Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Bible Belt lets out a notch to make room for hypocrisy

Every election cycle we always hear from Republicans and conservatives about "family values" and "values voters". The patriotic hypocrites of the Tea Party, those people who would do away with the 4th and 14th amendments and probably most of the rest of the constitution if they could, love to wrap themselves in the flag and pretend they are morally superior to Democrats, liberals, people with high IQ's, and anyone else who doesn't share their skewed view of life or moral hypocrisy.

That has become evident again in Louisiana where conservative Republican senator Jim Vitter, exposed as a former client of the Washington DC madam is leading handily in his re-election bid against Democrat Charles Melancon

In Louisiana as in other so called Bible Belt states, its always been " do as we say, not as we do". Their politics have a history of being dirty and so have been their politicians, though with the latter they are no different than any place else. They just like to pretend they are.

Vitter's campaign manager said of his opponents commercials reminding voters of Vitters cavorting with prostitutes, that "if Melancon has to resort to personal attack ads he must be desperate". So if a Democrat or liberal is caught doing it, like former NY governor Eliot Spitzer, or Clinton's romp with Monica Lewinsky, its the depths of moral depravity and he must resign or be impeached, that its conduct that disqualifies one for high office, but if a conservative is caught doing it, mentioning it is a "personal attack".

One can only wonder about how many hookers or skeletons are in the closet of Vitter's campaign manager if he thinks that pointing out Vitter's hypocrisy, and by his own admission his moral lapses, not to mention his betrayal of his marriage vows, are simply a "personal attack".

Maybe it hasn't occurred to him or to Vitter's supporters that pointing out that if his own wife cant trust him maybe the voters shouldn't either.

Evan Glass, a CNN reporter doing a story on the senate race asked a Louisiana Republican in a street interview if she planned on voting for Vitter even though he had been caught cavorting with prostitutes.Her answer was yes and she defended it by saying, "They all do it. Look at Bill Clinton".

The question Glass either didn't have the backbone or maybe the journalistic insight or instinct to ask was, since she brought it up, did she support Bill Clinton's impeachment since "they all do it"? It would have been an interesting answer because if she said "no", she probably would have been excommunicated by her friends, family and fellow conservative Republicans in Louisiana. And had she said yes, by still voting for Vitter,it would have exposed the rank hypocrisy and dishonesty that permeates most rank and file political conservatives.

Unfortunately we live in an age where journalism is practiced by people who should be in another line of work, and the fact is, most journalists at CNN are simply afraid of conservatives, almost like they are afraid conservatives will show up and slash their tires if they offend them, so her hypocrisy wasn't exposed. But the hypocrisy, dishonesty, and holier than thou self righteousness of the bible thumpers in Louisiana will be amply displayed if Vitter, as expected, wins. Just don't expect the hypocrisy to be pointed out on CNN. But for everyone else, the "family values" conservatives and Tea Party "values voters" of Bible Belt Louisiana have proved that, at least when it comes to politics, their "values" are not even worth the kind of lip service Vitter probably paid for.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obama's next two years.

The Obama presidency has proved to be every bit the disaster for Democrats, independents,liberals and moderates that his primary campaign for the nomination and then subsequent presidential campaign foretold.

No presidential candidate in memory and certainly none since Richard Nixon was as provably deceitful, dishonest, duplicitous,and had a record of serial lying as did Barrack Obama, all of which was overlooked in the name of electing "the first black president" which in and of itself was a lie since the truth is he is mixed race which for some reason wasn't good enough for those promoting his candidacy. The difference between Obama and Nixon was that Nixon's deceit was about getting even, Obama's about getting ahead.

Unfortunately its taken two years and having to actually drink the bottle of Obama's snake oil to see there was nothing in it, for those who thought 50% of Obama's racial make up was a good reason to vote for him in spite of his long track record of serial lying, reneging on promises, non-accomplishment,and political pandering.

For this reason, regardless of the outcome of the mid term elections Obama's next two years will be virtually identical to the first, the sole difference being that he may very well lurch to the right in order to boost his approval ratings to politically justify a run for a second term since he has all but lost liberal and moderate Democrats and independents. His only untapped resource will be conservatives so don't be surprised to see him try to curry favor with the right for no other reason than for what he hopes will be his own political viability in 2012, a viability that as of this writing is non-existent thanks to his underhanded selling out of the public option on healthcare,a proposition 72% of Americans said they wanted in June of 2009, and his other tepid, weak,and bumbling handling of everything else from the Gulf spill to the economy and unemployment.

Obama's real concern over the next two years is going to be not only whether he can get re-elected but whether he can even get his own party's nomination. The possibility of a credible primary challenge is growing, especially if it looks like Obama is unelectable.

The only segment of society giving Obama a positive approval rating are African Americans. Obama's overall job approval rating is 47%.And according to the poll this includes 88% of African Americans approving of the way Obama has done his job with only 39% of whites approving. Unless you believe that somehow African Americans have developed a monopoly on wisdom and insight over everyone else, their approval is based purely on Obama's having had a black father, showing that African Americans also haven't learned the values Martin Luther King preached any more than the press and cocktail party liberals (as opposed to real liberals) did when they turned a blind eye to Obama's deep character flaws and lack of accomplishment during his presidential campaign for the nomination. And unlike 2008 when Obama and his supporters made, not the content of his character but the color of his skin the issue, ( Democrats opposing his candidacy had to deal with charges of racism from Obama's supporters), in 2012, race as a reason to vote for him is going to fall on very deaf and very chastened ears in terms of the general population. In 2012 most people are going to judge Obama on the content of his character and accomplishment or lack thereof, and not the color of his skin. And that will no doubt put Obama in a lot of trouble. It will also put him in campaign mode the next two years which means pandering to whoever he feels he has to ( except liberals, the constituency he feels he can take for granted). Which means that nothing substantial will be accomplished.

Yesterday, Frank Caprio, the Democratic candidate for Governor in Rhode Island learned that Obama was not going to endorse him ( Caprio should be thankful) and instead will endorse Lincoln Chaffee, an independent and former Republican. When Caprio found out he said Obama can take his endorsement "and shove it". Telling Obama to "shove it" is something a majority of Democrats are already doing and it might just be a matter of time before the whole party as well as the country tells him to shove it in 2012. Which will have Obama focused on legislation and policies not designed to save the country but to save himself.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why the media's ignorance in Brett Favre story matters

Journalists who seem to have a knack for missing what's important are at it again, this time on the sports pages over what they are assuming is a "scandal" involving Brett Farve sending graphic photos to former Jets masseuse Jenn Sterger while Favre played for the Jets.

The alleged photos and voice mails were somehow obtained and sold by a 3rd party to a web site for what some are saying was a substantial amount of money. But the most significant fact surrounding the incident is that it occurred 4 days before Favre's current team, the Vikings, were to play the Jets.

What has gone completely over the heads of these supposed journalists, is that the fact that these photos which were sent to Sterger two years ago, were made public 4 days before the Vikings played the Jets and that is the real story because for that reason alone a lot of people could land in a lot of trouble. And Favre isn't one of them. In fact the trouble could even include a federal prosecution.

Sterger obviously never had any problem with whatever Favre sent since she said or did nothing about it for two years. And despite what many people seem to think, there is no harrassment unless the person on the receiving end is feeling harrassed. And Sterger clearly wasnt.

The real issues have nothing to do with Favre. The real issues are, who was the person who turned over the photos, when did that person come into possession of the photos, did they get the photos legitimately, who else knew they were going to be turned over to the web site 4 days before the Jets-Vikings game, and most importantly, what was the motive for doing it, something that has gone completely unmentioned by the myopic stampeding herd known as journalists. Because the motive for making those photos public 4 days before the Vikings were to play the Jets was clearly not money.

Those photos would have been even more valuable when Favre played for the Jets. They would have been even more valuable last yearm the week Farve played for the NFC championship against the Saints. They also would have been just as valuable monetarily a week after the Jets played the Vikings as they were before. So why were they made public by someone 4 days before the Vikings- played the Jets?

The obvious answer is to rattle Favre right before the Jets game, cause a major distraction, and upset him in order to influence the outcome of the game in the Jets favor.

It happens to be a federal crime to try and affect the outcome of a public athletic contest through nefarious means. It doesn't have to be a bribe. If some equipment manager snuck into the Vikings locker room and loosened all their cleats in order to help the Jets win, it would be a crime. Not to mention a lifetime ban from the NFL. The evidence is that these photos were given to the web site a few days before the game to upset Farve in the hopes of influencing the outcome of the game.

If that is the case ( and all the circumstantial evidence points to the fact that it most surely is) if it can be proved, the person who provided the pictures could be heading to jail. And since the rumor mill is that it was another Jets employee, a massuese, there could be major implications for the Jets. Any employee of the New York Jets including head coach Rex Ryan, the coaching staff or other employees, or anyone in the Jets front office who had any advance knowledge that these photos were going to be made public right before the Jets played the Vikings and said nothing could be facing severe suspensions, fines, even lifetime bans from the NFL.

If Favre did throw a pass at Sterger, whether it was complete or incomplete, the only penalty Farve is going to get will probably come from his wife. But the Jets as an organization as well as the person who intercepted the photos could find themselves, not doused in Gatorade, but in a lot of hot water. And the same can be said for the journalists covering the story who have dropped the ball. And why it matters is because the same state that journalism finds itself in with Favre applies to journalists covering the more important issues the country deals with on a daily basis.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Obama kills Democrats again, this time with gays and the stimulus

A federal judge recently issued an injunction against the military continuing its "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Not that anyone thinks it actually matters to him, but one of Obama's campaign promises was a pledge to get rid of "don't ask, don't tell" (an Obama campaign promise is like a 15 year old boy promising a girl anything to let him feel her up). But when a federal judge issued an injunction banning it, Obama decided to have the Justice Dept. appeal the decision.

Robert Gibbs, he of the "professional left wont be happy till the Pentagon doesn't exist and we have Canadian style healthcare" comment, said that Obama wasn't against getting rid of the policy, (really?) but the important question was "how to do it."

That's the important question? How to do it? A judge ruling it unconstitutional isnt good enough?

What the decision proves again is that Obama will say or do anything that he thinks is to his political advantage, and usually that means pandering to the right.

A few months ago, after Obama dropped the public option, then took the teeth out of financial reform, he said that he realized that his problem was that he concentrated too much on policy and not enough on process. As anyone with an IQ in 3 digits knows, the opposite is true. Obama is and always has been only about process not policy. He will junk an initiative and change policy on a dime to accommodate process if it means getting out from under political heat he feels from the right. Which is why he put the country through a year of unnecessary angst and political bloodletting over healthcare reform, for no good reason other than to try to get one Republican vote which in the end he couldn't get anyway.

So Obama backtracks again, instead of letting the judge's ruling stand as policy he mucks around in the idea that "how" to get rid of "don't ask don't tell" making politics and process more important.

Obama deciding to appeal the decision is another betrayal of a constituency that was dumb enough to believe him when he ran. But Obama wasn't finished making people gag last week. The issue of the economy brought out more snake oil, this time about the stimulus.

In a magazine interview regarding the stimulus Obama said that his problem was he "let himself look too much like the old tax and spend Democrat" ( interesting how Obama uses and re-enforces Republican sloganeering). Then he went on to say "I realized too late there is no such thing as 'shovel ready projects'". This from the man he and his supporters laughably said was ready to be president from day one.

Re-enforcing the Republican talking point of congressional Democrats as "tax and spend", and making congressional Democrats look like fools for buying his "shovel ready" concepts in passing his stimulus just two weeks before the congressional elections is not exactly political brilliance. But it is in keeping with everything Obama does.

So now Obama has thrown Democrats running for re-election under the bus where they can join just about everyone else Obama has ever come in contact with from Jeremiah Wright, the Trinity Church to his own mother and grandmother as Ed Koch, former mayor of New York once pointed out, in the service of his own political standing.

Obama topped off the week with another display of political courage by campaigning for the Democratic senate candidate in -- ta-da! -- Delaware! That's where Republican Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell, of the dabbling in witchcraft past, is given virtually no chance of winning. Is this a profile in political courage or what?

The conventional wisdom as voiced by Mike Allen at Politico, is that Obama went to Delaware because the Democrat is virtually assured of winning and he was looking for a race where he could claim he made a difference and take some credit.

If nothing else Obama proved again last week that there is in fact one thing that is "shovel ready" -- every word that comes out of Obama's mouth.
NOTE: On October 2oth the Obama administration filed for an injunction preventing the lower courts order to stop "dont ask dont tell" from being implemented. The appeals court granted the injunction effectively restoring "dont ask dont tell", the policy Obama had pledged to abolish.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Obama's unkindest cut

A recent CNN poll has finally delivered the coup de grace to Obama. When asked who they thought was the better president Obama topped Bush by 47%-45% - a statistical dead heat.

While it was clear to a majority of Democrats during the primary that Obama was the weakest and least qualified major presidential candidate in the history of the Democratic party, and has performed to those expectations, to be viewed on the same level as Bush has to be a new low. Bush, without question was the worst most inept incompetent unqualified president in American history. From his dismissal of terrorism as a real threat which led to the 911 attacks being successful, destroying the balanced budget, creating record deficits, and then policies that led to the current economic crisis, Bush's presidency did more damage to the United States in 8 years than any foreign enemy of the United States could do in 240. And yet Obama is now considered even with him in the eyes of the American voter.

Obama is certainly the worst president the Democrats ever had, blowing the public option on healthcare, the single most important piece of legislation since the Civil Rights Act, underestimating the depth of the economic crisis as Biden admitted ( though he keeps reminding people how bad he knew it was when he took office) went with a stimulus that was too small, then gutted financial reform. all to appease Republicans. Then he was as inept dealing with the oil spill as Bush was with Katrina ( though there was no loss of human life involved as it was with Katrina) . Obama has accomplished nothing of real value since he's been in office and even Democrats who voted for his legislation could only call it "better than nothing". And this, even though Obama's had the biggest congressional majority to work with in decades and its why there is such little enthusiasm among Democrats in the fall elections. And why congressional Democrats are in such trouble. No one whether Democrat or independent, wants to be seen as casting a vote in support of Obama's failures. Obama has been so inept, so unqualified and ill equipped to do this job, that on Sunday, David Axelrod said on Meet the Press that he is hoping that the gains Republicans will make in the congress will make the Republicans more cooperative. Meaning that Axelrod is conceding that even with the biggest congressional majority any president has had in at least 50 years, Obama could accomplish nothing of real value because he let the Republicans stymie him at every turn.

Bush was a president with unshakable convictions, which, unfortunately for the country convictions were always catastrophically wrong. Obama is a president with no convictions, along with no backbone, is not willing to fight for anything outside his own political well being, has no vision, and no political skill where it counts. And for those who say, if he has no political skill how did he get where he is, the answer is simple : when the race is rigged, when you have the press tanking for you and you have the powers at the DNC rigging a roll call vote to assure you win, it doesn't mean you're a winner any more than a fixed race means the winner is a great horse. The fact that Obama is considered even with Bush is a true embarrassment both for Obama and the Democrats that fought for his nomination. And it should be enough to make those who bet on Obama tear up their tickets.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Conservatives want to "take back" what was never theirs in the first place

Joseph Farah, the editor of the right wing news site, Worldnet Daily is organizing a conservative event in Miami called "Taking Back America".

The very name of the event reveals the myopic, absurd, and un-American neo- fascistic mentality of backward thinking conservatives. They think America "belongs" to them. But even more absurd is their gross ignorance of American history and the founding of the country since these are people who want to "take back" something that was never theirs in the first place. In fact everything America is from 1776 to now had to overcome conservatives standing in the way, from the Tories of the Revolution to George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door to prevent black children from going to "white" schools.

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence ( for those conservatives going to school in Texas) called the United States at its inception, a "liberal Democracy".
Not a "conservative Democracy" but liberal.

it was the liberals in the colonies, radical liberals like Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton and Thomas Paine who wanted revolution and separation from England. It was the conservatives, or Tories who were loyal to King George and opposed revolution.

Every shred of progress the country has made, from Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" whose ideas inflamed and began the revolution, to the revolution, the constitution itself to the civil rights act, equality for women, environmental laws and questioning authority, is the product of liberal thinking.

There are no conservative ideas that either created the country, sustained it, or made it better than it was before. None. All conservative ideas have ever done is what they have been doing the last two years -- stand in the way.

When conservatives run the show, the country gets what it got between 2001 and 2008: the 911 attacks because Bush and conservatives dismissed terrorism as a threat and concentrated on reviving Star Wars; the Iraq invasion to defend the US against WMD that hadnt existed in 10 years; the blowing of the balanced budget; a return to record deficits; the blowing of a $ 5 1/2 trillion budget surplus; and the worst economic crisis since the Depression.
Maybe some Democratic political strategists should remind people about that when voters have to make a choice about where they want the country to go.