DOUBLE TAKE

Where you'll want to take a second look

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Trickle down Government

Big gulp: there’s a lot to be said after the debates last night.

Mitt seemed to surprise most of us and capture the debate, and he did so by going off the campaign script. It was if he was a different candidate with a completely different platform. Not only did he refer to Massachusetts as his home state 8 times, he bragged about what he did when he was Governor of this, the most liberally progressive, state in the Union. He spoke about protecting Medicare (though, he conceded, for only current Seniors). He talked about green energy. It seems his handlers have either backed off, or Romney decided to pull a Palin and go rogue. He deviated from the campaign script of the past 9 months in so many ways, I had to take a second look to make sure he wasn’t campaigning as a Democrat.

What I found most interesting, though, was how much Romney and Obama said they agreed with one another. Of course, we know that the Democratic party has been sliding right ever since the early 80’s (the most liberal president of the past 40 years has been Richard Nixon. That’s right, Nixon!), but for them to be so upfront about it was something else altogether. “We” seem to agree on almost everything but the issue of states’ rights.

And, the issue of states’ rights has long been code in politics. No, it is not only about small government, not “the pursuit of happiness,” rather “states’ rights” is most often leveraged on behalf of protecting the status quo. States’ rights: that is what we called it when slavery was the issue in the Civil War. States’ rights: protecting segregation and Jim Crowe. States’ rights: oh, that’s right, abortion. So, on whose behalf is this issues of states’ rights being leveraged now? Is it the white population? the male? the small business owners?  

The only other major disagreement articulated by the two candidates this evevning was on the definition of small business; in Romney’s mind multimillionaires who employ thousands of people qualify. Perhaps it is on their behalf (a group of which Romney is a member) that this issue of states’ rights is being raised with such vehemence? 

But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the following comments.

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Leaving aside the fact that my last visit to the dentist was more informative and enjoyable than this debate, the two candidates came across as two people who essentially agree on everything but sound like they are trying to disagree.

Once you strip away the rhetoric, it’s obvious that neither Obama nor Romney is willing to stand up to Wall Street, address the epidemics of foreclosures, or meaningfully tackle the economic crisis. Both are in favor of endless war, cutting Social Security and Medicare and want to drill, baby, drill. And nothing was said about immigration, reproductive rights or poverty, which are all intertwined with economic issues.

But all the MSM [mainstream media] can see is style, declaring Romney the winner, not the substance of a system that works overtime for the wealthy but has abandoned everyone else — no matter who is in power.

ARUN GUPTA, ebrowniess@yahoo.com, http://www.indypendent.org

Independent journalist and regular contributor to AlterNet, Truthout and The Guardian, Gupta is a co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent. 

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Mitt Romney won tonight’s debate, largely by default. He may have also lost the election. Why? He beat Obama by becoming the centrist Governor of Massachusetts. In other words, Romney became Obama. Obama responded by fumbling and becoming the challenger. He bent over backwards to agree with his trailing, flailing opponent. He was also afraid to hit Congress with an approval rating of 13%! Romney will pop in the polls, as the media needs and wants. However, his move to the center will temper the initial excitement of the right about his victory. Wait four days, better polls and grumbling from the all powerful fringe of the right.

"Remember this is a base election with few swing voters! Tonight both men hurled their bases under the bus. Romney’s base is more demanding and harsh!

MAX FRAAD WOLFF, mfwolff@aol.com

Wolff is an instructor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School University and senior analyst with Greencrest Capital.

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Say What?!?!

What a rich day in national politics. We’ll focus on two senate races that have been in the news of late. 

Competing for my “favorite” moment of the weekend is Republican Representative of Missouri, Todd Akin (yes, the Akin of the “legitimate rape” comments)  going on record disagreeing with anti-discrimination laws. Apparently, the “freedom” of private enterprise supercedes federal laws requiring equal pay or equal opportunity, in Akin’s mind anyway. Let’s all take a moment to be grateful that’s not where the rest of us live!  (posted below)

Senator Scott Brown (R) of my homestate of MA may have stolen the day, though. In his debate with challenger Elizabeth Warren (D), Brown named his “ideal” Supreme Court Justice: “Scalia.” Following the guffaws in the audience, he then added “Kennedy. Roberts. SotoMayor … you know I don’t have to pick one. There are … um … a number of … um … Justices.” Its unclear if Brown knows that number, much less the rulings of the individual justices, or of how any would play to his constituents in MA. If this were a multiple choice exam, he still would have failed. (posted above)

When will the insanity end? Or, more importantly, how will it continue? 

Filed under Akin Maddow Scott Brown Senate Discrimination

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Second Looks

Second looks are not all about nostalgia, though. In fact, for me they are always about the now; it is the moment of surprise when you realize the future is here. We are already contemporary. Another of my favorite musicians, another fashion warrior who makes me watch her over and over again.

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I LOVE the colors in this video: the kabuki-inspired make-up with the purple kimono, her alabaster skin surrounded by explosions of fiery orange hair, the indigenous-inspired “dog” dressed in pelts and ribbons, with Jackie O inspired dancers from the 50’s. Global style done well!

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Second Looks

Remember the first person who made you take a second look? Or, the last? My first, without a doubt, was Michael Jackson in his cropped black pants, white socks and white glove gliding backwards across the stage. The apparent effortlessness of his movements in this performance are stunning. Pure elegance in his black and white. Style. Power. Beauty. 

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When you have time, take another look, but this time silence the music and watch his body. Pure elegance.