Category Archives: Politics

Obama v. Jindal

     H.L. Mencken famously said nobody ever went broke over- estimating the stupidity of the American Public. But it still baffles me as to why anyone except the super rich would vote for a Republican. I suspect a lot of it is because when I was a young thing the Republicans were made up of respectable people Like Nelson Rockefeller and Tom Dewey and Barry Goldwater, who, although it was clear they favored a government which favored the rich, they weren’t about to try to use the government to steal everything that wasn’t nailed down. All that changed with the election of the military- industrial, corporate mouthpiece, Ronald Reagan, and the clones that followed in his wake.

If, however, there is any doubt that the Republican party is completely, morally, financially and ideologically bankrupt, one only had to watch the extraordinarily fine speech Barack Obama gave this past Tuesday before a joint session of Congress and the muddle headed drivel that followed from Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana.

Obama laid out an ambitions program but he declared in no uncertain terms that the Republicans were responsible for digging the chasm the country finds itself in and that it was going to take a bloody lot of hard work to climb out.

It is a start. He needs to remind the American people, as this recession grows ever deeper, that Republican mismanagement caused the problem. The Republicans have dumped a huge pile of horse manure in America’s back yard, and no amount of digging is going to reveal a pony underneath. Barack Obama has been dealt the task of cleaning out the Augean Stables. He’s a smart guy but I doubt he can figure out how to make a river run through them. It will be a long slow and painful process.

The Republicans on the other hand have put up yet another small time governor who apparently hasn’t a clue. His solution to the mess the Republicans made: Deny they made the mess. So much for personal accountability and oh yeah, tax breaks for the rich, tax breaks for the rich, tax breaks for the rich. Anything else? Yes, government is bad and more tax breaks for the rich! The Republicans clearly want to keep every dime they have stolen. I have never seen pundits so openly contemptuous (that certainly is the bon mot) of a public speaker.

I don’t think the Republicans really care how dumb they look. If you monitor the hate media, it is clear that they are determined to play snake in the grass. They are still beating the same drum incessantly, biding their time and waiting patiently for the American Public to return to its normal state of torpor and stupidity. Barack Obama needs to create his own drumbeat and it needs to be equally incessant. He has the advantage of the truth. He just needs to keep reminding us: the state of the country is not a disaster movie. It is very, very real and Republicans caused it. And we should never, never, let them do it again.

Don Singleton
February, 27, 2009

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Hate Media Abuzz

In  the last several days as a part of my surfing the Hate Media, I have heard Hannity, Limbaugh and Jim Bohannon grousing about the Fairness Doctrine.  They are worried to death that the American Public might once again have the right to be heard on the broadcast media.  Readers who are interested in in the public having access to the airwaves need to light up your  Congress Persons and the Obama transition team.  The Fairness Doctrine was rarely invoked when it was in force,  and it tramples nobody’s First Amendment rights.  It requires that the folks who are licensed to operate on public airwaves,  which are owned by us all,  provide reasonable opportunity for all sides of controversial issues to be aired.  I don’t necessarily want to generate enough buzz to scare manaagement into taking these hate mongers off the air but I do expect mangement to pony up the time for adequate response to the poisonous vapors they spew.  Licensees who think they have First Amendment rights that trump the rights of the public should transfer their licenses to me and I will be happy to see that all sides of controversial issues are fully and fairly aired.  I certainly would not want their little First Amend feelings to be bruised or trampled.  I also will be happy to buy a wheelbarrow so I can haul the millions of dollars these folks make from sitting a-squat and exploiting a public property down to my bank.

Don Singleton

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He’s Sorry… So Sorry… Please Accept Bush’s Apologies

Elton John was right: Sad songs do say so much.

In a recent interview with ABC’s “World News,” George W. Bush, our Lord God Supreme Dictator Monkey-Faced Decider Guy, said that he’s “sorry” for the economic crisis the nation has sunk into.

He also said he “wish[ed] the intelligence” regarding the grounds of the Iraqi invasion and the proven-false “existance” of weapons of mass destruction “had been different, I guess.”

However, of Iraq, Bush said that “That is a do-over that I can’t do. It’s hard for me to speculate.”

He’s SORRY? DO-OVER??

ARE YOU KIDDING? Can we just cut our losses and just stick Obama in there NOW?

Truly,
–Ryan

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Hate Media At A Loss For Words

I occasionally listen to one or more of the hate media mouthpieces just to see what they are up to.  Yesterday (Sunday—yes they rerun this drivel on Sunday) I spent a little time listening to Rush Limbaugh who was crying the blues about the loss of the election to the Democrats in spite of the carefully crafted fantasies the conservatives  had spun.  None of it worked, he moaned.

For the uninitiated a few definitions are in order and then I will let you in on what El Trashmouth  had to say.

The hate media are those institutions and their hired mouthpieces which are dedicated to spewing hatred–no this is not a discussion, not a debate, not even a shouting match– it is pure hatred,  spewed at mach 3,  twenty fours hours per day, three hundred and sixty five days per year.  Here are the major hate mongers:  On radio they are:  Rush, Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Neil Bortz, Laura Ingram and a host of others, but you get the general idea.  If you listen carefully you will find that most of these programs have little or no advertising support except for those shady outfits that sell nostrums that are supposed to cure everything from impotence to hives.  They hark back to the early days of radio and a charlatan named Goat Gland Brinkley who peddled Goat Gland extract as the cure for everything from bee stings to boils.  In short the reactionary, proto fascistic right has taken a page out of Paddy Chayefsky’s prescient screen play, Network, where a right wing ideologue keeps the Madman, Howard Beale, on as anchor in order to spew his particular brand of right wing ideological claptrap..  It is worth it to the proto fascisti to own and control the media and program them with hatred for anything that stands in the way of their power and theft capitalism.  It is seen as a loss leader, an investment in the future mindset of the unwashed masses, a control mechanism.  Peter Finch’s portrayal of the insane Howard Beale and Rush Limbaugh’s rantings are interchangeable.  Network premiered in 1976.  Need I remind anyone that 1984 has long since come and gone.

On television the worst offender is Fox Fiction, a supposed news service that is merely a propaganda arm for the extreme ideology of its owner Ruppurt Murdoch.  The rest of the so called mainstream media is owned by large conglomerates and the so called journalists dance the corporate tune.  Fox is loaded with Republican operatives including a principal out of the Nixon administration making Fox Fiction a second rate burglary of the American airwaves.

Worried about the use of the term fascism?? Here is a definition of fascism from an online dictionary:

a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc.”

As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out, we have one party in this country with two right wings.  Well, enough of the technical stuff.

What did Limbaugh say?

Well he ticked through a list of slurs they had used to try to defeat Barack Obama.  He was messianic and had a messiah complex.  He was going to do away with coal mining and bankrupt the coal companies and put the coal companies out of business, he was an elitist who saw most Americans as “Bitter Clingers” to God and Guns, etc.  Well none of it worked and now the new strategy had to be not to attack Barack Obama, the new Teflon candidate, but to attack his policies as collectivist—here anyone one with any sense of history reads “Communist.”  They tried “socialist” and that failed to gain traction.  Now the buzzword of the reactionary right will be one step removed from Communist, since after the McCarthyism of the fifties, that word elicits a reaction akin to calling someone the “N” word.

Of course it never seemed to occur to Limbaugh that the reactionary right lost the election because they had controlled all of the branches of government for all but two of the last eight years and had driven the country into a deep and muck filled ditch.  They didn’t lose because the neo cons had trashed the good name of this wonderful country and made us into a shameful shadow of our former selves.  They didn’t lose because Wall Street thieves were allowed to descend on good working people like a plague of locusts and loot pension funds, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and dozens of banks and financial institutions.  They didn’t lose because the greed and incompetence of the administration and its continued rush to de regulation allowed these freebooters to steal everything that wasn’t nailed down.  They didn’t lose because they sullied the good name of the country with an unprovoked aggressive war against Iraq, and an over reaction to 9 11 against Afghanastan—never mind the oil pipeline—and made names like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo part of the international lexicon.  Never mind the proto fascism of the Patriot Act.  Never mind the warrantless spying on their political opponents.  Never mind the screw ups in education, energy, environmental issues and emergency relief.  Never mind Katrina.  Never mind the Louisiana levees that didn’t stand up or the Minnesota bridge that fell down.  Never mind any of the incompetence, the arrogance, the criminality, the viciousness.  Never mind.  They lost because they attacked Obama directly and it didn’t work.  Wow!  Are there people left out there who still actually believe any of this drivel??  If so, E.T., time to phone home.

One can look at this last election and take the high road.  America has grown up.  American is willing to evaluate on competence. American has finally shed its racist past.  Or, if one is of a more pragmatic mind, one can argue that Shrek, green, fat, ugly, stinking  Shrek could have beaten anyone the right wing fielded because they had screwed everything up so bloody badly.  Shrek and his donkey would have trounced anybody the right chose to run.  And may it be so for another 50 years,  since that is about the time span necessary to dig out of this pit into which they have cast the country.

Clearly, the Limbaughs and the Hannitys and the Igrams are going right to work to feed the hate machine.  Barack Obama needs to take note.  Barack Obama needs to have Congress revisit the deregulation of the media.

He needs to:

1. Revise the size of the FCC upward in order to gain a working majority as Reagan downsized it to do the same.

2. Appoint a strong FCC Chairman –somebody like Robert McChesney or Ralph Nader— who will bring Back the Fairness Doctrine and remind broadcasters that the airwaves are public property and to be used as such.

3. Break up the media monopolies.

And he needs to do this in the first one hundred days of his administration while he has the hate media on the ropes.  He needs to remind the public on a daily basis that it was the right wing reactionary proto fascisti that drove the country into the ditch.

Otherwise they will do as Limbaugh suggests:  Rope a dope him until they wear him out and perhaps the unwashed masses begin to listen to the hate media again.  But if Barack Obama is as smart as FDR and if Barack Obama is as tough as FDR Limbaugh and Hannity and O’Reilly and that crowd of nit wits will be left standing on a stump in cow pasture yelling through a megaphone to a herd of preoccupied Jersey milkers.

Don Singleton

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Savagely Stolen News: U.S. Again Hailed as “Country of Dreams”

U.S. Again Hailed as ‘Country of Dreams’
Around the World, Obama’s Victory Is Seen as a Renewal of American Ideals and Aspirations

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, November 6, 2008; A26

 

LONDON, Nov. 5 — Through tears and whoops of joy, in celebrations that spilled onto the streets, people around the globe called Barack Obama‘s election Tuesday a victory for the world and a renewal of America’s ability to inspire.

From Paris to New Delhi to the beaches of Brazil, revelers said that his victory made them feel more connected to America and that America seemed suddenly more connected to the rest of the world.

“As a black British woman, I can’t believe that America has voted in a black president,” said Jackie Humphries, 49, a librarian who was among 1,500 people partying at the U.S. Embassy in London on Tuesday night.

“It makes me feel like there is a future that includes all of us,” she said, wrapping her arm around a life-size cardboard likeness of the new U.S. president-elect.

“Americans overcame the racial divide and elected Obama because they wanted the real thing: a candidate who spoke from the bottom of his heart,” said Terumi Hino, a photographer and painter in Tokyo. “I think this means the United States can go back to being admired as the country of dreams.”

Kenya, where Obama’s father was raised as a goatherd, declared Thursday a national holiday, and in Obama’s ancestral village of Kogelo, people danced in the streets wrapped in the American flag.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela, the civil rights icon who helped bring down his country’s apartheid regime, released a letter to Obama in which he said, “Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.”

Desmond Tutu, another iconic anti-apartheid leader and the retired Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, said Obama’s victory tells “people of color that for them, the sky is the limit.”

“We have a new spring in our walk and our shoulders are straighter,” Tutu said, echoing a sentiment heard across Africa.

The world sees Obama as more than a racial standard-bearer, of course. Many people praised his policies on matters ranging from Iraq to health care, which they appeared to know in remarkable detail.

Others expressed concerns. In China, some people worried about Obama’s positions on the delicate issues of Tibet and Taiwan. Some Indians and Egyptians said they had questions about his views on Pakistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Many people, in dozens of interviews around the world Tuesday night and Wednesday, also said they understood that no new president could immediately change the United States or the world. But many said Obama’s election was a powerful signal that the United States intended to change direction.

“For the first time I feel the phrase ‘I hereby declare that all men are created equal,’ from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, really came to life for me today,” said architect Mamdouh al-Sobaihi, a guest at a post-election reception Wednesday in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. “U.S. history has returned to its roots. The forefathers would be very pleased with today’s election,” he said.

“Today the United States said not ‘We want change’ but ‘We have changed,’ ” he added.

Saudi journalist Samir Saadi said Obama’s election means “the U.S. has won the war on terror.”

“Given Obama’s name, his background, the doubts about his religion, Americans still voted for him, and this proved that America is a democracy,” he said. “People here are starting to believe in the U.S. again.”

For many, the youthful Democratic senator’s election came with an almost visceral sense of relief at the impending end of the Bush administration. A recent BBC poll found that people in all 22 nations surveyed preferred Obama by a wide margin to Republican John McCain, who was widely identified with President Bush.

In Russia, Ilya Utekhin, an anthropologist at the European University in St. Petersburg, said Obama’s election has given the United States “a historic chance for large-scale re-branding of the image of the United States.”

“An African American president appears to have more sensitivity to the cross-cultural diversity of the world, and this is a promise of a more creative and flexible foreign policy,” he said.

Viktor Erofeyev, a prominent Russian novelist, said he believed the election signaled a new era.

“The choice of an African American president in the United States overturns the whole idea of the stiff and conservative America,” Erofeyev said. “This means that America did wake up. This means that America is again open for free and democratic values. America has once again become a good model to emulate. It has again become a great country.”

“It is almost impossible to overstate the impact of this vote on the rest of the world,” said Joichi Ito, a globe-trotting Internet entrepreneur and blogger who is based in Tokyo.

“The United States looked closed, stupid, xenophobic and aggressive” under Bush, Ito said. “By electing Obama, it looks open, diversity-embracing, humble and intelligent.”

But the overwhelming reaction among those interviewed had nothing to do with Obama’s policies. It was delight that America had produced, on a grand, global scale, inspiring and overdue proof that the American dream was still alive.

In Brazil, many people likened Obama to Brazil’s popular president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former shoe shiner and union leader.

“Obama is something new, something different,” said Elizabeth Soares, a lawyer from Rio de Janeiro. “The way Obama expresses himself, his charisma, the way he speaks, reminds people of a Brazilian and makes them like him more.”

The United States “is a country which has habitually, sometimes irritatingly, regarded itself as young and vibrant, the envy of the world,” veteran BBC foreign correspondent John Simpson wrote on the network’s Web site. “Often this is merely hype. But there are times when it is entirely true. With Barack Obama’s victory, one of these moments has arrived.”

David Lammy, a black member of Britain’s Parliament who has known Obama for several years, said that “America is a country that has been marked by race.”

“Now black and white can raise their shoulders high and can turn a page on issues of inequality,” he said, marveling at the “amazing image” of a black family living in the White House.

Newspaper headlines in Britain portrayed Obama’s election in soaring language. “One Giant Leap for Mankind,” said the Sun newspaper in London, which dumped its usual topless Page 3 girl in favor of a photo of Obama voting. The Times of London, which devoted its entire front page to a photo of a smiling Obama in front of an American flag, proclaimed: “The New World.”

In Germany, Benjamin Becker, 25, who studies English and history in Cologne, flew to Berlin for a party celebrating Obama’s victory, an achievement he said would brighten global perceptions of the United States.

Becker, who spent a year in Atlanta on a Fulbright scholarship, said he had been “saddened” by America’s diminished standing in the world in recent years. “I remember 10 years ago, when the United States was my absolute dreamland,” he said. “Now I still am partial to the U.S., but the Bush years were detrimental for the country. I hope it will be much different now.”

In Ukraine, where Obama will have to respond to the growing assertiveness of Russia, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko called Obama’s victory “an inspiration for us. That which appeared impossible has become possible.”

In India, political representatives of the country’s lowest caste, known as Dalits or “untouchables,” said they viewed Obama’s victory as an example in their own struggle for equal rights.

“This is America’s second revolution, and Obama’s victory will boost the esteem of the underprivileged social classes and ethnic groups the world over,” said Chandra Bhan Prasad, a prominent Dalit author. “India’s rigid caste society will come under terrific moral pressure to integrate Dalits even more.”

In Iran, strained relations with the United States colored many people’s perceptions of Obama’s win.

“If America can do away with its prejudice, maybe they will also stop thinking that all Iranians are terrorists,” said Elam Moghaddam, a homemaker shopping for shrimp in Tehran. “I hope that Iran and the United States will make diplomatic relations, now that Obama became president.”

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a former Iranian vice president and opponent of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he feared that Obama would be under “lots of pressure” to take a hard line against the Islamic world because of his Muslim roots.

“I hope he won’t feel compelled to put more pressure on the Islamic world to compensate the fact that his middle name is Hussein,” he said. “I congratulate the American people with this choice.”

Praise for the election of an African American also came from an unusual source: Abbas Abdi, one of the organizers of the 1979 hostage-taking of American diplomats at the U.S. Embassy.

“It is hard to imagine that blacks 50 years ago in some states had to sit in the back seats in public transportation,” Abdi said. “Now one of them, a member from a minority, is president.”

Many people in China appeared baffled by the idea of a black president, displaying little knowledge of American blacks beyond the official state media’s emphasis on stories about U.S. discrimination.

“Most Chinese don’t have any contact with black people in their daily life,” said Yuan Yue, founder of Horizon Research, which found in a recent poll that among Chinese respondents with a preference, Obama led McCain by almost 18 percentage points.

“Many Chinese have good feelings about the U.S. democratic system,” he said. “And this result gives Chinese a more direct understanding about American democracy. It sends the message that everyone has a chance. If you raise the right issues, even if you are black, you can win. This is the most attractive part of American democracy.”

Still, for some in China, the Obama glass remained only half-full. “Obama is half-white, half-black, so the progress in the U.S. is not that big,” said Hu Jing, 25, a paralegal. “It will take dozens of years to elect a person who is 100 percent black.”

Correspondents Edward Cody in Paris, Thomas Erdbrink in Tehran, Maureen Fan in Beijing, Blaine Harden in Tokyo, Mary Jordan in London, Philip P. Pan in Moscow, Joshua Partlow in Rio de Janeiro, Faiza Saleh Ambah in Jiddah, Mary Beth Sheridan in Baghdad and Emily Wax in New Delhi; special correspondents Karla Adam in London, Sherine el-Bayoumi in Cairo, Shannon Smiley in Berlin and Akiko Yamamoto in Tokyo; and researcher Zhang Jie in Beijing contributed to this report.

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Social Propositions Update

PROP 8 (CA): Looks like it, unfortunately, will pass, although the result has not officially been called yet. Prop 8’s passage makes California the first state to not only ban same-sex marriage, but actually rescind the right already granted by the California State Supreme Court, who determined that it was unconstitutional and discriminatory to ban gay and lesbian marriage. This is a huge blow, and to be perfectly blunt…

California, my homeland, I’m very ashamed of you. You’ve turned your back on me and millions like me. You’ve made me, in unapologetic terms, a second-class citizen. You have proven that it is still acceptable to treat gays and lesbians worse than dogs and cats. I’m so ashamed of my fellow Californians right now. I grieve, that the most prominent state in the nation cannot see that this is a matter of civil rights. We now have a black president; but two men and two women would still be the death of America.

ARIZONA & FLORIDA: Have voted to ban gay marriage. Florida, I’m especially upset with you. If it wasn’t for gays, there would be no one to work at Walt Disney World (and I used to work at Disneyland so I know that’s a fact) and without the World, Florida would shrivel away like a penis struck with leprosy.

ARKANSAS: Has voted to make it illegal for “unmarried” couples to adopt or become foster parents. And, hmm, isn’t this a coincidence, it’s also illegal for gays and lesbians to get married there. Because I’m sure roommates are rushing out to adopt.

WASHINGTON: Has voted to allow assisted suicide under medical observation.

MICHIGAN: Has voted to allow medicinal marijuana.

MASSACHUSETTS: Has decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. Now, I’m not a drug or marijuana advocate, as I still see it as harmful and the “gateway” drug. I know other bloggers on this site disagree. However, I know that we could be spending tax dollars in better ways than stopping people from doing a little 420. We’ll see how it works out.

SOUTH DAKOTA (I believe in my last post I incorrectly said South Carolina): Has defeated a measure banning abortion in all cases except rape and extreme health concerns. As I have said, pro-choice is not anti-life. Good job, South Dakota.

COLORADO: Defeats a ballot measure to define “personhood,” a term that sounds like it was made up by Stephen Colbert, as the instant of fertilization. Religious views may disagree, but this is why we have separation of church and state. Again, pro-choice is not anti-life.

SAN FRANCISCO: On the local level, Measure K was defeated, which would have decriminalized prostitution in a designated “red-light”-type district in San Francisco.

Others: Ohio defeated casinos, but Arkansas approved a state lottery. Missouri elected to make English the official language of government proceedings, but Oregon defeated a movement to limit English-as-Second-Language education to only two years. Another California measure trying to raise money for a high-speed rail between LA and San Francisco is still too close to call.

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Why You Should Vote

An editorial by John G

10/27/08

Every once in a while I hear someone deliver an argument about why they are not going to vote. They may be citing any number of reasons why they think it doesn’t matter; the electoral college, gerrymandering, problematic recounts, voter intimidation or disenfranchisement, questionable voting machines or ballots. I have at times found some of the arguments compelling.

I have almost been convinced that it is a waste of time. Why should I bother?

Well here is why.

Here is why every American should vote – because politicians don’t want you to. Plain and simple. Don’t get me wrong, even if you do vote they may find a way to marginalize your vote, but don’t make it easy for them. The less people that vote the easier it is for them to control everything.

How do I know politicians don’t want you to vote? Because we don’t get a government mandated day off work. It should be THE single most important day for our country. It only occurs every four years yet it isn’t a national holiday. Why isn’t it a national holiday? Because they don’t want voters to show up. Fuck them. Go vote.

Want more proof?

In many parts of the country convicted felons can’t vote. Some politicians defend this policy and get people riled up about the dangers of felons being able to vote. Yet today Senator Ted Stevens (Republican, Alaska) was convicted on seven felony counts and is still allowed to continue to contend for his spot in the Senate. Why does this make sense? It doesn’t. Politicians don’t really give a damn if your a felon or not. The less people that vote the happier they are. Fuck them. Go vote.

Want more proof?

At some polling places voters will be hassled. Whether it be over discrepancies on their identification or something else. Seems fair enough at first glance. You should have to prove your identity. Right? Well then how come I don’t need to show a driver’s license when it comes to paying or receiving a rebate from the IRS? Heck I don’t even have to put on pants to take care of that. I can do it on-line from the comfort of my own living room and politicians don’t seem the slightest bit worried about it. They know they can verify my identity by any number of easy criteria. They actually care about tax money so they make it as easy as possible. When it comes to voting however they aren’t as interested in participation. Fuck them. Go vote.

If too many Americans ever start taking too much of an interest politicians may not be able to get away with as much. Who knows, they may even have to let a third party participate in their shenanigans. They definitely don’t want that. Fuck them. Go vote.

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