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August 03, 2012

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Two thru five dont matter if we dont take care of number one.

Chick-A-Fil just sold more chicken sandwiches in one day than ever before. That and Tom Freidman getting his head out of his ass are sure signs of the Apocalypse.

1. What is the vision for our nation.

2. Where's Mick?

"Tom Freidman getting his head out of his ass are sure signs of the Apocalypse."

And as his cranium slowly emerged, it was revealed to be yet another luxurious ass!

Tom Friedman??

May be better to just come out and shout "POVERTY"? Certainly it is one of the 3rd rail subjects that elude both gutless candidates.

Just as Joe Bob Briggs liked movies that didn't let the plot get in the way of the story, we (apparently) like elections that don't let issues get in the way of the infotainment.

...... but, the issues get in the way.
but at least Friedman didn't say that "the next six months ....."
Right On Jon ...... keep up the good work.

friedman who?

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, Columnist for the NY Times, husband of Ann Bucksbaum, heiress to a massive real estate fortune (shopping malls). Judging from the title of his latest, he's back to not getting it again.

Every Republican running for Congress in AZ is blathering about how eager they are to cut, cut, cut "spending". Except for defense spending. Not one precious hair on the head of the MIC will be touched. Again, "cutting spending" is code to voters that means "cutting welfare to lazy minorities" (they'll get to SS and Medicare too, eventually). The blogger Digby often describes the bloated defense budget as welfare for white men. I came to a similar conclusion myself when I was serving in the Navy and saw just how much was spent to keep those cushy defense contracts going. It's a form of public assistance that's very expensive and also demands blood sacrifices to make its recipients feel all tough and manly.

Donna, we watched as they came for "those" people.
now they are coming for you but
Not me, I had my ride.
Any thing more is just excess.

And a side bar.

Spent a few hours in downtown Tempe today. It's like a ghost town. Empty store fronts, broken glass, trash and dirt blown up against the doorways and sidewalks. A few people walking around but bars and restaurants empty, except Starbucks, students drinking water typing on their puters.

But the "Good News" is that eight folks (all over 65) showed up at the Valley Art Theatre for "Cartas a Elena", an excellent film, mi amiga and me thought, slow paced, romantic, realistic with some Mexican spirituality tossed in. The Arizona Republic only gave it one star but thats par for them. Got sand for brains.

A 12 state "global warming" drought?
The desert always wins.
Good nite ED.

Would someone please explain why this is "the most important ... election...", as though it will have some major effect on the ensuing list of issues being ignored by the political and media players before during and after the campaign? A bit of self contradiction, or is it blind faith in a dysfunctional system?

Gaylord, every election now is always the most important election because the political system and media have to drum up support to make the "voters" think they have a choice. Got a problem with an unending war, talk about gay marriage. Inflation? Talk about gun control. Income gap? Talk about energy independence. For the voters who still think it matters its blind faith. Until the corporations and rich are put on a leash, nothing will change though the pace of our re-enslavement may differ.

Here is a good reason why its an "important election"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/05/midwest-heat-wave-2012_n_1744504.html

but then most elections since 55 have been a joke and now that corporations are individuals, elections dont really matter anymore as City State barons are in charge. Financial barons and their corporations are the only real people on the planet, the rest of you are just commodities. Soon u will be Soylent Green sold by Soylent Pepsi.

Gaylord,
Even if the real issues are ignored, the Republicans are pushing a truly revolutionary agenda. If they win, we will fast-track national suicide. I'd rather buy some more time with Obama.

Jon, I dont think Romney can win without cheating. Watch the voting machines in a few key states. It's been done a number of times, Illinois, New Mexico and Florida for example. But even if Obama gets it, the financial Barons are in control of the planet. It's interesting as they Financial barons are global it appears to me that Obama is also, just with a different twist. But he may be the last chance to protect the environment even if his track record to date is behind even a president like Nixon.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Try to write about it, as in the Seattle Times, and you'll be marked on reactionary Web sites to be deluged with emails, all with the same wording and alleged research that climate change is a hoax, or at best unproven. The goal is to intimidate and confuse."

I just read it. Great column, very informative. That explains part of the rabid reactionary response. You not only challenged their worldview in a highly effective and compelling way, you probably shook them up. Self-doubt can be discomfiting, particularly when it leads to a moral quandry. I especially liked the way you quantified the concrete consequences, not only giving numbers but putting them into a comprehensible context:

"According to the Sightline Institute, if all six Northwest terminals were built, they would have the capacity to ship 145 million tons of coal annually. That translates into 262 million tons of carbon dioxide a year when burned into the atmosphere. For comparison's sake, it's as much as a year's worth of gasoline burned in all the Western states plus the Dakotas."

The other factor explaining why some of the respondents got so hot under the collar is that you challenged vested economic interests. You can bet that the companies and major players who stand to gain if this goes forward, have professional spin-control working seven days a week, scouring the Internet and ready to shoot down any high-profile writer who threatens their profits; and the more effective the writing, the bigger the threat. There is a whole new class of public relations work that consists of nothing but monitoring and counter-propaganda on behalf of corporate interests.

I'd substitute health care reform for item four. Your first sentence says it all and unlike the talking heads I suspect that most of the public understands this: "I'm not really sure it matters whether Tehran gets a nuclear weapon or not." In any case, Joe Public doesn't wake up in the morning worrying about Iran, or for that matter, Israeli/Palestinian relations: Joe Public wakes up worrying about employment, wages, household debt, and health care, four things that directly effect his personal quality of life.

"...But our leaders won't tell us the truth..."

There is a big difference between leaders and politicians. Leaders not only lead, they create (or intensify, or shape) public opinion on important issues. Politicians are primarily concerned with the calculus of reelection. Politicians are driven by public opinion polls and focus groups, whereas leaders drive public opinion. Dynamic leaders view public opinion as the passive partner in the relationship; politicians think more like yachtsmen trying to hardness the wind. Would-be leaders lose a lot more often, but they often accomplish more when they win.

In order to do any of the things you suggest, first the Democrats have to get a supermajority in Congress, and second, President Obama has to be reelected so that Mitt Romney can't veto their legislation or force them to water it down. At the very least, President Obama has to be reelected so that he can veto Republican legislation should that party gain control of the Senate as well as the House. Would things be different if they accomplished this? Somewhat, but the problem is that there is always another election down the road, if not for a particular candidate (Obama can't serve a third term after all) then for congressmen and other politicians of his party; and today, party leaders control their candidates rather than the reverse. Party leadership determines who gets the nod, who gets the organizational and networking support, and who gets the funding. They not only insure malleable candidates that way, making sure they put the party's interests first, but they also control them that way once they reach office. There's a reason why the Democrats pulled the rug out from under Howard Dean:

"In March 2003 he gave a speech strongly critical of the Democratic leadership at the California State Democratic Convention that attracted the attention of grassroots party activists and set the tone and the agenda of his candidacy. It began with the line: 'What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President's unilateral intervention in Iraq?' " (Wiki)

Only 6.9 percent of private sector workers were unionized in 2011, according to the New York Times. Unions were the traditional organization and financial support of the Democratic Party during the post-Great Depression decades when their most progressive policies were enacted. What does that leave? Corporations and the wealthy. Financiers and moguls. Obama filled his cabinet and advisory panels with many of the usual suspects (e.g., Geithner, Summers).

You're only asking the Democrats to oppose the Military-Industrial Complex, corporations, and the wealthy, and to give Romney the chance to counter with a simple-minded but wrong counter-narrative.

Out of online time for today.

a reading of "A Tale of Two Crashes (parts one and two) by Emanuel Stoakes
followed by "The Resurgence of Purpose" by John B Cobb
may help!

I'm with cal Lash: watch for decertification of those pesky brown voters in key states! PA, OH, VA! A few votes, say 50,000 in each state, may be all that is needed!

decertification is still with us. After all it got an arizona attorney a supreme court seat.
But thats not what I meant. I meant how will the ballot mark you make be counted?

Emil: I totally agree with your contention that healthcare should be one of the 4 biggies. My knowledge comes from being "in the system" as a patient for over 25 years, during which time I've seen the good/bad/ugly aspects. And I've come to the belief that those who are the most passionate opposers to "Obamacare" are often the least knowledgeable about how our current healthcare system is so bloated and botched. Maybe they're healthy . . thankfully. Maybe they've "got theirs" . . luckily. But when a health emergency hits them or their loved ones, comes a rude awakening with several painful and predictable lessons:
1) We all need an advocate to help us run interference. The meek will not inherit the earth! Ask to talk to the supervisor if you're not happy. (I've just spent 2 hours on the phone getting 2 Rx's transferred from a retail pharmacy to my plan's mail order entity . . just before running out)
2) Our docs don't necessarily communicate well with one another. Some specialty practices don't have interlinking Electronic Medical Records, depending on faxes and other prehistoric BS.
3) There are often intrusive and expensive tests . .sometimes with shaky justification except their defensive value or revenue-producing quotient.
4) Wait times. Even with the vaunted Mayo system, there are long waits for appointments and diagnostics.

Enough said. Obamacare iS a 2000 page dog's breakfast but it is also our only real hope for taming the beast that's now costing us over 17% of GDP. Fine to tweak and improve it if we've got the huevos to beat back Big Pharma and Big Insurance and DumbAss state legislatures in the process. It won't be easy.

if we've got the huevos to beat back Big Pharma and Big Insurance and DumbAss state legislatures in the process. It won't be easy.

The Dumb asses are doable. Not sure we can ever grow huevos big enough to punk the Big Pharma and Big Insurance.

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