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Ok, so the acting is typical SNL, but wow, the guy playing Matthews sounds a lot like him.

"I think my supporters know my support for the war was always insincere."

Awesome.

Counting Supreme Overlord Bush's tenure as Veep within the White House, do we really want 32 years running of the Bush & Clinton families in charge?

If so, let's just officially designate ours as a monarchy and quit maintaining the pretense that there's anything superior to our system than we had when another George ruled our colonies.

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Pretty funny. Hillary is an empty shell of a candidate. Not as much of an empty shell as Bush, but still one nonetheless. She'll never be able to lead on terrorism because she is paralyzed by the issue, just as she is on health care. She'll be like Bill, except without the political skill and the personal magnetism. Which is to say, incredibly little. I've bashed the Obama candidacy, but screw it, I'm for Obama, Edwards or any other Democratic freight train that can work up enough speed to derail the juggernaut of H. Clinton.

"Ok, so the acting is typical SNL, but wow, the guy playing Matthews sounds a lot like him."

He's been doing it for years. Hammond is one of the best impressionists ever on SNL. He's also been on there longer than anyone ever I think.

It's sad that people are so transfixed on this war as a primary discussion point for elections. Yes, three thousand warriors have died. But the country is in the toilet is so many more ways than this war. I'd look at topics like starting to regulate your predatory capitalist corporations, bringing the middle class back up to speed and for gosh sakes start worrying a little more about housing and education. If this war were a TV show, it would be Jerry Springer.

Great impression. Which the material had been stronger.

"Yes, three thousand warriors have died."

Totally untrue. The estimates are around 50,000 Iraqi troops killed by coalition forces following illegal orders that violated international law and, in the case of U.S. soldiers, violated Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States of America - something that they are sworn to uphold. Then there are the direct and indirect civilian causualities who number over 100,000.

That is not to say that your points are not important, Ernst. But good luck regulating corporations with a right-wing democrat who comes from the corporate world.

I agree with what you're saying, DJEB. You're completely right it is only the tip of the ice-berg of deaths. When I only drop the American body count only, it's because it is a concrete value that we can apply to the situation. The States has never really been interested in following international law let alone for "thousands of dead brown people". It sure wasn't "thousands of dead yellow people" that pulled you out of Vietnam.

At least if we try and focus on your own constitution then headway can be made. At least that's the way I look at it.

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"But the country is in the toilet is so many more ways than this war."

But many many things come back to the war. If the Dems cannot stand up and oppose this president on Iraq, then why should we believe that they can take what's going to come if they ever start reforming health care? Bush has also completely broken the bank with this war. Moreover, Iraq is a good indication of whether we are going to have terrorism policy that makes sense or one that is all about puffed up chests, 'slam dunks', and ideological delusions. I don't think I'm that cynical, but if there is one big sign that our political system is really screwed up, it's the fact that Iraq happened and almost all of the beltway was behind it. I want to vote for someone who shows me that they aren't a part of that rot.

Hillaryous. ;-)

"But the country is in the toilet is so many more ways than this war."

Interesting that nobody chose to correct you on this falsehood.

The country is not "in the toilet". The country is doing remarkably well. There are many things that need fixing, but there always are, and as long as we keep working at the problems they'll right themselves eventually.

Is it necessary to pretend there's some great crisis in order to lend your position more force?

Look at job growth, the strength of the economy, the now-settled housing market, the stock trade, etc. All doing well. If that's your definition of "in the toilet", you should probably travel more.

It's not doing well when there are 45 million people without healthcare. It's not doing well for the person making $12.00 an hour and loses his job and has to try and get by on $7.00 an hour. A non-living wage is not doing well. It's not doing well when the boss makes more in one day than an employee makes in the entire year. It is doing well for the rich, but not for the rest of the country.

Let me add Jim Webbs words form his response to the SOTU last night.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.
Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world. Medical costs have skyrocketed. College tuition rates are off the charts ...
In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy: that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.

The housing market is anything but healthy. We just experienced what is known as a "housing bubble" and we are at the current stages of its trough. Just as a credit card happy dad starts building debt up the ass to satisfy all his wants and desires that are not for his level with the help of irresponsible companies who allow such behavior, now it’s that time when he’s reached his peak and has to suffer the consequences. Booming markets are never good for a nation and the middle to lower classes are the ones that get screwed in the long run. This is why Clinton’s approach to a stable economy was favored by most everyone rather than Bush Sr.’s zigzag, anything-but-conservative model. This housing fiasco could have been handled with caution, but oh no! Banks had to pull out the 1% interest rates and lend money like crazy to just every Joe Shmoe they could find instead of monitor who’s able to purchase a home fiscally sensible. People that bought their homes last year are now being foreclosed and foreclosure is beginning to rise at present. The Fed did not put any guidelines to restrict banks from giving out these ridiculous loans in an attempt to satisfy—I presume—Bush’s housing-for-all attitude and now we are witnessing the consequences of your so called "settled housing" market.

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norm: hear, hear! well spoken. and, for you cynics out there (of which i count myself as one) you should know from my previous posts this is not a matter of sucking up to the "blog god". norms words are an excellent, concise description of (some of) the problems afflicting the beloved, though bedevilled country i once called home, and still root for as an ex-pat.

"It's not doing well ..."

Ah, so your position is that if there are any problems whatsoever, it's all broken? There's a sane, rational approach. Something isn't working perfectly! Let's just burn the motherfucker down!

In reality:

  • The government is already looking at raising minimum wage.
  • Several key politicians are proposing remedies for the health care problem, including numerous pitches for a more universal health care system.
  • Your other gripes are just anti-capitalist rhetoric. Bosses make more money than workers. It's how the system works. The idea is to have this thing called a "career", in which you graduate from the lower level to the higher. Generally it works pretty well as a business model.

You're so busy listing negatives that you ignore positives, like our low unemployment rate, the continuing growth of the job market, the fact that crime is generally down across the country, rising literacy rates and improving education, etc.

You're taking an extremist position, and I'm taking a rational one. You seem to want to characterize my position as extreme but it's not. I'm not saying everything's fine. I'm saying this constant negativity and "the ship is sinking" mentality is more destructive then constant deluded sunny mentality.

Care about an issue? Petition for it. Contact your congress...person. Raise awareness. And while you're doing that, thank your lucky fucking stars that you live in a country where you can complain, you can do something about the problems you see, all while you hold down a comfortable job and put three meals a day on the table.

How anyone can live in a country like America and only see the negatives ... that's beyond me.

"The housing market is anything but healthy."

No, but it is settling. And even as it reverts to normal it's not impacting the economy or general way of life in any great way.

"This is why Clinton’s approach to a stable economy was favored"

I have to laugh at stuff like this. Remember the dot-com boom and bust? That was on Clinton's watch. I loved Clinton, mainly because when he was in office nothing really bad happened (at this point that's good enough). But it's not like he waved a magic scepter and the economy righted itself. His administration had economic ups and downs as well.

You people are too mercurial. The very concept of democracy means that things are going to swing wildly back and forth. The worst thing you can do in a rocking boat is rock it more. Becoming one of the shrill people jumping up and down and screaming doesn't do anything to fix the problem.

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tiethatbinds: your characterization of norms' approach as "the ship is sinking" is unfair and incorrect. his pointing out of problems is no more "extremist" than your pointing out achievements. also, if you think education in america is improving, i can only assume you don't have kids. your points are reasonable, for the most part. why so harsh? "shrill people"? get real.

The worst thing you can do in a rocking boat is rock it more. Becoming one of the shrill people jumping up and down and screaming doesn't do anything to fix the problem.

I think we do this country a great disservice by voting for those people who add fuel to the fire in most of the swinging. I agree that cycles are natural in democracies, but there is a huge difference between a financial cycle and a fictitious financial elevation that simply hurts the average worker in America in the long run. Last election it seems most people wanted the tipping of the scale to stop because it was getting so much out of control.

It's funny how you mention democracy and then a few sentences over decry those who wish to speak out against injustices and seek to embellish, not desecrate, this nation of ours unlike what this current administration is doing. I bet you'd be one of those people who would have supported bills that bar "shrill people," as you call them, from expressing dissent. Patting ourselves on the back and waving our big foam “we’re number one” fingers doesn’t help in any way.

You say we ignore the positives in our country. Positives? You call a less than moderate stabilization after a financial fiasco a positive as though it were some kind of great stride we made in our country. The so called ‘positives’ are actually natural corrections that eventually have to occur after the irresponsible measures of an incompetent administration. A positive to me would be stopping the bubble from getting out of hand in the first place. A more proactive rather than reactive measure seems to me would be far more admirable. Instead of acting responsible from the start, we have people who step on your foot repeatedly then slow down the stomping and call that a positive. Gosh Erick, you seem to be only focused on my stepping on your foot. How about looking at the bright side of things: I’m not doing it as hard and I’ve slowed down the tempo. Give me a break.

TTTB, I'm looking at trends. Availability of healthcare is worse than it was six years ago, wages are worse than they were six years ago. Are you suggesting that we should embrace unregulated capitalism? Capitalism is amoral and requires government regulation to function morally. My view is not anti-capitalist per se it is anti unregulated capitalism. I'm busy listing negatives, you bet. You don't make progress by patting yourself on the back. You make progress by addressing existing problems. Take Bush's proposal to increase gas mileage requirements. It sounds good but an average one mile per gallon three years from now is hardly the effort that needs to take place. We could analyze other proffered right-wing solutions to America's problems and most of them fall far short of what we're capable of doing. It's outrageous that the United States provides, on average, inferior healthcare to other Western Democracies and does it at twice the price. Look at the costs of administering Medicad compared to insurance companies. Free enterprise isn't the solution to every problem.

Ernst, it is not my country.

Tiesthatblind, it is apparent that you know very little of the U.S. In the toilet? Yes. Where is household debt? What has happened to real wages since 1973? What percentage of U.S. groundwater is not receding and/or polluted? What percentage of midwestern farmland is suffering serious salinisation? And on and on. You comment is really indicative of someone with a core of self-righteous smugness, of passive-aggressive, deep-rooted anger that attracts the underdeveloped mind; particularly minds that lack empathy. (Sorry about the plagiarism in that last bit.)

MDPrime, I think you will enjoy SNL's pitch-perfect delivery of a Nancy Pelosi skit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqKCbtO9erQ

The female comedian is even mirror perfect that she captures the things she does with her eyes.

I like SNL and its direction of "nothing is a sacred cow."

No offense to the people who like cows.

Really, it's my fault. Trying to tell idealogues that their position is incorrect is like trying to convince a manic-depressive not to slash their wrists on a downward spiral. You have your belief and your agenda, and you're going to wave that flag until it disintegrates.

If you really think you accomplish anything by calling your country a shithole, continue to do so. For most of us, though, working at our jobs and enjoying the freedoms of this great country eats up too much of our time to be negative and constantly badmouth the greatest nation on Earth.

Different strokes.

I will tell you this: saying "the nation is in the toilet" never achieved anything. What brought about the change we're seeing right now? Getting out and voting. Using the system that is in place to affect the course of our nation. Every sign points to the fact that the system works, yet you want to continue selling this negative, sky-is-falling view. Is that good for anything other than increased blog hits from disenfranchised idealogues?

Here's an excerpt from a book review on Freedom Evolves by a freethinker, Jim Walker that I think is pertinent to this discussion:

Haven't you ever met an ignorant person who believes so strongly in his freedom that he thinks he lives in the freest country in the world? Some people have all the freedom they can possibly think of. They raise families, go to church every Sunday, attend NASCAR races, watch TV (believing most of what the media gives them), drive their humongous SUVs, wave their country's flag, and they work eight hours a day in a productive corporation and they make a "lot" of money. What more could they possibly want? They don't see government sponsored religion as a violation of Church and state (many of them don't even believe it ever existed). They believe that the president of the country makes moral and righteous decisions regardless of how many innocent people in other countries die a cruel death or live in poverty. Yes they have some freedom, but not as much as they could have if they knew the possibilities. Can the gov-corp-media-religion system provide just enough freedom to make their citizens believe they have the most freedom in the world while it controls their reproductive systems, the drugs they can have, the foods they can ingest, fights illegal wars, create poverty in other countries, and keeps its dissidents in jails while at the same time grant all of this to the will of a Bronze Age created God? If you look around, this already occurs to some degree in at least one modern society.

Just a reminder for TTTB it's not an either or choice. I can complain and actively work for change. Further, If I say to a conservative friend the country's a shit hole. He's likely to say whatever do you mean? And then like I did for you I raise some of the serious problems that exist in our country and we discuss them and try and reach some common ground. A real idealogue, like you seem to be, doesn't engage in the conversation about the issues but rather repeats his little mantra about how great the country is and that complaining never accomplishes anything. He's right in a way for him it doesn't because he's already made up his mind and that's that.

"If you really think you accomplish anything by calling your country a shithole, continue to do so. For most of us, though, working at our jobs and enjoying the freedoms of this great country eats up too much of our time to be negative and constantly badmouth the greatest nation on Earth." - TheTieThatBlinds

Seriously have you traveled anywhere outside the US? There are many countries that give basically the same freedom as the US, just so you know. Also as friendly reminder, when people become so arrogant like you.. They tend to dislike Americans. (Not all obviously).

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