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A short memo to those who post here, and support President Obama and Secretary Clinton, both of whom are advocates of the pending deal with Iran.

I have been told that Democrats in congress look to this web site to take the pulse of the liberal  (and informed) segment of the party. Because of the pressure from robotic supporters of Israel's hawks, who also are donors to Democrats in congress, some of the Democratic Senators my feel the need to straddle the issue of whether to allow Republicans to kill the proposed deal with Iran by giving the antics and diatribes of the Republicans an implied appearance of bilateral support.

Those of us who think peace is worth taking the risk that Iran will later defraud the world by subverting inspections and other safeguards baked into the deal,  should make our voices heard on this site. Senators should know that this is a Democratic Party foreign policy initiative they will have to run on, not Obama's; and they will be blamed by Middle East hawks (who seem to have moved themselves over to the Republican side anyway), even if they enable the Republicans to kill the deal; but they also will forfeit the support of liberals too.


The right wing Justices do not care about the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). The opposition was a surrogate for the hate Obama crowd, and rallied the idiot voters to the Tea Party and other empty-message candidates the Republicans put up. By contrast, the Justices are not running for office, and knocking out the ACA will not help serve any of the issues they do care about.

But if they stupidly invalidated any key provision that would end up costing millions of people heath coverage, that ruling would galvanize Democrats. It would create two, unbeatable issues for Democratic candidates to run on in 2016 that would motivate the millions of people who lost insurance, as well as their families and people who had no burning issue that would draw them to the polls until they began to wonder what other benefits will the Republicans conspire to take away from ordinary people?. The Democrats need say no more than:
The Republicans took away your heath care insurance; and the next President will be likely to shape the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future-Do you want a Republican President to be the one picking replacement Justices?

While I do not wish to see anyone knocked out of the ACA, a negative ruling by the Supreme Court would be like a gift of a magic wand to the Democrats.

Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 07:11 AM PST

Aiming To Be Close, Wins No Cigar

by Focusers

Becoming aware of the reality: After contemplation and reading on DK hundreds of diaries and comments, I recognize my own conflicted views, and can now see why the casual voter did not bother to learn about the issues, or where candidates stand; and why to them, voting is a silly game they can afford to avoid.

Below the line, I offer some paths that are intended to attract people to become re-aligned with the Democratic Party. My view is that the Democrats need to educate the public about the Party’s credo, and to then back up the verbiage with identifiable actions. Otherwise, the Democratic Party has no theme and no reason to exist.

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Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:22 AM PST


by Focusers

This will not be a startling revelation. Elections are won by the votes of people who are generally ignorant of the issues and the stances of the candidates, and who are herded to one candidate or the other by  irrelevancies, false notions and the casual voters' individual and collective failures to undertake even the slightest due diligence.  A good name for the people who cast the votes is that they are the "casual voters".

The casual voters vs. serious political junkies and policy wonks  =  

            World Series watchers vs. baseball fans

            High Holiday attendees vs. observant Jews  

            Saw the movie vs. read the book

                        Driving range hits vs. playing 18 holes

                        A Lone Ranger mask vs. a full fledged disguise

The casual voter has only a flimsy, apathetic, and vague understanding of civics, history, politics, legislation, and governing.  The casual voter's experience when selecting a candidate is more like smelling the aroma of a hot dog than experiencing the taste and texture when swallowing a hot dog. For that reason, political parties were formed to create a brand. All the voter needed was to know which party's brand offered him the best deal.

The Democrats had a strong brand that was associated in the minds of the casual voters as being the party that would: (1) Fight for the right of all people to be elevated to a higher socio-economic class; and (2) Tap the ideas of the smartest minds in the room to engineer governmental programs that would enable the elevation to happen.

The Democrat’s brand was designed and sold to the average voters by the deeds, words and priorities of the administrations of FDR, JFK and LBJ who emphasized that Americans were like one big family, and when one group was in trouble, the family had a duty to rally to help. Legislation was recognized was the most efficient and practical  vehicle to achieve socio-economic elevation, and government workers were accepted as the specialists best able to achieve that result.   The brand was so strong that Eisenhower and then Nixon embraced socio-economic elevation as a universally accepted goal.

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Phillip Kline, former Kansas attorney general and Johnson County district attorney was suspended from practicing law by the Kansas Supreme Court for misconduct in his investigation of abortion clinics while he was attorney general, and from his handling of a grand jury proceeding while Johnson County’s district attorney. The story apparently did not make the major news outlets, but there was local coverage that summarized the disciplinary ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court, and which provided the basis for some of this diary.

Kline was frequently exposed on Daily Kos and in other blogs for his witch-hunts and politically based persecution of clinics operated by the late George Tiller in Wichita, and by Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, as well as for falsely accusing Tiller and the clinics of violating Kansas’ abortion law as well as shielding pedophiles.  Kline’s investigation of Planned Parenthood produced a 107-count criminal indictment, but the case was later dropped by Kline’s successor, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe as having no merit.

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I do not understand why the news media is shocked and surprised that Obama will be able to finesse himself out of the mess in Syria by having Russia intervene and keep Assad from using his chemical weapons.

I wrote a diary on Daily Kos that predicted this result. I said:

In back-channels, the US meanwhile tries to broker  a deal with Assad to get assurance coupled with a monitoring system  (run by perhaps Russia or the UN) that no chemical weapons would be used in the future-which is the best outcome the proposed military strike could achieve.

Assume you are the President  and are a brilliant tactician faced with:

1) A strained economy that would divert resources and political capital from the coming spending fight if there was an act of aggression in Syria that did not produce a quick, positive result;

2) Sequestered government funding means that your favored domestic programs are straining for sustenance;

3) The inability to identify any reliable, future allies in the components of the group that is generally called the Syrian rebels;

4) Lacking a replacement for Assad's regime that would not be worse in a real politic sense for the US;

5) Regardless of the outcome, Al Qaeda or other terrorists will still be a force to in Syria, and Assad is the best option to combat or at least control them;  

6) Russia, and others claim that chemical weapons were not used by Assad, and they present evidence that makes it illogical for Assad to have used them (i.e. the delivery system used rockets powered by the RDX explosive that is not commonly used by governments and non-military grade sarin made it look like the rebels launched the attacks; the sarin attack in March of 2013 on Khan al Asal, a northern Syrian  suburb  of Aleppo, or the chemical weapons attack on a  Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013, were not strategically designed to help Assad  since those communities were not giving Assad any particular problem; nothing was gained by Assad, and the use was sure to create a threat of US intervention);

7) The lack of public support for a war or any aggression in Syria by the US, coupled with the lack of a clear military objective or outcome.  

8) Despite all of this, Obama carelessly uttered the "red line" taunt without realizing what mischief it would produce,

What are your options?  

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In a frantic interview after his speech, Republican "superstar" Marco Rubio pleaded for the public to accept his explanation for what appeared to be a form of deviant behavior involving facial fly swatting, flop sweat, gulping and water-bottle -grabbing.

In what critics claim was a cynical effort to garner sympathy, in giving his explanation, Rubio resorted to his native, ethnic accent and manner of speaking.

Watch it by clicking here.  


We in the Kos community have made clear our vision of the modern progressive/liberal agenda; Obama has demonstrated by his rhetoric that he knows what we want; but he has a country to run involving issues broader than those associated with taxes. For example, Obama needs to defend the recovering economy from the regression that would be the likely result from increased taxes on the middle class, and the end of unemployment insurance that would yield decreased consumer spending.

Unfortunately, in more than half the States, and in Congress, a meaningful number of our fellow Americans opted to elect legislators who have proven to be ignorant, money grubbing whores, captives of irrational thinking, followers of toxic religious dogma, and/or racists. Those key defining attributes create the attitude of the 2013 Republican negotiating partner Obama faces across the table. In other words, the Republicans are either incapable of understanding, do not know, or could not care less about the consequences of sticking to their agenda. But Obama does know, he cares about the consequences, and as much as it hurts to leave meritorious points on the table, he has to get the best deal he can from the particularly dumb or perverted people with whom he must bargain. Therefore he must act defensively to protect the well being of as many of those needing governmental benefits that he can rescue, and he must be the guardian of the sakes of the millions of Americans the Republicans do not recognize as being their financial contributors or voters-and who thus mean nothing to them.

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Usually, my wife does the food shopping, and I have not been in a supermarket for several years. Tonight however, I took on the chore and went to a local Acme Markets store located in an affluent suburb of Philadelphia. I arrived at about 8:00 p.m. I was prepared to experience "sticker shock" even in these hard economic times, but I did not expect to find that there was only one human checkout cashier, and only a few other employees filling shelves. The last time I shopped here, there were 10 aisles of checkout cashiers, but now there was only one lane with a long line of elderly people (who were, I assume, not adept at using new technological advances) waiting for the human cashier. All of the other shoppers were standing in shorter lines to do self-checkout at computer terminals. (The lines were not moving very fast, but they were shorter than the lane with the human cashier due to the large number of automated checkout terminals.) In other words, Acme Markets, which is a component of a mega grocery chain that has its lobbyists get breaks for it from Congress under the guise of being a "job creator" is in reality, a craven job destroyer that imposes on its customers the inconvenience of having to self-scan purchases, deal with scanning misfires and computer glitches, and also do their own bagging-but these customers get no discount on the prices they pay for self-checkout instead of cashier checkout. (In the old days, gas stations at least gave you a few pennies off of your price per gallon if you eschewed full service and used self service.)

However, we have the power to restore those supermarket jobs in a manner of a few weeks if we act as a community; and we also have the power to do the same thing for jobs in other industries that serve consumers.

See what I mean, below the squiggly thing:

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Finally the traditional media is waking up to the fact that if they do not use bolder, harsher language, the Romney flim flam could result in the low information voter allowing Romney to end up in the White House. Today the New York Times in an editorial titled, "The ‘Moderate Mitt’ Myth", screams out that the Mitt has no clothes.

Here is a taste:

He hasn’t abandoned or flip-flopped from the severe positions that won him the Republican nomination; they remain at the core of his campaign, on his Web site and in his position papers, and they occasionally slip out in unguarded moments.
Read this, and re-post it. Make it go viral. Maybe it will get traction.

Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM PDT

My fellow citizens make me sick

by Focusers

Sadly, America seems to have devolved into a land where everything is reduced to either a reality show, or a spectator sports event. The election is covered like a football game where Obama's grim facial expressions or looking at his notes during the first Presidential Debate counted as fumbles, while Romney's lies were seen as great strategic moves that earned him  first downs and touchdowns.  

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