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Category Archives: Obama

Israel 2, Obama 0

Had to write this quote down heard earlier on NPR: “in their strongest language yet, the State Department has said they were – ‘dismayed’.” [responding to this]

Obama: “Stop settlements.”

Israel: “Fuck you.”

Obama: “Please? Maybe slow them down a little? A scooch?”

Israel: “Fuck you. We’re building 900 more. Give us our welfare check, bitch.”

State Department, back of hand to forehead, eyes fluttering, about to wilt: “Well, I do declare! I am dismayed!” [Hands over billion dollar check to Israel.]

Obama has done a lot of little things very well: he has the knack of the small, gracious detail. Opening up the return of dead soldiers back to the press per family’s OK was a good move. He appears in front of all the necessary functions as our country’s emissary and is the perfect diplomat: very elegant and debonair. He offers Lieberman a flower when Lieberman was a former frenemy douche.

But what seems to be missing from Obama so far are some big things. Enforcing your demand that Israel stop their illegal settlements at the point of your welfare gun is something even conservatives like Andrew Sullivan are encouraging, so maybe you could take a stand on this and make this one of your big things? Obama?

Netroots Nation: Longtime Obama aide Jarrett greeted with mild applause and some slight hissing.

You know I voted for Obama but I did not come away that impressed with what I saw this Saturday morning from longtime aide, friend and confidante Valerie Jarrett. Ms. Jarrett spoke for about an hour and a half during the last day of Netroots Nation, the annual get together of Kossacks and fellow travelers who schoomze and network and can afford to pay about several hundred dollars to do so. Hey, if I wasn’t reporting this I couldn’t afford to go. I got a press pass worth 200 bucks.
The format was that Baratunde Thurston was to lob her questions, mostly softballs apparently, and she was to hit away but I felt that I didn’t really learn very much other than “give us time” and “I trust Obama”. Those are beginning to not be very satisfying answers when you’re continuing a lot of shockingly bad Bush policies.
Here’s a sample of what Valerie gave us. So, Baratunde reads a question that asks what blogs, specifically the president reads, and whether he reads them on a Mac or a PC. She answers back that the president reads lots of blogs but couldn’t or didn’t know (more likely) which ones he read and that she can’t tell you whether he uses a Mac or a PC. Do you feel more informed, about anything?
Or here’s another one: Baratunde reads another question off his computer and this time it’s about Tom Daschle. And she goes on about what a cool and swell and great guy Tom is. I’m trying to get what world she’s coming from. Actually, its clear now that Daschle would have been a horrible addition. First, he rejoined some awful insurance lobbying firm that pays more money than God to promote evil policies. Second, even though he says he likes the public option, he came out against it in his role as insurance company hack. Here’s the thing: would he have ever left the insurance industry even if he had joined the administration? And does Kent Conrad want a cushy job as an insurance hack lobbyist as well? Must be.
Or, and here’s another one, she actually had the nerve to talk about how the Obama administration has limited the influence of lobbyists in his White House. She must not have read all those stories about how he cut backroom deals with Big Pharma that would have undercut House and Senate efforts to regulate these industries. I think this story was broken by the Huffington Post by the way, thus forcing an Obama ally into some real journalism.
Did I mention that there was slight hissing and even some boos? Well, its not Valerie. Its the record of the administration. Valerie is a professional and has to back the boss. But if you really wanted a concise picture of the administration so far, I really think this Ian Walsh post hits it on the head.
Miscellania: Healthcare, Unemployment, Resistance and Obama
by: Ian Welsh
Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 22:00
After visiting Victoria for a week, let’s do a quick roundup post

Healthcare: I remain convinced that nothing that will come out of this Congress won’t be pretty awful. My current belief is that what will be passed will mandate everyone buy insurance but because of inadequate cost controls and subsidies will leave ordinary people forced to buy insurance which will increase in price faster than wages. The optimistic view would be that once everyone is in the system, pressure will build to make the system actually work. We’ll see, even if true, there’ll be a lot of pain in between.

Unemployment: According to the BLS, the economy lost 274,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate dropped from 9.5% to 9.4%. Welcome to the world of statistics that don’t mean what you think they do. People who want jobs, but who are convinced they can’t get one and so aren’t looking actively don’t count as unemployed. So the number of employed people can go down and the unemployment rate can go down. In other words, we’re a long way from things getting better, they’re just getting worse more slowly.

Resistance: The American right has decided on a policy of resistance to Obama which can be summed up as “thuggery”. People are being trained and financed to go out and shout down Democrats or intimidate them. There has already been some violence, there will be more. The Obama administration thought they could avoid the rise of the refusnik right by refusing to act on most social issues, which is why they abandoned their promises to gays and have generally been unwilling to move on other social issues. They took the lesson of the Clinton administration to be “don’t inflame the fanatics on the right-avoid social issues, and don’t slash the military”. They were, of course, wrong: the radical right (and there is hardly a non-radical right left) will oppose Obama no matter what he does and if Obama is unwilling to use to the full might of the administrative apparatus against them, they will simply take advantage of his weakness to escalate. Tactics which are seen to work, will not be abandoned, to the contrary, they will be used more and more.

Obama: Obama’s active period is about over. Health care “reform”, if he gets it through, will probably be the last major policy. While there are rises and falls, his overall popularity is trending down and that will probably continue. The “honeymoon” is over, and it was used primarily to shove through a lousy stimulus that won’t lead to enough of a recovery, and with luck (for him) a bad global warming bill and health reform that isn’t. Fortunately, banks and financial firms have been bailed out and are making lots of money, and should be in a position to reward Obama with significant funding in future elections.

Unless they decide that the Republicans will give them everything they want, too.

Add to that Republican weakness, and Obama’s inner circle may think they’re still cruising for reelection. I’m not so sure. Counting on your enemy’s weakness is a dangerous tactic, especially when you are doing little to ensure that they remain weak or that you remain strong.

I really think that’s the truth of the last six months of the Obama administration. I will forgive him for everything if he manages to pass a strong public option and I’m in a positiion to buy affordable healthcare. If not, that smattering of hisses and boos will turn into a chorus, and hit a depressingly high note right around the 2010 and 2012 election cycles

Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule

Hi from Xanada,

Ten Reasons to Oppose the SPP and TILMA

‘You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule’
“a feature length documentary which exposes the corporatist agenda that is currently undermining the democratic authority of the citizens of North America.
Two processes, the Security Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and the Trade Investment Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) are rapidly eroding and eliminating standards, civil liberties, regulatory systems and institutions put in place over generations through the democratic process.”

However, Canada has a minority government and the always-pending election promises everything will stay the same always.

But wait, There’s More…

There is a great Canadian tune about the decaying nature of our fair nation Called
“End of Me”
, by a favourite artist, Wax Mannequin, that’s not too political, so to speak, but a wonderful regional soundtrack to the incremental implosion of the Canadian spirit.

You can hear/download the song (and others) HERE for the FREE
download the 2 track “Saxon” E.P. here for the FREE!

Enjoy a free song and don’t forget to smile as we are collectively ground.

Johnny Brainwash: Obama haters redux

I don’t really believe in “The People”, only people. My view of the polity owes as much to taoism and discordianism as it does to marxism, anarchism or whatever.

When I talk about mobilization, I don’t mean some nebulous mass of people. I mean finding the people who are inclined in the same general direction I want to go and forming them into a cohesive interest group. Even in periods of high mobilization, except maybe during peaks of revolutionary activity, most people are still on the sidelines. Decisions aren’t made by masses- they’re made by organized parties or factions that are able to exert political influence.

Obama by Alex Grey

Alex Grey is one of my favorite artists, right up there with Shepard Fairey and Banksy.

Speaking of art, I have been recently thinking of some new projects and I resurrected an old idea I was thinking of putting forth in a new way: International Art Machine. So I bought internationalartmachine.com and intlartmachine.com. I was thinking of something like the old Defunker (which seems to have merged with BustedTees) wherein people could upload their designs – and not just for t-shirts but prints, coffee mugs, etc. And some profits to go to charity. So a user-generated art project, commerce site, good causes giver . . . if only there were a blogger.com for ‘web 2.0’? Anyone? Anyone?

. . . Thanks to Klintron of Technoccult for the Obama link. Klintron is quite the bright young entrepreneur; he just launched an online store called: The Swift Fox. Plus, he has a model for a gf named Jillian who has her own online store featuring delectable handknit goods. Plus, he puts on “crazy happenings” . . . watch out for this kid, man. He’s got cult following potential.

Obama Haters: You’re Missing the Opportunity of a Lifetime

I haven’t been commenting on politics much lately, because there are plenty of others who either better express what I’d like to say, or have better insights and change my mind. Johnny Brainwash has the wisest take on the election of Barack Obama I have read:

To All The Obama Haters…

You’re wasting the opportunity of a lifetime.

No, I haven’t swallowed the hope pill. I have no illusions about the Obama administration, the Democratic party or electoral politics. But whatever pill *you’ve* swallowed must have been awfully bitter, because it’s sure left you with an ugly look on your face.

I’ll agree from the start, Obama won’t deliver the change we want. He’s an establishment candidate who’s risen up within the ranks of the machine. It’s not enough that he’s better than the alternative- the hope he’s sold millions will sooner or later be dashed.

But wait. Look at that last sentence. Maybe you’ve missed the crucial word: millions.

The essence of political change is mobilization, and Americans are mobilized now like they haven’t been for a generation. Right now, thanks to Obama, they’re fired up. They feel involved, like they have a personal stake in the process. They want change, and they’re willing to pitch in to make it happen.

Full Story: Dysnomia

The comment from Trevor Blake is important.

I agree with Nick Pell’s 10 reasons not to drink the hope kool-aid (here’s another one: his staffing choices, which began with the selection of arch-drug warrior, war monger, and Democratic Party insider Joe Biden as VP), and wound up registering a “protest vote” for Cynthia McKinney here in Oregon on election day. That said, I think there are plenty of reasons to be happy that Obama won, and if the polls were closer in my state I certainly would have voted for Obama.

In addition to the large scale mobilization of progressively-minded people (Trevor’s warnings duly noted), here are some reasons to be hopeful:

Democrats, historically, do a better job with the economy

Democrats, in recent history, have gotten fewer people killed in armed conflicts

Bonus unrelated links:

The new currency war (an article on alternative currencies)

Lone No More: a look at alternative gun culture

On Spot Tom Tomorrow Toon

On the mark Tom Tomorrow toon on the very specious reasons behind Hillary’s Continued run. Even features Hillary’s “talk” with Lex Luthor, publisher of the Daily Planet, (This is actually the truth behind the corporate media. Reporters as scared children.) Richard Mellon Scaife, arguably one of the most evil men in the United States. (Hometown pride (!) by the way…)

By the way, if you’re looking for reasons to like Barack keep in mind that it looks like not only does the Israel lobby not like him (not for anything Obama has done because he’s sucked up to AIPAC with the best of them–

–(Real politic confession: if I was advising Obama, even as a critic of AIPAC, I’d tell him to suck up to AIPAC. Of course, that’s the dream behind Obama. Unlike most black men who have woken up each morning angered and frustrated by the world around them Obama could actually wake and change some things. I truly hope he’s gets that opportunity.)–

–but because his middle name is Hussein and he actually knows Moslems. He might be more sympathetic to the Palestinians than the sellout Clintons who gave us NAFTA for christsakes…) but it looks like Jewish likudnik donors are keeping Hillary in the race. I would like to think this wouldn’t have to be pointed out: if Obama wins the most elected delegates, in a system that really isn’t set up for blacks or progressives to win (Are there any whiter states than Iowa or New Hampshire? The Dakotas maybe, Utah?) he should get the nomination. If he doesn’t, then it would probably split the party and give American blacks a great reason to ditch the dems. On the other hand, this would provide Obama a wonderful opportunity to quit the party and run as a third party. He has the money.

One more point about that cartoon: I’m not that worried about “meteors”. I’m worried about bullets and Mossad. Oh, the press would cover it, right. Just like they “covered” the RFK assassination and election fraud stories of 2000 and 2004…. Are you kidding me.? Also very much worried about Obama’s plane going down…that seems to happen to a lot of political people here and abroad.

Question for Maria at 2 Political Junkies and my fake virtual girlfriend Agent Ska: Why do you keep supporting Hillary when she has no chance of winning? Is it white girl privilege? What?

Obama and Edward Said Pic

The Angry Arab says Hillary will trot out this pic of Obama speaking with Edward Said, who’s a bad person because he thinks Palestinians are people. Bu there wouldn’t necessarily be an overt rebuke. The poison would look more like this.

By the way, Said said things like this (from Wikipedia, although with a second’s worth of googling you could probably find several Democracy Now Interviews):

In August 2003, in an article published online in Counterpunch, Said summarizes his position on the contemporary rights of Palestinians vis-à-vis the historical experience of the Jewish people:

I have spent a great deal of my life during the past 35 years advocating the rights of the Palestinian people to national self-determination, but I have always tried to do that with full attention paid to the reality of the Jewish people and what they suffered by way of persecution and genocide. The paramount thing is that the struggle for equality in Palestine/Israel should be directed toward a humane goal, that is, co-existence, and not further suppression and denial.

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