The Obama Comeback?

I will come over to the notion that President Obama is the best thing since sliced bread when I see him put down the hammer on big business and all these bad practices.

Obama has thus far favored too moderate a position when it comes to dealing the aspects of the private sector that caused the recent market crash.

If this tax deal is part of a larger strategy that is yet to unfold, then when I have something to look at other than just this kiss on the cheek to Republicans & big business I will assess the situation from there.

The point I have is not about the entire social progressive movement, it doesn’t always have to be. It’s just my one voice, and that’s it.

And frankly I’m at my limit with Bush policies hanging around after we elected a Democrat who ran expressly against Bush policies in ’08.

It’s not any one item for me, this tax compromise was so predictable I felt compelled to call the whole thing in advance like I did for health care reform. It’s hard to be all surprised and pissed when you can read the writing on the wall and know (more or less) what course things will take in Washington. It’s that gradual and eventual effect that Obama has taken on me with all this Centrism policy instead of Progressive policy at a point in our nation’s history when truly one path exists that will get us out of this mire and not one ounce of that strategy involves doing anything the GOP or the conservatives want.

In a less dire situation for America I would herald President Obama as a great healer of a nation lost in partisan ramblings and falsehoods run amok. But since this country is on the verge of losing all of its moral fibers from mass corruption and just plain collapsing from within with nothing spent on infrastructure and nothing invested into this country in terms of the workforce or new business endeavors the path is all too clear to me. And sadly Obama continues to play hop-scotch between Democratic policies and Republican policies.

I’m convinced that just like Clinton he is Centrist Democrat and not a Liberal Progressive so really one needs to just learn to not hold it against these people that they just don’t see the situation in the same light.

Repost: Fox “Not-a-news-agency” News is Banned From White House Porch

Obama on FOX-thumb-340x229(Chicago Tribune: Swamp Politics)

Is it a good idea to single out just one outlet in the manner that The Obama White House recently has in the case of removing Fox Broadcasting from the press pool?


At first, I was in favor of the move to ignore the Fox Broadcasting Company by Barack Obama.

His efforts to clear his name on the website “Fight The Smears” stem almost entirely from Fox. He has every right to defend himself from these smear-merchants and radical right-wing propagandist supporters.

The right-wing lobby called “Fox News” (as in the cable pseudo-news) and “Fox News Talk” (as in the radio pseudo-news) is still “not a news organization” in my opinion. But I think this label should include everyone from Comedy Central to HLN to CNN to MSNBC, everyone except PBS and C-SPAN.

It’s been televised tabloidism in place of televised journalism for far too long. In my view.

Any White House that would send a clear signal that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Glenn Beck Show are all the same thing would be nothing but a benefit in this age of media hate & mass misinformation.

These programs are not news, they are purely entertainment television.

Each of these programs has an agenda, as does the network behind each.

There is nothing wrong with doing agenized news. But it is dishonest and unethical to claim objectivity if you are playing toward a specific political wing, or any specific agenda. This is the greatest offense of the so-called Fair & Balanced Fox Broadcasting. As a network they cater to right-wing political agendas and refuse to declare themselves as a format that promotes conservative ideology. In that case I see it as a function of false advertising on behalf of the network.

All these programs, it‘s important to point out, are television propaganda toward that agenda. Which might be only the agenda to make you laugh.

The broadcasting produced by this political lobby / news agency / entertainment format in only the viewing of it is not dangerous. It is taking these kinds of broadcasts as serious news formats that is problematic in a democratic society.

The informed viewing of propaganda is merely educational. However, to those who refuse to see the difference between opinions and facts the viewing of the propaganda of reckless liars, there is a dangerous situation produced.

Mine is a somewhat complex argument in regards to “The News Wars” between The Obama White House and Fox Broadcasting Company:

It is a good move that Obama is standing up to bad journalism mixed with bad business practices, but a bad move that he singled out Fox News alone when all the news agencies screw something up.

Fox News is just the biggest offender of the smears.

I believe radio and satellite should remain untouched by sweeping regulations, but televised broadcasting of race baiting and McCarthyism is just too much tabloidism for me to handle.

This sensationalist reporting on politics that has been going almost entirely due to Fox News is not exclusive to them, so I think it would be wise to pick out a few other agencies, perhaps CLEARCHANNEL and Comedy Central, to also declare as non-news formats.

It is clear to me when a news group is run by an agenda, thus becoming more like a political lobby than a news group, but it is not clear to everyone.

A President who stands for educating the public should seek to educate people on what exactly “bias” is, and hopefully shed some light on the issue.

The specific near-criminal acts of failure to disclose vital information of a story committed by Fox News should be spoken of plainly and openly if not handled more severely. This tactic of isolation is my only qualm with Obama’s approach to dealing with fake news.

If it is the desire of this White House to tackle the specific crimes against society that Fox has committed, then I would hope the case was made in specifics.

It is my personal view that a news group, of any sort, can lose it’s status as “press” if they fail to uphold the journalistic truth as a matter of course.

I believe Obama did not go far enough to fight unethical journalism and false reporting.

But I certainly agree with the point that Fox has become something other than a news agency when they promote bad journalism that is not related to their “opinion-makers.”

President of Fox News Lies Twice on ABC

 

Rodger Ailes, President of Fox News, appeared recently on ABC’s “This Week and was at long last confronted on his recent condoning of the most intense fear-mongering and incitement toward violence ever seen in modern U.S. politics & punditry via Glenn Beck of Fox News.

Ailes proceeded to make two non-factual statements and then attempted to dismiss the issue when confronted by Ariana Huffington. Two more pieces of misinformation to throw on the great pile of growing nonsense that is News Corp and Fox News. (And kudos to Ariana for bringing this topic to the table, as it is a very serious matter going mainly ignored.)

Ailes said that he believed it “accurate” to compare to this administration to that of Stalin or Hitler, or his words leave the question hanging as it is obvious to anyone that Beck was not speaking in a past tense of historical nature but in a wild-eyed screaming call to the present situation. Rodger Ailes lied on ABC airwaves in saying that Beck was talking about “Stalin and Hitler” when he spoke of “leading people to the slaughter.”

I could by the same tokens that Glenn Beck tosses around say that Rodger Ailes & Fox News are leading us to slaughter. Slaughter of the truth, slaughter of free speech, slaughter of ethical journalism. If Rodger Ailes truly supports the insane logic of Glenn Beck then surely he still understands the need to balance out perspective and provide everyone the opinion of people who think that they are the ones destroying America and intentionally creating fear and hate for the sake of sheer greed. Would that not be “fair and balanced“?

Ailes also created a false apology from Glenn Beck, that never happened. Glenn Beck never apologized for spreading racist lies about an elected leader of the United States of America, he only apologized for his phrasing and inserted literally the exact wording I used when mocking him here on the internet; almost verbatim.

Glenn Beck: “It is a serious question that I think needs serious discussion.”

Beck never apologized for what offended so many on many sides of politics, and we are supposed to believe that begging the same race baiting line of questioning is some kind of “apology“!?!

Rodger Ailes lied once again, in a very tight time constraint, to defend Glenn Beck from facing the truth and the light of day.

This would be very much like if I called it an “apology” to just repostDid Glenn Beck Commit a Murder-Rape in 1990?& links to GB1990.com and at the top of the post just inserted: “I phrased myself poorly before but this issue is very important and I think needs a serious discussion.”

One matter was settled though: Fox News is not a news agency.

When the president of an outfit states that he is “not in the news business, he is in the ratings business” then it proves case-and-point exactly what I, and many others, have said for a very long time: Fox “News” is not news, it’s just pure entertainment from every last inch of it right down to the news tickers.

It’s like a window into what it’s like to be a conservative for the sake of pure entertainment, and nothing more. Like an episode of “Lost” or watching “Family Guy” it is just a big bunch of fun … but when you really get down to it, it’s pure fiction just built to get ratings.

I’m glad that Rodger Ailes was honest to this regard, at least. Because he most certainly is not in the news business.

Afghanistan; Operation Enduring Freedom Continues

President Barack Obama West Point Speech

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign then-candidate Barack Obama promised the mother a fallen American soldier to not only end the war in Iraq, but the war in Afghanistan as well. I am of the mind that now-president Barack Obama has not forgotten that promise. Many of my fellow Democrats are feeling disenfranchised by the recent official announcement of the decision to increase planned combat-troop levels to 30,000+ in Afghanistan I believe many in the party are taking a dangerously narrow view of militaristic policy.

I’ll simply cut the chase: you break a nation, you bought a nation.

The consequences of immediate withdrawal, in my view, far outweighs the alternative. Should we abandon this nation at this critical stage, after invading and attempting to remove the native opium crops, would be a tragic mistake that would incur even greater wrath upon the U.S. than this “end-game” measure of increased combat-troop involvement. We must not be blinded by political partisanship nor by strong personal feelings against war, that I personally share in this decision to prolong the war. This troop “surge” is accompanied with a clear strategy for withdrawal as well as some long since needed pressure upon the Karzai government in the form of this planned 2011 draw-down / transition of security responsibilities.

President Obama rebuked me in my comparison of Afghanistan and Vietnam. I agree with his statements that it is a “false reading of history,” upon review. But I disagree that what we are fighting in Afghanistan as being “not a popular insurgency.” The radical Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies are indeed a “popular insurgency” in some regions, while not in others. Afghanistan is a highly complex power structure and in every way different from the recent conflict in Iraq or the situation during the Vietnam War, but this is all the more reason to set attainable goals and prepare an exit strategy. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of counter-insurgency fighting endlessly in the Southern Provinces. We must shift to a counter-terrorism methods in Afghanistan and in order to this it is indeed true that “space” is required, bought with combat-troops of course. The ultimate goal being to seek a similar situation to what exists of involvement in Iraq as of today; a complete withdrawal of all combat-troops.

The sooner it is seen that no nation can “win,” or “lose,” in Afghanistan the sooner we can conduct sound policies in regards to our involvement therein. This is not the no-man’s-land that some make it out to be, much can be achieved with hard work, but we also should not delude ourselves into thinking we can remain troop committed indefinitely to a nation with practically no central government and huge population that is 80% illiterate.

Our humanitarian and intelligence-gathering operations must be secured for the time being and the politically unpopular troop surge is a means to this end. This is a changing in the “face” of this war and I personally hope that we can meet this 2011 time line for beginning combat-troop withdrawal and more importantly that is not simply an arbitrary line in the sand.

I urge people on the left against rush to judgments all is for naught in Afghanistan by value of the nation’s long history of failed attempts at conquering it. This new strategy is not “conquest” but rather supporting existing efforts and expanding upon the model of political solutions with regional leaders. An opportunity will be created in the next two years for Afghanistan to stabilize, but in the end the stand against terrorist tactics must come of the people. That much is out of our hands, it is true.

From GlobalSecurity.org:

Along with protecting local Afghans and reducing violence, new efforts are focused on cutting off the funding of the Taliban and other Afghan insurgents. US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke spoke of a new thinking on the issue during a June 2009 visit to Pakistan. Holbrooke said the long-held notion that Afghanistan’s illicit opium trade is the main source of funding for the insurgency is simply not true. And, he says US policy is going to reflect that reality. “If the drugs ended tomorrow, it would not have a major effect on the Taliban source of funding,” said Holbrooke. “And, that’s one of the reasons the United States is going to downgrade crop eradication as part of its policies in Afghanistan. We’re going to upgrade interdiction. We’re going to upgrade our efforts to go after the main drug traffickers. But we want to focus on where the money really comes from.”

According to PBS & independent news media this is indeed true, but mainly because the Taliban has moved toward kidnapping, extortion and money-laundering as opposed to opium-running.

I do not support actions that only needlessly escalate war, but this change in strategy is likely the only course of action that will bring our major operations inside Afghanistan to a timely close. The president spoke of “muddling through” in reference to the former policy and I would say the same of those promoting this policy of rapid withdrawal. It appears to me that many in my party and that I agree with on a host of other issues propose “muddling through” the careful process of timely and permanent withdrawal from these costly foreign incursions brought about under the George W. Bush Presidency.

Regardless of progress on the ground the generals will always ask for more troops and the person we charged with the responsibility over such matters has decided that the 30,000 troops in Afghanistan for the elections is going to stay and more will be deployed in months to come. Provided agencies like the UN are included more directly in solution-seeking and the model of focusing on political solutions as opposed to only military solutions to bring an end to the conflict there is no reason to scoff at the 2011 deadline for strategy review.

This was a mishandled war left by the previous president and one does not clean up a rotten pile of eggs by screaming at it; you get a shovel.

My heart still cries out: “Come home, America!”

But this is very similar to my views on the aftermath of the U.S.-Iraq Invasion: rapid withdrawal has serious consequences not to be ignored but it is equally important to note that keeping the pressure on our representatives to set clear goals and bring the U.S. involvement to an eventual close as quickly as humanly possible is the responsibility of citizens that fund these conflicts.

To leave now is folly.

This was a predictable “middle-option” and under the current circumstances I believe it was the best possible choice available to the president and the true value of this decision is yet to be seen.

Post 9/11

In October 2001, in response to the Taliban regime’s protection of al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the United States, coalition forces forcibly removed the regime from Afghanistan.

Since the Taliban’s ouster in late 2001, remnants of the regime have sheltered in remote reaches of Afghanistan’s mountains, mainly in the south. While they stood little chance of retaking power while the US-led coalition remains in Afghanistan, rogue Taliban members appeared to be regrouping.

Evidence mounted by early 2003 in the southern regions of Afghanistan that the Taliban was reorganizing and has found an ally in rebel commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, labeled a terrorist and hunted by US troops,” the Associated Press reported in early April. The evidence included the discovery by coalition forces of around 60 Taliban fighters holed up near the village of Sikai Lashki, 25 miles north of the southeastern village of Spinboldak. Further indication came from the killings in southern Afghanistan of a Red Cross worker and, separately, of two U.S. troops in an ambush, as well as allegations that Taliban leaders had found safe havens in private homes in neighboring Pakistan’s Quetta province.

While no reliable estimates existed of the number of Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, the Associated Press said in late March that it is believed that “many” Taliban are holed up in the southern mountains.

While a multinational force helped keep the peace in Kabul and surrounding areas, contributing countries have declined to extend the force’s mandate to other parts of the country. Remnants of the Taliban and rogue warlords sometimes threatened, robbed, attacked, and occasionally killed local villagers, political opponents, and prisoners.

This is what I spoke of before on this blog.

Our target was al-Qaeda and we should have handled the matter as a militaristic police force instead of “forcibly removing” this Taliban regime in 2001. This is the very nature of the trap of nation-building and these recent changes in war policy are a reflection of the situation as it is now and how to combat the elements are indeed a threat to national security while avoiding the pitfalls of unilateral nation-building. This is a policy that will hopefully provide enough security to focus on counter-terrorism efforts along with regional stabilization so that our exit from the region does not serve to only further destabilize a volatile situation.

A Liberal’s Survival Guide

Obama-Other-Newsweek-3

I recommend picking up a copy of Newsweek for yourself. The cover story for the issue of the week of November 2nd 2009 is an excellent piece on President Barack Obama. Anna Quindlen has put to words what I felt to be true since early in the 2008 Presidential Campaign:

Barack Obama campaigned as a populist firebrand but governs like a cerebral consensus builder. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Campaigns are bad crucibles in which to forge the future. They speak to great aspirations; government amounts to the dripping of water on stone.

The president is a person of nuance. But on both ends of the political number line, nuance is seen as wishy-washy. There’s no nuance in partisan attacks, soundbites, slogans, which is why Barack Obama didn’t run with the lines “Some change you might like if you’re willing to settle for” or “Yes, we can, but it will take awhile.”

If the American people want the president to be more like the Barack Obama they elected, perhaps they should start acting more like the voters who elected him.

In my personal estimation the liberal-left mainstream view of Barack Obama was overly optimistic as to his clearly stated positions. This situation has altered since the campaign but still seems to maintain elements of previous misconceptions.

This president is entirely unique.

I was adamant about this in the first few months of The Obama Presidency when the media-punditry were attempting to compare Obama to another American President of the recent past. The only comparisons to draw are poor ones.

Many attempt to call The Obama Presidency a “centrist” presidency. I believe this is only in part true and better descriptions would be “staunchly bipartisan” or “consensus builder” as to what we see of The White House of 2009.

Ultimately, I myself am far too left-wing to support every Obama Policy. I am certainly left-wing enough to vote for him, but in the instance of national health care reform I would seek to isolate the insurance giants in the face of the bipartisan concept of bringing them to the table.

I would seek to remind readers that The Founders had many ideological differences between them and while they surely would approve of the goal of consensus building, I believe some would argue that party loyalty or campaign kick-backs mean nothing in the face of protecting the general welfare of the people of The United States.

Allow me to put forth my view on The Founding Fathers as it applies to the proposed health care reform in the U.S.:

A single-payer bill, like H.R. 676, might be scientifically approved but does not incorporate the spirit of incrementalism that is key to sound reform. If one was to augment the “single-payer” model of this bill into a national health care insurance option for citizens ages zero to sixty-five, included the Dennis Kucinich Amendment in which states can opt-in to a single-payer system, and included the Harry Reid Proposal in which the states can opt-out of the national option within a single piece of legislation; this unwritten bill would be within the true desires of the framers of The U.S. Constitution.

I can only see two clear flaws in Barack Obama as president, thus far.

Handing health care to the Congress was a bad move.

Isolating the giant of media-misinformation when there are other offenders within the spheres of foe-news.

Both of these are purely strategic flaws and amount to simple criticism and nothing more on my behalf.

On the matter of his appointments I believe what I was speaking on before comes around once again. It’s not a fair assessment to call it a “liberal” cabinet but rather a “bipartisan” cabinet, or “centrist” if you must.

We didn’t elect the liberal-firebrand that came to destroy the GOP and tear down the corporate empire.

We elected Barack Obama.

Fox “Not-a-news-agency” News is Banned From White House Porch

Obama on FOX-thumb-340x229(Chicago Tribune: Swamp Politics)

Is it a good idea to single out just one outlet in the manner that The Obama White House recently has in the case of removing Fox Broadcasting from the press pool?


At first, I was in favor of the move to ignore the Fox Broadcasting Company by Barack Obama.

His efforts to clear his name on the website “Fight The Smears” stem almost entirely from Fox. He has every right to defend himself from these smear-merchants and radical right-wing propagandist supporters.

The right-wing lobby called “Fox News” (as in the cable pseudo-news) and “Fox News Talk” (as in the radio pseudo-news) is still “not a news organization” in my opinion. But I think this label should include everyone from COMEDY CENTRAL to HLN to CNN to MSNBC, everyone except PBS and C-SPAN.

It’s been televised tabloidism in place of televised journalism for far too long. In my view.

Any White House that would send a clear signal that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Glenn Beck Show are all the same thing would be nothing but a benefit in this age of media-hate & mass misinformation.

These programs are not news, they are purely entertainment-television.

Each of these programs has an agenda, as does the network behind each.

There is nothing wrong with doing agenized-news. But it is dishonest and unethical to claim objectivity if you are playing toward a specific political wing, or any specific agenda. This is the greatest offense of the so-called “Fair & Balanced” Fox Broadcasting. As a network they cater to right-wing political agendas and refuse to declare themselves as a format that promotes conservative ideology. In that case I see it as a function of false advertising on behalf of the network.

All these programs, it‘s important to point out, are television-propaganda toward that agenda. Which might be only the agenda to make you laugh.

The broadcasting produced by this political lobby / news agency / entertainment format in only the viewing of it is not dangerous. It is taking these kinds of broadcasts as serious news formats that is problematic in a democratic society.

The informed viewing of propaganda is merely educational. However, to those who refuse to see the difference between opinions and facts the viewing of the propaganda of reckless liars, there is a dangerous situation produced.

Mine is a somewhat complex argument in regards to The News Wars between The Obama White House and Fox Broadcasting Company:

It is a good move that Obama is standing up to bad journalism mixed with bad business practices, but a bad move that he singled out FOX alone when all the news agencies screw something up.

FOX is just the biggest offender of the smears.

I believe radio and satellite should remain untouched by sweeping regulations, but televised broadcasting of race baiting and McCarthyism is just too much tabloidism for me to handle.

This sensationalist-reporting on politics that has been going almost entirely due to FOX NEWS is not exclusive to them, so I think it would be wise to pick out a few other agencies, perhaps CLEARCHANNEL and COMEDY CENTRAL, to also declare as non-news formats.

It is clear to me when a news group is run by an agenda, thus becoming more like a political lobby than a news group, but it is not clear to everyone.

A President who stands for educating the public should seek to educate people on what exactly “bias” is, and hopefully shed some light on the issue.

The specific near-criminal acts of failure to disclose vital information of a story committed by FOX NEWS should be spoken of plainly and openly if not handled more severely. This tactic of isolation is my only qualm with Obama’s approach to dealing with fake news.

If it is the desire of this White House to tackle the specific crimes against society that Fox has committed, then I would hope the case was made in specifics.

It is my personal view that a news group, of any sort, can lose it’s status as “press” if they fail to uphold the journalistic truth as a matter of course.

I believe Obama did not go far enough to fight unethical journalism and false reporting.

But I certainly agree with the point that FOX has become something other than a news agency when they promote bad journalism that is not related to their opinion-makers.

What Was Nancy Pelosi Crying About?

Something dangerous that is easily used for ill. Something we see running wild in right-wing politics.

But before we get to that we have to retrace our steps to around the time we experienced the recent global economic meltdown:

1. After lowering taxes, starting two wars, and doing nothing to warn of the coming recession, former President George W. Bush engaged in a government spending program giving out a Stimulus Check to people like myself who are not making any money. Then he bailed out the banks, and we lost a good chunk of the TARP” money in the exchange for his efforts.

2. Unsubstantiated claims about The President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama ranging from claims that he has a falsified birth-record, to claims that he was secretly of Islamic faith, to claims that he was a cloaked dictator, to claims that he was involved in the disaster of the Bush Presidency, to claims that he was trying to forcibly legislate an increase abortions, to claims that he was being dishonest in his Address on Health Care to Congress. Even with nothing but wild conjecture, oppositional profiling, and personal bias behind all these claims they are still touted across the so-called “news” media.

3. The first round of “tea parties” was thrown only after President Obama began the Obama Stimulus, and despite their claims they were funded by GOP big-money thus most certainly were not a “grass roots” movement. The second round of “tea parties” has been mainly hijacked by FOX News & Glenn Beck with his 9/12 Protest” on Washington. Just like before they claim their problem is “taxation” but they neglected to protest when the previous president took actions that, under their own logic, would lead to higher taxation through “bail out policy” and a “stimulus program”.

4. Outright violence, the brandishing of firearms, the direct rejection of direct reading of proposed legislation, and extreme levels of verbal hostility toward Pro-Reform activities was the true end result of the national debate on health care via town hall meetings across this country. There has been an electronic publicly conveyed death threat against the president and a Federal Census worker has been brutally slain under highly dubious circumstances that may amount exactly to the kind of anti-government rhetoric the right-wing is promoting so avidly.

So what was Nancy Pelosi crying about?

Populism is on the rise in North America.

The worst kind of Populism that exists, the purely fascist brand of populist-thought.

It revolves around thinking that all not in agreement with you must be “indoctrinated” or “flawed” and that you and those who associate with your thinking have the purest-form of all logic.

This fascist-mentality, when mixed with elements of pure populism, makes for an atmosphere of violence. What is worse yet is there is no true agenda to this brand of Populism that we see before us today.

They quite clearly only wish to attack the Obama White House and have no real set goal beyond constant smears as can we clearly seen by the fact that if they got Obama out of office that Joe Biden would be president, and after him Nancy Pelosi.

So they wouldn’t be pleased with even two supposed impeachment proceedings, they would have to go for three and I assume try to install John Boehner. This entire movement has reached a point that it is and actual danger to our society.

Because it is Populism without Peace, it is a form of Populism I can never associate with.

I dream of a day when people could come together and settle many differences as respectful and honest citizens of this great nation, and on that day I would speak of Populism being a good thing. An element that drives democracy and brings people to the table. Something that can enhance our understanding of one another as we come together on common goals. Such a day when we could throw away political parties, or perhaps introduce more, fresh ideas into the national dialogue and power structures of Washington.

But that day is not today.

There is no doubt.

What we see now is simply an anti-Obama crusade of populist-rhetoric that is being used to spread inaccurate claims instead of reasonable discussion on facts.

Misused, as it has been in this case, Populism is a very dangerous thing.

However, the “Cash for Clunkers” program is an example of what I believe is the true essence of Populism. The majority agreed and all parties involved were satisfied of those who took part, and in the end populism ruled because the demand far exceeded the value.

When something is truly good for the whole, and the majority wants it, a Liberal Populist like myself is working toward that end.

When something is only a benefit to the selective few, and loud minority wants it, a Fascist Populist like Glenn Beck is working only toward his own selfish ends.

These are dark days in North America.

The lies continue to spread, the right-wing political-media continues to be corrupt, and people are buying more guns and ammunition than ever before.

This danger does not stop at Obama’s doorstep.

This threat is upon anyone they deem against them.

May God have mercy on all their souls.

Bill Clinton Downplays the Anti-Obama Rhetoric

Bill-Clinton-3-08

Former President Bill Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press and when asked about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ that smeared him during his presidency he said this:

GREGORY: “Is it [the right-wing conspiracy] still there?”

CLINTON: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was, .. I mean, they’re saying things about him [Obama] — you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did,”

I agree with the former president’s assessment that we have changed demographically as a nation and that the virulence of the right-wing smear factory is as virulent as ever, but Clinton failed to touch on two critical points surrounding this current crusade of baseless slanders against these two democratically elected leaders.

Point One:

The major platform to carry the broken logic of these claims was primarily talk radio when Clinton held the White House. Today these same kind of untrue slanders are carried by FOX News Talk Radio, FOX Cable News, and other talk mediums that include satellite broadcasting which did not even exist within the time he was in office. Then add on top of that a new spinster has come to rival Rush Limbaugh: Glenn Beck.

Point Two:

The McCarthyist and anti-democratic rhetoric coming from the right-wing did not start until several years into the Clinton presidency but have begun almost immediately in the Obama presidency.

Likely he seeks to try to disempower the media-jackals of FOX News, by evading the heart of the matter of the foundation-less smears directed against President Obama; he is trying to avoid giving them bait.

But it must be said: these smears have propagated themselves in much more virulent manner and much sooner than they did for Clinton. It took them years to get around to accusing him of anything even half as extreme as some of the myths about Obama that have been floated around from several months back.

What is worse is the very foundation of this conspiracy is not the same as the one that attacked Clinton. Only the tactics and one of the actors (Limbaugh) remain from that old sideshow.

This is far, far worse and I can not label it anything less than fundamentally un-American.

It seeks to undermine our very system of democracy and our very system of public discourse.



The government is trying to kill you and everyone not with you is a “shill”.

Or … if it’s not the wild conspiracy theories of those like Alex Jones, it’s the equally wild claims of those like Glenn Beck.



The government is trying to control your life and everyone who doesn’t think so is a “Marxist”.

All of this is simply designed to sow fear and distrust for both anyone who supports any not of their opinion then simultaneously spread fear about the government at-large.

In a democratic society we cannot afford to simply forgo coming to the table to discuss our positions with facts and reason then replace this with media-crusades and continuous vicious untrue labeling without dire consequence.

Those who refuse to educate themselves except from known liars need to be recognized as dealt with non-credible.

The insidious plot that is in play here is of another caliber entirely.

It is a giant media body larger and the message is wholly anti-democratic, then you add that we have race baiting going on against the first African-American president by both Beck and Limbaugh, but nobody on the right wing ever cares that they engaged in it and continue to do so at their whim.

A certain element of racism exists not just in what Jimmy Carter said about some white people in the US not feeling a black man should lead this great nation, but also within this intense rush to judgment of Barack Obama in terms of the full scope of his presidency.

The matter of those on the right who wished to keep their children home from school because Obama would address the class in a video is more short-term example of this same rush to negative judgment.

I personally will allow no person to wrap themselves in this claim that anyone is saying that everyone anti-Obama is by value of that a racist.

What is disturbing is the number of people who obviously have never looked into what people are calling “racist” or “racialist” on the left but truly have a high level of indignation more about the fact that the issue is being discussed than anything else.

To not even entertain thought long enough to form any kind of argument begs the question if they are within heavy stages of denial.

Make no mistake, once these neoconservatives no longer have an enemy to publicly defame and lie about they will go right back to trying to get people to vote for The Republican Party.

And the media in general is not helping by providing massive double standards in their intense questioning of Democrats, but constant softballs to Republicans.

Alan Grayson is my Hero


What we hear today in terms of conservative rhetoric is almost entirely defining the opposition in a extremely slanted and most frequently completely untrue fashion.
The claims of “Marxist leanings” and “communist affinity” and “non-nationalized citizen” and “secret Muslim” and “infanticidist” all originate solely in the minds of those who seek only to destroy and demean him not just as a politician but as a man. Some of these media jackals care nothing for liberty, and care only to tear a man down with lies to enhance their own career.
It is people like Tom Price who have to apologize to the dead. People like that who have to beg for forgiveness of the families who lost loved ones, all because Price had to let his friends make more money at the cost of people’s lives.

Truth About Lobbyists and Interest Groups

“One study of eighty-three (primarily liberal) public-interest groups found that one-third of them received half or more of all their funds from foundation grants; one-tenth received over 90 percent from such sources. In one ten year period the Ford Foundation alone contributed about $21 million to liberal public-interest groups. Many of these organizations were law firms that, other than staff members, had no members at all. The Environmental Defense Fund is supported almost entirely by grants from foundations such as the Rockefeller Family Fund. The more conservative Scaife foundations gave $1.8 million to a conservative public-interest group, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest.” [Wilson, DiIulio 2008]

The concept of using public interest groups to promote the agendas and ideals of a movement is, by this source, not exclusive to the liberal movement but heavily favored by it thus far.

President-elect Barack Obama may ultimately isolate himself from major liberal movement members if the proposed audit of Washington politics were to take a lasting toll on the liberal lobbies. The next four years will certainly answer just how far this coming administration is willing to go to remove corruption in public interest group finance and practice, but four years from now there will also once again be a national referendum on the highest office.

Should the effort ultimately take power from once strong lobbies for popular liberal agendas, the informed American Democratic Voter could potentially face a struggle at the polls when considering a vote for the incumbent President.

The power of an interest-group, in a classic design, should expand as the number of members and contributors expands. The ‘funded & unoccupied lobby’ described in quote above as a law firm is a critical element of what causes the real disruptions in Washington politics.

The figures and organizations that form the American lobbies and public-interest groups of today are not necessarily the root of the problem so much as the agendas of the highest funded public interest groups overriding the highest agendas of the wills of the people.

If the National Legal Center for the Public Interest (a weak lobby) were to receive a large increase in both number of members and in contributions. they should rightly increase in the voice and recognition in Washington and receive foundation grants in turn.

If the Environmental Defense Fund (a strong lobby) were to lose both member and public support their voice as a lobby should rightly decrease and even though they do not receive a majority in foundation grants they should be kept from taking them if they lacked any significant support in the public domain.

This is all within a classic definition of how the public interest groups should work. Any number of factors can increase or decrease the power of a single lobby and for this reason most of us limit our discussion on public-interest groups, or lobbies, to the number of members that are well-known or outspoken and the money behind the group.

Lobbyists are not are always motivated by ill or by good, despite the fact the lobby they work for is focused on a critical social issue or an important national matter that concerns you–or perhaps for a group with which you disagree strongly.

To speak broadly, they are like salesmen of political stances a person in Washington should take.

They are not invested into the case they are making in every single case but rather deliver the best argument in favor of the lobby that they can devise.

Politicians and lobbyists are very much the same, in many ways.

Without means to search the hearts of others to know for sure if they really believe what they contend or if they are simply going with the popular ideology to gain your favor, we will never know for certain if they stand for the people or if they stand for their own private interests.
We can only judge their actions in office as solid statements of policy.

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com/

December 2008

Chris Wallace and Fox News are Lying to You

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(Image: The Osterley Times)

Chris Wallace and The FOX Broadcasting Company have proven to me personally that not only do they work in a direct effort to both intentionally under-report and under-disclose vital information to the stories they cover, but also to outright lie in the name of presenting their case.

Wallace attempted to defend the ACORN slander artist, James O’Keefe III, by repeating false claims that have irrefutable evidence stating otherwise.

As is the par for the course, nobody cares to speak out against these truth-spinners and defenders of McCarthyism in the US.

MediaMatters.org has covered the story far better than I ever could hope to, but I think it needs to be understood that when Fox News reports via Megyn Kelly that O’Keefe and Giles were in fact asked to leave ACORN offices, while O’Keefe and Giles have previously denied these claims on the air of FOX News, it is the obvious responsibility of Chris Wallace to inform you of this lack of credibility native to these people along with any other claims or assertions he would like to make.

That failure to report this information, and the failure of FOX News to hold their employees responsible, is an affront to American democracy as much as it is to journalism in the modern age. If these people continue to lie to the public there may need to be some serious consideration made toward the goal of civilly disrupting and peacefully dismantling an agency dedicated to spreading misinformation, racist sentiments and un-American propaganda.

This video is pertaining to another matter entirely but I draw your attention to the FOX News-ticker at approximately 2:10 in this clip:

.. Carter, who said racism accounts for most criticism of Obama, but says “That’s not what’s driving” Obama’s detractors ..

Words are important. To lie about the words of a former United States President, even in a cable news-ticker, is an insult to this nation and there is no doubt to me that this is far from some minor accident.

Look carefully at that sentence.

The whole statement is designed to make Jimmy Carter look like he is talking in circles, when in fact the Fox News organization is using their own language “most criticism” to put words in Carter’s mouth. A shameful and un-American thing to do, in my view.

Now look carefully at Carter’s actual quote:

I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,

Carter was quite clear and not all ambiguous like the false and downright slanderous “Fox News-version” of events.

The words are “intense animosity“, not “criticism“. And “overwhelming portion“, not “most“.

Jimmy Carter can defend himself. I will not dissect every angle of this for the sake of this singular posting.

I am simply saying you look at the words someone spoke for what they are. Not twist them around until they say what you want them to say.

And it amounts to a simple, and for some hard to accept, fact:

Fox News appears to be in the business of promoting and advocating for racist ideals in the U.S.

Until I see clear examples of the end of their unwillingness to accurately report on fabricated-scandals like ACORN, the controversy over Jimmy Carter’s words or something to the issue of finally questioning the wisdom in keeping an avowed racist like Glenn Beck on the payroll, I see no reason to think or say otherwise.

There are some good people who work at Fox News. But there are good people who work at the IRS, too.

Doesn’t mean they’re not working in a cesspool.

Overt Race-Baiting From Limbaugh And Racial Politics At-Large

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“In Obama’s America white kids now get beat up with black kids cheering, ‘Yeah! Right on, right on!’”

“When is the last time Gen. Powell endorsed a white liberal for president?”

“This whole election [2008] was based on race.”

These are just a small taste of the flagrant racialist sentiments that have come from the Pro-Republican ultra-conservative rightwing-mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh.

Not once has any major Republican party figure come out to distance themselves from these shameless attempts to drum up anti-black sentiment against Barack Obama.

While Jimmy Carter expressed what I thought needed to be said, the larger part of my personal feelings on the matter is that of the unwillingness to question those that present themselves as conservatives or Republicans but in truth engage in viscous race-baiting.

It is the lack of togetherness around combating racism that leads me to such reasoning.

If their movement was so invested in racial equality, wouldn’t they want Limbaugh thrown off the air? Or at very least to stop calling himself a conservative and just admit to being a Race-baiter more than he is anything else?

But, no.

He is a mainstay in conservative-talk and even the Chairman of The RNC, Michael Steele, wouldn’t stand up to him on a matter as simple as if Limbaugh was an “entertainer“ or not.

Obviously Rush Limbaugh is a Radio Entertainer, but these quotes are examples of exactly what kind of entertainment his program really offers. Race-baiting against African-Americans and vile, political hatred for all who disagree with him all wrapped up in one package.

In that much alone, bringing no other examples, I could say almost the same words the former President Jimmy Carter spoke that have sparked controversy except more directed on to the shoulders of mainstream conservatives than the anti-Obama forces.

This failure to reject the racialist statements of a popular political-talker on any real level begs to question if indeed many support these untrue and racially divisive statements.

In short, it is this defense of figures like Limbaugh or the defense of racist cartoons that promotes the idea in minds of some that perhaps racial motivates do exist far more strongly than political motives in minds of others.

PORTSMOUTH, NH - AUGUST 11: Police stand near protesters outside Portsmouth High School where U.S President Barack Obama is holding a town hall August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. President Obama is in town to speak about the need for health insurance reform to a crowd of eighteen hundred. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

PORTSMOUTH, NH - AUGUST 11: Police stand near protesters outside Portsmouth High School where U.S President Barack Obama is holding a town hall August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. President Obama is in town to speak about the need for health insurance reform to a crowd of eighteen hundred. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

“We have to take our country back!”


“Get your government hands off my Medicare!”

There are two reasons why I believe some of the extreme sentiments in The Health Care Debate are perhaps more than merely political partisanship from the right.

(1) The Patriot Act expanded federalism and government power, as well as government involvement in our lives, without anywhere near the same level of intense resistance from these same groups who claim to stand only for limiting government power.

(2) Republican President George W. Bush initially expanded federalism, once more in a single presidency, to include market recovery spending again without anywhere near the same level of personal attacks on his character.

The ideals of conservatism state that we should have let the market fall and just let the chips fall where they may. The ideals of conservatism state that creating more government is always the wrong direction and only limiting it is the correct course.

If this resistance was in fact some ‘grass roots’, ‘bipartisan’, ’community event’ based on conservative ideals then these same people would have held protests and thrown tea parties at the actual expanse in federalism, and not at this late stage.

This talk of revolution and talk of oppressive government certainly begs any level of credibility with even the most elementary review of facts. A disconnect exists between the level of outrage and the stances they claim to hold dear.

It is important to point out, that I agree with Speaker Pelosi on the matter of astroturfing in the Health Care town halls.

I eluded to that in a previous post: “Marble-cake Federalism and Health Care Reform”.

‘Astroturfing’ is a political term you don’t hear often. It means that a big entity, like a medical insurance company, is funding the protestors by means of paid-provocateurs and organizers usually working as private contractors.

I am not trying to belittle or demean those that have issues with the Health Care bills or issues with the very notion of government Health Care Reform.

I am only saying that in my view all these events don’t add up.

The problems in Congress and the deficit issue or the many other points I have heard made never include addressing why these issues, that have been this way prior to the election of Barack Obama and during the presidency of George W. Bush, are suddenly such strong points of contention.

I would remind everyone of the Obama Stimulus and how a very similar message was present in those speaking out in public and in the media but none of them ever explained why they neglected to protest or even voice their opinion when Bush issued a Stimulus Check and bailed out the banks.

Non-explanations combined with a specific rejection of specifically this president combined with intense pre-judgments, like the charges of “indoctrination or despotism coming from people on the right wing when Obama merely addresses school children, are the reasons that I support Jimmy Carter in confronting the issue instead of shying away.