September 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm #156579mark fosterParticipant
So…. why is a third centrist party out of the question?
We have never had one. Maybe it’s time.September 29, 2012 at 4:19 am #156578Tanya OlsonParticipant
My prediction is that if O gets reelected we’ll continue on a slow steady recovery and nothing very spectacular will happen. If R-squared gets elected, we’ll be in a war with Iran by next year, all talk of the national debt will be thrown out the window and we’ll be on the hook for another unfunded war, federal funding will obviously be drastically cut which I think would mean another round of huge job losses for the design industries. [[ I realize that federal spending has to be cut (in my opinion along with moderate tax increases) but it should be cut slowly so the private sector has time to develop replacement services, which it most certainly will. I also think that while we keep our debt in mind, nothing pays off owed money faster than HAVING A JOB, so its probably a red herring to concentrate this much time and effort on a problem we don’t currently have the resources to solve and focus on developing the resources that enable us to look at that problem]]
On top of that, I agree that health care is going to be a deciding factor in prosperity and recovery for the next 20 years as the baby boomers age. If we don’t have a good system in place, the rest of us are going to be crushed by the cost of their health care. Even in the past 4 years, small businesses (and the vast majority of LA offices are small businesses) have had to lay off people in part because of the rise of health care costs, so it has had a contributing (I think significant) impact on the recession. The health care law really has the potential to alleviate some of that pressure – not so much the rise in health care costs, but the lowering of insurance costs or widening of the insurance pool, however you want to put it.
In conclusion – O=nothing too exciting but steady, R2=doom and gloom. But I did love The Grapes of Wrath, so maybe we’ll all have to go pick oranges in CA. Oh, thats right. All of the orange groves were bulldozed to building shopping malls. Maybe someone in Mexico would hire us?September 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm #156577
Timothy Egan is among the best, and there are quite a number of those, essayists and editorial commentators at the New York Times. You have to be among the best to write for this periodical, no matter what your political persuasion.
Egan has also written some outstanding and award-snatching books, several of which profile the Pacific Northwest, the broader West which it is a part of and epic events of the time. ( e.g. Great Depression migration westward, massive western wildfire)
Here is he offers his insightful and insidious viewpoint, backed up with informed observation, of what the broader environmental policies of, as Tanya puts it here, if R2, are elected and what they portend for at least the western part of our country.
Even if you use the 50% filter (half of what I read is probably a safe conjecture and the other half is suitable for skepticism) this is some pretty frightening stuff. The title alone makes you want to read it. I hope you will.
The Geography of NopeSeptember 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm #156576
I didn’t notice if anyone said a third centrist party was out of the question? I don’t see why we shouldn’t but I also don’t think it is a magic elixir. We are imperfect people…if you have three parties, four parties or 100 parties they will all be jockeying for money and influence. You can buy a lot of “speech” these days. The two parties do have differences. This time around, as well as last time, we have had very clear choices. While Obama is not perfect by any measure, no president is. I am not going to agree with someone 100%…heck, I love my husband and we don’t always agree.
One thing that I find VERY hopeful is that despite an avalanche of cash you don’t see Romney doing as well as we would expect. For how many years this man has been running and how much money is lining his campaigns pockets and GOP Super Pacs I am beginning to believe an expert I heard on NPR that said that having the most money does not equal winning.September 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm #156575September 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm #156574Rob HalpernParticipant
While this appears to be true for the actual candidate’s funds, the picture is very different when you factor in the PACsSeptember 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm #156573
Thanks Rob…Super Pac spending is not even close…although Obama is picking up some. At one point Romney Super Pacs were raising money 7-1 and then 5-1…probably in no small part because democrats actually hated the Citizens United case. Obviously though, the rules have changed and a candidate could handicap themselves by not playing by the same rules as their opponent.
Interesting to note that Obama has more funds donated to his actual campaign, which means more small donors like you and me…and more disclosure.
I think a lot of Super Pac money is also being used by Senate and House politicians in tight races.
Also, when we say Romney has his own money…that is worth something, I believe he has spent $45 million of his own money.October 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm #156572
The New Mitt is not the same the old Mitt (slight hat tip to the Who) – on many things, including the environment, energy and growth.
. A chameleon for all seasons. See for yourself, quick before he changes again !!October 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm #156571
Only James Howard Kunstler could frame the presidential election choice before us in equal helpings of cold sobriety and harsh humor:Flying at higher platitudes in the thin upper air of his own mind last week, Republican candidate Mitt Romney remarked apropos of airplane travel: “[T]he windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous.”It turned out that Mitt meant the remark as a gag. But it sheds some light on the hazard of trying to be funny by saying the opposite of what you mean, and also on the essential character of Mr. Romney who, to put it as plainly and directly as possible, is the sort of person commonly described as “an asshole.” Hence, the thought that must be flashing through many people’s minds these days when Romney’s off-kilter, square-jawed, grinning visage floats over the nearest flat-screen: Who would vote for that asshole…? Being given to more baroque taxonomy, myself, I would be satisfied in calling Mr. Romney an empty vessel in a vacant room in an abandoned property in a forsaken land, and leave it at that.It happens that his opponent, Mr. Obama, is a genial fellow with whom almost anyone might like to have a beer. Despite his winning smile, though, the president has managed to cripple due process of law, make war on the nation’s own citizens, let Wall Street criminals run amok, and sell out the electoral process to a corrupt corporate oligarchy. I wouldn’t vote for him again if he water-boarded me in a Jacuzzi full of Schorschbräu’s Schorschbock 57 beer ($275 a bottle). But he’s welcome to come over to my house and watch the baseball playoffs if he brings his own six-pack and a bag of Cheetos.And so it goes on the backstretch of the emptiest election contest in memory. The nation simply can’t contend with the existential problems it faces and doesn’t want to hear about them. As far as I can tell, nobody is paying attention to the campaigns, not even the reporters, certainly not the bloggers, who have their eyes on the riots and other kinetic unravelings related to the money crisis in Europe. Here, where anything goes and nothing matters, everybody just goes through the motions of electoral politics. It all has the odor of a ritual that nobody remembers the original purpose of – namely, to govern, i.e. to manage society’s collective affairs.These days, nobody believes that our affairs are manageable, and their perception is probably correct, especially when it comes to paying for it all, since accounting fraud is now the basis of all financial operations.
For the complete column go to:October 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm #156570October 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm #156569
I share your viewpoint about how (and if) a viable third party may eventually be spawned from the two current political parties that have become completely compromised and corrupted by big money and all that it commands.
I actually think that Republicans will spin out-of-control and splinter first. This will probably degenerate into fragments and figments not allowing for the kind of cohesion and wider appeal a viable third party needs to even begin to make a marginal difference in denting the plundering plutocracy we are currently stuck with.
As far as the Democratic party, the center may hold there a bit longer. If the significant cuts absolutely necessary (we spend more than the next 8 plus largest economies in the world combined) to our military take place and we turn our priorities homeward and start a serious rebuilding and reinvestment effort in our ailing infrastructure, and the Dem’s are at the forefront of that, then they may have some staying power. This won’t happen, but if there had been very aggressive and sustained prosecution of the high crimes of finance and casino gambling that took place on Wall Street by the current administration, this election would not even be competitive or in question.October 3, 2012 at 8:28 pm #156568
Just read an article on Homeland Security spending and how little of that money goes towards fighting terrorism. I found it frustrating to see the consensus that we shouldn’t expect the funding to be cut because of the political power it brings to the representatives of each state. Both democrats and republicans are guilty of this. I do think people enter politics with a desire to help the system, but in order to gain access to the system and remain there they end up selling their souls, or at least bits of it. I look forward to seeing if Jon Huntsman enters the fray again in the future. I think he was very smart to remove himself from the debacle of his party. We REALLY need the republicans to offer up strong candidates. Ultimately, more Americans need to participate in the primaries, then we would have candidates committed to compromise and teamwork. We really can’t blame our politicians when we have so few American’s even willing to do the least time consuming of civic duties, vote.October 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm #156567
Chances are, a few us who have posted to this forum topic watched the first debate. I read a considerable amount of follow-up post debate analysis the next day and checked into one my favorite economic and finance columnists, Jon Talton from the Seattle Times. The title of his debate critique is ….
You Call this an Economic Debate ? Talton pulls not a single punch here and throws his own back at both candidates. Here are a couple of samplers …….
Mitt Romney showed up at the first presidential debate, President Obama didn’t. Like the former private-equity mogul that he is, Romney was willing to say anything to close the deal, whether it was truthful or sincere. Obama was in his passive mode, as if he were still waiting for that one elusive Republican vote in the Senate to pass the Affordable Care Act. The moderator was an embarrassment.
…..neither candidate addressed one of the most critical issues facing the republic: The failure to apply the rule of law to Wall Street and the banking “industry.” Neither called for a 21st century Glass-Steagall. Neither discussed the continued danger the boyz pose to the financial system.
At least we were treated to some sober truth-telling about the economic (and environmental and societal) costs of human-caused climate change and the sensible policy responses required. Oh, wait. That didn’t happen, either.
Overall, a disaster. Not so much for the president, who will win or not as he tries to nail Romney’s Jell-o to the wall. The big losers were the American people.
This is a short column from Talton and worth looking at.
The reason Obama did poorly is simple. He is bad at governing America. He hasn’t solved the foreclosure crisis, the jobs crisis, the climate crisis, the energy crisis, the financial crisis, the debt crisis, the health care crisis, or really, anything. He can’t point to very much that Americans broadly like, except killing Bin Laden and the auto bailout. His second term agenda is to cut Social Security, Medicare, frack, cut corporate taxes, bust more teachers unions and pass more neoliberal trade agreements. He is proud of this record. So are his people. But he knows he can’t run on it because it’s unpopular, so instead, he presented himself as a nice likeable guy.October 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm #156566ncaParticipant
I am so sick of these silly partisan blogs I literally feel ill reading them. The debate was a complete joke. Obama was half asleep and romney busted out every goodie in the book as obama took notes. Convince me not to throw my vote away on a third party candidate.October 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm #156565
Can you picture Mitt with a whirring weed whacker in his hands ? I originally intended this forum topic to be have a more centered focus and discussion about what the R2 tag-tea’s environmental policy and practice might be. Here is the best analysis I have found so far. As usual, it comes from the NYT.
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