Tag Archives: Obama administration

The bin Laden assassination account du jour

OK, so first, we were told that Osama bin Laden was armed and posed an immediate threat to the U.S. Navy SEALs who shot him dead in Pakistan this past weekend.

Then, we were told that he wasn’t armed, but that nonetheless he still somehow was threatening to the SEALs — maybe he had a bomb* on him, even! (Of course, anyone could have a bomb hidden on [or in…] his or her body, so using that “logic,” it’s OK to shoot dead anyone.)

Now, we are being told that the SEALs had planned to kill bin Laden no matter what.

Reports Yahoo! News today:

The SEALs’ decision to fatally shoot bin Laden — even though he didn’t have a weapon — wasn’t an accident.  The administration had made clear to the military’s clandestine Joint Special Operations Command that it wanted bin Laden dead, according to a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the discussions.  A high-ranking military officer briefed on the assault said the SEALs knew their mission was not to take him alive.

Publicly, the White House insists it was prepared to capture bin Laden if he tried to surrender, a possibility senior officials described as remote.

John Brennan, the administration’s top counterterrorism official, told reporters on Monday if “we had the opportunity to take him alive, we would have done that.”A senior intelligence official echoed that sentiment in an interview [yesterday], telling National Journal that if bin Laden “had indicated surrender, he would have been captured.”

But bin Laden didn’t appear to have been given a chance to surrender himself to the SEALs.

“To be frank, I don’t think he had a lot of time to say anything,” CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview airing on “PBS NewsHour.”

There is a word for this kind of thing: Fuck.

One of my U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein, who is chair of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, has said that she was informed of the planning of the raid on the compound in Pakistan that held bin Laden in December.

In December.

One, if bin Laden (still) were such an imminent threat that he needed to be summarily executed on the spot, then why did it take the Obama administration that long to finally get him?

Two, since the Obama administration had bin Laden’s nabbing in the works at least since December, why the fuck has it been unable to get its fucking story straight?

I have as much confidence in the Obama administration as I did in the bumbling Bush regime.

This bullshit bungling is supposed to help Obama’s re-election campaign how?

*The Los Angeles Times reports:

After saying Monday that the American operatives who raided the Pakistani compound had orders to capture Bin Laden if he gave himself up, U.S. officials [yesterday] added an important qualifier: The assault force was told to accept a surrender only if it could be sure he didn’t have a bomb hidden under his clothing and posed no other danger.

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The (Jessica) Lynching of Osama bin Laden

Wow. You expected this kind of shit from the unelected Bush regime, with its lies about and cover-ups regarding the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman sagas, but you (or at least I) expected more from the Obama administration.

Until now I have held off on repeating any of the details that have been released regarding Osama bin Laden’s actual moment of death because I was skeptical of them – and for good cause, because now, they are reporting, apparently bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead in the head and did not use one of his wives as a “human shield.”

The “human shield” charge especially was repeated all over the corporately owned and controlled mass media, because it fit in nicely with the pre-existing jingoistic narrative of bin Laden as actually being a “coward” instead of a bad-ass — a charge that is probably more false than true and that says a lot more about Americans’ actual collective level of courage than it does about bin Laden’s. (Americans, after all, kill with high-tech weaponry and they usually kill from a distance. [Which makes American killing “civilized,” you see, while the less technologically advantaged “terrorists” often if not usually kill others more closely and personally, which makes them “terrorists,” as does the fact that they’re not Americans.])

Anyway, so now the latest word is that bin Laden was unarmed and that the woman who was shot dead along with him was not his wife, but was another woman, and that his wife was injured in the firefight, but was not used by bin Laden as a “human shield.”  

These are just basic facts of what the fuck happened. You would think that the “transparent” Obama administration would have done a much better job of getting out accurate information about such a momentous news event.

And the fact (well, the fact du jour, anyway…) that bin Laden was unarmed raises the legal, moral and ethical question of whether or not he should have been captured and brought to trial instead of executed on the spot. Does a “civilized” nation of “laws” and “order” and “human rights” execute someone who is unarmed, even someone like Osama bin Laden, on the spot?

I recognize the huge problems, including, of course, security issues, that putting bin Laden on trial would have presented. But do we have principles or not? Do we mean what we say in our Constitution about human rights — including the right to a fair trial and the right not to be summarily executed, no matter what it is believed that you have done – or don’t we?

All of this — the initial misinformation about bin Laden’s summary execution, the apparent fact that bin Laden could have been taken alive — makes Barack Obama way too much like George W. (“W” for “Wanted Dead or Alive”) Bush for my sense of right and wrong, and I have to wonder how much of bin Laden’s execution was calculated to benefit Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

I mean, fuck: In January, Team Obama did indeed roll out, as part of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the lame meme of “We do big things” in the State of the Union Address. Yesterday, Obama said of bin Laden’s execution, “Today we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can’t do.”

I mean, that looks like a link to me. It’s fairly apparent that Team Obama sat around and pondered: Hmmm… How can we fit Osama bin Laden’s death into our re-election campaign narrative?

Even in this great age of cynicism, that’s some sick shit, in my book.

Again, I’m not crying that Osama bin Laden is dead, but we cannot claim to be a “civilized” nation that respects human rights and laws and at the same time do shit like summarily execute the “bad guys.” (As far as body counts of innocents go, we Americans actually are the biggest global bad guys, but because we’re Americans, we’re fucking saints.)  

And to watch Barack Obama act as though he went over to Pakistan and got bin Laden himself – when that long, hard work was done by other people, including some who apparently put themselves at the potential risk of great injury or death – is nauseating, especially when Obama apparently plans to use bin Laden’s scalp for political gain.

But that is the history of the slimy political opportunist Obama: taking credit for others’ work, such as how he only rode, all the way to the White House, the wave that Howard Dean had created with the left-leaning “netroots.”

Now, it appears, it is the execution of Osama bin Laden that is going to keep Obama in the Oval Office for another four years.

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This is our BIG T-shirt moment!

T-shirt

The new Team Obama T-shirt is yours for a donation of $25 or more!

Confession: I purchased and I wore a white-lettered-on-black “got hope?” T-shirt before Barack Obama was elected in November 2008. In public. Repeatedly.

That was back when I had hope.

Now, Team Obama, I see from a shameless fundraising e-mail that I received today, is asking us to wear a T-shirt (pictured above) that reads: “WE DO BIG THINGS.” With the “BIG” really BIG.

“We do big things” comes right from Obama’s recent State of the Union address, of course. He ended his address thusly:

…We do big things.

From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.

We are a nation that says, “I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I need to try. I’m not sure how we’ll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but I know we’ll get there. I know we will.”

We do big things.

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

Thank you, God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.

Sadly, the State of the Union address apparently now is just a vehicle with which to roll out new empty slogans to slap on T-shirts and other campaign gear.

As I recently noted, “hope” and “change” — or, as Repugnican Tea Party queen Sarah Palin once put it, “that hopey-changey stuff” — doesn’t cut it anymore, so now we have “winning the future” and “we do big things.” (Palin once again has mocked the shameless sloganeering, pointing out that “winning the future” would be “WTF.”

What we have with Team Obama, unfortunately, is marketing slogans, not presidential leadership. (And when Sarah “Inflammatory Political Rhetoric Endangers No One But Your Inflammatory Political Rhetoric Endangers Me” Palin is making valid criticisms of you, you’re in trouble.) 

Worst of all where Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address is concerned, the state of our union is not strong, and Obama has neither the stomach nor the balls to seriously confront what I see as the nation’s three main problems (not in a particular order):

  • Corporateers whose tentacles now reach into every imaginable aspect of our lives and who won’t stop until they privatize absofuckinglutely everything — and who would charge us for the very air that we breathe if they could.
  • War profiteers and others within the military-industrial complex who keep us at perpetual war for perpetual war profiteering. (The members of the Repugnican Tea Party were fine with the BushCheneyCorp’s runaway government spending because it benefited the war profiteers, but any government spending on the people — having the audacity to use the people’s money to benefit them — the ringleaders of the Repugnican Tea Party cannot abide.)
  • Millions of baby boomers who are poised to wipe out Social Security and Medicare and other resources, leaving nothing for those who follow them.

These are powerful, intertwined lobbies, and without standing up to these lobbies, there is no solving the nation’s real problems — such as the federal budget deficit, which is caused by runaway spending by the military-industrial complex (with all of its corporate contractor cronies) and by treasonous tax evasion by the corporateers and the super-rich, and climate change, which many if not most of the boomers don’t care about because they figure that the worst of it will come after their lifetimes, and about which the polluting corporations don’t give a shit, because they put their profits far above both people and the very planet itself. 

But standing up to these lobbies Team Obama refuses to do. Team Obama would never offend the boomers or the corporateers and the war profiteers who are destroying the nation, as Team Obama wants their campaign contribution$ and their votes.

Instead, the members of Team Obama wax nostalgic about about “Sputnik moments” and “winning the future” — even while their staunch refusal to confront our real problems dooms our future.

We can’t “do BIG things” when we can’t even do the comparatively little things, such as provide our citizens with meaningful, well-compensated work (no, long stints as cannon fodder in the Middle East don’t count), decent health care that doesn’t put them into bankruptcy, and an affordable, quality college education free of the corporate student loan sharks and the textbook industry butt-rapists that surround our young people, viewing them only as victims to bleed dry. 

It’s enough to make one proclaim: WTF?

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Julian Assange, my hero

File photo of WikiLeaks founder Assange holding ...

Reuters photo

WikiLeaks crusader Julian Assange of Australia, shown above in a photo taken last month, is closest that we have to this guy:

I’ve been following the WikiLeaks saga for some time now but until now I have yet to comment. (I actually wanted things to gel a bit before I opened my mouth, believe it or not…)

The inescapable conclusion that I have drawn is that Julian Assange‘s biggest “crime” is that he has stepped on the toes of the powers that be.

Tell a lie and no one really cares. (Look at the volume of lies that the right wing pumps out on a daily fucking basis, and look at how Liar in Chief George W. Bush and his henchpeople had complete impunity for their relentless lying.) Tell the forbidden truth, however, and look out!

Most of the dirty truths that Julian Assange and his associates have put out there pose no threat to national security or to public safety. That’s just bullshit, a red herring put out there by the right wing and the powers that be (yes, including members of the Obama administration).

If the right wing really gave a flying fuck about public safety, we wouldn’t have seen the almost 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001 (even though then-“President” George W. Bush the month before had received a presidential daily briefing warning “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”) or the almost 2,000 confirmed deaths from Hurricane Katrina.* (You might argue that 9/11 couldn’t have been prevented, but the deaths from Hurricane Katrina most certainly could have been, as there had been ample warning of the impending catastrophe.)

And “national security” sure is flexible, isn’t it? It was perfectly OK when the stupid white men of the unelected, treasonous Bush regime outed Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame** for petty political revenge against her husband, then-Ambassador Joe Wilson, but we just have to put Julian Assange in prison. Some wingnuts have even called for his assassination.

Assassinating (or even imprisoning) Assange, of course, would only make him a matryr, and hundreds or thousands of us who are on the verge of bloody revolution against the power elite would take his place.

The powers that be need to be very, very careful.

Speaking of the powers that be, I love this news photo:

Prince Charles, Camilla

Associated Press photo

That’s Britain’s Prince Charles and his consort in London on Thursday showing complete and utter shock that the rabble — some of them wonderfully yelling “Off with their heads!” — were able to reach their Rolls Royce during a student protest against the tripling of university tuition.

How could this security breach have happened? everyone is asking — when the real question, in my book, is Why, in the year 20fucking10, when so many of us are in need, do we still have royalty?

That’s an issue for the Brits to resolve (although I firmly am on the side of the students whose future is being compromised by Britain’s selfish power elite), but the equivalent question here in the United States of America is why we still have our own aristocrats, the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who do such things as fight tooth and nail for tax cuts for the wealthy while they fight to push the age for eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits for members of Generation X (and those who follow Gen X) to age 70 (when most of us will be dead before then for lack of health care).

Why do we allow these thieves to steal from us, to destroy our planet, to keep us in perpetual wage slavery and in perpetual bogus warfare, and overall to destroy our future? Why, when there are so many of us than there are of them, and when in reality they need us and we don’t need them, do we allow these wolves to continue to feed on us?

What Julian Assange has done is reveal to the world the communiques of the wolves, for it is by their keeping their behind-the-scenes maneuverings as secret as possible that the wolves maintain their control over us sheep. Destroy the wolves’ secrecy, and you destroy their power. Destroy their power, and you destroy them.

Julian Assange has taken serious shots at the wolves. Therefore, in my book, he is a hero.*** And should anything happen to him, thousands of us, minimally, should rise up and take his place.

P.S. While there is much about libertarian Ron Paul that I don’t like, including his homophobia, his being anti-choice and his support of “states’ rights” (which can be used to support all kinds of oppression of minorities), there are some things about him that I do like, such as his opposition to torture and domestic surveillance, and I love his recent impassioned defense of Julian Assange against the power elite on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. You should watch it here.

P.P.S. I just now found this news photo, taken yesterday at the British embassy in Madrid:

Wikileaks supporters demonstrate in support of ...

Reuters photo

Wow. Apparently many of us have the same idea…

*And despite its ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” the Obama administration handled the catastrophic British Petroleum oil spill about as well as the Bush regime would have: in a way that put a corporation over the environment.

**I recommend the film “Fair Game,” which chronicles this treason by the Bush regime. The film screams “Give me my Oscars already!” but it’s worthwhile nonetheless.

***I certainly don’t assert that Assange is an angel. None of us is. However, I separate the information about the power elite that he has revealed to the world from the details of his personal life.

The right wing’s tactic in cases like this is to try to assassinate the rebel’s character — if not the rebel him- or herself — in order to divert attention away from the damaging information about the power elite that the rebel has revealed.

Way too many of us see this bullshit for what it is, however. If Assange is guilty of any sexual misconduct, that is a separate issue, and Assange’s work of exposing the power elite is larger than is Assange. And should anything happen to him, we must continue his work, because if he weren’t on to something, they wouldn’t be on him as they have been.

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Veep Biden: We’re all you’ve got

Wow.

Vice President Joe Biden is well known for shooting his mouth off, but for him actually to encourage his fellow Democratic operatives to “remind our base constituency to stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives,” as he did yesterday in New Hampshire, is surprising to come out of even Biden’s mouth.

Not that there isn’t some truth to Biden’s words; it’s that it’s pathetic that the Democratic Party has come to this: the lesser of two evils.

A voter should vote for your party because the voter is enthusiastic about your party — not because the alternative to your party is even grimmer than is your party.

These days, too many of us voters on the right and the left cast votes more out of opposition to the other party’s candidate than out of enthusiasm for our own party’s candidate.

I have to confess that in 2004 I voted for Democrat John Kerry much more out of my hatred of Repugnican incumbent George W. Bush and his fellow traitors than I did out of a special love for Kerry, whom I simply viewed as the Democratic candidate best placed to be able to deny Bush a second disastrous term in the White House.

I felt a little better about Barack Obama than I did John Kerry — I was snookered to at least some degree by Obama’s promised “hope” and “change,” I am chagrined to admit — and I don’t hate Repugnican John McCainosaurus as much as I hate George W. Bush, but even in 2008 I still was voting against the opponent about as much as I was voting for my candidate.

And while my U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is OK (she’s considerably better than average for a Democratic politician), I have to say that I’m voting for her on November 2, and that I’ve given her a modest amount of money for this election, at least as much because I can’t stand her Repugnican opponent, Crazy Carly Fiorina, as because I have a special love for Boxer.

And in California’s gubernatorial race, it’s difficult to say which is greater: My love for Jerry Brown or my hatred of Nutmeg Whitman, although I like Brown quite a lot and I think that he’ll be a kick-ass guv (the kind of governor that Repugnican Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 promised to be but never has been). As well as I know myself, I’m at least equally motivated to vote for Brown on November 2 out of my like of him as I am out of my utter dislike of his opponent, who would run the state even further into the ground than has Schwarzenegger.

But I digress.

The point that I want to make is that pointing out that the alternative to you is even worse than you are isn’t a strong political position to come from. Biden and the other Democratic operatives should fucking know that.

As a registered Green Party member, I feel no fealty to the Democratic Party. My vote for a Democratic candidate is never guaranteed.

Although President Barack Obama reportedly has told Rolling Stone that “It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election,” the Obama administration has not given me or any other Democratic or Democratic-leaning voter much inspiration to vote on November 2. Repugnican rich bitches Nutmeg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, who never have held office and wish to buy office, have given me a lot more “inspiration” to vote on November 2 than has the Obama administration.

This doesn’t bode well for 2012.

Fortunately, Obama, Biden & Co. have some time to wake up.

Otherwise, history, methinks, frequently will compare Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter.

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Deep thoughts on the week that was

I post only a fraction of what I could post, because my time is limited (like it is with most bloggers, I have to earn a paycheck, and that doesn’t happen with my blogging, which is a labor of love) and because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and don’t like doing something unless I do it right.

So here is some of what I would have posted in the past week or so if I’d had the time (and if I weren’t such a perfectionist):

Movie reviews

“Countdown to Zero”: This documentary about nuclear weapons was disappointing. It taught me little that I didn’t already know or that I couldn’t have discovered on my own via Google (which now is evil, I understand, and which is too bad, because I’ve always liked Google).

“Countdown” apparently lets the United States of America off of the hook for having been the first nation on the planet to nuke another nation. It’s an obvious conclusion that if nukes are bad and the United States is the first and thus far the only nation ever to have nuked another nation — what does that say of the U.S.?

“Countdown” also doesn’t delve into the uber-hypocrisy of the United States — the only nation ever to have nuked another nation (I never tire of saying that) — dictating to the rest of the world which nations get to have nukes and which nations don’t. No, I’m not big on the idea of Iran having the Bomb, either, but it was the United States that opened that Pandora’s box, and “Countdown to Zero” doesn’t even begin to address that adequately.

My grade: C+

“Inception” is entertaining enough, but it also could have been titled “Deja Vu,” because it’s a mixture of “The Matrix” and “Shutter Island.”

“Inception” explores what is real and what is not, and features characters kicking each other’s asses in a video-game-like fantasy land while their physical bodies are unconscious and wired up, a la “The Matrix.” What’s most bizarre about “Inception” is that in both “Inception” and “Shutter Island,” Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man who is tortured by the ghosts of his dead wives. The similarity is such that my having seen “Shutter Island” first made me able to enjoy “Inception” less.

Any movie starring both Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, two of my favorite young actors, however, can’t be all bad. (Marion Cotillard, as DiCaprio’s character’s deceased wife, is pretty good, too, although her accent sounds a bit like Arianna Huffington’s…)

“Inception,” besides being too derivative, is too long, though…

My grade: B-

“The Kids Are All Right” is more than all right. Julianne Moore and Annette Bening do a great job playing a lesbian couple with two teenaged kids. Each of them had been inseminated by the donations of a sperm donor (played by Mark Ruffalo, who can donate sperm to me any time…) who later is contacted by the older teen (played by Mia Wasikowska, who starred as Alice in Tim Burton’s latest film) and who comes into their lives.

Probably because I’m a gay man, I have no problem seeing any two people of either sex in a relationship, and having been in a relationship for almost three years now, I see certain dynamics in all relationships, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. (While my boyfriend and I watched “The Kids Are All Right” together, I poked him in the arm several times to declare: “That’s us!”)

I understand that the lesbian community is not thrilled about the type of porn that the lesbian couple in the film enjoy, but, as Moore’s character explains, human sexuality is complicated.

My biggest problem with “The Kids Are All Right” is that Ruffalo’s character isn’t all that believable. Is he a care-free Bohemian or is he a successful businessman? And how does he have all of that time and energy (and the money) to do all that he does, including having a romance with one of the lesbians? Still, the insightful dialogue and the realistic situations in “Kids” make it worthwhile.

My grade: A

Politics

Leave Michelle alone! Had Barbara Bush or Laura Bush gone to Spain on vacation, it would have been no big fucking deal. But because Michelle Obama went on vacation to Spain, and not, I suppose, to Haiti or Darfur or Uganda, she’s taken shit for it. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker recently huffed:

Is it really such a terrible thing that the president’s wife took a few days off to enjoy the beaches of Spain? Yes and no. Michelle Obama’s trip, though expensive in the context of our dire financial straits, isn’t putting a dent in the Treasury.

But as a political move, it could not have been more out of step with most Americans’ reality. The obvious reasons include the stagnant job market, the depleted fortunes of the middle class, millions of lost homes and, for many, the prospect of an insecure financial future….

On balance, the vacation was poorly conceived but hardly a crime befitting the condemnation. Perhaps of more lasting concern is the missed opportunity for the first lady to set an example of restraint and even generosity. I hear the Gulf Coast beaches could use a cash infusion.

When do the Richie Riches of the Repugnican Party ever “set an example of restraint and even generosity”? Why the fucking double standard that a conservative white man is expected to be a selfish asshole, and gets away with it, but if a black woman takes a trip that any well-enough-to-do white woman would take, she instead should have “set an example of restraint and even generosity”?

And talk about pettiness. Parker notes in her column that

George W. Bush largely escaped scrutiny because his preferred getaway was a place no one else, especially the media, wanted to go. Crawford, Tex., in August? Fabulous.

Whatever else one thinks of Bush, he did have a sense of propriety in matters recreational, perhaps in part attributable to his life of privilege and attendant guilt. He gave up golf after invading Iraq because he felt it would look bad to be perfecting his swing while those he had consigned to battle were losing their limbs. A token, perhaps, but a gesture nonetheless.

A token gesture “perhaps”? And oh, please. The xenophobic, parochial George W. Bush never showed interest in other nations or cultures unless they had vast oil reserves that could be stolen. He didn’t take vacations at home out of some “sense of propriety in matters recreational,” but out of his utter lack of curiosity about the rest of the world.

And Gee Dubya gave up golf? Oh, gee, what a sacrifice! That almost makes up for the damage that he did to his own nation, including leaving office with (not in any certain order) a record federal budget deficit, an overextended military, a crumbling domestic infrastructure, far more enemies around the world than there were before he stole office in late 2000, and what economists have dubbed the “Great Recession.”

Why does Kathleen Parker get paid to write and I fucking don’t?

(Well, that’s mostly a rhetorical question, but the answer is that she’s a baby boomer, and boomers never have needed any actual talent to make big bucks, and because as a writer she supports the status quo, which includes keeping Americans stupid and disempowered by discussing such non-issues as Michelle Obama’s vacation, and my intention when I write is to destroy, not to prop up, the status quo. And, we Gen X’ers historically have been shit and pissed upon by the talentless boomers.) 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Gen-X hero!

Steven Slater, a JetBlue flight attendant (pictured above in a MySpace photo), had had it. As a (U.K.) Guardian columnist tells it,

…as the plane was coming in to land, Slater asked a passenger who was attempting to get her luggage from the overhead compartment to remain seated. After the passenger verbally berated Slater, a piece of her luggage fell on to his head. [This website states that Slater’s mother says that Slater was hit in the head by the door of the overhead bin the foul-mouthed passenger was yanking open, not by luggage.] Slater took to the plane’s PA system and announced that he was quitting. Then, after grabbing two beers from a food cart, he opened one of the plane’s doors, slid down the emergency chute, and was gone for good.

This story is being told as a simple episode of “take this job and shove it,” but I think that there is a lot more than that beneath the surface.

Slater is in his late 30s — a Gen X’er, like me, who, I am sure, is sick and fucking tired of being squeezed in the middle between overly demanding (mostly baby-boomer) customers and rich (mostly baby-boomer) overlords who do little to no work themselves but who reap all of the profits while we Gen X (and Gen Y) wage slaves, who usually live from paycheck to paycheck, make their wealth and their comfort possible. (I felt this big squeeze especially in nursing, which I left in 1998 and to which I’ll never return.)

I don’t know how old the obnoxious passenger is, but my guess is that she’s a fucking baby boomer. (I’d bet money on it.)

The passenger’s selfish, inappropriate and illegal actions — this website reports that the Federal Aviation Administration is looking for the passenger because she is accused of “several airline infractions,” including “unbuckling her seatbelt and walking while the plane is taxiing, [constituting] two separate fines of $1,100” — ended up creating a visible wound on Slater’s forehead, but, as a Gen-X wage slave in the “service sector” (the new slavery system) he was just supposed to take it.

The boomers clearly expect us Gen X’ers to continue to take it up the ass indefinitely. We Gen X’ers are overeducated and underpaid, and we’re quite clear as to the future that the uber-selfish boomers intend to leave us, yet the boomers expect their gravy train to chug on forever at our continued expense.

If we Gen X’ers — and the “illegal aliens” — all ever were to refuse to continue being whipped wage slaves for the overprivileged boomers — if we all were to activate and slide down that emergency chute — their comfort would come to a screeching halt.

We Gen X’ers and other wage slaves have the real power, not those parasites who are dependent upon us yet act as though we need them.

Severing the hand that feeds you (and slapping your benefactor in the face with it): I’d already decided long before Obama administration spokesweasel Robert Gibbs called us progressives members of the “professional left” who should be drug tested that I’ll never give another penny nor another vote to Barack Obama. So I can’t call Gibbs’ smug comments the final nail in Obama’s coffin. That coffin was nailed shut long ago, so I guess that Gibbs’ latest statements are just concrete poured over that coffin.

You know, George W. Bush is a major fucktard, but neither even he nor any of his spokesweasels, to my recollection, ever publicly bashed the Repugnican Tea Party’s far-right-wing base.

You may not like your base all of the time, but you don’t alienate your base.

Clearly, starting with DINO (Democrat in name only) Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party decided that it’s OK to promise some things to us progressives but then to do other things — because where else are we progressives going to go?

Well, this member of the “professional left” won’t support Obama anymore. Clearly, the Obama administration has decided to sell us progressives up the river for the unstable, volatile support of the “swing voters,” who can’t tell right from wrong, good from evil, or friend from foe.

I’m more than happy to pick up my marbles (which Gibbs claims I’ve lost) and go home, even if doing so means the quicker collapse of the American empire. I’m with Ralph Nader, whom I voted for president in 2000 and whom I should have voted for president in November 2008 (instead of Obama) — and of whom one of his detractors once claimed believes that things have to get even worse before they’ll ever get better.

And this pundit had it right when he remarked:

We “professional leftists” do indeed need drug testing because apparently the … hallucinogenic of “hope and change” has worn off and the ugly mediocrity of modern Democratic leadership stares us in the face with the not-so-friendly smugness of a hookah-smoking caterpillar.

Yup. It was the Obama campaign that had sold us the drug of “hope” and “change” and now criticizes us for having imbibed it.

Well, we of the professional left are going to have to find a new drug.

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Why can’t Obama get any love?

Obama asks Senate to pass small business jobs ...

Reuters photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And he has burned us.

Repeatedly.

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

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