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Gender: Male
Current location: Cleveland Ohio
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,558

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Please take a few minutes, or bookmark for when you have some time....

This thought provoking piece a freind of mine posted on a Cleveland, Ohio blog.

Mansfield Frazier is a prison activist who spent time in prison a few decades ago. I met Mansfield when we both worked for An Alternative Local Magazines back in the 90's.

He opened my eyes to stuff that this lilly white boy from deep in the bossum of suburbia never would have seen. He was responable for my going into neighborhoods to speak about the democratic party where a white guy was way out of his stomping ground.

Anyway, enough about me. The first few paragraphs are about a local prosecutor and how he came to feed the need of an increasingly hungry prison industrial complex.

Please read it. It brings together a lot of what we progressives don't often get a chance to see.


Thus the prison/industrial complex grew by leaps and bounds… to the extent that in the last decade California has built seven new prisons but not one new university — which is the perfect way to insure some other nation will soon supplant as the world’s educational leader. But once private prison corporations started trading in the New York Stock Exchange (funded by outfits like Bain Capital), there was no turning back; the headlong race was on. And to this day no one asks this question: If Corrections Corporation of America’s only “product” is the people it houses in its prisons nationwide, when their stock is traded are they in essence trafficking in human beings? There’s a term for that: slavery.

But a more sophisticated and elaborate “feeder system” was necessary to fuel the prison boom — to feed people into the maw of the criminal justice complex — and that system is comprised of three parts: police who often violate the law by stopping people on the flimsiest of pretexts; prosecutors who are willing to move forward with these “cheap” cases; and the judges who are so afraid of their own reelections they’re willing to send virtually everyone who comes in front of them to prison.

This is important stuff. Please read this.

Once again I am watching The Crumbling of America and all I can think about is....

how many people could be put to work to repair all the bridges, deal with all the dams, update all the sewer systems, redo the grid.

There is more danger waiting here if things start collapsing than any REAL fear from foreign attack.

To hold the country hostage in order to privatize the infrastructure is a crime and that is exactly why we are not keeping up all the many public works.

These guys have plans to swoop in and purchase the public highways and then charge tolls that will turn out to be a huge burden on those who reside in the lower income levels.

It's tantamount to a crime to not fund public works in order to shift more money to political contributors.

One thing that could change this year is that if it looks as if President Obama is going

to win, voter just might look down the ticket and say, you know I wonder how good the president would do if he has a good, solid majority in the House and the Senate to work with.

This is why I have been calling this a potential realigning election. It's a very simple occurrence that happens once every twenty years or so. the last big realigning election was 1980 with Reagan and culminated with the GOP taking the House for the first time in decades.

I can almost assure you that far too many of the tea party and the newbies to politics that came in in 2010, didn't pay enough attention to constituent services which is something that assures victory and a long career in DC.

You help one voter and they tell another ten people and pretty soon everyone has a story about their Congressperson. That's how DK was able to win in a conservative district year and year. They had to redraw his district so radically that he was left with most of his loyal voters in another district.

So anyway, if this flows from the Oval Office to the House and Senate, we could be developing a real good base for the future.

And when you think about it, who of the GOP is going to be able to run and beat a democrat, especially if Hillary runs in 2016.

I know I have written posts about this a couple of times now, but this is just even more pertinent now with the huge demographic changes that are coming at us over the next few years...

Watching Real Time right now....

The panelist are talking about how backward the Muslim world is, how barbaric it is to go after other religions and that is the difference between the west and the world of Islam.

But what they glossed over is it was only just a little over 100 years that Christians were killing the infidels all over the world, went out on Missionaries to convert the infidels.

Don't gloat about how modern we are when just a few hundred years ago we were burning witches at the stake or dunking them in water or driving people out of town who didn't believe in god...

This just tells us something about republicans....

They really only care about their people, you know people who will vote for them.

But I thought one of the reasons to run for president of the United States was to be president of ALL the people.


Not just those who donate, who donate, who donate.

I know that millions of people of us out here beyond that inner circle you know that circle you were talking before on that show, your version of Politicians Will Say the Darnest Things...

And when you come right down to it, this is, it seems, to have become the main goal of the Republican Party for as long as I remember. All the way back to Welfare Queens driving Cadillac in Chicago paid for with Food Stamps.

You want to divide us, to pit one side against the other, to have clear winners and vanquished users.

To me that is not a defensible position.

The Democrats, well as far as I can tell, just want to let as many people in this country of ours to be able to participate at the Polls, make demands upon the rulers and in exchange, to pay some taxes and be there when duty calls.

I think all of these things I just pointed out to you, Mr. Romney, are foreign ideas, not the ideals you would want for America. To me it seems as if you are only in it for just the right people and the rest of us can just take care of ourselves.

Mr. Romney, I still have faith in this country of ours even though it has performed way below my expectations far too many times in my life. But then there are those days when most of us come together and that makes it worthwhile.

Mr. Romney, I know that if you somehow stand out there on the Capital Steps in January, I just know that you will be watching president Obama taking the oath for the second and last time.

He understands more than you will ever know that when you say that I do it means I do for ALL of us and not just a group of mostly white, mostly rich and mostly men that you pal around with.

Peace out...

Wow, Andrea Mitchell cut the GOP spokeswoman off at the knees...

I wonder if she is getting swept up in how truly rewarding it is to call a hack on their hackery.

And I would rather see her do the same thing if a democrat just parrots talking points if she keeps giving it to the GOP.

I truly believe that the people on our side are ready willing and able to logically defend our positions. I truly believe the GOP has been getting away with this crap for so long they do not how to deal with a real fair and balanced news team.

Loose the hounds and let the games begin.

Sorry about he confusion but Ms. Mitchell was repeatedly asking the woman who was representing Romney on her show to name one time when president Obama apologized for America in the Middle East. She kept at it but by the time I got to the computer, the GOP mouthpiece was gone.

That was the crux of it. And Ms. Mitchell was relentless, repeating a couple of times for an example and the GOP mouthpiece could not.

One thing we all need to remember about media buys...

There is a finite number of spots available.

Granted that number may be rather large, but it is still finite.

After a while, the messaging in the media reaches a point of diminishing returns, an overload of messaging that will turn some voters off and may actually cause some to move away from a candidate that they view as too shallow or too negative.

At the end of the day, it is going to be the people in neighborhoods convincing their neighbors to vote for their candidate

I believe that the Obama team has the best message and the better ground forces in the swing states. Especially if you compare th Obama campaign with the McCain campaign.

Remember this as well, McCain was liked by the voters. He has a special place on the national scene and is viewed as a "moderate" when it comes to Republicans.

Romney is the rich know it all who every body would like to be far away from. He is far from being likable and runs th risk of coming off as a bully.

So, I am pretty cautiously confident that we will prevail. Now if only we can take better control of the Senate and continue to show real leadership in that august chamber and take down some of th loud mouth newbies in the House we might be able start turning the economy around and let Obama get on with his agenda...

I think what we are seeing now in the relationship between "journalists" and candidates...

is that the "journalists" are not that interested in fact checking because, frankly that takes a lot of time and effort on their part to educate themselves on all the issues that are raised in the campaign.

I think they are taking the easy way out and here is what I mean,

Instead of looking at an issue and researching and building a background of information to better understand those issues, they just take the opposing sides take and repeat that to the candidate.

This makes it all so easy for the candidates and the press since so-called "facts" don't have to be checked and researched and vetted and gone over more than once.

What I can't understand is if we are in an almost perpetual round of political campaigning, why can't the journalist do independent research, like say Matt Tailabi, and then confront the candidates with more than the oppositions talking points.

Because that is what it seems to be.

That is why so many on both sides don't trust the media anymore, I believe, because when the democrats candidate is being "interviewed", they just repeat what the republicans are saying and the same goes for the republicans being asked about democratic talking points.

I think part of this comes from the rights hatred and attacks of the so-called liberal media. The people behind the so-called journalists have fallen into that safety zone which allows them to appear "balanced" to the average person but to partisans, well, that is a different story.

What this does is take reality out of the process of electing and covering candidates and then elected officials and replace it with what we now call a "narrative" that is built by ignoring the truth and getting ques from the opposing candidates or elected officials.

Just some thoughts I had after watching some news today and keeping up with Broadcast News on HBO.

Chuck Todd is flabbergasted that the polling has stratified so early in the process....

Usually, Todd claimed, there should be 5%-7% or more undecided voters showing up in the polls. but this time, there is less than 2%.

Well, what should we expect with a non stop campaign waged by the GOP that started before president Obama even took the oath of office.

I've been around a very long time and I can not remember any other presidency that started off with such vitriol and hate thrown at the new president. There was no Honeymoon period, there was no deference paid to the Obama victory only scorn and hate.

Then again, they tried to discredit president Clinton almost from the get go. And again it was personal. Of course most political people believe that Clinton only defeated Bush because of Ross Perot.

But over all, I think this has been the tactic of the Right because they know if you take the measure of the president based on actions and issues, the right loses. That is why, I believe, they personalize the attacks against democrats.

There was a book about the 1968 Campaign by a man named McGinniss called The Selling of the President


This might be the seminal tome about how modern campaigns are waged in the 24/7/365 media world that was settling in over the US.

It seems as if over night the country decided no more Bullshit...

The GOP convention was an exercise in how much you can speechify and not say one thing concrete.

About how a candidate for the highest office is so vacuous and yet believes he is a learned man and that his highly touted wonderkid running mate is causing more people to wonder how he got this far into the leadership of a major political party.

The more these two parade across the national stage away from the protection of partisan power brokers, they wither especially when played against the ease that president Obama and vice-president Biden have at defending their policies and positions with confidence and passion.

The debates are the last chance for these two to make any kind of change in their presentation.

In some ways Ryan is worse than Palin because she had such low expectations to begin with that Biden kind of went easy on her. Not this time. Joe knows his way around the wonkiness that Wisconsin wunderkind will be presenting because he was in the senate for two decades.

Mitt, well I believe Mitts problem will be that he will find himself against a foe who is charming, likable,brilliant and someone who is comfortable within his own skin.

Only time will tell.

Mitt and Paulie are about to meet their betters because Obama and Biden don't think they are the most brilliant people to ever walk across a stage, they know who they are and what they know and will conduct themselves with the calm, reassuring delivery that has made them both men comfortable with nothing to prove to themselves or anyone else.
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