic industry which restricted coursework to humdrum known technology at the expense of science and math.

    Had we depended on American capitalism and their tame engineers we’d be speaking german today.

    FDR socialized US industry to win the war, and brought in SCIENTISTS (many of them foreigners) against the powerful desires of US Capitalists.

    Capitalism-dominated US technology was a FAILURE! Those guys just want to do the same old thing except cheaper next time. It’s stupid to put your future in the hands of capitalists.

  • I’m glad you cleared that up, John. I was almost certain that the Manhattan Project was a government-run program, no thanks to corporate America.

    It looks like Dan needs another example to argue for his thesis.

  • John Wilson

    I’m afraid that Dan is hopelessly superficial, with nothing but rightist talking-points for arguments.

  • Zedd


    I agree. Let’s start. I believe we will. If not, he needs to go.

  • Adam Ash

    I’d like to endorse your #139 fully.

    You say:
    “If real, meaningful advancements are made in green technology, they most likely will come from private enterprise with a for profit motive. Government can throw money around, but they will worry sooooo frickin much about diversity, safety, public perception, and their own corrupt cronyism that the effort will be decisively counter productive.”

    This GOP right-wing canard needs come examination.

    1. To my mind, this canard is just an excuse for central planning by the rich and for the rich and of the rich, which enables the likes of government-subsidized Goldman Sachs (with the financial meltdown), BP (with the overthrow of democracy in Iran in 1953, and with the ruin of the Gulf of Mexico), Union Carbide (with Bhopal) et al to kill and destroy without paying any real consequences.

    2. It’s rather amazing that the Scandinavian societies, which have the highest taxes and the best social welfare nets, also are the most economically competitive societies on the planet (Ikea, Nokia, etc).

    3. After OPEC jacked up the price of oil a few decades ago, the US did nothing to move off our oil addiction. Denmark, on the other hand, invested in green technology by giving tax breaks to people who winterized their homes, and to private enterprise that invented and implemented green technologies. Result? Denmark today is making tons of export money because their firms are the leaders in various green technologies, and Denmark today is energy-independent from foreign oil.

    4. Many of the great advances in our society — the Internet, the high-tech advances from NASA — have come from government, not private enterprise.

    5. Dan, what’s wrong about worrying about “diversity, safety, public perception”? Do you like workers being killed on the job?

    That is all.

    (Dan slinks away with his right-wing tail between his legs as he thinks about how he is going to answer logic with more of his duped-by-Limbaugh-and-Glenn-Beck BS. Dan is wedded to the fact that Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are working-class heroes who are NOT just two superrich BS artists bilking the plebs for the personal profit of Rush and Glenn. Poor Dan: just another victim of Stockholm Syndrome. Folks, let’s have some compassion for Dan’s uninformed, forever closed mind.)

    Adam Ash

  • Zedd


    I apologize for the delay in replying. Slightly under the weather.

    What is moderate to me is having as broad a perspective on issues as possible and making decisions that keeps those factors in mind. Sometimes swift action will be called for, at other times a tough stance. On some occasions time should be given to contemplate the best solutions. What appeals to be is thoughtfulness and not ideology. We are biological entities and part of this tremendous system which evolves continuously, while an understanding of patterns helps us to navigate, being vehemently sold on conclusions that were made for past situations as a panacea for all social issues, doesn’t make much sense.

    To address your post further:

    What you’re saying in effect is that he was bound to be elected (by a fairly sizable majority, let’s face it), and equally bound to become unpopular once elected. This line of reasoning is absurd.

    Any man who would have taken on the Presidency during this economic down turn would receive extreme scrutiny and WOULD disappoint. Bad is bad. Bad is disappointing. The economy is bad and was not going to become good for quite some time thus, Obama disappoints. What is confusing to me is why voters didn’t know that from the start.

    Also what is even more confusing is that voters didn’t anticipate that their pet interests would more than likely take a back seat to the economy. Why that wasn’t expected is confounding.

    I don’t think there was a misjudging of the public at all. I think there is a brave heart pushing beyond what we are to effect change.

    the country is more divided than ever.

    The country has been divided. During Bush’s administration the country was extremely fragile. The only difference is that we were all afraid to be perceived as un American so we sat quietly, whispering our shock and discontent at the direction that things are going in. What you see right now is a verbalization of the deep chasm that lay dormant.

    Also, part of the divide is that of racists throwing a hissy fit. If you listen to the complaints by certain groups against Obama, they are more so fear. If you understand racists, you wont have a problem reading the subtext. Jimmy Carter, a man of the south, spoke up to advise the nation as to what was taking place. Roger you may not have clarity on that because of your life experiences. A lot of the clamber is just that based on a shift of many people’s world view so they leap to all of the things that frighten them (communism and as of late, Islam). Don’t buy into it. It’s not new and it wasn’t created by Obama. It’s part of this nation’s fabric.

    Corporate bailouts – YEP. Americans work for corporations. Problem??? Also, are you so naive that you are not aware of the domino effect that not addressing the issue would have kicked off. Remember, this companies had loans out to China. It wasn’t about lining the pockets of a few thousands. The entire globe was going to suffer and the masses would have been hit the hardest. He could have stood on ideology and behaved like a simpleton, reacting to the term “corporate” instead of what the situation does.

  • Zedd

    That’s loans from China….

  • You mention the famous quote asked of Sen. McCarthy, but what I know is that when the Venona papers were declassified, the decryptions of Soviet cables contained within identified some 90% of the 81 persons, recommended by McCarthy for investigation, as Soviet operatives.

    Dan, this is such a startling claim that I’d be interested to know where your information comes from.

    Mine comes from here and also from this chap, and suggests that you are wrong.

  • John Wilson



    Main Entry: ex·po·nen·tial
    Pronunciation: \?ek-sp?-?nen-ch?l\
    Function: adjective
    Date: 1704

    1 : of or relating to an exponent
    2 : involving a variable in an exponent
    3 : expressible or approximately expressible by an exponential function; especially : characterized by or being an extremely rapid increase (as in size or extent) ”

  • Zedd


    Would like to get some ideas as to what you would like to see happen. I think what you have posted sounds interesting.

    This is what the administration is proposing. Would this count as a start?

    Also, what role do you see the public playing in bringing about your vision for change?

  • John Wilson


    If you are fortunate enough to get the “Megahertz Worldview” channel on your TV you can tune into the “Doha debates” (and other discussions) which sometimes discuss what they call “Social Capitalism”, which is the system used in those more advanced countries. Basically, capitalists are confined to competing with each other at a low level while governments make high-level decisions. Of course it’s more complicated than that, but the basic idea is that the political system isn’t a playground for the greedy.

  • Arch Conservative

    Rachael Maddow and the lot at MSNBC are propagandists. Criticize Fox all you want but please don’t hold Ms. Maddow up as worthwhile. She’s not.

    I’m a conservative and I don’t really care for the likes of Limbaugh or Hannity. They carry water for the Republican party. This is more important tot hem than being honest.

    I prefer to listen to people like Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and Alex Jones.

    The way I see it, Ron Paul is the only man in Washington that never put his soul up for bid at the K Street auction.

    I’m surprised that you even consider that the possibility to do good exists in Obama Adam. To truly do any good in this nation one must put the nation before their own needs and ego. I have never, even for a second seen anything in Obama that leads me to believe he’s capable of that. Although I’ve never met him personally, I’d venture to say that he’ll most likely turn out to be the most think skinned, self centered man that I will ever know of in my lifetime. Bush on the other hand did not strike me as narcissistic, just unbelievable dumb and short sighted. I think he actually thought Iraq would turn into some kind of relatively peaceful Western style Democracy…and maybe he should have sat down with the Russians and shared some vodka, borscht and Afghanistan talk before going there.

    My hatred for the far left, which burns like a billion suns, sometimes blinds me to the fact that those in the government who feign to share my concerns are doing exactly that, feigning.

    I have absolutely no use for whatever 2008 retread the GOP digs up to throw at Barry Soetoro. Whether it’s Caribou Barbie, the gubenetorial goober from Arkansas or Magic underpants Mitt…..I won’t really be happy voting for any of them for the mere reason of casting a practical vote against Obama.

    I guess what I’m really trying to say is that, with the exception of Dr. Paul, I wouldn’t give a damn if they all (Dem & Repub) dropped dead tomorrow. In fact I’d probably have a great f-ing day.

  • Arch Conservative

    That goes for that cocksukcer Bernanke too…………..couldn’t leave him out!

  • “Basically, capitalists are confined to competing with each other at a low level while governments make high-level decisions.”

    Wouldn’t that be socialism, whereby major economic decisions are made by the state,
    leaving petty bourgeoisie fighting among themselves for bread crumbs?

    Besides, wouldn’t such a system necessitate confiscation of the resources which, for the time being, are concentrated in the hands of the few?

  • Bernanke is just another buffoon, doing his masters’ bidding, Arch.

    Everything that comes out of his mouth is equivocation. There is no message of any kind to speak of, only empty words.

  • Adam Ash

    Zedd and John Wilson:

    I believe in a strong government-subsidized welfare cushion that safeguards all citizens and helps them develop their potential, i.e. free education up to university level, medicare for all, and social security for retirees.
    I believe private enterprise should also start schools, have doctors outside the medicare system, and offer retirement plans — all for those who have the extra money to afford these services on top of those supplied by our taxes.

    I believe in the engine of private enterprise, where people with great ideas can raise money to get those ideas and products and services out to all of us and gain great rewards doing so.

    I believe in strong labor unions.

    I believe in something that doesn’t exist anywhere, that I call democratic capitalism. To my mind, the corporate business world is basically feudal. You can find my thoughts on this at adamash.blogspot.com in an article I wrote last year, and just put up on my blog, called “The Capitalist Manifesto: How to Modernize Capitalism from Feudalism to Democracy.” You’ll have to go read it over there — it’s a tad longer than Blogcritics can live with.

    Adam Ash

  • Roger,

    I was over at American Pie today and watched the links that you posted. That was an excellent video of Bernie Sanders, the second link failed and then I got distracted…

    Yes, we can do better as a nation.

    viva Scandinavia!

  • Adam,

    #167 fits me to a tee!

    The only problem I have with it is why stop at higher ed? It is what we desperately need to compete in the workforce.

    The People that scoff at your suggestions hold big blind eyes up to the corporate welfare that’s killing us as a viable industrialized nation.


  • Adam Ash

    “Also, what role do you see the public playing in bringing about your vision for change?” — Zedd

    That is the challenge. Our media and politics are so set up that only a Dr King or an Obama can cut through and make change, when there is a big wave to be ridden.

    I think the Wall Street meltdown and the BP oil spill were both two big waves that Obama could have ridden to effect big change, but he chose not to. Pity.

    The next big wave will be when Mother Nature starts striking back hard because we’re doing climate change things and making ourselves sicker (autism, Altzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, etc are all increasing exponentially) because of the chemicals we unleash into the environment.

    The world is becoming conscious of the fact that we’re wrecking our habitat, and kids are learning about it in school. I thought Obama was going to be the one to lead the charge in this country, but sadly he isn’t. It will be someone else that’ll inspire us to tackle this greatest challenge faced by humankind. Or many someone else’s.

    Let’s hope we all get even more serious than we are already about this, and soon — because it’s the public, i.e. us, you and me, who drive change, and who force our leaders to make change. Or it’s you and me who follow an inspiring leader who promises change. It’s Americans who voted for Obama to make change, but he did not live up to his promise of real big change, although he did make many little changes. Better than nothing, but not really something.

    Adam Ash

  • Adam Ash

    I meant to say up to and including college education — basically our progressive taxes should go towards educating all of us as far as we can go.

    BTW, taxes should be progressive and rich people should pay higher taxes, at least 60% of their income above $500,000, because they got rich because of our system, and they owe the system that made them rich … plenty.

    Adam Ash

  • Jordan Richardson

    The problem with private enterprise doctors is that so many doctors seek out the higher paying, better quality surroundings of private care. The public system almost invariably suffers, as we’re starting to see in Canada, because the private systems throw more money into it in terms of equipment and quality of care.

    Don’t get me wrong, I strongly advocate public health care. But I think there’s a danger in terms of creating a lopsided system when you start thinking in terms of hybrids. There’s also a philosophical issue in suggesting that the quality of care you can get should somehow be related to your bank account.

  • Adam, the financial reform bill that just passed may not meet all your high standards as a proportional reaction to the Wall St crisis, but it’s not nothing. Its new Consumer Protection Agency alone is really important and could have a huge impact.

    The public is a bit “crisis-weary,” I’m afraid. You may be overestimating voters’ tolerance for more big [or medium sized] government responses to crises.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Its new Consumer Protection Agency alone is really important and could have a huge impact.”

    You’re a consumer. Describe to me any one way this could possibly help you… or me… or anyone reading this. How is extra bureacracy and regulation going to make anything cheaper or open additional avenues to you? The answer is that it won’t. This portion of the bill will cost you money, create additional barriers to entry into the marketplace benefitting big players while adding inefficiency, bureaucracy and sluggishness into the economy and giving you no tangible benefit.

    The only ones who could concievably be helped are the poor who may be prevented from getting credit. This won’t help or hurt you any of course unless you are prevented from doing something through some unintended consequence of law. If the agency insures check bouncing/late fees/interest rates are lowered for risky customers the cost will simply shift to responsible ones (as I suspect you are).

  • Adam Ash


    It’s totally weird that two of the Detroit companies, GM and Chrysler, got forced into receivership, costing the public very little, and now GM is coming back strong (they even put a Wall Street guy in charge of the whole nationalization process).

    But when it came to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street fuckups, the Fed lavished 13 trillion bucks on them, with no strings attached.

    To me it smells of class discrimination — privileged elite New Yorkers of finance vs blue-collar mid-Western manufacturing. Class discrimination or not, it reeks to high heaven.

    Adam Ash

  • Doug Hunter

    Here’s a link supporting #174

    The End Of Free Checking

    Expect more of this soon!

  • Jordan Richardson

    The only ones who could concievably be helped are the poor…

    Lord knows we don’t want to do that.

  • Jordan Richardson

    #176, saw that earlier. The banks are really suffering right now, so I guess they have to make up for it somehow. Poor, poor banks.

  • Adam Ash


    Don’t be a doofus. We have laws that protect us against defective toasters, so we should have an agency that protects us against credit card interest rate penalties of 30% or complicated mortgage contracts that trick and trap us into deals that benefit banks and NOT us consumers.

    Grow up, dude. Or do you like paying 30% interest on your credit card, or 400% on a payday loan?

    Don’t trot out your GOP “free market” talking points of total crap at everything signed by Obama. Capitalism needs rules of the road, and it functioned smoothly for decades under FDR’s rules — raising the working class to middle-class status, without any bubbles — until that fool Reagan started deregulating, and we’ve had meltdowns ever since.

    Your Mom and Dad gave you a brain with which to think, Hunter — not to use it to be a human parrot.

    Adam Ash

  • Doug Hunter


    There’s no need for namecalling, I simply asked how one part of the bill would help a responsible, middle class person and pointed out that I believe it wouldn’t. If you have a logical argument or counterexample I’d love to hear it.

    I’m not a parrot or a doofus… well… I’m certainly not a parrot. I don’t read much writing from right leaning sources at all, I get my ideas from experience in life and my own entrepeneurial and business ventures (I appreciate the kind words you had for us in your manifesto which I quite enjoyed BTW)

    I see that we have problems just as you do, they’re not all political they’re cultural and ethical as well (granted any system could flourish with ethical people). We don’t have a shortage of regulations, we have a shortage of the right kind of regulations. What we need are structural changes and appropriate regulation at the top, not creating alot of inefficiency and red tape fiddly farting around with whether the poor will pay overdraft fees or the middle class lose free checking at the bottom (we’ll likely end up with both anyway to pay for the new bureacracy). You’re just playing the working class off the poor or vice versa while the bigwigs laugh their way to the bank.

    Now, there’s alot of other stuff in the reform bill that could be very good. I’ve heard they’re out to take down ‘too big to fail’ and that is something I find very important. I’m not against everything Obama as a knee jerk, but I am skeptical of government in general (who really fights all the wars and commits all the genocides anyway… boy scouts… families… oh, that’s right its guvmints) and Obama is working towards expanding it. When I see positive changes from his policies I’ll applaud them, if this new consumer protection agency somehow provides me some benefit I’ll be back to mention it.

  • Doug, do you deny that banks ever try to take advantage of their customers? Give me a break — they will do whatever they are allowed to get away with. If the new agency puts out rules you think are wrongheaded, speak up loudly. But it hasn’t even been staffed yet.

    Elizabeth Warren is a great American. Her tenaciousness has been so unrelenting, in her soft-spoken, sweet-Aunt-Liz way, that she has made enemies among bankers and congressional Republicans, and the Obama administration worries that a confirmation battle could do more harm than good. This may keep her from being nominated.

    But she is whip-smart and firmly on the side of consumers. So it seems to me highly unlikely that she or any other qualified chair of the agency would deliberately create regulations that would hurt consumers rather than help them.

    Both you and Adam slip into [opposite] ideological caricaturing: you think all [or nearly all] government regulation is evil [probably all or nearly all taxes too], leading you to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    Adam thinks all Wall St is an evil cesspool, so no punishment short of breaking up the big banks is sufficient. This kind of all-or-nothing false premise leads to questionable conclusions.

    Wall St isn’t going anywhere. Government regulation is absolutely necessary. The question is how to balance it and get it right, not to damn all proposed new regulations or all investment banks.

  • Adam Ash

    Sorry I name-called. I was a dickhead.

    I tend to see red when people complain about bureaucracy, because it tends to be a cover for wanting to rip people off.

    My own experience with US government bureaucracy is that it’s very efficient — the post office, for example — and that the bureaucracy of US corporations is totally inefficient, i.e. the healthcare industry.

    It once took me 49 phone calls to Verizon to try and fix a problem with them, and I got nowhere. If I could’ve switched to a government phone service, I would have.

    After Wall Street caused a 100 million people all over the world to lose their jobs, and move into the food insecure column, and then was rewarded by the Fed with 13 trillion bucks, I think “evil” is not too strong a word for them. If Wall Street kept to their job of backing companies with good ideas, and supporting startups — the things venture capitalists in Silicon Valley do — and extending fair credit to businesses and individuals, I would have no problem with them. But they’re into creating exotic financial instruments and gambling with our pension money — stuff that adds no value to the economy, but in fact often jacks up prices to us because of their speculation.

    Ex-Fed chairman Volcker quite rightly asked the Wall Street banksters in a speech to give him one iota of evidence that any financial innovation has made a positive contribution to our economic welfare, and he’s never gotten a satisfactory answer.

    The Wall Street banks need to be hogtied by regulations so the speculators are isolated from traditional bank lending functions. That way, when they implode, banks and us don’t implode along with them.

    Yes, what’s good for Goldman Sachs is bad for America. That’s a plain fact, as you will see in five to ten years from now, when they blow us up again.

    Adam Ash

  • Doug Hunter


    I said we had a shortage of the right kind of regulations and I still believe that, we’re not as far apart as you think.

    What these types of things (consumer laws) do is treat the symptom and create side effects requiring more treament/regulation.

    Take housing for instance. First you decide you need extra zoning rules, extra energy usage rules, extra handicapped accessibility rules, more inspection, engineer requirements, architect requirement, environemental impact assessments, etc., etc, which all in themselves are great. After you stack a few dozen of these you realize housing is now expensive and the low income market isn’t being served well enough so you create another layer to take care of low income housing. Once you get government in housing, no one will invest in that type of project without subsidy (who wants to compete with their own money against the government’s deep pockets) so no one builds inexpensive housing and so on and so on. Lack of government interference is one reason housing is very affordable in states like Texas where I live.

    Another one I can relate to is the so called ‘liar loan’. These are used heavily by the self employed and new business owners who are putting their money back into their growing businesses or taking advantage of tax deductions instead of taking it as personal income. These were heavily abused by people who simply had no income no doubt, but there is nothing ‘smart’ about the regulation as far as I can see to distinguish between those two groups… just another unintended consequence and a burden on potential entrepeneurs just starting out.

    If you had the right regulations creating competition which drive fees and prices lower and limit the ability to screw the customer, an educated consumer with the information to make a wise decision, while aligning ethics and business and putting the service back to the customer and away from the government bureacrat then you wouldn’t need the myriad of consumer laws designed to treat the symptoms as you would have cured the disease.

  • Wall St has paid back most or all of the original bailout money. Both Wall St and the auto industry are back in working order again. If they weren’t, the jobs situation would be even worse than it is, because these huge companies employ many thousands.

    No one, not Paulson or Bernanke or Geithner or Bush or Obama, engineered the bailouts because they found them fun and delightful, and certainly not because they were politically palatable, which obviously they aren’t.

    But faced with an unprecedented financial crisis, they tried to prevent it from becoming even worse and becoming a depression, a black hole even. Most economists seem to agree now that they did indeed avert a worse disaster. That doesn’t mean the solutions were perfect. But it’s a lot easier to hurl insults from the sidelines than it is to take action in the midst of a crisis.

  • Zedd

    Interesting results Take a look!

  • That’s a great article, Zedd. They should have a lot more of those get-togethers, nationwide and ongoing. And they should be publicized more widely!

  • Adam Ash

    Guys, take it easy. This is another astroturf organization, whose main thrust is to take down Social Security. Mr Peterson is spending a billion dollars from his Goldman Sachs and Blackstone Group fortunes to attack our entitlements.

    Adam Ash

  • Adam, I don’t think so. The opinions expressed by the participants are in fact slightly skewed to the left. The two most popular ideas floated were “cut the defense budget by 15%” and “raise the cap on Social Security taxes [FICA payroll taxes] to cover 90% of earnings.”

    Did you read the PowerPoint? It doesn’t sound like right-wing propaganda, or any kind of propaganda, at all. Peterson is a Republican, but mostly he is a deficit hawk. And his org is just one of the sponsors. The Kellogg Foundation and the MacArthur foundation are not astroturfers.

    Don’t let your partisanship tunnel your vision the way tea partiers do.

  • “Both Wall St and the auto industry are back in working order again. If they weren’t, the jobs situation would be even worse than it is, because these huge companies employ many thousands.”

    About the auto industry I shan’t comment; but the idea that “Wall Street is back in working order again,” whatever that means, is indeed asinine.

    Being in denial must be the hardest habit to break.

  • “In working order” meaning profitable, not cooking up any visible new crisis, and creating lots of jobs, which in NYC is quite important.

    And there is a shiny new 3,000 page financial reform law, which, compromised or no, does have some real teeth in it [the banks and the GOP didn’t oppose it so strenuously because it’s weak].

    So things are a lot better than they were in, say, Sept-Oct 2008. I’m not claiming that all is lollipops and rainbows.

  • John Wilson

    The latest financial scam is from Life Insurance companies. When the policy holder dies, instead of sending a check to the survivors the InsCo sends a book of blank drafts, which they claim are just like checks Except stores don’t accept them!), on an account they pay 1/2% while investing the money at 5%. It is not a federally insured account.

    There’s $28billion of due insurance payoffs tied up this way and subject to loss. Of course, this is an unfunded liability against the InsCo.

  • They ought to start a class-action suit. Does the new financial regulation bill covers those shysters?

  • Zedd


    That is not true. I participated in this event. It is an out of the box method to get public opinion. Look for it next year.

    While I suspect that the creators of this event were mostly Dems, the participants were pretty well distributed throughout the spectrum.

    Its not gimmicky, very clean and crisp. Harvard is involved in administering the surveys.

    Its one of those things that you wish the public could have at its disposal. Since the MSM no longer does the job we need for it to do, this forum presents a great outlet for the public.

    My only concern was that politicians would use the results to pander. I’m curiously awaiting the rhetoric at election time to see if it in any way mirrors the results of the survey.

  • Zedd

    If you get a chance please take a look at the slideshow that is on the linked page above. Also, please visit the home page

  • Matt

    Since Fox News and MSNBC don’t report news no one should respect them enough to be interviewed.