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gemli is a trusted commenter, Boston

It was worth the wait. Obama has rendered the years of Republican obstructionism moot. Their clever ploys of the faux filibuster and the bellicose bullying and the Bibi embarrassments have fallen flat, and while Republicans were patting themselves on the back for their midterm “sweep” of Congress, Obama was planting the seeds for a bumper crop of reforms. Now, in the months preceding the presidential primaries, Obama is reminding people what Democrats stand for.

Republicans, on the other hand, are reaping what they sowed, which is precisely nothing. They’ve doubled-down on the sneering hate-speech and the empty rhetoric that appeals to the slack-jawed, resulting in a three-ring-circus of Republican anti-candidates who must run on negative accomplishments. It’s all about what they closed down, eliminated, blocked, cancelled and squashed. The only thing they built up is the bank accounts of their like-minded multi-millionaire brethren. When Donald Trump is getting buzz, you know the hive is diseased.

Obama has paved the way for a Democratic victory. Nothing is guaranteed, but even a somewhat compromised Hillary Clinton, energized by a we’re-mad-as-hell-and-we’re-not-going-to-take-it-any-more message from Bernie Sanders, gives me reason to hope for change. Come to think of it, that’s what Obama promised all along. He just didn’t say when it would happen. Maybe it’s now.

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While reading the comments to David Brooks’ op-ed in the NYT today, I came across this one from a Charles from NYC which just about sums things up:

Charles New York, NY 19 hours ago

I find it fascinating that Elizabeth Warren is always held up as the exemplar of the “far-left” of the Democratic Party. The policies Senator Warren advocates are consistent with mainstream American public policy from the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1981. That half-century of our history was marked by very high marginal tax rates on the wealthy, rigorous government oversight of financial markets and corporate governance, protection of American manufacturing, the creation of robust social safety nets for working people, and a labor force that was one-third unionized. It is no coincidence that the era also saw the rise of the great American Middle Class and a significant reduction in income inequality.

The irony is that conservative politicians are among the first to look back upon these decades as a “golden age” in America while at the same time attacking the policies that made that age possible. It is also no coincidence that the center-right economic policies that Mr. Brooks is so enamored of have led to the destruction of the Middle Class, the return of soaring income inequality, and the rise of the new Plutocracy. The sole reason that many Americans believe that Senator Warren’s ideas are radical is because people like Mr. Brooks keep calling them that. It is time we stopped believing the labels and started remembering how progressive economic policies have worked for the majority of the American people.

How we have swung to the right! Will we ever swing back to mainstream American public policy as it used to be? Not unless we have a major uprising in this country, which seems unlikely given the way the media is controlled and congress has been gerrymandered.

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Most popular comment on Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed this morning:

I’m beginning to believe that George W Bush was the president the American people deserved. I can’t believe the take away from President Obama’s press conference was his comment about the idiocy in Cambridge. The American people’s brains have been turned to mush. Too much Fox News, American Idol, etc…has rendered people into easily duped dolts. We now have a chance to take a positive step towards fixing our Health Care embarrassment, and the debate is off the charts ridiculous. In a simple nutshell: do you want to keep being screwed by the Corporate Health Insurance Companies, or do you want to move towards fair, moral, universally accessible Health Care. It’s that simple.

Thank you Mark C. from San Francisco.

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WSJ Down the Drain

Eric Alterman points out that Rupert Murdoch (see Fox News) has now gotten hold of the news pages of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). He already had the editorial pages of the great old paper under his wing. Now he’s appointed a “right-wing curmudgeon” by the name of Gerald Baker in charge of the paper’s news pages. Baker thinks Obama is a “dangerous left winger” as he explains here. Here’s a sample:

There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations.

Though Mr Obama has done a good job, as all recent serious Democrats have done, of emphasising his belief in American virtues, his record and his programme suggest he is firmly in line with this wing of his party.

HEY! See my previous post! ha ha

Well, seriously, I’d say that that wing of the party is a pretty good wing! It’s just what we need to bring the USofA screaming into the 21rst century and get our economy moving again, and morality brought back into the world! GO BARACK GO!

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The so-called liberal media is never ending in its pushing of right wing propaganda. Take the case of off-shore drilling for oil. In Eric Alterman’s article, Think Again: Shallow Reporting on Deep Drilling, the evidence showing the downsides of drilling is given:

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency projects that drilling would only yield merely 200,000 barrels of oil over a period of 20 years. This comes to roughly 0.2 percent of world oil production, which the EIA says is too small to have any significant effect on prices. These figures contradict the entire “drill here, drill now, pay less” mantra.

Here’s how our so-called liberal mainstream media reports this information:

Yet the Center for Economic and Policy Research has conducted a stunning survey of just how infrequently this information appears in the mainstream media’s narrative on drilling. From June 16 to August 9, there were 267 broadcasts that mentioned proposed drilling, including “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Meet the Press,” CNN, and “Fox News.” Of these 267 broadcasts, only one saw fit to include the EIA data.

As Eric Alterman says, “Is it any surprise, therefore, that 74 percent of the public now favors drilling offshore—a demonstrably useless policy?” And this is just one of the things that really make me wonder whether America is going to survive as a democracy much longer into this 21rst century!

For more on how the so-called liberal media continues to pass on right-wing propaganda without critical analysis of any kind see here.

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FOX Fakery

This was sent to me by email from Robert Greenwald and BRAVENEW films. It shows that FOX is using the same attacks on Obama that they used against Kerry. So what else is new?

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I can’t believe this! But I have to give Obama credit for going on this guy’s show. Below is part 1 of a 4 part interview. I think Obama holds his own against, Bill O’Reilly, the greatest slime merchant alive today outside of Sean Hannity. Why Barack is bothering to do this, I don’t know. Will he win over any of that 88% Republican viewer crowd of FOX News? I doubt it, but this at least shows Obama is not afraid of talking with the enemy. He may in fact win a few undecided votes? But I haven’t watched the other three parts of this interview.

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Well, I’m getting sick of everything these days, Fox News, Candidates, Ossetia, Olympics, MSM, you-name-it, so, I went and looked up some humor. Here’s what I found under Philosophy Jokes (so, I’m not sick of philosophy yet I guess):

Seen on a restroom wall: “God is dead: Nietzsche.
Nietzsche is dead: God.”

* * * * * * * hey, who ya gonna believe, huh?

Descartes walks into a café and sits down ready to order.
A waiter comes up to him and asks, “Do you need a menu?”
Descartes replies, “I think not,” and he disappears!

* * * * * * *Poof! That’ll teach him to be a dualist.

Overheard in 18th century England: “Did you hear that George
Berkeley died? His girlfriend stopped seeing him.”

* * * * * * *Taking “seeing is believing” too literally?

What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vender?
“Make me one with everything.”
What did the hot dog vender say when the Buddhist asked for his change?
“Change come from within.”

* * * * * * *Yeah, try to find it!

Did you hear about the Buddhist who spilled his coffee while driving to work?
He had bad kar-mug.


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Hey! The Russians are the bad guys! That’s what this Fox News interviewer wanted to say to this 12-year old girl and her aunt, but all he could mumble at the end of the interview was, “Well, there are gray areas in war”. That’s because the girl and her aunt specifically blamed the president of Georgia for starting the war and thanked the Russians for saving her.
Hat tip to Juan Cole who concludes: Gee,that isn’t that master narrative in the US military-information complex.

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