Tag Archives: Obama

Liberals Head Into the Weeds on Right Wing Angst About Obama Speech

So, of course I can understand why liberals are incensed that after being called traitors, and unpatriotic, and being told to move to other countries, and beaten up sometimes, for even questioning the wisdom of a war that turned out to ultimately be a scam and a debacle based on deliberate lies that cost over a trillion dollars (and counting) and four thousand young Americans lives (and counting) and got us NOTHING, that conservatives would have the balls, yes the fucking balls, to suggest that even listening to the first legitimately elected President of the United States of America in a decade talk about anything at all, let alone the value of an education, could be anything but a blessing for their children…

And I have to admit that I am so incensed that I’m more than happy to let them know that I think they are pathetic substitutes for human beings, that they are so clearly the unwashed, uneducated, bible thumping, illiterate, shoeless, toothless, rusted pickup truck driving, unskilled laboring, snuff chewing, warm Miller beer drinking, sibling screwing, greasy haired, wife-beating, dirt floor shack living, car on blocks in the side yard having, faded plastic Mary in a bathtub in the front yard having, hair lipped, brown-shirt wearing, gay bashing, better to have an abortion with a wire hanger than a surgeon believing, underarm stinking, crotch crab infested, swamp-assed, bastard, worthless, piece of shit mother-fuckers that those of us who actually graduated 9th grade always knew they were…. where was I?

Oh ya.  The difference between being a liberal and a conservative is that while I find them despicable in all the above ways and more, I fully support their right, if their fetid little maggot infested minds lead them to want to, to have their children wait somewhere else while the rest of the kids benefit from a wholesome message about the value of an education from the President of the United States of America, the greatest nation on Earth.

Would that when we have an issue with our kids being arm-twisted to say that America is a nation “under God” which it MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT since THERE IS NO GOD EVEN THOUGH THEY INSIST THERE IS, that they would be as generous as we, and look out for our rights as individuals as much as we look out for theirs.

Filthy, buck-toothed, rat-faced, acrid, bug infested, little creep bastards.

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Fear and Loathing (and Mostly Loathing) of Presidents

Conservative friend of mine (conservative but not flat out looney) recently started tweeting things about President Obama that I just thought were strange. “He’d do well to remember it’s the United States of America, not the United States of Obama” and “Obama should remember that America is bigger than the presidency and the presidency is bigger than the man”.

I had to question him on this because he and I can debate policy all day long and never agree but until now I’ve heard very few people speak about Obama this way. There’s the whole walks on water thing but that’s really more of an indictment of his supporters than anything he’s done. Same with the Paris Hilton thing. Even most of my conservative friends have said things like they wish they’d won and they often disagree with him, as you’d expect, but that they don’t feel the visceral hatred of him that they did of the Clintons. They fear for the worst, they hope for the best, and the’re patiently waiting for it to be their turn again.

I never understood the Conservative visceral hatred of the Clintons. You’d want to say they hated liberals and that spilled over but the Clintons have built their entire political careers being moderate to CONSERVATIVE Democrats. Pappy got the NAFTA ball rolling but it took Clinton to make it law. Clinton did don’t ask don’t tell, not Reagan. Clinton refused to move gay rights ahead, he was far from a rabid gun control nut. Clinton was the most pro business, deregulatory, free trading president probably ever until Bush, who was more of an anarchist than pro-business guy anyway. But none the less, hate the Clintona they did. I knew, still know, conservatives who can’t even come close to understanding how I could possibly… Not even like them but how I could possibly not despise them.

Which is just the way that great huge numbers of us feel about W. I have read more of his speeches than I’ve listened to because I couldn’t stand the sound of his voice. His policies were bad enough but watching him spew his stupidity while not completing sentences, mispronunciating words, grinning while he’s talking about death and dismemberment, it was all more than I could do. I loathed him. He was an embarrassment to me as an American. He didn’t have to talk about a policy at all for me to not like him. The sound of him blessing the Thanksgiving turkey would have made me blanche as much as any of the things he said.

With Obama there has been a lot less of this but you can feel it starting to brew. They’re starting to move away from him being one of the better people they could lose to if they had to lose to finding meaning in his mannerisms that hardly seems to be there, and then being infuriated by those mannerisms to the point where they are starting to loathe him.

So, it seems interesting how this process works and like something a lot of us as normal, everyday citizens would probably benefit from understanding more about. I suspect my friend might actually be comforted to learn that his growing disdain actually has more to do with him coming from the other tribe, no matter what tribe it is, than with Obama actually morphing before his eyes from a generally decent, competent, if young, man who disagrees with him on a range of policy issues to some meglomaniacal douche bag.

I don’t think a better understanding of this would have made listening to Bush any more palatable to me, but if it’s true it does make me a little less defensive about my friend saying these crazy ass, nonsensical things about my guy. It kind of makes it possible to discount it as “oh, never mind him, he’s naturally going to hallucinate like this because he lost. We all do that.” which seems more pallatable than trying to agree with him ok whether or not the guy is stuck up.

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AIG Bonuses – The Fix Is In

This AIG business is so transparent and I’m afraid Timothy Geithner is in it up to his eyeballs.  President Obama may be too.  He probably is.

They are using a well known trick in negotiating with unsophisticated buyers.  Every hondler in every stall in every market in the Middle East knows this trick like his mother’s own face.

You go in with a price that is sure to create sticker shock.  Then you negotiate down from there giving the buyer credit for this, and savings for that, and a discount for the other thing, and a tax break here, and oh, my manager says I can throw in the DVD player for free… and at the end of the day the unsophisticated buyer walks away happy because he only got screwed by 20% instead of the 50% he was initially afraid he’d get screwed by.

By the time AIG and our worthies are done with this charade, the bonus pool for this round (this is only the first round of three) will be reduced from $165 million to just a sliver under $100 million.  AIG will walk away like the car salesman… bonuses in hand and alive to fight another day, Obama and Geithner will walk away “heroes” for having fought for justice and the American way and saved the us a shred of our pride, and $70 million or so, and we’ll walk away happy we only got screwed by $90 million and change instead of $165 million.

Mark my words.

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Bye Judd! Bye bye! Bye!

Judd Gregg was a dumb choice for Secretary of Commerce in the first place.  Reaching out to the few moderate Republicans that still exist is all well and good but his views on nearly everything related to commerce were almost diametrically opposed to everything progressives are hoping to achieve.  His inability to reconcile his position in the cabinet with his membership in the Republican Party that caused him not to be able to vote on one of the most important votes since the authorization of the Iraq War demonstrated this in spades.

The fact that he cites the census as one of his reasons puts the issue into even greater relief.  The only difference between how Republicans and Democrats approach the census is that Democrats want to make sure that everyone is counted and that census data is as accurate as possible, while Republicans want to severely limit census takers’ ability to count poor people, brown people, and other groups from Democratic leaning demographics.  If his Republicanism is so strong that he subscribes to the philosophy that it is more important for Republicans to be elected than it is for all American citizens to be accounted for… he has no place in an administration that is striving to be fair and inclusive.

So, good bye Judd.  We’ll try to vote you out of the Senate as soon as possible.


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Oy, my liberal friends… oy.

Being more liberal than most, I think I can get away with complaining about my fellow liberals for just a minute or two.

Change.org has been running a competition to generate 10 ideas to present to the Obama administration this Friday at the National Press Club.  Over 7,000 ideas were submitted by anybody who wanted to submit them.

Through November and December over 250,000 votes were cast on the site and the top three ideas in each of 30 categories made it to “the final round”.  Since January 5, voting has been open among just these finalists.

Here’s my complaint.

  • The top idea (and the fourth top idea) so far, by a pretty wide margin, is legalizing pot.
  • The third most popular idea, I assume because there’s an organized lobby with e-mail lists and whatnot far beyond what you would ever think, is a proposal to make it easier for small, crafty toy makers like you see in art fairs to avoid new toy safety regulations that are coming out.  WTF?
  • The fifth most popular idea is to “make the grid green within 10 years.”  Nothing about how to do this.   That’s it.  Just “make the grid green within 10 years.”
  • The sixth most popular idea, apparently bubbling up from the fans of ideas one and four, is to “Appoint Secretary of Peace in Department of Peace and Non-Violence”.  You can’t make this stuff up.
  • Health care reform, a noble idea indeed, is sitting in two slots: number 2 and number 9.

I mean, I agree that pot should be legalized, the drug war ended, those convicted of crimes that never should have been crimes should be pardoned and they or their estates should be given reparations.  I don’t think it is the single most important thing that should be on our national agenda.

The idea of making the grid green is obviously a good one, on everybody’s mind, but that’s all it says about it!  That’s not an idea.  There’s not a single suggestion of anything we might do to get there.  Had I known people would vote in such numbers for something like that I would have entered one to “Give each American a check for $20,000” and I bet I would have beaten even the pot guy!

Anyway, it’s been a fun exercise and a lot of great ideas have indeed surfaced.  It’s a bit of a shame that half the ones presented at the National Press Club will be duplicates, limited to a tiny special interest group, pies in the sky, and/or will confirm the media’s impression of liberals as latte sipping, granola eating, pot smoking former hippies.

And not to leave off a pitch, you should click over there and vote for adjusting our trade policies so they don’t create unfair economic advantages for countries that don’t care at all about the environment, worker safety, living wages, etc.  You can vote for up to 10 ideas so, while you’re at it… find 9 other good ones to support.

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You have an opportunity to place an important vote but you only have one day to do it!

Change.org has solicited ideas to present to the Obama administration on a variety of subjects.  My idea for Fair Trade (my own definition of it) is currently in 1st place and gaining ground, but if you agree with it, it needs your vote.

Here’s where you vote: http://www.change.org/ideas/view/replace_free_trade_with_fair_trade

And here’s why:

My definition of Fair Trade may be a little different from the common one.

To me, trade is fair when nations gain competitive advantage based on quality, productivity, innovation, etc.  Trade is not fair when nations gain competitive advantage by despoiling their environments, enslaving their workers, employing child labor, putting workers into unreasonably dangerous or depraved conditions, opting to not have or not enforce safety regulations and consumer protections, etc.

When we have to compete against nations that don’t care about their environment, their children, their workers, their investors, their consumers, etc.; nations that will do anything to gain competitive advantage, we end up in a global race to the bottom… we race every nation in the world to minimize the costs associated with protecting the environment, keeping workers safe and whole, providing living wages, educating people, making sure there isn’t melamine in the milk, etc.

We shouldn’t be wanting that, while we should always still be welcoming competition based on quality, productivity, innovation, efficiency, etc.

To balance things, there should be a global index that allows all nations to be compared to each other on various dimensions and tariffs should be put in place to compensate for cost advantages achieved by “unfair” or predatory competition.

If you think this through, this would maintain incentives to compete with healthy competition and penalize unhealthy competition.  Economies that implemented and enforced the best worker protections, environmental protections, investor protections, consumer protections, education systems, healthcare systems, etc. would benefit economically because there would be no tarrifs on their exports and lots of tarrifs on their imports.

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Democrats are making a major strategic mistake on the auto bailout.

This is about the point where I end up feeling left out in the cold, completely without representation.  The country has swung so far to the right in so many ways that for years I’ve been the fabled “Yellow Dog Democrat” casting my measly little vote every couple of years to drag the country back, even just a little, toward the center.

Leave it to my fellow Democrats, though, before we’ve moved even a little bit to the center, to go overboard and make a major lefty mistake.

While the banking industry gets $700 billion to do whatever it pleases, with no strings attached, the auto makers, in exchange for $15 in short term loans, are going to get a government oversight board consisting of multiple cabinet level leaders.  The idea seems to be that if we’re giving them money, we have to insist that they actually start building more fuel efficient cars, rework their union contracts, and slim down their dealer networks.

All these things may be true, but I see no reason to believe that high level government leaders are going to be any more likely to be able to solve the problems the car companies have than the car companies themselves.  Frankly, even without the government oversight board, the government has been responsible for most of the car company problems anyway.

Take fuel economy standards, as the most glaring example. Our U.S. car companies have spent millions and millions of dollars lobbying the government not to make stringent fuel economy standards and to write those we do have in such a way as to give them an unfair advantage of foreign competitors.  Shame on them, right?  Right.  But shame on our government representatives, shame on our congressmen and senators for being swayed in their responsible voting by the lobbying dollars!

Can we fault the car companies for lobbying in their self interest when lobbying has proven to be so effective?  Hell no.  What we can do is make lobbying less effective by being hysterically, unreasonably, disproportionately pissed off when our representatives vote for their campaign coffers instead of our best interest.

The car companies have lobbied for free trade agreements, so they can do manufacture and assembly overseas where it is cheaper, and our government has given it to them in spades.  The car companies didn’t have the brains, apparently, to negotiate into these agreements any kind of fair trade practices such as tariffs to balance out the effects of economies that don’t invest in worker safety, environmental protection, accounting practices, or other important things that we force our companies to invest in.  But neither did the people we elected to run our government.  Why do we suddenly expect them to be any more enlightened, or any less susceptible to lobbying, than they have been until now?

The worst outcome of the oversight board isn’t even going to be a raft of questionable business decisions for the car companies, but a major fracture within the Democratic Party.  We are about to pitt the entire Obama cabinet and administration against the unions.  They are literally going to be sitting on opposite sides of the bargaining table.  Great!  Good thinking.  Excellent idea.  Karl Rove couldn’t have come up with such an idea in his wildest wet dream.

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Can Larry really understand the problem with making $115 million?

This is (below) a well thought out piece by Frank Rich that is worth reading.

I really don’t think most of the people who voted for Obama have the messiah complex Republicans think we have, but there is a Camelot quality to it that we need to acknowledge, and we need to stay awake and alert.

I won’t retell his column… go read it.

And ask yourself this.  Can anyone who made $115 million in 9 years really, really, understand the flaw in the system that allowed that to happen?  I mean, intellectually, perhaps.  But plenty of us see the billions of dollars that got paid out to Wall Street wunderkinds as blood money.  As ill gotten gains.  Does Larry see it that way?  I’m cautiously in his corner, for now.  But it does seem likely that he and some others may have some blind spots.  We have to be engaged enough to scream bloody murder if we see them pulling into a lane with truck already in it.


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Is Hillary Right for SecState?

Is Hillary the best choice for Secretary of State?  There seem to be a couple of views about this.

  1. Hell no.  She isn’t qualified to be my dog catcher, let alone Secretary of State
  2. No.  She has achieved good policy cred in the Senate, has obvious leadership skills, would be qualified for lots of jobs, but doesn’t have the level of real diplomatic experience that we need coming off the Bush blight.
  3. Maybe yes, maybe no, but isn’t it a problem that she said Obama couldn’t keep us safe, Obama said she has no international experience, there was that crazy Bosnia thing, they don’t agree on how to handle Iran, etc?
  4. Absolutely.  She is a weighty thinker, an able manager and leader, is well known and regarded around the world, and both she and Obama are politicians first, different second, and whatever they said in the campaign about each other was just negative tactics on both sides and should not be given any credence.

Or some variation of the above.

Personally, I think she has distinguished herself very well in the defense realm, and I would have rathered see her as Secretary of Defense.  I know some others who are cringing that she isn’t staying in the Senate and vying to take the leadership away from Harry Reid, being that she’s a firebrand and he is next to useless.

But at this point we really need to start asking a different question.  There is no longer any point to debating whether or not she is the right person.  Clinton bashers and Replublicans will largely use her appointment to discredit Obama.  But the proof will be in the pudding.  The right question is one we won’t be able to answer for at least six months and that is ‘Is she doing a good job?”

If she does a good job, hopefully our Republican friends and Clinton bashers alike will have the grace to admit that.  If she doesn’t, hopefully the Clinton supporters will have the grace to allow her to be replaced without screeching that she was set up.

Ultimately, I hope she does a great job.  When we look back on this era what we will see is that the 9/11 attacks were dasturdly, but the real damage to our nation was done by our incompetant and misguided responses to them.  We can’t afford another minute of inept foreign policy, let alone an entire term or two.

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