Monthly Archives: March 2011

Mostly, only the ‘tea party’ traitors like the ‘tea party’

Late last month when I attended a pro-labor rally at the California state Capitol in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin who are under attack by the right-wing, anti-working-class traitors of the Repugnican Tea Party, a small “tea party” contingent showed up to counter-demonstrate, and, to listen to them tell it, they’re in the majority.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation nationwide poll released today shows that only 32 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the so-called “tea party” — and that 47 percent have an unfavorable view of the “tea party” traitors. (Seven percent, somehow reached inside of their caves, said they had never heard of the “tea party,” and 14 percent inexplicably said that they have no opinion of the “tea party.”)

Politico reports on the poll that the “tea party’s” “favorability rating hovered at 36 percent to 38 percent throughout 2010” and that “The biggest drop in the tea party movement’s favorability came among people who make less than $50,000 a year. In October, 30 percent in that income group said they had unfavorable views of the tea party. Now, 45 percent say the same.”

Well, hell yeah: When you make less than $50K a year (as I do), and you see the “tea party” traitors siding with the plutocrats and siding against the working class and the middle class in the plutocrats’ union-busting (as I have), you aren’t going to have a favorable opinion of the “tea party” traitors.

Politico reports that the Repugnican Party gets a favorable rating by 44 percent of those polled, while the Democratic Party gets a 46-percent approval rating. (Both of the duopolistic parties have a 48 percent unfavorable rating, which would account mostly for members of the opposing party, of course.)

What are the “tea party” members’ actual numbers?

A CBS News nationwide poll taken earlier this month asked, “Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the ‘tea party’ movement or not?” — and only 23 percent said yes. A whopping 64 percent said no. (And 13 percent, inexplicably, were unsure.)

An ABC News/Washington Post nationwide poll taken earlier this month asked, “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the ‘tea party’?” — and 36 percent said favorable, 48 percent said unfavorable and 16 percent somehow weren’t sure.

It seems safe to me to conclude that no more than one in four Americans considers himself or herself to be a “tea party” member and that the “tea party” has the support of only about one in three Americans — and that most of these supporters are “tea party” members, who of course favor themselves, and the rest mostly are right-wing Repugnicans who don’t consider themselves to be members of the “tea party” but who apparently believe that the “tea party” is helping, or at least not harming, the Repugnican Party.

The “tea party” can have success in the solid-red states, but as a national party, it’s dead in the water. And in more-blue-than-red purple states like Wisconsin, the “tea party” is going to struggle, as we have seen.

And the next time you hear a “tea party” traitor claim to be speaking for the majority, know that he or she is lying or is deluded. The “tea party” traitors are loud, but the majority of us they are not.

P.S. Also enjoying low favorability ratings right now is President Barack Obama, whose favorability rating is as low as 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

Of course, favorability ratings can be deceptive. To assume that 42 percent of Americans find Obama to be too left of center would be a faulty assumption, since there are millions like me who disapprove of Obama’s job performance not because he is too left of center, but because he isn’t left of center nearly enough.

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Wisconsin Repugs above the law

The Hon. Maryann Sumi reiterates her temporary ...

Associated Press photo

Judge Maryann Sumi, photographed yesterday, reiterates her temporary restraining order barring further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 — the union-busting legislation rammed through the Wisconsin Legislature by the Repugnican Tea Party — at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison. Questions remain as to whether the union-busting legislation was passed lawfully.

The Christian Science Montitor today reports that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin are considering whether or not they will follow the directive of a state circuit court judge that the union-busting legislation that the traitors shoved through the state Legislature may not take effect until court proceedings settle whether or not the legislation was passed legally.

The CSM reports:

The Wisconsin circuit court judge who issued an injunction to prevent the state’s controversial collective-bargaining bill from becoming law issued a second order late [yesterday] to stop the state from violating her original ruling.

Earlier this month, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi ruled that Senate Republicans may have violated the state’s open meetings law in its maneuvers to pass the collective-bargaining bill. Judge Sumi said more time was needed to examine the actions of the legislators.

Sumi’s ruling prevented the bill from being published by the secretary of state’s office, which makes it law. However, last week the Legislative Reference Bureau, a legislative service agency not named in the original restraining order, published the law.

That loophole gave the administration of Gov. Scott Walker (R) the green light to proceed as if the bill was law. The administration announced Sunday that, in accordance with the collective-bargaining bill, it would no longer collect dues on behalf of the unions and that public employees would be charged more for their pension and health-care obligations.

In her ruling, Sumi criticized the administration for violating her original ruling. “Apparently that language [in the ruling] was either misunderstood or ignored, but what I said was the further implementation [of the collective-bargaining bill] was enjoined. That is now what I want to make crystal clear,” she said.

Sumi warned against legislators who may act “in willful defiance of a court order” may be subjecting them to sanctions.

Walker aide Mike Huebsch issued a statement following the ruling saying the administration will evaluate the new order. “We will continue to confer with our legal counsel and have more information about how to move forward in the near future,” Huebsch said.

The next hearing on the case is Friday.

In [yesterday’s] hearing, Legislative Reference Bureau Chief Stephen Miller said he believed his agency could publish laws without the approval of the secretary of state. But Miller acknowledged that his agency has never done so in his 12 years in the position.

Among other measures, the bill eliminates collective-bargaining rights on all issues but wages for non-law-enforcement state workers in Wisconsin. Sumi has said that if she were to rule against the bill, lawmakers could pass it a second time if they followed legislative rules clearly.

Wow. So the stupid white men in Wisconsin apparently may do whatever the fuck they want, even ignore court orders. (Wikipedia notes that Wisconsin circuit courts’ “subject matter jurisdiction is conferred [by] the Wisconsin Constitution and is quite broad. The [state Legislature] may not by statute limit the nature or type of case that the courts may hear.”)

I have to wonder if especially because the judge in this case is a woman and not a stupid white man (which, by my definition, means right-wing) — you know, as all judges should be, in the wingnut worldview — the stupid white men in Wisconsin think that they can ignore her orders.

I get it that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin want so very fucking badly to destroy the state’s labor unions and indeed, the state’s government, so that their corporate pimps can profiteer from everything in the state and have no obstacles to their shameless profiteering that harms the majority of the state’s people for the obscene profits of a few.

But they don’t get to violate state or federal law in their frantic race to, like a virus alters a normal, healthy cell into a virus-making machine, alter the function of Wisconsin state government from an entity that benefits the people of the state to an entity that benefits only Big Business.

There is a process, and that process exists precisely in order to prevent the abuses of democracy and decency that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are perpetrating upon the people of Wisconsin.

Those who refuse to follow the established democratic process have in effect declared war upon the majority of the people. When the democratic process is willfully ignored by the powers that be, the people have just cause to rise up — violently, if necessary — against their tyrants.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors should be on notice that when they make violent resistance the only means available to the people to redress their grievances, then violent resistance it shall be.

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Repug thugs: Give us the head of William Cronon!



Hmmm… Commie University of Wisconsin history Professor William Cronon looks pretty John the Baptist-y to me

The Repugnican Tea Party long has has been on a jihad against university professors. It’s that these professors are anything from “liberal” to “Commie,” you see.

Actually, these professors’ “crime” is that they don’t support the political agenda of the far right. These professors, being professors, don’t embrace the utter ignorance and the outright lies — and the pro-corporate, pro-militaristic, misogynistic, white supremacist/racist, homophobic, xenophobic, nationalistic/jingoistic, pro-stupid-white-male propaganda — that the right wing expects them to.

The wingnuts scream that public dollars should not be spent on university professors who (allegedly) promote some political agenda. Of course, these very same wingnutty hypocrites don’t argue that right-wing professors also should go for the very same reason.

Nor do the wingnuts who scream against the alleged politicization of our public universities make a fucking peep about the blatant, illegal politicization of our tax-exempt churches, such as the Catholick Church and the Mormon cult, which blatantly participate in politics, even telling their members whom and what to vote for and whom and what not to vote for and more or less commanding them to give campaign contributions to specific candidates and ballot propositions and to volunteer in political campaigns.

Because that political activity, you see, benefits the right wing. Therefore, it’s perfectly acceptable.

What it comes down to when the wingnuts attack left-wing or perceived left-wing university professors — and such intellectual entities as National Public Radio — more often than not is not a case of left versus right; it usually comes down right (as in correct) versus not right (as in incorrect) and right versus wrong.

(The Nazi Party also hated, persecuted and even murdered intellectuals, but perhaps that’s a separate blog piece for another day.)

So far gone is the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party in Wisconsin that the party is attacking an individual university professor. Never mind that for a state’s party to attack an individual is a gross abuse of power and is a gross dereliction of duty — the Repugnican Tea Party in Wisconsin should be busy at work fulfilling its (bullshit) campaign promises to improve the lives of all Wisconsinites instead of engaging in vindictive political vendettas against certain individuals.

But the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin want the head of William Cronon, a University of Wisconsin history professor who has been publicly critical of Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker and his henchpeople’s attempts to destroy the state’s long-standing labor unions.

Cronon, you see, has a blog titled “Scholar as Citizen” and he wrote an op-ed piece not flattering of the Walkerites for The New York Times.

Therefore, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin have demanded to see any and all e-mails in Cronon’s university e-mail account that contain certain words indicative that Cronon used his e-mail account for any political activity. Apparently their end game is that they want Cronon fired for alleged university ethics violations — so that they can claim the scalp of a liberal/“liberal”* university professor.

They can’t just murder Cronon (they would if they could), so they’ll do the next best thing, if they can: see to it that he loses his job. That’s one of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ favorite hobbies: to try to make people unemployed, even though they claim to care about our longstanding problem of unemployment.

Professor Cronon, correctly claiming academic freedom, has resisted the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ public records request to see his e-mails. One Repugnican Tea Party traitor called Cronon’s resistance “chilling,” but what actually is quite chilling is that we have Joseph McCarthy-like thugs in public office anywhere in the nation who think that it’s perfectly acceptable to politically gang-bang a university professor whose political views diverge from theirs.

The New York Times yesterday ran an editorial on this issue titled “A Shabby Crusade in Wisconsin.” Here it is, in full:

The latest technique used by conservatives to silence liberal academics is to demand copies of e-mails and other documents. Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia tried it last year with a climate-change scientist, and now the Wisconsin Republican Party is doing it to a distinguished historian who dared to criticize the state’s new union-busting law.

These demands not only abuse academic freedom, but make the instigators look like petty and medieval inquisitors.

The historian, William Cronon, is the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas research professor of history, geography and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, and was recently elected president of the American Historical Association. Earlier this month, he was asked to write an op-ed article for The Times on the historical context of Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to strip public-employee unions of bargaining rights. While researching the subject, he posted on his blog several critical observations about the powerful network of conservatives working to undermine union rights and disenfranchise Democratic voters in many states.

In particular, he pointed to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group backed by business interests that circulates draft legislation in every state capital, much of it similar to the Wisconsin law, and all of it unmatched by the left.

Two days later, the state Republican Party filed a freedom-of-information request with the university, demanding all of his e-mails containing the words “Republican,” “Scott Walker,” “union,” “rally,” and other such incendiary [um, “incendiary”? Really?] terms. (The op-ed article appeared five days after that.)

The party refuses to say why it wants the messages; Mr. Cronon believes it is hoping to find that he is supporting the recall of Republican state senators, which would be against university policy and which he denies. This is a clear attempt to punish a critic and make other academics think twice before using the freedom of the American university to conduct legitimate research.

Professors are not just ordinary state employees. As J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a conservative federal judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, noted in a similar case, state university faculty members are “employed professionally to test ideas and propose solutions, to deepen knowledge and refresh perspectives.”

A political fishing expedition through a professor’s files would make it substantially harder to conduct research and communicate openly with colleagues. And it makes the Republican Party appear both vengeful and ridiculous.

Further, the effect of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ McCarthyesque attempt to make public university professors fear for their livelihoods is to deprive the professors of their First Amendment rights as citizens of the United States of America.

University professors are not some special class of individuals who don’t get First Amendment rights. As the name of Cronon’s blog states, public university professors are also citizens; they are not stripped of their citizenship rights because their paychecks are paid for by taxpayers — and they pay taxes, too, which so many fucking morons forget or ignore.

It’s bad enough that in the private sector, employees are treated like property with no First Amendment rights — or any other rights whatsofuckingever. (Property, after all, has no rights.) To extend this right-wing abuse of human rights to the public sector is illegal, immoral and unfuckingacceptable.

And for a political party to attack an individual is such a gross abuse of power that that party deserves to be voted out of office. The recall of Repugnican Tea Party traitor politicians in Wisconsin has my full support — and I’ve donated money towards it. Hopefully, the Repugnican Tea Party scum who have hijacked the great state of Wisconsin, most notably Scott “Dead Man” Walker, will be swept to sea by a political tsunami no later than in November 2014.

The good people of Germany did not nip fascism in the bud when they had the chance to do so. If we, the good people of the United States of America, don’t nip this fascistic shit in the bud in Wisconsin and in the other states where the Repugnican Tea Party traitors fervently are trying to plant the seeds of fascism, we will find ourselves as the Germans did: in a hellish nation in which evils abound — and in which it is too late, because we did not do enough when we had the chance.

I live in California, not in Wisconsin, and I do not know Professor William Cronon.

But I am not so stupid and so blind as to believe that what happens in Wisconsin never could become my problem in California, or that whatever happens to Professor Cronon never could have any bearing on my own life.

The states indeed are laboratories, and the mad scientists on the right are seeing just how far they can take their evil experiments.

We allow them to succeed at our own peril.

*Cronon describes himself as “a centrist and a lifelong independent,” but to the far right, a centrist is a left-winger. The far right’s motto, after all, is the McCarthyesque “You’re with us or you’re against us,” and if you’re against them, you are, by their definition, a left-winger.

Hopefully, this offensive wingnutty overreach will serve to turn more centrists into actual left-wingers.

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E-mails worse than anything James O’Keefe has ‘uncovered’

Wingnutty “crusader” James O’Keefe — you know, the brave pimp and the (would-be) slayer of ACORN and NPRhas to misrepresent himself, or have his hos misrepresent themselves, in order to “expose” the “dirty truths” about the left/“left.” (And creative video editing, a la Andrew Breitbart, helps an awful lot, too.)

But e-mails, unlike the likes of Breitbart and O’Keefe, don’t lie.

And we have plenty of e-mails that expose the blatant dishonesty — and the incredible stupidity — of the operatives on the right.

Reports The Associated Press this week:

Everything from taking away computers to denying a year of service in the state retirement system was considered to punish the 14 Wisconsin [state Senate] Democrats who fled to Illinois for three weeks to block passage of a bill taking away union bargaining rights, newly released e-mails show.

Members of Republican [Wisconsin state] Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s staff bounced ideas off one another and the Legislature’s attorneys for days about how to penalize the [state] Senate Democrats for [having left the state] and pressure them to return, according to records released Wednesday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The watchdog group obtained the e-mails from Fitzgerald’s office under Wisconsin’s open records law.

The e-mails show Fitzgerald’s staff members were as worried about the public relations campaign as they were actually figuring out a way to get the Democrats to come back.

“I would just be somewhat cautious in whatever we do so that it doesn’t end up creating sympathy for the Dems,” Tad Ottman, a Fitzgerald aide, wrote to his chief of staff John Hogan on Feb. 20. “The more directly we can tie whatever action we take to what they are doing the better it will be.” …

The e-mails show there was a lot of discussion with legislative attorneys about how to legally impose fines on the missing senators and other steps that could be taken against them and their staff.

“I say we not only make it hurt for them, we have to make it hurt for their staff as well,” [Fitzgerald legislative aide Rob] Richard wrote on Feb. 20.

One idea Ottman suggested in a Feb. 20 email was cutting the size of each Democratic senator’s staff by one person “since one person from each of their office is failing to show up for work (the Senator).”

That idea and several others, like reducing or taking away per diem payments and denying a year’s service in the retirement system, were not pursued. Richard pointed out in the same Feb. 20 email that taking away a year of retirement service likely would engender a court fight. …

Indeed, the rhetoric that came from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin was centered on the allegation that the absconded 14 Democratic state senators weren’t doing their jobs (except that they were — they were protecting their constituents’ best interests instead of Big Business’ best interests), when, in fact, as usual, the Repugnican Tea Party’s traitors’ motivation was petty, vindictive partisanship.

And clearly the Repugnican Tea Party traitors aren’t bothered by what is unethical or illegal — as long as they get away with it. Fitzgerald himself indicated that having attempted to have the 14 Democratic state senators arrested “would have been a public-relations nightmare” — he did not express his concern, from what I can see, that such an action would have been an illegal abuse of power.

And in the infamous recorded telephone conversation between billionaire pimp “David Koch” and Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last month, Repugnican Tea Party traitor Walker stated that he and his henchmen had considered planting fake protesters among the legitimate protesters who had thronged the state’s Capitol.

Apparently, what dissuades Walker & Co. from committing dishonest (and even illegal) shit like this is not the inherent immorality (or even illegality) of it, but is the political blowback that might occur if the plot is exposed.

And the Repugnican Tea Party is supposed to be all about moral values.

Speaking of which, the contents of this e-mail, written to “Dead Man” Walker, trumps all of the others:

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the public unions. … Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.”

That juicy e-mail was signed off thusly: “God bless, Carlos F. Lam.”

Carlos F. Lam is — or, rather, was — a deputy prosecutor for Johnson County in Indiana. Lam resigned after his unethical (if not illegal) e-mail to Walker was revealed, apparently by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Think about this: a prosecutor, one who prosecutes others for their (alleged) wrongdoings, himself suggested that a governor stage a fake attack (maybe even take a bullet???) for political gain. (It was right-wing geniuses, after all, who came up with the Reichstag fire…)

And the prosecutor ends his e-mail with “God bless,” as though the God he claims to believe in actually would endorse such a plan.

This is what we’re up against:

While a fundraiser for NPR just states obvious (if politically incorrect) truths about the right-wing nutjobs, which gains the scalp of the head of NPR for the wingnuts, a fucking Repugnican Tea Party governor and prosecutor are on the record as having at least considered planting fake protesters in Wisconsin in order to harm their political opposition — perhaps even employing a firearm.

The prosecutor no longer has his job. The governor should no longer have his.

The gubernatorial recall process in Wisconsin should take care of this, but in the meantime, those of us who are true patriots — who believe in the best interests of the majority of the people over the interests of the rich and the super-rich few, and who believe in acting ethically, morally and legally — have to remain vigilant.

We have to remain vigilant because the desperate members of the right wing, who are losing political power in a rapidly changing nation (and world) whose demographic shifts don’t favor them, have demonstrated amply that they will do just about anything to hold on to the political power that they historically are so accustomed to having.*

*The blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000 and the probably-stolen presidential election of 2004 probably are the largest, most glaring examples of this fact. 

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It stinks in Paul Le Pew’s Maine

The Repugnican Tea Party governor of Maine — a stupid white man, of course, named Paul LePage — wants to remove a 36-foot-wide, 11-panel mural depicting the state’s labor-movement history that exists in the lobby of the state’s Department of Labor in its capital of Augusta. Oh, and while he’s at it, he wants the conference room that’s named after labor-movement icon Cesar Chavez renamed.

Why?

Because the name of Cesar Chavez and the mural — which depicts such scenes as child labor, the introduction of the secret ballot for labor-union votes, and a shoe-mill strike and a paper-mill strike (and which you can view here) — is too potentially offensive to business interests.

A Maine newspaper reports that

According to LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt, the administration felt the mural and the conference room monikers showed “one-sided decor” not in keeping with the department’s pro-business goals. [“Pro-business goals”? WTF?]

“The message from state agencies needs to be balanced,” said Demeritt, adding that the mural had sparked complaints from “some business owners” who complained it was hostile to business.

Demeritt declined to name the businesses.

The mural was erected in 2008 following a jury selection by the Maine Arts Commission and a $60,000 federal grant. Judy Taylor, the artist from Seal Cove, said Tuesday that her piece was never meant to be political, simply a depiction of Maine’s labor history.

This is the state’s Department of Labor that we’re talking about, but LePage, in typical Repugnican Tea Party fashion, has his allegiance straight: the interests of the rich and the super-rich over the interests of the common person. (Ironically, in his probably-exaggerated, Dickensian website biography, LePage claims to be “The oldest son of eighteen children in an impoverished, dysfunctional family” who “left home at the age of 11 to escape domestic violence and lived on the streets of Lewiston for two years, making a meager living shining shoes” [which apparently means that he now thus has the license to do whatever the fuck he wants to do].)

Following LePage’s “logic,” perhaps any pro-health murals or other images in the state’s public health department and in the state’s and the state’s counties’ hospitals and clinics should be removed. Why? Well, these pro-health images might be — gasp! — offensive to business! After all, the tobacco, alcohol and junk food industries’ profits will slump if we are too successful at promoting healthy lifestyles. And so will Big Pharma’s. And the wealth care industry’s in general. And that would be un-American! (What are you, a Commie?)

The Repugnican Tea Party’s plan for the nation is clear: to hand over all public property, all public functions and all public powers to the businesses and the corporations so that there is no “public” anything left. Even the state of Maine’s labor department, under the thumb of the state’s stupid white male Repugnican Tea Party governor, is supposed to exist not for the benefit of the state’s laborers, but for the benefit of the laborers’ employers.

Under the Repugnican Tea Party worldview, anything and everything can be and should be subverted to serve only the rich and the super-rich. Fuck the people!

How this is not treason — to act against the best interests of the majority of the people for the monetary interests of the rich and the super-rich few — escapes me, yet it is the Repugnican Tea Party that claims to have the monopoly on patriotism.

I guess that I’m a tea-bagger, because I believe wholeheartedly that we sorely need another American Revolutionary War, to be sure: but this needs to be a revolutionary war against the treasonous plutocratic few who are a de facto monarchy — and against those traitors who aid and abet these traitors — who tell us, the people, that we need to sacrifice even more even though income disparity for some years now has matched the levels of the income disparity of the 19fucking20s.

Now more than ever during most of our lifetimes, laborers need more protections, yet Paul Le Pew and his treasonous ilk are telling us that right now laborers need even fewer.*

This shit stinks.

P.S. I have to note that this current event reminds me of the historical event in which plutocrat Nelson A. Rockefeller in the 1930s hired Mexican artist Diego Rivera to paint a mural on a wall of  the Rockefeller Center in New York City. Rockefeller never allowed the public to view the completed mural (he had it covered up) and he later had the mural chiseled off of the wall because he found the mural to be too subversive to business interests. 

Of course, a huge difference here is that Rockefeller’s family owned the center, whereas Gov. Le Pew does not own his state’s labor department building; the people of Maine do. And Gov. Le Pew should not be acting like a Nelson Fucking Rockefeller — he should be acting like a governor who was elected to do the most amount of good for the most amount of people.

*The New York Times on this news story notes that “LePage has repeatedly clashed with labor unions since his inauguration in January. He is pushing for a higher retirement age for public employees and for ‘right-to-work’ legislation that would allow union members to stop paying dues or fees.”

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Obama already relegated to mediocrity

At a time when our public-school teachers are getting pink slips, our “representative” government in Washington has given the war profiteers about $1 billion thus far via the Obama administration’s bullshit U.S. military action in Libya.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who I would support over Barack Obama in 2012, according to The Associated Press “said he would offer an amendment to the next budget resolution that would prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to fund U.S. military operations in Libya.”

The AP notes that “His effort could gain significant congressional support, including the backing of tea partiers, if the U.S. military operation is going full-bore when lawmakers return from their recess next week.”

“We have already spent trillions of dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which descended into unwinnable quagmires,” the AP reports Kucinich wrote his colleagues. “Now, the president is plunging the United States into yet another war we cannot afford.”

If the “tea partiers” are on board with reining in the continued looting of the U.S. Treasury via the bloated military-industrial complex, especially during a time when we’re told that we can’t afford to attend to actual human needs, then, while I diametrically disagree with them on the majority of the issues, I certainly can partner with them in that.

And I agree wholeheartedly that the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Obama ridiculously early in 2009 should be revoked. Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, and others have made the call to take the ill-awarded prize back.

Ralph Nader’s statement — and Kucinich’s, too — that Obama’s having launched a military attack on Libya without the consent of the U.S. Congress is unconstitutional and impeachable is spot-on. While I don’t expect Obama to be impeached — yet — the fact that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other war criminals and traitors remain at large instead of being excecuted for their treason and their crimes against humanity, including mass murder, doesn’t mean that the arrogant Obama — who excels only at breaking campaign promises — gets to continue the imperial, unaccountable, above-the-law presidency that the unelected Bush regime began.

Having shit and pissed upon his base for the past two years, it will be interesting to see the change in the percentage of Obama’s campaign contributions that have come from individuals versus corporations from his 2008 presidential campaign to his 2012 re-election campaign.

While Yahoo! News reports that “Obama raised $59 million for his presidential campaign during the first half of 2007,” and that “Obama’s prospective GOP challengers would have to raise $590,000 a day between now and June 30 to match that pace during this campaign,” this seems to assume that the same level of enthusiasm for Obama that existed in 2007 exists now.

Corporations might be enthusiastic about Obama, but progressive individuals like me? I surmise that millions of us progressives who gave him campaign contributions for his 2008 run — based upon his blatantly false promises of “hope” and “change” — won’t give him a fucking rent cent for his 2012 campaign. I certainly won’t. So I surmise that the only way that he’ll be able to match his 2008 take is if he is able to make up for the loss in his base through getting bribes — er, campaign contributions — from his biggest benefactors, the corporations.

Realistically, Obama probably will be elected to a second lackluster presidential term. I could see an impeachment attempt against him in the future, probably a Bill-Clinton-like bullshit impeachment attempt by the right, but perhaps, just perhaps, even a justified impeachment attempt from the left.

What opportunity Obama had — but squandered. With popular opinion on his side and both houses of Congress controlled by his party for two years, Obama did diddly squat.

He could have been a great president. Instead, he already has joined the pantheon of mediocre U.S. presidents.

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War on Libya just another of Obama’s broken promises

Obama Clinton Bush two.jpg

AFP photo

Three peas in a pod.

I have yet to write on Barack Obama’s War on Libya. This is because admittedly, I haven’t kept up with what Moammar has been up to these past many years and because I more or less wanted to see how things were going to pan out before making a comment.

But more and more, Barack Obama’s War on Libya seems like a Clintonesque “wag the dog” scenario, in which military action is meant to make Obama look like a bad-ass and/or give him some other political benefit at least as much as it’s meant to do any actual good.

And remember George W. Bush’s “coalition of the willing,” a pathetic attempt to give the appearance that his Vietraq War had widespread global support, instead of the support pretty much only of Britain? Obama’s “coalition” against Moammar Ghadafi is almost as pathetic.

And war is always a great distraction, as the treasonous, unelected Bush regime knew fully well, although somehow when a Democratic president wages a war these days, the war doesn’t get very high ratings.

I don’t assert that Ghadafi is a great guy, but I have to agree with pundits’ assertion that Obama violated the U.S. Constitution when he took the U.S. to war (even an apparently minor war) without the approval of Congress. A president may take the nation to war without the approval of Congress only in cases of actual national self-defense. Obama said so himself in a presidential campaign questionnaire put before him by the Boston Globe in 2007 (this via Glenn Greenwald):

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

“As commander in chief, the president does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the president would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.

“History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”

As Libya poses about as much of a threat to the United States as Iraq did before the Bush regime launched its illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in March 2003, we can only conclude that Barack Obama has reneged on yet another campaign promise.

(Ironically, Obama’s answer to the abovementioned questionnaire’s last item included this gem: “[Every] president takes an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ The American people need to know where we stand on these issues before they entrust us with this responsibility – particularly at a time when our laws, our traditions and our Constitution have been repeatedly challenged by this [the Bush] administration.”)

Of course, this is the very same Barack Obama who also in 2007 promised, “If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

Of course, Obama didn’t even send Vice President Joe Biden or another proxy to Battleground Wisconsin, but instead he left what is left of the labor movement (after Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush spent almost three decades dismantling it) on its own. Just like Bill Clinton would have done.

Barack Obama promised “hope” and “change,” at least implicitly promised that he was the next Howard Dean, the anti-Clinton (indeed, he was running against a Clinton in the drawn-out Democratic presidential primary season), but he is, for all intents and purposes, just another fucking Bill Clinton (at best), never missing an opportunity to sell out his base, which includes those of us who are against war except in clear-cut cases of national self-defense (and in limited instances otherwise — and only then with the consent of Congress) and who support the labor movement.

Barack Obama is dead to me, frankly. To me he is a sellout, just another fucking liar in Washington. However, unless he faces a strong challenger for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination, just like it was with Bill Clinton, we most likely will be stuck with Obama — about whom, thus far, the only remarkable thing that history can record is that he was the first black president* — for another four more years.

Because Obama pretended to be another Howard Dean and thus inherited Dean’s base of support — without which Obama never would have made it to the White House — it seems to me that Howard Dean is the best candidate to try to knock Obama off of the presidential ballot in 2012. It seems to me that Dean’s former supporters — and they are legion — would prefer the real Dean to the cheap Dean knock-off that is Barack Obama.

At this point, however, I’ll support even a long shot, such as U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, over Barack Obama, who isn’t getting another fucking penny from me, and certainly never again will he get my vote.

*And by itself, this just isn’t nearly fucking enough.

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