Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

by lizard

After Democrats experienced an electoral smack-down Tuesday, will there be any soul-searching? Or is it time to play the blame game? If it’s the latter, millennials are clearly the first scapegoat being pointed at. Here is one article, titled The Young And The Useless: How Millennials Left Democrats Hanging On Election Day. From the link:

Young voters in particular declined to show up for Democrats. The exit poll shows that voters between the ages of 18 and 29 supported Democrats by a strong 54 to 43 percent margin. But they made up just 12 percent of the electorate — down 7 percent from 2012, and equal to their dismal turnout from 2010.

By contrast, 37 percent of midterm voters were 60 or older — and these voters backed the Republicans by more than 15 percent.

While Millennial turn out was low, voters across the nation did support a wide variety of progressive ballot measures, like increasing minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, paid sick time, and expanding background checks for gun sales. In contrast, two personhood ballot initiatives were defeated by large margins.

It’s a confounding disconnect.

A better scapegoat could be the baggage of the Obama presidency. Six years of broken promises and capitulation to the destructive tendencies of America’s imperial ambitions have rendered an electorate disgusted with both parties. Dave Lindorff explains that Tuesday wasn’t a GOP victory, it was a Democratic rout:

The blame is being placed on President Obama for this drubbing, and he richly deserves it. Basically, his presidency has been one long string of disappointments to and outright betrayal of those who voted for him “hoping for change,” as Obama has caved on or compromised away virtually every progressive promise he made during his two campaigns.

As a constitutional scholar, he had promised to restore respect for the law to the presidency, and instead has made end runs around every law imaginable, refusing to prosecute the war criminals of the Bush/Cheney presidency, the CIA, and the military, refusing to prosecute the FBI for violating the Patriot Act, refusing to prosecute the bankers whose crimes brought the US and the global economy to a grinding halt and left the US crippled going on six years now.

He has run the most secretive administration in history, even employing the 1917 Espionage Act against leakers and whistleblowers, and threatening journalists with jail for publishing those leaks. Under his watch, too, the Homeland Security Department secretly orchestrated the nationwide crushing of the Occupy movement by local police departments, while the White House, all the while, offered homilies about the sanctity of the right to protest. (His HSD’s Office of Threat Assessment actually labelled this publication a “threat” for publishing an article exposing that role — a discovery which we now proudly display on our masthead above.)

Claiming to have been a “community organizer,” Obama hung the labor movement that had backed his campaign for president out to dry, declining to push for a promised and desperately needed reform of the National Labor Relations Act that would have ended the interminable and easily delayed process of requiring a secret ballot election to form a union, by reverting to the old system of obtaining a majority of signed cards from workers.

On climate change, which he had once called the issue of our time, his administration actually actively worked behind the scenes, with the help of the National Security Agency, to subvert efforts by international leaders to reach an international consensus on action in 2009 in Denmark. This Obama treachery allowed the world to lurch on towards a climate-change armageddon.

After promising to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama first drew out the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, leading to further chaos there and ultimately to the current disaster where the country is being torn apart by an invasion by the former Baathist military leaders who were earlier turned out by the Bush/Cheney invasion and occupation. Then he expanded the war in Afghanistan, dragging out that conflict to make it, at 13 years and running, the longest war in US history. And after spending hundreds of billions of dollars on pointless war and killing thousands of more Afghans and American soldiers too, he has left a nation in tatters which will revert to Taliban control again probably within months of the last US soldier leaving on the last troop transport.

No wonder the public was pissed this Election Day.

Climate change is one of the issues I think Democrats will have the most problems with going forward because it pits environmentalists against labor interests. Ochenski had a good piece on Monday about the tangible impacts of climate change on Montana’s hunting tradition and the failure of Lewis and Curtis to distinguish themselves from Daines and Zinke. From the link:

While many lament the falling number of hunters in recent years, it’s quite possible they are failing to connect the dots between our warming climate and fewer hunters. Not too tough to figure out, though, that if you go hunting and return without having seen or shot an elk year after year, one might just decide to hang up the elk rifle after a while.

A stunning affirmation of the current conditions was made plain when a good friend, who is a backcountry cook for an outfitter, said out of the nearly two months of wilderness rifle season so far, they had only taken one elk out of their Bob Marshall Wilderness camp. One elk.

Considering the cost for a week’s outfitted hunt runs about $5,000-$6,000 per individual, it’s not hard to predict that those who paid so much for a treasured Montana elk hunt only to find no tracking snow and no elk will be far less likely to do so in the future.

Yet, Montana’s politicians continue to embrace “all of the above” energy policies that only exacerbate global climate change. Keystone XL pipeline? They all support it. Mining more coal to ship to China? You bet. Cutting down more forests that actually take carbon dioxide out of the air? Oh yeah, let’s congressionally mandate even higher harvest levels. And of course more drilling and fracking garners universal applause from Republicans and Democrats.

But none of this happens in a vacuum. So how much of Montana’s hunting tradition – and economy – are our politicians willing to sacrifice to ever more energy production and consumption?

The Keystone XL pipeline will probably be one of the first showdowns between a Congress that hasn’t been this Republican since 1929 and Democrats. This won’t be an easy issue for Democrats, considering many support the pipeline and the ones who don’t haven’t been all that vocal in opposition because of labor’s advocacy and the fear of being tar and feathered as anti-jobs.

All in all, we are in for a frustrating two years of gridlock, shutdown and polarization over the wedge issues that dominate our political conversation in this country while the consensus of perpetual war keeps pushing us to the brink of WWIII.

And so it goes.

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by lizard

America is back, bombing Iraq, and now Syria. America is bombing ISIS, and also a quick add-on, the Khorasan Group. C’mon, America, just dust off the nukes, you know, those nukes Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, wants to spend billions of our tax dollars to modernize.

Last week Congress voted to arm the exhaustively vetted moderate Syrian rebels, then skipped out of town to hit the campaign trail, because that’s really all these pathetic creatures can manage to do. From July to November, Congress put in a vigorous 8 days. From the link:

One vote on war and Congress is apparently all tuckered out.

House leaders announced Thursday that they were cutting their already abbreviated fall session short and sending lawmakers back home – and onto the campaign trail – more than a week early.

The decision came one day after the House approved both President Obama’s request to arm Syrian rebels and a bill that prevents a government shutdown at the end of the month. The House had initially been scheduled to remain in Washington on Friday and during the first week of October, but Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told members they could leave on Thursday afternoon and wouldn’t be called back until after the November congressional elections.

The Senate is expected to pass both measures on Thursday and leave for the campaign trail by the evening.

Party leaders often shorten the floor schedule ahead of elections to give their members more time to campaign, but this year’s session is brief even under those standards. Including the five-week summer recess, Congress will have been in session for a total of about eight days between the end of July and the middle of November.

I mean, Jesus, how can we put up with this shit?

On Sunday, there were also some nice people who would like to avoid societal suicide, and they came out for a march—400,000 of them. Despite the fact it was mainly a toothless PR stunt, it was still impressive to see the Sunday tv network circle-jerk sessions blackball the event:

The People’s Climate March on Sunday was perhaps the largest climate change protest in history. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of New York City. Celebrities and high-profile politicians were among the marchers. The protest was a huge topic on social media.

All in all, it was a perfect opportunity for some of America’s biggest news organizations to cover the topic of climate change, something that usually gets either ignored or badly handled. For Sunday talk show hosts, there was even a nice political hook, since the march was pegged to a UN summit that President Obama will be attending.

Well, so much for that idea. It seems climate change remains one potentially world-shattering issue that just can’t get any respect on television. No Sunday morning show except MSNBC’s “Up” so much as mentioned climate change, or the march, save for one stray reference on “This Week” by The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel. She pointed out that the march was actually gathering right outside the ABC studios in Lincoln Center where the show is taped.

Congress doing nothing is not new, neither is corporate tv news giving the cold shoulder to climate change as the world burns and floods and storms.

Sad. It didn’t have to be this way.

by lizard

I can’t imagine what the families of Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff have had to endure, knowing their loved ones were being held by the brutal extremists US foreign policy has enabled. That knowledge was surely bad enough, but now family members are talking publicly about the added horror of being threatened with prosecution by the Obama regime for trying to raise money to pay the ransoms:

The families of murdered American journalists Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff are speaking out against the US government for making their efforts to free their loved ones a “helpless” endeavor.

The parents of Steven Sotloff, a freelance journalist who was kidnapped by militants in Syria, told Yahoo News on Friday that a member of the president’s National Security Council threatened them with criminal prosecution if they attempted to pay a ransom to get their son freed.

“The family felt completely and utterly helpless when they heard this,” Barak Barfi, a friend of Sotloff who is serving as a spokesman for his family, told Yahoo News. “The Sotloffs felt there was nothing they could do to get Steve out.”

It gets worse. Those alleged Syrian moderates who Obama is hoping will fight both Assad and ISIS were apparently responsible for selling Sotloff to ISIS, a claim the duplicitous Obama regime is disputing.

So now that the pretext is set, the Obama regime is doubling down on those “moderate” Syrian rebels, and progressive Democrats are going along, hook, line and sinker:

There is a remarkable bait and switch happening in U.S. politics: Assad is the big fish that Obama wants hooked and he’s using ISIS to bait the American public. The U.S. president has superbly exploited American’s disgust of ISIS to deepen a war against the Syrian government, the scope and implications of which are completely unspoken.

Bush used a similar logic in Iraq when he “fought terrorism” by instead toppling the secular Iraqi government. And the deceit goes unchallenged in Syria because all of Congress is on board, dragging behind them the boot-licking media.

The “quiet support” of war by the progressive Democrats is especially noteworthy. The progressive superstar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, has been especially vocal in her support of Obama’s war plans, saying that ISIS should be the nation’s “number 1 priority.” But Warren always conditions her war support with populist catchphrases such as “we can’t be dragged into another Middle East War,” as if investing in the Syrian rebels wasn’t doing exactly that.

The other progressive figurehead, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, also hides his war support under a populist glaze. Sanders shamefully agrees that Obama should ramp up support to the Syrian rebels, while giving the same hollow warning about avoiding another prolonged military adventure. Either the Democrats don’t understand the basic arithmetic of war or they assume the American public is stupid.

So I guess war forever is now simply America’s default position. Thanks for nothing, progressive Democrats.

By Lesley Lotto

It doesn’t get any weirder than this does it?  The party of Ronald Reagan cannot make up its mind who to take to the election next year.  Another month, another front-runner.  Shall the candidate be a strong woman ala Michele Bachman or Sarah Palin, one of two Mormon men (only one of which is even remotely qualified), a bumbling, stumbling seemingly perpetually drunk cowboy Governor from Texas (been there, done that), a philanderer (been there squared) business mogul, a former Governor who’s even less exciting to watch than paint drying, a man with a last name you probably don’t want to Google, a Constitutionalist Congressman, an orange man with something resembling hair on his head, but alas not distracting enough to take away from his immeasurable arrogance or the former Speaker of the House whose own party chewed him up and spit him out back in the day.

From what I remember near the start of this whole charade…err New Year, it was Michele Bachman, the hot Congresswoman from Minnesota who was the front runner to face off with President Obama for the election in 2012.  Heck we’ve been talking about the 2012 election since January of 2008 when crazed racists came out of the wood work screaming “socialist”, claiming to be the so-called “Tea Party” of today and saying our President was going to take their hard-earned money like Robin Hood but not leave them with their weapons, for shame! Bachman was the Tea Party’s answer, her less government no more taxes message really seemed to resonate with that crowd.  They even gave her the soap box to respond to the President’s first joint address to Congress.  But it was super awkward, to say the least.  Apparently no one had clued her in that she should look into the camera, so she stared off into space leaving the Partiers holding their Tea with their jaws on the floor and no way to pick them back up.  Her campaign became sort of the what “made up story” will silly Michele say today as her husband spends their money buying her stylish pant suits and eye lash extensions.

Remember Tim Pawlenty?  Me either.

I didn’t even know much about Rick Santorum who also announced early on to crowds of people yawning.  So I Googled him, yeah I knew he was in the U.S. Senate, but what did he do or stand for I wondered and what made Rick think he was qualified? Wow, what Google comes up with should be censored and now I’ve lost interest…

Sarah Palin had been asked a gazillion times if she’d run after she shot on to the public stage the last go round, but she was hanging on to the bitter end, squeezing out every last dollar from the poor mid-westerners who pinned her up on the wall and gladly taking their last dollar that could have paid for the final mortgage payment before their unemployment ran out before she bailed.  Did anyone actually think she was in this for anything other than the cabbage? She did however meet with The Donald and his hair (does that thing have a leash?).

Trump said he was toying with the idea of running for President too because Obama was allowing China to have all of the power and we couldn’t have that. Heck his pinky alone has more talent in it than anyone else running on the Republican side and he saw no reason to allow any other buffoon stay on the trail and take the spotlight away from his comb over.  He was so up in arms about the economic meltdown that he cursed like a sailor at a ladies group who begged him to run and appeared breathlessly with his fur Stole, I mean handsomely coiffed hair, on cable show after cable show until the finale of “The Apprentice” aired which was when he bailed like Palin.

But then wait, there’s Chris Christie, that enigmatic Governor from New Jersey who’s slashing and cutting while shoe-horning himself into a government helicopter to catch his son’s school athletics.  He said over and over he wasn’t running for office, even asking “what do I have to do to get people to believe me, commit suicide?”. Uhm, wow dude.  There are no words.

Then it was Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas riding in on his white horse to the rescue.  Only the horse wasn’t really white, it was more like ash-gray with sickly spots all over it.  The guy sounds like he’s on any number of pills mixed with booze and always has these wacky looks on his face as he forgets key departments of government he wants to do away with, because heck, government’s too big and we should secede or somethin’.  It’s a miracle he’s still in this thing.

Does anyone remember Herman Cain?  He was the Godfather’s Pizza guy with a perpetual hard-on campaigning endlessly even though any number of women might have come out of the woodwork saying they’d been either harassed or in some sort of sordid affair with him.  He finally put his “campaign” (read: lengthy book tour, way to meet chicks) “on suspension” which was basically a huge relief to the racists, liberals and righty’s and anyone else he deemed was out to get him.  (I personally prayed he’d stay the front runner because nothing would have been more exciting to watch with my air-popped non-GMO Organic Popcorn than Cain trying to debate President Obama on Foreign Policy issues.)

Newt Gingrich looked like he was out months ago.  His campaign imploded at the same time it was revealed he had spent a little too much on his 3rd wife, Calista at Tiffanys and on vacations (lord knows you gotta keep a woman who looks like she’s perpetually scared somewhat smiling or all hell could break loose).  With all due respect to the Newster, he was booted out of one of the most powerful positions in the world by his own peeps!  The press keeps saying he’s the front runner and that he’s surging, but all I can think about is his goofy arrogance.  He proclaimed weeks ago that indeed he would be the nominee, but the people in Iowa, the state where the first primary is happening, haven’t allowed his surge.  He’s 4th in the Iowa polls as I write this.

Poor Mitt Romney, always the bridesmaid, never the bride.  He’s been campaigning since before it was cool.  He’s been out on the trail trying to win a seat, any seat, FOR YEARS. And since he has an ung-dly amount of money and can flip flop from one topic to the next without skipping a beat, you’d think he’d be the perfect candidate, but wait now there just a minute.  Shhh… he’s a Mormon.  We can’t have any of that.  I mean, first it’s a black socialist President, then a Fundamentalist in Magic Underwear?  No way! Way. Jon Huntsman is also a Mormon and the only one, sadly, of the entire lot that even knows what the heck he’s talking about.  But his previous alliance to Obama as the Ambassador to China is bad, really bad. Plus he believes in that Climate Change thingy.  He must not be wearing his magic underwear, because he usually gets a roll of the eye and 7th place.

And then there’s the poorest of them all, Ron Paul, another perennial POTUS candidate.  People really do seem to love Paul and his less government, fire everyone and make me King message.  He’s on top or maybe 2nd in Iowa depending on which poll you read.  I can’t figure out if I like or hate Dr. Paul. Plus there’s those “Newsletters”. Some of his platform makes perfect sense to me, while other parts don’t make any sense to me and that’s the rub right there.  The Republican candidates, much like their party can’t seem to make up their minds what they’re for.  It’s important for less government, but we want to tell women how to live and what they can do with their bodies, Paul, the former OB-GYN helped more than 4,000 babies come into the world.  If he fails to win the nod from his party, and since he’s said he’s not running again for Congress, he may have to spend his golden years on a throne back in Texas overseeing his own personal palace.  All hail the King or something.

By CFS

It would seem that we in America are once again experiencing a kumbaya moment in which we all hug, hold hands, and say things like “America, Fuck Yeah!” and chant “USA, USA.” All because of the killing of one man. But in watching the news reports of celebrations taking place outside of the White House and where the twin towers used to grace the skyline of NYC, I couldn’t help but see parallels between how some Americans reacted and how some Muslims reacted after 9/11.

When we were surprised by this:

Some in the Muslim world reacted like this:

In many respects we couldn’t understand why there would be anybody in the world that would be happy with an attack on America. We collectively scratched our heads seeking answers to why people hated us. And because we have no understanding of history, of cause and effect, we smugly came to the conclusion that it was because they hate our freedom, or that Islam was simply a naturally violent and barbaric religion.

Yet when we final got revenge with this:

Some in America reacted like this:

Now, I’m not saying that the attacks that occurred on September 11th and the killing of Osama Bin Laden are equivalent acts of violence. The people in the Twin Towers were innocent, Osama had crimes to pay for. The deaths of 3,000 unsuspecting people on that morning can not be rationalized, while Osama had to have known what fate held in store for him, he knew he was a hunted man. Otherwise, he would not have been hiding out in a high security compound. Osama Bin Laden deserved to be punished for his actions, to be brought to justice for the atrocities he set in motion.

But what the two events share is their symbolism. The attacks on 9/11 weren’t so much aimed at the people in those buildings as they were the symbols of American strength, both financial and martial. Osama struck at the heart of our empire, attempting to unveil the corruption and moral degradation that lies at the core of our world spanning reach. Our strike this weekend, cutting off the head of Al Qaeda, was just as symbolic. We proved that no matter how long we have to wait or how far we have to go, America will hunt down every last terrorist and we will show no mercy. There will be no day in court for the likes of Osama Bin Laden. Others like him will be put down like the dogs that they are.

News that we got Osama was an emotional release… an end to a chapter in our current American story. But for all the celebrating there needs to be a more focused and inward reflection of what this event really means for our current situation. And my guess would be that beyond the symbolism, beyond the feel good moment, little will change. Our quest for hegemony will continue unabated and the world’s reaction to such a geopolitical reality will continue.

I’ll leave you with this somber reflection…




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