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Let me be blunt.

I say that a lot, you know.  I've got limited social skills, and a very direct style of communication.  Over time, though, I've come to realize something, despite my Autistic/aspie sensibilities: It is different to disagree with those who are on your side than it is to disagree with somebody who is diametrically opposed to you.

In other words, while it may feel glorious to greet any deviation from what you consider good policies with direct and harsh treatment similar to what you would give to a Republican, you really should have a different way of dealing with your disagreements with your friends than with your enemies.


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Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:16 PM PDT

2010 and Chained CPI

by Stephen Daugherty

If you want to stop seeing Democratic Party policies on the Chopping block, even as proposals (which this crowd sees as the end of the world, even without them being enacted)  You need Democrats in charge.

They're not perfect?  Too bad.  It's not about how pure these guys are, because impure as they were, they weren't proposing ANY cuts to Social Security Benefits then, much less trying to push austerity on us.

Democrats were doing just fine.  We were getting budgets passed, we were pushing through the necessary debt ceiling increases.  But then the Republicans came back.  The Republicans came back, and rather than just sit down, be quiet, and teach our Democrats a lesson, saying they should be more liberal, they hijacked the system to make it more conservative. Who the hell could have guess that would happen?

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I will not be the millionth diary to whine about how horrible this is.  I don't like it, and if it dies a quick death, I won't mourn it.

But seriously, folks, whatever we do, if we're going to respond negatively to it, let's not hide it behind the walls of Daily Kos.  WE know that WE are angry, but that helps us, how?

Two things could be possible.  Obama could be counting on the reaction to chained CPI to be so resoundingly negative that he has to take it off the table.


That first possibility could be a naive one, and he might actually think that's an acceptable policy.  In which case, what can we do?

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This is a petition I posted on the White House website.  Please sign it and let the President know where our priorities are.

The text of the petition is over the orange-lined cloud.

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Here's my view: the Public clearly fell on our side.  If the numbers hold out, we will have made gains in every branch and chamber of the US Government (including the Judicial Branch, since we won the Presidency).  But people want things done, and we have to continue to look like the people who want things done.

That doesn't mean, though, that we have to take their shit.  If they won't compromise, they need to be called on it.  If they obstruct, we make it a public ordeal for them.  The political pressure needs to be on them  to fold, to change, or to lose their seats.

Because let's be blunt: we need to do one of two things over the next few years: break Republican obstructionism, or remove them as actual obstacles.  Republicans need to be seen as the problem.  Republicans need to be the ones who get kept after school.

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Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:18 PM PDT

Romney: The Deathblossom Liar

by Stephen Daugherty

Watching that debate, I just had the impression that the guy was having trouble keeping all his lies properly arranged.

He lies in all directions, all at once, expecting people to be incapable of keeping up.  Unfortunately for him, he lives in the information age.  So, as he Deathblossoms lies, shooting them in all directions, more than a few of them come right back to hit him.

Read the transcripts folks.  Work the Primary sources.  The key to breaking Mitt Romney's fast-talking hold on people is going back to the facts and confronting people with the level of distortion he's hit them with to make them feel warm and glowy.

Special bonus:  Mitt Romney talked about a capital gains/carried interest tax cut.  You know thats the exact kind of low taxes that lets him pay less taxes than his secretary?  After all this talk about not lowering taxes for the rich, he names the one tax cut he would do, that would likely help the millionaires and billionaires more than anybody else.  That's how much of a fucking liar he is, that's how reckless of a liar he is.


We lament our weakness, but then let that supposed weakness discourage us.  Perhaps our biggest problem is that we've learned over the last thirty years to take rejection and misfortune to heart, rather than choosing, willing ourselves to stick with our imperfect, fallible efforts.

Now there are limits to how much you should do this, as Republicans show, but if those who believe in liberal political philosophy continue to make it a feeling about how they think things should be, rather than a choice about how they will things to be, they will lose to Republicans who remain committed.

As foolish as their candidates  and policies are, people show up to defend conservatism, are motivated to remain in play.  They find any excuse to do so.  We got to get people who want our policies to do better than just feel that this is how things should be.

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Regardless of what a bunch of pundits think, my reaction to Romney is this: I know why the President loathes him.  If Romney wasn't rich, he'd be one of those high pressure salesman you have to keep your mother away from, one of those conmen who goes around promising to fix your sidewalk, and overwhelming you with falsed data before leaving you with a crappy deal.

That's how Romney won his nomination, and that's how he "won" this debate.  If our only criteria for judging his performance was aggression and compulsive style, sure, this guy's great at the hard sell, at pushing people into the kind of decisions that run against their better judgement.

But did he tell us the truth?  Did he give us, the American people what we need in order to understand his policies?  Are many of his policies not the same ones that caused the problems we're running into now?  He's doing nothing more than a hyperactive, hypercharged blasting of the American people with the same promises That Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 made, the promises none of them have fulfilled, and which have left my generation more endebted and less employed.  I am sick to death of this bullshit, and more importantly, I came out of this debate sick to death of Romney's bullshit.


This won't be a big entry here, because my message is pretty simple: after all this garbage from Rep. Todd Akin, and after he's refused to do what almost anybody would conceive of as the right thing, the best option, the only reasonable option is, to hold this man accountable until election day.

So, if you're in Missouri, bring up this question and all its implications endlessly, make sure people know just what kind of shame this man would bring on his constituents.  Make it clear to them that this is no candidate for a modern society to elect.

He gave us the ammunition, and it'd be an awful waste not to use this opportunity.


...and then figure out how.  That, I believe, is how you win in politics.

Reaching a little bit?  I know it's not altogether spectacular of an insight, but sometimes it's the obvious things that are easy to miss.  I'm not saying that winning itself can be simply chosen- you will always face resistance of some strength, and sometimes it will be too much to work against.

But if you start with the premise that nothing, rather than something you will do will work, well, then you're screwed from the outside.  Counter to that, if you start from the notion that there's some way you can win, you will do what is necessary to carry it out, and that itself will make victory more likely.

This isn't just a matter of this election.  I think one purpose of the whole Tea Party debacle was to basically smack us in the jaw and say "you think the country's turning Democratic?  That Obama and the Democrats are winning, and that hope and change will work?  I don't think so!"  It was their way of saying that not only would America not change as we wanted it to, but that we would suffer even worse defeat than before.  Thinking didn't make it so, but failing to act, conceding the argument to the loud, the crude and the insane  on account of the fact they got some appeal to Americans likely did.

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Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 08:12 AM PDT

We Need Ads That Help Us.

by Stephen Daugherty

This is a quick opinion piece, but I'm quite serious about what I'm saying.  Now the decision was made a while back to allow ads coming from conservative campaigns and causes to run on our page her, in the name of forcing the GOP and its SuperPAC supporters to waste money on the people who will never vote for them.  I move that we stop this, for two basic reasons.

The first is that while it does waste the money of people we don't like, it wastes the time, space and opportunity that could be employed to promote those we do, making their spending, their efforts more effective.

The second is that we need more reminders of conservative hatred of everything we believe in like we need a collective hole in the head.  It can be oppressive to see their stuff everywhere, even on a Democratic site like ours.

We need the space for the people we really do appreciate, and who appreciate us in turn.


This is a short diary, but I wanted to make a point:  If you look at a lot of what the Republicans have done in the past few years, as a response to the crisis, you'd be hard put to find actual job creation.  Their policies essentially revolve around maintaining the dangerous policies that destabilized our economy, destroying government jobs on the theory that private sector growth will follow, and slashing budgets that keep government workers and contractors afloat.  When giving advice on what to do with a major issue, Romney counseled bankruptcy, at a time and in a manner which would have destroyed Detroit as a domestic industry.

Screw nuancing that.  There's a simple term for what these people are, what they do, with their creative destruction:  They are JOB-KILLERS.  No matter how much this economy is struggling, their prescription would only make the problem worse.

And what is Obama?  Screw nuanching it there, too.  Obama's policies have been heavily weighted toward innovation, towards improving energy efficiency, towards creating actual jobs, and preserving the ones that already exist.  He'd put more people to work, and wouldn't screw around trying to make it happen by magic.  So, Obama is a JOB-CREATOR.  That's what he does, even if he's been held back by the JOB KILLERS of the GOP.  That is your simple narrative, you don't need to complicate it any further.  Let Obama loose from the JOB KILLERS, and he will create more jobs for you.

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