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Gender: Male
Hometown: Orlando
Home country: USA
Current location: Holistically detecting
Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 04:59 PM
Number of posts: 12,151

Journal Archives

We're in a radical place already. Sanders is moderate in

historical and worldwide terms. Arguments like this lack historical and international perspective in my opinion.

Democrats were shocked and appalled when Ronald Reagan was elected and smacked America into a hard right, government hating, corporations über allies vein. The entire party was humiliated at the way Carter was unfairly blamed for everything from gas prices to the hostage crisis, and practically run out of town on a rail.

THAT was radical. Radical in terms of where America had been; radical in terms of the world stage. Today we are one of the most hawkish, military interventionist nations on earth, with crumbling infrastructure, whisper-thin environmental protections, and an antiquated, irrational health care system shared only with Mexico and Turkey.

There is always a question of how far we can go, and how fast. But you don't get there without pushing for what you want. Obama swept into office on "Hope and Change," and got ... some of it. The question now is whether Democrats are willing to push for more of what we wanted from him, or less.

Regardless of the candidates, though, these trends are cyclical to a degree. Reagan and the neocons have only been with us for 30 years or so. They did not establish either the baseline for American politics and policy, or the inevitable future. They represent a radical blip on the graph, and one we don't have to live with forever.

Look at how people are talking now. Republican corporatism is in shambles. Carly frickin'-Fiorina was trying to talk about helping the middle class. Donald Trump is mumbling his way through some version of universal health care. Almost no one is willing to admit to any plan to bring America into a committed war in Syria.

Center-right America is breathing its last. There's nothing radical or impossible about helping it into its well-deserved place in the ash-heap of history and moving the country back toward where we were and the rest of the civilized world already is, waiting for us.

Thought Experiment: What a Sanders Supporter Likes About Hillary Clinton as a Candidate

Yikes. It's getting thick and deep in here. Reminds me a bit of the savagery I saw back in my 20s on the forums I visited for little hot-rodded import cars -- every post taking the discourse a notch lower; biting a bit harder. And that was just kids arguing about how fast their not-very-fast little Japanese four-bangers were. Then every once in a while, we'd pull back, take a breath, and try to say something from the point of view whoever we were yelling at.

So I'm going to try to say something positive about the candidate I least favor for the Democratic nomination. Hopefully neither overbearingly earnest or seemingly backhanded. If it works, maybe someone else will try something similar, and we can analyze the coming decision with a bit more precision and a bit less hostility. Or maybe not.

If not, well it's Saturday and overcast in Orlando, so I'm inside anyway.

What I Like About Hillary Clinton as the Potential Democratic Nominee for President
-- by DirkGently, a pro-Sanders Duer

1. Experience.: Yes, both candidates have it, but there's no question in my mind that as a part of two previous U.S. administrations and as Sec'y of State, Hillary Clinton has seen it all. All the dirt, all the tricks. All the buttons to push and the arms to twist. I see her as a tough, sharp-elbowed lawyer, a personality I'm familiar with. No one will surprise her if she becomes the leader of the country and the party.

2. Efficacy: For all my support of sweeping change and the independent point of view of those of us shouting from outside the glass, a sophisticated operator of the machinery of power does have the ability not only to get things done, but to fight the inevitable battles from with other side. No one is going to blindside her, and she would be damn hard to outmaneuver politically or diplomatically. She's at the front of the Democratic bench because she has won a million battles already. She can win a few more.

3. The upside of political flexibility: This one has the potential to sound backhanded, but I mean it. I think the momentum we've seen already from the liberal base of the party has the potential to push not only the country, but Hillary herself toward more small "d" democratic principles. The substantive issues I have with what I perceive to be her attitudes on things like Social Security, health care, and foreign policy are subject to adjustment based on public opinion. I think she can be moved in the right directions, and will embrace better policies, as she has in the past, with the right incentives. Presidents lead, but they also follow.

4. She may have broader appeal in a general election: I'm stretching a little here, because I unconvinced that Republicans can more readily smash Sanders as a pinko tax-raiser than they can smash Hillary for being the Democrat they have hated beyond all others for decades. But she seems to be holding on to parts of the Obama coalition, she doesn't frighten upper-middle-class Dems, and I'm sure there are parts of the country that will need a lot more convincing that Sanders isn't some exotic radical here to plunge us into Stalinism or whatever. Of all of these, I think this issue is the most in flux at the moment, but at least to begin with, Hillary is slightly easier to picture as someone who could win enough states to beat whatever candidate the Republicans pick from their box of horrors.

5. General toughness: I have been impressed with my preferred candidate Sanders debate performances and his responses to sharp-edged questioning by the press. But no one's been attacked with more relentlessness and ferocity than Hillary, and as near as I can tell, she laughs off small attacks, and gets lightly angry at larger ones.


Okay, small joke there, but seriously, no one on Earth thinks they can intimidate Hillary Clinton. That may be true of Sanders as well, but no one knows it for sure yet.

Phew. There we have it. In conclusion, I'm still pulling for the other guy, but Hillary is not the worst candidate, or person, in the world, and I would welcome her Presidency over absolutely any Republican anywhere, never mind the bottom-of-the-barrel collection they are putting forward this time around. I'd like to see Dems focus more on her strengths, and Sanders', and on how we can get one of them to the White House, than on a million ways to inflame and irritate each other on our way to picking one of them.

I would ask, although obviously I have no ability to require, that any responses do not drag things into the current poo-flinging battles. "That's all fine except for all the @#$$! from those #$%*S&! supporting that #$$#*!!!!!" would kind of miss the spirit of the thought here.

Cruz is Greg Stillson.

"Mr. Vice President, Mr. Secretary, the missiles are flying. Hallelujah, Hallelujah."

There's note down thread about his dad saying Ted is here to bring about "The End Times."

There is an element of Christianity in America that is essentially an apocalyptic death cult. They look forward to the destruction of the world, beginning with a massive conflagration in the Middle East and think that needs help coming about.

Not the kind of man you want with his hand on the nuclear trigger.

A majority of the disasters we're dealing with now

trace their roots to not only that one disastrous policy decision in Iraq, but to the entire philosophy behind it, which did not start with the neocons.

The "that was then / look forward" approach is nonsense. What is required is an appreciation for the fact that America's long policy of intervening everywhere, fostering "regime change" whenever the right people find it expedient has not only been immoral and ineffective, but has made things infinitely worse in nearly, if not every single case.

This is the Kissinger School. This is Chile and South and Central America then and Iran and Iraq now. It is a failed, destructive, frequently evil policy of imposing American influence for questionable reasons in inexcusable ways, with horrific results.

And now we're supposed to forget the unqualified catastrophe of Iraq, in order to apply the same reasoning, employed by people following the same logic for the same ends, to "win" vis a vis ISIS?

We need to consult with Kissinger, and the legions of doomed idiots who wrought the majority of this chaos, and collectively get out of their way so they can ... what? Do more of it until it works?

No one who thought invading Iraq on the say-so of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al., was a remotely good idea should be heard to even offer a suggestion on American foreign policy, ever again, and they should die of shame before even thinking we need to hear their thoughts.

There's nothing smeary or unfair about it.

What I wish the Sanders campaign would articulate a little better is that there is no need to prove, as HRC suggested, that she "changed her vote" on something due to her ties to the financial sector.

It's not a question of quid pro quo corruption. It's a question of point of view. Ms. Clinton eats, sleeps, and breathes Wall Street thinking. Her framing of the financial meltdown as the result of a few insurance firms, i.e. "shadow banking" ignores the fact that the major banks were all eyeballs-deep in the heedless mortgage lending that led to the crisis.

These are her friends. Her colleagues. People who like her well enough to pay her a fortune just to speak with them.

It's not that they are paying her off. It's not that she is trading dollars for votes. That is not the question.

The question is: How do you regulate people with whom you identify as peers and colleagues? People whose point of view you have absorbed through your very skin?

This is not a Hillary Clinton problem. It is a problem with the way everything is done, everywhere. It's not the only problem, or the only thing we need to discuss, but the fact that Ms. Clinton sees everything as fine so long as she is not accepting envelopes full of cash in exchange for American policies is an enormous problem for her and for the rest of our political system.

And she does not seem to want to acknowledge it.

The "It's a center-right country" theme is expired.

No one seems to be acknowledging the pendulum is swinging back to a truer "center" than the one given us by the post-Reagan nightmare from which we are slowly awakening.

Barack Obama, a true moderate, does not get elected twice in Center Right America. Center Right America does not see candidates arguing about who is the real "progressive."

It's not 1990, much less 1980, anymore, Mr. Matthews.

The Clinton team seemed embarrassed.

Ms. Clinton gave a good speech, but she sounded tight and brittle. Diving in on top of Cruz, skipping Bill and Chelsea's planned comments, and beating it out of town without congratulating the Iowa crew seemed like panic.

I think they were very displeased and abashed at their premature claim of victory.

I'm guessing whoever made that declaration to Andrea Mitchell got several ears full of Ms. Clinton's displeasure.

Respectfully as to Ms. Clinton,

on whose behalf is this vehemence that single-payer WILL NOT HAPPEN?

It's one thing to opine it's not a realistic goal in the short term. And I take no issue with suggesting we tune and polish the ACA in the meantime.

But no one is actually this determined we cross out and totally discard the world's proven-best approach to health care. The one employed by all other wealthy democracies.

No one but the health insurance industry.

Is that where she's coming from? I don't accuse -- I'm really asking.

Because otherwise, it makes no sense to me to frame a single-payer healthcare system as not just a challenge; not just a long term vs short-term goal, but as some kind of unthinkable anathema.


The free market has not once been ahead of the curve.

The free market cares about the environment exactly 0%. Exxon started to raise the alarm about global warming in the 1970s, but buried its own research because it realized it would rather make money right up until disaster struck.

The free market did nothing about smog until the government intervened.

Nothing about the ozone layer until government intervened.

Child labor. Egret feathers. Seatbelts and airbags. Slavery.

The free market takes action to put ethics, human health, the environment, or long-term thinking of any kind ahead of immediate profits approximately NEVER.

The need is never going to go away.

In countries where good sex education and contraception are readily available, abortion continues to be utilized and needed. In some years the rate goes up; in others it goes down. Teenage abortion rates go down with better education, but adult women continue to need them.

And the "rare" formulation feeds the rightwing idea that there is something wrong with it, and the ideal number would be zero. They propose there is a moral hazard in women doing what they deem fit with their bodies. To me it's another flavor of the pretend "concern" behind these TRAP laws.

Birth control will always be less than completely effective. Rape and child abuse will always happen. Individual health concerns will always require women to be able to make the decision to end pregnancy. It's not "sad and tragic" or a "necessary evil." It's health care.

So why support the idea we should be equally concerned with getting rid of something that will always be necessary?

But it’s also worth reiterating, as Adele Stan did this weekend and reproductive rights activists have been saying for years, that if you’re more than nominally pro-choice, you cede important ground by embracing the “safe, legal and rare” formulation that Douthat cited as a consensus. As the National Network of Abortion Funds tweeted, “Let’s reject ‘rare.’ If abortions are legal & accessible, number of abortions performed should = exactly the number of abortions necessary.” [/b Contrast the following data points — the 87 percent of U.S. counties that lack an abortion provider, the financial barriers that right-wingers would like to increase with insurance bans, and the significant stigma around abortion — with the fact that almost half of all pregnancies are unintended. Suddenly, “rare” becomes more about a lack of real choice rather than choosing from an abundance of options. If, as a matter of public health policy, we are doing a terrible job of preventing unintended pregnancies, and some women want abortions and can’t have them, then the current rate is too low.

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