Re: "You could always do a liberal freakout thread"

1

Cry, cry, vote, cry.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:04 AM
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Can we make this thread about how tedious the liberal appetite for doom and disaster can get?

The freakout of the last 2 weeks has put me in mind of October 2008 when several progressive blogger whom I generally admire were grimly advising us all that we might as well resign ourselves to the inevitable Mccain victory...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:05 AM
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AaAAAAAGGHGGHHG! We're heading for a double dip recession!!!!

I'm up to my neck in grading, too! AAAGGGH! I don't have time to save the world!

GLUBCFLURTZ!!!!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:05 AM
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I think I got false comfort from the "swing state firewall" concept, also expressed as "there's no feasible-in-current-polling combination of swing states Romney could win the EC with." Obama's high calculated electoral-vote percentages were an artifact of winner-take-all distribution; as the nation goes, so go the swing states.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:05 AM
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It's not just the liberal appetite that craves doom and gloom, it's that we find it soothing when the conservative counterparts are crying into their humorously-conservative drink, which I can't think what that might be.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:06 AM
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Grain alcohol and rainwater.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:08 AM
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I take it nobody wanted to post on your blog today.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:10 AM
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I was on Team Don't Worry after the first debate, but it seems pretty obvious that the debate (or something roughly coincident with it) had a pretty huge impact.

That said, the media seems primed for an Obama comeback narrative, and I think he'll be able to give them some material to work with.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:12 AM
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Kevin Drum (I think) had a post saying the polls started moving before the debate, and his commenters agreed the only thing that made sense was the embassy attacks. I really don't understand how that could have made such a difference, but I can't think of anything else to attribute it to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:15 AM
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I wish there were some way of knowing if the liberal freakout after the first debate contributed, in a statistically significant manner, to the tightening of the race, or if the tightening is instead a measure of undecideds (and some racist Reagan Democrats) swinging to Romney. Regardless, the race was certainly more fun when it seemed that it might end with an Obama landslide and Democrats coming close to retaking the House (though the smart money was always on a tight race).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:16 AM
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9: you apparently don't watch the news (nor do I, but I read the criticism) and thus don't realize that we're in the midst of a cover-up so vast that it makes Watergate seem like...something not especially vast. No, really, the President and this Sharia-spreading acolytes allowed Islamic extremists to kill Americans working on foreign soil and have refused, in the aftermath of those murders, to take responsibility. Plus, MOSK! AT GROUND ZERO!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:20 AM
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this s/b his

I'm on a lot of pain killers. And I'm pretty down. So please don't hassle me about my lack of commenting skillz.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:21 AM
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It doesn't have to be one or the other.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:24 AM
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13 to 9.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:24 AM
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I'm less worried about the polls, especially individual examples, than I am about the Day of Destiny itself. Not necessarily news to anyone here, maybe, but Harper's has a thoroughly depressing article this month on election rigging. Yes, I'll still go vote, but honestly, I'm expecting even worse discrepancies than 2000 and 2004.
My conspiracy-addled brain is hearing the Republican talking-point about poll-bias as laying the groundwork for a rigged win in November. I'm trying to remain calm.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:28 AM
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Nate Silver is very soothing. Obama's probably going to win; he was probably going to win in June; he's been probably going to win on every day of July, August, and September.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:30 AM
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In fact, Obama looked worse than he does now throughout the entire month of June. Was anyone freaking out then? They were not.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:32 AM
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No, really, the President and this Sharia-spreading acolytes allowed Islamic extremists to kill Americans working on foreign soil and have refused, in the aftermath of those murders, to take responsibility. Plus, MOSK! AT GROUND ZERO!

I haven't really followed the story, and I really haven't followed the right wing attacks, but my default assumption is "voters don't care about foreign policy."

I mean (and I've been wanting to make this comparison for a week or so), whatever happened at the embassy, how could that be worse than the story in 2004 about how military incompetence lead to the insurgence stealing 380 tons of explosives from an Iraq military base? That didn't move the polls at all.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:32 AM
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I don't know that average Americans paid much attention to Benghazi, it is interesting how the elite understanding will filter down.

I see today that Clinton is trying to take the fall. My understanding is that Benghazi was a pure-d CIA shop, with all the usual conflicts and antagonisms with State trying to build relationships and do bidness in Nova Libya.

Obama wants to play war with spotters and drones State will stay out of his way but would rather not assist. Definitely not publicly. This can bite.

Crazy Mitt in his gaffe pretty much demonstrated to the Beltway crowd that State will be his b... when he plays the games. Old old story.

I don't know if Jill Average gets this point, or if it is just that confidant and crazy wins.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:33 AM
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15: I'm always worried about that, but not very knowlegeable. There were some reported strange results in the Republican primaries, where votes seemed to be shifted around over the course of the day to favor Romney or disfavor another front runner, but I don't remember what came of that.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:34 AM
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If my math is correct, the election was nearly half a year away in the month of June. Now it's less than a month away. I mean, I think freaking out is silly. But if one disagrees and thinks freaking out is not silly, now is certainly a much more reasonable time to freak out than June was.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:34 AM
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17 sells liberals short.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:34 AM
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21 to 17.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:34 AM
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There's nothing that makes conservatives happier than unhappy liberals, so all the dems peeing their pants and pulling their hair out after the first debate was without question enormously invigorating.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:34 AM
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18: you have to balance that against how much voters love scandals. Moreover, I have, in recent weeks, come to realize that no matter how frustrated I am by Obama's relentless efforts to appear to be a bland American, many Americans view him as frighteningly foreign, so there's a method to his blandness. Regardless, this story apparently resonates with a lot of people. I have anecdata to support this assertion.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:37 AM
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how could that be worse than the story in 2004 about how military incompetence lead to the insurgence stealing 380 tons of explosives

Huh. I didn't see anything about that on the Glenn Beck show. AndI don't remember the result of the Congressional investigation. How did that turn out?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:37 AM
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||
When I first loaded up this site on my phone, it somehow went to Heebie's About page without me realising it. My first conclusion was that text had emailed that in and heebie had posted it.
=>


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:41 AM
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I think freaking out is silly. But if one disagrees and thinks freaking out is not silly, now is certainly a much more reasonable time to freak out than June was.

This is true. I should mention perhaps that I will be in NY again at the end of next month, and if it is clear by then that freaking out was, indeed, justified, I will be terribly apologetic.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:41 AM
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I have absolutely no idea who is going to win, though I would be shocked to see Obama lose. Nate Silver, electoral college blah blah.

But Obama has had a deer-in-headlight look all summer, and maybe maybe just maybe Democrats should think twice about owning the next four years. I think maybe Obama is thinking on that too much.

Turkey Syria, then Hezb uses before it loses on Israel, then Israel to Iran. Who knows from Russia? This could go fractal overnight, and we really should have expected all along for the Arab Spring to get weird and scary. Not even a dirty swan.

And since the fucking World economy was not repaired in the last four years, it will be very very bad.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:49 AM
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AAAAGGGHGAGGGHAGGHAGGH!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:49 AM
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I think freaking out is silly. But mainly because I went into this election confident Obama was going to lose. So any data that doesn't indicate him losing handily is a positive outcome as far as I'm concerned.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:50 AM
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538 has Obama slowly regaining ground, but electoral-vote.com keeps getting worse. They took Virginia away from Obama's column today. I'm not sure what to make of the two sites trending in opposite directions.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:54 AM
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though I would be shocked to see Obama lose. Nate Silver, electoral college blah blah

Right now, Nate Silver is giving Obama about a one-third chance of losing. When things with a 1/3 probability happen, it isn't "shocking".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 9:57 AM
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I'm not sure what to make of the two sites trending in opposite directions.

They are answering different questions: 538 is answering "given what we know from the polls, which we feed into our terribly complicated model, what's the likely result on 6 November?" and EV is answering "given what we know from the polls, what would the result of an election today be?"
If you look at 538's "Now-Cast" (ugh), it looks worse for Obama.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:00 AM
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When things with a 1/3 probability happen, it isn't "shocking".

Nats losing a two-run lead to the Cards in the ninth was shocking. Shocking! I'm still reeling - back to rooting for the Pirates.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:06 AM
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so all the dems peeing their pants

I have recently been informed that real liberals pee in their wetsuits.

But mainly because I went into this election confident Obama was going to lose

Why? The polisci modelers had it as very close and Obama is a competent campaigner. I went in on the assumption that Obama was a narrow favorite to win.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:08 AM
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24

There's nothing that makes conservatives happier than unhappy liberals, so all the dems peeing their pants and pulling their hair out after the first debate was without question enormously invigorating.

This is true.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:19 AM
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The freakout of the last 2 weeks has put me in mind of October 2008 when several progressive blogger whom I generally admire were grimly advising us all that we might as well resign ourselves to the inevitable Mccain victory...

Unfortunately the situation now is completely different -- Obama had a 5 to 10 point polling lead throughout October 2008.

If Obama loses this the verdict on him should be pretty damning. He better pull it out.

It's not over yet, the polls have been bouncing around an unusual amount and O is still leading in some.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:30 AM
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Actually I have total faith in Nate Silver, in that he has a sensible aggregation procedure for the total knowledge publicly available about the election outcome. So if he says Obama is still a (narrow) favorite then Obama is still a (narrow) favorite. But too narrow for comfort. The Dems had it completely sewn up by this time in 2008.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:34 AM
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[wimper wimper]


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:36 AM
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Although "not as bad as the other guy" is a persuasive argument for high-information voters who have a strong sense of personal responsibility (perhaps higher than warranted by evidence of efficacy) about voting and other civic actions, it's bound to be uninspiring for undecided voters.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:36 AM
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Is there anything to be done now, from CA, specifically wrt the presidential election? Money, volunteer work, calling, ill-advised bus trips? If not, I probably don't have the energy to freak out hopelessly.

I voted, to the best of my knowledge, yesterday. I did not vote in the local school board election on the grounds that only people with significant experience of the local schools would have the faintest idea who should or shouldn't be on the board (given no obvious cranks).


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:36 AM
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I'd have to look for a link, but I'm pretty sure the Obama campaign website lets you sign up to make calls from home.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:42 AM
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Is anyone here going to vote for Romney? Shearer will, to the extent that he actually lives in this era and can make it to a polling station. Who else?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:42 AM
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I did not vote in the local school board election on the grounds that only people with significant experience of the local schools would have the faintest idea who should or shouldn't be on the board (given no obvious cranks).

I have in at least one election relied on SP's recommendations for school board candidates.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:44 AM
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Not that his recs would help you.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:44 AM
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Has Shearer said that? I thought he recently said he was undecided.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:45 AM
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I would guess a few more of you are actually going to vote for Romney. Are you willing to admit it, even on a playtime anonymous blog?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:46 AM
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if he says Obama is still a (narrow) favorite then Obama is still a (narrow) favorite. But too narrow for comfort. The Dems had it completely sewn up by this time in 2008.

This, exactly. There is a little bit of hindsight bias at work there, because I remember being at least a little bit nervous in mid-October that maybe the polls weren't telling the whole story, or maybe the Dem ticket would self-destruct in the final weeks. But the objective data already pointed to an Obama landslide in mid-October (electoral-vote.com was forecasting 355 EV's for Obama, just shy of the 365 he actually won).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:46 AM
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I'm not running for school board, so SP's recs would be wasted on me.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:48 AM
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47: Right -- his investment in enjoying the discomfiture of liberals (37 was some admirably low-key and yet profoundly irritating gloating) is, I think, greater than the degree to which he's actually committed to voting Republican.

For anyone else, it's not that there probably aren't any Republican voters reading here, but anyone who comments a lot, or is refreshing the threads continuously during the day, is unlikely to be that far from the political center of gravity of the site. So, any Romney voting lurkers?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:50 AM
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perhaps this is the thread where us rich people all actually admit who we are going to vote for.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:51 AM
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39: I've got faith in Nate Silver also. But by this time in 2008, the economy was in freefall, and McCain was showing himself to be incompetent as a crisis manager. Events aren't quite so dramatic this time.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:51 AM
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Maybe we should start by asking about Gary Johnson voters?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:52 AM
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I was wondering more about the main page posters. Who will they actually vote for?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:52 AM
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Or get a haircut.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:53 AM
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Who's with me as part of the rapidly snowballing Stein bandwagon?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:53 AM
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LizardBreath says she's voting for Stein. I'll likely vote Obama. What about the rest of you?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:55 AM
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44

Is anyone here going to vote for Romney? Shearer will, to the extent that he actually lives in this era and can make it to a polling station. Who else?

Actually I voted for Obama last time and am undecided this time. That his election will make liberals (briefly) miserable isn't quite enough to get me to vote for Romney. Maybe (channneling mcmanus) it would be better to re-elect Obama and watch him slowly destroy all the remaining liberal dreams.

More seriously while I don't much like Obama about the only thing where I clearly prefer Romney is Supreme Court nominees. For example Romney's position that we aren't sucking up to Israel enough isn't the sort of change I am looking for.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:56 AM
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57 to 55. But I was out about that on the front page a couple of days ago.

VA is too close for comfort for me to want Stanley to vote Stein, TX is red and CA blue enough that Heebie's and Ben's votes are as meaningless as mine, and Alameida's disenfranchised.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:56 AM
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More Bill Clinton, please.

(BTW, widespread use of the term "debt hole" should be encouraged, as in "Romney? Christ, what a debt hole!")


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:58 AM
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Alameida's disenfranchised.

Felony conviction?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:58 AM
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Shearer, on which issues do you prefer Obama's stance to Romney's?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 10:59 AM
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Lizarbreath thinks your votes don't matter, Heebie, Ben, and Rosey Toes, but I actually care what you think. Why not share? Isn't that why we blog?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:00 AM
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The thing is, if I thought like Shearer, I'd definitely vote for Romney. I can't think of why I'd vote for Obama. I might lie about it on the internet, but if I were Shearer I would definitely pull that Romney lever. Shearer, what's the matter with my thinking?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:03 AM
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The only upside in a Romney victory will be the ability to give LB shit for her moronic Jill Stein vote/encouragement for years to come.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:03 AM
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61 - Totally dig this. Since I can't seem to follow anything, can we assume his math adds up (at least I'd like to think it does, as I liked the message).


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:03 AM
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66: If Obama loses NY, I'll be terribly ashamed. If he doesn't, my voting for Stein won't have changed anything, win or lose the election nationally. (Well, odds are overwhelming my vote won't have changed anything no matter what happens, but you know what I mean.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:05 AM
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65

The thing is, if I thought like Shearer, I'd definitely vote for Romney. I can't think of why I'd vote for Obama. I might lie about it on the internet, but if I were Shearer I would definitely pull that Romney lever. Shearer, what's the matter with my thinking?

You probably don't really understand how I think. Neither party matches my views well. For example I am a peaceful sort and would prefer less military spending and a less aggressive foreign policy with fewer wars of choice. So I am unenthused about Obama's failed policy in Afghanistan but Romney has given me no reason to believe he would be any better. Romney's general willingness to say anything to get elected makes it hard to be too enthusiastic about him since it's hard to say what he'll actually do in office.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:11 AM
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So LB is voting for Stein because of Obama's foreign policy? Is that right?

What about Heebie and Shearer?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:11 AM
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Oh, I've anticipated that argument. Get ready for 4 years of me pointing to low voter turnout among liberals, shaming you for not doing more, regularly checking in on the progress of the Green Party as a major force for progressive change, looking up what Jill Stein is doing now, checking in on progress on civil liberties in the Romney administration, etc, etc. It will be horrible but the next 4 years under Romney will be so awful that I'll need a hobby.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:11 AM
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65: If you carve out racial issues, some gender issues, and the apparent strong interpersonal distaste for things that make liberals happy, Shearer seems to be a fairly conventional fiscally conservative/socially liberal type. From which point of view I think Obama is a clear winner as less likely to do randomly batshit insane things to the public fisc.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:11 AM
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This is cute.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:12 AM
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So are you against war in principle, James B. Shearer? And you think Obama is more anti-war than Romney? Is that how you will base your vote?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:12 AM
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since it's hard to say what he'll actually do in office.

Cut taxes for the rich.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:13 AM
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I got to think Obama's going to gain a bit of an edge from having a better ground game than Romney. His people have been through this before, while the Romney campaign has shown some evidence of being an organizational clusterfuck, at least based on the GOP convention.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:13 AM
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Isn't this a political blog? How hard is it to say who you're voting for and why?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:14 AM
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text, what's your problem? Obviously just about everyone who posts consistently here is going to vote for either Obama or someone further to the left. There's no interest in confirming the obvious.

Shearer is perfectly rational as well. He might pay slightly higher taxes under Obama, but Romney's foreign policy advisors are a truly terrifying bunch. Voting entirely on who is less likely to start a war with Iran is rational enough.

Besides all the other factors, I have an economic interest in voting Obama. As a middle class earner in my 40s I am right in the target group to get maximally screwed in 'entitlement reform'. And even though I'm pretty pissed at Obama for his waffliness and lack of leadership on that set of issues, there's no question Romney and the Republicans would be worse. Although there would be some poetic justice if Obama lost this election, as the reason would be that he had not drawn a clear enough line between him and the Rs on taxing the rich and preserving retirement and other programs. More taxes on the rich and preserving Medicare/SS are big public opinion winners.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:14 AM
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So LB is voting for Stein because of Obama's foreign policy?

Civil liberties policy is more how I think of it -- the idea that our military and law enforcement can act without any effective limits on their behavior if what they're doing is blessed under the rubric of the world-wide and eternal Global War On Ghosties And Ghoulies And Longleggedy Beasties is something I find profoundly repugnant, and that I think Obama could have repudiated at low political cost.

Foreign policy more broadly, I'm not happy, but if I were satisfied on the above issues, I could probably forgive dawdling our way out of Afghanistan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:15 AM
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I wonder how many of the "true undecideds" are actually undecided between a major-party candidate and a third-party candidate.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:19 AM
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I'm voting for Kerry Edwards.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:19 AM
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Past experience suggests that many true undecideds are waiting for Ross Perot.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:20 AM
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72: that's right too. Obama's budget policy tracks rather closely to centrist wisdom (which granted the need for temporary stimulus post-2008). Republicans have shown complete willingness to subordinate budgetary issues to ideological goals.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:20 AM
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71: So what you're saying here is that I should definitely vote for Stein just out of my warm feelings of support and friendship toward you, to give you something to make you happy in the dark times ahead.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:20 AM
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I suppose I should admit that the closest I come to freaking out is when I think hard about the fact that the moderator of tonight's debate, which really matters, is Candy Crowley. I genuinely believe that Candy Crowley has, for years now, wanted nothing more than a show on Fox. She can -- and might! -- make that happen tonight. All of her talk of "taking charge" and "taking control" of the debate has me more concerned than I'd like to be. Not to mention, as PGD notes, Obama has, since late summer, completely failed to live up to his reputation as a great campaigner.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:21 AM
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79: So what specifically has Obama done in support of that policy?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:21 AM
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Obama personally, I mean, not Team Obama, which has continued to impress me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:21 AM
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Ok, things are 30% better at work, so I now feel 15% less panicked about life in general and I can talk.

I've decided that Romney's number 1 legislative priority will be making it easier to stash money in places like Switzerland and the Caymen Islands. There's been some real slippage on this. Some even say the days of anonymous Swiss bank accounts are over. This is the kind of thing Romney feels personally about.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:21 AM
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It does bear mentioning that once Greens got a taste of power in various parts of Europe, it turned out that they weren't actually ready to upset the apple cart after all, and didn't mind demonizing a few immigrants while they were at it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:22 AM
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I think Obama could have repudiated at low political cost.

You're insane. No, really, you've lost your marbles if you believe this. That's not to say he shouldn't have done it anyway, and then worked like hell to bring the public with him on the issue, but you're insane if you think it wouldn't have cost him a ton of capital.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:23 AM
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I am interested in confirming the obvious. Who are the rich unfogged elite actually voting for?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:24 AM
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NO MATTER WHO YOU VOTE FOR, WE ALWAYS WIN!


Posted by: OPINIONATED LIZARD PEOPLE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:24 AM
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Can anyone here make sense of 79 for me? What does all of that mean in terms of things that Obama has done or not done?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:25 AM
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I am voting for Romney, but that's because I'm actively trying to destroy America. Soon, my pretties! Soon!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:25 AM
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86: I don't understand the question -- he hasn't repudiated the Bush-era legal positions that I disapproved of.

90: I could be wrong, but I think if there had been a 'rip the band-aid off' moment back in winter/spring '09 when we restored pre-existing legal norms, political damage would have blown over.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:27 AM
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See, an honest commenter. But he's not front page.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:27 AM
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84 -- Absolutely. I want to do hobbyist voter intimidation through trollery.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:27 AM
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95: what would you have liked him to do that he didn't do?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:28 AM
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I still want my gravestone or Memorial to read:"Never even considered voting for a Republican."

I will look at Stein and local elections and amendments but I still feel like not voting at all. Maybe I and my dogs will walk a placard around the school on election day.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:30 AM
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LB, you're a front page poster, and the blog needs some new posts, am I right? Why not make a post about the things you wanted Obama to do that he didn't do. That would make sense, on a political blog.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:30 AM
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bob isn't voting because he wants a communist revolution. am I right, bob?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:32 AM
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Wait, aren't there at least a couple of R-friendly commenters? One of the Pittsburgh people, maybe.

If not commenters directly, what about parents? My mom (IL) will vote democratic, I have one TX in-law who will likely vote R despite having several reasonable opinions. M-I-L (MO) is an unknown, unpredictable.

text, if you're looking to stir people up, direct goading will just make you look unwashed. See if you can find something thoughtful to say about contentious topics. "Sexism is no longer a problem in the US" maybe. "Some libertarian makes a good point here." Or you could insult a beloved figure, Townes van Zandt or Amy Poehler or somebody. But substantively, using biographical detail; just saying insulting things in a weightless medium isn't going to work I think.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:32 AM
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Now I'm thinking text is Nice Pete.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:32 AM
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What Bush-era legal positions are we talking about, specifically? I'm genuinely curious.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:34 AM
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My parents: both will vote D in Florida. My in-laws: less clear. FIL will vote R in Montana. MIL...would dodge in conversation. I genuinely don't know.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:35 AM
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98: First, affirm that there is no category of person who may be detained indefinitely without legal process: people who may be detained are either prisoners of war, whose treatment is regulated in all sorts of ways, or they are criminals who get trials characterized by due process.

Extend a similar principle to military action abroad. There are places where we are fighting wars. In the rest of the world, if we are aware of the existence of people we regard as criminals, and we can work with the local government, we can attempt to apprehend them and to disrupt their activities, using only the minimum force necessary. This is a bit of a hairsplitting difference: if bin Laden were shot while resisting arrest rather than assassinated by a team sent in to do just that, he'd be dead either way. But I think it's a difference that puts an important restraint on what we should be doing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:35 AM
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@102, 103

Wait. You mean text isn't a 'bot?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:36 AM
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Oh man, I forgot about Pete.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:36 AM
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Now I'm thinking text is Nice Pete.

He certainly seems to have decided that the blog must be all about him.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:36 AM
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lw, I don't really care if people get stirred up or not. I just want to know how they're actually going to vote and why.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:37 AM
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95.2: I suspect that a serious effort in '09 to indict and try many prominent people for various aggressive war/financial crisis peccadilloes* would have derailed the Obama presidency drastically. Far more than the Congressional Rs' obstruction of additional stimulus, the ACA or judicial appointments: something more on the scale of Watergate, setting in train a new order, and not necessarily to the Democrats' advantage. In the worst case, the Rs would get a new "they always blame America first" slogan/reservoir of resentment out of it.

* Word choice ironic.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:38 AM
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102.2: My parents will vote Republican. As I think I've said here before, they're in MO and will definitely vote for Akin, too.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:39 AM
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And I know that Chomsky and my commie friends all demand I vote, in addition or preparatory to burning shit down, but those corrupt bourgeois compromisers also fucking piss me off with their authoritarianism. Definitely a left on the downhill side since 68.

Maybe I will occupy the playground.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:39 AM
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a serious effort in '09 to indict and try many prominent people for various aggressive war/financial crisis peccadilloes* would have derailed the Obama presidency drastically.

War crimes, yes. Financial crimes, no. There was a ton of anger and hunger for punishment in 2009, and all that was squandered.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:41 AM
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101:Correct.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:41 AM
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106: LB is not voting for Obama because he shot Bin Laden.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:41 AM
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See, Bob's position is internally consistent. I appreciate that about him.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:42 AM
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111: This really could be right. I just have a hard time believing that there's room for Republicans to be more aggressively obstructive and damaging than they are now; it seems to me that there's a good chance they're maxed out, and pissing them off more won't make them fight any harder. But I could be very wrong about that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:42 AM
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... and we can work with the local government....

That's Pakistan out, then.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:42 AM
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I agree with VW in 90, basically.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:42 AM
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Heebie, who are you voting for?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:42 AM
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We're working with some aspects of the local government in Pakistan. I didn't say we needed to work with all of the local government.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:43 AM
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118: Remember when Obama actually tried to move Guantanamo trials to NY and what a shitstorm that caused? I'm not saying he shouldn't have fought for it, but it wasn't free.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:43 AM
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121: Obama.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:44 AM
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124: how come?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:46 AM
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I'm assuming that Al will vote Obama in the blue state where she lived before moving to Narnia. Not sure why LB thinks she can't vote.

In my family I have an uncle who will vote Romney in IL, in spite of Obama being nice to him when he stole then Senate candidate Obama's glove. The rest of the American citizens in the family will vote Obama in the key swing states of MA and IL.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:47 AM
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I think we should all say how often we plan to ask the same sorts of questions in the same thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:47 AM
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123: Well, fighting halfheartedly and losing always costs. Fighting and winning, on the other hand, could cost more than it's worth, or not, depending. If Guantanamo trials had been held in NY successfully, that'd be something to point to for the rule of law.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:48 AM
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||

A local Christian group is advertising a performance entitled "Ignite: Men on Fire for God." I think if they new Christian history better, they wouldn't be so cavalier when they talk about setting people on fire.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:48 AM
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126: Tax considerations -- she mentioned them a while back. If you vote at an old address while you're out of the country, you can end up getting hit with local taxes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:49 AM
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129 Maybe they're anti-Vatican II Catholics?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:50 AM
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127: I'll ask it until people give me answers. Who are you voting for, Moby?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:50 AM
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132: Surely this comment needs a "Bow before Giblets!!!" in it somewhere.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:51 AM
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I mailed in my ballot today. Voted for every incumbent on the ballot, it turns out. In favor of weed, against punishing illegals, in favor of individual mandates, against parental notification.

I liked my Dem choices for open seats (Gov, AG, state house, US House). Feeling better about my incumbent US Senator seeing a libertarian on the ballot (while the polling is showing a near deadlock in a two wy race).

I think public freaking out has been a serious negative these last two weeks. People should cut it the fuck out.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:52 AM
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By way of agreeing with LB, I think presidents have a lot more power and freedom of action than they are often given credit for. It's true there's stuff involving a deescalation of the war on terror that Obama would have paid a heavy political price for -- jailing ex-Bush officials, holding a press conference saying the GWOT was over, announcing his conversion to Islam, etc. There's also a middle ground on stuff like shutting down Guantanamo or not doing the Afghanistan surge (pretty pointless in retrospect) which would have caused a temporary flurry. But there's also a host of things he could have done behind the scenes to deescalate the GWOT and to roll back the Bush attacks on civil liberties that would not have caused any stir outside of official DC. This ranges from things like drone strikes (damaging to what relationship we have to Afghanistan) to domestic spying and cracking down on whistleblowers.

An indefinite war against an unnamed enemy has lots of benefits for executive power, so executives have a hard time rolling it back. In a good way occasionally -- I think the assasination of Bin Laden was positive. But e.g. I imagine it would have been harder for Obama to do the Libya operations under pre-GWOT circumstances.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:53 AM
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So LB, if Obama had brought Bin Laden back to New York in chains and tried him downtown, then shot him, would you vote for him?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:53 AM
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I meant, drone strikes damaging to any ability to cooperate with Pakistan.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:53 AM
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I'm voting for Obama, but I find this self-appointed pollster roll very tiring.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:54 AM
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I think if he had not surged Afghanistan Obama could also have cut military spending, which he has not done.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:55 AM
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126 Not legally as far as I know. Since we don't have French style expat constituencies, we allow everyone to vote based on their last US address, but they can't actually tax you anymore than they can any other non-resident.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:55 AM
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If he were convicted in a trial characterized by due process of crimes for which there is a death penalty (I don't think shooting is a means of execution in any jurisdiction in the US of which I'm aware), and the rest of Obama's conduct on the issues to which I alluded were acceptable, sure. I'm not crazy about the death penalty, but it's not a dealbreaker for me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:55 AM
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Just seems to me that, for political bloggers, people here are surprisingly quiet about who they actually support and why.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:56 AM
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141 to 136.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:56 AM
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I'll punch the party line D ticket because I'm sure as hell not going to contribute to bringing back the lunacy of the R's controlling the majority of the federal govt. In any case I believe the actual way to apply pressure to the parties is by building back up things like union participation, not protest votes or staying home.

IMO the election can still be lost. The problem I saw with the last debate is that the vibe I got from Obama was that he didn't care if he won. Not that he's trying to lose but definitely a bit of "I'm sick of these morons" and that if he lost there'd be an undercurrent of relief. If he doesn't start at least giving the appearance of wanting to win the election might be fucked.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:57 AM
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LB, what if Obama hadn't caught Bin Ladin at all? Then presumably he also wouldn't have shot Bing Ladin. In that case, would you have any reason not to vote for Obama?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:57 AM
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I think a successful conviction of KSM in federal court in NYC would have been a very good result. The stupidities that were the bases of the freak-outs could and should have been faced down.

Today's DC Circuit loss for the government shows, again, the complete bankruptcy of the Bush approach.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:58 AM
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145: Yep.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:58 AM
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text, what do you think of the designated hitter rule? I INSIST YOU ANSWER.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 11:59 AM
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Then presumably he also wouldn't have shot Bing Ladin.

OMG, they killed the wrong guy!!!


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:00 PM
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text, do you have provolone or American cheese on your Philadelphia cheesesteak? What's the best sort of mustard to use in a vinaigrette? Was Sherman or Grant the better Union commander based on their records up to November 1864? What's your opinion of Gough Whitlam? Should LA Confidential have won Best Picture in 1998?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:01 PM
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I remember being underwhelmed by Obama's debate performance in '08 as well -- I wonder if there's just something with the format that he has trouble with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:01 PM
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125: The most important issues to me are shoring up and expanding social programs, not destroying the environment, reducing economic inequality, and not killing civillians overseas. While Obama is lukewarm on all of these issues, Romney would be a disaster.

Furthermore, I want to contribute to the Obama statistics in Texas - I want to help build the idea that in the next 10-20 years, it won't be so dependably a red state anymore.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:01 PM
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The lurkers support that guy Romney in email.


Posted by: W. M. R. | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:01 PM
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Are you now or have you ever been a card carrying member of a frozen yoghurt club?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:02 PM
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'Fess up, text—you've always dreamed of being a debate moderator, haven't you?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:02 PM
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I'm actually mildly curious what Ajay thinks of the designated hitter rule. Maybe I should develop an opinion on [googles] leg before wicket appeals.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:03 PM
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The lurkers support ajay in email.


Posted by: Stranded in Lubbock | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:03 PM
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"No, I wanted a debate. This is just pointless random questioning."
"Is it?"
"Yes."
"Are you sure?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:03 PM
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ajay: I think having DHs in one league and not in the other is the best way to go, because we can watch both kinds of baseball. I prefer provolone cheese. I don't know. Grant, I think. I have none. Yes, probably.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:04 PM
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I'm actually mildly curious what Ajay thinks of the designated hitter rule

I do actually know more or less what it is - thanks to Stephen Jay Gould - and I'm against it. Ludicrous idea.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:04 PM
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I was conscripted into the KISS Army.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:04 PM
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He hasn't answered the frozen yoghurt question! WHAT ARE YOU HIDING TEXT


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:05 PM
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SUBTEXT?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:05 PM
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As Judge Kavanaugh put it very succinctly this morning, we are not at war with an unnamed foe. We are legally at war with AQ. This has real consequences.

On the Afghan surge, I always thought it was hopeless, and really thought so after my brief trip to Kabul last summer. But I don't think Obama had any real choice other than to give DOD the rope they were asking for, and let them tie themselves up with it. They're done, and if military credibility for any mission more complicated than shooting some identifiable people isn't destroyed for a decade, we're even bigger idiots than I think.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:05 PM
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138 and 148 get it exactly right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:05 PM
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Nice one, 163.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:06 PM
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My guess is that military credibility hasn't taken any kind of a hit at all, and that we're exactly as big idiots as I think.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:06 PM
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So 161 reveals what most of us have suspected all along, namely that Oudemia has slept with Gene Simmons. Well, who hasn't.

And that's why I'm voting for Obama.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:09 PM
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Because he hasn't slept with Gene Simmons?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:11 PM
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Peter Criss. Please.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:12 PM
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I don't know about that elbie. They've really racked up an impressive record of failure.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:12 PM
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Because he hasn't slept with Gene Simmons?

Making him the first minority US president.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:12 PM
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Hence it'll be drone war from here on out.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:17 PM
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170: I've told the story of how Peter Criss hit on my mom while she was working, only to be put off by me toddling up to her from the back of the plane calling "Mommy!"? On realizing that the hot flight attendant had her kids with her on the plane, he muttered "That's disgusting," and sulked for the rest of the flight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:17 PM
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|| Dinesh D'Souza has a side piece? Truly there is a someone or two for everyone! |>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:17 PM
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And can you defeat AQAP by killing 25 particular guys? It might well be that you can. But we will never, ever, take on recreating Yemen as a mission.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:19 PM
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174: This is, in fact, the third time I've told that story. Jesus Christ I bore myself stupid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:20 PM
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177: First time I'd heard it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:20 PM
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You may have told 174 before, but I'd missed it. That's a great story.

I just found out recently, talking to my Mom, that I visited the set of the Rockford Files once when I was a toddler. Unfortunately, I don't remember it at all, but does this not make me the most awesome person in the history of time? I say it does.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:20 PM
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Yeah, I don't have a native informant on the schools here, although I'm feeling more warmly toward our troubled school district than I am towards its vaunted neighbor after, apparently, there was a good deal of victim-blaming. But that's as much the way of the future as of the past, I guess.

I voted against Prop 37 (GMO labeling). Was I wrong?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:20 PM
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Dinesh D'Souza's wife is named "Dixie"? That is awesome.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:21 PM
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174 and 179 are both awesome.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:25 PM
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175: Why bother? IIRC, according to an autobiographical anecdote in Illiberal Education, he can't tell one white girl from another, because they all look alike to him.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:26 PM
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165: but what do you think about 150, essear? WELL? (Count this comment as another query about what the fuck text is on about.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:27 PM
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Dinesh D'Souza's wife is named "Dixie"? That is awesome.

I think she's still technically his wife, but only barely:

D'Souza filed for divorce from Dixie on October 4, 2012, at which point he was already saying he was now engaged to a 29 year-old woman.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:28 PM
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183: I think I have subclinical prosopagnosia, but maybe I just don't want to remember people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:28 PM
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I saw ol' Distort D'Newza give a talk once. He was an asshole.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:29 PM
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I genuinely believe that Candy Crowley has, for years now, wanted nothing more than a show on Fox.

When she was reporting from the Bush camp during the Florida recount fiasco, I thought for sure she was in the tank for Bush. Subsequent observations converted me to the belief that she just really sucks up to sources.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:30 PM
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FDL

And it's here, not in the listlessness or taking of notes, where Obama fell down during the first debate. He didn't offer much of an actual plan for the future. Indeed, he has trimmed his sails and rolled up most of the ambitions from the first term. He can talk about the futility of Mitt Romney's plans, but he has decided to massively under-promise, in line with some lesson learned about Washington and its challenges. The Obama plan for a sick economy doesn't offer anything voters can grab onto.

Well, you know, maybe Obama knows that the world will not be in control in the spring, although saying so would make it so a little faster.

After Saddam, Qaddafi, and Mubarek what exactly do we expect Assad and the (too many for exile and no place left to go) Alawites to do? One of the reason people like Proyect and Seymour are excited about Syria is that this is a revolutionary situation. With lots of chemical weapons.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:31 PM
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After Saddam, Qaddafi, and Mubarek what exactly do we expect Assad and the (too many for exile and no place left to go) Alawites to do?

Drop a hydrogen bomb on Japan?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:34 PM
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I'll a wait and see.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:35 PM
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188: well, right. But given her penchant for sucking up to those in power (not all sources, mind you, just powerful ones), and her more-even-than-the-norm-among-political-journalists ambition to be someone who's taken seriously, and given the general view that Romney is the candidate on the march, and given her promise to take control of the event, I'm betting that tonight is going to be horrifying.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:38 PM
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Was that a World Magazine scoop? I hadn't thought about them in ages. We used to get their paper back in the day.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:38 PM
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Further to 192: I should probably admit that I haven't watched Candy Crowley since the recount debacle mentioned in 188. So it's fair to say that I could be completely wrong.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:40 PM
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192: It is totally going to be horrifying. I am going to have to get half-btocked even before it starts.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:41 PM
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I think public freaking out has been a serious negative these last two weeks.

That's why, when I steel myself to feel on the morning of November 7 exactly what I felt on the morning of November 3, 2004, I do it in the privacy of my own abyss home, so I don't harsh anyone's mellow.

A local Christian group is advertising a performance entitled "Ignite: Men on Fire for God."

They could do it in front of a huge screen showing the end of The Passion of Joan of Arc. It would be exquisite.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:43 PM
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195: were I not on piles and piles of Vicodin, I would join you. As it is, though, I'll watch the horror through a pharmaceutical haze. Which is probably not a bad way to deal with things generally.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:44 PM
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195, 197: I may be driving while listening on the radio. I should probably take along a thermos filled with gin.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:48 PM
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197: I forget what you did to yourself? Or are you just rollin' on pharmas these days?
198: Sippy cup.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:52 PM
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174 is indeed awesome. I didn't remember hearing it before either, but a quick Googling suggests that it was back in this thread.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:52 PM
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51: I've decided for Johnson.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:54 PM
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Didn't Crowley used to be the Maureen Dowd of CNN lifestyle pieces? Like lots of little not-actually-clever pieces about Christmas elves in New York or whatever, at the end of the half-hour of news?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:57 PM
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Luckily the debate is late enough that I can pre-game at the seminar speaker dinner tonight.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:58 PM
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199: my lower back is that of an aged Jew.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:58 PM
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201 -- Are you fucking kidding me? OK, you are a contemptible libertarian monster. War is on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:59 PM
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202: that's her, I think. Her ambit has grown.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 12:59 PM
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205: I guess so. (sigh)


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:00 PM
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Not to mention, as PGD notes, Obama has, since late summer, completely failed to live up to his reputation as a great campaigner.

The guy is clearly deeply ambivalent about four more years of doing this, right? He's much too much of a pro to have given the kind of performance he gave at the first debate.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:00 PM
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204: You can't be picky when you need a donor organ.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:01 PM
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In any case I believe the actual way to apply pressure to the parties is by building back up things like union participation, not protest votes or staying home.

IMO for fixing economic policy increasing union participation is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING bar none. There is simply no other organized group with any political clout that is really dependably on the side of ordinary people. In the (actually rare) cases where you get overly parochial narrow-membership unions who push bad policy for their members (e.g. prison guards in California) the solution to that is also to broaden the base of union participation, because then they are disciplined by working in coalition with more of hte public.

With the shape the liberals are in now its more important to build up a better political base then to work on big technocratic 'reform' bills that will only get shot full of holes with no political base to protect them.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:04 PM
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201, 205 - Zombie Lyndon would make a great president.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:05 PM
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208: I think that's maybe right (though I tire quickly of trying to figure out what motivates public figures). Actually, my colleague and once-upon-a-time co-blogger both thought Obama phoned in his convention speech, which was a pastiche of crappy speeches had had been giving on the stump in the weeks leading to the convention. Regardless, hopefully he's heard that bell that always signaled that Rocky was finally ready to train, that he was ready to WIN.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:05 PM
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212 is missing an "and I". Put one in there wherever you want.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:09 PM
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He's much too much of a pro to have given the kind of performance he gave at the first debate.

He's got a tough problem. He needs to play it low-key, dignified and aggressive. It's a tough combination to pull off, though he's managed the thread the needle in the past.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:10 PM
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There are other problems with 212, it turns out. Sorry.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:14 PM
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I've never seen Rocky so a spoiler alert would have been nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:16 PM
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212: "Barack, there's one thing I want you to do for me. Win!"


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:17 PM
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Pretty funny, in a 1996 kind of way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:19 PM
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216: Don't worry, he didn't ruin the part where they explain why they must return to the planet of Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. That's quite the shocker.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:23 PM
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218: 73 already ate your marshmallow.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:23 PM
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In the Biden debate, I thought his grin and phony bonhomie ("my friend") were off-putting, but in retrospect, I realize that he had to do everything possible to call Ryan a liar without appearing angry about it.

In the absence of a media that's going to hold Republicans accountable, it has to be done by the candidate, but it has to be done without rancor. People who get angry in public are weak, and probably dishonest, too.

Obama understands this very well, because he's more vulnerable to that sort of stereotype. It cracked me up to see the Republicans float the idea that our Irish Vice President looked drunk in his debate. If Obama performs well, I'm expecting the Republicans to say he lost because ... watermelon and fried chicken!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:24 PM
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220: Oops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:25 PM
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He's much too much of a pro to have given the kind of performance he gave at the first debate.

This reminds me of the $20-bill-on-the-ground paradox.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:36 PM
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People who get angry in public are weak, and probably dishonest, too.

Often, but not always. Some people, in some contexts, can carry off righteous anger and make it look good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:36 PM
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224: That seems like it must be true, but I'm hard-pressed to think of an example in a debate-type situation.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:51 PM
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I'm hard-pressed to think of an example in a debate-type situation.

I think this is right. Leaving aside the conventions of debate, if the person with whom you're angry is right next to you, it's weird and possibly even scary.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:52 PM
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I'm not sure about a debate -- Bill Clinton has had some good articulately angry moments in interviews.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:53 PM
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Here's an old post linking to the clip I was thinking of.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 1:57 PM
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Anger seems to work best when it comes in the form of an indignant response to something the other guy just said that you find (or pretend to find) deeply offensive. But you don't want to overdo it, for fear of it looking like you have anger management issues.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 2:03 PM
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I stronngly doubt that Obama is even the slightest bit ambivalent about winning another term. The whole debate thing is so completely ridiculous, my guess is that he looked at polling and decided he could spend the days before it doing his actual job. Wrong.

On the polling, I think's it's a combination of liberal freakout, and women hearing about preexisting conditions, that his tax plan isn't happening, and that Romney's not committed to an anti-choice position, and deciding maybe he's not as bad as they thought.

So PGD, what do you think of Chait's fiscal cliff article?


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 2:33 PM
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Does anyone else remember his '08 debate performances as unexpectedly lousy? It didn't have any particular effect on the race, but I clearly recall wondering why he was so dull, given that he gives a good speech.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 2:44 PM
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There are people on the street corner holding Obama signs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 2:45 PM
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231 Yes. I remember him coming off as very flat. McCain didn't come off as particularly inspiring either.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 2:50 PM
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231 -- yes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 2:51 PM
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Big signs on sticks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 3:01 PM
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At this point in 2008 I seem to recall a meme of "EVERYBODY CALM THE FUCK DOWN. I GOT THIS." over an image of Obama, so I don't think people were calm and certain that the election was in the bag.

Obama didn't have a good debate, but the freakout (it secretly proves he doesn't want to be President? really guys?) should be embarrassing to any adult.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 3:02 PM
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236.1: And Obama explicitly referenced that meme recently.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 3:05 PM
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On another corner, there was an empty storefront rented to have anti-Obama signs. On the sidewalk, there were four people (one dressed as Big Bird) with pro-Obama signs. Next to them was a lone guy with an anti-Obama sign.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 3:42 PM
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I guess I've been living in my own bubble within a liberal bubble because I've been wondering for a week or so about whether there's been a long ongoing liberal freakout. I know people freaked out right after the debate, but have people really continued to freak out like that (more than they usually do, that is)?

Judging by some commentary, centrist and conservative Democrats seem to have an interest in there being a real ongoing freakout so they can, once again, shit all over anyone to their left for being insufficiently committed to gutting liberalism.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:09 PM
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Shit. My plans for the evening fell through, and now I can watch the debate. I better start drinking.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:09 PM
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Earthquake in Camberville!


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:14 PM
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(I haven't actually read this thread. But I was pissed to see comments posted over at TPM from people like a lifelong until 08 Republican voter saying that leftish liberals aren't committed enough to Obama this year or manly enough in general.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:14 PM
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So PGD, what do you think of Chait's fiscal cliff article?

In the powerless precincts of left-wing DC where I hang out, we prefer to call it the "fiscal slope" or the "gentle fiscal hill" to emphasize the time and freedom of action that Obama will have to use his cards if reelected. Which is Chait's point.

Chait lays out exactly the strategy I would want Obama to use. The combination of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the recission cuts gives him all the cards. But I don't trust him to have the conviction and guts to use it. Bear in mind too that the Republicans have at least one hostage -- the domestic spending cuts -- and also the hostage potential in the economic damage caused by truly carrying through with the tax increases/spending cuts over an extended period.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:21 PM
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BTW, Chait's scenario is exactly why I keep saying whenever I assess Obama that he 'can redeem himself in a second term'. The key is that you do *not* want a budget deal in the lame duck.

But this passge from Chait is what I am worried about:

It's not certain that Obama will have the fortitude to make it to January without surrendering to demands to cut a deal. He will have to endure a concerted persuasion campaign by the business lobby and the cries of the fiscal scolds, which will grow to a deafening volume by December.

I also doubt that Obama will use his negotiating leverage to get anything more than the end of the Bush tax cuts for $250K+. We need more than that on the revenue end. But you would need to pass a bill to get it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:26 PM
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I wouldn't use the term manly, and I don't know if it's Republicans or new converts in general, but there is something refreshing about the tenacious loyalty shown by people like John Cole. Even when I don't agree I like reading them.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:28 PM
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OT: Fresh, name-brand candy corn is really a whole bunch better than the generic, aged stuff in the bargain bin at the drug store.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:29 PM
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Re how Obama will handle the budget if reelected -- something that disturbed me about the first debate, beyond the obvious, was that Obama did not seem like a guy who had steeled himself to use all the tools he had to force a major policy realignment. If you wanted to do that you want to start laying the groundwork in the campaign and he did not have the phrases, etc. ready to hand to do that. You got the feeling you glimpsing the same inner squishiness he showed in 2011.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:32 PM
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74

So are you against war in principle, James B. Shearer? And you think Obama is more anti-war than Romney? Is that how you will base your vote?

I am not against war in principle, I am against stupid wars and I think most wars are stupid. Romney has attacked Obama from the right on military issues so it is hard to see why I should expect him to be better. As I said I am undecided, I may not vote, I may vote for some third party candidate or I may vote against whichever major party candidate irritates me last.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:36 PM
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167 171

As far as I am concerned the failure in Afghanistan is all on Obama.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:38 PM
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Which one do you think will irritate you last?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:41 PM
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So do you think going after Al Qaida was more stupid than invading Iraq or less stupid?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:42 PM
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252

So do you think going after Al Qaida was more stupid than invading Iraq or less stupid?

Going after Al Qaeda was more or less mandatory for an US President after 911. So any judgement should be of whether Al Qaeda was pursued in a smart way or a dumb way. In general I think the US reaction should have been frankly punitive with no pretense of nation building or the like.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:51 PM
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OK, now successfully half btocked and ready to face up to the debate.

What, it's not on for another hour? Waiter!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:52 PM
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So after coming into office, what should Obama have done differently in Afghanistan?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 4:53 PM
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Declared victory and left. It wasn't winnable at that point. (It could've been won early, I think, if the Bush administration had been halfway competent and committed.)


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:05 PM
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196: when I steel myself to feel on the morning of November 7 exactly what I felt on the morning of November 3, 2004, I do it in the privacy of my own abyss home, so I don't harsh anyone's mellow.

It dawned on me a week or so ago that I have a doctor's appointment the morning of November 7. What was I thinking, setting it for that date? Not very wise of me.

230: I stronngly doubt that Obama is even the slightest bit ambivalent about winning another term

So do I.

Have people seen the lengthy Jon Chait piece from a couple of days ago essentially gaming out the way a Romney vs. an Obama win would go legislatively in the first few months of the new administration? Really fascinating (or not, but I found it so). Chait thinks that if Obama wins, he has everything in place to let the Bush tax cuts expire entirely, generating a huge amount of additional revenue; or else negotiate for concessions from Republicans against the possibility of letting the tax cuts expire .... If Romney wins, everything's in place to push through the Ryan budget plan via reconciliation -- Chait's not the first one to make that observation.

I read it yesterday and can't reconstruct all the details of Chait's scenario. I'd like to know what you guys think, though maybe not just this second, as it's fairly into the weeds (and there's a debate tonight, you know).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:07 PM
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Isn't it good that Obama stuck around at least long enough to shoot Bin Laden, even if he should have brought Bin Ladin in chains to NYC first so LB could see him?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:09 PM
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254

So after coming into office, what should Obama have done differently in Afghanistan?

I think escalation was a mistake but of course Obama had campaigned for it. I think less ambitious, more feasible goals were in order.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:12 PM
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What has killing him accomplished? It cost a lot.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:13 PM
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255

Declared victory and left. It wasn't winnable at that point. (It could've been won early, I think, if the Bush administration had been halfway competent and committed.)

Only by defining winning differently. Actually I have no idea what Obama is trying to do but I doubt Bush could have done it either.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:16 PM
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Oh. I guess 230.last was about the Chait article.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:16 PM
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I dunno, it means that he can't orchestrate any more 911s. And 911 is what meant we had to start invading all sorts of places and spending lots of money spying on ourselves so I would think putting an end to its mastermind would create some peace dividends or something. Shouldn't it?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:17 PM
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what goals should we be accomplishing in afghanistan? I really have no idea.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:18 PM
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260: If they had committed more troops, instead of withdrawing assets as fast as possible to redeploy them in Iraq, and gone after the leadership of Al Qaeda and the Taliban when they were still reeling from their introduction to modern, high intensity war, I think they could've shaped the government for the better.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:21 PM
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Obama did not seem like a guy who had steeled himself to use all the tools he had to force a major policy realignment.

Wrong.

Diamond Orszag Plan

This is from the White House Site:

"In addition to protecting and strengthening Social Security, President Obama will make it easier for Americans to save on their own for retirement and prepare for unforeseen expenses. Currently over 75 million working Americans--about half the workforce--lack access to retirement plans through their employers. The President's budget lays the foundation for all Americans to participate in retirement accounts at work, proposing simple rules and automatic enrollment--that will automatically enroll workers in IRAs who, until now, haven't had a workplace retirement plan, while allowing them to opt out if they wish."

Automatically enroll with opt-out?

"However, Orszag recently penned a hymn in praise of defined contribution plans for healthcare."

I fucking hope I won't live to see it, but just as Obama sold your health to Wall Street, he also plans to sell your retirement to Wall Street.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:23 PM
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He couldn't mastermind any more 911s anyway. It was the product of an inattentive administration and much less intelligence focus than what we have now.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:23 PM
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263

what goals should we be accomplishing in afghanistan? I really have no idea.

I would have inflicted enough death and destruction to make the point that harboring the likes of Bin Laden while he plotted against the US was a mistake and then left.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:24 PM
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The idea that all that's needed for another 9/11 is some guy with plans is a little silly.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:28 PM
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I think James is closer to a libertarian position on many matters than to a Republican or Democratic one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:28 PM
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264

... I think they could've shaped the government for the better.

I have no idea what this means. Better how?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:29 PM
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268

The idea that all that's needed for another 9/11 is some guy with plans is a little silly.

I wouldn't be too sure. A smart leader, some money and a bunch of people prepared to die are dangerous.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:32 PM
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Eggplant, do you mean that our response to 911 was silly? Do you think I'm silly, Eggplant?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:38 PM
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I would have inflicted enough death and destruction to make the point that harboring the likes of Bin Laden while he plotted against the US was a mistake and then left.

how's that different from what we're doing?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:39 PM
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270: More stable, less oppressive, less likely to harbor terrorist cells.
271: Sure, but they've had that for years. What have they accomplished? It's relatively easy to set off some bombs and kill a few score people, especially in countries they have easy access to. Another 9/11, though is much more difficult.
272: Yes to both.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:45 PM
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||

No translation of Paroles d'un croyant free online? Webs still fuckin suck.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:52 PM
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273: James doesn't get stuff, a lot of the time, text.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 5:56 PM
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274

Sure, but they've had that for years. What have they accomplished? It's relatively easy to set off some bombs and kill a few score people, especially in countries they have easy access to. Another 9/11, though is much more difficult.

I don't think they have had another Mohamed Atta. Of course 911 was difficult, that doesn't mean we are totally safe.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 6:09 PM
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It's true; we have not achieved total safety.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 6:11 PM
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273

how's that different from what we're doing?

It's ten years later and we are still involved. And we had delusions about remaking the local societies.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 6:12 PM
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262: Eventually, one hopes. Just as one would hope that discovering that there weren't actually WMDs in Iraq would create a peace dividend in that neck of the woods. But it is easier to start wars than stop them, which is something to keep in mind the next time the issue arises.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 10-16-12 6:28 PM
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94: Walt Someguy, at the risk of sounding like text, would you be willing to say why you're voting for Romney? (I wouldn't yell at you, or argue, or express disgust or otherwise disrespect you; I'm just wondering why.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 11:51 AM
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He said right there that he was actively hoping to destroy America. That's not enough for you?

(Seriously, I think he was kidding.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 11:54 AM
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He's just a huge, huge Nicki Minaj fan.

Or he's following LB's example.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 11:56 AM
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57: Who's with me as part of the rapidly snowballing Stein bandwagon?

Word is that Jill Stein and her running mate were arrested for attempting to crash the presidential debate last night.

In any case, I have heard that Jill Stein is against the Affordable Care Act. LB asked before whether there was any reason to shy away from Stein. I'll have to find a reference for her alleged opposition to the PPACA.

Assuming there is one, I don't know whether LB would find that dissuasive.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 11:57 AM
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282: Oh, he was kidding? I had some vague idea that he's said things like that before, and I was always surprised and felt corrected, like, Oh, right, even though I like Walt Someguy, apparently he's a Republican.

I've told you guys before that I'm gullible, I'm sure.

I might need Walt to explain, please.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 12:01 PM
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But would Jill Stein have brought Osama Bin Ladin back to New York in chains for a show trial? That's the main issue here.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 12:02 PM
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Q: So do you support ObamaCare?

A: I don't support ObamaCare and see it as a step backward that entrenches the power of the private health care industry.

Jill Stein in a January interview

On the same page she says that Obamacare offers some minor improvements at great cost and slams Obama for not instituting single payer.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 12:03 PM
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Thanks, teraz.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 12:22 PM
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285

I've told you guys before that I'm gullible, I'm sure.

It's not that you are gullible exactly, it's that you often don't recognize even fairly obvious sarcasm.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 12:28 PM
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.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-17-12 3:05 PM
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