Endgame

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    (Thanks to Huntn for pointing out this edition of the Rachel Maddow Show to me.)

    On Friday, 3/10, Rachel Maddow did one of her most terrific, and terrifying, programs ever. She spent the first half of it putting together all of the events of the past few weeks and drawing a very clear picture of how precarious our freedoms are.

    Here, in a nutshell, are the pieces of the puzzle:

    • The Republican-controlled governor and legislature of Wisconsin have just succeeded in removing almost all bargaining rights from public unions.
    • In Boise, Idaho, the state government has also stripped union rights from teachers.
    • Ohio faces the same fate as it considers nullifying the power of public unions.
    • In Indianapolis, they not only stripped the unions of power, but they are shifting public school resources into private hands.
    • Michigan had the largest protests ever over union busting and the state declaring it has new, draconian powers.
    • Also in Michigan, the governor is trying to raise $1.7b by taxing low income residents, senior citizens, and donations to schools...not to solve the debt, but get this...to give corporations a $1.8b tax break. It is a naked transfer of wealth from old people and the poor to businesses.
    • In Florida they are doing something similar, cutting $1.75b out of the budget in order to give businesses a $1.6b tax cut.
    Maddow tells us that obviously none of these Republicans ran on these policies, because they knew that they would be losers. Look at the graphic below of how Wisconsin residents feel about two of their senators.

    [​IMG]

    These guys were just elected, yet according to these polls, they are more than likely to be recalled. Also look at the graphic of support for unions.

    [​IMG]

    The Republican actions of the last few weeks are not popular positions.

    But who cares when you have Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS running union-bashing commercials? (Crossroads won't tell anyone who's financing the commercials.) Who cares when you have the Koch brothers financing you? (Their wealth each ties for #18 on Fortune's 400, and their combined wealth would make them #4.)

    So how, Maddow asks, do you win the next election when you are carrying out such an obviously unpopular, anti-democratic, transfer-the-wealth-to-the-rich game plan?

    Obviously...change the game.

    • In Florida a few years back, ex-cons got the right to vote back after they got out of prison. Now, the governor has rescinded that right and is making them wait five years before they can even ask to vote.
    • Wisconsin Republicans came close to passing a law saying that a student's ID card was not sufficient identification for him or her to vote.
    • A similar bill has been introduced in New Hampshire. It states that students can vote there only if they or their parents had previous residence in NH. Another bill would end same day election registration.
    • In Texas, restrictive voter ID law under consideration has exemptions for the elderly and concealed carry gun owners.
    All in all, Republican governors in 32 states are considering requirements that would make it harder to register and/or vote. Note that these bills tend to affect students, the poor and minorities the most...just the sort of people who tend to vote Democratic. (Surprise!) Note also that Texas carved out a specific exception for the elderly and gun owners, who tend to vote Republican.

    And especially note how this is all happening now, at the same time. You'd almost think there was some sort of plan. Well, apparently there is. The American Legislative Exchange Council is providing Republican governors with suggested legislation that would make it harder for people to vote. And just who is the ALEC?

    The Koch brothers.

    Meanwhile, in Michigan, pending legislation would allow the governor, at his discretion in the case of fiscal problems, dismiss the elected officials of any city government and place his own appointee (possibly a corporate CEO) in place instead, effectively nullifying local elections.

    And in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett has appointed a contributor and coal company CEO to his cabinet and given him unilateral power to override any action of any other state agency.

    So.

    "We the People"?

    5P? "We the People"??

    This kind of stuff was unthinkable only a decade ago. If this is allowed to stand, we're facing a future that looks more like one of those foreign mock "democracies" than the United States we all grew up in.

    For the corporate/conservative types, there are only a few more obstacles to success. They've already floated the idea of controlling our internet, and they've got people in a position to silence MSNBC, and maybe all the other legitimate news media as well.

    That's how democracies die, in favor of another, darker, more authoritarian form of government.

    And that's why people are finally standing up for themselves and for our country.

    Because we realize that we're approaching the endgame.
     
  2. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #2
    That was an awesome post, Thomas.

    It really is scary what is going on, and that so many people (you know who you are) actually support it. I'm almost starting to wonder what country I should emigrate to, as the US is really going down the hole.
     
  3. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #3
    It looks like political support cycles now last a year at most, although I'm thunderstruck that so many people elected republicans on a good-faith basis. The amount of liberty/freedom revoking they've managed is pretty shocking.

    Still, it's quite impressive they've managed to do so much in so little time. I mean, Democrats in 2009 spent all their political goodwill passing things like the stimulus, cash for clunkers, tax cuts (which nobody noticed), etc. They barely got their HCR passed, and by the time they did it was a republican style mishmash. Barely any of their agenda items got through. By the time they repealed DADT they needed to extend the Bush tax cuts to get Murkowski et al. to side with them.

    The GoP just get right to their agenda items, and they make them work.
     
  4. mgguy macrumors 6502

    mgguy

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    #4
    Most if not all of the moves by states outlined in the original post seem to me to be prudent actions to stimulate the economy over the long haul, although admittedly they are not so good politically for the democrat tax and spend agenda. And as far as taking policy positions that increases votes for their party, a good example of this is the attempt to get amnesty for illegal immigrants so they will vote Democrat.
     
  5. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #5
    I second that. All you have to do is open your eyes see the power grab, see democracy in danger, and get mad as hell if you care about such things. I'm sure all the conservatives in the forum are giddy with delight.
     
  6. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #6
    The most significant immigration amnesty in US history was instituted under Reagan and with his support. Bush (the latter) supported a much more significant amnesty, but never rallied sufficient support. Some amnesty activity happened under Clinton, but most acts labeled by xenophobes as "amnesty" were actually either targeted blanket asylum provisions for people fleeing from troubled areas (Nicaragua, Haiti) or patches for gaps in the law that separated people from their families. Even the Section 245(i) reform most commonly called amnesty really is not. Where Reagan's 1986 amnesty offered temporary residence essentially on demand to those meeting basic tests such as non-felon status, the 245(i) reform offered no relief from consequences for illegal immigration, but only offered a temporary window allowing qualifying individuals the opportunity to apply for a normal visa without leaving the United States by providing all the normal paperwork and fees, plus payment of a $1000 fine.

    So Reagan offers blanket amnesty to three million illegal immigrants. Bush proposes, but ultimately fails, to offer blanket amnesty to between twelve and twenty million more. Clinton offers a much more limited collection of targeted bills normalizing the status of fewer people than either, and somehow that makes immigration amnesty a Democrat thing.

    And moreover, it's all about votes, is it? None of these bills offered citizenship, but only a chance for illegal immigrants to obtain a visa. Not one of those offered amnesty, in whatever form, had a chance to pay back the favor in votes to the government that offered it. Given how long it takes to obtain citizenship even starting with a visa, immigration is just not a viable way to build a voting bloc.

    This particular brand of partisan nonsense, out of all of them, really needs to stop. Immigration issues in the United States are frightfully complicated. Mixed messages and failure to institute meaningful reform have emerged consistently from both parties. The bright partisan policy line you're imagining does not exist. This issue simply does not fit into the narrative you're trying to perpetuate.
     
  7. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #7
    TAKING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS DOES NOTHING FOR THE BUDGET.

    MY GOD.

    And the weird "$$$ of tax cuts = $$$ of deficit" is hilarious. How do you not see it?
     
  8. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #8
    I'm entertaining the same thoughts. Not that I'm taking them seriously right now, but just in case....

    I did nothing but summarize what Maddow said, and put a couple of my own observations in at the end. The real work is being done by people like Maddow and Thom Hartmann, who are taking all these separate reports and putting them together so that we can see what the big picture looks like.

    And I really do try to filter out the nonsense. It's easy to take a series of news stories and link them together to form a BS conspiracy theory. But it's really hard to claim this is paranoia when it hangs together so well.

    And since money = power, when you find out that 400 people have as much amassed wealth as half of the rest of the country, it looks even worse.

    Something that the tea party types won't tell you is that Jefferson, whom they're so fond of quoting, said:

    Holy ****, can you imagine the heart attack the Koch boys would have if we tried to implement such a communistic scheme? "Here, America, we're taking Koch Sr.'s money and splitting it 307 million ways!"

    But no, we've been slowly doing the opposite, eliminating the estate tax, approving M&As all over the place....

    And President Milquetoast is still trying to get us to form a circle and sing Kumbaya. Jesus. As MyDesktopBroke alluded to, Republicans know how to get their job done. When they have control, they push hard and they take no prisoners. Democrats had better start acting like that. And they'd better stop playing to the center and take a hint from the crowds and move to the left and become the defenders of the people again.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    So, once again, you think that taking away rights is the answer because it suits your agenda? You think taking away voting rights is OK? Seriously, what is wrong with the right wing in this country? Why do you not believe in freedom?
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    Yeah, that's pretty appalling...
     
  11. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #11
    Just wait til the 2012 elections republicans, just wait. Something gives me the feeling that in a year from now the voters will strip republicans of all political power.
     
  12. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #12
    I hate to say it, but I think you're overestimating the political memory span of the voting populace.

    Quick - name the big political stories from this time last year? (And no cheating by looking at news archives).
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    I don't think so at all. This is some scary s*** that is going to be affecting people from now until the election. You don't forget when something is ongoing. I have never seen the left this energized. The Republicans are going to be in serious trouble next year, trust me. We've never seen anything this terrifying or threatening to personal freedoms in our lives.
     
  14. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #14
    Well, take a look at what it takes to get a CHL. I'm not surprised one could use a CHL in lieu of a state-issued ID or driver's license with our voter ID bill. You need that driver's license or ID in order to get a CHL. Plus the fact that people are background checked and finger printed in the process, what if that was the only way to be able to vote? :D This isn't some scary conspiracy.
    [​IMG]

    There was an amendment to this bill that would waive fees for obtaining a Texas ID but the Republicans voted it down. I think that was a stupid move because it takes a little bit of money ($5 or $10?) to get an ID card and now I think you can argue this bill is akin to a poll tax.
     
  15. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #15
    I hope you're right. But the official 2012 elections are 20 months away. Not sure when any recall elections will be. If those are successful - or even unsuccessful - that could give this situation the momentum it needs to sustain itself until next year.

    Still - a lot can happen in 20 months. And political opinions can people being fired up enough to actually do something....well, those can change overnight.

    Part of my secretly likes to think the Democrats took a dive on the 2010 elections to better set themselves up for 2012. But another part of me has trouble believing that they're that smart.
     
  16. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #16
    If that's the case then it's completely unconstitutional. Voting has to be 100% free.
     
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #17
    Absolutely. This law will never succeed.
     
  18. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #18
    I don't know Lee, the wedge issues haven't even flooded the news cycles yet. Once those are in play its the typical playing field. 20 months is a long time for Americans to pay attention to pretty much anything, which is sad.
     
  19. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #19
    I really am tired if hearing this negative thinking from people your age. Stop it. You defeat yourselves when you do this. We can stop these people. We CAN. Start believing it, and we will succeed. We have to succeed. Our very way of life depends on it now.
     
  20. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #20
    Hate to say this, but I've heard that same verbiage used to describe a Glen Beck program. Is Maddow the Beck of the left?
     
  21. NT1440, Mar 13, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #21
    Lee, I come from a very long line of heavy cynics. :eek:

    Thats just in my nature, you shouldn't confuse it for defeatism, I've been doing everything I can to spread information to people I know (even if its as little as explaining current events that most around here only have a superficial awareness of). You can bet your ass that come election time I will be extremely vocal around here. I'm trying to spread awareness about the farce that is our political system.

    Beck uses his "common sense" in stringing together this theories, with a fact or two dropped in.

    Maddow simply follows the facts with documentation and sources available online after every episode. Her declarations that these actions in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc are not about the budget are very clearly explained. You can't cut funding for eduction then give corporations a tax break for the same amount (or more in a few cases) and seriously declare that these things are to balance a budget.
     
  22. R.Perez macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    #23
    To all the right-wingers out there that support these policies....

    Show me ONE historical example of these "economic theories" that you espouse as a savior of the economy...?

    I am so tired of this neo-liberal economic non-sense. It has not once actually led to economic prosperity for a majority of the population of a country that has adopted this model. NOT ONCE. Stop touting these ideas as fact, these are crazy economic theories made up by Milton Friedman and his cronies at the Chicago School of Economics. Right-wingers love to trash evolution as "theory" and not fact, yet they tout these neo-liberal lies as fact all the time. Again, show me a single working example of this neo-liberal economic model actually creating prosperity for more than a very select few. I'm waiting.....
     
  23. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #24
    They certainly are not fixing the budget, but destroying forces in opposition to their political goals. Are the voters going to cheer this on I wonder?

    Admittedly we have serious budget problems in this country (USA). But if average working/middle class people hire the Republican's to fix things, it is not just shooting themselves in the foot, it's cutting their legs off at the hip feeding the symbolic appendages to the wealthy who just don't have enough, don't you know.

    It's like the chickens hiring the fox to rescue them from the chicken coop. :D
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #25
    Cynicism is defeatism. It's a flawed way of thinking that says, "Oh well, even though we lost, I wasn't wrong." BS. Stop it. Stand up for what you believe in, fight like hell for it, and own it if you lose. But never assume you're going to lose from the beginning, because if you do, you've defeated yourself already.

    Stay positive, no matter what. And keep fighting like hell.
     

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