January 2010

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Wherein I learn that Frank Rich agrees with me.

HANDS down, the State of the Union’s big moment was Barack Obama’s direct hit on the delicate sensibilities of the Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

…our union is not strong. It is paralyzed.

In Obama’s speech, he kept circling back to a Senate where both parties are dysfunctional. The obstructionist Republicans, he observed, will say no to every single bill “just because they can.” But no less culpable are the Democrats, who maintain “the largest majority in decades” even after losing Teddy Kennedy’s seat — and yet would rather “run for the hills” than accomplish anything.

Harry Reid, could be found yawning on camera Wednesday night. He might as well have just taken the whole nap. Here was this leader’s pronouncement last week on the future of the president and his party’s No. 1 priority: “We’re not on health care now. We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.”

John McCain epitomizes the unpatriotic opposition. On Wednesday night he could be seen sneering when Obama pointed out that most of the debt vilified by Republicans happened on the watch of a Republican president and Congress that never paid for “two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program.”

Perhaps McCain was sneering at Obama because of the Beltway’s newest unquestioned cliché: one year after a new president takes office he is required to stop blaming his predecessor for the calamities left behind. Who dreamed up that canard — Alito?

Obama should turn up the heat on both the G.O.P’s record of fiscal recklessness and its mad-dog obstructionism. He should stop paying lip service to the fantasy that his Congressional opposition has serious ideas to contribute to the cleanup. Better still, he should publicize exactly what those “ideas” are.

This was new, to me:

When the G.O.P. House leadership last year announced its plan to cut federal spending by $75 billion annually, it enumerated specific new cuts of only $5 billion per year. A tax-cut-laden “stimulus plan” endorsed by Jim DeMint, the South Carolina senator and Tea Party hero, “would cost more than $3 trillion — more than triple the cost of Obama’s stimulus — over the next decade,” in the estimate of Jonathan Chait of The New Republic.

Seriously, read the whole thing. Rich might have said some of the same things that I’ve said in the past week, but he’s smarter than me, writes better than me, and has a better research staff.

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To those who say “nothing’s changed”…

It’s awkward to say openly, but now-departed President Bush is a religious crackpot, an ex-drunk of small intellect who “got saved.” He never should have been entrusted with the power to start wars.

A French Revelation, or The Burning Bush
JAMES A. HAUGHT

Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

…………………

Subsequently, ex-President Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon.

Oddly, mainstream media are ignoring this alarming revelation that Bush may have been half-cracked when he started his Iraq war…

Isn’t comparison to what came before the best way to measure “change”?

Via DU

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I’m thinking I can probably continue to get by with the rock.

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This is 19 minutes long, but I thought maybe you guys overseas might want to see how a real leader speaks to the opposition party a party hell-bent on destroying anyone and anything that gets in the way of their shameful lust for power and outrageous anger when they don’t have it.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The party of “no” needs to stop worrying about everything but the American people.

Link to MSNBC write-up.

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The anti-abortion activist terrorist who admitted killing Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller was found guilty of first-degree murder and assault today by a jury that deliberated for only 37 minutes.

He’s not a damned “activist”. He’s a convicted murderer, and he’s facing a mandatory life sentence.

Let him rot.

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And QUICK!

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The SOTU

In general, I liked it.

Your duly elected, popular President didn’t back down. He challenged everyone to rise to meet the crisis created by the Bush/GOP years in power. My favorite moment was when Samuel Alito, the worst judge in SCOTUS history, a man who should be impeached, someone who’s early departure from the court would be the best thing to happen to this country in a very long time, shook his head “no” when your legally elected and popular President called out the SCOTUS on their wrongfully decided breach of stare decisis granting corporations (even multinational, i.e. foreign) the unfettered right to buy elections away from the people of this country.

It’s clear, to me, that the Senate is the problem. Two senators per state means that the minority rules, especially in the days of “60 votes to move any legislation forward”.

Oh, and there’s a post here right now that’s completely wrong. The POTUS, who won both the popular and electoral college vote for the first time in a decade, called for an end to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. This is a tax INCREASE on those making over $250K/year, oil companies, banks, etc. If his proposal is adopted it will be only the middle class (and poor), the heart of this country, who will remain at low tax rates.

The “spending freeze” is reasonable. We should pay to get this country back on the right track. Money doesn’t appear out of nowhere.

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… wait for it…

…tax cuts.

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… right?

“Two weeks after President Obama announced an initial $100 million for Haiti earthquake relief, U.S. government spending on the disaster has nearly quadrupled to $379 million, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced Wednesday. That’s about $1.25 each from everyone in the United States.

Each American dollar roughly breaks down like this: 42 cents for disaster assistance, 33 cents for U.S. military aid, nine cents for food, nine cents to transport the food, five cents for paying Haitian survivors for recovery efforts, just less than one cent to the Haitian government, and about half a cent to the Dominican Republic.”

I like the concept of NGO’s, but it seems that they’re the ones taking most of the money. I can’t help but think that the multiplicity of infrastructures cannot be as efficient as a single, inefficient, government operation. And if anyone is in the right position to operate such an operation, it’s the UN.

But that’s against rw ideals – and ONG’s (including churches) are part of the “self-help/charity” doctrine so beloved by said rw.

Ideology once again rears it’s ugly head, just as it did with regards to Katrina. And nary a soul recognizes that the failures and inefficiencies are the direct result of wrong ideas.

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Since our votes are pretty meaningless, lost in the mass of fundies, mindless independents and propagandized letter-voters, what’s left to the citizen to fight against the corporate monster?

The problem is so deep that, frankly, there’s nothing we can realistically do.

I thought of the oldest and most direct recourse, the boycott… but alas.

It’s easy enough to find retailers that aren’t involved in campaign finance, lobbying and the like. Of course, you’d have to pay more.

But what do they sell? Easily 80% of their products are directly or indirectly owned by one of the corporate monsters. Indirectly, all the products have something to do with them, even if it’s just through being transported by trucks using corporate oil. No matter what we do we feed the monster.

What’s even worse is that we are paying for our own servitude.

So what can we do? Third Way “opposition” certainly is a misnomer. Voting for the lesser evil doesn’t do any good.

Suggestions?

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