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Comment count is 39
Bort - 2015-12-22

Defunding the government isn't a really workable option, so I see why this bill passed and was signed into law.

The appropriate response to this is to punish those who inserted CISA into the omnibus bill, by voting them out of office on election day. A quick Google isn't revealing who exactly, but since both chambers are controlled by Republicans, I can take a guess at which party most of the culprits belong to.

... you HAVE been consistently voting against the Republicans the past 16 years or so, right? Even in the midterms, when they tend to pick up seats? Because someone or other is letting Republicans into office, and when they do that it invariably means bad legislation. Those people share the blame in this.

That guy - 2015-12-22

The Dems have been letting the Reps into office.

Also, if you take the vid at its word, it was both parties here.

That guy - 2015-12-22

Also, I'm tired of the ironic "Thanks Obama!" jokes when he's a mediocre president at best.

Bort - 2015-12-22

Non-voters on the Left have been letting Reps into office. If you have waiting for Democrats to pass the legislation you want before you vote for them -- but you haven't been providing the numbers for them to pass that legislation -- then that's on you.

The Democrats are far from perfect, but in almost every regard they're better than Republicans, and in many regards diametrically opposed. Some Democrats are pretty exceptional, a few are pretty poor, and if it so happens that your local Democrat was one of the forces behind CISA, primary him out of re-election.

EvilHomer - 2015-12-22

Or, you know, you could always vote for a third party, one which actually represents your own values and interests.

Bort - 2015-12-22

Or write in "lizard people" because that will surely improve things.

EvilHomer - 2015-12-22

Also, I hate to be a Debbie Downer here, but "voting the yay-sayers out of office" isn't actually going to make much of a difference, because a) CISA has already been passed, and b) you don't vote for the leadership of the NSA! Obama and the Legislative branch have finished their part. What comes next is mostly in the hands of secretive, non-elected federal agencies, bureaucracies which will continue to exist - shackled by neither term limits for their leadership nor public scrutiny of their activities - regardless of what happens in any televised election.

But yes, 'lizard people" is a wise choice from now on.

That guy - 2015-12-22

So why do you think there are so many non-voters on the left, and why don't you blame the Dems for that, at least partly?

After looking at some articles, it looks like a LOT of the non-voters are left-leaning and a lot of the stats boil down to:

A) people who believe that the dems aren't going to fix the wealth distribution, just throw a bunch of little bones here or there
B) people who are too broke to make time or give a fuck

That has vicious cycle written all over it. I'll blame the politicians (and their horse-trading hypocrisy), not the pessimistic dudes and dudettes living hand-to-mouth every month.

Bort - 2015-12-22

I don't blame the Dems because of the public option.

Let's go back to the public option: the House Democrats were so much in favor that they wrote a version of the ACA with a public option, and the Senate Democrats were at 100% in favor or close to. But there were only 58 Democrats in the Senate, and they needed to find maybe two or three non-Democrats to help pass it, and couldn't. So we don't have a public option.

Guess whom the Left blames for the lack of a public option? They sure don't blame the Republicans, who obstructed the living hell out of it. They don't blame Joe Lieberman (I-CunT), who agreed to support the ACA if and only if the public option were removed. No, the Left blames the Democrats, who did their damnedest to give them what they wanted, and failed only for numbers. The Left has been punishing the Democrats for "betraying them" ever since, and it's not clear how many election cycles it will take for the Democrats to have the numbers to even try once more.

So no, I call bullshit on blaming the Democrats. The Democrats do their best with the numbers WE provide.

Bort - 2015-12-22

To be clear, my point isn't that the public option is the sole issue on my mind. My point is that I can't think of a clearer illustration of the problem that manifests itself again and again and again: if you let Republicans into office, they do their best to make things where even a lukewarm Democrat would cast adequate and sane votes.

Bort - 2015-12-22

There is also the small matter of the Left being so terrified of being "sheeple" that they go out of their way to extend nothing but distrust to Democrats, which in turn results in fewer Democrats holding office, which in turns means the Republicans get more and more of what they want. The only people in a position to break the cycle are voters, but the Left is too fucking retarded to do so.

That guy - 2015-12-22

The ACA example seems cherry-picked, both because it's hard to argue with, and it wasn't representative of the big picture, I don't think:

Dems could try to to break up the 1%, stop the bleed of jobs etc.
And then every time the GOP blocks, the Dems have a story about how the the GOP is shooting down all their plans (programs or tax reform) to break up the 1%.

But that would require unity and self-sacrifice (some individual Dems would lose re-election in some places for being "socialists"), and the individual Dem polticians are way too selfish to bite the bullet. They horse-trade and throw a bone to the poor just a little more than the GOP does. Pepsi, Coke.

That guy - 2015-12-22

oh, I forgot to say that I don't know what I'm talking about

Bort - 2015-12-22

The stories are out there. The Left doesn't want to hear those stories.

And Russ Feingold tried your strategy, remember him? Terrific progressive senator from Wisconsin? He lost by resounding, humiliating numbers in 2010 because he refused to take any corporate funding. Care to tell me how his successor, Republican Ron Johnson is doing? Boy that sure is a winning strategy, Democrats losing their seats to prove a point. I'm sure the revolution is going to happen any day now!

The public option is by no means cherry-picked, it's just a very good example with little ambiguity. If I wanted to talk about, say, jobs bills, there's always someone complaining that the Democrats didn't want to create enough jobs, or put them in the right sector, or the jobs were really just a handout to big business, or whatever other thing to bitch about. Which again gets us to the Left's pathology that they PREFER to distrust the Democrats rather than give them the numbers they need to do some good.

Meanwhile, Republicans have seen to it that there were no jobs bills introduced in the House since the start of 2011, go figure.

Note that I'm not asking for blind trust, but quit with the blind cynicism too. Both have the same problem: blindness. As soon as you drop the blind cynicism it becomes a lot clearer that Democrats, imperfections and all, are much better to have in office than Republicans.

Meerkat - 2015-12-22

Everyone, both rich and poor, does better under a democratic president than under a republican one. However, numbers mean nothing when party loyalty is everything.

kingarthur - 2015-12-23

Your issue is that the two party system and election funding in this country is hopelessly broken and, until both are fixed, voting for either party is basically voting for evil or slightly diet evil with a few smiling faces on social issues but no real change.

kingarthur - 2015-12-23

So you can HELP by voting for a third party to push them into the realm of ballot access and doing the work it takes to change the system slowly and painfully over time. Like the Greens.

Or, we can arm ourselves and throw ourselves into the machinery of the police state and kinda try and die heroically.

Up to you.

kingarthur - 2015-12-23

Note that I think armed revolution is more than a little naive in a country as militarized as the USA.

Bort - 2015-12-23

"Your issue is that the two party system and election funding in this country is hopelessly broken and, until both are fixed, voting for either party is basically voting for evil or slightly diet evil with a few smiling faces on social issues but no real change."

No, my issue is that people don't elect enough Democrats for them to overcome Republican obstruction. Again, look at the public option: we were one Democratic Senator short of a public option, and the Left responded to that not by saying "I guess we need to elect more Democrats", but by saying "PUNISH THEM ALL! Withhold your votes! Or do something else fucked up like vote Green, that'll show 'em!"

Election funding is a problem, and Citizens United is a problem, but neither has any effect on a person who knows who they want to vote for. The Republicans will have to pay me 00000 tax-free if they want to buy my vote; until they do that I'm voting against every Republican I can in every election. And even Citizens United has less punch than expected because it allows politicians to buy advertising, but fewer and fewer people watch TV with ads, so even Citizens United isn't what it once was.

The big problem remains people who say, "I'll vote for the Democrats if and only if they do something awe-inspiring between now and election day. If they don't, I'm going to withhold my vote and let the Republicans into office, because I am a fucking retard."

PegLegPete - 2015-12-23

There is also this and the preceding article:


And this is still a legitimate question: Why don't we see Democrats talking about a public option publicly or even insisting that they attach a public option to the "exchange" system? Maybe they are and I've been living under a rock.

Bort - 2015-12-23

Fuck Glenn Greenwald, he has as much relation to truth and facts as Alex Jones. He is just less obviously loathsome. I'm not going to unpack everything Greenwald gets wrong, but I'll focus on just one sentence to make my point:

"(the fact that the health care bill ultimately passed via reconciliation, whereby the public option would have needed only 50 votes, was a separate issue)"

No, the health care bill was not passed via reconciliation. First the Senate version of the ACA was passed like any normal bill, requiring the 60-vote threshold to be met. There was a subsequent reconciliation bill that tweaked some of the funding for the ACA, and yes that subsequent bill required only 51 votes ... but the thing about reconciliation is, not many bills meet the stringent criteria to qualify for reconciliation. Among other things, they have to be revenue-neutral bills (i.e. do not increase the deficit) and they cannot establish new policy. It makes sense that reconciliation would not be an option on all legislation, otherwise the Democrats could have just written "reconciliation" on EVERY bill and bypassed the filibuster on all of them.

My point: the public option was NOT passable via reconciliation. It's not the Democrats who are trying to lie to you; Greenwald is straight-up lying and I think he knows it. I know there's someone here who used to work with him and respects him, and I'm sorry whoever you are, but Greenwald is slime. He knows he can sell his audience on a pack of lies the same way Alex Jones does, and makes our politics worse in the process.

As for why nobody's talking about the public option any longer, it's probably because the Democrats are minorities in both chambers at this point, and the only bills that can even be introduced are introduced by Republicans. Our Congress is so far removed from a point where passing a public option is even possible, there's really no point in discussing it.

kingarthur - 2015-12-23

There's no point in discussing one of the things every advanced democracy but us and several other countries have? The lack of which is bankrupting and killing people daily? You drank the DNC kook aid, man. Hi, Debbie.

Bort - 2015-12-23

Run, kingarthur! It's inconvenient facts! Don't let them get you!

I'll do you one better than Greenwald, I'll link to a god damn newspaper showing the final cloture vote (where they had to hit the 60-vote threshold) before the final simple-majority vote that passed the ACA in the Senate.

Cloture vote:


Senate passes the ACA:


How do you suppose Greenwald explains that first vote? Was that part of a vast conspiracy? Explain it to me kingarthur.

Bort - 2015-12-23

And by the way it's medical COSTS that are killing us at this point, not the lack of a public option or single payer. Which is something that Bernie Sanders doesn't want to talk about either because single payer is such a crowd-pleaser. But when hospitals are charging 2-3 times what any other nation's hospitals would, it doesn't matter whether you have single payer or not, you're still going to be paying huge medical bills.

Nominal - 2017-08-31

Fast forward to 2017. Surely after 15 more election cycles of Trump-a-likes being voted into office thanks to withholding your votes, Democrat-sempai will finally notice you!

EvilHomer - 2015-12-22

Yeah, I heard about this yesterday night. Does anyone have the list of which reps voted for or against it?

Honestly not sure how to rate this submission. It's a good one (thanks, OZ!) but five starring something like this doesn't seem appropriate.

EvilHomer - 2015-12-22

OK, five stars for the sick burn @ 1:53.

infinite zest - 2015-12-22

Why the microphones? Just walk 5 feet to your left

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-22

Even 5 inches is night and day acoustically. Maybe if they had some kind of shotgun mic, but standing 5 feet from an RE-20 in the kind of room a Youtube broadcaster can afford you might as well just use your phone or something.

infinite zest - 2015-12-22

Ya I know, I just think it's cute since you never see those mics anymore in news broadcasts.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-23

It's too bad, they're really good mics.

Cube - 2015-12-22

Thanks, Obama.

Caminante Nocturno - 2015-12-22

You're welcome.

Hooker - 2015-12-22

Just in time for the yearly wipe!

Caminante Nocturno - 2015-12-22

That's disgusting.

Tough American Bouncer - 2015-12-23

USA politics - the reason why we can't have nice things.

EvilHomer - 2015-12-23

So have you guys been seeing mainstream media coverage for this story? I'm checking websites for outlets like CNN, Fox, and NBC, but I'm having difficulty finding anything; mostly just months-old pieces about when it passed the Senate (funnily enough, the CNN article spins CISA as a positive and much-needed thing, while Fox's coverage is far more concerned with Twitter and Reddit reactions than with the actual bill itself).

By contrast, over the last two days, NBC has posted at least six different articles analyzing Steve Harvey's "flub" at the Miss Universe pageant.

Oktay - 2015-12-23

I gave up on msm, I don't see the point anymore.

The only thing different between today's world and 1984 is abject poverty and slave labor for all. Perpetual war, fictional news, constant surveillance, oppressive and authoritarian government, militarized police, the rest is all there.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-23

Depends on where you are. Here it's way more Brave New World than 1984. No need for boots in faces when everyone has a smartphone.

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