Sunday, October 28, 2012

Election Choices: Obama or Not?

We’re up against it now.  Less than two weeks left.  Those on the left confront their quadrennial quandary, and the inescapable debate: to vote for the Democratic presidential nominee or not.  “The lesser evil is still evil.”  “Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.” “The Supreme Court!”  ‘Round and ‘round we go.  It is a frustrating, enervating ritual, a passionate argument between speakers who are not going to change each other’s minds, but do hope to influence those who overhear. In other words, politics.  Inescapable.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

If Joe can embrace his Code Pink…

Yeah, I know what a creep Romney is, and I know a lot of folks are fighting what they feel is the good fight against reactionary Republican horseshit, often in hostile family, school, neighborhood, and work environments.  I certainly would like to support and not demoralize them.  I also know our political and media universe is structured to make it seem that fighting that fight requires one to support Obama.  Still, I am one of many who do not agree to be constrained within that narrow paradigm, and think it’s important to recognize that it steers us into a self-defeating race-to-the-bottom-right. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

No-Win Situation

Update below.

This Alternet article by Alex Kane, entitled, "5 Ways Romney and Obama Will Shamelessly Pander to Israel Tonight" is one of many reasons it would be hard for me to watch tonight's "foreign policy" debate without throwing up.  Though, for sure, as the article says, "The Israeli leader will be pleased by watching this debate."  The Israeli leader, that is, who boasted to a settler family of his ability to control America: "I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction.”

This is not OK.  Not something we can pretend not to notice.  Not something we have to be quiet about.  It is destroying the world.

For this, and for many other reasons, there will be nothing to celebrate about the debate tonight, no matter which of the candidates, along with Israel, "wins."

Update:

Another question that will never be asked.  Because heaven forbid Americans would actually ever be prompted to think such unavoidable thoughts.
(As tweeted by Glenn Greenwald)

Esquire's @TomJunod also proposes a question for President Obama tonight:

"Your administration has not just employed targeted killing; it has made the case for targeted killing to the rest of the world. What would you tell the leader of another country who wants to make use not only of technology pioneered by America but also of legal arguments pioneered by America? Do those arguments only count for America, or do they count also for Russia, China, and well, North Korea and Hezbollah?"

Links Cited:
Alex Kane, "5 Ways Romney and Obama Will Shamelessly Pander to Israel Tonight,"  http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/5-ways-romney-and-obama-will-shamelessly-pander-israel-tonight?paging=off

‘The world won’t say a thing’– Netanyahu on ongoing Israeli expansion,"
by Dena Shunra and Phil Weiss on July 17, 2010,  http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/the-world-wont-say-a-thing-netanyahu-on-ongoing-israeli-expansion.html

Tom Junod, "The Lethal Debate: Questions About Killing." http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/presidential-debate-drone-questions-13988897#ixzz2A4zsJGrB 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Act of Terrible

Update below.

Today, self-identified liberals and progressives are all a-twitter and high-fivin’ each other because in yesterday’s debate their guy “proved” that he actually and immediately did use, and does embrace, the term “act of terror” to describe the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi.  Thus have Obama, and, following him, the bulk of the liberal caste, demonstrated their complete acceptance of the vapid, self-serving, hypocritical, obfuscatory, and dangerous language of “terror” as a touchstone of foreign policy credibility.  That this has happened, and that nobody notices or cares that it has happened, is one of the more shameful facts about this debate, and the whole discourse of this sham campaign.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Republican Arithmetrick

For all those who have been upset because I’ve been so mean to the most powerful man in the world, and for all those whose “likes” of Mitt Romney keep appearing on my Facebook page, it is worth taking a moment to emphasize that no critique of Barack Obama and the Democratic party can or should be used to suggest that it is acceptable to support Romney, Ryan, or the Republicans.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Debate Question for Joe Biden

Can Americans trust Mitt Romney with a Kill List?

(If you’re not familiar with the “Kill List,” see here.)

Sure, ask Paul Ryan, too, but we know the answer he’ll give. It’s the answer we expect.  On the other hand, this question instantly and dramatically reveals that you’re never going to get from the Democrats what you are led to expect.

What can Biden (and Democratic supporters of Obama) say?  It’s a done deal.  Mitt has a kill list, because Obama handed it to him.  He can put anybody he wants on it, and kill them at any time, and the Democrats can have nothing to say in objection.  This is what Obama has wrought.

Hunting 250s: “We’re going to go out there, and we’re going to violate some rights.”




This video, published by The Nation, captures one incident of a kind that occurs about 700,000 times a year to New Yorkers.  Except if you're white.  The young man in this video, the son of a cop, was stopped multiple times in one day, for the “suspicious” behavior of wearing a hoodie and a backpack, and “looking” at the police.  In other words, walking while black.

Know any white people this happened to?  Anyone on the Upper West Side?  According to a New York Civil Liberties Union report (see here and here), 90% of those stopped are black (23% of the population) and Latino (29% of the population).  In fact, more young black men were stopped by the NYPD in 2011 than there are young black men in New York City.  Really, let that sink in.  Who’s running the NYPD, Mike Bloomberg and Ray Kelly, or George Zimmerman and Geraldo?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Flipping the Bird

Or, Let's find something to get all righteous about.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Debate Debacle

The MSNBC meltdown after Wednesday’s Presidential debate was certainly more passionate, entertaining, and instructive than the debate itself.

Chris Matthews was apoplectic: "There's a hot debate going on in this country, and you know where it's being held? Here, on this network, is where we're having this debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in disarmed!" 

Ed Schultz was “absolutely stunned.” The president, he proclaimed, made a “deal with the devil" by saying he agreed with Mitt Romney on Social Security. (“A somewhat similar position” is how Obama put it.)  Ed was not brooking any of Rachel Maddow’s excuses about how Romney muscled in for time: “The president needs to go in there and fight for that time.  There’s people out there who expect him to fight for that time.”  (Another ideological illusion: According to one analyst, Obama actually got 11% more microphone time than Romney, while saying 9% fewer words. The problem wasn’t time. It was energy.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

As I Was Saying...

“You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position.”

And on a lot of other things, too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dimples on the Ass of American Justice

I’ve come across two horrifying stories that everyone interested in civil liberties, equality before the law, freedom from persecution, and other trivial little “dimples on the imperial derriere” should consider. (“Dimples” is Rebecca Solnit’s term for the various faults/delicts/crimes of Obama, in her linked article excoriating his critics.)

The first, as told by Glenn Greenwald, concerns Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, an Iraqi-American professor of nuclear engineering who came to the US in 1985 to study for his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine.  Loathe to return to Saddam’s repression, he stayed here, was hired by the university as a research professor, became a citizen, and raised five American-born children. 

Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, with his four sons Photograph: Hamoodi family (as posted by Greenwald)