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October 12, 2006

Comments

thanks to Mimikatz for inspiring this.

Somewhere within the last couple of hours I read that Progress for America, the folks who bankrolled the Swift Boat ads and have the "They want to kill you" ad this cycle is gearing up for a $25 mil ad buy. Harold Ickes' September Fund is trying to counter, They have a neat ad with people asking questions of a bush. The tag line is something like "You're about as likely to get answers from this bush as . . . this Bush. Vote for a change."

I'll look for links.

I still think it comes down to GOTV, People are turning off/tuning out the ads.

Here's the post about Progress for America, and it is $35-40 mil they supposedly have raised.

Here's the September Fund ad, courtesy of Aravosis.

It is much funnier and sunnier than the "They want to kill you" ad. PFA's "Ashley's story" in 2004 was a tearjerker, but I don't think it would work now. Nor do I think all the 9/11 porn will work with anyone but Bushbots. The dark ads are just creepy, but then these are creepy people.

The problem for the Democrats is what is the plan? What is the strategy (national and worldwide)? It is obvious that they are divided and timid except in one area:

To point at the problems of the Republicans? Only this?

Only this...

You've been indoctrinated, Jodi. You think 'Democrat' is a dirty word and are ready to believe the worst about weakness and lack of planning.

First of all, with a president this bad, opposing GOP policy is a feature not a bug. Secondly, taking us back to the sane balance of the Clinton administration (last concrete proof of what Dems do when they are in power) is a good thing.

To avoid specifics this close to an election with the GOP attack machine primed and ready is a sign of wisdom and not weakness. What Dems offer is a process (it's called planning). I'd rather have someone I know will actually plan than have a slick sound bite that is useless for governing (see immigration).

I wouldn't discount the herd mentality that is influenced not so much by facts but by going with the herd reflected by downturned polls. Also, strangely I watched Oprah last night and she ran a whole show on the lies in govt with an interactive audience and Frank Rich there promoting his new book. Her final words of advice to her listeners, as she held up a copy of a tabloid with an inaccurate story about her and then threw it down, was to take responsibility to ferret out the truth yourself. Those soccer moms and value voters were listening big time.

Read more about "Terror Management Theory" and how it has been incorporated into the GOP political strategy...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

DemFromCT,

I watch carefully both the Democrats and the Republicans leadership. Typically both stink.

The Republicans generally had the edge I thought.

Then the Republicans betrayed their conservative roots, with a have your war, and eat your cake policy. And an unmitigated disaster so far in Iraq. Now there can still be some good that comes from Iraq, but the cost will be too high no matter.

I have watched the Democrats locally and nationally, and they are bogged down in the mire of their base.

Let me restate that.
I prefer the Republican base to the Democratic base,
but George Bush has led the Republicans down the path of destruction, literally and figuratively.

Over on the Democratic side, who is there? Hillary? Ol' Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Hillary? Ol' I don't stand by your man Hillary, but wait, maybe I will stand by my man Hillary.

I admit I only vaguely remember the Clinton years and mainly toward the end because I was in school most of them, but I read well and very quickly so I think I have digested them.
Bill Clinton is a laugh.

Al Gore could get very stupid.
George Bush has been a disaster, but maybe 911 led him down that path.
Kerry? I voted for him but only as a protest. I should have stuck to Mickey Mouse.

The truth is I guess the people that have gotten into politics on both sides of the aisle are just greedy selfserving people.

But I do like in general the Republican base more than the Democratic base, and that is what the Democrats are fighting in the 2006 election.

Base VALUES!

Jodi:
'But I do like in general the Republican base more than the Democratic base, and that is what the Democrats are fighting in the 2006 election.

'Base VALUES!'

Base as in foundation, or base as in low moral standards?

Jodi,

If you admit that you "only vaguely remember" Clinton, and think that Gore can be summed up as "stupid", and think that the quality of the leadership of both parties can be dismissed as equal simply by saying that they "both stink", then how do you justify any conclusions you post? Ignorance maybe bliss for you -- but for your readers, it does not make your opinions worthy of debate.

And what on earth does "bogged down in the mire of their base" mean? Are not parties supposed to represent their base? Isn't that why they have a base in the first place? As a member of the Democratic base, I want to support a party that represents my views about what is important in the world, as opposed to one that represents only the minority interests of rich people, big business owners, and American business worldwide. Granted, the Dems are the lesser of two evils, in that neither party is particularly liberal, but at least it's pretty clear which party is the more liberal, and has the most interest in promoting fairness in society.

Do you own a big business? Are you very rich? If so, just admit that that's why you post these knee-jerk pro-Republican reactions. But if not, what values do you care about, and what is it about the Republican spin that prevents you from seeing how you are being manipulated to support agendas that do not actually benefit you?

Jodi must be very young to have missed most of the Clinton era. Makes me feel so wise and old, given that I remember listening to FDR Fireside Chats during World War II, and actually making the X on the 1944 ballot for my mother when she went to vote -- for FDR, and against Bricker. But the memory about politics that I believe defines the second half of the 20th Century is sitting in front of the big Radio with my Dad in the summer of 1948, listening to Hubert Humphrey deliver the "Sunshine Speech", and then the roll call of the states on the strong Civil Rights Plank -- which passed, and caused Strom Thurmond and many other Dixiecrats to walk out of the 48 convention. Back in those days the Racists and Segregationists of the South (Bilbo, Russell, Eastland and others) were considered the "Base" of the Democratic Party, and they were intellectually and morally as rotten as they come. The Democratic Party had problems with it, but they actually voted to tell them to go to hell. J. Edgar Hoover and McCarthy tried to make Democratic positions on Race and Segregation "Un-American" but they did not prevail in the end. And so once the Democrats and Progressive Republicans had a coalition in the 1960's they did the deed -- they removed all legitimacy from any legally sanctioned form of Segregation and Discrimination. So the Republicans finally got the Dixiecrats, and all they stand for -- and they are welcome to them. We certainly don't want them back as any kind of base. They are gone, and we are still washing where they stood or sat with strong bleach.

At least the Gays and Lesbians in the Democratic party are out. This is actually the smart move because it eliminates the possibility of blackmail around the secrecy of identity. The Republicans would not have some of the problems they currently have if they had not involved themselves with closet types, and then executed in public a homophobic posture, complete with fear of Gay marriage, or indeed Gay legitimacy. It is when you set yourself up for Hypocrisy claims vis a vis your homophobic base that you run into the contemporary type problem.

I had a problem today -- the need to get work done on my ancient car's brakes, and the guy who just bought the local brake garage is from Somalia, and he just got his citizenship about six months ago. Now my car has three bumper stickers, I keep my Wellstone sticker up and well pasted down. And I have a few more if that one gets ripped. Then I have a DFL sticker celebrating the right of women to vote, and I have a Klobuchar sticker. He could not have missed them while re-doing my brake lines. Anyhow, he stayed late to finish the job, and while I was paying up, we talked politics. He can't wait to vote, and he asked me about why the Wellstone Sticker was still in place -- so we got into a long discussion, about the DFL, about voting, and who he was picking out to vote for. Since he lives outside the 5th District, he can't vote for our African American Muslim, Keith Ellison -- but he goes to all the rallies because he finds it unbelieveable that an American Party would endorse him. He will vote I think, a straight DFL ticket, having individually picked over them, simply because he thought it important to review all the party endorsements. Eventually he shook his head and said -- no Somali thought coming to America was about voting, and voting for women -- but now I own a business, and I plan to vote for women -- women DFL'ers. That is a new part of our base, believe me. I prefer a hard working Somali car repair guy any day as part of our now and future base to any collection of old time segregationists. Anyhow have car back, and the brakes seem swell.

I also have to wonder at folk who seemingly don't comprehend Affirmative Action. It is a very very small price to pay for having appropriated the labor of slaves, and short changed African Americans under a century of Jim Crow laws, to make it policy to make up for the huge sins of the past. Up to the last year such policy was allowable, the University of Minnesota had quotas -- for both the law and medical schools. In an Entering Class, No more than 10% Jewish, and 2 women and 2 Blacks in each entering professional class. (about 90 in Medicine, about 120 in Law School.) It was only in 1966 that they changed it, and went to a modified merit system, that also looked at the legal and medical needs of underserved communities. What was all that justified about the old system? -- what is so wrong about the new one? Today, slightly more than half of entering classes in both professional schools are women -- including a number of minority women. But the classes are larger, so WASPish white men still have their chance. And yes, this is something Democrats brought about.

cymro,

I answered you in detail but Typepad (or something) killed me again.

Anyway again, but much, much briefer

No big business. Not very rich. I won't mislead though. I do well.

Each party gets bogged down in the mire of the extreme edges of their core beliefs.

Then we get the leaders who are "all to human" in their weaknesses.

I try to look at strengths and weaknesses of either side.

Sara,

that history was amazing.
First I hope your car is safe now. That is the important thing.

A friend that is a genius in Electronics has a collection of old radios. The big wooden ones, with the cloth grills. One of them that he couldn't make the parts or get them, he has adapted to receive both the satellite radio stations.
He has two juke boxes too with 45 RPM records. I gave him a dozen records my mom had in the basment. One was the Warren Storm original about a Prisoner Song. She had bought a bunch of used Juke Box records from the Juke Box guy that was changing a machine at the beach for a quarter each. My friend was estatic.

Sara, I would say about Affirmative Action that if intensive, year round education, tutoring, whatever it takes is required to help bring people up to their potential, then it should be done.

Start at 2 years old. 365 days a years. Let people start college at 25. OK.

But when they enter a Professional Program or Graduate Program then it should be on a Merit basis.

I understand your thoughts of making up for the past, but I don't think that inserting a "weak ill prepared person" into a program, where then a weak person will graduate serves any good.

If a weak person that had disadvantage can be brought up to speed with an additional year or two of perparation, and then suceed with the GRE or the Law or Medical school Exam, then fine. But if they can't, do we really want to first have to "carry" that person through the school, and then graduate a "weaker" type Scientist, or Lawyer, or Doctor.

I sure don't want to got to a Doctor that isn't up to "standard."

Essentially all the Preparation that is needed, and then only Merit!

Let us not make a mockery of our professions, of our schools, of our standards.

My brothers have told me how the standards for men and women in the armed forces are different.
Granted that some women are stronger than some men.
But I am talking about different standards for the sexes to make the military "equal" for all. Bullets don't differentiate, and Captors do.

Not all women are "GI Janes." (By the way, I love that 97 movie.) I told my mom and brothers that I was thinking about becoming a Seal, and mom laughed and said that she would have my brothers sit on my head in the surf until I came to my senses.

My mom is always right. :)

Jodi:
Each party gets bogged down in the mire of the extreme edges of their core beliefs.

In my opinion, the right hand edge of the Democratic Party is indistinguishable from the Republicans (Joe Lieberman, for example), so I somehow doubt you are referring to that "edge" as the problem with Democrats. On the other hand, in my view those on the left hand edge are more attractive the closer they approach the standards set by formet Democratic candidates for President such as Walter Modale or George McGovern, or President Carter.

So the idea of the party being "mired" in the "extreme edges" of their core beliefs makes no sense at all to me, and since you do not explain what you mean, it is a meaningless collection of words.

Cymro,

this is where each party's base core values conflict with each other strongly in order

Democratic core beliefs (Democratic base core beliefs.)
Homosexual Marriage, Affirmative Action, Abortion, Anti-School/Public Prayer, Anti-Religious reference in Public Places, Only Public Schools, ...


Republican core beliefs (Republican base core beliefs.)
Anti-Homosexual Marriage, Anti-Affirmative Action, Anti-Abortion, School/Public Prayer, Religious reference (Memorials, etc.)in Public Places, Private/Religious Schools, ...

Jodi, I note you make no economic qualities points in your characterization, and quite frankly, this is the core difference between the parties.

Democrats are really more about spreading the opportunity to do reasonably well through government actions, such as strong support for schools, mass transit, decent housing, and much else -- simply because the availabilty of these things to the true working class is life enhancing. Similarly things such as wages and hours legislation, support for union organization, and above all, a minimum wage that is actually a liveable wage, and access to health care -- all these things are Democratic issues that define the Democratic Party Base. Opposition to them defines a good part of the Republican Base.

Social Security in 1935, the expansion of coverage in 1956 (led by LBJ) and Medicare and Medicade -- these are all core Democratic accomplishments. Firm support for them remains high, even with Bush's efforts to destroy them. They are base issues, better than 60%, and they define the Democratic Base.

Affirmative Action is also essentially economic -- in the case of professional schools, they are about the first rung on the ladder to professional status and the economic status that provides. But they are also about whether minority communities have access to these services. I too believe in merit, but I don't think a general education test such as the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) says all that much as a predictor of success in a profession. The system pre 1966 (when the affirmative action rules of the 1964 Civil Rights Act took effect) was hardly based on merit, and it was not about comprehensively delivering services across the community.

I should add that it has been Republican doctrine over the past couple of decades to not expand the slots in Medical Education, but instead to issue visas to Foreign Trained doctors (and nurses) to make up the US defecit. Essentially that means South Africa, India and Pakistan pay for the training through Medical School, the US offers jobs and advanced training, and we skim off the best to remain. Now tell me how that is 1) fair to the poor countries that need the professionals, pay for their training, and then watch them leave? 2) How do you practice "merit" when you do not control the selection process in foreign medical schools -- many of which we know accept under the table bribes for a place in an entering class. Did you know that we are fast approaching having about 20% of our Medical Personnel foreign trained in part?

Sara,

you make good points.
Let us just look at Doctors. If you want to go to grad school or law school, and are living and breathing, you can pretty well find one.

My question is if there are 10 USA applicants for a single position in a USA medical school, then shouldn't we take the top rated applicant?

If you don't think the test is ok, then what criteria do you use.
Grades at a Good school? That is fine, but schools vary in their grading systems.

A single test that everyone has to take is actually fairer, though other criteria are useful also.
Now the argument may be that some students are prepared more for the test because they get extra tutoring, or their daddy got them in a school that is very good at preparing for the big Test. I know a small school that is like that.

But the point I would like to make is that the color or gender or other characteristics of the applicant besides his/her ability shouldn't be a factor.

Reverse discrimination is wrong too Sara.

And that despite all the tricky phrases, and well spoken reasons, is what affirmative action is.

By the way, did you see my follow up to the Catholic discussion where I said I was trained but never got to be an Altar Girl. Now that was blatant discrimination? But if they had demanded that I serve only because I was a girl, then that would have been wrong also. I did a lot better than the boys in my class, but none of us served because the Priests decided to buck the Bishop and have no servers rather than discriminate. Out of 8, (2 girls, 6 boys) I was only behind one boy in being disappointed. That boy was going to be a priest, but a petite blonde was too much of an attraction. They have a little boy now.

:)

"Reverse discrimination is wrong too Sara.

And that despite all the tricky phrases, and well spoken reasons, is what affirmative action is."

No it is not reverse discrimination.

It is simply a statement that prior to the date Segregation and Discrimination were made illegal in 1964 in many areas, the impact was to deny a significant part of our population both opportunity and access to services. It became National policy to change that. Affirmative Action is a whole basket of actions designed to change the profile that resulted from Discrimination and legal Segregation.

Medical Schools (and other professional schools) had the option of growing so as to accomodate previously excluded applicants based on Race, Gender, Religion, Nationality and the like. Many did. And yes, there are costs to that, but there are also costs to having a medically underserved community in our midst. On many levels, Affirmative Action is about inclusion, and the hard facts of inclusion.

Have you ever looked at the want-ads in a pre-July 1964 Newspaper? Jobs were listed by race and gender. White Males, White Females, Negro Males, and Negro Females. Go to the library and look at an example sometime. Negro Males is filled up with Janitor Jobs, Negro Females with Maid's jobs. White Males, salesperson and management jobs -- skilled workers, and White Females, Secretarial and Business machine operators plus retail clerks. Without laws against it -- and without visible evidence of change, we would still be slotting people into jobs by race and gender. Do you think it would change voluntarily? -- If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I'll sell. It changed because people marched and boycotted, went to DC to Lobby, and otherwise made the need for change very apparent. And once the laws were changed, then those who did not respect the law -- or tried to get around it, ended up getting sued.

Pre 1964 a major manufacturer such as NCR, (National Cash Register) could offer contracts to high school leavers (16 year old's) for a 5 year package that would result in their being a tool and die maker at the end of the apprenticeship, a job then likely to be a solid family income job for 40 years. (they were not predicting the chip). Along with the job, one got health insurance, pension and membership in the Golf Club and Swimming and Boating center. The offer was restricted to whites, and they worked the two daytime shifts. At night they had another shift, all black, no special training, no pension, no health insurance, only allowed into the Golf and Swimming clubs one day a year. They cleaned the factory, and did some minor service on machines. But as with the white offer the target was 16 year olds dropping out of High School. And this was not the South, it was Ohio. Of course the pay for the night shift was considerably lower and had very few steps for advancement compared to the White offers. Since NCR did a good deal of Government work (early computers for the military intelligence and OSS/CIA,) after 1964 they had 6 months to begin changes, register their plan with the Department of Labor, and be audited by DOD every six months. White dropouts did not "own" those skilled jobs anymore than Black dropouts owned the clean-up shift. Affirmative Action was about planning and executing the change. Of course it all went nuts when they put all the mechanical functions on a chip, and the old lever and spring Cash Registers were retired to museums. In fact they tore the whole factory down in the late 1970's -- four by four large city blocks covered with 5 story factory buildings, all linked with overhead cable transports that "flew" cash registers from one building to another for assembly.

Multiply that by just thousands of workplaces around the country, South and North, and you get an idea of the scope of what had to change -- it was at that level of economic activity and opportunity as well as the post BA level professional opportunity.

We had one congresscritter here in Minnesota who was rated as against the Civil Rights Bill of 64 -- Al Quie, who later was Governor and also chaired the National Prayer Breakfast thing. He had a problem with Black Telephone installers. He did not think white women should have to let a Black Phoneman into their house -- I suppose because he had a profound fear of rape or something, but he was going to vote against the bill because he could not get this exception. Because my job was to target the religious lobby for Civil Rights on the likely opponents, I eventually ended up with him getting daily visits from Lutheran Pastors (he was Lutheran) telling him how wrong he was. Eventually he came around, but it took lots and lots of Lutheran Prayer. I describe this just to suggest how totally irrational much of the racism was then, and probably now in places. In those days Ma Bell paid installers good wages, pensions, they had a union contract that was supurb, Health Care -- the whole package. Why should young black men -- of for that matter white and black women -- be unable to take these jobs? Of course today we install our own phones, and when I had my DSL line put in, yes, it was a Black Tech who came out to untangle the problem. The Cable Guy who put in the digital cable line was from Central America. I think those jobs pay significantly above minimum wage, and one can probably support a family on them. And that is the point. The whole measure of the success of Affirmative Action is when you actually see diversity in these kinds of jobs. It is even better when you visit a firm and see the same thing in the Management Offices. But to get to this point it took a whole lot of protest, marching, and yes the deaths at the hands of Clansmen of some of the advocates. Jodi, you seem to have missed totally any serious study of this era in American History.


Jodi, by focusing as you do on a small number of social policies, you misunderstand (or misrepresent) the essential difference between the parties. From Wikipedia:

Democratic Party -- Ideological Base:
The Party advocates most civil liberties, social freedoms, equal rights, equal opportunity, and a free enterprise system tempered by government intervention. The Party believes that government should play a role in alleviating poverty and social injustice, even if that means a larger role for government and progressive taxation to pay for social services.

Democratic Party -- Current Ideology:
The Republican Party is the more socially conservative and economically libertarian of the two major parties, and has closer ties to both Wall Street (large corporations) and Main Street (locally owned businesses) than do the Democrats. Republicans have a strong belief in personal responsibility, limited government, and corporate entrepreneurship.

The (Democratic Party) advocates most civil liberties, social freedoms, equal rights, equal opportunity, and a free enterprise system tempered by government intervention. The Party believes that government should play a role in alleviating poverty and social injustice, even if that means a larger role for government and progressive taxation to pay for social services.

The Republican Party is the more socially conservative and economically libertarian of the two major parties, and has closer ties to both Wall Street (large corporations) and Main Street (locally owned businesses) than do the Democrats. Republicans have a strong belief in personal responsibility, limited government, and corporate entrepreneurship

\\\

Cymro,

I think that I believe in all the above though I would like to check more into what Libertarian Economics means.

Now the problems that most of the disturbance and bickering is about is in how those marvelous ideas above are interpreted. (i.e. "The devil is in the details.")

And there we come to those items I have previously mentioned that are so divisive.

The other problem is that our system allows outsiders/lobbyist/fringe groups to greatly influence our legislators with the ability to give TV money to them.

I would like to see ALL POLITICAL ADS ON TV bought and paid for by the Government. No other ads than those would be allowed. Each candidate would get an equal share. Of course there might be a threshold where a cadidate would have to get a certain number of voters to sign a petition for him.

This would cost the Government/taxpayers some money, but the money they would save would be 10 fold or greater.

Sara,

I can see your strong belief in these ideas.

I read one interesting article about the vestiges of the Civil Rights movement.

It occured with Justice Thurgood Marshall.

In California, in a city or country there, a group of people had a law passed that said that a man could not stand in the street or on a corner for long times each day passing to bypassers or people in cars "unseen things" or "folded up packets."

He would not be charged with drug dealing which is what these men were doing but would be charged with loitering if he did not "move along" after being warned.

These men actually were caught from time to time by "stings" selling drugs out there. Those pices of paper or packets were either money or drugs.

Now Justice Thurgood Marshall said when the law was struck down, and he had lobbied strongly for the strike, that it smacks of Jim Crowism which was used against black people in the older times.

The people of the town (and particularly the neighborhood) where this had happened said that Thrurgood Marshall was out of touch. He was stuck in the past.

Those people were all black in that neghborhood, Sara. They were mothers trying to protect their children by getting drug dealers off the street. They wanted a loitering law.

Thurgood Marshall said no.

And by the way the law was very specific about the handing back and forth of "unseen" objects. The men would have been fine just standing there and talking to people or whatever. Or smoking or singing, or whatever.

1964 is a long time ago.

Discrimination is wrong. To say affirmative action is not Discrimination is also wrong.

Jodi,
I don't understand how you can claim to believe in "all the above" ideologies, when they involve inherently opposing positions.

Regarding the role of government, the Democratic position that "government should play a role in alleviating poverty and social injustice, even if that means a larger role for government and progressive taxation to pay for social services" is in opposition to the Republican position favoring "limited government".

Regarding social issues, Democratic support for "social freedoms" tends to be opposed by a more "socially conservative" Republican stance. Hence the divisions over the particular social issues you listed yourself. These are not simply details, as you claim; they reflect core ideological differences in the positions of the parties.

Your point about TV ads is a reasonable one, and I agree with your intent to reduce the influence of lobbyist money. But as you say, this is "(an)other problem," and unrelated to my point that you should understand the essential differences between the parties.

Jodi, Let's begin this post with an odd fact, I knew Thurgood Marshall while I was growing up in the 1940's. Good friends of my family did cases with him. When he came to town, he stayed in friends homes rather than the third rate hotels that would allow him, and around his visits we had potluck dinners and then meetings. Those cases lead up to his major Supreme Court Cases in the early 1950's -- the University of Maryland case regarding its refusal to admit black students to its Law School, and then Brown v. Board, which required lower court trial of many cases. You have left something quite vital out of your saga, namely evidence the proves the assumption. Look -- if the police are called because someone is apparently selling drugs on a corner, they have quite legitimate ways of investigating. For instance they can send in an undercover to make a buy. Once they accomplish that, they have great evidence for a prosecution. You don't arrest anyone based on an assumption, you do it on evidence, no matter what the color of skin of the person making the assumption. Marshall would have supported prosecution based on hard evidence, but he had no truck with unvalidated assumptions.

Now, reality is that in Black Neighborhoods people who make complaints are discounted, because they have none or very limited power. Cops frequently flush dealers from one neighborhood to another and never really deal with the problem. In all too many cases, Cops protect dealers who pay off for their distribution network, otherwise known as a gang. To get the cops to really clear a neighborhood it takes strong organization. I know long time organizers who know how to do this without getting themselves killed, but it is a rare skill.

But back to Thurgood Marshall. Did you know he opposed Affirmative Action during the pre-1964 bill hearings. His position was that Congress should authorize the appointment of a large number of Federal District Judges who would be given injunctive relief powers. If any dispute were to arise over labor discrimination, He wanted the Judge to be able to put injunctive relief in place, forbiding any hiring for all jobs in that classification by that firm until a full trial had been held, and appealed. This would have stopped cold many businesses, and that was his intent. He believed if you could place injunctions against enough employers and inforce them, you would not need Affirmative Action.

During the meetings of the Leadership Conference which went on while all the hearings in 63-64 were underway, he advocated his position in tough terms. In the end, about 120 of the votes in the House we needed to pass the legislation were essentially controlled by George Meany, and he understood Marshall's interest in injunctions as also likely to impact his AFL hiring halls, and Meany didn't want anyone messing with his hiring halls. So the Leadership Conference, not wanting a show-down with Meany, ended up adopting Affirmative Action as their preferred approach, in part because of Meany's threat to pull his 120 controlled votes in the House. Meany and Walter Reuther almost came to a fist-a-cuffs over the matter in the midst of a Leadership Conference meeting -- but things later cooled down. And Marshall went along, and once he was on the court he always backed the law as passed by Congress in this respect.

One thing that was done very carefully in writing the 1964 civil Rights law with reference to Affirmative Action was to base it in previous law that had long since had court review. Word for word, Affirmative Action tracks the law of Veteran's Preference, which in various forms has existed since the Revolutionary War. The Legislative History contains this argument, and footnotes to the briefs on the first tests of Affirmative Action make it clear that if the court is to overrule AA, it also has to abolish Vet Preference at the federal and state level. You might want to read some of Marshall's opinions on this matter -- he made much use of these precidents. Legally Affirmative Action is locked at the hip with Vet's Preference -- and everytime we have a war we make elegiable more folk who can call on the legal doctrine of Veteran's Preference.

By the way, all the people and most of their children who were part of all this -- they are all part of the Democratic Base. Of course it squabbles, and figures such as Meany and Reuther come to near body blows, but it is all a part of working out what Jefferson meant in the Declaration of Independence, when he asserted, "All Men are Created Equal" -- we still have many debates to go before we understand and realize that and how it is to be practiced.

Cymro,

it is in the details. And yes interpretation and actual deeds determine what a few words in a description mean at any one time and place.

Let us look at "limited government" just a little on substance abuse.

(I will be brief because I have to leave shortly. This is just a break.)

Limited government could mean little or no government. Or it could mean that the government doesn't come into your bedroom.

Does it mean that you can drink, smoke, and inject what you want in your body. No, I think not, and you would agree, I am sure.
Does it mean that smoking tobacco and drinkng alcohol is legal? Sometimes it doesn't and sometimes it does. This varies.
Does it mean you can use a substance to commit sucide? Sometimes, some places, other places no. Does it mean you can assist someone to commit suicide with a substance, well, there again it might, or maybe not.
And we can go on and on, and that is just the very tip of substance abuse.

Take Rush Limbaugh. The sheriff takes his viagra which was found as he returns to this country on a private plane. They see the bottle doesn't have his name and so refer it to the FL Attorney General because they are not clear on what to do. Well everything was quite legal, so eventually it is returned to him.
Now it wasn't a narcotic. One of those code somethings, or level so and sos. It was just a approved medical aid for a physical condition. But the government intervened and ALSO blasted the man's personal medical problems all over the news media.
I think that was wrong. Was Government too "unlimited" there, or is the ability of Government to keep a secret too "limited."

I think cymro that you are caught up in the sound and fury of words and ideals that you think you understand and that though promise much, really signifie very little, and mean much less until the details are clear.

I am not.

Sara,

you have been a part of history. That is obvious. You are proud of it, as well you should be.

I don't have any stories like that to relate, but I am very, very immersed in 2006.

And in 2006, I say that Affirmative action as done in those schools we have discussed was/is Reverse Descrimination, and was/is wrong.

I will agree that if someone needs help, whether they are black, brown, yellow, red, or white coming up to "standard" then we should give it to them.

I think though, that when they stand at the door of a Professional School or Graduate School, then they should stand on their own and be admitted on strictly merit.
It is obvious that if this isn't done then we will have second rate professionals.

Now there is even more to all this than what I have spoken about in the present and what you have said about the past.

There have been some interesting articles about how blacks that might have done well at Michigan Law, were given a boost up (Affirmative
Action) to get into Harvard Law, where they then competed against people that had the merit to get into Harvard without a racial "bye." These blacks (and other minorities) became discouraged and didn't do well and dropped out.
The articles said this would work all the way down the line. Someone that got a bump from "podunk U Law" into Michigan Law had the same problem.

Now anyone can cite some cases where people that were bumped up, "caught fire" and did very well. And likewise where people that seemed to have merit failed. Yes that is the human experience.
But to tamper with merit is to invite more failures, and even more so a feeling of despondency.

People do best where they have a good chance of success and don't feel overwhelmed.

People need accessable services in their communities, and in many ways the willingness of young people to prepare and then serve an underserved community vastly tops some sort of score on a qualifying exam.

I had a secretary back during the civil rights days -- a motivated woman on welfare who had already proved herself in the community, but she had dropped out of school, couldn't type worth a damn, and she had four kids with medical problems.

I structured a deal so we paid her less in cash (so she could collect the minimum from Welfare and keep the health coverage for her kids, but then I got one of our donors to pay for her to go to office practice school -- typing and office machines of those days. That didn't count against Welfare. I got her typing up to 65 WPM, and then I arranged for her to take her GED, which she passed first try. Then when the Legal Aid started to cover divorces, I got her a lawyer to get her a divorce -- the husband was worthless and he kept taking her money. Finally, she qualified to buy a house under a first time home buyer plan -- (no husband made that easy) and then I "Fired her" -- well not really, but NW Airlines was hiring for their Affirmative Action program women to work with the data processing of ticketing and all. She got that training program, and after 6 months, she was making three times what we paid her. Bye Bye Welfare. Two years later she was a supervisor, had employer paid health insurance for her kids, owned her house and car -- and she was moving ahead.

There are just thousands and thousands of people out there who used programs like this -- and some good advice as to how to use them, to get some economic stability in their lives. I am fairly certain that the lawyer she found through Legal Aid was not tops in his class and all that, but he knew how to get her a divorce, which was key to her success. (I drove her over to the State Pen to serve the papers.)

The movement was about the big stuff and it was about the little stuff, but it was the new law that allowed all sorts of people to claim their rights and I would add the responsibility of society to "make up" for past discrimination. My Secretary and I were of the same generation and from the same state -- a Northern State. I got all kinds of help in applying to and getting admitted to the college of my choice. She didn't even get someone to encourage her to finish High School.

Sara,

I do have an answer for that, but it is not my purpose here to change people's minds or to keep after them like a pit bull, but rather to present a viewpoint. And that I have already done.

Besides, I won't take aim at a Saint.

And indeed you were.

Jodi,
You write that interpretation and actual deeds determine what a few words in a description mean at any one time and place.

This describes well the the essential inadequacy of the so-called "arguments" you present in most of your posts. You don't seems to grasp, and you certainly don't respond to, the intended meaning of anyone else's words. Instead you seem to believe that it is sufficient to simply select a few words here and there, attach your own interpretations to them, and then offer a series of tangential and barely connected statements that don't address the real point at issue.

Therefore I am not going to waste any more space trying to discuss any point with you, because your style of discussion makes it impossible to have a coherent discussion. You seem to be more interested in filling up space here with your peculiar style of rhetoric than in actually defending any of the unsupported (and mostly unsupportable) statements you make.

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