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So there's this debt ceiling. Like a credit card limit. Only, unlike a credit card, where the bank decides the limit, we set it ourselves. And every time we raise it we tell ourselves "That's it! We are going to get our budget in order and get on the road to solvency again." And then something comes up: A war, a recession, an election, etc. and we spend more or reduce revenues and slam into the debt ceiling again and swear again, while raising it, that we'll learn this time.

The political parties, depending on who's in power, take turns being the id and superego. Those in power, never see the problem, while those out of power wail about the budget and the debt.

And we, the people, think this is horrible.

But we're a huge part of the problem.

We elect politicians to screw someone else to our benefit--we call that fairness.

We want those getting screwed to agree to this--we call that compromise.

Unfortunately, since we can't all seem to agree about who to screw, politicians figured out a way to get around the problem (for the moment)--screw people in the future to the benefit of those in the present. And that's the debt.

Well, it's the future.

And we can't understand why our representative can't get the other side to compromise to make things fair.
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Religious debate in the US has become practically surreal. For decades the sides were fairly static with the rise of Christian fundamentalism among conservatives countered by calls from liberals for broad, explicit separation of church and government amid fears of Christian extremists attempting to fashion law on strict Biblical values and institute a theocracy. Now the sides have spun 180 degrees with conservatives terrified of Shariah law and Muslims taking over the government while liberals level accusations of prejudice and bigotry.

The depth of the myopia and hypocrisy on both sides is sometimes amazing even to my cynical, old self. But it seems to be the wave of the future. With political ideologies becoming more and more a mindless refutation of the opposition. Conspiracy theories and extremism replacing debate and discussion.

And I'm not sure where it will end. Certainly the pendulum will swing the other way at some point, but I think the trend will continue. The US is undeniably in transition and (arguably) decline. People generally tend toward the irrational in such times of fear, clinging even more tightly to rote beliefs. And charlatans of all stripes understand the opportunities afforded them by such a climate and will continue to take advantage of it. Even as Arab states attempt to move toward enlightenment and democracy, we seem hell-bent on moving in the opposite direction.
angstzeit: (Default)
Religious debate in the US has become practically surreal. For decades the sides were fairly static with the rise of Christian fundamentalism among conservatives countered by calls from liberals for broad, explicit separation of church and government amid fears of Christian extremists attempting to fashion law on strict Biblical values and institute a theocracy. Now the sides have spun 180 degrees with conservatives terrified of Shariah law and Muslims taking over the government while liberals level accusations of prejudice and bigotry.

The depth of the myopia and hypocrisy on both sides is sometimes amazing even to my cynical, old self. But it seems to be the wave of the future. With political ideologies becoming more and more a mindless refutation of the opposition. Conspiracy theories and extremism replacing debate and discussion.

And I'm not sure where it will end. Certainly the pendulum will swing the other way at some point, but I think the trend will continue. The US is undeniably in transition and (arguably) decline. People generally tend toward the irrational in such times of fear, clinging even more tightly to rote beliefs. And charlatans of all stripes understand the opportunities afforded them by such a climate and will continue to take advantage of it. Even as Arab states attempt to move toward enlightenment and democracy, we seem hell-bent on moving in the opposite direction.
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The politicians in the US are in rare form lately as federal and state budgets are making the rounds. The vitriol, stunts, grandstanding, and general insanity are being gobbled up by the media and the party fans and haters. But it's all a very large misdirection. All designed to make sure we don't notice that nothing will get fixed. To get us to believe they care deeply about the future so that the "compromise" they reach, that happens to only get what they want, seems hard won and useful. To make us believe that the next brief uptick in the economy is all their doing.
angstzeit: (Default)
The politicians in the US are in rare form lately as federal and state budgets are making the rounds. The vitriol, stunts, grandstanding, and general insanity are being gobbled up by the media and the party fans and haters. But it's all a very large misdirection. All designed to make sure we don't notice that nothing will get fixed. To get us to believe they care deeply about the future so that the "compromise" they reach, that happens to only get what they want, seems hard won and useful. To make us believe that the next brief uptick in the economy is all their doing.
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When are we going to realize that the neocons aren't just foolish, but dangerous? One would think Iraq might have been a wake-up call, but apparently it wasn't. I find myself constantly perplexed that a group that seems to exemplify the worst pictures painted of liberals by conservatives now drives conservative thinking. It seems odd that as rank and file conservatives pursue an anti-intellectual agenda, Ivory-Tower intellectuals drive the foreign policy of a republican government.

Georgia looks like the latest victim of this pie-in-the-sky ideology.
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When are we going to realize that the neocons aren't just foolish, but dangerous? One would think Iraq might have been a wake-up call, but apparently it wasn't. I find myself constantly perplexed that a group that seems to exemplify the worst pictures painted of liberals by conservatives now drives conservative thinking. It seems odd that as rank and file conservatives pursue an anti-intellectual agenda, Ivory-Tower intellectuals drive the foreign policy of a republican government.

Georgia looks like the latest victim of this pie-in-the-sky ideology.
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Almost nothing changes. At least it seems that way during campaigning season. Everything is chopped down into the same old sound bites. Nothing seems to have been learned. Same shit, same spoon, and apparently people are eating it up once again.

Flip-flopping.

For the love of God they're on about that crap again. You would think after 8 years of an administration that clung doggedly to ideas long proven foolish at best, we'd be at least a little more accepting of someone realigning themselves based on new information.

Granted, no one likes a leader with no resolve at all. And we all get tired of pandering. But one politician accusing another of saying different things to different people at different times is like one cat accusing another of crapping in a box. It's just what they do.
angstzeit: (Default)
Almost nothing changes. At least it seems that way during campaigning season. Everything is chopped down into the same old sound bites. Nothing seems to have been learned. Same shit, same spoon, and apparently people are eating it up once again.

Flip-flopping.

For the love of God they're on about that crap again. You would think after 8 years of an administration that clung doggedly to ideas long proven foolish at best, we'd be at least a little more accepting of someone realigning themselves based on new information.

Granted, no one likes a leader with no resolve at all. And we all get tired of pandering. But one politician accusing another of saying different things to different people at different times is like one cat accusing another of crapping in a box. It's just what they do.
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What happens if neither Clinton or Obama gets enough delegates to get the nomination? By which, I mean "elected" delegates. From what I know, it comes down to "superdelegates." These are party bigwigs who can vote at the convention for whoever they want.

This has the potential for some serious problems. Problems that make the current Republican dilemma seem tame. If it appears that party insiders determine the candidate contrary to the voter's choice, the party will fracture.

Much has been made of the enthusiasm of democrats this cycle. But that is a two edged sword. If they feel betrayed, the backlash could be tremendous. It could lose them not only this election, but maybe many future ones.

After the DNC's stupid moves in Michigan and Florida, I wouldn't put it past them to ignore the people in favor of stupid, outdated, party crap. We shall see.
angstzeit: (Default)
What happens if neither Clinton or Obama gets enough delegates to get the nomination? By which, I mean "elected" delegates. From what I know, it comes down to "superdelegates." These are party bigwigs who can vote at the convention for whoever they want.

This has the potential for some serious problems. Problems that make the current Republican dilemma seem tame. If it appears that party insiders determine the candidate contrary to the voter's choice, the party will fracture.

Much has been made of the enthusiasm of democrats this cycle. But that is a two edged sword. If they feel betrayed, the backlash could be tremendous. It could lose them not only this election, but maybe many future ones.

After the DNC's stupid moves in Michigan and Florida, I wouldn't put it past them to ignore the people in favor of stupid, outdated, party crap. We shall see.
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CNN.com would like us folks out here to tell us what we would do if running for President of the US.

First up on their questions: What campaign promises would you make?

Well, at least it is the biggest pile of crap in campaigning they've tackled first.

Damn near every campaign promise is utter bullshit. Any candidate who promises anything that they can't absolutely know they have complete control over is lying. Despite the attempts of Bush and company, the President is only one part of the government. Not a king, but a manager. Me? I could promise transparency as far as the law, prudence, and my conscience allow. Which basically means I'll tell it, unless someone very persuasive can convince me it would be detrimental to a lot of people. And then, I might tell it anyway if other people will be benefited.

I would say what is important to me but never give any specifics as to what "I'll do." That is a simple setup for failure.

At base, what it come down to, is that being President of the US isn't about what you want. It is about what you can make happen. I would be, in my mind, a horrible president. Because I know the horrid dichotomy: Stand on your ideals or play the game. And I don't think I have the popular opinions or the Reagan/Clinton selling power to put my ideals across. And I have no desire to play the game. I would be a lame duck from the start because I don't buy either side's crap. I would confuse everybody by taking every dime anyone wanted to give me (Christ, I need it!) but would go on being the crazy-ass anti-everything mofo I am. [Seriously, take their money up front. If they never give you any more, at least you robbed them of something. And maybe someone will wake up and stop it.]

No, you don't want me as President except for a regular laugh. Though, I think if I could inject a third of myself into the next president it might be a good thing. God knows with the real choices available it couldn't hurt.
angstzeit: (Default)
CNN.com would like us folks out here to tell us what we would do if running for President of the US.

First up on their questions: What campaign promises would you make?

Well, at least it is the biggest pile of crap in campaigning they've tackled first.

Damn near every campaign promise is utter bullshit. Any candidate who promises anything that they can't absolutely know they have complete control over is lying. Despite the attempts of Bush and company, the President is only one part of the government. Not a king, but a manager. Me? I could promise transparency as far as the law, prudence, and my conscience allow. Which basically means I'll tell it, unless someone very persuasive can convince me it would be detrimental to a lot of people. And then, I might tell it anyway if other people will be benefited.

I would say what is important to me but never give any specifics as to what "I'll do." That is a simple setup for failure.

At base, what it come down to, is that being President of the US isn't about what you want. It is about what you can make happen. I would be, in my mind, a horrible president. Because I know the horrid dichotomy: Stand on your ideals or play the game. And I don't think I have the popular opinions or the Reagan/Clinton selling power to put my ideals across. And I have no desire to play the game. I would be a lame duck from the start because I don't buy either side's crap. I would confuse everybody by taking every dime anyone wanted to give me (Christ, I need it!) but would go on being the crazy-ass anti-everything mofo I am. [Seriously, take their money up front. If they never give you any more, at least you robbed them of something. And maybe someone will wake up and stop it.]

No, you don't want me as President except for a regular laugh. Though, I think if I could inject a third of myself into the next president it might be a good thing. God knows with the real choices available it couldn't hurt.
angstzeit: (Default)
My Discordian side would really like to see a Gravel/Paul or Paul/Gravel Presidency. Imagine a President and Vice President who actually mean what they say. And talk about bringing the two parties together! I'm sure the democrats and republicans in Congress would cooperate in unprecedented ways to keep those two from getting their way. And selfishly, I'd like to spend the next four years laughing about US politics after six gut-wrenching years.
angstzeit: (Default)
My Discordian side would really like to see a Gravel/Paul or Paul/Gravel Presidency. Imagine a President and Vice President who actually mean what they say. And talk about bringing the two parties together! I'm sure the democrats and republicans in Congress would cooperate in unprecedented ways to keep those two from getting their way. And selfishly, I'd like to spend the next four years laughing about US politics after six gut-wrenching years.

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