On Tuesday a friend asked if I intended to watch last night’s debate and I told him probably not. I’ve watched Romney and his privileged prep school routine for years. He wears a smirking upper class disdain for his inferiors (which covers just about everyone) like body armor or more self righteously, like temple underwear and you can read on his face the pompous knowledge that the rest of us are not similarly attired.
I knew going in that nothing would happen in this debate that would change my vote to reelect the president. I told my friend that I would read the transcript the morning after. Being a political junkie I cheated. I watched but switched to the ball game, to an old movie, to a book every ten minutes or so. Whenever the dismal droning of the misinformation and posturing of the “debate” began to grate on my nerves I was able to find respite in the remote.
Reading the transcript this morning I quickly learned that my expectations were borne out by the reality of this ratings circus. A circus that was carried by every network and financed by the same corporate money that fuels these interminable election campaigns. There was nothing to learn here, nothing was said that hasn’t been repeated over and over for the last two years of sound bites, mendacious political ads, and media fueled public backbiting that we have somehow come to accept as the democratic process. (more…)
You can’t go wrong with any of these:
- Tim DeChristopher: I Do Not Want Mercy, I Want You To Join Me
- Jeff Cohen: Obama is NOT “Caving” to Corporate Interests
- Paul Buchheit: The Question Conservatives Can’t Answer
- Paul Krugman: ‘Centrism’: The Cult That Is Destroying America
- Christopher Brauchli: The Tax Burden of the Very Rich
- Robert Reich: Why Washington is About to Make the Jobs Crisis Worse
- Robert Scheer: Debt Madness Was Always About Killing Social Security
- Holly Sklar: CEOs to Workers: More for Me, Less for You
- Glenn Greenwald: On Not Freaking Out With Fear: An Un-American Response to Oslo
- Tom Tresser: None Dare Call it Privatization
While all eyes follow the news cycle from Tunis to Cairo to Benghazi the world and the US should not forget Bahrain.
While just a causeway removed from US ally Saudi Arabia and host to the US 5th Fleet, the blood of the people of Bahrain runs the same color and their thirst for freedom and dignity is equally strong.
As the Boston Globe points out in an editorial this morning the violence used against unarmed and peaceful protests is just as reprehensible when committed by our allies as by our foes.
Read more: No free pass for Bahrain – The Boston Globe.
[Editor’s note: Sally Kohn of Movement Vision Labs posted this excellent and hilarious video at Huff Post before lunch. It’s the best, the most concise post I’ve read dealing with ending the Bush tax cuts, and it’s in layman’s language so I totally understood it. I think you will too. I think I have permission to run it, but it’s so good I’m going to take a chance before I hear from her. Bob Higgins]
How stupid is the idea of extending tax cuts for the top 1% of Americans and further draining resources for the average, hard-working Americans?
To find an analogy, you need look no further than your own hand. Check out my latest popular education 101 video about why cutting taxes for the rich in the midst of our economic crisis is bad for you and our overall body politic. Sally Kohn
Editor’s note: The applause over her appointment will bring a positive crescendo in the lead up to the election and the pitiful whining of her detractors on the corporate right will offer plentiful opportunity for the public lancing of annoying boils. Bob Higgins
Editorial from the Boston Globe
IDEALLY, PRESIDENT Obama would nominate Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Senate would promptly vote on her confirmation. But the election-season climate of toxic partisanship, coupled with the almost universal willingness to use a Senate filibuster to extend debate indefinitely, makes it impossible to fill the job this year. The agency would be meaningless without a head, so Obama would be justified in appointing her on an interim basis.
The appointment would be fully legal: Congress gave the president the option of setting up the agency on a temporary basis in the Treasury Department. And there is longstanding precedent, through recess appointments, of having officials serve in top jobs for extended periods before confirmation. Eventually, Obama would have to seek Senate approval for Warren to serve a full five-year term.
We lied our way into Iraq traveling north on a highway paved with the lies of a corrupt executive abetted by a corrupt intelligence agency and an opportunistic congress.
Now, we are leaving, traveling south, over the same ugly terrain, covering our retreat with a protective smokescreen of convenient lies from a politically desperate executive and the same congress.
The "mission" in Iraq, declared "accomplished" just over seven years ago, by a strutting little clown on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, 50 miles off the coast of San Diego (just about as far as you can get from Iraq and remain on our actual planet) has now been declared "really accomplished."
I didn't believe the flake in the flight suit then and I don't believe Obama or Biden today.
There is no way to paint a pretty face on the ugliness we have created in Iraq in the last seven and a half years. There is nothing that we can do that will lend nobility to a "cause" that began in the secret cellars of corporate greed, was incubated in public deception and will live on in historic ignominy.
Nothing can erase the fact of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, the obliteration of much of their history and culture, the destruction of their infrastructure and of every institution that constitutes a society.
The deaths of more than 4400 of our young people, the physical and emotional crippling of tens of thousands more, the destruction of our economy, the mortgaging of our future, the decimation of American liberty on the alter of war, none of these lend nobility to this "cause," this "crusade."
We leave behind in Iraq nothing to be proud of. We destroyed a country. We stripped an entire country of more than fifty million people, of their professional class, of their doctors and teachers, of their lawyers and artists and left in place a group of contentious and corrupt power mongers feeding at the trough of American tax dollars which will continue to fund a now thoroughly privatized war.
Hell, we "Americanized" the place and in the process of making their country more like ours we managed to make our country look more like theirs.
In the board rooms and executive suites I think that's what they call a "win-win situation."
The current hoo-hah over President Obama’s public statement of the obvious, that Muslims have the same rights as everyone else, to worship, to speak, to petition the government for redress, to get jiggy, and just about whatever, Dude, has had the media, the Republicans and a few chicken shit Democrats obsessing through the weekend and deep into today, with no end in sight.
This is, as usual, being driven by the same gang of Republicans who really don’t give a damn about the siting of this Islamic cultural center but do care deeply about sticking a knife in every vulnerable patch of flesh that the President and his party expose to their efforts.
They hope only to drive a wedge between the electorate, at least the fraction of it that cares about this sort of nonsense and the Prez and Democrats in general.
It is also, of course, being fanned by the completely irresponsible news media whose only concerns are notoriety, ratings, advertising dollars and maintaining a shallow pretext of objectivity.
This sort of behavior is a constant with Republicans, creating a large issue out of nothing, finding a mountain where all that exists is a molehill and wasting the public’s time picking fly shit out of pepper. (more…)
My parents and grandparents were all Democrats; most of the time. In spite of that fact they had their reactionary moments, my grandmother, for instance, never forgave Roosevelt for sending Dad off to “fight a foreign war” and Dad himself, voted for Reagan for which I will never forgive him.
As a seven year old second grader at Ruskin school in Dayton I wore an “I like Ike” button (given to me by my Grandmother) to school. I had no idea who “Ike” was or why I liked him but wearing the button pleased Grandma and kept the cookies flowing so I wore the button. This, I believe, is how lobbyists and other political whores are born.
I wish I still had that button; it’s probably worth a case of good rum on eBay.
That was my last flirtation with Republicanism and I hope that I may be forgiven for it. I still bear the shame of that scarlet “R.”
In general, I don’t like Republicans, their politics, their world view, the way they support capital at the expense of labor. I don’t like their policies whether economic, domestic or foreign, their hypocritical embracing of “family values,” their careful coddling of “Christian” extremists and the upper tiers of our society to whom they lend their allegiance, none of it.
In my life I have seen 36 years of Republican presidencies and 28 years and 1 month of Democratic leadership. I vastly prefer the latter. I hope for more of it.
The battle over the “stimulus bill” and the oft expressed desire of our new president and many on the left of the aisle to be non, or bi, or post-partisan is something that I find disturbing, worse, I find it somewhat cowardly.
Tens, hundreds of thousands of people worked and fought, spoke and scraped up funds for Democratic victory through all the horrible years of the Bush debacle and they deserve Democratic leadership.
They did not sign on to hear “if you give us a few more tuna sandwiches for the poor we’ll give you more tax deductions for the wealthy and federal subsidies for Foie gras and second homes.”
I understand, as well as anyone can who is out of the loop, living, as I do, in a flyover state, the ugly machinations of American politics and the unfortunate need for occasional “compromise” with interests that are antithetical to one’s personal principals, but, there are times when lines must be drawn, make that etched, in the sand and not crossed.
This is such a time.