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I've been anxiously awaiting for the 2012 election for four years. I suppose a lot of people can say the same thing for slightly different reasons, but we're all very excited about the election. Not because it means anything really - it is simply a billion dollar spectacle that will bequeath onto the American electorate a much nicer sounding version of GWB instead of a crazier sounding version of Bill Kristol. But it will still be fun and exciting.

I'm reminded of a political cartoon depicting the last primaries: Republicans reluctantly choosing and lining-up behind McCain early on and then quietly waiting as the whole nation watched Clinton and Obama's fight, with Dem's crooning that they didn't know who to choose because they liked them both so much. The GOP primary is now the center stage, and no one really likes anyone. The candidate anointed by conventional wisdom, Romney, has never seen the top spot in polls - and really, the only candidates with a ghost of a chance in the general election have been ignored or derided by the right-wing press. The Tea Party movement has driven the party so far to the crazy fringe that no one who can win the primary can win the general.

With Herman Cain (as in all things, hilariously) out of the race, Gingrich, of all people, is claiming victory and willing to go to (omg) the Trump Debate because he figures he's so far ahead he doesn't need to worry about his credibility as much as Perry or Bachman. A Gingrich campaign against Obama, trying to get moderates to vote for him, is a frankly laughable idea. For the GOP, their only winning 2012 strategy will be - and already has been - voter suppression.
From legal, semi-legal, to illegal, they are doing everything they can, including jury-rigging, changing election law, making it more difficult for "get out the vote" (GOTV) campaigns, making it more difficult to register to vote, and confusing people about whether or not they are registered, where to go to cast their vote, whether they are eligible to vote, and old-school voter intimidation, and the ballot box by having armed guards wandering around, and at work, like with billionaire industrialists insinuating that voting for a Democrat will cost them their jobs. Conservative thinkers know that the biggest problem they face is with more people voting and the changing tide of demographics.

This, combined with voter apathy stemming both from a disillusionment with Obama and from a perception of Obama's inevitability, could give an upset victory to a GOP candidate. But this perfect storm is unlikely - the big money is on Obama, including Wall Street, Big Pharma, and the Military Industrial Complex.

So when the dust settles and the campaign debts are paid, we will have another four years of half-hearted support of good policy and quiet support of everything you can associate with previous presidencies, like expansion of executive power, indefinite detention, forever-war, the use of mercenaries, the use of depleted uranium, the support of mountain-top removal, the support of regimes that use torture and otherwise violate human rights, and the refusal to submit to binding environmental guidelines or any accountability of any kind.

Hooray for the DNC!

The challenge in 2012 will be in preparing a real liberal candidate to stand up to the inevitability of another Clinton White House, and convincing the public that such a candidate can beat the next GOP challenger. A real liberal candidate can emerge from grass-roots public policy battles, like a constitutional convention that strips corporations of personhood, a push to audit the Fed and hold white collar criminals to account for the financial crisis, and similar OWS causes.

I didn't want to go at first, but a friend was going, so my wife wanted to go, and I figured I should support the thing I've defended from people who only knew that they were being inconvenienced.

"I supported them at first...
...they don't have any end goal, any message,
they're just in the way,
they're making life harder for the 99% they claim to represent
If they spent time getting a job instead of asking for a handout they might deserve attention
they're just a wretched hive of scum and villainy."

I can't call myself the most informed person that exists, especially since I've been working and coming home to a bored/talkative mother-in-law and a social life. But I've been lucky to be prepared to handle these arguments. In bars, cars, kitchens, streets, and the internets, I'm proud to have answered the call when I heard it; at every turn, the issue was information. The above sentiments came from people who did not watch democracy now or surf alternative media but from people who got their news from fox or mainstream/local news. Mostly it came down to a confusion about the cause and the value of the method.

As for the cause, I hear assertions from the right that it's all about wanting a hand out. Of course, if your world view is all black and white, then when tens of thousands are moved to the point that they go into the street, then they are "Obama's fleabaggers," "parasites," "children," a mindless mob of the greedy poor. Yeah, and the Tea Party was just mercilessly and unfairly assaulted by the liberal media - the people with the racist signs don't define the movement, but the anarchists carrying the suspicious chunks of concrete define ours. The problem with believing the world is totally binary is that you tend to think if someone is on the wrong side of your opinion, then anything that looks bad for them must be true - confirmation bias.

The cause of the Occupy movement is similar to the Tea Party, actually, and at least can agree that money is damaging to democracy. When you boil everything down, I think, it's distrust with the money in politics that most defines the Occupy movement. Mega-Businesses invest in lobbyists and funnel money into political campaigns and then those politicians grant bailouts, poo-poo an audit of the FED, and rig regulations and tax law in favor of only the biggest companies. This is why the big protest is on Wall Street and not Washington: it's Wall Street that calls the shots.

So what do they want? Well, the "open protest" model means a lot of people can walk in and fight for their favorite causes, but you'll find that there's a unifying theme. There's the stinking symptoms of the problem, like extreme economic disparity and broiling unemployment despite record profits among the Orwellianly named "Job Creators." There's the constant causes of the left, like ending economic globalization plans that ship jobs oversees and strip communities of economic safety, or the constant wars that steal money that could be used to invest in our infrastructure, higher education, and food/energy security. And there's calls for solutions, like a constitutional convention to repeal Citizens United and proclaim that corporations are not people and that money is not free speech. Election reform. Regulating lobbyists. Bringing the tax code back to at least the Reagan era, removing loop holes and removing incentives to just get an address in the Caymans and legally avoiding taxes.
Doesn't sound vague or confused to me.

So these people all converged at highly visible spots in urban centers, and while making these demands they built their own societies to support their permanent protest. Food, shelter, clothes, books, teach-ins, panels, discussions, crafting, cleaning, and cooking, all volunteer, all inclusive, and all without a hierarchy, with general assemblies open to everyone and using 90% consensus to handle problems; internal, like safety and sanitation, and external, like long term plans with the city and the police. If society argues that it takes away our freedoms for our own good, it's communities like these that suggest that things are better when we have more freedom and leeway.

Of course, with the promise of shelter and free food, the tired, cold, and hungry weren't far behind. Word is that the police were even telling people to come to Occupy Portland for food. The influx of a segment of the population disproportionately afflicted with mental illness and addiction made for great stories for the main stream news. Local news channels were giddy to report on needles found nearby and depict a downtown blighted and unsafe - rarely mentioned was that these people were not materialised by the movement. It was already there, especially in the park known as a popular place for the homeless to sleep, but it just became centralised. In fact, there were doubtlessly people whose lives were saved by those camps; people who could try and get clean and redirect their energy toward something constructive, people who suddenly found themselves among people familiar with the infrastructure devoted to helping people with addiction, people who were far more safe sleeping in tents surrounded by liberals than sleeping outside the bread factory near 10th and oak.

So the news stories kept coming. The local-TV shows would stand on the edge and interview the random, naive, unintelligible, and high while mourning the nice lawn and describing the toll on the portapotties or the cost to the city to pay overtime for cops to stand around and wait for the crackdown. Fox filmed someone looking at a knife at a military surplus store and claimed protesters were stocking up on the sharpest knives they could find, or filming empty shelves and saying they were sold out of gas masks when actually, and there was even a big sign that said so, the gas masks were all behind the counter.

It helps that almost all US media is owned by just 6 companies.

Public opinion was decided. The people that pay for the news don't want people to organize and fight to make it harder to be the sole beneficiaries of democracy and capitalism. Even people who supported a lot of what it was for thought that it should end, that it had made its point. But this is a big deal, an evolution in American protest, an idea borrowed from the Arab Spring - peacefull marches are ignored by the media, so the people tried riots, like the WTO riot in Seattle, but both methods of protest have the problem of being over too soon. A place of permanent protest becomes a place where people can become politically active and engage in discussion far more readily than a march, rally, or riot, and while riots do get media attention, it hardly strays from the negative. The occupy movement, however, was able to outlive media blackout and even persist long enough so that people who heard the bad stories could see it for themselves on that one day a week they have free. Maybe that's why polling shows that the Occupy movement is more popular than the Tea Party.
The method was more effective at communicating its message the more visible it was, which is why Occupy Portland voted to try and hold onto their park, right next to city hall and shouting distance from the giant Wells Fargo building, instead of moving to other areas that would have been much easier for the city to ignore.

Especially hard to ignore because these were not professional protesters. Many had never done anything like this before, and the majority actually do have jobs.

I was there that night in Portland when they expected a crackdown at midnight or maybe 5am. I listened to a couple libertarians talk to an excited engineering student and got into the nitty gritty philosophical arguments behind economic theories. My favorite question will always be, what is a society for? What is an economy for? An impass was met when the point was made that America's period of greatest prosperity was after America's biggest investments in education and infrastructure in the post-war era, and that we've tried leaving it up to the free market to create the same conditions, but it can't. Giant banks might invest in a company that will come up with an innovative tooth brush, but there are some things that don't bring a quick profit, like sending people to college, investing in pure research, building high-speed rail, making the energy grid more efficient, or replacing aging water and waste pipes.

At the very, very least, there are a lot of people talking about this stuff than there ever has been, regardless of your opinions of the Occupy movement.
The fact that we are drawing down our presence in Iraq is hardly cause for celebration. The withdrawal, planned by then President Bush in cooperation with the wishes of the elected Iraqi government, is something Obama fought bitterly to postpone, and is hardly an end to the occupation considering the huge embassy we're leaving behind as a home base for thousands of State Department employees, as well as the over 5000 private military contractors outside any frame of accountability that will be roaming the country. And to make it even less exciting, the draw-down will come on the heels of an increasing presence in the Persian Gulf.

From CBS.com
According to the [NY]Times, the administration will seek to bolster ties with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman as a new "security architecture" for the region.

Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Central Command's chief of staff, told the Times the plan was being described as "Back to the future" and "said the command was focusing on smaller but highly capable deployments and training partnerships with regional militaries."

Ostensibly it will be so that we can respond to 'security concerns' in Iraq - but the honest assessment is that we don't give a hoot about national sovereignty and the idea of succumbing to the wishes of the people of an occupied nation is unbearable. So we're gonna lurk around and make sure the world knows that we still own the middle east. We got all this money funneling to the Pentagon, so we gotta spend it. And along with floating around and flying the flag, we'll have more reasons to give money to Saudi Arabia - as part of that "security architecture," with the strings attached that the money must be used to buy weapons from us, weapons that we will see used against us in the near term in Afghanistan, which saw it's bloodiest day since the invasion yesterday, and in the long term, when our increased troop presence in Kuwait becomes the new best place to aim suicide attacks.

The Republicans will want to frame this as a surrender because the "the Democrats are soft on [The Enemy]!" narrative is the only way they can talk about foreign policy, but unfortunately this is not a real withdrawal. There will be never be a "peace dividend"
Cain is not a real presidential candidate. He does not have a real campaign and has not shown a serious interest in running one. Read it while it's free on the NYT page; the article, As Cain Promotes His Management Skills, Ex-Aides Tell of Campaign in Chaos is full of gems, painting a portrait of a candidate that will be painful for conservatives otherwise excited about his folksiness and background in the private sector that's far more concrete and successful than Mitten's. "He had not been in Iowa, the first caucus, since August," it's impossible to reach state-level campaign offices, and nearly as difficult to get something as basic as a bumper sticker in the early primary states - meanwhile he's doing a book tour in the southern states that are very late in the primary voting schedule. He's abandoned potential donors through simple lack of communication, and some staff have abandoned him because of what they see as a lack of management or aproachability - one leaked memo to Cain staff pertained to what was allowed when riding in the car with their candidate: "Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to."

All this comes on the heels of the New Hampshire Bachmann campaign staff quitting en mass, and some months after juicy stories about an "exodus" of top Gingrich campaign staffers frustrated from working for a candidate that does not appear interested in actually winning the nomination. And of course there's Palin, who spent all that time living high on the hog with a "not a campaign bus" wrapped in the constitution who, sadly, decided in the end not to run. Sometimes it seems the whole field, knows they won't win and are running anyway purely for self promotion.

Even poor Dr. Paul can't win - I suspect he's aware that winning the primary means he will be forced into a conversation about what it really means to pull government influence back to the late 1800s, an unpopular notion in general filled with unpopular specifics, like the end of medicare and the privatization of anything not bolted to the ground (well, actually, even those things too - who wants privatized fire and police depts, tolls on every road, and no public schools?).

Meanwhile, Romney has that "substance problem," where everyone already knows him as the guy who can't keep a position in the face of a group that doesn't like it. Despite being favored to win, he's hardly ever (if ever) been at the top of the polls, and I'd bet most of his numbers are more of an indicator on how much Republicans just don't like everyone else even less. I've heard it said that his problem is that he's trying to position himself as a moderate for when he comes up against Obama, a difficult dance when you have to win the nomination of a party hijacked by fundamentalist Christians with extremist views on social and economic policies that even Reagan called crazy.

The meaty part of the primary campaign season is starting soon, and it will be a big sad hilarious circus of doom and despair. Unless Huntsman fights his way to the top, the GOP has no chance, and if they don't pick Romney, Paul or Huntsman, they have no legitimacy as anything other than a wholly owned subsidiary of mega-corp money funneled through Rove and Koch-brothers PACs and Super PACs. And despite the article (and coming articles) about the ridiculous hollowness of the Cain campaign, I suspect he will win the nomination - indeed, Cain was a spokesman for the Koch bros. funded Americans for Prosperity after he was the pizza CEO he's always introduced as having been - "former Godfathers Pizza executive" just sounds more appealing than "former lacky for billionaire brothers and tea-party kingmakers." The Koch bros. bought the party, now they're trying to buy the game.
Share of income by top 1% increased from 8% to 17% since the 1970's. That's from the CBO, which also shows that people making average incomes only barely benefited. "This isn't because the top 1% have started working harder, this is because they have been able to change the rules and cut taxes on things like dividends and capital gains." (Cenk from The Young Turks). As workers have gotten more productive, wages have stayed the same but the executives have benefited.

So we've been working harder, but the executives have been making more money.
When we were no longer able to afford the traditional goods we associated with the American dream (exs: a house, a car, a washing machine, a refrigerator) and people stopped buying these things, credit became more available. That is, the rich began to loan us our money, demanding interest.

The only actual conservative I know is really just apolitical and won't debate these issues. But how does this make sense? How does it make sense to respond with a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps and work hard" line? People are working hard - they're working harder than we have since the 40's when unions won the right to not have to work to death. But the executives keep laying people off to make more money, ensuring bigger bonuses by cutting costs by cutting workers, despite the fact that less people making a good wage means less people can buy their products. And they don't care because they can just sell to the growing middle classes in India or China instead.
Rick Perry isn't doing so great lately, being replaced by H. Cain as the darling "not Romney" candidate, so he's fighting back with his own flat-tax program. If it seems a little more thought out and a little less like a made-up-on the spot ad campaign, it's because it's essentially Steve Forbes' plan from when he ran his vanity campaign for president back in the 90s ("vote for me, I'm super rich!"), only it's 20% instead of 17%. Forbes loves a flat tax because it would save him billions a year. Romney and Gingrich have jumped on board this train as well, with their own flat tax and federal sales taxes.

This is the kind of tax warfare that Republicans accuse Democrats of doing when they suggest we end the Bush tax cuts. This is actual class warfare because flat taxes and federal sales taxes further cuts taxes on the extremely wealthy, with a slight cut for the merely very wealthy, and a tax increase on the poor. In fact, since the poor spend every dollar they earn while the rich put most of their money into investments and savings bonds, every cent that a poor person makes will be taxed while the top 1% will save further billions. The "job creators" have not been using extra money saved from tax cuts to invest in expanding business and hiring more people - in fact, if you compare the corporate tax rate to unemployment levels over the last 100 years, the values very obviously have a correlation that is the opposite of what the Republican narrative insists. It's called "voodoo economics" because it doesn't work.

The corporate world has learned that the best investments money can buy is in politicians, and Citizens United is helping with that. Politico reports on a study that shows that for the average dollar invested in lobbying, megacorps make 220; that's a 220,000% return on investment. School board elections are seeing an unprecedented influx of money from big anonymous donors with the intent of getting people who support shifting public money from public schools to private schools. The "super committee" formed to look at ways to balance the budget has already attracted over 200 corporate and special interest lobbyists afraid of the fact that the budget could be balanced by raising taxes and ending needless industry subsidies, and you can bet that their reelection campaigns are already brimming with money from the many industries who most enjoy subsidies and low taxes (ex; Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Oil).

This is all because money is considered free speech by our system as it has evolved. But it's only free speech if you are a corporation. If you are a person and you want to use your money as protected free speech to donate to Wikileaks - which, whatever your opinion of them has never been indicted or officially accused of any crime - then forget about it. Despite "hacktivism" and activism against Pay-Pall and Bank of America, private corporations have effectively made it almost impossible to donate to Wikileaks, depriving them of 95% of their revenue stream and forcing them to suspend all publishing. Wikileaks exposes information that highlights the cozy relationship between big business and the government, and when Wikileaks can't be brought down legally, the financial industry cooperates to starve it. What does it mean when speech is only protected if you can afford it and if it's ok with Corporate America?

They are buying up the country, soaking up through their money holes our nation's ability to regulate itself and shutting down mechanisms of protection like a free media. They're even buying the police.
Including 150 million of taxpayer money and 350 million of wall street money, they've built a tower of babel that is an affront to the firewall between corporations and government. Groups including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, the Federal Reserve, and the New York Stock Exchange have bought a police force.
"The surveillance plan became known as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and the facility was eventually dubbed the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center. It operates round-the-clock. Under the imprimatur of the largest police department in the United States, 2,000 private spy cameras owned by Wall Street firms, together with approximately 1,000 more owned by the NYPD, are relaying live video feeds of people on the streets in lower Manhattan to the center. Once at the center, they can be integrated for analysis. At least 700 cameras scour the midtown area and also relay their live feeds into the downtown center where low-wage NYPD, MTA and Port Authority crime stoppers sit alongside high-wage personnel from Wall Street firms that are currently under at least 51 Federal and state corruption probes for mortgage securitization fraud and other matters."

Erase all doubt. Unless the pendulum of history swings back, and I hope it does, we will have a government that gives immunity to the super rich, prison to the super poor, and wage slavery to everyone in between.
The problem with so many of these debates is that no one is in charge - lets see if NBC-Man will be able to herd these cats. First question to Perry, who says he has the model for job creation that he'd like to bring to the US. One million jobs in Texas, but haha, williams does mention that the jobs in Texas were extremely low pay, and that unemployment is better in lots of other states. Perry responds that 95 percent of the jobs he created were over minimum wage and that it's hypocritical to criticize jobs.
Mitt gets the same Q in regards to his record on job creation, responds to criticism that his state was 47th in job creation. Wow, Williams is going to get slammed, he's bringing up the fact that Romney's private industry experience included cutting jobs. Mitt is trying to position himself as already running against Obama.
Williams jumps to Perry, and asks him to take a jab. He accepts. Mitt responds, Texas has more natural resources and a republican gov., so his state had more problems at the start - damn - Perry responds that Dukkakis created jobs faster that Mitt, and Mitt shoots back that Bush created jobs faster than Perry - laughs all around. Mitt looks better there - he doesn't start fights, but he finishes them.
Santorum - no corporate tax, repatriate resources.
Cain would "eliminate the current tax code." "If 10 percent is good enough for God, 9 percent is good enough for us," gets good applause.
Huntsman says Mitt doesn't understand the core of the US economy or something. Huntsman ties himself to Reagan. Utah was the #1 job creator. He speaks directly to the candidates, says he was better, and that in order to beat Obama you have to know something about this world.
Bachinator: new regulations like Obamacare scares the people at restaurants, that they'll have to let people go. She raised 5 biological kids and a clown car of non-biologicals, so she knows Mom things.
Ron, do you want to cut everything out of everything, including air traffic control or car safety? Yes. The free market should be able to do anything. The market can be regulated at the state level. Who writes the laws and regulations? Industry does, so essentially the market is already doing it, but in a flawed way.
Gingrich will write another forward if Perry writes another book. He plugs Newt.org and the Reagan job growth plan. Uses big words like bipartisan. He's mad that Obama hasn't come to the Reagan library to learn about job growth and says he sucks.
Politio-man wants to talk about healthcare instead of jobs - they have a glitch and asks if there's anything to learn from Romneycare example in Mass. - Perry says the individual mandate doesn't work. Romney wants states to be able to do it themselves instead of Fedrly.
Perry says that Texans don't want health care. His wife is a nurse and is fine with poor people not having health if it means not bowing to a federal power. The federal government is the reason why they have so many uninsured people in Texas.
Bach wants to jump in, but they keep them in line and go to Huntsman. Hunts has raised 7 kids and knows about personal responsibility. says Utah is a good example of heatlthcare reform.
Bach is rewarded for her patience. Obamacare is evil, will take a bold, strong leader to repeal Obamacare, she was the first one to try and do it, and if we fail to repeal it then we will have SOOOOOCIALIZED MEEEEEDICINE booooooo.
Gingrich, wtf, "stop making us fight eachother in a debate! Don't make us choose between republican models, let us just fight Obamacare, lets repeal it, we all agree on that, and we should all repudiate the main stream effort to make us fight eachother, we're all a team to fight Obama!" Biggest applause so far.
Cain has a plan. Tort reform. Association health plans.
Santorum, as a Catholic, do you care that 1 in 7 in US are poor? Welfare creates a culture of dependancy - essentially, the poor are just poor because they're dependant. Unemployment was low in 2001... for everyone - duh.
Perry doesn't want to answer the poverty question, he wants to get rid of health care so people can save their own money or something.
Uhg, now twitter questions...
Can a president realistically bring gas prices down to 2 bucks, like O'Bachman says she can? Romney says we should drill, baby, drill. Nuke, Coal, Shale Oil, fuck green jobs.
Bach's excited about energy jobs, blames energy regulations for preventing job creation. Gas was 1.79 a gallon when Obama became president. Really?
Huntsman; Bach is crazy. Get out from behind the teleprompter and just talk to us from your heart and soul. We need leadership.
Paul - don't ignore me, I'm a physician, ask me healthcare questions. No minimum wage, no mandates, no medicare, no government running our lives. I can do better a gallon of gas for a dime - we have too much inflation because of regulations.
Perry - you didn't support Reagan. Paul - I did in the 70's, but in the 80's he raised taxes and grew government. Bachman laughs too loud.
Perry's got a book, Politico-man has read it. Is Social Security bad? Sure, but don't worry if you're on it now. But for everyone else, you're involved in a lie and ponzi scheme. Politico-man says that even Karl Rove and Cheney said it's not a ponzi scheme (since we all pay into it as it's an insurance program) but he says you're wrong.
Mitt allows that the problem is that SS doesn't have a funding problem, it has a problem with congress taking money from it. SS should stay, should be saved, it's working, and I'll keep it working. Perry - uh, you're wrong. Let's get America working again!
Cain - do you want to hear rhetoric or solutions? I believe in the Chilean model, where they have an account with their name on it and give them a choice. (Chilean model?)
Paul is old, inarticulately says Perry is bad. Executive orders. Texas was furious. Paul doesn't like executive orders and wouldn't use them to write laws.
Bachman wants parent rights, also doesn't like Perry mandating HPV vaccination. (I predict Perry attacks NBC tonight)
Perry - I feel like a pinata! HPV causes cervical cancer, we allowed for an opt out, get off my back. I should have talked to the legislature, but I will always err on the side of saving lives.
Santorum voted to create the Dept of homeland security. Parental rights over states rights, how about an opt in, not an opt out. I'm offended that the government could tell me by executive order to give my child an HPV vaccination.
Mitt. Conciliatory. "We love America, this president is a nice guy but he doesn't have a clue about how to get the country working again."
Gingrich - we have enemies that want to use weapons against us. They want to kill us. WMDs. They're going to use them. They will kill us.
Paul - we should get rid of the TSA, why do we assume that airlines can't protect us? private markets can protect us more than the government. Lets go back to before 1979, dump FEMA, they're in debt. We're spending 20B a year on air conditioning in Afghanistan.
Cain - lets fix Homeland Security and FEMA, but I agree with Paul on the TSA. The Federal Gov shouldn't micromanage.
Huntsman - this is a smaller issue, I don't want to talk about national security, I want you to look at where we stand in terms of getting back on our feet (translation: I have no idea - job creation!)
Perry - "your state is at the bottom of highschool education and you cut education spending, why do you suck so much?" Well, um, cutting funding is good, we're making progress, we have a lot of Mexicans and a unique situation. But we have no corporate taxes so we have some big name tech companies.
Gingrich - charter schools. School choice. Pell Grant for K-12.
Perry - we need boots on the ground, we need predator drones, we need to secure the border and then we can talk about immigration reform. Obama sucks for saying the border is safe.
Mitt says we should have a giant fence. Employers are willing to pay illegal aliens; if we want to stop people to come in illegally, we shouldn't give them a reason to get here.
Gingrich - English should be the official language of government.
Santorum - I'm the son of an Italian immigrant. I don't want to have the discussion about what to do with immigrants until we secure the border.
Bachman - to not build a fence is to yield American sovereignty. wtf. Immigration law worked up until the 1960s.
Cain - Secure the border, promote the existing path to residency, enforce laws better, empower the states, problem solved. No applause.
Huntsman - they are people to, we need a solution like Reagan would have done.
Paul - lets remove the easy road to citizenship. Ending the drug war would keep us safer, and fixing our economy means we wouldn't care if people immigrated, I'm a true fucking libertarian, I don't give a FUCK.
Bachman - Spending cuts, no tax increases, DC sucks, Obama sucks, socialism is bad, Reagan is great.
Huntsman - Pledges are dumb, look at my record. Our core is broken, we need to bring our troops home.
Mitt - we have a crisis of confidence because we have no leadership. Obama is flailing about. We need someone who loves America! I have an outline... I have a plan. We gotta restructure. Job machine. Middle class. Lotsa jobs. Hire me.
Perry - America shouldn't be in the business of adventurism. But I do tip my hat to Obama for taking out Osama. Keynesian theory is done. We shouldn't be anywhere when we can't show a clear American interest.
Bachman - Obama has weakened us militarily, the Pentagon can't face budget cuts. I've seen state secrets. We're in danger. Global Caliphate, nuclear Iran.
Santorum - Isolationism is bad. We should be a force for good around the world. We aren't the cause of problems. Obama was indecisive. Lets stand in the Reagan tradition.
Hunstman - in order for the GOP to win, we can't run from science. I can get elected.
Perry - science isn't settled on climate change. Galileo got outvoted for a spell. We can't cut back on industry, we have to wait until science tells us what's really going on. We cleaned up our air, NO levels and ozone levels are down.
Bachman - we have American energy resources that we should extract responsibly. Coal gives us 45% of our energy, we love coal. Fuck green jobs.
Gingrich - I would fire Ben Berneke, I would audit the Fed, his policies have been bad. Lets give half our national parks to the oil companies.
Mitt - we should tax poor people too. The middle class is hurt by the Obama Economy. I have a plan to grow our economy by 4% for 4 years. I'm awesome because I have been in private sector.
Williams to Perry - your state has executed 234 more death row inamtes than any other governor in modern time (big applause) do you ever struggle to sleep at night thinking that some of those may have been innocent?
Perry - no, we're never wrong. If you kill, we will kill you. Ultimate justice.
Williams - what do you think about how the mention of so many executions draws applause.
Perry - ultimate justice.
Cain - I have a plan. The 999 plan. It levels the playing field for all businesses.
Paul - we can't run a wellfare state, I want to repeal all mandates. States can do what they want. Just because we believe in liberty doesn't mean we lack compassion. (big applause)
The end. Well done debate management. Tough questions. Williams will get lots of flack for trying to pit people against each other, like asking Huntsman "who on the stage do you think is inane or insane," but everyone stayed cool, except Gingrich I think, who pulled the Palin reversal.

Huntsman vs Romney should have their own primary to see who should run against Bachman or Cain. Paul should just give up on the GOP and run for the Libertarian party.

Ok, I'm tired now. So, who won? Jesus, I don't know. It all sucks.
The 2012 GOP Strategy for the White House is to rely on misinformation and insanity. Is the president a Nazi Socialist Muslim who hates America, white people, and the bible, relying on anti-heterosexual and anti-progress strategies in order to undermine our social fabric and destroy our economy? No, but if your only source of news is News Corp subsidiary Fox News, then maybe you would think so. And, as Fox News is so often quick to cite, Fox is the most popular cable news channel, so there are a lot of people who are prone to believe that Obama is not a Wallstreet backed establishmentarian who is just toeing the line of trends in the US Executive Branch, but actually a Marxist seeking reparations for slavery.

It's estimated that Fox has a daily average viewership of 1.8 million nationwide. That's a daily viewership. All they have to do is convince those viewers that this election is an existential crisis, and make them all extremely vocal activists. Compare that to the 1.5 million people that volunteered for Obama's campaign last election... I think it could actually be a close one - a referendum on whether or not there are any moderates left who can make up for the masses of totally disillusioned liberals.
In her august 17th show, Maddow talked about the NNSA, which recently recovered 14 pounds of Highly Enriched Uranium (Read their announcement). She talked about how the hardest part about making a nuclear bomb is getting enough nuclear material. She talked about how the NNSA, which specializes in making it so people don't get this stuff, is one of the parts of government that the Republicans want to cut. She even talked about how this is an agency that doesn't buy lots of guns, submarines, or attack drones, so the military industrial complex wasn't spending a lot of money to lobby to protect this part of the government as opposed to other programs and organizations.

What she didn't say is that maybe, just maybe, the people who got a big boost from 9/11, who wrap themselves in the flag and scream about terrorism as an excuse to take away any freedom and demand any sacrifice and assert the needs of national security any time they want to take us to war... maybe these people WANT someone to make a bomb and use it on us? She wouldn't say that, because it's not nice. The mainstream liberal MO is to assume that the Republicans have our best interests in mind as a nation, they just might have a different idea about how to go about securing those interests. Saying that it would be good for a "tough of terrorism" republican if a rougue nation of a terrorist group were able to use one, or even threatened to get one, would be considered hyperbolic by her "middle of the road" detractors. But I'll say it.

The GOP doesn't care if there is an agency that protects Americans from the smoking gun of a mushroom cloud. They want it. They crave it. They will cut programs that protect national security, they will prevent perfectly respectable people from being appointed to head vital government organizations, and they will prevent spending on even the 9/11 commission's recommendations, because they would rather the money go into wars that Osama Bin Laden wanted, a war that is inspiring people (who lose family members through collateral damage or are wrongfully imprisoned) to become a part of a violent jihad.

They run on a platform of how the government doesn't work, how it should be made small enough that it can be dragged to the bathroom and drowned in the tub. And when elected, they start making sure that government doesn't work. The more it doesn't work, they reason, the more they can say that government is the problem, not a solution. If they can get enough corporate investors and News Corp backing, they can convince people that nothing is unusual about this and Democrats are actually to blame. And when they cut social programs, people are too busy trying to stay afloat to research claims or even care.

So of course they want to cut the NNSA, along with the EPA, the CPA, and anything the government does to protect people because there is no company that can make money doing it (unless we pay them to). They want mushroom clouds. They want to become millionaires as consultants for the companies that get billion dollar contracts making weapons systems, or that no longer get regulated from government agencies, or whatever. They want America to be nothing more than a name, a flag, and a place where products are consumed and from which tanks are shipped.

The Republican party hates America.