Freedom is the distance between Church and State

Why be born again when you can just grow up?
JULY 14, 2012 11:59PM

Romney to Blacks: Don‘t Ask! Don’t Tell!

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Or should the headline read "Romney's Open Call to Political Black Sheep"?

How many people have noticed what is conspicuously absent from this presidential election cycle or what rubbish is not again recycled to the credulous?

Point your finger in any direction in the American political arena and all you will hear from any politician today is fearmongering, stereotyping, or trading accusations. You can hope for change you can believe in but beyond the usual bumper-sticker sloganeering, “hope,” as Lord Byron warned, is "the paint on the face of existence. Just a touch of truth rubs it off and then we see what a hollow cheeked harlot we've got hold of."

All we seem to get are the same half-assed, platitude-filled stump speeches they usually dole out at campaign stops. Frankly, they all peddle the same babble peppered with cherry picked quotes from Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, or Dr. King. But you will never hear them quote the following:

 "I hope that we shall crush ... the [oligarchy] our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." (Thomas Jefferson)

 "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. …corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." ( President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864, letter to Col. William F. Elkins. Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY) )


"The citizens of the United States must control the mighty commercial forces which they themselves call into being." (Theodore Roosevelt.)


"Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy." (Woodrow Wilson.)


"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power."

(Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Recommendations to the Congress to Curb Monopolies and the Concentration of Economic Power," April 29, 1938, in The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, vol. 7, (New York, MacMillan: 1941), pp. 305-315.)


“The government has ceased to function, the corporations are the government.” Theodore Dreiser

“Make no mistake, writes Robert Reich,

“Compared to what the GOP is doing this year, Democrats are conducting a high-school bake sale. The mega-selling of American democracy is a Republican invention, and Romney and the GOP are its major beneficiaries. And the losers aren’t just Democrats. They’re the American people.”

It all began, of course, with The Man Who Sold the World; but no doubt the most rollicking read I've had this week is Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article, Romney's 'Free Stuff' Speech Is a New Low. Romney's “... efforts this week to court black support were enough to turn even the strongest stomach. He plunged into his speech to the NAACP with a creepy kamikaze smile, like a kid mooning a squad car from the back of a school bus. ... Wow,” wrote Taibbi, “If you live long enough, you’ll see some truly gross things in politics, but Mitt Romney’s work this past week "courting black support" was enough to turn even the strongest stomach.

 “Romney really showed us something in his luridly self-congratulating N.A.A.C.P. gambit, followed by the awesomely disgusting "free stuff" post-mortem speech he delivered the next night in front of friendlier audiences. The twin appearances revealed the candidate to be not merely unlikable, and not merely a fatuous, unoriginal hack of a politician, but also a genuinely repugnant human being, a grasping corporate hypocrite with so little feel for how to get along with people that he has to dream up elaborate schemes just to try to pander to the mob.

“Like a high school kid mooning a squad car from the back of a school bus,” Romney resorted to fearmongering and stereotyping to deliver a speech that “felt like a stack of cardboard emptied from the bay of a dump truck. “

 “Romney can’t even be mean with any honesty. Even when he’s pandering to viciousness, ignorance and racism, it comes across like a scaly calculation. A guy who feels like he has to take a dump on the N.A.A.C.P. in Houston in order to connect with frustrated white yahoos everywhere else is a guy who has absolutely no social instincts at all. Someone like Jesse Helms at least had a genuine emotional connection with his crazy-mean-stupid audiences. But Mitt Romney has to think his way to the lowest common denominator, which is somehow so much worse.”

 “Most presidents have something under the hood – wit, warmth, approachability, something. Even the most liberal football fan could enjoy watching an NFL game with George Bush. And even a Klansman probably would have found some of LBJ’s jokes funny. The biggest office in the world requires someone who buzzes with enough personality to fill the job, and most of them have it.

 “But Romney doesn’t buzz with anything. His vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations. He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair. Instincts like those are probably what made him a great leveraged buyout specialist, but in a public figure? Man, is he a disaster. It’s really incredible theater, watching the Republicans talk themselves into this guy.”

I’ll leave you to read the rest of Taibbi’s wonderful polemic but two things are missing in this election cycle so far.

The first thing is the failure of the media to work the distinction between ‘out-sourcing’ and ‘off shoring.’ We have heard much about Bain Capital’s outsourcing of American jobs. The claptrap spoon fed to eschew culpability is that the primary stockholder, the chief executive officer, and managing director was conveniently on a “leave of absence” during that critical time. Catch 22. This is about as authentic as stashing profits ‘off shore’ to avoid income tax and so far not too many people are inquiring too zealously into Bain and Romney’s own personal treasure islands.

Why the silence of Democrats? One can reasonably suspect the reason will be found in the axiom that “those who seek equity must do equity” and must not have “unclean hands” and, frankly, the “off-shore” system that is rotten to the core. As Nicholas Shaxson wrote in Treasure islands: uncovering the damage of offshore banking and tax,

 Ruling class ideologies that for years were beyond the pale in the larger democracies have been allowed to grow offshore, without restraint. As offshore finance has grown increasingly influential in the global economy, rebounding back and reengineering the onshore economies in ever more significant ways, so its attitudes have flourished, gaining the strength and confidence to capture the perceptions and attitudes of public life. This offshore consensus is evident in the intransigent arrogance of bankers who, having nearly brought the world economy to its knees, ask for still more and continue to threaten to relocate elsewhere if they are regulated or taxed too much. It is visible in the demands of the super-rich, who have come to expect and demand tax rates below those of their office cleaners. It is visible in the actions of the Irish musician Bono, perhaps the world’s most prominent poverty campaigner, who legally shifts his financial affairs offshore to the Netherlands to avoid tax and is still warmly welcomed in high society. The United States, the greatest democracy the world has known, is now in thrall to the world views of unaccountable, abusive, and often criminalized elites.

 To a very substantial degree, indeed, we have offshore finance to thank for that.” [Emphasis mine.]

Since there are no unclean hands (everybody with money does it) we can doubt the off-shore issue will get much spin in the press. After all, even Bono does it. So, shh. Don ‘t speak.

What perfect testimony of the carnival-like circus dog and pony show that have become American politics. Not even a Reagan Republican can get excited about this train wreck of a party. All the tub-thumping billion dollar brouhaha gets one lying Mormon fundamentalist an 8 vote lead over another crackpot and another does no better than he did 4 years ago. The miserable turn out in Iowa in January told us that not even most Republicans are as stupid as the 1% presume.

What I found most interesting in Romeny’s speech before the N.A.A.C.P was not that the audience booed and hissed at his promise to repeal “ObamaCare” (a.k.a. RomneyCare!) but the fact that, even though they could see the rusty hook sticking out, the same crowd took to tainted bigot bait on the so-called ‘gay marriage’ issue even though it’s own leadership finally ‘evolved’ to prevent the extinction of dinosaurs.

Politics and religion: a marriage made in hell. Of course it all depends on whose ox is being gored or on whose lawn you burn your crosses. None of us need to be reminded that African-Americans were the deciding faction in the preposterous charade called Proposition H8 but many have forgotten (if they ever knew) that the out-of-state faction which pulled the wool over their eyes was none other than the Mormon Church even though Mormons represent less than 1% of Californians. Could that phrase “1%” have special relevance here?

Christopher Hitchens was not the only one to call Romney out on the sinister beliefs of Mormonism and the candidate clearly has some questions to answer in that regard. Don’t we have a right to ask (indeed, don’t African-Americans have a duty to ask) Mitt Romney if he actually believes African-Americans and Native-Americans are one and the same and the descendants of a cursed and evil Jewish tribe that came to America by boat on 600 BC? Hey, that’s not my opinion but their dogma.

 Is this not a relevant question? I mean, if as Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” don’t we have duty to ask the man who aspires to the highest position of global power, and who wants to get his hands on the lever of Armageddon, what he actually believes is real, true in fact, about his own countrymen and what evidence he bases that on? After all, this is the guy who actually admits baptizing the dead (just “not lately”) to convert them to Mormonism (now that’s an interesting way to puff up your numbers of ‘converts’ as the pews empty out: it's either breed or baptize dead Holocaust Jews).

That, please notice, is what remains conspicuously absent from this election: Religion. Neither candidate has blundered to march their pompous, puffed-up, sanctimonious, preachers into the public square. Sarah Palin had her witch doctor, John McCain was left “disgusted” by the “crazy” preacher he pandered to for fundamentalist votes after which Obama was embarrassed by the crackpot preacher whose denomination approved EQUAL MARRIAGE RIGHTS FOR ALL as far back as 2005 (so about those “religious connotations” Mr. President) and then he, in the public square no less (!), disgracefully kissed the bigoted bloated ass of the homophobic “dick” and the mountebank “huckster of Saddleback” Rick Warren. But now it’s election time and he has “evolved” – let’s be pragmatic, the pews are empty and megachurchs head for the bankruptcy courts .

The bottom line, of course, is the Great God Mammon: money talks and the Devil, who always pays his dues, can cite scripture to his own purpose. Politicians always talk the talk, hustlers and pimps usually walk the walk, but this is Amerika so don’t ask the spin doctors to walk their talk. The good shepherds lay down with the lambs if only to fleece and then make mutton of them. After all, the niceties of principal and dogma are one thing but the empty collection plates and rent due are quite another. The rent is due and the pews are empty so lets compromise . Let's be pragmatic. The inconvenient truth is that America follows the secular diaspora (you can’t fool all of the people all of the time) as revealed by the decades long mass exodus from the pews and, let me say it again,

 “Where is the NAACP going to get it's money if young blacks and most on the Left are fed up with the religious hypocrisy the NAACP Board bowed down to in ‘respect’ for religion as it disrespected the Fourteenth Amendment? Why do I suspect that a many millions more in faith-based tax dollar hush-money will flow to the churches to compensate for the empty collection plates? After all, with the mass exodus from the churches even in America , the blockbuster new American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College reports that the fastest growing “faith group” is the one claiming “no religion.” If it was not for our faith-based tax dollars one might wonder where the churches will get the money to defend their molestation of children and to finance their holy war on our secular Constitution. Getting money from the government to do what churches really have a duty to do (feed the poor and care for the inform) leaves the rest of the bucks for proselytizing, political crusading, and for lawyers fees.”

 So, tell me, unless all the sheep in Kansas are kept too ignorant to figure it out (no, that cover should be a donkey fucking an elephant), who is going to vote for Mitt Romeny? If you eliminate most young women, anyone interested in family planning, the vast majority of African-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos—indeed, most ‘people of color’– plus the LGBT community and most Jews, what’s left aside from a 1% that is ossified by narrow-minded orthodoxy and is whiter then Queen Elizabeth? Clearly diversify in American is not what you’d get. Then again diversify in America is not what the Romney cult of 1% wants.

One thing is clear: a lot of moderate Republicans will be voting for Obama and that is actually good news for the more this miserable and pathetic god-bothering faction disgraces itself amongst moderate conservatives the better off liberals will be. I actually I love to see it when they chomp so hungrily at the tainted homophobic bigot bait. If this confederacy of bigots and bullies is the best the 1% puppet masters on the right can conjure then Obama will not only win by a landslide but he will have a solidly Democratic Congress with all the now disgraced Tea-Party freshmen deservedly kicked to the curb.

Frankly I don’t believe the polls. As Hitchens wrote in his marvelous attack on Clinton’s right wing politics in sleazy liberal drag “we were fairly warned as early as 1992 that Clinton wanted to move the party and the country to the right, and this after eight years of Reagan and four of Bush [and] The holders of the purse strings get to decide which questions are asked in the opinion polls and which candidates get to be chosen before you and I have any say in the matter.”

Please notice, United States of Amnesia and an electorate with the attention span of poodles, that the “polls consistently showed strong and well-informed majorities in favor of national health insurance,” but “who” asked Hitchens was “going to claim that the White House acted to make itself popular on that issue? (Not enough special-interest enthusiasm.)”

And now, of course, the holders of the purse strings decide which new questions are asked in the opinion polls and suddenly, abracadabra, the fickle majority is purportedly against what the all favored a few short years ago. How to make a majority flip flop! It was easy! Suddenly the polls conveniently change when there is enough special-interest enthusiasm. Modern spin-doctors take their lessons from the most nefarious masters of propaganda. To paraphrase the Great God of Propaganda Herman Goering,

‘Why of course the people don't to pay for health insurance. That is understood. But, after all, it is the 1% who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag 99% the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, 99% of the people can always be brought to the bidding of the 1% who own the nation. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that Obama is a Muslim socialist, paint a Hitler mustache on his face, and denounce the liberals for lack of ‘family values' and exposing the country to Godless socialism. It works the same in any election cycle.'

Polls cost money and people spend money for results. And money can buy any result you want. Please recall McCain v. Obama: ‘Too close to call’, squawked all media pet shop parrots who are more like stenographers than journalists. But it was all over just after sundown on the Left Coast on election day 2008 when McCain’s paltry 173 electoral votes were no match for Obama’s 365. If ten million votes is ‘too close to call’ then the pundits parroting paid polls were the same smarmy hustlers who were selling under water ocean front property in Arizona.

It speaks volumes that Mormon Romney remained distinguishable only by comparison to cranks, crackpot fundamentalist nut-jobs, a bloated bigot that even Fox News and former New York Republican Congressman John LeBoutillier called a “serial philander”, and another self-righteous fundamentalist and carnival barking liar and philanderer pizza king whose delusions of grandiosity convinced him of the second place cabinet post as head of the Department of Defense. No shit! This is quite a looney bin and yet in all the brouhaha these were the best challenges this Treasure Island bully Romney could barely beat. Take your pick of mountebanks. Unless one is smoking some really bad shit we can reasonably guess Romney has little chance of giving Obama a run for his money.

One thing about this election is different though: the contenders will not be marching their smarmy tub-thumping preachers and witch doctors into the public square to poison the debate and not even Romney is so stupid as to march a Mormon proselytizer into the arena! While we might hope for a stroke of such stupidity don’t count on it. After all, let’s be honest, if any reasonable person asked Mitt Romney if he actually believes African-Americans and Native-Americans are one and the same and the descendants of a cursed and evil Jewish tribe that came to America BY BOAT (!) in 600 BC that would open the door to ask the “Christian” (whatever that is) Barack Obama if he actually believes a Jewish peasant child consented to copulation with a phantom (likely story!) so as to give birth to the son of God intentionally given over by his own real sadistic phantom father as a bloody and depraved human sacrifice for the sins of others.

“Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous. . . .It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one . . . But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests. ... [T]he day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter... Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. (Thomas Jefferson.)

Religion? Not this time around. No, not a chance. Surely you have noticed that, with an ethically compromised and secretive Mormon worshiper possessing rather sinister beliefs and an astounding historical ignorance, the party of religiosity is conspicuously abjuring all talk of religion in this election cycle. Of course there is that one bigoted exception that leaves no doubt Romney's constitutional platform is ‘Fuck you Thomas Jefferson and separation of church and state and to hell with ‘equal protection' of the law'. In general (aside from the gay bashing) the bigot-bait of religion has just gotten too tainted and toxic even in America where the majority have gotten so fed up with it that the collection plates are as empty as the pews. Clearly, if it were not for the Bush-created Obama-exploited executive loophole for otherwise unconstitutional tax-payer support of religion, churches in America would closing at an even faster rate than 3,500 - 4,000 a year as the secular diaspora of nearly three million a year vacate the pews while banks foreclose on churches almost as fast as the homes of the working class stiffs whose fears the god-botherers exploited for the benefit the priests and one preacher after another who molested their children sometimes as an apparent twisted perk of a ponzi scheme. No doubt this is what Christopher Hitchens meant when he wrote "Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience."

So we will not be plagued by bigoted tub-thumpers draped in the American flag and bearing crosses this time around; but not to worry, who needs them when the pews and collection plates are empty and the propagandists (with better survival instincts than cockroaches) have figured out that there is more then one way for 1% of the shepherds to fleece and fuck 99% of the sheep before making us all into mutton.

Still, when the religious right and left have colluded for decades and made political hay out of what they believe their God wants for America (and which, please notice, always conveniently comports with the self-interested prejudices of those same mere mammals) I think we all have the right and duty to demand to know what they actually do believe. Come on, quaint myths with placebo effect are one thing but doesn’t every sane American want to know if their wannabe president actually believes African-Americans and Native-Americans are one and the same and the descendants of a cursed and evil Jewish tribe that came to America BY BOAT(!) in 600 BC?

No doubt any honest answer will reveal we should either be sacred shitless at the worst or, at best, begin to admit that a lot of hustlers and Babbits of the bouboisie are, Under the Banner of Heaven , sneaking through life pretending to believe what they don’t.

Francois Arouet

Copyright © 2012



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Very interesting and well-written post. However I don't think anything can get me very excited about the Nov election. It seems totally irrelevant to what the majority of Americans deal with in their daily lives - namely the fact that the world economy is nosediving. With the Chinese economy slowing so quickly and Europe going backwards, things are going to get a lot worse (i.e. serious deflation like Japan has been dealing with) in the next few months. At the moment, Americans who are dying because they can't get health care are more or less invisible. It won't be long (next winter) before the homeless and people who live in tent cities start dying of hypothermia or because they can't get enough calories through food banks. Then we will start seeing bodies in the streets.
Dr. Stuart: Your are sounding as bad as the-sky-is-falling Chris Hedges with whom I get the most angry when I know he is right (as if it's rational to attack the messenger).

But indeed, I must concur. I am not excited about the election either -- tough it does matter a great deal-- we might be dumb but we ain't stupid. Given the narrow pre-selected choices we do make the right one's - provided SCOTUS doesn't disenfranchise us.

But even if Obama wins that IS the way the world turns and you do see what is irreversible and I am sure you see the conundrum: For jobs you must have money and consumption and production and growth BUT that will surely mean toasting the planet. The billions in China and India want our way of life -- and who can blame them? We are almost out of gas but there is enough left to cook us well-done. One man can not change that. Many experts think we have reached tipping point. The time has past. We approach the Easter Island syndrome. Something about the species has not sufficiently evolved such that it can keep up the breathtaking evolution in technology that lacks the answers to the addictions it has created.

We live in a log cabin. The drafts mean we must stoke the fire. The cheap firewood is gone or inaccessible so we take logs from the cabin. This makes a draft and so we take more logs and so it goes. It is Koyaanisqatsi: a way of life that calls for another way of life.

Time will run out before the gas does. It's going to be this species' most ugly century and it will be way worse than you depict. Investment tip: what corporations make riot gear and/or weapons. THAT is how Voltaire got rich.

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will they find that money cannot be eaten."

First class on the Titanic sunk just as quickly as steerage. But on this planet some will sink quicker.

"God forbid we should ... be twenty [more] years without ... a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." (Thomas Jefferson, (1743-1826), November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy, ed., 1939.)
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
"I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

September 1, 1939, by W. H. Auden
[r] this is surely one of your best. so rich and the quotes of yours and God bless Taibbi and the other ones you import are awesomely illuminating, raw and incredibly witty. I must read again and savor.

The fact that Americans think they must vote for one of two corporate parties is the biggest tragedy. Stockholm syndromed. Corporate television captured. Voting for either legacy party at this point is to me like voting for WWIII. my take.

Thanks! best, libby
Thanks Libby: You are correct. Anyone who thinks the Dems differ significantly from the GOP have not been paying much attention. Though, thanks to Obama there is a hopeful divide since Clinton rendered them indistinguishable. That, claimed Christopher Hitchens, was the real reason the GOP was out to get Clinton: he had the audacity to institute THEIR program. “He gutted welfare, bombed Sudan, rented out the White House to the fat cats. If he were a Republican, liberals would have been appalled.”

During the impeachment battle this scoundrel, perjurer, and disgrace to the presidency of the United States even got feminists to rally around a man “who hit on the help and then trashed his conquests if they complained.” Though regarded by African American leaders .. as "our first black president" he made a point of executing the mentally deficient Rickey Ray Rector, he ditched Lani Guinier, humiliated Betty Currie, and vetoed a United Nations resolution calling for international action to forestall the genocide in Rwanda. All this while being a flagrant and shameless sleaze.  The pox is on both Houses.
"Lurid" is absolutely the correct word.

Another thoughtful and well done post. As for being a Blaaaack, people like Romney fail to realize that we have no use for them. At the same time, they fail to understand that they have a need for us.

He is a psychopath, a monster who is worst thing that could happen to America. America has a chance to deny power to a man who will be worse than Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin combined.

America better get off its stupid ass and vote for anyone but this joker. Any vote will at least cancel a vote for this monster.
well written and presented with multiple good points for reflection. Money is in command but in some ways the darkness makes the light from its few points shine brighter. I cannot conceive of voting Republican but that is a matter of what I can see and hear locally-the game of politics-the back room games I am not privy to. It is just who "accidentally" cut 60,000 off medical assistance here and the money to the general fund, the targeting of effective voices and the replacement with corporate stooges, and so many similar games- i simply look to the poorest and truy and vote for them- enthusiasm? no. duty
You tie in a lot of strands Francois. The one small point I think is incorrect is the claim that the 2008 was too close to call. Going from memory,most polls had the margin of the popular fairly close to what it turned out to be. And I don't recall any prominent talking head predicting a McCain victory.

Completely agree re the privileged status of the churches.
Abrawang: With all due respect (and apropos of my comment on the United States of Amnesia) it’s a research no-brainer. Just google it: <2008 & election & Obama & McCain “& "Too close to call"> . From July to November 2008 the stenographers for the right-wing Madison Avenue 1% spin-scum who own the media were all vapidly parroting the same propaganda spoon-fed to them. And the seventy-thousand hit claptrap was consistent: “Polls show. Too close to call," "Polls show Too close to call," "Too close to call," "Too close to call" ad nausea. Right down to the wire. And BANG Obama blew that wasp out of the water in a Left Coast minute. It was barely after sundown.
I'll take the challenge Francois. Here is my two minutes of research:
Abrawang: One of the main points of this post was how self-interested pollsters confect ‘public opinion’ so as to herd sheep in a certain direction. As Governor Jerry Brown so aptly said today, “I have ten polls in my back pocket telling me exactly what we should and should not do. Take your pick.” That was my point and the overwhelming evidence of thousands of hits over a several month period refutes your eleventh hour poll of a select few taken as an election eve snapshot by which time only fools would guess otherwise--and yet still many fools did.

One might at least hope commentators would have the integrity to not go around putting their words in the mouths of others to make their own points. At no time did I ever write, that ‘any prominent talking head predicted a McCain victory.’ Those are your words not mine. What I wrote was,
"...‘Too close to call', squawked all media pet shop parrots who are more like stenographers than journalists. But it was all over just after sundown on the Left Coast on election day 2008 when McCain's paltry 173 electoral votes were no match for Obama's 365. If ten million votes is ‘too close to call' then ..."

and I then later provided over 70 thousand google hits to support the fact (not opinion - presuming you know the difference) the polls called it way closer than it was.

You instead rely on an election eve snapshot to refute a more accurate big picture - which is pretty much the kind of dishonesty I was talking about re: the self-serving who cherry pick others’ opinions to create ‘facts’ they want to peddle.

Indeed (I doubt if you notice it) you refute yourself and affirm my argument. The 2008 election was held on Nov 5, 2008 but the ONE report you rely on to support your “memory” is, please notice, dated A MONTH AFTER THE ELECTION (12/03/08 “as amended”) and even then it was an amendment of a select poll taken a mere TWO days prior the election on (Nov 2, 2008) and when even those queried could no longer deny the authentic pulse of the nation. But even the Huff posts reported the wrong numbers (it was 365/173 not 375/163) and only three of the Huff Post pundits gave Obama the 365 electoral votes he did get. So even in the 11th hour they still sold him short and, even by their cya swags, Obama still did better.

Gimme a break. A snapshot poll of select pundits proffered in the eve of the election, when it’s too late to deny the trend, by no means refutes my argument that the vast majority of the media did, for months, (then as now) cite polls claiming it was too close to call. As evidenced by your own citation, it was only two days before the election that those who wanted to come out with any credibility in the end would not longer deny the polls were not reliable and most of the polls would be and were proven wrong. Even still, even those who you cite in the eleventh hour conceded an Obama victory still sold him short and most of them predicted McCain would do way better.