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It's all noise.

Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

I wonder if downzy will admit it now that some Microsoft Excel academia monkeys are finally catching on. :lol:

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It's all noise.

Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

I wonder if downzy will admit it now that some Microsoft Excel academia monkeys are finally catching on. :lol:

No arguments there. I would say there are moments where majority sentiment squeaks through, but for the most part, with legislators preoccupied with campaign cash the system has become more oligarchic than ever.

Though, it's been argued that this has been a feature from the get-go. Remember who the founding fathers were: land owners and wealthy individuals who were concerned about having their interests overridden by the will of the "majority." When you build a system with so many checks and balances, where getting legislation passed becomes exceedingly difficult, it's generally the most organized that prevail. Since organization takes a considerable amount of money these days, it's little wonder how the moneyed classes often prevail over their poorer counterparts. Between the late 1940 to mid 1970s, it was often big labour who were best organized and could work the political machines. That all changed when corporations returned the favour in the mid to late 70s and ran roughshod over the labour movement.

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The new thing is to say you'll be like Reagan, no matter which party.

Sure.... both parties name drop Reagan like a motherfucker. :huh:

Dems were on Reagans dick in 08 just as much as Republicans.

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Reagan is a President whose legacy is in large part the combination of myth, circumstance, image, amazing speechwriters, and good timing. A lot of his policies were pretty poor, but he too office during a time in which the US economy began to slowly rebound. What is forgotten is that the economy reached it's lowest point (only worse during the Great Depression) in the first two years of his term, and that the economy only began to rebound when he raised taxes with TEFRA in 1982. As of October 1982, the unemployment rate was 10.8%, a number not seen since 1939 and not seen after. After TEFRA began to take hold, the economy turned around.

The economy was also boosted because Reagan's major economic policy - aside from trickle down - was Military Keynesian economics. He was just as spending happy as any liberal Democrat, but he spent a ludicrous amount on the defense budget - he raised the national debt far beyond that of any Democratic President sans Obama - and the economy revved with all that spending.

But he also had Iran Contra, the biggest scandal in our history, his position saved only by his faulty memory and Oliver North taking the fall for him; He also began amnesty, a policy anathema to the modern GOP. Many of Reagan's policies--the fact that he refused to destroy the New Deal or Great Society programs, for example - would be abhorred by the GOP today.

Reagan is a figure who like Kennedy was much more image than substance; who had a charisma and winning smile that triumphed over actual good governing. Reagan was Hollywood - glitzy, suave - and fake.

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And by the way, the same goes for Clinton. I'm not being partisan here. Clinton is one of the most insincere people I've ever seen, a "double talking jive motherfucker" of the highest order who, when faced with tough questions, never actually, if you listen close, gives a straight answer. I'm not talking about Monica, but going all the way back to '92 with Flowers. The guy was a man elected not in a landslide, not even with the majority of the American people supporting him (he never broke 50% in the popular vote in either election), who acted as if he'd won in a landslide with Hillarycare. His ineptitude in his first two years led to his party being destroyed polls in 1994, and he had to basically become a moderate Republican in all but name to save himself and be re-elected. This is a guy who was pretty weak on Foreign Policy, who just happened to preside over the Dot-Com bubble, and who wanted to tie Social Security to the Stock Market.

Like Reagan, there are some good aspects - But both men are beloved because of their image. Bubba, The cool, saxophone playing John Travolta as President who brought us peace and plenty in the '90s. Ronnie, the Thunder God of Conservatism who revved the economy like an engine with the sweat of his brow and knocked the Soviet Union to pieces with a flick of his finger. JFK, the rat pack friendly, sex appeal oozing, bushy haired King Arthur-playboy who did absolutely nothing of note in office.

Three men who either did nothing, or who did actually quite horrible, as President; three men who were, in different ways, quite slimy personally and lacking in any real values or principles politically; Three men who are beloved by the blind masses, and whose reputations need a good re-evaluation. All were master politicians.

The last truly effective President we had who was actually committed to a principle that we've had was Lyndon Johnson, and the last one who was a decent man personally was Jerry Ford.

Obama is a black Reagan, who managed a paltry reform compared to both the ideals of his own party, the once upon a time standards of the GOP, who was a novelty candidate and basically was the lesser of two evils both times he ran.

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The last truly effective President we had who was actually committed to a principle that we've had was Lyndon Johnson, and the last one who was a decent man personally was Jerry Ford.

Obama is a black Reagan, who managed a paltry reform compared to both the ideals of his own party, the once upon a time standards of the GOP, who was a novelty candidate and basically was the lesser of two evils both times he ran.

I disagree with your final analysis here. Johnson operated at a time when the New Deal consensus was still very much intact; he also enjoyed wide Democrat and moderate Republican support in both chambers of Congress. Being effective is easy when getting bills through Congress is simply a matter of asking. I do agree that Ford was a nice guy, but pardoning Nixon was inexcusable and an insult to the country.

Obama has done as much as he could considering the extreme partisanship that now divides Washington and the country. The New Deal consensus that previous Democrat Presidents enjoyed (not including Clinton) died with Reagan's presidency. We've been living under the shadow of Reagan (or the supposed image of him) every since. I'm sure had Obama kept the supermajority in the Senate for more than ten months more progressive objectives could have been met. But how any progressive/liberal expected a Democratic president to push through a progressive agenda is beyond explanation. It's a pipe dream if you think FDR, JKF, or LBJ would have had further successes had they faced the obstructionist onslaught that has been imposed as Republican doctrine since 2008.

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The last truly effective President we had who was actually committed to a principle that we've had was Lyndon Johnson, and the last one who was a decent man personally was Jerry Ford.

Obama is a black Reagan, who managed a paltry reform compared to both the ideals of his own party, the once upon a time standards of the GOP, who was a novelty candidate and basically was the lesser of two evils both times he ran.

I disagree with your final analysis here. Johnson operated at a time when the New Deal consensus was still very much intact; he also enjoyed wide Democrat and moderate Republican support in both chambers of Congress. Being effective is easy when getting bills through Congress is simply a matter of asking. I do agree that Ford was a nice guy, but pardoning Nixon was inexcusable and an insult to the country.

Obama has done as much as he could considering the extreme partisanship that now divides Washington and the country. The New Deal consensus that previous Democrat Presidents enjoyed (not including Clinton) died with Reagan's presidency. We've been living under the shadow of Reagan (or the supposed image of him) every since. I'm sure had Obama kept the supermajority in the Senate for more than ten months more progressive objectives could have been met. But how any progressive/liberal expected a Democratic president to push through a progressive agenda is beyond explanation. It's a pipe dream if you think FDR, JKF, or LBJ would have had further successes had they faced the obstructionist onslaught that has been imposed as Republican doctrine since 2008.

However, consider this: Working in that same exact political environment, JFK wasn't able to get anything passed. Most of LBJ's legislation was either verbatim what Kennedy wanted, or an expansion of an existing Kennedy idea, especially in his first two years. JFK was the one who first proposed Medicare, a 'War on Poverty', and a civil rights bill. However, despite that New Deal Consensus, Kennedy was unable to get any of it passed. I have a book on Kennedy and therein it states that after the March on Washington, he met with MLK, Roy Wilkinson (of the NAACP) and other black leaders, and told them their best bet might be to do what the Jews did - educate their children, basically telling them to wait another 20 years for any real action on civil rights. His reasoning was that the most he could possibly pass was a very limited compromise bill - and since it hadn't passed by the end of the 1963 Congress, it would have to wait until 1965 at the earliest because he wasn't going to risk losing the election in '64 over Civil Rights. The reason Johnson got so much done wasn't because of the fertile ground - bear in mind, the GOP took a hard right in the early '60s after Nixon was defeated, nominating Goldwater in 1964 (he was already the presumptive nominee when JFK was killed) - It was because Johnson knew how to twist arms and because every Congressman owed him a favor or two from his Senate days.

Most of the rest of the stuff Johnson did that wasn't on Kennedy's agenda was stuff that Truman had wanted and failed to get - Stuff like Medicaid, Equal Housing laws. Johnson was simply a political master who got even more done than FDR.

And as far as FDR - There was a LOT of obstruction to his policies prior to Pearl Harbor. So much so that FDR tried to pack the court because the conservatives kept testing the Constitutionality of every single law he passed repeatedly - like they're doing with 'Obamacare' now. Actually, domestically FDR is considered something of a lame duck after the court packing incident. After Pearl Harbor all but a few isolationist voices mustered behind him, because patriotism. But before FDR there was intense obstruction - there was even the threat of a revolution on the part of rich businessmen in the mid '30s, not just empty Tea Party talk.

As far as Ford and the pardon, consider a few things:

1) Every time Ford went to the press about actual problems the country was facing, all reporters wanted to ask about was Nixon. Ford felt that with the country having so many more important problems that it would be impossible to get anything done with the focus being on the fate of Richard Nixon. He also felt that he wouldn't be allowed to have a Presidency of his own if most of it consisted of questions about Nixon's fate. Also consider had he let Nixon be prosecuted, such a case would've dragged on for quite possibly years and would've been a sensation that would've clouded other important government work. He felt also that the only way for the country to begin to heal was to put an end to the sad saga.

2) Nixon was in VERY poor health around the time he resigned. In October 1974, two days after he was pardoned, he was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism that nearly killed him, he lapsed into a coma and came very close to death. He had been sick since the summer but had refused treatment. It was pretty obvious a trial would've killed him. No one, not even his enemies up to that point, wanted to see that.

3) There was precedence to worry about. Only one President had been impeached previously and it had resulted in decades of a weakened Presidency. If Nixon was convicted, it would set a very bad precedent and weaken the balance of power from the Executive - at a time when we were dealing with stuff like the Cold War.

4) Finally, Ford felt that Nixon had suffered enough in that Nixon had a 20 year career come to a humiliating close, had in effect lost his second term, had to give up the Presidency - he felt that was punishment enough. Ford also felt that accepting a pardon was an admission of guilt.

At the time, it was probably in the best interest of the country as a whole. It certainly didn't benefit Ford to pardon him--it probably cost him 1976.

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The last truly effective President we had who was actually committed to a principle that we've had was Lyndon Johnson, and the last one who was a decent man personally was Jerry Ford.

Obama is a black Reagan, who managed a paltry reform compared to both the ideals of his own party, the once upon a time standards of the GOP, who was a novelty candidate and basically was the lesser of two evils both times he ran.

I disagree with your final analysis here. Johnson operated at a time when the New Deal consensus was still very much intact; he also enjoyed wide Democrat and moderate Republican support in both chambers of Congress. Being effective is easy when getting bills through Congress is simply a matter of asking. I do agree that Ford was a nice guy, but pardoning Nixon was inexcusable and an insult to the country.

Obama has done as much as he could considering the extreme partisanship that now divides Washington and the country. The New Deal consensus that previous Democrat Presidents enjoyed (not including Clinton) died with Reagan's presidency. We've been living under the shadow of Reagan (or the supposed image of him) every since. I'm sure had Obama kept the supermajority in the Senate for more than ten months more progressive objectives could have been met. But how any progressive/liberal expected a Democratic president to push through a progressive agenda is beyond explanation. It's a pipe dream if you think FDR, JKF, or LBJ would have had further successes had they faced the obstructionist onslaught that has been imposed as Republican doctrine since 2008.

However, consider this: Working in that same exact political environment, JFK wasn't able to get anything passed. Most of LBJ's legislation was either verbatim what Kennedy wanted, or an expansion of an existing Kennedy idea, especially in his first two years. JFK was the one who first proposed Medicare, a 'War on Poverty', and a civil rights bill. However, despite that New Deal Consensus, Kennedy was unable to get any of it passed. I have a book on Kennedy and therein it states that after the March on Washington, he met with MLK, Roy Wilkinson (of the NAACP) and other black leaders, and told them their best bet might be to do what the Jews did - educate their children, basically telling them to wait another 20 years for any real action on civil rights. His reasoning was that the most he could possibly pass was a very limited compromise bill - and since it hadn't passed by the end of the 1963 Congress, it would have to wait until 1965 at the earliest because he wasn't going to risk losing the election in '64 over Civil Rights. The reason Johnson got so much done wasn't because of the fertile ground - bear in mind, the GOP took a hard right in the early '60s after Nixon was defeated, nominating Goldwater in 1964 (he was already the presumptive nominee when JFK was killed) - It was because Johnson knew how to twist arms and because every Congressman owed him a favor or two from his Senate days.

Most of the rest of the stuff Johnson did that wasn't on Kennedy's agenda was stuff that Truman had wanted and failed to get - Stuff like Medicaid, Equal Housing laws. Johnson was simply a political master who got even more done than FDR.

And as far as FDR - There was a LOT of obstruction to his policies prior to Pearl Harbor. So much so that FDR tried to pack the court because the conservatives kept testing the Constitutionality of every single law he passed repeatedly - like they're doing with 'Obamacare' now. Actually, domestically FDR is considered something of a lame duck after the court packing incident. After Pearl Harbor all but a few isolationist voices mustered behind him, because patriotism. But before FDR there was intense obstruction - there was even the threat of a revolution on the part of rich businessmen in the mid '30s, not just empty Tea Party talk.

As far as Ford and the pardon, consider a few things:

1) Every time Ford went to the press about actual problems the country was facing, all reporters wanted to ask about was Nixon. Ford felt that with the country having so many more important problems that it would be impossible to get anything done with the focus being on the fate of Richard Nixon. He also felt that he wouldn't be allowed to have a Presidency of his own if most of it consisted of questions about Nixon's fate. Also consider had he let Nixon be prosecuted, such a case would've dragged on for quite possibly years and would've been a sensation that would've clouded other important government work. He felt also that the only way for the country to begin to heal was to put an end to the sad saga.

2) Nixon was in VERY poor health around the time he resigned. In October 1974, two days after he was pardoned, he was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism that nearly killed him, he lapsed into a coma and came very close to death. He had been sick since the summer but had refused treatment. It was pretty obvious a trial would've killed him. No one, not even his enemies up to that point, wanted to see that.

3) There was precedence to worry about. Only one President had been impeached previously and it had resulted in decades of a weakened Presidency. If Nixon was convicted, it would set a very bad precedent and weaken the balance of power from the Executive - at a time when we were dealing with stuff like the Cold War.

4) Finally, Ford felt that Nixon had suffered enough in that Nixon had a 20 year career come to a humiliating close, had in effect lost his second term, had to give up the Presidency - he felt that was punishment enough. Ford also felt that accepting a pardon was an admission of guilt.

At the time, it was probably in the best interest of the country as a whole. It certainly didn't benefit Ford to pardon him--it probably cost him 1976.

And do you suppose that had JFK not been assassinated that LBJ would have had the domestic and Congressional support to muster through the agenda originally envisioned by JFK? Again, all about context. Not diminishing LBJ's domestic record and his opportunity to take advantage of the crisis that began his Presidency, but let's not forget that his first speech to Congress following JFK's death in November of '63 focused heavily on progressing Kennedy's legislative agenda of civil rights and health care expansion. Also keep in mind a vast majority of his legislative accomplishments were passed within 18 months of JFK's assassination. Absent JFK's assassination (and assuming LBJ had won the Presidency in 1960), I highly doubt he accomplishes a quarter of his legislative legacy.

With respect to FDR, look at the congressional majorities he enjoyed through most of his Presidency. It wasn't until the late 1930s when Democratic control of the Senate seats dipped below 70 (while Democrats controlled 60 percent or more of House seats through the early 1940s). Obstruction came from the Courts for FDR, but that's a different form of inter-branch obstructionism that's not relevant to the partisan obstructionism that exists in today's legislative branch. FDR could still tailor and pass legislation that received support from two of the three branches of Government, Obama had support of two for nine months before he Dems lost their supermajority in the Senate in December of 2009. Business may have disapproved of FDR's policies, but what were they going to do, turn their shoppers to armed revolutionaries? Please. In terms of Congress passing bills and the Executive signing them into law, there really is no comparison to quantity and breadth with respect to FDR and Obama's tenure. The 80th Congress, know as the "Do-Nothing Congress" of 1947, passed over 900 bills. The 113th Congress, which presided between 2012 and 2014, passed slightly less than 120.

As for Nixon, who gives a flying fuck if the trial might kill him. Do we give such considerations to other criminals? And the only reason Ford was President was because Nixon stepped down; not sure he should be too concerned about becoming his "own President" rather than ensuring those that break the law see their day in court. As for precedent, it seems as though the counter-argument could be made: that because Nixon was let off, it allowed for even worse conduct by his predecessors, particularly Reagan breaking domestic laws with respect to the Contras in Nicaragua and dealing arms with Iran. Why do Presidents need to follow the laws if they can just be pardoned by their self-appointed successors? Fair to disagree, but that seems like a precedent that's worth of some consideration.

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Just in case there was any doubt about how cronyism dominates American politics and the American economy, the most leveraged hedge fund in the US, and the one most responsible for the complete disconnect between economic fundamentals and stock prices, has brought none other than Ben Bernanke into the fold. Congrats, gentlemen. Future generations will marvel at the extent of your crimes. Current generations are too stupid and arrogant to wrap their heads around it.

For eight years, Ben S. Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, was steward of the world’s largest economy. Now he has signed on to advise one of Wall Street’s biggest hedge funds.

Mr. Bernanke will become a senior adviser to the Citadel Investment Group, the $25 billion hedge fund founded by the billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin. He will offer his analysis of global economic and financial issues to Citadel’s investment committees. He will also meet with Citadel’s investors around the globe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/business/ben-bernanke-will-work-with-citadel-a-hedge-fund-as-an-adviser.html?_r=0

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Just in case there was any doubt about how cronyism dominates American politics and the American economy, the most leveraged hedge fund in the US, and the one most responsible for the complete disconnect between economic fundamentals and stock prices, has brought none other than Ben Bernanke into the fold. Congrats, gentlemen. Future generations will marvel at the extent of your crimes. Current generations are too stupid and arrogant to wrap their heads around it.

For eight years, Ben S. Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, was steward of the world’s largest economy. Now he has signed on to advise one of Wall Street’s biggest hedge funds.

Mr. Bernanke will become a senior adviser to the Citadel Investment Group, the $25 billion hedge fund founded by the billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin. He will offer his analysis of global economic and financial issues to Citadel’s investment committees. He will also meet with Citadel’s investors around the globe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/business/ben-bernanke-will-work-with-citadel-a-hedge-fund-as-an-adviser.html?_r=0

No doubt but this will never change as neither party is going to bite the hand that feeds them by putting the required controls in place to stop the abuses of Wall Street. :shrugs:

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Just in case there was any doubt about how cronyism dominates American politics and the American economy, the most leveraged hedge fund in the US, and the one most responsible for the complete disconnect between economic fundamentals and stock prices, has brought none other than Ben Bernanke into the fold. Congrats, gentlemen. Future generations will marvel at the extent of your crimes. Current generations are too stupid and arrogant to wrap their heads around it.

For eight years, Ben S. Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, was steward of the world’s largest economy. Now he has signed on to advise one of Wall Street’s biggest hedge funds.

Mr. Bernanke will become a senior adviser to the Citadel Investment Group, the $25 billion hedge fund founded by the billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin. He will offer his analysis of global economic and financial issues to Citadel’s investment committees. He will also meet with Citadel’s investors around the globe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/business/ben-bernanke-will-work-with-citadel-a-hedge-fund-as-an-adviser.html?_r=0

No doubt but this will never change as neither party is going to bite the hand that feeds them by putting the required controls in place to stop the abuses of Wall Street. :shrugs:

Absolutely. Both parties are part of the criminal class. I honestly believe that future generations will be shocked at what we've allowed to happen.

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A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the U.S. State Department to produce a plan to release batches of Hillary Clinton's emails from her time there, raising the prospect of months of drip-by-drip disclosures that could plague her presidential campaign.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered the State Department to prepare a timetable by next week for the rolling release of the 55,000 pages of emails sent and received by Clinton, according to a court document.

It was a rebuke to the State Department, which had said on Monday it might need until January 2016 to produce the emails.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/19/us-usa-clinton-emails-idUSKBN0O40JJ20150519

are-you-fucking-kidding-me.jpg

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“You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/tpp-elizabeth-warren-labor-118068.html

lol Obama

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I don't know how anyone with half a brain can look at the political elite in the U.S. and not see them for what they are.

It's actually fucking amazing that people still believe one party is different to the other.

The level of delusion is downright frightening.

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I don't know how anyone with half a brain can look at the political elite in the U.S. and not see them for what they are.

It's actually fucking amazing that people still believe one party is different to the other.

The level of delusion is downright frightening.

Try living here. :facepalm:

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I don't know how anyone with half a brain can look at the political elite in the U.S. and not see them for what they are.

It's actually fucking amazing that people still believe one party is different to the other.

The level of delusion is downright frightening.

Try living here. :facepalm:

I lived there from August 2004 to August 2005. Bush v Kerry

Even then I thought the political climate was deranged.

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I don't know how anyone with half a brain can look at the political elite in the U.S. and not see them for what they are.

It's actually fucking amazing that people still believe one party is different to the other.

The level of delusion is downright frightening.

Try living here. :facepalm:

I lived there from August 2004 to August 2005. Bush v Kerry

Even then I thought the political climate was deranged.

Remember the swift boat veterans? :lol:

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I don't know how anyone with half a brain can look at the political elite in the U.S. and not see them for what they are.

It's actually fucking amazing that people still believe one party is different to the other.

The level of delusion is downright frightening.

Try living here. :facepalm:

I lived there from August 2004 to August 2005. Bush v Kerry

Even then I thought the political climate was deranged.

Remember the swift boat veterans? :lol:

Absolutely. The TV ads really stuck with me - I just couldn't believe the outrageous shit that people were allowed broadcast.

The propaganda was so pervasive, so obvious to an outsider like me that sometimes I looked at people and thought - "How can they not see this shit for what it is?"

Mind you, I see the same thing becoming more prevalent here these days.

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I don't know how anyone with half a brain can look at the political elite in the U.S. and not see them for what they are.

It's actually fucking amazing that people still believe one party is different to the other.

The level of delusion is downright frightening.

On a high level all Washington politicians are the bitch's of some big business entity so in that case I agree with you. But there are fundamental policy differences between the parties at the grass roots level related to health care, gay rights, abortion, social programs etc.........

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US politics is terrifying

I feel bad for not getting involved and even voting, but how can you when everything is so fucked?

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I don't know how anyone with half a brain can look at the political elite in the U.S. and not see them for what they are.

It's actually fucking amazing that people still believe one party is different to the other.

The level of delusion is downright frightening.

Try living here. :facepalm:

I lived there from August 2004 to August 2005. Bush v Kerry

Even then I thought the political climate was deranged.

Remember the swift boat veterans? :lol:

The propaganda was so pervasive, so obvious to an outsider like me that sometimes I looked at people and thought - "How can they not see this shit for what it is?"

How do you know they don't though man? I don't think anybody takes any election campaign seriously, i think we all know it's about 75% blag, you just choose the one whoose shit looks less stinky.

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It's been interesting to watch how large the list of potential nominees on the Republican side for President. We could see as many as 20 recognizable individuals running to become the Republican candidate for the 2016 election. I've been wondering how they plan on handling the debates with so many entrants, but it seems as though the networks have made the decision on they will organize the debates (or, at least Fox News has):

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/05/20/ox_news_gop_debate_cable_network_will_limit_field_of_white_house_hopefuls.html

There's a lot of time between now and the primaries, but I think the odds are good for Bush, Walker, and Christie. I don't see the Senators doing well (Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Graham) as the Governors will liken them to Obama for not having much of a record to run on (particularly Cruz, Paul, and Rubio).

Regardless, if you view politics as sport as I do, the next 18 months should be a lot of fun to watch. It's ironic how supposedly the greatest defender of democracy on the planet is one of the worst at actually managing and exercising its own form of democracy. 18 months to elect a leader who serves a 4 year term. How that makes sense to anyone is beyond me.

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Bernie is building up steam. Maybe A,erica is ready for a Bernie v. Rand election.

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Elizabeth Warren would be a great Dem candidate.

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