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.

May Day Riot in Santa Cruz (Video)

WATCH:Anarchy Riot Santa Cruz Ca May Day 2010” on YouTube by alansitarbrown & “Violent May Day March in Santa Cruz” on YouTube by ksbwtv

Santa Cruz has suffered an incident of mass vandalism that is being labeled an “anarchist riot” in the news media. Cowardly and misguided individuals appeared at an un-permitted “May Day party” in Downtown Santa Cruz with masks, spray cans, paint bombs and rocks to destroy the message of international workers’ rights. Instead they terrorized and destroyed our city, for the name of what exactly I’m not at all clear.

These nut jobs smashed a series of windows and sprayed anarchist graffiti on local businesses after turning a workers’ rights rally into a riot. Whatever misguided notions they have about anarchism, or whatever message they were trying to convey, was smashed right along with the glass. Compounded by that only cowards wear masks to get “the word out,” for whatever that means to them. If you have a cause that you are passionate enough to protest about, use your face and real name to stand behind this cause and not the cloak of a mask.

These supposed connections between a local “anarchist’s cafe” and the madness in Downtown are weak, in my mind. Those groups are usually book clubs, not bomb-throwers and masked vandals like in some common misconceptions. But I do not speak from any personal experience on this specific group.

I’ve asked around a little and nobody knows who did this. I’m going with the theory it’s just some cretins with no message at all beyond destruction and fear-mongering the public.

The real tragedy here is the taint to the righteous cause of workers’ rights worldwide that started when the organizing group, who are now under FBI scrutiny, refused to gather the proper permit.

I can report that unnamed local leaders were urging these people to file for the permit, hoping to close the open door to incidents like this one.

I think the poor police response time is the real story here. Reportedly, police were led away from the rally by a pair of false 911 calls designed to distract them from the situation brewing Downtown; however, according to multiple eyewitnesses (of which I am not one) as well as the included YouTube video the police took over an hour to respond.

Merced Sun-Star:

“We don’t think this was an unsophisticated group of protesters; we think this is an organized group of anarchists,” Santa Cruz Police spokesman Zach Friend said Monday, adding that investigators believe the anarchists had sought to strain city resources.

In the Political Internet this riot is being framed as having some connection to liberal progressives by the far right-wing. This is entirely untrue and goes to show how little these misguided conservatives understand how liberals feel about might-makes-right kind of messages like terrorizing people with riots and the mass destruction of property.

Unlike the cases of obvious tea party vandalism against pro-health care reform Democrats, there is no resounding vocal effort to excuse the actions of all these possibly politically motivated vandals and domestic terrorists on behalf of liberal progressives as there most certainly was on behalf of the “tea party conservatives.”

Whatever Free Speech you want to spread is fine, and odds are we’ll disagree about something somewhere, but making threats, inciting violence, destroying property and wearing masks is just the tactics of terrorists and fascists.

Tea Party Death Threats & Vandalism

The fractious ultra-conservative Tea Party Movement has finally morphed from bazaar partisan rancor into death threats and vandalism against the Democratic health care reform agenda. The racist language directed at John Lewis, the homophobic slurs directed at Barney Frank, the coffin placed in Russ Carnahan’s lawn; the list of examples continues on.

Bigoted anti-Semitism has erupted in talk radio and Internet circles as the threats with possibly bullets behind them find their way to Eric Cantor’s office.

The Tea Party tactics that we see coming to fruition in all this recent hostility toward Democrats, and any progressive or liberal who does anything but stand mute, are designed to sour and squelch all civil debate over health care reform.

This is not and never was about taxes.

The Republican Party and the biased Fox News media have done nothing but prop up these radicals who exhibit these untruthful and violent features. Now these same hypocrites attempt to lay the blame for this vandalism at the feet of Democrats and those who support the health care reform agenda.

The far right has revealed itself as an anti-life and anti-freedom movement in this reform backlash, while the mainstream right reveals itself to be completely accepting of this domestic terrorism.

I want to see these Tea Party bloggers posting an address that is attacked with vandalism to be arrested on charges of willfully contributing to wanton destruction of private property.

Two conservative Tea Party activists posted the address of the home on the Internet on Monday, mistakenly believing it was the home of the congressman. One of the activists urged others to “drop by” and “express their thanks” for Perriello’s vote in favor of health care reform.

Tuesday evening, Perriello’s brother’s family smelled gas and discovered the propane line of a gas-powered grill on their screened-in porch had been slashed.

“American Right Wing Distaste for Government” by Stellaa

This is a post from Stellaa’s blog that I think deserves consideration:

 

Although this is indirectly about the healthcare debate, I want to step back and ask my friends on the right about their ideas on “government” and the Reagan cry that you hold dear: “government is the problem, not the solution” 

___________________________________________________ 

 

I am confounded by a paradox in thinking by conservatives and libertarians.  Let me see if I can break it down and not fall in the pit of confusion and distortion that they come seem to embrace with gusto.   

This is how the conservative thinking goes:

  • American conservatives seem to own the symbols of patriotism.  The flag, the national anthem, the militaristic rituals, statues, songs and just patriotic bravado– oh, they own the “founding fathers”.  

  • Yet, these same people despise their government.   The very government, that is the instrument the US Constitution, the mechanism by which our democracy is implemented.   The thing that has kept the “democracy” alive.  

  • They deem this “government” incapable of any competence, except of course when that government goes to war, puts people in jail   or executes them.  Somehow, in their minds, government does that just fine.  

  • They seek to strip the government of all powers and privatize all activity.  This sentiment, of diminishing powers is only when the other side wins.  Privatizing the government services is a constant theme, public goods should be for private gain.  

  •  They cite the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, yet, they do not tell us, if we did not have a government, courts, legislators etc, who and how would that Constitution  be protected and or enforced?  Yet, unlike me, who only has a distaste for the second amendment, they would gladly trim the sails of all the other amendments.  So, why should government define marriage?  Why should government be involved in their reproductive decisions?  Why should government be entrusted with god?  Why should government control what we see, hear or read?  

  • If it’s the size of government they dislike, then why do embrace corporate bureaucracies?  The corporate bureaucrat does not have a public process where at least the citizen can file a complaint and get a hearing.  Public bureaucracies have provisions for change of unjust rules.   

So, Mr. Reagan and all his followers who blindly believe that “government is the problem”, pray tell, how do you suggest we manage this democracy, this nation?  What are you offering to replace government?   Why do you trust and embrace government when it comes to imposing your values and yet you distrust government in mechanical functions?  

Think of a simple thing like building codes.  If we stripped those powers, tell me, tell me how the free market would make sure that the materials and the builders built habitable and safe buildings?  

 I have worked in government and have fought with government for decades.  I have little faith in the talk of change as long as we have elected officials who receive contributions and depend on being reelected.  

Of course I am cynical about many aspects of how this nation is governed, but damn if I am willing to give it up to a bunch of looneys with guns, corporate boards and “that void of the conservative alternative”.   

What the f*** do you guys want?   How do you suggest we do this?  If tomorrow we eliminated all government in the US, what would this world look like?

Yes, there is the odd anarchist who will chime in and tell me how the whimsical free thinkers of the world will all hold hands and make sure, because they are such spiritual and righteous beings.  Trust they say  people will just do the right thing.  Yes, right, now go off and do a pantomime and wear some fairy wings and as soon as you are done, get married and become a meaner and nastier bourgeois pig than I could ever be.  

I often find that for all the claims of “godliness” that the right-wing in politics and specific people on the internet / media are some of the most hostile, mean-spirited, spiteful and unhumble people one could find.

I have posed the similar questions as well, when confronted with this.

With no coghent reply, ever.

I’ve decided this is all fine and dandy. The day they all burn their Social Security Cards, State Identifications, and Passport–then swear off all government roads and all government connected service–is the day I will start taking them seriously.

As for now they are acting as nothing less than unpatriotic traitors exchanging politics for fear-mongering.

Mad as Hell about Health Care!

Mad as Hell Doctors

“This Fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.”

Find the MAHD on:

(Facebook)+(Twitter)+(YouTube)

_________________________________________________

Dr. Paul Hochfeld on Ed Schultz.

Quoting from MadAsHellDoctors.com:

You CAN handle the Truth
There’s no nice way to say it. The financial cost of health care is killing our citizens, hobbling our economy, crushing small business, and threatening the solvency of our government. 
In the meantime, the Health Care Industry is spending almost two million dollars a day lobbying Congress and manipulating public opinion to accept “reform” legislation that leaves a vicious, for-profit system intact. The “public option” is a trap.  We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access. 
A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan!
 
If that doesn’t make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.

The “public option” is doomed.
Firstwe will still have a dysfunctional health care system designed around insurance companies.
Secondit will be impossible to cover everyone without raising taxes.
The Obama administration is already saying it is acceptable to leave out 15 million people. Which 15 million? Will you be one of them? Who gets to decide?
Third: in a “post-option” environment you can bet that the health insurance industry will manipulate the rules so that the sickest, most expensive patients will gravitate toward the public plan, which will cause it to fail. When it does, the opponents of real reform will point to the “public option” and scream: “See! Single Payer won’t work!”

There is a time for compromise – this isn’t one of them.
 
  
We believe there is only one way to control costs.
________________________________________________________

This issue and it’s seriousness is severely under-reported or completely propagandized in some media outlets.

This is a map of the uninsured Americans and the percentage of those in your state who are uninsured.

 

Quoting Dr. Hochfeld from a radio-interview with Alan Colmes of FOX News:

“60% of doctors are in favor of government health insurance. The vast majority of primary care providers are in favor of it.”

“We are down to about 30% primary care providers in this country, we should be at about 50%. The more primary care providers you have, and the more resources you put into primary care, the better your health care outcomes and at a lower cost.”

“We are wasting 20% of our dollars on health care costs. It’s a threat to our security. We can’t afford to throw money at health care.”

“Once we get rid of the insurance companies we can have a health care system run by health care professionals.”

“The way ‘single-payer’ works is we take the money we are now spending on health care .. 60% of this 2.4 trillion dollars is already going through the government .. instead of calling it ‘insurance premiums’ it’s just called ‘health tax’. It’s not more money, it’s the same money. Because we cut out the insurance companies, we actually get more for our health care dollars.”

“I’m mad as hell about the political process.”

“I think he [Obama] learned that the industry is far more powerful than he could ever imagine and our political process is far more corrupt than he could ever have predicted.”

 ____________________________________

 

This last quote is vital for me to point out.

 

I find it distrubing those on the left would find it easy to throw the man we elected to change things for the better down the stairs just because the system is broken.

 

That’s why we elected him.

 

Let the man work!

 

This is called ‘incrementalism’ and in my view President Obama should have just gone for the whole-nine-yards of single-payer but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. Mostly because they are all corrupt in Congress and hyper-corrupt in the GOP so it’s just plain outside of the list of options before Obama.

 

Or at least that’s my take.

 

I support Mad as Hell Doctors and all those fighting for Universal Health Care.

 

My heart is with you. Let’s keep making this case until the establishment will finally listen.

Obama is Not Perfect

Obama

Well everyone has to make mistakes, right?

So this is what we got going on that nobody cares enough about you to tell you in the newsmedia:

Obama has dropped the ball on this round of health care reform.

This is not the say he is now failing as president, or anything else the hate-mongers on the rightwing are sure to say.

But this is the first major misstep of The 44th US President.

There are a whole multitude of reasons, most of which very technical and are not coming to mind right now, (and very boring to cover) but as I prefer to ‘cut to the chase’ I’ll just say it like this:

Obama and The Democrats have failed, and failed utterly, to properly sell good health care reform to be proposed in the Congress.

I’m going to give you all a brief lesson in sales … pay attention:

The first thing you do is explain the value. Is this highly valuable or moderately valuable or barely valuable? Are we talking about a gold-plated coffee maker, or a plastic one? Is this car made for the long haul, or just for going to the store and back?

The second thing you do is explain the benefits. Are these the greatest benefits you could possibly have or just fine benefits or perhaps no benefit exists at all? Will you be better off in a few seconds after owning this or will you be better off in two months or will you never be better for owning this?

All the Democrats and President Obama have succeeded in doing at this stage is explaining what this bill won’t do.

Not one of them has succeeded in properly conveying the value and benefit of public health care options, nor have they properly conveyed the value and benefit of saving money in a exasperated system.

Call me vastly arrogant, but I feel they need to put my over-the-top with conviction self on this issue. I am a Progressive Reformist to the bone, and I think perhaps that is exactly what is lacking in the Democratic Party these days.

It seems to me the political will to get this done is floating away from the Democrats now that we are faced with actually doing it. After years of campaigning on health care reform, specifically what we are talking about as to medical insurance reform, these same people seem to lost their thunder as the moment in upon them to roar.

I chalk this up to the nature of people and nature of the real world.

President Obama has done an excellent job in terms of foreign affairs and the national security agenda, but seems to have some trouble working toward this particular domestic policy agenda at this time.

In the end, we the people cannot rely on any one political figure or any one group to get what we need from our government.

The fight goes on, and if they fail to achieve meaningful reform then we will pick up this battle once more in days yet to come.

And perhaps in those days yet to be before us, someone can explain clearly and passionately why we need health care reform in the US.

One can only hope….

There Will Be No Radio Fairness Doctrine

PresidentBillClintonMay282003Disk2074Former President Bill Clinton can now be added to the list of big name Democrats that have eluded to or outright mentioned the Fairness Doctrine in radio-media.

I will boldly speak out turn and say now that there shall not a return to the arcane legislation of the Fairness Doctrine where an opposing opinion must be made time for after any political opinion is expressed.

Though John Kerry, Bill Clinton and other figures speak of a need for media regulation I think the issue was already addressed by President Obama when he requested that conservatives stray away from partisanship like that of The Radio Comedian Rush Limbaugh.

This is the clear stance of this administration that partisanship is any form is counter productive in politics. The partisanship found on FOX Network airwaves and conservative-talk radio was challenged thusly by the Executive Branch. I see no moves from this office toward this matter beyond what we have already witnessed.

This issue simply doesn’t rate high enough on the presidential ‘to do list.’ The outcries from the far right wing that this inane legislation from days gone by are paranoid delusions created to fabricate the image of ’persecuted’ conservatives.

The right to Freedom of Speech has always challenged Americans in terms of what they will accept in terms of their politics and their news media. Those like myself who have educated themselves on some aspects of modern media know about the Radio Fair and Equal Rule.

In the Fair and Equal Rule a political campaign that receives airtime must have due consideration and / or equal airtime.

I foresee no threat to the talk radio medium spreading further into FM, satellite and internet formats.

Though I also would not predict any ‘explosions’ of talk radio, but rather just a gradual integration. The Politic-Talk Medium will always remain, no matter what paranoid conservative pundits say.

Populists Are Not “Dangerous,” Alan Colmes!

Why are you calling us populists ‘dangerous‘?

Now I draw my ‘blogging-sword’ on you. And we are both liberals! And in the same party! Ugh! What a bother!

Explain how this vague ‘progressive movement’ is doing anything worth salt for anyone? President Obama has always identified himself a liberal and not a progressive, as have you.

A Populist Liberal is allowed to exist.

Did not Hillary Clinton label herself a progressive, and then shortly thereafter lose the primary to a man who recognizes himself as a liberal?

Explain why it is a good idea to have a mainly divided and thus mostly useless party?

We are all Americans first, and political party members second.

The Populists of America run the convenience stores at late hours, made your coffee you drank this morning, wired your network and assembled your car. We are the people who smiled at you today in the store.

The liberal progressives of America run the local non-profits, political discussion groups and local activism groups.

If the progressive movement was doing it’s job for the people of America the recession we are suffering would have been common knowledge for the American household.

If voices like mine were present in the corporate -biased media then the great sham pulled on us all would have been aired out, if not entirely prevented.

You called me a terrorist. You might not have meant as much but that’s what it boils down to.

You said you think people like me are just trying to steam up the public for the sake of it.

That’s BS. If you are not angry; then you are not an American. End of story.

“There’s no thinking involved.”

BS. (Read my stuff about AIG Bonuses and get ready to be shocked.)

“They just want to throw all the bums out.” (Not all of them; just some of them.)

Damn straight. I’m calling for resignations across the board. Shame on you for not using your platform to do this as well. We only need action at this stage. You should join me in this, but please run your own affairs as you will.

“They just tell them what they want to hear.”

My messages hasn’t changed. The right wing morphs itself into whatever it does. (American Populism is found in this quote.)

“You know Hitler used populism to get what he wanted.”

Hitler!?! I thought we agreed that bringing up Hitler ends your argument before you can make it. You’ve said as much yourself many times.

I remind you that the Nazi Movement was a Progressive Movement, as well as Populist.

Registered Democratic voter. Poor and unemployed American. Populist. All the same thing in my book.

The form of progressive I am is a religious progressive.

Lastly, all these right wingers using this to promote lies and BS are just using righteous rage to boost ratings. They would try to profit off a orphan, if you ask me.

Why do we have to fight? This is stupid. Your on my team for almost everything I can say. Yet, now we must bicker about the 20% where we don’t agree.

It’s a shame you can’t see this new populist rage is not some weird phenomena but rather the express will of the people. The fundamental nature of all democracy.

Just Call Me a Populist-Christian

A liberal, sure. First and foremost.

But I’m not running from being labeled a populist. Red-baiting doesn’t phase me anymore. Let those who attempt and fail at political understanding call me what they will. I am unashamed. With the change of a single word in a historical quote from the first American Populist to run for president in 1896 you can sum up everything I have to say about the current condition of the American Economy:

You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold [credit].”  – William J. Bryan

The bloody cross of the middle-class and the working-poor should be bore no longer! The whips of old exchanged for bare hands.

This yoke of “credit” and “credit approval” has far too long strangled the workforce of North America from advancing in social class and status. The burden by no means stops there.

The very integrity of the American-worker has been bought and sold on the open market for far too long.

The largest of institutions have had ultimate sway on matters pertaining to them for an age and a day too long.

The era of protectionism has taught us well. No market is isolated. No economy is independent of the strongest economy known to exist. Recent events have shown us this beyond any reasonable doubt.

But the era of “Deceptionism” has yet to be fully addressed, or even understood. No industry is without accountability. No private incorporation is fit to possess a majority share of any highly successful venture.

The essence of mass-deregulation and “trickle-down economies” have only benefited the highest levels of the business world up until now and will only ever benefit the rich at the cost of the poor.

I do not support a return to the Gold Standard as those like Congressman Ron Paul who I have much respect for propose. The credit system and the existence of “credit lines” themselves are not the source of the crown of thorns.

Those who sought to lead us blindly into this recession cannot be fully trusted. Those who hide the truth become party to a much greater misdeed. We should stand silent no longer.

To those who came before us in days of Vietnam. We say to them we have seen your sorrows and known your pain. But we are not shedding blood nor issuing violence as our battering ram against authority.

We demand recognition that our tools are but words, protests and non-violent actions. Choked of our very means of ways by the ever-expanding, all powerful monopolies across our markets. Let all who allowed this to transpire as such come only but to apologize before the public.

Let the regulators who took part in this only shamefully resign. Let the business leaders who did nothing to tell of the coming recession when many Americans, including my father and myself, were fully aware of its coming onslaught only plead for willingness to allow them near our political structure.

I say these words as member of the Progressive Movement and a registered Democratic voter in California. Let us never forget the modern progressive, or alternatively the modern liberal, was forged in the first Progressive Reform Movement of one hundred years past. And the Populist Movement stands the father of the Progressive.

While we do not resemble our forerunners we are much the same as they. There is no tolerance for “absolutism” in the control of the means to better ourselves.

Rick Warren and Barack Obama: What You Didn’t Know Already

In the 2008 presidential campaign for The White House there was something referred to as a “polling anomaly” surrounding Obama.

The evangelical and born-again Christians, that took polls, showed significant support of the candidacy of Barack Obama and held numbers higher than Bush’s numbers from 2000 and 2004 to a very significant degree. (PEW Research & other polling sources)

Those who were watching closely know exactly why Obama picked up a recordable amount of support in these religious fundamental communities, in fact it is fairly obvious. Obama, unlike McCain, never once shied away from the topics of faith in the media circus. Beyond that his words and visible convictions regarding religion, Jesus and God have been forward and direct instead of evasive and vague.

In the mind of many evangelicals the resistance to speaking openly about Christ translates to a resistance to Christ’s message in your life. Essentially, if the name “Jesus” or the word “God” cause you any discomfort then you must be against spreading The Word. Obama has never once spoken directly to the evangelical and born-again movements of America in his national rhetoric, yet he has somehow gained some amount of notable political support from them.

Any politician worth his salt takes every advantage afforded to him when it comes to being able to represent the people that elected him into office. Obama saw all the same numbers I did and I imagine found it confounding for a time that a group which normally doesn’t support Democratic agendas was showing support for his Presidency. This is a question I would ask of him among others should I ever have some of his time.

Rick Warren, along with hosting the second Presidential Debate, is a strong advocate for evangelical ideology and fundamental views of religion.

His rhetoric doesn’t provide equality for the gay community or for the views of the so-called radical religious movements of America (“New Age” ideologies). I completely disagree with his political positions and his opposition of Proposition 8 in California which I personally voted against.

This is what my point is in regards to the disgust expressed to his inclusion in coming public national events:

Since when does agreeing with someone have anything to do with loving them?

– Rick Warren, 12/21/2008

Rick said it for me. Since when does loving one another in a lawful and peaceful nation have anything to do with agreeing with your neighbor’s politics? I believe that given time we will have legal same-sex marriage but it could take awhile. In the meantime we need to not rip each others throats out every time something like this happens in America.

If Rick Warren were to be presented with a “National Spiritual Adviser to America” position or anything smacking of that … well then I’d be out in the streets throwing a whole big fuss about it.

Much love, as they say these days. Nobody gets left out when I say that.

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com

December 23rd 2008