Tag Archives: inaugural

There is little to celebrate today — unless you ignore the past eight years

Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States takes the ...

Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office as the 44th President ...

Reuters photos

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, at left in the photo at top, look on as Barack Obama, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, takes the oath of office today in Washington.

So today is Inauguration Day.

I am not giddy.

This is for several reasons.

First, I’m numb from the past eight years. I watched in shock and awe in late 2000 as Team Bush blatantly stole the White House and I was in the minority of Americans who thought that this was a problem.*

The majority of Americans were too fat and lazy from the excesses of the Clinton years to give a shit that the office of the president had just been hijacked. What possible harm could be caused by a group of people who were willing to put their man into the White House even though he had lost the election?  

That seemed to be the national sentiment in late 2000: Let’s just declare a winner already and be done with it. What does it matter?

Yes, who possibly could have known that it would end badly?

I won’t catalog all of the acts of treason, war crimes and crimes against humanity (and even crimes against the planet itself) that the members of the unelected Bush regime committed — plenty of others have been doing that as the Bush regime’s days have been winding down — but let’s just say that after such things as the bogus Vietraq War, which the Bush regime had planned to start long before Sept. 11, 2001 (after all, Saddam Hussein had tried to kill his Daddy, Junior once reminded us), and which benefited only Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp; the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors (and the torture and illegal detention and inhumane treatment of of Arabs and Muslims in general); the refusal of the Bush regime to do anything about global warming; and the record federal budget deficit (Daddy Bush held that record until Junior came along), I’m so thoroughly through with the Bush regime, the worst White House administration in the history of the nation, I am so numb where the Bush regime is concerned that I can’t even celebrate the unelected, treasonous regime’s departure. 

Nor can I celebrate Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Obama probably is a basically decent guy, but he has shown that he has no problem in selling out if he thinks that selling out is necessary. To give just two examples:

  • In 1996 Obama stated, in writing, that he supports same-sex marriage. Now, his public/official stance is that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow same-sex marriage. Never mind that “states’ rights” is the argument that the fucking racists used to use to (try to) enable the most racist states to continue to get away with their unconstitutional, racist practices.
  • Obama used to decline to wear one of those fucking juvenile U.S. flag lapel pins, stating, correctly, that patriotism isn’t about wearing a lapel pin (I paraphrase). Now, of course, he routinely wears one. (It’s not about the pin; it’s about the principles, such as the principle that any asshole can slap on a lapel pin and call himself a patriot, no matter how detrimental his or her actions or lack thereof actually are to his or her nation, just as how any asshole can wear a crucifix around his or her neck and call him- or herself a Christian, no matter how un-Christian his or her actions are, and it’s also about Obama’s having caved in to political pressure.)

Also, while I am happy that we have our first non-white president, while undoubtedly President Obama has opened the door more widely for many others who aren’t stupid white men, let’s face it: a huge amount of the enthusiasm for President Obama isn’t really about him, but is about the contrast, the comparison, between him and George W. Bush.

George W. Bush was such a dismal fucking failure, our most incompetent, treasonous and felonious “president” ever, that Obama looks like a saint by comparison.

Thus far, from what I can tell, Obama is just what a U.S. president should be: Competent. Eloquent. Capable. Self-possessed. Decent. (Not perfect, but decent enough.) Oh, yeah, and let me add: Actually elected.

George W. Bush set the presidential bar so low that Obama looks like a saint just for meeting the minimum characteristics and qualifications for a U.S. president.

(Already the comparisons of Obama to Abraham Lincoln abound, a comparison that Obama fosters himself, such as his Lincolnesque train trip to his inauguration and his having been sworn in with the very same Bible with which Lincoln was sworn in, but does this mean that with President Lincoln II we are going to have another civil war and finally polish off the dumbfuck red staters who have been holding the nation back since the Civil War days? And does Obama really want to be comparing himself to a president who ultimately got popped?) 

Anyway, worshipping Obama for being what any U.S. president should be anyway is harmful to the nation, as it resets the presidential “normal” to the level of George W. Bush.

I am glad that I can write “President Obama,” that Obama was duly elected. I never could write “President Bush” because he was not elected. He was shoved down our throats. Al Gore won not only the popular vote by more than a half-million votes in November 2000, but he won the pivotal state of Florida, too. It was Repugnican Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, the five U.S. Supreme Court “justices” who had been appointed by Repugnican presidents, many other Repugnican crooks and the Repugnican noise machine that put George W. Bush into the White House — not the majority of American voters.

I never accepted George W. Bush as the legitimate U.S. president, which is why I always wrote his title as “’President’ Bush” — with quotation marks around the title “President.”

Otherwise, I knew, I would be giving into the lie, by omitting the quotation marks around his title I would be giving him at least tacit legitimacy, I would be caving into one of the biggest travesties of justice in the American democracy up to that time.  

So adios, “President” Bush and hola, President Obama.

I wish that I could be more excited about the departure of the former and the arrival of the latter, but after all that has transpired over the past eight years — most notably, my fellow Americans just allowing the presidential election of 2000 to be stolen and just allowing the bogus Vietraq War to be launched in 2003 out of some bullshit “retaliation” for (the preventable-in-the-first-place) 9/11** — I still am far too disappointed in my fellow Americans to be able to celebrate.

I know what travesties of justice and democracy my fellow Americans are ready, willing and able to swallow, and until and unless they demonstrate that they are through with that, I see little to celebrate.

*I was one of a rather small group of people who saw the next eight years coming; in early 2001 I participated in a “Not My President’s Day” protest rally at the California State Capitol (it was on Presidents’ Day, if memory serves). My protest sign read: “George Dubious Bush is not MY president!” Another guy there brought a sign that I had thought of creating: An image of the American democracy named as the deceased on a headstone, with the years 1776-2000 listed as the range of its birth to its death.

**I attended yet another rally at the state Capitol to protest the unelected Bush regime’s impending invasion of Iraq shortly before the regime invaded in March 2003. (This protest rally was in February 2003, if memory serves.)

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Various shit (in no certain order)

Just two days ago I wrote: “[President-elect Barack] Obama’s numbers in the public opinion polls are pretty fucking good. To a solid majority of Americans, Obama is fucking Superman. Or at least Batman….”

Today, this from The Associated Press:

Spider-Man has a new sidekick: The president-elect.

Barack Obama collected Spider-Man comics as a child, so Marvel Comics wanted to give him a “shout-out back” by featuring him in a bonus story, said Joe Quesada, Marvel’s editor in chief.

“How great is that? The commander in chief to be is actually a nerd in chief,” Quesada said. “It was really, really cool to see that we had a geek in the White House. We’re all thrilled with that.”

The comic starts with Spider-Man’s alter-ego Peter Parker taking photographs at the inauguration, before spotting two identical Obamas.

Parker decides “the future president’s gonna need Spider-Man,” and springs into action, using basketball to determine the real Obama and punching out the impostor.

Obama thanks him with a fist-bump.

Marvel comics have featured most presidents, but generally in walk-on roles, Quesada said….

Obama has said that as a child, he collected Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comic books. His Senate Web site used to have a photo of him posing in front of a Superman statue.

The Obama story is a bonus in Marvel Comic’s Amazing Spider-Man #583, available in comic book shops nationwide on Jan. 14 for $3.99 and is expected to sell out, with half the covers devoted to Obama.

Here’s the cover:

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is pictured on the cover of ...

Reuters photo

Um, is it official now that Obamania is out of hand?

As much as I will miss writing “Illinois Gov. Rod ‘U.$. $enate $eat for $ale’ Blahblahblahblah,” apparently the impeachment process against him finally has begun.

Incredibly (or  maybe not so incredibly), Blahblahblahblah appointee former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris appears to be on track to replace Barack Obama as a U.S. senator for Illinois.

The Democrats cave in to the Repugnicans, so why shouldn’t they cave in to Democrats waving the race card?

Gee, how are we doing with that “change” thing that we were promised? Let’s see:

The United Nations reports that as many as 250-plus Palestinian children have been slaughtered in Israel’s latest aggression, but Obama still reserves his right to remain silent on the matter.

Israel has the right to nip it in the bud, you see, to slaughter Arab children before they have the chance to grow up to be “terrorists” in Occupied Palestine (a.k.a. Israel)!

A homophobe will deliver the invocation at Obama’s inaugural, and it looks as though Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate will be a man appointed by a crooked Chicago politician (wait — that’s redundant…).

Yeah, things are changing so fucking much that I just can’t keep up with all of this change!

… 

Speaking of dead Palestinian children, this is from The Associated Press today

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Tiny bodies lying side by side wrapped in white burial shrouds. The cherubic face of a dead preschooler sticking up from the rubble of her home. A man cradling a wounded boy in a chaotic emergency room after Israel shelled a U.N. school.

Children, who make up more than half of crowded Gaza’s 1.4 million people, are the most defenseless victims of the war between Israel and Hamas. The Israeli army has unleashed unprecedented force in its campaign against Hamas militants, who have been taking cover among civilians.

A photo of 4-year-old Kaukab Al Dayah, just her bloodied head sticking out from the rubble of her home, covered many front pages in the Arab world Wednesday. “This is Israel,” read the headline in the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. The preschooler was killed early Tuesday when an F-16 attacked her family’s four-story home in Gaza City. Four adults also died.

As many as 257 children have been killed and 1,080 wounded — about a third of the total casualties since Dec. 27, according to U.N. figures released [today].

Hardest on the children is the sense that nowhere is safe and adults can’t protect them, said Iyad Sarraj, a psychologist hunkering down in his Gaza City apartment with his four stepchildren, ages 3 to 17. His 10-year-old, Adam, is terrified during bombing raids and has developed asthma attacks, Sarraj said.

Israel says it is targeting Hamas in response to its repeated rocket attacks on southern Israel, and is doing its utmost to avoid civilian deaths. However, foreign aid officials note that civilians can’t escape blockaded Gaza and that bombing crowded areas inevitably leads to civilian casualties. The Israeli military has used tank and artillery shells, as well as large aerial bombs….

Indeed, all of Gaza has become dangerous ground.

Children have been killed in strikes on their houses, while riding in cars with their parents, while playing in the streets, walking to a grocery and even at U.N. shelters.

Sayed, Mohammed and Raida Abu Aisheh — ages 12, 8 and 7 — were at home with their parents when they were all killed in an Israeli airstrike before dawn Monday. The family had remained in the ground floor apartment of their three-story building, while the rest of the extended clan sought refuge in the basement from heavy bombardment of nearby Hamas installations.

Those in the basement survived. The children’s uncle, Saber Abu Aisheh, 49, searched [today] through the rubble, a heap of cement blocks, mattresses, scorched furniture and smashed TVs.

He said Israel gave no warning, unlike two years earlier when he received repeated calls from the Israeli military, including on his cell phone, that a nearby house was going to get hit and that he should evacuate.

“What’s going on is not a war, it’s a mass killing,” said Abu Aisheh, still wearing the blood-splattered olive-colored sweater he wore the night of the airstrike.

The Israeli military did not comment when asked why the Abu Aisheh house was targeted.

In the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, medics found four young children next to their dead mothers in a house, according to the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross. “They were too weak to stand up on their own,” the statement said.

The Red Cross did not say what happened to the children, but noted that the Israeli army refused rescuers permission to reach the neighborhood for four days. Israel said the delay was caused by fighting.

Medic Mohammed Azayzeh said he retrieved the bodies of a man and his two young sons from central Gaza [yesterday]. One of the boys, a 1-year-old, was cradled in his father’s arms.

In the Jebaliya refugee camp, five sisters from the Balousha family, ages 4, 8, 11, 14 and 17, were buried together in white shrouds on Dec. 29. An Israeli airstrike on a mosque, presumably a Hamas target, had destroyed their adjacent house. Only their parents and a baby girl survived.

Israel accuses Hamas of cynically exploiting Gaza’s civilians and using them as human shields. The military has released video footage showing militants firing mortars from the rooftops of homes and mosques.

“Israel wants to see no harm to the children of Gaza,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev. “On the contrary, we would like to see their children and our children grow up without the fear of violence. Until now, Hamas has deliberately prevented that from becoming reality.”

Rocket fire from Gaza has disrupted life in Israeli border communities, and with the latest intensified militant attacks, hundreds of thousands of Israelis are in rocket range. Schools are closed and fearful Israeli children rush into bomb shelters at the sound of air raid sirens.

In the ongoing chaos of Gaza, it’s difficult to get exact casualty figures. Since Dec. 27, at least 750 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moawiya Hassanain.

Of those, 257 were children, according to the U.N.’s top humanitarian official, John Holmes, citing Health Ministry figures that he called credible and deeply disturbing.

“We are talking about urban war,” said Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, the Jordan-based spokesman for UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa. “The density of the population is so high, it’s bound to hurt children… This is a unique conflict, where there is nowhere to go.”

Successive generations of Gaza children have grown up with violence, part of the accelerating conflict with Israel. In the late 1980s, many threw stones at Israeli soldiers in a revolt against occupation. In the second uprising, starting in 2000, some were recruited by Hamas as suicide bombers.

Sarraj, the psychologist, said he fears for this generation: Having experienced trauma and their parents’ helplessness, they may be more vulnerable to recruitment by militants….

If Israel truly wanted to stop slaughtering Palestinian children — then Israel would stop slaughtering Palestinian children.

Israel, by slaughtering scores of innocent Palestinians, seems to want to guarantee itself a constant supply of future Palestinian “terrorists” — so that Israel can maintain its perpetual “victim” status.

It’s  long past time for the rest of the world to hold Israel — and its long-time partner in war crimes and crimes against humanity, the United States — to account. It’s not “terrorism” only when an Arab or a Muslim kills someone.

In this Monday, Jan. 5, 2009 file photo, Palestinians carry ...

Associated Press photo

Palestinians on Monday bury three of their children slaughtered by Israel, the perpectual “victim.”

“For the last eight years, President Bush has led our country with firm determination and a steady hand in the face of numerous challenges and crises. He restored honor and integrity to the White House and protected America from another terrorist attack.”

That’s how Repugnican National Committee chair Mike Duncan began a fundraising e-mail sent out today that stupidly redundantly was titled “Grateful Gratitude to Our President.” (Yes, I’m on the enemy’s e-mail list.)

How will history regard the job that George W. Bush has done over the past eight years?

Bush and the Bushies claim that one day history will vindicate the second Bush administration (yeah, right), but today, Americans are pretty fucking happy to see Bush II go.

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that only 31 percent of Americans would rate Bush’s eight-year job performance as “good” or “very good,” while 40 percent would call it “poor” or “very poor” — with an additional 28 percent calling Bush the worst. president. ever. (Yes, that’s a full 68 percent who rate the second Bush administration as somewhere between “poor” and the worst administration ever.)

The number calling George W. Bush the best president ever? Um, fewer than 1 percent…

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