Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sarah, the Wise and Experienced Warrior and Stateswoman


Well, well, it looks like Obama has his war after all. Hey, that's what the job calls for. He wanted to be the manager of a militarist corporate surveillance state. 

He's got the perfect bad guys, too, custom made by the catastrophic failures of Bush's invasion of Iraq.

The renegade Islamic State thugs are succeeding in their efforts to draw the US into more war. Kill a couple journalists and let the American corporate media do the rest. “Freak out! NOW!. They’re coming to kill us in our sleep!"

Does anyone remember just before Bush launched his invasion of Iraq? We learned Americans are led to war like sheep. Let me show you how well the brainwashing worked:

Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link
Posted 9/6/2003

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists' strike against this country.

Sixty-nine percent in a Washington Post poll published Saturday said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it's likely Saddam was involved.

Yes, I'm afraid it CAN happen here. Good Americans are just like the Good Germans of 1939.

Couple that with the strategy that works every time:

All that we have to do is to send two Mujahedin to the farthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qa’ida in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human economic and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits to their private companies… So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. --- Osama bin laden

Remember when the Right used to lecture, "We need to listen to what the enemy says"?

IS learned something from old bin-Laden. The best way to hurt America is to draw it into ANOTHER futile military adventure in Iraq. It wasn't that long ago I predicted, quite easily, of course, an Iraq War III. It was inevitable after Bush’s disastrous war for crony profit and political capital.

Now Americans have been whipped into another frenzy of war fever. Two murdered journalists have stoked the public ire more than thousands of children shot in America. 

Yes, the Islamic State are evil and brutal fanatics. Yes, they need to be stopped. And no, the US isn’t the only country that should act. This is why we have the UN.

But some Americans want another war, and want it now. Perhaps we’d have more military support from other nations if they hadn’t made the mistake of believing the lies of Bush and Cheney the last time around.

So lucky for us, Sarah Palin has some military and foreign policy advice for President Obama, Oh, yes the Twit of the Tundra is sharpening her claws for war.

First thing first. Blame the black guy for the mess Bush created. Blame Obama that IS has seized American made weapons from the feeble Iraqi military that replaced the professional one Bush had dissolved.

Blame the black guy for the Status of Forces Agreement signed by Bush that removed troops from Iraq.

Throw in some far Right propaganda points about Obama “leading from behind”, or hating America,  or whatever toxic swill of hate they love to spew.

Palin knows just who to blame,“The rise of the animalistic terror group, ISIS, is the result of Obama’s lead-from-behind foreign policy.” I guess, this is how hypocrites “support the president” in a time of war.

“He had broadcast his war strategy for all the enemy to see in Iraq, so the enemy could wait us out and strike as soon as America turned tail and turned away from all we’d sacrificed there. Terrorists who we had under control got to regroup and grow after Obama’s premature pull out. Those are the facts, and some tough talking speech is still just talk.”

Yeah, Sarah, never mind the cult of the far Right was just this week accusing Obama of having no strategy. I suppose that would make sense to someone who blames Obama that, “America turned tail and turned away from all we’d sacrificed there”. Again, it was BUSH who signed the agreement to leave, under pressure from Iraqis sick of the occupation. Just blame the black guy, like a good racist, war mongering idiot. The RRBC Radical Right Bubble Cult is full of them.

She fumes, “Terrorists who we had under control got to regroup and grow after Obama’s premature pull out.”  Or would that also be false?

But what about the terrorists we created by invading Iraq? Damn, some of us got that one correct, too. 

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the jihadist terror group was detained without charges by US forces, for reasons unclear, and confined in Camp Bucca. Although he was released into Iraqi custody in 2009, (Before, not after, the  alleged “premature pull out") former inmates of Camp Bucca say the military prison was a training ground for extremism.

Curiously, James Skylar Gerrond, a former US Air Force security forces officer and a compound commander at Camp Bucca in 2006 and 2007, also says that he believes Baghdadi's stay at the prison contributed to his radicalization—or at least bolstered his extremism.

So, Sarah, “Those are the facts, and some tough talking speech is still just talk.”

Yes, America, listen to the tough talking Quitter in Lipstick. She’s the “experienced expert” to guide our nation.

“War is hell. So go big or go home, Mr. President,” exhorts the woman who, AFTER being nominated for vice-president, needed to be taught who we were at war with in WWI and in Korea.

And all those "Good Americans" listen to her.


What. A. Country. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Robin Williams Tribute

Many blogs are featuring pieces memorializing Robin Williams, a one of a kind, genius of improv comedy. Sadly his depression and apparent suicide reflected the opposite side of his often manic humor. 

The bright side is he left us a legacy of laughter that will endure. We will miss him.

On the darker side we have Rush Limbaugh telling his authoritarian followers that Robin’s condition was due to his liberalism.  Yes, what a hateful authoritarian Asshole.

And speaking of assholes, one blog’s thread on Robin Williams was trolled by a far Right fanatic spewing about "Government run Health Care system by Liberal Fascists".

Yeah that’s what they do. They just can’t help themselves. It’s their far Right authoritarian personality, and as we know, theirs is the kind of hate that fuels fascism.

They truly deserve some serious, yet lighthearted, mockery and irreverence.

Wouldn't Robin Williams have a field day with their wild-eyed hysteria and derangement?

I can just picture it...

Robin announces the revelation to the audience:

"We learn from our friends in the Radical Right Bubble Cult that public health care and expanding health insurance is "fascism". (Audience chuckles)

Oh, yes, I’m serious. This is what they actually say….and believe….well, either that or they’re all liars. (Laughter) 

Let’s get real. Yes, reality, what a concept. Our friends in the RRBC have their OWN reality, of course,  because reality has a well known liberal bias. (Laughter)

This certainly is disturbing news.... It means every civilized nation on Earth is now fascist....and so are WE!!  (Laughter)

Everybody freak out!! All you "real Americans" better panic! (Loud Laughter) Strap on your military, I mean sporting, rifles and head for the hills!! (More Laughter)

And don't forget your Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck books! (Louder Laughter)

Yes, public health care and expanding health insurance is fascism. Obamacare, Romneycare, Medicare,…it’s ALL fascism. They wouldn't LIE, would they?? (Howls of laughter)

If that’s the case, we can only wonder what could describe starting a war in Iraq based on lies, for crony profit and political gain ...

Gee, didn't Hitler and Mussolini do that kind of thing? I bet they liked to call torture "enhanced interrogation" too.

Just like our "Good Americans". (Laughter and applause)

Thank you, thank you all. I hope our friends on the radical far right fringe understand we're just kidding. After all, they're the reasonable and understanding kind.......Right?"


(Wild Applause, cheers, whistles, and shouts of "WE LOVE YOU ROBIN!")


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Hate and Blame Game


Iraq is unraveling and the far Right is blaming Obama. Who’s surprised?  Cheney, ever the hateful spewing liar, said, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

 Classic radical Right projection.

It’s so easy for them to blame the black guy they hate so intensely. Not that they could possibly be racists, right? Ridiculous, they will tell us Obama and liberals are the real racists. 

More classic radical Right projection.

I have to laugh at the Obama Derangement Syndrome hysteria that has never died in the raving minds of authoritarian Bush/Cheney true believers. The cult blames Obama for everything bad in Iraq. It matters not that Bush’s war for crony profit and political gain destroyed the country, and left them a government aligned with Iran that planted the seeds of civil war. It matters not that the Iraqis demanded Bush to get the hell out of their country and he agreed to do so by treaty.

But what is astounding is even FOX(R) is not automatically defending Cheney anymore:

Megyn Kelly vs. Dick Cheney: An accountability moment for the ex-veep

Megyn Kelly came at Cheney hard in that Wednesday night appearance. She did not let him off the hook for what happened in 2003. It was an important moment for her, as a relatively new prime-time anchor, and for Fox.

Kelly began by quoting liberal Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman:

“‘There is not a single person in America who has been more wrong and more shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney, and now as the cascade of misery and death and chaos, he did so much to unleash raises anew, Mr. Cheney has the unadulterated gall to come before the country and tell us that it's all someone else's fault.’ The suggestion is that you caused this mess, Mr. Vice President.  What say you?”

Cheney responded with his standard defense: “I think we went into Iraq for very good reasons.  I think when we left office, we had a situation in Iraq that was very positive… What happened was that Barack Obama came to office, and instead of negotiating a stay behind agreement, he basically walked away from it.”

Kelly came back hard: “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir.  You said there were no doubts Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  You said we would greeted as liberators.  You said the Iraq insurgency was in the last throes back in 2005.  And you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to, quote, ‘rethink their strategy of Jihad.’  Now with almost a trillion dollars spent there with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say, you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”

Cheney stuck to his guns: “We inherited a situation where there was no doubt in anybody's mind about the extent of Saddam's involvement in weapons of mass destruction.  We had a situation where if we -- after 9/11, we were concerned about a follow-up  attack, it would involve not just airline tickets and box cutters as the weapons, but rather something far deadlier, perhaps even a nuclear weapon.”

Except there were no WMDs or nuclear weapons.

Thank you FOX(R)!

But the RRBC hate wagon rolls on.

One RRBC member revealingly asked, “Why is it ok for liberals to hate Bush but wrong for conservatives to hate Obama?”

This is the perfect frame of the RRBC (Radical Right Bubble Cult) world view. Hate.

For most enlightened liberals and other kind souls, hate is not ok. We understand it's dark, and ultimately self-defeating, nature.

If we hate, we try to “hate the sin and not the sinner”.

Not that war criminals Bush and Cheney haven't done anything to arouse hatred. Their building an unconstitutional secret surveillance state, and fondness for torture, also fuel the righteous anger of informed freedom loving Americans.

And there's no more effective way of spreading hatred than starting a war of aggression.

When their war was clearly for the benefit of crony capitalists and the political agenda of the war mongers, the aggressors invite hatred from more than their victims and enemies. Their fellow countrymen gifted with conscience will be enraged at the death, injustice and destruction occurring.

Astoundingly, our corporate media has featured neocons like Wolfowitz, Kristol and Cheney to spew their wrongheaded “expertise” on Iraq. Where else can those who have been proven so wrong be allowed to participate in the discussion? Especially when those who were correct and disputed the warmongers are nowhere to be seen. Only in a corporatist military empire is this possible.  Yes, the corporate media allow them on the air, and ignore the voices of sanity like censored talk show host Phil Donahue.

Some "liberal" media, eh?

Seeing many of the same liars and warmongers continue to profit, and be coddled by a complicit corporate media, and tolerated by an amoral government and justice system is enough to further anger and outrage all those with conscience.

What we hate more than the culprits is the utter lack of accountability and injustice for the torture, the warrantless surveillance, and deaths of hundreds of thousands. We hate seeing our nation transformed into a bellicose ugly beast, ruled by cold-blooded, belligerent, amoral corporate “citizens”.

If liberals hate Bush and Cheney it is because of the ongoing death, pain, suffering, and human tragedy that has unfolded from their evil lies and actions.

Many of the same liberals have grown angry at Obama for continuing too many of Bush's destructive militarist and surveillance state policies. Obama has been condemned for falling in line with Wall Street and corporate America, and for ignoring most progressive leaders and causes.. Many of his actions, or inactions, have been less than noble too. If I were emotionally immature and reactionary, I too could arouse some hate for Obama. I admit I hate his “looking forward” and away from accountability for the war criminals. 

So far I have yet to see one so-called conservative be that angry with Bush and Cheney. Yet the raving minds of authoritarian Bush/Cheney true believers know who to hate and blame, don’t they?

I've given my issues of contention with Obama; so what has Obama done to evoke the fierce and relentless hatred from the radical right? I don't mean conservative people like my grandmother. I mean the far right fringe of the RRBC true believers

They hate him for the mess Bush made in Iraq. They hate him for anything and everything, real or imagined. Just as they hate anyone who disagrees with their world view of corporate PR and Party propaganda.


Theirs is the kind of radical hate that fuels fascism. This is the face of fascism in America.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Best Congress (and Supreme Court) Money Can Buy

Will Rogers said it long ago. "We have the best congress money can buy". 


The Washington Post says: 91% of the time the better-financed candidate wins. Don’t act surprised.

Now we have the best Supreme Court money can buy.

In 1971 Lewis F. Powell, Jr wrote his famous memo to the US Chamber of Commerce. It was as close as anything we’ve seen to a declaration of a corporate class war against most Americans.

Powell realized that their class warfare would need to be waged on multiple fronts, from manipulating the content of textbooks in public education to taking their lawyers to the Supreme Court.

Neglected Opportunity in the Courts

American business and the enterprise system have been affected as much by the courts as by the executive and legislative branches of government. Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change. Other organizations and groups, recognizing this, have been far more astute in exploiting judicial action than American business. Perhaps the most active exploiters of the judicial system have been groups ranging in political orientation from “liberal” to the far left. The American Civil Liberties Union is one example. It initiates or intervenes in scores of cases each year, and it files briefs amicus curiae in the Supreme Court in a number of cases during each term of that court. Labor unions, civil rights groups and now the public interest law firms are extremely active in the judicial arena. Their success, often at business’ expense, has not been inconsequential. This is a vast area of opportunity for the Chamber, if it is willing to undertake the role of spokesman for American business and if, in turn, business is willing to provide the funds.

Yes, it turns out business is more than willing to provide funds in order to dismantle democracy and to transform it into corporatocracy. And do note how defense of civil liberties is considered “far left” by the Chamber of Commerce.

But those were the “bad old days” of 1971. Much has changed.

The Supreme Court is now stacked with judges who are not only very corporate friendly, but also willing to subvert the Voting Rights Act in last year’s Shelby County v Holder.

It’s been a long climb for corporations to be anointed with rights that supersede individual rights. It’s been an incremental process that has opened our elections to the highest bidders. There were significant decisions that have added to the rise of corporatocracy. Here are the most important:

Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company in 1886 was the first decision infected with the notion of corporate personhood. It wasn't in the decision itself, but added by a clerk sympathetic to the railroads.

Buckley v Valeo in 1976 opened the door for campaign money as free speech.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010 struck down McCain-Feingold.

And the final nail in Democracy’s coffin:

McCutcheon v FEC in 2014 swept away aggregate limits of “free speech money”.

The Corporate Lawyer led Supreme Court has effectively expanded corporate and wealthy individuals’ rights proportional to their wealth.

If "Money is free speech" then Big Money has more freedom of speech. 

What is diminished is the standing of free speech for the 99.9%. You and I can’t buy TV ads for millions to see. That’s not a right, but a privilege of wealth. More money equals more "free speech". 

And that aint rocket science. 

Roberts’ opinion in McCutcheon defines the word “corruption” so narrowly that it is practically meaningless. 

The only type of corruption Congress may target is quid pro quo corruption. Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder’s official duties, does not give rise to such quid pro quo corruption. Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner “influence over or access to” elected officials or political parties.

If you buy that, I have some real cheap land in Florida for you. 

So Roberts, you're telling us there's no expectation of favors behind all that donated money? You're telling us all that "free speech" is simply their selfless support of democracy?

Yeah, right.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Little Light

While complete dictatorial power is their goal, the radical Right has been enjoying its seizure of the House of Representatives by suppressing democracy. In 2012 more Americans voted for Democratic representation than Republican, but gerrymandering by the Right overruled the will of the American public.

Now the radical Right is salivating for seizing control of the Senate this year. They might get it too. Ignorance, massive Right Wing corporate media propaganda, and voter apathy are aiding and abetting the Right’s war on democracy.

Thanks to corporate media, the public only hears from the two corporatist parties. We hear very little outside that narrow framing of our politics. In fact we almost never hear or see the words "corporatist" or "corporate media", for that matter.

Looking past that darkness, I’d like to share some light of truth out there in an interesting interview at the Nation.  I gathered a few insightful remarks below:

===

Bernie Sanders: 'I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States'

"What's most important is this idea of a political revolution," says the Independent Senator from Vermont, "rallying the working families of this country around a vision that speaks to their needs."

...Somebody has got to represent the working-class and the middle-class of this country in standing up to the big-money interests who have so much power over the economic and political life of this country. So I am prepared to run for president of the United States. I don't believe that I am the only person out there who can fight this fight, but I am certainly prepared to look seriously at that race.

There is today more and more alienation from the Republican and Democratic parties than we have seen in the modern history of this country. In fact, most people now consider themselves to be "independent," whatever that may mean. And the number of people who identify as Democrats or Republicans is at a historically low point. In that sense, running outside the two-party system can be a positive politically.

But there is no question that the Democratic Party in general remains far too dependent on big-money interests, that it is not fighting vigorously for working-class families, and that there are some members of the Democratic Party whose views are not terribly different from some of the Republicans.

I think one of the great tragedies that we face today politically, above and beyond the simple economic reality of the collapse of the middle-class, more people living in poverty, growing gap between the rich and poor, the high cost of education - all those objective, painful realities in American society - the more significant reality from a political perspective is that most people have given up on the political process. They understand the political deck is stacked against them. They think there is no particular reason for them to come out and vote – and they don’t.

In Vermont, people understand exactly what I mean by the word. (Democratic socialist) They don't believe that democratic socialism is akin to North Korea communism. They understand that when I talk about democratic socialism, what I’m saying is that I do not want to see the United States significantly dominated by a handful of billionaire families controlling the economic and political life of the country. That I do believe that in a democratic, civilized society, all people are entitled to health care as a right, all people are entitled to quality education as a right, all people are entitled to decent jobs and a decent income, and that we need a government which represents ordinary Americans and not just the wealthy and the powerful.

...Why are so many people voting against their own economic interests? It happens because the Democrats have not been strong in making it clear which side they are on, not been strong in taking on Wall Street and corporate America, which is what Roosevelt did in the 1930s.

The bad news is that people like the Koch Brothers can spend huge sums of money to create groups like the Tea Party. The good news is that, once people understand the right-wing extremist ideology of the Koch Brothers, they are not going to go along with their policies. In terms of fundamental economic issues: job creation, a high minimum wage, progressive taxation, affordable college education — the vast majority of people are on our side.

I think what people are looking for is leadership that is prepared to take on the big money interests (to deliver that message). That's not what we're seeing, by and large, from most Democrats.

===

Is it possible for a liberal to actually run for president of the American Corporate Empire? Sure, as far as Big Money tolerates it, (yeah, we know how far that would go) but can he win? I doubt it, but it’s a nice fantasy.


Run, Bernie, Run

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Small Step Down the Long Road


Pertinent to the previous post, we have Obama talking more sense than any sitting president so far on marijuana legalization. He predictably waffles back to the “center” on harder drugs, though. 

===

From “Stop the Drug War”:

The comments came as interviewer David Remnick prodded Obama on the issue of marijuana policy in the midst of a whopping 15,000-word profile of the president.

Obama said, "As has been well documented," Obama said in response to a Remnick question, "I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

But is it less dangerous, Remnick asked?

It is "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer," Obama conceded. "It's not something I encourage, and I've told my daughters I think it's a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy."

Perhaps marijuana smoking is a bad habit, but racially biased marijuana law enforcement is bad policy, Obama said.

"Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he said. "And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties. We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing."

And thus, the administration's hands-off policy toward marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington:

"It's important for it to go forward because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished."

But then, the professorial president argued the other side of the issue.

"Having said all that, those who argue that legalizing marijuana is a panacea and it solves all these social problems I think are probably overstating the case. There is a lot of hair on that policy. And the experiment that's going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge."

“I also think that, when it comes to harder drugs, the harm done to the user is profound and the social costs are profound. And you do start getting into some difficult line-drawing issues. If marijuana is fully legalized and at some point folks say, Well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we can show is not any more harmful than vodka, are we open to that? If somebody says, We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or rot your teeth, are we O.K. with that?”

===

What we are OK with is drug abuse being treated as a medical issue rather than a law enforcement issue.

Why is that so difficult? Our government is still under the influence of corporatists and puritans. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Long Road

As the militarists love to tell us, freedom isn’t free. What they don’t like to recognize is our freedoms have suffered more from the narrow vision of reactionary and conservative government policies than from terrorists or drugs.

Enter democracy, the last tool Americans have in defending freedom. Citizen ballot initiatives have paved the way for sane drug policies, along with the restored freedoms long suppressed by the war on drugs.

Colorado Makes History with First Legal Retail Marijuana Sales

Thank you democracy.

Meanwhile in less fortunate states, run primarily by Republicans, we see the cruelty and insanity continue.

Texas Deputy Killed in Dawn No-Knock Drug Raid

How many more casualties must be suffered in their war on sanity?

Not enough, apparently. More will die. More will be imprisoned. More will lose the meager sustenance they can muster. Republicans are doubling down on their class war by sticking it to the unemployed:

Drug Tests Falter as Way for States to Deny Public Aid

If signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan bill would join drug-testing laws enacted this year in Kansas, Texas and North Carolina that try to navigate a delicate legal landscape.

Taking it to the courts is a long battle, but slowly progress is being made.

Federal Judge Throws Out Florida Welfare Drug Test Law

Florida's law mandating the suspicionless drug testing of welfare applicants has been found unconstitutional by a federal district judge. Gov. Rick Scott (R) says he will appeal.

Yeah, the same corpo-crook Rick Scott who led his Columbia/HCA into fraud charges. But does he get to take a drug test? Whatever for?

From Politifact:

Was Scott running Columbia/HCA when it found itself at the center of a massive federal investigation? Yes.

Did the company pay a record $1.7 billion in government penalties and fines? Yes, Columbia/HCA paid.

And as we checked in this item, did his former company commit fraud? Yes, it pleaded guilty to fraud charges as part of a settlement.


With little to no help from Democrats, the war between democracy and the Republican-led war on drugs continues. 

We the people have a long road ahead.