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February 04, 2008

Comments

There have been a variety of Obama events all over the Denver area and neighboring regions in the past week-plus, but all were signed up to capacity within moments of being announced online.

Last night, for instance, the campaign mailed out an announcement about two events with Forest Whitaker and caucus training in Boulder today. When I looked at the website again about half an hour later, they had reached their several-hundred capacity.

(As it is, I would have skipped the student-oriented caucus training, anyway, while I might have gone to the other, since it's just a few blocks away, but I don't need caucus training, and, really, while I admire Forest Whitaker, I don't need him to get me enthusiastic about Obama. But since it's been snowing heavily since the middle of last night, I'd have ended up passing, anyway. Getting out to the caucus tomorrow is what matters.)

I've found the local Obama organization highly efficient in reaching me by email with relevant alerts and reminders and offers of help, and so on, incidentally. Plus tons of grassroots enthusiasm.

"But whether that happens depends, in part, on us. And damn--don't you want to try?"

Well, yes.

Great post title.

The Virginia primary, which once looked pointless coming a week after super Tuesday, now might mean something. I'm probably going to vote for the O., now that the Edwards campaign is suspended.

My taste for the uplifting story is at a near all-time low. What it comes down to for me is visualizing going out and working for our nominee this summer and fall in Rockbridge County. Given the kinds of attacks that will be in the media and in the emails in the case of each possible nominee, I know I'll be a lot more motivated to defend and promote Obama.

I'm open to being pleasantly surprised by what he actually does in office, but am not expecting it for one minute. We have to go on the offensive for public campaign funding, single-payer health care, repeal of legalized torture, indefinite detention and spying on the citizenry, and complete withdrawal from Iraq to have the hint of a hope of making tiny progress.

Oh, sure. Mobilization & public opinion matter--the extent to which Obama seems to get this is part of the appeal--but they matter between elections too. If elected, he'll need to be kept honest.

I remain utterly perplexed by anyone who thinks that "willingness & ability to make moral arguments to the voters" is irrelevant to the legalized torture issue. Not saying you Nell. But I see it a lot.

Thank you, Katherine. I've been a long time reader here, extremely occasional commenter, but even here at all, for the most part, because of your occasional postings. I'm completely conflicted, the day before our AZ primary, as to who to support, thinking that I can't know whether or not it matters, my first two choices have both been knocked out (even though one of them will be on the ballot tomorrow)and I am left thinking that the strengths and weaknesses of the two left are close to a wash. At any rate, I appreciate the cogent sense of your choice. I will weigh it in the balance. Thanks again.

Jane Smiley:

The real danger of the next four years, as I see it, is that the election of any Democrat will trigger the rightwing deathsquads in all their different guises -- the media deathsquad, that hounds the president with nonsensical stories of scandal and distracts him from his business; the survivalist NRA deathsquads that pull off home-grown terrorist attacks, like the Oklahoma bombing; the lobbyist deathsquads, that gut all socially conscious or beneficial legislation, such as universal healthcare; the religious deathsquads, that harass and torment anyone who doesn't conform to a narrow and authoritarian social model; the thinktank deathsquads that propound deadly theories about the perfection of the "free market" or the horrors of "islamofacism" or the non-existence of climate change. It would actually be nice if the Fellow Wehner is telling the truth, that it is the Clintons personally that are the problem, because then the election of Obama would indeed signal a change. But if the goal of the corporatocracy is what it has seemed to be -- the permanent replacement of American democracy with a global imperialist empire and oligarchy of wealth, then Obama doesn't have a chance -- he will either be corrupted or destroyed.

From that Smiley article:

"The underlying question of this primary and this election and the next four years is this -- was it the Clintons themselves who aroused the ire of the rightwing to such an extent that the administration they formed was unmercifully harassed from before the inauguration of 1992 to after the 2000 election, or were the Clintons simply the Democrats who happened to be there when the rightwing decided to take over?"

OH MY GOD. No, that's not the question. Trying to decide whom to vote for tomorrow based on that question is as smart as casting your vote in the 2004 general election by trying to figure out what the terrorists want. If the "corporatocracy"'s interests are directly contrary to the electorate's, and the electorate knows it, why, exactly, is their triumph so inevitable?

Katherine: If the "corporatocracy"'s interests are directly contrary to the electorate's, and the electorate knows it, why, exactly, is their triumph so inevitable?

Because the US electoral system is broken. If you don't have honest, fair elections where the winner is decided by counting every vote - which you don't - what difference is it going to make who the electorate want for President? If most Americans aren't even prepared to admit that their electoral system is broken, how's it ever going to get fixed?

Thanks Katherine. You and hilzoy convinced me to really look at him, and I mostly like what I see. I hope he does well tomorrow.

I frankly don't buy that as a summary of Smiley's VIEW, as opposed to yours. I will be really annoyed with anyone who turns this thread into a back & forth on the outcome in Ohio in 2004. I can't stop it, but I'm not going to contribute to it.

If you are suggesting that the votes cast on election day have NO effect on the outcome, I really don't think you're paying close attention. Can efforts to depress turnout or not recount fairly or various other shenanigans tip an extremely close race? Sure. Is that unacceptable? Absolutely. Obama has an excellent record on voting rights, btw. But why this requires us to sit out the 2008 elections or vote based on mindf*cking ourselves about what Karl Rove & Rush Limbaugh & all the rest want, is utterly beyond me.

Katherine perfectly captures Obama's appeal for me. Given the shame that has been brought on this country over the last seven years, the appeals to and promises to respect what Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature" is sincerely moving to me, and I'm quite possibly the most cynical person I know.

If you don't have honest, fair elections where the winner is decided by counting every vote - which you don't - what difference is it going to make who the electorate want for President?

I'll go with "because if you pick somebody who is likely to both be interested in electoral reform and able to get elected by a large enough margin that vote-rigging won't work against him, then suddenly the choice matters."

"...deathsquads in all their different guises -- the media deathsquad [...] the survivalist NRA deathsquads [...] the lobbyist deathsquads [...]the religious deathsquads [...] the thinktank deathsquads...."

This is some of the dumbest and most irresponsible guilt-by-association conflation of reality and metaphor I've seen in quite some time. I'm no more impressed when it comes from the left than from the right.

Death squads are people who murder people.

However heinous being a lobbyist for an evil cause, or a participant in a think tank devoted to policies with evil, in my view, results is, or holding idiotic and reprehensible political views are, they are not, in fact, the moral equivalent of murderers.

It's a big fat utterly dishonest and cheap gob of propaganda to use that kind of rhetoric.

The cause is irrelevant; the rhetoric is flatly dishonest on its face.

I'm a 64-year old white male. I have never been an active participant in presidential politics -- other than casting my vote. I switched my party affiliation last month specifically in order to be able to participate in tomorrow's Democratic caucus here in Kansas (right now not having snow, but will likely have plenty tomorrow). I attended an Obama rally in Kansas City last Tuesday and was one of the many thousands who were actually able to get in to see the Senator; thousands of others were turned away for lack of space. BHO was electric; he addressed head-on the major issues facing this country. For the first time in my life I was convinced that a politician actually could make a difference in the down spiral our country is in domestically as well as in the estimation of virtually every other country in the world. I actually volunteered to work on his campaign and will be manning the phones tomorrow to get Democrats in Kansas to forget the snow and get to their caucus. It's more important to the country than a little inconvenience. That's what BHO has done to this old man's political lethargy :>)

I'm a 64-year old white male. I have never been an active participant in presidential politics -- other than casting my vote. I switched my party affiliation last month specifically in order to be able to participate in tomorrow's Democratic caucus here in Kansas (right now not having snow, but will likely have plenty tomorrow). I attended an Obama rally in Kansas City last Tuesday and was one of the many thousands who were actually able to get in to see the Senator; thousands of others were turned away for lack of space. BHO was electric; he addressed head-on the major issues facing this country. For the first time in my life I was convinced that a politician actually could make a difference in the down spiral our country is in domestically as well as in the estimation of virtually every other country in the world. I actually volunteered to work on his campaign and will be manning the phones tomorrow to get Democrats in Kansas to forget the snow and get to their caucus. It's more important to the country than a little inconvenience. That's what BHO has done to this old man's political lethargy :>)

richinoskie,
Pardon the direct question, but what are your thought processes in using 'BHO' to identify Obama?

I googled it and found it out a number of far right sites as well as a number of Obama supporting sites so I'm really interested in how it is spreading and why. However, please don't let an explanation here cut into your time manning the phones :)

LJ - The far right sites do it to remind everyone Obama's middle name is Hussein. I think the other sites do it to avoid an unfortunate acronym :)

I figured that, but I wondered if this was an example of using a epithet and making it into a positive term. Hadn't thought about BO though.

If elected, Obama will inevitably find a number of ways to spectacularly disappoint the folks who support him. All the great things he talks about will get watered down, compromised, and bogged down in ugly detail.

He may even, now and then, turn out to be not so progressive, after all.

He is also going to spend a lot of time and energy dealing with the landslide of unutterable crap that will, inevitably, be poured down on his head. He'll be Hillary's secret lover and Ahmadinejad's cat's paw. He'll be the kingpin of crack cartel, and the reincarnation of Elijah Muhammad.

And, because even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then, some of the dirt will no doubt be true, or true enough to do harm.

None of that matters to me. I don't mind any of it, because Obama has found a way to articulate core liberal values in a way that makes their plain, workaday goodness and reasonableness easy for anyone to understand and agree with. He has, finally, made them mainstream, once again.

That is one hell of an accomplishment. As far as I'm concerned, it is, in fact, enough.

But if the goal of the corporatocracy is what it has seemed to be -- the permanent replacement of American democracy with a global imperialist empire and oligarchy of wealth, then Obama doesn't have a chance -- he will either be corrupted or destroyed.

At some point, perhaps pretty soon, the corporatocrats will begin to wear out their welcome. Americans, IMO, tolerate excessive, extravagant wealth as long as it seems like they might get to play, too. When it starts to smell too much like an "insider's only" game, I think the public mood will turn.

Plus, there are lots of other emerging economies that present fields ripe for picking by the enterprising corporatist.

It may be that the epicenters of corporatism will increasingly be moving out of the US. Where's Halliburton hanging their shingle these days?

To which I can only say, good riddance. It'll hurt us economically for a while, but we'll survive it. We've been through worse.

Thanks -

I will be really annoyed with anyone who turns this thread into a back & forth on the outcome in Ohio in 2004.

You know, 2004 was four years ago. Electoral funny business is also, for better or worse, not exactly a novelty here in the good old USA.

I'm not sticking my head in the sand and saying there are (or were) no problems, but maybe it's time to move on.

In other words, what Katherine said.

I'm quite possibly the most cynical person I know.

I'm having a hard time holding "Pooh" and "the most cynical person I know" in my head at the same time.

I need a beer. :)

Thanks -

If elected, Obama will inevitably find a number of ways to spectacularly disappoint the folks who support him.

I expect that is so in my case anyway. I don’t agree with many of his positions. In normal times I would never consider supporting him.

These are not normal times.

"I don't mind any of it, because Obama has found a way to articulate core liberal values in a way that makes their plain, workaday goodness and reasonableness easy for anyone to understand and agree with. He has, finally, made them mainstream, once again.

That is one hell of an accomplishment. As far as I'm concerned, it is, in fact, enough."

I have to suggest that the rhetoric, much though I agree that it is terribly important, isn't remotely enough for me, if by "enough" we mean "enough to be satisfied."

If that's what we mean, I think it's not "enough" until we've enacted legislation to fulfil the rhetoric.

If, on the other hand, what you mean by "enough" is "enough to get me to vote for Obama," well, sure.

[...] t may be that the epicenters of corporatism will increasingly be moving out of the US. Where's Halliburton hanging their shingle these days?

To which I can only say, good riddance. It'll hurt us economically for a while, but we'll survive it.

I'm afraid I'm not at all clear what you mean here, either.

If you mean that global corporations may increasingly put less investment into the U.S., or that they may increasingly maintain their headquarters elsewhere, sure.

If you mean that somehow corporations will lessen their economic interest in extracting profits from the U.S. economy, and thus in manipulating U.S. politics, I'd like to have some of what you're smoking.

Perhaps you could clarify?

I also heartily agree with Katherine's 7:12 PM.

I hope to have the opportunity to vote for Obama in November.

We should just look to those with the ability to pay more in taxes, so that we can provide for everybody’s needs.

Sounds like a good plan.

"These are not normal times."

How do you define "normal times," and which runs of years would you point to to define them? And why?

This strikes me as a potentially interesting question, though maybe not.

I don't find Obama all that impressive when it comes to civil liberties, but then, I don't follow the Democratic convention of pretending that any civil liberty I don't like doesn't exist. (Partly because I like 'em all.)

You have to grade on an awfully steep curve to call any of the candidates except Paul "good" on civil liberties. Obama rates a solid "Not quite as awful as he could be, and not as good as he claims."

Slightly OT...

Super Tuesday Surprise: Leading Minsk Newspaper Endorses Candidates in US Presidential Race

OK, it's not Fafblog, but we have to make do. An excerpt:

At this present, the Republican ("Grand Old") Party has three candidates in competition: the Christian retail-store magnate and "healthy life-style" advocate Mike Huckabee, whose business practices were subjected to critique already in American independent cinema production "I Heart Huckabee" (2005); Mitt Romney, governor of State Utah and elder of Mormon church, which until Lukashenko's bold measure against foreign missionary-activity was responsible for the common sight on the streets of Grodno and Brest and Vitebsk of clean and polite young Americans, speaking Belarusian like mother tongue, and promoting their heretical sect to our villagers like we were pagan Indians; and finally, John McCain, senator of City Phoenix and number-one opponent of current president George W. Bush within Republican party.

The Democrats have now only two candidates who stand to chance against this powerful phalanx: Barack Obama, senator of City Chicago and nephew of Saddam Hussein; and Hillary Rodham Clinton, organizer of popular solidarity-building women's breakfasts for discussion of hair-hygiene and of place of woman in American politics, and only official wife of number-one enemy of Serbs and all Slavic peoples, Bill Clinton.

but then, I don't follow the Democratic convention of pretending that any civil liberty I don't like doesn't exist.

What, do you follow the Republican convention of pretending that any civil liberty God doesn't like doesn't exist?

You have to grade on an awfully steep curve to call any of the candidates except Paul "good" on civil liberties.

Yeah, except he doesn't like teh gays, teh negroes, or abortion, so, whatever.

Hilzoy & Katherine, I realize that I'm a war-lovin' supporter of John "Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb bomb Iran" McCain. But contact me if you're interested in getting in touch with Obama's campaign.

he got my C-note. hope he puts it to good use.

What, do you follow the Republican convention of pretending that any civil liberty God doesn't like doesn't exist?

Those aren't civil liberties, they're civil privileges.

Yeah, right, whatever. Point to something in the Bill of Rights that Paul doesn't want enforced. Because it's not that hard to point out parts of the Bill of Rights Obama's got no use for.

Let's not forget this endorsement for HRC.

Thanks, ral. The Borat shtick never gets old, does it?

No, I mean it. That was pretty damn funny.

I'm listening to Paul Krugman on the radio attacking Obama's health plan. Look, I hate the "Harry and Louise"-ish flyer, but Krugman has no political sense at all if he thinks the words "mandate" and (far worse) "garnishing wages" are in any way winning ways to present a health plan.

Gary: on the one hand, I completely agree. On the other hand, what about the politics-as-war/loss-as-death rhetoric? [Let alone sports-as-war, entire volumes of which could be written and doubtless have been.] After a certain point, the exaggeration sort of becomes white noise; where do we draw the line?

...that's not really rhetorical, btw, I'm genuinely curious as to what point people would flinch from those tropes. I don't have any clear sense myself; it's the good ol' "I knows it when I sees it." Or maybe I'm just losing my capacity for certain kinds of outrage in my old age.

At some point, perhaps pretty soon, the corporatocrats will begin to wear out their welcome. Americans, IMO, tolerate excessive, extravagant wealth as long as it seems like they might get to play, too. When it starts to smell too much like an "insider's only" game, I think the public mood will turn.

Class mobility, again.

Extravagant wealth is fine with people if they feel they get a fair shot at it. If someone outworks them for it, fine. If someone gets lucky, fine. As long as they feel that it possible to move on up, people buy into the system and make it work. That's why the 90s fit well on America; a lot of people struck it rich, either by being smart or by being lucky.

Minute they feel the rich make it impossible to move up in class, the rest of the country will put a stop to it, either from within the system. Or by tearing it down.

"On the other hand, what about the politics-as-war/loss-as-death rhetoric?"

I suppose I'd have to respond to specific examples, since I've never consciously considered what a specific rule might be, precisely, but I suppose I tend to discourage it, more than not.

"[Let alone sports-as-war, entire volumes of which could be written and doubtless have been.]"

That's invisible to me, because I never read anything about sports, having absolutely zero interest in any sport other than politics.

"After a certain point, the exaggeration sort of becomes white noise; where do we draw the line?"

The closer it is to to puting literal examples of murdering people into the mix, the more grotesque and inappropriate it is, I'd say, off the cuff.

The more it's just a very weak metaphor -- "our team oughta kill dem bums!" -- the more inoffensive.

I read Smiley as very deliberately trying to sell the case that all the people she listed, the think-tankers, the journalists, the lobbyists, etc., are actually the utter moral equivalent of death squads who murder in cold blood.

I read that very differently than I read a comedian talking about "killing a room," or than I read sports fans being enthusiastic in using violent metaphors.

As a rule, sports fans -- and I admit to knowing relatively little about this -- aren't actually trying to convince people that members of opposing sports teams, and their supporters, either should be murdered, or are the moral equivalent of murderers.

Smiley seems to me to have been pretty much doing just that.

I don't have much of a problem with a John Paul Stevens answer here, imperfect as that may be.

Or how's this, Anarch? When violent metaphors are being used, explicitly or implicitly, to attempt to persuade, to attempt to make an actual didactic point of moral suasion, let alone to make false points of moral equivalence, I oppose that as dishonest and offensive.

When violent metaphors are being deployed for other reasons, such as mere harmless enthusiasm, hey, not much of a problem.

So there's an attempt at a rule. Does it offer any use at all?

Gary, do you mean a Potter Stewart answer? I'm missing the relevance of John Paul Stevens.

Russell, I don't know if you read Edge of the West. Look at this bit of fun.

"Gary, do you mean a Potter Stewart answer?"

Absolutely. Slip of the brain. Y'know, after dark, they look alike.

Thanks for the catch, as I didn't mean to be inexplicable.

I hope it's not unfair to ask Katherine what went on between the original title of this post and what it is currently titled?

lj--not at all. I wondered when someone would notice that.

I didn't look at more recent polling or get cold feet or what not. I decided it was more honest, less of a cliche, & hopefully funnier.

Thanks, Katherine for both your answer and a lovely post.

"I wondered when someone would notice that."

Would notice what? There was an "original title of this post"?

Is there a way to notice that?

If you look at the url in the address bar of your browser, you can see the original title. With most blog software, while it is possible to retitle your post, it is entered in the MySQL database with that original title, which generates the link (most blog software advertises the fact that it creates readable titles rather than some string of random letters and numbers)

I've never seen a huge howler on a blog in regards to this, but I remember when people didn't realize that the nickname that they gave an email address in their mail program would generally appear in the email they sent, so nicknaming their boss 'Overpaid slob' might not be the best strategy.

"If you look at the url in the address bar of your browser, you can see the original title"

Ah. I wouldn't have noticed unless I was cutting and pasting it, and in the course of that saw it full out (which I might not). Thanks for pointing that out.

That email program behavior you describe strikes me as a broken program design, more than an error by users.

Last I looked, changing a Blogspot link title, which will, at least in my template, default to the first few words of the post, changes the link, which means I just about never change a title, even if I made a typo in it (although that's fortunately extremely rare), after more than a few minutes after posting, since it would break any link made up to the post up to that point.

(This was more of a concern when I was posting more frequently, and getting more links, to be sure.)

And I wouldn't swear I was up to date on this week's Blogspot/Blogger behavior, I also caveat.

Slogans that didn't quite make it: "I Suppose We Can!"

"It's Entirely Possible That We Can!"

"Can We? Can We, Please?"

"I Can, You Can, Barack Can, And We, All Together, For Sure, Can!"

"If We All Try Together, Really Really Hard, I Bet You We Can!"

And, of course: "Let's All Do The Can-Can Again!"

I'm not sure what Blogger's behavior has been, but now, it retains the old post title, probably to avoid the problem you mention of broken links, so correcting a mispelled title isn't going to break the link, but it will reveal that you misspelled the word at first.

Of course, your blogger software behavior may be a holdover from the older version that continues unless you specifically make it a point to prevent it.

What is a "Potter Stewart answer"? Something like, "I can't define hardcore pornography, but I know it when I see it"? (A remark which, btw, was written in the context of explaining that the materials for which Mr. Jacobellis was tried were plainly not hardcore)

Man, this thread is the reason I've been dropping in to occasionally read comments since the Moe and Von days. On days like today, when my internets are unreachable barring great effort (picture an extension cord, and imac, and a slacker walking the halls of an apartment building looking for a wireless signal), I like open a bunch of the posts here and read. Not surprisingly, a day before the big day, you guys seem to be running on all cylinders.

I'm not very good at the commenting thing because I get caught up for too long on trivial points, and by the time I'm ready to press send, the time to do so has passed... that said, in brief response to this in the post:

"And I think that an Obama presidency is our best shot in quite a while at making those bedtime stories a little bit more true. Hell, even electing him would make the stories a little more true."

I'll say, I admit a similar notion has long been hiding out below my more practical rationales for being an Obama supporter. The idea that, maybe, just maybe, an Obama presidency could spark a civic reawakening, or nudge the nation in a direction that more closely resembles the mythos surrounding it, or as pooh reminds, rescue those better angels of our nature from the museum.

A few of the obvious things related to Katherine's bed-time stories, for me, could be Sullivan's face argument, or the idea that Obama embodies the melting pot, or that his election would be a triumph over the nations original sin, etc.

Point to something in the Bill of Rights that Paul doesn't want enforced.

Given his apparent position on abortion, I'll go with "What are the 9th and 10th Amendments, Alex?"

Gary: How do you define "normal times," and which runs of years would you point to to define them? And why?

I suppose that any time in history can be seen in hindsight as having been either completely normal or a real aberration. And admittedly normal is pretty ambiguous and fuzzy at best.

But if you had told me in 2000 that in the next 8 years we would need to have a public discussion about torture, if and when it was OK and what exactly constituted torture, I would have thought you were a loon. If you had told me our country would come to think it was just fine to kidnap any person from their home country for whatever reason we felt adequate and then hold that person in secret with no due process of any kind I would have asked you to share what you were smoking.

If you had told me that I would have to look to Democrats in 2006 to restore some measure of competence, integrity and fiscal responsibility to government (leaving aside for now the question of whether they delivered) I would have thought you daft.

If you had tried to convince me that I could come to seriously consider voting for a very liberal candidate because they couldn’t possibly do any worse at expanding government and wasting taxpayer money than my own party had done I would have snuck a peak over my shoulder to see if the guys in the white coats were coming.

If you tried to convince me that I would come to be ashamed of my party in almost every way and that I would have a hand in enabling all that I would have told you that you were a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

Finally, if you somehow managed to convince me of all that but then tried to tell me that my own party would prove completely incapable of fielding even one single candidate who could convince me that they understood the mess we had made and were serious about cleaning it up I would have shook my head and backed away slowly, before turning and running down the street.

Maybe it’s difficult to come up with a definition for “normal times”. I think it’s less difficult to open your eyes and look around and say This. Isn’t. It.

If, on the other hand, what you mean by "enough" is "enough to get me to vote for Obama," well, sure.

That's what I mean.

If you mean that somehow corporations will lessen their economic interest in extracting profits from the U.S. economy, and thus in manipulating U.S. politics, I'd like to have some of what you're smoking.

I think I meant about eight different things, and none of them were very clear.

Mostly, I think I was reacting to this:

Obama doesn't have a chance -- he will either be corrupted or destroyed.

I think that's kind of over the top, especially in the context of the "corporatist" thing.

We go back and forth between imposing relatively strict regulation on private business, and giving it a free hand. We're generally in favor of a pretty free market, but when the middle class gets threatened things tighten up. I think we're approaching that now, regardless of who ends up being president.

The thing corporations hold over everyone's heads when regulation is threatened is that they will relocate to a more "business friendly" venue. The US used to be the big show for global corporations, nowadays there are (I think) a wider range of options. So, some might relocate. So be it.

Private industry is one of several interests that compete for political influence here. They have a lot of money, therefore quite a bit of power, and they'll virtually always exert that power in their own self-interest. That's a long way from an end to democratic governance in the US.

IMO, in this country the real threats to democratic governance, and the real will to empire, can be found in the intelligence and national security institutions. They have more money than god, and they're accountable to noone. Secrecy and paranoia are their reason for being. They're America's lizard brain.

Corporations just want more money. Those guys scare the hell out of me.

Russell, I don't know if you read Edge of the West.

I think those guys are great. I'll check out the link. Thanks Charlie!

Thanks -

I am afraid that Katherine never convinced her mother. I wavered at least four times in the last three weeks. But ultimately I was thrilled to pull the lever for a woman president. If Katherine didn't have a radical feminist mother, Katherine might not be Katherine.

Gary: Those are perfectly valid rules that I'll have to mull over. Unfortunately, I think this is -- for me -- a point where viscera dominate cerebra, so I'll have to see whether those perfectly sensible rules actually accord with what I'm feeling.

YMMV, natch.

And, of course: "Let's All Do The Can-Can Again!"

"Can We Can-Can, Cam?"

Katherine: I remain utterly perplexed by anyone who thinks that "willingness & ability to make moral arguments to the voters" is irrelevant to the legalized torture issue.

Oh, they're highly relevant. But when Obama had the opportunity to do that very thing, during the debate on the habeas amendment to the MCA, he made pragmatic, determinedly amoral arguments. That spoke volumes to me.

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