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Otto Lidenbrock

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Member since: Wed Jun 20, 2018, 07:20 PM
Number of posts: 581

Journal Archives

40 Years Ago Today

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.

The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.

As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.

These changes did not happen overnight. They’ve come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy.

We were sure that ours was a nation of the ballot, not the bullet, until the murders of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. We were taught that our armies were always invincible and our causes were always just, only to suffer the agony of Vietnam. We respected the Presidency as a place of honor until the shock of Watergate.

We remember when the phrase “sound as a dollar” was an expression of absolute dependability, until ten years of inflation began to shrink our dollar and our savings. We believed that our nation’s resources were limitless until 1973 when we had to face a growing dependence on foreign oil.

These wounds are still very deep. They have never been healed.

Looking for a way out of this crisis, our people have turned to the Federal Government and found it isolated from the mainstream of our nation’s life. Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual.

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests.

You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.

Often you see paralysis and stagnation and drift. You don’t like it, and neither do I. What can we do?
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Mon Jul 15, 2019, 08:06 AM (2 replies)

Bernie hits back at Biden on Medicare For All

Atkinson, New Hampshire (CNN) — Bernie Sanders on Saturday accused former Vice President Joe Biden of using "misinformation" to attack the Vermont senator's "Medicare for All" proposal, further escalating an emerging battle among leading Democratic presidential candidates over health care policy.

During a two-day New Hampshire swing on Friday and Saturday, Biden repeatedly criticized other leading 2020 contenders' push to largely abandon private insurance and enroll all Americans in Medicare.

Instead, Biden said, he favors expanding former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act to allow Americans the option of buying into such a system -- but retaining private insurance for those who are already covered.

"I don't want to start over," he said Friday in Dover. "How many of you out there have had someone you've lost to cancer? Or cancer yourself? No time, man. We cannot have a hiatus of six months, a year, two, three, to get something done. People desperately need help now."

Sanders seized on those comments, arguing in a statement his campaign released Saturday that under his proposal, there would be no gap in coverage as Americans transition into Medicare for All over four years.



Have to say it's pretty ironic that cries of misinformation is coming from the Sanders staff. That has been their MO against other candidates..."#kamalaisacop, "Nothing will fundamentally change"...oh and Hillary being attacked for a crime bill she had no participation towards, but one he voted for.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Sat Jul 13, 2019, 05:41 PM (49 replies)

When was the last time busing was a major talking point in a presidential election?

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Thu Jul 4, 2019, 03:25 PM (34 replies)

What will depress turnout in 2020 is disinformation tactics like this

“I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money. The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.”

1) "We may not want to demonize anybody who has made money"

2) "You all know in your gut what has to be done"

3) "We can disagree in the margins"

4) "No one's standard of living will change"

1) It is not a crime to be rich

2) But the rich must pay their fair share

3) You might disagree with the rate of tax

4) But increasing your taxes won't fundamentally change your standard of living

It's pretty clear what Biden was saying. You can tax these guys 70% and they will still be well off. Gov. Dean agrees:


But hey...lets ignore the entire passage and just take the last line to spin everything around.


The irony is Trump supporters and his surrogates are painting Biden as a socialist because he has said several times on the campaign trail he will roll back the tax cuts and raise taxes on the wealthy


I have nothing against Bernie Sanders. I have a lot against his surrogates who behave like total hacks. We saw this in 2016. I said back then while "corporate Republican-lites" Bill and Hillary Clinton were fighting for healthcare reform the actual Republicans (of which Cenk Uygur was a voter) fought tooth and nail against it.

Rant over.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Wed Jun 26, 2019, 02:09 PM (10 replies)

I like Beto but this is a bad idea


I have supported many of his plans with climate change, healthcare and immigration but this is a bad take. The US government increased military spending to $700bn. Our military build up keeps getting bigger while our Veterans are struggling. Coincidence? The government are misusing the military budget. That is where we should look to as the means to look after the Vets rather than spend it on war and never ending build up. A tax like this only hurts the poorer of society.
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Mon Jun 24, 2019, 02:37 PM (33 replies)

Biden's speech at the Civil Rights Commission Nomination Hearing in 1983

First some context into the hearing:

In 1981 President Ronald Reagan, looking to move the commission in a more conservative direction, appointed Clarence M. Pendleton, Jr., as the first black chairman of the Commission. A Howard University graduate, he was a conservative who opposed affirmative action and many of the Commission's activities. Pendleton reduced its staff and programs.[10]

In 1983, Reagan attempted to fire three members of the commission. They sued the administration in federal court to stay on. The authorizing legislation stated that a president could only fire a commissioner for "misbehavior in office," and it was clear that the terminations were the result of disagreements over policy. A compromise brokered in the Senate resulted in the current hybrid group of eight, half appointed by the president and half by the Congress, with six-year terms that do not expire with the inauguration of a new president. Since that time the commission has struggled to remain independent, and its agenda has oscillated between liberal and conservative aims as factions among its members have ebbed and waned.

The United States Commission on Civil Rights said today it was ''disappointed and concerned'' that President Reagan had not appointed more blacks, women and Hispanic Americans to full-time, high-level positions in the Federal Government.

The commission's appraisal came less than three weeks after Mr. Reagan announced his intention to replace three members of the panel. It follows 19 months of growing conflict between the White House and commission members who have defiantly questioned the President's commitment to civil rights in education and employment, among other fields. All six members, including the chairman, Clarence M. Pendleton Jr., voted in favor of the statement today.

This clip of Biden speaking at the hearing was for the nomination of Reagan's nominees as Reagan tried to politicise the commission for his own benefit.


Interestingly he mentions he was strongly in favour of affirmative action. We know he opposed busing but I hadn't heard about affirmative action before. Reagan's appointed chairman opposed it as mentioned above.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Fri Jun 21, 2019, 09:13 PM (9 replies)

What Obama said when he introduced Biden as his running mate

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Wed Jun 19, 2019, 11:41 AM (3 replies)

An observation about Beto and the "media darling" syndrome

Beto's Senate run got huge publicity and made him nationally well known propelling his Presidential campaign. Yet since declaring I don't see or hear much about his campaign anymore in the media. At the start pundits were saying he was too full of platitudes, style not substance and that a lot of his appeal was that he was against Ted Cruz...and now that shine has worn off. Standing on tables, waving hands got a lot of laughs.

Well today Beto has published his stance and plan for LGBTQ rights. Following on from his comprehensive climate plan. Following on from his immigration plan and gun control plan. He has a team in place in Iowa to go with his retail politics skill. He has Obama campaign alumni on his campaign.

His Presidential campaign is full of substance. But his polls do not reflect it and that has to be down to the media ignoring him. It's like there is a notion that he had his 15 minutes during the mid-terms so they have to move to the new shiny toy. I don't think that is right and it certainly isn't fair.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Wed Jun 12, 2019, 11:19 AM (13 replies)

The reaction to Biden's comment emphasises why We MUST win the Senate in 2020

Joe Biden - the so-called moderate candidate - has people saying he is deluded in thinking he can work with the Republicans. In that case Bernie and Warren are lame ducks before even being sworn in if the GOP hold the Senate.

You can have all the plans in the world but it is pointless if it does not have the votes, or more importantly if it is not even brought to a vote.

2020 is not just about removing Trump. We have to remove McConnell and his cronies!
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Tue Jun 11, 2019, 12:12 PM (11 replies)

Is there something to take from the New York Governorship Primary last year?

If you followed it on social media Andrew Cuomo was seen as a conniving bogeyman while Cynthia Nixon resonated with lots of positivity and following. Nixon did several national TV appearances to further boost her national profile as an actress turned progressive candidate while Cuomo was not very visible at all. In the only debate Nixon threw a lot of jabs at Cuomo calling him a liar, corrupt and corporate. He said Medicare For All is a noble cause which one day will be enacted but through the federal level first citing economics...she disagreed wholeheartedly saying the state can act first. He stumbled through the debate defending himself but his main cause for re-election was New York needs someone to take on Trump.

On all the metrics of who campaigned harder and whose campaign garnered more enthusiasm she won by a mile. Yet on the most important metric - the ballot - he won. Very easily in the end.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Sun Jun 9, 2019, 08:37 AM (5 replies)
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