President Obama’s War With The United States

This probably sounds like a candidate for wingnut headline of the day. A story about how the President plans to do everyone in because he is the ultimate subverter of our traditions and way of life.

But my purpose is to suggest that the current Afpak business does not really pit the President against the world’s terrorists as much as it pits him against our sorry past. I am talking about the past that was decreed the minute we institutionalized our WW2-justified impunity and morphed it into the clandestine reality of the Cold War.

I believe it is time to demythologize this venture and call it what it was — an exaggerated sense of global danger that traded an uneasy security for a vicious and demeaning military-industrial venture into global violence and the prodigal sacrifice of American lives and resources.

When I was a child, the violence of media tended to have a humorous distance built in. As in the adventures of Superman and such. Now the cultural expressions of violence are so pervasive that they are an exercise in special effects that reflect our own passivity in the face of shock and awe.

The President cannot act in Afghanistan without engaging in a real war with the hold that Cold War mythology continues to exert. The myth persists. Even though it was never as stated, save in the way both sides played necessary parts and wasted time and treasure creating the mutually assured destruction that gave it its substance.

I am not saying that realpolitik is not real. I am saying that when it shades into a world where impunity, the power that corrupts absolutely, is permitted, then we have this world, the world of a culture filled with everything needed to defeat reasonable action and measured response. There is tangible power behind institutions which are the instruments of the jaws of hell. It is the power and fascination with unbridled improvements on the weapons of destruction, the means of murder, the modes of reification and the mentality of permanent war.

I firmly believe that the President was given his opportunity precisely because there is an ever so slight chance that the balance can tip toward reason. But it cannot do so without a willingness to work through a battle plan for lifting from the vision of the United States the blinders put there by the Dulles Brothers and others who gave birth to the present era.

Obama is appointed, I believe, to show how true toughness lies in respecting ourselves enough to have the courage to deny impunity to all who would seize it. I know that in the human rights world impunity is a term so widely used that it begins to lack meaning.

Very simply impunity is whatever enables a person possessing power to exert his/her will physically’spiritually over another. Whether in a household, a town, a nation. Wherever. Impunity compromises the right of every human being to have his or her No respected and honored. Impunity makes power the measure of all things. Because it is always unbridled, it is the absolute corruption.

The President has intelligently bought some time in Afghanistan. But the time will be ill-used if he does not work with Joe Biden and others to confront the real fault, the fault not in our stars but in ourselves. When this is done. whatever we do in Afghanistan will have a purpose that would never be served if this underlying battle went begging to be understood.


“Get the Government Out of My Social Security!” Inside the 9.12 Teabagger Rally

This is a response this comment by Timberdoodle who is a frequent commentor at Huffington post.

Read “Get the Government Out of My Social Security!” Inside the 9.12 Teabagger Rally at HuffingtonPost

This too shall pass, Tim…

I choose to be part of the society just like Barack and Michelle do.

I have lived elsewhere. In more than one country.

We’ve survived a civil war that few countries could have survived. We have
declared a dream that accords with the deepest hopes of most humankind.

And we have been as harsh in criticizing what we despise here as anyone
from any other country has.

I read your comments regularly and respect them. I have never felt I had to
reply until I read your final sentence. “I just can’t believe any sane sensible
person would want to be part of a society like this.”

I will take it as an example of the kind of flak I took when I lived briefly in
Quebec during the Vietnam era.

We will overcome our wingnuts just as we overcame the authors of
Vietnam, the minions of McCarthy and Father Coughlin, the original
trusts, the secessionists and the know nothings.

Thanks for the good comments you have given to that effort.

Best, S


Is America A Joke?

This is also at Huffington Post. Wonder how long before it is buried? And despite a polite note to the blogteam (at) Huffington Post (com) observing that this post had more comments than some of their featured posts, they have once again let it fall off the main politics page. This trumps any exposure one might hope to get for anything you send them. Minus pay for such efforts, you might hope for an occasional respite.

It is time for some perspective. We have just elected a President who embodies what we might call true American values. These relate to fairness, opportunity, respect and allegiance to law and the Constitution. These values conflict with the following:



The cultivation of hatred.

We elected the President because we knew we were emerging from a government that was skirting the laws and most certainly making a joke of our country.

Now we confront what is a precise big lie effort to bury the above in a stench-laden collection of nativist and palpably ignorant allegations.

Is America a joke?


Is this big lie effort a joke? No.

Read the following:

(1) Repeal of all Naturalization Laws.
(2) None but Americans for office.
(3) A pure American Common School system.
(4) War to the hilt, on political Romanism.
(5) Opposition to the formation of Military Companies, composed of Foreigners.
(6) The advocacy of a sound, healthy and safe Nationality.
(7) Hostility to all Papal influences, when brought to bear against the Republic.
(8) American Constitutions & American sentiments.
(9) More stringent & effective Emigration Laws.
(10) The amplest protection to Protestant Interests.
(11) The doctrines of the revered Washington.
(12) The sending back of all foreign paupers.
(13) Formation of societies to protect American interests.
(14) Eternal enmity to all those who attempt to carry out the principles of a foreign Church or State.
(15) Our Country, our whole Country, and nothing but our Country.
(16) Finally,-American Laws, and American Legislation, and Death to all foreign influences, whether in high places or low

“Copied from the “Know Nothing” newspaper, for the special benefit of my honorable colleague, Miss R In haste—-S”

It is a summary of the 1856 Know Nothing platform. SOURCE

It wasn’t a joke then, either. (Ironicaly, the movement began as the Republican Party before it became the American Party.)

Almost always the extremist and absurd efforts of fringes, on either end of the spectrum, reflect serious conflicts that are allowed to flare up in what seems a confusing and depressing wall of noise, anger and sometimes outright violence.

The enemy then was Irish Catholic immigration. The enemy now is the impending dominance of a multi-racial state replacing a white-dominated state.

The Know Nothing conflict erupted in huge draft riots during the Civil War and perhaps ended with the election of JFK.

The present conflict has a longer arc. It began with the first slave ships and it will not end until our prison society is a distant memory and poverty is eliminated because it is no longer necessary with a technology that can produce abundance without requiring the subjugation of workers.

America is not a joke. It is as ever a bold experiment in moving humanity a bit more to the good side of the spectrum of life. It is a test of the possibilities of immanence and the staying power of proselytizing religion.


Now or Never Grass Roots Health Care Wave Begins

Now or Never Grass Roots Health Care Wave Begins

Yo! Media out there. You missed it last time. We knew after Iowa what was going to happen because we knew we had the grass roots.

Will you, in your endless quest for balance, AKA wingnut talking heads, ignore this far more serious grass roots effort. I said more serious because the President has always insisted that getting elected was just a step. The big steps are health care, a green economy and the fiscal hat trick. And no one knows more than Obama supporters that the onus is not on him. It is on us.

So tomorrow the grass roots now or never health care wave begins.


Here is a taste:

Jack from Los Angeles, CA hasn’t slowed down since the election. His Health Care Organizing Kickoff this Saturday is his sixth event he’s planned since November and each time new people come. He’s expecting about 40-50 people to attend this time, a mix of familiar faces from the campaign, community organizers and people new to the Obama network.

They’ll be meeting to talk health care reform at Pasquale’s Cafe in Los Angeles — a pro-Obama restaurant that will be dishing out free slices of a special pizza dubbed, “The Michelle,” to attendees. The pizza is named in honor of the First Lady for its use of organic ingredients and vegetables grown in a local community garden.

As Jack and his other guests scarf down pizza and craft a health care reform outreach plan, tens of thousands of other people will be gathering in living rooms, community centers and coffee shops across the country. At these kickoffs, people will watch a special message from the President, meet other local supporters, craft a local outreach plan and start to put those plans into action. If you haven’t already, sign up to attend a kickoff in your area.

For Jack, the goal for his kickoff is simple – “to give every attendee the tools with which to go back to their neighborhoods, communities and social networks and rally support for the President’s plan to reform health care.”

Jack feels the urgency. Last week, he was on a conference call with other top volunteers when President Obama told them that health care reform wouldn’t happen if it didn’t happen this year.

america, sarah palin

Bye Bye Ms. American Pie — The Battle for The Real America

Huff | Obama Diary | TALKING POINTS UT| Comment Fodder | Palin UT

UT=Updated Today.

Live Blog of the Veep Debate — Comments limited to single sentences and posted most recent first minus exact times.

There is no victor in this clash in terms of what I anticipate public opinion and punditry to say, but Biden has won on points and Palin has won on not self-destructing.

Palin is doing fine but not winning on any points because Biden is skillfully parrying and hitting hard.

Joe is taking on Palin’s points and gives as good as he is getting, and better with his ultimate bridge to nowhere rejoinder.

Sarah is avoiding Biden’s refutations of her false tax attacks. I doubt that deflection will work for her.

Palin seems tight and nervous but on message.

Biden is condensing Barack on the bailout, mentioning the middle class.

Gwen silent and alone, facing two vacant lecterns with a seated crowd behind her, silent as church.

Any televised 90 minute mega-debate is a HIGH bar for anyone.

Why do certain pairs of talking heads remind me of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?

Earlier Today:

Be sure to scroll down for today’s links news and opinion links.


David Gregory needs some coaching on how to conduct interviews.


Gallup has Barack up five in the daily, a one point decline for McCain. SOURCE

Transcript from A Hard To Hear Video — HT Casey

George Will: What was you response to the Katie Couric interview?

Newt Gingrich: They shouldn’t have scheduled that. … You don’t put them in enemy camp on a national television show as part of the training.

Voice: Let me just say I don’t consider Katie Couric and the press enemy camp, particularly Katie Couric.

Robert Reich: When is she ready for prime time?

Newt Gingrich: I think she’ll gradually be ready for prime time but I’m talking about an adversarial environment.

George Will: When is she ready to be President, that’s the question?

Newt Gingrich: If you want to ask me what gamble I prefer. I prefer the gamble of Palin over the gamble of either Obama or Biden.

George Will: Life is full of gambles that are unavoidable, this surely is an avoidable one.


PPP reports a 10 point lead for Obama in Michigan.


Sean at 538 is bringing good news to Obama folk:

Today, Barack Obama has 269 electoral votes outside the battleground zone. That is, if you only give Obama the states he is projected to win by more than five points, that is enough to get him an Electoral College tie, which is essentially the same as a win. SOURCE


Be nice if Warren Buffett were to emerge as the counter Rupert Murdoch. Can’t think of a mogul I would rather have on my team.


Nate at 123 unloads on Real Clear Politics for skewering results And, later, qualifies it somewhat.

Bye Bye Ms. American Pie — The Battle for The Real America

Can’t resist. This is exactly what this is all about. Not just the song, but the event. Tonight we have a genuine pretender to Ms. American Pie and the question is whether we are going to embrace or say bye bye,

Or — we are in a battle now for the very meaning of the Real America. It is early. Not even 9:00 AM in NYC. There will be time for considerable cogitation between now and 9:00 PM. This is shaping up to be bigger than whatever I said was huge a few days ago.

Enjoy this morning’s links below. I have been a bit more careful about indicating the sources. You can then see who got in and who didn’t. But bear in mind that some who didn’t will be here later in the day.


Random thought: Do Joey, Joe. Remember when you were just nominated. You talked about being called Joey and told to get up. Show Sarah — We are cut from the same cloth dammit.



Bob Dearborn’s Original Analysis of Don McLean’s 1971 Classic “American Pie

Sarah Palin: Former Beauty Queen, Future VP? (PHOTOS)

With slide show and link to Swimsuit Competition.

Greil Marcus on his book “The Shape of Things to Come”

Despotism’s progress. “The 50s was nothing like this.”


Will Barack roll back the attack on our rights? One can hope. Would McCain-Palin? Need I ask?

Will Gwen Ifill ask about torture?



If I parse the McCain surrogates correctly, my hopes are rising. Sarah will be scripted to attack. The only problem is that this is a debate. Biden can match any attack, but Ifill will press Palin to answer the questions, not to deflect it into an attack. I am beginning to catch a whiff of disaster. The thing may be to lay back so that there is not a sympathy backlash. Let the debate attack Palin back. Not Joe. Joe should only attack back if it is a character issue of he and Barack being out of touch.

And of course if Palin is busily dissing Obama, there is nothing to keep Joe from going directly after McCain.


PPP informs us that Palin’s initial popularity has suffered considerable decline in four states key states.

I’m rather certain Ifill will be tough on sticking to major and important issues. Another bad sign for Palin.


The debate will be half international, half domestic. More an more, I see this not as a contest between Biden and Palin, but between Palin and the perception — around 60 percent — that she is not qualified to serve as Veep.


Obama Blog
ABC News
Al Giordano
Andrew Sullivan
CBS News
Christian Science Monitor
Common Dreams
Crooks and Liars
David Corn
Drudge Retort
Huffington Post
Human Rights Watch
Informed Comment
Jed Report
Liberal Values
Los Angeles Times
Media Matters
Mother Jones
My Left Wing
New York Times
Obsidian Wings
Oliver Willis
Open Left
Pro Publica
Raw Story
Rothenberg Report
Talking Points Memo
US News & World Report
Washington Independent
Washington Post


I load new links all the time. Yesterday’s page has different links — significant stories, breaking news, relevant opinion.

TAPPER: Recovery Bill goes to House VIDEO & Text GO

GIORDANO — Altoona is McCaine Country VIDEO & Text GO

ALTERNET: Palin brings in Christian cash GO

BAGNewsNotes: Hard times for drivers of the powerful PHOTO and text GO

CBS — Couric — Palin and Biden on abortion GO

CSMONITOR — High debate stakes GO

CNN — $300 B refinance program opens for business today GO

COMMON DREAMS — The No Bailout Act GO

CQ: Two Michigan Congress races now rated toss-ups GO

C&L — vignette of Obama and McCain in the Senate GO

HUFF (via Drudge Retort) — Gingrich’s bailout interference in Congress GO

FACTCHECK — MoveOn and McCain both err in ads on economic crisis GO

HUFF — McCain’s testy Des Moines interview VIDEOS & text GO

HULLABALOO — Digby parses Palin’s critics Parker and Quinn and concludes they are full of it GO

Liberal Values — Palin’s Non-Answers GO

MCCLATCHY — Pelosi’s toughest test GO

Media Matters — Media figures lie about Democrats getting money to ACORN — VIDEO GO

MOJO — McCain exaggerates past relationship with Palin GO

MUDFLATS — Alaskans for Truth on the march GO

MyDD — No correlation between primary and GE turnout GO

My Left Wing — Why militarism reigns supreme in US GO

NYT — What to watch for in veep debate GO

Pro Publica — Flawed SEC program failed to rein in investment banks GO

Raw Story — Bill Clinton is enthusiastic for Obama VIDEO and text GO

Rothenberg — Presidential race is still questionable but the House and Senate races are a done deal GO

TPM — Robert Reich on the Bailout and the End of Angry Populism GO

TAPPED — Lightning Round — more salient leads GO

Truthdig — Dobson all in for McCain GO

Washington Independent — Veeps matter — 30 percent of them became Presidents GO

WAPO — Poll shows skepticism regarding Palin GO

YESTERDAYBiden, Palin Debate Preview — Sarah Report & Other Wierdnesses For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS


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