Young voters, African American voters, the people who hauled Obama through the primaries--these groups have a piss poor record for voting in Congressional Elections. Obama needs to get his voters asses in gear. Hillary's voters show up for the off-years. McCain's and Bush's voters show up for the off years. Obama, his volunteers, and his "team of rivals" best find a way to get his people to the polls. It's their party now. Their party to wreck.
The FBI, CIA, etc don't need to worry about plane hijackings/explosions as far as terrorism is concerned. The passengers won't allow it.
The only reason 9/11 succeeded was because the passengers expected to be flown to Cairo, Rio de Janiero, etc, held for ransom, debriefed, and finally released to enjoy the scenery and locals for a few days before being returned to the US. Not a bad deal.
Now everybody expects that if you're acting violent, playing with fire, etc. on a plane, you plan to kill everyone anyway. The passengers will attack and subdue you. All this focus on airport security is stupid. The TSA is a waste of billions. There is no attack on a commercial airliner that can succeed in this day and age.
I think that's actually why the authorities focus so much on it. Going after airline criminals is safe. It's the gun-toters on the ground that are dangerous. Their paychecks and kickbacks are the same whether they go after the non-violent "criminals" or the violent ones. I know which one I'd pick if I were living it up under the Blue Code of Silence.
NOW is misnamed. If they were being honest, they would call themselves the National Organization for Upper and Upper Middle Class White Women of the Left. Their focus issues apply to less than 5 percent of the population. Therefore, it's not surprising that less than 5% of the population gives a mad fuck what NOW has to say.
To wit, how many women returning to work in their 40s and 50s are concerned about a tax on plastic surgery? I have yet to meet one. "I haven't worked in ten years, but I can still afford a plastic surgeon." Don't worry, Mrs 90210, NOW's got your back.
Who cares? I'm sure she is qualified. Paul Wolfowitz's girlfriend or wife of whatever was qualified, too. Let's face it: these jobs aren't as hard as they're made to appear. Being President, Governor, Attorney General, US Attorney...There are shitloads of people who can do them. If you want the job, you have to have an edge. She wheedled her way into one and good for her.
I recall my 11 years in the child "welfare" system with hearty laughs. Having kids raised by these systems is a bad joke. It's like having your children raised by the public transportation system or the Motor Vehicle Department. Nobody knows what the hell's going on, abuse is rampant, funding levels are disastrous, there are rules on top of rules to be followed, everything needs to be approved by a judge, which often takes months. Forcing any child to live in it who doesn't have to is unconscionable.
I spent a decade working in high schools, in the richest areas and in the poorest ones. In the rich areas, there are very few kids having kids. It's not because they're having less sex or using more protection; it's because they have doctors and parents with money and 3/4 of them who become pregnant just get an abortion.
At the poor schools, it's not that way. They don't get regular doctor visits, their parent's don't have money. 3/4 of them carry to term. That's how it is now.
That's exactly how it will continue to be under Health Care Reform. Abortions cost money, but for a "middle class" family, even paying out of pocket is more than possible. Even if HCR passes with Stupak, that's millions of poor young moms who can see a doctor. It's working poor parents who won't have to choose (like I did) between paying the heat and paying the $150 bill for their child to see a surgeon (he wound up not needing the surgery, thankfully).
I realize the right of insurance companies to sell overpriced abortion coverage feels like dirt in the face, but that's all it is--dirt in the face. Abortion will stay as it is: a convenience for the well-off. Not perfect, but no different. Please rethink your perspective.
I agree with you--we are in decline, but for reasons other than what you point out.
First, 40% of our voting age population thinks a magic flying Jewish zombie is going to show up any day and fix all the shit that's fucked up. They have no sense of future planning. On the other hand, those people have always been around.
The real problem is that our public education system is inadequate at every level. Based on my looking into it, there is not a single other industrialized nation that's responding to recession by laying off teachers. Here we had a financial crisis caused by borrowers not being able to read and understand standardized loan documents and bankers not having tools available to measure the risk involved with them. It's simpler than it sounds--people cannot read and do math well enough to meet their economic challenges.
It's at every level. EVERY level. Why in the hell are businesses complaining that college graduates can't write? Why are students graduating high school and can't even name the first three Presidents? There was a time when you couldn't graduate the 8th grade without having read the King James Bible (not that I'm a fan of the Bible, but you get my point). 1/3 eighth graders can't even get through Charlotte's Web. Idiots on top of idiots, and we respond by laying of teachers. We're screwed beyond screwed and too ignorant to know it.
Look at how many illiterates we have. People who were shocked to learn about health care reform being on Obama's platform, people who don't know Medicare and Social Security are government programs. I worked with a lady who thought George Bush was pro-choice. I just had another person tell me how terrible our country's drug problem is. He was floored to find out that our last two Presidents are admitted former coke-heads. He voted for them both. It's a veritable moron parade every goddam day.
We are a nation in decline. We're circling the bowl as we speak. We're chock-full of functional morons and we let them vote. I'd be tempted to say Fuck America but we're already fucked.
I had to look that up, and you're right. Media Matters says 125. Who cares? It's over 100.
I have to disagree with you on the political implications of unemployment. We've got massive corporate bailouts with Obama's and Pelosi's names all over them. I called them bad policy before they passed, and there's no doubt in my mind we're going to pay for passing them.