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June 11, 2005

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Obama's autobiography, Dreams of my Father, is fascinating. He is a gifted writer as well as a man who has successfully forged an indentity out of a very mixed cultural background. He's my pick for 08. wouldn't it be cool to have a President named Obama?

"wouldn't it be cool to have a President named Obama?"

Second to President Dooku, though.

wouldn't it be cool to have a President named Obama?

i'd like a smart, level-headed president no matter what his name.

but maybe you have more faith in the GOP than i do. the Barak Osama flyers practically write themselves...

his aides also actually get back to me when I write indignant constituent mail. That's a first. Couldn't believe it.

Still only my second favorite Senator from Illinois however.

He's so good it's unsettling. He seems to reach this level of clear-sighted rhetorical excellence every time he opens his mouth. I rarely wonder if anything or anyone is "too good to be true", because most people and most things just aren't very good to begin with. But with Obama, despite all the evidence that he really, truly means it, I can't keep from asking "Is he for real?"

He gives a good speech. He votes like a DINO.

As Bob says. He gives some of the best speeches any Congressperson has in my lifetime. But he votes awful, and he joins in the Dean-bashing bandwagon, and otherwise fails to keep the respect his speeches earn from me.

Yeah I have been reading the stuff over at Jeanne's Body and Soul. I am glad somebody linked, my browser's a mess tonight.

He voted for Gonzalez and the bankruptcy bill. And more. Am I supposed to forgive and forget, nobody's perfect, the Senate works in mysterious ways, especially for freshman, don't be such a jerk, Bob?

Co-opted, compromised, small sacrifices for influence and power, eventually we will get something very important from Obama. Blah. Blah. We still have Gonzalez and the bankruptcy bill.

Not my kind of Democrat.

He voted against Gonzales and against the bankruptcy bill on both cloture and final passage.

I've definitely run into this rumor once before on this site and several times on other sites. Where's it coming from?

Yeah, I remember seeing at the time, on both, that Obama was one of the few Democrats to vote against Gonzales, and against the bankruptcy atrocity.

Somebody running some kind of whispering campaign? Such things have been known to happen in politics, once in a blue moon.

Strange whispering campaign to be coming from the left about a Democrat.

In any case it was a great speech so few people today know how to give a good speech--even Clinton I think got by on the pure force of his weird charisma more than his good speechmaking skills--but I can't agree with him on globalization. It isn't a zero sum game. Globalization is the reason we have been able to do so well for the past two or three decades. See especially NAFTA and the 1980s and 1990s WTO. I'm all for retraining people when their jobs become obsolete, but I'm absolutely not for stopping progress and economic advancement to keep their jobs from becoming obsolete. Helping people keep up with the quickly changing world is a good value--trying to keep the world from changing through protectionism is not.

The idea that an ownership society is just social darwinism is especially ugly. It used to be called giving people a stake, and it was central to labor ideas in the 1950s and 1960s.

I don't think we need to harken back to the days of crappy Ford cars.

"Strange whispering campaign to be coming from the left about a Democrat."

Oh, sure, that never happens. Democrats are famously monolithic, and, after all, only consist of the "extreme" left. Bill Clinton was always beloved by the left of his party, after all, as was Jimmy Carter. And John Kerry.

Well no, but the American left isn't usually so subtle as to bother with a whispering campaign. :)

Read the speech, Sebastian.

The idea of "giving people a stake" is fine, but it's not what Bush's ownership society is about. What kind of "stake" is it, when you're one merger or corporate cost cutting away from losing a job that already doesn't pay well enough for you to confidently plan for retirement, your kids' education, or even a decent vacation every year?

What kind of "stake" is it, when you're 55 and you're told to get job training - for a job that pays maybe 2/3 of what you were making, and could also go south without notice? What kind of "stake" is it, when the execs ask more and more for less and less, renege on pensions and lay off workers by the thousands, and cut R&D and customer service to the bone, to make that quarter's revenue targets - still get their multi-million dollar bonuses and golden parachutes, even as they leave a wrecked company behind them?

What kind of "stake" is it, when Bush wants to phase out SocSec even as companies stop funding pensions and salaries stay stagnant so people can't save more for retirement even if they had the discipline to do so?

What kind of "stake" is it, when people stuck under $30,000 a year can't get daycare assistance, can't get tuition assistance, can't find affordable housing, can't get good education for their kids or healthcare for their families, and are one medical emergency away from bankruptcy?

Bush's 'Ownership Society" is Social Darwinism. It's a hearkening back to the Gilded Age, a de facto aristocracy defined purely by wealth. It's Grover Norquist's wet dream of drowning government in the bathtub: no investment in new technologies, no safety nets, no CDC, no NIH, no FEMA, no NOAA, no federal regulation of industry, no Hubble, no space program (except for military applications); nothing that helps the commonweal. Nothing that creates new technologies, which would create new industries and new job opportunities. (But lots of corporate welfare, subsidies for businesses with powerful lobbies, and a tax code that concentrates wealth upward.)

Read the speech. It's not about protectionism. It's about what made America pre-eminent in the world. The American Drean means more than fantasies of eternal military supremacy and an economy where the dice are loaded in favor of the already-haves.

Katharine and Nate: I am very happy to be wrong in this case! I was relying on sources I find usually reliable, but will rummage for antecedents and spread corrections. Thank you!

"I've definitely run into this rumor once before on this site and several times on other sites. Where's it coming from?"

Good gracious, I am in grievous error, and apologize. I will try to determine from where my misconceptions were derived. I appreciate the correction. It is good news.

Well then. Go Obama.

"I've definitely run into this rumor once before on this site and several times on other sites. Where's it coming from?"

I don't want to jump on bob and John Thullen, but Katherine may be thinking of this thread.

If Katherine had heard it elsewhere, here was this piece by David Sirota which seems to have the kind of raw material that would set up something like this.

Yikes, Bob. I hope you can remember the correction this time. (Of course my memory isn't what it once was either.) Internalize the good news, and get that erroneous information out of your head, before it comes out again in another two months.

"Yikes, Bob. I hope you can remember the correction this time."

Indeed. I cannot deny that I tend to look for the dark cloud within every silver lining, think the worst of people whenever possible, and think every day I don't die in my sleep a good day, tho likely worse than yesterday.

I am too cynical.

"I am too cynical."

As Mike Nichols reminded us last week: "Cheer up! Life isn't everything!"

Globalization is the reason we have been able to do so well for the past two or three decades

We?

Unless you are in Africa, which for the most part has not participated in globalization and is damaged by one of the remaining protected markets in both the EU and the US (agriculture) 'we' almost certainly includes you and everyone reading on this website.

'we' almost certainly includes you and everyone reading on this website.

Fact free ideology.

Don't be so hard on yourself felixrayman.

Bob, something to cheer you up...

I get up each morning and dust off my wits
Open the paper and read the obits
If I'm not there, I know I'm not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed

"My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went", words trad, melody Pete Seeger

Don't be so hard on yourself felixrayman.

Wow that's the best you have? Later.

You offer a content-free criticism, you get a content free response. :)

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