Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Obama Presidency and Other Tidbits About Yesterday

When it was all said and done last night and Barack Obama was named President-Elect at the end of the night you had to feel some incredible pride about what had happened.

I've been hard on Obama because I feel that the Center and Center-Right have been over-represented the past 30 years and that it was time the liberals and progressives of this country get the same sort of creedence that the right gets. Somehow progressive values have been deemed as not mainstream, yet it turns out that Americans always end up coming back to the left. They came back to agree with the left on war, on the economy and regulation, on healthcare... in fact the only place the left hasn't completely won out is gay marriage and the more and more narrow votes on gay marriage bans make it apparent that we're closing in on the majority on that as well.

There's this tendency to listen to the pundits on TV bloviate about how this country is center-right and give it complete credibility despite the fact that it couldn't be further from the truth. The media loves this false narrative and pushes it hard and that's what makes it hard for some liberals like myself to let Obama off the hook with the whole, "he's just playing the center for the election" theory.

Still you have to have faith in Obama to do the right thing and give him that opportunity. He ran an excellent campaign and did what Kerry was somewhat prevented from doing in fighting back the smears at every turn.

I think the Obama campaign learned well from the 2004 debacle and were able to corner McCain on every mistake he made. It was definitely the most brilliantly run campaign I have ever seen and the 1992 Clinton Campaign was pretty darn impressive as well.

Last night I have never seen so many tears of wonderful joy. Obama provides hope in ways only Bobby and John F. Kennedy have in the past 50 years. African Americans and minorities everywhere felt a real sense of inclusion in their country's future for the first time and there just hasn't been a moment like last night in my lifetime.

Yesterday had some hiccups as well. There were still voting machine issues in Pennsylvania, Florida and many other places... only solidifying why we need to enforce a paper ballot over the touch screen garbage. Tim Robbins was purged from the voter rolls, oddly enough just a short time after talking about this very issue on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Nutcase Michele Bachmann narrowly won re-election which makes her district easily one of the craziest ones out there (right up there with Jean Schmidt's district in Ohio and Jim Sensenbrenner's district in Wisconsin). Al Franken still sits in limbo with a possible recount coming soon. Somehow it appears FELON Ted Stevens is going to retain his seat in Alaska. A fight will definitely happen to prevent him from serving. We didn't get the 60 Senate seats to make Obama's agenda filibuster proof... that could be costly down the road because Senate Republicans were record-breaking obstructionists the last two years even knowing Bush could veto... imagine what they will do when they have nothing but that filibuster to stop us.

All in all though you can't complain about the results.

Now it is our job as citizens and I mentioned this yesterday, to hold President Obama and his Administration accountable. Obama himself mentioned this in his speech, that he will listen to us even when we do not agree with him. The only way for a functioning democracy to work is for the electorate to hold their leaders accountable. To show them when we disapprove and enforce it with calls, letters, protests and our votes. It's the only way for this long-running American experiment to work.

So Congratulations are in order to President-Elect Obama and frankly for all Americans. We took our country back last night. As Benjamin Franklin once famously said we have, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

As it turns out we wanted to keep that Republic last night, despite the past four years of near Monarchy ruling us all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On The Cusp of History

Well here we are.

Soon to be awaiting the results that will surely mean history tonight. It would take a theft unlike the previous ones before in 2000 and 2004 to overtake this turnout. For the first time we will be watching results with the knowledge that an African American CAN be president in this country and that it's not some myth or fairy tale that African American parents have to tell their children out of blind inspiration.

I know I have not been as enthused as many. Obama has been true to the word he set out to not go after the hard right wingers who have taken this country into the nosedive we're in currently. As a liberal that is tired of being told I am unamerican, communist/socialist/marxist, wrong on everything, lazy because I am not rich, a baby murderer because I believe in choice, anti-troops because I am anti-war and quite frankly a traitor to my country if I dare say the President is bound to the laws of the Constitution... well I want revenge.

The media has helped this gang of thieves steal two elections with voter suppression and rigged machines and not reporting any of it. They spread right wing memes and no matter how crazy they are made them seem truthful. For Obama to not fight against all of that and still play the nice guy who wants to reach across the aisle to these assholes when they will not and have not done the same for us seemed unfathomable.

Rachel Maddow interviewed Obama and pretty much shared my frustration with him on this. After all the GOP has been lying through their teeth and calling Obama the "most liberal senator" even though Bernie Sanders is a Socialist and he's the Senator from Vermont.

But I concede that Obama's approach, should it be just to win this election is going to work and we're going to win tonight.

Yes I wasn't as enthused as I could be but I was still fully behind Obama and I am still very proud that he will be our President.

As a liberal I think that once the election is over and Democrats have overwhelming majorities in the House and the magic 60 in the Senate we need to act quickly to pull our government's policy back to the center. In the 6 years Bush had Republican rubber stamp rule, they jettisoned thousands of laws put in place by far more reasonable Administrations before them and we need to work fast to put these back in play. Banning Torture, banning illegal wiretapping, eliminating Signing Statements, establishing exactly which laws the Bush Administration was breaking and prosecuting them for all of it...

If we want to be a nation of law and order we need to defend the "goddamned piece of paper" (as Bush put it) that our country was built upon. Our Constitution needs restoration like nobody's business.

Then while we're here we need to use our majority to push through Healthcare before Republicans can fight it. Push through election reforms that prevent them from stealing it when it's close and demands a paper trail so we know who voted for whom. Push through changes to the tax code that shift the lions share of the burden back to the rich and provides relief to the poor and middle class. Bring troops home from Iraq and end our occupation there.

We need to move on this stuff so it is done in the first two years. It will prevent the GOP from stopping the most important stuff before they get another chance to slander and lie about Democrats again and prevent these changes from occurring.

If Obama goes in as President looking to give in to Republicans in the name of compromise, he'll find out that the only compromise is giving them their way. It's something the 2006 class of Democrats disgracefully executed and why they have such a low approval rating from voters.

We've given them their way enough and they messed everything up in the name of greed. Now with Democrats so close to all of the levers of control we must push through liberal/progressive legislation. The entire political spectrum and the policies behind it were tilted hard right. If we don't push back left we'll never get to the real center again.

Tonight when President-Elect Obama is named by all of the networks, history will be made. History for African-Americans. History for Voter Turnout. But we need to keep making history by staying on Obama to fight for the left. We're a bigger majority than the right and have had nobody fighting for us for decades.

Corporate America had their Presidents. It's our turn.

Congratulations to America. Here's hoping we finally have that President this time around.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Where's the Red Meat?"

Right. Fucking. Here.

John Kerry's speech was the best of the convention thusfar (Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo Agrees).

He nailed McCain. He took him to task on his exploitation of his military experience, on his constant reversals on issues, he even slammed him for saying "Next up, Baghdad!" right after 9/11.

That was MY President up there talking. The guy I worked my ass for and believed in. The guy who sat in front of Congress during the Vietnam War and asked, "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" and practically ended the war with his performance there single handedly.

That was the John Kerry I knew. Not the one who was swarmed by Clinton advisors who were unbeknownst to Kerry playing for Hillary in 2008 and not for the Democratic Candidate to win.

According to TPM, Kerry scripted this whole speech himself. There wasn't a group of handlers stepping all over who he was. It was John Kerry, on the attack, showing why he was better than the media ever dared give him credit for.

They stepped on him when he OWNED Bush in the debates. They walked all over him during the primaries when they thought he had no chance. They repeated the Swift Boat smears verbatim and constantly re-ran the ads for free on talking head shows to "discuss them", or rather perpetuate the lies. And when Kerry went to give a solid speech at the 2004 Convention, he was warned that the networks would cut him off if he didn't keep it short, so he was forced to rush.

So it didn't surprise me that Kerry was considered inconsequential to the networks. Filler to go between Bill Clinton and Joe Biden.

And as Kerry spoke, a lot of Democrats who believe the negative spin the media gave him or think foolishly that he gave up in Ohio too easy, (forgetting that the lawsuit presented by David Cobb against Ohio for vote tampering was thrown out and that Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell certified the election results before any recount would have been allowed anyway) sat there quiet at first.

It didn't take long for Democrats that were present to realize what this was... a great speech that tore McCain to shreds. Suddenly they started to cheer his lines and maybe many realized why they voted for the man just four years ago...

The Networks however had stayed away from the speech. Weren't going to air any of it... until they realized his speech was hammering McCain and cut in towards the very end.

Still they only caught part of the speech and unless you were watching C-SPAN or PBS you got to see only a snippet of it.

The entire three days of the convention so far the idiot talking heads kept screaming, "Where's the Red Meat?". Downplaying comments from the Democratic speakers for not being angry or divisive enough. They want conflict... it draws ratings.

But they missed the one speech that REALLY DID provide such so-called "red meat". They were too busy making the same ridiculous cliched complaints over and over to hear themselves talk and they forgot to listen to a man who should have been President in 2004 and a man who has been thusfar Obama's best surrogate by far.

I sat there in shock too after Kerry's speech to hear Pat Buchanan go on and on about how he hasn't heard a single thing about Guantanamo Bay and have that remain unchallenged from the MSNBC panel when Kerry not only mentioned it but talked of closing it down and ending torture forever!

If you're wondering why America seems so stupid these days, turn on your cable news.

The Mainstream Media is a joke.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Time for Obama to Stop Pandering

I have a friend named Sam who is about 24 years old (ahh to be young and politically motivated) and is excited about Obama. He has been for months and to be truthful he's been backing Obama since the beginning of the primaries.

I have not.

He asks me to help volunteer for Obama and I just can't bring myself to do it. I gave up months and months of my time for John Kerry but I can't do it for Obama. Truth is Obama's not half the man nor the hero Kerry was.

I think I have mentioned here that I had to very slowly come around to Obama after first picking Edwards... and my decision to support Edwards was laced with hesitancy as well.

For all of the propaganda the DNC put out about this being the best field ever assembled in a Democratic primary a whole hell of a lot of us knew better. Aside from the incredibly unelectable thanks to the media Dennis Kucinich, there wasn't a single liberal in the field. Just a bunch of Washington worn centrists who are used to playing ball with big business.

So when John Edwards railed against big business, of course I was for his rhetoric even though I knew that Russ Feingold slamming Edwards for stealing his platform (but never enacting it when he was in the Senate) was spot on.

For all the talk that Social Security is the third rail in politics, I say big business is the third rail. It is the corporatization of America that has destroyed so much of what our country was in the past 30 years. Look at any system that is failing in America and you'll see funds that were diverted from a public system to private corporations/companies and see that the privatization has actually worsened us in the areas that it was supposed to help.

This is more evident in the public school system than anywhere else. We have schools falling apart, underpaid teachers, mandates on curriculum that force the teaching of two subjects, math and reading and water down or eliminate vital studies such as science, social studies, music, art, etc.

Kids are dropping out at ridiculous rates, especially in inner cities where Republicans decided to mandate test scores while underfunding schools and teacher's pay and using this under performance as a way to prop up private school vouchers.

It would be far cheaper to overhaul the public school system, fix schools, employ better teachers, get non-right wing propaganda textbooks than to keep funding vouchers for a few lucky kids.

But hey, business will work better for you than your government.

Republicans always say government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

A disturbing trend came out of Bill Clinton's Presidential win in 1992, the Democrats moved to the Right.

They also supported big business over the little guy which in effect left the little guy to fend for himself in an ever growing class war they couldn't possibly win. After all they didn't own the newspapers or the television stations or the radio stations or even the textbook publishers so there's nobody propagandizing their point of view.

And with politicians in Washington, both Republicans AND Democrats willing to bend over backwards to allow deregulation and media consolidation, the chance of the little guy ever having a voice just turned into nil. Can't have a voice when Washington rips out your vocal chords.

If you think the impact of all of the media leaning towards the right hasn't had a profound effect culturally on America I ask you to look closer.

From the way Unions have been demonized and nearly eliminated to the way public schooling is considered bad and the teachers given the heat for it (regardless of who defunded them). From the way abortion has been able to be portrayed more effectively as cold heartless murder to the way the war was for all the right reasons despite the fact that Bush blatantly broke the law and lied to make those reasons up. From the way oil companies and their huge profits are portrayed not to be to blame for high gas prices to the way people are basically told to just accept illegal wiretapping as if it's good for you.

No matter what the situation, your media is working against you and for the big business that get extra benefits for spinning things that way. Most of the media companies cheer led for the war because other parts of those companies received billion dollar military contracts or at the very least huge ratings boosts during the invasion. There was profit motive involved in helping Iraq look justifiable so nobody questioned Bush hard on anything when clearly the liberals who were anti-war knew that the so-called "intelligence linking Iraq and al-Qaeda" was bogus from the start.

Only the right wing media could convince you that despite mega rich corporations illegally not paying their taxes and shifting most of their money into overseas tax shelters to avoid paying their fair share, that's okay and it's for the good of America. Then they pass tax cuts for the ultra wealthy top 1% that don't affect you and trick you into thinking they made everyone's taxes lower. Then when we have HUGE deficits and debt that will cost all of our children and grandchildren down the road they have taught you that raising taxes for the ultra rich is raising taxes for everyone and it's unfair.

So you continue to pay more than your fair share of the tax burden while the ultra rich pay nada.

They tell you it's okay to bail out Bear Stearns and other subprime mortgage lenders even though they don't want to help the people that were tricked into these scam mortgages and are going to lose their home. Their spin is that it was uneducated, low credit bums that took these loans and it's their fault the economy is dying.

They tell you global warming, despite every study to the contrary is fake because they want to protect the businesses most guilty for creating it, and instead they convince you that science which has been the foundation of our country since Ben Franklin, is a scam.

You'll notice a theme here: It's never the rich's fault. It's always the poor people that fuck it up for everyone else.

And by Democrats increasingly feeding at the corporate trough, it's impossible to see a difference in parties. That to me is a bigger death knell to this party than Obama losing and McCain continuing the Bush term.

In 2000 and 2004 I honestly could say that there was no way in hell that anyone could use the "There's no difference between them line". Gore's stance on the environment was in stark contrast to any Republican I had ever heard and John Kerry had liberal bonafides before his Clinton-esque advisers pushed him to run to the center.

There were differences. And to be fair there are some with Obama. But the more Obama and his advisers believe playing to the center (which thanks to political spectrum re-alignment by the media means center-right) the more they alienate the left wing of the base who is absolutely sick and tired of this crap.

When JFK ran in the 1960 election the question was whether or not his Catholicism could be too influential on him as President. Now the right wing media has convinced everyone that if you're not a full on Christian that you are not acceptable for public office.

That's a stunning reversal from what our Founding Fathers believed. Many of them were indeed Christians but most including Jefferson believed many priests and preachers to be charlatans who used the pulpit for personal gain rather than for the cause of good.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of the leading Presidential Historians made an absolutely spot on comment on Hardball the other night when she declared it troubling because a man like Abraham Lincoln whose moral character was as great as any President in history would not have been elected today because he did have strong ties to a church.

That to me pretty much sums it up. An atheist or agnostic running for President? Forget it! The heathens do not have God or Jesus in their heart and must be working for Satan!

What makes Christians believe they have moral righteousness on their side above all other religions?

Another fun media misnomer is "The War on Christianity". They extend this out to a war on Easter or war on Christmas. It couldn't be further from the truth, in fact it goes the other way. When communities don't want "Christmas" stuff on public property all they are doing is following the edict of separation of church and state as laid down by our forefathers. It is important to remember that when Bill O'Reilly or John Gibson or some other FAUX News tool goes out of their way to attack communities that try to even the playing field for all religions by not allowing any one of them to display on government property that they're ultimately doing this arguing to increase Christian viewership since they are a majority in our country.

But those people are quick to forget that Christians are the ones pushing their displays onto public grounds to force these fights. They put nativity scenes up in parks or push ten commandments statues into courthouses where they have no place and are not the ruling laws that our judges need to adhere to.

The Bible is written in a vague and ridiculous subjective way to draw multiple conclusions from all those who attempt to interpret it. To even suggest that this is how our law should be structured is stupidity at it's finest.

All this goes back to my initial point about Obama. He has fallen into the corrupt media's "Christian or Bust" trap repeatedly.

After they spent considerable time portraying him as a Muslim to low information voters, he had to come out forcibly for some reason to practically scream that he was a Christian. The media found that useful when Jeremiah Wright was out there making dumb statements so they could play "gotcha" with Obama on them but ignored that Christian background for the most part while he was painted as a "terrorist fist jab" artist on air.

So once again he falls into their trap and agrees to go on the worst possible forum for Democrats at Rick "A Purpose Driven Life" Warren's evangelical church. A FAITH forum. What a stupid idea this is.

So now we're trying to Out-Christian, nutcase right wing evangelicals who don't mind destroying the Earth because they think the rapture is coming?

At least 75% of that crowd had no intention of ever voting for Obama anyway, so a stacked audience along with an anti-gay, anti-abortion preacher asking loaded questions that McCain could hear backstage and likely had in advance screams total set up. And anybody with a brain would have told Obama that there was no way to look good in this situation.

You can't talk truth with a host of people who have black and white absolutes in their lives as guiding principles. They don't care what truths there are and any answer that is not absolute is John Kerry style waffling, which is what the media slammed Obama on.

Forget that Pro-Choice really ISN'T pro-abortion, the media has painted it as such and any explanation to the contrary is ignored immediately. Forget that gays are people too and that discriminating against them is no different than discriminating against Blacks because the media has made being gay a choice and evangelicals call that choice a sin (although if a single damn one had ever read their bible they would understand we are all sinners, Jesus died for our ability to sin and as long as you repent before death you are welcome into heaven... so gays are no more sinners than everyone else).

The audience loved McCain and made him look like a rock star because he gave absolutes for answers. "What can we do about evil?" McCain: "Defeat it."

No matter that this question is completely stupid at every turn and it fails to look at how we could also be evil for what we have done across the world.

Obama just setting foot in a forum that is this divisive towards other religions or views proves that he like the centrist Democrats that run Washington just don't get it. This doesn't even mention the fact that McCain cheated when he heard the questions in advance or address the totally different tones that Warren used to ask each candidate the same question. Obviously the whole thing was a set up from the get go but the problem ultimately lies in Obama's lack of judgment to participate in this charade to begin with.

Democrats will always be treated as the media's red headed stepchild as long as they accept the media's framing of these arguments and continue to play by Republican rules.

It casts them as weak and pushovers and the hard right wing pundits who have no such morality as to prevent them from lying every time their lips move know that the bigger the lie the more it will stick. It's been a Rovism since day one that you accuse your opponent of anything no matter how crazy or unrealistic because the time they have to use denying it costs them money and ultimately allows the image to stick in the public's mind.

To all of those who will come out and say, "oh there's another anti-christian who hates religions" I say this... Imagine if schools were allowed to have religion in them. You'd probably be very happy if Bibles were handed out as textbooks. But what if Korans were also handed out? How would you feel about "Muhammad as a Prophet", being a class title? What about Buddhism, Hindu or Jewish studies?

That's where the prejudice really lies. It's Christian or nothing. They don't want equality for religion in the public square, they want forced teaching of Christianity.

Big Business, as usual is totally on board with this. After all Christians are a majority of our country and they want to make their customers happy. So the media plays them up as some sort of persecuted victims like this is the Roman time period or the Spanish Inquisition. It's not true, and if anything Christians have persecuted and attacked more people of other religions since those time periods than vice versa.

Obama disappoints me because without the advisers that steered Kerry wrong he has purposely believed that the only way to win the election is to pander to the Right Wingers and hardcore evangelicals who don't believe him anyway.

And in doing so he has left the left-wing of the party in the dust. An afterthought and a political casualty. If they don't want Bush III they have no choice but to vote for Obama.

Oh don't start with that, "See! Hillary was a better choice!" shit either. Bill and Hillary started this whole move to the right movement and have helped groups like the DLC, DCCC and DSCC push only moderate-right candidates in elections everywhere.

She would have been an even greater unmitigated disaster than Obama is.

Look, we need to reclaim who we are. When polled, the majority of Americans side with Democrats and Liberals on Roe vs. Wade, on the Environment, on the economy, on foreign policy and especially on ending the Iraq War.

But instead of running on all of these issues as they are, to the left of the current media-created spectrum, Obama has run to the right. As if EVERY independent voter he is courting will come from the right (that just isn't so).

Instead of standing for strong progressive values, we are now the party of enablers. Nancy Pelosi enables Bush to break constitutional and Geneva convention laws at will when she refuses to endorse impeachment and outwardly claims no laws have been broken. Harry Reid enables Bush to continue to break the law by even allowing the FISA bill to hit the floor. The so-called Blue Dog Dems, courted by Rahm Emanuel and basically Republicans who ran as Democrats because the Republican brand is tainted, enable Bush by voting for his every bill.

Now Obama is enabling them too... by continuing to pander to them and giving everyone a reason to choose between the right wing bullshitter or the guy who is trying to be like the right wing bullshitter.

In a choice between those two, most voters go for the guy who's at least lying to your face rather than lying about wanting to lie to your face.

I'll vote for Obama because of the two evils he's less evil, but I think we need to be careful when hearing the spin about a new kind of politics. A new kind of politics would allow liberals to be liberals, right wingers to be right wingers and to honestly lay out where both sides stands on everything. That my friends, is a war we win every time. Nobody would side for a pro-perpetual war, anti-health care, anti-social security, anti-environment, anti-choice, pro-huge pentagon and government spending, anti-public schools or public assistance, anti-gays and minority candidate over the alternative.

There are Democrats I still support. I am fond of Dennis Kucinich, Tammy Baldwin, Robert Wexler, Russ Feingold and a few others. But for the most part the party has been corrupted by corporate campaign cash and influence.

There needs to be two parties once again. One for the rich, one for the people. As it stands there are two parties in name only and one party in philosophy running everything.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Fiscal Conservative"

Friday, July 18, 2008

We Can Solve The Climate Change Issue

Al Gore gives an incredibly important speech. Now we'll see how corrupt Washington politicans and big oil lobbyists attempt to squash this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

John McCain = Illiterate Flunky

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Value of Life

I guess it came as no surprise to me this past week when I found out that not only was our government calculating the dollar amount each of our lives were worth but also that since Bush took office our lives lost nearly $1 million in said value.

After all I can’t think of very many Americans outside of well connected rich people (see: Oil company executives) and the Bushies themselves who haven’t felt that we just lost close to a decade of our lives (or set our children back 20-30 years in progress and debt).

What a wasted opportunity after all. We ended the year 2000 with a budget surplus, gas prices were still fairly low, we hadn’t started a war of choice with an enemy that had nothing to do with an attack on us and FEMA still existed as a way to help citizens rather than to murder them and steal their property.

Our environment wasn’t exactly on a full path to green energy but we might have President Gore there to make that a reality.

Instead we have had eight years of the biggest disaster ever to hit America. Sure, 9/11 was bad, Katrina was horrible but none of them top the totality of Dubya.

After all had he not been President there is certainly a case to be made that 9/11 might never have happened because we are fairly certain President Gore wouldn’t have ignored that August 6, 2001 PDB nor would he have told the agents that briefed him that they had “covered their ass” in attempts to shoo them away out of annoyance.

Katrina would have still happened. It was an act of nature after all. But President Gore was far more likely to approve the funding needed to repair those levies. And even if that had not happened he sure as hell wouldn’t have left them to die in the Superdome, cutting residents off from any form of escape and then after waiting days to do nothing offered short term trailers that poisoned the people that stayed in there. Not even to mention, his FEMA would not have allowed these trailers to be used since the agency knew they were poisoned.

Of course the woulda, coulda, shouldas count for nothing at this point.

However you have to wonder, since they’re putting a price tag on us, how much are Iraqi lives worth?

You could try to count the deaths (suppressed or uncounted by our Defense Department) and take our current spending on the war and divide it up but that brings up two issues.

1. Since the death count is going up daily and we aren’t given legitimate numbers how do we even know these numbers are legitimate? Oh yeah and we’re still not done throwing money at this war so those numbers will change too.

2. That money is going to Halliburton, GE, Blackwater, etc. Not to Iraqi people. We’re paying them regardless of whether or not they fulfill the contract. This money has no relation to the Iraqi citizens. In fact if it were not the Iraq War, Bush would most certainly find another way to launder this money to them. See the $2-3 trillion that is missing from the Pentagon. No accountability = theft of your tax dollars.

So when I try to put in context how much the Iraqi life is worth I think the foremost expert of life worth evaluation, Babs herself said it best.

''Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen?'' Mrs. Bush declared. ''It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?''

And why should she? Her beautiful mind sees the biggest fucking lemons you have ever seen and she makes lemonade with it!

When speaking about Hurricane refugees that were staying at the Astrodome in Houston she said:

''What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

I know Barbara Bush doesn’t make policy but her equally uncaring son does. We now have proof that Bush was going into Iraq no matter what evidence steered them away from 9/11 wrongdoing.

Bush didn't care who died. He wanted his War glory and he wanted Saddam as his trophy. When you consider that and how those contracts would have been given to those companies, if not for Iraq then for something else, the answer is clear. Iraqi lives are worth zero (well at least according to our current Government). If they're not worth being counted correctly or worth protecting by not invading nor pulling out then Bush obviously sees these people as expendable.

And if Iraqi lives are worth zero while being set up as a corporate power grab for his buddies, Afghanistani people must be worth even less than that. Especially when you consider that we invaded there to capture Bin Laden and then let him go and just stopped caring or thinking about him at all. They died for nothing and weren’t even worth the corporate hullabaloo that Iraq was.

And hey you can make conflicting cases for the value of American lives either going up or down.

On one hand the value of the dollar is less thanks to Bush tanking our economy with deregulation of housing and energy markets so it’s only natural our lives would be worth less with that devaluation.

On the other there are more of us dead thanks to two wars, 9/11, countless disasters where the government didn’t care about acting and a completely broken health care system that only rewards drug and insurance companies. So by that theory there should be more American money to spread to fewer people right?

Oh wait, Bush has sold America to Chinese debt basically so there actually is less value to each of us… well at least in American Dollars.

The point of this that through the past eight years we have seen the value of human life actually be defined. Although it’s not in dollars as the EPA’s report says.

Human life is something you put a price tag on when you are evaluating whether or not to protect people through regulatory laws (aka how does protecting people hurt my rich corporate friends?)
And Human life is also a valuable political football… red meat to throw at the Christian Right when you play the abortion card. Of course nobody mentions that the GOP and Bush owned Congress for 6 years and they could have passed something to end Roe v. Wade or seriously restrict or possibly even end legalized abortion. They know better. They don’t really care about it until it’s campaign time when they can sucker you in with all of those extreme photos of “botched abortions” and all the dead fetuses (which again are incredibly dishonest since most abortions look nothing like this and occur well before the baby has developed into anything even close to that large).

Once these mothers to be give birth though, Republicans again don’t care about life. They cut programs like Food Stamps, Medical Assistance, Energy Assistance, WIC, AFDC, School Lunch Programs, public education funding, etc. They make it impossible to get help in raising the baby they insist you have.

The combination of that complete lack of caring about young children. Their usual eagerness to support torture and the death penalty. Their incredibly stupid plans for perpetual war. Their aggressive attempts to build more nukes to destroy the world. Their smash and grab style of theft to people who suffer through natural disasters as their Government leaves them to die. Their attempts to edit, censor and re-write EPA reports that prove that our planet is in peril thanks to our energy habits. Their lack of willingness to take care of 9/11 first responders or to veterans returning from these wars.

Forget that EPA report. You, just like the Iraqis are worth nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada.

It’s their world. Only the ultra rich are worth anything and they use lobbyists, their owned media outlets and basic propaganda to keep you blaming yourself.

It’s the stupid people who lived in New Orleans that didn’t leave that deserved to die. Not the Government who forced many to stay.

It’s the lazy people that don’t work that abuse welfare and steal your hard earned tax dollars but it’s not the corporations fault if they require billions more than social welfare could ever cost you in corporate welfare to make sure they make bigger profits and those CEOs can make $20-200 million.

It’s the idiots that didn’t understand home loans and took ones they couldn’t afford that made the housing market bust, not the mortgage lenders who purposely schemed to rip these people off with conveniently confusing loans that changed terms easily.

Blame the victim. And why not? They’re worthless anyway.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oil Prices: How Drilling Offshore will do nothing to lower prices and how we got where we are today

Wow it didn't take long for Republicans to find a cheap ploy to use politically in their favor did it? And a lot of Americans seem to be buying it hook, line and sinker.

McCain and Bush went out of their way to push for offshore drilling making the argument that if there was more oil out there that prices would drop. There's two major flaws in that argument. But before we move forward, let's review how we got here and why prices are actually inflated:

Okay so now we see that the Enron Loophole create deregulation that basically allowed Energy Companies and Banks to own the market. They could use their influence in a corrupt way to fuel a speculation bubble and essentially they could buy the market into a higher profit zone. Great for them, horrible for us.

Luckily help is on the way. The Farm Bill that Keith references, McCain voted against and Bush vetoed, was passed thanks to a veto override in Congress. That means on September 30, 2009 the loophole closes and economists predict that gas/oil prices could be lowered as much as 25-50% overnight.

Finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

What about offshore drilling? Could that also help?

From The Seminal's Jason Rosenbaum:

Reason #1: Offshore Drilling Won't Increase Oil Supplies For 7-10 Years

That's right, even if we repeal all bans on drilling anywhere in the U.S., we won't see the benefits for almost a decade:

That's the estimate from the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry trade group. Major environmental groups think the increased supply would be at least that distant before arrival, and say it mostly would benefit Big Oil.

"It would take a decade to bring new leases into production, and then they would only line the coffers of the oil industry," said Carl Pope, the Sierra Club's executive director.

Reason #2: Offshore Drilling Only Makes Financial Sense When Oil Prices Are High

Offshore drilling is expensive:

However, analysts on all sides agree that drilling faces political, regulatory and economic hurdles. Individual states could forbid it. If exploration were allowed, permits would have to be granted, and before that environmental concerns must be addressed. Drilling also would have to make economic sense: Offshore drilling is expensive, and the more remote the site, the more costly it is.

Therefore, offshore drilling would only make economic sense if the oil tapped could be sold at a high price. Once the price of oil drops (which it is unlikely to do, but let's think hypothetically), offshore drills lose money, they get shut down, and prices go up again. Offshore drilling will not solve our gas price problem.

Reason #3: There's Probably Not A Lot Of Oil Out There

Bush and McCain tout drilling as a way towards energy independence. It's not; it's only a very short-term fix. Once we get the drilling going (remember, 7-10 years), there isn't much oil to drill:

The Interior Department offered a wide range of estimates of how much oil might be within reach of U.S. offshore drilling in a 2006 report. It estimated that the Outer Continental Shelf could hold 115.4 billion barrels. However, it also estimated that recoverable reserves off U.S. coasts in areas now banned from production probably hold only about 19 billion barrels.

The world consumes about 86 million barrels a day. The U.S. share of that is about 20.6 million barrels, 60 percent of them from foreign sources.

One thousand million barrels equals 1 billion, so if there are 19 billion barrels in the areas McCain would open to drilling, that's enough to provide about 920 days, or about 2.5 years, of current U.S. consumption.

That's right. Drill in all the places you can't drill now and you get (gong!) a whopping 2.5 years worth of oil. And that's assuming consumption levels stay static, which they have never done.

Reason #4: Oh, And There Are No Ships To Carry That Oil

Even if you did build the wells (7-10 years), make it economically feasable to keep them open (that means high oil prices), and tap all that oil (only 2.5 years worth), you wouldn't be able to find a ship to drill the oil and ship it back to shore for use:

In recent years, this global shortage of drill-ships has created a critical bottleneck, frustrating energy company executives and constraining their ability to exploit known reserves or find new ones. Slow growth in oil supplies, at a time of soaring demand, has been a major factor in the spike of oil and gasoline prices.

Mr. Bush called on Congress Wednesday to end a longstanding federal ban on offshore drilling and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration, arguing that the steps were needed to lower gasoline prices and bolster national security. But even as oil trades at more than $135 a barrel — up from $68 a year ago — the world’s existing drill-ships are booked solid for the next five years. Some oil companies have been forced to postpone exploration while waiting for a drilling rig, executives and analysts said.

You can even explore for new oil fields for 5 years due to lack of ships!

Jason's first four points are incredibly valid ones (his fifth point, that speculation is not making oil prices rise is a bit off although in fairness it's deregulation coupled with the speculation that these energy companies and banks are orchestrating in concert that has created this problem so to blame it solely on market speculators would be leaving a lot of this story out). As he mentioned drilling oil might be impossible because of the shortage of drilling ships.

There is no immediate gain to be had from drilling now.

In fact McCain's own advisor admitted as much:

But McCain’s message was contradicted yesterday by his top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who told reporters that new offshore drilling wouldn’t help lower current gas prices:

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a senior advisor to McCain’s campaign, acknowledged in a conference call to reporters that new offshore drilling would have no immediate effect on supplies or prices.

The Energy Information Administration says that new offshore drilling wouldn’t have “a significant impact” on gas prices until 2030.

By 2030 shouldn't we be well on our way to alternative energy? There's pretty much no excuse if by that time we're not using solar and wind energy pretty close to exclusively.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obama's Nomination Clinching Victory Speech

Here is Obama's amazing speech from last night. I truly thought it was one of his best.

And now onto the General Election....

A couple things about last night...

I honestly have always tried to be an alarmist about this election. I think it was my normal reaction to being an optimist the last two times and to have the excruciating experience of having both of those campaigns, campaigns for which I worked hard for, stolen away.

I don't think it's necessarily a horrible thing to play Chicken Little when the Republicans are so willing to lie, cheat and steal as necessary to retain power. It is fact that most of the electronic voting machines have strong Republican ties. It is also fact that the Corporate Media also has such ties and have been defensive of even the most horrendous Bush policies since 2001.

That being said, this time around our eyes should be open and the tinfoil hats should be ready to wear because there are going to be instances in which it will not be "conspiracy theory" to suggest off the wall insanely illegal strategies or plans that the Republicans might use.

As the movie Recount showed, Republicans just play to win, plain and simple. They have no level of ethics to stand up to. Whatever it takes.

As Democrats we have always held ourselves to a higher standard and in the past eight years, aside from the 2006 midterms that kind of thinking hurt us.

This time around I expect no less than the smearing Kerry received. They'll use every Hillary talking point against Obama (they already are by posting this video on Youtube)... dragging race, inexperience, his church into the fray and not caring one bit about it.

With that being said I happened to attend the Obama Primary Watching Party last night in Cudahy. It was without a doubt a historic night.

Historic for two reasons. One for the first time in my lifetime we have an African American General Election Nominee from one of the major parties.

WTMJ Channel 4 in Milwaukee asked me about that and I gave them this quote:

“It was something I wasn’t sure we were going to achieve in my lifetime and it’s kind of sad that we had that feeling," said Robert Poole. "But today kind of alleviates a lot of those fears.”

If you click the video button on that link above and skip past the parts of Obama and Clinton's speeches you'll see me saying that on there as well.

The other reason this is historic is that it marks the end of the DLC.

Al From's Democratic Leadership Committee as lamented and commented on here before, is the Corporate Wing of the Democratic Party. They have leaned far away from social programs in favor of Corporate Welfare. They push candidates that are considered "centrist" but mostly they just want candidates that are easy to control. They've been running candidates out there that are practically indistinguishable from our Republican opponents and in turn it helped in shifting the political spectrum to the Right. With Democrats leaning so heavily on Pro-Corporate, Pro-Republican values, the Republican party had to lean to the Right to differentiate themselves. Lucky for them Dick Cheney was around to make that transition easy.

The problem is that aside from giving away the Democratic identity of being a party for the people while Republicans were the party of the rich and corporate elite, this ran candidates unwilling to show any spine and stop corruption in Congress. It made Democrats enablers to Bush's multiple Constitutional Crimes and most certain War Crimes.

And it lost elections... lost them big.

The Clintons were at the forefront of the groups creation, the standard bearers for what the DLC wanted the party to look like. It was many of the Clinton's campaign staff and White House advisors that formed leadership in the group and provided direction for it's candidates.

They were the epitome of DLC. And now they've lost their last chance at the White House. Hillary might not be willing to concede or accept it at this point but that is reality.

So the cancer of the Democratic Party has now had it's standard bearer be defeated and a new breed of Democrat who once again wants the party to stand up for the poor and middle class and who wants to change the culture in Washington has stood up and pushed the DLC over the proverbial cliff. I wonder how they will take it.

Onto the General Election and onto John McCain. Believe me, it's about time because that guy has had a free pass for way too long.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Even though this FL/MI mess is over Hillary has seriously damaged us (and will continue to)

We all know Florida and Michigan broke the rules when they tried to jump ahead. We also all know that Hillary and Obama knew that neither primary would count when they signed the pledge not to campaign.

So you had to know that in either case the best the DNC would do is reduce delegates or negate the results of those primaries in some way, months ago. This is not new news.

Both campaigns expected as much when they signed that pledge.

The problem is when Hillary's coronation was disrupted and it was clear they were going to lose this election her campaign went back on that pledge and decided to pull out the kitchen sink/scorched earth tactics.

They played up the Rev. Wright issue in the media and kept it going for two months. She hinted that Obama was a "muslim" with the off handed "as far as I know" comment. She hinted at McCain being better qualified to be President than Obama. And her campaign played the race card heavy and often with Pennylvania, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky by openly courting White voters and presenting themselves as the safe white choice.

All of that certainly damaged Obama no doubt and all of it will continue to be exploited by the Republicans who have none of the scruples we once thought Democrats to have (once again, thanks Hillary).

But with her constant complaining and creating controversy where there was little to be had about two states, states that were already not gimmies for the Democratic Nominee in the Fall as it is, she played the worst possible card.

Her campaign knew going in that neither primary would or should really count. She clung to them out of desperation.

And even though the RNC halved the delegations for both states, nobody really knows about it nor cares.

After all the Republicans never went on TV railing against Democrats or their National Committee in saying Democrats don't want to count your votes.

Essentially she threw the entire Democratic Party under the bus in those states. The perception she created makes it appear that the Democrats don't care about voters from those states.

The Republicans had equally damaging penalties for these states but Hillary making a case against Democrats and the Democratic Party as a whole has made it seem that the Democrats are the party who doesn't care about Florida or Michigan.

I admit getting Florida was a long shot but Michigan was a winnable swing state that now will be much harder for us to win.

And why? Because Hillary's loyalty is to herself and not to her party.

Hillary's campaign came into these meetings, knowing that she signed a non-compete pledge and that Democrats were aware that neither primary was legitimate and they still came in with the unreal expectation of full delegate seating based on those disqualified primary results. Results, that included a state where Obama and Edwards were not even on the ballot. Results where Obama could not come to the state and campaign against her name recognition and in every state thusfar he has either whittled down her support or overtaken her in primaries where they both spent time in a state.

They would not accept any less and I honestly don't think she cared how it turned out. Delegate-wise their best hopes would not have put them over the top and they knew it. Their best shot was to keep popular vote numbers (most especially problematic in Michigan where she had her name on the ballot and Obama did not) so she could take it to the Convention and argue a popular vote victory.

This was all angling and posturing for the fight they knew they were going to make in Denver.

No result today would have changed their intentions. This is not about Michigan or Florida's voting rights. This is and has always been about Hillary Clinton.

So she'll head to Denver and begin a party war on the floor. She'll have all of her big money donors call and threaten to rescind campaign financial support to Superdelegates who run in State races or House races and unlike a National Presidential candidate do not have the visibility or power to inspire thousands of $20-50 donations from constituents... certainly not enough to compete with the big Republican donor rolls.

These superdelegates will face their own political mortality if they lose donors to their campaigns and possibly see these fatcats work against them for a primary opponent who will support who they want next time out or even a Republican who have proven easier to control by their financial backers.

It will be the dirtiest game ever.

And Democrats will look sleazy, to millions of viewers nationally who are sick of the culture of corruption in Washington and will have a hard time understanding how any Democrat would be a change when it appears to run so rampant in their own party.

Fatcats and lobbyists calling the shots for their old pals the Clintons.

And in the end we'll limp along severely damaged because Hillary can't just quit and go away. Doing what is best for her party isn't in her bloodstream it appears.

The convention will turn off millions of voters.

The cries of "Democrats don't care about your votes" will turn Michigan and Florida voters away from our party in November.

It's not all gloom and doom. We have the one candidate that can shine hope onto any situation. But she has continually attempted tie both hands and a leg behind his back in November.

It's not the Democratic Party that doesn't care about Michigan and Florida voters... it's Hillary Clinton.

Because if she really cared about them, she would have stopped turning them away from the party and bowed out in a way that would help our nominee win this November. Without that, none of those Michigan or Florida voters will have a chance this next four years.

Because four more years of Bush policy is enough to ruin us all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Bothers Me Most About West Virginia...

I know West Virginia is over so we should get over it. Honestly I thought Obama would lose by 25-30 points anyway so I carried no illusions as to how the end result of the contest would go.

What bothered me was the level of racism and ignorance these people carried. A lot of this is Hillary's fault. She has purposely had her team running the Republican racist playbook and now there are large misconceptions that Obama is a Muslim or that it is in a White person's interest to vote white. Hell even a ton of mis-spelled "Hussein" signs made it out.

In the year 2008 you should be openly shamed and looked down upon for racist views. However Clinton's supporters felt no such shame and had no problem saying they would never vote for a Black man to TV crews. You've seen the one I posted earlier but this one is FAR more disturbing.

What's worse is that by playing this card the Clintons have once again deliberately sabotaged the Democratic Nominee's chances in November. Whites told exit pollsters and the media that if Obama was the nominee they would vote against their own interests just because McCain was White.


Racially motivated voting ran somewhat higher than elsewhere: Two in 10 whites said the race of the candidate was a factor in their vote, second only to Mississippi. Just 31 percent of those voters said they'd support Obama against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, fewer than in other primaries where the question's been asked.

Indeed, as noted, among all West Virginia primary voters, only 49 percent said they would support Obama vs. McCain, far fewer than elsewhere and one of many signs of antipathy toward Obama in the state.

It drives me nuts that White people could sit back and say "we need someone that represents us" as if we have never had ANY Whites in charge ever.

I mean who were these fucking guys?

In a way this makes me wish Bill Richardson were the VP. Obama also has problems with Latino voters (for similar reasons actually) and Richardson puts a lot of Southern states like New Mexico and Arizona a bit more in play.

It's disheartening to know that next week Hillary's racism machine will ramp up one more time to draw out the worst of the worst in Kentucky. We'll be having this nauseating discussion again and people knowing that the media is airing all of their comments without the critical eye they should have on this topic, will be further emboldened to show all the forms of racism on TV they can.

It's like Martin Luther King Jr. never lived and the Civil War never happened. All that we need these people to do now to show how disgusting some Americans are is don their KKK robes and burn crosses on Obama's front lawn.

It is a disgrace to modern day America that were are the most hateful, ignorant country in the world.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Racism - The Underbelly of American Society

I found this image on a blog that appears to be anti-Obama and in fact is attempting to turn racism on its head by making the argument of "Why is it that only Whites can be racist?".

While it is true that all races can be racist towards one another and that there are lingering divides in this country it seems some people, that blogger included, are taking the wrong approach in this election season. They are embracing racism by pointing fingers and saying everyone else does it rather than universally denouncing and rejecting it.

Certainly there is inherent racism from parts of the African-American community towards Whites. We also must remember that many in the White community that have worked so hard to devalue them in society, first as slaves then as citizens without the right to vote and later as citizens who were given far less advantages than their white counterparts.

Also Whites still openly are racist towards Hispanic immigrants (legal or otherwise). It makes it very difficult to see racism coming from the other side when Whites still perform this practice so openly.

For instance look at the Confederate Flag. Every white politician that goes to South Carolina panders and agrees that the flag should be flown. Southerners write off what is rightful Black anger on the issue and claim the flag is a symbol of Southern Pride and nothing else.

Of course African Americans know better. They know that the Confederate Flag was flown as a symbol of secession from the Union mostly because the Confederate States refused to end slavery. It is a symbol of the South's unwillingness to treat Blacks as equals or even as people but rather as worthless slaves.

Even when some Whites battle for equality through protest and government there is always some member of their peers more than willing to battle against the rights of "colored people".

Certainly there have been racist minority groups but none of them had the power of a group like the KKK nor were they a part of the government in the same way during any period of time. That David Duke could actually run for office and garner national support after his KKK ties were revealed says a lot about the lack of speed in which our country has moved on civil rights and equality. He may not have won but for anybody to support him proved discouraging in how Americans saw the concept of freedom and liberty.

It's happening again. Maybe local and national news programs are ignoring it, but it's out there. Burning the embers of anger and hatred that lie beneath the surface of our country. Racism isn't shouted in the streets anymore. It's whispered in small settings amongst friends or talked about with family or emphasized in a secret voting booth.

The Obama campaign has attempted to address these issues head on. They carry no illusion that this can be solved in a single campaign cycle. But the question is, at this juncture, we as a society have not moved past this?

What makes Americans so much more stubborn or ignorant than our European counterparts? Surely racism exists in those locations as well but at a far smaller amount and it is openly discouraged.

It seemed we were making amazing progress on this issue until Ronald Reagan came into office. Then they started a "War on Drugs" which was clearly a codeword for "War on Blacks". They penalized crack smokers at three times the rate of an upscale white cocaine user. The prisons began to fill with majorities of young black men who never had a real future for themselves once getting out.

They began a three decades long defunding of the Public Education system, a system which most African Americans send their children to. They continuously cut welfare benefits (Bill Clinton and the GOP's Welfare Reform was devastating) purposely aiming to cut blacks off the rolls and claiming that they were having children for benefits and defrauding the system. They went on the attack to try to eliminate Affirmative Action.

Ronald Reagan and his minions made racism acceptable again. They didn't call it racism. The word "nigger" was never uttered. It was a different type of racism. It was now loading the terms "lazy", "freeloader", "scam artist".... they made all blacks out to be looking to game the system and steal whatever they could get their hands on from the honest hardworking white taxpayer.

The reality couldn't have been further from the truth. The real thieves were the Corporate Elite. Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton all looked out for corporate friends that kicked back their success to the President and their closest advisors. It was never citizen welfare that was the problem, it was corporate welfare... to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, that was killing our economy and hurting taxpayers.

It wasn't the black "criminals" that was a danger to America it was the White Collar criminals like Enron that put thousands of employees out of work and out of life savings or the War Profiteers that sent poor white AND black soldiers to die for their financial gain.

But if you keep repeating that it's those people different than you that are dangerous it's easier for Whites to feel a justifiable reason to be an isolationist.

For example, last year I worked out in a rich White suburb and most of my co-workers were upper middle class White suburbans. We got word that our office might be moved downtown in the city which was far more Afro-centric in ethnic makeup. My co-workers, all of which were White, began panicking and worrying that they would be mugged, their cars would be broken into or stolen, they would be raped. The hysteria was amazing.

Their department ended up staying put but I ended up working downtown. My new car was never broken into, I never witnessed a single crime and in fact I made a lot of friends from diverse backgrounds.

I push this a little further and believe this is the problem with Suburbs and Rural areas in our country as a whole. Being isolated from people on a regular basis allows you to build up false biases that are not based on reality but rather on comfortable theories that makes you feel justified in not living in the city or reaching out to people different than yourself.

It's easier to judge other ethnicity's than it is to understand them. Most people feel that their viewpoint, since it is easiest for them to understand, is the viewpoint everyone should have and if they do not then there is something wrong with them. Being isolated in areas where people are spread further apart and do not face the same hardships as neighbors of a different background that would live closer to them prevents people from truly knowing and understanding the experiences that their counterparts from different backgrounds face on an every day basis.

We as Americans have closed our minds to the plight of others because we believe too much in our own righteous views to allow for a convergence of attitudes.

'We are born here and have a right to be here... Immigrants should wait their turn or be deported.'

'Most people are straight so homosexuality is a sin and they should never marry or have children.'

'Christianity should be the official religion in this country and anybody who disagrees with our religion or God should not be elected to important offices.'

'English should be the official language since it is what most of us speak. Learn it or go home.'

These are all examples of overt ignorance towards other people's beliefs or personal cultures.

Our lack of willingness to open our minds is the primary culprit here. Can we move past this? Can we finally stop spreading racism by whispering things like "blacks only look out for blacks" and such?

It's not apparent that without new leadership that is open to changing the language of American racial discourse that we can ever make such strides. When we had leadership willing to work for change, change happened. When we were granted the rule of the puppets of White Corporate Elite, Blacks were subjugated to being nothing more than criminals or athletes in society.

This article from MSNBC in particular disturbed me most (emphasis added):

Racism alarms Obama's backers
Candidate's foot soldiers encounter name-calling, vandalism, bomb threats


For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.


Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: "It wasn't pretty." She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn't possibly vote for Obama and concluded: "Hang that darky from a tree!"

Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said she, too, came across "a lot of racism" when campaigning for Obama in Pennsylvania. One Pittsburgh union organizer told her he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: "White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people."

What kind of nation are we that this kind of behavior is still prevalent even after all of our struggles? Was not a war that nearly split the nation enough? Was not the civil rights battles that saw losses of important leaders and jailing of thousands of citizens enough? Wasn't the passage of over 40 years enough for us to finally get it?

What is liberty and justice for all if all is but a meaningless term shadowed to mean "a few"?

Our country deserves better. Our fellow man deserves better. Our children deserve better.

Equality for all or equality for none.


As Hillary fights for nothing in West Virginia, her supporters' true colors come out...

Amy Poehler's spoof this past Saturday on SNL caught a lot of heat from Hillary supporters. In it Poehler who has played Hillary this campaign season declared herself a sore loser, said her supporters were racist and that she had no ethical standards.

It seemed to be the racist comment that really got stuck in the heads of the Hillary Supporters as the most offensive line. The problem is that her campaign has basically been running on desperation so long now that they might as well have put "VOTE WHITE" on her campaign signs.

Don't believe me?

Look at how the xenophobia ramps up when her supporters use Republican tactics to label him a "muslim" by tossing his middle name in there. Hillary basically perpetuated that myth with the infamous, "as far as I know" line which everyone knew to be bullshit.

That once again is a reminder of the third tenet of Poehler's satire, that Hillary has no ethical standards and will say anything to get elected.

Mathematically she has no chance. At this point she's just adding to the campaign debt she hopes the Obama campaign will pay off for her and she's only running out of spite to hurt Obama and further her chances for a 2012 bid. Although if Obama loses I am fairly certain that the spin Clinton wants, "he wasn't strong enough to beat McCain" will not trump the spin that "Obama was weakened because of how Hillary played dirty". Democrats will renounce her next bid well before Iowa, if she even gets that far.

There is only one place Hillary is winning, in her own head (oh and on that insane delusional fantasy site

Want more proof that her VOTE WHITE campaign is working? Watch this news clip from West Virginia.

Then there was this from Bill Clinton:

"Hillary is in this race because of people like you and places like this and no matter what they say," Clinton said. "And no matter how much fun they make of your support of her and the fact that working people all over America have stuck with her, she thinks you're as smart as they are. She thinks you've got as much right to have your say as anybody else. And, you know, they make a lot of fun of me because I like to campaign in places like this, they say I have been exiled to rural America, as if that was a problem."

They try to pretend that because they are white that somehow makes them the every-man. They play down to people and try to do what Bush and Rove did which was to lie and act like you were a simpleton who can relate to them on their level and have a beer with them. Instead of telling them the truth... the truth being that instead of giving a fuck about someone having a beer with you, you need to have a leader who is smarter than you and as smart as can be to understand more of the world than you or your friends do.

You need to have a President who can figure things out like our economy and gas prices and the environment and yes how to bring our troops home safely. You need a smart president who can get us the health care we need and who can make peace with our neighbors and for Christ's sakes can read and understand intelligence briefings to protect us from attacks.

We need to look rural, country, uneducated, yes White voters in the eye and say... look, I care about you but I care about all of us and we need to have someone who is incredibly intelligent in there to fix things. A common guy just can't do it with how bad Bush has fucked up.

Nobody wants to do that because it implies that a certain part of the electorate are dumb. But it can be done in a way that is not as harsh and spells it out. Do we want four more years of disasterous gut instincts and same wrong headed decisions or do we want four years of turning this thing around?

Vote with your head not your gut.

Oh and stop being fucking racist. It's the 21st century damn it! If Adams and Jefferson had had their way slaves would have been given freedom in the Declaration of Independence. If they can figure it out in 1776 then some Americans are really too slow for words.

If we vote this November and Obama loses because he is black, than we should be shamed by every other country in the world as a complete and utter embarrassment and unworthy of the liberty our forefathers wrote of and fought for. Since we ourselves have no idea what the meaning of the word is if we're still so fucking ignorant as to vote for someone not based on their positions and principles but rather the color of their skin.

Shame on any person who votes based on skin color. May you get the misery you deserve from your vote.


Friday, May 9, 2008

It's finally over... although someone needs to tell Hillary that.

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I did have a couple of unpublished posts sitting on here that I released today but nothing incredibly substantive.

A couple of interesting things.

1. Clinton basically for all intensive purposes lost the nomination this week.
2. She refuses to leave the election.
3. Obama's mere presence creates World Peace.

What is that?

Oh yeah... it's true.

From Reuters:

LAGOS (Reuters) - Rebels who have stepped up attacks on Nigeria's oil industry in the last month said on Sunday they were considering a ceasefire appeal by U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has launched five attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta since it resumed a campaign of violence in April, forcing Royal Dutch Shell to shut more than 164,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

"The MEND command is seriously considering a temporary ceasefire appeal by Senator Barack Obama. Obama is someone we respect and hold in high esteem," the militant group said in an e-mailed statement.

Back to those first two... here's some fun poked at Hillary's expense... like our parting shots at her and her negative campaign.

Oh and this... over the top but Hilarious:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hmmm. Hillary = Bush?

Not that much of a difference is there?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Goddess of Peace Wants to Nuke Peace into Iran

Hillary who was dubbed "The Goddess of Peace" by some of her more fervant (and insane) supporters a few weeks back on Democratic Underground, decided today to show once again how a Goddess of Peace promotes, well, peace.

Although she voted for the Iraq War and voted for the Kyl/Lieberman amendment that basically threatened to go to war with Iran, she stepped it up a notch by showing that while those other two 'peaceful' solutions were great there's only one real way to promote peace... NUCLEAR WAR!

Why of course! If you nuke people off the face of the planet they will no longer fight! Brilliant!

From Reuters:

Clinton says U.S. could "totally obliterate" Iran
Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:43pm EDT

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned Tehran on Tuesday that if she were president, the United States could "totally obliterate" Iran in retaliation for a nuclear strike against Israel.

On the day of a crucial vote in her nomination battle against fellow Democrat Barack Obama, the New York senator said she wanted to make clear to Tehran what she was prepared to do as president in hopes that this warning would deter any Iranian nuclear attack against the Jewish state.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel)," Clinton said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," she said.

Man I can't wait to see what she wants to do with North Korea!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

If you're not bitter, you're an idiot part 2

Bill Maher's New Rules run with the very theme of my post the other day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The First 100 Days

Today must have been a day to look at what you would do if you won the Presidency since everybody rolled out their ideas. As per the usual in this campaign Obama came out with the one really good idea while his opponents pandered in ridiculous fashion (especially McCain).

I can see Obama and McCain coming out with these ideas, after all they're going to be their party's nominees barring serious cheating and backroom dealing by Hillary. Of course we now know that Hillary's a bit of a drinker so maybe she was on the sauce when she decided she could still win and released her 100 days idea. Okay I kid, I kid... that was low.

Obama's camp came out with the words I think everybody minus the surely mentally handicapped 28 percenters have been waiting for: "Obama would ask his AG to "immediately review" potential of crimes in Bush White House".

That's right they are all criminals and they all need to be prosecuted. For War Crimes. For breaking domestic laws and for what they have done to our Constitution. They have admitted they committed federal crimes by breaking the FISA laws and by committing torture... what more do we need?

I think it's hilarious that Republicans who afraid like hell that they could be prosecuted for what they have done have used and gotten the media to use the talking point that "that is all in the past" and that they are "looking to the future" or better yet that they are "forward thinkers".

Under the guise of that logic I can take a gun, shoot you dead and in 5 minutes say, "that was in the past, we will look to the future now and do things right from here".

They have been all over the place spouting that shit about Iraq. And for years that strategy has worked. By not acknowledging how their policies or crimes affected the past we have been doomed to repeat them in the future.

A good chunk of those involved with the Iran Contra Affair were pardoned or let off the hook by Republican Appointed Judges and now they work for this Bush Administration, committing new war crimes and continuing to inflame an entire region against us for decades to come just as they did throughout the 1980s.

If anything this is proof that the past DOES affect the future and for the sake of preserving any shred of value of the most important document in the history of our nation, the Constitution and in the face of saving our world standing and credibility to other countries we need to prove that we are what we claim to stand for and go after these violations of democracy, peace, freedom and justice.

How dare we challenge anyone else on such questions if we cannot take responsibility for our own actions and jail those who broke our own laws?

But since everyone is in the "If I Were President..." mood, I figure I have as much of a chance as Hillary does to win so I will issue a list of my first actions as our nation's leader.

1. Fire the entire Justice Dept. and replace them with defenders of the Bill of Rights and Constitution.

2. Repeal all Presidential Pardons imposed on any member of the current Administration and prosecute Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales, et al for their war crimes, breaking of the laws of the Geneva Convention and breaking of FISA laws.

3. Cut Pentagon Spending to a third of what it is currently. Eliminate funded projects like a missile defense system or a "gay bomb". Eliminate funding for cold war projects. Keep all Military spending for troop bases and increasing troop levels. Increase military pay and benefits (especially health care). Make sure our troops have proper body and humvee armor.

4. End the Iraq War immediately. Withdraw all troops within 6 months in 20,000 troop intervals. Give all returning troops a 6 month rest at home. Withdraw all contractors immediately and remove any legal immunity they might have had under the provisional authority if Iraq's government hasn't already. Re-allocate all National Guard Members to their local posts on their normal on-call basis. Take about 50,000-80,000 active duty personnel after their 6 month rest has ended and send them to Afghanistan to stabilize the country temporarily and hunt for Bin Laden.

5. End all Financial Aid to countries that aid terrorists (Pakistan & Saudi Arabia I am looking at you).

6. Nominate Jonathan Turley as the new A.G. to prosecute Bushco and defend our constitution.

7. Repeal NAFTA and all Free Trade Agreements. Sit down and renegotiate country by country making certain to include minimum environmental, health & safety and wage requirements from workers of those countries.

8. Repeal tax benefits for corporations which have shifted over 10% of their workforce overseas.

9. Eliminate Bush Tax Cuts for top 1%, maintain cuts aimed at middle class. Eliminate offshore tax shelter loopholes.

10. Push for a law that limits a CEO's pay to a proportionate amount of a shareholder's earnings and average employee salaries at that company. (Do it under the guise of protecting the market and the shareholders which would be true and have more traction than defending the average worker in this country for some reason)

11. Institute a strong pro-regulation FCC that forces media monopolies like News Corp and Clear Channel to break apart. Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

12. Offer a Universal Healthcare plan that eliminates HMOs entirely. Through the government, similar to a social security tax, offer healthcare that covers everybody similar in ways that England and Canada does it.

13. Remove the Social Security cap. This will eliminate all funding shortfalls and stabilize it for all generations in the future.

14. Institute a carbon tax and reinstate requirements for smokestack filters, superfund cleanups and increase automobile emissions requirements similar to what California has tried to pass.

15. Require all automakers to reach 50 MPG by 2015 or face suspension of operations.

16. Ban Ethanol as a source of fuel. Work on an energy policy that offers large benefits to utilities to buy large plots of unused land in the Southwest and put up huge solar farms that could power the entire country at a fraction of current cost. Switching to solar electric power with Wind farms as backup sources could then provide the opportunity for automakers to work on a full switch to electric cars where owners can just plug in and recharge overnight or while they are parked.

17. Eliminate any attempts to drill in ANWR and push through Polar Bear protection acts.

18. Buy up loose Nukes in the Ukraine and sign a treaty with Russia, China, Pakistan, India and all nuclear weapon bearing countries to eliminate nuclear weapons stockpile to 10% of current amount by 2012.

19. Enter into new Kyoto Treaty that includes all developing nations across the world and creates a clear mandate for our own country as well as heavy polluters such as China to do our part to save our planet.

20. Release all "classified" information still remaining pertaining to the Assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy, MLK and everything pertaining to 9/11. This may release all sorts of new information and may even incriminate some that are still alive but it's time to stop lying to or deceiving the American people on what the truth of these matters is.

21. Push for passage of a law that makes all campaign financing public. Each candidate that declares will be given a certain amount of money similar to a salary cap that they can spend during their primaries and then during the Presidential race. The FEC will keep strict tabs on usage of the money and any left over will be returned to the FEC fund. No candidate can inject their own money into a campaign. 527s would be barred from media advertising (although they can organize grass roots campaigns).

For a candidate to receive funding for House or Senate campaigns they need to reach a certain number of signatures to be allowed on the ballot and receive the funding. For National Presidential Candidates they must receive the pre-requisite number in all 50 states. The media must offer heavy discounts on ad time to allow for fair exposure for all candidates and cannot reject a candidate's ad (yes even Fox News has to air Democratic Candidate Ads). News shows cannot re-air the full version of any candidate's ad as to not give free runs of that candidates' media and thus circumvent the financing rules. Any newscast or station that does this will be heavily fined.

22. Offer College Scholarships to every American Student that finishes school and then volunteers to work two years in the private sector in urban areas that need them the most.

23. Reduce or eliminate wasteful Government Grants that do not benefit small business owners or poor/middle class Americans.

24. Increase the focus on Science in our country. Load the EPA and NASA with Administrators that believe in science over pandering to their bosses. Push the EPA to regulate very heavily on companies that abuse the public's trust and damage our environment. Make a renewed commitment to space exploration including renewing the Hubble Telescope project.

25. Illegalize ARM loans and force all mortgage companies to work off of FIXED loans in the future. Open up bankruptcy laws to protect homeowners who are nearing the end of the foreclosure process a way to not be crushed by the credit hit forever. For those just entering the foreclosure phase force mortgage lenders to change all loans to a reasonable fixed rate within a certain percentage of the Fed's Interest Rate and do a Government Assumption on the debt that would be owed to other countries because of such a move.

26. Legalize Marijuana and sell licenses to companies to produce and sell the product. Treat it the same way as alcohol with age limits, public inebriation laws and driving laws (if suspected a blood test should be required to eliminate fines). Also make the use of THC as a chemical illegal and make it illegal to use home grown or "loose" marijuana. By regulating it you can tax it in a way that helps pay for programs that help people (ie health care) and you stop the flow of dangerous laced chemicals from outside the country.

Tobacco companies can enter in the bidding and possibly begin to halt the production of some nicotine bearing products with marijuana products replacing them as profitable cash cows.

I would also mandate that all states and federal prisons should release anybody charged with marijuana possession crimes and anybody who has had these charges on them should be given a process to have these charges retroactively expunged from their records. Marijuana distribution charges will be debated since future distribution by regular citizens will still be disallowed.

27. I would mandate an end to "public voucher" programs and heavily increase government financing to repair schools in disrepair, fund programs such as music and art, and eliminate NCLB rules that teach kids to pass a test, not to learn effectively.

28. I would increase Government contributions to NPR and mainly PBS so that they can continue to provide educational programming without the corporate spin of their corporate-owned counterparts.

29. I would illegalize private companies from producing voting machine equipment and have a nonpartisan government oversight group to make sure that we're incorporating a machine that allows for paper receipts to validate vote totals and to make sure every voter has a record of how their vote was recorded personally.

30. I would eliminate the Government's No Fly List since it seems to be full of random names and political enemies and does no good at all.

31. I would set a law that forced all lawmakers to DIVEST from any stock or dividend holdings before taking office. I would also bar all lobbyist gifts PERIOD. Congressmen and Women should be paying for their own flights, meals and trips without a corporate sponsor. Between this and public campaign financing this takes a lot of the unfair corporate influence out of Washington.

32. I would ban any government outsourcing of government jobs. This is OUR government isn't it? Why are people from other countries doing our jobs?

33. I would create a Public Works program that would employee engineers through the college scholarship program and a mix of workers with lots of construction experience as well as little to no experience to rebuild roads, bridges and public utility infrastructure. Putting people to work for America and building resumes, experience and bank accounts in the process.

34. I would eliminate the DHS and other security agencies and merge the CIA and NSA into one operation run by non-partisan civilian leadership. I would order a cease and desist on spying on American phone calls outside the accordance of FISA law.

35. Illegal Immigration - I would give those already here a path to citizenship by putting them on Work Visas and requiring them to take citizenship courses. I would require part of those citizenship courses to require ESL classes to teach them English so they can better acclimate to society. I would increase fines and put in serious enforcement mechanisms to prevent large corporations from hiring these workers. One of the largest reasons that they come is the lure of corporations unwilling to pay American workers the minimum wage.

I do think that social services should only be offered for legal immigrants or those on a work visa. By increasing the amount of those with a work visa, more people are covered but by coming here illegally you are skipping your turn and your right to certain benefits that American taxpayers pay for. Under the Visas the immigrants are paying taxes so they deserve benefits. We should only cover emergency situations and if there are illegal immigrants that report to hospitals they need to be treated and then handed over to the INS where they would be deported. If they have family legally here in America they can be given a special spot in line for citizenship. I know this is a hard subject but we have to be fair. For those people that waited in line and became legal citizens they had to go through a tough process to become Americans and it's not fair to them nor regular citizens to see all of their tax dollars going to supplementing social programs aimed more towards helping illegal immigrants than regular Americans these days (especially when you consider how stretched thin state budgets are right now). You also want to be fair and civil with people that want so badly to be a part of our country that they would risk imprisonment to do so.

36. I would legalize Gay Marriage. Or at least attempt to by putting forth a bill that proves its legality due to the Equal Protection Clause. There's no reason nor room for discrimination towards Gay people. Homosexual xenophobia is no different than any other civil rights struggle of our time and we must meet the challenge the same way as with others, by relenting and giving equal rights to those who have been oppressed.

I'm sure there is more (and I'll add to this later I am sure), but of course I would never be allowed to be President. I would be killed (See: Bobby Kennedy) or marginalized (see: Dennis Kucinich).

The corporate media and the military industrial complex would never allow for such a budget or such Theodore Roosevelt-like Corporation reigning in to transpire.

But we can all dream of a future where this were all in play and the country would be on a more equal footing for all of its' citizens once again, can't we? Or have 30 years of Reagan-Clinton-Bushes ruined America forever?