Hope and Change my ass, right?
  With the most recent news on Obama's concession to republican demands [its political terrorism if you ask me] I ask you this; Is it time to simply stop hoping?  The Right[wrong] are only emboldened, and I can't stand to listen to the idiocy of their reasoning when perpetrating their agenda.  I'm getting sick of it, and it seems like Obama's losing his balls~ don't get me wrong, I understand he's in a tough spot, but shit, there's got to be a better way to go about this.  Your thoughts?

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Is that where we are now? accepting that what he is doing is being responsible and not pandering to political whim, but simply trying to get something done? not acquiescing to everyone who wants to see him finally get political for once, but actually treating his presidency like a job and not a reality tv show, built for drama? That he really is saying "look, I just don't want to risk these people getting in more shit~ I know that republicans have no problem fucking over anyone in their way, regardless of how they are viewed." Is he really being an intellectual instead of merely reactionary???

honesty is a bitch. I think the reason we are all so pissed at him is partly the same reason that we liked him to begin with~ he seems like a real human being... And that, right now, is what we are all so upset about; when someone gives up, even though they shouldn't, because it's just too risky or too damn hard.
Well thinking back to what I've read, Obama seems much on par with that.. I could easily be wrong, that was before my time, but it seems the more human the person is, the less that can get done... you have to play Washington's game, or you won't get anywhere. its playing in a game of paintball with nerf darts~ you're gonna get fucked.
personally, I honestly believe he's a good person, who genuinely wanted to make a difference; but then reality hit once he was in. he IS an intellectual, but in DC that means "ineffectual." [clever, right? lol]
I really do wish him the best, but maybe we need someone who is more robotic than he, so we can actually get change. thats just hard when you are liberal, because the whole thing is about thinking on your own, unlike conservative authoritarians.
Personally, I'm getting to the point where I want the USA to fail. Just let it all crash and hope that the EU and the East manage things better - they can hardly do a worse job than the US has done (well, maybe not China, except environmentally). I'm just about ready to jump ship and move to Europe. Maybe I'd feel more positive if I lived in a more liberal area, but the people here are just bonkers when it comes to politics. You can't reason with them because their economics are so intertwined with their religious views, and there's nothing you can do to change that.

The USA needed to start changing a long time ago, and at this point I just don't think there's any way to get things going. Maybe the USA will change if there's some sort of intense shock like a major economic collapse or environmental fallout so terrible that it affects heartland Americans every single day in obvious, unmistakable ways, but I don't think we'll see change until something that extreme happens.

Hell, even if that did happen, most of the people I know IRL would just conclude that it's the "end times" and they'd go on destroying the planet like they had been.
I am actually hoping the Bush tax cuts are extended so, those people who are pushing them now will have to explain why we are in a even bigger shit hole then we were.

>I'm getting to the point where I want the USA to fail. Just let it all crash and hope that the EU and the East manage things better

This is understable, but things don't magically get better in crisis. Indeed Naomi Wolf's book "Shock Doctrine" discusses how invested interests are often prepared to take advantage of disaster. One reaction to 9-11 was described a conservative theft of disaster to advance its own agenda.
In times of crisis many are prepared to look out for self interest and think poorly of others needs and interests.
So I would suggest that is important to actually have a large-scale plan for changing things for the better in case of diaster. This would have served us well, for example, if the economists who predicted the recent financial meltdown were close enough to power in 07-08 to effect change.
borowitzreport: Obama Agrees to Extend Republicans’ Custody of his Balls


borowitzreport: In Latest Compromise with GOP, Obama Agrees He is a Muslim

So which Republican has photos on his hard drive, of the president in bed with a nubile young man? Is it Karl Rove?
I understand that change is slow, but the problem is that a lot of the problems we're seeing now we've been seeing ever since this country was established. Think all the whoring to private contractors in Iraq is new? Nope, that's been going on at least since the Spanish-American War. Same with wars of conquest - if you think that started in Vietnam, well, you need to look back further. The history of the USA is a consistent story of capitalist interests subverting the good of the people at large for personal profit.

And yeah, I know that other countries have the same problem - my issue is that we seem to have it (and have always had it) much worse. We've made some progress in a few areas that didn't impact rich people's wealth, but we as a country have never done anything much to curb our oligarchic tendencies. Europe has either gotten rid of or rendered merely symbolic its monarchies, but we're still saddled with the same moneyed interests manipulating our politic system for themselves.

And if we haven't managed to make any progress on that yet, why should we expect things to change in the foreseeable future?
I think that we should distinguish hope from optimism.

We have reason not be optimistic, but one should not give up on hoping for better things. That said, we don't have to believe in the particular brand of 'hope" that was campaigned on. I heard many say things that amounted to one man changing things dramatially and this side of Caesar that doesn't happen, if it ever did.

Further there is a real mismatch between speechs on change and the supposedly reality-based political efforts that were actually attempted. Trying more is often considered unrealistic although it often is a choice that rates higher than others in polling. What the power elites and the people want on a simple level often seem at odds and so, yes we need a more stategic way of proceeding. Ralph Nader has some ideas in his sort of a speculative novel on mitigated improvment"Only the Suer-Rich can Save us." There are seveal interviews online including:

"In the cozy den of the large but modest house in Omaha where he has lived since he started on his first billion, Warren Buffett watched the horrors of Hurricane Katrina unfold on television in early September 2005. . . . On the fourth day, he beheld in disbelief the paralysis of local, state, and federal authorities unable to commence basic operations of rescue and sustenance, not just in New Orleans, but in towns and villages all along the Gulf Coast. . . He knew exactly what he had to do. . ."
So begins the vivid fictional account by political activist and bestselling author Ralph Nader that answers the question, "What if?" What if a cadre of superrich individuals tried to become a driving force in America to organize and institutionalize the interests of the citizens of this troubled nation? What if some of America's most powerful individuals decided it was time to fix our government and return the power to the people? What if they focused their power on unionizing Wal-Mart? What if a national political party were formed with the sole purpose of advancing clean elections? What if these seventeen superrich individuals decided to galvanize a movement for alternative forms of energy that will effectively clean up the environment? What if together they took on corporate goliaths and Congress to provide the necessities of life and advance the solutions so long left on the shelf by an avaricious oligarchy? What could happen?"
wow, that sounds super!
only one problem~ Thats what we already have.

yes, in that fantasy real change could occur, if only those 17 agreed with the principals that the american people do~ otherwise, it would be for the worse, no?
but not only that, the american people would need those people to tell them what to think, or else change would have happened without them.
in short, what would happen is they could fund one or two causes, maybe even get them to work. has to be done in a political manner though, as that is how policy works.
so once one or two things go through either they start gravitating towards causes that might benefit them (and mitigate the enormous amount of money it cost to get the others through, because come on, they would need to make more money to keep helping the world) thus turning them into... well, republicans. OR, as the people start to see the influence they are having in the political realm they will start to become uneasy, politicians that were once eager to work with them (think Obama in the beginning) will distance themselves for the appearance of autonomy (think recent election~ obama ended up being "too ambitious") and their influence will wain and then disappear.
another problem with that (although i love the basic idea) is that once they become so influential, powerful enough to positively effect legislation, they become a threat to democracy. its only a stones throw from making good happen to making the united states someone's personal pet project. at least right now we have tons of industries fighting each other for influence, not just a few.

like i said, like the idea, but... just doesn't seem like it would work. looks like the only thing that would is a true grassroots uprising, a monumental movement of tens of millions of americans. thats not going to happen any time soon.

like i said, like the idea, but... just doesn't seem like it would work. looks like the only thing that would is a true grassroots uprising, a monumental movement of tens of millions of americans. thats not going to happen any time soon. Park

Sorry, but the grass roots is too stupid to effect necessary change on its own. I give you Sarah Palin. They need to be led (conned) by someone. We need an educated, progressive and humanitarian person to direct their idiocy in a constructive direction. Obama doesn't seem willing or able to be demagogic enough to do the job.
Well, I have to contest that the tea party movement was grassroots, but other than that I agree. again, our greatest asset, our ability to think independently, is also our greatest weakness. "Herding cats," if i'm not mistaken? We would have to find a way to get people involved WITHOUT the conning, have a small but centralized organization to start it and keep it moving.. The rally to restore sanity was actually close to grassroots~ organized by a small group of people, it drew double what Becks stupid tea party rally did~ the only thing those people had in common was viewership and exasperation.. If it had been more politicized (which it wasn't for a reason) it could have really been something, but its a delicate and strategic issue.. which also lends itself to the conning that you spoke of..

its the sad point of fact that americans, in general, are too stupid to really get anything done on their own. they need to be told what to think, coddled, and told they are special for being so smart to realize the obvious (that they had to be shown to begin with). all of that subtle manipulation makes it nearly impossible to get anything of consequence done.. Last grassroots movement was the civil rights, correct? even that was manipulated~ rosa parks was not the true inspiration, it was actually a young single mother that first refused to give up her seat on the bus; however, seeing as how she was young and single, the fathers of the movement decided that they needed someone more respectable (rosa) so that they could garner more support. that young ladies name was Claudette Colvin, she was fifteen and pregnant. you can google her or wiki her and get some education, because most people have no Idea. just saying, nothing just happens.. everything is calculated, but unfortunately thats most often what leads to corruption.


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