Tom Cordle

Tom Cordle
Location
Beeffee, Tennessee, CSA
Birthday
June 16
Title
Peasant
Company
Pleasant
Bio
There is your truth ... there is my truth ... and there is everything between. That leads to the better question: Is there an Everlasting Truth? I submit there is only the Everlasting Quest for the truth. __________________________________ I believe that in essence We are God. That is to say, humankind, for all it's faults, has power over Good and Evil. As the Eden Tale intimates, humans alone, in all Creation, have "eaten" from the the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and thus humans alone, in all Creation, have the ability and responsibility to choose between the two. Thus, each of us is in essence a god, and the Sum of us, through all generations past, present and future is God. By those choices, we are the creators of what was, what is and what will be. And by those choices, we, collectively, choose whether to exist here and now in the Kingdom of Heaven or in a Living Hell. _________________________________ "I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence." Frederick Douglass _________________________________ "You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any boots, and you can't put yourself in another's shoes -- you can't even try on their socks." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue." Albert Einstein _________________________________ Only in silence can your hear the voice of God." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr" ____________________________________ "Racists can hide in the closet, but the smell usually gives them away." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain ____________________________ "When we are young, Death comes as an unwelcome stranger; but as we get nearer the end of our own too-often rocky road, he comes more and more to resemble a long, lost acquaintance." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ “When monetary gain is involved, mans capacity for self-delusion is infinite.” Lord Byron _________________________________ "Where greed is good, need is great." Soulofhawk _________________________________ “And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of change. For he who innovates will have as his enemies all who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proven by the event.” Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI _________________________________ "if a man falls from a pedestal, who is really to blame -- the man or those who put him up there?" Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners." Howard Zinn _______________________________ "The worst thing to be around a bigot is right." Soulofhawk ______________________________

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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 23, 2012 1:15PM

Snake-Oil Salesman

Rate: 56 Flag

If there was ever any doubt which of the two major party candidates for President is up to the task, last night’s debate on foreign policy should have removed it. Barack Obama had command of the floor and the facts – and he didn’t need a teleprompter.

Mitt Romney didn’t need one either, since for the most part all he did was parrot Obama’s positions. Indeed, he employed the same sketchy tactic he used in the first debate, which was to reverse himself on his previous positions; and when confronted about his reversals, he cavalierly denied he had ever held those positions.

One laughable moment came at the end, when during his summation Romney pronounced himself an optimist. Apparently, that word poll-tested well, so Say Anything Romney said it.

Far from being an optimist, Romney’s basic pitch is things are really, really bad and getting worse, and only he has the cure. But based on his performance at Bain – downsizing, outsourcing and bankrupting and his positions plainly stated as a candidate – the poor are doing just fine, corporations are people, let car companies go bankrupt, let the mortgage mess bottom out and homeowners go homeless, and bomb, bomb, bomb Iran – the cure sounds a lot worse than the disease.

Truth is Romney is just another slick snake-oil salesman peddling patent medicine concocted by Supply-Siders and Neocons.

                     

Last night Romney proved yet again that he has neither foresight nor hindsight. He proved the only thing in his sights is being President, and he’s willing to do anything or say anything to win.

Even rightwing pundits had to face reality; damning with faint praise, they pronounced he succeeded because he looked the part. Given his expensive tailor, Romney may be suited to the task; but given his grasp of the complexities of foreign policy, he’s just another empty suit from Republican Central Casting – a truth given voice by Ann Coulter, who dismissed him as a loser long ago.

At one point, Romney had Iran and Syria sharing a border. While that gaffe might be excused, the same can’t be said for his reversal on positions he held just days ago. Having been advised (one assumes) that his waffling on leaving Afghanistan was a loser in the polls, he said he’s now all for a hard-date.

Say what you will about George W. Bush, he at least had the courage of his convictions. Romney has neither courage nor convictions. To put it bluntly, he is the most mendacious liar to run for President in the last half-century – and that’s saying something. That should automatically disqualify him from the job, a job that demands a spine and a conscience.

                     

Romney reminds me of someone I once had the displeasure of working with. This fellow made a good first impression, quoting Sun Tzu and The Art of War, but his only talent was for memorization – and he wasn’t very good at that. He remembered jokes – but screwed-up the punch lines; he recalled patter from sales pitches – but couldn’t remember the close; he misquoted aphorisms – but possessed no wisdom of his own.

He could not grasp concepts, and thus he could not conceive real solutions to complex problems. He was reduced to spouting slogans and formulating amateurish “five-point plans”. His plans fit the fingers on his hand, but they did not fit the problems at hand.

He was a man better suited to be a barker at carnival, or a pitchman at a dog and pony show. He promised miraculous cures and a reversal of fortunes, but the medicine he sold was formulated from lies, deceptions and vague generalities.

In short, like Mitt Romney, he was a snake-oil salesman.

©2012 Tom Cordle

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I recently ranted on Facebook that I haven't detested a Presidential candidate this much since Nixon. Dole and McCain, whatever you think of their politics, spent their lives in service to their country and suffered war injuries that gave them empathy for those less fortunate. Bush Sr had a lifetime of experience, Reagan had charm. Even Dubya had to overcome a drinking problem and seemed to have some compassion. Romney just seems condescending, arrogant and bullying, with no core set of principles and no interest beyond self. The fact that this man has almost a 50/50 chance of being inaugurated in January makes me want to puke.
Cranky
The fact that this man has a 50/50 chance of being inaugurated in January is why I'm learning to speak Canadian.
Seer
Old New Lefty has an excellent post up dealing with the question you raise, which is why isn't Romney's religion an issue, or if it is, why isn't the MSM discussing it. Here's a link:

http://open.salon.com/blog/old_new_lefty/2012/10/23/mitt_romney_glenn_beck

As I've said many times, I find it telling that Konservative Kristians will likely vote like a school of fish for Romney -- who they deem a heretic member of a cult, rather than vote for Obama, who is a member of a mainstream Protestant denomination. You don't suppose that has anything to do with is skin color, do you? A skin color, I might add, that is very likely far closer to that of Jesus than that of Pat Robertson.
But isn't snake oil an aphrodisiac?? R&R ;-)
I could do without the Pundits! All you wrote is true about Romney's Reptile Elixir Sales - but Eri Fleisher is the one who gets to me big time! R
Give 'em hell, Tom. Both barrels, as only you can do it.
i tread lightly with approval of Seer’s comment. I have been close up to Mormonism..
A nice boy I knew since jr high literally went nuts with the theology.
He killed himself. By slicing open his own throat. After weird psychotic Mormon themed postings on Facebook. This guy? A rock n roll lover. A devoted husband, father of three fine young boys…
~
Anyway.
I like how you point out how utterly superficial it has become.
He showed up. His hair was perfect as was his suit. Uber Biznessman. Lied, but pleasantly to our ear.
Ah, sure , let’s try him out.
On those criteria: he aint a lunatic or an Idiot.
He can form full paragraphs when he talks.
Sure, jettison a hardthinker, a man not afraid to admit his failures, but with an analytic mind of highest caliber, and a heart.
~
Bizness. Yes indeed , a multi millionaire who commands men and women (mostly men) of uncanny greed , to make money from money. He is the way to go. Money. Money.

He has a plan for the Mideast! Just like he got a plan to revive the economy!
Trust him.
Too early for you to hear it.
SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP if you ask, as is your right, “what sir, may this plan, these plans be”
by the way, i hear from anthropology
that THE CHRIST was likely a very short, olive skinned dude.
Of all the previous presidents of my lifetime, Romney most reminds me of Nixon. His affect is aloof, detatched, inaccessible. When he tries to sound compassionate, like he did last night while botching the story of the weeping woman in Wisconsin or Vermont or wherever, he comes across like a neophyte actor trying to feign concern. All I can say is, if he should somehow manage to win or steal this election, we will have tons of material for blogging for the next four years.

Lezlie
Tom,why don't you run for presidency?
Oh,I know!You don't have the millions.Tell me when you start speaking Canadian.
It's scary,indeed.
There is got to be a solution other than Romney.
Rated for Obama!!!
While there is no end to the number of reasons to dislike Romney, I have personal reasons. The number of times he has insulted me stands at four. With two week left I'm confidant I'll be using both hands.

I'm a Navy veteran. While visiting a VA Center as governor Romney was told that "these veterans need milk at this facility more than anything." His reply, in front of the press: "Well, I guess we need to teach these veterans how to milk cows!" Fuck you asshole.

Thanks to Republican fiscal policies I drew roughly 15 unemployment checks over the last 3 years. In Pennsylvania Romney told a crowd of unemployed persons that he was unemployed too. Just kidding? Not funny. Fuck you asshole!!!!

I have a brother with Downs Syndrome . My parents get state and federal funds to help care for him. He gets social security. Good for him. He and my parents are among the 47% whom Romney looks down his nose at. Fuck you, ASSHOLE !!

DOG ON THE ROOF OF THE CAR!! I own three dogs and love them all. Fuck you asshole !!!

Please forgive my F bombs. If Romney wins I will never forgive Obama for dozing off during the first debate.
Oh really Romney a slick snake oil salesman how about Obama who has failed on every major front including affordable healthcare. His state dept. allowed our Ambassador to be killed, he lied to the public about the circumstances that caused the attacks as well as who was responsible. People like you are in complete and total denial about what a bungling egotistical demagogue this charlatan that was elected president really is. face it, you voted for him in 08 and his disastrous presidency is too much of an embarrassment for you to admit you were wrong.
Oh really Romney a slick snake oil salesman how about Obama who has failed on every major front including affordable healthcare. His state dept. allowed our Ambassador to be killed, he lied to the public about the circumstances that caused the attacks as well as who was responsible. People like you are in complete and total denial about what a bungling egotistical demagogue this charlatan that was elected president really is. face it, you voted for him in 08 and his disastrous presidency is too much of an embarrassment for you to admit you were wrong.
Oh really Romney a slick snake oil salesman how about Obama who has failed on every major front including affordable healthcare. His state dept. allowed our Ambassador to be killed, he lied to the public about the circumstances that caused the attacks as well as who was responsible. People like you are in complete and total denial about what a bungling egotistical demagogue this charlatan that was elected president really is. face it, you voted for him in 08 and his disastrous presidency is too much of an embarrassment for you to admit you were wrong.
Sorry didn't mean to repeat the comment three times, Open salon's posting button was sluggish so I double clicked it.
the candidates you get are a reflection of the people who vote for them, and the people who buy them, and the people who are hired to market them. little wonder if there is no 'genuine' in them.

the american electorate deserves no better, for ignorant, selfish and self-indulgent people are the natural victims of harlots and hucksters.
jmac
Spanish fly is supposedly the aphrodisiac, but Mitt wants nothing to do with Aphro or Spanish
Marilyn
I get the same vibe from Oily Ari -- he strikes me as a slightly more polished version of Vince the Sham-Wow guy -- only Ari is less credible.
Brassawe
Thanks, but I fear both my barrels are shooting blanks, judging from the fact they have absolutely no effect on the Hard Right or the Hard Left. How anyone dares risk a third-party vote is as unfathomable as how anyone can vote for Mith Romney.
Tom, a recent ( Oct 6 - 7 ) Sydney Morning Herald poll asked :
Who do you want to win the US presidential election ?

84.8% Obama.

4.6% Romney.

10.6% Undecided.
James
I certainly didn't mean to leave the impression I carry a brief for Mormonism -- quite the contrary. The case you mention is indeed tragic, but I must say, I have met some very kind, considerate Mormons, including my cousin Jack. On the other hand, I've met countless Kristians who are total money-grubbing, racist assholes.

As for you anthropological aside concerning Jesus, I made the same point elsewhere today criticizing Konservative Kristians, who will vote like a school of fish in this election for a man they consider a heretic member of a cult, rather than a member of a mainstream Protestant denomination. Some (much?) of that hypocrisy is bound to be related to Obama's skin color, and not his religion, a skin color far closer to that of Jesus than that of Pat Robertson.
Nixon I hated at the time but Nixon was competent. He was also a screaming liberal compared to this guy.

One of the things that pisses me off most about the guy is how he talks about working bipartisan in Massachusetts. There are two things wrong with that:

1. In Washington, the main problem Obama has had is that he's bent over backwards trying to work with Republicans who refuse to work with him under any circumstances. Those failures are absolutely not Obama's doing, as Mitch McConnell essentially said as soon as Obama took office.

2. As Romney says, his party had well under 40% of the Massachusetts legislature. Romney worked with the opposition because he had zero choice. Give him a lot of Republicans in Congress and God only knows what he 'll do. It sure won't look anything like Massachusetts.
Lezlie
Something else Romney shares with Nixon is the inability to deliver a joke. Remember RMN on Laugh-In delivering the line "I've got soul"? Little did he know, the joke was on him. Or as the Impressions might have said

"You ain't got soul
And everybody knows
It's not alright."
Heidi
Please, you must stop planting the idea of my running for President -- I thought you were my friend ;-).
Conrad
F-bombs forgiven; we're all under duress with this mess. You've got a cause to not vote for Mitt on every finger, I'm sure he'll give you one for your thumb. Personally, I'd like to give him the finger.
As for delivering a punchline, President Obama showed plenty of street cred doing the dozens on Mittsy when he reminded him our armed forces have fewer "horses and bayonets" than we did in 1916.
Nearly slid off my chair laughing.
Doc Vega
No need to apologize for posting your comment a second and a third time, but how about apologizing for the first.
al loomis
It must be wonderful living in your perfect world, but I suspect it's very lonely there.
Kim
That is a remarkable poll, tho I must say, our polls ought to be about the same. They're not. That they're 50/50, more or less, defies logic, reason and common sense -- which at the moment, we are in tragically short supply of here in the US. Can we trade sixty million or so Americans for that 84.8% of Australians? We'll let you keep the 4.6% for Romney and the Undecideds -- we've far too many of those already.
Kosher
As you say, Romney had no choice BUT to work with Democrats, and the credit should go to them not him. They could have followed the McConnell/Boehner route.

Romney touting his bipartisanship in Mass is akin to Bush the Least touting his bipartisanship in Texas. The most liberal Democrat in Texas is still far to the right of the most conservative Republican in Mass.
alsoknownas
I don't usually put much stock in zingers, but I can't blame Obama; Mitt is such a blithering, blathering boob on foreign policy, he presented an irresistible target of opportunity. He's just lucky Obama did have any drones at hand.
What the hell are we supposed to do with sixty million Republicans ?

... wait, I got an idea ... ;-)
I want Kim's poll ...
Kim
Since the majority of them are also self-professed devout Christians, we could make them walk to Australia
PS to Kim
And if a few of them did manage to walk on water all the way to Australia, ya'll could confine them behind a Rabbit-Proof Fence
... as opposed to obama, who is just a snake?

amazing how much alike they are. the war criminal and the war criminal wannabe. but gutting the constitution and mass murder no biggie to team Dem who cheer on obama's militarism as a clever strategy to silence the right who are blood thirsty and want to call him out for being "soft". the progressive Dems. Not blood-thirsty -- just ends justifies the means pragmatic which is twice as vile. And the fear of being soft on terror in media and Repub eyes all the more incentive for Obama to be macho murderous with drones and special ops and cia. especially on terror tuesdays, but any day really. Wasserman Schultz didn't even know about terror tuesdays. that is how informed our representatives are.

people with conscience are dissed as eccentric in american society.

talking strategy with people talking morality ... these are skewed lines of communication necessarily.

banana republic rules. only the selected pro-corporate parties get to be seen and voted for. sheeple stay dutifully in their pens. and dutifully fall for the "good cop/bad cop" trap of corporate sociopathy.

my take.

best, libby
anna1liese
Lewd language and sexual solicitation will not be permitted on this blog
libby, libby, libby
No matter how you slice and dice it, the outcome Nov 6th will not change, one of these two men will be elected President, and all your wishing, hoping, whining and voting in vain has NO chance of changing that outcome.

My advice to you and others on the Far Left remains the same as it has always been -- make a difficult choice between the only two possible options, and then work your ass off for the next four years trying to change the hearts and minds of tens upon tens of millions of voters on both sides of the Great Divide who don't see things your way.

To repeat; I'm not an apologist for the status quo, I'm a realist. Please reconsider what you're about to do, because one of the only two real alternatives is quite a bit better than the other -- as we all should have learned in 2000.
I just wanted somebody, in one of the debates, to ask him straight out, "If elected, which of the states will you sell off first?"
I was noticing during the debate how much Romney looked like George H.W. Bush, especially in profile. It was partly the features but also a weary, almost scared look as if he knew he was over his head and had forgotten how to swim. The man about whom Time or Newsweek dedicated a campaign cover to "The Wimp Factor." I detested Bush the First at the time, altho he seems now to be a decent, humble man. I'll detest Romney as long as he lives no matter how the election turns out or what he does with the rest of his life. I'll detest him for making me hate him so much right now for scaring the shit out of me. and my family.
Tom I was thinking if we tied sixty million of them end-to-end we'd have a seviceable road, between here and the USA ...
Well Tom, that snake oil salesman has a bit of the snake charmer in him too. The polls are tightening and Obama's InTrade edge, as high as 80% two days before the first debate, has sunk to 56% and it's been a steady fall. We know that part of the electorate won't vote for him under any circumstances. Another part seems to be buying the argument that the past few years of economic misery are because of his policies, though somethings folks who say this are just reciting the republican talking points. Now it seems that some swayable voters are picking up bits of whatever they like in Romney's scattershot statements and perhaps the fact that in a Central casting way, he looks more presidential. It's hard to imagine that only four years ago the debate was whether Bush the Lesser was the worst president in anyone's lifetime or the worst ever. Now we have a candidate promising a return to those years only with fewer principles. Yikes.
Yeah, Tom, the GOP is geography challenged. Mitt's comical sidekick apparently believes there's only one sovereign country in North America, while Mitt himself, as you point out, thinks Syria and Iran share a border. But it's worse than that: He said Syria is Iran's "route to the sea" ... as if Iran itself was landlocked. Not quite. http://tinyurl.com/96q6muz
I'd say "ditto," but that would make me a dittohead. By the way, congrats on the EP and thanks for your comment on my piece on sign theft in Texas. I tried to make it clear in my response there that racism is nothing to joke about. I often explore the intersection of (or ambiguous boundary between) tragedy and comedy in my writing workshop, but I'm not finding much to laugh about in these times, and will be glad when the election is over -- decided in favor, I hope, of those who represent what Lincoln called the angels of our better nature.
Tartus, Syria is one way Iran can strike at Israel, and NATO for that matter, if it has to go to Suez first, although they did do that not long ago, as to a very curious transit. And, Israel lost a modern warship to Hibollah missiles that have Syrian-Iranian cooperation all over it, if that's just war of course too, and in any war with Iran, Hormuz and the islands and littoral are the real deal.
Tartus, Syria is one way Iran can strike at Israel, and NATO for that matter, if it has to go to Suez first, although they did do that not long ago, as to a very curious transit. And, Israel lost a modern warship to Hibollah missiles that have Syrian-Iranian cooperation all over it, if that's just war of course too, and in any war with Iran, Hormuz and the islands and littoral are the real deal.
Tartus, Syria is one way Iran can strike at Israel, and NATO for that matter, if it has to go to Suez first, although they did do that not long ago, as to a very curious transit. And, Israel lost a modern warship to Hibollah missiles that have Syrian-Iranian cooperation all over it, if that's just war of course too, and in any war with Iran, Hormuz and the islands and littoral are the real deal.
as I posted on CG's blog:

needing in a leader evidence of a moral compass, a conscience.

there is no politics of courage among those who call themselves obama progressives and they have "spoiled" this country no matter who wins next month. for four years as travesties have occurred thanks to this administration and the Republican Rat Bastards doing their part, the chances of turning back from fascism have become more and more reduced.

it is phenomenal the colossal degree of "minimization" required to actually vote for Obama after what he has done and is signaling he will do. we are not dealing with pie in the sky promises of a first campaign any more. fool me once, blame you. fool me twice blame me or more like seduce me to discard morality and conscience ...

that kind of collective conversion is truly tragic and frightening to me.

clearly cronyism is wonderful to support denial and minimization. an antidote to conscience apparently. and messengers for real human decency and justice will be demonized. so it goes.

so many Obama progressives lost among the trees huddling over necessary citizen strategy and rationalizations after letting the forest burn for four years. now they insist, this is all to be done ...

so utterly pathetic even more than tragic.

best, libby
Tom,did I offend you?I'm sorry.
I missed the rating button,that's why I am here again.
Is this post at any other place like FB or twitter?It should be so that a huge audience has a chance to read this before Nov.6.
Presuming your permission,I set it on my FB profile.
jlsathre
Great question, and I'd encourage Chainsaw Mitt to sell-off every state in the Deep South. Problem is, then he couldn't get re-elected. Then again, that may not matter to him -- once he gets the title, he can slack off for the second two years and not run for re-election -- just like he did in Mass.
Chicken Maan
I don't hate Romney -- I reserve that emotion for guys like Cheney and David Addington. He does repulse me, however, because he represents -- indeed, is an originator of -- so many of the evils that trouble our economic system these days. Add to that that he so brazenly flaunts himself and his accomplishments, as tho he alone "built that".

He is the embodiment of a paraphrase I've used many times: Just as the doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient, so the "self-made" man has a fool for a maker..
Kim
Romney, like your proposed Australian Highway, is proof that shit floats.
Abrawang
George W Bush may be the person happiest if Mitt is elected -- that event would drastically improve Bush's chances of losing the dubious honor Worst President in US History
Boanerges
With his geographical gaffe on Syria and Iran, Romney proved yet again that he is asea.
R-money: I will tell you ANYTHING -- as long as you vote for me.
Daniel
My comment on your post was not meant to be critical of you, it was meant to be critical of racism.
Don Rich
You must work for the govt -- your comment is in triplicate. Certainly, the Suez is a linchpin/pawn in the Middle East. All the more reason we need to do our damnedest to maintain good relations with Egypt.
Libby
You think I'm a criminal co-conspirator, and I think you are a childish dreamer -- can't we all just get along? Vote as you feel you must, but I assure you, my conscience will be perfectly clear on Nov 6th, because I will have made the best possible adult decision given the circumstances.
First rate as usual and I am as flabbergasted as you are that the numbers are so close. Mitt is an expensive, animated suit and nothing more. How can anyone be inspired by the guy let alone relate to him? I do agree with you that he may be a sociopath (thought I'd commented on that post but I see I didn't).
Heidi
You certainly have my permission to link this elsewhere; and as for my previous comment, rest assured it was in jest. But I really, really, really wouldn't want the burden of being President, tho if I may be so bold, I think I'd make a better one than Myth Romney.
Lefty
Myth Romoney puts in mind of that Bob Dylan song about another sketchy politician:

Now, the man on the stand he wants my vote
He’s a-runnin’ for office on the ballot note
He’s out there preachin’ in front of the steeple
Tellin’ me he loves all kinds-a people
(He’s eatin’ bagels
He’s eatin’ pizza
He’s eatin’ chitlins
He’s eatin’ bullshit!)

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/i-shall-be-free#ixzz2ABhQZJyx
Seer
Pending the outcome of the election, I may move to Canada afterward, so it won't matter much to me if Mitt sells off the Deep South. On second thought, if he does, I may consider returning.
Margaret
With each mendacious lie, with each slimy reversal, with each insincere smile, Mitt confirms my suspicion that he is a sociopath.
@Tom, Lezlie: George Burns once said, "A good actor needs to be sincere. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
When someone discovers there are debts too large to pay, that the bank is about to foreclose on the home, that education is out of reach and sickness requires more than the insurance can handle and job prospects are nil, even though life still is attractive, suicide may seem an attractive way out. There is the 45 caliber pistol of course or the bottle with the overdose of sleeping pills. It would seem the pistol is total and quick and no sense in self-torture with regrets in the sleeping pills while waiting for them to take effect. Obviously Romney will blast the country to pieces very quickly although the destruction of the country is really not what one desires.
For the pistol or the pills are not two possible choices. Romney and Obama are two impossible choices as is obvious from their open and clear records.
If you want to forego suicide and live, you must do something else. What that may be, you have to decide. If you want to live.
you notice that even the Republicans defending him never actually defend him but create a strawman for themselves of what they have decided he really means, believes, says? the magical kingdom. I hope they remember that after Dorothy found the "wizard' beghind the curtain he sailed off without her and even with her ruby slippers she only got home to Kansas to awaken not to a prince but a trio of well-meaning rubes leering at her ripening feminity.
They are all snake-oil salesmen. Clinton was by far the best and he is loved by the left. Romney just isn't saying what you want to hear.
Obama said "Iran is a tiny country "in 08. He then put words in Romney's mouth saying Romney was more concerned with Russia which was exactly his take in 08.
Biden said Syria is "5 times larger than Libya" when it is actually 9.5 times smaller. -------Crickets from OS-----------
This election is about the economy and Obama is pouring gasoline on the fire. He has no answers as everything he has done has failed.
Even GM is beginning to buckle losing 6.5 billion in Europe. Ironically SUV and Truck sales are keeping it solvent domestically but, all green inititives have been flushed down the sinkhole.
All things are moving in Romney's favor and Obama's aggressive attacks exposed that fact. Romney played prevent defense as Obama bashed Naval expenditures(hello Virginia) and looked like the challenger most of the night. Romney exposed his hypocrisy on Israel as that was easy but, he stayed away from Libya as that could get bogged down in the muck early instead of the truth (which will be bad for team Obama) trickling out just before Super Tuesday.
If you really want to understand the catastrophe that is overtaking, not only the USA, but the whole world, read this analysis which penetrates all parties and forces.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/24/the-dark-age-of-money/
The problem is that TOO MANY people are not just buying the oil but they are also drinking it Great article, Thanks
Romney's sweating during debate 3 might indicate not quite as much psychopathy as we thought - thorough-going psychopaths are totally brazen and unfazed. They never sweat it.

The populace is just as culpable. Why are they not rising up in a body and demanding reform? Why are AT LEAST HALF in the bag for Romney? Would that you could split the country in half and let the Romney people have their half and let the rest of you have some semblance of sanity and decency.

As with many scenes - why do Turkey, Syria, Iraq et al insist on hanging onto territory mostly inhabited by hostile Kurds? Why do we in Canada hang onto a grumpy Quebec? Greece and Turkey had a great and probably terrible exchange of populations - perhaps that's a good approach.

Meantime, on tenterhooks for the next two weeks... (and not just because we fear an influx of American refugees!)
Mr. Cordle, you forget the major factor that may award Romney the Presidency. Romney is white.

Yes, America is still largely racist. Heck, you live in Tennessee. You should know this. It is part of the atmosphere. It isn't officially approved, of course, but you hear all about it when you're with your car mechanic or your supermarket stockboys. "Obama ain't one of us" is perhaps the most polite way they put it, but everyone knows what it means.
Look at it this way--you're going to have a lot of new material to work with every day for the next four--8?--years.
ordinaryjoe
Myth Romoney is an even worse actor than Ronald Raygun -- at least Raygun could fake sincerity. Problem is the same people who think Survivor is reality and not fiction and Fux is news not propaganda will vote for Myth regardless of how bad an actor he is.
Jan
You say you want a revolution
We all wanna see the plan
You tell me it's the instituion
We all are doin' what we can
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Wait a minute,
Libby quoted ME??

You wouldn't know that she had, but I do. That's unexpected.

I like jl's suggestion that we ask Romney which state he'll sell off first. Perfect question.

Jan,
Interesting article. I followed your link and read it. It's a good point but he's going to have to simplify the language if he wants it to get anywhere. That won't go mainstream.

Tom,
I've been dealing more lately with the response to the Farther Left rather than to the Right. I've been dealing with this in that I went over to Skypixeo's blog, whose title says that I should vote Green, and I dealt with a group of people who favor voting Green and think that voting Democratic is immoral. We talked past each other, as we usually do, the end result being that Sky threatened to delete my comments and I left in a huff, never to go back.

It really comes down to this:

How do you define morality? or maybe
How do you define responsibility?

Is it more important to keep yourself pure, never appearing to approve of that which you consider evil, or is it more important to minimize harm to those who need it via whatever means are available?

To put an entirely different spin on the name of an old game show:

Truth
or
Consequences?

You and I are more worried about consequences. We look at the idea that we might vote for something of which we don't approve, which would be considered by some a violation of truth, a dishonest act, and we say

We aren't willing for the harm to millions of people resulting in part from our failure to act to be on our heads.

Our consciences won't allow that.

They aren't willing to support something they consider evil.

Their consciences won't allow that.

Our vote doesn't indicate support for one side, it indicates prevention of access to power by the other side.

They think it's a lie and therefore unacceptable. "How could you support.......?" But, of course, it's a silly question, like When will you stop beating your wife?, because we Aren't supporting.....

Try as I might, and I've tried now on four blogs at least, probably more, I cannot convey this point successfully. I have been accused of not having a conscience (by Markinjapan on Sky's blog, not that I worry about his invective because when his invective stops, he'll either be comotose or dead) when my vote is determined by my conscience.

How can we allow all these people to be hurt worse if we have the capacity to prevent it?

I can't get these people to even acknowledge that people would be hurt worse by a Romney presidency than by an Obama presidency or, perhaps more to the point, that said hurt is significant enough to warrant the "dishonesty" of a vote for Obama.

I believe in consequences.

I believe that ideological purity at the cost of a lot of suffering is intrinsically immoral.

Just trying to shore up our position from the Left while you shore it up from the Right. On OS, we need to do both.
I'd rather Listen To Country & Western Lullaby Music.
I figure I can't Understand politician because they dead.
I mean as in Void Of Honest ` Spirit, Integrity, Stature,
Decency, Inner Constitution`Backbone, Good Character.

Generally
Sterling Character use to Be ` Qualities for a` Statesman,
Woman.
Good Breeding Introduced children to the Ancient Classics.
etc.,
Congrats.
Editor Pick.
You No Get:
`
Guitar Pick.
Nose Picked.
Pitchforked.
Very good summary of what happened last Monday. Romney will say anything with the hope that people will believe it, which is unfortunately what's going on with 45%+ of the population right now.
Well don Tom. Up to now I thought there must be something wrong with the lot of you yanks for not picking up on this guy’s crap.
Jay Richer
There's this thing called an aptonym, it applies to someone like a cabbie named Driver. Yours is also an aptonym, since it explains why someone might be so craven as to defend Myth Romoney. Say, were you one of those who attended the infamous 47% fundraiser in Boca Raton?

As for your critique of Bill Clinton, I'm not a fan, but he is certainly good at exposing Myth Romoney for the fraud he is. But regardless of your slanted critique, Clinton isn't running -- tho if he was, I suspect he could beat either Obama or Romoney.
cheffer
Yes, too many people are buying and drinking Myth's Snake Oil. When people get desperate enough, they drink their own urine. If Myth gets elected, urine may be the new Kool-Aid.
Myriad
The artificial boundaries drawn by the Great Powers after the Great Wars have come home to roost. Just as we witnessed with the former Yugoslavia, what we are witnessing is a rebalkanization of much of the Middle East.

And it's not just the Middle East.-- Basque Separatists, Catalonians, Quebecers, and our own Secessionists (who are still very much alive in the South). The new borders will be along tribal and religious lines.
But no one should dream that will make things more stable.

Witness Pakistan, formed from a religious divide and carved from India. But religion was not enough to counter tribalism, as can be seen with the northern tribes.

On a cheerier note, fear not the horde of refugees about to invade your placid nation. No doubt, they will be the best and the brightest America has to offer, eh?
Neutron
Au contraire, my friend, I have many times in my posts addressed racial animus as the base -- or should I say root cause -- of blue-collar defection from the Democratic Party.

Indeed, Teapartians raised no serious protest or took on any marches while Supply-Siders robbed them blind for thirty years, beginning with Ronald Reagan and ending with the catastrophe that was Bush the Least -- who they returned to office despite his first term already leaving him a serious contender for worst President in history.

No, their hate-filled protest of government only became highly visible with a Black Man in the White House.

Certainly, those who run the Republican Party know this to be true, since they've been profiting from the Southern Strategy since the Sixties. And they continue to profit from it today, witness the dog-whistle politics of Myth Romoney. Ronald Reagan's "welfare queens" have become Myth's "47%".

We live in a time when overt racism is politically incorrect, but covert racism is politically fool's gold. To those who practice that dark alchemy, a warning: Your time is a-comin'.
Con
That's an opportunity I'd rather forgo. But if it should present itself, I will have an ample supply to meet what will be overwhelming demand; all I need do is take my pieces from 2000-2008 and use Find and Replace.

Find: George W Bush
Replace with: Myth Romoney
Kosher
'This a puzzlement, but permit me an analogy to make a point:

The Greens are Latter-Day Essenes. The common thread is a preference for purity over practicality. This renders them susceptible to their own brand of snake-oil salesmen, and they buy into Magic and Crystals and The Secret and Swamiis of every stripe, like the one I exposed in my post The Kool-Aid Acid Test Redux.

Like the Essenes, the Greens have a Masada complex, preferring death to dishonor. Thus, in the worst case, they fall for false messiahs like David Koresh and Jim Jones. I'm not suggesting Ralph Nader is David Koresh or Jill Stein is Jim Jones. But I am suggesting these false messiahs are preaching to the choir in a church that is otherwise empty, and I'm suggesting their sermons -- and the Green choir's self-congratulatory false piety -- may will lead to a tragedy for this country.
Art Jones
As we say in country and western music, pick it, but don't make it bleed.
Kanuk
Regardless of the outcome of this election, this nation will remain deeply divided. There are many reasons for that, but the villains in this are not the mostly ignorant masses -- they've always been with us -- the villains are those who have promoted and profited from divide and conquer politics.

Let me name names: Lee Atwater, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush (see Willie Horton), Karl Rove, Bush the Least, Newt Gingrich and a cast of thousands of low-lifes.

And last, and certainly least, Myth Romoney, who went so far as to put a number -- 47% -- on divide and conquer politics.
Newton
Oh, there are plenty of us Yanks who still know the truth from a lie. The problem is there is about an equal number of us who don't.
And don't forget Rush Limbaugh in your Hall of Shame.
Your comments are especially good here, and your words should convince all but the diehards.
That's what we writers should be doing, writing our opinions as best possible for the next few days to sway the sway able.
And then we need to vote and BRING along a like-minded, sluggish voter. I've offered driving my condo employees and the Apple store geniuses among others. Every vote counts in the swing states, so we need to count at least twice. Feet on the ground, hand on the lever wins this one.
Sorry Tom, no dice, not going to apologize for my first comment because both you and I know that it was true, but you won't admit it. People here on Open Salon by and large would rather re-elect the most destructive presidency in history than swallow their pride, admit they were wrong, and for the sake of the country, vote for another candidate. They would rather call people who don't agree with them racists, right wingnuts, right wing wackos, or ignorant. There are many many more colorfully disrespectful adjectives that come to mind, but you get the gist of what I'm saying. This is emblematic of the great divide in our society between the disingenuous left and the conservative mindset that threatens the republic. I will challenge and stand toe to toe with all on Open Salon that want to use some shred of rational reasoning that could possibly justify their choice of Barack Hussein Obama alias Barry Soetoro to sit in the oval office another 4 years and knock this country off the cliff. I have never seen so many narcissistic self involved people who want to talk about themselves and offer so many superificialities to the world stage of life. Ball is in your court care to volley with reason, Tom?
Lea
Yes, we do what we can, and the rest is out of our hands. That's a wisdom that comes late to someone like me, but better late than never -- which seems to be the case with far too many Americans who've learned nothing from the SupplySide/Neocon debacle.

As for what I'm doing besides writing and commenting (endlessly it seems), I've been asked to man a phone back to get out the vote for Obama. Don't know how they got my name, but when I responded with incredulity to the fact they'd even bother here in Tennessee, I was informed that the drive will be for Western Carolina.

I suppose that makes a bit more sense, tho as I informed the fellow who called me, outside of Ashville, I didn't see much hope for Western Carolina either. Nevertheless, I volunteered. Call me Tom Quixote.
Doc
Since it's pretty safe to assume you voted twice for the worst President in US history -- that would be Bush the Least, in case you still haven't figured that out -- your judgment is far more in question than mine.
Tom,

I am not a huge Romney fan, I just see tremendous damage done by this President. He is an arrogant,amateur that never would have been elected if white. I see it now in MA where Joseph Patrick Kennedy III moves into a town -one month-before the election and has a lead over a Marine Vet who has run a business for 1o years. It is the same bizarre minset displayed nationally in 08.
How excited you all will be when another Kennedy comes to Washington, that same shiver down your leg when Barry O, he of "57 States of America" and his wife, who had never been proud of this country until he was nominated, took the oath.
Tom,

I am not a huge Romney fan, I just see tremendous damage done by this President. He is an arrogant,amateur that never would have been elected if white. I see it now in MA where Joseph Patrick Kennedy III moves into a town -one month-before the election and has a lead over a Marine Vet who has run a business for 1o years. It is the same bizarre minset displayed nationally in 08.
How excited you all will be when another Kennedy comes to Washington, that same shiver down your leg when Barry O, he of "57 States of America" and his wife, who had never been proud of this country until he was nominated, took the oath.
Jay Richer,

Precisely what damage has Barack Obama done to the country? This is where I scratch my head, because so many are throwing their hands in the air with alarm a la Chicken Little.

Barack Obama has not done any damage to the United States. To find a President with smaller budget growth you have to go all the way back to Eisenhower. He did not grow the deficit by more than 1.4%. The myth of Obama spending is just that: A myth.

The Affordable Care Act is not cutting benefits for anyone. There is also a myth ACA is gutting Medicare, well, it's not. The existing Medicare budget remains the same, the cut is to the growth of that budget in an effort to keep the program solvent into the foreseeable future.

Where is all this damage?
Jay
For once in your life you almost got it right:

"I am not a huge Romney fan"

You should have left it there, but of course you didn't; you went on to say:

"I just see tremendous damage done by this President. He is an arrogant,amateur that never would have been elected if white."

You fail to understand that statement says a helluva lot more about you than it does the President. I don't need dog ears to hear that whistle. Closet racists can hide in the closet, but their stench gives them away.

What your kind refuses to admit is that the Obama got elected because he followed the white guy you most likely voted for -- twice. What does it say about your judgment that you voted for the worst President in US history -- twice?

Obama got elected because he represented everything the American Dream was supposed to stand for, while your guy Bush the Least represented everything that's wrong with America. As Charlie Rangel quipped about Junior Bush: "So much for the myth of white superiority."

You confess you're not a huge Romney fan, but I bet you're gonna vote for him, too, just like many of your brethren, who will vote for a man they consider a heretic and member of a cult. And those who have no brief against his religion, will vote for him in spite of the fact he's the most mendacious liar to run for President in my lifetime. This they'll do, and still they'll want to hold themselves up as the Moral Majority.

Apparently, you are among them -- and you want to question my character and my judgment? You are a hypocrite and a fool.
"Oh really Romney a slick snake oil salesman how about Obama who has failed on every major front including affordable healthcare. His state dept. allowed our Ambassador to be killed, he lied to the public about the circumstances that caused the attacks as well as who was responsible. "

First, love it or hate it, ACA is the most substantive attempt at health-care reform of our time. To say the system is better off without it is academically dubious, considering Medicare was slated to be insolvent by 2016. Barring further action of Congress (debt ceiling gridlock anyone?) the facts bear this out, at least according to CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/07/politics/pol-fact-check-medicare/index.html

Second, you--along with everyone else who thinks like you--have grossly misrepresented the situation in Libya. Libya is currently a failed state with gross instabilities and much social upheaval. The Libyan people are confused as to who they are, but one thing they all know for damn sure: They don't want American troops on their soil.

With Republicans blaring about Obama's support of NATO air-strikes against Qaddafi regime tanks as being the opening of another war, combined with the undeniable fact Libya does not want us there, security at that mission was kept very light and rightly so.

The real shame is not the deaths of those individuals, but your political haymaking of it. We are not in denial. We happen to know very well what is at stake and why. You, however, may want to study some Statecraft before you spout off about these ephemeral "disasters."
Stuart
I intend what follows to be part of a post one day soon; but meantime, here's the abbreviated version to provide a dose of reality for the Rabid Right and the Lofty Left, who seem to have memories as short as their attention spans.

In 2000, America picked-up a stray dog that had never been house-broken -- or trained in other manner for that matter. Let's call him Mutt, even tho it's alleged he had a pedigree.

America kept Mutt around for eight long years, until he wandered off back to the ranch from whence he came, leaving behind such a godawful mess that Hell wouldn't have it.

Mangy Mutt left behind a big pile of shit in Iraq, and another in Afghanistan. He left yet another big pile in Detroit, and a huge pile on Wall Street. And let's not forget the pile he left behind in New Orleans, and on Main Street in most every town in America. A bear has the good sense to shit in the woods, but this dog shit absolutely everywhere!

So before Mutt's replacement could even begin to implement changes, he first had to clean up the steaming piles of shit left behind all over the planet. As I wrote here a long time ago, even Hercules would have had a time cleaning up that mess.

Since so many Americans are incapable of remembering the past and learning from it, they are now ready to replace Mutt with Mitt, and we know what happened when he strapped his dog to the roof -- the mess was absolutely defecating.
This is a terrific post and had I seen it earlier today I probably would have saved myself the bother of writing my own which is a rant about why this man is the presidental candidate of the other major political party and not only does he lie through his teeth, he doesn't seem to do anything BUT lie through his teeth.

I have never seen a candidate who offers such overt deception as his responses to any and all inquiries. If his mouth is moving, you know you're being lied to. And everyone knows it. And no one is calling him a liar.

Mitt Romney is A LIAR. Or, if you want to be kind, like a clock being right twice a day, he's may sometimes be speaking candidly, but we won't know unless he wins. And then we'll have to wait to see precisely which position he meant or believes in, if he believes in anything except being the president.

Maybe his one desire is to live in the white house. To me, this is entirely possible. That the man is so shallow his primary desire is to hear "Hail to the Chief" whenever he enters a room.
Foolish Monkey
It really is quite astounding that anyone is taking Mendacious Myth seriously. I've called him a sociopath, and the proof of the charge spews from his mouth everyday. It's one thing to exaggerate, it's another to bend the truth, but it's something quite different to just brazenly say whatever you think will advance your ambitions at any given moment.

As I said, Mitt has no spine and no conscience, and that alone ought to disqualify him from consideration. Unfortunately, that doesn't, not with those who ironically -- and hypocritically -- view themselves as morally superior and doing God's work.
Tom, my friend, I am going to take advantage of this thread, rather than writing another post of my own, for the simple reason that I am tired of trying to convert the brainless.

Rather than commenting point for point about the nonsense that some people have spouted here, I am going to say the same thing I said to Kosher a few days ago:

I think we have reached the point where we should stop providing a forum for the morons to spread their nonsense from. These people - and we all know who they are - infect the conversation with their invectives and their disinformation but, unfortunately, the brain itself is an idiot. It takes in every datam, fact or fiction, trivial or momentous with exactly the same amount of importance. When we allow the morons to spout their bullshit, we give them more opportunities to infect us with their arrogant falsehoods.

When we argue with people who make fallacious claims about Obama's behavior in office, we increase the amount of that false data in circulation. We know that we are not going to argue them out of their positions but, simply by continuing to debate them, we give them more clout with the web crawlers that are being used to evaluate price points within the electorate and therefore determine which arguments are going to be used to thwart our democratic aspirations.

Most people are not even aware that data mining has reached this plateau, but we are already there. What's happening is that every time we counter some fallacious argument, we have to restate the fallacy in order to refute it, and that generates more mps of data that the web crawlers tabulate as being MORE support for the very opinions you are attempting to discredit.

These data mining tools are being used to accurately predict movements in large aggregate functions, such as the stock market, gold and silver prices, oil prices.....and political opinions. They are far more accurate than any poll because they collect information without the informants being conscious that they are expressing their opinions.

Tabulating the number of searches on every single search term provides behavioral patterns that are used to ascertain the attitudes and temperature of the electorate about each issue under discussion.

The more mentions we make of any specific lie about Obama in the process of refuting them, the more times we reinforce the number of mentions being recorded on that position and therefore provide more fodder for those who are claiming that the president is weakening in any specific market.

And that's what we're seeking, the marketing of two presidential candidates, nothing new there. But the tools being used to calibrate the effectiveness of the marketing are new, and pernicious.

Having said all this, and forgive me for taking your post far afield from it's starting point, let me retreat to the point where you started, Romney as a snake oil salesman.

That's precisely what he is, a salesman, not a job creator, or anything of the sort. He has sold America down the river, leading the charge toward exporting American jobs to third world countries in a manner that has permanently reduced the earning power of the American working classes to the point where they can no longer afford to live in this country.

This is the man who some want to elect, a man without morals, without ethics, without sensitivity, without a moral purpose: cutting taxes isn't a moral purpose. It's an immoral one.

For all the ranting and raving that I have done on these pages, I don't feel that I have done enough.....and I live in one of the most important counties in the United States in terms of the upcoming election.

This election may very well be decided in Palm Beach County, and that's very bad news for us, because the sentiment here is very much against Obama, largely because of the way the Jewish vote has been manipulated.

If you drive down I95 today, you will see billboard after billboard with anti-Obama slogans, most of them aimed at Jews, decrying Obama's weak support of Israel and his weak responses to the Iranians. These billboards alternate with billboards decrying Obama's stands on gay rights, abortion rights, and other elements of the conservative agenda. I counted more than 70 of these billboards on a trip from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale before I lost track.

Yard signs for Romney are ten times more prevalent than yard signs for Obama, indicating the sentiments here are decidedly against Democracy.

And I fear that I haven't written enough, written clearly enough, or strongly enough to have made any dent in the minds of the impressionable, and I doubt if any of those minds even come here any more. I fear that I haven't given enough or done enough so that when we lose, if we lose, I will feel that I gave it my best shot.

But here's the thing that really bothers me: I don't think that my efforts or your efforts, or Kosher's, or anyone else's has changed a single mind during the course of this campaign....but that the constant repetition of one big lie after another has worn down the undecided voters to the point where they have simply stopped listening.

I have already cast my vote, so I have done the most important thing, casting a vote for Obama in the country where he may win or lose the whole shooting match. It wasn't enough.

I have turned off my television set. I am not listening to the pundits, I'm not reading the polls.

And here's the thing I really hate more than anything else. In the final analysis, I know that it doesn't matter who wins. Presidents don't control the course of events any more, and they sure as hell don't have anything to do with oil prices, middle eastern rebellions, or our treaty obligations. Presidents don't control economics. Economics controls presidents and everyone else.

Here are the facts that this utter asshole Romney igores: Indeed, one of our new cruisers packs more firepower than every ship in our navy in 1900. One of our battle groups is more powerful than all of the ships we had afloat in World War II. Our treaty obligations to Israel, not the prejudices of the president, will control our decisions in the event that the middle east blows up. We have no right to attempt to control events in Iraq, or Syria, or any other middle eastern nation. We have no right to invade or bomb Iran to stop them from building nuclear weapons, and only an idiot believes for a second that Iran can detonate a single nuclear weapon without being blown off the face of the earth in retaliation. And the first warning sign that Iran has a nuclear ability will be when they detonate a test weapon because, until they do that, they will have no idea that the fucking thing will work.

The fear mongering is worst when it comes to the fiscal cliff. There is no fiscal cliff. Raise taxes by 5% on everyone. and the fiscal cliff goes away. Oh, right. China owns us? Not really. If we stop buying their shit, they will be shit out of luck. And they can't stop buying our bonds because they have nowhere else to put their money.

The truth sucks, especially when no one's listen.

Sorry for the intrusion.
Sage
No need for an apology, but I confess you've left me damned if I do, and damned if I do. That being the case, I will continue, because it's what I can do. I know I changed a few minds in 2008 -- they told me so, and if I can change one or two or three this time -- or at least given someone pause to think before leaping into the abyss -- then I'll have done my job.

This much I do know, silence is not an option. I quoted Edmund Burke previously, but it's worth repeating:

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
And voting for either presidential candidate is doing nothing.
Jan
Something = nothing? That's rather obtuse even for you.
It's evident one of us has a talent for obtuseness. To do something implies doing something effective. Since both candidates, through their current and past activities have openly and clearly exhibited enthusiasm for intricate and diverse activities to destroy basic decency and constitutional guarantees of civil rights and accepted international law and pretty total subjugation to the financial and corporate masters that are destroying civilization , the concept of voting for one or the other as "doing something" makes that activity equivalent to chewing a stick of gum or brushing ones teeth or, perhaps riding a bicycle around the block. We seem to have radically different ideas about the nature of the phrase.
Romney and Obama are like two varieties of vanilla ice cream. In foreign and domestic policy, there's miniscule cosmetic or strategic differences in how they both pursue their goals, but the problem is that the goals are identical. In foreign policy, both believe that the U.S. should wield aggressive military force to maintain hegemonic control over weaker countries and any country that dares not to do our bidding. In domestic policy, both represent the interests of the corporate plutocracy that feels entitled to amass as much wealth as they can suck up with legal impunity. Both candidates plan to deal with the defecit by imposing cruel austerity measures, Romey with the Ryan budget; Obama with the Simpson-Bowles plan.

Choosing between these two candidates is like answering a question from a marauder armed with a shotgun who asks you whether you'd prefer him to blow off your left leg or your right.

As I've said before, I'm not looking for a pefect president or a saint. I am looking for someone who will actually honor his inaugural oath to uphold and protect the Constitution, and one who see it his primary duty to "provide for the general welfare," rather than facitate the interests of those who have everything they need but feel entitled to more at others' expense. Obama has failed miserably in carrying out those obligations.

It is you who are being impractical, not I, by voting for someone who has failed his Constitutional duties and the American people yet expects him to act differently once ensconced in office.

Just vote for the admittedly terrible Democrat, you're argument goes, because he's a hairs breadth less awful than the Republican, and work within the system. That's straight out of a junior high civics textbook, and is a bullcon.

I've heard it since I began voting 36 years ago. Millions of voters have been folowing your advice election after election for decades, and the result hasnt been any positive change in creating a genuinely progressive majority. Rather, it has cemented in place a two-part duopoly whereby electoral democracy has become a hollowed-out facade for the corporate plutocracy that owns and runs this country. Voting for Obama only reifies the awful system and reduces the likelihood of any systemic change.

The only way to change a system is to stop supporting it and start supporting alternatives. Romney and Obama are the two-faced Janus of the robber barons of the new gilded age we live in. Neither will change anything. Obama has demonstrated it. Romey has only announced his intentions. Both support the same status quo.

In closing, I'm reminded of two quotations, both of which, ironically, were inculcated from high school history texts.

"One man with courage is a majority"
Thomas Jefferson

"Make sure you're right, then go ahead."
Davy Crockett
if elected, Romney will downsize, outsource and bankrupt the middle class. he will do so with great aplomb and disregard for those in the middle class — he doesn't understand nor regard compassion in politics and governance.
Obama seems to be doing a fine job of downsizing the middle class. The black middle class has damn near entirely disappeared. That hole in the bucket of the middle class will leak members beautifully under either one.
@ Jan

You wrote:

It's evident one of us has a talent for obtuseness. To do something implies doing something effective. Since both candidates, through their current and past activities have openly and clearly exhibited enthusiasm for intricate and diverse activities to destroy basic decency and constitutional guarantees of civil rights and accepted international law and pretty total subjugation to the financial and corporate masters that are destroying civilization , the concept of voting for one or the other as "doing something" makes that activity equivalent to chewing a stick of gum or brushing ones teeth or, perhaps riding a bicycle around the block. We seem to have radically different ideas about the nature of the phrase.

So helping elect the better of two options is not doing something effective and therefore is “doing nothing”…

…yet voting for someone who has absolutely no chance whatsoever of winning IS doing something effective and therefore is “doing something?”

Jan, respectfully as possible, that makes no sense whatever. It is logic twisted and contorted to the point of absurdity.

I understand your frustration and anger, but “doing something” about what ails our nation and the world is more complicated than you are portraying…and supposing impossible to achieve solutions are better than solutions that at least have some chance of working is worse than doing nothing. It is doing something in the wrong direction.
Frank, your eagerness to remain totally confused is monumentally entertaining, but, as the saying goes, it doesn't cut the mustard. You insist, inspite of the comment just above mine which clearly indicates the gummy nonsense you are swimming in that Obama is the lesser of two evils. He is, if anything far worse than his goofy opponent because he keeps people like you enthralled in that he smiles better and perhaps has better manners and is better educated but underneath that chrome plated surface is the same piece of political offal which anybody with a half assed sense of political smell can detect the vile odor of rotting money that is corrupting the nation and the world. The advertising industry is evidently very successful at packaging but, sorry, the evidence is to toss it in the garbage. Both packages, that is, because the whole damn voting system is defective.
Peter
Well, many voters would disagree with you, especially the ones who think Romney is vanilla and Obama is chocolate.
Chuck
Out of the mouths of boobs:

Bush the Least: "I'm a compassionate conservative."
Myth the Mendacious: "I'm severely conservative."

And thus do I predict that a Romoney presidency would be worse than the Bush presidency -- and all the more so for women. The Handmaid's Tale would be made manifest.
Frank, your eagerness to remain totally confused is monumentally entertaining, but, as the saying goes, it doesn't cut the mustard. You insist, inspite of the comment just above mine which clearly indicates the gummy nonsense you are swimming in that Obama is the lesser of two evils. He is, if anything far worse than his goofy opponent because he keeps people like you enthralled in that he smiles better and perhaps has better manners and is better educated but underneath that chrome plated surface is the same piece of political offal which anybody with a half assed sense of political smell can detect the vile odor of rotting money that is corrupting the nation and the world. The advertising industry is evidently very successful at packaging but, sorry, the evidence is to toss it in the garbage. Both packages, that is, because the whole damn voting system is defective.

I am not eager to remain totally confused, Jan…and I am not totally confused, so it is not "monumental", it is non-existent. I suspect that line is in here just to satisfy your needs to derogate people. I know you are working on that problem…and I am rooting for you to finally get it under control.

In any case, I certainly do not consider Obama to be the lesser of two evils in this race…I do not see either of the major candidates (or any of the minor candidates, for that matter) as evil. I think Obama is the better choice…and I have given the reasons for that on several occasions. I think voting for a third party is a poorer choice than choosing one of the two and voting that way. That was the reason for my remarks…rather than taking exception to your comments because of what the others feel.

I appreciate the problems a “democratic country” faces as well as you do…but I think moaning and groaning about it goes nowhere. Sorry you do not see things that way…and sorrier still that you get so exercised about people who do. But that is part of “democracy in action.”
Frank
Again I honor your effort, but Jan has made it clear he wants a revolution, presumably because he considers that doing something effective. Well, as I've suggested here many times, be careful what you wish for, especially when it comes to revolutions. They don't always turn out like ours; we could (and given the current brain-dead condition of at least half the population, we likely would) end up with a repeat of the French Revolution, or god forbid, the Russian Revolution. Then again, Jan probably thinks the Russian Revolution was doing something effective.
There are other brown substances not to be confused with chocolate.
It is rather rare these days to run across an ardent admirer of the Russian Czarist system and interesting that it is found preferable to the thugs who took over the genuine revolt against horrible oppression. There was a time in recent history when the Russians were greatly admired for the thrashing they gave Hitler much to the delight of even the capitalist systems. Revolutions vary and I recall one in 1776 that was not perfect but it was a worthwhile effort. Nevertheless, I made no declaration that a revolution is the only solution. Perhaps more caffeine in those energy drinks might chase the diddly squat out of American brains and they can realize how roundly they are being raped by the financial and corporation thugs now having their behinds made love to by the current administration and the proposed imbecilic alternates. That might shake things up a bit.
And Frank, your reluctance to identify the actions of both the Republicans and the current administration as "evil"is perhaps due to the lack of a good dictionary or alternately some inner alliance with the proposed shredding of basic civil rights and a delight with the total corruption of the political system. I recall you live in New Jersey. Do you have any friendly enjoyable neighbors named Soprano?
This has been an interesting but fruitless debate between a group of mostly male upper middle aged and senior citizens, all of whom share one attribute: they actually remember America as it used to be.

The facts are plain, and terrifying. Whom we elect as president of the United States doesn't matter at all, because the president is a figure head. He can declare war, with the advice and consent of the Congress. He can declare martial law. He can respond to emergencies. But presidents don't enact budgets. The Congress does, led by the House of Representatives.

The past two years have clearly demonstrated that the balance of power in the United States has irretrievably shifted from the president to Congress and, more specifically, to the House of Representatives, where the Speaker of the House decides which measures will be voted on by the House and, since budget measures begin in the house, it is the Speaker of the House who controls the financial agenda of the nation.

When either candidate says I will do this or I won't do that, you already know they are lying because they really can't do anything on their own except to boss the military around.

Romney cannot shut down Planned Parenthood or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting because they don't depend upon federal funding. Obama cannot guarantee that he isn't going to cut Social Security benefits because he doesn't control the federal budget.

By the same token, blaming presidents for the things that occur on their watch is equally ridiculous.

Obama is not responsible for the turmoil in the Middle East. He didn't start it, nor could he stop it. Romney could not have foreseen the evens in Libya any better than Obama did. Obama isn't responsible for the price of oil. Romney will not be able to honor his pledge for a 20% across the board tax cut because that would drive the nation into immediate insolvency.

Both men have made speeches about the national debt, but the national debt doesn't matter. What matters is the annual 1.5 trillion deficit that keeps adding to the accumulated debt, a problem for which there is only one solution: the devaluation of the currency.

The only way out of our fiscal nightmare is to cut non-essential programs, reduce essential programs to the bone, slash military spending and so on and so forth.

The job problem isn't a Democratic Problem, a Republican problem: it's an American problem that results from the movement of vast numbers of people from third world citizen status to first world citizen status.

It is an inescapable fact that, when you add 1.5 billion workers to the global economy, you decrease the earning power for all workers. Some, the newcomers, will earn proportionately more than before while others, the old first world workers, will earn proportionately less because this really is a zero sum game.

The global economy isn't stagnant, but it is staggering. As former third world workers earn more, their material consumption will increase, which will force us into an inflationary cost spiral at the same time that the increase in the global work force will eventually result in lower average wages across the planet until Chinese, Indian and other former third world workers take their share of the jobs.

Therefore, it is inevitable - regardless of who is president - that salaries will continue to decline in the United States while they increase elsewhere until we reach balance point.

Ultimately, we are heading into chaos, breakdown, collapse. It has happened before, in ancient Persia, India, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Netherlands, Spain, and England. Empires rise and fall. Civilizations collapse and rise again.

Our problem is that we believe we are exempt from the forces of history and economics, and we have this childish belief that we control the macroeconomic systems that control us.

I really hate having this kind of vision, but I can see it coming as if it was already yesterday.
Well, amongst other things which are blatantly obvious perhaps it is significant that there was no Congressional declaration of war for quite a few situations where American military members were slaughtered and slaughtered in turn. I'm not sure what these exercises in playing games with weapons might be called. Perhaps they weren't wars. The powerlessness in, say, the Cuban missile crisis where the destruction of the entire modern civilization was at stake does, to my mind, indicate the president is not the total slave of Congress.
Regarding Peter Winkler's comment:

"hair's breadth"?

That, right there, is the issue.

Regardless of how awful both candidates are, there is considerably more than a hair's breadth separating them. That's the problem. That "hair's breadth" involves the suffering of millions of people. That is the rationale for a Democratic vote.

What I've noticed about most of those who think we should vote Green is that they dismiss that difference as insignificant. If they were right, there wouldn't even be an argument.

They will argue that the differences are dwarfed by the similarities. That's not the issue, because the proportionality of those differences doesn't make the extra suffering insignificant.

Now, given what Sagemerlin has told us about data mining, I will now strike a blow for our side. I hope this works. Is this adviseable?

Romney sucks
Romney sucks
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Romney sucks
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Romney sucks
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Romney sucks
Romney sucks
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Romney sucks
Romney sucks
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Romney sucks
Romney sucks
Romney sucks
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Romney sucks
Romney sucks
Romney sucks
Romney sucks
Sage,
Remember my Negative Muse? The one who answering provides me with a lot of my best posts?

Jewish in Palm Beach County.

I know what you're up against.
"they pronounced he succeeded because he looked the part." - one of the most ridiculous pieces of praise he has recieved, when nothing else works, at least he looks like a president. wow.

Look no further than Romney's running mate and his policies at work in our state to understand the direction you'd all be joining us in heading...believe me, things can and will get worse, much much worse.
Kosh, the data mining programs have just recorded X number of times that you have mentioned Romney's name.

What everyone seems to be missing is that this campaign isn't between Obama and Romney; it's really between Obama and Ryan. The Oligarchs knew that Ryan, on his own, could not win election as president but, when Romney resigns the presidency three years from now, as he will, or dies, as he might, Ryan will move into the White House and, from that perch, will campaign for and win two terms as President, serving a total of nine years in the process.

By the end of that period, all 9 Supreme Court Justices will be Republican nominees, the Republicans will own the House and the Senate, and by then I expect to see the 22nd Amendment repealed, followed by the elevation of Ryan to a third and fourth terms.

This won't mater much to me because I will be long dead by then.
when I was a boy, I was so thankful to be an American, an d so proud to be one, and I deeply regret that the party's over and it is time to call it a day.

That's not a sunset out there this evening. It's the closing curtain beginning to fall.
Your choice only determines the rate at which you sink. And you will sink, I'm afraid.

http://www.online-literature.com/poe/26/
Tom - A good, honest post at a critical time. It's been noticed here, I hope it somehow has a broader effect. I'm VERY worried about this election.
Tom - A good, honest post at a critical time. It's been noticed here, I hope it somehow has a broader effect. I'm VERY worried about this election.
Although Robert Heinlein, the science fiction writer, has many lacks as a writer, he did have an excellent grasp of technology and its possibilities of American social factors and how they would control the future of the country. He put together a future history of the world and many of his stories conformed to that history , although quite a few did not. Some of his strange predictions have already come to be, but one of his seems now in development and that is very frightening. He predicted a long interim of religious dictatorship in the country and the powers of a dictator are already evident in Obama's declaration by fiat of his powers to deny US citizens the right to a trial when accused. This is in place now and merely a declaration that a citizen (or anybody else) is a threat to national security makes him or her a target for assassination by the government.
Beyond that, the very large number of US citizens who deny evolution and global warming clearly indicates a predisposition towards a religious theocracy, as Heinlein predicted. It is not, of course, inevitable, but I see little in the USA to stop or even effectively slow it down. It is frightening.
Tom, Bravo! You have captured the essence of Romney's persona: a suit and tie, a series of market-tested slogans, and a cynical conviction that if he keeps repeating his success as an hedge-fund CEO, gullible and ill-informed voters will forget that his willingness to say and do anything to get elected is right out of George Orwell's "1984."
Exactly, Tom, except Romney does not even have snake oil to sell. Anyone who says they know what Romney would do as president is as full of it as Romney.

Bullshitter is as bullshitter does.
Jan
You wrote "It is rather rare these days to run across an ardent admirer of the Russian Czarist system ". That bit of sophistry was beneath you. But since you regard me as an apologist for evil, let me suggest the same might be said of you, since what you prescribe sounds a lot like nihilism:

"a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility"

You speak of the system being so bad it needs destroying, but you certainly don't offer any constructive program or possibility.
Heidi
You nailed it: "Look no further than Romney's running mate and his policies at work in our state to understand the direction you'd all be heading"
Sage
You predict "By the end of that period, all 9 Supreme Court Justices will be Republican nominees, the Republicans will own the House and the Senate, and by then I expect to see the 22nd Amendment repealed, followed by the elevation of Ryan to a third and fourth terms."

Normally, I'd consider that over the top, but given the fact that this election is even close, suggests your dire prediction isn't all that farfetched.

Welcome to Apocalypse Soon.
Vronsky
I prefer sinking slowly to drowning all at once -- at least with the former the possibility of rescue remains

Jeff Howe
Thanks for the kind words. Speaking of which, I hope you're doing well.
Paul
Thanks. What I find deeply troubling is that so many hold Myth Romoney up as an exemplar. To me, he is the epitome of everything wrong with this country -- a glib, greedy glad-hander to the manor born, who imagines himself superior to those less fortunate, and even to those who actually work for a living. In many ways, he's even worse than Bush the Least.

The failure of the hoi polloi to comprehend that truth is shocking -- but it's not surprising. It took eight long years for some to realize the error of their ways with Bush the Least (some still don't). God help us if they repeat their error with Myth the Mendacious.
Alaskamojo
Am I to take that as an admission there is a real difference between Myth and Obama?
Tom C:
Not an admission, an assertion that O speaks substance, R not so much.

I do think you are too kind to GWB. I don't think he had any conviction either (other than a DUI perhaps).
Alaska
Well at least you recognize a rhetorical difference; that puts you way ahead of most on the Lofty Left. And that was a damned clever quip about Bush the Least, but I have it on biblical authority that the quality of mercy is not strained. Having beat that useless sucker Bush about the head and body for lo these many years -- deservedly so -- I guess I was showing a little compassionate conservatism.

Or maybe it's just that he looks a bit better in comparison to Myth the Mendacious.
The repeated insistence that indicating something is wrong is unacceptable unless one has a remedy is one of the most thoughtless comments I have ever come across. If you discover you have a broken leg or cancer or an infected tooth that is the first vital step to move towards a remedy. Unless that admission is taken no remedy will be sought. I have not the expertise to devise a whole new economic system but I damn well know this one is proceeding to catastrophe at a terrifying velocity. That's very important to understand to get knowledgeable people thinking. And there's nothing wrong in saying so.
Just in, Tom. Now Romney is now telling Iowans he is FOR subsidies for renewable energy because apparently wind power is especially important there. Making government smaller was yesterday's goal before he realized he was behind in Iowa. You could have included this in your article as a prime example of Romney's bullshit. How anyone could believe anything he says is beyond me.
Jan
Yes, we Jeremiahs have a role to play, but this Jeremiah isn't interested in fomenting rebellion just yet -- and given the massive ignorance of the masses, I don't think rebellion is advisable for the foreseeable future. Thus, the only viable solution at hand is to make the better possible choice between two possible immediate outcomes -- and save the Jeremiads for later.
Alaska
I can't tell you how troubling it is that you voice your utter disgust with Myth Romoney, and yet fail to do everything in you power to prevent him from winning -- starting with casting your vote, ineffectual as it may be in a given state, for the only candidate who can possibly defeat the bastard. That would be Barack Obama.

I assure you, there are few states where a vote for Obama is more worthless than here in Tennessee. But I will be casting that vote anyway, because despite the aspersions cast my way here, I stand on principle.

And what principle applies in this case? When there are only two possible outcomes, a reasonable person must make the choice that does the least harm and the most good. To say otherwise is foolish, and to do otherwise is an abdication of adult responsibility.

Maybe a third-party choice offers less harm and more good, but that is not a real choice because there is NO chance of that candidate winning, and therefore, no chance of bringing those solutions to pass.
I appreciate that you are concerned as well as I am. Let me make an analogy. You have a car and you have to go somewhere. You jump in and twist the key and nothing happens. Well, you say, I don't know what is wrong but the key always used to get me moving, so twisting the key is better than doing nothing. What I am saying is that something is terribly wrong and twisting the key is useless.You need a mechanic or, at minimum, a look under the hood to see what can be done.But it is vital to understand that the damned car needs some intelligent alteration to get it to move.

Politicians are people who want to stay in office.It's pretty obvious they will do what is necessary to do that. It used to be that politicians would at least attempt a good job of running the country to convince people to keep them in office. But getting into and staying in office has very little, these days to doing a good job. G.W.Bush did a miserable job but he was elected twice. What got him into office was a lot of money and a lot of chicanery. But money is the essential element. The Supreme Court with its Citizens United decision guaranteed that the people with money could control who gets into office. Most of the money is in the hands of people who care not at all about the welfare of the country, only about making as much money as they can wring out of society. And as a result, society is slowly strangling. How you get society and government back to keeping each other alive I really don't know. You seem to believe that a violent revolution is the only alternative to sitting in that car and twisting the key. I didn't say a revolution is necessary nor did I rule it out. I just don't know what will get us back to traveling. But do I know what is not working. Maybe when a lot of other people realize what is not working somebody will get a few good ideas. The alternative is scaring the hell out of me.
Tom:
Not to mention that a third party vote siphon gave us GWB before the Supreme Court had the chance to make it official.

I am happy to support O w/o the slightest hint of holding my nose.
The current theory seems to be that the proper prime objective of the USA is to slam every nation in the world into total submission to the purposes of the USA and the bulk of the funds that should be devoted to maintaining the necessary national infrastructure, seeing to it that everybody is kept fed, housed, educated, and in good health is diverted to manufacturing expensive military armaments, maintaining hundreds of hugely expensive bases throughout the world to repeatedly ineffective and brutal purposes, building up repressive forces within the USA to suppress objections to this policy, keeping prime agendas and actions as secret as possible and severely punishing anyone revealing the details of whatever is going on and highly rewarding those in control of the entire process.

This is the open policy of both Obama and Romney and whatever little nonsenses they use to divert attention from this ongoing agenda of world and national domination and misery may provide discussable differences between the two but these have little or no bearing on the psychopathic arrogant and brutally destructive forces now in process throughout the entire world. I want no part of it in any sense whatsoever and I could not live with myself if I did. That is my simple minded feeling and I cannot see any other choice for a decent person who really cares for humanity and its potentials.
We are exactly the same page, Tom.

I've known Romney's media guy Eric Ferhnstrom for nearly 30 years, ever since he was a reporter at the Boston Herald and the two of us covered the Dukakis Administration at the Mass State House in the mid-1980s. And Eric has always been someone I would call a "punk," a "thug" -- someone who has no inner moral core and only cares about winning. He and Howie Carr were notorious for the mischief they would stir up, most of it mean-spirited and much of it totally unfair.

Years later, his lack of character once again bled through when he threw one of his assistant press secretaries (a woman I had worked with in the previous Governor's press office) to the wolves for saying something that he, as Romney's communication director, was really responsible.

Romney and Fehrnstrom deserve one another and I am not the least bit surprised that the campaign they are running is one of the most cynical and dishonest (and now openly racist) that I have seen in a very long time -- maybe ever. The President is right to make "trust" the centerpiece of his closing argument in this campaign because that is the glue, the character issue (or lack thereof) that ties together all of Romney's flip flops on issues in which the actual positions he really does hold (on taxes, spending, abortion, women's issues , the auto rescue and foreign affairs) are unpopular with the public.
Jan
Okay, I'll stop bitching long enough to offer a few concrete suggestions: By the way, Mitt has his five-finger plan -- I'll go him double, since I can count on all ten fingers.

(1) Income tax rates should be gradually increased over ten years to levels approaching those during the Kennedy administration. All income should be taxed at the same relative (progressive) rate, no sweetheart deals for capital gains. Indeed, in a just world income from coupon clipping, especially when it is a result of speculation rather than production, should be taxed at a much higher rate than ordinary income.

(2] Income off-shored or hidden by other tax-avoidance schemes should be subject to immediate confiscation, and violators -- including their accountants and tax attorneys (under the RICO statutes) -- should be imprisoned.

(3) A re-emphasis on original intent -- not on the Constitution, but on the New Deal. Social Security was intended as old-age assistance to provide a subsistence income to keep old people from starving, It was never intended as an adjunct retirement mechanism. Therefore, means testing should be required to receive those funds. John McCain called Social Security a scandal, but the scandal is that someone that wealthy is drawing a SS security check.

(4) Medicare should be available to every citizen as the Founders intended. Yes, the Founders, who in the Preamble declared one of the two main purposes for founding this nation was to "promote the general welfare". Only a fool or a liar would argue that old-age assistance and healthcare aren't inherently a part of promoting the general welfare.

(5) Since technology has drastically altered workforce needs, higher education should be open to all. Low-interest loans should be made available thru the govt, and those who go to work in specified vocations -- such as general practice physicians and math and science teachers -- should have their loans forgiven if they remain in those professions for ten years.

(6) Adopt a Constitutional Amendment declaring that neither eight-celled zygotes or corporations are persons under the law. With one fell stroke, this would beggar hypocritical family values posturing by politicians and outlaw blind political contributions, In the process, it would overturn the disastrous decision in Citizens United.

(7) Bring back the draft with NO exclusions. If the strapping sons of Mitt Romney were eligible for the draft, it's safe to bet Mitt would not be quite so gung ho for going to war with Iran, et al.

(8) Pull the broadcast license of Fux for promulgating and disseminating propaganda and return to the prohibition against single ownership of vast numbers of media outlets, especially when the same entitity owns networks, radio and TV stations, newspapers and magazines.

(9) Ban legislators and members of their families and staff from going to work as lobbyists or pseudo-lobbyists. This should be a lifetime ban. This ban should also apply to the military.

(10) It should be a federal crime punishable for a minimum of ten years to interfere with union organizing. This should include threatening employees with layoffs or dismissals for union organizing. It should also be a crime to interfere in any political election by threatening (even obtusely) layoffs or dismissals. Call it the Stop David Siegel Law.

I could go on, but I think those positions are sufficient to demonstrate my Liberal bona fides. BUT -- unlike all too many who have waxed poetic about third-party solutions, I'm realist enough to know you can't get where I want to go from here.

An important step toward getting there would be to change our archaic voting laws, starting with eliminating the Electoral College, which renders a handful of votes (supposedly 597 in Florida in 2000) of far greater importance than millions of votes in non-contested states.

We should also standardize rules and requirements -- and as much as possible, ballots. There is simply NO justification for fifty different sets of rules in a national election. And something needs to be done to keep computerized voting machines honest before it's too late -- if it's not already.

But even with such changes, the fact remains that the only way to get where I'd like to go is by changing hearts and minds of voters -- and unfortunately, those of us without power or purchase are limited to trying to do so one voter at a time. The only other alternative is open rebellion, and I don't advise that for reasons previously stated.
Alaskamojo
Sorry if I miscast your position. I think I may have confused with someone calling themselves Alaskaprogressive.
As much as I admire wishful thinking, I cannot see either candidate even faintly interested in enacting your proposals. If I vote it would be to see major efforts to get those reforms enacted. I have no idea if a revolution would do the trick. And the prospects for a revolution seem nil since things are not yet that bad. But it looks like that time may soon arrive.

Just this morning a Pakistani official was detained temporarily for objecting to the drone program. ( http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC121028-0000024/US-officials-pull-Pakistani-politician-off-plane ). Nothing serious yet, but an indication that the US is clamping down on resistance to its polices. So much for free speech.

As I indicated, I only am aware there are serious problems. And voting seems totally ineffectual in solving them. Until the general populace awakens to the fact that they have lost all formal power to make much needed changes and is willing to somehow act, the farce of an election is no remedy.
I had to read myself up to date and it was worth the time, let me say.

Tom I agree so wholeheartedly with your most rational and compassionate points of change and yet I know as Jan says that none of it will come to pass as things go now. No matter who we vote for. All elections are imperfect choices. One doesn't get to be a national candidate with sufficient funding having purely progressive kinds of beliefs, I'm afraid. You've got to keep the devil happy otherwise he'll eat you.

America is a great slowly sinking ship I fear. It seems to me we've lost the dream. The ideals Americans once held have been replaced with the fantasy of having it all, not having to pay for it and hating everyone who gets in our way. Or even disagrees with us.

Our dream isn't to be free, to help one another and care about common good. The dream isn't democracy or even the hint of it. It's not opportunity, health, education and infrastructure provided by a government paid for equally by everyone.

Our vision of what American is or should be, has been perverted. Nearly half the people see government as a thief stealing their incomes to increase it's own bloat and it's become old fashioned and "socialist" to believe we should have a higher vision that getting rich. How about getting literate, for starters?

We've become a savage world with a third world mentality, a killer take all kind of place. Winners need not apply.

I will vote for Obama because I believe he is the better of the two candidates. I think Mitt is a fraud. trust me when I say I was willing to consider voting outside the party because these last twenty or so years have been a pivotal time in our direction.

Perhaps with each small victory all we're doing is forestalling the inevitable end. I tend to think that myself Tom, I really do.

Radical change can't come in the election of one office but elections DO keep the dogs at bay hopefully until America wakes up out of this bullshit lethargy and begins to see clearly again our own best interest IS to give a shit about more than what's going on in our lives, when we're ready to once again see The American Dream as more than lining one's own pockets at the expense of everyone else.

Or maybe I'm wrong and America is a capitalist venture. In total. And all the rest is window dressing.
Not-So-Foolish Monkey
Thanks for taking the time to read this through, it certainly was an interesting exercise for me, tho I confess, the invective and the lack of reason and practicality on the Lofty Left leaves as concerned as that on the Rabid Right -- and it leaves me even more at a loss to explain.

I, too, despair for what America has become, and I fear the future. Hope is hard to come by, but as you suggest, at the moment we are buying time in hopes of a Great Awakening. The hope may be slim, but in my view, changing attitudes among the young and changing demographics present at least some hope that the old racist faux-conservatives are on the way out.

What will replace them? God knows, but I suspect the election of Myth Romoney will make things far worse and impede the slow-grinding wheels of progress for at least another generation.
Tom - this statement:

"Romney touting his bipartisanship in Mass is akin to Bush the Least touting his bipartisanship in Texas. The most liberal Democrat in Texas is still far to the right of the most conservative Republican in Mass."

shows me you just write crap to write it. As a resident of Austin since '82 i can tell you that that statement is PURE ignorance and BS.
After having read all of these comments, since your post was so full of insight, I have to say I could have just taken Cranky Cuss's words and cut and pasted them here. I started Elementary School when Eisenhower was President. I thought I grew up understanding the principals of conservatism and had a healthy respect for those ideas, even though I generally don't agree with them. Anyone who has ever had any experience with the wrong side of life's difficulties knows what government is meant to help with and what it best manages.

Some folks simply never find out, they don't face much in the way of personal difficulty, and their selfishness arises out of a failure to develop any information or compassion for things outside their personal experience. Then they paint over that vast vacuum of personal nothingness with gigantic theories and they build those structures out of impenetrable obstinance and finish them with a commitment to intentional ignorance. It is a selfish way to live that is covered over with false rhetoric.

In my experience, generally, poor people have always been more generous than the rich because they can feel deprivation when they see it: they know what it is and what it feels like to be short on the rent or to be in danger of having the car repossessed. We all do better when we share responsibly and there has never been a day when anyone proved to me that it was better to leave that need for help to private enterprise of "the States." For instance, foster children all over the country are suffering for the stinginess of those who keep cutting budgets without regard for what it means to those who have nowhere else to turn.

You old guys here can argue all you want about this theoretically; but those kids need to know that we care about them. They need school clothes, pajamas, dental care, books and toys to spark their imagination, computers for their studies and they need these things no matter what.

There is nothing that Mitt Romney has said that has me think that life will get better for foster kids if he is president. On the other hand, when I think of Barack Obama, I know he actually has known some of these kids and has actually done things directly with his own hands, heart and mind to make life better for people who need help.

In the end, when I decide who to vote for I try to think about it in terms of things that I know something about and I vote from that knowledge. All the intellectual firepower and political arguments on earth come down to who will be helped. With Obama, it will still be fairly ordinary people who need the help, as opposed to those who do not need help at all and who do not create anything at all. I have yet to meet any actual 'job creators' who need tax breaks to create jobs. I do know quite a few people who could have used a job when those selfish asshats were sitting on their bank accounts waiting for Obama to go away. I say take their tax cuts, incentives and spend it on infrastructure that we all use. We could use some better roads and bridges. There are some buildings we could use. Their are people who would love to do that work. It's the kind of work that Eisenhower did. Isn't that really the point? We need a government dedicated to working for the good of all, and not just those at the top. Hopefully today, my 62nd birthday, voters will throw some of the bums out and shift the balance in Congress enough to make the obstructionists reassess their strategy. I am a liberal. I don't expect a liberal government ever in what's left of my life. Being liberal is never going to be common enough a political position to win a majority in the US. That doesn't mean we can't do some good work together.
Susan
You're quite right that it's important to take care of those who are most in need. The fact remains, though, that a President must be concerned about so much more -- foreign policy, energy policy -- and these things do effect the future of all children -- including foster children.

Perhaps I'm too harsh in my judgment, but I saw nothing in Mitt Romney that would make me think he cared in the least for those less fortunate than him. Indeed, I saw quite a bit that said quite the opposite -- including his remarks about the 47%.

President Obama was a long way from perfect, but he was far and away the better choice among the only two possible outcomes in this election -- and thank god he won.