Thursday, May 31, 2012

Obama and DNC betrayal of the Wisconsin recall election.

Next week the Wisconsin recall election will be held, the result of grass roots activists getting enough signatures to force the recall election of  Scott Walker because of his and the Republican controlled state legislature's attempts at not only trying to strip teachers of their union's negotiating rights, but also, as Republicans try to do all over the country, gut education in favor of putting a few more bucks in people's pockets.

 The election is important since it will be a gauge not only of Tea Party power, but ideology and could send a message one way or the other regarding the fall elections.

 But what is not just politically stupid but asinine, is that the Democratic National Committee has put no money oe resources behind the Democratic candidate for governor. And there is only one reason why.

The president of the United States is always the titular head of his party. And generally makes the rules and decisions that affect the party. So the DNC decision NOT to financially support the Democratic challenger in the recall election is a decision that could have been made only by Barrack Obama, a decision that the people at MoveOn, Democracy for America and other progressive groups insist on ignoring in their email requests for money to support the Democrat in the recall election.

 The fight in Wisconsin is about two things Obama pretends to care about --  the rights of labor unions and education.

 The decision to withhold money and resources in the  Wisconsin election is just one more betrayal of the Democratic agendsa and their principles by Obama and the sycophants he has in place at the DNC, one more reason why, even if it sounds painful, what is best for the Democratic party in the long run is an Obama defeat in the presidential election.

 Progressive groups like MoveOn,have been sending out fund raising emails asking people to chip in $5 or $10 to support an important cause the DNC and Obama wont. And instead of being outraged by the decison of the DNC and Obama not to spend any money in the Wisconsin recall when national Republican groups and PAC's are spending all they can,  they ignore the lack of support and ask Democratic voters to foot the bill and yet still have the gall ( and lousy judgement) to expect Democrats to support Obama. Probably because Obama himself has the gall to expect Democrats to support him no matter how many times he puts his thumb in their eye.

There is a good chance the people of Wisconsin will show common sense, say enough is enough and throw Walker out in spite of the lack of support from the DNC. Right now the polls show a very close election. Republican PACS are pouring resources of their own into Wisconsin and outspending Democrats by a considerable margin. Which is something to remember the next time Obama or a Democratic party mouthpeice pontificates about the need to support unions and education.

NOTE: On Sunday David Axelrod was on the Sunday talk shows answering the complaint that Obama and the DNC were staying out of the Wisconsin recall election. Axelrod claimed it wasnt true because Obama was " 100% in Barrett's corner".( Gee, thanks).  He also claimed the DNC was sending a lot of lawyers into Wisconsin to make sure there were was no Republican hanky panky at the polls. This is their answer to tens of millions being poured into the election by Republicans and their super PACs. The truth is the election is close and Obama has stayed away so if Barrett loses  no one can use it as a symbol of Obama's political decline. So as usual Obama puts his own political fortunes ahead of what matters while displaying the same political cowardice that has marked his entire political career.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Conservative morality and justice and the freeing of a killer of an 18 year old girl.

For the last 20 years Republicans have been beating their chests over law order. Like they beat their chests over a lot of things, all of it phony and hypocritical designed to sucker some weak minded voters into thinking if they vote Republican they are for law and order too. Or patriotism. Or supporting the troops. All of which has all proved to be a lie.

 The latest example of Republican law and order came courtesy of former conservative Republican Mississippi governor Haley Barbour and his pardoning of a bunch of murderers and felons before he left office. One of the felons he pardoned was a drunk driver with multiple drunk driving convictions.

 The man is Harry Botswick.  Bostwick was out driving drunk after three previous drunkin driving convictions, only this time his drunk driving resulted in the killing of 18 year old Charity Smith.

 But what is just as outrageous as Bostwick being out on the street is that Haley Barbour gave Bostwick a full pardon after Bostwick Charity Smith in a DUI accident. So thanks to Barbour, Bostwick was off  the hook for killing of Charity Smith while driving drunk.

 At first, when confronted with what he did, this righteous conservative guardian of public morality and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, lied and said he didn't know about the DUI accident that killed Charity Smith when he pardoned Bostwick. Even if that were true, by what yardstick of law and order did Barbour think that a man with multiple drunk driving felony convictions wasn't a threat to public safety? But that aside, documents proved Barbour was lying and that he did know about Bostwick's DUI accident that killed Charity Smith. And pardoned him anyway.

So what did conservative Republicans and the extreme right, those so called religious guardians of public morality have to say? Nothing. Not so much as a murmer of outrage from conservatives, you know, the people with the bumper stickers that say "Right to Life" who obviously only believe in a right to life as long as you stay in the womb.

 In 1988 during the presidential campaign, Republicans hammered Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis for setting free in a prison release program, a felon named Willie Smith while he was governor of Massachusetts. Smith committed a murder while free on the release program and Republicans battered Dukakis over his decision to release Smith as an example of Democratic weakness on law and order.

 Given the history and the reality, what did Democratic strategists do with a conservative Republican governor's pardon of convicted murders and who pardoned a drunk driver who killed an 18 year old girl while driving drunk? How did Democrats frame this in terms of true American values, law and order, justice and public safety and batter conservatives for their hypocrisy?   They didn't. Instead they did what Democratic political strategists seem to know how to do best. They did nothing on an issue that mattered. Instead they let Haley Barbour go as scott free as Harry Bostwick and attacked Mitt Romney for a bullying incident when he was back in high school. Which makes Democratic political strategists look guilty of SUI - strategizing under the influence. Though what is influencing them, no one can figure out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Romney's high school bullying vs how Obama bullied his way into politics

 The latest line of attack in support of another four years of a disastrous Obama presidency in which Barrack Obama wiped his feet on the backs of progressives, Democrats, and their agenda because of a lack of principle, backbone and integrity, is MoveOn's latest email trying to make a major campaign issue out of a bullying incident when Romney was in high school. What they don't mention is that Obama had his own bullying incident involving his mentor, a woman by the name of Alice Palmer, and Obama's political bullying of Palmer is how he got his start in politics.

 Certainly no one defends bullying, especially when the consequences can be so much more tragic now than when Romney was in high school, but to listen to the pathetic arguments made in the MoveOn email you would think it was something Romney did on his way to a campaign rally, not 50 years ago when Romney was in high school.

 The greater truth is that it reveals just how disastrous Obama's presidency has been for the progressive agenda that they have to stoop to this level to defend Obama's re-election.

But there is more to this than just a laughably empty attack on Romney. It is also blind hypocrisy. Because the email states in regards to the Romney bullying episode, "Every once in awhile a story comes along that captures a candidate and what he represents".

 Unfortunately MoveOn and others trying to make an issue out of Romney's high school bullying incident has never heard, or have chosen to ignore Obama's own bullying story and how through the worst kind of political bullying, he got his start in politics.

 It happened when Obama double crossed his political mentor, a woman by the name of Alice Palmer, a Democrat in the Illinois state senate who helped Obama get his start in politics. Palmer encouraged Obama to get into politics and after introducing him to the right people in Chicago's Democratic party, Obama decided to enter politics and run for office. For  Palmer's seat in the Illinois state senate. Obama won but only by bullying her off the ballot.

 Palmer was much loved and well respected in the district she represented and anyone who knows anything about Chicago politics at the time will tell you she would have been a cinch to get re-elected and by landslide numbers. But when Palmer submitted her petition to get on the ballot, a petition that contained thousands of signatures, Obama, with the help of some of his Harvard law school buddies made court challenges  to every single name on Alice Palmer's petition forcing those who signed to show up in court to prove who they were.

 Palmer didn't have the legal resources or the money to fight the challenges and as most "progressives" know, challenging petition signatures in court and forcing those who sign to come to court to prove who they are has been a bullying tactic to repress African American voters for years. It is also a lengthy and almost impossible tactic to fight since it requires going back to thousands of people and asking each one to go to court to prove their identity. Obama used this bullying tactic to force Palmer off the ballot. Unable to respond to all of Obama's legal challenges Obama successfully nullified her petition to be on the ballot and forced her to withdraw leaving the field clear for him to run as a Democrat and win since obviously no Republican had a chance of winning that district.

 The rest as they say, is somewhat politically sordid history. A history either MoveOn is too hypocritical and dishonest to admit, or something they just don't want to know. And just for the record, what did Obama do with his somewhat underhanded tactics to achieve elected office? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. In 11 years in the Illinois State senate Barrack Obama voted "present" more than 100 times so he wouldn't have to vote for or against anything. And in 11 years in the senate, Obama did not introduce, did not sponsor or did not co-sponsor one single peice of legislation. He spent 11 years representing the people of his district by doing nothing.

 The MoveOn email also went on to analogize the Romney high school bullying by claiming that "we are the 99% who get beat up by Romney's policies".

 This is not to defend Romney, but to point out that progressives are becoming as guilty of shameless dishonesty as conservatives have been. Who are the 99% that got "beat up" by Romney's policies? The Democrats in  blue state Massachusetts who  elected Romney governor twice? Does MoveOn think Massachusetts Democrats liked getting beat up by Romneys policies? Is that why the Democratic candidate for the senate lost to the Republican, in 2010, primarily because the citizens of Massachusetts said Romney's health care plan was better than Obama's and they didn't want to lose it? Are these transparently dishonest hypocritical arguments against Romney by MoveOn the best they can do? Or is MoveOn trying to bully Democrats and progressives into supporting Obama?

 What Move On and other progressive groups are still in denial about is that its liberals, Democrats, progressives and the country at large who got beat up by Obama's policies when they lost the public option because of his sell out to the health insurance lobby, saw $800 billion added to the deficit because Obama didn't have the backbone or integrity to live up to his promise to get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the upper 5%, or the fact that it was Obama who gutted Wall Street reform by directing that the prohibition against banks using their own money to gamble on derivatives and hedge funds be taken out, the very thing that just caused a $2 billion loss at JP Morgan. If Romney did any of that you'd have a pretty strong case against him and MoveOn would be screaming it from the rafters. Instead MoveOn and other try and harp on an incident that occurred when Romney was in high school. Which makes MoveOn and everyone else making an issue out of this, sophomoric.

 But yes, MoveOn, every so often a story comes along that captures a candidate and what he represents and that was the case with Obama and his bullying tactics against his former mentor Alice Palmer to force her off the ballot,  using the same kind of  tactics, ironically, that racists used to supress the African American vote.

 And let's not forget Obama's lying to the unemployed in Ohio in 2008, dishonestly blaming NAFTA for Ohio's high unemployment, trying to tie NAFTA to Hillary Clinton and pledging to get rid of it if he was elected, then getting caught sending Autan Goolsbee to the Canadian embassy to tell them to ignore what he was saying publicly about getting rid of NAFTA, that he doesn't mean a word of it, its just politics.

So this is who MoveOn and others are defending by attacking Romney over something he did in high school while ignoring how Obama got his start in politics and  how this duplicity and underhandedness has marked his whole political career as well as  his four years as president. How it cost the country true healthcare reform, true deficit reduction, true fairness in the tax laws, true accountability for Wall Street,  and a host of other promises made, then reneged on from a promise to use public financing for his presidential campaign, to what the ACLU called his horrible record on individual freedoms. And that's not high school stuff.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Obama, same sex marriage and his evolving de-evolution.

The other day Barrack Obama arranged for a TV interview where he announced he supported same sex marriage. This came two days after VP Biden said publicly he supported it and "had no problem" with same sex couples getting married.

Almost immediately Obama tried to distance himself from Biden's remarks. That was his knee jerk reaction and his press secretary, when pressed on what Obama's position was, said the president's position was "evolving". Obama probably had "survival of the fittest" in mind politically.

As an Illinois State senator Obama had made public declarations in support of same sex marriage which is really nothing more than supporting equal rights and freedom and acknowledging gay couples as actual human beings and American citizens entitled to the same rights as anyone. Now Obama was "evolving".
When the ridicule starting pouring in Obama decided to do his TV interview where he said he supported same sex marriage.

What was the reaction of Democratic political groups, organizations and progressively leaning journalists? To call their reactions pathetic would not be too strong a word. Their reactions were the reason Obama has wiped his feet on the backs of progressives and Democrats since he's been in office.

MoveOn, Democracy for America, Credo, TPM and other groups started sending out emails asking people to sign petitions to say "thank you" to Obama for coming out in support of same sex marriage.

Someone named Charles Kaiser writing for CNN called Obama's coming out for same sex marriage "the most courageous thing he's ever done" adding to the pathos.

How anyone would or could consider Obama doing a 180 degree switch within 24 hours on an issue he had previously supported that is about simple human rights as something "courageous" is why progressives are looked on as weak and malleable and something of a political joke not to be taken seriously. And its why they rarely succeed in accomplishing their agenda. .If that's their idea of courage its only because, like Obama, courage is something they themselves lack when it matters most. The man holding the sign in the picture above speaks for itself. That is the opposition. That politically active progressives thinks it takes courage to stand up to that makes their reaction even more pathetic.  And it's why Obama feels he can put anything over on this group with no fear of retribution. It's also why groups like TPM, MoveOn, Democracy for America or CREDO send out emails every other days saying " Tell President Obama not to sell out to this..." or "not give in" on that. It's that list that keeps evolving, not Obama.
Its not courageous to stand up for equality especially in the face of medieval stupidity. Its not courageous to stand up for justice. It's not couragous to say that gays and lesbians deserve the same rights as everyone else. You are a coward if you don't. Or a fascist.

Maybe these "progressive"  groups should also thank Obama for selling out the public option, the most important piece of legislation in 50 years, to health insurance industry lobbyists when the votes were in congress to pass it, completely destroying any chance for true true health care reform. Maybe they should thank him for reneging on his promise to close Gitmo, or to get rid of the Bush tax cuts which he had the opportunity to do four times and didn't,  and a litany of other promises and positions he has reneged on because, quite frankly he didnt have the courage, the principles or the convictions to see them through.

Secondly, Obama, and everyone else knows that those who are against same sex marriage aren't voting for him anyway and he was just shoring up his political position after receiving criticism for backing away from Biden's remarks.

The third thing to keep in mind, especially for people for whom this issue is important, is that Obama's history is he never, ever, means what he says. This is the politician, in addition to his sell outs as president, supported the Washington DC gun ban as a US senator then a year later when the Supreme Court overturned the ban,  supported the Supreme Court decision to overturn it.

If gays and lesbians as well as other Democrats and progressive groups actually believe him, then they haven't learned anything in four years and never looked into his political history. How many times will they accept being lied to, have promises reneged and then pretend it never happened?  It's because Obama has gotten away with it in the past and those like TPM,Democracy for America and MoveOn will never hold him accountable. Instead they want to send him "thank you" notes.

Their own lack of courage in standing up to Obama is so pronounced that to people like Charles Kaiser, a minimum statement of support for equal rights that was virtually forced upon him is called "the most  courageous thing he has ever done". Gee.

Again, for the sake of progressive amnesiacs, what Obama says today when its to his benefit  is no gurantee he will stand by it.  There has been no politician in recent memory whose word is as worthless as Obama's.  Need more proof?

In 2008 in order to get MoveOn's endorsement Obama pledged to filibuster the FISA bill and vote against it if it had retroactive immunity for the telecoms who illegally turned over private information about their customers to the Bush administration. MoveOn gave Obama their endorsement and Obama not only didn't filibuster the bill, he voted for it. He also pledged he would use public financing if he were the nominee, then as soon as he got the nomination forgot he ever said it and out raised John McCain 4-1 because McCain pledged the same thing but stuck to his word. In a speech in front of 7,000 Jews in Miami whose votes he needed,  he publicly supported Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. When the Palestinians went beserk over his comment,Obama reversed himself the next day and said everyone misunderstood him. The list keeps evolving.

Whether it was his support of the public option that he sold down the river and then claimed he never supported it , the FISA bill, the Bush tax cuts, or Gitmo, or his sell out to Wall Street,  what Obama knows that if he continues to offer his snake oil, or, what Hillary Clinton supporters called his Kool Aid, there are, unfortunately still too many willing to swallow it. Either that or they don't have the fortitude or integrity to admit they were bamboozled in the first place and instead  are willing to swallow what Obama tells them is good for what ails them it and then try and believe that its working.

Obama's public statement in support of same sex marriage according to him,is  a result of his "evolving". Darwin would disagree. It is more de-evolution than evolution. Real evolution would be progressive groups sending  Obama a thank you note that says, "Thanks for nothing".

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How Obama's claims about killing Bin Laden cheapens Sept 11.

May 2 is the one year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden having been killed by Navy Seals. And predictably Barrack Obama and his re-election campaign, now in full swing, are using the anniversary to milk the event and try and take as much credit as possible for his own political purposes.

 Having lived in New York on Sept 11,2001 and having seen and experienced the aftermath in the weeks and months that followed, having seen first hand a city so stunned by what happened that for at least four months, probably into February of 2002, no matter where I went in Manhattan I did not hear the sound of one car blowing it's horn at another and could not walk past a single firehouse or police station that didn't have its entrance draped in black bunting, Obama's speech last year in announcing Bin Laden's killing by Navy Seals left a bad taste for his lack of understanding of the true imapact of the September 11 attacks. His current political exploitation of it on the anniversary of Bin Laden's killing makes it worse. And has reminded me of why.

I may be in the minority but when Obama announced Bin Laden's killing by claiming  "justice has been done", it made me recoil. And it made me angry. It showed a real hollowness, the sensibility of someone who never really grasped September 11 and so resorted to political cliches that had no relation to reality.

Killing Bin Laden was not justice. It wasn't even remotely close to justice.  Killing a thousand Bin Ladens would not have equaled the loss of the life of even one person  killed on September 11. A thousand Bin Ladens, much less one, would not be justice for the life of even one of the 343 firefighters and police officers who were killed that day trying to rescue people. To put that number in perspective, the number of firefighters and police officers alone who were killed in New York on September 11 were more than twice the number of people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Trying to equate killing Bin Laden with "justice" for September 11 was empty political rhetoric, political opportunism, and Obama trying to take credit for something for which no credit was deserved.And it showed by Obama's complete lack of understanding of what Bin Laden's killing really was.  Bin Laden's killing wasn't justice. But it may have been the next best thing. Which is vengeance.

Had Obama called it vengeance, which is what it was, it probably would have felt a bit more satisfying . And would have put Bin Laden's killing in its true perspective. Calling it justice was an insult to everyone in New York who experienced that day and every American affected by it.

Obama's re-election campaign is now trying to use the anniversary of Bin Laden's killing again for political purposes. They are trying to paint Obama as a president of courage for giving the mission to kill Bin Laden the green light.

There was nothing courageous about sitting in the White House and ordering brave men to risk their lives to carry out the vengeance against Bin Laden that was necessary and that any citizen, much less president, at any time anywhere would have done. In fact if Obama hadn't given the go ahead when the opportunity to kill Bin Laden presented itself,  it probably would have destroyed him politically. And he knew it.

There's been  no justice either regarding George W. Bush and Sept.11 and Obama's misuse of the term is another reminder of that too. Bush had been repeatedly warned in August of 2001 by both Richard Clarke and George Tenant of CIA,   that intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter indicated the U.S. was about to hit with a major terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda, an attack that in the words of one CIA memo, was going to be "spectacular". The intercepts also showed the attack was " imminent" and Bush was told on August 4, 2001 in a Presidential Daily Briefing that the Al-Qaeda attack against the United States was going to involve the hijacking of US airliners. Bush and Rice did nothing. Not even an order to the FAA to issue a directive to airlines and airports to be aware of a possible attempt at hijacking by middle eastern men. They did nothing not because of some preposterous conspiracy to let it happen,  but because Republican ideology dismissed terrorism as a real threat as Richard Clarke testified during the 911 Commission hearings. And so the warnings were ignored. September 11 was the result.

Justice has not been done with regards to September 11. Vengeance against Bin Laden,yes  which might have to suffice, but not justice.  And calling it justice for political purposes, then or now,  cheapens the events of September 11, the people who lived through it, and the people who didn't. So if Obama's claim that "justice has been done" leaves you feeling slightly hollow , if it doesnt make you feel as giddy as you think you're supposed to feel,  at least now you know why.