I suggested something similar, even if a bit more forceful, in my last diary. If people like Sanders start making demands, then the whole point of placating one or two people to get to 60 becomes a losing cause and the White House will be forced to adopt a different route. Also, they will run out of excuses to placate a Lieberman as in indirect way of doing what they might want have done all along. Who knows.
All I know is this. Forget worrying about a third party vote in 2012. Obama needs to worry about non votes of people staying home disgusted by his cowardice and the sellout some of his team members are. I have warned people of a 2000 repeat. The problem wasn't NAder votes but Bush getting his base to turn out. You fuck up the base vote, you lose.
My mistake for not being clearer. I actually meant the moderate DEms, not lieberman when I was talking about Obama threatening them. It is not just campaign funds. How about spending in the senator's home domain?
Geeez man. Everything we predicted about Lieberman has come true and even worse. There is no light in the tunnel of appeasing this vile creature.
It's time Obama's team and some top leaders start threatening the obstructionist Democrats(unless they have a really good reason they can articulate to oppose something on principle) with cutting off any of the benefits like fundraising or allocation of funds to the senator's district. It's time they played hardball.
Goddamit. I am sick and tired of this party doing nothing despite controlling every arm of government. They had a year of majority in everything and the Democrats haven't done one significant thing yet for education or the curtailing of the military industrial complex.
Exactly, just as with my diary on Petruna and Airtran shows, there are a group of right wingers we just need to write off as hopeless causes. I think Nathan is pretty much where I am at - we need to reinforce the middle who can influence policy.
And not only that, there are people like me who are slightly to the left of the middle who need more reinforcement as to the urgency. On one level, I realize there is global warming. But on another level, I get thoughts in my head like "you know, clean air and water matters more to me now in terms of priority. It is supposedly too late anyway to reverse the damage. Sure better late than never, but what is the reward ratio at this point?".
Also, I want to clarify my earlier comments. I did not mean Gore should stop preaching the message and just have experts talk on camera. I want to see a multipronged approach. Have Gore reach some people, have climatologists reach others where the common person can see them dissect common arguments brought up by skeptics that sound plausible.You will be surprised by how many people would be willing to be convinced on the whole global warming thing.
The problem is Gore and likeminded politicians should be spending some of his energy and influence trying to get climate scientists to tear apart so called academic skeptics on global warming.
When the public sees a liberal and conservative political figure debate on tv, they just stick with what they are comfortable with. There is no progression in the debate. It's nice Gore travels the world , but he needs to mentor some people without his political bagggage(and I say this as someone who wanted him to run for President) to reach the middle(the right will never buy into it, so it's a waste of time trying to reach those nutjobs).
The problem is this. The climate researchers have done an AWFUL job getting out in the public and spreading the word. I am sorry, but I did not care for An Inconvenient Truth. I thought it was presented more like the Cult of Gore.
There are two big science related issues that divide Americans - Global Warming and Evolution. Flock of Dodos did an excellent job showing why despite all the evidence supporting evolution, people were still taken in by slick outfits touting ID without using the ultra religious Adam and Eve card. The biologists did a lousy job spreading the word outside academia.
Seriously, climate science is not exactly a very well known major in colleges. I went to Carnegie Mellon and I cant even remember hearing about a single climate specialist in the college. It is a niche program and so it is the responsibility of our likeminded politicians to set up debates between top climate scientists and skeptics where global warming skeptics can't weasel away with their own parallel conversations.
Not only will it force true debate, it will actually help even the global warming theorists to refine any message.
OK now once you expand the percentage of the masses who are convinced global warming exists, you are faced with another task - is the change really that drastic that human life cannot just adapt to it?
Even the Bill O Reillys probably know the ice caps are melting even if many right wingers refuse to believe even that. But are they convinced that the change is so swift that the earth cannot adapt to this change? So polar bears become extinct. how does that harm the earth? Sources of rivers may become affected. Will some other phenomenon replenish river supplies? There is a huge vast of people in the middle who do know there is global warming but do not know if it is something we can't get use to living with.
Another problem is the fact that the new argument against the severity of global warming is that "yes ok, we concede that there is consensus among climatologists that global warming exists, but they exaggerate the severity to justify their funding." I have actually heard that make the rounds. And to be frank, you do not have to be a right winger to fall for that. it did not help that some so called environmentalists made crazy claims in the 70s that show up in google results and their dire predictions of what would happen to our planet in 2000 were offbase. I do not know if these quotes were cooked up to malign the left. But those quotes exist if you google it.
The only chance liberal politicians have is if they get together and use their influence to get real climatologists on TV who can be eloquent and debate these skeptics head on.
The average person is not going to take the trouble to research this on their own. Hell, I don't. So we need these people to come to us. Using Gore alone is not good enough to reach the moderate right. He speaks to only the converted.
If this whole war is a cover for actual action in Pakistan where the real problem of international terrorism gets encouraged, then I am not that much against it. Even then, I still do not see a reason for nation building. Have these people even picked up a history book on the region? I will say this - forget the whole corruption angle. It is not fixable over the next decade. Not at all. Hell, it hasn't been fixable in India for half a century.
I suspect Obama knows what the real deal is. He understands that area more than our previous Presidents. The question is this : Is there some hidden master agenda where Obama wants to get at these terrorist encouraging groups without wanting to invade Pakistan directly, but get the same benefits of having to do so by conducting operations in the vicinity? Or is it just Obama caving in to the conventional wisdom in D.C. ?
I really do not know.
But if I am a US Senator, I would oppose this unless Obama's team shows me something in private that would allude to some master plan here. At least my opposition would force him to rethink this.
Do you realize that the country can no longer afford a war at this point? We are pretty much broke. Too much time has passed and too much money has been squandered. When many people supported the Afghanistan war, revenge was on many of our minds along with the fact that we could silence global terrorism by eliminating AL Quaeda and its benefactors(the Taliban). I doubt that is a realistic goal right now using an expensive conventional war as the objective.
Let us play the OPPORTUNITY COST game. Would the US be better off if we just quit Iraq and Afghanistn cold turkey and spent all the savings on
Improving intelligence agencies
Impriving Healthcare at home saving more US lives than a radnom terrorist attack.
Improving education making the US more secure as we have more informed citizens who will be savvier about the world dangers and come up with better solutions to future threats.
So Iraq and Afghanistan will descend into temporary chaos which is a phase they will go through eventually at some point anyway. Big deal. There are countries worst off in Aftica. Rebuilding nations is not a priority we can afford. We are a broke nation.
Yeah but the situation since then has gotten a lot less manageable in Afghanistan. Also, we have less money to spend on a war now. We got more pressing concerns with healthcare. Also Obama wasted a lot of money on a bank bailout that he no longer has my support in wasting on a war that is very fuzzy at this point.
It is possible for Afghanistan to have been the "good war" at one time, and then become a bad war after the window of opportunity expired due to the US's bungling of the war.
At this point, so much time has passed, the war in Afghanistan turned from capturing Osama and punishing those responsible to a much broader theme of eradicating Islamic terrorism which is stupid because one of our allies all these years has been Pakistan which has been complicit more than Afghanistan's taliban in spreading global terrorism with their hatred of India and nurturing of terrorists, some of who ended up killing our own countrymen.
As I said before, it would have been much cheaper and morally better, even if it was legally questinable, to just send an assassination squad after Taliban leaders instead of waging a conventional war where not only a clear end is not in sight, and a lot of money has beeen spent that could be used to help save lives via better health care in the US, it could have prevented a lot of collateral damage that is incurred in such wars. All those innocent bystanders dead in Iraq and afghanistan.
It is kind of weird to see LGF distance themselves. Truth be told, all I knew of LGF was its rants on muslims and display of hypersenstivity towards anything Israel related. I mean, I count myself as one of those pretty hard on islamic looneys, but LGF just went off the deep edge, especially in the Rachel Corrie coverage.
So firing Geithner shouldnt be a problem either, right? So what is your objection to firing Geithner if he doesnt make a difference either way according to your logic? He might asa well pay for his incompetence in the AIG issue.
Supposedly they fear the destruction of the independence of the Fed and that a rival bill supposedly provides enough transparency.
Bollocks, I say.
But what is really not addressed is how will the Obama admin get existing rules to be enforced? Someone like Madoff should have been caught even with the existing rules under the Clinton and then Bush Jr tenures.