Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hand-Wringing in Liberal Land

How's this for leverage: nervous liberals are operating under the theory that they can wait until Obama is safely re-esconced in the West Wing before convincing him to protect the New Deal. According to The Hill, a coalition of so-called progressives will be launching a campaign "immediately after Election Day to pressure Obama and Senate Democrats not to endorse any deal that cuts Medicare and/or Social Security benefits."

They are so fearful of their Leader co-mingling them with the maligned purists of the "professional left" that most of them won't even reveal their own identities. They are loath to betray their incipient betrayer. They have apparently forgotten that gay rights groups helped Obama "evolve" on marriage equality when they threatened to withhold support and money. Ditto for immigration reform activists, who demonstrated their own discontent with his lackluster support and "made him" order temporary amnesty for Dream Act candidates -- again, by threatening, not cajoling.

Independent Vermont Senator and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders, famous for his marathon anti-plutocracy filibuster and frequent indignant letters to the White House, is apparently the spokesman for the cravenly pragmatic crew of anonymous malcontents. He has urged passionately, and he has urged often that President Obama be held to account, that he should promise to protect the safety net as a condition to his re-election.

But at no time has Sanders gone so far as to suggest that we actually withhold our vote for this Democratic president, and vote Green or Socialist instead. Despite all his populist rhetoric, Sanders is still giving his tacit endorsement for another Obama term.

After running themselves ragged door-belling, phone-banking, contributing their meager dollars, and mindlessly cheerleading the incumbent, the groups will begin to apply their pinky-finger pressure on Nov. 8, two days after Election Day. (They need 48 hours to gather steam for the Big Offensive. They will take two bold baby steps forward on the road to recovery in the wake of their mass exodus from collective sanity during Horserace 2012.)

The AFL-CIO, which showed up at the Democratic National Convention for the purposes of improving their own unfair thuggish image, rather than making demands on their candidates, will also join in the attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube. One bold agitator even dared give his name ahead of time:

There’s going to be a major effort by lots of groups to make sure the people we vote for don’t sell us down the river,” said Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future.

“People, groups, organizations and networks are working very hard to get Obama and the Democrats elected, and yet we are worried that it is possible that we could be betrayed almost immediately,” he said.

Ya think, Roger? Why, it was only yesterday that Obama salivated, for the umpteenth time, over the prospect of ripping open that can of Simpson-Bowles Catfood to shove it down our throats. After thinking he could importune an Iowa newspaper into endorsing him on the basis of an off-the-record interview -- and the paper subsequently calling him out on his ridiculous secrecy -- this is what Obama said:

It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs.

And we can easily meet -- “easily” is the wrong word -- we can credibly meet the target that the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and even more in the out-years, and we can stabilize our deficit-to-GDP ratio in a way that is really going to be a good foundation for long-term growth. Now, once we get that done, that takes a huge piece of business off the table.

Obama is obviously still operating under the debunked notion that austerity helps grow the economy in the middle of an economic recession. If he reads Paul Krugman, it is obviously not sinking in. Then again, Paul Krugman is so focused on how bad a President Romney would be that he is essentially giving the incumbent a free pass. Presumably, he will return to form once the election is over.

And I don't know if Roger and Bernie and the rest of the gang have noticed.... but have you ever picked up on the fact that President Obama always promises to negotiate with the Republicans, yet never expresses the slightest interest in talking to the so-called Progressive Caucus of his own party? These doe-like Congress critters, led by Raul Grijalva of Arizona, have put together a "People's Budget" that puts people back to work, imposes a living wage, slashes the deficit, scraps the cap on Social Security FICA contributions and all kinds of good stuff.

It sounds great, but that's about it. You don't hear Grijalva and the other progressives forming a schism and walking away from the Blue Dog prez, do you? These people are what we can kindly call "useful idiots". They form the pretend-left flank of the spineless Democratic Party, which exists solely to provide a cosmetic balance to the right wing extremism of the Ayn Rand Cult. We feel better listening to them liberally and impotently rant and rave on MSNBC, and then the right-center President and his Senate lackeys swoop in to split the difference and pretend that they tried. They really, really tried. But you know... gridlock and stuff.

So-called pragmatic progressives are fond of maligning their backwoods, mouth-breathing kin for voting against their own interests when they elect Teapublican crazoids. And if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and still expecting different results, then perhaps immediate self-commitment in a fancy liberal rest home is in order. The differential diagnostic grounds for admission: cognitive dissonance disorder consistent with battered spouse syndrome, complicated by addiction to a designer drug of the Obamopiate class.


James F Traynor said...

"...the Blue Dog prez." Jeez Karen, he looks awfully purple to me. Still, being in Florida, we voted for him. God, what a terrible state of affairs. But at least I won't have to listen to my wife scream at Romney commercials on tv or worry about her assaulting some one in the check out line at Publix.

Pearl said...

That is why I am voting for the Green Party in hopes that the shock of a
Romney presidency will grow some spines among our so called progressives/liberals and
be a message to them if they lose. Or at least, wake up the more sane
Republicans who will see the ground breaking away under their feet under a
Republican presidency,and force new leadership in the Democratic party which
couldn't be worse than with Obama in charge. Best of all would be a viable third party developing but I doubt the U.S.A. is ready for that as yet.

My brother who is going to be working for the Democratic party at the voting
booths in New York State apologized to me for voting for Obama and is very
interested to observe conversations among the voters who are his neighbors.
Maybe he will learn something but I sympathize with his obvious deep unhappiness at the net he has been pulled into. Que sera, sera.

Denis Neville said...

We live in the worst of times - public passivity in a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance.

“In elections parties set out to mobilize the citizen-as-voter, to define political obligation as fulfilled by the casting of a vote. Afterwards, post-election politics of lobbying, repaying donors, and promoting corporate interests – the real players – takes over. The effect is to demobilize the citizenry, to teach them not to be involved or to ponder matters that are either settled or beyond their efficacy” - Sheldon Wolin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. People lead lives of quiet desperation addicted to the comforts, no matter how useless or shallow, that others sell them to calm their anger and make them patient and long-suffering, and devoid of humanity and any desire for real freedom.

"When stepped on, the worm curls up. That is a clever thing to do. Thus it reduces its chances of being stepped on again. In the language of morality: humility." - Friedrich Nietzsche

“Once the technical means of control have reached a certain size, a certain degree of being connected one to another, the chances for freedom are over for good. The word has ceased to have meaning…All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.” - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Zee said...


I have never read anything by Thomas Pynchon, so I'm probably missing the point that you are trying to make with the quote you have included in your first comment today. But here goes:

Pynchon seems to be saying that the "technical means of control" [Of the many by the "elite few?" ] are related to the "degree of being connected to one another."

Well, we are certainly HUGELY interconnected with, and dependent upon, each other today on a global scale, both socially and economically.

If Twitter goes down, it seems that half the world goes into suicidal depression. If a tsunami occurs in the Pacific near Japan, it becomes impossible to procure car parts and computer hard drives.

All it takes is one big, deliberately-caused "glitch" in communications or economic production to bring the world of the non-elites (you and me) to a screeching halt, or even crisis.

Then the "elites" can then once again bring us quickly under their heel by "fixing" the crisis, contingent, of course, on us proles surrendering yet more of our freedom.

At least that's the way I interpret Pynchon's words.

Which might mean that on national, state, local and individual levels, greater self-reliance--or, at least more geographically localized interdependence--would be a good thing, something that is clearly vanishing quickly at all levels.

Have I totally missed the mark?

But does this mean that we all need to become "locavores" to preserve our freedom?

I definitely see the logic to this, though I have yet to figure out how to manufacture needed commodities such as gasoline, motorcycles and ammunition at the local level.

(That's [partially] a joke.)

Anonymous said...

I saw Jill Stein in a “debate” held in Chicago and moderated by--LARRY KING. Eeekk! She was rather inarticulate (they all were) and it was easy to see why these people are not front runners.

No one is twisting my arm to vote for Obama. It is not necessary for me to love, love, love everything he does. I think the Progressives are right to wait until after the election to apply pressure. In case you haven’t heard, half the country despises our moderate President--how many more will go to the dark side if he doesn’t remain very centrist for now?

I love your writing Karen and I realize and respect the need for criticism of leaders, but demanding that Obama veer from centrism (or whatever) right now, and voting for Jill Stein, just don’t serve any purpose other than to risk losing the election. I don’t want to live under a Romney puppet regime; nor do I care much for what I heard of Ms. Stein or find her worthy of denying Obama a second term, even if she was a viable contender.

This blog had a thriving comment section at one point, but now it’s the same four or five all the time. I drop in now and then because I like Karen’s writing even when I disagree with her, but I tired of the attacks on dissent long ago (as apparently have many others).

Anonymous said...

I saw Jill Stein in a “debate” held in Chicago and moderated by--LARRY KING. Eeekk! She was rather inarticulate (they all were) and it was easy to see why these people are not front runners.

No one is twisting my arm to vote for Obama. It is not necessary for me to love, love, love everything he does. I think the Progressives are right to wait until after the election to apply pressure. In case you haven’t heard, half the country despises our moderate President--how many more will go to the dark side if he doesn’t remain very centrist for now?

I love your writing Karen and I realize and respect the need for criticism of leaders, but demanding that Obama veer from centrism (or whatever) right now, and voting for Jill Stein, just don’t serve any purpose other than to risk losing the election. I don’t want to live under a Romney puppet regime; nor do I care much for what I heard of Ms. Stein or find her worthy of denying Obama a second term, even if she was a viable contender.

This blog had a thriving comment section at one point, but now it’s the same four or five all the time. I drop in now and then because I like Karen’s writing even when I disagree with her, but I tired of the attacks on dissent long ago (as apparently have many others).

Karen Garcia said...

"I tired of the attacks on dissent long ago..."

Oh, Anonymous, I know just what you mean. Those who dare to dissent, those who dare speak truth to power, are being attacked regularly in these parlous, partisan, pre-election times. I am already bracing for being blamed if Obama loses, or if the results are delayed due to chaos in Ohio.

I would rather that only a handful of informed, erudite commenters contribute here, rather than the hundreds or thousands who congregate on certain sites, who do nothing but echo the same old tired talking points. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't banned people who do not agree with me, as is the custom of so many of the supposedly "liberal sites."

Just a reminder.... I don't mind accepting the occasional anonymous comment, but if too many of them come in all at once, I will have no choice but to reject them. It is always a good idea to at least use a pseudonym or initials, to distinguish yourself.

Incidentally, I am pretty sure I know your identity anyway, Anonymous. I am fairly good at identifying unique writing styles. Your "Eeekk!" was a dead giveaway.

Karen Garcia said...

PS -- here is my response to Paul Krugman's column. I am sure it will be very popular with the echo chamber choir.

Like a Hitchcock villain, Romney leaves his grisliness to the audience's imagination. We can visualize the blood going down the drain; the number, placement and depth of the stab wounds are merely implied.

Obama, on the other hand, presents us with a depressingly honest documentary with an austere subplot. One segment is the sequel to Grand Bargain Summer of Doom, so brace yourself for renewed attempts at chained COLAs and raising the Medicare eligibility age. And look for another assist from Bowles and Simpson of the Catfood Commission. They have herded together a whole clowder of fat cats in the form of 80 CEOs. Such Wall Street paragons as Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon have written to Congress, saying they'll grudgingly pay a smidgen more as long as the lesser people "share the sacrifice" and give up some social safety net protections. A New Deal cut for us here, the end of their corporate jet tax deductions there. They're priding themselves on their economic patriotism, bless their hearts.

But wait. A progressive/labor coalition is getting together just two days AFTER the election to demand that Democrats protect the safety net! Asking for promises now is just too dangerous, according to the conventional wisdom.

Let's face it. If this were 1932, Andrew Mellon would be challenging Herbert Hoover, and FDR would be the marginalized outlier. Glass-Steagall is dead and the Wall Street motor-mouths are alive.

Elizabeth Adams said...

I saw the debate which included Jill Stein and three others. I didn't watch the other presidential and vice presidential debates, as I knew nothing of real substance would be discussed and don't really have the extra time to sit around and let my blood pressure rise.

I had already sent in my absentee ballot, and watching the debate made me even more glad to have given my vote to Jill Stein. If she wasn't in the race, I'd have chosen Rocky Anderson.

When asked what one amendment they would pass if they had the chance and knew it would get approved by 75% of the states, Jill is the only one who said the amendment to abolish corporate personhood and eliminate money as speech.

I voted for Obama the first time. He wasn't a self-appointed judge, jury and executioner back then.

Denis Neville said...

Anonymous said...“Progressives are right to wait until after the election to apply pressure”

Doing the same thing and expecting different results? It is never going to happen!

How did progressives get into this position? They unconditionally gave Obama a pass on most everything.

Real political change never happens until you demand it.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass

The plutocracy doesn’t want change, and the public is too passive to demand it.

Be a DINO and perpetuate the system? Continue to follow Obama’s march to the Right?

A nation’s whose focus is cutting programs of social uplift to answer the elite’s call for austerity is approaching spiritual death.

And so it will go until things get so god awful that unforeseen forces will make the changes for us.

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The "tide in the affairs of men" does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on...

“Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kat said...

Earth to Anonymous: yes, yes Obama can only accomplish the "politically possible" and since the people cried out for a surge in Afghanistan, cuts to social security, banker friendly policies, and the right to indefinitely detain and assassinate Americans that is what we get.

I think you confuse glib, polished, and above all corporate friendly with "articulate", by the way.

d12345 said...

The "strategy' of these November 8th "progressives"
is eerily similar to the strategy the administration pursued with the banks. First give them everything they want. Then say, "Remember we were there for should do something for the American people."

Worked well with the banks...

Anne Lavoie said...

Wow. Psychologically, Progressives are a real case.

In the five stages of grief, they are stuck simultaneously in the denial and bargaining stages. They think that if they give Emperor Obama their vote, somehow they will be magically endowed with more influence and power than they were during his first term when he SHOULD have needed to please them, but instead threw them under the bus. That kind of magical thinking is straight out of 'The Secret', which is apropos to Obama's methods.

There is going to be a lot of angst for Progressives in the future when they finally break through to anger, depression, and acceptance like the rest of us. Whoever is elected, it's going to be more of the same, and far worse as the Corporate State grows by eating us for breakfast.

It's been rough facing up to the reality of the demise of our Democracy and the rise of the Plutocracy, so I can understand why they cope by denying and rationalizing, but it isn't progress or Progressive to get stuck in wishful thinking and denial.

The reason many of us rarely submit comments anymore is that the Acceptance stage has left us nearly mute from facing the stark reality of it all.

Will said...

After a painstakingly thorough investigation, I believe I've uncovered the true identity of Anonymous. (The Big Reveal occurs at the 1:27 mark of the 3-minute video.)

P.S. Great responses from Denis, Elizabeth, Kat & d12345 so far!

spreadoption said...

Struggling toward the acceptance stage. Thanks, Anne, for your insightful diagnosis. As Hurricane Sandy threatens the US northeast, our entire nation is being devastated by Storm Kubler-Ross.

A comment by "Anonymous" is irritating and symptomatic of the cancer that has invaded our country. Forget "those Muslim terrorists", forget China, Russia, and socialism - "We have seen the enemy and he is us."

For more than a decade I've been asking serious people of all ages, "Where is our outrage?" In all that time, I've never heard an answer. Outrage about what? I've learned that if I persist I lose friends. My conclusion is that most of us have been in either denial or acceptance all along.

My 25-year old son "gets it" and he's been pushing me toward acceptance for a couple of years now. We are powerless, he says. Get over it and don't waste your time. Do what you enjoy, get good at it, assist and try to inspire those people closest to you. Take care of yourself.

I assume my son reflects the attitude of his generation, or at least his peers. He has no time for outrage, nor use for it. At his age I didn't either (and that was during Vietnam!). Reagan got me started.

Me, I want to keep fighting. I've always hated bullies - they're stupid and harmful. I'm not a quitter. I've never felt so powerless.

Articles urge, give up on America. We have no plan, other than for empire and ever-growing profit.

I'm getting closer to acceptance, but it doesn't seem to suit me.

John in Lafayette said...

Please stay safe as the hurricane approaches.

Neil Gillespie said...

spreadoption@"Where is our outrage?"

We are living in corrupt times, and corrupt people do not get outraged, they start goose-stepping to the popular tune.

Pearl said...

The other day I attended a gathering of some of my retiree residents where I live, on the topic of Aging. When asked by the moderator what we feared the most, I said having to deal with facing losses especially when it was a
spouse. Some of the women (we have mostly women here) nodded their heads and then a neighbor whom I am not particularly fond of stated in a 'know it all tone of voice', Pearl, we have to learn how to accept what happens, and then move on with our lives which I have been able to do. I felt a chill in the air but I was silent. We will be having another meeting on this topic at which point I plan to say that if it works for her fine, but many of us question the word "accept" and moving on without thinking about what happened and how we can learn from the experience and also have our feelings validated.

I connect it to the thinking going on politically where difficult challenges
are shoved under the rug by "moving on". My original feelings about my
neighbor were corroborated - someone who is not overly concerned about
others and does not care that she puts down those who don't feel the same way.
Follow your heart and do not accept the unacceptable and do what you feel is best for you to translate your reactions into action. Your son will be inspired by how you handle problems and perhaps be encouraged to follow his best instincts. Often our younger progeny are afraid of being singled out by others negatively when they don't "fit in". You can be an example to others - courage combined with truth can be contagious and uplifting which has a ripple effect - to your son and to a friend of his, and onward.
And yes, take care of yourself.

Pearl said...

(addendum to last comment)

Use Karen as your guide - the courage to speak the truth which compromises her career aspirations. With her writing ability and knowledge she could get a well paying job on a major newspaper provided she kept her real critical views private. But she has dedicated her life to the truth because of love of country, concerns for its people and her dreams for all our futures. This qualifies her as a real example of a true patriot.

Zee said...


How on earth does one "apply pressure" to a "lame-duck" President, which is precisely what Obama will be should he be re-elected?

In his second term, Obama will undertake exactly as much or as little as he chooses, with nary a concern for what anyone else wishes--or urges--him to do.

That's the definition of a "lame duck:" impervious to pressure.

Obama has already carved out his unique niche in history as America's first Black President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Attaining the second term is really just an "ego thing"--tacit affirmation that the American public saw his first term as a success rather than a failure--and it will be dedicated to not messing up that image, at least not any more than he already has.

"Apply pressure" to Obama as a lame duck?

Har. Har. Har.

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks everyone, for all the great comments today. Personally, I waffle between the anger and acceptance stages. Just when I think I have sunk into the slough of despond, looking at our sad state of affairs, something new will happen to make me truly pissed off all over again. All fired up and ready to go, in the words of Dear Leader.

There was a mad dash for batteries in town today. We got the last package of Ds at Rite-Aid, so that we can try and find a radio station that is not Clear Channel, broadcasting an endless loop of crap from Genericville USA in the middle of a natural disaster. Here's hoping everyone stays safe and that Sandy makes a direct hit on either K Street or Wall Street and spares all the main streets.

Zee said...

@Karen, @spreadoption, and anyone else in the path of Hurricane Sandy:

Stay safe, and evacuate to the high ground early if necessary!

Valerie said...

Yes, I am with Denis "Doing the same thing and expecting different results? It is never going to happen!" We have had a taste of how liberal an Obama administration is going to be. Anyone who thinks Obama is going to govern any differently if we give him another term is deluding him/herself. We won't be able to pressure Obama into doing what we want any more than we were able to do it his first term. In fact, we will have even less power because he and his handlers know that they can do anything and those loyal to the party will simply go along. For these people, the party is a religion and they will worship at the altar of Obama no matter how much evidence there is that he isn’t the messiah they want him to be.

It is a real shame that the Progressives who are unhappy with Obama but will still vote for him had a little backbone in the first place. If there had been enough dissent within the party and those running the party didn’t think Obama could be re-elected, they would have pushed him to step aside. I heard it time and time again, "I will vote for Obama but I won't work for him again." Silly person! Obama never cared about your approval. All he wanted was your vote. By announcing that you would support him no matter what simply because he wears the Democratic label was betraying your own ideals. No - what you should have done is what a handful of principled people will do - made it clear that if Obama didn't represent those who elected him, that they would take their vote elsewhere on election day.

Kate Madison said...

Hi Karen-

I am once more appealing to your progressive commenters to
"Remember the Supremes! If MittWitt Rawmoney is elected--and has one or two Court appointments--this could change the laws of our land (i.e., Roe v Wade) and, therefore, women's rights for several generations. (You know he would appoint young wingnut judges.)

Jonathan Bernstein makes a good argument at "The Plum Line" in WaPo today.

Peace and health-


Anne Lavoie said...

That designer drug aptly named 'Obamopiate' by Karen is actually a placebo, manufactured and sold undercover by the Obama campaign, guaranteed to make you feel high enough with Hope to push the lever for our Dear Leader. Take one and you will also believe anything. (Or is it Soma, relabeled?)

The idea of PRESSURING Obama AFTER his re-election surely didn't originate with Progressives, though they are falling for it because they are UIO - Under the Influence of Obamopiate - which is being feverishly peddled by the Obama campaign.

I recently got an email which took the same tack. 'Please sign this petition which will be used AFTER Obama's re-election to PRESSURE him to strengthen women's rights of some kind or other' was the message.

Well, hallelujah! Get pre-emptive absolution of the sin of voting for someone you know is a force for evil. Just sign the petition before you vote for him and you are absolved of any conflicted or guilty feelings you might have. As an added boost, consider yourself now an Activist, with a little hope on the side. This from the same people who helped crush and silence the Occupy movement when they could have helped strengthen it into a major force for good.

Mr. Make-Me-Do-It is one cynical dude. He announces 'The Republicans are trying to kill Big Bird!' while he is actuality killing real children in the Middle East by drone strikes. Evil is as evil does.

But never mind all that. Just vote for Obama and enjoy feeling oooooh sooooo good. Ahhhhhhh.

Mamacita said...

Kate@young wingnut judges

You mean like Justice Elena Kagan? BFF with Justice Antonin Scalia?

"Speaking at the University of Tennessee on Friday, Kagan told of plans to travel to Wyoming where she would meet Scalia, her hunting mentor. "I'm hoping to bag myself an antelope," she said. Previously she and Scalia had hunted birds, but he suggested last spring it was time to move on to the big game."

Actually Kate, "MittWitt Rawmoney" supports abortion. Romney supported abortion in the past. He is just lying to his base now to get elected - just like NoBama!

So the abortion mills will continue Kate, you can rest assured. BTW, Romney is not a right-wing ideologue. Romney is a rapacious capitalist. If there is money to be made aborting babies, Mitt will figure out a way to cash in.

The CDC reports roughly 50 million legal induced abortions have been performed in the United States since 1993. If those 50 million were alive today, and paying into Social Security, things might be going better. The law of unintended consequences....

Karen Garcia said...

Hi Kate,
Thanks for your input. You might be interested in reading this piece:

It discusses one of Sonia Sotomayor's previous decisions on reproductive rights, in which she sided with the Bush Administration's ban on aid to international groups that provide funding for abortion.

We do not know how Sotomayor would vote in an attempt to overturn Roe V. Wade.

We do not know what kind of justices Obama would appoint in a second term. Assuming he is faced with continuing gridlock in the Senate, he might just do another one of his famous compromises. He talks the talk, but for a clue on his real position on reproductive rights, look at his overriding of his own FDA commissioner on the sale of the morning-after pill to teenage girls. The man is as conservative as they come.

James Traynor said...

Wow, Karen touched a nerve. At Play in The Fields of The Lord, Huckleberry Finn, The Tiger (recent book by Vaillant), Typee - it's all there. Scary. We're really a dangerous species. I'd feel a lot more comfortable with Vaillant's tiger in the neighborhood than I feel in the society of my fellow man; like being in a cage full of crazy monkeys. I could understand the tiger. Romney is definitely a crazier monkey than most. Down deep that's why I voted for the other primate, even though he'll probably throw his shit at us.

Will said...


Just wanted to apologize to you and Marie for our little dustup a while back. I should've taken the agree-to-disagree route rather than resort to juvenile name-calling. So sorry it took me this long to say so. (Wait, did I just apologize twice in the span of a few sentences? I think I'm getting good at this. It's about time!) Hope you and Marie are well. Take care. :)

Denis Neville said...

Should progressives actually listen to Kate Madison?

Overturning of Roe v. Wade could be the tip of an unfathomable iceberg, the potential reversal of nearly a century of progressive jurisprudence.

"I think progressives should be very afraid and conservatives should be very hopeful." - Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor, UCLA School of Law, when asked about what the Supreme Court might look like if Romney wins the election

“Remember the Supremes!”

But is there is no end to the capitulations that if we don’t vote for Obama, Romney will win and the consequences will be horrible?

My exposure to domestic violence in health care taught me the key lesson of abusive behavior was that if one let abusers get away with abuse, this led only to more abuse because they knew they could get away with it.

What a precedent Obama’s ever-expanding “Disposition Matrix” kill list (assassinations) and unlimited theater of war is for future presidents!

Are we willing to continue to let innocent foreign children, women, and men be terrorized and die by our drones to preserve Roe v. Wade?

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Neil Gillespie said...

The other day a group called DFMRF, LLC sent me unsolicited by mail a DVD called "Dreams from My Real Father" directed by Joel Gilbert. It was addressed to me or the "current resident".

The film claims Obama’s real father is Frank Marshall Davis. The film is over-the-top in many ways, but shows Obama and Davis have an uncanny resemblance. I found interesting the film’s description of how the legal profession helped Obama rise.

The film claims Thomas G. Ayers (father to Bill Ayers) arranged for Obama's first job at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin, where he met and later married Michelle. This is a short YouTube promo of the DVD

The New York Times did a story on the mass-mailing, "Strident Anti-Obama Messages Flood Key States"

A story on the Examiner says the 95 minute DVD was mailed to many people in Florida.

The Daily KOS said the DVD was mailed unsolicited to people in Ohio.

The DVD is apparently sold on eBay and

Did anyone else receive this DVD in the mail?

Anonymous said...

Well, from a non-"eek!" anonymous commenter, I am grateful for Karen's incisive criticism of the Obama administration, even though I long ago tired of reading her regular commenters. I'll vote Jill Stein in Nov. Keep up the good work, Karen, and thanks for staying true. Voices like yours are critical to maintaining what's left of our democracy, if it could ever have been called that. (We're a republic, at last check.)

Valerie said...

This is indicative of the kind of money the Romney camp has to spend. I watched a bit of it on Youtube and had to laugh at the old communist scare tactics. Are we still afraid of communism? Is THAT all they have to throw at Obama?

It is so sad that a video about global warming or one revealing what the banks are up to or one revealing what Citizens United has done to corrupt the election system in the U.S. was sent in its place.