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Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:56 AM PDT

Why I am a Democrat

by Rich in PA

David Sedaris has already written this for me, when discussing the phenomenon of undecided voters in the 2008 election:

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

I don't have anything to add to that.

Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:52 PM PDT

Ask me anything...about others.

by Rich in PA

All of those business leadership books say you should emulate successful leaders.  At least that's what the titles suggest.  I'd never read that claptrap.  Anyway, inspired by the example of Markos, someone so devoted to this site that he named himself after it (usually you name your kid for something you love, but I guess he didn't want to wait), I am offering to answer questions for the next quarter-hour.  But since I'm unimportant both here and in the wider culture, I will only answer questions about other people.  And when the intoxicant wears off, I'll probably delete the diary.  


We had someone on the inside at Cannes. The other leaders didn't listen to her, but it's still pretty cool. More after the jump. Is there still a jump?

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Much as I hate short diaries that only reference someone else's work, they are permitted under the New Dispensation known as DK4 and I am not seeing any reference to it this morning, so here goes.

James Carville, he of the Republican wife and the Clinton mind-meld (and, for those whose indictment spans national borders, the campaign guru of Bolivian neoliberal villain Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada twnty years ago), has officially joined us on the pissed-off side of the party.

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Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 12:28 PM PST

Why I've flipped out

by Rich in PA

I am pretty even-tempered.  I have had enough good fortune in life that I don't have to treat things with deadly seriousness most of the time, and I've approached my very modest involvement in politics the same way.  While I try never to forget that politics is, or ought to be, an instrument for the betterment of the world and particularly the improvement of the life-chances of people with lousy life-chances, my day-to-day connection to politics is based on the intellectual interest it holds for me, and the (virtual) social aspect of communities like Daily Kos.  Temperamentally, I'm more or less where I want to be.  

So I surprised myself on Tuesday night, when in reply to a commenter who linked to and USA Today stories about President Obama's Monday meeting with the Republican congressional leadership, I said straight-up that our president is an idiot.  Far from waking up refreshed and back to my old self on Wednesday morning, I was and have remained firmly committed to that view.  WTF?  

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UPDATE: Yes, you're right, there's no actual evidence here but I can't think of a better word, at least not without self-mockery and there's enough in this diary already.  

A few days ago, Commonmass wrote one of those "I've just about had it" diaries, thusly titled, which brought forth the by-now usual outpouring of Kossack exasperation with our party and our President.  Why don't they stand up to Republicans?  Why can't they do things with a majority, when Republicans somehow manage to do things with a minority?  And so forth.

Suddenly, as if in a vision, or at least some kind of secular epiphany (like Buckminster Fuller came up with the geodesic dome, or someone probably came up with Belgium), it became clear to me.  Maybe President Obama is planning to run for re-election as a third-party candidate, rather than as a Democrat, in 2012.  Crazier things have happened--they've just been in other countries so far.

Note #1: For purposes of this diary, "third-party" and "independent" are pretty much the same thing.

Note #2: This isn't an anti-Obama diary!

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President Obama had a press conference yesterday in which he reaffirmed his desire to work with Republicans on the pressing issues of the day.  After a long day of compromising with the groundhogs about my vegetable harvest, I'm ready to offer some actual, serious suggestions about what to propose for discussion.  For the record--because it's not always clear with me--I'm not joking.

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Apparently there's this thing called a diary, which is like a really long comment or maybe a bunch of shorter ones, and then people come and read it on purpose rather than just stumbling upon it while checking to see if their own comments have been posted.  Since I have made a number of comments in the last few days about the present and future of worldwide proletarian revolution--or at least about its vanguard party, the Democrats--and I'd like those comments to be read, I am going to put it all together below.  Mostly from scratch, but I'm not above cribbing from myself.

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Teenvote diaried his (her?) ad concept this morning, which motivated me to add one of my own in the comments.  In this diary I have tweaked it a bit, and added one more.  All content in this diary is free of copyright and anyone who wants to use it can do so, a statement I make on the odd chance that anyone reading it might be in a position to turn the words into actual political advertising.  

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Beautiful Father's Day day here in Pennsylvania, and as I went about my business I kept wondering when I was going to find a few minutes to post my Colombian election summary.  How messed up is that?

It's going to take me way more time to do this diary than it took for Colombia's electoral board to declare Juan Manuel Santos the winner over Antanas Mockus once the polls closed at 4:00 in Colombia (CDT here).  They promised to report a winner in under two hours but fifteen minutes was sufficient.  In part that's because they have a remarkable system for tallying, reporting, and aggregating votes (and yes, it's actually fair) and in part it's because most Colombians live in large cities, but mostly it's because Santos got 69% of the vote.  Neoliberalism and obsession with security are more popular in Colombia than they are on Daily Kos.

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On Sunday, May 30 Colombians went to the polls and expressed their contempt for Kossacks, prominent academics the world over, and Facebook by favoring Juan Manuel Santos over Antanas Mockus and four other candidates in the first round of Colombia's presidential elections.  

Past Colombian election diaries by me and by Flitedocnm.

What happened to Mockus and his Green power?  Is Santos a done deal, or might we still get President Moonbeam?  This and other questions answered, if by "answered" you're content with "semi-informed speculation," after the jump.

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Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM PDT

Your Colombian voter's guide (5/30)

by Rich in PA

You know how it is--it's every four years so you know it's coming, but with work and play and wasting time on Daily Kos, you totally forget that the Colombian presidential election is coming up and you have no idea who to vote for!  I mean imaginary votes, like for all those House and Senate and Governor races in states you don't live in.  So it's not like you're not used to it.  And who knows, maybe you actually are Colombian (now would be a good time to check) so the information below could be useful to you.

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