Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

46 responses to “Poll: Who was the best president in the last 30 years?”

  1. Eleua

    You need to ask?

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  2. Eleua

    Not the empty headed, third generation Communist born this date in history. That’s for sure.

    Let’s go with the guy that ended a massive standoff with a belligerent nuclear power, on his terms, without getting anyone killed in the process.

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  3. Erik

    George W. Bush

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  4. Blurtman

    Reagan’s purposeful inaction during the AIDS epidemic was horrific.

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  5. ray pepper

    Its a chocolatey job and then people try to kill you to boot! Hat Tip to all of them! None of us could of done any better!!

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  6. Scotsman

    Heartening to see Obummer still has a few people fooled in the Seattle area. And Clinton? Must be some of those Weiner and Filner voters hanging out here.

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  7. Azucar

    I never understood why everyone calls the second Bush “Dubya”. The first one had a “W” in his middle name, as well. Why not call him “Junior” or something that is a little less ambiguous and more obvious who is being referred to?

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  8. Erik

    RE: Erik @ 4
    Sorry, I was thinking it said worst. Oops. Dyslexia maybe? George W. Bush is the worst. Clinton was the best other than getting a BJ, but that really doesn’t bother me. I say good for him. He was great for our economy.

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  9. Pearce Bauz

    Bill Clinton made me a lot of money because I was able to cash out of housing bubble before the bubble his policies created crashed. He also helped expose the stupidity of the feminist movement with his antics and brilliant excuse that “it’s not rape if women are trailer park trash”.
    As for our first affirmation action President, Obummer, his impotency in terms of leadership and total failure in policy is exposing the utter foolishness of putting an individual who couldn’t run a White Castle franchise in charge of the White House. Hopefully, this will bring about an end to the racist/sexist policy of affirmative action.
    Ronald Reagan, America needs you in this desperate hour. For all the libtards out there, please don’t bring up Iran Contra. What do you think Benghazi is all about?

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  10. softwarengineer

    RE: The Tim @ 1

    Yes Tim

    I would have voted Richard Nixon over those hacks.

    John Kennedy gets my vote.

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  11. Erik

    RE: Pearce Bauz @ 10
    Ronald Regan was the biggest liar of all time. He promised the american people that he would reduce the deficit. That was how he got elected. He then put america in more debt than any other president. He was likeable and charasmatic, so people loved him the whole time as he lied and cheated americans.

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  12. Mister G

    I would say Clinton because of what he accomplished. But he did it on Newt Gingrich’s terms, not his own. In other words, he had to adopt the opposing ideology in order to be successful. Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, was incredibly successful while sticking to his vision. Both guys had low points in their presidency. Clinton with the violent love Scandals and his party losing power. Reagan had Iran Contra and didn’t take AIDS seriously enough.

    Reagan was a better communicator, a more likeable person, had better hair, and has a legendary and almost mythical legacy. Bill Clinton has a trail of women that he cheated on his ugly wife with.

    GW Bush and B Obama were and have been disasters. GW Bush didn’t govern as a conservative under the banner of the GOP. Instead, he started the disasterous No Child Left Behind, Medicare D (I think that’s what it is called), and started the Iraq war. Obama passed a terrible health care law and….well he whined pretty hard when he didn’t get his way on gun control.

    I hope that after 16 straight years of mediocre (on it’s best day) and terrible (on it’s average day) of leadership in the White House, that 2016 ushers in someone better.

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  13. Erik

    RE: Mister G @ 13
    Sounds about right. Obama and GW are the worst. I would agree with that. I think GW is the worse though. Obama didn’t do anything really bad, he just didn’t do anything really good either. GW made some very bad decisions and cost this country some serious problems.

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  14. David Losh

    Ronald Reagan was a great President. He destroyed the Soviet Union without firing a shot. The economic policies Reagan put in place were what Clinton used to perform his magic.

    Reagan did say later on he regretted not getting Health Care Reform on the books; it may have helped some with the AIDS epidemic. He was bright, honest, and trustworthy.

    I also like Obama for his bold moves. We need Health Care Reform, and we have something on the books now, even as flawed as it is. We have a lot of legislation on the books that many don’t agree with, but Obama made the tough calls.

    The next President has a very difficult job to do. There is a lot to sort out.

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  15. Erik

    RE: David Losh @ 15
    Not saying he didn’t do great things. Regan and Clinton did good I think. I’m just making the point that Regan lied to America, which is a valid point.

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  16. ChrisM

    Man, time flies. I came here to vote for Carter, and had to do the math to realize its been more than 30 years!

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  17. wreckingbull

    Pretty interesting how a Nobel Peace Prize recipient is now wiping his bum with The Bill of Rights, killing children with drone strikes, and going after journalists who dare expose his crimes. Sounds like a stand up guy!

    This begs the question, what DOES he have to do in order for his dogmatic sheep to finally start questioning his ways?

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  18. Corndogs

    Whenever people start talking about Presidents there is always confusion about what they should actually get credit for. Democrats try to point to financial successes correlating to Democrat Presidents. Republicans like to consider who controlled the House and Senate, because then success favors the Republicans. The Presidents also leave a legacy in regards to who they can install in the 3rd branch of government (Supreme court judges).

    Since most people vote on party lines, the Presidents should be judged on how well he has done to further his parties agenda. Two main things he/she needs to do is lead the party in such a way that he remains in office and his party can pick up seats in the mid term election. The other thing is to appoint supreme court justices that will further the agenda. Another thing the President should do is instill confidence in the American people so that they feel free to act, thus take risks and participate in the economy.

    George HW Bush – In regards to choosing Supreme court justices he failed miserably, choosing a guy who turned out to be a liberal, George HW also got himself canned, you might blame Ross Perot for that but, these factors take Bush the elder out of the running.

    The two Presidents without daddys Obama and Clinton both understandably tried to enact agendas that undermined the American value of personal responsibility which created historic backlash allowing Republicans to sweep the house and therefore, neutralize the Democrat agenda for the remaining 6 years of their Presidencies. The last 6 years of their Presidencies followed the Republican agenda more so than the Democrat agenda and these are the years in which the economy made leaps and bounds. These two dummys are at the bottom of the pack.

    Then there’s GW the man who had it all until he lost the house and senate setting the stage for the Bill Clinton rerun… he failed to be a conservative and has set the party and the nation back potentially decades. Probably what should be expected of a guy riding daddys coat tails.

    Then there is Ronald Reagan. A man whos vision influenced the course of nations. He instilled confidence to a country that had been in a great malaise. Following his lead the country as a whole became more conservative. The supreme court has become more conservative. In short, he is the only President, to leave a legacy recognized widely by people on both sides of the aisle and he did it while keeping his pants on.

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  19. Corndogs

    RE: David Losh @ 15

    This is what Reagan had to say about socialized medicine over 50 years ago.

    http://lonelyconservative.com/2009/08/ronald-reagans-warning-about-socialized-medicine-video-and-complete-transcript/

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  20. wreckingbull

    By Corndogs @ 19:

    Since most people vote on party lines, the Presidents should be judged on how well he has done to further his parties agenda.

    In one sentence, corndogs has summed up what is wrong in Washington. Well done!

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  21. Ira Sacharoff

    Best President and most popular are not the same thing. Reagan and Clinton were the most popular. Reagan was in office with Alzheimer’s and had a 60%+ approval rating, and Clinton had been impeached and still had a 60%+ approval rating. But in terms of what they actually accomplished that benefitted the majority of Americans, neither of them is really responsible for a lot of good. Reagan had enormous deficits, Iran-Contra, and was arming the rebels in Afghanistan which later led to the Taliban taking power. During the Reagan administration funding was cut dramatically for social services, and crazy people were let out onto the street. The crack cocaine epidemic happened under Reagan’s watch. Clinton repealed Glass-Steagell, which led to the economic crash, and was very much in the pocket of extremely wealthy interests. So who is left?
    George HW Bush appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court and was deselected because of the downturn in the economy. It wasn’t his fault, and it may have been the economic policies of his predecessor Ronald Reagan that led to this downturn. I think George HW Bush was actually underrated.
    Obama? He really hasn’t done anything to distinguish himself as a great President. And a lot of bad stuff has gone on during his administration.
    So….none of the above?

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  22. David Losh

    RE: wreckingbull @ 21RE: Corndogs @ 20

    You just quoted, and posted what Reagan referred to as one of his regrets.

    We have a health care thread if you want to discuss it, but Reagan was clear, and took responsibility for a part of the AIDS epidemic. You could look at AIDS as a matter of our National Security, but it also greatly weakened our private health insurance system.

    Party lines are a ridiculous criteria for what a President does, read the Constitution.

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  23. Ron

    Bill Clinton won the pole. I’m not surprised. Even the neocons on this board disliked the Bush’s. Palin/McCain would have been the 3rd republican disaster in modern times. Who will they put up next? They’ve run everyone with a pulse out of their party at this point.

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  24. Corndogs

    RE: wreckingbull @ 21RE: David Losh @ 23 – “Party lines are a ridiculous criteria for what a President does, read the Constitution.”

    Actually, my criteria was:
    Ability to instill confidence.
    Staying Elected.
    Maintaining/gaining control in the house and senate.
    Appointing Supreme Court justices with similar ideology.
    Overall Legacy.

    Do you two ‘points of light’ have a better criteria? Or do you just pick someone that matches your ideology and has good hair? My criteria doesn’t include ideology as a component only the ability to enact the particular ideology that they were elected to enact.

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  25. goblue72

    Well, this survey at least was useful in demonstrating that 90% of the Seattle Bubble commentariat are raging wingnuts. Thanks – I can now safely ignore the comment section in the future as hot air bloviating.

    Particularly interesting the potshots at Seattle – without which city, Washington State would be Idaho. And all y’alls real estate worth a LOT less.

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  26. ira Sacharoff

    RE: goblue72 @ 26 – I have read all the comments in this thread and don’t see any potshots at, or any mention of Seattle at all. So..whatcha talkin bout?

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  27. One Eyed Man

    RE: Corndogs @ 25

    I though post 19 was good and solidly grounded even though I might disagree. But I’ve got problems with comment 25 when you said:

    “My criteria doesn’t include ideology as a component only the ability to enact the particular ideology that they were elected to enact.”

    Are you sure you’re not home towning the Kenyan based on ideology? If enacting the ideology elected to enact was your criteria and you rank Obama last, I guess you probably didn’t hear about “The Affordable Care Act or Dodd Frank, or the auto company bailouts or the stimulus bill (Economic Recovery Act), etc, etc. unless maybe you’ve succeeded in repressing those memories.

    As to maintaining control of Congress which you listed as a criteria in comment 25, Reagan lost control of the Senate after his election and lost additional seats in the House almost every election during his two terms. He also appointed both Kennedy and O’Connor to the Sup Ct, both of whom are generally considered to have been swing votes rather than hard core conservatives.

    As to “legacy”, Reagan and Kennedy are probably the two big legacy Presidents of my life time and in my opinion, both probably achieved that status by sound bite politics rather than by action (although the sound bites may well have spurred confidence and represented leadership by inciting others to action. I know that the hard core political base on each side would give more credit to the sound bite artists than I. For example, Eleua said:

    “Let’s go with the guy that ended a massive standoff with a belligerent nuclear power, on his terms, without getting anyone killed in the process.”

    Rather ironically, I thought that was Gorbachev as I assume Comrade Sacharoff probably did as well. (insert that f-ing little smiley face I hate here so as to denote the use of hyperbole).

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  28. Corndogs

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 28 – Although Reagan lost the Senate during the second mid term, The Senate had been controlled by the Democrats prior to his election since the early 1950s, the fact is he brought a Republican majority with him into office. Reagan held the Senate for 6 of the 8 years. Clinton and Obama started with Democrat majorities in both houses and lost one or both after the first two years. In the Clinton years Newt and the boys feed heavily on the legacy of Reagan when they came up with contract with America, the Republicans have had the majority of the house for every year except 4 years since 1994, Reagan created a paradigm shift it would appear to me. So I would still rate him 1st in this category, Clinton dead last, because he lost both houses. Obama second to last.

    GHWB put Souter in the seat who turned out to be a liberal, GHWB also elevated Sotomeyer who eventually ended up on the Supreme Court as well, these are unmistakeably liberals. Kennedy and O’connor are unmistakably conservatives. So I would stick with GHWB as the worst performance for these selections.

    As far as Big O getting the Affordable health care passed, he was given the house and senate majorities. This was a numbers game, yes it passed, but after the mid-terms he’s been neutralized and strongly opposed in all that he attempts to do. The stimulus bill and the auto bailout are not specifically part of the Democrat agenda, both parties were at a loss for what to do, GW was for the bailouts as well.

    So, all in all, IMO that’s how they rate.

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  29. wreckingbull

    RE: Corndogs @ 25 – I’ll keep it simple for you.

    1. Enacting policy which promotes the financial solvency of the nation.
    2. Preserving The Bill of Rights.

    Let’s work on these two, then we can worry about Terry Shiavo and Freedom Fries.

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  30. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Corndogs @ 25
    The good hair doesn’t make them a great President, but it gets them elected. That and height. The short bald guy might make a great President, but he’d never get elected.

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  31. Jonness

    Let’s see…

    Ronald Reagan: He got in by claiming Carter was going wild on the debt. His plan was to cut all the welfare and balance the budget. Unfortunately, he was just another crook who borrowed and spent money (to build the military) at an unprecedented rate. When formally questioned about selling arms to the enemy, he repeatedly stated, “I do not recall.” Afterwards, Karma kicked in, and he got horrible Alzheimer disease. Criminal rating on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being equivalent to Satan = 98.

    George H. W. Bush: This guy is a gestapo agent from an extremely wealthy family that made its fortune selling steel to the Nazi’s. He made his mark along with RayGun for the failed war on drugs. Let’s see, we can do scientific research on addiction, or we can spend a trillion dollars on locking up addicts. So read my lips… Criminal rating on a scale of 1 to 100 = 99.

    Bill Clinton: The good ol’ Okie who does more with cigars than just smoke them. When he got caught cheating on his wife, he launched some missiles at foreign targets and killed people in an attempt to get U.S. citizens to stop thinking about the cigars. The saving grace of this crook is, after robbing social security blind, he used some of the booty to pay down the National Debt. Wow, nobody ever did that before. Criminal rating on a scale of 1 to 100 = 97.

    George W. Bush: Is it a surprise that a kid with an IQ this low would come from Bush senior’s DNA? Well, take a look at Barbara Bush, and that’s all you really need to know. Sr. must have had some really low self esteem going when he made that decision. Or perhaps he was just really drunk and ended up knocking up Barbara’s Bush.Then again, some people don’t think with their brains.

    Up until Jr. hit the scene, Raygun and Sr. had set the all time spending record. So let’s give Jr. credit where credit is due, he shattered his father’s spending record. Criminal rating on a scale of 1 to 100? Normally I would say 99, but this guy is so unintelligent, I have to give him a perfect 100 in criminality.

    Barack Obama: You guys that voted for this political patsy need to start thinking deeper. The writing was on the wall from the get go. Look, I’m all for having a black president and all, but lets get a guy who has some brains about economics and finance as opposed to solely possessing the gift of gab and manipulation. Oh, and talk about spending! Is it possible that this guy spent 3x as much as W.? For that and this crazy health care entitlement spending, I have to give him an even 100 on the criminal rating.

    So that brings us to the end of my rating system. It looks like Clinton wins by a pubic hair. Actually, I’d knock another point off his criminal rating if only he were smart enough to figure out how to inhale. Well that, and he repeatedly perjured himself on the witness stand.

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  32. uwp

    Rose colored glasses certainly taint the 80’s.
    I’ll let Tim Krieder take it from here…

    The Washington Press corps was so enamored of his down-to-earth charm that they never checked his facts, but if you watched his face when it was at rest, when he wasn’t performing for anyone, you could see him for what he really was—a black-eyed, slit-mouthed, lizard-faced old son-of-a-dog. He was a bad actor, an informer for McCarthy, and a hired front man for a gang of Texas oilmen, fundamentalist dingbats, and right-wing psychotics out of Dr. Strangelove. He put a genial face on chauvanism, callousness, and greed, and made people feel good about being bigots again. He likened Central American death squads to our founding fathers and called the Taliban “freedom fighters.” His legacy includes the dismantling of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the final dirty win of Management over Labor, the outsourcing of America’s manufacturing base, the embezzlement of almost all the country’s wealth by 1% of its citizens, the scapegoating of the poor and black, the War on Drugs, the eviction of schizophrenics into the streets, AIDS, acid rain, Iran-Contra, and, let’s not forget, the corpses of two hundred forty United States Marines. He moved the center of political discourse in this country to somewhere in between Richard Nixon and Augusto Pinochet. He believed in astrology and Armageddon and didn’t know the difference between history and movies; his stories were lies and his jokes were scripted. He was the triumph of image over truth, paving the way for even more vapid spokesmodels like George W. Bush. He was, as everyone agrees, exactly what he appeared to be—nothing.

    It’s a little early to judge Obama, but when you consider the alternatives were McCain/Palin or Romney/Ryan, well, I figure he’s already a winner.

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  33. David Losh

    This is a great debate about the best President, but let’s not forget who these people ran against.

    Most thought HW Bush would follow up on Reagan’s policies, but he wanted to be his own man; he had to go, so Clinton was elected.

    After Clinton it was a choice between Al Gore, and Little George. Then the Democrats put up Kerry, but last but not least was McCain, and Palin.

    I think we have elected a long line of the only choices we had. I voted for each, and every one of these Presidents. The Bushes I’m a little sorry about, but the Democrats gave us no alternative.

    Obama beating out Hillary was a surprise, but not completely unexpected. I think given what he was handed he did a great job.

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  34. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: David Losh @ 34
    So if I want to make some money betting on who is going to get elected President, all I have to do is find out who you’re voting for?
    I try to vote my conscience, unless it looks like it’s going to be a very close election. In that case I hold my nose and vote. Otherwise, I’ll cast my vote for freakshow, third party candidates. goodspaceguy, anyone?
    The percentage of people getting elected who get my vote is pretty low.

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  35. wreckingbull

    By David Losh @ 34:

    I think we have elected a long line of the only choices we had.

    This is the actual problem, not the bad candidates. The system is rigged such that the choice is made for us before we ever go to the ballot boxes. We get a false ‘choice’ between two parties who are really just different versions of the same thing. The voting makes us feel warm and fuzzy that we are participating in democracy.

    Citizens United v. FEC assured things will be this way for a long time to come.

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  36. David Losh

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 35RE: uwp @ 33

    It’s not a contest, it’s just who will present the best interests of the American people. Party lines make no difference.

    To follow the totally negative, we couldn’t continue with HW Bush, because he made very bad mistakes. Bob Dole was a nonstarter. Al Gore we now know as a nut case, and Kerry is still ineffective.

    The McCain Palin thing I just can’t figure out if they were a side show, or just unfortunate.

    Romney brought us RomneyCare which ObamaCare was fashioned after, so WTF was that about?

    The President of the United States can direct policy by giving the State of the Union, but it’s Congress that passes laws.

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  37. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: David Losh @ 37
    It’s true that it’s congress who passes laws, but some Presidents have more influence on congress than others. Even when Obama had the majority, he seemed to want to go out of his way to reach consensus, and compromise. Lyndon Johnson would be picking them up by their ears and threatening them.

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  38. Ron

    RE: uwp @ 33

    Tim Krieder summarizes the current republican party platform which is radically different from previous platforms.

    Thanks for posting it.

    Recent republican leaders scare most people with their radical postiions (privatizing SS and Medicare, eliminating the public safety net, deregulate pretty much everything, cutting access to abortions (who hasn’t had one?), etc.) and breaking international law. The rest of the world considers GW to be a war criminal which is why he never travels abroad. They would nab him.

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  39. wreckingbull

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 38 – See also: the abuse of signing statements by both GWB and Obama.

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  40. Blurtman

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 35 – I voted for William K. Black for president in the last election and do not regret it. Not sure if goodspaceguy was native born.

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  41. doug

    Reagan—deregulation,privatization,union busting ,tariffs on chinese imports reduced from 28% to 2%
    Bush sr—Iran contra, CIA, Phony War
    Clinton—NAFTA, WTO, abolish glass steagall, Unleash the Bubble, Hillary
    Bush jr—911 inside job, another Phony War
    Obama–obummer care, sandy hook hoax, guns are evil

    they are all so bad you cant really vote for any of them but who cares
    everybody knows
    the great bubblemaker Alan Greenspan and his buddies from Goldman Sucks ran the country for most of the time

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  42. Ron

    RE: Blurtman @ 41

    Blurtman…a birther. welcome aboard! I was sure there must be at least one of you in Seattle. Most brithers hang out in the south – that intellectual hotbed for artists, musicians, educators, intellectual leaders, and other creative people.

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  43. uwp

    By Blurtman @ 41:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 35 – Not sure if goodspaceguy was native born.

    Or from planet earth.

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  44. Jonness

    By wreckingbull @ 36:

    The system is rigged such that the choice is made for us before we ever go to the ballot boxes. We get a false ‘choice’ between two parties who are really just different versions of the same thing. The voting makes us feel warm and fuzzy that we are participating in democracy.

    As Nader used to say, “It’s a rigged two party election system.”

    Voting makes people feel they serve some sort of greater purpose without having to think very much, expend much effort, or take any risk. It’s kind of like playing football using your television remote control while laying on the couch. Your biggest risk of injury comes from consuming a few too many beers and then heading for the toilet.

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  45. Blurtman

    RE: Ron @ 43 – No no no. Goodspaceguy is not Obama, but possibly a guy from space. You misunderstand my remarks.

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