Friday, July 30, 2010

Obama's auto bailout bait and switch

Barack Obama has proved many times he is the most deceptive and even brazen liar to occupy the Oval Office since Richard Nixon and he did it again during a speech he gave in Detroit dishonestly claiming the auto bailout worked, was responsible for the auto industry's rebound and saved hundreds of thousands of job. Not one word was true.
Obama lies often and easily and he does it because he knows the news media wont hold him accountable either out of incompetence or sycophancy.

Just as a brief reminder of how brazenly Obama will lie, during a PBS interview with Jim Lerher after the healthcare bill passed without a public option Obama said the bill was 95% of everything he wanted. When Lerher pointed out there wasn't a public option Obama said "I never campaigned for a pubic option" meaning a public option wasnt one of the things he wanted.
The next day liberal blogs were posting YouTubes of Obama speeches going back to 2007 and 2008 and his own 2008 campaign literature where he campaigned for, and promised, a public health insurance plan. In April he also pledged to veto any financial reform bill that didnt contain strong regulations against derivitives, the financial instrument that caused the economic meltdown. Nothing in the financial reform bill he signed changed a banks ability to deal in derivitives.

Obama went to Detroit and full of fire and chest beating expounded on how well the auto bailout worked, a bailout he was criticized for by many at the time. He took an "I told you so" pleasure in pointing out how wrong his critics were and how right he was. And every word was an unvarnished lie.
Obama said that the choices he faced at the time were to let the auto industry go into "liquidation" -- that was the word he used -- "liquidation" and he used it a number of times -- or give them bailout money. And he talked about how many more hundreds of thousands of jobs would have been lost had the auto industry been forced into "liquidation".
The truth is, liquidation was never an option. It was never even discussed or contemplated. What GM wanted the bailout money for was to stave off bankruptcy, exactly what most people felt they needed to do to get turned around and eventually that is what they did.

When Obama used the word "liquidation" he knew he was pulling the kind of bait and switch shady used car salesmen are famous for, and he knew what he was doing. It was a calculated lie, choosing a word he was sure no one would notice and if they did he was sure he could wriggle out of it. Like he did with healthcare reform when halfway through the debate and after secretly ditching the public option in a White House meeting with healthcare lobbyists, he changed the goal from "healthcare reform" to "health insurance reform" and hoped no one noticed. Most in the news media never did. Howard Dean noticed. Congressmen Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson noticed. And Matt Taibii at Rolling Stone noticed. That was about it.

Getting back to the auto bailout, there was never a discussion or even the possibility of GM, Ford or Chrysler ever going into "liquidation". Never. It never would have happened. Obama used a word he knew was a false characterization to justify a policy that actually failed and then tried to take credit for a success that he had nothing to do with.

The whole point of the bailout was to save GM and Chrysler from filing for bankruptcy. Not liquidation. Bankruptcy.

At the time of the auto bailout in March of 2009, I was extremely critical of Obama and the Democrats decision to bail them out because I knew giving them money to prevent a bankruptcy not only in the end wouldnt prevent it, I thought bankruptcy was exactly what GM needed and said so. And I was right. But the little detail Obama conveniently and purposely left out in his speech, was that the bailout to prevent GM from going into bankruptcy failed. Instead, he substituted the word "liquidation", a completely dishonest characterization of what the situation was at the time. Three months after the bailout failed GM filed for bankruptcy.

The only reason GM is now rebounding is precisely because they went into bankruptcy which I and others advocated in November of 2008. That forced GM into a reorganization plan. That plan is now showing dividends.
The bailout, which totalled $27 billion, whose purpose was to stave off a GM bankruptcy failed to do that. It was tax payer money down the drain. And GM could have gone into bankruptcy without one penny of taxpayer money.

Yes it looks like GM will repay the bailout eventually. But it was precisely the thing they wanted to prevent -- bankruptcy -- that has turned the company around. That and new management. It was the old management that ran the company into the ground losing $70 billion in the 3 years prior to the economic melt down, then tried to use to economic crisis as the excuse as to why they were in such trouble, came to Washington with their hands out, and once again, for purely political reasons, Obama saw to it they got the money ( winning Michigan was crucial to Obama's election and this was payback to the Governor who campaigned for him). It did not save any jobs. GM cut tens of thousands of jobs and closed plants under the bankruptcy reorganization.

Obama trying to claim that it was the bailout that turned GM around and made it profitable is as dishonest as saying he never campaigned for the public option. And as dishonest as a used car salesman who swears that the lemon he is trying to sell was owned by a little old lady who only used the car to go to church on Sundays.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Obama channeling Bush and Nixon on Afghan leaks

The Obama Administration's reaction to the Wikileaks publication of Afghan war documents has a familiar ring to it. The reactions are almost verbatim responses to that of the Bush White House as revelations that the Bush Administration might have lied the country into the Iraq war. And the Obama White House, just for good measure has added responses almost identical to those of the Nixon White House when the Pentagon Papers were published which, like the Afghan documents, also showed that the Vietnam war was going badly.

During the Iraq war every time new evidence contradicted Bush administration assertions, we were told that "this is nothing new". Every time evidence emerged that showed fabrication and dishonesty about Iraq we were told the information was "nothing new".And the press, as always, swallowed it. And they still are. Many news organizations are reporting the Afghan war documents are "nothing new". What isnt new are journalists again not doing their jobs and bowing to an administration as they did with Bush for 8 years.

The initial White House response to the revelations in the Wikileaks documents was virtually the same as the Bush White House on Iraq. In his press briefing Robert Gibbs said, "there weren't any new revelations in the material.". Time Magazine reported that Gibbs repeated the phrase four times during his press briefing. It is hard to believe that anyone in the White House had the opportunity to go through 91,000 documents and conclude there was nothing new. And the same is true of those of the press ( like the LA Times for one) who simply played "Polly wants a cracker" and just repeated Gibbs assertions.
In a press conference, Defense Secretary Gates seemed to undermine Robert Gibbs ho-hum-nothing new characterizations of the leaks by claiming they were serious, were appalling, outrageous, could undermine relationships within Afghanistan and for good measure, General Mullen added that the leakers could have blood on their hands.
And upon learning that Wikileaks had 15,000 more documents Gibbs said on the Today Show that all the government could do was "implore" Wikileaks not to publish the documents and "further damage US security". How documents that Gibbs had said contained "nothing new" could damage "further damage" US national security he didnt say. And naturally he wasn't asked.

During the Vietnam war, when the Pentagon Papers were published, the Nixon Administration responded angrily calling their publication illegal, a breach of national security and they tried to publicly discredit Daniel Ellsberg, the man who gave the documents to the NY Times.

The Obama Administration is doing the same. Obama angrily denounced the disclosure as illegal, and a breach of national security in publishing classifed documents, and the White House is also trying to discredit Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and the person responsible for posting the documents.

It should be remembered that Nixon's attempts to discredit Ellsberg turned illegal by sending in a covert White House team to break into Ellsbergs psychiatrists office to find information that they could use to discredit Ellsberg. That indirectly led to the Watergate abuses and Nixon's resignation.

So far some Democrats in congress and the White House itself are sounding more like the Bush and Nixon White Houses and their Republican defenders. On one hand the Obama Administration is trying to minimize the documents by saying they contain "nothing new". On the other hand they rail against their illegality and worry about the impact on their policy and Obama's political standing, already weak and growing weaker and try to discredit the person who made them public.

Like Nixon in Vietnam and Bush in Iraq, Obama's policy is going badly. It is not only going badly it isnt even honest. Obama promised to start bringing the surge forces home next July. One of the major differences that McCrystal had with Obama, something the news media glossed over when McChrystal was replaced, is that the general felt it would take 10 years to accomplish the objectives he set out, not one. And Karzai has said that he thinks it would take until 2014 before Afghanistan would be able to take over the military fight against the Taliban.
So the question becomes, both politically and in policy decisions about the war, with the similiarities between Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam growing, is Obama going to learn from history or is he doomed to repeat it?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shirley Sherrod and the circular firing squad

The fallout of the Shirley Sherrod fiasco continued on the Sunday morning political talk shows with all sides firing salvos and almost everyone getting everything wrong. They not only stood in a circle and fired, almost all of them ended up aiming in the wrong direction and shooting themselves in the foot. Which is what seems to happen often on the subject of race in the age of Obama. Lenny Bruce would have had a field day.

And even before the media and political firing began, one can make the case that Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Tom Vilsack made up their own circular firing squad when they fired Sherrod.

The main bone of contention that was voiced by Democrats and African American scholars and media commentators over the Sherrod fiasco was that Obama is easily intimidated by the extreme right on race.


This is the myopic view, a result of tunnel vision which was the root of the Sherrod fiasco in the first place.

The fact is, Obama is easily intimidated by the right on everything. Not just race. Everything. And the reason is because Obama is a 100% political animal. Every decision he has ever made on anything has been based on whats best for himself politically. Or, as we are finding out, what he thinks is best for himself politically at the moment.

What happened with Shirley Sherrod is Obama and who he is as a politician in microcasm. When the White House threw Sherrod under the bus she joined the public option on health care, a gutted financial reform bill that didnt reform the things that needed reforming the most, the Gulf spill in the first 30 days, a stimulus package that many economists said was only half of what it should have been at the beginning, and a host of other Obama capitulations and political miscalculations to the right over just about everything.

But more is being made about this because it is about the media's second favorite subject after sex -- race. Which is something the news media really doesn't want to confront in any kind of honest way because if they did they would have to look at themselves and would not like what they see.

Like Chuck Todd, MSNBC's "senior" political editor who looked foolish the other day when he called Obama "the country's most eloquent speaker on the subject of race". This is simply the kind of journalistic absurdity we have seen since Obama declared his candidacy. It's a completely dishonest remark that Todd made because he thinks it shows him on the right side of race. Instead it shows him to be on the wrong side of the truth because what he said is absurdly untrue. Obama is in fact one of the emptiest speakers we have ever heard, there never being anything substantive or real behind anything he says. That goes for everything from health care to Afghanistan, the economy and he we saw with his foot in mouth problem with the Professor Gates controversy.

Obama has always played race to his own advantage. And while he threw Sherrod under the bus without hesitation on race, he also did the same to his own white mother and grandmother ( as harsh as that sounds its completely true and I'm not the first to say it -- former Mayor Ed Koch made a similar observation after Obama made his flimsy speech on race when his lying about what he knew about Jeremiah Wright fell apart) . So it's not as if there is any favoritism on Obama's part regarding race. There clearly isnt. It's never about race for Obama, only his own politics.

On his census form which he knew would be made public, he essentially denied the existence of his white mother and the white grandmother who was intrumental in bringing him up by stating his race as "black" instead of mixed race which is what he is.

Obama's census form is telling when it comes to race because it is, at its most basic, simply dishonest, and dishonest for the reason Obama is always dishonest -- pure politics.

Obama's choice of "black" on his census form was his way of throwing a bone both to African Americans and liberal whites who made his election a cause celebre for only one reason -- his race. Everyone calls him "the first black president" and that is simply untrue. He is the first mixed race president and one would think that would be enough of a breakthrough to make the point. But its not enough for the journalists who threw truth under the bus a hundred times a day in the service of race, by calling him the "first black president". Obama identifying himself as mixed race wouldn't make the political point his supporters wanted to make and Obama knows it, so he has been quite willing to play along by signifying himself as all black.

Though there is a better way to make the point, like simply saying we now have a president who 40 years ago couldn't get served at a lunch counter or be allowed to use a public restroom in many parts of the country. That makes the point well enough without having to lie about Obama's racial make up.

Newt Gingrich also made a fool of himself over the Sherrod firing saying it was an example of Obama's incompetence. The problem is that Gingrich calling Obama incompetent is the pot calling the kettle black ( no pun intended). George W. Bush still and always will remain the most inept incompetent and disastrous leader in the history of Western civilization, with the possible exception of Nero. And along with Bush's catastrophic incompetence you have the Republican congress who went along with him, the two causing more damage to the United States in 8 years than any foreign enemy could do in 240.

Howard Dean didn't score any points either by accusing Fox of being "absolutely racist" when it came to the Sherrod video. Not true. Fox has proved they are willing to be dishonest about almost everything and anything. Race had nothing to do with it. It's clear that the Sherrod video was just one more thing they wanted to use to bash Obama, this time using race to hoist Obama on his own petard. They actually succeeded but not in the way they planned and only because of Obama's inadvertant knee jerk compliance.

We are now finding out that president Obama, leader of the free world, was afraid of Glenn Beck. No wonder Obama " didn't want to meddle" when it came to Ahamdinejad and the Iran uprising. We know that the decision to fire Sherrod, a decision agreed to in the White House ( as specifcally told to Sherrod at the time) was made when the White House learned that the Sherrod video was going to be aired that afternoon on Glenn Beck. Now that's leadership.

Princeton Professor Cornell West had the most cogent statement when he said of Obama with regards to Sherrod:

"What you have is, you have a P.R. operation where the White House is reluctant to want to intervene in issues of race" . Then he added, "I would say to my dear brother Barack Obama, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

The truth is for those who care to admit it, that Obama doesn't stand for anything ( see the demise of real healthcare reform, tepid financial reform, and a Groucho Marx "Hello I must be going" Afghanistan policy), he does fall for anything, ( Hitler signs and swastikas), and unfortunately exactly the same thing can be said about everyone, especially those in the press, who ignored all of Obama's very apparent and real character flaws, ( and still do) and let themselves be bamboozled into pushing for his nomination and guaranteeing his election, all for only one reason -- race.

And that is the only teachable moment about race worth learning. That and maybe a lot of people finally learning what Martin Luther King really meant when he said he dreamed of a day when people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Obama tries to retrieve Shirley Sherrod from under the bus

A day after Tom Vilsack, with Obama's approval, demanded and received the resignation of Shirley Sherrod after Fox News posted a video that had been intentionally edited to give a false impression of her revealing a racist streak, Robert Gibbs reported they have offered Sherrod an apology and not just her old job back but a promotion.

Gibbs went on to say at a press briefing dominated by the Sherrod resignation, that he wasn't trying to make excuses for the Obama Administration's knee jerk response in firing her, but as he was peppered with questions on how it could have happened in the first place, he proceeded to make excuses.

The Obama administration has been doing a lot of apologizing lately. They've been apologizing for Robert Gibbs politically inept remarks about the Democrats fortunes in the fall elections and now, after an ill advised decision to take Fox News at face value, they fired Sherrod for what Fox News was touting as an example of a black racist in the Obama administration.

The problem is Fox News once again been proved to be the most journalistically corrupt organization since the enacting of the first amendment. A full viewing of the video Fox edited proved Sherrod did not do what Fox was accusing her of doing and in fact did the opposite in an incident that occurred more than 20 years ago that she was reciting as a moment of enlightenment.. Fox News and its anchors and commentators committed an act of deception.

The general criticism of Obama has been that when conservatives yell he jumps and in the words of one TV reporter, " Obama let's conservatives call the tune". But that's not true in only this case. Its been true since Obama took office. During the healthcare debate he let conservatives define the debate for a year, paralyzed the Democratic congress while he went begging for a Republican vote and botched the entire health care issue while letting Republicans set and define the agenda. The Republicans complained that you cant fool around with something that is 1/6th of the economy. Obama kept reiterating the Republican talking point instead of stating and reforming the real problem which was, what is healthcare doing being 1/6th of the economy? That was the problem that the public option would have solved.

But as we saw during the healthcare town halls, the conservative crazies made Obama's knees buckle over the public option and after their ranting and raving and Hitler signs and swastikas, Obama bravely sent his HHS secretary out on the Sunday talk shows saying that the public option was "only a sliver" of healthcare reform and Obama could live without it. It took an outraged response from congressional Democrats to Obama's attempts to throw in the towel that forced him back into the ring on the public option. But it didn't last long. Eventually he caved in. As Nancy Pelosi said at the time the tepid healthcare bill was signed, there was no public option because Obama "didn't fight for it and didn't support it".

The reaction of the White House to the Fox News video and how quick Obama was to give his seal of approval to Sherrod's firing without checking the facts and then have to apologize later is Obama's entire term in office in microcosm.

Now we are hearing the usual suspects in the news media tell us this was some how a "teachable moment" about racism. Like the last "teachable moment" regarding Obama's uninformed wrong headed comments about the officer who arrested professor Gates, the only one who really needs to be taught anything is president Obama. Unfortunately based on his past grades he is not likely to learn.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why the BP-Lockerbie charge smacks of political grandstanding

The other day three Democratic senators, Schumer and Gillebrand of NY and Menedez in New Jersey called a press conference to say they intend on investigating BP for the charge that they influenced the release of Abdel Basset Megrahi one of the masterminds behind the Pan Am 103 bombing. Since then congressman Marky of Massachusetts has joined the fun. The problem is, the press conference reeked of political grandstanding.

The issue they are investigating is whether BP was instrumental in the release of Megrahi, by pressuring the Scottish government to release him to facilitate an oil deal with Libya. BP denies it. But a press conference might have been more approriate if they investigated and actually found a link instead of rushing in front of the cameras to find something else they can use to kick BP in the shins.

While the release of Megrahi is an outrage, BP denies it had anything to do with Megrahi's release and common sense would say this is true.

The Scottish government is the only entity with the power to have released Megrahi and they deny there was any quid pro quo in releasing Megrahi for oil drilling rights. And even if there was a quid pro quo, the blame would lie completely with the Scottish government who set Megrahi free and was the only entity capable of setting him free.

But instead of blasting the Brits and Scottish governments for releasing him, and expressing outrage, demanding a pound of flesh, and making a deserved international incident over the decision to release him when it happened, ( since when does a mass murder deserve compassion?) or blasting President Obama for saying nothing and not lodging a strong protest against the Scottish government at the time, Schumer, Gillebrand and Menedez wants to go after BP. Why? Because it's easy.

Instead of placing the outrage where it belongs, it's open season on BP, the company everyone loves to hate, they are an easy target, so why not pile on and lay this one on them too even though BP had no power to have secured Megrahi's release.

We still haven't heard a word about how Obama's MMS gave BP the permits to drill at Deep Water Horizon even though the Obama Administration's MMS had a study in their possession in June 2009 that showed that BP's BOP( blow out preventer) had 62 safety violations including 4 that were considered critical. In spite of this the MMS gave BP the permits.

Obama promised that he was going to change the way business was done in Washington. What he did was simply continue the Bush policies at the MMS without question or review.

But lets now go after BP for being on the side of terrorists. If we want to revisit Pan Am 103 let's remember that Ronald Reagan offered little in the way of retaliation when it was proved that Libya was behind the Pan Am 103 bombing and the murder of almost 270 people. And as one of the relatives of an American killed on 103 said the other day, president Obama should have been on the phone with the British and Scottish governments when he knew Megrhai was to be released and tried to stop it, warning there would be serious consequences if he was released. And there should have been. But Obama did nothing and said nothing. When it came to Megrhai's release it was Obama who sprung the leak, not BP.

As for BP itself, as accountable as they are for the BOP that failed and caused the environmental disaster in the Gulf, the Scottish government has said that BP played no role in Megrahi's release and there is not a shred of evidence to show they did. The real issue shouldnt be about BP, but why didnt Obama do something when he had the chance?

But there is nothing to lose by piling on BP so let's do it.

Senators are scheduled to meet with the British prime minister to question him about the release. He is already on record as saying he thought it was abominable ( he wasnt prime minister at the time). But it shouldnt have taken a BP connection for the U.S. to express outrage over the release of Megrahi.

In the end if there is no connection to BP, these senators risk damaging their own credibility and if anything re-open the debate about why Obama didnt try harder to prevent Megrhai's release. And it could make a lot them all look as bad as the waters in the Gulf.

UPDATE: President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron held a joint press conference and the main topic was the so called BP- Lockerbie connection.

Camereon who to his credit was vocal and critical a year ago about the release (unlike Obama who had nothing to say) made it clear that as far as the British investigation was concerned there was absolutely no connection between BP and the release of Megrahi. But, as suggested above, there is now some scrutiny growing ( mentioned by Chris Matthews for one) as to why Obama was virtually silent a year ago when he was told about Megrahi's impending release.

Instead of voicing some outrage then, instead of taking a strong position against Megrhai's release and perhaps warning the Scottish government that there would be serious consequences ( trade embargos or stiff tarrifs on Scottish imports were two weapons that could have been used) Obama offered a private, weak tepid diplomatic "objection" and then said and did nothing publicly.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Obama's ultimate embarrassment: tied with Palin in a poll

Just when president Obama thought the polls couldn't get any worse, they did. Recent polls by major news organizations have shown a virtual collapse of support for Obama by independents who say they have no confidence in his ability to make the right decisions, ( his botching of healthcare reform and the financial reform bill is testament to that) and 61% say they are either "angry" or "disappointed" in Obama's presidency.

What the polls don't show is an equal collapse among Democrats although its unlikely most would admit to it in a poll since admittedly, nothing would make a Democrat vote Republican so as an indicator of outcomes it doesn't matter. But most Democrats and liberals have indicated they are fed up with Obama as well and have been for quite some time ( during the healthcare debate congressional Democrats were privately complaining about Obama's lack of leadership). And tensions boiled over among congressional Democrats this week over Robert Gibbs ill advised politically inept remark that "without a doubt" the Republicans can gain control of the House.

But Obama may have hit rock bottom in political polling with the release of a Public Policy poll that shows him tied with -- guess who? -- Sarah Palin -- at 46% each in a presidential preference poll.
When you are a sitting president, two years into your term and you are tied in a poll with a political figure that should have a sock puppet on one hand when she speaks, you are in the kind of trouble from which you probably can't recover.

The other bad news (though not as bad as the Palin poll) shows Obama losing to Mitt Romney and one of the most politically dishonest,wrong headed political scavengers and backward thinkers in history, Newt Gingrich.

According to the Public Policy poll, reported by Matt Lewis, the only Republican candidate Obama beats is Jan Brewer.
Let that sink in for a moment.

You don't really have to ask who Jan Brewer is do you?. Does it matter? All you have to know is that the only Republican candidate Obama beat in the presidential Public Policy poll was someone named Jan Brewer.

If Democrats don't see now that they have to distance themselves from Obama if they want to retain control of the House, then their political judgement is badly damaged.

It was bad enough that Obama threw the Democrats under his crowded political bus with Gibbs' remark,but these polls show that any Democrat associating their election with Obama will be a kiss of political death.

Democrats have to make clear that, like Joe Sestak, they are not Obama Democrats. And a Democrat criticizing Obama is not as dicey as it sounds. First of all it's honest and what the rest of the country already knows. No one can get re-elected on a platform that says "are you going to believe what i tell you or your own lying eyes".

Democrats can honestly criticize Obama for turning healthcare reform into a debacle, caving in, and not delivering on what it should have been and what most people wanted -- the public option, and vow that the congress, if they control congress, will eventually pass it.

They can also honestly criticize Obama for financial reform not being what it should have been, with loopholes for banks to continue to do the same things that resulted in the economic mess in the first place. Alan Grayson has already said he was "disappointed" with Obama on financial reform.

But while Democrats can criticize Obama for his failings, they can also do it while publicly condemning the preposterous and dishonest charges of Republicans and the extreme right that are hurled at Obama that have no credence and are typical of empty Republican blow torch politics..

By criticizing both Obama and the Republicans for exactly what they both deserve to be criticized for, a Democratic candidate elevates his or her credibility and has a winning political formula for the November elections, and one that Obama could never give them.
The question will be whether they will have guts enough to use it and implement it. So here is another peice of advice. While they are thinking about that, they should ask themselves, who in the world is Jan Brewer?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Obama officially throws Democrats under the bus

Robert Gibbs, Obama's White House press secretary went on Meet the Press on Sunday and said blithely that " there is no doubt that Republicans could take control of the House".

For both Democratic members of the House up for re-election and those charged with raising money for Democratic candidates, if this isn't the last straw in supporting Obama it should be.

Gibbs statement was not just politically inept,but coming from the spokesman for the president about his own party, undermines everything the Democrats need to do in order to retain control of congress. If they thought they were sounding "honest" a trait sorely missing from Obama's lifetime political resume, they were mistaken. They just sounded stupid.

Most corporate contributions as everyone knows, is based on businesses wanting to back the winner. Usually they hedge their bets, contributing to both parties but when there is a sense that there is a clear cut winner, the money usually flows in that direction. Obama just gave a lot of corporate interests a lot of reasons to give money to Republicans.

Yes, certainly Democrats could be in trouble, but what Gibbs didn't say is that the reason the Democrats are in trouble is because of a politically inept, incompetent, dishonest, double dealing, double-talking, conviction-less president who has run Democratic party initiatives into the ground , been tepid and ineffective on every presidential level and has just about everyone disgusted with him even though for very different reasons.

If Gibbs statement, which will be seized by Republicans for their own end, is part of some idiotic White House strategy to "scare" rank and file Democrats unhappy with the ineptitude of Obama into supporting Democratic candidates out of fear of a Republican take over, it is as stupid a strategy as the one Obama used during the health care debate that resulted in the Seinfeld health care bill -- something slightly better than nothing. ( And it didn't take long for the Republicans to do just that -- minutes after this was written Republican Eric Cantor issued a statement "agreeing with the White House that the Republicans can take back the House".) And the backtracking Gibbs is now trying to do is not just worthless, its not even sincere. And besides, you can't put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube or un-ring the bell.

On the other hand, don't put it past Obama to put out a statement like that because , like the corporate interests who play both sides of the fence and hedge their bets, he is doing the same.

Much to the dismay of just about everyone, regardless of the outcome of the November elections, the country and Democrats in particular, are going to be saddled with Obama for the next two years. And Obama just might be hedging his bets as he always does, to try and be on the winning side even if it means undermining his own party, which he has to date, done better than any president in history other than George W. Bush.

Obama's willingness to throw the Democrats under the bus by re-enforcing the idea that Democrats are in such trouble they could lose the largest majority any party has had in decades, is typical of Obama.

And now Nancy Pelosi, who arm twisted Democrats to support Obama in the primaries, and the entire Democratic party can join Jeremiah Wright, the Trinity Church, healthcare reform, financial reform, the dissidents and demonstrators in Iran, much of the African American community, and Obama's own mother and grandmother ( as Ed Koch once pointed out) as those thrown under the Obama bus. But how long they stay there will depend on them.

Unless they are willing to stand up and make it clear from now on that Obama does not speak for the Democratic party, and as has been suggested before, put as much distance between themselves and Obama as possible, they will lose every close election.

Democratic candidates have to acknowledge both to Democrats and independents, and even some rational Republicans, the people who wanted a lot better than Obama can give, that they are distancing themselves from Obama. And they are doing it, not because he ran up deficits originally caused by Republicans but because he didn't deliver on real health care reform, didn't deliver on the public option the most important piece of legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, didn't deliver on financial reform, has been a disaster on foreign policy and made George W. Bush look competent in his dealing with the Gulf spill.

Democrats running for re-election have two choices -- hang Obama out to dry in the same way Obama is so ready to hang them, or lose every close election.

Throwing Obama under the bus isnt that difficult and can be done with a certain deftness that is also honest without joining or giving credence to the irrational attacks of Republicans. Joe Sestak did it easily enough, made it clear he was not an Obama Democrat but stood for the things Democrats have always stood for, and won the Democratic primary over Obama's choice, Arlen Specter.

And candidates seeing positive results in distancing themselves from Obama would be a template for the Democrats in the 2012 presidential election because Obama cannot win re-election. And that winning strategy is to either convince Obama not to run in 2012, or assuming Obama refuses, for someone to mount a credible Democratic primary challenge and force the issue, which undoubtedly would make Obama the first incumbent president in history to lose the re-nomination of his party.

Don't think it cant happen, because it can. Obama's latest approval rating is 46%. The bottom has fallen out with independents. Hardly anyone is happy with him. So don't be surprised to see Obama's approval rating under 40% by the 2012 presidential elections. And no one can get elected with that kind of disapproval. As Democrats who tie their fortunes to Obama this November will probably find out.

UPDATE: Today, Wedesday July 14th Reuters reported the following:

"President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats criticized his spokesman on Wednesday for saying they may lose control of the House of Representatives in the November election."It was an absolutely ridiculous thing for him to say," said Representative Louise Slaughter, a member of Democratic leadership. "We didn't appreciate it."

At a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped into White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for saying Republicans may take over the House.
Pelosi referred to Gibbs' remarks as "friendly fire," and said they are "very damaging," according to an aide who attended the meeting and asked not to be identified by name.
The aide paraphrased Pelosi as telling House Democrats that people ask her: "Why should I give money to you guys if you're are going to lose the majority?"

Why did it take Democrats four days to realize they were kicked in the teeth by an incompetent duplicituous president trying to hedge his bets? And why are they ripping Gibbs? Do they really think he made those statements without Obama knowing?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Obama being Obama: running the Democrats into the ground

Anyone paying attention during the Democratic primaries who was able to look past the color of Obama's skin, ( which eliminated 99% of the press), could see that he was without question, the least qualified and the most deeply flawed in terms of character of any of the Democratic candidates. This fact is now glaringly coming home to roost as Obama's presidency continues to sink.

So far, no Democratic candidate Obama has endorsed during an election has won, the two most glaring and troublesome for Democrats being Martha Coakley in Massachusetts and Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. In fact he has practically been the kiss of political death for Democratic candidates. And it shouldnt come as a surprise.

When Geraldine Ferraro, former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate said publicly that if Obama had been white, with his background, flimsy resume, history of non-accomplishment ( as a legislator who voted "present" over 100 times so he wouldn't have to be on the record as having voted for or against a bill) and with his deep character flaws including serial lying, reversals of position when politically expedient, and reneging on promises, he would have been a joke as a presidential candidate she was vilified by the press and the DNC establishment.

Her vilification in the press was mostly for raining on their racial agenda, supporting Obama more for the idea of electing a president of color than his true qualifications. As the press and the DNC are now finding out, tilting the playing field to make Obama the Democratic nominee and hence assuring his election as president, was no joke.

Our courageous and crusading press, the same press that let Bush and the Republicans run the country into the ground for 8 years while sitting on their hands, turned a blind eye to all of Obama's serial ( and well documented) lying, his reneging on pledges and his underhanded duplicity. The fact that it comes as a shock now to so many of his former supporters when he is doing the same things as president as he did as a candidate, and before that, legislator, is why so many Clinton supporters in the Democratic party referred to Obama supporters as "drinking the Kool-Aid".

When his supporters look at his monumental failures with healthcare reform and financial reform, both gutted by Obama to the point where congressional Democrats called both bills "better than nothing", they all ask, "what happened"? The answer is nothing happened. This is who Obama is and always was. It's Obama being Obama.

But Obama's ability to bamboozle the press and a large contingent of cocktail party liberals, the kind Lenny Bruce used to torch in his routines on race in the Sixties (as people who acted like they understood the race issue but didnt) both of whom were instrumental in selling Obama as "ready to be president on day one" has, inevitably come crashing to the ground. Especially with the rest of the country.

Well meaning Democrats like Ed Rendell, Howard Dean, Denis Kucinich and many congressional Democrats up for re-election are going to have to admit they made a huge mistake pushing Obama, as many rank and file Democrats and a majority of independents have already realized. With the elections fast approaching, polls are showing many independents are prepared to take their anger and disappointment in Obama out on Democratic congressional candidates.

A recent poll showed that 61% of independents say they are either "angry" or "disappointed" in Obama with only 38% approving of his presidency. A year ago, before he actually had to do anything, Obama's approval among independents was in the mid sixties. On other fronts
from healthcare to financial reform to the Gulf spill, Obama is showing a drop in poll numbers not seen since, well, George W. Bush.

What Democrats need to understand is that Obama's real Lincoln Moment is occurring now. It's called "You Can't Fool All of the People All of the Time". And Democrats need to accept it if they want to retain control of congress so they can take the initiative to bring about the real reform the voters wanted but that Obama has proved he doesn't have the conviction, courage or political skill to deliver. While Republicans made a non-issue out of Obama bowing to the Saudi Prince, it was Obama bowing to Joe Lieberman on healthcare that has Democrats and independents angry.

When Obama was elected he had then and still has now, the largest congressional majority of any president in 100 years. Yet it's always the tail wagging the dog, the Republicans always getting the upper hand on him. And he always gives in.

For any Democrat in a close race, the strategy has become clear -- they will have to run, not on Obama, but from him. And if I were running the Democratic National Congressional Committee I would beg Obama between now and election day to stay home, and please, no more speeches.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Did Texas celebrate July 4th? If so, why?

While the rest of the country celebrated the 4th of July as the day our Declaration of Independence was signed, the Texas school board dropped the author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, from their curriculum. So why in the world would they celebrate its signing?

It seems that while the members of the Texas board and their supporters stuffed their faces with barbeque on the 4th, they are also just as content to stuff the minds of Texas school children with nonsense.

The reason the author of the Declaration of Independence was dropped from their curriculum on political philosophy and American history is for only one reason -- Jefferson, as well as most of the Founders, but Jefferson in particular, had no use for Christianity, and in fact had nothing but disdain for the church. The Jefferson bible, on view at his home in Monticello is famous for Jefferson having taken a razor blade to the New Testament and torn out every page he thought was nonsense.Which left the New Testament with about half its pages.

This shared disdain for the church among the Founders was the reason they authored the establishment clause of the first amendment prohibiting the creating of an official religion for the country, but the religion they were most concerned about keeping away from government was the christian church.

Jefferson and the Founders wanted to ensure that the United States would never have anything like the Church of England in America which is why Jefferson wrote in one of his letters that the purpose of the amendment was to "build a wall" between the church and government.

The problem in Texas is that the school board has wanted to propigate the myth that the country was founded on christian values, as big a falsehood as is possible to tell. And far from having anything to do with the Declaration and the principles on which the country was really founded, the Texas school board decision has more in common with governments like Saudi Arabia and Iran who also tend to brainwash their children on religious issues, especially different religions.

The decision of the Texas school board to force right wing propaganda down the throats of its children separates Texas from the rest of the country. So it's no wonder that their governor has talked about seceeding from the union.

When you drop the author of the Declaration of Independence from what you teach your children about American history, it makes a good case for secession. So, the question becomes, with the abolishing of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence from its school books, what exactly were they celebrating in Texas on July 4th? Maybe they don't know. Maybe someone needs to explain it to them and the people charged with educating their children.