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A question for Ron Paul: If elected, will you prosecute war crimes against George Bush and Barack Obama?
And if no, why?
A lot has been made of this man’s anti-war stance.
I’d like to see him put his money & DOJ where his Texas sized mouth is.
It is no longer acceptable to talk about this issue. The law must be enforced, so the question is “Are you willing to enforce it?”
After dealing with those two (at a minimum), let’s see what he’ll do about the financial criminals ruining civilization as we know it.
In full disclosure, I can’t stand RP; he’s a certified nutcase. But if Captain Looney Tunes answers this question correctly, maybe some of us might take him seriously.
Young Ezra points out that a confluence of events, through no help of Democrats BTW, would result in a policy more progressive than our Democrat “friends” ever would have passed on their own:
The GOP’s dual-trigger nightmare
Imagine if the Democrats offered Republicans a deficit deal that had more than $3 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts, assigned most of those spending cuts to the Pentagon, and didn’t take a dime from Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries. Republicans would laugh at them. But without quite realizing it, that’s the deal Republicans have now offered to the Democrats.
How the hell did this happen?
In August, Republicans scored what they thought was a big win by persuading Democrats to accept a trigger that consisted only of spending cuts. The price they paid was 1) concentrating the cuts on the Pentagon while exempting Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare beneficiaries, and 2) delaying the cuts until January 1, 2013. That was, they figured, a win, as it eschewed taxes. Grover Norquist’s pledge remained unbroken.
But 12 years earlier, George W. Bush had set a trigger of his own. In order to pass his tax cuts using the 51-vote budget reconciliation process, he had agreed to let them sunset in 2010. A last-minute deal extended them until the end of 2012.
So now there are two triggers. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m disgusted as much as you are with the so-called “remembrances” of you know what.
The media has done what they do best: turn an incredible tragedy into a circus devoid of all meaning; it’s been strip mined in order to sandwich advertising of reality TV, junk food, and iPad gadgets Made in China™, inbetween images of tattered American flags and smoldering rubble.
And that music.
That god awful music.
Needless to say, the Campaigner in Chief will use this opportunity to trot out Betrayus, Panetta, and other useful idiots and puppets for the sake of keeping our eyes on the prize: those doggone terrorists in foreign lands who are out to get us.
Well, I got news for you:
The greatest threat of large-scale attacks come from individuals and small groups of extremists who subscribe to radical Islamic or far right-wing ideologies, said Gary LaFree, director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START.
But extremist right-wingers — from Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to a neo-Nazi accused of trying to bomb a Martin Luther King Day parade this year — have shown a willingness to target the public, LaFree said.
Such groups are among the fastest-growing extremist organizations in the country, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in February. Right wing anti-government groups grew by 60% in 2010 over the previous year, the center reported, attributing much of the growth to militia groups.
The group also reported a smaller increase in the number of anti-immigrant vigilante groups, SPLC reported.
Ackerman said nationally, law enforcement has been focused since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001 on the threat of Islamic terrorism, even as the threat from domestic anti-government groups has been growing.
“Some people believe we have taken our eye off the ball when it comes to domestic right-wing extremists,” he said.
And some efforts to combat the problem have been controversial. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security was forced to apologize in 2009 after a report surfaced warning law enforcement of the possibility that veterans returning from combat were susceptible to being radicalized by right-wing groups.
But they tended to rank Islamic terrorists as the greatest concern ahead of right-wing groups in terms of the threat posed, LaFree said.
“I think there’s a little bit of perceptual bias there,” he said. [Racial profiling? Here? In America? Nooooooo waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.....]
So fuck it, let’s go kill us some Muslims and Kenyans. (While we’re at it, let’s give ‘em their guns & tax cuts too!)
Obamabots, can we finally drown this myth in the bathtub?
From the original Matt Bai piece:
Privately, Mr. Obama has described himself, at times, as essentially a Blue Dog Democrat, referring to the shrinking caucus of fiscally conservative members of the party.
In a 2005 blog post that may be as valuable as either of his books in identifying the inner president, then-Senator Obama castigated his own party’s ideological activists for their attacks on Democratic senators who had voted to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice.
“To the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, ‘true’ progressive vision for our country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward,” Mr. Obama, who voted against confirming Chief Justice Roberts, wrote then.
Part of the contrast Mr. Obama sought to draw with Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2008 campaign was that you would never catch him triangulating against his friends for political gain. It was a point of pride for Mr. Obama that he would have no so-called Sister Souljah moments, even when he vehemently disagreed with liberals.
I think he’s getting the message.
You really can’t make this shit up:
First, Plouffe suggested, Obama has an opportunity to improve his standing among independent voters — many of whom deserted the Democrats in the 2010 midterm election — by working with Republicans toward bipartisan deficit-reduction measures.
Second, Obama has managed to move toward the center without losing significant support among core Democratic voters. The president’s job approval rating among Democrats, Plouffe said, is in the 80% to 90% range in many states. (Nationally, it’s about 77%, still respectable.)
Third, demographics help the Democrats. One of the keys to Obama’s victory in 2008, Plouffe noted, was high turnout among young, black and Latino voters, all groups that heavily supported the Democrat. Next year’s electorate should include even more minority voters than last time.
Fourth, Obama is a seasoned campaigner who ran a long, tough election campaign in 2008, and he still has the team that helped him to victory in place .
First: The “bipartisan” debt deal was an absolute failure, leading to a downgrade anyway, and resulted in all kinds of economic shenanignans, including today’s 400 point drop in the Dow.
Second: The idea that Plouffe could try to spin the notion that the base is willing to eat this shit sandwich would be laughable, if it weren’t so insulting. Read the rest of this entry →
Mark Ames has a fantastic article up about noted conservative writer V. S. Naipaul. But the article unexpectedly contains a lengthy look at Naipaul’s views of former Black Panther turned GOP Reaganite conservative, Eldridge Cleaver.
From the article:
And here Naipaul quotes an amazing passage from Cleaver’s Soul On Ice:
I was very familiar with the Eldridge who came to prison, but that Eldridge no longer exists. And the one I am now is in some ways a stranger to me. You may find this difficult to understand but it is very easy for one in prison to lose his sense of self. And if he has been undergoing all kinds of extreme, involved, and unregulated changes, then he ends up not knowing who he is….
In this land of dichotomies and disunited opposites, those truly concerned with the resurrection of black Americans have had eternally to deal with black intellectuals who have become their own opposites….
In a sense, both the new left and the new right are the spawn of the Negro revolution. A broad national consensus was developed over the civil rights struggle, and it had the sophistication and morality to repudiate the right wing. This consensus, which stands between a violent nation and chaos, is America’s most precious possession. But there are those who despise it.
The task which the new right has feverishly undertaken is to erode and break up this consensus, something that is a distinct possibility since the precise issues and conditions which gave birth to the consensus no longer exist.
The “new right” of 1968 had become the New Right of 1984, to which Cleaver belonged. Of this New Right I knew nothing until I got to Dallas; and what I learned was bewildering.
Like Ames, I was immediately struck by this passage; not only because it was my personal discovery of the “lobotomized” version of Cleaver, but the striking similarities to the evolution of our Commander-in-Chief & today’s right wing.
First off, Cleaver becomes in the 1980′s what he despised in the 1970′s: a black cultural elite who is in direct opposition of the desires & needs of everyday black Americans. Mainly through his opposition of the “welfare state” and negative views of programs like the New Deal:
We need entities where people could belong to organizations that are not controlled by government. The organizations could come up with projects that would benefit society and then they could earn money that would come out of that national product and not filter through the state. If we do it through the state like, say, President Roosevelt did it with the New Deal, you augment the power of the state. But if you do it through decentralized structures that are controlled by the people, then we maintain our freedom, within a free institution. I don’t want to see the government get control of the economic system…
I won’t bore you with comments from Obama about his love for unfettered free market nonsense; I’m sure you already know. If not, just check out FDL’s coverage of just KORUS. Also, note that most of the budget cutting Obama is obsessed with will disproportionately those who benefit most from the freedom killing “welfare state.” Or what little is left of it.
Second are Cleaver’s astute observations about the unity that enveloped the nation during the civil rights struggle. One is that this unity was a national treasure, and secondly, and perhaps most frighteningly, this unity was seen as a direct threat to the well-being of the New Right.
A fractured society is an attribute that actually gives the right strength; it is not just a political or legislative tactic. Divisiveness is and has been a rallying cry; it is a necessity for their mere existence. National unity is suicide.
Further, divisiveness is a very cheap, easy tactic to execute; much easier than building coalitions or organizing.
Third, and worst of all, the conditions that created unity, that national treasure, no longer exists. Left of center institutions & organizations have been decimated. Our leaders are no longer motivated by principle, but by access.
One of the biggest tragedies of Obama was his ability to do the impossible: quickly build an amazing coalition, and dismantle it with extreme prejudice even faster. He may have single-handedly ruined youth organizing for an entire generation.
There are other conditions that are different today, these are just a few. Unfortunately, the conditions on the Right are quite similar to the ones in the 1960′s: radicalism, divisiveness, and a self-destructive nihilism.
The larger point is that the conditions we face today are far more conducive to additional divisiveness, which serves to weaken the Left more and more each day. And triangulationist policies from modern day Cleavers who reside in the White House will only hasten this. The American Left has never been more fractured than it is today.
We saw Cleaver look to the New Right of 1968 with disdain, only to join the New Right of 1984 with enthusiasm. Much like Obama looked to the right with disdain, only to embrace, if half heartedly, many of the core beliefs of the contemporary Right.
Obviously Obama and Cleaver feel shackled by the past. Both men are tied to a black pride movement, which for obvious reasons had wealth equality as a core belief. And both men have tried to cleave, relatively unsuccessfully, this excess baggage from their political aura, damning whatever else is attached to it in order to impress Cleaver’s “New Right” or Obama’s “New Center”. Whether it be some attachment to their (our) collective past, struggles, or dreams. However, that never prevented either man from trotting out whatever could not be cleanly amputated whenever these vestiges were politically convenient.
I’ll have to admit, the current left-of-center candidates to potentially compete against Mr. O haven’t exactly left me thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of them, but I’m also a realist.
Obviously, a successful candidate would need some star power, and would have to be a little closer to the center (blech) than we would like; which is why a Feingold/Spitzer tag team makes sense to me.
I’m not going to justify Feingold, the reasons should be obvious & probably have been hashed out here before. The man is a progressive legend.
Spitzer, however is a juicier topic for discussion. In fact, I think he’s probably the best shot the “Primary Obama” crowd has in the 2012 Democratic primary. And he would compliment Feingold well.
First, let’s dispel the obvious complaint: that supposedly, politicians who cheat on their spouses are unlikeable. Bullpucky. (Besides, people are suckers for redemption stories; the MSM will eat this stuff up.)
Second, Spitzer is one of the few people in the country with any record of having the guts to go up against the FIRE industry and extract a pound of flesh. He’s got the track record, the knowledge, and the desire to pursue a populist message against the banksters. Watch him here with Taibbi saying Holder should resign if he cannot file charges against Goldman (8:29):
If you thought that was good, read this:
“When a corporation is convicted of repeated felonies,” declared Spitzer, “that harm or endanger the lives of human beings or destroy our environment, the corporation should be put to death, its corporate existence ended and its assets taken and sold at public auction.”
Third, he’s got a pretty good track record on net neutrality.
Fourth, and this is key, he could actually win.
I know he is not Kucinich, but let’s face it, Kucinich couldn’t win the general anyway. But he definitely isn’t Obama. And unlike Obama, he isn’t ashamed of his progressive tendencies, and won’t back down in a fight. In a party where everyone has been bought off by corporate power, he’s the only one who has stood up to them, and won.
Of all the possible candidates who could primary Obama, it is hard to think of someone who would be more formidable than Spitzer; he’d be even tougher than Feingold. And trust me, I’m not under the illusion that anyone could beat Obama in the 2012 primary; but he’d make Obama wet his pants a little. Butthe beauty of a Spitzer primary run in 2012 is that it could be a springboard for a full presidential or vice presidential run in 2016.
Obama reaches out to black leaders, says tax-cut deal good for African Americans
As President Obama prepared to sign his $858 billion tax deal Friday, White House aides moved quickly to soothe the anger among liberal constituency groups that bitterly opposed the measure.
The outreach to African Americans came after broad opposition to the tax deal from members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Black lawmakers argued the bill would ultimately hurt the poor because the costs threatened to cut into social safety-net programs.
This makes total sense, as we all know Obama’s economic team knows far more about us black folk than the CBC. . . .