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Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Election Post Mortem

4e3df32f007a6-imageI hate to say it. But, I knew it. I knew Hillary Clinton couldn’t win. I said it in 2008, and again this time around. I just knew that Republicans would find, or create, enough crap on her to make it impossible. It was one of the reasons I backed Barrack Obama then, and Bernie Sanders this election cycle. Perhaps I should have been more vocal about it … not that it would have changed much. The Democrat’s power machine had their eyes on HRC for a long time. It was a fait accompli.

Speaking of Dems. I lay much of this at their feet. Instead of taking the Bush buddies to task for their war, economic, and social crimes; their Kumbaya attitude of “let’s move on” emboldened right-wingers who had raped and pillaged so much, here and abroad. Allowing them to continue to plan for their future without fear of any kind of reckoning for the past. It also gave Righties an opportunity to not have to own the failures of 8 years of Bush II. To actually be able to paint Obama and the Dems as the architects of the Great Recession and the other collateral damage they left behind. Without something concrete to point back to, it gave them the ability to sweep everything under the rug and create a dog and pony show to distract the public from the reality they had just endured. After all, the average American’s memory seems to be about as reliable as that of my Alzheimer’s laden father.

Our ability to forget the past has truly brought us to this moment. Forgetting that our lives have been quantifiably better under the last two Democratic Presidents. Forgetting what our President-elect has said and done over the last several months, much less the past several years. And, certainly forgetting that it was the same dog-whistles, and vitriolic nationalism that led the world to the beginning of one of it’s darkest chapters a mere 82 years ago.

The media gets it’s fair share of the blame, as well. In their insatiable need to sensationalize everything for the sake of ratings, they allowed and even encouraged the legitimization of a candidate that was by many accounts “uniquely unqualified” and “spectacularly unfit” for the office of President. Our fourth estate failed us, as the job of journalist has taken a turn toward melodrama rather than truth. I’m sure that Walter Cronkite is spinning in his grave.

My hope is that I, and others like me, will continue to have the freedom to express our inner most thoughts and feelings through their blogs, podcasts, news outlets, and general media. Though, the way the Washington Post was banned from covering Trump during the campaign doesn’t give me confidence that the 1st Amendment will be defended as vigorously as the 2nd in the near future. I will continue to search for truth, and post about all the injustice, inequity, and plain unlawfulness committed against our society for as long as I am able. I truly hope I am wrong about what the next 4-8 years will bring. But, unfortunately, my hope has worn very thin.

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Can’t Be Quiet Any Longer!

Hitler-TrumpI can’t be quiet any longer! I just can’t!! My self imposed muteness must end. The shit pile we call a country was going down the crapper at a parabolic pace, and there didn’t seem that anything could be done on this end. The louder I screamed, the worse it got.
Many want to blame it on Obama, or the Republican controlled congress. Others take aim at Wall Street, or the Military-Industrial Complex. Still others hold the media responsible, be it liberal or conservative. Me??? I blame them all!
We, as a general populace, are screwed daily, from multiple directions, and from multiple uninvited parties. People into BDSM call it “Air Tight”. Which is what this poltico-socio-economic system we’ve come to accept; that represses, suppresses, and oppresses the vast majority of us in ways we may not even comprehend; seems to be for the very few who thrive splendidly in it.
That said, it is not the butt-fucking of the masses by the “of, for, and by the people” mirage that has me back on my cyber pulpit. NOPE! It’s actually the possibility that we could be repeating the unquestionably ugliest chapter in human history, a mere 71 years after the nightmare ended. In case you haven’t read your history, there was a man who rallied a disgruntled electorate behind a culture of distrust, and eventually hatred, of minorities; a belief that their society was superior to all others; and savagely, and eventually murderously, enforced their dogma with a goon squad made up of angry, violent sociopaths.
In the video below, you can see how Donald Trump’s legions treat anyone who does not espouse the same ideals as their vaunted leader. It doesn’t matter if you are vocal protestor, a silent observer, or even a legitimate journalist trying to make your living covering the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination … you are fair game for a beat down:

The rabid staunchness of his supporters – and the lengths they will go to in order to defend his inane, if not inhumane, tenets – is eerily similar to the early days of what would become the Third Reich. His henchmen, hauntingly reminiscent of what would become the SS. His xenophobia, Islamophobia, and self-admitted chiraptophobia; strikingly similar to the many psychosis exhibited by Adolph Hitler, himself.
I guess it’s not surprising to see the ugly head of fear, race/religion-baiting, and bullying take hold of a significant portion of the public. After all, there is great discord going on in this country. Besides, most of the population can’t name the Vice President, much less remember the murderous crimes against humanity committed by a psychotic, paranoid, schizophrenic and his followers last century. Though, if you were to actually study some history, you might find the parallels unnerving. You might even find yourself wanting to stand up to the insanity and say “ENOUGH!”. I know I do.

Please, Secede!

Secede Bumper StickerIf you haven’t heard, several states have issued post-election secession petitions to the White House. Gun sales have also skyrocketed since President Obama won a convincing reelection bid last week. Some are now correlating that these two responses portend an impending Civil War II. While I won’t argue the ridiculousness of that assertion, based on the fact that the vast majority of the population in those states oppose such a radical reaction to a Black man inhabiting the Oval Office, I will offer a simple peaceful solution to the remote possibility that Americans will once again take up arms against each other: LET THEM SECEDE!

It’s not so much that many of these “America: Love It, Or Leave It!” bumper sticker toting hypocrites, who don’t believe in science; the separation of church and state; or true individual liberty, are trying to drag the rest of us into an apocalyptic quagmire they gleefully call “The Rapture”. It’s more that while they claim to want the feds to stop giving handouts to the so-called “takers” in this country, it is actually them that are the true recipients of handouts from “big government”. Yep! THEY are the ones creating a real drag on our economy and inflating our national debt with their insatiable hunger to suck on the tax-payer-teat. Six, count ’em, six of the top-ten per-capita recipients of federal assistance dollars are states that are leading this secession campaign.

I say, let ’em go! We’ll save money, we’ll instantly raise the IQ level of our country, and we’ll have a neighboring country to whom we can export the high tech products we will be producing: from alternate energy sources to efficient cars, innovative communications to cutting-edge entertainment, and new medical breakthroughs to natural resources. It will also make it much easier for the elected representatives that remain, the majority of which will come from “Blue States” based on the states leading this new Confederate charge, to move forward with the business of governing the country rather than trying to negotiate with reactionaries that are more committed to filibusters and political ideology than to compromise and real patriotism.

In short, it will be an expeditious way to clean the American gene pool, and get this country back on a track that honors and respects individual freedom, intelligent discourse, and the American tradition of including the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. Besides, if you truly want to leave this country because a person of color has become your leader, you were never a true American to begin with … and, please, let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

Is Harry Reid Growing Some Cojones?

WARNING:  THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND/OR ADULT THEMES

Late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, announced he would be supporting a new Health Care Reform bill that has a modified public option included, citing strong public opinion in favor of such an option.  Additionally, he said he would consider using “reconciliation” in order to only require a 50% majority, rather than the usual 60%, to pass the bill.

This is a huge gamble for the Nevada Democrat, but one he is apparently willing to back with the rarely invoked “reconciliation” which would give the one-finger-salute to any attempt at bipartisanship.  Since the exact details of his proposal have yet to be released, and will be reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, I won’t discuss the merits of it here …yet.  But, the bold move does deserve some examination.

Is Harry Reid getting “Mavricky” on us?  Suddenly grown a huge set of balls?  Or, just emboldened by the growing public opinion consensus?  I think the evidence points solidly towards the latter.  “Public Option” wasn’t even part of his vocabulary when the Health Care debate began in earnest several months ago.  Then, when President Obama stated that he would prefer a bill with the PO, Reid pretty much poo-pooed it, saying he doubted he could get it passed.  Then, when Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) suggested a PO back-up plan if certain thresholds were not met over the next 5-7 years, Reid said it was a “pretty darn good idea”.  In other worlds, he has waffled more on this subject than breakfast at IHOP!

Regardless of his motivation for the sudden discovery of backbone, Reid’s daring move deserves some applause.  While his bill may not ending up being a full-fledged PO that drives real competition in an overweight, out-of-shape Health Care system, it is a start in the right direction that will certainly drive the debate truly needed on this issue.  Most of all, though it took some time, it’s refreshing to see some of our elected officials seemingly inclined to heed to the will of the majority of the American people.

It remains to be seen if the Majority Leader can stick to his guns and get a bill done that will jive well with what the Pelosi-led House has proposed.  My suggestion to Senator Reid is to add some extra starch to his shirts in order to stand erect during the heated battle that is sure to follow, because I’m not sure if that is a faux Public Option in his pants pocket, or truly a new set of cojones.

What … No “Thank You”?

Back in March of this year, the bell-weather Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted to a 12-year low of 6547. Many on Wall Street, and certainly most in the right-dominated financial news arena, criticized, and even attacked, Barak Obama as the cause of the stock market meltdown. (We could argue that the cause was actually initiated, perpetuated, and accentuated under the watchful eye of the Bush regime, but that is the subject for another post).
Yesterday, we finally closed back above the “magic” 10K level of the Dow, a whopping 70+% move in just seven short months. Certainly a cause for celebration and a proverbial slap on the back for our President, right? But, for some “odd reason” I didn’t see one mention, in broadcast or print, that lauded Obama or his financial team for getting the market back to this level in such short order.
So, where’s the “Atta boy!”, “Way to go!, or even “Thank you!”??? You’d think with all the “liberal controlled media” that they would be clamoring over one another like Russians in a one-loaf breadline to applaud the President. Well, unless you need the tax loss, don’t go buying futures and options on any type of positive recognition happening anytime soon. All one has to do is look at who owns the news networks, and therefore controls the messages delivered, to realize that there is very little liberal media in this country. Even CNN, which is often characterized in this way, is home to John King and Lou Dobbs – two of the most ardent conservative mouthpieces in broadcast. At least GE, parent company of the NBC family of networks, allows for some balance with the more liberal minded MSNBC vs. the conservative led CNBC.
But, control debates aside, fair is fair. If you are going to blame someone for a problem, then it is only reasonable to commend them when they fix the problem (or at least get things going in the right direction). When America was able to score quick and decisive victories in the early parts of the Afghanistan operation, I was one of the first to admit that my initial feelings about President Bush and his cohorts might have been wrong, and loudly praised the success. Unfortunately, those feelings were quickly dashed when it became clear that they would leave the job unfinished to begin a new, unnecessary war in Iraq.
I’ve heard so many conservatives say that Obama “doesn’t walk on water”. Apparently, it seems he may have to do something along those miraculous lines in order to get any sort of recognition from the right-wingers. Though, even if he does somehow traverse water, I’m sure many will find a way to discredit it.

Why did Obama Get the Peace Prize?

If you haven’t heard, President Barak Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.  A great and nobel, if you will, accomplishment.  However, instead of reveling in the fact that a sitting American President won the coveted award, many of our fellow compatriot commentators are questioning, and even doubting, the choice by the Nobel committee.  Some are saying that he hasn’t accomplished anything deserving of such an honor.  Others are saying it is in recognition of what he intends to do. While still others are saying it is a slap in the face of George W. Bush and his war mongering, anti-social policies.

While none of those three assertions seem to carry any real validity, the latter appears the strongest argument.  Especially in light of the fact that neither Bush,nor anyone in his administration was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Afterall, starting a war that has been deemed unnecessary and unwarranted on any level doesn’t often afford you the opportunity to vie for such an acclamatory honor.

Similarly, should Obama be considered when he plans on ratcheting up the military efforts in Afghanistan?  In fact, on the very morning that he wins the award there are stories circulating that Mr. Obama plans on sending 40,000 additional troops into the conflict.  That doesn’t sound very peace-like.  So, why did Obama Get the Peace Prize?  Simply, because he got elected – which wasn’t so simple, at all.

Four years ago, if you were to ask, the majority of Americans would have been very doubtful that an African-American would have been elected to the highest office in the land during their lifetime.  While I have no problems electing anyone, of any race or religion, deserving of the post, I was among those that doubted that the American public could overcome it’s decades of fear, mistrust, and apprehension of putting someone other than a WASP into the job.  Heck, we’ve only managed to select one Catholic in the 200+ years this country has held presidential elections, no women, and certainly no one of color.  So, the odds of making a Black man President were, in my mind, slim and none.

Yet, Barak Obama was able to wade through centuries of racism and reluctance, overcome the fears and suspicions, and instill hope and faith in an American voting public longing for new and brighter directions.  He was able to draw votes from across the racial, political and economic boundaries that seem to separate and divide us most of the time.  He was able to secure more votes and a broader victory than even the most optimistic pollsters were predicting.   And, since taking office, he has opened dialogues with countries and leaders that haven’t even considered discourse with us in eight or more years.

True, he has yet to accomplish any major goals he has set out for his administration and our country.  He’s not perfect by any means, and is certainly not the “second coming”.  I have taken issue with some of what he has done and proposed in his first 10 months in office.  But, becoming the first minority elected President certainly deserves consideration considering the chasms and divides that he had to bridge and heal in this country in order to achieve such a lofty position.

No matter where you fall in the socio/political/economic spectrum you should feel proud today, and honored that the Nobel committee has recognized our President in such a positive way.  The fact that this will also give him (and as a result, us) so much political cache in international diplomacy and negotiating efforts doesn’t hurt either.  So, please, join me in saying, “Congratulations, Mr. President.  Use it well!”.

Why am I so stressed, Mr. President?

October 5, 2009 1 comment

WARNING:  THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND ADULT THEMES! (Sorry, no porn)

obama

Why am I so stressed?  I live a pretty stress free life, between all the pot I smoke and the number of times I wax the dolphin each day.  Throw in the fact that my favorite activities are golf, tennis, fishing, and laughing and playing with my kids (not necessarily in that order) and you’d think I wouldn’t have a real care in the world.  And, for the most part, I don’t.   Yet, for some odd reason, I am totally stressed out these days.

You don’t think it could be because the President that I actively helped elect last November apparently has no negotiating acumen whatsoever, and this little omission from his skills set is likely to produce a health care reform bill that will have all the teeth of my denture wearing grandmother?  Maybe it’s because I don’t know how I can afford to keep my wife and children insured when it is costing us 34% of our total income to pay the premiums.  Or, perhaps I just need to smoke and choke a bit more.  Let’s dive a little deeper into this morass.

Even I know that, when negotiating any type of deal, you must leave yourself some “wiggle room” to bargain with; and that you always start the process at a point of reference higher than you hope to finally settle at.  Apparently, Mr. Obama has forgotten this little elemental piece of Negotiating 101 doctrine.  Instead of starting with something like “Single Payor”, which would really create major reform and change for the health industry, and ending up with something like the “Public Option”, which would at the very least lower these out of control costs, he decided to start at the latter.  In effect, he is saying that the “Public Option” is the best he can hope for and will be willing to settle for something even less than that.

Unfortunately, what is now being bantered about within the bowels of Washington, D.C. is not reform at all.  It will hardly make a difference to most people struggling to make their premium payments; will not drive down costs, only slow their ascent; and, basically creates a status quo for the health insurance industry.  Two thirds of the citizens of this country are in favor of the “Public Option”, and more than half would welcome a “Single Payor” system.  But, the folks who supposedly represent us haven’t gotten that message, or just choose to ignore it.  I’m betting on the latter since the parasitic industry lobbyists running around the intestinal halls of Congress are on the tab for $14 million a day!

So, is our President really that dense, or lacking the backbone to stand up to the full-court press presented by the HMO gang.  I don’t think so … Obama is no George Bush – he actually possesses a brain and knows how to utilize it.  I also think there is more than just the starch in his shirt holding him upright.  Rather, I am convinced that the real reason he has started from such a totally weak bartering position is fear.  Fear of failure.

There is no doubt that the failure of the Clinton’s to get any healthcare bill passed during their tenure hangs over his head like a hole-ridden umbrella.  Politically, he feels he can’t afford to come away empty handed.  The funny thing is, that he could get any bill he really wanted passed, but it would compromise his myopic olive-branch pipe dream of bipartisanship.

Bipartisanship has never worked in American politics (outside of a few major crises like World War I or II) and never will.  The American voters gave the Democratic Party a pretty clear mandate last year, yet they somehow are failing to wield that mandate with any determination to get some real change going in an area that is quickly becoming this country’s next major crisis.

Fear is no place to begin any sort of negotiation.  It is a clear sign of weakness, and the folks sitting across the table from him can smell that debility like a pack of rabid Wolves.  Fear doesn’t beget change or reform.  Fear doesn’t move this country in new and enlightened directions.  Fear only will keep us in our current predicament.  Fear will assure that we remain the only western industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee quality, affordable (or even free) health coverage for all of its citizens.

At his first inauguration, President Franklin Roosevelt uttered the famous phrase, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”  What I fear is that my stress level doesn’t look to be coming down anytime soon.  Oh well, guess it’s time to go spark a doob and whittle the wood.