Saturday, April 30, 2011

Springtime in Afghanistan

Spring is in the air, the insurgents are booming!   It's still the War on Terror isn't it?  According to our commanders in the ground we're doing something, they're just not sure what.  But then who cares, the commanderator in charge doesn't have a clue.  Borrow more money to fight the bad guys, better yet pay for more war with more tax cuts.  If we cut taxes to 0%, do we get an infinite increase in revenue?

The Taliban announced the beginning of their spring military offensive against the U.S.-led coalition Saturday, a day after a new Pentagon report claimed that the militants' fighting spirit was low after sustaining heavy losses on the battlefield.


In a two-page statement, the Taliban said that beginning Sunday they would launch attacks on military bases, convoys and Afghan officials, including members of the government's peace council, who are working to reconcile with top insurgent leaders.



Modern Armed Humanitarian Efforts for Peace

Today, Saturday, Obama hit Syria with sanctions because Assad is not nice.  Assad has killed some of his revolting Arabs.  Assad will, in turn, flip off Obama.  By Wednesday, Obama, slightly peeved,  will be forced to take humanitarian action.  Assad will then discover that he cannot fly his planes as a No Fly Zone will have destroyed every runway in Syria.  By Friday, NATO will take over command and impose several No something Zones in an attempt to save lives.  Obama will give a cool speech.  Then, Sunday a week, NATO will blow up Assad's palaces as they attempt to kill the ever evil dictator.  It's becoming routine.  War number 5 is on the way!

U.S. announces sanctions as Syrian regime cracks down

Obama's Self Confirming Prophecy

When ObamaCo decided to ramp up and surge more troops into greater Rubbleistan, they also announced that in July, 2011 they would begin to stand down, if conditions warranted.  Guess what?  Yep, today, conditions warrant withdrawal.  Amazing.  Did anyone really think they would not?

Oh, we no longer win or lose wars.  We make tangible, fundamental, progress without discussion of  defeating the enemy.   Who is the enemy over there these days?   Given how the commanders in the ground and in the White House bullshit us, let's just pull an Aiken--declare victory and get our butts out of the rubble.

Pentagon reports ‘tangible progress’ in Afghanistan

Libya

We left the No Fly Zone offense a long time ago.  As NATO bombs Tripoli, Qadaffi wants to tallk.  I guess anyone killed by NATO bombs must be classified as humanitarian deaths.  War is very strange.

Gaddafi calls for ceasefire as NATO strikes Tripoli

Subsidies

When the auto companies were in deep doo-doo, ObamaCo jumped in to save jobs.  Those jobs were important to them (and their donors).  Today, with $5 a gallon gas (in Conn.), ObamaCo wants to end subsidies to oil and gas companies.  The GOP gasped at his suggestion.  The GOP wants to continue the subsidies to make sure no jobs are lost.  The oil jobs are very important to them (and their  donors).  Why is gas so expensive?

Do  you think any politician from Obama down will provide an accurate, detailed, understandable answer to that question?  Nah, the price of gas is just a politicized issue that is part of the permanent campaign for power.  They win, we lose.  Too bad we've voted for this kind of crap, it could be a better world if we had paid attention to what our votes put in office over the past decades.  Is there an honest politician in D.C.?  Who?

Obama slams oil company profits as gas prices surge

Friday, April 29, 2011

Politifact

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Trump earns two Pants on Fire ratings in 4 hours

With polls continuing to show Donald Trump as a significant player in the Republican campaign for president, we have been checking many of his factual claims.

Trump this week earned a distinction that we believe is unprecedented in the four-year history of PolitiFact: two Pants on Fire ratings in just over four hours.

There's a lot of interest in Trump. Yesterday afternoon, our most popular page on the site was his Truth-O-Meter scorecard.

It's been a busy week for us because of the release of Obama's original birth certificate. In case you missed our coverage, make sure you check out Rob and Angie's story on whether birthers are now satisfied, our timeline of the birther controversy and our account of Wednesday's unusual events.

Looking ahead to next week, we've got a new feature that we'll be unveiling and we'll be focusing on the growing debate about the debt ceiling. So make sure you keep checking back.

Another reason to legalize drugs

If someone runs a meth lab, the building will be contaminated.  It has to be cleaned up or it will remain a harmful toxic mess.  Government picks up the cleanup tab.  It's expensive.  As meth labs proliferate, so do the cleanup costs.  This war on drugs is getting too expensive.

As meth labs expand range, funds to clean them dry up



Legalize all of them, tax them, regulate them.  

Question?

When did society pop into existence?  Certainly there was a time when it did not exist.  At some point, things such as population size, density, and organization changed and  society was created.  Okay, now what about time and space?  When did time begin?  When did space begin?  Perhaps they are not quite pervasive universal fundementals.  

Gasoline Users Take Note

It's not going to get any better.  Prices will keep on going up.  Profits are good.  They will get even better--

Oil Trades Near 31-Month High, Heads for Eighth Monthly Advance


Has the time come to have a bit of that armed revolt here at home?  How high would prices and unemployment have to go before we see violence?  As the GOP continues to be class warriors for the rich, how long will the rest of folks take it?  Are we heading for an explosion?

With logic like this, you cannot argue, it's fruitless

It's fruitless to argue with GOOPERs.  They just make it up as they go, they avoid facts, and they always condemn.  There is no argument, they just say "no" to everything Obama.  Sadly, there is a base out there in complete accord with their GOOPY speakers.  Why even listen to them?

GOP pivots on ‘birther’ questions, blames Obama for media attention

Birthers are closet racists.  Now the GOP disses Obama for "settling" the issue, it's just the latest way for  the GOP to pander to the Birthers and friends.

Toles

It makes sense if you don't think about it:


AFixrjBC_gallery.html.jpg

Checklist

Democrat?  Check.  Up for reelection in 2012?  Check.  Might lose? Check.  Hand basket?  Check.  Hell?  Check.  Oh, well we had a nice run for 235 years.   The next thing you know, Dems, in attempt to show they are fiscal hawks too, will demand that the revenue generated from tax cuts be dedicated to paying down our debt.  Given Congressional logic, they are sure that if we cut taxes by $14 trillion, then we will pay off our tab instantly.  With the debt at $0, we can start over and borrow more money, but they'll borrow prudently this time around.  Funny how reelection prevents thought.  Why do we listen to these dorks?  Did we actually reelect any of them?

Debt ceiling: More Democrats threaten to vote against raising borrowing limit

Obama's Bungled War

We cannot afford to continue our "war" in Afghanistan.  We cannot afford it in fiscal terms, in moral terms,  in political terms.  The longer we remain there, the less we will be the United States of America.  Oh, that will still be our name, but what we stand for, believe in, how we live, and what we will strive for will finally shrivel up and be meaningless. We've been on a long trail away from the moral high ground. We need to turn around and begin a differnet kind of long hard slog home.

Here's just one more example:

U.S. military dismayed by delays in 3 key development projects in Afghanistan



U.S. aid officials have been forced to delay three large development programs intended to support the American military strategy in southern Afghanistan at a critical, make-or-break moment in the war.


The initiatives, which are supposed to support local governments, agricultural development and job-training efforts, have been held up by bureaucratic missteps and funding cuts by Congress, according to senior U.S. officials. As a result, the programs will not begin until much of the summer fighting season has concluded.

Our Federal Problems

Budget?  Deficits?  Debt?   Can we fix these problems?  The GOP has the answer.  All we have to do is cut taxes.  If we cut taxes everything will come out right.  The retained money will be invested in new businesses.  The new businesses will create jobs and increase incomes for rich and poor alike.  Increased incomes will be taxed at the new lower rates, but the volume will offset the loss otherwise felt by the tax cuts.   It's that fictive trickle down again.  Hey we all know what rolls down hill, now don't we.   It's kind of a Woolworth's dime store approach applied to tax revenue.  Seen a Woolworth's lately?  Oh, along the way, we assume spending on the elderly will be cut.  Do you really believe we can tax cut our way out of $14 trillion and growing debt?  Do you believe we can tax cut our way out of a budget that assumes we will borrow 40 cents of every dollar spent?  If so, then I bet you have already entered a flying pig on your all-time bird sighting list.

Tax cuts are not part of the solution.  Tax increases are needed to address our fiscal mess.  Oh, here's a question about a different topic.  If you agree we cannot tax cut our way to prosperity, then why do you think we can test our children into brillance?  Both, seem about the same to me, gibberish.  Tax cuts, applied to a budget problem,  are right wing nonsense.   School tests, applied to a learning problem,  are left wing nonsense.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Please Note

Chrysler is still in business.  I think the federal loan helped them survive.  Their employees are probably thankful, but I bet the managers are hardcore GOOPERs who despise Obama anyway.  Oh, well, the loan to Chrysler is going to be paid off soon.

Chrysler to repay its $7.5B in bailout loans



I did not like the loans when they were made.  I think the nation would have been better off if both Chrysler and and GM had gone Chapter 7.  Given that, the loans worked and both poorly managed companies remain in business employing lots of folks.   Are we ready to bail them out again?  Do we really need three auto makers?  Ford did not get a bailout.  

Ya Gotta Love South Carolina

Tax deals with businesses are nothing new.  However, SC has decided to make a stand against Amazon.  Amazon, as a result, flipped off SC.  Anyone willing to talk tax breaks for an Amazon distribution center?   The loss will not be felt in SC, since there's not much there in the first place.  The other 49 states?  Well, they'll talk taxes.   Teaparty anyone?

Amazon packing after House vote

Border War!

Where oh where are two nations blowing the crap out of each other over some land?  Israel and Palestine?  Sure, but where else?  Oh, it's over in two of those Southeast Asian tropical paradises, Cambodia and Thailand.  Hmm, somebody must be having trouble at home, border wars really rally folks to get a patriotic hard-on and go screw the other guy to death.   Damn, war is a homosexual plot to destroy the world.  Quick tell the GOP, if they support war, it's even more gay than supporting gay marriage.

Thai-Cambodia clashes continue for 7th day



My apologies to the gay community, I know it's not true.  It's intent is humor.  War and gay bashing make no sense at all, let's end both.

Welcome to Pakistan?

Yeah, that's what the revolting Libyans are discovering.  From the air, everything is a a bad guy.  For that matter, what's a bit of collateral damage anyway?  To make a humanitarian non-war, war, you have to crack a few skulls or some shit like that.  War sucks for those on the battlefield, but is very profitiable for those in the board room.

Suspected NATO strike kills 10 Libyan rebels in Misurata

Middle East Humanitarian War Standards

If Arabs revolt against their evil dictator masters, then we in the West get all harrumphy and blubber support for their attempts to be just like us (lovers of democracy, liberty and freedom).  We condemn the dictators, approve of the revolt, and then blow the crap out something.  Libya is the latest example, Syria may be booked for some No Something Zones.   If revolting Arabs kill some of the dictator's evil henchmen, we approve of their acts as much as we condemn the henchmen killing the revolting ones.  Okay, given the standard laid down in Libya, why aren't we invading Bahrain?  Will we allow the evil ones to execute the revolting ones?  Nuke Bahrain?

Bahrain’s military court convicts 4 Shiite protesters to death for uprising



Oh, forgot about oil and the Saudis.

Bad Move

It's a bad move unless you relish the past 12 years of U.S. war, economic collapse, destruction of the middle class, and attacks on civil and human rights.  If you like those things then you'll love Obama's move of Petraeus to the CIA.  The same players will play the same game.  It would not surprize me to see more retired generals appointed to more departments and a hell of of lot more non-war, war.  This empire shit will bankrupt us, just like it did Rome, only faster.

Petraeus would helm an increasingly militarized CIA

Birther Bullshit Will Not End

Yesterday Obama released a copy of his "Certificate of Live Birth."  Did that document end the Birther noise?  Not at all.  Now Trump is prattling on about education transcripts!  What is wrong with these people?

That's simple, they are racists.  Birthers and their ilk are people who fear publicly stating they don't like blacks, especially if one of them is the President of United States. Birther and related nonsense is being used by the GOP to attract the racist vote.  I have to imagine that 80% of  GOOPERS are really indifferent to Obama's race, but have no problems using his race and the Birther bullshit  to elect GOOPERS and re-take the White House.  To the GOP, true Birthers are nuts, but very useful.   Birthers remind me more of the defacto racists who lived in segregated northern communities during the Civil Rights era than the Klan. They condemned the South for racism, but could not and would not look around their won neighborhood.

Oh, don't forget the merchandise and book sales that depend upon the Birther issue.  If the issue dissipates, then those slimeballs are stuck with a lot of unsellable merchandise.  

Obama’s release of birth certificate does little to allay ‘birther’ fears

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Idiots Have Won

Gee, was Obama born in Hawaii?  I wonder what they'll bitch and plot about after Obama makes a copy of  his "Certificate of Live Birth" public?  Hmm, it could be faked, will they demand videos of the delivery?  The whole issue comes back to one little matter--Obama is black.  If he was not, there would be no birther issue at all.  It's just a diverting cover issue to mask their real problem, a black is president.

Obama releases his Hawaii birth certificate

Thank God for South Carolina

As the 2012 presidential race gets underway, have no fear that it will all become too serious too fast.  No, I'm not posting about Donald Trump.  Who needs him when we have the entire state of South Carolina to provide needed comic relief.

Most in S.C. GOP think Obama a socialist


Funny thing is, Obama is more a left center Republican than any kind of Democrat.  If space and time are curved does that mean the GOP will go so far out to the right that they will return on our left?  Scary isn't it?

Deficits Don't Matter!

The headline was just a way to get your attention.  Remember when Dork Cheney said that?  He was vice president when the Shrub flew Air Force One from D.C. to Crawford and back.  Funny how the folks who loved them back then now think that deficits really do matter.

Oh, don't forget Dork and George ran the nation's war machine and were hell bent of spewing false fear so they could then counter them.  It was their  futile attempt to become the nation's Underdog.  So it should not surprise anyone to learn that they brought the same level of economic expertise to national security and war.

Guantanamo secret files show U.S. often held innocent Afghans

Did we ever learn what Dork kept in those man safes?

Same old, same old

The nation's premier chatter has leaked some news.  He didn't leak it himself, he has people for that, since he just makes cool speeches.  There's going to be some national security changes made.  Wow, after reading about the forthcoming changes, all I can say is "I'm so excited about them I could just shit."

Gates is leaving.  Too bad he cannot hang around longer, he seems to have done an able job recovering from two botched legacy wars.  I understand he wasn't all that keen on blowing the crap out of Libya too.  Oh, well, we're going to see more war as Panetta jumps from the CIA to DOD.  Then the mighty Petraeus who hasn't pulled on an Iraq in Afghanistan will get to exit to the CIA.  Oh, Crocker will return as Ambassador in Kabul.  General Allen will take over for the future spook.

Hey, it's the same old crew doing the same old thing.  It's political musical chairs, except there's always enough chairs to go around.  How've we been doing for the the last decade or so?  Isn't  it time to find some new folks to take charge?

Obama expected to announce national security team changes this week

Norman Thomas Will Run Again!

Ooops, it's the Norman Thomas of the GOP who will make another doomed attempt to become president.  Yep, the libertarian oddball guy from Texas is ready to go.  Hmm,  to the extent Mr. Paul is a similar to Mr. Thomas, folks need to pay attention to Mr. Paul.  Paul is no socialist as was Mr. Thomas.  However, Mr. Thomas was persistent.  Just about every major program he liked, over time,  became law.   As more voters listen, in 50 years will we  be saying the same thing about Mr. Paul?  He may not win the office but instead win over the nation.  Will libertarian politics nudge aside that of a more socialist flavor?  Dems might be advised to listen to voters a tad more than they have been.

Ron Paul forms GOP presidential exploratory committee

Assad is still okay

Obama and his peers have tut-tutted Assad as his people revolt a bit.  Assad does watch CNN so he has avoided making any statements about killing off his revolting Arabs.  Hence, there's no need for Obama and NATO to start another humanitarian non-war, war.   I guess, if you are a dictator, you only get invaded when you talk.  I bet if he just killed thousands, no one would invade.  If he announced he was going begin killing and then did so, there'd be no invasion.  But, if he just says "I'm thinking about it," then he would attain the Libyan standard for humane non-war, war.  Weird.  Bets on war number four?

Global condemnation, but no action, against bloody Syria crackdown



If a bad guy suggests he's going to commit the equivalent of genocide, then the world reacts and kills him and kills all of his supporters off, is that a kind of genocide?  I'm getting lost in the humanitarianisms.  

Stalemate

It's a long hard plod to achieve stalemate.  I think we've had our eyes and ears on the ground so much we have not noticed that we plod along in a circular rut.  Stalemate in our time?  Nah, let's try something new, let's just quit, come home, and use that war cash to cut the deficit and pay down the national debt.

I'm not sure if we even know who's the enemy over there any more--

Afghan pilot opens fire inside NATO compound, killing 9

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bush League, Again

How we doing in that War on Terror?  If we've been using any intel from Gitmo, we're in deep shit!

U.S. military intelligence assessing the threat of nearly 800 men held at Guantanamo in many cases used information from a small group of captives whose accounts now appear to be questionable, according to a McClatchy analysis of a trove of secret documents from the facility.

Taste

Why do we like some foods and dislike others?  Is it all in the taste buds?  Well, they are part of taste, but there's a whole lot more involved.

Why we love some foods and hate others

More Humanitarian Assistance

Libya has revolting Arabs.  Obama came to their assitance.  They're still revolting.  They're still dying, but that's the price of being humanitarianism.  Oh, Obama called up all the Americans in Syria an suggested they get their butts some place safe, like Israel.

Hm, if it looks like civil war, sounds like a civil war, and acts like a civil war, then it may be time for another humanitarina thing.  We used to call them wars, now they are humanitarian things.  Will Syria be war humanitarian number 4?

Syrian tanks, soldiers lay siege to southern towns

GOP: The Road to Air Farce One

Bless my goobers and grits, that good ole boy, Haley won't seek the four year lease on Air Force One.  He's bowing out before he bowed in.  He does have the start on a bodacious gut, so I can understand his  difficulty with bowing.

As Mr. Barbour has decided to remain in Mississippi, which is an odd in itself, that means a tent's  open in the GOP's traveling presidential sideshow.   Or is it freak show?   Hold it, the open tent has been filled by Ross Perot,  Oops, make that Ron Paul.  Sorry, they're both kind of old, scrawny, codgers who don't make a whole of sense and they are both from Texas.   Yep, Mr. Paul can't resist, he loves running even though he knows, for him, it's over before he bows in.  At least he'll have lots of room in Haley's old tent.

How many Ross Perots can the GOP sustain?   How many people can be in a televised "debate?"  What's the record number?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The problem with education

I have a feeling the problem in education lies with those finding problems and implementing solutions.  We have had grade inflation, grades don't mean much anymore.  Now we have course title inflation.  Yes, we hype the course title.  Of course, Dick and Jane get "A's" in rigorously titled courses, but the standardized testing shows they are about the same as they've always been, "C's"in basic subjects.  Not much has gotten that much better or that much worse since 1973 in terms of what kids learn.  We have spent billions to make it better.  Maybe all we improved are the incomes of eduction consultants.

High School Classes May Be Advanced in Name Only

Retailing

Vanity sizing?  What's that?

One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10


Do take a look at the graphic.

Damn it's a GOP plot

Have you noticed gas prices have shot up?  Have you had to change your budget as a result?  Why has this happened?  Well, the GOP saw Obama's numbers go up despite high unemployment so the RNC called up some commodity traders they know (large donors).  The RNC chair, Reince Priebus asked them to get gas prices up high and get it done quickly.  They did.  Obama's numbers began to drop!

Oh, the previous paragraph was not intended to be factual, I was Kyleing you.   However, I have no doubt that either party would do so if they could.  Winning an election is far more important than the actual health and well being of our nation and our people.   Oh, gas is affecting the economy--

Economists see less-positive outlook as consumers face energy-price squeeze

Wikileaks Gitmo

I have to hand it to George W. Bush.  He has the right last name, Bush.  Everything he touched turned out to be bush league at best.  For example, the prison he built and administered in Guantanamo, yep, bush league, a joke.  Still have a shred of respect left for the Shrub?  Maybe this cure you of that--

WikiLeaks: Secret Guantanamo files show U.S. disarray


We need a whole lot more Wikileaks.  Obama ran on the right idea but abandoned it once he was inaugurated and hence running for reelection.  No secrets, no hidden nothing, it might be the only way to get a better caliber of folks to run for office.  Without message and content control we voters would have to think and act instead of just acting.    

Obama's War Number Three

It was a humanitarian thing.  Obama did a no fly zone thing to save selected lives, not all lives.  It's not a war, it just seems like one.  Obama passed command to NATO, I guess that enables him to duck responsibility for starting a war and allows him stay up in the polls.   NATO created more NO something zones.  The rebels, with all the assistance from the U.S. and NATO displayed they valor and also showed the world their inability to fight their way out of wet paper bag.  NATO sent in advisers.  No one really knows how many fake troops (mercenaries and armed State Dept employees) are in country, but unless they are in the Army they are not counted as ground troops.  Now NATO seems to have decided to establish a new NO Zone-- a No Qaddafi  Compound Zone.  It's so very humanitarian and it's still not a war.  I guess all the dead are just humanitarian collateral damage.

NATO bombards Qaddafi government complex; senators call for more aid for rebels

Obama's Bungled War

After 10 years of mismanagement in Afghanistan this seems about right.  It reflects this war so well--

Taliban digs 450 foot tunnel, frees 450+ prisoners from Kandahar jail!


Let the buck passing begin, but note, we all know where the buck really stops. Will we get a cool speech?  Could he even achieve a stalemate at this point?

War and Technology

Do unmanned drones make waging war a bit too easy? Of course they do.  Hasn't every bit of technology that we've used to kill ourselves off with made leaders more inclined to make war?  When  a ruler needed to amass guys with swords, the cannon made it a lot easier to kill the enemy.  Of course, the enemy soon bought cannons and it was back to an even fight, except the cannon dealer had this new weapon, he called it a musket.  The problem has little to do with technology, equity or war.  The problem is we seem to prefer leaders who like to make war.   We like war.  We like death.  Leaders accommodate us.  I wonder what will happen if drones become as available as AK-47s?  The only winners in the drone usage are the assortment of demented leaders and the arms merchants.  One gets to rule the other gets a lot of gold.  The rest of us just get death.  Based on current events, we all seem to be very happy.

Are drones a technological tipping point in warfare?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mexico, Drugs and Us

Now the drug lords are using sledgehammers to kill people.  Sledgehammers!  I guess it saves on ammunition costs.  The violence in Mexico originates in the United States.  The U.S. will not legalize drugs, especially pot.  For whatever reason, millions of Americans use drugs. Where there is a need, someone will appear to fill that need for a price.  They have.  If the drugs were legalized, it would just be another industry and Mexico would not have as much violence.  Oh, we sustain the violence in other ways.  Where do you think the bad guys buy all there guns, ammo, and sledgehammers?  Yep right here in the USA.  We're the hardware dealer to the world.

Mass graves in Mexico reveal new levels of savagery

Myths

Five myths about church and state in America

Life is odd enough without best sellers

Would you base your life on a novel?  Would you derive a way of life from fiction?  Some people do.  Some people live according to fantasies.   Does it surprise you to realize Rep. Paul Ryan reads Ayn Rand's novels and has found truth?  That's juvenile and so sad.

Oh, the troops in Afghanistan, at least the commanders in the ground, have pulled a Ryan, they've found truth in fiction.  Well, it was supposed to be true, but the author seems to have been making it all a better story by fabricating tales which is a nice way of saying he lied.  Is that a way to live?  To wage war?  I guess so, people use the Bible and Koran, so why not any thing at all, does truth mean anything?

How the U.S. military fell in love with ‘Three Cups of Tea’



We have so botched the Afghan War, it's now run from the best seller list in the NYT?  End the war, come home, shrink the military in size, and cut the DoD budget.  That will help us put our fiscal house in order.

Our economy

You would have to be a just awakened Rip Van Winkle to not know we have a serious fiscal problem in our various government economies.   The federal government, for example, has large deficits, borrows too much and has accumulated a mind boggling debt.

Of course, pols have been talking about the problem for years if not decades.  The problem persists and get worse every year.  We, the voters, watch TV, go to rallies, listen to speeches, and such.  Often the speakers we listen to are elected pols, appointees or members of the chattering opinion class.  Here's my question, given the track record of the speakers, especially our beloved pols, why do we listen to any of them at all?  Are we that stupid?  It seems we listen, select A or B, vote accordingly, then are amazed that it gets worse for us (but not for them).  Do we need to add a C, D, and E?

Obama and His Presidency

Here's a thought.  Imagine if the candidate Obama had actually become President Obama.  If he had continued to talk and act as he did during the campaign instead of running for reelection from day one, then I think he'd be a shoo-in against anyone.  Instead he dropped the supporters he has to have, voters, and played politics as usual.  Now he's lost some voters, but has lots of campaign cash.  If the candidate had stepped into office and not changed, what do you think American life would be like today?  Better?  Worse?  About the same?