2012 Democrats: Remember That Civil Liberties Thing From 2008? Um, Nevermind

from the what's-that-about-power-corrupting? dept

For years, we've pointed out that neither major political party in the US seems to be very good on the issues that concern us most around here -- which is truly disappointing. With the Democratic National Convention going on this week, some are pointing out what a difference four years make. Back when President Obama was the outsider running for office, he made reversing Bush-era attacks on civil liberties a target for change in his platform. And then he won. Not only did he leave in place most of the programs against civil liberties, but he often expanded them. So here we are, after four years in power, and with the new platform out, some are noting that the strong defenses of civil liberties found four years ago are conspicuously absent this time around. Adam Sewer goes through this year's platform and the one from four years ago and points out all of the differences. Here's just one example, but click through to read them all:
Warrantless Surveillance/PATRIOT Act

2008: "We support constitutional protections and judicial oversight on any surveillance program involving Americans. We will review the current Administration's warrantless wiretapping program. We reject illegal wiretapping of American citizens, wherever they live. We reject the use of national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. We reject the tracking of citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war...We will revisit the Patriot Act and overturn unconstitutional executive decisions issued during the past eight years."

2012: The platform is silent on this issue.
This is not surprising, but it's depressing just the same. Once they're in power, people tend to want to keep power, and one way to do that is to suppress the civil liberties of the public. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually elected a principled politician? Do they even exist any more?


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  1.  
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    rw (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:32am

    Principled politician?

    I'm almost 60 and I haven't seen one yet; from any party.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:11am

    "Wouldn't it be nice if we actually elected the tooth fairy?"

    Tomato, tomato.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    I fear the system does not work in favour of the principled politicians; they get outplayed, outvoted, or plainly harassed away.

    This is an important part of why I cannot understand how lenient everyone is about lying politicians, and perhaps as important, on campaigns that focus on burning the opponent(s) instead of explaining their own vision and plans.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Re: Principled politician?

    Oh come on. Ron Paul's principled, even if you think he's insane. (I consider that a perfectly reasonable viewpoint.)

     

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    Nate, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:18am

    But Mike, "Power for power's sake" is a principle.So we've already elected "principled" politicians.

     

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    Richard (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:18am

    Re:

    True.

    The nearest you ever had was Jimmy Carter - and look what happened to him...

     

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  7.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    Do they even exist any more?

    The other day I met Santa Claus on the streets and we were discussing about mythology and the likes. He actually said pretty much what my friends leprechauns and the Easter Bunny told me on the same topic: principled politicians are just a fairytale for children.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    " Once they're in power, people tend to want to keep power, and one way to do that is to suppress the civil liberties of the public. "

    Wow, now that's slant.

    Really, it's much simpler: When in power, they realize that they need to balance between outright liberty and the public's sometimes undesired need to be protected from itself.

    Civil liberties are a very slippery concept, because what one considers liberty for themselves is often hurting the liberties of others. The government's job is to try to strike a balance. Those who want "more freedom" may see certain balance points as less desirable, but the concept is the same.

     

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  9.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    Wow, you'd be a good dictator. Hats off!

     

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  10.  
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    Yogi, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:23am

    2 way street

    A principled populace will choose principled politicians.

    Good luck with that though...

     

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  11.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:24am

    Re:

    +insightful

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:25am

    Re:

    The federal government's job is national defense and interstate commerce, everything else is gravy.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:25am

    Silver lining: At least he stopped fibbing about that.

     

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  14.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    "Once they're in power, people tend to want to keep power, and one way to do that is to suppress the civil liberties of the public. "


    Yup that's what happens

    Really, it's much simpler: When in power, they realize that they need to balance between outright liberty and the public's sometimes undesired need to be protected from itself.


    and of course - being slimy politicans they always have a way of justifying it.

     

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    Beta (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:31am

    Re: Principled politician?

    I met one twenty years ago, running for local office in Colorado. I'll never forget that conversation. I didn't agree with him on everything, but his arguments were coherent and principled and he didn't evade questions. I voted for him, and for the first (and so far, only) time in my life, I didn't feel as if I were voting for the lesser of two evils. He lost.

    Years later I talked with a politician on a street corner. After a couple of minutes I walked away, knowing only that he was adept at evading questions, a basic skill. I don't remember his name, his platform or his party.

    More recently I met a politician running for state office, as he was handing out fliers and talking about his platform. I said that his mandatory-minimum-sentence plank was a terrible idea; he cut short my argument by saying that I was in favor of child molesters. I walked away boiling mad and hating the whole breed.

    We are the intelligent voters; they're not going to pander to a tiny minority.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Principled politician?

    How did you escape Reddit ? :D

     

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    Aaron, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    There are other options

    Take a look at www.isidewith.com/presidential-election-quiz

    I'll be t you end up with Gary Johnson. And I'll bet he would actually lead without trying to maintain power.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:37am

    Michelle Obama wears Tracy Reese for her convention speech

    Michelle Obama wears Tracy Reese for her convention speech by Maria Puente, USA TODAY:
    First lady Michelle Obama's Democratic convention speech Tuesday night in Charlotte brought down the house, the pundits said. The dress may have helped.

    Custom-designed by Tracy Reese, Mrs. O opted for a rosy pink and gray, in a silky, shiny toile sort of material, and sleeveless, of course, with a full skirt and pink pumps to finish it off. No jewelry except for her wedding rings, her hair loose and even a little flyaway.

          . . . .

    Four years ago, she won acclaim for her convention speech -- and for her dress. She wore a slenderizing teal blue dress by Chicago designer Maria Pinto, with a V-neck, three-quarter-length sleeves and a turquoise and silver sunburst brooch at the tip of the V.

          . . . .

     

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  19.  
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    Robert P (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:38am

    Do they exist?

    Mike, you said: "Wouldn't it be nice if we actually elected a principled politician? Do they even exist any more?"

    Not wanting to start a "but he sucks, look at x" flame war, but in my opinion, Ron Paul would have been the best contender for "principled politician". Also Senator Wyden.

     

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    CK20XX, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Now might be a good time to note that, in a roundabout way, every government is a democracy, even if it's just a question of how long until the citizens get well and truly fed up with their current one.

    I'd rather it not take until 2020/24 though, which is when the demographics are supposed to turn and the country's future will lie in the hands of a bunch of young people who are completely screwed thanks to having astronomical student loans and terrible jobs if they have any job at all, leaving them unable to buy houses or start families.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Re: Principled politician?

    I am a bit older, and in over 40 years of voting I have met a grand total of 2 persons in elected office who I consider principled...and they were at the lower echelons of state government, i.e., a member of the San Diego California City Council and a member of the Orange County Florida County Commission.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Civil Liberties Platform

    I stand before you now to promise that if I am elected we will erode your liberties more slowly than the other party.

    My advisers tell me that civil liberties are a very slippery concept and that too much liberty to one person robs another person of their liberty. As such, we will limit everyone's liberty, so that no one's has enough liberty to infringe on anyone else's liberty.

    My opponent will say that this is a "redistribution of liberty" and will benefit only "the elites." But I am here to strike a balance. I will weigh your freedom against the freedom of banks and corporations and ensure that freedoms are evenly distributed.

     

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  23.  
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    Forest_GS (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    The American TV news is giving us two choices(there are more, though)

    (1)A dude that hasn't kept his promises (self explanatory)
    (2)A rich dude (he will want more money)

    It's been said before, but Kim Dotcom would be a better choice than either of those two. (and I'm familiar of his past)

     

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  24.  
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    NoahVail (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Then there's the press

    Another factor is a media that compulsively feasts on insignificant flaws (Joe Biden excepting).
    We're left with a pool of candidates who are milquetoasty free of character.

     

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  25.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Honest Politician

    The original oxymoron...

     

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  26.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re:

    And there's not a single government in history that ever operated that way. Wishful thinking.

     

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  27.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Re: Michelle Obama wears Tracy Reese for her convention speech

    Hint: stop reading USA Today.

     

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  28.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re:

    and the solution is... stop watching TV news.

     

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  29.  
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    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    what one considers liberty for themselves is often hurting the liberties of others.

    IP & MAFIAA

     

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  30.  
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    Brent Ashley (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    Of course there are principled politicians, but their very sanity gets them labeled as nutcases by the establishment and their media pals.

     

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  31.  
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    CK20XX, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Re:

    You know, it's that kind of attitude that's helped birth sites like Wikileaks. That kind of arrogance makes citizens not trust their government and gives them the need to spy on it while it spies on them. By now, it's as if the United States has become a flock of wolves.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    Frequent poster, doing the AC thing since I'm running for U.S. Congress and don't necessarily want my entire post history available for my opponent to cherry-pick. From what I've seen from all of the politicians I've met over the last 6 months, working in D.C. seems to chew people up. They either conform to the system, becoming the thing that they railed against in their campaign, or they figure out that there's no way to win without compromising your principles and leave to find legitimate work elsewhere.

     

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  33.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:14am

    As the country moves farther to the right

    I think pretty much everyone agrees that we're moving to the right. What was once considered moderate is now labelled liberal or far left.

    I don't think a country moving to the right is going to make civil liberties a priority. With all the talk of requiring voter IDs, requiring papers to prove you are a legal resident, a push to favor Christianity over other religions, and so on, you can see the trends here.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Michelle Obama wears Tracy Reese for her convention speech

    Hint: stop reading USA Today.


    Dude.

    It's a fashion statement.


     


    ( Geezers. Some people just never comprehend high art. )

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re:

    So are you the one that rallied against the "thing" or are you quitting?

     

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  36.  
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    quintinitad (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:30am

    If voted for prez, I guarantee only 4 years...

    I'm there only for the perks and benefits after serving office. And one free beer to every citizen of legal drinking age when inaugurated paid by the government. Hey, it won't break the bank 'cause it's already broken. Ah hell, undocumented immigrants welcomed to the free beer after signing approval for 3 years of house arrest (yes, you get to work), payment of yet undetermined fine, and first American born child of legal age drafted to the peace corps or military.
    That is my platform.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    A principled populace will choose principled politicians.

    Try saying that ten times fast!

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re:

    It's not arrogance. It's the realization that it is incredibly easy to stand on the outside and say what should be done, and it's incredibly hard to be actually doing it.

    It's easy to say whatever when you stump for an election, it's harder to put it in motion.

    I think we are better off in all areas compared to where we were 4 or 5 years ago. I don't see the Republicans putting up options that inspire me to watch to change.

     

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  39.  
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    Fanic, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Re: Principled politician?

    I have said this before in a previous post.

    Lower level elections like local governments you can find "Principled" politicians. Once you get higher up the food change they are already bought and sold by someone somewhere. No matter what side your on its the same people.

     

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  40.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Principled politician?

    Actually, I don't think Ron Paul is terribly principled. His rhetoric and his legislative history are often very, very different. So is what he says to voters and what he says to insiders. That said, I do think he's a bit more principled than most politicians.

    I would call him more eccentric than insane, but as you say, that's beside the point.

     

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  41.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    I fear the system does not work in favour of the principled politicians; they get outplayed, outvoted, or plainly harassed away.


    This is why I think that voting, while important, is insufficient. A good politician is effectively neutered in the system we have now.

     

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    Fanic, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    We talked about this topic in one of my high school Political Science class. It was the reason given for why governments like ours fail after 200 or so years.

     

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  43.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re:

    Not according to the Constitution.

     

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    el_segfaulto (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm still a private citizen if (and it's a slim 'if') I win the general election, I imagine the countdown to my inevitable corruption by the dark side OR nervous breakdown will begin.

     

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  45.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well...staying AC was certainly a short-lived idea.

     

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  46.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    When in power, they realize that they need to balance between outright liberty and the public's sometimes undesired need to be protected from itself.


    This sentiment is in direct opposition with the fundamental philosophy the US was based on. The whole point of the US was that we don't need rulers to tell us what is good for us and to enforce things "for our own good". We don't need parents, or kings.

    The government is supposed to be us making collective decisions. The government is not supposed to be an elite class making decisions for everyone else.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:58am

    Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    I couldn't agree more, Suzanne.

    One tiny speck of hope - we only have to go through 2 extremes: fascism (on the right), then communism (on the left) to return to a balance.

     

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    doubledeej (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    I beg to differ. If anything, we've moved way farther to the left.

    Government has gotten bigger and more powerful. What was once considered immoral behavior is now acceptable. Regulation by government has increased almost exponentially. Government control over social programs has expanded continuously over the last century. All of these are principles endorsed by the left.

    The right, on the other hand, endorses reduction of government power and programs. Even if they never follow through.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    Re:

    I could spend an entire day demonstrating how wrong and stupid you are, and how you're in all odds pretending to be this stupid for some even stupider reason.

    But instead, I'll settle for going with the obvious, irrefutable rebuttal:

    2008 was not the democratic party's first time trying the whole "presidency" thing. Barack Obama did not fall off a turnip truck and happen to wind up on stage at the DNC. That civil liberties were in the platform at the time was cynical manipulation. They're no longer there because to campaign on something he failed to deliver for 4 years invites people to bring that up.

    Incidentally, the freedom to speak anonymously is one of those pesky "civil liberties" that the government needs to protect you from using. But since you are such a good little citizen, you should really save them the trouble of having to draft laws and then make up ridiculous legal justifications and just stop posting like an anonymous coward.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Principled politician?

    GARY JOHNSON 2012

     

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  51.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    Government has gotten bigger and more powerful. What was once considered immoral behavior is now acceptable. Regulation by government has increased almost exponentially. Government control over social programs has expanded continuously over the last century. All of these are principles endorsed by the left.

    The government keeps expanding under Republican administrations, too. And some Republicans want to set up a vast border patrol to keep everyone out. That takes money and expands the government. And then you've got Republicans advocating additional laws to prevent abortions, gay marriage, etc. Republicans want government just as much as they accuse the Democrats of wanting it. The Republicans just want to dole out the money to different groups.

    The thing is, economically no politician dares to drastically slash government or the economy tanks. Imagine what happens if the government no longer employs people, no longer pays for contracts, and no longer provides funding to citizens. The country might benefit from that sort of tough love, but if you suddenly stop handing out government money, every company in the country loses the cashflow that comes from government money, directly or indirectly. I dare the Republicans to actually stop government in its tracks and no longer pay anyone. What I am worried about is that we'll get another Bush -- a President who cuts taxes AND raises government spending. If you are going to fight a war, damn it, make citizens actually pay for it. And if they don't want to pay, maybe we won't get into so many.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re:

    Ars has a pretty good article about Democrats stance on IP and Internet freedom. link

     

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  53.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    The right, on the other hand, endorses reduction of government power and programs. Even if they never follow through.
    If by "endorses" you meant "pays lip service about", then I would agree with that statement. The right has no more intention of reducing government than the left; they just want to shift from social funding to military/defense funding. I couldn't possibly guess why this might be...

     

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  54.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    Another thing I find quite ironic is the push from the right to expand the military.

    You can't get more government than the military. My father was a career military officer. I thought it was a great life and if the government wants to hire more military personnel and take care of their families, I'm all for it.

    We had government health care. We had government housing. We shopped in government run stores. We attended government run schools. The government provided a generous pension after to anyone who served 20 years or more.

    The fact that I lived a government-owned life is why I don't fear the government. It was very good to my family and me.

     

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  55.  
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    Tom, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Principled politician?

    Curious for an example if you have one.

     

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    Pete Pomeroy, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    Another possible explanation as to why the administration has been silent on this issue:

    Maybe those in power gain access to information not available to those on the sidelines, such as the volume of / nature of threats and the efficacy of the tactics mentioned?

    I have a hard time believing this administration (or any administration) purposely suppresses civil liberties in order to maintain power.

    But perhaps I'm just naive.

     

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  57.  
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    PRMan, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You think Obama teaming up with Hollywood to destroy the internet (including his own DNC last night) is better than 4 years ago?

    I don't think Obama is all bad but "we are better off in all areas"? I don't think so.

     

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  58.  
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    PRMan, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    Sadly, if it were a 3-way election, I might vote for Kim Dotcom over the other two...

     

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  59.  
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    PRMan, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    "a push to favor Christianity over other religions"

    Christianity has never been LESS favored in this country than it is right now.

    Right now, you can't say a single negative word about a Jew or Muslim for fear of offending them, but Christians are open season.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re: Principled politician?

    Ron Paul.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    Christianity has never been LESS favored in this country than it is right now.

    There are some folks who want to declare Christianity as the official religion of the US. They'd like to move us ever closer to a theocracy.

     

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  62.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Principled politician?

    I don't want to sidetrack into a debate about Ron Paul (especially since it's a bit pointless), so if you're really interested then I'll let you Google examples for yourself. They're pretty easy to find. Look at double-billing for airline flights, misrepresenting the positions of people who oppose him, and the differences between his positions now vs his positions when he ran for President the first time.

    But do keep in mind that he is better on this sort of thing than most politicians.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    Just because the government is bigger doesn't make it more powerful. In fact, the decentralized nature of our government essentially makes it relatively weak in the grand scheme of things.

    It's when checks and balances are ignored or side-stepped that we start to have problems.

    If what was once considered immoral behavior is now considered acceptable, wouldn't that suggest that we're decreasing regulation? At this point, if you're a corporate entity especially, you can get away with just about anything...

     

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  64.  
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    rubberpants, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:33am

    A principled politician has a much harder time getting campaign contributions from special interests and thus a much harder time winning elections. The system, as currently configured, rejects principled politicians.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's certainly arrogance. You're literally saying "well you only think that about civil liberties because you aren't capable of seeing it the way 'we' do." It's completely naked arrogance no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    It's easy to say but not to do? You say that as if we we've always been doing this. We haven't. That's the problem with government, once they apply the wrong remedy they claim it's now impossible to go back.

    Better off in all areas? Really? You must be blind to a lot to make that kind of claim.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Principled politician?

    and if you would have run across them a few years down the road their principled nature would have vanished, distilled away like so much gas in the mist

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Re: Principled politician?

    I think the worst thing on earth would be a truely principled politician.

    If a person isn't allowed to change stance or take different stances than those of the party, you will be sure to see absolutely nothing happen from 6 months to end of period.

    In most cases I see principled as a motivational way of saying insane and oblivious. A truely principled man do not want to change opinion, no matter how far away his beliefs are from reality.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    Christianity has never been LESS favored in this country than it is right now.

    Thank God...

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just to add some teeth to that last part:

    "The United States continues the decline that began a few years ago, falling two more positions to take 7th place this year. Although many structural features continue to make its economy extremely productive, a number of escalating and unaddressed weaknesses have lowered the US ranking in recent years. …some weaknesses in particular areas have deepened since past assessments. The business community continues to be critical toward public and private institutions (41st). In particular, its trust in politicians is not strong (54th), perhaps not surprising in light of recent political disputes that threaten to push the country back into recession through automatic spending cuts. Business leaders also remain concerned about the government’s ability to maintain arms-length relationships with the private sector (59th), and consider that the government spends its resources relatively wastefully (76th). A lack of macroeconomic stability continues to be the country’s greatest area of weakness (111th, down from 90th last year)."

    From this year's WEF Global Competitiveness Report.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    It takes a special type to want to exist in the fishbowl of politics. Even the "principled" individuals eventually succumb to the inertia of corruption, conceit, and arrogance that are part and parcel of political activity. It has always been this way.


    Off point but an interesting thought , give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    "Really, it's much simpler: When in power, they realize that they need to balance between outright liberty and the public's sometimes undesired need to be protected from itself."

    That's where the arrogance comes in; who the hell are they to think it's okay to take away the citizenry's liberties to protect said citizenry from itself? Especially when what they are trying to protect said citizenry from is a figment of the cloistered politician's imagination, bolstered by their cronies tilted view points.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re: 2 way street

    Since when does the populace get to choose the politicians?

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re:

    I almost can't believe his response to that is 'that's not arrogance! totally it's not!'

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    don't you mean Beelzebub?
    /s

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    and try not to laugh at the absurdity of it

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement anyone?

     

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  77.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    1) You didn't read what he said and 2) you are confusing right/left with Republican/Democrat.

    As for 1), he did say "Even if they never follow through".

    As for 2), Republicans claim to be on the right. Right and left is about ideals, Republicans and Democrats are specific implementations. Those implementations aren't necessarily inline with ideals.

    Of course, if there is only right and left on the continuum, and you have fascism on the right and communism on the left, then I can see how some think we've moved to the right. But if you have big government on the left and small government on the right, then we have absolutely moved to the left.

     

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  78.  
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    Simple Mind (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Michelle Obama wears Tracy Reese for her convention speech

    Actually, nice job! This sums up nicely everything that is wrong with politics. It is all superficial flash and no substance. Nothing is being done, but damn, it looks good and people feel good about it.

     

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  79.  
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    Call me Al, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    Sorry I just can't accept the idea that they are protecting people from threats so dangerous that they can't even tell the people that those threats exist.

    As far as I am concerned government should be able to justify their policies on all counts. They don't need to provide all the details but it is certainly possible to present the general picture.

     

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  80.  
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    Dirkmaster (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Principled politician?

    Wow. A troll FOR politicians. I guess I should be surprised. But I am.

     

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  81.  
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    Dirkmaster (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Principled politician?

    errr, should NOT be surprised. Hit submit a little too quickly there. Sorry.

     

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  82.  
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    Dirkmaster (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    You are right, sir. But the important word in your statement was SUPPOSED. It's not SUPPOSED to be, but it is. And I don't see a bloodshed-free way out for us, alas.

     

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  83.  
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    Dirkmaster (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    It has been my observation that the ONLY people who ever say that the nation is less Christian, are themselves Christians. No one else ever seems to notice this. And in fact thinks the exact opposite, that the Christians are taking over the government.

    Funny how your perspective colors your view of reality, huh?

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    The people in East Berlin before the wall came down Lived a "government owned life".

    It's my understanding that they didn't like it very much...

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re:

    You mean like Bush did with Iraq?

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Principled politician?

    Maybe a troll or maybe we are not seeing eye to eye on definition of "principled".

    When "principled" also means taking a "consistent" stance on something where the scientific evidence has changed or your argument no longer applies to reality, it is just a bad idea. Also: The worst thing in the world is following one single ideologi in all walks of life. It means that you have neglected to take stances from conviction and slavishly defers to old arguments. God forbit, that you learn something new!

     

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  87.  
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    minijedimaster (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Re: There are other options

    Took the quiz and answered fully honest on all questions... said I'm 95% with Mitt Romney. Gary Johnson was third at 73% for me after Virgil Goode at 83%.

    Guess you'd lose that bet.

     

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  88.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    The people in East Berlin before the wall came down Lived a "government owned life".

    It's my understanding that they didn't like it very much...


    I'm just saying that the US military is a government-owned life. No getting around that. Expand the military and you are expanding government. Put more people in the military and give out more government contracts for military operations and you are expanding government.

    It was nice to have all that free medical care. And retired military do appreciate the pension.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:39pm

    Re: There are other options

    Great link! 97% Jill Stein, here (saw it coming a mile off, pinko that I am, but still). Then Rocky Anderson, THEN Obama...

     

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  90.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    But if you have big government on the left and small government on the right, then we have absolutely moved to the left.

    Where would you put the shareable movement? Let's say people are forming cooperatives but the government isn't involved. Is that left because it involves a form of communal ownership or right because it is outside of standard forms of government?

    Is the worker-owned collective more on the right or more on the left?

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Principled politician?

    Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are better options than Obromney.

    www.lp.org

    www.jillstein.org

     

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  92.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    I'd put it on the right because the government isn't involved.

     

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  93.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    I'd put it on the right because the government isn't involved.

    The far left and the far right could probably find a meeting of the minds if politicians weren't trying to divide and conquer. For example, does this sound left or right?

    About the Institute for Local Self-Reliance | Institute for Local Self-Reliance: "ILSR challenges the conventional wisdom that bigger is better, that separating the producer from the consumer, the banker from the depositor and lender, the worker from the owner is an inevitable outcome of modern economic development. Surprisingly little evidence supports this conventional wisdom. In every sector of the economy the evidence yields the same conclusion: small is the scale of efficient, dynamic environmentally benign societies."

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Principled politician?

    Principle: us federal gov't shouldn't do anything not explicitly granted by a power listed in the constitution

    Reality: writes and introduces federal abortion ban bill, which is not based on any enumerated power

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re:

    You mean if Dotkom were a candidate.. but he's not. However, there are other options than Obromney.

     

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  96.  
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    Rekrul, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:13pm

    Obama, like 99.99% of politicians, is a lying weasel. He will tell whatever lies he needs to get elected and then piss on the people who voted for him. He sees voters as nothing more than stepping stones.

    Worse, he seems to think that the US is ruled by a monarchy and that he was elected king rather than president.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    ...And government military spending is eating up roughly two thirds of the entire country's GDP.. but hey, since we've already almost maxed the credit card with crippling debt, why not hire more? Hell, we could even run military recruitment ads on every major network touting our 'Global force, for good'. Maybe next we can start the 'Obama Youth' program, and intern dissenters in camps in order to 're-educate' the public as to the perils of free thought.

     

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  98.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    We lead the world in military equipment sales. It's a growth industry for us.

    IPS – U.S. Foreign Weapons Sales Triple, Setting Record | Inter Press Service: WASHINGTON, Aug 27 2012 (IPS) - "U.S. weapons sales around the world have massively expanded over the past year, setting several records. Agreements for foreign arms sales in 2011 totalled around 66.3 billion dollars – three times higher than the previous year and constituting an 'extraordinary increase', according to the Congressional Research Service."

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    Sweet, let's liquidate the nuclear arsenal then. That should being in some greenbacks.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    tyPo gRaphiCal eRror

    *bRing in*

     

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  101.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 5th, 2012 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    Sweet, let's liquidate the nuclear arsenal then. That should being in some greenbacks.

    Yes, we could sell the weapons to other countries, and then increase Homeland Security and the Defense Department to protect us from the weapons we have just sold. We'd make money on the sale, and then create jobs by hiring inspectors and soldiers.

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2012 @ 6:40pm

    Does anyone know how to stop spam from dcc.org. I have got around 87 e-,ails from those fools. Is spamming still bad?

     

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  103.  
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    Donglebert the Lengthy, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 2:58am

    and one way to do that is to suppress the civil liberties of the public.

    I don't think that's strictly the case.

    Modern politics is the politics of fear. There's nothing that makes the population more scared than saying "they're among us".

    And then they believe their own hype.

     

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  104.  
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    slander (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Principled politician?

    Wait - who was this allegedly principled San Diego politician? I have not met a single one who wasn't in somebody's pocket.

     

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  105.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quick, everyone Google for a congress candidate that has a green head, no eyes and whose name is El Segfaulto...

     

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  106.  
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    SeanFromIT (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Re: Principled politician?

    We're out here. But it now costs ridiculous amounts of money to win an election, and with companies doing most of the donating, 'principled' is a dirty word. Step up and donate to your local principled politicians and you might see one move up for once!

     

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  107.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: 2 way street

    thank you...
    even further, it is the party insiders/king-makers who choose which of the two flavors of the one Korporate Money Party we are allowed to confirm for them...
    the WHOLE SYSTEM is bent towards excluding virtually ANY third party insurgency...
    (yes, it is *technically* possible, there are just so many roadblocks and bottlenecks PURPOSEFULLY erected by the duopoly, that it is *practically* impossible...)

    that *some* few third party campaigns have done as well as they have, is testament to the dissatisfaction of everyone, NOT that 'our' (sic) system is amenable to running a third party campaign...
    as i see it, we are fast approaching a fork in the road: one leads to a renewed small-dee democracy, and one is leading us to a repressive, fascist totalitarian regime...

    dismantling the present duopoly is a prerequisite for reclaiming democracy; the alternative is revolution...
    at this point, i'd just as soon go the revolution route...
    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  108.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: There are other options

    so-o-o-o, you're 95% a sociopath ? ? ?
    only 5% more, and you'll be a fully qualified Master of the Universe ! ! !
    then you too can screw over your fellow human beans without a shred of conscience...
    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    art guerrilla at windstream dot net
    eof

     

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  109.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    that 'quaint', archaic, no-longer-operable 'piece of paper' we used to call our 'Constitution', had what now looks like a very wise -you know- 'suggestion' kinda thingie:
    NO standing armies...

    what *did* happen to that sagacious principle ? ? ?
    hmmm...
    oh, that's right, we can't afford principles anymore...

    methinks we aren't as wise -or brave, or free- as our fore-um-persons...
    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  110.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As the country moves farther to the right

    "government military spending is eating up roughly two thirds of the entire country's GDP"

    That's not even remotely close to true. 2/3 of GDP? Think about what that would mean. Did someone slip in a 67% income tax rate (with no deductions) when I wasn't looking, and spend ALL of it on the military?

    And before you say "I meant 2/3 of the budget" it's not 2/3 of the budget, either, because SS and Medicare and interest on the debt take up WAY more than 1/3 when you put them together.

     

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  111.  
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    Republocrats, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 6:08am

    Obama = Bush on steroids

    Don't forget that now our president gave himself the powers to assasinate, and detain citizens indefinitely without proof even brought against us. Might as well call this the Soviet States of America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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