Saturday, November 15, 2008

Too far left - clarified

Digby opens my eyes about what it means to be "too far [to the] left":

[T]he lesson of Clinton isn't that he went "too far left." It's that he didn't handle congressional egos or the media properly. If they really believe that [Obama] can't "go left" (defined as doing something that will make conservatives and the political establishment upset)and see a move like Feinstein's as something that has to be defeated, then they have learned the wrong thing from the Clinton experience and they are going to get rolled by the conservatives. Just like he did.

To go left: doing something that will upset conservatives and the political establishment

The political establishment:

consists of incumbents,

lobbyists (the bagmen that carry campaign contributions from the corporatists and the wealth elites to the incumbents in return for being allowed to write the laws the politicians should be writing),

the beltway media "elites" (courtiers - talking heads and air heads who use their face time and op-ed space time to advance the conservative agenda of the media owners; eunuchs. Not to be confuse with the owners of media.)

Conservative: a once honorable label coopted by

the neocons (warmongers who believe that might makes right and usually believe the the U.S. and Israel are both always right),

the theocons (religious fanatics that have coopted the label "Christian" while teaching that the U.S. is a "Christian" nation and thus has a god-given obligation to wage war on Muslims indiscriminately killing Muslim children, women and men; that men are superior to women; that women have no rights over their reproductive systems; that human beings whose affection preference is for other human beings of the same sex are entitled to lesser human rights than other human beings),

the corporate-cons (mostly white, mostly male executives who believe they are worth every penny of the salaries they have convinced their boards of directors to approve for them for their kickbacks to lobbyists, accountants [a guild of white collar whores paid to sign off on fictitious numbers used by ponzi schemes to dazzle boards of directors], lawyers [a guild of white collar whores paid to input loopholes into legislation they feed the lobbyists to write for the incumbents, and to deregulate new industries in which to incorporate the next ponzi scheme]

The opinion-makers (those who shape U.S. public opinion by shamelessly waging political propaganda upon the American people via television (network and cable), radio, and the now-dying news-paper industry; they are desperately and vigilantly seeking the means to control information available on the internet, and will most likely succeed). Not to be confused with the media "elites". The opinion-makers TELL the media "elites" what to think.

The wealth elites (18 U.S. families whose fortunes are so vast, they are no longer induced to play ponzi, but rather direct their lawyers, lobbyists and opinion-makers to convince the U.S. public of the evils of the "death tax", the Marxism of raising marginal tax rates on incomes of $250,000- $280,000 by 3% and the Communism of raising marginal tax rates on incomes above $280,000 by 3%, and the anti-Americanism of taxing Capital Gains above a rate of 15%.

Friday, November 14, 2008

When hiding under the cloak of national security fails to distract - then we hear of the importance of unity and comity

In the American Conservative, Daniel Larison explains clearly, cogently, and lucidly, why the Obama administration must investigate the crimes of the Cheney administration. Quite simply, failure to do so renders the phrase "the rule of law" utterly meaningless.

[A} system governed by the rule of law would require ... that those suspected of abuses of power, corruption or the commission of crimes under the color of authority be investigated and, if the evidence merited it, prosecuted.

Most Americans cannot conceive of executive branch officials, much less the President himself, having to answer for their crimes, which is one of the reasons why so many members of different administrations, but particularly the current one, have held the law in such contempt–because they know they will not have to answer, much less pay, for what they have done.

This is what the members of the party now headed out of power will probably call “criminalizing policy differences” because there is a frighteningly large number of partisans of the outgoing administration who believe that disputes over interrogation techniques, detainee treatment and illegal surveillance are merely policy disputes about which there are supposedly two equally legitimate positions. Actually, administration defenders probably think that the illegal activities carried out during this administration are more “legitimate,” because they are justified by what Prof. Bacevich has called “the ideology of national security.”

High-ranking members of both parties go along with these sorts of arguments, and invoke the importance of bipartisan cooperation, because there is something that they wish to preserve that is certainly far more important to them than the law, which is the ability of members of both parties to be able to likewise break the law in the future without fear of prosecution. Hiding under the cloak of “national security” is the first response, and when that fails to distract we hear about the importance of unity and comity. Bipartisanship enables the initial illegality through collaboration in creating or acquiescing in the relevant administration decisions, and then it is summoned to cover up for it. In the process, we see that there is no real benefit to be derived from an adversarial party system and the idea of accountable government is revealed to be a joke.

As I've previously blogged, I believe that high-ranking members of the Democratic party put the issue of impeachment off the table almost immediately after the 2006 mid-term elections because they understood their complicity and culpability in the matters of "interrogation techniques, detainee treatment and illegal surveillance." It was reported that Alberto Gonzales "scared" them.

The crimes of the outgoing administration should be investigated, and the complicity of the so-called opposition party should also be investigated on a NON PARTISAN basis.

Is this at all likely to happen? No, sadly, tragically.

We the people deserve the governments we elect, and all the consequences, short term and long term that those elections entail.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

One of the most dismaying, childish, foolish policy proposals of the Obama campaign

At The Left Coaster, Paradox has a must read post foretelling the opposition President-Elect Obama's administration will face from the Legislative and Judicial branches as well as "a rankly corporate journalism corps" in any (assumed forthcoming) efforts to initiate "liberal enterprises."

But the issue Paradox takes up is Obama's policy proposals for beefing up military operations in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, however, was one of the most dismaying, childish, foolish policy proposals of the Obama campaign that offends me on many levels. What, pray tell, is the mission of America in Afghanistan? It cannot be articulated, because there is none. Defeat the Taliban, perhaps? How? By inserting 10 more brigades and creating another occupied Iraq?

Afghanistan has turned the stupid imperial reaches of militaristic countries into hamburger for centuries. If any citizen thinks the American experience will be different they are delusional. The only successful policy option for Afghanistan is to get the hell out of there and turn whatever mission of the week they decide for it into a tiny, covert operations one.

Furthermore, the [emplacement] of more troops for Afghanistan represents a nauseating I’m Your Big Dick President endorsement to American politics that has been an utter disaster, way to go on the change there. Tightly weaved into this retro machismo is a frightening American nationalism of horrifying mass violence and tragic militarism, the only things we build truly well anymore are only good for killing other humans.

Jeff Huber too has recenetly remarked upon the idiocy of the present Afghanistan foreign policy, and offered his reservations about President-Elect Obama's stated strategies there:

The Bush administration celebrated Barack Obama's victory in the presidential election by blowing away another Afghan wedding party. The airstrike, which came within hours of the election, killed 40 civilians and wounded 28 others in Kandahar Province.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai held a press conference on Wednesday to congratulate Obama on his victory, and said that his first request of the new American president would be “to end the civilian casualties.” We've been bombing weddings in Afghanistan for over six years now, and the tactic clearly isn't working.

I'm rather hoping that Obama's foreign policy platform has room for an alternative to bombing weddings and other mainstays of the neocon tactics manual, but I'm not yet convinced that it does.