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Bill Moyers Asks: Has Either Candidate Addressed The World As It Is?

(Photos by Robin Holland)

This week on THE JOURNAL, Bill Moyers asked media expert Kathleen Hall Jamieson and scholar Glenn Loury if either candidate has “addressed the world as it is.”

Loury said:

“Well, I don’t know that the world as it is can be addressed in a political campaign. Isn’t there something about the very nature of this marketing and persuasion enterprise which is the selling of a candidate that obviates dealing with the world as it really is? ... We draw lines and boundaries about what is legitimate and illegitimate to be said, and then we conduct our political conversations mindful of those boundaries. And oftentimes profoundly important, substantive matters get left by the wayside.”

Jamieson said:

“The problem with the way we’re campaigning is it doesn’t forecast governance, and it means that people have been promised many things that can’t probably realistically be delivered on in current circumstances... And then when [the President] governing doesn’t keep those promises, people feel betrayed. If he keeps those promises, he’s irresponsible. That’s a pretty bad double bind created by poor campaigning.”

What do you think?

  • Has either candidate addressed the world as it is?
  • Can candidates tell hard truths and still win?

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    Trying to deal with "the World as it is" as an imperialist power bombing and raiding into any country we desire isn't working. We will bankrupt ourselves trying to deal militarily with every threat. We must develop a different, more efficient strategy for dealing with terrorism against us and be less interventionist in other nation's business!

    I am baffled by the persistent misconception that when saying he would meet with foreign leaders 'without precondition,' Barack Obama agreed to parachute in on leaders unannounced and unprepared, leaving his diplomatic corps uninformed and in the lurch. To hear Ms. Jamieson suggest that Senator Obama "backed away" from his initial statement by subsequently saying that "'without preconditions' does not mean 'without preparation'" saddens me. Surely she does not buy into the absurd interpretation of his comment that assumes he imagined brown-bag luncheon chats with Ahmadinejad and Putin.

    My understanding is that Senator Obama assiduously prepares for everything he does. No one -- least of all Senator Obama -- could seriously envision that the question asked whether he endorsed a policy of random, frivolous tete-a-tetes over over tea with hostile leaders.

    Of course Senator Obama would prepare for any summit with a world leader, and of course he, the Department of State and diplomatic corps would meticulously prepare, negotiating an agenda in advance. That is not revising the Senator's position; it merely states the obvious.

    The US is not necessarily in a position to impose conditions on other countries prior to meeting with their leaders. It is precisely summit meetings that can open the door for us to offer incentives that later serve as leverage to encourage foreign leaders to fulfill conditions we wish to impose. Such conditions then become the preconditions to further cooperation, meetings and agreements. Senator Obama's original answer to the debate question recognized that by shunning contact with certain foreign countries, we shut ourselves out of opportunities to acquire direct information about and influence over the most challenging of foreign environments. Senator Obama has rejected absurd distortions of his statement about meetings without preconditions, but he never backed away from his actual words.

    Just wanted to tell you Bill that I love your show. It tells the truth about how life is really like out here. If your not born into money then it is very hard to get anywhere. My Mom used to tell me when I was young that if you show up and work hard that you will reap the rewards. I think that is long past us now. The only ones I see making that well are the upper management. They have no common sense too. I think that is the key to making it big. If you are smart and have common sense then you just will have a job that pays you less than you deserve. While these with no common sense get bonus after raises. I would like to know why Reagan is always portayed as a good President too. The man destroyed the unions in this country and started the mess we have now. I hear almost every expert you have on say these problems started 30 years ago. The trickle theory has never worked and is only to make the rich where they are now.

    It would seem possible for a good aggridant (cf. Maslow) to be clever and resourceful enough to work his way through the blood-brain barrier, as it were! See under "Mischief" for example. If, as Maslow thought, the good society is simply one in which virtue pays, then it's all
    a simple problem for the social engineers (orthomentors). Maximize synergy, etc., etc. All covered in the B-calculus.

    i don't think candidates can address the world situation it it's reality because it's too grim. but once elected they can (like FDR did) explain the situation and how the people's reaction to circumstances can effect the outcome. my parents were democrats because they looked out for the people not big business. as soon as they became middle class they became republicans. they are gone now. but the middle class is slipping away so i am now supporrting the demeocrats.
    health coverage for our children and their families are my prime concern. we must look to the future. that, and trying to leave a smaller footprint on the world.

    I don't think either candidate addresses the world as it is - because we, the people, are reluctant to address it in our own lives. The candidates are reflections of us. I look at electing a "community organizer" as a very positive thing. We have tended to look to the president to deliver us from all discomforts and be the ultimate parental figure. Perhaps we are waking up to the idea that we all need to participate in solving problems - even after an election. I'm hoping that in 2012 we will be ready to listen to the truth and we can look back and say that we indeed did change things.

    Now that we have stared chaos in the face....
    It is time to understand the causes of chaos and work together to avoid the effects of chaos on our lives.
    First we must understand the systems of reality that rule our lives. Chaology is the study of chaos and its effect. From this study we can determine what to avoid.
    On the other side of the coin are order, continuity, harmony and creativity. They are the quadrapartite of meaningful reality.
    We have a window of opportunity to create a more perfect union if we use all of our resources to correct our problems.
    The world is a wonderful place filled with glory and grace but it takes a united effort and the right solutions to correct our many problems to keep it that way.

    I was struck by Prof. Jamieson's remarks that "when Senator Obama had purchased the amount of time that made it possible to be on seven different networks, almost what used to be called road blocking, to speak to more than 25 million people, that he would also pay for a half hour for Senator McCain and say to the American people, "He can't afford it. I can. And I'm going to give some of the money that you gave me over...And I would have considered that to be heroic."

    I just thought the good professor had run out of good ideas.


    I don't think there has been much discussion at all of 'the World as it is'.
    In late 2005, I began to view Hurricane Katrina as the American "Chernobyl"-- i.e. a catastrophic event that showed disastrous structural weaknesses in the political and economic system (in the American case, massive poverty, decaying infrastructure, corrupt bureaucracy, etc.). I presumed that Katrina was a harbinger of worse to come and extrapolated from the Soviet experience: costly imperial war[Afghanistan for the Soviets, Iraq/Afghanistan for the U.S.], and national catastrophe [Chernobyl/Katrina]. I figured that we would have an economic meltdown in March, April, or May of 2008, and so stopped investing in the stock market (I was off by a few months...).
    Today there was an interview with Mikhail Gorbachev on Italian TV: "Avevo detto qualche tempo fa che gli Stati Uniti avevano bisogno di una perestrojka...[For a long time I have believed that the U.S. has needed a perestroika--a re-structuring]. Questa che si e' determinata e' una situazione unica: elezioni aperte, molto energiche e molto pubbliche". [There is now a unique situation after this open, energetic, and very public election].
    I think that an interview with Gorbachev could provide some unique insight into addressing 'the World as it is', and would be a very interesting segment for your show.


    A gracious concession speech by McCain, the true McCain - too bad the true McCain was missing for the past several months. Alas, it was not his time, his time was in 2000. McCain sold his soul when he aligned himself with the very people who caused him to lose the GOP nominee in 2000 by using dirty underhanded tactics. McCain's problem-BUSH!

    Bush worst and dumbest EVER! He was never president over ALL the people of this fine country. If you want to be president of a country, you HAVE to be leader of ALL the people, not just the rich ones, not just the ones that look like you, and not just the ones of your political party. Personal goals were more important to Bush rather than being honest and good and moral. At any cost and using any corrupt means would that thick-skulled idiot use to reach HIS and Cheney's goals.

    FINALLY, a positive future, something to look forward to! Now we can walk with our heads held high. Leadership we can trust and be proud of, something we have not been able to do for 8 long years. A good legacy to leave our children and grandchildren and generations to come. A legacy of promise, hope, and good-will is the story left behind from this election, not like the nightmare from the corrupt and idiotic Cheney/Bush Administration.

    Thank Goodness - what a glorious, happy, encouraging, and hopeful time! I only hope the Lord watches over and protects Obama for his safety. Unlike the 2004 election where the electoral vote put Bush in office, the results of this election is the PEOPLE'S choice. A positive feel in attitudes and a true breath of fresh air. The fact that most of the world agrees with the PEOPLE'S choice of this election should tell us something - the MAJORITY of us know what that is.

    A Graceful Conclusion

    The tension of this year's race made it difficult for many of us to appreciate the historic significance of the 2008 Election until late last night. As the results rolled in and it became clearer that Barack Obama would be become the nation's 44th President, it was time to think about how we got here. I began to recall the excitement I had felt in 1984 when both a woman and an African American were involved in that race, for me back then it seemed inevitable that the entrance barriers to the oval office would soon whither away, but they didn't - it took another 24 years to realize it. After the nominating conventions this Summer, it finally became clear that at least one of those barriers would drop - but we just didn't have much time to dwell on it, because the economy imploded. Now it's actually happened, a transformation has occurred.

    The history of the moment was not lost on Senator John McCain, who gave a very gracious concession speech, acknowledging the power of the moment eloquently. After several months of campaign behavior that seemed altogether inconsistent with the John McCain many of us thought we knew, McCain once again became a real leader - one who sought to heal divisions and rebuild the bridges that had been damaged in a sometimes vicious but always hard-fought campaign. Thank you Senator McCain, for running for office and ultimately standing up for your own principals once again - one can only speculate how the race would have turned out if the John McCain of the 2000 election had run this year.

    As the networks switched over to Senator Obama's address in Grant Park, Chicago - all of us watching could feel a certain electricity, a sensation that erased the cynicism and distaste associated with the election process itself. Out of that imperfect yet ever democratic process, change did occur last night. President-elect Barack Obama stood before the American people, humbled and almost grimly determined to put the divisions aside; all of the divisions - not just Democrat and Republican, but White and Black. He told the nation that the real challenges are just beginning and that we must work together to solve them. It was the right message for our time, deftly delivered with conviction. Thank you President Obama, for running a largely positive forward-looking campaign and giving so many in this country hope for the first time in at least 8 years (for many, far far longer) and for proving unequivocally that anyone can achieve any goal in the United States of America.

    Last night as I watched both men face adversity and success in turn, I witnessed the best of what this country has to offer and I was very proud. My 11 year old son stayed up until past midnight to watch both speeches, by the time President Obama was addressing the crowd in Chicago, my son Michael was lying down and could barely keep his eyes open but he wanted to hear the speech. His excitement became my excitement as the full import of this night sank in - I could dwell on the policy impacts of this or that later on - last night we made history and entered a new era. The one thing we know is this, the challenges we will face near-term and over the next couple of decades may in fact end up becoming the most severe tests that we as a people have ever faced. What may serve us best as we tackle those challenges one by one - is hope and some inspiration. It's time for our country to come together to face the future, not as a partisan America, but like President Obama told us last night "as a United States of America."

    In the words of John Cougar Mellencamp, a kindred soul from the great state of Indiana just across the border from Western Ohio:

    "Well I can stand beside
    Ideals I think are right
    And I can stand beside
    The idea to stand and fight
    I do believe
    There's a dream for everyone
    This is our country

    There's room enough here
    For science to live
    And there's room enough here
    For religion to forgive
    And try to understand
    All the people of this land
    This is our country

    From the east coast
    To the west coast
    Down the Dixie Highway
    Back home
    This is our country

    That poverty could be
    Just another ugly thing
    And bigotry would be
    Seen only as obscene
    And the ones that run this land
    Help the poor and common man
    This is our country

    From the east coast
    To the west coast
    Down the Dixie Highway
    Back home
    This is our country

    The dream is still alive
    Some day it will come true
    And this country it belongs
    To folks like me and you
    So let the voice of freedom
    Sing out through this land
    This is our country

    From the east coast
    To the west coast
    Down the Dixie Highway
    Back home
    This is our country

    From the east coast
    To the west coast
    Down the Dixie Highway
    Back home
    This is our country"

    We will remember this day for quite some time...

    copyright 2008, Stephen Lahanas

    Now it's over, Obama wins! The Senate and House shift to the Democratic side of the fence. Things will begin to happen and change.
    But I have one lingering question?
    I have known all along, that there has been someone or some one's behind Obama. What I did not know was who!
    Two names have surfaced many times, Chris Dodd, Chuck Haggle, not very often and usually very quietly another name has surfaced, that of Tom Daschle.
    This third name has now come to the fore front of the Obama setup.
    I am sure that you already have this weeks show in the can as they say, but I would really love a show devoted to a look see at this relationship. This is the old Democratic Machine.

    From Many, One Nation

    It's e pluribus unum time, folks. From many, one nation. Or, as Ben Franklin said, we should all hang together, gentlemen, or we shall certainly all hang separately.

    Let’s get on with it.

    Obama: Yes We Did!!!!

    Yes he did, folks! Say hello to President Elect Barack Obama. Now, can he pull off the hat trick? President Obama is now responsible for restoring America’s economy, Americans’ faith in themselves, and America’s place in the world. Yes, Obama has won…a shot at the toughest job in the world. There’s a lot of work to do. Let’s get on with it.

    "the world as it is?!" Candidates do not address the world as it is but the world as it has been constructed by the propaganda of previous administrations going all the way back to George Washington. Americans are constantly reminded of what America means and what it means to be an American. Indoctrinated. It is ALL an artificial construction that has never corresponded to the actual behavior of the national organism. I seriously doubt whether anyone here in this forum or elsewhere is capable of imagining the world as it really is--as it exists outside the American room full of mirrors that is our politically and corporately crafted culture. Good luck trying. If you were to ask everyone to describe the world as it is, you'd certainly get a diverse range of descriptions from the utterly insane, to the mind-washed, to the ultra-patriotic, the ultra-parochial, the ultra-stereotypical, and everywhere else over the map. What is the patriot but the one who has identified with what he/she has been taught to believe about the country, whose self has assimilated to the facade?

    This is a bit of political analysis that I sent out to some friends over the weekend. Some of them said I should distribute it to a wider audience, and it seems to fit here in the discussion of candidates, the electorate, and truth.

    The essential context for this is threefold: the understanding that consciousness is self-similar, that is, it has the same characteristics regardless of scale (so we can know about our country by what we see in ourselves, and vice versa), that human consciousness operates almost entirely at the symbolic level (that is, it directly experiences the similarities and relationships between things, so that Christian God and personal father and President and the sun all are the same to the deeper psyche), and that fundamentally we're infinite (the finite part we know can be called the ego, the remainder of infinity, which the ego sees as separate, the shadow).

    I hope this gives you a new and helpful view of things.

    (This was written on Halloween.)

    Hello everyone,

    I thought I should add a few things here that I haven't seen mentioned so you can check them out before the great seduction ends on Tuesday.

    First, I'll say as I have before that there is no change without consciously engaging the shadow. "Shadow" and "change" are the same thing. So any attempt or claim to change where I am without asking why and how I brought myself here in the first place is not only futile, it's disingenuous, false hope, and reinforces and energizes the very shadow material one hoped to change.

    (There's a good reason why in German the word "führen," "to lead," when coupled with the prefix "ver," meaning "mis-" becomes "verführen," meaning not just to mislead, but to seduce.)

    Which brings me to the points that I didn't see in the earlier discussion of seduction.

    It seems clear that, sans any attempt to engage our national shadow by asking how and why it is we have chosen to be where we are, we're simply swinging back and forth between the masculine and feminine parts of the national limbic system.

    (The limbic system, in case you've forgotten, is part of our unconscious, animal nature, the part of us that's responsible for "The Four F's: Fighting, Fleeing, Feeding, and Reproduction.")

    I'll suggest that the protective fight-flight part corresponds more to a masculine function, while the body-care food-f*ck parts correspond more to the feminine component. We can also roughly correlate the masculine function with the Republican Party, and the feminine with the Democratic Party.

    So what we have in our national politics is the simply the reflexive movement back and forth between these animal desires, regardless of whatever enlightened spin we prefer to put on top of them.

    We can see the present choice will be a national realignment to feeding-f*cking, countering the last eight years of fleeing-fighting. Thus on Tuesday we'll have a big swing to the Democratic-Mommy side of the limbic system.

    That's one reason (perhaps the only reason) the two dominant parties field candidates that look the way they do. The Republican Party, aligned with the protective masculine, must by necessity field older, less empathetic and more aggressive, candidates. And the Democratic Party must field candidates that are good screens for projections of feminine characteristics, such as youth, empathy and expressiveness.

    So for all the talk of "most important election," "change," and what have you, until we start searching for our own national shadow, we're just as unconscious as ever, and merely no longer violently attacking the other animals in the pen as we return to a period more centered on feeding and mating.

    Along those lines, I'd seen some discussion earlier about seduction, but not the clear statement of the balanced positioning of seduction and senex that both parties provide. On the Democratic side, Obama is the seductive puer (and let's be clear, the electorate wants to be seduced), like Clinton and Kennedy before him. (The feminine characteristics can't be carried by a male who's too old.) His Republican counterpart is Palin. Of course, their seductions look different because what one side of the electorate demands of their seducer is very different than the other. (The global trend towards a unification of the male-female split can be seen in the two candidates with energy - one is male with female characteristics, the other female with male characteristics.)

    We can see the desire for seduction on the part of the electorate by the unwillingness to consider the possibility that such a desire is that case. The supporters of Bush were very strongly, even violently "Support the President in a time of War." And the supporters of Obama are just as blindly "Support Obama in a time of Change."

    (Note that the "Change" to which many implicitly refer is not simply change, but change to a state of nourishment and self-care, where attention is placed on the needs of the national body.)

    And this seduction of the electorate by the two candidates is also very much the collective seduction of the child's love by the parent.

    The other half of the quaternity is the pairing of McCain and Biden, the aging, ultimately unsuccessful warriors of their respective fields of battle.

    So we have on both sides youthful energy and skillful seduction, and aged, self-aggrandizing warrior and would-be hero. Not in even proportion, but in proportion in time-sequence, the way that black and white follow themselves in a balanced way around the ying-yang.

    I'll mention as an aside that McCain was never even a possibility as President, not only because the Democrats could run Osama bin Laden and Jeffrey Dahmer and still win a crushing victory (no women, however, there's the fundamental unconsciousness to and rejection of their feminine nature, which is why misogyny would so obviously trump racism in the primary contest between Obama and Clinton), but even more because McCain does not want to be President.

    That's why his campaign has never had any energy. It's not because he's old. It's because he has his entire life recreated the scenario of being captive, of being forced to confront his failure and helplessness. He, as the kingdom-ending third generation of his military family, had never wanted to be in the military, but acquiesced (in a rebelliously adolescent way) to his father's and grandfather's desires. In Viet Nam he recreated this scenario, where he chose to fly the heroic mission (yet crashing how many planes?) before he was not simply unsuccessful at winning the war, but returned to earth and imprisoned (yet also saved from death and nourished) by the people with non-white skin, the ones who lived a simpler, more communal existence. And he's created for himself this same struggle one last time, where his ego has not wanted to admit defeat (in his last real chance in 2000) and so flies one last unwinnable mission, only to find himself trapped in a war that not only can't be won, but never could have been won. And at this final stage of his life, if he chooses to accept it, what his life is giving him one last chance to see is that his captor and tormentor is not his father and the military where he couldn't be Admiral, not the Viet Cong where he couldn't save the South, but himself, holding his life hostage to a dream he didn't want to live.

    Had he been willing to accept defeat, he might have had a chance at victory - not in the Presidency, but in the war for his own soul.

    Finally, we can see on both sides a symmetry of the deepest level of seduction, the seduction that the unconscious hero, or savior, or messiah (all versions of the same thing) works upon the people - the fundamental untruth that they need to be saved.

    (Maslow's hammer as applied to saviors.)

    So I thought, on a day dedicated to celebration of the spirits of the darkness, you might want to hear of some features you might choose to watch play out over the next few days. We have the dominating, unconscious movement through the limbic system, the quaternary symmetry of the two tickets, the seduction of the winning candidate and the demand of the electorate to be seduced, the struggle to let go of the hero archetype and accept one's humanity and mortality, and the underlying demand and seduction of all politics and religion - that we're in need of saving, or that we're unable to take care of ourselves.

    Hope you all get whatever it is you're looking for this holiday, tricks or treats. And as I finish this on All Saints Day, don't forget this weekend is All Souls Day as well. Sin, saviors and salvation...something for everyone!

    The only problem is deciding who is who and which is which.

    "Americans choosing between Democrats and Republicans is like chickens choosing between Tyson and Perdue."

    Hello again,

    I'd like to add to It's Better In Canada's comments about the press.

    The press, at the collective level, serves the same function as the ego complex does at the personal: it filters out from the infinitude of facts and observations that might be made those that reinforce the existing consciousness.

    Because consciousness is self-similar (that is, the pieces reflect the whole, and vice versa), the degree to which I in my own personal life look for things that challenge my worldview - not just about external events, but about my deepest beliefs about myself - the national press will do the same about our collective condition.

    While one way of seeing this is that the entire world is engaged in an enormous, unconscious self-deception (thus is the nature of the first part of a human existence), the more optimistic view is that, because the pieces reflect the whole, if I start behaving one way in my own life, the entire rest of the world will begin to do the same. From this point of view, we each have the possibility of enlightening each other and changing the whole world (which is both an incredible opportunity and immense responsibility).

    This is why Gandhi's "be the change you want to see in the world" works. It's fundamentally living alchemy, the creation of something new from the sheer belief that it will occur. It's the moment-by-moment embodiment of the divine command "Fiat lux."

    Hello again,

    This is to address your other question, "Can candidates tell hard truths and still win?"

    First, it's sad that even the word "candidate" has drifted so far from its origins, of one who is "candid," sincere, honest, absent of deception.

    A people gets the government not only that it deserves, but that reflects it.

    Candidates will tell hard truths and win only when we the electorate demand that same standard of painful honesty of ourselves, about ourselves, in our personal lives.

    We create that day, if we want it, by living it.

    I live in Canada and here, despite the recent disappointing election, people vote based on promises made and promises kept. Canadians understand that politicians are in power to serve. Most advanced democracies exist on this premise.

    For some reason, in the US, the press and academics treat campaign promises not as a basis for choosing candidates but rather as a form of lying or bribery to mislead voters.

    So we end up with a system where we are told our vote should be cast based on -- let's see -- negative advertising? Pundits' assessment of the horse race? Some other palaver?

    This sneering contempt by members of the press for politicians who try to engage with voters on issues that matter to them is a perfect mask for the corporate kleptocracy our tax dollars in fact support.

    Until the press is reformed we can expect little from our politicians.

    Hello everyone,

    First, thank you Mr. Moyers for your commitment to what you see as truth. Would that more journalists followed your path.

    You have asked "Has either candidate addressed the world as it is?" And while I commend again your search for truth, the question itself obscures a larger reality: there is more than one truth, and the search for the one denies all the others.

    Each of us sees the world from our own place in it, and through the filter of our own experience, preferences, and all too human limitations. There are as many truths as there are each of us.

    Even the simplest example, that of a glass holding half its capacity of water, shows us the concept of truth itself is more personally challenging than we might think. Is it "the truth" that this glass is half-empty? Or is the "real truth" that it's half-full? Which addresses the world "as it is"?

    In the end, notions of truth and untruth tell me more about my own view of the world than of the world itself, because the world transcends those simple categories.

    And then there's the question of the filter through which we each see the infinite world around us. If I tell you, to the very best of my ability, how I see the world, can I ever be lying? If I truly believe we'll be greeted as liberators in Iraq, or that this is an historic election all about change, or that the Easter Bunny will make everything better come Spring, I'm lying if I don't speak of those as "the world as it is." So whose truth is true? Yours or mine?

    All we ever have is the chance to look at each other and try, if we're brave, to understand what it's like to see the world through each other's eyes.

    Finally, there are the things that are beyond any of our personal limits to see or understand. Like seeing the back of my own head, what of the great tides of history, or the trivial ebbs and flows of my own imperfection, that I have not yet learned to see? If I don't address them because I literally cannot see them, what then?

    In the end, there can be no search for "the truth." There can be only the offering of mine, and the humble request and sincere hope you share with me the truth you consider yours.

    Thank you again.

    Lola set the tone correctly: citing "...the horrible things America has done in the world that Americans turn a blind eye to..."

    I could see that Bill is drinking again and that he and Kathleen had loosened up with (too many) cocktails before the taping. (Glenn seemed a little behind, still veering to sobriety.) The election is over and their obligations fulfilled, so now they can retire. They are like Moses on the mountaintop, but they refuse to look at the future. They sit backward, recalling bondage in Egypt. I am surprised that Bill did not achieve "Exemplary Elder" status but has degenerated to an assisted living geekdom, with bridge playing cronies all around.

    Obama lacks imagination too. He has asked thinking Americans for help, to push his yet unformed agenda, but I doubt it will happen. People think the show is over and will go back to worrying about budgets, terrorism and celebrity, just as our masters dictate.

    It's too bad insightful people like beecham and Lola can't start anew without the baggage of American crimes and backward minds. So difficult it is to remain healthy and imaginative in a sack of rotten potatoes. After awhile you become accustomed to the stink. Realize that the United States "isn't real", cut a hole, and get outside the bag.

    While I usually agree with your guests, or at least can see their point of views, Kathleen Hall Jamieson’s idea that Obama should have paid for McCain to have more air time struck me as a betrayal.

    As one of the millions of people who skipped restaurant meals and movies out to send a total of a couple of hundred dollars to Obama, I would have felt betrayed. I didn’t donate that money to 'better democracy' groups, not did I donate it to Obama with the intention that he would do whatever he felt was the best way to spend the money. I donated it to Obama specifically for his campaign to win the White House. Unless Obama did a special fundraising plea for donations to 'further democracy with a small d,' he would not have had a right to spend millions of dollars for something different than what people intended those dollars for. Not to fight cancer or poverty or social justice, but for the White House where he will have more power to affect change in all those areas.

    Ironically, I did give McCain a small amount of money. In 2000. Back in 2000 I disagreed with McCain vehemently on many issues (especially my right to decide what to do with my body--I hold my “so-called health” in much greater esteem than he does), but I believed a donation to McCain would do more to further a cause, campaign finance reform, that I do believe passionately in. And I sent that donation with a specific note, thanking him for his work on campaign finance reform. But after watching 8 years of swift-boating and lying, I passionately want Obama to win. I completely support wholesale reform, but I refuse to watch my candidate lose every time on the highroad. Obama has a moral obligation to spend those donations in the purpose for which they were intended. To win.

    I continue to appreciate and chew on, Friday evenings and days later, Kathleen Hall Jamison's analyses and ideas. I listen to her words, accepting that she is an independent scholar and observer of our society's politics. She is not a media personality or party apologist. Keep her, Bill!

    Voting for Obama/McCain will do nothing to help the real issues.The republican/democrat parties have only helped the rich get filthy rich and only make the poor class more crowded with what used to be middle class.There will be ceo,s still running companies into the ground and getting big bonus checks.Heck Bruton Smith a big nascar track owner whom owns several tracks and is a billionare now wants to buy nascar from the France family. I guess that 850$ billion taxpayer pay out helped him alittle!!!! Also remember people the senate/house boys and girls took our money to give it to the rich. Vote them out they did not listen to us or vote what we wanted.PBS is liberal owned and run with bias lib views.Vote Nader(independent)Bob Barr(libertarian).Vote with an open mind.The dems and republicans have screwed up forever time for change.Ever wonder if that bailout money gets us taxpayers some K Y JELLY!!!!

    After reading the comments of some of my compadres, it sounds like Moyers has delivered another unbiased program.

    Here's a couple videos you might enjoy:

    What a clever, lovely, brilliant idea!


    “The McKean County Commissioners are accepting bids for purchasing
    Walk-in freezer with floor/outdoor application size....”. Hm!
    The size should be no problem! I would recommend and hope all heartedly
    that they be install in all government institution big enough to accommodate
    all personal at a particular institution, with an automatic electronic timer
    set at 100 years cooling off period!
    Considering the funds spent for the “ongoing war of trillion dollars”, “lost of life” and the “bail out of $850 billions dollars” this would be a drop in the bucket
    for peace and prosperity of the civilization!

    You cannot register 600000 people in the state of New Jersey without possibly massive fraud. Professor Miller should know this instead of being a satrap for liberal Democrats.
    As for the above comments criticizing McCain, these people are sheep. Why does Jeremiah Wright get a pass or Bill Ayers? Are those above all America haters?

    “While there is not a single (Pennsylvania) statute... that explicitly prohibits
    the use of electronic devices in the polling place, there is a web of
    statutes that makes it anything but clearly legal,” a Department of State
    official wrote to YouTube.
    “The voting process is what we consider a sacred process!”
    Implementing “sacred process” is a Socialistic Dictatorial Tyrannical power
    when there is no law !
    Socialistic Dictatorial power rules impose upon the people that prevents to
    record the history of fraud as was the case in Florida, China.
    Suppression of freedom, liberty to maintain status quo, indulging in creating
    rules to fit their own purpose.
    “Find out to what the people will submit and you will find the exact measure
    of injustice that will be impose upon them” - F. Douglass

    The world as it is? Candidates will only talk about what they feel their audience wants to hear. The candidate may talk about issues - but will almost never take a hard stand (unless they believe their audience will approve of it). They are more likely to point to weaknesses of their opponents - or try to lay blame for current problems. As for the truth...even if we the voters heard a candidate speaking hard truths. The thing that drives me crazy is when candidates make grand promises of new spending or tax breaks...but does not elaborate as to how these will be paid for. I think a candidate who is consistently talking frankly about hard issues, and uses sound arguments and evidence to support their positions would strike a chord with the voters. At least I know a candidate like that would get my attention.

    Neither of the candidates have addressed the world as it is or what the role of government should be in the world. Isn't the role of government to give a voice and to protect the voiceless and the powerless from the powerful? Isn't the role of government to protect us from enemies without the borders as well? Everyone chose to ignore KHJ comments on the way John McCain has defended the American people from the powerful:
    "KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON Because to the extent that he does, he alienates part of the base that he needs to be elected. This was the person who stood up to the tobacco industry, favoring a tax and trying to ensure that the tobacco industry wouldn't market to kids. He clearly sees a government role when it's a role on behalf of those who are in desperate need of protection from something that potentially endangers them.

    He didn't defend his immigration policy, his immigration platform, although I don't believe he actually backed away from it. He just simply reprioritized it. But he didn't stress that because that also wasn't popular with the conservative base. And he didn't stress his proposals on cap and trade, global climate change legislation, which he championed with Senator Lieberman. And he didn't tell us things about his own biography.

    Speaking to this impulse to use government to protect people, virtually no one knows that he championed the Patient's Bill of Rights, something that runs counter to virtually everything a real conservative would want to see government do."

    I for one have been waiting on the maverick to explain why he is the maverick. He hasn't beyond sound bites. This may be why he looses this election.

    Bill, why don't you get Amy Goodman to replace Kathleen Hall-Jameison as your 'special' every-other-week guest. Amy would be sure to have something to say worth hearing!

    Has either candidate addressed the world as it is?

    No, not completely.

    Can candidates tell hard truths and still win?

    No, probably not.

    While I used to like Kathleen Jameson, I can no longer stand her. She is so arrogant, pompous and often downright silly that I just cannot watch her any more . I solve the problem by watching the Journal online. Now I can simply ignore any segment of which she is a part. Unfortunately, I can see that my great hero Bill Moyers is also slowing down, losing his edge, and sounding like he feels he has to placate unseen forces. I miss his hard-hitting, perceptive questions and comments. But even a great journalist nods with age. He still has my endless respect and appreciation for a remarkable body of work.


    This is the first time I have read or responded to blogs. I was an interesting, if duplicative read. My comments are these:
    1.] The share Obama funds with McCain, I have to believe, was not serious but only illustrative of the need to get full views out. NON of your bloggers pointed out that McCain had $84 million of ALL our money to spend that Obama didn't.
    2.] None of your bloggers seemed to understand that you do not instruct your interviewers exactly what they can or should say and what not. That was a surprising level of ignorance to me.
    3.] What none of the bloggers seemed to understand is that PBS is under pressure by the Bush administration to be less free to be "unbalanced" and that PBS needs the government money to exist. What is actually good about watching a balanced or opposing views presentation informs us better than any one sided presentations. This is done by our being able to learn what the opposing (to our biases) arguments are and to see what is weak about them.
    4.] There is further common misunderstanding about Bill Moyers Journal, and that is that it is intended to be very independent of advertisers and to be the work of a person whom we believe or don't believe to be presenting views and topics that are enlightening and important in our roles as voting citizens. We watch him for the same reasons other (too many) people listen to Pat Buchanan.
    5.] We all need to make bigger and more contributions to PBS.

    To Donna Warren:

    Very well said! I was beginning to wonder if anyone else really felt this way about the blackout of Ralph Nader. For Bill Moyers to be a willing participant in Ralph's exclusion from PBS has led me to question my support for his program.

    To those of you who have expressed angst at the sheer number of times KHJ has been on the air I say this: AMEN! Will someone please show her the door. Otherwise, will someone please announce the engagement and get it over with.

    Most people look at me with disgust when they read my Nader bumper stickers. Others tell me that I am throwing away my vote. That's funny, because that's what I tell them that is exactly what they are doing when they aren't going to vote for Ralph Nader.

    Speak truth to power on November the 4th. Vote for Ralph Nader.


    Thank you for sharing your 'middle way' approach to voting with your viewers. I wasn't planning to vote on Tuesday out of frustration about the millions of dollars spent by both parties on the rhetoric of change...and out of fear that, after the election, nothing will really change at all.
    I don't know who I am voting for or what any of the four candidates will actually do, if elected. They have managed to side- step any real discussion about the changes they persistently promise.
    But thanks to your essay, rather than be absently swept away with thoughts of unrealistic expectations, I will be actively present in the voting booth, in contemplation of the wisdom of our nation's founding fathers and of a future generation that will rise up and state unequivocally to the political charlatans, puppets and greed mongers: 'enough'.

    I have to agree with Mike Ryan.
    This is no ordinary election; it is a struggle between what is right and good and what is bad and evil. The last eight years of Republican rule has been a disastrous example of doing what is wrong and doing what is evil.
    We need a distinct change from the Republican heavy handed rule to the return to a democratic party that listens to the people. McCain will be more of the same and we cannot afford more of the same. The Republican corruption and wrong policies has undermined our constitution, our reputation, our ethics and our social stability.
    It seems like the Democrats have done everything they can to lose this election.
    We need the Democratic Party more now than ever before. We are dealing with an urgent situation; not a ho-hum what-ever situation.

    I do not believe, not even for a minute that the example explanation used for
    “heroic rhetoric” by Dr. KHJ was intended for the benefit of McCain. There are
    number of other examples to provide the explanation. One example of
    “heroic rhetoric” would be if the third party candidates joint forces and create a
    “TROJKA form of Government”, on a 6 months rotating position, other is to
    “empower the people to participate in power”. She had clearly stated her intend,
    ““I was hoping that in the last week of the campaign each of them will say, ...
    “We promised a lot of things in different circumstance. The world has change....
    The financial realities are now biting in. .. There are things that we're going to have
    to do differently, and here are sacrifices and here are the tradeoffs." “
    She was very much on target pertaining to the financial realities.
    None of the candidate have specifically stated “the sacrifices and the tradeoffs”!
    Lets not pretend that we are naive and that our hopes differ from others or those of
    Dr. KHJ. She is talented, intelligent, informative and capable to provide two
    directional views at the same time that makes her analysis views so interesting!
    I hope that she continues to be guest on the journal.

    The idea that Americans don't want to hear the truth may be a fact, but remains obscure. While we look for some clarity from our educated elite to help us understand the present campaign, the fact is that political campaigns by their very nature are intended to manipulate the voter. How else can you motivate people to leave the comfort of their homes in order to voice their opinions. To do this, a person needs to find some fire in their veins and loins. This should be the same fire that motivates CEOs to open their checkbooks to contribute to the campaign of their preferred candidate. Same fire, different intensity. The unexpurgated truth would pass over the heads of most voters. So, simple issues, sound bites if you will, are intended to inflame and motivate. This is to replace the self-enrichment motive that a few voters have. All issues are obscure until they hit you in the pocket book or the vitals. Until such time as voters recognize how their vitals are affected, no amount of information will be enough to move them.

    The unfortunate part of Kathleen Hall Jamieson's analysis is that she appears to be looking at the candidates and indeed the voters as if they are in a petri dish. She doesn't seem to recognize the quality of dirt that is needed to get the electorate to exercise their voting rights. This isn't about enlightened debate, but about motivating people to get up and go to their windows, to stick their heads out and yell, "I'm mad as hell. I'm not going to take it anymore." (Apologies, much love and respect to Paddy Chayevsky)

    I do not think the important issues as mentioned on the program have been addressed so that we know what the candidates would do once elected. I have suspected that they want be because we have a short attention span when something needs to be taken care of we forget about everything else. remember the president of Mexico was going to meet with
    President Bush and 9/11 happened. If I "remember" correctly that never happened. I am voting for the candidate who appears to be willing and able to lead this country into the 21st century. I am elated that the younger citizens are having a say in government. I am concerned because they want to be gratified immediately but hope they will stay involved for the duration. It is their world/future that is being "mortgaged". Ms. Jamieson has a lot to say about everything and I always feel when she has finished that there isn't much that is "right" with how issues, campaigns are being taken care of.

    I did feel like she was expecting a lot from the Obama campaign to pay for McCain to have the same opportunity that Obama had. How delusional would that be? That does not make a "hero". How benevolent would the McCain campaign would have been if the shoe was on the other foot? I thought she takes her thoughts very seriously and all thoughts ought not be expressed.

    Innocuous question since you didn’t allow all ballot qualified candidates onto your program? We’ll never know if “any” not “either” candidate addressed the world as it is because the only candidates’ voices allowed were Obama and McCain but others have a voice too!

    As a member of PBS I was very hopeful PBS would not block out 3rd Party candidates during this election season, especially the voice of Ralph Nader who courageously opposed the $700 Billion Wall Street Bailout, and the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan; and who speaks for the right of Palestinians to “Exist”, the need for massive regulation, and was the only candidate for president to come to South Central to speak out against Proposition 6, the racist initiative which purports to imprison more young people of color.

    They say “hope dies last”. What about my hope that publicly funded PBS and NPR would do the right thing?

    In the past, I’ve sung the praises of “Bill Moyers Journal”. Earlier this year, Mr. Moyers had the courage and the insight to show a more complete picture of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and thus, in my opinion, to help heal the nation

    This past Friday however, was a different story.

    No only did Mr. Moyers not bring on Ralph Nader or his VP running mate Matt Gonzalez but Moyers had the nerve to bring on Joan Claybrook, the president of Public Citizen without emphasizing that Public Citizen is an organization created by Ralph Nader. Adding insult to injury, Ralph Nader was not credited with seatbelts in cars or with his continued fight for regulation.

    Nader has been pitifully absent from Bill Moyers Journal. Here’s an interviewer (Moyers) and a guest (Nader) who could pinpoint problems and solutions. Moyers missed a great opportunity this election year.

    Why $700 Billion for a Wall Street Bailout but not $40 Billion for healthcare insurance for every American? Why the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan and American bases throughout the World? Why does Israel have a right to exist but not Palestine? Why wage a war against 14 year olds?

    PBS had other opportunities to make things right. There were the two debates hosted by Jim Lehrer and Gwen Ifill. But again, PBS fell down on the job. I know the debates were dictated by the Commission on Presidential Debates but why didn’t these two fine journalists and PBS insist all ballot qualified candidates be included in the debates! The least Lehrer and Ifill should have done is walk away from moderator duties.

    In December 2004, Bill Moyers said “Democracy cannot function without an informed public”. He warned he may “get out of that rocking chair and back to the studio”. Unfortunately during this election season with the exception of his show on Reverend Wright, Moyers may have been in the studio but he didn’t get out of that rocking chair.
    Look at what PBS missed by ignoring "The Thinking Man" at

    Mr. Moyers, You have let us all down. Throughout the run up to the presidential election you refused to clearly acknowledge or discuss details and ramification of McCain's decision to go all in with a campaign of character attacks against Barack Obama. Week after week as McCain and his advisers continued to take a reprehensible low and dirty road you have seen fit to sit there to discuss lofty 'even handed' analysis with guests -including the obscurantist Kathleen Jamieson - all who shared in ignoring what so many in the US have been shocked to see coming from McCain/Palin. It is sad, but you are losing your reputation as a truth teller.

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    I have always been a fan. You have almost single-handedly informed America and made us aware that what used to be considered a dangerous fringe is now considered mainstream at this time in America. But, I have to express that I feel both you and your guests missed the mark a little in Friday's (10-31-08) discussion of Barack Obama's decision to not use Federal campaign financing. It is a goal that everyone should have, but in the Carl Rove campaign environment, not that practical for a Democrat.

    When that decision was made, Obama sent a web video to all his supporters explaining why. There was no mention in your discussion of this communication from Senator Obama. It was a difficult decision to make. What he saw coming was not only a campaign from the RNC, but supported by numerous 527s such as the Swift Boat advertisers during the Kerry campaign. The Obama campaign saw how the movement he was creating was geting financed by small contibutions, enfranchising more voters than any campaign in history. At the same time, he could see the potential in fighting those Republican 527s with his own campaign's funds. (And we have seen ads by "Let Freedom Ring," and others.) But what Obama did in exchange for this fund-raising power, is to call off orgqanizations like from advertising. He did not want to be beholden to any organizations outside of his campaign or concerned if they sent the wrong messages. I noticed that insetad of flooding the air waves with ads from MoveOn, they have not made any. However, they have gotten out volunteers and raised funds for other Democratic candidates.

    The people who have sent in $2, $5 or $50 to the Obama campaign will be part of a movement that he can call upon to help him get Congress to pay attention to the priorities that the vast number of American's support.

    It is unfortunate this time around that the public finance system was not going to work for Obama, but until we end campaigns that rely on lies and fear mongering tactics, it was probably a good choice for this election cycle.

    JB in Alexandria

    Kathleen Jamieson may be a terrible foil for you Mr. Moyers as she blathers on with high minded and sanctimonious rifts defending McCain but the blame falls on you for choosing over these past weeks to ignore stating the obvious: that McCain has stooped to the lowest level of campaign smears and outright attacks on the character of Barack Obama. Week after week you sit there commenting with your guests as if what the entire country is witnessing in disgust is not even worth noting. Oh, sure this week you held up some despicable anti Obama flyers found in some locales but you have never bothered to trace the tone of McCain's campaign which gives rise to hatred and rage right to the top, McCain and his advisors who decided the only way to win is go all in with personal attacks. Did you or your backers decide it would be too 'partisan' to analyze or comment on the way McCain has run his dirty campaign? If so it makes sense that you would continue to host an obscurantist like Jamieson; having her sitting across from you is a great way to avoid reality.

    Has either candidate addressed the true world as it is?

    No, I have yet to hear any candidate mention the simple universal and equitable truth or Oneness of all things.
    Until then, we have a long Way to go.


    I am somewhat amused by Ms. Jamieson's lovely "vision," as Mr. Loury referred to it, that Obama share money to give McCain "equal time." The comment struck me as somewhat naive. I did not, as a contributor to Obama's campaign, give permission for that money to be contributed to McCain's campaign. If I had wanted McCain to have that time, I would have contributed an equal amount to him.

    The truth has to start with realities, not a fantasy.

    Although we usually look forward to Kathleen Hall Jamison’s objective, thoughtful and insightful observations on this show, we were disappointed with her flawed and obviously not well-thought-out comments. For her to suggest that Sen. Obama should have magnanimously forked over millions of dollars of his campaign funds to Sen McCain for McCain’s presidential bid because McCain couldn’t afford to fund his own campaign in the same manner as Obama is naïve at best and ignorant at worst.

    Obama assisting McCain in any way with funds contributed by his supporters would have been unethical and an appalling betrayal of those who donated money to his campaign based on the issues his candidacy represents. His donors did not give him money to provide an unfettered, unchallenged platform to the person and issues his supporters want him to defeat.

    Such a move also would have destroyed Obama’s candidacy. It would not only have given McCain free rein to repeat without interruption or dispute all of the claims – including such specious accusations as Obama ‘pal-ing around with terrorists’ and being a ‘socialist’, and questioning his patriotism and whether or not he’s a ‘real’ American – it would have legitimized any and everything McCain would have said because, after all, Obama paid for it and gave him the opportunity, didn’t he?

    It also would have depressed voting as many Obama supporters and McCain non-supporters would have just stayed home in disgust on Election Day.

    Ms. Jamison seemed to imply that since Obama opted out of public campaign financing – translated by some, apparently including Ms. Jamison, as breaking a promise – that he had some kind of obligation to make it up to the public by helping McCain’s campaign. While by itself an absurd proposal, it’s all the more ludicrous considering McCain’s pledge to run a clean – I think his words were ‘decent’ and ‘civil’ – campaign. Yet we have seen dirty attack ads not just on Obama’s proposals and legislative record, but vicious personal character-assassinating smears and outright lies, which, according to many other analysts, have been the nastiest in modern times. This has included hate-mongering, race-baiting innuendo and in some cases incited calls for violence.

    This is all the more disturbing given that Ms. Jamison is a historian, and history reeks of nasty presidential elections. Yet she talked on your show as if now Obama should have risen above partisanship and extended his inspiring promise to unify this politically fractured country and be a president of all of the people by giving a boost to the person who’s trying to keep him from being able to do that. In making that suggestion and in several other positions she voiced, Ms. Jamison slipped this show from analyst to pundit.

    This was a great discussion with three terrific individuals.

    The real truth is that the American people do not want the truth. We are a people embedding ourselves in our Sci Fi and illusionary delusion with what might be, but not what is.

    Mean governments produce mean and broken people and this is illustrated with the age old debate with health care and after 40 years (most of my life time) we are not closer in a feasible solution where still nearly fifty percent of this population goes without. We have a government that chooses to incarcerate nearly 2 percent of the population. We have an infrastructure that has crumbled.

    And if the truth were herd we have become a nation of desperation. The illusion that my father left me about this country seldom exists.

    The Wall Street bail out and rescue reflects this the best where 99.999999999 percent of the population did not benefit from the existence of the Billion dollar corporations that were given the golden welfare spoon. And every man, women, and child will have to pay about 28,000 a piece for this privilege. And there is a lessor respect for labor with the continued objective to drive a living wage downward.

    Every week I look forward to watching your journal. I was very disappointed this week.
    I thought the discussion failed to address the "world as it is".
    Jamieson's remarks that our system has produced two well qualified candidates should have been challenged. It's the sort of political pandering that you expect on network television but not on PBS and especially not on your show.
    McCain is obviously in ill health and struggling with a number of issues involving his central nervous system. Palin is termpermentally unqualified for any political office. Her education and experience, such as it is, have done little to modify her extreme views and radical agenda.
    Though Obama is head and shoulders above the competition, part of a term as a US Senator scarcely qualifies him to lead the nation. Biden led the march into Iraq and deserves his title as the most egotistical member of congress.
    None of the candidates represent the wishes or aspirations of the American people. We have no reason to expect them to speak to our needs and concerns especially when they are trying to manipulate us into supporting them regardless of how we may feel about them or the process.
    The same forces that have distorted the election process beyond recognition are in play in selecting our candidates and it shows.
    Americans are entitled to better than holding theirs nose and reluctantly voting for the candidate that they think will do the least amount of damage.

    Over the river and through the woods, from Grandmother's house we went, on a beautiful mid-October Sunday. My 3.5 year old son, an old soul, instructed my mom to help him make a sign. (Earlier that day, while bicycling at a nearby school,aided by training wheels, the little guy screeched his brakes to pick up a splintered 1"x2" foot long wooden stake.) He asked Grandma for scotch tape, paper and an orange felt pen. He drafted something in toddler script that he readily interpreted for us. "It says, I miss my kitty." "It also says, only kids may hold this sign." (the latter part looked like smaller toddler font down in the right bottom corner.)

    He held the sign in his two hands as we headed for home. Suddenly, my wife and I heard a chant from the back seat. "I have a sign, I have a sign, I have a sign!!"

    Yes, he had plenty of cues...this did not arise from thin air. He'd seen the war protesters on the corner in our home town a week before. The yard signs popping up right and left. Our insistence that he play a little more quietly when the debates were on. He even knew Barack Obama was running for President.

    So one easily may suppose he felt excluded when not armed with his own political position. "I miss my kitty."

    But it was the chant "I have a sign" and the qualifying script, "only kids may hold this sign" that left me pondering the "world as it is."

    Forget Iraq, nuclear weapons, recession, race and global warming. Suspend terrorism, infrastructure and even health care for a minute or two.

    Take this time and give voice to children. The world as it unacceptable.

    "Isn't it the press' ultimate responsibility to insure that the American public has the information that it needs"?
    No. The press' ONLY responsibility is to make money. Unless THAT changes, NOTHING about the way the press operates will change.

    I don't think we really believe that what the candidates say can be accomplished - they'd need to work with congress for one, but I find it useful to know what kind of individual they are - what their hopes and dreams would be.
    I vote based on what they would like to see, I know, as they must, that in addition to Congress, events and the world as it is would intrude on all our 'wants' and 'desires'.
    And I believe that most of us vote for the person who seems to share our dreams. All of are aware that there is a big difference between our desires and our realities.

    I'm still waiting for someone to ask John McCain, "About the cost of these wars, how will they be paid for if you don't ever intend to raise taxes?" Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

    Furthermore, how anyone who has run such a lying, slandering campaign could be considered for President staggers the imagination!

    McCain is past his prime, and the fact that he was nominated is simple evidence that the GOP is so lacking in a reason for being that they know they can't win honestly. The scene would be sad if it weren't so sickening.

    Barack Obama is better than the GOP deserves as an opponent. What if the Democrats had put up someone like Sarah Palin? Instead we have a candidate who is mentally gifted, able to see the big picture on issues and who opted to serve in a poor urban area rather than go the high-paid lawyer route. If the Republicans lose, even though they don't know it yet, they'll get a great president.

    There may be some who think the country will be perfect if Barack is elected. It won't be. But he stands for what's right, and I believe he'll do his best to serve us.

    To Connie....I did not say those 22 million in jail did not like America. Said, they made choices to put a burden on a cherished life they could have, if better choices were made, on their part!! As far as Poloski and her gang, they probably love America also as long as they can control the purse strings.

    It may come as a surprise to you but a degree in science is a degree in nothing too. Science is no more than concepts that have no physical reality. All they are is an assortment of documentations of ideas that are consistent with what we experience as physical reality. These documentations are always subjected to change as we refine our understanding of reality. When it comes to the basic building blocks of reality; physical reality reduces to energy. The only way we can define energy is from its effect.
    When it comes to Theology;
    the way we understand theology is through its effect. the same goes for economics, social theory, education, philosophy and every other discipline of humanity. All of our knowledge depends on limited information because we do not know everything and we have not experienced everything not to mention that we exist in a minute fraction of reality.
    Religion like any other discipline of humans is subject to good and/or evil. This good or evil is based on its effect on human kind.
    Because religion is a spiritual rather than a practical aspect of human experience and that it has many interpretations; it is necessary that it not mixed with government which should be a method of providing efficient human social organization.
    Religion should provide the moral and ethical behavior of humans that provides justice and equity. It should not be used to subjugate people.

    "In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing."
    Antonio Porchia

    A very Great Man once said "Follow your Bliss" remember him Bill?

    Just keep following yours!

    You know opinions--everybody's got one, awe but insight that different.

    Mr. Moyers,

    I find that you once again focused on only one side's issues regarding negative or "dirty" campaigning. Have you not realized what the other side is just as guilty? Have you not read or heard what is being written and said about McCain and Palin? Unfortunately I see and hear hate on both sides. And it might help if you had mentioned that no matter who wins on Tuesday, the result will be a first: either the first African-American will be president or the first woman vice president?
    I would hope that PBS would try to speak to all of its viewers...even those who try to honestly choose the best candidate for America, regardless of party. We need truth, unbiased reporting, and issues discussed intelligently. We need and want more than talking heads with an agenda.
    When will the news organizations treat us as adults?

    Dear Mr. Moyers,

    Because I am a loyal viewer of your program I watched this one as well. But when I saw that Kathleen Hall Jamieson was going to be on yet again, I doubled up on the pain relievers first. Halfway through, when she suggested that Obama pay for air time for McCain, I had to stop the Tivo and fetch myself a really stiff drink. Tell me, isn't equal time for both candidates in the same setting why we had 3 televised debates? The Presidential election is not a game of amateur golf to be evened up with handicaps. By the time the interview was over I was disappointed at myself for wasting 22 minutes of my life in this way. Please Mr. Moyers, there is a great variety of erudite guests you could have, because people respect you. Invite them and cancel Ms. Jamieson, even if your producers have arranged a quantity discount for her numerous appearances.

    Not only have Obama and McCain not addressed the world as it is, they have intentionally misrepresented themselves, the government, and the world.

    9/11 was an inside job. It's obvious now. Bush/Cheney etc. either were part of it, or intentionally looked the other way. The war on terror, homeland security, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are therefore frauds.

    Bush was never elected. Our electoral system is broken.

    The corporations own and control everything, including the two candidates in question. The fact that it is Obama and McCain we are discussing and not Ron Paul, or Kucinich, or Nader, or Chuck Baldwin, is because of the corporations. The very nature of the debate is predetermined by the corporations.

    We don't live in a republic or a democracy. We aren't losing our democracy as Bill seems to worry sometimes, we lost it a long time ago. We lost our soul a long time ago. That statist warmongers like McCain and Obama are even considered for president makes this clear.

    What I have to say I've been wanting to say for some time. Moyers' querying about what regular people can do to stay informed has prompted me to post.

    Here is what can be done by 5:00 pm Monday:

    1. Reformat the forum here so that insightful and informed posts have a lifespan greater than a few days and significant threads stay alive.

    2. Create a blog or web page that takes numbers and names names. McCain has said that he would publish the names of individuals, companies, and corporations whose practices are culpable at least in part for the breakdown of democracy and civility in this country. Obama should be willing to do the same. But instead of waiting for either of these candidates to publish such information, we should do it right here on The Journal. We can call it something like The Wall of Shame. Here are some ideas for what it could contain:

    1. Names of culpable individuals, companies, and corporations who have engaged in practices destructive to this country, details of those practices, and names and details of congresspersons who have been in their pockets. For example, if a corporation gets a good sum of money from Congress, we can post how much money was received, justification for this financial help, how many domestic jobs this corporation created and how many it outsourced, and on and on.

    3. Relevant links to audio, video, articles, etc. can be placed so that arguments can easily be researched.

    4. A complete and easily comprehended conservative-right playbook that illustrates and deconstructs the ideology behind the conservative-right rhetoric, arguments, and strategies.

    You get the picture. All of this is already being done to some extent. There are many websites that have great information, but none puts it all out there as easy to comprehend as Fox News. The Columbia School of Journalism has a useful website on who owns what. The information there could be even more comprehensive, but it serves as a good model for what can be done.

    Now I'm off to research blogging software that will allow me do all of this myself. Since The Journal already has a research and technology team, they should be able to beat me to it by the 5:00pm Monday deadline. It's all so insanely simple. -- Ed

    “We hope to bring people together around a table, hear all sides, and come up with a new synthesis”! I am not naive. This is easier said then done! In a dictatorial system “the new synthesis” is continuation of the same, corruption, eviction, confiscation, violation of the constitution standards by creating laws that by pass those standards etc. Did they try to bring all people together? The “party of money“ denied a third party candidates a sit around the table! Was this not a social injustice? Denied the people freedom to participate, hear, choose and to decide the destiny on facts!
    After listening to the social injustice “that he has the chance to tell you how he sees the future of governing and what he will do and how it will differ from what I will do”? What were the reasons not to address the third party candidates of the same “social injustice”? The candidate has been campaigning for almost two years? Did he not have chances to state the facts? The candidate stated, “I will look you strait in the eyes -face and tell you the truth”! He lied when he stated, “Joe the plumber was a businessmen” when in fact he was “just an employee for someone else”!
    “If a person said once, he has said it hundreds of times”, the facts issues are clear!
    “Give them the access that allows them to have some kind of influence in the future”! To have some kind of “influence in the future” is to place the issues on the ballot! “The fear and loathe” takes precedent over the facts and the issues. As it has been in the past, in a dictatorial- autocratic system of power, there shall never be “influence in the future”!
    How One Solution Can Fix Our... Biggest Problems? EMPOWERED the PEOPLE to express the "WILL on ALL ISSUES"! Of course in a dictator ship such a wish is unthinkable, for an article in a paper of 2008 10 21 states, “Forget about a constitutional convention - the House rejected even studying the idea”!
    I agree, “subject to distortion and manipulation - elections offer an alternative to violence” but no solution to the problems! Should we be denied to participate in power?

    Another fine show Bill, keep it coming.
    I have just read all the comments from the posts.
    Very amusing!
    KHJ has a position just as everyone else, and it just happens to be different, so lets stop bashing.
    What we need more than anything in the County, is for it's people to start to get smart. I mean most people out there do not know the real issues, let alone understand them!
    If you want to turn things around in this political mess in DC, start by banning lobbing, set term limitations (including Supreme Court, return control to Congress, limit Presidential Powers and Executive Privilege.

    Kathleen . . . Obama's money is the "VOICE OF THE PEOPLE" . . . the majority of people do not agree with your complimentary view of John McCain. The time and money given to Obama expresses our desire for the future of this country . . . Please, turn your ears up, and your nose down. To have Barack use our donations for all that we do not believe in would be unethical, and probably criminal. Express your individual view by donating to and working for John McCain.

    The current issue of the American Prospect has a short article about the power of the president. In this article, they cite an article titled "It's The Institutions, Stupid." by Sven Steinmo and Jon Watts. This article argues that although health care reform has been popular for a long time, Congress, the institution, has prevented reform. The article states that this goes far beyond public opinion and lobbying. The article attributes some of the problem to the Constitution and Congressional rules.

    For all the 24 hour talk, for all the sound bites and slogans, who's ahead and who's behind, none of it means anything if not for honest, genuine elections. So often we are seeing the very skeleton of our democracy shattered before us; vote rigging in precincts nation-wide, voter intimidation, and everywhere broken voting machines. How, I wonder, can the public good ignore such a fundamental threat to our very civilization? This isn't about who wins or loses, this is about maintaining the core value of our tradition, the tradition of democracy, of honest elections which has given this country purpose and meaning since the beginning. We are a country of great compromises; we are a country of public discourse and we are a country of service. Without honest elections none of this matters, none of this at all means anything. How, after two election cycles, with Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, Ohio, where thousands upon thousands left their homes to stand in the cold, waiting like good citizens to express their voices in their fundamental right to choose, only to be told, there weren't enough ballots, and turned away after so many hours can the public good even think to talk about anything besides these matters? How could such democracy be stifled time and again and to the ignorance of the public? How come we still can not see, the value is not in who wins or loses but in the rules of the game itself that must be upheld. That every citizen of this nation, let them cast their vote. I can not believe, I can not believe that with so much talk so little of it addresses this issue, the issue of the election itself, the issue that in our 21st century society we still can't do something as simple as count slips of paper. And that in the 21st century cheaters and manipulators, and other such actors are not received with an outcry of shame and disgust, that anyone would dare to taint and terrorize the very fabric of our democratic society. In these next ten days let us all pray, and pray fast, for the honest counting of votes, let us all pray, no matter what your prejudice or party, no matter what your age or color, for an honest count, for an honest representation of the public will. And that those who might hold evil in their hearts, toward this process, that they may be released to the just and loving arms of the Lord. For these matters I pray deeply and steadfast.

    No, and no. Neither candidate will tell it like it is. I think they both have been seduced by the forces of materialism into thinking they can manipulate the systems into working. I suppose when enough people disengage from the social/economic/religious structures of the past...which are dead and no longer meet peoples' needs, then productive change can begin. Even calls for change will not be enough. We'll need to have deflation, depression, a terrorist attack and more severe weather events to persuade America that commercialization and its proponents in the government as well as the private sector have been and are killing the American dream. Wakeup America!
    Collapse of the stock markets is just the beginning of a process which will finally empower everyday people to take charge of their lives. We're finding out that no one is minding the store for us.
    We must demand fairness and justice and not be ignored.


    Candidates aren't allowed to discuss the world as it is because corporate money will not allow it. For example, the need and desire of the American public for universal health care is clear. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans believe in a single payor health care system and would pay higher taxes to support it. However, the common refrain from politicians supporting the idea is, "it is not politically feasible" i.e. the HMOs, pharmaceutical and insurance companies are against it, and they fill the election coffers of the candidates. The results are candidates throw the public a "bone" and do very little that addresses the problem, but of course it does keep the big money stake holders happy and unfortunately that's what matters.

    # Has either candidate addressed the world as it is?
    # Can candidates tell hard truths and still win?
    Neither candidate can afford to address the world as they really see it, because their concern has to be to win the election? If either Senator Obama or Senator McCain attempted to campaign on what they felt the real truths where, in the beginning of their campaign, they would have suffered the same fate as Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich was first ignored by the media, and then ultimately excluded from the debates. Senator Obama's and Senator McCains' nominations both show that each campaign understands what they do and don't control. It is the media's responsibility to present a balanced view of the world. It is also the media's responsibility to ask each of the candidates reasonable questions that are related to the constitutional and de facto duties of a president. These questions also should describe and acknowledge how Congress operates as an institution, because the president does not have any constitutional legislative authority. Although the party that rules Congress is very important, success in pushing through a legislative agenda depends on the Speaker, committee and subcommittee chairs, and whatever rules Congress decides to implement.

    Ditto, dish Jamieson:
    "I never comment on boards like this, but I feel it's necessary to add my voice to those calling for an end of the drawn out run of appearances on the show by Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She was intersting at first, but I would be fine to never hear from her again.

    -A devouted fan.

    Posted by: Joe | November 1, 2008 1:19 AM

    Christianity's Rejection of God's Commandment

    Can God lie? God told Eve that "He will be over you". God turned to Adam and told him that “because you listened to your wife" he is to live a laborious life and then die. Can this be one half truthful?
    Modern Christianity will not recognize that this is both a commandment and a promise; as is all of god’s desires. The promise that the male and the female are to not be equal was for all, and for ever, and is the first of God’s concerns.
    Jesus Christ followed His Father's will in everything, including the differences between the male and female, but modern Christianity has deliberately changed the bible's repeated instructions, and Jesus's examples, on this mater. God made man in His own image and He made the female in man’s image- for man- eons later. Jesus could have appointed a female apostle or a female disciple, but He didn't! He could have made some sort of statement that she could draw from in the future that would show His approval of her equality to the male, but He didn’t! He followed His Father's designs and desires in every way. He did leave us a clear message about her though “Whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already with her in his heart”
    Much of modern Christianity teaches that the will of the Supreme Being is of little bearing on us today, and God's expressed commandment is an untruth. God will keep His word forever as has been demonstrated by the everlasting blessings of the promised ones (who proved their loyalty). If anything of God’s desire is not practiced it is a sin. God cannot lie.

    In1911, near the time of the invention of the printing press, the Holy Spirit answered the request of a group of Christians that they be led while writing His holy words. This book came about with efforts from King James and it was named after him for gratitude. This bible is directed to man, but under the guise of “a better interpretation” Christianity has been changing it ever sense 1920. This change has been slow and veiled. It has aided Satan's displacing man's first need of a loyalty to God over to hers, and consequently his.
    Most of the bible’s focus on the female is negative. Jesus Christ sent St. Paul to the Gentiles to put in writing His requests of us, but today the Gentiles play like they can’t read the parts of the New Testament that apply solely to her.
    God's desires do not change; man does. Eve has led Adam to Satan again because no one checked the bible before they placed the issue of an equal vote for all on the ballot with the19th amendment. We intermixed our idea of freedom with God’s design of “the two shall be one”. The 19th constitutional amendment was a mistake as this error has destroyed the family and has filled our jails. It needs rescinded immediately because it defies God’s commandment, and His promise, and His design.

    Harry Brandimore


    Lady did you make that baby
    How did you put the head on straight
    Why didn’t you give it hands of eight
    It is divined to keep its date
    God made woman to procreate
    Not to compete with her mate
    Mary nurtured it while it grew
    You error if you choose to eschew
    God built it and he didn’t use glue
    He made it, it’s not a part of you
    He used the vessel He designed for it too

    Harry Brandimore
    98 Starlight Ln.
    Reeds Spring, Mo.

    I'm afraid I have to agree with the negative comments here regarding Jamieson. I used to look forward to hearing her insights but she's lost a lot of credibility for me. Her suggestion that Obama should have considered giving McCain a thirty-minute slot of his own on primetime was patently ridiculous. Aside from the legal and ethical issues involved in the use of money specifically donated to Obama, it is not Obama's job to help out McCain in such a fashion. If she wants to argue that the major networks should have donated a half-hour timeslot to both candidates to make their case, that's another story, but that's not what she was proposing. She’s entered the realm of silly and, again, sadly, Bill failed to call her on it.

    I concur with those who think KHJ has run the course. She has gotten more and more arrogant and cerebral and totally out of touch with the "real world" as time as gone on. She and Bill appear to have a personal conversation going on that only the two of them understand because I certainly don't. Enough already!

    As context, this is from the heart of Ohio. Dr.Jamieson’s suggestion that Obama’s wealth of private donations could have shown real “change” by funding McCain’s equal time caught me by surprise. Mostly, I follow what she has to say but this left me puzzled. Yeah, it makes a certain kind of theoretical sense (where Jamieson is at her best). But then there is the issue of the more than 8 postcards I’ve received in the mail. They ALL have tried Barack Obama and found him guilty by association of being a terrorist, a crook, a baby killer, an anti semite, prepubescent, etc. The only one missing is that he has a sister that is a thespian! But wait, there’s more. There have also been twice this number of robo calls stating the same, in addition to a barrage of this same line of insinuation on TV ads. The entire tact was best personified by someone who said she is “anti Obama” (she never even bothered to say she is pro McCain. Indeed there are TV ads running that dis a candidate without even bothering to say who you should vote for, just as long as you vote against). The subtlety of whether this is paid for by the McCain campaign’s “public funding” or the RNC is lost on me since, Gee, it was John who accepted the RNC’s nomination to run for president as their candidate. I have only received one postcard from the Obama campaign, and it tells me where to vote, that my vote is important and what Obama offers to do. I’ve received no robo calls. And the ads on TV promote, differentiate, and define policy differences the Obama campaign has with the Republicans (who currently hold the presidency) and their present candidate (term limits prevent the incumbent from running again, unlike NYC). The Obama campaign could just as easily try the RNC’s candidate and find him guilty by association on many counts. They haven’t. I think that is the disparity, the gap, between Jamieson’s creative critical theory and “the world as it is.”

    Sorry, folks, Jamison knew that she was making an "out there" comment. The point is that the excessive amounts of money taint this election and they pave the way for more of the same. Astronomically expensive campaigns that scratch the back of big media automatically reinforce the notion that you have to be very rich, very connected AND, alas, very beholden to attain elected office and that makes losers for all of us.

    While I agree that Obama is the better candidate this year, campaigns flooded with money don't look any better to me when the candidate with an obscene excess of money is "my" candiate.

    Big money drowns out the peoples voice and that is a concern for all of us.

    I am very disappointed that you, Mr. Moyers, continue to perpetuate the "myth" that Senator Obama broke a promise to accept public financing. You also allow your guest, Kathleen Jamieson to state this on many occasions without correcting her.
    Jake Tapper discussed this distortion in his blog on June 19th. Senator Obama was one of only two candidates who bothered to answer a questionnaire from the Midwest Democracy Network in November 2007 about their plans for campaign finance reform. Senator Obama stated he would be willing to negotiate with the opponent to accept public financing. When his campaign contacted the McCain campaign the following February, the McCain campaign wasn't interested in negotiating.
    I hope in the future you will fact check more carefully before promoting inaccuracies about either candidate.

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson's suggestion was so idealistic as to be laughable. It's as if a defense attorney were to tell the judge that the DA should be given more time, because the prosecution hadn't made a good enough case against his client

    I fell out of my chair laughing when Dr. Jamieson said she thought Senator Obama should pay for Senator McCain to be on TV explaining his philosophy and policies. Talk about "ivory tower". This is a campaign and not a round table seminar series at the Annenberg Center. Senator Obama has been accused of "palling around with terrorist" called a socialist, and said to promote policies that would take away our freedoms. And that's just from the McCain campaign. We've seen and heard the lies and distortions that the Republican Party has thrown out there. And he should give these people money? Besides, it wouldn't work anyway. See, Dr. Jamieson, that would be the candidate with more money giving it to the candidate with less money which sounds, to me, like a "redistribution of wealth". And I'm pretty sure the McCain campaign is vehemently against that.

    I agree with above comments that Jamieson's interviews are tiresome.She commends McCain for what he may have been but does not note that he has sold his soul in hopes of winning this election. Give my money for a McCain tv spot NOT ON YOUR LIFE Time for some new people to interview .How about Krugman or Herbert?

    Dear Mr. Moyers,I am 76 years old and have watched your program, with appreciation for years. Last night I turned your program off. I could not bear the pompsity of Jamison, Loury, and yes, you. You have been headed in that direction for sometime; last night was over the top. You have lost a devoted viewer. It makes me very sad. Beverly

    I have watch every program I could since this election cycle began. The next time Jamieson is on I will find something else to do.

    As always, I enjoyed the honest discussions featured on The Journal. The perspectives represented are challenging and thought provoking, unlike anything we hear from the usual talking heads on network and other cable shows.

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson, whose insight I normally relish, threw me for a loop last night. I found her suggestion that Obama should have magnanimously paid for McCain to honestly (?) present his vision for America in a nod to equal time quite naïve. The idea may look good on paper, but would never happen in the real world, and most certainly not in the midst of a hotly contested and critically important Presidential campaign. On the other hand, I was riveted to Loury’s comments. Loury spoke from “the other’s” perspective which, as a woman, I would have hoped Jamieson would do more frequently. She has certainly done so in the past, primarily when discussing the misogynistic treatment of Hillary Clinton’s run for the Presidency during the primaries.

    And I was disappointed in Joan Claybrook’s response that writing letters, demonstrating, calling elected officials will fix what is wrong with our government. Again, a bit too naïve for me. I’ve done all of the above, and it does bring incremental change, but not monumental change. The bottom line is that money, lots and lots of money, controls our government. Maybe if the taxpayers had the option of choosing where their tax dollars would be spent then we, the American people, would have more of a voice in our own governance. If we want to live in a democracy, it’s up to us to take an active role in how we are governed. We must be informed – with facts – not rhetoric. We must hold our elected officials accountable for acting in their own self interest instead of ours.

    As to “jane” stating that Americans are great………..what can I say? She, herself, obviously doesn’t think the 22 million Americans in our jails and prisons are great. She doesn’t think that “Frank, Dodd, Rangel, Reid, Turbin,and Poloski” are great. Does that make these 22 million and 6 something other than Americans? Sounds a lot like Palin’s phrasing of “this is part of (insert state she’s visiting) that loves America.’ Is that not another way of saying that there are whole areas in America that don’t “love” this country? I am so tired of the divide and conquer mentality, of the segregating of whole segments of society, of the us and them posturing. The dialog has gone beyond questioning people’s patriotism to now questioning their birthright. America, more so that most other countries, is diverse…a melting pot as we were once called. Isn’t it time to include everyone and stop excluding all those “others?”

    Good programming. K Jamieson said it quite right that countries are looking at the US for if that change does not come with the 1st term of the new president, then, I think, there will be a drastic search for another strong leader. Palin said that Sweden is like a socialist country...perhaps they will be the new leader.

    I am afraid that when next tuesday is over with and everything settles down to normal, the same old thing will be with us...the rich will get richer and the poor poorer. Wall Street and the greedy CEOs will find new ways to defraud.

    All these new promises made by Obama & McCain things will not amount too much because all these big and huge corporations who are supporting have their own selfish interests at heart.

    They had a great, but limited conversation. There were areas of the conversation that Jamieson clearly wanted to avoid. She has been on the show numerous times talking about communication issues, yet she carefully avoids issues just like the candidates. I actually learned some the communication techniques she talked about on previous shows, now listen to her dodging topics. She did bring up some important issues regarding Mccain and what he has actually done in the past and why he doesn't talk about it.

    I found Loury to be intellectually honest and more comprehensive in his explanation of how he came to his conclusions. I don't agree with everything he said but I can understand his rational and point of view. How much change can a cosmetic change actually bring about if you don't think there is anything wrong with you? Sure, the politicians will change but what about us, will we change?

    I think part of the problem is that we are surrounded by and surround ourselves with a continual stream of ideological driven, partisan, and destructive talking heads and biased information that reinforces and shapes our ideas. How often do we actively go out to seek ideas and people different from our own? When we personally understand why people believe in whatever they believe in or why some people may feel this way or that way, we become more empathic and inclusive (not just black and white). Politicians and the media don't have to talk about real issues in America because Americans don't want to talk about real issues.

    I too found it amusing that in a show with the topic "addressing the world as it is"Kathleen Jamieson would suggest (in an admonishing tone yet) that Obama purchase advertising time on behalf of John McCain.

    In the "world as it is," the election of the U.S. President is a competitive endeavor, not an equal opportunity exchange of ideas. It has always been thus, exacerbated greatly by television. Ms. Jamieson might prefer it be otherwise, but it is clearly the Obama campaign that sees the "world as it is" -- in which the power of television can be used to win hearts and minds -- and is harnessing it to do what just a few years ago might have seemed impossible.

    Bill Moyers and all of the folk he invites can never give a thought provoking answer or ideas to questions asked or sought after. The reason for this is because Moyers never mentions that all of the hoodlums he mentions,or infers to as politicians are supposed to be good, kind, god fearing christians. Bill being a professional in this obscurantist type of thinking, can't think outside of the box.It is quite easy to count the number of Atheists who have been asked for their point of view, (it is Zero)and the illpractice of American poilitics, but questions are never asked about the death of the first amendment. The first amendment states religion is not needed in any regard for emoployment in the USA, or for any other need in life. A low number of 25 million Atheists are accorded to be citizens of our society, but all rights have been stolen by Christians. This theft is led by the Justice department, which has engineered and stolen many facets and rules of government. Judges of the Un-supreme court must swear to three god oaths before they can be appointed. This is in case the myth of god is deaf, or is leery of lawyers in general. This is in spite of the deliberate none mention of the word god, jesus, or christ in the Constitution. Atheists are never asked for their point of view because they are honest enough to mention all of the presidents are god loving hacks. George Bush senior when running for a second term, was asked what did he think of the Atheists in society. His response was that he didn't know much about Atheists, except they shouldn't be allowed to be citizens. Now you know how his sons grew up with worse mental predjudices. Remember that the USA is not a Christian entity, nor is the planet. The idea of a god is an unproven myth, and things unproven can't be denigrated or sullied. They are myths, until proof is supplied by believers, then they become facts. No gods in the history of humanity have been proven. A degree in Theology is a degree in nothing. Thus it is.

    I agree with the other people who have commented that Kathleen Hall Jamieson is getting tiresome. I've been watching her for weeks, and she isn't up to snuff on recent interviews with Obama and McCain. For example, her comments on Afghanistan seemed very dated given Obama's recent interviews with Rachel Maddow and others who have asked very pointed questions and received candid answers from Obama about our role in Afghanistan. Also, in all discussions, Hall Jamieson fails to factor in the Palin and Phil Gramm effect on a McCain presidency. As for transferring money to McCain, can you imagine the uproar from Obama supporters such as I who have contributed from $5 to $100--money most of us could have used for gas or milk, but our sense of urgency to defeat a campaign that would guarantee us years of the same is so great that we feel we MUST contribute. I came away from this week's Journal shaking my head. I've watched the journal religiously from the beginning, but Hall Jamieson's frequent appearances have done little to help me because I feel that I've informed myself to the point that I feel more savvy than she. I have no illusions that Obama isn't as progressive as I would like him to be, but some on the Journal don't give his supporters any credit. Do you think that we've sacrificed this money for naught? Do you think that we are all sheep who really think of him as the Messiah? If so, the Journal undermines the intelligence of its viewers. Ms. Hall Jamieson may not be aware that many of us have spent hours each day for almost two years reading and studying these candidates. I'm disappointed that she was the Journal's choice for the pre-election show. Not good.

    It seems that you call for strict adherence to the reality of the situation and then suggest an unrealistic use of campaign funds.
    Our present financial situation is the result of no faith in the system. we are depending on faith in a new administration to turn around the present situation and regain the integrity of our institutions and faith in our economic system. Candidates for president need to present a viable change to our economic system that will repair the damage; not ring their hands and predict dire circumstances.

    While I can appreciate your scholarly approach to the selling of a presidential candidate; I have a problem with your detached concern for lies and obvious character assassination practiced by the Republicans. McCain can not distance himself from the Republicans because he is a Republican and they will make sure he falls in line with the present administration policies. We will still be in the same ugly mess.
    That is the reality of the situation.

    After seeing Ms. Jamieson so many times on the Journal recently, I was surprised at my own surprise of how pointedly partisan she seemed to be on almost every point in this session. Normally, I find her to be reasonable, but tonight she seemed to have an agenda, one unfavorable to Obama.

    Mr. Loury also appeared to have an agenda, one that mapped well to Ms. Jamieson's. She seemed to suggest Obama was too black, while he seemed to suggest Obama was too white. Both were certainly critical of Obama, and neither balanced that with criticisms of McCain. And for Loury to more or less imply that McCain was more or less the "Great White Hope" that black people have been waiting for nearly made me vomit. Your silence on that point was enough to make me excuse myself from the room for a few moments.

    The worst part of all was watching you, Mr. Moyers. Almost always, you have had a magnificent quality of being able to cut through the crap with laser-guided proficiency, but tonight it seemed like every point your guests made that you didn't have a prepared talking point to counter with just slipped passed you as though you were phoning it in.

    As a long time avid fan of yours, I cannot remember ever being so disappointed, and to the extent that I may never watch another episode of the journal.

    K.Jamieson's idea of Obama
    giving McCain $ for equal time, would need to hold honor to this: Democracy practiced requires grace. You allow another viewpoint. No villiany required.
    So,with the current bundle of misleading stories being used as a grab for power, how is this idea possible? The current political machine would need to swear-in, as in court.
    What I perceive in Obama is his obvious expression of Goodwill To ALL.
    All candidates realize they are not able to make each idea or promise become reality. It is the motive that moves voters to comprehend the meaning of the intended ideas. Most citizens come to understand what
    drives each candidate to present the pitch. In this voting season, I can easily see the candidate who is inclusive,along with the more divisive one.
    Of late, what new realities are unveiling for the entire planet to consider? Mainly because we are dealing with some exceedingly difficult issues/problems as never before, it will take an enormous generation of Goodwill to face ourselves. We can lift our thoughts a little higher to deal with what comes. Hold to the what is good, beautiful and true:Let us treat others the way we would choose to be treated. Bind back together folks, we need to support humanity in general. And we can, if we use our inate kindness and goodwill. War only when an absolute must. Positive support is contagious. 'Expressing Goodwill Is Love in Action'. My Love to All

    Reading viewer comments about Kathleen Hall Jamison's suggestion that she would have liked to see Barrack Obama share his $$$ and pay for equal time for McCain, I was surprised to not see a single comment in agreement. I thought this was brilliant political insight on her part and it would have certainly gotten the attention of undecided voters. I also disagree with the notion that Ms. Jamison has appeared on Bill Moyers Journal too much. I am always enlightened, entertained, inspired and appreciative of what I've learned from every guest on his show. Ms. Jamison is at the top of that list.

    Dear Bill,

    Yours is my favorite program, but I wish you would have included a serious look at Ralph Nader. I'm voting for Ralph Nader!
    Sincerely, Carolyn Goodart

    I never comment on boards like this, but I feel it's necessary to add my voice to those calling for an end of the drawn out run of appearances on the show by Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She was intersting at first, but I would be fine to never hear from her again.

    -A devouted fan.

    Neither major candidate has dealt openly with the foreign mess that we are in. Both advocate wasting more blood and treasure in Afgh and invading Pakistan.

    No, candidates cannot deal honestly with the US electorate, because it is uninformed and too ignorant to care.

    We are a failed democracy becoming a failed state.

    bill moyers remains supremely confident in the extendt of his ignorance ,or our collective stupidity

    I am flabergasted that Ms Jameison suggests that Senator Obama buy TV time for Senator McCain. My wife and I sacrificed so we could send $200 to Obama. We would be angry and feel betrayed if he gave our money to McCain. We could have contributed to McCain if we wanted to.
    We previosly considered Ms. Jameison to be an intelligent and reasonably practical woman. He idea is nothing less than looney. It would be a knife in the back to his supporters.

    Kathleen Jamieson (who is usually more insightful, and always more insightful than Howard Kurtz) uses the term "the new pragmatism"? Don't we get that every time a new chief executive is inaugurated?

    Jane: The best way to get even with terrorists is to demonstrate the courage to live free. The use of torture and Gitmo's existence (where prisoners are held indefinitely without a trial) undermines every principle upon which your country was founded.
    Also, if you've "have heard nothing positive from B[arack] O[bama] while running for president" then you've been talking when you should have been listening. Since when is hope a negative?
    Further, your blanket statement that "convicts made their own choices and the Law was enforced" demonstrates that you are grossly ill-informed concerning the subject. And, the "goof", as you call him, exercised his first amendment right to fly the flag upside down as a means of expressing his concern that democracy is in crisis and you don't like it. Yet, I doubt you're bitching about all those right-wing ditto-heads whining about ACORN. Face it. You don't trust intellectuals and you don't like having your belief systems challenged. That's why they created FOX News. Good luck.

    I just recently got cable, having been anti-TV for the last decade. I had forgotten the pleasures of the soothing voice & style of Bill Moyers, coupled with intelligent articulate disscussion, rather than in-your-face confrontation and shouted advocacy seen elsewhere. Mr Loury & Ms Jamieson were an unexpected bonus. A fine and illuminating discussion.

    On the eve of this election it was very disappointing to see the two guests tear down the best person we've seen in a presidential candidate since John Kennedy. It was even more disappointing and unusual that Mr. Moyers did not challenge either Hall Jamieson or Loury's positions. The uplifting ideas of Common Cause and Public Citizen representatives were totally misaligned with the first half of the show.

    Kathleen Hall Jamieson is featured entirely too much on this show, almost as a default guest, to comment on nearly every topic. Each time, she fails to bring any new ideas or insights to the table, other than to mouth the same overworked tropes of pundits on the for-profit cable news programs. On a show that has made itself distinctive for airing a wider spectrum of voices than the corporate media, it is very disappointing to see her featured over and over. How about letting a real media critic speak once in a while, like Glenn Greenwald. Even Howard Kurtz would be more interesting than Jamieson.

    Loury complanined about the fact that there are 22 million jailed in this country.The reason they are jailed has zero to do with the Government. The reason is, these convicts made their own choices and the Law was inforced. As far as terrorists being jailed at Gitmo, that was an act of the Gov. to protect American's. These Libs that continue to constantly speak so negative about America need to look at all the positive chances they have been given and be thank-ful. I have heard nothing positive from BO while running for president. He tears this country apart at every gathering. That goof on the show tonight who put a picture of OUR flag upside-down is another example of people who are a disgrace to America. American's are great!!! It is people such as Frank, Dodd, Rangel Reid, Turbin,and Poloski who ruin the image of this country. Again, if people go to jail, it is THEIR choice

    I fouond Jameison's concept that Obama should have used money entrusted to him for McCain just outrageous. McCain has used public funds to assault Americans with his slander and ignorance. He has run an evil campaign from every standpoint. I would be furious if my hard earned money be used for a private campaign program.

    Personally I have had to wait these last eight years to have my lifework be used for the benefit of America and Americans. I have suffered immeasurably during this period. I will not denigrate our wonderful work to be twisted and abused further.

    Jameison should take the stance that everything be done to enable righteous Americans to contribute within a Constitutional and ethical system.

    Enabling slander and abuse is not in the best interest of America and Americans.

    I am sorry as I have stated before Kathleen Hall Jamison is a tired old horse. She has flights of fancy to think that I want the money I donated to Obama campaign to fund McCain spewing continued misinformation on television. Excuse me, but the Fairness Doctrine does not exist any longer. If McCain had the money would he have paid for the "most liberal Senator" to speak on television, I seriously doubt it. Kathleen reminds me of the "Church Lady" of SNL. If you want a more prophetic evaluation of our culture and our government why not ask Walter Brueggemann to be own your program. He would be less pedantic than Kathleen Hall Jamison.

    Two things about this conversation really bother me. Just how could Obama ethically contribute money given to him for his campaign to something that might aid McCain. That idea just doesn't fly under any scenario that I can imagine.

    Second, I'm sick to death of seeing blacks, women, and Hispanics constantly representing a Republican party that has almost zero such in positions of real power. Cameras pointing at the lectern at the Republican convention could logically be construed as oerating in a different zone than those pointing at the audience. Every group that is not represented in the vast majority of the membership of that party could be found on that stage, almost to the exclusion of the real powers of the party. Then, we have the same at every level of representation on news programs. This is blatant racism and sexism at it's most cynical.

    We watch your show weekly, but we are really tired of Kathleen Hall Jameison. Can't you find someone else to interview?

    We watch your show weekly, but we are really tired of Kathleen Hall Jameison. Cant you find someone else to interiew?

    Superb discussion. Hopefully, it is, itself, a harbinger of change. I think the major point here is that McCain has been unable to disentangle himself from the last 8 years. Most of that has probably been due to lack of independent money. Frankly, I think McCain has been and would be far more of a reformer, but hasn't been able to convince others of that. He needed particularly to appeal to the New South without alienating the old South, and the New West without alienating the old West.

    Jameison's flight of fancy was a little much. But Loury's scope on the issues is broad, and his answers were insightful, coherent, and supported by the reality that most of us live. His take on the "could vs. would" question was spot on. Why aren't guys like that running the show?

    Crucially, the world as it is is warming globally. The art of politics is a bad mechanism for dealing with scientific reality.

    Global warming is progressing much faster than scientists predicted, and the current concentration of greenhouse gases in the air is already above the safe limit for averting the worst consequences of global warming. Sea level rise is predicted to be measured in meters (> 3 feet) by the end of the century. This calls for much more urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels than politicians have been willing to discuss.

    There is growing realization that building a sustainable energy future will aid our economy. See ",8599,1852183,00.html" or Van Jones' just published book, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, for example.

    A politician can act if enough people see the problem. Let's hope this number grows big enough in time and our next President realizes our time limit.

    Years ago author Philip Slater coined a term "toilet assumption" to describe the fact that we Americans have a strong tendency to ignore what we don't see or smell in front of us. Both political parties have embraced this tendency, turning it into political strategy, and do not allow the real world issues to be seen much less addressed by candidates.

    If our 'enlightened' media doesn't force the real world back in the face of the candidates which has not happened to any significant degree yet, we will continue to have real doubts about how our leadership will govern in the real world.

    Both Gleen Loury and Kathleen Jamieson, two highly intellectual individuals were a pleasure to listen to, thank you. I always enjoy your program and greatly admire you Mr. Bill Moyers.

    I think the fact that these 2 liberal scholars seem disconcerted with Obama's defacto ability to take away the "man keeping us down" arguement that plagues the black community's ability to move forward, speaks volumes to his legitimate claim to Change. After all, what will Mr. Loury write about then??

    Glenn Loury offered nothing on this program. Kathleen Jameison is great. Loury took away from Jameison's usual profundity.
    if you need a Brown Professor, go with Tricia Rose. She's way better than Loury--more clear and more honest. Plus, she's nice to look at!!!
    Give Jameison her own segment!!

    Has either candidate addressed the world as it is?
    Can candidates tell hard truths and still win?

    In my opinion Americans don't want to hear the hard truth and they have demonstrated this time and time again. Mind you, the hard truth is not palatable for any human human but I do think as a nation Americans are exceptional in their rejection and denial of the price the world pays for America's lifestyle and other realities.

    9/11 presented a real opportunity for Americans to grow but the opportunity was lost in the thirst for revenge. Americans live under a cloud of lies and they are the only ones in the world that don't know it. It's positively surreal. Anybody that tries to speak the truth is severely punished and so very few people speak.

    For example, Rev. Wright spoke the truth (not the God damn America part but the part about all the horrible things America has done in the world that Americans turn a blind eye to etc.) and the whole country went into a seizure.

    Until Americans are willing to take an honest hard look at themselves they will always be victims of the lies the media and politicians tell.

    You can kill the messenger but that won't change the message.

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