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Adieu, Landrieu; it’s long past time for Democrats to stop kissing red-state ass

Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigns with Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in New Orleans. (Gerald Herbert, AP)

Associated Press photo

Gee, maybe her very own country-Western song would have saved “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana from being denied a fourth term in the Deep-South state. A campaign appearance by Billary Clinton (who does have her very own country-Western song) apparently wasn’t enough.

“Dems, It’s Time to Dump Dixie,” proclaims the headline of a column by a Michael Tomasky (whom I’d never heard of until today) that will be interpreted as fairly sound advice for the Democratic Party or, perhaps, as a false-flag attempt to give Dems poor advice meant to harm them (the column does appear, after all, on the center-right website The Daily Beast). But probably, it’s more of the former than of the latter.

The occasion of the column is the double-digit defeat of Democrat-in-name-only U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to her Repugnican Tea Party opponent this past weekend. Landrieu was the last remaining “Democratic” U.S. senator of the Deep South. (Wikipedia defines the “Deep South” as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina – and sometimes at least portions of Texas and Florida, too. These seven states, Wikipedia notes, were the first to secede from the Union.)

The advice that Tomasky gives to the Democratic Party – to “dump Dixie” – seems to be the advice that the party perhaps already has taken to heart; well before this past weekend’s election in Louisiana, the national party wisely decided to stop funneling campaign cash to Landrieu and to let her languish, dry up and blow away.

Tomasky concludes his column by proclaiming that “the Democratic Party shouldn’t bother trying [to win congressional seats in the Deep South ]. If they [the Dems] get no votes from the region, they will in turn owe it nothing, and in time the South, which is the biggest welfare moocher in the world in terms of the largesse it gets from the more advanced and innovative states, will be on its own, which is what Southerners always say they want anyway.” (The link there is my own, of course, not Tomasky’s.)

Absolutely.

The likes of Repugnican Lite Landrieu – whose last-ditch, self-serving, desperate attempt to shove the Keystone XL oil pipeline down Americans’ throats for the deep pockets of the fat cats of Big Oil in order to save her Senate seat was incredibly pathetic (as was her defense of Big Oil even as British Petroleum was filling the Gulf of Mexico with millions of gallons of crude oil) – have only harmed, not helped, the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party’s lurch to the right, which started no later than during Bill Clinton’s reign (Wikipedia also notes that the Clintons’ home state of Arkansas sometimes also is included in the list of the states that make up the Deep South) and has continued during Barack Obama’s, doesn’t capture nearly as many Repugnican-leaning voters (who most often simply vote Repugnican instead of Repugnican Lite) as it turns off the Democratic Party’s base. And a party that stands for everything, that tries to please all people, in the end, stands for nothing.

Obama squandered too much of his presidency trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. He tried to negotiate with these terrorists, but you don’t negotiate with terrorists. Obama instead should have taken care of his base and not given a flying fuck what the enemy thought, since politically, he didn’t really have to. Had he done that, I surmise, he wouldn’t be spending his last two years in the Oval Office with both houses of Congress controlled by the enemy. Obama started off in 2009 with both houses of Congress controlled by his own party, and, had he played his cards right – instead of having wasted his political capital in trying to placate the implacable wingnuts – he could have maintained that political advantage to this day.

It’s long past time for the Democratic Party to start tending to its base. Obama’s failed experiment of “bipartisanship”* should have made this abundantly clear by now, but waiting in the wings, of course, is Billary Clinton, whose jaw-droppingly awful proxy country-Western music video on You Tube titled “Stand with Hillary” makes you wonder whether Billary approves of the video or not.

The New York Times’ Frank Bruni notes that “The video wasn’t produced by Clinton or her aides. But the people who did put it together [a “super-PAC” called, of course, “Stand with Hillary”] clearly followed the cues that they felt they were getting, and they read her intentions right.” I more or less concur, from what we know of Billary and the way she rolls.

I mean, the country-Western style of the video definitely seems to be geared toward the same shit-kicking voters to whom Billary apparently was trying to appeal when, as her 2008 effort to best Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination grew more and more desperate, Billary (right along with the John McCainosaurus campaign) denounced Obama as “elitist and out of touch with the values and the lives of millions of Americans” for having accurately described the mindset of rednecks (who, Obama correctly had asserted, “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations”**).

Because Billary wants to be Queen of the Rednecks, you see. But the majority of the rednecks don’t and won’t buy that a Democrat – especially one of the caliber of Billary Clinton – is truly One of Them (replete with her own country-Western anthem!), and true Democrats are put off by those who (like Billary) call themselves Democrats but who court rednecks more than they court the members of the traditional Democratic Party base (who simply are taken for granted, year after year after year).

I should note that the guy in cowboy garb in the “Stand with Hillary” video, who was lip-synching someone else’s vocals, calls himself apolitical and says that the video was just another paying gig, that he may or may not vote for Billary for president should she be on the ballot in November 2016.

Is it that Team Billary could find only someone who would be pro-Billary for pay? At any rate, that the guy in the video is a fake cowboy, a fake country-Western singer and a fake Billary supporter speaks volumes about Team Billary, methinks, including how insubstantial the candidate is herself.

I don’t assert that the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign should not be populist. Of course it should be. The party hasn’t done nearly enough for what remains of the middle class and the working class for many years now and desperately needs to return to its roots of socioeconomic equality and justice. Therefore, I’d love to see the likes of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. But wasting resources trying to convert those who never are going to support you anyway (as the desperate Billary tried to do in the spring of 2008, as the White House was slipping from her talons) is – well, a waste of limited resources.

The cultural stuff – such as country-Western music (for fuck’s sake), God, guns and gays – can, and should, take a back seat this next Democratic presidential cycle, in which populism should be the centerpiece, but should be limited to the discussion of socioeconomic issues that affect the common American, regardless of where he or she lives (and regardless of whether he or she likes country-western music or supports same-sex marriage).

If Billary indeed is on a trajectory to act, once again, like she’s Queen of the Rednecks, and the Democrats actually let this pass and allow her to become the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, then, it will be, I think, just as Harry S. Truman warned us: “If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time.”

We just saw the wisdom of Truman’s words in action this past weekend in Louisiana. We don’t have to see the truth of his words again in November 2016.

*In the speech that made Obama a political rock star at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama proclaimed that “The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. … We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

Really? One people? Even those who say that he shouldn’t be allowed to give the State of the Union address?

I mean, does Obama, six years into his presidency, still believe his feel-good, fluffy words from 2004?

**To be fair, this infamous comment of Obama’s should be taken within its larger context of his preceding remarks, which you can find here.

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From ‘audacity’ to a whimper

President Barack Obama will go down in American history something like this…

I have to agree wholeheartedly with the assessment by Michael Moore (who has been too absent from the public arena during Barack Obama’s presidency) that the American history books will mention only (or at least primarily) that Obama was the nation’s first black president. It’s sad that history will remember Obama more for the color of his skin than for the content of his character, but that’s his fault, not history’s.

In fairness, the history books also probably will mention Obamacare (for good or for ill or fairly neutrally), but what else is there to say of the Obama years?*

Allegedly with great audacity and with the dreams of his father behind him, Obama came in with a bang – “HOPE”! and “CHANGE”! “CHANGE”! and “HOPE”! – but he goes out with a whimper.

It’s ironic that Obama’s opposition to the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War – which only ever was meant for war profiteering (such as by Dick Cheney’s Halliburton) and for Big Oil to retake the oil fields of Iraq – helped him into office in 2008 and that now Obama seems poised to end his second term with another war in Iraq (and possibly in Syria).

Yes, of course this time (further) war in Iraq (and in Syria ) can be justified, I think. The Islamic Slate (a.k.a. ISIL and ISIS) – at least in its current incarnation as a rapidly metastasizing, deadly cancer – needs to be stopped. The mass murder and the oppression of those who disagree with certain fascist, religious nutjobs – be they “Christian” fascist nutjobs, “Jewish” fascist nutjobs, “Hindu” fascist nutjobs, “Muslim” fascist nutjobs, whatever – should be met with opposition.

Credible news reports are that the Sunni Islamic State has been slaughtering and oppressing Shiites and other non-Sunnis in large swaths of Syria and Iraq. (No, the Islamic State did not become a problem only when it beheaded two U.S. citizens in propagandistic snuff videos.) Any such mass slaughter and oppression anywhere in the world should be stopped if at all possible, regardless of the United States ’ many missteps and failures to act in the past. (And it should not be the United States playing World Cop all of the fucking time.)

As far to the left as I consider myself to be, I do not believe in absolute, blind pacifism. I don’t believe that in most cases force or the credible threat of force should be the first resort, but nor do I believe that force or the credible threat of force should be taken off the table altogether. It can be a useful tool, and sometimes, the only effective one. And my gut response to the Islamic State, frankly, is: Pound. Them. Into. The. Sand. (With that said, gut responses do not necessarily make for sound actual foreign policy, as we learned with the debacle that was the unelected reign of the illegitimate Bush regime.)

The problem with the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, again, is that of course it never was meant to “liberate” the Iraqi people from the evil Saddam Hussein (who was a “good” dictator until he stopped taking marching orders from the American elite, which then made him a “bad” dictator) – unless you want to call the more than 100,000 Iraqis who died as a result of the Vietraq War “liberated.” No, it was meant to further enrich the cronies of the BushCheneyCorp.

Such treasonously crying wolf, of course, makes it all the harder to sell the American people on military action in the same region, even when military action actually is called for this time – as President Obama surely knows right about now.

And, of course, while the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (redundant) never met a war that they didn’t love (as long as it’s others who are doing all of the dying, of course), they’ll find ways to criticize and condemn Obama no matter how he conducts things militarily in the Middle East. Because if the president is a white Repugnican guy (even one who got into the White House without even having won the highest number of votes of the American people), then to criticize his military actions abroad at all is nothing short of terrorist-lovin’ treason, you see, whereas if the president is a Democrat, and especially not a white, male Democrat, then to criticize his every fucking move is one’s God-given patriotic duty, you see.

So, of course, Obama can’t win, no matter what he does or does not do, but he should have known this political fact from Day One, and so from Day One he should have pushed through a progressive agenda instead of having tried to persuade the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to join him in “Kumbaya” around the campfire in D.C. (You don’t even bother to try to negotiate with terrorists; they cannot be reasoned with.)

Yes, I do believe that having assertively pushed a progressive agenda in the first two years of his first term would have been a winner for Obama. Had he even tried to have delivered upon his campaign promises, he could have been something like the second coming of FDR. He entered the White House with that kind of support behind him, more or less.

Yes, reportedly a majority of Americans deem Obama’s presidency to have been a failure, but these polls that are unflattering to Obama, it seems to me, widely are interpreted, incorrectly, to mean that the majority of Americans embrace the right-wing worldview. But if a pollster were to ask me (or any other actually progressive American) if Obama’s presidency has been a success or a failure, I (or he or she) would say, without even having to think about it, a failurenot because I at all agree with the right-wing worldview and agenda, but because I believe that Obama utterly squandered his chance, especially in 2009 and 2010, to push through an actually progressive agenda, while both houses of Congress still were held by his own party.**

Whereas the unelected Bush regime spent “political capital” that it never even fucking had (I remember when the Bushies called Bush’s “re”-election by only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004 to be a “mandate”), Obama was too timid or too lazy or too stupid (or some combination of these things) to even touch his actual stockpile of political capital in 2009 and 2010, and his failure to have done so will go down in history (history that is thoughtful and critical, anyway) as one of the biggest missed opportunities by a U.S. president to accomplish the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of Americans.

And I judge Obama’s presidency to be a failure because, of course, you judge a politician based upon his or her actual accomplishments in office compared to the campaign promises that he or she made in order to get elected to that office. (Yeah, as cynical as I might be, I’m still not ready to let any politician off the hook for having violated, blatantly, his or her own campaign promises.) Based upon his own relentless campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” of course Obama’s presidency – which has delivered primarily more of the same, not “hope” or “change” – has been a failure.

Of course, pretty much any Repugnican president – John McCainosaurus, Mittens Romney or any other Repugnican – would have done even worse in the Oval Office than Obama has done (except, perhaps, for the 1 percent, for the richest Americans), but that doesn’t let Obama off the hook with me; I judge Obama by actually progressive Democratic (that is, actually Democratic) standards, not by the low bar that has been set by the right wing (probably especially by George W. Bush). And speaking of the devil, of course Obama has been a better president than Gee Dubya was – for starters, Obama actually was democratically elected in the first fucking place, for fuck’s sake – but saying that President X is or was better than was “President” George W. Bush is saying exactly nothing.

And how is Obama poised to end his second and final term? At (further) war in the Middle East, with a new/old enemy this time, the Islamic State. (I write “new/old” because just as the “tea party” is comprised of the same old fascists who were around long before they started to call themselves the “tea party,” the Islamic State apparently is comprised, largely if not mostly, of the same old Islamofascists who were around before Obama ever took office. Of course, it was the Bush regime’s woefully-misguided-to-put-it-mildly Vietraq War, more than anything else, that contributed to the genesis of the Islamic State that we see today.)

I have to wonder if Barack Obama is trying to do Billary Clinton a favor right now, trying to make the Democratic Party look Tough! On! Terrorists! — just in time for the 2016 presidential election. But if more war in the Middle East (and exactly how it should be executed) is going to be the centerpiece of the 2016 presidential election, don’t the chickenhawk Repugnicans play the war card a lot better than do the Dems?

Because of that, how could the Dems expect to win the White House again in 2016 by posing as warhawks, as Billary already appears to be doing?

Didn’t someone once remark that when given the choice of voting for a Repugnican candidate or a “Democratic” candidate who acts like a Repugnican, the typical voter will vote for the genuine Repugnican?

The theofascist Islamic State needs to be checked, for sure, just as would any other insane group of murderers and fascists at home or abroad, but at the same time, potential blowback from military actions that always should be considered aside, Team Obama and Team Billary need to be careful, methinks, not to give the war-drum-beating chickenhawks of the Repugnican Tea Party political validation – and thus political victory – by also beating those tired, old war drums (only less convincingly, in the eyes of the voters, than the chickenhawks do) between now and Election Day in November 2016.

*Obama lost me, forever, after he just fucking sat on his hands while British Petroleum filled the Gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of crude oil in 2010, and after he failed to visit the state of Wisconsin even once in early 2011, when Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker successfully attacked the right of the workers of the state to collectively bargain.

Candidate Obama had promised in 2007: “Understand this: 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 someone’s standing in their corner.”

Again, Obama showed up in Wisconsin not once. In his first term Obama failed to lead on a huge environmental issue and he failed to lead on a huge labor-rights issue, part of a pattern of failure that his presidency has been. (As I have noted, while I [stupidly] voted for Obama in 2008, I did not vote for Obama again in November 2012, but voted for the Green Party candidate instead.)

**Indeed, I’m not the only leftist who deems Obama’s presidency a failure; the Washington Post notes of its own (with ABC News) recent nationwide poll that “Those saying Obama has been a failure include one in four Democrats (25 percent), nearly three in 10 liberals (29 percent) and the vast, vast majority of conservative Republicans (92 percent). Nearly one in five liberals (18 percent) say they feel ‘strongly’ that Obama has been a failure.

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Biden’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is not nearly enough

So Vice President Joe Biden today on “Meet the Press” said that he supports same-sex marriage.

When host David Gregory asked Biden, “You’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?”, Biden replied: “Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. …”

That to me sure sounds like an endorsement of legalized same-sex marriage — full marriage equality for same-sex couples — in all 50 states, but the White House was quick to back-pedal and say that no, Biden actually still is “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage just as President Barack Obama is.

Whether Biden’s nationally televised endorsement of same-sex marriage is just a calculated political game of good cop-bad cop, or whether Biden was, at least in the Obama White House’s opinion, just shooting his mouth off again, I’m not sure, but in either case, I am not moved, perhaps especially in light of this fact:

MSNBC quotes a White House “aide” as having stated: “The vice president was saying what the president has said previously — that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to roll back those rights. That’s why we stopped defending the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it.  Beyond that, the vice president was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country.”

Um, no, Biden did not say that “he too is evolving on the issue” of same-sex marriage. He said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.” He said “men marrying men” and “women marrying women.” He did not say, “Committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans.” He did not use such mealy-mouthed language that public-relations hacks love to employ, believing that they are word-magicians who are bamboozling all of us with their ingenius hocus-pocus. He was not talking about the separate-and-unequal, second-class, unconstitutional substitutions for marriage, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. He was talking about same-sex marriage.

Obama’s pussy, trying-to-have-it-both-ways public political stance is that each state reserves the right to determine whether or not to institute legalized same-sex marriage, and he very apparently sees no problem with forcing non-heterosexual Americans to drink from different drinking fountains by offering them only cheap imitiations of marriage, such as domestic partnerships or civil unions, which he supports. Publicly, at least, he very apparently thinks that these unconstitutionally separate-and-unequal substitutions for marriage are A-OK. (He used to teach constitutional law, too. He truly must have sucked ass at that as much as he sucks ass at being president of the United States of America.)

This “states’ rights” “argument” is the fucking coward’s way out, and if President Abraham Lincoln had adhered to such cowardice as the “states’ rights” “argument,” slavery probably would have lasted a lot longer than it did. (Funny that Obama’s official kick-off of his 2008 presidential campaign in February 2007 had him mimicking Abraham Lincoln at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois:

Associated Press photo

Barack Obama is no fucking Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had balls. Big balls.)

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not nearly enough that Joe Biden supports same-sex marriage. He’s just the vice president. I and millions of other non-heterosexual Americans are to hope for Barack Obama to die or to otherwise become incapacitated, so that President Biden can fight for our equal human and civil rights, since President Obama refuses to do so? Is that it? Is that the kind of change that we are to hope for?

No, fuck Barack Obama.

Nothing short of his full endorsement of same-sex marriage in all 50 states could induce me to give him my vote in November or to give him a fucking penny toward his re-election.

Obama also has been a dismal disappointment as far as labor rights are concerned. Early next month, Wisconsinites will decide in a recall election whether or not to allow Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker to keep his job for his decision to try to destroy the state’s labor unions, a project that he apparently started immediately after his election in November 2009 (if not even beforehand).

(Walker claimed that the labor unions were making the state go broke, but he had had no problem giving the state’s plutocrats tax cuts. In bad economic times, you see, it’s the working class and the middle class who are to suffer even more — not the plutocratic elite, who, like on the Titanic, are the ones who get the lifeboats while the rest of us are to drown in the icy sea.)

In November 2007 at a campaign rally in South Carolina, Barack Obama said this: “And understand this: 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 will 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.” (Here is video of that promise.)

Yet when Wisconsin became a battleground for the life of its labor unions in early 2010, when national media attention was focused on the state’s capital, where the fuck was President Barack Obama? He couldn’t find a comfortable pair of shoes? Despite his clear promise to stand up for — in person — “American workers [who] are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain,” Obama showed his face not once in Wisconsin. Not once.

How about the British Petroleum debacle? Obama sat on his hands as BP’s oil well in the Gulf of Mexico filled the gulf with crude oil for months in the summer of 2010, making it the largest marine oil spill ever. Clearly the corporate-ass-kissing Obama White House took a back seat to BP and to Big Oil in the environmental catastrophe.

Yet despite his colossal failures of leadership — and these are just three of them — the sweet-talking Barack Obama, who is as slick as the millions of barrels of crude oil that have filled the Gulf of Mexico, wants, even apparently expects, the money and the votes of gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming Americans who want equal human and civil rights right now — none of this “evolving” bullshit), the money and the votes of the members of labor unions, and the money and the votes of environmentalists.

Barack Obama does not deserve this money or these votes. He makes promises and he breaks them. He asks you to put him or to keep him in power, yet once you do, he does not deliver for you, but tells you that in the future, in the future, in the future, he will use his public office for the public good.

You have absofuckinglutely no reason to believe that Barack Obama the sweet-talking and self-interested two-faced coward will be any more effective in a second term than he has been thus far. None.

(On a related note, when “Meet the Press'” Gregory asked Biden if the Obama administration would come out for same-sex marriage in a second term, Biden replied, “I don’t know the answer to that,” adding, “This is evolving.”)

You know, at least with Mittens Romney we would know what we were getting. The enemy clearly would be the enemy.

Which is worse:

Someone like Mittens, who at least is fairly up front about the fact that as president he wouldn’t lift a fucking finger to help non-heterosexuals achieve equal human and civil rights, that as president he would help further destroy what’s left of our labor unions and our middle class in order to further enrich the filthy fucking rich, and that as president of course he would side with Big Oil and other corporations over the environment — or — someone like Barack Obama, who explicitly or implicitly promises us progressives that he’s on our side, but then, once we’ve put him in office, fucks us over anyway?

And memo to Joe Biden: You also stated on “Meet the Press” today, “I think ‘Will & Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done so far.”

“Will & Grace,” Joe?

Really?

It’s a fucking sitcom, Joe. A fucking sitcom. One that ended six years ago this month.

That’s the best example that you can come up with to show how gay-friendly and how politically correctly accepting of non-heterosexuals that you are?

That’s like saying to a gay man, “I have a gay cousin in New York City. Maybe you know him!”

As well-intended as it might be, it’s better to say nothing at all than to reveal that you actually have no fucking clue about the historically oppressed minority group that you’re talking about.

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U.S. now produces only corpses

The body of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi lies on a mattress in a commercial freezer at a shopping center in Misrata, Libya, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. The burial of slain leader Moammar Gadhafi has been delayed until the circumstances of his death can be further examined and a decision is made about where to bury the body, Libyan officials said Friday, as the U.N. human rights office called for an investigation into his death. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

Associated Press photo

This is all that the crumbling American empire produces and exports these days: death and destruction. Gooooo USA! 

A column that Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald posted yesterday is pretty spot-on about what the United States of America has become. Greenwald notes that “there is something very significant about a nation that so continuously finds purpose and joy in the corpses its government produces, while finding it in so little else.” (The occasion of Greenwald’s column is the latest U.S.-government-produced corpse, that of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi [pictured above], whom, like other dictators, the U.S. government opposed, then cooperated with, then opposed again.)

Greenwald begins his column by reminding us of the uber-creepy language that President Hopey-Changey used in early May after the U.S. government summarily had assassinated Osama bin Laden in violation of justice and of international law:

When President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden on the evening of May 1, he said something which I found so striking at the time and still do: “tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history.”

That sentiment of national pride had in the past been triggered by putting a man on the moon, or discovering cures for diseases, or creating
technology that improved the lives of millions, or transforming the Great Depression into a thriving middle class, or correcting America’s own entrenched injustices.

Yet here was President Obama proclaiming that what should now cause us to be “reminded” of our national greatness was our ability to hunt someone down, pump bullets into his skull, and then dump his corpse into the ocean.*

And indeed, outside the White House and elsewhere, hordes of Americans were soon raucously celebrating the killing with “USA! USA!” chants as though their sports team had just won a major championship. …

Speaking of sports teams, that is all that the Democratic Party has become: a sports team that many Americans identify with. This is evidenced by the fact that even when Barack Obama violates the U.S. Constitution (e.g., denying assassinees and detainees due process, unilaterally declaring war, etc.) and international law (e.g., assassinating individuals on foreign soil without the consent of that sovereign nation’s government) and sits on his hands in the face of catastrophe (Obama handled British Petroleum’s destruction of the Gulf of Mexico as effectively as George W. Bush would have) — even when President Hopey-Changey acts or fails to act in the same illegal and/or immoral and/or ineffectual manner of which the Dems would have been critical had it been a Repugnican president in power — the Obamabots, if they can’t exactly find it within themselves to celebrate Barack Obama’s George-W.-Bush-like ways, at least keep their mealy mouths shut, and thus empower and enable the lawless, immoral, pro-plutocratic and militaristic Obama regime through their complicity.

This amorality and immorality is why, as Chris Hedges writes, the liberal class (as he calls the Democrats in name only, those who claim to be liberal or progressive but who don’t actually lift a fucking finger for progressive causes, and who, if they don’t actually engage in evil themselves, at least enable the evils encouraged and perpetrated by the right wing) is in its death throes.

The reason that Obama’s re-election prospects are dim, you see, is that the wingnuts prefer actual wingnuts to “liberal” sellouts like Obama — no matter how many baddies/“baddies” he assassinates with our tax dollars as though he were some Big Fucking Badass — and the so-called “independents”/“swing voters,” the majority of whom actually are center-right or even pretty far to the right, also prefer the actual Repugnican candidate to the Repugnican Lite candidate (like Barack Obama).

Actual progressives like me and the millions of other Americans (and those abroad) who are participating in or who at least sympathize with the Occupy Wall Street movement also have no use for Obama — stick a fork in him, because we are done with him and his false promises and his true allegiances — which leaves President Hopey-Changey only with his mealy-mouthed Obamabots, who are so fucking worthless that they might as well donate their organs now so that others can make better use of them.

We actual progressives can thank Obama, however, for thoroughly exposing how much the Democratic Party, since Bill Clinton, has sold us Americans out to our corporate/plutocratic overlords. Chris Hedges asks us:

What kind of nation is it that spends far more to kill enemy combatants and Afghan and Iraqi civilians than it does to help its own citizens who live below the poverty line? What kind of nation is it that permits corporations to hold sick children hostage while their parents frantically bankrupt themselves to save their sons and daughters? What kind of nation is it that tosses its mentally ill onto urban heating grates? What kind of nation is it that abandons its unemployed while it loots its treasury on behalf of speculators? What kind of nation is it that ignores due process to torture and assassinate its own citizens? What kind of nation is it that refuses to halt the destruction of the ecosystem by the fossil fuel industry, dooming our children and our children’s children?

An Obamanation, I might answer.

And Hedges answers, I think, the question of why the Occupy Wall Street movement has been so successful:

The liberal class functions in a traditional, capitalist democracy as a safety valve. It lets off enough steam to keep the system intact. It makes
piecemeal and incremental reform possible. This is what happened during the Great Depression and the New Deal. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s greatest achievement was that he saved capitalism. Liberals in a functioning capitalist democracy are at the same time tasked with discrediting radicals, whether it is [Martin Luther] King [Jr.], especially after he denounced the war in Vietnam, or later Noam Chomsky or Ralph Nader.

The stupidity of the corporate state is that it thought it could dispense with the liberal class. It thought it could shut off that safety valve in order
to loot and pillage with no impediments. Corporate power forgot that the liberal class, when it functions, gives legitimacy to the power elite. And the reduction of the liberal class to silly courtiers, who have nothing to offer but empty rhetoric, meant that the growing discontent found other mechanisms and outlets.

[All emphasis in this block quote is mine. Indeed, the success of the Internet as a political organizing tool is due to the fact that the duopoly of the corporate-ass-licking Coke Party and Pepsi Party stopped addressing the common American’s needs and interests long ago, and thus the common American has found alternative routes, has flowed around the obstruction that is the partisan duopoly that masquerades as “democracy” in the United States of America. And now we see Occupy Wall Street as yet another adaptive response to the utter ineffectiveness refusal of the two parties to represent us, the people.]

Liberals were reduced to stick figures, part of an elaborate pantomime, as they acted in preordained roles to give legitimacy to meaningless and useless political theater. But that game is over.

Human history has amply demonstrated that once those in positions of power become redundant and impotent, yet retain the trappings and privileges of power, they are brutally discarded. The liberal class, which insists on clinging to its positions of privilege while at the same time refusing to play its traditional role within the democratic state, has become a useless and despised appendage of corporate power. And as the engines of corporate power pollute and poison the ecosystem and propel us into a world where there will be only masters and serfs, the liberal class, which serves no purpose in the new configuration, is being abandoned and discarded by both the corporate state and radical dissidents. The best it can do is attach itself meekly to the new political configuration rising up to replace it.

An ineffectual liberal class means there is no hope of a correction or a reversal through the formal mechanisms of power. It ensures that the frustration and anger among the working and the middle class will find expression now in these protests that lie outside the confines of democratic institutions and the civilities of a liberal democracy. …

[T]he liberal class, by having refused to question the utopian promises of unfettered capitalism and globalization and by condemning those who did, severed itself from the roots of creative and bold thought, the only forces that could have prevented the liberal class from merging completely with the power elite. The liberal class, which at once was betrayed and betrayed itself, has no role left to play in the battle between us and corporate dominance. All hope lies now with those in the street. …

Yup. Because although the United States of America quickly is on its way to becoming something like the way that it is portrayed in the very dark movie “The Road,” we Americans aren’t ready to become cannibals quite yet, and we would prefer that the trillions of our dollars that are being used to kill people abroad (mostly so that the oil corporations can steal and profit obscenely from other nations’ oil) instead would be used for necessities here at home, such as health care, shelter and food.

Because even if we were to feast upon the corpse of Moammar Gaddafi, which reportedly cost us more than $1 billion to obtain, it wouldn’t feed very many of us Americans for very long.

*On May 2, I similiarly wrote:

… More chilling than the words and actions of my jingoistic cohorts, of whom I expect precious little, however, are those of President Barack Obama, of whom, despite his string of broken campaign promises, I still expect more.

“Today we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can’t do,” Obama proclaimed today about the snuffing out of bin Laden. (“We do big things” is one of the campaign slogans that Obama rolled out during his last State of the Union address, since “hope” and “change” don’t work anymore.)

Jesus fuck.

When we make such feel-good statements as “as a nation there is nothing we can’t do,” are we really supposed to say that about the killing of one individual? Even someone like Osama bin Laden?

Is this what “American greatness” has come to: our ability to kill one man after 10 years, hundreds of billions of dollars and the killing of tens of thousands before him? (That’s a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: Yes.) …

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Assorted shit

I don’t fucking trust that British Fucking Petroleum has fucking plugged the fucking hole in the fucking Gulf of Mexico

Really, need I say more about today’s “good news”?

Minority advocacy groups aren’t inherently “racist”

Now that the wingnutty white supremacists don’t have ACORN to kick around anymore, they’re targeting other groups that advocate for black Americans, such as the NAACP.

These black-advocacy groups are “racist,” the “tea-partying” dipshits allege.

The “tea party” is almost all white, yet its members claim that they’re not racist.

No!

They are all about “freedom” and “liberty” and “democracy” and “small government” and puppies and kittens and butterflies and cotton candy and…

(I was having this discussion with a conservative co-worker of mine today and at least twice I very apparently Freudianly referred to the “tea party” as the “white party.”)

You can’t compare such groups as the NAACP or the National Council of La Raza and the “tea party.” Such groups as the NAACP and La Raza, first of all, are comprised of historically oppressed minorities. Each word there is important:

Historically.

Oppressed.

Minorities.

The “tea party,” in contrast, is comprised of the historically oppressive majority. Again:

Historically.

Oppressive.

Majority.

Apples.

Oranges.

Even if there are plenty of blacks and other racial minorities who hate whitey (and whitey has given them plenty of cause), the sociopolitical fact is that, although the white demographic is shrinking (thank Goddess), the white race still has the most sociopolitical power in the United States of America.

But that’s not enough for the white supremacists and the members of the white party — er, the “tea party.”

They want all of the power.

They’d love nothing more to put all of the minority-advocacy organizations out of business. They’d do that by any means they could, such as by repeating their bullshit, slanderous allegation that for a historically oppressed minority group to stand up for its own interests constitutes “reverse racism” or some other form of hatred.

An individual Anglo can be victimized, of course, as can any individual. But Anglos, as a group, hardly are victims.

It isn’t about race in and of itself that racial minority advocacy groups exist. They exist to counteract an historical gross power imbalance, and to gain more sociopolitical power by acting together, instead of being divided and conquered, which is what the “tea-party” dipshits and their ilk want to happen to all of the historically oppressed minority groups.  

In a similar vein, I’ve supported the Human Rights Campaign, the largest advocacy group for non-heterosexuals in the U.S., not because I hate heterosexuals, but because we non-heterosexuals have to work hard at balancing the scales of sociopolitical power and because I want to make conditions for those non-heterosexuals who come after me to be better than they were for me.

As far as the “tea-party” dipshits are concerned, those of us Americans who abhor gross injustice and unfairness have the patriotic duty to stand up against them when we see them — just as we did during the Civil War era.

The Devil told me to finally write about Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle

Associated Press photo

“Tea-party”/Repugnican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (shown above in Las Vegas last month) compares her time as a Nevada state legislator to Moses’ and Jesus Christ’s “preparatory time.” You know: Moses, Jesus — Sharron Angle. The lineage that God intended!

Sharron Angle, the Repugnican/“tea-party” candidate for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, says, in effect, that God is her campaign manager. Well, at least God has wanted her to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, she says.

That’s a fascinating claim. If God wants one candidate to win, then clearly He wants the other one to lose, right? So if you want to win an election, you just be the first candidate to claim God’s endorsement, right?

And how can anyone argue that God doesn’t support you over your obviously satanic opponent? Where’s his or her proof?

It’s a beautiful strategy — uh, one that might win.

Never misunderestimate the power of the dumbfuck vote. (Three names: Jesse Ventura. George W. Bush. Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

A writer for Salon.com makes an interesting argument that Angle’s victory or loss against Reid in November might be a factor in whether or not her fellow “tea-party” pea in a pod Sarah Palin-Quayle will emerge as the Repugnican Party’s presidential nominatee in 2012. It’s worth reading.

The Associated Press notes that “Angle, a Southern Baptist, has called herself a faith-based politician who prays daily. Among her positions, she opposes abortion in all circumstances, including rape and incest.”

For all of Angle’s supposed good Christian and family (and “pro-life”) values, chillingly, she has spoken repeatedly of the deployment of “Second-Amendment remedies” should she and her ilk not succeed at the ballot box in transforming the United States of America into what the “tea party” wants it to be — a “Christian” version of the Taliban.

Rachel Maddow covered this Angle angle a while ago, but it’s worth watching if you aren’t already aware of what a dangerous lunatic Sharron “Second Amendment” Angle is.

Sharron Angle makes Harry Reid look damned good — and that’s pretty bad.

Please cry for me, Argentina

Argentina has legalized same-sex marriage.

Argentina.

Here in the United States of America, the so-called “land of the free,” we have legalized same-sex marriage in only a handful of states because of the death grip that the theocratic “Christo”fascists have on our democracy.

In my home state of California, we had legalized same-sex marriage briefly after the Repugnican-dominated California Supreme Court ruled that to prohibit same-sex marriage violates the rights guaranteed to Californians by the California Constitution.

Then, the Mormon cult and the Catholick church poured millions of dollars into a last-minute campaign of lies and smears to get the anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition 8 passed in November 2008, 52 percent to 48 percent. (Prop Hate altered the state’s Constitution itself, thus overriding the state’s Supreme Court’s decision.)

For all of the wingnuts’ blather about freedom, if I wanted to marry my boyfriend of nearly three years, I’d have to marry him in another state or in another fucking country. Like Argentina.

It’s long been my belief that Latin America, which is rapidly democratizing now that the United States has been too busy meddling in the Middle East instead of in Latin America for the past several years, is our best hope here in the U.S. for true democracy, freedom and opportunity for all.*

I hope that that democratic socialist spirit spreads here — sooner rather than later.

*Admittedly, we need to keep an eye on Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who, while I still love him, and who I hope maintains democratic socialist control of Venezuela, which is better for the people than is exploitation by greedy capitalist swine, seems to have been going a bit overboard as of late

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Assorted shit

If they’re right, what are they worried about?

US government sues Arizona over immigration law

AFP photo

Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, stupid white men John McCainosaurus and John Kyl, both Repugnicans, of course, have slammed the Obama administration’s filing of a federal lawsuit against their state’s planned illegal racial profiling against Hispanics, which is set to begin July 29.  

The Repugnican Party elite predictably are whining that the Obama administration today made official its lawsuit attempting to strike down Arizona’s unconstitutional and racist anti-brown-person law.

The federal lawsuit against the South Africa of the Southwest proclaims, in part, “In our constitutional system, the federal government has pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters. This authority derives from the United States Constitution and numerous acts of Congress. The nation’s immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests.”

Yup. That’s a little civics lesson for the fucktards of Arizona.

Of course, the white Repugnican politicians in Arizona, such as the Borg Queen governor, Jan Brewer, and presidential loser Sen. John McCainosaurus, don’t actually give a fuck about the issue of immigration nearly as much as they just want an easy political target for their upcoming elections in November, and the relatively poor and powerless Hispanics are fairly easy to sacrifice on the bloody Repugnican altar. (It was gays and lesbians whom the Repugnican Party sacrificed for the dumbfuck vote in 2004, recall; this election year it’s the Hispanics.)

Brewer and McCainosaurus and their ilk also want to get Brownie (er, whitey?) points from their white supremacist supporters for symbolically having taken on the nigger in the White House by pushing an unconstitutional, reprehensible anti-immigrant law that they knew the White House would oppose. (Fuck you. You know it’s true.)

Bottom line is, when the economy tanks, the bleating masses start beating up on immigrants. That’s what happens around the world, and that’s what’s happening here in the “melting pot.”

Of course, the Repugnican elite are all too happy to have the uneducated, skinheaded Joe the Plumbers and Dale the School Bus Drivers blame the poor and the powerless brown-skinned for the nation’s economic nosedive instead of the real culprits, the filthy rich white crooks who have bled, and continue to bleed, this nation dry.

In any event, if the white supremacist Repugnicans (I know, redundant…) of Arizona are so sure that their new little law is constitutional, why do they blast the Obama administration for challenging it in the federal court system?

Surely if they’re right, they’ll be vindicated legally.

(But they aren’t, so they won’t be.)

 Michael Steele, anti-affirmative-action poster boy?

Michael Steele

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Party head Michael Steele probably could have gotten away with his history gaffe, but stating that the Afghanistan war, which his party launched and wholeheartedly supports, is unwinnable, probably is the last straw for the party’s first black chairman, who is the result of affirmative action gone wrong.

On Jan. 30, 2009, I blogged:

Apparently we’re supposed to believe that the Repugnican Party no longer is racist because the Repugs just selected a black man as the chair of the Repugnican National Committee.

Uh, this is the very same political party for which a white guy who also ran for the chairmanship included on his CD promoting his campaign for the party chairmanship the songs “Barack the Magic Negro” and “The Star-Spanglish Banner.”

And because Sarah Palin-Quayle is a female, that doesn’t mean that the Repugnicans suddenly are feminists, either. (Palin-Quayle, among other things, such as being a “Christo”fascist and a global-warming denier, is anti-choice.)

The selection of Sarah “Heartbeat Away” Palin-Quayle was just a knee-jerk Repugnican response to Billary Clinton; apparently women voters were supposed to have just flocked to Repugnican John McCainosaurus in droves because Barack Obama rather than Billary had won the Democratic presidential nomination.  

Just as Palin-Quayle was only a reflexive response to Billary Clinton, so new Repugnican Party chair Michael Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is only a reflexive response of the Repugnican Party to the election of Democrat Barack Obama as president.

Both Steele and Palin-Quayle are stupid white men on the inside, regardless of the color of their skin and regardless of what’s between their legs.

I once heard (in person) Al Sharpton say of Condoleezza Rice (I paraphrase): “Condoleezza Rice is of my color, but she is not of my kind.”

I’m confident that Sharpton would say the same of Steele.

Steele’s selection is indicative of the Repugnican Party’s desperation, not of its sudden redemption.

I stand by that rant, and boy, have things taken a turn for Steele.

Look how hard the Repugnicans had to hunt for a black guy within their party to counter the election of Barack Obama — the best that they could do, apparently, was a former lieutenant governor.

The Repugnicans long have wanted to dump the fumbling and bumbling Steele, but he’s held on thus far.

However, his recent remarks on the war in Afghanistan that President Barack Obama started the war, which Steele deemed a war of choice, when, in fact, it was “President” George W. Bush who started the war in Afghanistan in October 2001, before his unelected regime launched the Vietraq War in March 2003, and that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, when the Repugnican Party supports the war because the Repugnican Party supports perpetual warfare for the war profiteers and for Big Oil and other corporate cronies — should be the good excuse that the Repugnicans have been looking for to dump Steele, which they’ve been reluctant to do up to now because they didn’t want to look racist.

Look, they cynically picked Steele because they’re racist.

Clearly the man is a dipshit who wasn’t qualified for the job but who met the main job requirement that his skin isn’t white. Steele’s selection as head of the Repugnican National Committee seems to have been the result of bizarre Repugnican affirmative action — bizarre because Repugnicans historically have trashed affirmative action as being the hiring or promotion of unqualified or underqualified non-whites or women over more qualified white men.

Pundits don’t expect Steele to be booted before the November elections, however. They do, however, expect him to lose his job in January, when the chairmanship of the RNC is up for grabs again.

Does New Orleans need a mercy killing already?

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, The Associated Press reports today that now oil from the ruptured British Petroleum well in the Gulf of Mexico — Hey, is that thing still spewing oil? We don’t hear much about that anymore because they finally fixed it, right? Right??? — is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain.

My rather modest proposal is that we just nuke the holy living fuck! out of New Orleans right now!

Put them out of their misery, you know.

Give them the final relief of knowing that probably nothing worse could happen to them after that.

Just my own rather modest proposal.

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Stupid white male traitors on parade

FILE - This Oct. 2, 2009 file photo provided ...

Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama talks with Gen. Stanley McChrystal aboard Air Force One in October. Obama has recalled McChrystal to Washington, D.C., to discuss remarks that McChrystal made to Rolling Stone magazine about the military efforts in Afghanistan that McChrystal has been leading.

Is it something in the water?

A bit too much crude oil, perhaps?

The federal district judge who blocked President Barack Obama’s obviously reasonable six-month moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has had investments in offshore drilling? Even having owned stock in Transocean, the corporation that had leased the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to British Petroleum before the rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico two months ago?

Unsurpisingly, the judge, one Martin Feldman, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, appears to be another overprivileged old stupid white man who puts his own selfish financial interests above not only justice but also above the common good.

Fuck the rest of us! He wants to be rich!

The Repugnicans piss and moan about “activist judges,” but I’m sure that they’re just perfectly fucking fine with judges who rule according to their own financial portfolios.

Because he did not recuse himself, Feldman should be removed from his post of power. He obviously cannot wield power responsibly and thus does not deserve to continue to wield it.

Similarly, corporations that violate the public trust (such as British Petroleum, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc., etc.) should be dissolved — not allowed to simply reorganize under another name (such as Blackwater, which is now “Xe.”)

The composition of the judiciary sorely needs to be evaluated. It’s supposed to be about justice for all — it shouldn’t be the fucking rich white boys’ club that it is. The Associated Press reported earlier this month:

More than half of the federal judges in districts where the bulk of Gulf oil spill-related lawsuits are pending have financial connections to the oil and gas industry, complicating the task of finding judges without conflicts to hear the cases, an Associated Press analysis of judicial financial disclosure reports shows.

Thirty-seven of the 64 active or senior judges in key Gulf Coast districts in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida have links to oil, gas and related energy industries, including some who own stocks or bonds in BP PLC, Halliburton or Transocean — and others who regularly list receiving royalties from oil and gas production wells, according to the reports judges must file each year. The AP reviewed 2008 disclosure forms, the most recent available.

Those three companies are named as defendants in virtually all of the 150-plus lawsuits seeking damages, mainly for economic losses in the fishing, seafood, tourism and related industries, that have been filed over the growing oil spill since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers….

Then there is Gen. Stanley McChrystal, in charge of the debacle in Afghanistan, thinking that it’s a good idea to slam his commander in chief in Rolling Stone.

Don’t get me wrong. We shouldn’t be in Afghanistan. Even if things at home weren’t crumbling, even if the American empire weren’t rotting from within, I’d be against our being in Afghanistan, but given that we can’t keep it together here at home — that ruptured oil well that has continued to spew millions of gallons of crude oil for more than two months now, for example — I’m especially against our military overextension.

And I’m usually all for freedom of speech and in general I abhor hierarchies and people at the top of hierarchies gagging those below them, but, it seems to me, it truly is a matter of national security when a general, any general, publicly slams the commander in chief while that general is in charge of an ongoing combat operation.

Further, as many problems as I have with President Barack Obama, I can’t recall any general or other such high-ranking military official having publicly slammed George W. Bush during his or her command in the Vietraq War, even though the unelected, treasonous Bush regime thoroughly botched its illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust invasion and occupation of Iraq and left plenty to be criticized.

I can’t help but think that the facts that Obama is black and that he widely is viewed as an “elitist” because he isn’t an abject dumbfuck as is G.W. Bush — we can’t trust eggheads to be good commanders in chief, the conventional “wisdom” (a.k.a. “common sense”) goes, although to be a good commander in chief you have to be intelligent — contributed to McChrystal’s incredibly poor judgment in slamming Obama to Rolling Stone.

McChrystal should have resigned if he felt that he couldn’t follow Obama.

Now, he should resign because instead of telling Obama that he couldn’t follow Obama, he told Rolling Stone that he couldn’t follow Obama.

This behavior — a federal judge flagrantly acting in very apparent conflict of interest and a general in charge of a war slamming the commander in chief — seems to be white male (over)privilege rearing its ugly head.

It needs to stop — because it’s treasonous* — and the stupid white men who are acting in their own best interests instead of in the best interests of those they are supposed to be serving need to be treated like the traitors that they are.

The crumbling American empire cannot endure even more treason than it already has endured beginning at least since the treasonous BushCheneyCorp blatantly, treasonously stole the White House in late 2000.

*My broad definition of treason is an action or a refusal to act that benefits oneself or one’s own relatively small group at the expense of the nation as a whole. This, I believe, is the spirit of the crime of treason, although it is not the technical, legal definition of the term.

Thus, under my definition, things like stealing presidential elections and starting bogus wars for the war profiteers (such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton), and selfishly siding with corporations instead of with the people (such as the aforementioned federal judge and U.S. Rep. Joe “Shakedown” Barton of Texas), constitute treason.

If this definition of treason were widely adopted, the traitors would stop being traitors, would stop harming the nation for their own selfish interests.

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Obama can’t win

c_06022010.gif 

There is plenty about President Barack Obama not to like, but, like him or dislike him, it’s a fucking fact that with the right wing the man just can’t win.

Lately I’ve seen rather strange news stories about how the White House has been emphatic that Obama has been sufficiently angry! about British Petroleum’s devasation of the Gulf of Mexico.

Reports French news agency AFP today:

Washington – President Barack Obama insisted [today] he was “furious” about the U.S. oil [leak] disaster but that “yelling” would be pointless, as aides rejected claims he had shown insufficient emotion over the crisis….

In a new attempt to demonstrate its engagement, the White House said Obama would make his third trip to the Gulf of Mexico coast [tomorrow], and he appeared on CNN talk show “Larry King Live” to discuss the catastrophe.

“I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people, but that is not what I was hired to do — my job is to solve this problem,” Obama said.

“I am furious at this entire situation. This is something where somebody didn’t think through the consequences of their actions,” he added.

Obama has been besieged on multiple fronts, and is dealing with the Gulf crisis, the Gaza flotilla raid and North Korea’s belligerence, not to mention the slowly recovering economy.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs hit back at a growing media frenzy, along the lines that the president should simply “do something” to stop a gushing undersea well clogging the Gulf with a thick slick of oil.

“If jumping up and down and screaming would fix a hole in the ocean, we’d have done that five or six weeks ago,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs has been peppered with questions in recent days over whether Obama, known for a cool, intellectual demeanor, is doing enough to convey anger and dismay over the disaster.

Some normally sympathetic commentators have also been tearing into him, frustrated at his “no-drama” persona….

Gibbs argued Obama would gain nothing by going on television and throwing a tantrum.

“Pounding on a podium isn’t going to fix a hole in the ocean,” he said….

My main criticism of Obama’s handling of BP’s disaster is that he seemed to have trusted BP’s apparent lies that it had everything under control — and/or Obama seemed to be too intimidated by the mega-corporation to take control of the situation sooner, and if so, that’s a dangerous situation for a nation that calls itself a democracy.

Last on my list of criticisms would be that Obama hasn’t displayed enough anger, and I have no doubt that if he had done that, the very same assholes who now are saying now that he hasn’t been emotional enough would accuse him of being overly emotional and too unstable for a U.S. president.

And it would be a huge mistake to put the blame on Obama when the blame rests squarely on BP, Big Oil and the Repugnican Party, which has been aiding and abetting Big Oil at least since George W. Bush stole the White House in late 2000 and then launched his illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust war on Iraq in March 2003 in order to open its sovereign oil fields to Big Oil and to provide Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton with war profits.

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‘Obama’s Katrina’ is our fault

Comparisons of the Obama administration’s slow response to the current crisis created by corporate greed in the Gulf of Mexico to the unelected Bush regime’s slow response to the crisis created by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005 perhaps have been inevitable, but they miss the point.

Yes, both catastrophes have happened in the Gulf of Mexico, but that’s just about where any valid comparison ends. And by making such clumsy comparisons, we risk the failure to prevent more massive oil spills in the future.

The Bush regime didn’t respond to Hurricane Katrina because the Bush regime didn’t give a flying fuck about a bunch of poor black people in Louisiana. Had the eye of Hurricane Katrina been headed for “President” George W. Bush’s Texas, there might actually have been a response.

What prevented the Obama administration from responding faster to British Petroleum’s disaster, however, is the vast amount of power that the mega-corporations have accrued over the past several decades.

Although Obama has claimed that his administration has been on top of BP from day one of its April 20 oil rig disaster, it seems fairly apparent to me that BP kept the Obama administration at bay for some time, and that only after it became glaringly apparent that BP didn’t have the oil leak — which now is being called the worst in U.S. history — under anything like control that the Obama administration finally stepped up to the plate, under increasing political pressure.

We can make all of the Hurricane Katrina comparisons that we want to, but unless and until we, the people, take back our power that we stupidly and slovenly ceded to the corporations, we can expect more catastrophes like BP’s.

We need to take a long, hard look at capitalism and ask ourselves whether some tasks are too important and/or too dangerous to leave to the profit-driven private sector.

The private sector can do everything better, the capitalist swine snort.

Bullshit. The profit-driven private sector keeps cutting corner after corner in order to continually increase profits until we have such things as the current catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and the actual “death panels” that the for-profit wealth care — er, health care — industry established in order to deny people medical care in order to increase the insurance companies’ profits. (They get filthy rich only if they don’t give you the health care that they’re being paid to provide you when you need it. That’s a great fucking model for health care.) Global warming, too, is a result of corporate greed.

And speaking of global warming, to me the most alarming news today is that meteorologists predict that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which begins next week, could be as bad as the 2005 season, which brought us Katrina.

Right about now is the perfect time for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Never claim that things couldn’t get any worse than they already are, because of course they always can.

But I digress…

I’m all for the private sector making and selling things like cars and iPads and television sets and telephones and clothing and computers and movies and porn. Hell, I’m even more or less OK with the private sector continuing to make and sell houses, although the housing debacle would make me want to put a lot more thought into that issue, since housing is a necessity and not a luxury.

But drilling big holes in the ocean to tap oil reserves and maintaining those big holes? Health care? Education? Ensuring an ample supply of clean drinking water?

These kinds of things are too big and/or too important to leave to money-grubbing weasels. They need to be left to the government. To introduce a profit — and thus a corner-cutting — motive into them is inviting disaster, as the crude-oil-coated creatures of the Gulf of Mexico — and those whose living depends upon the Gulf of Mexico — can attest.

And giving such huge tasks as offshore oil drilling entirely to corporations means that the government doesn’t have the equipment or the expertise to deal with any problems that might occur, because over time it’s the corporations that have taken over those tasks. Cutting out the stonewalling corporate middlemen also would mean that problems could be addressed immediately by the government, because the government wouldn’t have to coordinate its efforts with any profit-driven corporation.

And corporate-crony-loving Repugnicans have no right whatsofuckingever to criticize the Obama administration’s sluggish response to the BP debacle when the eight long nightmarish years of rule by the unelected, oily Bush regime created an awfully cushy environment for Big Oil.

The Bush crime family has had oily dealings in Texas and in Saudi Arabia, Dick Cheney’s oily Halliburton wanted and got its Vietraq War and apparently has played a significant part in the current BP disaster, and fuck, even Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice had had a fucking Chevron oil tanker named after her, for fuck’s sake.

I don’t believe in letting President Obama off the hook for shit that is his responsibility, but we can’t blame Obama for the long-standing socioeconomicopolitical environment that he not only inherited in January 2009, but that all of us have allowed.

We can’t even blame the unelected Bush regime entirely for what it allowed Hurricane Katrina to do to the Gulf Coast in 2005 — after all, we, the people, had just allowed the Bush regime to blatantly steal the White House in late 2000 with no serious opposition from us. We should have been rioting in the streets, should have taken up pitchforks and torches, but instead we sat on our asses, sipping our Slurpees, telling ourselves that this Bush guy couldn’t be that bad. 

Had we acted as the patriotic citizens that we claim to be, “President” Bush, and thus Hurricane Katrina, might have been prevented.

And had we not just allowed our democracy to become a corporatocracy, we probably wouldn’t be witnessing the largest oil spill in U.S. history right now — while a savage hurricane season is just around the corner, ready to spread all of those millions of gallons of crude oil around even more quickly and more widely.

The BP oil spill should be our wake-up call and should teach us a great lesson.

And that lesson is not that we, the people, can continue to pin the blame for our national and global catastrophes on just one person, such as the president of the United States.

That lesson is that we, the people, get the kind of nation and the kind of world that we create and that we allow.

When, and if, we demand — really demand, exerting incredible political pressure — better of the powers that be, we will get better.

For right now, though, we are faced with millions of gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico while Hurricane Katrina’s sequel looms, and the only people we can blame for that is ourselves.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same

Voters are suckers.

Even though Barack Obama has failed miserably to deliver upon his campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” voters still believe that there are political candidates out there who are going to change the status quo.

But corporations and the corporatocrats that run them and those who love the corporatocrats (a.k.a. politicians), not the voters, call the shots.

British Petroleum, for instance, was able to keep the federal government at bay until it became glaringly apparent that BP did not have its “little” oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico under control. It should have been the other way around, with the federal government telling BP what to do — right off the bat.

Only after the oily corporate environmental disaster became undeniably apparent did Obama feign anger at the corporatocrats who have filled his campaign coffers.

And we still have our perpetual war in the Middle East for the military-industrial complex, because without war, war profiteering isn’t possible.

It’s almost enough to make you miss George W. Bush. (Almost…)

Obama “threw [him] under the bus,” Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, recently wrote in a letter that he probably didn’t intend to become public.

Obama threw all of us under the bus, and the bus is leaking BP oil all over us.

Voters want to see yesterday’s primary election results as a harbinger of that long-promised-but-yet-delivered “hope” and “change.”

“Will the insurgents sell out?” The Daily Beast asks of wingnut Republican Rand Paul, the son of libertarian wingnut Ron Paul, who won Kentucky’s Repugnican U.S. senatorial primary yesterday, and Democrat Joe Sestak, who beat Democrat-come-lately Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. senatorial primary election yesterday.

My answer to that question: Of course they will.

But I’m happy about Specter’s defeat. There is a special place in hell for politicians like Specter and recently Repugnican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman who switch parties or become independents in order to save their political skins instead of upon principle.

And all of the fossils in the U.S. Senate (Specter is 80 years old) need to retire or to be retired by the voters, like Specter was yesterday. Who do they think they are? U.S. Supreme Court justices with lifetime appointments?

As far as “tea party” favorite Rand Paul is concerned, it would be bullshit to assert that as Kentucky (cue banjo) goes so goes the nation.

The U.S. Census put Kentucky’s white population at 92 percent in 2000. The state’s estimated 2005 white population was 91 percent. I don’t expect the 2010 Census results to be much different. Not exactly a diverse state, Kentucky.

And Kentucky went to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and to John McCainosaurus (another U.S. senator who sorely needs to retire or to be retired) in 2008.

So it’s not surprising that white supremacist “tea party” favorite Rand Paul won yesterday’s Repugnican U.S. senatorial primary in a far-right, white supremacist state.

No one anywhere on the ideological spectrum should expect Rand Paul or Joe Sestak to bring about any “hope” and “change.”

We of all ideological stripes get punked every fucking election.

As long as the corporations continue to call the shots, we, the people, are just window dressing in this little pay-to-play charade that we call “democracy.”

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