Tag Archives: D.C.

Attacks on Elizabeth Warren demonstrate her strength

Warren listens to Yellen testify on Capitol Hill in Washington

Reuters news photo

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has the stuff of which U.S. presidents are made, which is why she has plenty of detractors. (And she really rocks purple. Just sayin’: I want eight years of a purple-wearing president.)

Reading Yahoo! political commentator Matt Bai’s recent column on why he believes Vice President Joe Biden should run for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, I was stopped cold by Bai’s casual, cavalier remark that besides Biden, “There’s [Vermont U.S. Sen.] Bernie Sanders, who’s an avowed socialist [as though there were something wrong with that], and Elizabeth Warren, who sounds more like a Jacobin.”

I recalled that the Jacobins were associated with the French Revolution, but I couldn’t recall exactly what they were about, and so I looked them up on Wikipedia. Wikipedia notes of the Jacobins, in part: “At their height in 1793-94, the [Jacobin Club] leaders were the most radical and egalitarian group in the [French] Revolution. Led by Maximilien de Robespierre (1758–1794), they controlled the government from June 1793 to July 1794, passed a great deal of radical legislation, and hunted down and executed their opponents in the Reign of Terror.”

Wow.

For all of the right wing’s bullshit about “class warfare” — which, conveniently, according to the right wing’s playbook always is waged by the poor against the rich and never vice-versa — Elizabeth Warren actually has not called for a violent revolution.* She has called for a return to socioeconomic fairness and justice, which is more than reasonable, especially given what has happened to the American middle class since at least the 1980s, during the reign of Reagan (another reign of terror from history, not entirely metaphorically speaking). But if you can’t win an argument these days, you just accuse your opponent of being a terrorist (not entirely unlike Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recent comparison of Wisconsinites standing up for their livelihoods to the terrorists who comprise ISIS).

Matt Bai makes only one other brief reference to Warren in his screed about why, in his estimation, Biden should run for president for 2016: “Biden’s a middle-class champion who makes the case for economic fairness with more conviction than [Billary] Clinton and less vitriol than Warren .”

I agree that Billary has little to zero credibility on the issue of socioeconomic justice, but if you Google “vitriol” you will see that it means “cruel and bitter criticism.”

Wow. Warren is passionate, absolutely. She’s one of the relatively few passionate and progressive elected officials in D.C., and passion is a normal response to socioeconomic injustice that is deep and widespread. But when has Warren ever been bitter and/or cruel? WTF, Matt Bai?

I’m not the only one who has recognized this. I was pleased to see soon later that Salon.com writer Elias Isquith wrote a column on Bai’s drive-by bashing of Warren and on the establishment’s fear of Warren — fear of Warren because she actually threatens to upend the status quo in Washington, D.C., the status quo that is toxic for the majority of Americans (and much if not most of the rest of the world) but that is working out just fine for the denizens of the halls of power in D.C. (which would include Bai, whom Isquith refers to as “the star pundit-reporter and longtime communicator of whatever the conventional wisdom of the political elite happens to be at any given time”; I would add that Bai is a mansplainer par excellence as well).

Isquith, too, takes issue with calling Warren a “Jacobin,” and Isquith compares a quotation of an actual Jacobin (the philosophy of whom is that “[the] policy ought to be to lead the people by reason and the people’s enemies by terror. … Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country’s most urgent needs”) to a quotation of Warren (one of my favorites):

“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’ No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

This statement (from August 2011, when Warren was running for the U.S. Senate) is eminently fair and reasonable — I’d call it “common sense” if the wingnutty fascists hadn’t already bastardized that term for all of their harmful ideas and opinions.

Why the establishmentarian attacks on Warren, whose actual words and actual record have nothing whatsofuckingever to do with what her detractors and critics claim about her? Isquith offers a plausible explanation (links are Isquith’s):

… The first and most obvious reason is that Washington is, to put it gently, a swamp of corruption where many influential people live comfortably — thanks to Wall Street. Maybe they’re lobbyists; maybe they work in free-market think tanks; maybe they’re employed by the defense industry, which benefits greatly from Wall Street’s largesse. Or maybe they’re government bureaucrats who find Warren’s opposition to the “revolving door” to be in profound conflict with their future plans.

My second theory is less political and more prosaic. Another reason Bai and his ilk find Warren discomfiting may be her glaring lack of false modesty and her disinterest in keeping her head down and paying her dues. Because despite being the capital of what is nominally the greatest liberal democracy on Earth, Washington is in truth a deeply conformist and hierarchical milieu, one where new arrivals are expected to be neither seen nor heard until they’ve been deemed to have earned their place. And while Warren may want to be seen as a team player, what she cares most about is reining in Wall Street. If she deems it necessary to accomplish her primary goal, she’s willing to step on some toes and lose a few fair-weather friends. …

I would add that patriarchy, sexism and misogyny certainly play a role, too. It might not be conscious in all cases, but I surmise that because every single one of our 44 U.S. presidents thus far have been men, there is an ingrained cultural, even visceral, belief among many, many Americans — even women — that the U.S. president should be a man. Thus, the likes of Matt Bai is rooting for Joe Biden; Bai’s support of Biden apparently stems, in no tiny part, from the fact that Biden is yet another older white man.

The U.S. president should be, in my book, the candidate who both is the most progressive and the most electable, and right now that candidate is Elizabeth Warren. That she happens to be a woman is great, as we are woefully overdue for our first female president.

Presidential preference polls consistently show both Warren and Biden to be Democrats’ second and third choices after Billary Clinton (who, after E-mailgate, might slide in the polls of Democrats and Democratic-leaners; we’ll see).

Joe Biden probably would be an acceptable-enough president – I’d certainly take him over a President Billary – but given his age (he’s 72 years old today and would be 74 were he to be inaugurated as president in January 2017, making him the oldest president at the time of inauguration in U.S. history [even Ronald Reagan was a spry 69-going-on-70 years old when he took office in early 1981]) and given his reputation as a hothead, I don’t know how electable Biden would be.

And while in fairness the vice president doesn’t get to do very much, what has Biden done over the past six years?

Biden’s age doesn’t bother me — if you can be the job, I don’t much care how old you are — but it would become a campaign “issue.” And while perhaps it’s not fair to Biden as an individual, it’s pathetic and sad and deeply disappointing that in our so-called “representative democracy,” our 45th president would be yet another white man, for a string of 44 out of 45 U.S. presidents being white men.

Elizabeth Warren is a twofer: an actually progressive Democrat who is electable as U.S. president, and thus also potentially our first U.S. president who is a woman.

Attacks on Warren by the shameless, worthless, self-serving defenders of the status quo are to be expected; when the voters hear and read what Warren has to say, versus the bullshit that the establishmentarians spew** about her, they will, I believe, put Warren in the White House, where she belongs.

*For the record, I don’t rule out the use of violence in a revolution. Our plutocratic overlords never rule out the use of violence (state violence, usually) against us commoners. Unilateral disarmament is bullshit.

I’d much prefer a bloodless revolution, of course, but again, when the enemy doesn’t rule out violence, you shouldn’t either.

**Similarly, were most Americans actually informed about what democratic socialism actually is all about, they probably would embrace it, which is why it has been so important to the establishmentarians and the wingnuts (really, “wingnut” is too-cuddly a word for right-wing fascists) to lie about what socialism is all about.

Such a dog-whistle word has “socialist” become, indeed, that Matt Bai simply dismisses Bernie Sanders’ entire being in one fell swoop in just one phrase (“an avowed socialist” — gasp!).

Thank you, Matt Bai, for so courageously doing your part to discourage all actual thought in the United States of America!

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Shutdown, shmutdown — let it burn!

A sign reading

Associated Press photo

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., is one of the national parks that were closed down yesterday in light of the impasse between the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate and the Repugnican Tea Party-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on passing a federal budget. Blame for this one lies squarely with the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party terrorists, who have made the abolition of “Obamacare” a mandatory requirement for passing a federal budget at all. 

For those whose lives have been affected adversely by the shutdown of the federal government — such as the young man I read about in a news article who stated that he can’t get a replacement Social Security card until after the shutdown is over, and who thus believes that he won’t be able to get a job until the shutdown is over — I do feel sorry, but otherwise: Meh.

D.C. hasn’t done the bidding of the majority of us Americans for years now. Maybe — no, probably — it needs to go to total shit before it ever can get better (that is, before it actually can be representative of the actual interests of the actual majority of us Americans — and not just a big rubber stamp for the plutocrats and their corporations and the military-corporate complex).

Human nature is that people don’t change until and unless a big outside force thrusts that change upon them. Ideally, this shutdown of the federal government will be a long one, and thus will cost the Repugnican Tea Party traitors a significant number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2014 elections.

Thankfully, polls indicate that more Americans thus far blame — correctly — the Repugnican Tea Party majority in the House than blame Barack Obama for the current shutdown drama.

Could this signal the long-overdue death of the myth that both parties always are equally to blame for everything?

Not that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are blameless. Obama (mis)spent his political capital in 2009 and 2010 pointlessly trying to negotiate with the terrorists who call themselves Republicans — instead of pushing through a progressive agenda while both houses of Congress were dominated by his own party.

I surmise that because Obama squandered his political capital in 2009 and 2010 in trying to negotiate with terrorists who already amply had demonstrated long previously that they cannot be negotiated with, the Democrats lost majority control of the House in the November 2010 elections and probably won’t regain the House until 2016 at the earliest.

And if the so-called Democrats in D.C. were even half as enthusiastic about doing the most amount of good for the highest number of Americans as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. are enthusiastic about doing evil (including ensuring that the filthy rich only continue to get even richer and the dirt poor only continue to get even poorer), we’d have a much better, much more fair, must more just nation.

Pathetically and tragically, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors long have been quite bold and shameless in committing evil while the so-called Democrats have been too timid to commit much good.

This doesn’t have to remain a permanent condition, however, and I am thrilled to see that thus far in the blinking contest that is the federal government shutdown, the Democrats thus far have stood their ground against the Repugnican Tea Party terrorists. I’m so used to the so-called Democrats caving in to the treasonous, right-wing nut jobs that this comes as an at least mildly pleasant surprise.

There already has been gridlock in D.C. since January 2011 and there most likely will be gridlock until January 2017. At this point we might as well take this gridlock to the extreme, and force the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to suffer the consequences of the shutdown of the federal government that they, more than anyone else, have wanted and are responsible for.

We commoners have little else left to lose in a system that long has been set up against us and in favor of the plutocratic minority, but we have much to gain.

P.S. To be clear, I’m not a huge fan of “Obamacare.” Progressive writer David Sirota writes of “Obamacare” (the links are Sirota’s):

… [Obamacare] most definitely is the legislative manifestation of the insurance industry’s biggest wishes of all, providing massive no-strings-attached subsidies to the industry, and using government power to force citizens to become the industry’s permanent customers.

It also is not what the insurance industry most fears — it is not only not a single-payer system, it doesn’t even include a public option that would allow people to altogether avoid the rapacious private-insurance industry. It also does not prevent insurance companies from employing their typical devil-in-the-details tactics — the kind that provide the patina of health insurance while limiting access to actual health services.

Asking exactly why Obamacare was structured like this is another way to see that the law is really a gift to insurers hidden in the gaudy wrapping of altruism. That’s because the answer to that critical “why” question is simple: the law was written by the insurance industry.

Remember, the primary architect of Obamacare was Liz Fowler — the insurance industry executive who temporarily took a government post to write the new law, and then quickly moved back into health care lobbying.

She was ably assisted by an battalion of her fellow insurance industry cronies, who in 2009 deployed their army of lobbyists to shape the underlying health care legislation. She was also backed up by many other Obama administration officials who worked on the legislation and then immediately headed to the lucrative world of insurance-industry lobbying.

Of course, the fact that the health insurance companies have so much cash lying around to pay a mercenary army is probably the Obamacare cartoon’s most conspicuous smoking gun of all. Indeed, while Obama and Democrats have proudly claimed that the new law finally cracks down on insurance profiteering and attempts to reduce the health insurance industry’s out-sized economic footprint, the financials suggest exactly the opposite is happening. …

So I am not a defender of “Obamacare,” but if “liberals” (a.k.a. “Democrats”) confusedly believe that “Obamacare” does more good for than harm to the average American individual, well, apparently, so do many if not most Repugnican Tea Partiers, such as U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who recently declared of “Obamacare” that “President Obama can’t wait to get Americans addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency on more government health care, because once they enroll millions of more individual Americans it, will be virtually impossible for us to pull these benefits back from people.”

The Repugnican Tea Party set, from what I can tell, oppose “Obamacare” not because it’s yet another giveaway to the already-filthy-rich health-care weasels, but because it is perceived as being helpful to the average American and because it has Barack Obama’s name attached to it.

But regardless of where one stands on “Obamacare,” “Obamacare” (a.k.a. the “Affordable Care Act”) was passed by Congress, and if Congress wants to abolish it, it can do so legislatively (not while the Democrats still control the U.S. Senate, though, of course…).

The way to undo legislation that you oppose, however, is not to hold up the federal budget in order to try to achieve that goal in your roundabout way (that is, stripping the funding for a piece of legislation instead of legislatively abolishing that legislation altogether).

That is not legislating; that is, indeed, hostage-taking.

And in most cases, you don’t negotiate with hostage-taking terrorists.

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Straining out gnats, swallowing camels and casting stones at Weiner

Andrew Breibart

Associated Press photo

Archie-Bunker-like bottom-feeding blowhard Andrew Breitbart claimed on Monday that he has an X-rated image of Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner that he has been withholding in order “to save his [Weiner’s] family” — because Breitbart is all about decency and fair play, you see — but Breitbart on Monday also threatened, “If this guy [Weiner] wants to start fighting with me again, I have this [X-rated] photo.” Yes, committing sexual blackmail is highly ethical and admirable! Andrew Breitbart is my hero! (But seriously, if Weiner can sue Breitbart for Breitbart’s blatant blackmail, he should.)

Are we done now laughing over Weiner/wiener ha ha ha ha ha ha ha?

Because there are, I think, some serious issues here.

Unsurprisingly, hypocrites on the right (that’s redundant) disingenuously are calling for the head (pun intended) of Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who, they say, should resign for having lied about having had very apparently consensual sexually oriented electronic communications with several women, even after he married.

(It’s like Monica Lewinsky redux, only Weiner isn’t president, he claims that he had no physical sexual contact with anyone, and he didn’t lie about his own sexual activity that is no one else’s fucking business anyway while he was under oath. Oh, and there is no semen-stained garment — that we know of, but rest assured, because I’m sure that Great White Protector of the Nation Andrew Breitbart is on it.)

The Weiner-related “outrage” on the right is beyond pathetic. Repugnican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, a Richie-Rich frat-boy prick, was one of the first to call for Weiner’s head. The loathesome, beady-eyed weasel U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, U.S. House Repugnican leader, also has called on Weiner to resign, but, as I have stated, it’s up to Weiner first and foremost whether he should resign, and then, if he decides not to resign, it’s up to his constituents to decide whether to re-elect him in November 2012.

Indeed, Reuters reports that “A little more than half of New York City voters think Weiner should not resign, according to a NY1-Marist poll taken just hours after his tearful admission.” I surmise that as time passes and “Weinergate” subsides, even more of Weiner’s New York constituents will feel that his resignation is not called for, and in this case, it’s their opinion, not the opinion of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, that matters.

It’s not like self-serving, hypocritical, stupid-white-male scumbags like Priebus and Cantor have the best interests of Weiner’s constituents at heart. They clearly only want another Democratic scalp to nail to the wall, perhaps especially since Repugnican U.S. Rep. Christopher Lee, also of New York, resigned in February after his online sexual behavior came to light. (To add insult to injury, a Democrat, Kathy Hochul, to whom I’d happily given a $25 campaign contribution, won Lee’s vacated seat in a special election last month.)

But Lee resigned from the get-go. The day his shirtless-in-the-mirror pic hit the Web, he called it quits. He didn’t, in my estimation, have to resign. And, as I argued at the time*, he probably shouldn’t have resigned. 

However, I don’t expect the spineless Democrats in D.C. to support the now-politically-radioactive Weiner — and that’s how most politicians are, of course: they’re your “friends” only if they perceive it still to be in their best personal political interests — and without the support of his fellow Democrats in D.C., I don’t know if Weiner can politically survive being frozen out of his own party, even if he strives to survive politically.

And then there is wingnut Andrew Breitbart, who on Monday bizarrely, swinishly and inappropriately bogarted Weiner’s news-conference podium to announce that he wanted“vindication” because indeed the infamous crotch shot that he publicized is an image of the underwear-clad, engorged (and perhaps tingling) crotch of Anthony Weiner. (Yes, this was a “victory” — just like Donald Trump’s Barack-Obama-birth-certificate “victory” was a “victory” of which Trump pronounced that he was “proud” of himself.)

Yes, Andrew Breitbart is a modern-day bell-ringin’ Paul Revere, a real patriot who is protecting us from elected officials lying about whether or not racy images that they transmitted privately actually are of  them.

One of Breitbart’s self-aggrandizing websites is called “BigJournalism.” Because that’s what the best journalism is all about: not exposing fraud, graft, waste and corruption and the like, but exposing whose bulge that is in the gray underwear. Yes, world-renowned fearless journalist Andrew Breitbart makes the likes of Ida Tarbell, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and Seymour Hersh look like mere fucking amateurs.

To me, the largest issues in “Weinergate” are that it exposes (1) Americans’ juvenile and backasswards (read: Judeo-“Christian” [that is, “Christo”fascist], puritanical, Victorian, etc.) views on sexuality and (2) how they’ll simply let crimes of the century (like, oh, stolen presidential elections and bogus wars launched on purely false pretenses) go but will go ape shit over the teeny-tiny (but titillating) shit, like whose semen it is on a semen-strained dress and whether or not the sausage-like bulge in a pair of gray underwear belongs to a certain elected individual with the surname of Weiner (guffaw!). 

If the members of the lunatic, Taliban-like right want to lead repressed, hypocritical sex lives, that’s their own fucking business, but for them to shove their Dark-Ages hangups over sexuality down the throats of the rest of us is, dare I say — and this is one of their favorite words — tyranny. And indeed, for buttholish self-appointed morality cop Andrew Breitbart to hold the public release of an X-rated photo of Weiner over Weiner’s head also is a yet another example of right-wing (that’s redundant) tyranny.

And for the Democrats to cave into this kind of sexual blackmail — instead of fighting back and changing the game instead of playing along with the wingnuts’ game — is yet another example of the spectacular spinelessness and political ineptitude that we’ve come to know and loathe about the Democratic Party.

I can empathize with Weiner. If some wingnutty, bottom-feeding scumbag like the Archie-Bunker-like Andrew Breitbart had obtained and publicly released an embarrassing image of me and I were confonted with the question of whether or not it was me in the image — if I had been in Weiner’s shoes (and in his underwear, too, I guess…) — I can’t say for certain that my initial impulse would not have been to deny it, as Weiner did. After all, is something from my personal life really the whole world’s business?

However, the best tactic, I think, would be to refuse to respond to attempted sexual blackmail. To even answer yes or no, to confirm or deny, is only to play into the hypocritical, disingenuous wingnuts’ hands, and at least tacitly grants legitimacy to sexual blackmail, when sexual blackmail, or any blackmail, is quite illegitimate (it’s incredibly unethical and immoral, if not also illegal).

And it’s interesting to see what types of lies the Repugnican Tea Party traitors attack. Bill Clinton’s lie that he didn’t have any sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky — this lie of his didn’t hurt the nation, to my knowledge. Neither has Weiner’s lie that a certain crotch shot wasn’t his.

So we have lies like Clinton’s and Weiner’s, but when the treasonous-by-definition Repugnicans lie, an awful lot of people tend to get hurt — or killed.

How about these huge fucking lies, circa late 2002 and early 2003: Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. We can’t wait for the “smoking gun” to come in the form of a “mushroom cloud.”

Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have died because of those lies, as have more than 4,450 members of the U.S. military since the unelected Bush regime illegally, immorally and unjustly launched the bogus Vietraq War in 2003 (five of them, in fact, were killed in Iraq on Monday, so the treasonous BushCheneyCorp’s blatant fucking lies still are killing people today).

If you want to talk about House ethics, I’ll give you just one example of something that I find a lot more disgusting than anything that has been revealed about Anthony Weiner: How about Repugnican Texas U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, who essentially takes bribes from Big Oil for selling us out to Big Oil, and who a year ago this month proclaimed that the U.S. government’s seeking to get compensation from British Petroleum for its oily debacle in the Gulf of Mexico amounted to a grossly unfair and unjust “shakedown” of the poor corporate behemoth BP?

So it’s perfectly ethical (or at least acceptable) to take tons of corporate cash in exchange for protecting the corporate criminals, no matter what devastation they cause, no matter how much they harm the public good — but a politically motivated third party’s release of risque images of an elected official amounts to a serious ethics violation? Really? Really?

“You strain the gnats from your beverages, but you swallow camels,” Jesus Christ said critically to the small-minded hypocrites of his day, the Pharisees. (Among many other things, Jesus also said to them, “Whoever among you is without sin himself should cast the first stone.”)

Nothing, really, has changed since then.

*I wrote:

I don’t really see, though, that Lee was guilty of much more than attempted infidelity and apparently being in the throes of a midlife crisis….

As reprehensible as [Lee] seems to be … it seems to me that the matter really is between Lee and his wife. And, dare I say, that he shouldn’t have had to resign over it.

As fun as it is to dog-pile upon an apparent Repugnican hypocrite (wait, that’s redundant…), my concern is that these sex scandals, aside from giving us perverse entertainment at the expense of others’ privacy, serve to preserve our national hangups over sexuality. 

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Why can’t Obama get any love?

Obama asks Senate to pass small business jobs ...

Reuters photo

A beleaguered President Barack Obama called a last-minute press conference in the Roosevelt Room of the White House yesterday afternoon after a self-induced politically disastrous week. Meanwhile, Obama administration betrayee Shirley Sherrod says that she’s still deliberating whether she will return to the Obama administration or whether she could be a more powerful and more effective agent of hope and change from outside of the administration. (I hope that she chooses the latter course of action, that she writes a book and goes on a lecture tour, perhaps.) 

Rachel Maddow (whose stuff I should watch more often) has a piece on how President Barack Obama just can’t get his legislative and other accomplishments acknowledged. She notes that the Beltway has dubbed this phenomenon “the Obama paradox.”

Eh. It’s not rocket science. Let’s look at the pieces of it:

Obama never was going to get and never will get the support of the Repugnicans, something that he knew or should have known even before he was inaugurated. Not only is he a Democrat (at least titularly), but he isn’t a white man. Two strikes and he’s out.

I’m not sure whether Obama’s (rather lame) attempts at bipartisanship were naive or whether they were political kabuki — that is, he knew that he’d never get any significant bipartisan support, but he figured that he’d better put on a good show of trying for it.

Also, because they’ve coined “the Obama paradox,” I’ll coin “the Bush effect.”

“The Bush effect” is the phenomenon in which the president who preceded you was so fucking awful that the presidential bar has been lowered all the fucking way to China. Therefore, in order to be perceived as anything near a Lincolnesque or Washingtonian president, you pretty much have to raise the dead — or at least heal the blind.

Then, there is this phenomenon in which, because American standards have dropped so low, too many Americans want praise and special recognition for just doing their jobs.

This, of course, ties in with the Bush effect, but the fact is that Obama has just been doing his job. (Minimally, that is; the legislation that he’s been able to pass has given too many concessions to the corporatocrats and has not been progressive enough.)

Obama is supposed to lead the nation in a way that benefits the most number of Americans. That’s the job of the president of the United States. (If the POTUS is a Repugnican, then the job description changes: the Repugnican POTUS leads the nation in a way that benefits the richest.)

For Obama to brag about just doing his job is pathetic and sad.

And then there are the Obama administration’s fuckups. The Shirley Sherrod debacle, most recently and perhaps most notably.

As Maddow recounts, Obama yesterday added an unscheduled afternoon appearance before the press corps to recap his legislative accomplishments of the week.

However, even that was a tactical mistake — it only served to underscore the fact that his administration had fucked up royally by knee-jerkedly throwing Shirley Sherrod under the bus at the very first whiff of the approach of the right-wing, white-supremacist lynch mob.

To betray your own supporter, to sell someone who helped to put you where you are down the river — can you go lower than that?

Maybe we should start calling him Judas Obama. (If he kisses you, be afraid — be very afraid.)

Obama’s refusal to dance with those of us who brought him to the dance — we liberals/progressives (I gave him hundreds of dollars [primarily to knock DINO Billary Clinton out of the primary, admittedly]) — has made us disgusted with and deeply disappointed in him.

So Judas Obama gets no love (and never was going to get any love) from the Repugnicans and their “tea-partying,” cross-burning ilk, and because he has betrayed us after snookering us with his promises of “hope” and “change,” he gets no love even from us progressives.

That leaves him only with the “swing voters,” whom I prefer to call the dumbfuck voters.

And they wouldn’t know a competent president from their bungholes. They still believe that George W. Bush legitimately was elected as president in 2000 and that Saddam Hussein orchestrated 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction, for fuck’s sake.

So Obama’s only potential allies, that I can see, were those of us on the left.

And he has burned us.

Repeatedly.

Obama finally seems to maybe have something-like-sincerely acknowledged the errors of his ways, but this far into the game, my sense is that it’s probably too little, too late, and that his latest appeal to liberals (which he made just today) rings among the vast majority of us as hollow.

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Assorted shit

Obama gets his balls back?

President Barack Obama has endorsed a plan that would allow the Democratically controlled Congress to pass health-care reform with a simple majority vote without being hamstrung by an obstructionist Repugnican filibuster.

Repugnicans are agog, of course, but the filibuster is only a Senate rule, and Senate rules can be changed. (Indeed, during the years of rule by the BushCheneyCorp, the Repugnicans threatened to do away with the filibuster with their “nuclear option.”)

Perhaps the Democrats should kill the filibuster altogether; that would suit the minority — again, the minority — Repugnicans right.

The Senate’s Repugnican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that the Democrats’ doing away with the filibuster would be “met with outrage” by the American public — never mind that the Repugnicans themselves were poised to do so. (Do as the Repugnicans say, not as they do, please.)

McConnell is full of shit. The majority of Americans, who voted for Obama in November 2008, are fine with Obama’s agenda being enacted on simple majority votes. They prefer that progress over the gridlock that the Repugnicans want.

The tea-baggers will fume once health-care reform is passed on a simple majority vote, but fuck them — they’re going to fume anyway, as long as Obama continues to commit the crime of presiding while black.

Supremes refuse to kill same-sex marriage in D.C.

WTF?

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to kill same-sex marriages in Washington, D.C.

Notes The Associated Press:

Washington, D.C., [now] is the sixth place in the nation where gay marriages can take place. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue licenses to same-sex couples.

To prepare for [same-sex marriages], the [D.C.] marriage bureau changed its license applications so they are gender-neutral, asking for the name of each “spouse” rather than the “bride” and “groom.” …

The [same-sex] marriage law was introduced in the 13-member D.C. Council in October and had near-unanimous support from the beginning. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed it in December, but because Washington is a federal district, the law had to undergo a congressional review period that expired March 2.

Notes AFP:

Although the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a request to hold a referendum on gay marriage, which would have delayed the day the law took effect in Washington, it said opponents of gay marriage could seek to hold a “ballot initiative” in the capital to try to get the act repealed.

That would be similar to what happened in California, where residents voted in a referendum in November 2008 — known as Proposition 8 — to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, overturning a state supreme court decision six months earlier which legalized gay marriage.

Interesting… The U.S. Supreme Court apparently doesn’t want to decide on the matter 0f same-sex marriage, but is willing to allow the people of each state (and D.C.) to decide the matter for themselves.

While that’s not as bad as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage (because there is), I still find it fucked up that anyone’s equal civil and human rights should be put up for a vote.

Whose equal civil and human rights should we put up for a vote next?

The response from wingnuts to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to stop the D.C. same-sex marriages was predictable. Reports AFP:

Outside the courthouse, a handful of protesters held up banners and chanted slogans, saying the United States was doomed because it has allowed same-sex marriage.

“When this Congress acted to let fags marry in D.C., they bound this country,” anti-gay activist Shirley Phelps-Roper, who had travelled to Washington from Kansas, told AFP.

“This is the last generation. This nation’s destruction is imminent and they did it to themselves,” said Phelps-Roper, brandishing signs reading “America’s doomed,” “God hates you,” “You’re going to hell” and “Fag marriage.”

You know, if these are the “end times,” it’s only because the end-timers have brought the end times on. It wouldn’t be a “fag” who causes Armageddon; it would be a wingnut.

KKKopycats plaguing University of California campuses?

There are news reports about racist/white supremacist and anti-Semitic incidents cropping up at University of California campuses, including UC San Diego, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz.

While I believe that university students — and everyone — should not be subjected to hatred and intimidation, I have to wonder how many of these acts (which thus far have been acts of vandalism and the intentional or unintentional creation of offensive displays, and not of violence) are the acts of actual haters and how many of them are the acts of copycats who don’t hate nearly as much as they just get a thrill from stirring shit up.

I can see male students who are young, dumb and full of cum thinking that it’s great entertainment to put a swastika on something, or to put a mock Ku Klux Klan hood on display, and then watch the ensuing reaction.

Stupid, yes. Racist/white supremacist? Not necessarily, not if the perpetrators aren’t actually racist/white supremacist.

Things not intended as racist or white supremacist can be interpreted that way, too.

For instance, The Associated Press reports that at UC San Diego recently, a noose was found dangling from a library bookshelf and that

UC San Diego campus police said they had completed their investigation into the noose incident and turned their results over to the city attorney on Tuesday for possible hate crime charges.

One of the students responsible for the noose apologized to the university community in an anonymous letter published Monday in the campus newspaper. She said the noose was formed while she and friends were playing around with a piece of rope and had no meaning as a lynching symbol.

The student said she is not black, but is a minority.

The student’s story is plausible, but the noose put the campus into an uproar nontheless. So think of what a display that is meant to stir people up can do.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and act rationally, not emotionally. WWOD? (That’s “What Would Obama Do?”) He would be as cool as a cucumber high on weed. He wouldn’t freak out.

Actual racists and white supremacists shown to have violated laws against hate speech and hate crimes should be prosecuted. Dumbfucks who thought that it sure would be funny to stir up shit by making it appear as though their handiwork were the handiwork of an actual hater should be prosecuted under the appropriate criminal law, such as vandalism or disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace.

And again, we need to calm the fuck down.

There are crazies out there who feed on our frenzy, and if we don’t feed them, they’ll just go away.

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