• Very stupid indeed - and most days, I fear he's right.

  • comment on a post Define Honor In Politics... over 5 years ago

    One clarification - this was an Illinois State Senate bill from 2003 - not US Senate.

    What I want to know is whether the cable and broadcast news media will run this for McCain, or is he having to actually buy time to spread his filth?

  • Well, I don't think I said in my original comment that Obama favored privatization - I was talking about the people he takes advice from.  And if it's Leibman on Social Security, than I could see muted enthusiasm for going after McCain on Social Security, given Leibman's own views on the program.

    But of course I'm sorry if there was a misunderstanding here - let me be clear.  I've heard politicians make promises on the campaign trail before - see, for example, Bill Clinton - only to come back and change position, as Clinton did privately on Social Security.  Thank god for Monica Lewinsky in that instance, as the scandal apparently prevented Clinton from holding hands with Gingrich to go after Social Security.  

    So while I'm glad to hear Obama say this publicly, I don't completely trust him on the subject, given who has his ear on Social Security - and Leibman is not to be trusted (and I'm not sure I'm spelling his name right, it might be Liebman - but whatever it is, I don't trust him.)

  • Oh, please - I know what Obama has said in the campaign.  In fact, that's what I'm banking on - that he's publicly committed to opposing privatization -  and it's why I'm willing to vote for him, despite his very poor choice of economic and social policy advisors (Leibman isn't his only mistake, Austin Goolsbee is another one).  

  • comment on a post McCain: Social Security Is A "Disgrace" over 6 years ago

    I would like to think Obama could take advantage of this - unfortunately, his own advisor on Social Security, Jeff Leibman, is a disciple of Martin Feldstein, has written numerous articles calling for privatization of Social Security, and therefore probably agrees with McCain on this.  I'll be interested to see if Obama actually criticized McCain on his demonstrated lack of understanding of how Social Security works - and, of course, for continuing the 70 year Republican war on Social Security.

  • I think you don't understand Social Security.  It has ALWAYS been a pay as you go program - workers paying FICA currently have always been paying for currently paid benefits - it's been that way since 1939.  So once again, McCain is revealing his ignorance.  

    Second, people who work at low or moderate wages their whole lives cannot survive just on their "own" money - that's why Social Security is necessary.  We need a public, redistributive, guaranteed income source in old age - period.  If you think you can survive on your 401(k) in retirement, you're crazy - tell that to someone needing to retire this year and looking at their 401(k) having lost 20 percent of its value since last October.  Ridiculous.

  • comment on a post Obama - Clinton Unity Thread over 6 years ago

    OK, how can we tell a vote for Democrats is a vote for competence?  Because SOMEHOW they have Hillary's outfit (in the most flattering blue color she's worn since the campaign began) - MATCHING Barack's tie - and both matching the outline of the sign on the front of the podium!  How the heck did they manage that?  Never mind - they look great, they sound great, they make me proud to be a Democrat again.

  • comment on a post AFL-CIO Endorses Obama, Launches 'Meet Barack Obama' over 6 years ago

    I hope the AFL-CIO will keep Obama faithful to his recently expressed opposition to privatization - because his chief advisor on Social Security is Jeff Leibman, a close associate and co-author with Martin Feldstein, with whom he's collaborated on various writings in favor of privatizing Social Security.  This is the main reason I do not trust Sen. Obama, and while of course I will vote for him, I have to rely on Democrats in Congress and groups like organized labor to keep him, once in office, from doing a 180 on Social Security.

  • comment on a post Before Couric, CBS Considered Olbermann over 6 years ago

    I just think Olbermann's ego has inflated to exceed the size of any room he broadcasts from - and I started thinking that long before any of this stuff many perceive as sexist treatment of Clinton occurred.  I thought his first "special comment", last year sometime, was effective - but you can't keep that up without starting to sound like Paul Harvey or Rush Limbaugh. And that's what he's become - of course, he comes at it from slightly left of center, so I tolerate it a bit better.  But he's still become a blowhard so full of himself that he's lost all perspective.  And newsman?  journalist?  Well, he used to be a sportscaster, but I don't know that he's ever really been a journalist.  I would LOVE to see Amanpour in that spot - but she might not want to do it.  Now there's a woman with credibility and gravitas.

    I don't care for Couric - she's an entertainer, not a newsperson - but I may start watching CBS, just because I can't stand any more Tim Russert hagiography pieces on NBC.  Enough already.

  • I was just trying to remember if Sebelius was the one whose son developed the prison rape board game and was marketing it out of the governor's mansion, with her full support.  Yeah, she's not my pick either.  Poor judgment.  And she's about as dynamic as white toast from what I've seen of her on TV.  And she doesn't balance off any of Obama's perceived shortcomings.

  • This is why I was never an Obama supporter in the primaries - Leibman is a co-author with Martin Feldstein who has been jonesing to destroy Social Security for 40 years or more.  However, the more Obama goes on the record opposing privatization, the more boxed in he'll be, I hope, if he's elected.  And Democrats in Congress, like Pelosi who stopped this crap cold in 2005, I hope will stop it again.

    McCain was on this again this morning, I think, saying oh no, he's not for privatization, but what he's for is some private accounts for young people.  And then he said he'd guarantee benefits for "current retirees" - very generous of you, John.  He talked about the parties getting together, like Tip O'Neill and Ronal Reagan in 1983 - well, I was there, I worked on it, and Reagan got his ass handed to him on Social Security both before and during the 1983 Amendments.  He was STILL saying privately, to members of Congress of both parties, right up to the signing of the 1983 Amendments that, "You know, we really do have to get rid of this program."  I don't know why the elderly don't get it that Republicans CANNOT be trusted on Social Security.  Period.

    McCain's continuing support for privatization  makes a great attack ad point, I agree - and I hope using it against McCain stops Leibman and other of Obama's advisors (like Goolsbee) from bringing it up again in any context.

  • comment on a post It's Going to Get Worse over 6 years ago

    Great diary.  One of the things people with money don't get about poverty unless they've been there is the lack of margin for bad luck or error - if you've got no backup, every day is another source of terror about what might happen next.

    One thing I hope Obama can do over the next 4 1/2 months is convince people that he does know what poverty means in real terms, that he really does understand the struggle.

    And I also hope Doug runs again - I knew him when I lived in Vermont years ago, and he'd be great.

  • on a comment on Beat Back The Smears over 6 years ago

    Yeah, he's just rented a room and is having his own function - the Press Club isn't sponsoring him or anything like that.  Commenter over at FDL says the Press Club has allowed people to rent rooms to talk about UFO and alien abduction, so I guess this is in that category.

    The real test will be how much play Fox gives this "event".  

  • comment on a post Six of Nine over 6 years ago

    Excellent diary - although Justices pretty routinely stay on the court into their 80's, so we won't see the back of Alito, Roberts and Thomas for probably 20-25 years at least.  Scalia and Kennedy will probably hang in for 15 more years unless their health fails.  So we are fighting a rear guard action just to maintain a moderate liberal minority on the court.

    But it's critical - so many people the last week have been talking about the Court as if abortion is the only issue, when it's so much more.  Thanks for spelling that out.

  • Good diary.  But I've been thinking the internet echo chamber helps people who are bitterly unhappy about the nomination result to reinforce each other's feelings, and as a result many of the people posting on political sites like this one and TalkLeft, etc., may in fact never resign themselves to voting for the Democratic nominee.  And that would be a shame, because the vote for President is far more than a vote for the person - it's a vote for the Democrats to take back the entire Executive Branch.  And there's a lot more to that than Supreme Court nominations - it's control of regulations that protect the environment, it's control of intelligence activities, it's... well, I could go on and on, but the point is this is NOT just about how good a leader Obama may or may not be.  It's about the entire direction of the government, and that's why it's essential the Dems win in November.  Simple as that.

    Look, I didn't want to vote for Jimmy Carter - I thought he was way too conservative - but, as a black friend of mine said about it at the time, we all voted for him "with pain shooting down my arm as I pulled the lever."  I didn't particularly like Mondale, and I didn't much like Bill Clinton - he again was too conservative for me, but I voted for him anyway because the stakes were too high.  I didn't much like Kerry (I wanted Edwards), but I voted for him anyway.  And I didn't support either Obama or Hillary - I wanted Gore, and if not him, Edwards.  I hated the sexism of the blogs re Hillary, and I hated the ineptness and occasional scuzziness of Hillary's campaign, so by the end I didn't care which one ended up with the nomination, I just wanted it over.  But now that it is, I'm voting for Obama.  It's not just the man - it's the entire mechanism of government that's at stake.


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