Thursday, November 04, 2010

An undeserved victory in the US of A

And so, as expected, and predicted almost a year ago, Nancy is out of a job and the Democrats clang to the Senate (but barely and uselessly as filibuster will be fine and dandy).

And yet I am perturbed because the Republicans got understandably a victory but certainly a woefully undeserved one.  It is amazing for me, seen from here, that the GOP managed to make Obama the guilty party of a crisis that he inherited in full from a GOP administration.  I personally like Obama better today than I used to like him when he was elected: I think he got a real raw deal and if he certainly made mistakes and confused priorities it remains that the inheritance of George Bush was a heavy one to handle and it could have been much worse.  Not to mention that the GOP made anything it could to sabotage Obama's attempts at improving things.

The only silver lining I could detect was that apparently the Tea Party did not do as well as it hoped to do.  And still it did much better than what it should have done.  This odd assortment coalition used by many bigots and nut cases to hide their agenda behind fiscal restraint is once again a reincarnation of dark US pulses that occasionally surface in US politics, from both ends of the political spectrum, from the right this time around.  The Tea Party will not be an asset for the GOP.  True, it helped the needed mobilization to carry the House but it also will be dragging the GOP to the right in a dangerous way for this one, giving Obama ways to manage a reelection a la Clinton without the advantages this one had then.  As the new GOP House will be forced to deliver with a Senate against and a solid ink veto pen in the hand of Obama, the Tea Party can quickly capsize the GOP pseudo long distance liner.  We will see, lots to watch over the next few months.

But that voter anger which gives loony results happens from the left also.  And I am not talking about Venezuela here, I am talking about France where I was during some of the worst strike moments of last month (being stranded in a train for three hours, for example).  In France we have a right wing president and we have a leftist hysterical opposition which I found quite close to the Tea Party in the way it presents its arguments.  There the Socialist party of France was very willing in letting the fringe left set the agenda, just as people who should have known better in the GOP let Sarah and the gang take front stage to make Obama a muslim non american communist.

In France the Socialist Party knows very well that there is no money to keep retirement at 60.  Not even at 62 through the rather modest Sarkozy proposal.  And yet they spoke  about "other " ways to fund retirement without making concrete or serious proposals that would not jeopardize the weak economical recovery.  In the end some in the Socialist camp cowardly and irresponsibly endorsed launching high school kids to protest in the streets even though these kids are the ones that need the most the postponement of retirement age if they want to avoid over-taxation through their life time.

The parallel exists with Tea party as this one campaigned on spending cuts without saying where the cuts could come, knowing full well that at least three quarters of the US budget cannot be touched.  In the end they also had their cowardly moments such as letting muslim rumors on Obama persist.

But I may be digressing.  Even though I am not pleased as a more right wing GOP returns to the House with probably a hidden social agenda I also must admit that I am not upset at Pelosi's career being over.  Although I was very pleased when a woman became speaker I doubted her quite fast as she was too keen to follow trade unions opposition to FTA with Colombia.  Some signs are very telling of future developments.  As a result Colombia is starting to show signs of distancing from the US as Chavez is becoming less of a threat.  If this in a way is good for Latin America, it is yet another step in the loss of US leadership in the hemisphere.  As I suspected then, Pelosi's pettiness in the end has done significant damage to the US position.  The lack of vision in Pelosi shown then certainly explain some of her mistakes at home and her major loss yesterday.  I personally think she did major disservice to her president who will carry the burden of her own lackings as she will drift into oblivion in the Marin County mists.

And thus  the conclusion of the paradox of my title: the GOP gets an undeserved victory but Pelosi gets a deserved beating and Obama unfortunately pays the price.  Now it is up to him alone not to be a one term president.  Good luck with that!


  1. gatorgab6:19 AM

    OMG Daniel - where do I begin!

    First - as to your claim that the Republicans did nothing but OBSTRUCT Obama during his first 2 years...can you explain how this is possible? The Democrats had a SUPERMAJORITY in the House and Senate! They could override any filibuster of the Republicans! Obama's failures are LEGION and they are his OWN.

    Second - your claim that the Tea Party is racist is simply a copycat cry from the leftist US press. I am a card-carrying member of the Tea Party. I am Cuban and I am gay - how's that for racist and homophobic? And I strongly supported Marco Rubio from Florida for the US Senate. I suggest you keep a watch out for him in the future.

    Daniel - seriously, I am at a loss as to why you make the arguments you do here in this post or even as to why you continue to THINK the way you do. It is obviously that type of thinking that led to a Hugo Chavez for Venezuela. I guarantee you that the US Tea Party will NEVER allow something similar to happen in the USA.

    Theses types of posts are beneath your dignity and are one of the reasons I no longer stop by as frequently. In any event, I am curious to read other's comments.

  2. Obama became a more mature politician this week. He is very lucky to find himself under less pressure from his own party after the election result. Gone are Rahm Emanuel (coward) and Nancy Pelosi, two of many millstones he had around his neck. The unrealistic expectation he raised during his presidential campaign is his own fault. But Obama now has the opportunity to get realistic, and show that "yes, he can" set a reasonable agenda for government with the agreement of Congress, as the Founding Fathers intended. He owes it all to the Republicans.

  3. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Pelosi was the leader of the defeated democrats. With a different house speaker, this could have gone the other way.

  4. The Tea Party was in response to TARP under Bush, the mortgage and auto bailouts under Obama and the failed stimulus under Obama. These people are not big fans of Bush spending like a drunken sailor and certainly not Obama doubling down. The charges of racism are a means to distract from the fiscal platform of the Tea Party. As for Obama, a divided government that pulls him toward the political center is his best chance to win a second term.

  5. Barney Frank1:53 PM are such a hypocrite and a fool....your country burns and is a shit hole yet you have the audacity to criticize free and transparent elections in the US...are you fucking serious? HONEST with the people on this board that you are angered because the gay marriage loving libs got their asses kicked....but personally I dont think you have the guts to be honest.... coward !!

  6. Anonymous2:01 PM

    When the Democrats had a super majority they told the Republicans to go take a hike.

    Many times Republicans weren't even allowed into meetings.

    The Democrats spent in excess of 2 trillion, probably enough to buy Venezuela, all of it borrowed, to no effect. They nationalized health care, against the will of the majority of the people. They nationalized the car industry, and the banks, hired huge numbers of government employees.

    Now that the Democrats have had their asses handed to them, they are oh so interested in being bi partisan and working together.

    Obama and his Marxist Democrats, along with their thug enforcers would like nothing better than to turn the USA into a giant Venezuela.

    Yet Daniel thinks that the Democrats are God's gift to the USA.

    Please stay in Venezuela Daniel. It is where you belong.

  7. gatorgab

    It looks like the other 3 commenter so far got my post much better than what you did, one of them at least not agreeing with me on all points.

    I also suggest that you read my posts with occasional pauses because you obviously are missing more subtle things such as "This odd assortment coalition used by many bigots and nut cases to hide their agenda behind fiscal restraint" which says what it implies: if some in the tea party do believe genuinely in fiscal restraint some are using that agenda to hide theirs. Which "some" is the greatest chunk of the movement is another debate and will be revealed soon, as I implied in my post when the GOP has to start delivering.

    As for you not visiting my blog more often because you cannot understand how come I am not a right wing nut yet I suggest that you read again the second part about my comparison between the mind frames of the Tea Party and the socialist left in France. That is how I think, always away of any type of extremes.

    The risk here for me is that Tea Partiers like you will see me as an extreme leftie while PSF of the world see me as a pro US fascist. It is a burden I will gladly carry.

    Last but not least, if you think that I cannot think straight because of my leftist extreme, I must remind you that I predicted the likely downfall of Pelosi as early as last January. My alleged extreme left views certainly do not seem to totally cloud my judgement on evolving US politics. But for that you would need to visit my blog more often and not only when it is convenient for you, for example wishing to self congratulate for Marco Rubio's victory. Maybe you are upset I did not mention it? Did you notice I did not mention a single race? Allow me not to be sanguine about his victory because if I look at the record of Connie Mack and Ileana Ross Lethinen in freeing Cuba and protecting LatAm from the Castros' influence, well.... I ain't holding my breath.

  8. gatorgab

    I stand corrected! While I was replying to you two other people wrote the above, which are fabulous examples of the heightened debate you like. If you prefer that kind of analysis over mine, well, what else can I say? Read only the comment section?

  9. Brett2:21 PM

    I personally don't really care for the Tea Party but I do agree with JSB's comments above. After 1994's midterm votes, Clinton was able to move to center and did a pretty good job. For everybody's sake I hope that Obama can do something similar.

  10. Steve2:22 PM

    The simple fact of that matter is that the collapse of the housing market, the ensuing crisis in the financial system, and the rapid contraction of the real economy can be traced to two root causes, neither of which are, strictly speaking, the handiwork of Republicans.

    Government interference in the mortgage industry is most directly to blame. Through policy initiatives like Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and subsequent revisions under the Clinton administration, the Federal government acted with a heavy hand, forcing banks and mortgage lenders to ignore prudent risk management principles and extend loans to laughably unqualified borrowers, all in the name of universal home ownership and "equality" (whatever that means). The quasi-governmental agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, faciliated this atmosphere of easy credit (and eventually put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in bailouts).

    At the same time, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates too low for too long following the 2001 recession. This only added gasoline to the fire that had been smoldering for decades. With the laxest of lax underwriting standards and artificially low interest rates, the stage was set for the meltdown.

    Republicans attempted countless times during the Bush presidency to reform the mortgage lenders and slaughter the sacred cow that is the CRA, but were blocked in all their efforts by Democrat legislators, labor unions, and "community organizations" - all of whom were benefitting financially from the status quo.

  11. Daniel, I love your analysis.

    It was summarized in a joke by Jay Leno: the US voters had to choose between the ones that created the mess or the ones that did not know how to get them out of it.

    IMHO on the health care front, Obama's mistake was that even though he had a majority, he wanted consensus. And in the US, with so many extremely strong interest groups, you cannot get consensus. He lost time, he let the interest groups poison public opinion. He should have applied his wanted reform right away and then spent his time/resources boosting the economy.

    On the economy side, he has helped Wall Street and the bankers, who where the ones that created the mess to start with..whereas families went jobless and bankrupt. He should have put more money into helping those with mortgages and less on helping those that gave the mortgages.

    Now, why the US voters believe that the solution comes from the ones that created the problem? Beats me!

    Unfortunately, when the US economy is not working we all suffer, and we do not vote...

    But I am a great admirer of the US, so I hope that, in the end, they will find their way out of this.

  12. Steve

    You do have some points but you must remember that Bush owned Congress for 6 years. So really, if Obama and the Dem Congress have no excuses, Bush and the GOP have even less of that....

  13. Bruni

    true, we should all vote for at least two senators, kind of a 51st state :)

  14. Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize in anticipation of the good work he was going to do. I can't remember anything he has done so far to deserve the prize. He didn't even close Guantanamo. Obama is less likely to make a significant contribution to peace now that he lost Congress. Should he give the money back? Or pay tax on the proceeds to reduce the effect of quantitative easing?

  15. Jsb,

    Can you explain what it is

    "The charges of racism are a means to distract from the fiscal platform of the Tea Party. "

    As far as I see, the vast vast vast majority of Tea Partiers are WASPS or simply WASs. I keep receiving time after time the comments about Obama as a Muslim/black/Hussein. It is not from all Tea Parties but a lot. Yeah, and you find the odd black or Latino among the Tea Partiers, just like you can find red-haired people in Rwanda.

    "As for Obama, a divided government that pulls him toward the political center is his best chance to win a second term."

    In what respect was he "left"?
    (I am Venezuelan, but imagine you are explaining it to a European audience)
    I basically agree so far with what Bruni wrote.

  16. Daniel,

    "You do have some points but you must remember that Bush owned Congress for 6 years. So really, if Obama and the Dem Congress have no excuses, Bush and the GOP have even less of that.."

    Well, that's slightly more nuanced than "the GOP managed to make Obama the guilty party of a crisis that he inherited in full from a GOP administration."

    Obama has run up a staggering debt
    with thus far no projections to dig us out. For his efforts, we have a net loss of 2.6 million jobs. His idiotic economic policies consist of firehosing money at his favored parasite constituencies.

    In short, while he did inherit a bad situation(he played a part in creating as a community organizer and Senator) all he has done is pour more gas on the fire while blaming Bush and everyone but himself.

  17. Nur_Ich7:16 PM

    We shouldn't fall for the distraction the "regular" parties (democrats and republicans) throw at us all the time. The Tea Party was and probably is still a huge danger for them and they try with all dirty tricks to bash them. Republicans trying to take them over (see Sarah Palin, a real NeoCon that will probably go as vice - president for John Kerry in 2012).
    If I remember right, the Tea Party was founded in 2007 by Ron Paul and there were nothing racist, but libertarian. They want to go back to the constitution from 1776, end the fed, shrink the federal gov and therefore the federal spending etc.

    Daniel, if you like Obama you should watch "The Obama Deception" and "Fall of the Republic", both for free in and Youtube. They explain very well, that Obama does not have problems to fight against Bush's legacy, but continuing what Bush did, but much worse. Who forced Obama to sign the Patriot Act again ? Did Bush put a gun to his head ? lol

    And the problems in France are not local, but global, see Greece or Germany, United States. The banks robbed all states blind, only Iceland resisted and we should take an example in them.

    And I don't know, why you're are against Tea Parties or libertarians in the states, but you hate Chavez, who does the same basically as Obama, centralizing everything to the federal gov, that should be in the hands of each state. The Tea Party (not the fake republican tea party people like Palin) is against that and they stand against both, republican and democratic party.

  18. Boludo Tejano7:23 PM

    As far as I see, the vast vast vast majority of Tea Partiers are WASPS or simply WASs..

    So much for your vision: Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics.

    Tea Party Supporters
    Non-Hispanic White 79 %
    Non-Hispanic Black 6%
    Other 15%

    All Americans
    Non-Hispanic White 75%
    Non-Hispanic Black 11%
    Other 15%

    I will say this: you are most likely no worse informed about the US than the typical CBA, NBC, ABC, or MSNBC talking heads. Check out their "diversity" while you are at it.

  19. Anonymous7:31 PM

    This election, after all is said and done was about the lack of job creation under Obama.
    No one expected him to be able to right a economy that was in shambles in 2 years.
    They did expect him to pursue policies that would lead to a lower jobless rate.
    Time after Time they assured the public that that the jobs would be forthcoming if only we would go deeper in debt to support teachers and public employee unions.
    By the end of the campaign I realized the biggest mistake of my life was not being a firefighter as evidently their jobs had to be preserved at all costs.
    Small business growth? Forget it.
    A blizzard of regulations that would make Chavez proud was enacted that will stifle it.
    He was finally left to wander around in democratic supporters backyards looking clueless, bitter and resentful.
    You do not get a seismic shift that we just witnessed off lunatics and extremists.

  20. Kepler, left in the American sense of the word. Liberal, progressive.

    The leadership among the various factions of tea party groups have repeatedly denounced racism and kicked out folks among them who are racist. If you're reasoning applied to the Stewart/Colbert rally, well, they were awfully white too.

    Bill Clinton was pulled so far toward the right that he ended welfare as we knew it and balanced a budget. He triangulated and survived. Obama will have to find away to appeal to more independents again.

    I don't understand the fuss from anonymous quarters in the comments section whenever Daniel posts something about U.S. politics. He's clearly a liberal and bully for him.

  21. Anonymous9:04 PM

    Daniel, I am a hispanic and a big supporter of the Tea Party movement. These racist charges lobbed against the Tea Party movement is baloney thrown around by leftists because they have no better arguments. Conservatism is the antidote to tyranny precisely because it represents the founding principals of the country. Conservatism is a liberty loving, pro-free market, anti-statist philosophy. I can assure you, if there were a strong Tea Party type conservative movement in Venezuela Chavez would never have come to power. Communism, fascism, socialism are all forms of statism. Conservatism is the antithesis to all these forms of statism.

    An excellent primer on Tea Party conservatism:

    What We Believe, Part 1: Small Government and Free Enterprise

    What We Believe, Part 2: The Problem with Elitism

    What We Believe, Part 3: Wealth Creation

  22. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Quite simply Daniel, the ones that created this mess were the Democrats and their leftist policies like the CRA. Daniel, let me recommend something to you. Please get the book Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. This book came out in 2009. This book very clearly states what and why conservatives believe what we believe and why conservatism opposes statism. Statism describes all the tyrannies in the world that exist in one form or another such as socialism, marxism, communism, fascism, etc. I am amazed how people can ever describe conservatism as fascism when fascism is just another form of leftist statism, which conservatives oppose. See this:

    The author that wrote Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto has his own radio show which you can listen to so you can understand the conservative perspective even more:

    Quite simply Daniel, you may not agree with everything about conservatism, but conservatism is your friend in that it opposes the statist tyrannies of the world that you so oppose as well.

  23. As an American who has lived outside of the U.S. for over twenty years, I find that there are things I no longer understand about the nuances of American politics and the thinking of the American electorate. I agree with Daniel about most of the Tea Party rhetoric, though I suspect that there is more in it than I understand. I also agree with Daniel about Pelosi (never could stand her), however, we disagree about Obama and his agenda. I find it strange that many of the things in his agenda are even on the table, much less capable of being implemented. The last time I visited, I got into it with my family over the Illegal Aliens issue. They just about tossed me out of the house for expressing the opinion that the whole issue largely scare-mongering nonsense and that what we really needed was a functional Guest Worker program and a liberalized immigration policy.

    My point is simply that if I, an American citizen, have trouble truly comprehending American politics after an absence of twenty years, how can a non-American who does not live there get it?

    Sorry Daniel. I know you mean well, and I also know that because U.S. politics affects the whole world, that everyone thinks that they have a good handle on it. But, your analysis simply lacks nuance. It is a lot more complicated than you describe.

  24. Escualidus Arrechus10:51 PM

    I personally like Obama better today than I used to like him when he was elected: I think he got a real raw deal and if he certainly made mistakes and confused priorities it remains that the inheritance of George Bush was a heavy one to handle and it could have been much worse. Not to mention that the GOP made anything it could to sabotage Obama's attempts at improving things.

    Hasn't that been Chavez's excuse all along? (Los 40 años de puntofijismo, no me dejan gobernar, etc. etc.?)

    Obama should be looking within his own party for the reasons voters spanked the Dems this time out.

    He may recover (Reagan and Clinton both suffered heavy losses in their mid-term elections and still went on to be re-elected), but he better grow a spine, and fast.


  25. Roy

    And it is a single post in a blog not devoted to US politics. That is, it represents my own opinion in as short a summary as I could write.

    However when I read some of the US press on politics, or watch folks at CNN or Fox, well, I am not doing that bad, you know.....

  26. David

    Quite simply I find it offensive that you think that I just need to read a given book to become a conservative.

  27. JSB

    I do thank you for acknowledging that even considering me a Liberal you may find interesting things to read here.

    Now, I am afraid to show my ignorance on that US idiom "bully for him". What does it mean? How is it applied?

  28. Boludo Tejano2:22 AM

    This odd assortment coalition [Tea Party] used by many bigots and nut cases to hide their agenda behind fiscal restraint is once again a reincarnation of dark US pulses that occasionally surface in US politics…

    By dark US pulses , are you referring to Congressman-elect Tim Scott ( SC-1)? Tim Scott beat Strom Thurmond’s son in the Republican primary, with 68% of the vote. If you know anything about Strom and South Carolina, that is quite an accomplishment. It would be an accomplishment if Tim Scott were white. As Tim Scott is black, it is even more of an accomplishment. In the November election, Tim Scott won 65% of the vote- in a 75% white district. Tim Scott was elected with Tea Party support.
    By dark US pulses , are you referring to Congressman-elect Allen West (FL-22)? Lt. Col. (ret.) West is “the first black Republican Congressman from Florida since a former slave served in the 1870's.” Allen West was elected with Tea Party support.
    By dark US pulses , are you referring to Governor-elect Nikki Haley of South Carolina ? Nikki Haley’s parents were Indian immigrants of the Sikh religion. Nikki Haley was elected with Tea Party support.

    It is interesting that you dislike Nancy Pelosi’s politics, yet what you say about the Tea Party is rather similar to what Nancy Pelosi has said. Food for thought.

    BTW, the acronym related to Tea Party is Taxed Enough Already? Easily found out by Googling.

  29. Anonymous2:45 AM

    Daniel, you shouldn't be offended because I don't expect you to become a conservative after you read Levin's book. The only reason I recommended the book to you was so that you can understand conservatism better and understand why conservatives believe what they believe. That was all.

    The liberals I know that I have recommend Levin's book to and read Levin's book have come out respecting conservatism even more after reading the book. Now they are still liberals, but they have a better understanding of conservatism and a appreciation for it even though they may still have disagreements with it.

  30. Boludo Tejano3:20 AM

    David. Quite simply I find it offensive that you think that I just need to read a given book to become a conservative.
    What is the point of your getting into a hissy fit when David simply suggested that you read a book? My interpretation was that David was suggesting that you read it to understand a certain point of view. It is evident that you don’t understand where people here are coming from. Dark impulses, indeed.

    In very few instances does one change one's political or religious point of view from reading a book. A book I read in Venezuela, Del Buen Salvaje al Buen Revolucionario by Carlos Rangel, changed my political point of view. That is, the book had a definite influence on my becoming a wingnut. At the same time, had I read the book before I had lived and worked in Latin America, the book would not have resonated with me. No one suggested that I read it.

    Do you not find it interesting that of the Amis/Americans/Yanks/Gringos who comment here are mostly of the wingnut persuasion? Sounds as if your friends the libs don’t care about Venezuela as much as the wingnuts. Food for thought.

    Certainly there are Tea Party people and/or conservatives who are less than salubrious, less than knowledgeable, less than balanced. What libs and the mainstream media forget – or never realize- is that the same description applies to many prominent politicians in the Democratic Party, who already hold office. I repeat: who already hold office.

    Moreover, there is a concerted effort on the part of libs and the MSM to pin the “racist” label on the wingnut side of the aisle.You disagree with a lib these days, don't be surprise if you will be called a racist. Perhaps you have to live in the US to be aware of that.

    “Bully for you: good for you.
    “hissy fit” : temper tamtrum, shocked, “all bent out of shape”, “knickers in a twist”
    For slang, Google “urban dictionary.” Here is a good website for Venezuelan slang. I recommend copying/pasting its content, as it had restricted access for a while.

    Here is a trivia question. When I was in Venezuela years ago I bought, read, and lost a book by a Venezuelan female academic of Italian origin who maintained that there was a linguistic relation between Quechua and Etruscan, if you can believe it. Any clue who the author and the book could be?
    My final posting.

  31. Anonymous3:26 AM

    Oh. My. Gawd. Really? Are the ridiculous Tea Bagger/Republican comments here to be taken seriously? I would just as soon die as take you idiots at your "word". Yes, seriously. Daniel, I absolutely GET what you're saying.

  32. OK, on the perils of constitution-worship:

    The Economist
    Please read that before you start to chant slogans about the holy founding fathers.

    On that Gallup/USA TODAY poll:
    The couple of links that Gallup site showed did not show many details about their poll.

    Non-hispanic white: 79% against 75
    Non-hispanic black 6% against 11
    other same 15, 15%

    Just 4% is not significant? 6% against 11% is not either?
    Is this representative or not then? What is the standard error?
    And we know there is a big group of discontent people, from every sector, including very black, red or green people. But then look at the meetings, look at the meetings where the real active people are. If you want to see "echte arische Leute", just go to the Tea Party meetings. Probably the same racial bias in real active people is present on the other side, but then there is a big big issue with race (which we have as well here, no need to become too diffensive, here people are not called fatherland's traitors if they nag about their own country, not anymore).

    Yeah, and I know what Gallup is - the big big pollster - and I know what US Today - sigh - is.

    I wonder what those people think about spending less on war. Is there a unified voice there? I think definitely not.

    Another thing the "big Gallup" did not show was religion. Apparently that is not a focus to take into account in US American politics.
    Oh, boy...they may be big...
    (link to Communist Wikipedia, on your own risk)

    I know, Boludo, that you are an atheist. And I am a Venezuelan Belgian.

  33. To people like Kepler who scratch their heads over the idea that Obama is a Leftist:

    "Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right."

    ~Hugo Chavez, after Obama took over the car companies and fired GM's CEO Rick Wagoner.

    Just one example.

  34. Anonymous1:48 PM

    "Bully for him" means "good for him" and I would have sworn it was a British idiom!

  35. Anonymous1:53 PM

    From Tim Owen

    "in 16th century England bully was another word for sweetheart. The word gradually acquired the meaning of ‘a fine chap’ and then ‘a noisy, rough fellow’ before arriving at its present-day meaning. An unrelated use of the word bully can be found in the ironic response bully for you, as in ‘I’ve finished all my homework’. ‘Well, bully for you’."

  36. Anonymous2:19 PM

    I am a US citizen living in Honduras. I voted for Obama and then felt betrayed when he and his fellow Democrats didn't back up the Honduran Congress for taking down a Chavez wannabe.The US Law Library of Congress issued an opinion saying that what happened in Honduras was not a coup. What did Obama and his cohorts say "the ruling is wrong"! Go back and come up with another. The Dems were blinded by their new found power.
    I was sorry I had voted for him. When this was going on the expat community got together and sent thousands of letters to our congressmen. The only party that gave us any support was the Republican Party.
    Obama and the Dems caused us a lot of grief. The worst part is the morons are still harrassing Honduras.

  37. Anonymous2:36 PM

    "It is obviously that type of thinking that led to a Hugo Chavez for Venezuela. I guarantee you that the US Tea Party will NEVER allow something similar to happen in the USA."

    I'm a dual US and Venezuelan citizen, please, do not try to compare both countries ever. Whatever brought Chavez to power in Venezuela does not have anything to do with Daniel's way of thinking. I'm sure that Daniel being a self declared liberal for US standards, is considered a right wing nut in Venezuela. I'm in the same situation. US people do not know what a real leftist is.

  38. boludo

    hummm.... maybe instead i should be offended because you think i do not know what a conservative is..... even though i lived in jesse helms state for 5 years while he still was senator? or have they changed so much since then?

  39. Anonymous3:26 PM

    you are way off on this issue. It boiled down to people not wanting government to be omni-present in their lives. It is about not forgetting that it is about the individual and the US constitution. The tea party first bloodied the republicans and now it helped to bloody the democrats. in the press conference obama mention that the people are not "accustom " to this degree of government intervention. He is correct and better correct his agenda. It was not a party thing or a racist thing it was the productive people telling the leeches in the government get the hell out of my face!!

  40. Anonymous3:26 PM

    "Bully" is also closely identified with Teddy Roosevelt who used it .
    It has a uniquely American meaning of Enthusiasm and "Can Do' spirit for a person or endeavor.
    On a related note on the elections,
    The Tidal wave Down ballots may be the most significant outcome of these historic elections.
    I live in a traditionally strong Democratic city and they were completely routed. Not a single Democrat was returned to office in a large majority Hispanic city.

  41. boludo

    on a separate issue

    US libs never cared much for venezuela. eventually the thinking ones dismissed him and that was that. the few that sort of were interested they were too in hate with uribe to dare criticize openly chavez.

    but conservative support was equally ethereal when everything is said. as soon as i refused to trash obama as early as february 2009 i was quickly ignored by those blogs who followed me and linked on occasion.

    it is funny, conservatives were fine with me for not trashing bush but they could not stand me for not trashing obama. go figure.

    anyway, over the last two years i have got quite used to be a lone voice, my own cassandra version. i have grwon to enjoy it actually, to be hated from all sides around. a strange freedom feeling comes out of it.

  42. Yes, "bully for him" means good going. I have much respect for Daniel.

  43. By using the race or bigot card we attempt to shut off debate....which is the essence of political correctness.

    If a Hispanic votes for a tea party candidate does that mean he or she is betraying 'his people' ?Silly Silly.

    If independents swung over to the tea party does that mean they SUDDENLY became bigots whereas if they voted for Obama they were not?

    If a majority of people are WASPS where is it logical that they are bigots or racists?

    ILLOGICAL and untrue.One does not automatically follow the other.Just because people are against illegal immigration, does not mean that they are bigots any more than it means that Hispanics are bigots because they dislike the mostly white Tea PARTY.

    1 A large percentage of whites are not WASPS

    2.THE WHITE POPULATION is around 79 to 80 percent so they are in the majority.There will likely be a majority of whites in most parties.

    3.The percentage of a certain race in a given party does not indicate bigotry, it might indicate shared cultural values to some extent.

    4. is it wrong for white protestants or Catholics to share values? I don't think so

    5. is it wrong for blacks to share values? not at all it wrong for Hispanics to identify with their cultures or countries? Ridiculous question.

    If people were to follow the debate among politicians in other countries they could not capture the reality of the country as fast as those living in said country.Just look at the case of Chavez and international opinion.

  44. I don't care if people vote for Obama or Peter Pan. Firepigette, you are inflating the figure. It is not 79 to 80% of white. Besides, I also added initially WASPs or WASs (I know, just making it up, but you know what I mean: not only protestants).

    Look at non hispanic whites:

    Of course, it is heritage, like it's heritage the attitude you have there in the South.

    The funny thing is when people start to become histerical about "getting their country back" and saying things about the constitution which they probably did not read or understand. Pretty ludicrous trying to stick to their interpretation of a constitution from the XVIII century as if it were the Torah.
    I mean: making up new constitutions or laws is not guarantee of anything (as we well see in the pathetic case of Venezuela), but trying to reject anything because "it is not in the text our founding fathers created over 220 years ago" is just ludicrous.

    Really: read the article in The Economist. It won't turn you into a communist, you won't go to hell if you read it either.


  45. "US libs never cared much for venezuela..."

    Really? 'Cuz I know of a bunch who still hold Chavez in high regard.

    "but conservative support was equally ethereal when everything is said. as soon as i refused to trash obama as early as february 2009 i was quickly ignored by those blogs who followed me and linked on occasion."

    Sounds to me like the right-wing blogs justifiably dropped you when they found out you supported Obama; they didn't drop their support for Venezuelan freedom and contempt for Chavez.

  46. Bernanke and his fellows will keeping print money, Obama is totally clueless about economics, besides keynesians bullshit like "paradhox of thrift" and "deflation is evil".

    Not only Obama, almost every politician in the world believe in some economic fallacy debunked in the 18th century.

    Daniel, what is your opinion on Ron Paul? You praise Obama so much, but never mentions the one politician who has remained faithful to his promises and ideas for more than 30 years, even when everybody was against him.

  47. vitor roma

    "you praise obama so much"

    where? when? please, give specific quotes from my texts. and i mean things much stronger than "I kind of like obama better now than two years ago" because if this is 'so much' in your book, then we need to start discussing grammar and syntax before we can dare discuss politics.

  48. paul

    your litmus test is simply infantile because if my "support for Venezuelan freedom and contempt for Chavez" is credible only if i trash obama, then the problem is with you guys, not me.

    must i remind you that i actually write from venezuela and that i truly expose myself to risk in a way that i would like to see from many of the right wing bloggers that equate freely obama with communism?

    geeeeez! the things that i must put up with on occasion!

  49. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Daniel has obviously hit a nerve with his readership that he didn't know existed.

    Just like the democrats did last Tuesday.

    Now Daniel is busy fussing about syntax, and forgetting about content.

    Typical for a losing leftist that has not a clue.

    The last thing on earth we need is a Venezuelan communist disguised as to the right of Chavez blogger.

    I am sure that this post will deleted, jaus like my last one was.

    Hiel Stalin!

    Daniel's politics are

  50. Kepler,

    You addressed issues that were irrelevant to my comment.Below is the essence of my message:

    " By using the race or bigot card we attempt to shut off debate....which is the essence of political correctness."

    My stand on this issue of the Tea Party vs Obama/ "progressives":

    I find them both quite similar in their overly emotional stands they take when confronting the other, which is why I object strongly to both.

    HOWEVER: I would never be so presumptuous as to qualify a whole group of people as 'bigots' without them stating those ideas clearly and /or without defining or limiting the multiple meaning of this word and most of all without concrete evidence.

    For those of you who do not presently live in the US, you must realize that things change and there are a myriad of details, ideas and circumstances that are escaping your notice.It is in the present day to day interaction among people that you can actually perceive what is really going on.

    Many people still have the old image of the Martin Luther King days as defining the present situation.


    If Liberals are rejecting you( which I find quite strange),even though you are a liberal yourself, then I would ask myself:

    " what precisely is their agenda?"

  51. very last anonymous

    oh! but i will gladly publish such an example of cowardice which would perfectly fit with the leftie comments that i have been attacked with from the french leftists at agoravox.

    proves that the two extremes of intolerance and ignorance do meet in the end.

  52. "Hiel Stalin"

    What on Earth is that?
    Did you mean "heal Stalin"?
    Did you mean "Heil, Hitler"?
    Did you mean "heels tallying"?
    Did you mean "heel stalling"?
    Or just really trying to say Daniel is really-really bad like Stalin together?

    Oh, lovely! What part of US's private or public education system are you a product of?
    Would you define yourself as an average Tea Party representative?
    Please, make my day.

    Daniel, you are an undercover commie, the worst sort one can discover! My Goodness! Quelle subtilité!

  53. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Dear Kepler,

    Actualy I have an excellent education.

    One of the things I learned is that there are two types of people in this world.

    Those that read for the content of what was written, and those that read to search for spelling mistakes.

    The latter group is primarily made up of frustrated old maids who teach at grade schools.

  54. Anonymous,

    You don't get it. It goes beyond spelling mistakes. You haven't got a clue about what communism is.
    Perhaps you have the best training when it comes to engine brakes for tractors and that is commendable and a very useful stuff for the agricultural sector of Utah, but please, don't with your simplistic ideas about politics, economics and society, which seem to be taken from the classroom of a creationist priest who believes in some Manifest Destiny for the USA.

    Daniel a commie? Tsts...

  55. Anonymous, some people confuse intelligence with adherence to rules:

    a small morning message :

    some words are to heavy to take the next step,
    so they lunge into space instead-
    with the gravity of faux substance into release,
    ...instant idiocies in mid- air
    their berating tones breaking and crushing to the ground below,
    in a spray of unfortunate and embarrassing shapes

  56. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Daniel I am sorry to tell you that you sound like Sean Penn when he gives his opinion on Venezuela's current situation.

  57. very latest anonymous

    your comment is by far the dumbest one of this whole thread. in fact, it is one of the most idiotic comments we have been given to read in this blog. useless to reply.


    i received some comments where people started being really nasty between each other and violating every single rule of this comment section, so enough is enough. i erased them and decided to close this thread.


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.