On Why Voting Matters, Or, Could You Outrun The Toxic Red Flood?

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(11AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

It is about a week before early voting begins for a bunch of us around the country, and that means this may be one of the last times I have to convince you that, frustrated progressive or not, you better get your butt to a ballot box or a mail-in envelope this November, because it really does mater.

Now I could give you a bunch of “what ifs” to make my point, or I could remind you how we spent all summer watching oil gush into the Gulf, and how that came to be…but, instead, it’s “Even More Current Event Day”, and we’re going to visit Hungary for a extremely real-world reminder of what can go wrong when the environmental cops are considered just too much of a burden by the environmental robbers-and if today’s story doesn’t scare you to death, I don’t know what will.

It ain’t Texas, but we will surely visit a Red River Valley…and you surely won’t like what you’re gonna see.

“…Oui, ma foi, c’est un bougre déterminé…”

–A sailor aboard the French ship Héros describing his Admiral, Pierre André de Suffren de Saint Tropez, 1783. Quoted from the book Command at Sea, by Oliver Warner.

So here’s the long and the short of it: Monday afternoon a sludge pond failed near the town of Devecser, Hungary. That failure has so far released about 265,000,000 gallons of extremely toxic sludge from a facility that mines bauxite as part of the process of making aluminum.

That release manifested itself as a full-scale flash flood, which (courtesy of the RT network) looks something like this:

The red lake and the red mud that you see flowing like a river in the video has killed four people so far, injured hundreds, inundated four towns, and is on its way to the Danube River if it can’t be stopped, where it will become part of the water supply for millions of Europeans.

It turns out that bauxite ore contains alumina, which eventually become aluminum, but to get that alumina you apparently need huge quantities of caustic soda, in water, to make the extraction process work. The problem is that you extract more than just alumina: the same ore can contain lead, or cadmium, or any number of other heavy metals…including radioactive materials. The waste materials are discharged as sludge into holding ponds at the mine for further treatment, and the failure of one of those ponds is how we came to today’s story.

According to the BBC, emergency workers are pouring tons of plaster into the Marcal River in an effort to stop the flow of the liquid, and Hungarian Government experts believe the top inch of topsoil will have to be removed…from the entire land area affected by the flood.

So what’s all this have to do with the upcoming American elections?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

This is not a problem somehow unique to Hungary…nor Brazil, nor Jamaica, either. We have sludge ponds of our own, many associated with coal mining, and in fact, one of those failed in Kentucky in 2000, in a massive way, and by 2004, things hadn’t improved much at all in terms of cleaning up the mess. Others are associated with the other end of that process: coal-fired power plants have coal ash containments of their own, and they also fail. A pond failure in Tennessee in 2008 probably released over a billion gallons of waste into the local rivers.

And if our Republican friends have their way, this will continue.

Even as we speak, the EPA is considering regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste for the very first time-and if Republicans gain control of Congress, wanna guess how the considerating will come out?

Look, folks, I know we’re all frustrated that we aren’t where we want to be with this Administration, but you gotta know that if you don’t show up for this election, we are going to be dealing with Republicans who are far nuttier than what we have right now-and while I know that it was a fantastic change of pace to be able to vote for someone in ’08, the plain fact is that most of the time, you’re voting against something, and this time, that something is the insanity of the Tea Party.

These Republicans are some very determined buggers, to quote that French sailor, and we have to be just as determined to stop these folks-and to do it where it counts, in places like Kentucky and West Virginia and Delaware-because if we don’t, it means another generation of people in coal towns living with water they can’t drink and cancer they can’t cure, more rivers and wetlands and aquifers destroyed all over this country…and, eventually, it means all of this contamination, one way or another, will find its way to you and your family.

Voting matters, Gentle Readers, and this is just one reason why.

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  1. fake consultant

    consider what 2006 was like…and then reconsider whether you’re voting or not.

  2. AndyS In Colorado

  3. Shaharazade

    from environmental to the economy and ‘foriegn policy’ I see no difference at all. 2006 was better in some ways as the Dems hadn’t out Bushed the bushies yet. We now have the abuses codified via the DoJ, we have hits out in plain view ordered by this ‘powerless’ president, were freakin bombing Laos whoops I mean Pakistan and killing those pesky insurgents for no reason other then fun and profit I guess. We have the environmental policy from hell with drill baby drill and fracting and clean coal and they took any attempt to pass legislation off the table cause Lindsey Graham was unhappy or some such bs.

    This week really got my enthusiasm up. Yesterday congress passed unanimously by voice vote a nasty bill that facilitates the bogus criminal foreclosure scam. Then there was the refusal to vote for any kind of economic equality via the Bush tax cuts. Pakistan is on fire and we gotta bomb the insurgents cause terrorists will kill yer family . To top it off we found out what we all knew the the WH dealt away the PO in July before the bogus hyped town hall scarry teabaggers hit the airwaves and the WH lied about it. Then they lied about what the extent of the damage was from the BP gusher. They are trying a child soldier who they tortured and force feeding prisoners at gitmo, but at least they waitied till after sunset for Ramadan.

    They are not going to restore anyone’s civil rights they are actively trying via the courts to increase the unitary executive and state secrets. Obama and the congress are a joke a bad Kabuki and wimpy to boot . So tell me again why I should vote for these fuckers? I really don’t think supporting or voting for evil that may be a little better or has a kinder false face is a good thing to do as a citizen. It’s freakin extortion and I really do not believe in any of their lies anymore. I not only want them to lose I want my 2000.00$ back. They deserve to lose and I’m not a cowardly progressive I’m a liberal a lefty and proud of it. Mushroom clouds, economic cliffs, or teabaggers none of these scare me more then what’s going on now. Fear isn’t going to work when both sides are offering the same agenda and policies and when we win we lose. Why would I vote for this?

    I will vote local issues and candidates but not necessarily Democrat’s unlike NPK I prefer to fight the villains in power who make no bones about what they are instead of telling me this is change or that I’m irresponsible because this is reality. Forget about it.  


  4. tahoebasha3

    I can’t disagree with what you’re saying — what they began and accomplished over eight years (and longer), they are salivating to get back in and continue with their agenda (though many policies continued by Obama, as you know, to our chagrin).  If the Republicans get back in, we will see our steady progression to third world status sped up to an overnight reality.

    BTW, sadly, Hungary: Toxic red sludge has reached the Danube

    KOLONTAR, Hungary – The toxic red sludge that burst out of a Hungarian factory’s reservoir reached the mighty Danube on Thursday after wreaking havoc on smaller rivers and creeks, and downstream nations rushed to test their waters.

    The European Union and environmental officials fear an environmental catastrophe affecting half a dozen nations if the red sludge, a waste product of making aluminum, contaminates the Danube, Europe’s second-longest river. . . .

    Also, in the “corporations are people” concern.  A complaint has been filed with the IRS against Karl Rove’s Group, because of the secret and massive amounts of money expected to be collected under a not-for-profit banner “American Crossroads” “and spend that money to influence elections and buy candidates who will act on behalf of those companies and their deregulatory policies.”  Formal Complaint Filed Against Karl Rove’s Group For Violating Tax Laws  Let’s Keep The Momentum Going. Sign On, Send, and Support!  Check Out Our New Ads Directed At Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois Senate Races.  (See Actions)  

  5. Activist Guy

    Neither party has the least interest in countering that hegemonic ideology.  I’m not saying there’s no difference between the parties.  What I am saying is that the difference between them is the difference between “the good cop” and “the bad cop”.  We should understand, that for different segments of American society, the roles of the two parties are reversed.  If you’re a white southern suburban white collar sub-professional working in the office parks of Alpharetta, GA, the Dems are your “bad cop”, just as to most folks here the Rubes are the “bad cop”.  In the end, supporting either party reinforces, buttresses, the hegemony of Reaganism-Thatcherism.  I prefer to fight hegemony itself, it’s the only way there could ever possibly be any genuine “change”.

  6. bigsurtree

    I’m literally speechless. I guess Harry can at least claim a measure of sanity if we give him the benefit of the doubt.

  7. AndyS In Colorado

    In 2010, I still don’t have certain basic rights.  And, rather bizarrely, they’re the same ones!

    In 2006, I had crappy health care and fraud from my insurance company.

    In 2010, I have no health care at all.

    In 2006, I thought one day, Bush and Cheney and those who took the U.S. on an eight year long spree of criminality and looting would one day have to face justice for what they did.  I thought that, perhaps it would take time for the wheels of the rule of law to kick in, but it would eventually.

    In 2010, I no longer think that.

    In 2006, I thought, if there were a major environmental disaster, the practice that caused it would be stopped, as long as a Democratic administration was in power.

    No, I don’t want those bad old days of 2006 again, when all manner of evil things were being done, and it was the Republicans doing it.  Fer shure.

  8. Nightprowlkitty

    … it’s a matter of who I’d rather fight against.

    Regardless of who “wins” the election, I’ll be fighting against them for the most part.

    I’d rather fight Dems than Repubs.

    A pathetic stance, but there you are.

  9. AndyS In Colorado

    how to vote — at all.  You didn’t do that, the diarist did.  That’s I guess a cultural thing — the vote is PRIVATE.  GOS is a political web site, so it’s even worse over there.

    And, I’m a second class citizen.  I have no responsibility to rescue those who enabled that — I mean, I’m not worthy of marrying, having any job protections at all, and people like me are apparently not good enough to serve in the military — and we deserve to get bitch slapped for how we VOTE?!  Hahahahahahahahahahaha.  And while I know the diarist is in favor of my civil rights, and I know these diaries are general, I just feel irritation at it, every single time.

    One vote in the Senate, though, is worth thousands of votes from little people like me.  One essay or diary may be worth hundreds.  I have no ability to be guilted.

    The Democrats are my “friends” who stabbed me in the back on my civil rights and health care.  The Republicans just hate people like me.

    As for how I’ll vote — I’m a random unstable element.  Making it my fault that I am random and unstable, as, again you don’t do — that’s funny to me.

    Where I live, Dianna DeGette is not in any danger from the Republican.  Michael Bennett is a useless tool who is too good to associate with the likes of people like me.  Ken Buck may be insane, but nothing he wants would ever become law and his insanity could be entertaining and illustrative to the American people besides.  How do you think I’m gonna vote?

    As to November — I’m completely on random.  Pray it’s a good sunny day and I’m feeling cheery and hopeful and of a mind to be civic minded in favor of people who think I’m a lesser human being than they are.

  10. fake consultant

    in most elections, you’re voting against a worse outcome, and this election is one of those.

  11. AndyS In Colorado
  12. fake consultant

    …and that’s true for a lot of us, nationally.

    to make it worse, this administration has also been feckless, at best.

    but here’s the thing: on the one hand, you can’t be sure just what is going to pass or not pass with republican majorities–and there’s no guarantee that obama won’t make compromises with a republican majority on civil rights that you’ll like even less that the current state of affairs.

    it is congress pushing the president here, particularly the house pushing the senate, and the best legislative shot to advance civil rights, if any exists at all, is going to be found in a larger group of democrats, not a smaller one–even if one of those democrats is bennett.

    and here’s the other hand: you may not like me saying this, but there are other issues at play here besides civil rights.

    we also have a desperate effort under way to give the last money left in america to the richest among us.

    as this story hopefully reminds us, any effort that will be made to stop climate change will come to a screeching halt.

    financial reform: shot down in flames.

    republicans are talking about shutting down funding for pell grants, for god’s sakes.

    so maybe you’re gonna have to choose between two lousy choices this time–but one of those choices is dismissive and feckless, and the other is looking to turn gay folks into either criminals or abominations before the lord.

    so…how do i think you’re gonna vote?

    i hope it’s not for the abomination folks.

  13. Nightprowlkitty

    I dunno, I think the essay is more trying to persuade than dictate.  But that’s just a matter of perception and I make no claims mine is any more acute than anyone else’s.

  14. AndyS In Colorado

    the Democrats have no intention of ever doing right by us in the gay community and using us so cynically and openly as political footballs this last two years.  And I’ve seen Democrats including such people as Meteor Blades getting angry at gay people who point it out, that there was never any intention, but every intention to preach to us to give a voting pony, again and again.

    I guess, the cynical usery and open, laughing hypocrisy is what made the Republicans the soulless assholes they are.  And the LGBT example is just the example — it goes for not just LGBT people, it is just more apparent and openly practiced, IMV.

    It’s not Republicans versus Democrats.  It’s a general phenomenon of souless assholedom in our politics — and the fearmongering and greater-evil-making that makes soulless assholedom possible in our elected officials.  Democrats talk about how they want civil rights for gay people and how bad it is that out teenagers die.  But, if they did anything to fix it — they think that they’d lose whatever political mojo they think they need from us to get elected.  So they don’t do anything to fix it.  And have no intention of EVER fixing it.

    This goes for environmentalism, health care, social security and everything else.  The political cart has been placed ahead of the reality horse.

    People say the Republicans are nasty and if they get elected they’d destroy our world.  Well, yeah, maybe, but how did they get that way and what’s happening to the Democrats?  Maybe I’m just a stupid bumpkin but I see the EXACT SAME PROCESS at work.

    Just give it time.  The Democrats will be every bit as bad as the worst Republicans and not nearly in the long term as everybody thinks.  So, what will have been accomplished by choosing the lesser evil?  Perhaps, a little time…..

  15. tahoebasha3

    everything you say, but still I think it’s important to get out and vote.  Remember, “corporations are persons” now and it’s going to be very, very rough.

    Republicans have been and are any kind of reform, social, environmental, educational, you just name it and they are against it.  Anything that would reduce any of the corporate power and stranglehold that they cherish and viciously seek to hang on to will be fought against vigorously.  They have steadfastly blocked, filibustered just about every single bill brought to the vote, etc.  Anyway, you’re right, Dems are not a great deal better, but I think Republicans so much worse.


  16. fake consultant

    …and a lot of this a lot right.

    specifically, i don’t believe that democrats are not solving the lbgtqia civil rights problems because they think there would no longer be a reason for “the community” to be supporters, and here’s why:

    first, if you do right by your supporters…they support you for it, and democrats have three historic examples to make that point: black folks, who gained from their civil rights struggle, are 90% + democratic voters, women are predominantly democratic voters (again, i suspect because democrats have helped women, and they appreciate it), and organized labor, over the years, has also been a great constituency for democrats, even as they have been less than helpful, recently, in return.

    what i think is happening, instead, is that many democrats are afraid that if they get behind lbgt issues, their other constituencies will punish them for it.

    and that’s probably not an untrue statement.

    if you have a large, southern, black, churchgoing voting base, how supportive are you gonna be, when your own voters are irrationally against civil rights for another oppressed group? (the correct answer: you’ll be as supportive as blanche lincoln.)

    if you represent some part of indiana, to give but one example, you are going to have to drag your electorate, kicking and screaming, over to the pro-civil rights side…and since most congresscritters aren’t walking around living a “profiles in courage” kind of life, that member of congress is hard to find.

    this was tough in the 1960s when dr. king went down the same path…and 50 years later, that’s a fight we’re still fighting…so try not to give up, and try not to forget that one side here is somewhat responsive, and the other is aggressively hostile to where we all want to go.

    as to my “telling you how to vote”: of course i am.

    that’s because that’s what americans do at election time: we advocate for what we think makes sense, we try to get others to agree, and out of that, we try to effect the political change we want.

    nothing sinister about it, and no invasion of privacy, either.

    now if i were asking you how you voted, and you wanted no part of that, that would be different…but telling you i hope you vote for so-and-so, and here’s what i hope is a persuasive argument why is how the process is supposed to work, which is why we’re here today.  

  17. AndyS In Colorado

    thingie.  I guess it will be interesting to follow the fate of the mortgage fraud issue.

    My prediction is: it will make it through one way or another.  The veto language was even like that — reading between the lines it was basically “find a way to make it not so obvious how we’re screwing every living soul who has a mortgage”.  (FTR, I’m a renter, don’t have a mortgage).

    People say Republicans will be worse, and, yeah, I don’t mean anything personal but when they say that, what is often meant is “Republicans will be worse for ME”.  GOS has been alight for a year on how the HIR bill helps some people — of course, it left a whole bunch of people in the gutter, but yeah, it helps “some people” — while others were told, basically, by the proponents who were helped — find a way to move to another state or get a better job so that one is included.  Democrats saying that on a Democratic website — “Get a better job!”  Heh.

    I suppose I am tired of donating, voting, and generally caring so that Republicans don’t hurt other people who got theirs or are in the process of getting theirs and having those people who are getting theirs telling me how I simply must work to save them from Republicans.  When Democrats as a Party find a way to aid cherished (or perhaps just loud and powerful) constituencies whilst telling others in effect to fuck off eat shit and die, it’s hard to let those people lecture you out of their own self interest.

    The Republicans would probably aid nobody except the very richest and or wackaloon Christian Conservatives, that’s true.

  18. Shaharazade

    my rant Obama is going to veto the nasty ass bill that congress spat out for their pals at JP Morgan Chase

    Obama To Veto Notarization Recognition Bill


    But this does not negate my contempt for the party I used to believe in. They still deserve to lose as they offer nothing but fear of the right wing nuts who they allow to set the agenda.  

  19. tahoebasha3

    Shaharazade, but it’s the “corporations are people” and what corporations now can do with “permission” that I’m concerned about.  And how do we, as individuals, combat that – that’s my worry about those who will not vote, or those will vote for Repulicans.

  20. AndyS In Colorado

    Not that they’d ever be able to, uh, actually SUCCEED at doing it.  How do you think I’m gonna vote, if I am?

    On the other hand many people want me to vote for Democrats — those people seeing hope and change, or perhaps just not worsening — for themselves.

    You want me to ride to the rescue, perhaps on a great white horse, or perhaps a Pegasus, on November 2nd?  With those very same people, in some instances, having gotten things like health care improvements — while telling me that because of those advantages, I simply must do my damndest to save them?  While those very same people, were the Democrats to win, tell me to shut the hell up and sit the hell down and donate and vote and that my civil rights can wait yet another 4 years, or 8, or 10, or 50?  That my health care needs can wait until I’m 65, unless I die before then, and in that event, whoops?

    And I want a pony?  I’m sure I won’t like the political discourse if the Republicans got the House or the Senate, but um, I’m not afraid of Republicans and I know how to live life under Republicans, even with them hating my guts.  How is it the Democrats don’t want a pony?  Why should I give a pony?

    When the lowest possible denominator is played for, everybody is a free agent.  Not saying how I’d vote, nor even if I know myself.  I only know that certain people want me to save and benefit THEM.

  21. tahoebasha3

    The Republicans are full of venom over the 2008 election.  Not only did they lose badly, they lost to a black man and they’ve been screaming and crying and citing vile and abusive language every since, aided and abetted by the Tea Partiers (a branch of Republicans, as far as I’m concerned.)

    Obama’s main mistake from the get-go was to bend over backwards to achieve bipartisanship, that with people who never had any intention ever of doing anything but to fight him tooth and nail and actually, do everything possible to destroy him.  The result was a bunch of watered down bills, etc.

  22. fake consultant

    …that republicans will be worse for me.

    i’m not rich, i’m not powerful…and i’m not donating, either, which might be the best strategy for creating loyalty out of certain senate democrats.

    i also mean (and, again, i hate to say this), that it is starting to look like we have to be just as willing to demand “payment for services”out of our legislative donations as our opponents, and that might be the biggest lesson out of the 11th congress.

    shutting off the GayTM advanced civil rights as far as it got, and that was a pretty good object lesson that i think we should consider applying more openly for a variety of issues.

    if the senate is strictly a fee-for-service operation, then let’s embrace that. there are more folks looking to advance civil rights than are looking to shut this movement down, so let’s get in a few key races, buy senators, and keep ’em bought long enough to get legislation passed.

    that’s slow, and it’s not easy to organize…but in this environment, it may be the best way forward.

  23. AndyS In Colorado

    at least electorally is whether Michael Bennett or Ken Buck wins.  Other than that, my vote if any has no possible effect on anything.  Zilch.  Nada.  And the only reason it matters is they are so closely matched.

    I gotta tell you, Michael Bennett is one of those “let the gays eat cake” Democrats.

    Am I a stupid man?  Perhaps.  Would Michael Bennett suffer personally in any measurable way if he lost the election?  Doubtful.  He’d probably just sit on the board of some corporation somewhere and sit out the remaining of his days voting on how to most deeply screw the people his corporation affects.

    Would my little vote, or non vote, be a measure of spite?  Nah.

    On the other hand, just from human nature, things just in my little corner of the world have been dark and getting darker and there is no prospect IMV that they’ll ever get better, whoever is in charge.  It’s not about the people who might get put in charge, really …..

  24. fake consultant

    …that i like breathing cleaner air, and i suspect you do, too.

    i prefer not giving every last tax dollar to the rich…and i suspect you feel that way, too.

    i’m also a bit unsure as to how you got the impression that i’m looking to you to save all this great stuff i have.

    i didn’t get health care this year…but i might, a couple years out.

    i am benefiting from financial reform: our credit card interest, on current purchases, won’t change, which is nice.

    and, in a small, way, i’m benefiting from the drawdown in iraq: i have a godson who is going to kuwait, again, and i think he’ll be safer this time than last time. 2/3 of the force is out already…and if you recall, mccain was ready to stay “100 years” if he had to. today’s republicans would happily support that policy–and an war on iran, as well.

    (what’s going to happen in afghanispakistindia? well…that’s not a happy story, but in truth, obama is now paying the cost for the brits putting the durand line where they did…and i don’t know how anyone will fix that. by ’12, however, i think we’ll be on the way out.)

    the real story here is among a half-dozen senate democrats, and if those few folks were voting differently, you’d like this administration–and this congress–a whole lot better.

    so…do i want you to come in and save me?


    i want you to vote in your own best interests–and mine–because i suspect we are looking to accomplish the same things, and i think you’re going to find that a openly hostile group of republicans are, in fact, much, much, different than a group of feckless democrats.

  25. AndyS In Colorado

    unity is destroyed and nobody rides.  At least, not for long.

    Whether it is me, or somebody else — leaving people behind makes it impossible to maintain position to say nothing of moving forward.

    You want unity — with me?  I totally believe you when you say you want the same things as me.  I’ve seen your essays.  And sometimes I have too much of a predilection to using my own self as an example.

    It’s just — the Democrats deride the left for not being realistic, but it seems to me, they want a pony.  They want the utterly unachievable insanity of continuing to get people to support them, forever and ever and ever, when there are constituencies and groups they cannot give any sensation — even a mild breeze — of things getting better.

    At some point, people just say, whatever — I’ll take my tax cut please and to hell with the whole world.  That’s just the way humans are.  They become Republicans, the people who sternly lectured them out of unity (but, strangely, unity that only seems to benefit them) because they wanted what they wanted become Republicans — everyone becomes a Republican, if not formally, then in deed and thought.

    But, this is not about me.  I use myself as an example too much to try to make more general points.  Whether I stood by your side or not, the general calculus is the same.

  26. Shaharazade

    the bushie appointees on the suprem court if the Democrats would have been as good at obstructing as the Republicans would we. It was a harbinger of the future when the Democratic loyal opposition started taking the prescribed remedy, impeachment, off the table and refused to not vote for all the nasty destruction of our laws and rights. They were as bad at being the opposition as they are at governing.

    Why didn’t this administration at least pass the bill that would at least make them disclose who these ads are being paid for by? There are legislative remedies that they could use to help mitigate this insane ruling which, by the way in any real democracy should be challenged Why didn’t they prosecute the criminals instead of this by-partisan bs which says we must move forward leaving the Bushies destruction intact.. why don’t they come up with legislation about campaign reform?

    Their excuses are lame, including the popular we need sixty votes. It’s a freakin procedural rule that they could have changed at the start of congress. Conservadems they support and fund and appoint to chairmanships are another piss poor irrational excuse. Why did they renew the odious Patriot Act?  The citizens united ruling is just another move by the corporations that the Democrat’s refuse to take on.  


  27. tahoebasha3

    There is an effort out to at least have exposure of those secret contributions — “The Disclose Act” (it passed in Congress).  Let’s hope it goes through in the Senatorial process.

    I hate Nancy Pelosi to this very day — she, before even being seated, in November 2006, took impeachment off the table — as though she had a gawd-given right to remove a Constitutional provision from the Constitution.

    And there was a huge cry for investigations and prosecutions of the Bush war crime criminals that, ultimately, got swept under the rug. If the laws, those of our national ones, and International ones had been followed, I dare say things would be considerably different today.  But when criminals are allowed to be criminals and suffer no consequences whatsoever, it simply emboldens them and their accomplices.  You know, that evil SOB, Cheney, had a new home built within 10 minutes walking distance of the CIA headquarters, just prior to leaving office.

    I don’t know the answers to so many justified questions you pose, Shaharazade.  What I do know is that we know that every bill proposed or contemplated, even if it passed Congress, was met with utter obstructionism from the Republicans and those like-minded Democrats.  That’s a huge problem — the other is that Obama is not a really tough individual, he’s weak — and I think would truly like to see everyone “just get along.”  Not on your life!

    The whole scenario is unbelievable in just about every way you can think of.  

    I just know one thing, the GREED is fast on its way to destroying the inhabitants of this planet and if there was anything on earth that should be one of our top priorities, it’s global warming.  And did you know, too, that BP is STILL using Coexit and that more and more ocean life is dying off at various levels in the columns?  And see this on Phytoplankton and its disappearance — scary!


  28. fake consultant

    …some very specific reasons why you do not want to take away cloture in the senate.

    if you recall the bush folks would have really moved the supremes off to the right had dems not done a bit of “hell no”, not to mention the lower courts (jeff sessions would be on the federal appeals bench if it wasn’t for cloture, and harriet myers might be on the supreme court today, to give just two examples).

    there are also technical reasons why it might not be possible to change senate rules with a majority vote. here’s a congressional research service backgrounder that explains, in exquisite detail, exactly how such changes might be made, and what might stand in the way.

  29. Shaharazade

    I don’t want to hear about the Republican’s I know what they are about. What I want is to hear what the Democrat’s are going to do to stop them. Even more i want to know what and who they are going to do to restore our country and take it back from the corporations.  I want them to stop lying about there accomplishments and actually represent the people. Your just as likely to have to outrun a re sludge of goo from this administration as any Republican one. Especially ineffective scare tactic after the lying we got about the BP gusher and the drill baby drill revival. The only only thing they have is fear of psycho’s who will do the same things they do and throw in some crazy ass no masterbation laws. They are also lying through their teeth both by emission and by misrepresentation of facts. No these bills are not accomplishments they stink they are crap.    

  30. tahoebasha3

    Personally, I’d like to do away with the party system altogether.

    Fighting the hegemony, itself, is the way to go in order to effectuate any real change.

    I think we were discussing this very sort of thing just a few days ago on banger’s diary!

  31. fake consultant

    instead, i have a set of issues that matter to me, and i want to see the people who support my interests succeed.

    at the same time, i tend to want to shut down those who are trying to set my agenda back.

    that’s why i was (and remain) an unabashed edwards supporter, as long as he’s pushing issues like helping poor people become middle class people…and his efforts, might we note, pushed both hillary and obama to the left during that campaign.

    that’s why i like barney frank, and it’s why i hope neil abercrombie wins in hawaii, and it’s why i hope a whole bunch of people win all across the country–and i don’t know a single republican who is trying to advance my agenda, so i tend to vote democratic.

    the point of all of this: party and personality means less to me than candidates supporting my issues, and i’d encourage more voters to approach voting that way. it’s less personally frustrating, and it gets more done, i think.

  32. fake consultant

    can’t see a difference between dems and republicans?

    here’s a few:

    –there are republicans who want to criminalize same-sex relationships (or even being gay), and just this week demint suggested that gay and sexually active single women shouldn’t be allowed to teach.

    on the other hand, gay and sexually active single women teachers…they tend to be democrats.

    –who’s proposing that abortion be criminalized? who’s proposing that women who are raped or the victims of incest should be forced to bear those children?

    –who thinks social security and medicare are unconstitutional?

    –one side shows up at marches with hitler signs, thinks sambo was elected president, and likes to forward racist emails. one side doesn’t. can you guess which is which?

    –one side’s administration chose a nobel laureate to run an agency charged with a scientific mission, and the other side wants to remove evolution as a school curriculum item and substitute creationism instead. again, wanna guess which is which?

    –who is still desperately trying to deny that climate change is taking place?

    the “tax cuts for the rich” issue that’s still unresolved is a great example of what’s right–and wrong–with democrats today, and it’s a great example of why you’re so frustrated.

    republicans can’t wait to borrow another $700 billion for those tax cuts, and most democrats–up to now–have been unable to grasp that they could be beating republicans over the head with this…and that if they would, we’d like ’em the better for it.

    and that’s been happening, over and over, inexplicably, with all kinds of issues, for two years now.

    you mentioned the public option specifically, and i agree that it was handled poorly.  

    there was no way it was gonna pass in the 111th congress (and that’s according to bernie sanders), but it was also the kind of negotiating tool that you keep until you need to give it away, and to me, that was a huge failure on the part of this administration, and i’d suggest, as you might also, that we might have at least got ourselves a public option with better negotiating.

    civil rights? one side is more or less useless, but becomes responsive when the GayTM gets shut off, and the other raises money based on the concept that jesus wants the second coming and the apocalypse, therefore we must fight in the middle east…and we must fight islam, here and “over there”, if we hope to win.

    finally, what about the democrats that do get out there and do it right?

    i’ve got, in my own state, jay inslee and jim mcdermott, who are absolutely reliable progressives…there’s al franken, and grayson, who’s kicking butt in florida, and barney frank and pelosi and clyburn, and feingold and patty murray and maria cantwell (again, the last two are from my state), oregon’s defazio, and luis guiterrez and carl levin…and hey, c’mon, it’s not that hard to tell the difference between that group and demint, coburn, inhofe, shelby, marsha blackburn, michele bachmann, louie gohmert, mccain (“it’s not the policy…”), cantor, and boehner.  

    there is a huge difference between bumbling and absolutely hostile to everything you stand for, and in this election, that’s the difference between democrats and republicans.

  33. fake consultant

    i meant to say that single-payer could have been used as a negotiating tool to get a public option.


  34. fake consultant

    …about dems and the left: over time, we’re winning.

    and the change in “professional” democratic thinking, lately, has been moving rather fast.

    in ’04 the center of the democratic party was about 1000 miles away from dadt repeal and extending same-sex marriage rights…about 100 miles away from ending the war in iraq…and about 10 miles from developing an interest in financial industry reform and climate change legislation.

    by ’10, we can see a lot of movement on all those issues, and to see that much change in six years is, actually, kind of amazing, considering that change in congress is usually measured in geologic time.

    so here we are now, more or less 7 senators away from repealing dadt, with an administration that still isn’t there on same-sex marriage…that, in fairness, was open about telling us during the campaign that they wouldn’t be.

    what’s the lesson here?

    how about this: the constant in all of this is that the public is somewhat ahead of democrats on these issues, and that democrats can–and have–been dragged to the left by a public that eventually demands that they move over, and if you want a legislative solution for dadt, that’s gonna take more public kicking and screaming to make those last senators come around.

    a legislative solution for marriage?

    ooh, that’s not gonna be easy–and, again, in fairness–that’s because the public ain’t there, either, as we saw in a small way in ’08 when r-71, protecting civil unions, passed handily in washington, while maine’s question 1 stopped the question of marriage, in maine, dead in its tracks.

  35. fake consultant

    …i think you have to consider her actions in the context of january 2008’s politics.

    my suspicion is that she was looking at a hillary presidential campaign and seeing a huge potential loss of voters right in hillary’s “sweet spot” if such trials were to go forward.

    as it turns out, those were also obama voters.

    was she acting alone in making these decisions?

    i can’t say, but it’s easy to speculate that either hillary’s or obama’s folks were considering these very issues, and it’s easy to speculate that conversations were taking place amongst the various parties. you’ll note that niether candidate was exactly pushing for this kind of action, and i suspect that’s no coincidence.

    was that the politically smart move?

    hard to say: on the one hand, progressives were going to vote anti-bush no matter who the r nominee was going to be, so there’s no net loss there, and moderates were very much an unknown quantity, so the choice might have been smart, in the context of the ’08 presidential.

    was it a smart long-term move for the democratic “brand”?

    i think so, as that centrist vote would have likely been frightened off by two impeachments in a row.

    the bigger question: was this good governance?


    the sad truth is, this was one of those times when democrats, en masse, would have probably been punished for impeachment, but it still would have been the right thing to do…in fact, a double impeachment was looking pretty good to me in about mid-’07.

    but as we said in another comment, “profiles in courage” isn’t exactly required congressional reading.

    here’s my theory, and it will appear in story form before too long: many democrats see electoral theory as “do nothing to lose votes”.

    this makes them afraid of…everything, and as a result they do…almost nothing, except out of fear.

    if you apply that theory to this situation, all the democratic calculations that followed make sense…even if the sense they make…makes no sense to the rest of us.

  36. tahoebasha3

    DISCLOSE Act, without even an up and down vote.

    New ‘Super Pacs’ bringing millions into campaigns

    By Dan Eggen and T.W. Farnam

    Washington Post Staff Writers

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010; 2:05 AM

    A new political weapon known as the “super PAC” has emerged in recent weeks, allowing independent groups to both raise and spend money at a pace that threatens to eclipse the efforts of political parties.

    The committees spent $4 million in the last week alone and are registering at the rate of nearly one per day. They are quickly becoming the new model for election spending by interest groups, according to activists, campaign-finance lawyers and disclosure records. . . .

    Three dozen of the new committees have been registered with the Federal Election Commission over the past two months, including such major players as the conservative Club for Growth, the Republican-allied American Crossroads and the liberal women’s group Emily’s List. . . . .

    An e-mail, in part, from Cong. Ted Deutch:

    I was proud to vote for the passage of the DISCLOSE Act in the House of Representatives, but, because the Senate GOP will not act, we have no other option but to begin the process of amending our Constitution to keep it in the hands of the people.

    I do not take the act of amending the Constitution lightly. However, the assault we face from a corporate takeover of our election system must end.  America is a nation of individuals first and foremost, and corporations cannot be allowed to drown out the voices of American citizens.

    My constitutional amendment will allow Congress to ban corporate hijacking of our elections and return the power to the people – where our Founders intended it to reside.

    Americans should be increasingly alarmed as the Karl Roves of the world raise million-dollar donations from large corporations to thwart the will of the people.  As Supreme Court Justice Stevens eloquently argued against the corporate takeover of elections in his dissent of Citizens United:

    “Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters. The financial resources, legal structure, and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races.”

    – Justice John Paul Stevens

    Justice Stevens’ words motivated me to file my constitutional amendment, and now I need your help to enact it into law. The process has only just begun, but our democratic duty requires that we act. . . .

  37. fake consultant

    …is a superb opportunity for dems–if they see far enough beyond their windshields to get how great this could be for them.

    “they depend on secret foreign money while claiming to be patriots” is a devastating charge…especially when it’s true…and pounding that home, day after day, will get some of these close races over the top. “youtubing” rove talking about “transparency” while declining to disclose his current donors will also hurt–a lot–if it’s used, a lot.

  38. fake consultant

    …ain’t doing you no favors, that’s for sure–but don’t you have a governor to consider as well this time?

  39. fake consultant

    …how do you organize legislators and voters to come together around common interests, and how do you develop the same kind of “extraparty infrastructure” that conservatives have created so well?

    seems to me that’s the difference between conservatives’ and progressives’ degree of political success, and if you take out the democratic party structure you make the need for such an “extraparty structure” more acute.

  40. fake consultant

    and the same kind of choices are out there, 435 times in the house and 33 or 34 (i forget which) in the senate…and (again, i think) it’s out there to be made 39 more times in the gubernatorial races.

    kinda bad vs. really, really, bad?  even if you don’t like the one, you better think about stopping the other.

  41. tahoebasha3

    of all times.  Whadda’ wimp!  I, personally, cannot stand the man.  On the other side of the coin, Sharon Angle vis a vis Reid?  You can only go from worse to worser!

  42. AndyS In Colorado

    Focus on the Family country.

    As to John Hickenlooper (my affectionate nickname: “Hickeylicker”), he’s running against Bill Maes (Republican) and Tom Tancredo (R-BombMecca) who decided Bill Maes wasn’t good enough and is now running on the National Constitution Party (heh), so the vote will be split.  Hickeylicker will win.

  43. AndyS In Colorado

    It’s interesting because you posit that Democrats are afraid that black churchgoing voters will “punish” the Democrats by not voting for them if they support LGBT issues.

    Now, if a nationally running Democrat were to say that to me, or one in which those people constituted a large voting bloc, I’d say it was a cop-out.

    No, what is interesting to me is, you, speaking the mind of the Democrats as you see it, accepting conservative punishment as a fait-accompli, while the possibility of liberal punishment (LGBT in this case) seems beyond your ken.  They will punish the Democrats for supporting LGBT issues?  Oh really?  How about the idea that LGBT people might punish them for NOT supporting LGBT issues?  Why is conservative punishment a fait-accompli, while the idea, at least, of liberal punishment, is a travesty that can be gotten out of just by lecturing those people more sternly?

    Now, I apologize for the mini-psychoanalysis.  It’s just, well, you seem to understand the Democrats so well I can just hear them speaking when you talk.  So, apologies for the tendency to talk as if you ARE the Democratic Party.  It’s just so tempting.

    This mindset which you describe — this is the reason Democrats have been getting more and more right wing over time.  This “psychology”.  Democrats wanting to understand conservatives, and in the final analysis, wiping conservative butt as opposed to the people who might be more positively disposed to voting for them in the first place.

    But we can’t help that.  Like an alcoholic or an addict, the only people who can help the Democratic Party, with a mindset like that, is the Democratic Party.

    And, ah, just that “punishment” is not really where my mind is.   If we elect people who do nothing, and literally hold positions against our civil equality, what is that but a tacit approval of the do-nothingness?  I know it’s described as “electing the Republican”, but this is a facile and self-serving analysis on the part of the Democrats.  If they take it, they’re fools, because I will not vote for anyone who’s not in favor of my full civil equality.  That is, 100%.  And this is a position being taken, steadily more, by more and more LGBTQ folk.  We see that centrists, when it comes to rights advancement, not only don’t do what they don’t promise, they aren’t inclined to do much of anything else, either.  That’s MY psychology, which is apparently unimportant.  But tellingly, not only mine.

    It has been said, by many, again and again, that if certain Democrats lose, what they will take from that is that they were too right wing and too incautious and to head toward the center — which invariably means “more conservative”.

    In this the scenario is that the Democrats are Borg and don’t analyze their failures.  Perhaps, but if that is true, are they worthy of being a political party in the first place?

    You say, the Democrats are slow to catch up with the country.  Well, they better catch up.  I know that Democrats in office, and those who explain their mindset, are slow to actually listen to the gay community.

    It is in full on political mutiny, in bud and prepared to flower.  More and more gay people are saying “fuck this.  The Democrats equivocate on our human rights, and they don’t even carry through on their equivocations with respect to us.  It’s time to accept no more equivocations”.

    And, I think some of us, and this number may be growing, are prepared to do this again and again and again, until the Democrats realize, full unequivocal support of human rights in the party is not, in any way, optional.

    We won’t “punish” Democrats and I won’t “punish” them.  Just, the first question I will ask is, are you 100% in favor of our full civil rights?  If not, then thank you very much, bye.

    All these mindset explanations, and all the apologia is just really a way of saying the Democrats will do whatever they do.

    As far as telling people how to vote, I don’t really see much “persuasion”.  More like trying to get the pony for nothing again.

  44. tahoebasha3

    but it’s basically just about political posturing, while criminals of war crimes, wars of aggression, torture, renditions, human rights abuses involving children, as well, utter trashing of our Constitution, a Wall Street and bank market that had no governorship over them were allowed to rob us blind, our 401-k’s, a President that pulled the plug on States to govern over the banks in the sub-prime crisis, while a cry “wolf” went out to the American people to bail out the people that fucked them over, soldiers who were suffering PTSD and sent back to “war” undiagnosed — it’s endless — and so far NOTHING BUT NOTHING DONE to these criminals, thus setting a precedent for any set of people to follow the same path, what the hell?  A part of which has already been done. No repercussions!!!!

    There is nothing, in my book, that should have curtailed impeachment and/or investigations and prosecutions.  Either we have a Constitution and laws or we don’t.  Right now, I consider this a lawless country, doing pretty much as it damn well pleases.  Without returning to the rule of the law, I just don’t see how things will ever improve with any truly meaningful strides in the right direction.  

  45. tahoebasha3

    and sign the Action pages!

  46. tahoebasha3

    I’m thinking of what would be a whole different system.  No political parties at all period.  Just individuals running for office, with donations, media time, etc. having an absolute dollar/time limit across the board per candidate, with run-off voting, if necessary.

    Of course, I can dream, too, can’t I?

    how do you organize legislators and voters to come together around common interests, and how do you develop the same kind of “extraparty infrastructure” that conservatives have created so well?

    Well, I don’t have the answers any more than anyone else does, but we need to remind any current or prospective representative that they have a job because of us — we pay them — that we expect them to listen and do what is asked of them by the American people — and if repetition as to who pays their salary fails to resonate with them, expose them and get rid of them, through voting. Sounds harsh, I know, but, my gawd, we’ve had so much shoved down our throats that we never ever asked for nor wanted.  They’ve heard us over time — they just ignore us.  

  47. fake consultant

    this isn’t me advocating anything–in fact, to me, this kind of thinking has been at the heart of, as you note, why democrats have been drifting rightward, even as the population has been moving the other way…and why that’s hurting them.

    i am trying to “channel” the professional democratic mindset, and i’ve had a long time to study the subject, hence the apparent accuracy.

    so why do certain democrats worry about “punishment”?

    consider north carolina.

    three house democrats from that state voted no on dadt repeal: mcintyre, schuler, and etheridge.

    all three have districts with large black populations (up to 30%, out on the carolina coast)…and they do not have large lbgt populations, except, to some extent, in charlotte, which schuler represents.

    if 50% of 30% of your district is irrationally homophobic, and 3% of your district is lbgt…that creates fear when dadt repeal comes around. (to make things tougher, you have a huge military, dependent, and retiree population out on the coast, including 200,000 or so marines associated with camp lejune and another 50,000 troops at pope/fort bragg.)

    therefore, the only way to apply pressure to get these guys to support lbgt issues is to apply pressure from outside the district (again, the GayTM…), and until the ’06 cycle, and the growth of internet fundraising, that was virtually impossible.

    the lessons that will be taught by “the community” throwing its support around in this way will take a few cycles to teach, and that’s why you have this situation right now where some democrats are afraid to do the right thing because they’re afraid of what it might look like back in the district.

    however…lessons will have to be learned on both sides, and for that, let’s look at sheila jackson lee.

    she’s the representative for part of houston, and she did vote for dadt repeal, and she has a black majority district…so, to put it mildly, she’s been doing the right thing at some political risk for some time now…and in fact, if you visit her website, the first link on her list is for the national gospel heritage month celebration.

    despite all that, if you look at her top donors since 2008, there’s no significant concentration of gay money there…which suggests the punish part of the strategy is easier than the “consistent reward” part that will also have to part of the strategy.

    of course, timidity caused by the fear of losing votes has been the democratic watchword for how long…well, at least since president gore, or president dukakis, or president mondale, or somewhere back there…and despite the fact that timidity ain’t working, it’s still the default for lots of ds.

    if you add to that the fact that some substantial number of lbgt folks may decide to withdraw all support until members “come back from the dark side”, you could see a situation develop where some number of members see no incentive in supporting lbgt rights at all, since it’s getting them neither votes nor money, and their default instinct is to do nothing that drives away votes…so why take a chance?

  48. fake consultant

    …that your questions have been the source of an excellent conversation today at bilerico; that discussion will be its own story by sometime tomorrow.

  49. fake consultant

    …and in fact, these two paragraphs pretty well sum up why things are so bad for politicians of all stripes these days.

    and i hate to say this…but it actually makes sense that things are this way.

    by that i don’t mean to say that it’s a good thing, merely that it is relatively easy to discern the logic that enters into how we got here.

    to get a glimpse of how a member of congress sees the world, consider this thought experiment:

    let’s imagine that you, every two years, have to win a majority of the votes of your co-workers and the management of the place where you work in order to keep your job.

    can you see how that might change your on-the-job behavior over time?

    my guess, especially in a tough economy, is that you might be inclined to do nothing to piss off the co-workers and management…and if that meant that inaction was more safe than any potentially risky action…well, you’d be a good congressional incumbent.

    here’s the good news: political posturing isn’t always a bad thing.

    when barney frank lays into bank ceos in a hearing and then comes back with some financial regulation ideas, that’s because he’s posturing for us–he wants us to know he’s out there doing his job, and in his case, that’s his “brand”.

    grayson is doing the same thing…well…and so is wasserman-schultz…and even joseph cao, the republican member from new orleans, is basing his brand on standing up for his morals, even voting for dadt repeal, despite his party and his staunch catholic beliefs.

  50. fake consultant

    …he’d tell you the obama team was a bigger disappointment–particularly on health care.

    what he would probably tell you is that you either come to the senate with a “pre-promoted” legislative proposal–and then you keep pushing it out in the “court of public opinion”–or, if you’re going to turn the whole process of writing legislation over to senate finance, as this administration did, then you make real good and sure that you push the direction that process takes, and if that means going out and giving a giant public speech every day to tell the senators what the public wants out of this, or it means sending rahm into the negotiations to act as the “angel of doom” that gets your message across to the negotiators…or both…whatever it takes, you do it, and in this most critical time, the administration did none of that.

    put it all together, and it looks to me like reid was stuck trying to move legislation that was “pre-lobbied” and written by two guys who had no interest in advancing health care reform, and over which the administration had no control, despite this being their signature issue.

    and for all that, harry reid, who apparently won’t say a cross word about the obama administration despite how it could help him electorally, is even up with a psycho.

    that’s pretty gutsy for a candidate in trouble, and i’m actually impressed by his fortitude.

    the sad thing is, she’s vulnerable to a few good “red meat” speeches, and reid could explain what’s wrong with the nevada economy at the same time, bur reid ain’t that kind of candidate, so this race is far closer than it has any right to be.

    and just for the record, don’t expect to see a fire-breathing liberal senate majority leader from the dems any time soon…unless, somehow, sheldon whitehouse got the gig, but i wouldn’t count on that.

  51. AmericanRiverCanyon

    …. are promoting and funding her campaign.  All she has to do is show up 3 days a week for about 8 months a year, vote, do fundraisers, give a few canned speeches to the TruBelievers once a season, and keep herself from being investigated or arrested the next 6 years.  And Nevada becomes irrelevant on the national scene.  The state itself will suffer financially as Reid has been funneling money into it for years to keep his seat and the Dems there, viable, plus it’s a state full of retirees and it has a huge % of military retirees who get VA health care and have special needs.  I doubt Angle will give a flying rats’ arse about any of that. She will become one of the Senators you don’t hear much about, otherwise.  I mean, there’s several Repubs already in the Senate who are quite frankly senile or bizzarro- land, and their staff just keeps them going, trah lah lah.

    By taking Harry Reid out of the Senate, the Pentagon/Oil interests then get either a severely less powerful, razor thin Dem “majority” with a new Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.  Schumer has made some controversial statements this past year….   Why do you think the Dem right wing has been hiding and acts extremely offended when it’s pointed out that some of their their blue dog contingent is in cahoots with the Tea Party ?   Maybe Dick Durbin(Illinois) could become majority leader….  but probably not.  The older Senators and Obama might back him, but Obama’s backing after the election might be seen as a liability.

    see this from back in May this year, in Salon


    Handicapping a Schumer Durbin majority leader race

    Freshmen allegiances. Chuck Schumer’s best asset may be his personal connection to the 17 members elected in the last two 2008 and 2006 election cycles, when he was running the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. After this year’s elections, these freshmen should make up nearly one-third of the Democratic caucus.

    It’s important to understand the nature of Schumer’s DSCC work. He personally recruited all of the Democrats elected in ’08 and ’06, and he stood with them through all of the ups and downs of their often-brutal months-long campaigns. In other words, he formed meaningful bonds with them long before they reached Washington — bonds that could garner Schumer great support in a caucus vote.

    If we have to kiss Senator Independent from WellPoint’s Connecticut A$$ again to get 50, you can kiss any sort of progressive/liberal Dem agenda good bye because the Republicans will merely wave more cash under his nose and he’ll enjoy every second of it. I hope the D’s have at least figured out that aspect of it…..

    Or, if the Dems go ahead and lose even more seats,  the Repubs just get their own Republican Senate Majority Leader.  Say hello to dirty coal, mountaintop removal Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.   Except that with the Tea Party candidate Christine McDonnell running so poorly in Delaware, if she loses to the Democrat, that’s one less seat they thought they had in the bag.


    Instead of the Republicans winning 8 or 9 Senate seats, it appeared the tally would be more like 7 or 8, Rove said in the aftermath of the Delaware (Republican primary)  vote.

    “Kind of bad, verses Really Bad, is still not a valid campaign strategy.  If the current Democratic near super- majority refuses to use it to do any sort of national policy changes, “they” don’t deserve or are not entitled to automatic re election-  simple as that, they give no reason or rationale for their continued majority status.  Either way, they’ve demonstrated they don’t care whether or not they have it.  

    “Vote for Us or We’ll Turn the Entire Nation into Appalachia – Louisiana Gulf, Minus the Scenery”  when you have people like Kent Conrad and Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu and Plantation Blanche in the Democratic Caucus does not inspire, either.  

  52. fake consultant

    …if you’re looking for a bit of an historical parallel, go back and look at the 1994 tom foley/doc hastings race for an example of a similar situation: in this case, a speaker who wouldn’t fling the red meat when it could have saved his election, and who wouldn’t run against the clinton administration to save himself.

    in foley’s case…hastings won.

  53. fake consultant

    the house rules are written for the majority to control the process, so if pelosi has the votes, since she controls the agenda, what the majority wants gets done. that’s one reason why the speaker and house majority whip are such powerful jobs.

    the senate? well, not so much.

    because of “personal holds”, “quorum calls”, “unanimous consent”, and the cloture rule, reid does not control what legislation can move, and majority rule is not how the senate works.

    you need 60 votes these days, and the 60 votes are not there for reid.

    let me say it again: republicans decided to stop virtually all legislation in the senate, and the rules, which neither reid nor any other senate majority leader could change during a session without 67 votes, allow this to occur.

    they took a chance that total inaction would be viewed as a failure of reid, and not them, and they were right, because most voters have no clue about any of this “process” stuff and how it was manipulated to hurt every voter in america to the advantage of republican candidates.

    that means the pressure had to be applied on reluctant senators from outside the senate, and that’s the job the administration and the democratic party and their allied groups were supposed to be doing…and if you ask me, 2/3 of the “triad” was basically not a part of that process.

    instead, the republicans ran the process, with town halls which this administration, inexplicably, never figured out how to counter…and, today, harry reid takes the blame.

  54. tahoebasha3

    But, quite honestly, when is anyone going to have the cajones to do the right thing?  My mother once told me when I was little, your friends will excuse you, your family will excuse you, but life excuses no one!

    All the reasoning in the world does not change the fact that our Constitution, our national and International laws have become utterly meaningless.  Without those laws, we’re just as good as “dead” as a nation.  Would that man was morally self-governing and not filled with greed (hah, hah!) — then there’d be no need for laws period.

    Apart from the above realities, yes, the posturing of Barnie Frank’s has been good, even if the attempt at reform has also been a watered down effort.

    I do agree with your choice of good people — add Kucinich, Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse and use to be, Russ Feingold and a few others who fell to silence, and some that just plain left, such as Wexler.  Just not enough of them.  

  55. tahoebasha3

    but it all boils down to the “political process(es)” has taken precedence over the “issue(s)” at hand.  Whadda’ joke — it’s all become like a very mean-spirited game of sport, while the American people pay through the nose for them and every other gawd-damn thing.  They should all have their heads cracked together — to wake them up to the fact that there are serious, serious issues WE all should be concerned about, like, for example, the Energy Bill that was hemmed and hawed over for so long, all that with the effects of global warming staring us in the face.  The bulk of them need to go — we don’t need them, they’re worthless “profiteers.”


  56. fake consultant

    …may actually help answer your question, in a couple of ways:

    –there will be democratic candidates who win, in an exceptionally tough environment, by going out and “swinging for the fences”, and some other democrats will learn from this.

    –there will also be candidates who might lose, but it’ll be close either way, and who were able to raise lots of cash by swinging for the fences and are well-positioned to run immediately for ’12 (grayson and perriello?), and those candidates will be good examples for the others.

    here’s the thing: obama created a new model for national candidates, and it’s taking a while for his lessons to filter down to local races–and even then, many democratic candidates don’t see his lessons as applying to them.

    the other question, of course, is whether progressives can develop and sustain a funding process that rewards progressive candidates at election time for taking courageous views during the legislative “season”.

    without that process in place, candidates lack the kind of confidence they need to stand up to other potential funders (the local union-buster, for example, or bp) who might be looking to get something juicy out of congress.

  57. fake consultant

    …without constitutional alterations:

    –first, we could potentially legislate our way out of this by changing the structure of corporations so as to make political activity of any kind a giant tax and legal disadvantage.

    –another solution would be to remove the tax deductibility of political donations to 501(c)(6) (and other similar) groups, so that money that’s spent in this way can’t be treated as a business expense by corporations.

    –another solution would be sec action to require an annual, public, shareholder vote on the amount of money that a corporation could spend annually on these donations.

    –still another solution would be to force disclosure of all donors, immediately–and you could do that by federal law or by imposing public scorn and shame on those who don’t…and the footage is already out there to make that work (republicans have supported “full disclosure with no limits” for years).

  58. tahoebasha3

    How to make ’em happen!

    –still another solution would be to force disclosure of all donors, immediately–and you could do that by federal law or by imposing public scorn and shame on those who don’t…and the footage is already out there to make that work (republicans have supported “full disclosure with no limits” for years).

    Huh?  Bit confused by that!

    From Cong. Ted Deutch:

    “I watched in utter dismay as GOP Senators unanimously blocked the DISCLOSE Act from even having an up or down vote in the Senate. The DISCLOSE Act would merely require disclosure by donors supporting campaign advertising and require sponsors to personally approve TV ads. The bill is about simple transparency, but the GOP prefers to hide from the American people the corporations that are behind this special interest ad blitz.”

  59. fake consultant

    …except for the “it has become…” part.

    it’s always been this way, from all the way back when og and smog were deciding how to make a deal on the caveman council to hammurabi’s court to ancient greece to 1776 and the eventual effort to create a constitution.

    the very art of politics is the art of process, and the two are no more seperable than art and artist–and that’s something that progressives often forget, often to our sorrow.

    but it’s ok, because smart arguments win if they’re brought to the political arena in smart ways, and, believe it or not, we’ve been doing well lately with progressive ideas.

    the thing is, though, we’re only about 25% of the way to where we want to go…and once we get there, it’s a constant battle to keep the gains you’ve amassed.

    progressives often think that winning an election means winning the war, when in fact that’s often just the start of a much longer series of fights, and that’s where a lot of the frustration comes from.

    go back and look at the history of the 20th century and you’ll see the ebb and flow, often across decades: roosevelt and wilson, then coolidge and hoover, then fdr, then the drift to a more conservative truman and ike, then back to kennedy and camelot and the great society, then nixon and ford, and carter…but you get the idea.

    what you don’t see is wise men setting their egos aside and concentrating on how to make good policy–instead, it’s all about process and egos and getting what gains you can, while you can, until the other side is again more persuasive in their arguments.

    i wish it wasn’t so…but there it is, and i suspect that as long as you’re trying to persuade people to adopt ideas, this will be how it goes.

  60. fake consultant

    …of this, and see if you’re a bit less confused.

  61. tahoebasha3

    but a lying, hypocritical asshole anyway.  

    Amazing, though, how the very minute “corporations became people,” McConnell switched his position on full disclosure by corporations, unions, et al!

    And you can bet your bottom dollar that those corporate funds that will “buy” a Repug Congressperson will be tantamount to putting a “corporate shill” in a seat — pay him well and, they may not even need lobbyists, if they’re successful with their goals — whew, my mind just went for a “trip” on this whole thing.

    Whatever the case, that Supreme Court ruling was and is, to me, one of the most dangerous things that could have happened in this country (in addition to all the “ills”  already in place). And, too, the fact that that ruling emanated from the Supreme Court (the supreme law of the land) shows the absolute epitome of the utter lawlessness as exists in this country.  These failings at the top trickle down to every single position involving any form of power, no matter how seemingly small, and give way to abusiveness in that position, some of which we’ve already begun to see.    

  62. fake consultant

    …but members of congress need lobbyists: after all, who else would write the legislation?

  63. fake consultant

    …i would make a few changes to your analysis.

    first, you seem to have forgotten the role of independent funders (the first group, her new internet friends; the second, the “american crossroads/crossroads gps” community.

    the first group, i suspect, is her personal property, and all she has to do is be crazy and tell them “they’re out to silence me!” to keep their money flowing.

    the second group is more interesting: rove and his org, for example, have created a new “one stop shopping” function where all kinds of industries donate (add to your list healthcare/insurance/financial interests and all kinds of industries seeking less regulation or better access to us markets and government land and water resources).

    now the question is…will the candidates he funds be loyal to the “background” funders…or to rove, the “aggregator”…and will you be able to tell the difference?

    (other members of this new “gatekeeper” group: the “tea party express” and the us chamber of commerce.)

    schumer’s an interesting guy…and he has a love/hate relationship with financial interests, so that would be an interesting situation if he were to come to power.

    i’d suggest that obama is as much to blame for all this as reid, since reid is so tied up in senate rules that he can’t control what bills come to the floor when, or if at all…and that means the bully pulpit is required to get the 1 or 2 or 3 repubs that are needed to break cloture…but it isn’t being used as well, or as often, as it should.

  64. AndyS In Colorado

    1.  I’m really not pleased that you took a fragment of a conversation (and only a fragment) over to another website using me as your guinea pig to dissect.  I’m going to assume it wasn’t out of a purely obnoxious intent, and, well, the things we post here can get other places, so while not getting too worked up about it I think it was a bit disingenuous.

    2.  I don’t really reply much because, well, it’s not really my intention, if you want to GOTV, to get in your way and this conversation had already pretty much had played itself out.  Enjoy.  GOTV.  Good luck.

    3.  I think you’ve been working very hard to get your point of view across, but I don’t think my intention was to have a debate so much as a conversation with a different viewpoint.  I get yours because I hear it all the time but I don’t think you get mine and some others very much at all.  Your intention is to debate and GOTV, but doesn’t appear to be very much about listening to the other side.  And that’s fine.

    4.  As soon as Democrats as politicians get as serious about results as you are about GOTV, I’ll pay more attention to a supposed obligation to vote for them, donate to them and so on.  It goes both ways.  You have every single Democrat up to and including Alan Grayson, God Rest his Liberal Soul, taking advantage and self aggrandizing.  Because that’s the way the “process” works, we are told.  Political pragmatism is all there is to pragmatism, I guess — and that’s a fine deal for our politicians, since they don’t have to take reality seriously and can self-aggrandize all the long day, while impressing obligation to save our country downward on the voters.  There’s nothing about reality based pragmatism, only political pragmatism — but our political reality is increasingly disconnected from, well, reality reality.  And, so, I’ve already replied.  FWIW.  Once the political sphere loses its justification for existing, there are other ways and other things for people to do, which can be just as valuable.

    Just as a final repetition though, it might be more advisable for our politicians to get serious about the state of this country, if they want the American people to be serious about their elections or the political process in general.

  65. fake consultant

    …is not to have a debate at all: in fact, if you look at the discussion, youi’ll notice i wasn’t involved at all until today.

    the reason for this was to see what others think about the same issue, nothing more.

    i did edit your comments because you had a lot to say, but i really did try to capture the heart of what you were getting at–and it’s not so much because i want to win an argument as much as it is that you posed a great question that deserves a more in-depth answer than i could ever provide, from a wider swath of points of view than i could ever represent.

  66. fake consultant

    …when i roll all this out into the finished story, you won’t see much editorial content from me as much as you will see the comments.

  67. AndyS In Colorado

    is almost never accurate.

    In the future though, please communicate with me before you spread a conversation to other places and blogs.

    It really is “uncool” — if I post an essay or “diary” then I sort of expect it, that I’m putting something up for general blogospheric discussion with the entire world.

    In a mere comment stream, though, it’s kind of not done.  I don’t mean to thrash you about it, but it’s untrustworthy .. spreading people’s comments to other blogs just isn’t that cool.

    I stand by everything I said, but the way I feel about it is, at least in comments, what starts on Daily Kos stays on Daily Kos, what starts on Docudharma stays on Docudharma, etc., etc.

    If this was an essay of mine — at least to me, essays are fair game — mere comments though with attribution are not.

    Please don’t do it again without permission — with me or anyone else here.  If you do, I will complain to the site admins.

    I don’t even visit Bilerico.

  68. fake consultant

    the original “target audience” for this story was the occasional voter or first-time voter who showed up in ’08 to vote for obama and other democratic candidates…but your comments add an entirely new dimension to the conversation, and that’s why i’ve begun spinning it out into its own story.

    it’s not an effort to argue with you as much as it is an effort to start a larger discussion that is based on the points you’re trying to make…and since most of the audience for this next story won’t be gay readers, why not start with a group of gay voices, and let the conversation spread out from there?

  69. AndyS In Colorado

    way and on my own time.

    All I asked you, above, is reasonable.  Communicate with people whose quotes in comments you wish to spread to other blogs.  I probably would have granted permission, but then I would know what I was getting myself into.

    You don’t know what you are doing to people.  I have had people get angry at what I say and research my work email address and spread it to russian hackers.

    I am giving you a “1” on this post because what you did is wrong.

  70. fake consultant

    …getting a bit overwrought on this one.

    if you’ve looked at the comments so far, they’re entirely supportive, even where commenters disagree with you.

    as to the larger issue of using publicly posted comments: these are public forums, and if the things you’re saying cause russian hackers to come after you, i’m not exactly sure how i’m going to make that problem worse by repeating them…and you’ll note that i did communicate this to you, which is why we’re having this discussion.

    if you’re suggesting that i should have asked your permission before using the quotes from your comments, i’d have to tell you that you’re legally out of line, as this is entirely within the bounds of “fair use”, and i’d further suggest that my moral imperative here is to present your thoughts accurately and fairly, and that’s a standard i intend to meet.  

  71. AndyS In Colorado

    It’s, as you say, a public forum.

    But if you are not going to be cooperative, you are not trustworthy to have a conversation with.

  72. fake consultant

    …i really don’t understand why any of this is so upsetting to you.

    you didn’t exactly say anything that’s somehow wildly controversial (as you note, there are lots of others who feel the same way, and the responses reflect that), and if you’re upset because your name was used…it was just to give you credit for raising a good question, and it’s something i’ve done on numerous other occasions in other stories.

    i can only assume “cooperation” means asking you if quoting you is ok or asking you to choose the quote…and as i said, i don’t see things quite the same way, and for what it’s worth, i chose that quote because i thought it went right to the heart of the question, and did so effectively.

  73. AndyS In Colorado

    We had an exchange on THIS BLOG.

    Do you understand, that some of us are literally targeted for what we say — on blogs?  That, we are private individuals, that we may want to limit our exposure to what we’re, ourselves, comfortable with?

    For you to spread my conversations, WITH ATTRIBUTION, to other blogs, which I may choose to visit or not, is exposing me to additional risk for what I say.

    I’m asking you to exhibit the same sensitivity that anyone else on blogs does — to realize we are private individuals and may not want you discussing what we say other than where we say it, on this blog, or any other.

    For whatever reason, some things I say I make people angry.

    And you say you’re familiar with gay issues?  Are you kidding me?  Who the hell are you?  What the hell is your problem?  I am asking for something that might be considered common courtesy for ANYONE — but, especially, if you understand homophobia in this society, you ought to be sensitive to, but aren’t.  I’m not asking you for anything a common poster might ask — but you can’t understand it for a gay man?  

    Are you insane?

    I have had my car windows shot out.  Literally.  With guns.  I have had as I have said, cyberattacks directed against me.

    When I comment, here, on Docudharma, in a diary of yours — I am making a comment TO YOU.  Unless I asked you to open that conversation up with six million people, you spreading it to other sites with or without a by your leave, ESPECIALLY when it comes to gay people — exposes them to things.

    Not, to you, and six million other people.

    Now, if you are the kind of person who might take an offhand comment someone made to you on a blog, and turn it into a cross blog object lesson, maybe you shouldn’t be here.

    But that goes especially for people who can be targeted for their views.

    That’s not legal, that’s a matter of allowed participation on a blog.  And if you don’t stop it, I’ll either stop you, or I’ll leave.  All I have asked is that, when you spread something to another blog, you ask first.  

  74. fake consultant

    …you’re not in some private place, just talking to me.

    as you see from just looking at the comments, this is a public place.

    not only are others reading and commenting, there are readers who don’t comment, and you must be aware of that.

    when you comment here, you’re taking to a community of readers, me included.

    there is no expectation of privacy on these pages; if you want to talk to me with an expectation of privacy you’re always free to email me, and when i do have those conversation i do ask for permission before quoting for attribution.

    as i understand the creative commons license plans (docudharma operates under a creative commons license), they all allow quoting of any comment without seeking prior permission, and they all require attribution, which is why i make sure i let readers know where the quotes i use are coming from.

  75. fake consultant

    …that i’m often profoundly ignorant when it comes to issues that affect either the gay community or folks who express gender in what some consider unconventional ways.

    that’s why i went to bilerico with this question: to seek input from those who know, far better than i, how this question should be answered.

  76. AndyS In Colorado

    And, what I am realizing is nothing I can say can make you get it.

    I’m not questioning or at least challenging your legal rights or prerogatives.  I’m challenging your citizenship or lack thereof on this blog.  You know, common sensitivity and courtesy.

    I am not going to sue you, I’m not going to stalk you, and it might be pure randomness if we ever encounter each other.  And that goes to whether you ever get it, or not.

    However, I already (and only now, finally) want you banned from this blog, due to you not getting basic expectations of courtesy.  And, the sad irony is, I did not start this exchange wanting you banned — but I do now, because apparently you can or will do anything, based apparently on legal understandings of what you can and can’t do, completely absent from sensitivity or understanding of others.

    And, I do get it.  Anything I say here may be said anywhere, legally.  I started out with a mild request for common courtesy.  You responded with your rights and obligations irrespective of the rules of THIS blog for participation here.

    Budydharma’s rules for posting here is “be excellent to each other”.

    You are not being excellent to me.

    I started out with a mild request.  The density I have encountered from you in a stream of non-sequitors, irrelevancies and bullshit apologia for being an ass, has been breathtaking.  What you don’t understand is, I am not being increasingly nasty.  You are increasingly unwilling to listen to what is a very simple, straightforward and mild request of citizenship to each other.

    I think you do not understand Docudharma, especially.

    We do not operate here under rules of what can, theoretically, be done by one person unto another.  We operate as a kind of community.

  77. AndyS In Colorado

    So far I will do nothing.  Do not increase the error and make me take action on that want.

  78. fake consultant

    …you really need to back this down a bit.

    i’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that i see you as being increasingly nasty; i don’t, you seem entirely civil to me, even as you seem upset without a lot of justification.

    as to “being excellent”: this all started because i thought you posed a great question–which i noted in the call for comments–and i really hadn’t provided a very informed response, and i gave you credit for asking a good question, as common courtesy requires.

    i didn’t take your quote out of context, nor was it used with some bad intent.

    if you had started all this by maybe saying “don’t quote me on this, but…”, it might have been different, but even then, this is a public place–and it’s not like this is some kind of “gotcha” situation…again, i simply took what i saw as an excellent question and opened it up to a larger discussion, and i’m not sure what harm was done by the exercise.

    if you feel that you have to seek redress by making a request to have me banned, then that’s a decision you’ll have to make.

  79. AndyS In Colorado

    “Ok, Andy, in the future I will ask you before posting any of your blog comments between us or anything else you say to another blog”.

    You don’t have to UNDERSTAND it.  It has nothing to do with whether you have the LEGAL RIGHT TO DO IT.

    It has to do whether you well respect WHAT PEOPLE ASK OF YOU when it concerns what they do.

    That’s all I asked, and if you were a reasonable human being, you would simply say “Ok”.  And then, were we to converse with each other again, we could move on to different topics.

    All I want from you is to not post things I say to other blogs without my permission.  I’m not making it a legal demand.  It’s an expectation for courtesy — you posting my words to another blog without consulting me was RUDE.

    It was Rude TO ME.  That’s all that matters here.

  80. fake consultant

    …as you are so clearly unhappy with this situation, i’ll happily not include your quote in the story that’s going to come out summarizing the comments from the bilerico posting.

  81. AndyS In Colorado

    I made of you a simple request.  And, if you go to the top of this thread, the simple, and very mildly stated request was, “don’t do it again without asking”.

    Do not quote what I say here in a comment stream to other blogs.

    I do not have to back down, I am asking for you a simple, human courtesy.

    If you cannot give a simple human courtesy, that another person asks of you, that has nothing to do with me.

    Might say something about you, though.

  82. AmericanRiverCanyon

    …. in that you deliberately selected a particular quote that used the name of yet another blog moderator on another blog, said moderator who has a team of attorneys patrolling the internet looking for things to get annoyed with.

    That took it over the common courtesy line, now that he’s articulated very politely and repeatedly that he prefer you don’t do that.

    This topic is not a “LGBT” topic, btw.  It’s a universal human beings all deserve dignity topic.

    below you say

    Republicans decided to stop all legislation in the Senate

    That phony argument for the lack of Democratic ability to pass any legislation in 2009 – 2010, in spite of a large majority,  has been blown apart all over the netosphere.  

    You will have to come up with a better excuse next time.

    Off course voting matters, but this Senate deciding to make rules weighting certain obscure rural states with 2.6 Senators per state, while other states only get 1.3 Senators per state, and claiming said rules just can’t be changed, isn’t flying with me anymore.

  83. AndyS In Colorado

    Read my request, again.

    I asked that you not quote what is said here on other blogs, if it is a comment and not an essay.

  84. fake consultant

    …but i’m not going to be honoring it, because, as i said before, such a request is entirely out of line, and i’ll again tell you why.

    you and i, and the owners of this site, all agreed to be bound by that creative commons license of which i have previously spoken.

    that license provides that your work here, diaries and comments alike, may be used with attribution, and that’s what i did.

    and there’s a good reason why that should be so: important ideas and information deserve an open airing in the public square…in fact, if you go back and look at their website, the stated purpose of the license is to “make sharing easier”.

    copyright law carries a “fair use” exception for the very same reason: to facilitate the spread of ideas in the public sphere.

    profound or profane, those statements that carry weight and deserve a wider airing can be shared (and as i’ve noted before, yours did indeed fall on the profound side), and, as much as you may dislike me saying it, you do not get to set the terms of how the things you post here are disseminated, except under the terms of the license.

    just out of curiosity: is it your belief that a newspaper or some other publication would or should be prohibited from using your comments and attributing them to you in a story without your permission?

    finally…there’s been some discussion regarding intent, and of course, if you’re trying to determine whether sonmeone’s being excellent or not, intent is going to be one of the most important elements in your analysis…and, to be frank, i’m a bit surprised, since you brought up the issues of “excellence” and human decency in the first place, that you no longer wish to consider intent as a part of your thinking going forward.

  85. buhdydharma

    You guys have covered all the legalities etc, so really all I can do is ask you to respect Andy’s wishes on this.

    But please do!

  86. allenjo

    I don’t want to hear about the Republican’s I know what they are about. What I want is to hear what the Democrat’s are going to do to stop them.

  87. fake consultant

    …until andy made his point, which was that lbgt people, in growing numbers, don’t support democrats and won’t until democrats are more supportive of them.

    at that point, it occurred to me that the best way to get a handle on that issue was to ask other gay folks what they thought about all this.

    as it happens, i’m a contributor at bilerico, which is an lbgt site, so that’s where i posed andy’s question…and as i mentioned to andy, i have on many other occasions done the same thing, each time crediting the person who asked the smart question.

    matter of fact, here’s exactly what i said about andy:

    I have a story that just went up here on the site that is also posted at numerous other places around the Web, and a question has been raised at another site that has brought me here today looking for your help so i can give the best answer possible.

    The basic question is: if the Democrats have been an unreliable partner in the effort to advance civil rights, why bother voting for Democrats at all?

    AndyS in Colorado, a reader at Docudharma (“Blogging The Future”), has offered some thoughts on this year’s elections, in response to a story that just went up a few minutes ago on this site, and about 48 hours ago at Docudharma:

    I have been very interested to see the Democrats have no intention of ever doing right by us in the gay community and using us so cynically and openly as political footballs this last two years. And I’ve seen Democrats including such people as Meteor Blades getting angry at gay people who point it out, that there was never any intention, but every intention to preach to us to give a voting pony, again and again. I guess, the cynical usery and open, laughing hypocrisy is what made the Republicans the soulless assholes they are. And the LGBT example is just the example – it goes for not just LGBT people, it is just more apparent and openly practiced, IMV. It’s not Republicans versus Democrats. It’s a general phenomenon of souless assholedom in our politics – and the fearmongering and greater-evil-making that makes soulless assholedom possible in our elected officials. Democrats talk about how they want civil rights for gay people and how bad it is that out teenagers die. But, if they did anything to fix it – they think that they’d lose whatever political mojo they think they need from us to get elected. So they don’t do anything to fix it. And have no intention of EVER fixing it.

    So what would you say to this reader?

    I would like to use the responses to create another story, to post around the web, and a big part of the reason I want to do that is because there is not a lot of awareness that this is even an issue within the Democratic ranks.

    so there’s the story…and tell me, where’s the harmful intent?

  88. fake consultant

    …i had no idea andy moderates another blog until you just told me right now, and, until this very moment, i was not aware of his “team of attorneys”.

    so i can assure you that these issues had nothing to do with any of my thinking.

  89. fake consultant

    …i have no idea why this is even a “thing”.

    look down a couple of comments, and you’ll see the actual story, as it appears on bilerico…and if you look at what it says, it simply says that i have an issue in front of me that i can’t answer well, that deserves a smarter answer that i can provide, and that isn’t well known by the larger democratic community.

    and then i included andy’s quote, which illustrated the point quite well–and it was the only comment on any of the 25 sites where this was posted that addressed the issue at all, which is why it was there in the first place.

    so what i’ve been unable to get across to andy is that i’m just trying to do some journalism here: see an issue, interview those who might have good information, create an informed story.

    that was it…except that i told him about it, so he could see how the comments were going, and if you have a look yourself you’ll see that everyone was kind and respectful–and a lot of commenters agree with him.

    the only reason i began to talk about licenses and the like is because, as someone who occasionally tries to do actual journalism, i’m as uncomfortable with the concept of people saying “you can’t quote what i say online if i say so” as andy is being quoted…and i’m not trying to be mean to him about it, and i hope even as i respect his thinking here that he can also respect the “other side of the coin” on this as well.

    and as i mentioned above to andy, since he’s just so darn uncomfortable with all this i’ll happily not quote him in the follow-up that’s going to come…but as i also said before, as innocently as it all began, i could not be more surprised that this is a “thing” at all.  

  90. AmericanRiverCanyon

    …. it’s not Andy.

    Geebus H. on a Cracker.

  91. fake consultant

    …you just got through telling me how i deliberately selected andy because he moderates–well, you recall what you were saying…and what i’m trying to tell you is what i told buddy above: the only reason i chose this quote from this commenter was because, on the 25 or so sites where this story went up…a story that, you’ll recall, was about environmental issues…he was the only one who made this point.

    it’s an issue that deserves to be explored more fully in its own story, and i set out to gather some informed opinions so i could do just that, and that’s all there is to it.

    so there you go.

  92. fake consultant

    was i right to suggest republicans carry most of the blame for shutting down legislation in the senate?

    you can argue both ways.

    it’s a fact that 6 or 7 senate democrats were consistently unwilling to “go along with the program” and that a lot of legislation died as a result…but it’s also a fact that, in times past, moderate republicans like spector or grassley or snowe or graham–and even, occasionally, mccain–would come over, either because of some parochial interests or because some “true believer” situation came along, and that would allow democrats who wanted to “vote their conscience” or “vote their lobbyist” or “vote their fear” to do so.

    in the 111th, however, senate republicans are trying the whole “waterloo by using cloture to deny obama victories even at the cost of denying benefits to the unemployed because it’s too expensive, yadda yadda yadda” thing, and that’s a singularly unique situation in congressional history…and that’s the basis for the statement i made that you quoted.

    so the big question, i suppose, as it always is these days, is where do the somewhat reliable jim webbs out to the highly unreliable blanche lincolns of the democratic senate caucus fit in, and how much can we expect from them as the balance between progressive values and conservative electorates plays out for some of these senators?

    perhaps a bigger question will be how to keep more democratic senators from getting more conservative after this midterm, as we can assume republicans will keep the waterloo strategy going out to ’12 if they can.

  93. AmericanRiverCanyon

    …. French historian on your a$$.

    voting each of these turncoat incumbent f*ckers out of office at any presenting opportunity, works for me.

    If one is presented with a mandate and a historic, large majority which one refuses to use, then that Party doesn’t need it any more, does it ?

    The past is past.  This is now.  


  94. AmericanRiverCanyon

    Harry S. Truman – The Buck Stops Here.  Integrate the Armed Forces.

    The Current Caboose Occupant –  Let me ask the Republicans if we can stop the buck somewhere, and I’ll get back with you after the Pentagon completes a study, after congressional hearings that have gone on for several years now, and this needs to go thru several more appeals processes initiated by my Attorney General.  I think the buck might be able to be kicked down the road a few more rounds. We are working on it.

  95. AmericanRiverCanyon

    Spokesperson Enabler:  “Maybe we can get this done during the lame duck session.”

  96. fake consultant

    …because it was the term used by demint when he publicly announced the “cloture” strategy…the exact quote, if i recall, was this will be obama’s weaterloo”.

  97. fake consultant

    …on your second paragraph.

    i’m going through the bilerico comments now, and somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the comments seem to follow the same theme as that second paragraph, suggesting that if this group is a good “sample” you’re expressing a real common point of view among lbgt respondents as well.

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