What Did Obama Mean by Change?

No reporter has ever asked him as far as I know. I don't know if any will ask this time around. What did you mean by "Change" anyway? He ran a whole campaign on it and does anyone really know what Barack Obama meant he was going to change?

 

I'm in the camp that he hasn't changed a damn thing. People will counter with Lilly Ledbetter. It's a lovely law, but does anyone really believe that's what was meant by the grandiose statement "Change"?

Of course I use Lilly Ledbetter as a symbol. President Obama obviously has more accomplishments than that. He really did change the laws and many people's perceptions on gay rights for example. Don't Ask, Don't Tell is history. The government is no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act. And the President of the United States is finally for gay marriage. But did people really think Senator Obama meant he would change gay rights legislation? Is that what the 2008 election was about?

A little bit of financial reform (which so far has proven to be as ineffectual as progressive critics predicted) certainly doesn't qualify as "Change." Thirty million more Americans insured -- maybe, hopefully, by 2014 -- is a good thing. Is it transformational? Has Washington changed as we know it? Have we gotten "Change"?

Here is the common sense interpretation of what "Change" is -- changing the way Washington works. In fact, this is exactly what was promised, specifically by Barack Obama. He even made a campaign ad about it: http://www.youtube.com/...

That's an example of the same old game playing in Washington. I don't want to learn how to play the game better; I want to put an end to the game playing.

And by God, what have you done to that effect? I would venture to say, almost without refutation, absolutely nothing. Even the most ardent Obama supporter can't in good conscience or sound mental state argue that President Obama has changed the way Washington works. He's just played the game a little better, if you're being charitable on how you keep score on that count.

But here's what should really burn you up -- he hasn't even tried. Not even close. Has there been a single piece of legislation backed by the White House that would stop the way lobbyists or big corporate interests or any special interest groups buy our politicians? In 93% of the cases, the person with more money wins their Congressional race. Democrat or Republican. Obviously the controlling factor is not ideology, party or even votes. It's money. And it's obvious.

And the president has done what to "Change" that?

Nonetheless, I'm insanely optimistic and naïve. So, I say we give him one more chance. But there is no way you should just trust him and hope for the best. He has to actually do something this time instead of just hanging a campaign placard up.

Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky has introduced a bipartisan bill that would amend the constitution to say that money cannot control our elections. Will the president make this one of his top priorities? Will he campaign on it? Will he do everything in his power to pass it if he is re-elected?

If he does, then we should let bygones be bygones. The slate is wiped clean and God bless second terms and the concept of redemption. If the president makes a real effort on the campaign trail to emphasize this as one of his core issues, then progressives should turn out to do everything they can to get him elected, whether it's voting, donating or volunteering. We're not asking for much in return -- just deliver on your original promise.

On the other hand, if he can't even do this, then it's obvious that the Democrats will never, ever help us. It will be painfully clear that they are part of the same corrupt system and have no interest in ever changing it. In fact, they love that system because it is what keeps them in office.

But this is not a decision for me to make. It is for the president. Which way will he go? Will he continue to play small-bore politics? Will he continue his rhetorical games and hope we don't realize that he is being too clever by half? Will he play the same old Washington games and hope to play them just a little better? Or will he actually lead and bring us real change?

Despite all the broken promises and all the cute political tricks, I still have the audacity of hope. I'm just waiting for President Obama to put it out one last time, so we can really go to war against Washington -- all of it. Democrats and Republicans alike. The public has a pox ready for both of their houses and only one man has the antidote. Let's see what he does.

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Why Republican Voters Can't Make Up Their Mind

It seems like every couple of weeks we have a new leader in the Republican field. Michele Bachmann has been there, so has Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain sits atop the field. Why can't Republican voters make up their minds?

Here's why - they don't even believe their own positions. They want someone who is massively conservative and at the same time agrees with them on policy. The problem is the voters aren't nearly as conservative as they think they are. So they love the tough talking governor from Texas until they find out he wants to get rid of Social Security. They like that Michele Bachmann doesn't believe in global warming until they realize that she doesn't believe in it because she's bat-shit crazy.

If you choose ignorance as your party ideology why should it surprise you that you have completely ignorant party leaders? But it does, every single time. Watch, it'll happen again. This time with Herman Cain.

The voters are going to wake up a week from now and realize they're not sure they want someone leading the free world who doesn't know what Ubeki-beki-beki-stan is or what his own position on abortion is. They love his ignorance when it comes to science and basic economics, but they hate it when it shows how unqualified he is.

Well, you can't have it both ways. Someone who is remotely competent or sentient recognizes that 97% of the world's scientists are right about climate change (including even Koch funded scientists), that cutting deficits during tough economic times does not stimulate the economy and that firing state workers means we have less workers. But those are all against the stated position of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. So, what is a Republican voter to do?

The answer is to fall in love with another conservative politician this week and find out he is a blithering idiot the next. Or worse yet, find out you don't really agree with any of those positions when they affect you (get your government hands off my Medicare!). That's the schizophrenia of the Republican electorate -- they keep switching leaders because they don't even believe their own positions.

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Wolf-PAC in ALL 50 States!

The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur gives an update on donations and volunteers for http://www.wolf-pac.com/. Help end the corrupting influence of money in politics once and for all by joining the cause!

 

How To Regain Our Democracy

 

Declaration of Independence

Our politicians are bought. Everyone knows it. Conservatives know it just as much as liberals do. And libertarians have probably known it all along. The Democrats are bought and the Republicans even more so. They don't represent us. They represent their donors. We have taxation without representation. Our democracy is in serious trouble.

We must regain our ability to make a difference, to have our votes count. Right now, corporate interests and special interests dominate our politics because they can spend unlimited money. Unfortunately, in this current system money speaks louder than words. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but the checkbook is far mightier than the pen. In the congressional races in 2008, the candidate who had more money won more than 93% of the time. Our representatives don't serve us; they serve the people who pay them -- their corporate funders.

So, how can we change that? Well, we can build an army of American citizens willing to fight back against the corporate machines. We can also fight money with money. But we have to concentrate all of our resources into one single attack -- making sure we take corporate money out of politics. Now, you can never stop rich people from spending their own money on their political ideology. But that has happened throughout our history and we have survived that. What has changed in the last 30 years is the power of corporate money, which is nearly unlimited.

Starting in 1978, the Supreme Court opened the spigot to corporate spending in politics. Since then, the average American has seen their wages stagnate and their share of taxes rise significantly, while corporations have seen their tax burden shrink and the top 1% has literally tripled their income. There has been a massive redistribution of wealth in this country. And it's going straight to the top.

There is one answer though. It is the one thing that is above Congress and the Supreme Court -- a constitutional amendment. We must pass an amendment saying that corporations are not people and they do not have the right to spend money to buy our politicians. Corporations have no soul. They are profit-making robots. They are not endowed by their creator with inalienable rights. They are legally created fictions that are charged with maximizing profit without any concern for morality. They can and they must be stopped before they destroy our democracy.

We are not against the existence of corporations, we are only against their ability to buy and control our government. Robots can be useful, but that doesn't mean we should let them run our democracy. We must not allow multinational corporations to infringe upon American sovereignty. This is supposed to be a democracy run by citizens, not by international, unaccountable business and financial interests.

The objective of Wolf PAC will be to raise money and raise an army for the sole purpose of passing this amendment. We need a constitutional revolution. Please join us and help retake our democracy.

28th Amendment

Corporations are not people. They have none of the constitutional rights of human beings. Corporations are not allowed to give money to any politician, directly or indirectly. No politician can raise over $100 from any person or entity. All elections must be publicly financed.

Join the Fight here: http://www.wolf-pac.com/

Now, in order to make this amendment a reality, we must take a series of concrete steps. The objective of Wolf PAC is not theory, it is results. We will pass the amendment and we will regain our democracy. Here is how we're going to do it.

We must gather up an a fighting force. We need programmers and organizers and lawyers and leaders. We need this movement to be in all 50 states. So, first we are doing a call for generals in this army. Please write into us and tell us what your expertise is and how you can help. If you can volunteer, great; if you can contribute, great. But we need you no matter what. There is no secret money behind this. There is no profit in it other than for our democracy. That's why this movement must be people powered.

Unfortunately it appears that our Congress is completely infected with the virus. So proposing an amendment through Congress seems hopeless. But luckily there is another way. We can do this purely at the state level. The states can call for a constitutional convention and they can ratify an amendment that comes out of one. And there is nothing our corrupt federal government can do about it.

We are hoping that the first wave of volunteers help us organize at the state level. Let's go occupy the states! Can you imagine all 50 state houses occupied until the people get what they want -- their democracy back! It can happen. You can make it happen. Joint the fight. Now, it's our time. Get up, it's time to get them back.

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