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Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 01:01 AM PST

Lessons learned [Updated]

by james richardson

Dems is trending on Twitter, so I perused.  One thing I've learned is that Republicans are pissed about Obama's presser.  Why?  No humility.  No shame.  It was all "It's not about left or right but what helps the American people".  The nerve!

Republicans are pissed because Obama was acting like a President and not a Democrat.  They wanted him to talk about Yesterday and instead he talked about Tomorrow.  He took the narrative away from the right and changed it from the election to governing.  Republicans weren't expecting that.  They're still basking.  Peggy Noonan must be horrified.

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This story just breaks my heart:

A homeless single mother in Arizona who struggled to make ends meet is in jail after she allegedly left her children in her car while she went on a job interview.

"She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job," Scottsdale Police Sergeant Mark Clark told KPHO. "Obviously not getting the job. So it's just a sad situation."

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Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:00 PM PDT

About voting restrictions

by james richardson

Maybe it's just me, and maybe I just haven't seen this discussion elsewhere, but certain voting restrictions strike me less about race than about class warfare.

I know restrictions on Sunday voting was about Church going African Americans.  But it's the restrictions on early voting and Same Day registration that get me.  This means longer lines on the designated voting days.  And designated voting days are often on weekdays.  

That means you have to take time off work to vote.  And since you can't vote early, and since you can't vote Sundays, the lines just got longer.  Hours.  Who can take hours off of work?  Who can ask for an unknown amount of time off work to go vote?  Who can get that kind of permission for time off from their jobs?  Not the people who depend on Democrats being elected.  And who can afford to miss that time off?  Some people can.  Rich people can.  They can wait in line all day.  But people who live paycheck to paycheck?

I would say about 50% of the jobs I've worked at would allow indefinite time off to vote.  But the other half... a certain class of workers does not have that freedom, neither economically or just the nature of their employment.  And how willing would your rich republican boss be to give you all the time necessary to go and vote for that Democrat he or she hates?  How forgiving would they be?  I just don't know.  But it seems to me this is just another form of class warfare that happens to coincide with the race card rather nicely.  Hey, two birds, one stone.

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Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM PDT

Ok, I'll say it...

by james richardson

This is a comment re: Benghazi that I thought deserved wider viewing:

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So, in case you missed it this happened:

“We’re not going to have the White House forever, folks. If he doesn’t do this, Paul Ryan is going to do it for us in a few years,” said a longtime Obama aide, referring to the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate who proposed a sweeping overhaul of Medicare that would replace some benefits with vouchers.
There is absolutely no one anywhere saying this is going to happen except a Democratic White House.  By declaring this to be an inevitability Obama is making their case for them.  There is no need for the republicans to go out and fight for this thing and for Democrats to fight back.  There is no need for republicans to endure any political consequences from arguing their own policies.  The White House has declared it to be an inevitability.  Case closed.
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So, forgive my lack of specifics, but  after reading an acceptable amount of vivisections of Obama's new negotiating position (we'll call it that) I started coming across the inevitable "I support Obama's position and here's why" rants from self-described liberals.

Now, there's a weird, twisted sort of logic to many of these brave counter-arguments.  But they ALWAYS show up.  ALWAYS.  Which leads to the heart of my rant:  why do so many liberals say the best way to help the Left and the Country in the long term is to screw the Left and the Country in the short term?  

In my most highly praised (but not most highly read) diary I rather dryly said that the validity of a policy should not be based on how much it pisses off the base.  And here we are.  Sometimes - only sometimes - it seems our elected representatives are going out of their way to tell the left that their policies are incompatible with a functioning America.  

Sometimes it seems our reps aren't apologizing for America, they're apoligizing for being Democrats.  And if that's the case perhaps it's time I learned it.  But, as I am not a ranter, I reserve the right on future occasions to pretend I was drunk while writing this.

/rant

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A quickie on Mitch McConnell's argument that yes, voters sent Obama to the White House, but they also gave republicans control over the House (gerrymandering aside).  Presidents have veto power.  They have the right to overrule such things.  And the voters had the choice between a President that would sign such a bill and a President that would veto it and they chose the latter.  

But what about overriding that veto you ask?  The voters also decided to send enough people to Congress who were against Republican ideas to DENY the 2/3 majority needed to override that veto.  In other words, the voters had more than one option on election day to convey their wishes and in BOTH CASES they made sure that the Democrats had the final say.  Do you think they did that because they wanted Republican policies?  

That may be Karl Rove's interpretation of the numbers but it's not mine.  

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I'm not a third party harpy, but i've been thinking a lot about them lately.  

I don't necessarily disagree that true change has usually come from within and that those who believe such things have gotten their way on election day.  I also recognize that some on the left have gone way beyond the bitterness of 2008 and seem to have nothing left but going out of their way in finding something to criticize about Obama on a regular basis.  With those stipulations out of the way on to third parties.

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How many times have we seen stories like this?

The founder of Strategic Allied Consulting has also been accused in other states of instructing canvassers to rip up forms belonging to people who want to register as Democrats, failing to submit some forms for processing and refusing to pay workers for registrations that bring Democrats onto voter rolls, the Palm Beach Post reported. The Republican Party in Florida and several other states have cut ties with the firm.
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Jesse/MOT makes a good point to the George Wills of the world that perhaps they are not the best representatives of what the middle and lower class need and want in today's society.  But they think they are, which highlights a level of delusion I thought was more cluelessness than narcissism.  So let me say this again about what people at OWS are protesting:

They are NOT protesting the right of the rich to make a profit.  They are protesting the fact that the rich's side of the social contract turned out to be complete bunk.  The rich said if we just lowered their taxes enough, and all those pesky regulations that keep workers alive enough, then all those record profits would trickle down to the other 98% of America in no time flat.

Instead the rich thanked those workers by keeping the profits and sending those jobs overseas, and then by attacking, destroying and demonizing any of the mechanisms available to the middle class to do anything about it.  And they expect the rest of America to thank them for it while pushing the austerity craze to pay for their sins.  The poor aren't supposed to pay for the rich; the rich are supposed to pay for the poor.

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People aren't protesting the right of the rich to make a profit.  It's what they do with those profits that matters.  It's that their end of the Social Contract was built on lies and deceptions.  They said if we just lower their taxes and the regulations enough then all those record profits would trickle down into the other 98% of the country.

Instead they kept the profits and thanked the workers who got them rich by moving their jobs overseas and attacking the unions and other methods that allow people to do anything about it.  They didn't want to pay up front in the form of salaries and benefits so now everyone's looking to the government for help.  And they don't want to pay for that either.  

Someone's got to look out for the other 98% of the country because the rich sure as hell aren't going to do it unless dragged kicking and screaming.  Since they're not as dependent on American workers as in previous decades there is very little leverage to use against them.  Thus, people are hitting the streets.

Pay now or pay later, but you will pay.  That is what they don't get about Obama's plan to tax the rich:  Obama's not trying to start a Class Warfare, he's trying to avoid one.

Discuss

As I see it the endless debate over Obama's leadership skills breaks down to three theories:  1) Obama's a weak President, 2) Obama's getting the conservative policies he's wanted all along, or 3) Obama is getting the best results possible considering the circumstances.

To those who support option number three, that Obama has gotten all that could be expected of a Democractic President right now, I would say we just had a traditional marriage republican vote in support of gay marriage in New York.  Republican townhallers angry over their representative's support of the Ryan plan showed the right can be made to see the light if someone bothers explaining republican policies to them.  Jon Stewart took less than 30 minutes to shame the right over the 9/11 Responders Bill and the President has a pretty big audience himself.  And Michael Moore managed to find a Wisconsin mic and tell the nation "America's not broke" without ever bursting into flames.

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