Sunday, October 27, 2013


...about the dysfunctional Obamacare website, which rightbloggers assure us can never be fixed. Of course, the same people also think they're going to win back the nation with Twitter, so I don't know how much tech cred to give them.


  1. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.11:20 PM

    BTW Steve M., who probably needs no introduction to this crowd, debunks the CGI story here:

    Basically CGI gives traditionally more money to republican candidates including Romney over Obama. Additionally CGI got government contracts worth 2+ billions since 2001, meaning they got hired by the US government since the Clinton administration and all through the unnamed administration, which conservatives can't remember and which remarkably accelerated the decline of the USA.

  2. Derelict11:21 PM

    Yes, the wingnut-o-sphere is all a twitter over the complete and abject failure of ObamaCare. Or at least the Federal website component of ObamaCare. Which is a lot like saying your car is completely totaled because one of the fluorescent lightbulbs in the dealership's sign is flickering.

  3. hellslittlestangel11:27 PM

    Death Panels had me scared of Obamacare. But a Death Spiral might be kind of fun, like the old Hell Hole on Coney Island.

  4. AGoodQuestion11:36 PM

    "Many Americans will die in Obamacare's chaos, and that number will far exceed Titanic's tragic toll."

    Preston will count himself as vindicated as long as the cure for death eludes scientists.

  5. DocAmazing12:16 AM

    There needs to be a wingnut memory stimulant, that mentions times and dates and events to them. It could be administered electronically. Hmmm...

  6. BigHank5312:20 AM

    You may have noticed that a certain segment of the populace has been trying to convince everyone else that the Federal government is, like, totally over, man. They've only been harping on the topic for a hundred and fifty years.

  7. Spaghetti Lee12:28 AM

    Reminds me of this one nutpicked comment from an anti-vaccine site, where someone pointed out that their friend got a vaccine and died three weeks later, after being hit by a car. EVIDENCE!

  8. fraser4:59 AM

    I love the suggestion that we should tax all malpractice awards above a half-million. Who says they're soft on the rich?

  9. montag26:11 AM

    One really does have to marvel (or, more precisely, watch gobsmacked and open-mouthed) at the scene. Now, yes, Obama gets no points for creating yet another privatization of a process that will go on for, probably, generations (there will always be new people entering the health insurance market, people leaving it and coming back, etc.) and then watching helplessly as a hodgepodge of corporate snouts at the trough boogered things up in the expectation that the money flow would continue just so long as the portal wasn't working well.

    And yet, we have been watching exactly the same process at work for over two decades in the defense/surveillance/security/intelligence/nation-building/foreign base-construction/reconstruction sectors, to wild acclaim by the very same people who are presently deriding Obama--and for the government's hiring of many of the same contractors in electronically rolling out the ACA.

    What is to be made of this? That these mental defectives think it's okay to waste prodigious sums of money on the same firms when there are no benefits to be had except by "bidness," but, it's a great crime to do it when someone might, incidentally, get a hernia fixed without winding up on the streets with a tin cup? Seems that way.

    $400 million is serious money, but, it's nothing compared to what's been pissed away in the last decade and a half on outright corruption, graft, skimming, Beltway baksheesh, debased patronage and glorified protection rackets, all of which have been met on the right with, at best, indifference or, at worst, cheering.

    But, now, they're upset? Give me a fuckin' break.

  10. Aimai6:46 AM

    93 million. Its lies all the way down. Their gial is to destroy the higher brain functions of their followers and they are being quite successful at that.

  11. smut clyde7:02 AM

    If there is one thing worse than centrally-organised health insurance, it is a software interface problem which delays people from using it.

  12. smut clyde7:03 AM

    Here you go!

  13. hellslittlestangel7:30 AM

    Wow! Now that's what I call a Death Spiral!

  14. Derelict7:31 AM

    Sure--just because your incompetent doctor left you crippled for life doesn't mean you shouldn't have to go back to your job as a bricklayer. And if you can't do that, well, maybe you can find a nice spot on a steamgrate.

  15. waspuppet7:42 AM

    "... think they're going to win back the nation with Twitter ..."

    Translation: it's only 140 characters! It's like our stupid, racist bumper stickers, but for millions of people to read!

    Not only wrong but backfiring.

  16. waspuppet7:45 AM

    My great hope for 2014 is that the national response to these people is going to be "(sigh) What are these FKING people on about NOW?"

    Of course, I got to that point in about 1993, so perhaps I'm being too hopeful.

  17. smut clyde7:46 AM

    To put it another way... if you have spent the last year or so agitating for a restaurant to lose its license because you think the food is poisonous, it takes some nerve to then complain that the staff take too long to handle a phone order for takeaways.

  18. And yet, we have been watching exactly the same process at work for over two decades in the defense/surveillance/security/intelligence/nation-building/foreign base-construction/reconstruction sectors, to wild acclaim by the very same people who are presently deriding Obama

    And only five and 3/4 years of the people who used to deride those things making excuses for Obama.

  19. glennisw8:58 AM

    No, no, Michelle didn't go to school with somebody; she went to the same school at the same time. Maybe even walked on the same campus sidewalks! Maybe even took the same book out of the library once!

  20. sharculese9:14 AM

    Okay, so I missed that youth summit thing when it came out, but it's kind of amazing in it's insight into the wingnut mindset.

    “The young Democrats are able to be more vocal because they do what feels right, while conservatives do what is ethically right.”

    They would rather be right than be successful, and then not even actually acknowledged as right but right according to whatever weird metrics they can game up. It's death cults all the way down.

    Also, I've been on staff for youth conferences. You make an official hashtag and you remind the kids to use it on all their tweets, as much to keep an eye on what's interesting people as anything else, but I've never seen anyone worry about whether it's trending because that's as pointless as it is lame.

  21. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps9:33 AM

    Or perhaps digitally, if you know what I mean

  22. redoubt9:42 AM

    $93 million = .0008% of Koch Industries 2013 revenue. . .

  23. redoubt9:50 AM

    The young Democrats are able to be more vocal because they do what feels right, while conservatives do what is ethically right
    Was James O'Keefe the keynote speaker? #goebbelswannabe

  24. Halloween_Jack9:54 AM

    I don't know how much tech cred to give them.

    I'd say about this much.

  25. tigrismus9:55 AM


  26. Doctors, doctors, don't let's fight. We can do both:

    "I present to you ... the ShockGlove(TM)."

  27. sharculese10:36 AM

    It's the same (terrible) reasoning that produces conservatism-so-simple-you-can-explain-it-to-a-child parables/preteen speakers they seem to be fond of. Running a modern nation is complicated. Why would you think it's admirable that your ideas for doing so could be boiled down to something that uncomplicated?

    And then the twitter thing. They were beating that drum last year when twitter announced that #tcot was one of the top hashtags of 2012. So... you guys are really proud that you spent the whole year talking to each other on Twitter. And you think this is better than actually, y'know, winning the Presidency. Sure, whatever.

  28. sharculese10:38 AM

  29. Maybe even took the same book out of the library once!

    A-HA! That very book had been carefully hollowed out, allowing the devious Michelle to communicate with her secret fellow blackety-black-black traveler: "Someday, when you're an executive at a company providing IT services, and I'm the First Lady, I will see to it that you are well rewarded for your crappy rollout of the website for our new Swiss-style health insurance system, by the continuation of pre-existing cushy outsourcing gigs. Mua-HA-ha-ha-haaaaa!"

    The fact that the response to this missive was "What's a 'website'?" only confirms just how deep the perfidy went.

  30. Damnit, I had somehow forgotten about that.

    In my defense, in my version the glove has fingers.

  31. Wish granted:

  32. "Never mind the food or the service; have you seen how screwed up their entry is?!?"

  33. glennisw11:16 AM

    And the portions are so small!

  34. Well, I suppose I could live with having an additional marginal tax bracket of 95% for incomes above $500,000. But some of the revenue would have to go to shoring up the safety net for maimed bricklayers and the like.

    Still, although it's gratifying to see a wingnut finally endorse steep taxes on windfalls like having rich parents, or getting lucky on the futures exchange, I think his enthusiasm might have taken him too far. Perhaps we could meet partway... How about incomes above $1,000,000? Then working-class people who got a substantial payout to make up for the reduction of their entire lifetime earning power could keep a little more, and the obscenely rich parasites whom Bruce Walker loves to suck off can still afford one extra goddamn yacht. Deal?

  35. Gentlewoman12:03 PM

    Jesus, HDB, how do you find this shit???

  36. susanoftexas12:08 PM

    I think you've got two groups combined there--one that would never criticize Obama and one that would as long as the criticism didn't interfere with the election.

    Getting rid of the surveillance state would also take far, far more power than we have. Elections don't end it. Protests don't end it. Starving the government doesn't end it. We would have to go to war against our own people to end it and that only works for tea-baggers, who are backed by billionaires. Or Glenn Greenwald, and we all know how unserious and compromised he is.

    Besides, the surveillance state apparatus is only used against critics who have the power to damage Obama. Very few people are in that position.

  37. susanoftexas12:11 PM

    Say, aren't lots of damages awarded to pay for health care? If only there were a way to lower health care costs.

  38. Based on an Ars analysis of the Romney campaign's financial reports, Romney's team had less to work with and passed the lion's share of technology-focused spending directly to advertising companies and telemarketers.

    Isn't it great when a big crook gets taken by other crooks?

  39. What is the evidence for this:

    Besides, the surveillance state apparatus is only used against critics who have the power to damage Obama. Very few people are in that position.

    Any evidence that Obama has some kind of enemies list that the NSA pays any attention to? I'm not seeing any attempt by Obama's NSA to, for instance, prevent Ted Cruz from shitting all over Obama's nominees and Obamacare. The security state and the surveillance state precede Obama and will last long after him. Its got pretty much zero to do with him--if you think he wanted to hae Bush's tapping of Angela Merkel blow up in his face you are nuts.

  40. Haystack12:57 PM

    Here comes one of Romney's guys! Pretend your working!

  41. Somehow, I doubt that proper tagging will save the GOP. #thebleedingobvious

  42. I'm not seeing any attempt by Obama's NSA to, for instance, prevent Ted
    Cruz from shitting all over Obama's nominees and Obamacare.

    That's because Ted Cruz is obviously in on it. Obama wants his nominees blocked and Obamacare derailed, but wishes to be able to maintain enough deniability to say, "Hey, I tried" to gullible Democratic voters. If more of his nominees got confirmed, he'd be expected to accomplish something. Meanwhile, that wily conservative rascal was perfectly happy to use the surveilance state against progressives who had a foolproof single-payer plan that could pass the Senate, as long as he thought that his own Swiss-style market-friendly plan would only benefit insurance companies. But once he read Noam Chomsky admitting that the PPACA is a marginal improvement over the status quo, he became determined to undermine it, with his friends in the Congressional GOP to provide cover.

    ... Nah, that's a bit too much. Obama is simply colluding with the GOP to promote only the most flagrantly stupid and mendacious attacks on Obamacare, so that the real thing looks good by comparison. Otherwise, people no longer being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions might wake up and realize we were this close to becoming a Swedish social democracy, with Joe Lieberman's help.

  43. susanoftexas1:08 PM

    Ted Cruz didn't leak documents. Manning (jailed) and Snowden (passport revoked and extradition attempted) did.
    The material leaked by Snowden said that Obama was notified of the Merkel tap in 2010 by the NSA chief, who denies it. Obama said his administration was not currently tapping Merkel but he did not say he never knew about it.
    Do you think the NSA chief would take on all the legal and political responsibility for these taps, or would he notify the new president?

  44. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps1:38 PM

    I'm more active on Twitter than I ought to be, and every once in a while the TCOTs bubble up into view. Conservative Twitter is this strange combination of blast faxes and chain mail, restricted to 140 characters; everyone participating in it is just endlessly forwarding around the same couple dozen highly condensed talking points and getting everyone all angried up. I've almost never seen any actual discussion or camaraderie there, just oceans of re-re-re-re-reblogged noise.

  45. And that's proof of an "enemies list"? Manning and Snowden committed crimes. I realize that Pope Greenwald has them both down for sainthood, but that doesn't change the fundamental facts - you commit a crime, you get locked up.

    Seriously, if you're going to be dragging this FDL conspiracy-mongering bullshit, I hope this is not your best evidence.

  46. susanoftexas2:08 PM

    I never claimed Obama had an enemies list; I said he used the security state against his enemies. (He did have a kill list however.)
    Yes, if you commit a crime you get locked up. Unless you run a bank. Or lie your way into war. Or wiretap cellphones in Germany.
    And thank god that people are willing to break the law and go to jail to expose all the people who break the law and don't go to jail because they are too powerful.

  47. BigHank532:17 PM

    ...looks like it's time for another application of Nature's Miracle to the office chairs at the NRO.

  48. JennOfArk2:30 PM

    My favorite thing, aside from Rmoney being completely surprised that he lost thanks to staying inside the bubble for all his info, was the fact that they used a Comcast business connection and a single server for their Orca app. Come to think of it, Orca was an appropriate name for it, since it was a whale of a fail.

  49. Obama came in in 2008-9. So Obama was notified right away in 2010?

  50. "Used the security state against his enemies" is a very tendentious argument. Who are you talking about?

  51. JennOfArk2:46 PM

    That's a good question. The only date certain I've heard associated with the Merkel phone tap was 2006, when as we all know, we didn't have a president - or at least not one that was responsible for anything.

  52. susanoftexas3:36 PM

    You're right-- he was not new. He was informed, however, and he let it stand until Snowed leaked the information.

  53. susanoftexas3:43 PM

    Evidently we still have a president who is not responsible for anything that happens under his watch. He can't do anything about unemployment, he can't control the NSA, he can't prosecute the bankers, he can't get us single payer like the rest of the world, he just can't do anything but pass a health insurance reform bill that the insurance companies were in favor of.

  54. A) the "rest of the world" doesn't have single payer or, if it does have a particular form of health care it was gotten for its citizens in a different place/time/political system. I'm sorry that Obama was not able to magically go back in time and introduce the NHS to a post war America. How culpable of him.

    I'll give you the bankers--he should have killed those fuckers.

    But if you haven't noticed it the ACA is meeting massively strong headwinds and did from the moment it was mooted. What you think non superman Obama could have done to magic this into existence without, you know, the votes from Dems and Republicans alike is beyond me.

    The hate this man receives for merely having the nerve to be President is just jaw dropping, to me.

  55. I'll cop to it. I don't give a fuck if we bugged merkels phone. I'm more likely to demand what we are doing with all that sweet, sweet, NSA style money if we aren't doing that.

  56. Killer app, I mean, link.

  57. marindenver4:54 PM

    And it's a heck of a lot less than $24 billion.

  58. TGuerrant6:32 PM

    I've got my E TIcket and am looking for the end of that thrill ride line...

  59. while conservatives do what is ethically right.

    These are people who are against minimum wages and workplace safety standards. Ethically right, my ass.

  60. Put succinctly, it's a jerk circle jerk.

    Hmmmm... if I gave a crap, I could tweet that out.

  61. Come to think of it, Orca was an appropriate name for it, since it was a whale of a fail.

    We should count our blessings. At least Romney didn't decide that the key to victory was to free Willy.

  62. cleter8:45 PM

    Actually, it's only 135 characters if you have to put #tcot in every post. And if you reach Wingnut, First Class, you have to put #BENGHAZI in every post, then you're down to only 126. Pretty soon they'll be so hash-tag heavy the only thing they'll be able to post is BLARG or maybe HITLERY.

  63. FlipYrWhig8:46 PM

    Were any of the "enemies" he "used the security state against" enemies _beforehand_? Because, you know, if you're a totalitarian, that's kind of how it's supposed to work.

  64. cleter9:11 PM

    Well, that certainly sounds terrible.
    Say, how many Titanic's worth of people died in Bush's chaos?

  65. JennOfArk10:26 PM

    And then, they'll spend all their time re-tweeting that to each other.

  66. So basically, an internet version of the Values Voter Summit, then.

  67. AGoodQuestion11:23 PM

    Of course that's ethical. Safety goggles are theft!

  68. tigrismus11:55 PM

    Guy in Pennsylvania just came out against sick leave. I'd say I hope he catches something from a coworker, but only because it would feel right.

  69. smut clyde1:30 AM

    Do not feel obliged to tweet out your next crap.

  70. DocAmazing1:47 AM

    Lots of folks from Occupy Oakland, among others, could tell you a lot about the security state and its uses.

  71. susanoftexas10:17 AM

    That last sentence is beneath you. You know I think Obama is far too conservative and that my complaints are regarding his actions as a leader. If presidents don't matter because they have no power over anything, which is what many people seem to be saying, then it doesn't matter what Obama does or does not do and all this commotion is merely for our own entertainment. It doesn't matter who we elect as president as long as Congress is controlled by Democrats. Yet I heard the opposite during the primaries and election. Obama was all that was holding off the angry hordes who would end abortion and invade Iran.

    I wanted him to say or do something Democratic. I didn't want the surge in Iraq, bailing out the banks, not arresting the bankers who committed fraud, not arresting those who ordered torture, not pressuring for single payer and saying he'll settle for insurance reform, and offering up Social Security and Medicare like a virgin to a volcano every time a Republican made a threat.

    If you want to drag race into this, let's discuss how Obama's austerity has disproportionally hit Black Americans. Many work in the public sector and Black joblessness is 13.7%, compared to 10.2 in '05.
    "The slow economic and jobs recovery has also weighed on net worth. The median household net worth of black households fell to $5,677 in 2009 from $12,124 in 2005, according to the Pew Research Center. White households had a median net worth of $113,149 in 2009, higher by a 20 to 1 ratio."
    No doubt Obama just doesn't know about the situation, which was caused entirely by somebody else and over which he has no control anyway.
    And thanks to Obama's prosecution of whistleblowers (unless you think he knew nothing about that as well ), informants are afraid to reveal any more government abuses so now we can exist in the same happy state of oblivion as Obama.
    They represent *us*. They are elected to push for and enact *our* policies. Their election is not the end, it is the end to the means. If they won't do what they are told to do they should be replaced. But these statements are a sick joke because they only represent their own interests and we obediently do whatever they tell us to do, including shutting our eyes when they don't want us to see what they are doing.
    The Republicans aren't going to take away our freedom. We will give it away in exchange for a faded bumper sticker and a seat at the grown-ups' table.

  72. XeckyGilchrist11:29 AM

    Don't let's get bringing up actual issues here. Remember that whatever they do is ethically right by definition.

  73. XeckyGilchrist11:30 AM


  74. Mooser12:18 PM

    And the portions are so small!

  75. Mooser12:21 PM

    "They've only been harping on the topic for a hundred and fifty years."

    Oh they were willing to stick with it through the Jim Crow era, but the Civil Rights legislation post WW2? Now, that tore it! Now they know they are second-class citizens, and that is unacceptable!

  76. Gromet2:11 PM

    If presidents don't matter because they have no power over anything, which is what many people seem to be saying

    In case you're curious, right here is where I officially decided I can ignore your posts from now on. No one is saying this -- no one here, at any rate, least of all Aimai, whose astute post noted that presidents have to work within the limits of their moment, not that they don't matter. And I suspect you realize that -- but then responding to what she actually said would have preempted your axe-grinding fantasia. So.

  77. This will end in tears, it always does.

    Look, Susanoftexas, I admire you and your work very, very much but we happen to disagree with what politics is, and also what democratic politics are.

    We have an enormous state which runs and functions like any other predatory, capitalist, nation state. No president can change that--not a Democratic one and not a Progressive one should one be elected from such a fictional party. If you and ifthethunderdontgettya want to hurr hurr about Obama performing the "presidentfunctionoftheUS" I would agree. The President function is responsible for the wars we are in, the drones, and the spying.

    But Obama is not personally responsible for them in the sense that he chooses them or could easily end them if he only would. And Obama is not worse than Bush for all purposes of the presidential function. In fact: for a lot of us, he's decidedly better. Maybe he's better because he serves the democraticleaderfunction of a slightly better democratic party (slightly better because the blue dogs blew out and the right wing turned an even sharper right) or maybe he's better because he's an ok human being trying to do a dirty task with a little grace and humility and struggle.

    As for me: politics is the game we are forced to play, the gang we are forced to join. I am in the American gang, to start with, because that is the organization that gives me through my citizenship access to lots of shit that other people don't get access to. I work for the democratic gang because when my gang is in power I have a marginally better chance of moving my co-parceners to do things I think are important for my fellow citizens or the world. If I don't play, and don't fight for my gang, I don't get "a seat at the table." Even playing and fighting doesn't get me more than a brief hearing for my particular issues and I have to continuously work together with a fuck ton of other people who don't share my perspective to even get heard and, sometimes, listened to. Thats not just because the people who run the country are evil bastards, its because there are a lot of people all clamoring to be heard and all offering solutions to different problems.

    Also: its not racist to criticize Obama as president because he's the first black president. But its phenomenally tone deaf and insulting to insult the people who voted for him and who value that aspect of him as their representative for being fools and knaves and murderers because they voted for a guy who offered to run the country, not bring about a pacifist utopia.

    America hired a democrat and a black man to clean up the shit pile left by a white guy and the republican party. And he's doing his best to do it. He might not be doing everythign the way the purest of the pure want him to do it but he's the only game in town. One of the two nominees in a two party system is always going to be the only game in town.

    If you don't like it and don't want to be part of the ugliness of real political action fine. But as for me there are things worth fighting for that I can only fight for when enough of my gang are in power. I have to keep fighting to increase the progressive wing and progressive goals among political leaders without throwing the whole game over to the Republicans, by, for example, making a huge sacrifice out of Obama and the dems currently in power.

    There can be an alliance between half a loaf and a full loaf but there can be no working alliance between "no bread" and half a loaf. I'm not willing to destroy or attack people who are with me some of the time on some important things because they aren't with me on everything. We can't get anything done that way and there is important shit being done right now.

  78. glennisw10:10 PM

    And even though "obummer" has more characters than "Obama" they just can't restrain themselves from using it.

  79. glennisw10:11 PM

    Well, gosh, Susan, I guess his magic wand is broken.

  80. DocAmazing10:56 PM

    I can't convince myself that Obama's doing his best to clean up the shitpile he was left. He's in charge of the executive branch; that includes the office of the Attorney General, who went easy on the banksters (tanking, among other things, the robosigning cases), the NSA, and the military. He has no control over Congress or the judiciary, but the parts he has control over often havenot been used wisely or well. The shitpile persists, and has been augmented in some areas, because of that unwise use. That's nobody's fault but the President's.

  81. FlipYrWhig12:44 AM

    Was that the one where the smoking gun is the word "coordinate," much loved by bureaucrats and entirely neutral until suddenly it became SINISTER EVIDENCE THAT IT GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!

  82. I agree with you, DocAmazing. I think that Obama and his team, especially the awful Rahm Emmanuel (who Obama is entirely responsible for) made some serious errors compromising with evil and its institutions. I think Hamp was a dramatically bad failure for absolutely no good reason. But I also think that the President and the excecutive are more constrained than we think, from the outside, in how hard they can push powerful actors whose longevity as actors in government is of longer duration than the presidency is going to be.

    I just object to the awful personalization of the attacks--attacks which extend over and over again to Obama's voters--because, as I said, its so counterproductive. Booman wrote a good piece about this division on the left/democratic party between people who want to win elections and push institutional change and people who want to bring about mass institutional change and even the collapse of certain features of the imperial state regardless of electoral implications. I definitely fall in the first half--I think running a country is incredibly hard, I think that compromises always have to be made, I think Obama picked battles I wouldn't have fought and shied away from battles I thought were important. But I think that is always going to be true of anyone who gets as high as the presidency. The battle to control the presidency and get in a president that you kinda, sorta, think will do some of the things you want is separate (to me) from the other parts of pure principled politics and moral justice that I otherwise pursue. The presdiency is just one tool of that and undermining my player at the poker table of American politics, when that throws the game to the other guy, just seems (again), counterproductive.

    If we undermine Obama and his voters, if we ceselessly allow the Republican party to win the debate "Obama: evil or just clueless?" we increase the chances that a Republican gets in and decrease democratic chances across the board. We neither get more progressive policies nor a more progressive president.

    Thats why I hate the "Obama sold us out/we could have had single payer" shtick and its accompanying breathless "Obama wants to give money to the insurance companies." Its so personal. I think its obvious that Obama does not "want" to give money to insurance companies but that he and his team thought that this way to solve some of the health care problems in the country was legitimate and functional and could pass. And they were right, see MA and Switzerland which is where we may end up.

  83. susanoftexas10:52 AM

    That is the second time you have said this is personal, and the first time in response to me you said it was racism. I want proof of my racism right now. Not here--at your blog or mine. I will not let you start spreading insinuations about me. They will take hold since your reputation is so much higher than mine.

  84. Susan! I absolutely did not accuse you of racism and don't think you are racist in the slightest. I also don't have a higher blog reputation than yours and you can see that from my blog which lacks readers and commenters. I apologize profusely if anything I said implied you were racist.

    On the subject of racism I don't think its very useful to talk about people being racist or not racist, as though racism were like a hitler mustache without which one couldn't see a policy was fascist. I don't think criticism of Obama is racist, necessarily, at all and especially not criticism of Obama from the left.

    I do think that a lot of criticism of Obama from the left is extremely personal--accusing Obama of personally using the security state on his enemies is, by definition, personalizing the laws under which people get prosecuted as though someone else's DOJ wouldn't have prosecuted those people or someone else's NSA wouldn't have spied on them.

    And I think that a lot of Obama's non white voters and new voters--his young and enthusiastic supporters--can hear those criticisms not as criticisms of the US state and its historic support of both the security state and the capitalist state but as personal attacks on someone they voted for as a standard bearer of their hopes and dreams.

    I unreservedly apologize to you for making you feel like I think you are racist. I don't.

  85. I'd like to add that "personal" is not a code word, for me, for "racist." Personal means to the person. My mother has a tendency to see Obama's flaws as emanating from something personal not something situational and she often says, with a sigh, that a Chicago friend warned her that he would "break our hearts" by, presumably, not being as liberal as we wanted to think he was. Thats what I'm talking about.

  86. susanoftexas11:28 AM

    Thank you.
    Disputes are usually personal, at least in part, but what constitutes personal differs with each person. I react strongly to what I think damages the country and its future, like a lot of people. (Many of them crazy unfortunately.) I don't invest hope or trust in any politicians because I mistrust power and authority.

  87. Susan, I sent you a direct apology to an email address I had for you at gmail. Hope it gets to you. Again: I apologize for hurting your feelings. Your understanding of, and response to, power and authority are well known through your writing on your blog and we share some of it. In fact you introduced me to the writings of Alice Miller. I tend more to an Altemeyerian and Anthropological understanding of power and authority--that is that they will always exist in any group larger than the family (and, indeed, in the family itself) and that we can never fully dismantle them either because the master's tools can never dismantle the master's house or because without structure and institutions we can't function above a subsistence level in a modern state and economy.

  88. susanoftexas1:55 PM

    No problem, and I'm glad we came to an understanding.

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