Monday, December 8, 2008

3 CONNECTIONS/GOOD AND BAD

1.

Obama seems to me, and others obviously, to bridge the gap between "white" and "black" in this country, while at the same time helping to eliminate that whole idea. He has had to mediate between his own two (at least) ancestral paths to today and that is a big part of his appeal and also his insight and intelligence. Now he is continuing that approach by nominating strong figures for cabinet posts from both sides of the issues each agency or department has to deal with in the immediate future, and I suspect believes, quite rightly on the evidence of his past successes, that he can bridge those divisions and find programs that manifest the best of both, as he does.


2.

One of the "white" strands in the fabric of Obama's make up and roots is the Irish one. Thanks to Terence Winch for alerting me to this prescient essay by writer Ishmael Reed sparked by the passing of poet and writer Bob Callahan, a friend whose death I posted about early this year.

3.

Here's the "bad" connection. As I and others have written about for years now, it is Saudi Arabia that is behind much of the turmoil in the Middle East, mostly through it's funding of the most fundamental sect of Islam, but also through it's funding of the worst jihadists from Al Queda (as we know most of the 9/11 attacks were Saudis) to the group responsible for the recent Mumbai attacks. From yesterday's NY Times: "Lashkar [-e-Taiba, the group responsible for the attacks] was founded in 1989 [and] supported by Saudi money..." Maybe when Obama replaces Junior, whose family's fortune is totally intertwined and dependent on Saudi oil money, things will change vis-a-vis our tolerance of Saudi Arabia's central role in terrorism. Here's hoping.

23 comments:

JIm said...

It is nice to see another ethnic break through with the election Vietnamise,Joseph Cao, in New Orleans. When questioned, the former Jesuit said, his only absolute, is opposition to abortion. New Orleans can only have a better future with the defeat of, "Cold Cash", William Jefferson.

Butch in Waukegan said...

"Now he is continuing that approach by nominating strong figures for cabinet posts from both sides of the issues each agency or department has to deal with in the immediate future, and I suspect believes, quite rightly on the evidence of his past successes, that he can bridge those divisions and find programs that manifest the best of both, as he does."

What country, which Obama, are you referring to?

Can you name one member of Obama's "economic team" who didn't participate in blowing up the financial dirigible that's now crashing to earth?

Can you name one member of his "national security team" that did not support the invasion of Iraq?

You might want to take another look at the "team of rivals" meme considering that one of its prominent boosters is that man of peace, Henry Kissinger:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jI7_2cVickB2F6ta_DI6IzPnZWqA

JIm said...

Chicago Democratic Party Politics

You got love Chicago. Here they were about to lose their position as the most corrupt Democratic city, to Detroit and New Orleans, but they main their lead by autioning off Obama's senate seat. supposedly subpeanas have also been issued on the Rezko/Obama land deal. This should be grand entertainment for the next year or so.

Lally said...

Butch, I'd have to go back and research it, but if my memory serves me right, Obama appointed six people to his top economic team, two of them had nothing even remotely to do with the current financial crisis, two of them only remotely did (Larry Summers to some extent by arguing against some regulations and Geithner, who some would argue has done the most to stave off the crisis and warned about it before many others, but nonetheless was head of the NY Fed when it came down) and two others who weren't around when things collapsed but have been involved in federal economic policy in the distant past. So your point was?
As for the national security appointments, all agree with Obama's plan for withdrawl from Iraq. What's your point there exactly?
And as for Jim and his gloating over corrupt Democratic politicians looking for money in exchange for favors. God knows the Republicans have never done that (oh wait a minute).
And if taking several thousand bucks is so henious to you Jim, how about allowing thousands of our troops to be killed in Iraq? The Republicans and Republican appointees responsible for that should be up on murder charges, a lot more serious than taking bribes as so many Republican politicians have also done in recent years. And as you like to do Jim, here's a source quote:

"Pentagon faulted for not preparing for roadside bomb threat
12/09/08

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Defense Department knew years before insurgent actions began in Iraq of the threat posed by roadside bombs but failed to take available steps to mitigate the risk to US troops, a Pentagon audit concluded Tuesday.

The US Marine Corps asked the Pentagon's inspector general to perform the audit after coming under fire for setting aside an urgent request from field commanders in 2005 for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles.

"DoD (Department of Defense) was aware of the threat posed by mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in low-intensity conflicts and of the availability of mine-resistant vehicles years before insurgent actions began in Iraq in 2003," the audit found.

"Yet DoD did not develop requirements for, fund, or acquire MRAP-type vehicles for low-intensity conflicts that involved mines and IEDs," a summary of the report said.

"As a result, the department entered into operations in Iraq without having taken available steps to acquire technology to mitigate the known mine and IED risk to soldiers and Marines," it said.

Roadside bombs have proven to be the insurgents' deadliest weapon against US troops in Iraq, and MRAPs have been far more effective than armored Humvees in protecting troops from them.

Despite field commanders' urgent request for MRAPs in February 2005, the Marines opted several months later to replace all its Humvees in Iraq with up-armored versions of the jeep-like vehicle.

The Marine Corps deputy commandant for installations and logistics advised generals that up-armored Humvees were "the best available, most survivable asset to protect Marine Corps forces," the audit said.

At that point, the process for handling the request for MRAPs was halted, it said."

et-endlessly-cetera

JIm said...

Republicans seem to get in trouble for looking for new friends in mens rooms and by wanting to have an impact on young male congressional pages. As a matter of fact in 2006, the house and senate were lost because of the successful attack of Democrats on Republicans for morals. The senater from Idaho and the congressman from Florida were just getting in touch with their inner gaity. It seems like the nasty Democrats went after Republicans who just wanted to express their sexual freedom. Seems kind of mean spirited, for a party that expouses special rights for homosexuals.

PS Obama just said that he had had no contact with the Illinois governor on the replacement senator. Axelrod, the election guru for Obama said on Nov 23 on tv that Obama had been in contact with the governor on his replacement. One of them is lying or at least is incorrect.... Obviously, much more to follow. There is a possibilty of a special senatorial election in Illinois. That sure would be welcome. Republicans are doing pretty well in runoff elections.

JIm said...

PSS Obviously the 550 tons of yellow cake had no impact on your thinking. Not suprising.

Butch in Waukegan said...

It would probably be a good thing if you did that research. In point of fact Obama's economic team is chock full of acolytes of Robert Rubin. Rubin was Clinton's Sec of the Treasury and a key promoter of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, allowing the casino banking free-for-all that put us in the current pickle. It doesn't look like banking reform is on the table.

As for the war, are you saying that it was poor judgement to oppose the war in 2003 - hence Obama has no advisors who did? As a matter of fact Obama has been quite clear that there will not be a withdrawal (as you claim). His plan is to leave a "residual" force in Iraq, currently estimated at around 80,000. He has picked people who agree with this.

My point is that there are no "rivals", no one advising him that empire is too great a burden for the American people, that 700+ US military bases around the world do not make us safer, that we need real, fundamental change.

As for corruption I suspect you and Jim share a similar outlook - you cheered and Jim wailed when Patrick Fitzgerald (Chicago's US Attorney) went after Lewis Libbby. Now that Fitzgerald has indicted a Democrat you two have switched rolls. The truth is - Blagojevich and Rangle, Delay and Cunningham - we have bipartisan corruption.

Mike, you should read Fitzgerald's press release and then judge whether a jaded view of corruption is warranted:

http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2008/12/todays-news-release-from-patrick-j-fitzgerald-.html

JIm said...

You are right Butch, I was no fan of Fitsgerald when he was going after Libby. I still do not know if he is a Republican or a Democrat. I felt it was a made up charge, but the cover up seems to always get them. Libby, a lawer should have known that. I have heard speculation that Fitzgerald might run for governor of Illinois. That would shake up the pols of both persuasions.

PS Hopefully, Republicans will not go after Obama on speculation or even on facts that may or may not be uncovered in Chicago. We hopefully learned our lesson with Bill Clinton. We Conservative Republicans should attempt to win on ideas not invective.

Lally said...

There were three Republican members of Congress who were indicted in recent years for accepting money for favors, and the Jack Abramoff scandal implicates many more.
There are Democrats who have been guilty of doing the same. But here's the difference. As I hear it, Ram Emmanuel had a lot to do with exposing the Illinois governor's attempts to trade the senatorial appointment for favors. When's the last time a rightwing Republican blew the whistle on rightwing Republican corruption anywhere?
When LBJ waged an unwarranted and mega-life wasting war, we on the left, including many "liberal" Democrats opposed him so strenuously, he declined to run for a second term. When W did something even more unwarranted (after all "Communism" controled almost half the world and threatened anihilation of the entire planet, Saudi backed terrorists controled a few camps in Afghanistan and threatened thousands of people in various countries (usually less than die in traffic deaths in those countries in a year or even in some in a month) most in his party and all on the rightwing of it defended Junior and his policies down almost to the wire (including Jim) etc. If all corruption is equal, than Hitler equals Boss Tweed and Stalin Karl Rove. But why do I waste time and energy on these arguments? Jim will never give up his defense of all things on the right, and I will never concede that liberal Democrats have caused anywhere near as much death and destruction and now economic hardship worldwide than the Republicans, at least not in my lifetime. And as for the disciples of Rubin, I think you need to do the research Butch. I didn't mean I haven't researched it, I meant I haven't got time to copy it all and stick it in a comment in response to your blanket charges. Yes Summers and Geithner have connections to Rubin who gave us the prosperity of the Clinton years which raised all boats, not just the rich of the last eight years, and yes, as I said Summers pushed for some of the dergulation that contributed to the collapse of the subprime lenders, but PAUL VOLCKER certainly isn't a Rubin disciple, and Geithner went against some of those deregulations and the two women on Obama's economic team weren't anywhere near these decision, one is an academic who criticized them and the other is a business woman who objected to many aspects of it. So how is that some sort of regimented lockstep everyone-say-the-same-phrase-over-and-over-again every day until most Americans believe it, as has been going on for the past 8 years!?! It's diversity of opinion, anyway you look at it unless you have an axe to grind with Obama for not following your personal preferences. Objectively, he has enlisted people with different perspectives on solutions to problems some of them have some involvement with and some have had no involvement with. Now I'm retiring for the day and maybe tomorrow I'll respond to the other charges that are half true and half wishful thinking, including any idea that I don't criticize Democrats and my opinions are just as rigid and interchangable with Jim's when it comes to defending corruption etc. Have you ever read anything I've written over the past fifty years, say any of my 27 books, or thousands of newspaper articles, etc.? Or even however many posts are on this blog? You want to go back to 1968 and have your way with resistance to politics as given and try to circumvent them? Go ahead, and then take responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of lives lost because ideology trumped pragmatism on the left, or go back over the past eight years when it did the same on the right and see what it wrought. Obama is a pragmatist and a humanist. If he doesn't live up to his promises after he has a chance to actually make policy, then we can have this argument.

Butch in Waukegan said...

Too much to comment on from your two paragraphs other to say that (besides being untrue) "a rising tide raises all boats" is an odd progressive concept and reflects how deeply the right has shaped political discourse in this country. (Wiki Overton Window.) Other points you make reflect this as well.

Also, a small point of fact:

A reporter at a Fox affiliate in Chicago says he received a tip that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s pick for chief of staff, blew the whistle on the Democratic governor.
__________________________
Update: A source close to the Obama team says Rahm Emanuel didn’t tip off federal authorities about Blagojevich’s misdeeds. TalkingPointsMemo quotes the source as saying it’s the “result of some overzealous reporting.”


http://minnesotaindependent.com/19566/gop-tries-to-link-obama-to-blagojevich-arrest-emanuel-rumored-to-be-whistleblower

JIm said...

"When's the last time a rightwing Republican blew the whistle on rightwing Republican corruption anywhere?" M Lally 12/9/08

Can you say Sarah Palin. Senator Tom Coburn's fight against corruption in his own party are too numerous to list.

From the American Spectator
"As I watched her successful run for governor over the next six months, I was really impressed. In fact I already was impressed greatly even before that, after she resigned a good position (Alaska Gas and Oil Regulatory Commission) because a fellow Commission member (Chair of the Alaska Republican Party) misused his office and position. He was using the fax, computers, printing room and all to promote the Republican endeavors while in a state job. That is a huge no-no in any government employment position.

She resigned and made her point, and within weeks Randy Ruderich (the above bad guy) found his butt out on the street and a subsequent investigation found him guilty and he was fined $12,000. Small change actually but a giant point was made.

Next she went after our most horrible Governor ever, Governor Murkowski, and damned if she didn't beat him! All of us here in Alaska, except the Democrats, are sick of our state's corruption. That fact was shouted to the heavens after she was elected with an overwhelming point spread.

After she got into office she started going after corrupt legislators, and with the FBI's help we've put four of them in prison, indicted six more and the "Corrupt Bastard's Club" as they arrogantly called themselves (even had hats made with CBC on the front!) suddenly found it no fun anymore."

JIm said...

Global Warming Update-It looks like another kooky liberal idea is biting the dust.

UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
December 10, 2008

Posted by Marc Morano – 9:36 AM ET - Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.GOV

UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

Study: Half of warming due to Sun! –Sea Levels Fail to Rise? - Warming Fears in 'Dustbin of History'

POZNAN, Poland - The UN global warming conference currently underway in Poland is about to face a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who are criticizing the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN. The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.
The U.S. Senate report is the latest evidence of the growing groundswell of scientific opposition rising to challenge the UN and Gore. Full Report Set To Be Released in the Next 24 Hours – Stay Tuned…

A hint of what the upcoming report contains:

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” - Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of

Lally said...

Okay, Butch, my comment may have been presumptious and snooty, because I was trying to mirror your comment, making assumptions about me and my beliefs that didn't seem to have anything to do with reality, either as I try to artciulate my take on it or the positions I've taken. I'll probably write another post on all this soon, but I've done it many times before. Yes Sarah Palin supposedly "took on" her own party in Alaska, but she did it to further her own career, and maybe Rahm Emmanuel didn't blow the whistle on the guv concerning senate seat up for bids, but maybe he did (just because the Chicago paper rescinded the story doesn't mean it isn't true). And maybe the math models for global warming's future are off. So what? There is no denying the reality of the impact of warming on most of the globe over the past few decades and the increase in average temperatures around the world. Timed shots from space show the movement of Spring's greeining on the east Coast of the US where I live, moving further North earlier each year. That's a fact. plants and insects and other creatures have expanded their ranges further North each year. The Alaskan tundra is no longer permafrost. Many islands have seen their coastlines recede and some islands have been lost to rising sea levels entirely. The Artic ice is diminishing at a faster and faster pace. Glacier Park's glacier has been receding at a more and moer rapid pace every year. The "snows of Kiliminjaro" are now history. Iceland is warming, Greenland's glaciers have receded at an increasing pace, etc. etc. etc. etc. These facts are undeniable. The argument, even on the right, is no longer whether it's happening but how much human input has an impact on it. Almost ninety-nine percent of the world's scientists' as of two years ago agreed that the human impact was substantially accelerating this warming process. I can get you scientists, including Nobel winners, who have all sorts of disagreements with proven realities, or have crackpot ideas about all kinds of things. The inferiority of non-"white" races, when scientifically there isn't anything as a "white" race, or the cancer curing properties of vitamin C, yet to be proven and in fact in every scientifically controlled study disproven. But none of this matters to Jim. What matters to him is proving "liberals" wrong. and to Butch, if I'm understanding his comments, and unfortunately many more who think they're seeing things more clearly when they equate the political games and corruption and quid pro quo compromises etc. of the two dominant parties in our politics. But that is a propaganda ploy of the right that has proven extremely successful over the past several decades, beginning with the Nixon administration, and to fall for it is to waste time and energy on change that will never come or will come only after many people suffer and even die as a result of rightwing Republican control of the federal government. Do you, Butch, actually think that Obama can come in and change things in Washington and the righwing appointees in government jobs and on the federal bench and in the Supreme Court and their cohorts and often controllers in corporate America are just going to say okay, whatever you want Obama and progressive Democrats you can have? That's the political naivete that undermined carter's good intentions (and even some good accomplishments) as well as JFK's and Clinton's (the most obvious example the whole health care fiasco, which, if the Clintons had been more savy about the coopoeration of the right with the drug and insurance and health industry honchos, and had actually pulled off, would have made the bailout of the big three auto companies unnessecary) et=endleslly=cetera. But I suspect most critics of Obama's initial appointments aren't interested in seeing anything actually accomplished and the compromise and settling for less than perfection that will be nessacry to make that happen, as i wasn't when I was younger and thought my image of political perfection should be the only acceptable outcome, an image that was and still is completely unrealistic. yes it's necessary to have ideals, but then to aim for as close to them as possible with the caveat that progress (which is why they're called "progressives") rather than perfection is all we can hope for.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Butch in Waukegan said...

Okay, Butch . . . I was trying to mirror your comment, making assumptions about me and my beliefs that didn't seem to have anything to do with reality, either as I try to artciulate my take on it or the positions I've taken.

I am sorry I came off that way and certainly was not attacking you personally.

I try to focus on what is being written and my initial point was that your contention that Obama has gathered around him a wide range of opinion is an illusion. "It's a diversity of opinion" about an inch wide: Shall we move troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan? Should we raise the Pentagon budget 10% or 20%. How best can we protect Wall Street?

My point about Rubin sidetracked the discussion. More to the point none of Obama's advisors saw the tsunami coming - so naturally he chose these "experts" to rescue us.

But I suspect most critics of Obama's initial appointments aren't interested in seeing anything actually accomplished and the compromise and settling for less than perfection that will be nessacry to make that happen, as i wasn't when I was younger and thought my image of political perfection should be the only acceptable outcome, an image that was and still is completely unrealistic. yes it's necessary to have ideals, but then to aim for as close to them as possible with the caveat that progress (which is why they're called "progressives") rather than perfection is all we can hope for.

Question authority. Why should Obama be immune from criticisms of his political decisions? What interest does that serve? Does that make for a strong democracy?

And your intimation that Obama critics from the left (and presumably me) are not really interested in a better world for our kids and grand kids (and are suffering from some weird psycho-pathology) is, among other things, presumptuous.

I am willing to change my mind. I am willing to compromise, but a compromise is giving something in return for something. I voted for Clinton twice and saw him and the Democratic party compromise themselves into an unprincipled blob.

Becoming informed, speaking up and pressuring politicians (including Obama) is positive.

Lally said...

Butch, sorry I didn't articulate that very well. Obama should definitely be criticized and held accountable. And we idealists should always put forth our hopes and expectations (did you see my post on who I would pick for my cabinet?) for those who play on those ideals to get elected to public office. All I meant was that in my experience in politics (which includes starting out working for my father who was a ward healer in the old Democratic Party machine, before the reforms of the late 1960s, being radicalized and running for office representing The Peace and Freedom Party in 1968, becoming even more radicalized and not just protesting our electoral politics but actively attempting to thwart them, etc.) I was naive to believe in some kind of "revolutionary" change being brought about by anything outside our electoral politics or within it. That in fact, as I have come to believe, this system as imperfect as it is, works pretty well when the right candidates and historic circumstances coincide, as has just occurred. And that the opposition of the two main parties, though sometimes frought with compromises that go beyond merely attempting to get things done in any way possible to surrendering to the fear of losing office and power (i.e. the Democrats in Congress as a minority under the current administration during it's first six years). What I mean is, and I use the 1968 election because it was seminal in my own political education, all those like me who supported third party alternatives in '68 to Nixon vs. Humphrey, or who didn't vote in protest to both parties, share in the responsibility for the hundreds, perhaps millions, of people who died around the world as a direct result of Nixon's election. As was the case for those who either voted for Nader in the 2000 election or chose not to vote for Gore or Bush II as some form of protest against both parties. All the death and destruction that has occurred around the world in the last eight years as a direct result of Junior's administration, I believe, those who voted for Nader or didn't vote at all, share responsibility for. Maybe that seems extreme, but my awakening came when those students were killed at Kent State and Jackson State and other schools back in the late 1960s and eatly 1970s, especially when those who died were being led by people like me at the time. The answer was not to take the Bill Ayers route, which was futile and did not stop the war nor help the cause of those opposed to it, nor to drop out and ignore politics altogether. As it also wasn't to support unrealistic third parties (except in local elections, or sometimes state elections, in locations where the population is smaller and the requirements for third party candidicies are looser). JFK's father was wealthy, well-connected, and politically ruthless. That had a lot to do with JFK winning the nomination, and even the election (though his charm and obvious intelligence as well as what appeared to be athletic youthfulness played an equally important role). But despite JFK's time in the Senate, he and his father and brothers, were not prepared for DC politics as played at the White House level. He got sandbagged, the whole Bay of Pigs fiasco, etc. And he possibly got asssasinated for his attempts to change course once he realized the realities he had to deal with. LBJ was as seasoned as any Washington politician, but he too got faked out by his military advisors (including many of JFK's "the best and the brightest" (originally an ironic title)). Carter, coming in with his best and brightest outsiders got totally wiped out by the powers that be, as did Clinton's healthcare and gay intitiative and other progressive reforms. Clinton knew how to play hardball with those powers and that helped him at least stay in office and get some things done re the environment etc. but none of the really big changes we hoped for with his election. So my point was and is and will be simply that anyone who would like to see progressive kinds of changes brought to the federal government and brought about by the federal government has to expect whoever represents the best shot at those changes, in the present case, Obama, to be undermined and sabatoged and sandbagged and whatever other term there is for attempts to not just undermine their power but completely defeat them. Obama seems to be more aware of this than most because of his peculiar background (i.e. street community organizer in Chicago and player in that city and state's corrupt and tough politics, as well as negotiator of the gap between the "white" and "black" worlds etc.). So, I am for now trusting that his appointments are meant to at least stave off for the immediate future any success for those who have already begun to try and ruin him and his administration before it has even moved into its offices. Putting in a bunch of fresh faces with leftist or progressive or even clearly liberal biases would only make it easier for those out to destroy whatever power Obama has going in. Richardson might have been a more righteous choice as Sec. of State because of his opposition to the Iraq War, but Richardson whether justified or not is seen as weak after the weak campaign he ran for the nomination, coming off as a sweet, even harmless, unassuming presence (he may have been a terrific diplomat, but we're not talking diplomacy when it comes to the members of the federal government with ties to the right and to corporate interests opposed to everything Obama's stated policies are about). Maybe I'll be proven wrong and Obama will turn out to be a craven politician with no interest in anything other than power, but even if that were to happen, which I know won't, not just believe, but know won't from steps he's already taken, it will still make a difference in the lives of many people that a Democratic administration is running, or attempting to, our government, rather than a Republican one. There are people whose lives and/or livelihoods will be spared because of that. And that may not be revolutionary, or even radical enough for my younger self or for you, but all those who were hurt or killed by the policies of Republican administrations since Nixon got elected in '68 I'm sure would prefer that to the alternative. Hope that clears it up a little.

JIm said...

Comment deleted.
Getting a little sensative, about picking on a working mom?

Curtis Faville said...

This discussion is probably dead, but I'll throw some excelsior at it.

We're coming to the end of a long arc of time of political sentiment which began in the early 1960's with Goldwater's abortive Presidential campaign, continued through Nixon's one and a fraction terms, matured with the Reagan Revolution, followed by Bush I and II. Finally, Americans are beginning to awaken to the evil of allowing our government to be dominated by corporate money, with all the phony economic and historical jargon traipsed out to justify it. Trickle-down, Reagan's tax pyramid, outsourcing, wholesale over-exploitation, Globalism--the whole apparatus of the now-discredited Neo-Conservative agenda.

I supported Hillary Clinton, and was disappointed to watch as Obama dismantled her carefully constructed campaign. The Republicans--perhaps deluded about the state of the electorate--actually feared Hillary, and seemed delighted that Obama would be their competition.

During the campaign, I was frustrated by Obama's empty mantra of "change, change, change" without details or elaboration. It was a public relations coup, without substance, and without distinction. Sort of a "happy days are here again" song.

I've been skeptical all along. I haven't been encouraged by his choice of cabinet members, either. The very people he's been selecting were the architects or enthusiastic supporters--during the Clinton years--of precisely the policies which have facilitated the banking and investment crisis which has dragged our economy into depression. Experts predict that as many as 1 million more jobs will be lost in 2009. Added to all the insults to the Middle Class which have occurred during the last eight years, that portends doom for our standard of living, our infrastructure, and every aspect of the American fabric of society.

My guess is that Obama's presidency will look very much like Carter's did: An impotent, well-meaning, lame-duck administration full of big ideas, no money, and widespread decline in popularity and support.

I hope I'm proved wrong.

As for Dubya, I wish we still had mad anarchists like in the days of McKinley.

JIm said...

Curtiss,
Your last sentence was creepy, in the extreme, and I believe borders on a felony.

JIm said...

Poor Blago seems to be getting a raw deal for just doing things in the "Chicago Way." He wanted to get his wife a good paying job, just like Michelle. After all Michelle received a hospital patronage position after Barak became a state senator. Soon after, her salary was doubled and Barak arranged an earmark for the hospital. The rest of the country excluding Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia and the state of New Jersey just do not understand big city politics.


From the Huffinton Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/14/obama-wanted-earmarks-for_n_91546.html
Also: "In among them was a request for $1 million in federal funding in 2006 for a new pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where his wife, Michelle Obama, was a vice president at the time. The request was not ultimately included when Congress passed spending legislation that year, according to the Obama campaign."

Curtis Faville said...

Jim:

I believe that Dubya is personally responsible for the miserable, needless deaths of 10's (if not hundreds!) of thousands of men, women and children. Americans, Iraqis, Afgans. And the squandering of something like two trillion dollars. The Neo-Cons cynical manipulation of the American intelligence apparatus, their lying, shilling for big business and extractive industries, is disgusting. And all the guy does is smirk like a dumb teenager caught peeing in the rose bushes. Disgusting. An embarrassment to our nation and our history. It will take 15 years for us to dig our way out from the devastation that his two administrations created.

The man should be brought up before a tribunal and summarily executed.

Is that creepy enough for you?

JIm said...

That more than covers the horizon for creepiness.

JIm said...

Dick Cheney says:

I must say, I think it's a pretty good team," Cheney said. "I'm not close to Barack Obama, obviously, nor do I identify with him politically. He's a liberal. I'm a conservative."

"But I think the idea of keeping Gates at Defense is excellent. I think Jim Jones will be very, very effective as the national security adviser."

PS Maybe Obama will reconsider closing Club Gitmo. He might even embrace water boarding for special people. Somehow, I find that reassuring.