Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Obama's Right, Hillary's Bitter, McCain's Bemused, GOP Screws Voters, Gays Take Over, World War Oil, Iraq & Food Fight.

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not."

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

This is what all the ruckus is about. I see nothing there that is not true. In fact, it seems a well thought out statement, instead of an off the cuff remark.

Anyone from any rural area in this country, I would think, should be able to relate to this with no problem. And I'm talking about folks who consider themselves Caucasian, especially males.

You grow up hearing how, in America, as long as you work hard and do right, life is going to be great. You might not get to be super rich, but you will do well. Then, at some point, reality slaps you across the mouth and let's you know just what a sucker you are.

Now most folks figure that there has to be a reason that things aren't working out like they were supposed to. And the Right Wing Propaganda Machine is more than happy to give a litany of reasons that explain why they're in the situation that they're in. All of them wrong, of course.

Now don't get me wrong, most of these folks are good people. Unfortunately, they have just picked up the wrong information and run with it.

I was going through the channels the other night and ran across a call in talk show and they were talking about how the white male was the persecuted group in this country. And they were absolutely serious. Thank goodness Reno 911 was on the next channel.

Religion and guns are just sacrosanct. It's understandable that someone less than happy in this life fervently believes that there's going to be another one where they will be able to live like Paris Hilton. For a lot of them, that's all they've got. And if it's one of those denominations that's been holding hands with the political right wing, you understand what I mean. They no longer just have Satan to worry about, now there's liberals, democrats, and anyone who doesn't believe exactly like they do. Thinking's not required, in fact, it's frowned upon.

Guns, thanks to the NRA any mention of anything less than any kind of weapon for anyone and suddenly you're a communist wanting to take every one's guns away. I'm a country boy and have had guns since I was 12. I believe that people should be able to own firearms. But, I also think that there are some people who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a weapon. I think that there is way too many gun related deaths in this country. And I think that there should be some kind of solution. But to a lot of people, that makes me anti-American, anti-Constitution and some kind of limp wristed, liberal, wimp. I guess one out of five's not bad for anyone who believes the crap that the NRA puts out. I guess that pretty well covers the antipathy part, too.

Anti-immigrant and anti-trade just goes back to the lack of good paying jobs. What I don't understand and it seems so obvious, is why blame the immigrants when it's American employers who don't want to pay a living wage to American workers. That's who you should be pissed off at. Same thing with trade. Trade is a good thing, when it's done right. Trade should benefit both partners. What we have now is mostly a one way thing, plenty of trade coming in and very little going out. It does work for Wal-Mart though.

So what we end up with is more of a lack of education and I don't mean the formal kind. We've had the Right Wing Propaganda Machine pounding this crap into people's heads for years. On the surface what they say sounds plausible. If the Left had been doing it's job and explaining the fallacies of the Right's diatribe, I wouldn't have had to write all this.

I should have just posted Mark Karlin's editorial from Buzzflash. He did it much better than I could.

Obama's statement could have been said more fully, and not so elliptically,
and that would have explained the difference between respect for traditions and
beliefs, and exploitation of those very same characteristics for political gain
by those who are exploiting the working class.

But, in the end, as he did with race, Obama is touching upon a third
rail of truth that neither party wants to discuss much. The "K Street Lobbyists"
are very pleased with the masquerade and demagoguery that achieved, and now
accelerates, the slide of the middle class towards a lower class fate.

The working class will have its faith, hunting, and small town
"values," but it can't have them if they don't have jobs.

And after Obama's remarks, they can't say that they weren't warned by
an honest politician.

Damn! Someone else put it better than me too. Oh well, my readers deserve the best. Here's Tom Teepen.

And folks who are scrambling to make ends meet look up to a sky bright with
the golden parachutes of corporate executives who bailed out of companies they
had flown off course.

Obama is right, too, that in the place of good times, or even
just promising ones, we've been offered a string of goofy distractions - phony
threats to gun owners, hyped outrages like the nonsense crusade against "Happy
Holidays," scares about Mexicans taking over. The bread and circuses of the Bush

Here is how we choose a president: Not by a sensible assay of
which candidate would bring knowledge, insight, good purpose and moral courage
to the office but which is left standing after a year long game of contact
gotcha. Life imitates? well, not art alas. Reality TV.

There's one big thing that I really like about Barack Obama. He says that one of the first things he's going to do is look into potential crimes of the Bush Administration. I really think that Bush, Cheney and Rove would look great in orange jumpsuits.

Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General
and his deputies to "immediately review the information that's already there"
and determine if an inquiry is warranted -- but he also tread carefully on the
issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He
worried that such a probe could be spun as "a partisan witch hunt." However, he
said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because "nobody is
above the law."

I guess that since I have devoted so much time to Obama I'm obligated to at least mention the other two.

First we'll go with Hillary. BTW, back in May 2006 I suggested that we keep Hil on the Hill.

A couple of days ago Hillary was supposed to give a speech at th Philadelphia County Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. She did, but no one was paying any attention and she quit after five minutes. It's looks like that should have told her something.

PHILADELPHIA -- Hillary Clinton was forced to cut her normal stump speech
short when a chatty and meddlesome crowd kept her from grasping their attention.
Clinton, who was addressing the Philadelphia County Democratic Party's
Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, spoke for just over five minutes, despite having the
press arrive almost two hours beforehand.

The crowd never settled down during her remarks. A spokesman for Clinton
denied that she cut the speech short, and told reporters that Clinton was
advised by her Pennsylvania team to deliver “a short speech" given the set up of
the event.

And poor old John McCain. I admire the man for what he went through in Nam. But it's really time for him to take a break.

The Right is just all atwitter over McCain's proposed dropping of the federal gasoline tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. They think that all taxes are the work of the Devil anyway.

Unfortunately, there's some drawbacks with this plan.

The 18.4-cent gas tax goes into a Highway Trust Fund, which pays for roads,
bridges, subways, etc. So there's a legitimate policy question here: If
you suspend that tax, what are you doing to an already-deteriorating
infrastructure system? (After all, remember that bridge collapse in
Minneapolis/St. Paul, where interestingly the GOP convention takes place in

Matthew Jeanneret, a spokesman for the American Road & Transportation
Builders Association, tells First Read that suspending the federal gas tax for
three months could cost $9 billion from the federal highway trust fund. And if
that lost $9 billion is replaced by general Treasury revenues, that will
increase the size of the deficit. "It might be good politics," Jeanneret says of
the McCain measure. "But it is shortsighted, and it won't do anything to
stimulate the economy."

And even worse, his advisers are telling him not to even mention deficit reduction. Wouldn't want to cut off the gravy train to their friends.

Earlier this year, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) proposed a deficit-reduction
plan in which he would balance
the budget by 2012
. “[T]hat’s my
. … It has to be our goal, because we’re mortgaging these young people’s
future,” he said in February.

Now, McCain’s advisers are abandoning this tough talk. The New York
Times reports that chief economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said the next
president should not
even talk
about balancing the budget, adopting a “so be it” approach to the
costs of the Iraq war and McCain’s corporate tax cuts:

I had mentioned earlier that white males feel unloved and persecuted. Well, they're not taking it lying down. They're fighting back, to the detriment of the country.

Since the 2004 election, activist lawyers with ties to the Republican Party
and its presidential campaigns, Republican legislators, and even the Supreme
Court -- in a largely unnoticed ruling in 2006 -- have been aggressively
regulating most aspects of the voting process. Collectively, these efforts are
undoing the gains of the civil rights era that brought voting rights to
minorities and the poor, groups that tend to support Democrats.

In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which for decades had
fought to ensure that all eligible citizens could vote, now encourages states to
take steps in the opposite direction. Political appointees who advocate for
stringent requirements before ballots are cast and votes are counted have driven
much of the DOJ's Voting Section's recent agenda. As a result, the Department
has pushed states to purge voter lists, and to adopt newly restrictive voter ID
and provisional ballot laws. In addition, during most of George W. Bush's
tenure, the DOJ has stopped enforcing federal laws designed to aid registration,
such as the requirement that state welfare offices offer public aid recipients
the opportunity to register to vote.

Did you know that gays, in an evil plot, are taking over America one town at a time? Me either. But those fine folks over at the American Family Association do and they are putting out a video to warn us hetros and let us know how to fight it. Ah, life's so exciting in Right Wing Fantasyland.

The presentation in the AFA trailer…”They’re Coming to Your Town,” tells
the tale of an uncharacteristically diverse resort town’s government infiltrated
by “a handful of homosexual activists” and bent to their will through the
enactment of the town’s domestic partner registry on June 22, 2007.

“Watch, and learn,” says the trailer, “how to fight a well-organized
gay agenda to take over the cities of America, one city at a time.”

A chilling article by Joe Lauria tells us of the lengths the people who are running this country will go to in order to preserve the profits of the oil companies. I hope he's wrong, but it sounds just a little too close to the truth. It's well worth the read.

The American oil wars are being launched out of weakness, not strength. The
American economy is teetering and without control of the remaining oil it will
collapse. There will be massive chaos in any case, when only enough oil remains
for the American elite and whomever they choose to share it with.

That will leave an oil-starved China and India, both with nuclear weapons,
with no alternative but to bow to America or go to war.

It's not about greed any more. It's about survival. Because the leadership
of this country was initially too greedy to switch from oil to solar, wind,
geothermal and other renewable alternatives, it may now be too late. Had the
hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the invasion and occupation of Iraq
been put into alternative energy the world might have had a fighting chance. Now
that is far from certain.

What is certain is that these wars are not about democracy. They are not
about WMD. The coming one will not even be about Iran's nuclear weapons project.
It's about the oil, stupid.

I don't want us to forget our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the MSM being so giddy over Obama's supposed faux pas in San Francisco, our troop are getting short shrift in the media. So here's the Security developments in Iraq, April 15. Just remember that these are all signs of success.

Finally I like to end with some good news. That won't be the case today.

First gasoline prices and now food prices. Once again the working class gets screwed and not in the good way.

The U.S. is wrestling with the worst food
in 17 years, and analysts expect new data due on Wednesday to show
it's getting worse. That's putting the squeeze on poor families and forcing
bakeries, bagel shops and delis to explain price increases to their

U.S. food prices rose 4
percent in 2007, compared with an average 2.5 percent annual rise for the last
15 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the agency says
2008 could be worse, with a rise of as much as 4.5 percent.

Well, at least it's hump day. The weekend can't get here too soon. Neither can January 20, 2009.


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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)