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This Is What Unbiased Looks Like

I saw one of those, “Obama accomplishments” sites posted on G+ with the following commentary:

I know, because I am a grown up who lives in a reality based world, that there is no candidate that will ever wholly satisfy me. However, Obama comes pretty darn close. I don’t like everything he has done, but there are a LOT of things he has been able to accomplish. The list is surprisingly large considering there has been a powerful group whose main goal it has been to throw up road blocks the whole time (even when it means going against values they already spoke out FOR–which is just fuckdiculous).

I just want to say that this person is an idiot. She’s the kind of idiot that will destroy the democratic party (I mean, destroy faster), the way that republicans that followed Bush into the rabbit hole destroyed the Republican party. Republicans were happy to go against every single tenet of conservatism, just to support Bush. And in exchange, they got giant government, fiscal recklessness the likes of which we’ve never seen, and the most invasive foreign policy this country has ever practiced.

Obama has done some good things, no question. There are a lot of things that Obama has been awful on. Civil liberties, for instance. It’s almost less galling to have my civil liberties gutted by an idiot, than by a freaking constitutional law professor!

He didn’t do a damned thing to reform Wall Street. Nada. Fortunately, he’s very likely going to preside over the next economic collapse, so he will get the opportunity to suffer as a result of his own inaction.

His crackdown on whistleblowers, his administration’s treatment of Bradley Manning, and his complete disregard for the promises he made regarding states rights on the medical marijuana issue are all appalling.

But the worst thing are the signature drone strikes (as opposed to targeted drone strikes). Signature strikes are when they bomb the crap out of a site that has “signatures” of terrorist activity. No intelligence. These are strikes where they target of groups of men who bear certain signatures, or defining characteristics associated with terrorist activity, but whose identities they don’t know.

I’m frankly disgusted with any democrat that is okay with this. I’m disgusted with any democrat that doesn’t talk about this atrocity every day. You can’t be disgusted with something when Bush does it, and then be okay with it when Obama does it. The person who referred to Obama as “almost wholly perfect” is a great little foot soldier for the democratic party, but she just plain sucks for liberalism.

Republicans did the same thing for Bush, and now they have no ideology left.  They believe in nothing other than hating democrats.

These loyal little foot soldiers for Obama will end up with the democratic party they deserve. Unfortunately, so will I.

Yeah, I’m voting for Obama. But I’m going to call it like I see it. I’m voting for the lesser of two evils. Obama is less evil than the alternative. And the Obama cheerleaders, they just make me fucking sick.

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Played

Have you heard? Our president is an enemy to Israel! I’ve been listening to that bullshit for a couple of weeks now, and I feel compelled to speak up.

I don’t write about Israel very often because, while I have very clear thoughts on the topic, it’s still more emotional and visceral than US politics for me. I’m Jewish. I come from a thousand generations of Jews. As far as I can tell, there’s no infusion of gentile DNA in my ancestry. Genetically speaking, I couldn’t be more Jewey. I was born in Iran, where a branch of my family somehow ended up. None of us are still left in Iran. Most of us moved to the US around the time of the Iranian revolution. But the lion’s share of my family lives in Israel.

I give you all of that background to explain why this post may seem like it’s all over the place. I have many thoughts in the topic of Israel. I like to think that my opinions are all rooted in pragmatism and fact, but I recognize that the truth is that many are visceral and emotionally derived.

I’m not an Israeli apologist any more than I am a democratic party apologist. I believe that it is the duty of each member of any “tribe” to speak out when their tribe behaves unjustly. Group think has never turned out well for any group. That said, I want Israel to exist in peace, free of the kind of daily security concerns that erode the quality of life. I don’t believe it’s possible to prosper under the oppression that is insecurity. So when I speak out against something that the Israeli government has done, it’s because I believe that they are undermining any hope that Israel may have of being secure.

I was appalled when Ehud Olmert bombed the shit out of Lebanon for thirty-four days in 2006. He ordered the seemingly endless bombing in response to rocket attacks by Hezbollah that killed five Israeli soldiers. Let me back up for a second and tell you about Hezbollah. They’re a group of dickless anti Israel terrorists, funded mostly by Iran and Syria. I refer to them as dickless because they like to embed themselves in suburban neighborhoods so that they can use innocent civilians as shields. They’re fucking pussies. You are completely devoid of courage when you have to hide behind children to protect yourself.

Olmert responded to Hezbollah by bombing the shit out of Lebanon for thirty four days. Roughly 1,200 Lebanese civilians were killed. About a million Lebanese, as well as roughly 500,000 Israelis were displaced from their homes.

Olmert made both a tactical and a moral mistake. Tactically speaking Israel bombed Lebanon for over a month and still failed to get the job done. This seriously diminished the perception of the strength of the Israeli army.

And then there’s the issue of Israel’s moral bankruptcy. Israel killed 1,200 people in response to the murder of 5 soldiers. WTF? Olmert’s complete lack of regard for the collateral damage that he was doing was appalling. Israel’s actions were so indefensible, that they came out of the whole incident with the stink of terrorists on them, even though Hezbollah started the conflict. That complete disregard for innocent human life is vile. I don’t care who you are, you’re just fucking disgusting and totally unjustified.

So Hezbollah ended up winning that one. They’re still sending rockets into Israel, despite Olmert’s determination to bomb them into oblivion, and they showed Israel to be cruel. That situation couldn’t have turned out better for Hezbollah. They turned Israel into the bad guys, whose military isn’t all that after all.

It’s not possible to fight terrorists with bombs because they have a tactical advantage in that, they don’t have a country to bomb. No, anti terrorism is best accomplished through intelligence and police work. That thirty four days of bombing Lebanon seriously undercut Israel’s ability to effectively fight Hezbollah. Does anyone think that the Lebanese people are more willing to work with Israeli intelligence in order to identify members of Hezbollah after this incident?

I’m also appalled by Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. They’ve effectively turned Gaza into a prison. Palestinians in Gaza are basically not allowed to leave, and don’t have access to the supplies they need to build a productive society. It’s disgusting. And the idea that my own people can do what Israel is doing, despite the very long history of Jews being oppressed in the same way is both inexplicable and heartbreaking to me. And once again, it’s morally and tactically stupid. Israel needs to get the world community squarely behind it. They will never accomplish this by creating animosity over their treatment over Palestinians in Gaza.

Regardless of how egregious or foolish Israel’s actions are, the United States won’t condemn or sanction them. Why? Because of AIPAC (the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee). AIPAC is probably the strongest lobbying group in the US. Most people think that AIPAC is made up of Jews, but I’m convinced this isn’t true. I believe that AIPAC is made up (perhaps equally) of right wing Jews and Christian Zionists.

If you’re not familiar with Christian Zionists, let me explain. They’re a faction of rabidly pro-Israel Christians. Why would Christians be all pro-Israel? Well, that’s where it gets interesting. In their interpretation of the bible, Jews need to come home to Palestine (Israel). Once home, we’re supposed to destroy the Al-Aqsa and Sakhrah mosques in Jerusalem and replace them with the Great Temple. Once the temple is completed, the last holy war (Armageddon) will begin, led by America and England. You probably know the rest; Jesus comes… Christians get saved…. Jews that don’t accept Jesus die… blah, blah, blah.

Now at this point, any rational person would wonder why Jews would throw in with Christian Zionists, since the end game for each group is definitely not the same. Well, we’re not dealing with rational people. We’re talking about people that believe they know what God wants, and they’re going to be really fucking crafty about giving it to him.

Christians of the non-Zionist persuasion believe that their Zionist counterparts are being played by the Jews, in order to get support for the preservation of Israel. I think that’s probably a fair assessment of the situation. Christian Zionists believe they’re playing the Jews in order to move along their Armageddon prophecy so that they can chill out blissfully in heaven, while the rest of us get fucked. I think that’s also a fair assessment of the situation.

So who is really getting played? That’s easy; both sides are hapless rubes, but the extent of haplessness isn’t equal. Right wing Jews got what they wanted in that, the CZs (I’m getting tired of typing that out!) fully support the protection of Israel. I actually don’t believe that at this point, that the possibility of Israel not existing is a real one whether the CZs are on board or not. Now the Jews are massively getting played at this point. And they’re enthused about it.

Let’s break down the situation. The CZs ultimate goal is for Israel to be the center of the grandaddy of all holy wars. Doesn’t it stand to reason that when they support an Israeli action, they do so with that holy war goal in mind? How can anyone possibly think that every action the CZs take, isn’t taken with the goal of precipitating that war that they so desire? When they support Israel’s actions in Gaza or their excessive use of force, do they do so because they believe that peace will be achieved this way? Fuck no! They want Israel to be at war in perpetuity, so that an escalation to “the war” happens.

Why the fuck can’t the Jewish faction of AIPAC see this? For the same reason that the CZs can’t see that they’re getting played; religious certitude. Both sides believe that they know what God wants. Personally, I believe that if you are certain that you know what God wants, you have absolutely no use for God. What the fuck do you need God for? You know how it’s all supposed to turn out, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Fuck God! You’re the one that’s all knowing!

These people have become stupid because of their religious certitude. They have become morally bankrupt because of their moral certitude. On one side, you have a group of supposedly “Jesus loving” people rooting for most of us to die a horrible death so that they can land themselves in heaven. On the other side, you have a people that don’t give a shit who has to suffer in order for Israel to exist. I’m sorry, but I can’t comprehend the thought process of a Jew that is fine with the oppression, death, or imprisonment of another people. There is no race in the world that has suffered more horrors than the Jewish people have. One would think that all of the suffering of your ancestors would lead Jews to conclude that no one should ever be treated like that again. But no, some of them went the other way. Palestinians in Gaza? Fuck em! Israel needs to exist. Egyptians living under oppressive rule? Fuck em! Israel needs to exist. My question is, exactly how many people should suffer so that Israel may exist? Is there a number too high? I literally can’t comprehend that thought process. I believe it’s important to find the reasoning in the point of view that you oppose, in order to oppose it with any degree of intellectual honesty. But I can’t do it in this instance. I can’t figure out how one’s moral compass gets turned so ass backward.

But the blindness of the far right wing Jews doesn’t end with the loss of one’s moral compass. It also seems to afflict ones ability to reason things out. These people are rabid republicans. They stand squarely behind any piece of shit that has an “R” behind his/her name. Let’s examine why this is so incredibly bad for Israel in the long term.

First off, their boy Bush tilted the Sunni/Shia balance of power in a way that does not serve Israel well. That whole debacle was a big win for Iran, and everyone that knows shit about the dynamic in the middle east knows that. And yet, these fucking morons would welcome Bush back in a second, if they could get rid of Obama.

They also don’t give two shits about the US. Further proof of their inability apply reason to the situation. Here’s the deal; without the US, Israel is fucked. If we don’t protect them, half a dozen countries descend on Israel, fight a war that goes on for a few years, and then Israel loses. There are too many enemies for Israel to fight off by itself. These middle class eradication policies of the republican party have the US on a fast track to becoming loyal subjects of the Chinese. Any economist looking at the growing income inequality in the US knows that we’re on the fast track to the third world. You can’t have a consumer based economy without consumers (i.e. the middle class). History has shown us time again, that societies fall when there is no middle class. If you’re pro Israel, you need for the US to stay on top of the global food chain. Please stop being stupid because you have tunnel vision!

Barack Obama has never said anything controversial in regard to Israel. His speech referencing the 1967 borders was not only uncontroversial, but it’s been said by everyone in the US and in Israel for over twenty five years. Rabin, Olmert, Sharon, and yes, even Netanyahu have all framed peace talks around the ’67 borders as have two Bushes and a Clinton. This is not a new, radical, Israel exterminating idea. Stop acting like it is. That position just makes you willfully ignorant.

The inflammatory statement came from Netanyahu last week, when he suddenly reversed twenty five years of discussions by proclaiming that the ’67 borders are unacceptable to Israel. In my opinion, this guy is a reckless, arrogant asshole that hates Obama for having a Muslim father. Does anyone think that the Israeli and US governments didn’t review each others statements before they were made? Of course they did. Netanyahu changed his remarks in order to slap Obama in the face. He did this last year when he announced that Israel was going to renig on its promise not to build new settlements, while Joe Biden was visiting Israel. He was obviously trying to slap the Obama administration in the face. Hey, I have an idea; if you find this administration so distasteful, how about you give back all of the foreign aid money it has given you? Have the courage of your convictions, dickwad.

Netanhayu is never going to find pragmatism. He’s too far gone. He’s the Dick Cheney of Israel. AIPAC is never going to find pragmatism because religious ideology won’t allow for logic. But I believe that the rest of the world is reasonable, and genuinely wants stability in the the middle east. We just need to raise our voices in order to drown out the radicals, which is why I rambled on today.

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The B-Team

Remember my plea to sane republicans a couple of weeks ago? You know, when I begged them to speak up and drown out the crazies that are entering the republican primaries for the presidential election? Well, my sunny optimism has been extinguished.

It happened when Obama announced that Bin Laden was dead. Once that happened, Obama’s chances of not winning reelection dropped to roughly 5%. In my opinion, the only thing that will prevent Obama from getting a second term, is if the economy collapses before the election. Even this current state of painfully slow recovery won’t harm his chances of reelection. Short of a total economic meltdown, he’s going to serve four more years and republicans know it.

No republican operative with half a brain, can possibly assume otherwise. And my guess is that they won’t even bother putting forth a serious candidate because it’s a losing battle. Ronald Reagan failed to secure the republican nomination twice before he finally succeeded in 1980. Times have changed. I don’t believe it’s possible for a two time loser to take a third stab and succeed anymore. Our culture has changed. Once the stink of “loser” is on you, it’s almost impossible to wash it off. I can’t imagine that republican operatives are going to set up a serious candidate to lose.

In fact, I’d be surprised if Mitt Romney actually went through with a run this time around. He’s already lost a primary bid once. One more defeat, and his political career is done.

Sadly, this is going to be a republican primary of freaks from the fringe. They’re too stupid and ideological to realize that Obama is unbeatable. We’re going to be subjected to Michelle Bachman (I’m positive she’s going to run) and Rick Santorum’s batshit craziness for the next year. Yippee for America! It’s going to be 1995 all over again but much crazier since republican primary voters are significantly more radical than they were in 1995. They won’t all be insane, but the nonwhackos are going to be B-list players. Truthfully, I don’t know if the republican party has any A-list players left, but I know that they won’t make much of an effort to find one until 2016.

Newt is DOA. My prediction is that he’s out of the race by July. He shot himself in both feet and both knees when he prematurely attacked Paul Ryan’s plan to shit on the elderly. He should have waited ninety days to do that. But since he’s a complete idiot, his bad timing has him getting punched harder from the right than from the left. Most republicans have turned on Newt, which means that his ability to raise money is gone.

I have to say that Newt and Trump have been the biggest morons in this whole thing. Neither of them ever really expected to be president. They were going for either attention (Trump) or money (Newt). But they both damaged their brands so badly that they won’t be president, and won’t get any more money or attention.

I don’t believe that Sarah Palin is going to get into the presidential clown car. I never did. Not being in office is entirely too lucrative for her. But since Bachman is very likely to go in, we didn’t exactly dodge the “dim witted, hot but crazy” bullet.

My hypothesis won’t take long to prove or disprove. We’ll know if republicans are serious by August. If they don’t have a serious candidate in the race by then, they never will. And all you have to do is follow the money to know how it’s all going to turn out. The corporate campaign donations for the fourth quarter of this year will say it all. If the money is predominantly going to Obama, then it’s done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m positive that corporate America will generously show their love to congressional and senatorial republican candidates. But they’re going to hedge their bets by stuffing Obama’s coffers if they believe he can’t be beaten.

This republican primary season is going to be a clown parade that makes The Jim Rose Circus look like a Disney movie. But the worst part of this isn’t the assault on our dignity and intellect. The worst part is how fucking relaxed Obama is. He knows that he’s untouchable, which is historically the worst kind of president. I like my politicians scared. Scared of the repercussions that come with fucking me. Obama clearly isn’t scared, which is bad for all of us. He’s got the confidence that comes with knowing that the American people have nowhere to go.

If he were the type of president that actually had an agenda that he felt passionate about, now would be the time to flex his muscles. It’s too soon after the Bin Laden killing to tell if he’s going to go in that direction. The optimist in me hopes that he will leverage his political capitol to do some good, but the pragmatic side of me doesn’t see that happening.

I think that we’re going to get more political theater from Obama. I believe that he’s going to continue playing good cop, while perpetually being defeated by the bad cops. This debt ceiling issue is a pretty telling sign of what we can expect. Everyone knows that the debt ceiling will be raised. Republicans can’t block it because their Wall Street benefactors won’t allow it. Republicans are literally impotent to block the raising of the debt ceiling. And yet we’re going to see “concessions” in the form of billions of dollars in budget cuts that hurt the middle class  coming from democrats. It’s all going to be bullshit designed to make you think that democrats are well meaning, but impotent to stop it. Sound familiar? And if you fall for it, you’ll have the gratification of being on the “good team”, but you won’t have anything else.

The republican circus will be fun to watch, there’s no doubt about that. But if you’re a democrat that’s actually paying attention, fun is the only gratification that you’ll get out of it. If you’re like me, the negative ramifications of having a president with no fear of losing the next election will temper any glee that you may feel.

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We’re Screwed

Okay, we’ve been screwed for about thirty years now, but we got an indication of just how screwed we are this morning.

But the good news is that as we found out how very royally screwed we are, we also got an answer to a question that has confounded me for about a year and a half.

I’ve maintained for years now that our political parties are actors on the stage of political theater. We don’t have two parties that are on opposing sides. We have two parties that are beholden to precisely the same corporate interests. We have two parties that are designed to appeal to two distinctly different groups of people. We have one party that appeals to the authoritarian, “tough guy” and another party that appeals to the big thinker, “consider the big picture”. One party claims to be for the working man, while the other professes to tirelessly work to stay out of our lives. All of this is, of course theater. They’re both batting for the same team. One party is more shameless about who they’re working for, but make no mistake; democrats will take this country to precisely the same place that republicans will. They will just do it on a longer timeline. And along they way, I will give democrats credit for doing a few things for the American people, while republicans have done absolutely nothing for us for over thirty years. But at the end of the day, both parties are going to place the health and welfare of the corporations over yours every single time.

So the question with democrats is, “how big of a shill is my representative?” We already know that all republicans, with the exception of Ron Paul, are 100% shill.

Watching Obama acquiesce in perpetuity, to the point of absurdity had me wondering if it were possible for someone to be this bad at negotiation. Let’s review;

-He started off the health care debate by taking a public option off the table. Huh? Why not proclaim that anything short of a public option is a non-starter, and then back down slowly from there? But not our Obama! He starts in the middle and moves right from there. The end result was the Bob Dole plan from the 90s (subsequently the Mitt Romney plan). WooHoo! He got what republicans were willing to give eighteen years ago!

Republicans emphatically demanded that Obama cut 31B out of the 2011 budget. He releases a budget that cut 32B as his opening gambit. Was anyone surprised when republicans demanded he cut from where his budget started? He gave them more than they asked for as his opening move, and didn’t get any credit for that first 32B he cut. He then had to cut another 39B on top of that!

Be honest Obama supporters; if you were in the market for a new car, would you send Obama in to negotiate the price for you?

Honestly, he’s so fucking bad at this that it was becoming increasingly more difficult to believe that someone could suck at negotiating this much. I was honestly starting to think that he was the most wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, that we’d ever seen in politics.

This morning, my question was finally answered. When Obama caved into the craziest among us, and released yet another form of his birth certificate, he definitively showed me that he just sucks at this. He’s the world’s most incompetent negotiator, truly.

He sent some very clear messages this morning. He told the world that there is no demand too crazy for him to acquiesce to. And there is no person too crazy for him to cave in to. He took off his shirt, and showed the world the tire marks on his back.

This weakness is about to fuck Americans like they’ve never been fucked before.Let me explain why this monumental display of weakness concerns me right at this moment in time.

Paul Ryan just came out with a budget plan that literally everyone, republican and democrat alike hates, despite the main stream media’s best efforts. Remember how they all used words like “courageous” and “bold” to describe the plan for the first week after it came out? It didn’t take long for Americans to figure out that this plan was going to fuck the old and the poor, for the sole purpose of making the rich richer. By Ryan’s own admission, his plan wasn’t going to balance the budget for forty years. Forty years? That’s at least five presidential administrations!

Republicans never intended for this preposterous plan to fly. I think they underestimated how big of a shit storm it would start, but they never really believed that they would pull it off. They made a tactical decision to open with the most draconian far right wing hand job they could, so that they could negotiate from there.

Obama had already demonstrated that he was going to start the negotiations from a right wing position when he appointed two well known social security haters to his debt commission. He was obviously planning on making cuts to social security and medicare. Given the birther cave-in this morning, I’m positive that republicans are now going to get way more out of Obama in terms of cutting those two programs than they initially imagined they could get. They would have to be in a halcyon induced coma not to seize on the spinelessness that Obama now openly wears on his sleeve.

In short, we’re fucked. We’re more fucked than we would be if Obama were merely being controlled by his corporate masters. Bill Clinton was obviously the most corporate friendly democratic president we’d ever had until now. Every subsequent democratic president was obviously going to slowly up the ante on the democratic party’s corporatism. This president predictably did, but he has no conviction. He has no conviction, and no hard deal-breakers. There’s nothing he’s not willing to compromise on. And even if he did have conviction, he doesn’t have the balls to stick to them.

He caved to the birthers. Enough said.


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A Shitty Deal

Not the kind from the internal Goldman Sachs emails. No, this is a shitty deal to end all shitty deals. I am of course, referring to Obama’s tax cut deal.

Has anybody looked at the details of the detail he struck? He actually went far beyond Bush’s original nation crippling tax cuts. Here are some highlights;
– The top 2% of wealthiest Americans get to stay at the 36% rate they’ve enjoyed for ten years.
– The estate tax goes down from 55% to 35%.
– Capital gains taxes get cut down to 15%

Just so that we’re clear, all of the above cuts benefit ONLY the wealthiest among us. None of these cuts benefit the middle class. The estate tax cut is even worse than it sounds. Not only did Obama cut the estate tax by 20%, but he also raised the level at which the estate tax kicks in from $1 million to $5 million. How many middle class Americans have $3 million dollar estates to hand down, do you think? Capital gains isn’t money that you earn. It’s money that your money earns. It’s stock appreciation, property appreciation, etc. The capital gains tax rate is now FAR lower than the tax rate we all pay on our paychecks.

95% of Americans don’t enjoy capital gains. WHY should any tax rate be lower than the taxes paid on earned income? That’s just crazy. Nothing should be taxed lower than your paycheck. That should be the baseline rate upon which all other tax rates are increased from.

25% of all of the tax cuts in this “compromise” benefit just the top 1% of Americans. Yeah, that’s equitable.

Did I forget to mention that this deal includes a payroll tax cut? Sounds nice, right? Here’s what it actually means; less money will be taken out of your check for your social security contribution. This will hasten the social security shortfall that wasn’t otherwise going to happen until 2037. You understand where this is going, don’t you? This is going to lead to cutting social security. This is a topic for a whole post unto itself, so I’m going to move on.

We don’t have the money to pay for these tax cuts, so we’re going to add to our already astronomical debt in order to make it happen. This growing debt significantly weakens our economy.

Now democrats will say that this deal was necessary in order to save the unemployed from running out of benefits. I say, bullshit. Unemployment benefits are a means to help people to tread water until the coast guard comes to save them. The problem with this deal is that the coast guard is never coming.

Turning this economy around requires a two pronged approach. The first part of recovery was programs like the stimulus package. The government has to step in to be the spender of last resort. When Americans have no money to spend, and corporations aren’t generating revenue because Americans are broke, that’s when the government must step in. Spending money in infrastructure projects creates jobs across a very large supply chain. The second part of an effective recovery plan is to ensure that Americans can tread water until the unemployment rate comes down. This includes programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps. These two programs not only help the recipients, but they also create exponential economic activity.

The idea is that the infrastructure projects will create jobs that cascade over a big supply chain. These jobs will in turn, generate taxable income which will ostensibly help us to pay down our debt and strengthen the federal government so that is has the resources to invest in more job creation programs. The unemployment and food stamp benefits are supposed to help people hang on until that supply chain grows enough to create jobs for the unemployed.

Obama’s deal weakens the federal government by increasing the debt twofold. We’re borrowing money to give to the rich, and we’re borrowing money to keep people on unemployment. Since there’s no further stimulus in this deal, it’s essentially all gratuitous spending with no job creation component.

Nobody is going to show up with jobs for the unemployed. The ’99ers” are going to become the “198ers”. Since I’m in the business of hiring people, let me confirm something that you already know. The longer someone is unemployed, the more unemployable they become. Hiring managers have a viscerally bad reaction to people that haven’t been able to find a job in a year. The 99ers won’t be employable until the unemployment rate dips below 5%. Once that happens, there will be a labor shortage that will make them more attractive to employers.

Nothing about this plan is going to get the unemployment rate down. Obama didn’t “save” the unemployed. He just insured that they’re going to be treading water in their current miserable state of unemployment forever. This plan just prolongs their misery. And they’re still being held hostage by republicans. I can assure you that Obama is going to have to make another appalling deal to “save” unemployment insurance by this time next year. My prediction is that the jobs report for February, when all of the seasonal retail jobs are gone, will be appalling.

This really was the grandaddy of all shitty deals.

And the worst part? Obama is now defending the bullshit republican tax policy. He’s forcing democratic house members to do the same, thereby undermining the democratic position for years to come. We’re never going to get out of this debt because there’s no one left to stand up for sound fiscal policy.

You’re burning down the house with your shitty deal, Obama. Thanks for nothing!

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A Multi-Tasking Machine Of Spinelessness

Did anybody read the title and not think that this post was going to be about Obama?

I’ve reached the end of my rope with this president. The tax cut deal was the straw that broke bitchy’s back.

I’ve been of the belief that one of Obama’s problems is that he lacks conviction. I’ve graduated from “belief” to “certainty. He’s not passionate about anything to fight for it, or to even hold his ground.

I honestly thought I voted for a born leader when I cast my vote for him. Turns out that what I got is a middle manager with no real future. He tries to stay under the radar by capitulating to everyone in perpetuity; the quintessential middle manager.

The only belief that he seems to hold firm to, is that there’s always a middle ground to be found. Sadly, he defines “middle” as being slightly less than republicans are demanding, but far more than they ever expected to get.

Just four short weeks ago, all of the republican leaders were sending very strong signals that they would sign a tax bill that excluded the stinking rich if that was all they could get. Did Obama miss that? Was he busy creating a new playlist on his iPod to watch CNN that week? Seriously, what the fuck? Boehner couldn’t have been more clear about his willingness to cave. Don’t believe me? Watch!

And yet Obama still caves by giving them two more years of billionaire tax cuts, thereby increasing our deficit by another 140 billion dollars.

Here’s a fascinating breakdown of the relationship between the top marginal tax rate and the unemployment rate. This graph tells us that there’s an excellent chance that the unemployment rate in this most precarious of times, is very likely to stay high as a result of prolonging these tax cuts.

Can anyone guess what republicans are going to run on in 2012? Could it be the fucking deficit and the unemployment rate?

And what do you think Lloyd Blankfein is going to do with all of the extra cash in his savings account? Is he going to hire people, or is he going to use the money to bitch slap Obama in the 2012 elections by contributing to whoever his republican opponent is?

On the upside, Obama is figuring how to let republicans do three times as much damage with one single kick in the testicles. This saves them a lot of effort. While I admire his deference to Mitch McConnell, in making sure that he (McConnell) doesn’t tire himself out by having to expend more energy than necessary to turn Obama into a eunuch, I wish he would find just a little deference for the people that voted for him and the platform he ran on.

This latest buckling was like so many before it, unnecessary and damaging to us all. You see, we’re having to borrow more money from China so that Jamie Dimon doesn’t have to pay 3.5% more in taxes (as if his accountant can’t find loopholes to cover that).

This s bad for all Americans, but Obama is particularly bad for democrats. Each time he caves into republicans, the thing that he caved in on becomes the thing that Obama owns. These tax cuts for the rich will no longer be referred to as the “Bush tax cuts”. No, they’re the Obama tax cuts now.

Make no mistake – extending these tax cuts is the worst possible thing that can happen to our economy.

And no, this didn’t have to happen (something I hear from democrats all the time). Obama didn’t have to cave. 76% of Americans don’t want these tax cuts extended. He could have leveraged that political capital to stop a compromise from happening. He should have held a prime time press conference to spell out what republicans are trying to do to us, and named names in the process. He should have done this on the day that republicans blocked the tax cut vote on Saturday. He instead made a half assed effort to make his case.

Either he sucks at politics, or he wanted to extend these tax cuts all along.

Democrats already have a serious messaging problem. Having a leader that is willing to shit all over the basic tenets of the democratic party isn’t helping.

I’m worried that Obama is going to irreparably damage the party if he caves in on cutting social security. NO ONE wants for social security to be cut. Well, no one except the people that made out like fucking bandits on these tax cuts anyway. 76% of Americans (republicans and democrats combined) feel adamantly that social security should not be touched. If Obama does so much as raise the retirement age, democrats will forever be the party that cut social security.

Obama’s capitulation has escalated beyond the point of just being frustrating to the democratic base; it’s reckless and dangerous for the country and it will decimate the democratic party.

I’m well past the irritated with this president stage. I’m scared shitless of him in a way that I haven’t been scared by a president in my lifetime. If

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Another Disastrous Concession; Tax Cut Edition

David Axelrod just confirmed that Obama is going to cave in on tax cuts for the rich. I’m feeling demoralized, to say the least. This is another example of unnecessary acquiescence that hurts America, by Obama. We can file this one with Van Jones, Shirely Sherrod, and ACORN.

Look the strategy on this one should have been very simple since most Americans, democrats and republicans alike, are opposed to this. Democrats should have done nothing but ask republicans, “How are you going to pay for this?” like simpletons, stuck in broken record mode. That’s all they should be saying about anything. Regardless of what the question being asked by the reporter is, every single democrat should respond with, “How are republicans going to pay for the tax cuts they didn’t pay for the last time around?”. If the question is, “How about those Giants?” The reply should be, “How are republicans going to pay for extending the tax cuts for the rich?”. PERIOD. No other words should be coming out of their mouths until republicans cave.

Another prong of this strategy should be for Obama to continue the praise that he offered to Ronald Reagan during the campaign. Breathe, breathe, and hang in with me for a second. Obama should repeatedly exclaim that he intends to set tax rates where the great and wise Ronald Reagan set them. Over and over, in perpetuity, Obama should be regurgitating out the “Great and wise Ronald Reagan” line.

You wanna know where Reagan had the top tax rate? It was at 50%. Do you wanna know what we’re talking about today? We’re talking about going from 36% to 39%! Are you fucking kidding me with this shit? Off the top of my head, if that 3% difference we’re debating equates to 3/4 of a trillion deficit dollars over the next ten years, I’m going to go ahead and say that if we went back “the great and wise Ronald Reagan” rates, we would be able to raise roughly enough to pay off Bush’s deficit in five years.

This wasn’t a hard fight to win but once again, Obama didn’t even try. Axelrod claimed that they didn’t want to “jeopardize” the middle class tax cuts in order to fight to let the disastrous Bush tax cuts expire. That’s the kind of bullshit false choice that makes me extra, supersized bitchy.

Let me go a step further. I want to raise the corporate tax rate back to 91%, where it was under Eisenhower. That was the tax rate that got us out of the great depression. It works well because it forces companies to reinvest profits, rather than to let their executives pocket the money. Personally, there’s nothing that the government can squander that money on that would be less offensive to me than watching Paris Hilton snort it. Watching the government spend that money on $400 toilet seat covers would be less disgusting to me than watching Lloyd Blankfein spend it on anything. Yeah, I’m the jackass.

Guess what Obama? That extra 3% that you’re letting good old Lloyd keep is ultimately going to be spent on spanking you with his wallet in the 2012 election. Nice move, jackasses. You have once again managed to fuck the country and fuck yourselves.

I can’t imagine why 29% of democrats that voted in 2008 stayed home in 2010.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – You BLOW, Obama administration!

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Speaker Boehner, Darrell Issa, And Obama’s 2nd Term

These things are intertwined in a significant way beyond just causing some Americans grief. I am finally ready to accept that republicans are going to take the house on Tuesday. Their strategy of demonizing Obama has worked in getting their whack job base of 25% of Americans fired up to vote. Their strategy of stalling every fucking piece of legislation that could hasten our recovery has succeeded in making independents apathetic. And Obama’s lack of courage has succeeded in demoralizing his base. The two ugliest words in the English language “Speaker Boehner”, are about to become a reality. And yes, I did just vomit in my mouth a little as I typed that.

I believe that this victory is going to set off a chain of events that will virtually guarantee that Obama secures a second term.

The first thing that will happen is that republicans will finally share the blame for anything that happens (or doesn’t) over the next two years. They can keep killing job creation programs, but they will take some of the blame for the lack of jobs.

The next thing that will happen is that republicans are going to start a procedural witch hunt against Obama. Congressman Darrell Issa, a republican back bencher from southern California is the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He has promised us that he will subpoena the shit out of the administration in an effort to crucify them.

A little background on Darrell Issa; he’s not a back bencher by design. He’s a back bencher because he’s an incompetent joker. Seriously, follow his tweets – they’re comical. He’s the guy that orchestrated the recall of Governor Gray Davis in 2003. His plan was to swoop in and steal the Governorship of California for himself. But moron didn’t count on the Terminator coming in and trumping Issa’s fortune with fame. So Issa has been a back bench sitting schmuck that has been trying (unsuccessfully) to force himself in the game for years. I don’t believe that he’s fundamentally a whack job, but he’s been playing it up for the crazies for the past few years. He didn’t even bother to try and put together a run for governor this year, so he has to, on some level, know that he’s never going to get further than where he is right now.

Darrell Issa is an attention starved political hack who will most definitely deliver on his promise to subpoena the shit out of Obama, just to grab some attention for himself and try and elevate himself in his party. And as with everything Darell Issa touches, this will turn to shit for the republicans.

Right now, most Americans don’t know why the unemployment rate is high. They’re clueless about the republican strategy to stall and block every goddamned thing on Obama’s agenda. All they know is that the economy isn’t getting better. Issa’s strategy will shine a light on what’s going on in our political system because nothing gets people’s attention like presidential subpoenas.

You wanna know what else is going to happen? Americans are going to rally behind Obama, because no one likes a bully. That’s not an opinion. We have historical precedent from the Clinton years. During the impeachment proceedings, Bill Clinton’s approval jumped ten points to 73%, the highest approval rating of his presidency.

Read me now and quote me later; a congressional witch hunt of President Obama will make him one of the most wildly popular presidents in history.

Why am I so confident? I have two reasons; Obama is generally very likable as a person and, he hasn’t actually done anything offensive. Because he has an easy going and friendly demeanor, people want to like him. He’s just a naturally charismatic person. He would have to do something pretty offensive in order to reverse peoples natural predisposition to liking him. He hasn’t done that, and he won’t because he’s so measured and cautious. At worst, Obama is utterly ineffective. He’s nowhere near offensive. Sure, he hasn’t made a whole lot of things happen that he could have, but he also hasn’t precipitated our problems. He’s just kind of weak.

Polls consistently show that Americans still blame W for our current troubles. This is not going to change. It definitely won’t change if Americans have to watch him being bullied by congressional republicans.

Right now, the biggest threat to Obama’s reelection is Mike Bloomberg. He’s going to run as a third party candidate. My bet is that Bloomberg will claim more votes than any other third party candidate ever has. He’s going to blow Ross Perot’s 18.9% of the vote out of the water. I believe that he will get a significant chunk of the independent vote, as well as siphoning off both republican and democratic voters. I’m pretty sure that he will take more democrats than republicans, given his recent stance on gay marriage.

But when the bullying factor is taken into account, I believe that democrats and independents will rally around Obama, ineffective or not.

This strategy that republicans have employed for the past two years is going to explode in their faces in 2012. And they’re too stupid to realize it.

They have bullies for sixteen long years now. During that time, they’ve whittled their supporters down further and further. The remaining 25% of diehards will be all they have left soon enough.

The sunny optimist in me hopes that becoming a regional southern party will eventually force republicans to change their strategy, and actually try to govern. I know, I know…I’m living in a fantasy world.

On a positive note, we definitely won’t be living with the second most ugly words in the English language, “Majority Leader McConnell”. Republicans will not be taking the senate. There really is a bright spot in every black cloud, if you just look hard enough!

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I Whine Because You Blow

In the past week, Joe Biden has joined the white house administration chorus in crapping on the democratic base. Here, watch;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOlPVivrG8g[/youtube]

Buck up? That sounds familiar. Hmmm…where have I heard that before? Oh right I heard it from Obama here. I’ve heard this enough from the administration to now be able to decisively say that these aren’t gaffes. This is a mystifying strategy. I don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish, but I can tell you that the result is a division in the democratic party.

This happened on MSNBC yesterday:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6-d94s019s[/youtube]

I wasn’t watching it because I wasn’t home, but I was checking twitter from my iPhone. My twitter feed exploded with anti-Cenk tweets. I had no idea what was going on, so I had to wait until I got home to catch up. I watched the clip and agreed with most of what Cenk said (although a less red-faced delivery might have been more appealing). I listened to Cenk’s show later (The Young Turks) and heard him say that he thought all of those tweets were a concerted effort to astroturf (sometimes right wing media outlets will tell their fans to pile on a specific left wing pundit on a specific day) him. They weren’t. They were tweeted by members of the democratic base that I follow.

These people are active democrats that buy into the idea that the health reform bill was “historic”. They buy into the white houses’ narrative that the administration has delivered on “70% of the promises made in the campaign, in twenty short months”. I suppose that’s one way to look at it, but you have to overlook a whole lot in order to maintain that point of view.

Was the health reform bill historic? No. Was the fact that something happened with health care legislation historic? Yes, but only in that, the last time we reformed health care was fourteen years ago. When something occurs that infrequently, it’s not unreasonable to refer to it as “historic”.

I don’t believe it was historic because it didn’t fundamentally change the system. We all still have to buy our health insurance from private companies, and there is still nothing place to prevent them from gauging us with obscene rate increases every year. I’m not saying it didn’t help some people out. I know that it did. I see comments and blogs from people that have been able to obtain health coverage for the first time in years, every single day. I thoroughly appreciate the difference this reform has made, for the small number of people that it’s helped.

But let’s be honest, this bill wasn’t much more than adequate. It was the bare minimum that could have been passed, and still labeled a “win” for Obama. As lacking as this bill is, there would still have been one way that I would have been satisfied with it – if the administration had actually fought to get the best thing they could, I could have championed this bill. But they clearly didn’t. Does anyone remember President Obama’s moving speech, strongly advocating for a public option? Yeah, me neither. Does anyone remember President Obama strongly advocating for a medicare buy in? Yeah, me neither. Does anyone remember seeing a single republican standing on the senate floor, reading the phone book in an effort to filibuster the passage of the bill? Yeah, me neither.

I could have accepted this crapfest of a health reform bill if you had tried and failed. You didn’t. Don’t tell me to buck up. Fuck you.

Same thing with financial reform. This administration didn’t do a goddamned thing to regulate the derivatives market, which is the thing that every economist agrees, is the root of our financial instability. They didn’t even try.

I will buck up when, and only when you don’t fuck up. And I’m not a whiner, a retard, or a vicious part of the professional left that is trying to undermine you. I’m trying to make you better. If you wanted an uninformed, sycophantic base, you should have run as a republican. Oh yeah, and fuck you!

Even with this split between democrats that need to believe, and democrats that need to think critically, I’m positive that one thing will happen – we will all collectively show up to vote. Active democrats don’t sit out elections, any more than active republicans do. You know who’s not going to show up? Everyone else. The people that turned out en masse to vote for change in 2008 will not be there for you this time. And if you don’t start to deliver meaningful change in the next two years, they’re not going to show up for you in 2012 either.

The sycophants in the democratic party will show up because they feel that you’ve given them enough change that they can stay on board. Disgruntled democrats will show up because we realize that you suck less than republicans. You’re wasting your time crapping on your base. We’re going to be there for you one way or another, but no one else will. You’ve disenfranchised and demoralized everyone else with your half assed legislative “victories”.

This administration sucks at politics if they can’t figure that out. Pointing at your base and saying, “A HA! This is your fault!” when you lose in November is stupid, and it won’t help you get your shit together for 2012. This strategy makes Obama a lot like Bush in that, both love pointing the finger at someone else when they fuck up.

I whine, because you blow. And my whining is not the root of your problems. You blowing is.


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Did You Fall For It, Gays?

Are you pissed at Obama for failing to repeal DADT? Maybe you blame Harry Reid? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, you got played.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’m not a Harry Reid fan. You also know that I’m not an Obama apologist. After reading some of the reactions to the travesty yesterday, I felt compelled to go through how this happened.

Let me first start by saying that I viscerally wish that President Obama would come out of the closet already, and enthusiastically support gay rights in a demonstrable way. But intellectually, I feel that he would be hurting the gay cause if he did. As it was, this vote happened fairly quietly. Fox news and right wing radio weren’t hammering away at the issue. They were focused in rehabbing the nutbaggery that is Christine O’Donnell. Does anyone think they would have largely ignored DADT if Obama were out there audibly supporting its repeal? Let’s be honest here, anything that Obama comes out for becomes the epicenter of hate and controversy. I’m not saying that Obama shouldn’t take a stand on anything, for fear that he will start a political firestorm. I’m saying that given Obama’s pervasive and persistent weakness over the past twenty-one months, he made the right calculation in laying low on this one. In doing so, he increased Harry Reid’s (admittedly low) odds of making something good happen in the senate.

Here’s what went down yesterday; all forty republicans joined hands and created a filibuster. Two democrats joined them, but they were irrelevant since all forty republicans were united. As an aside, one of those two irrelevant democrats is going to get voted out of office in November. I say fuck you and good riddance, Blanche Lincoln. No one is going to remember you ten minutes after you’re gone. Anyway, back to yesterday’s vote. Republicans, and republicans alone blocked the repeal. Period. Every single one of them united to block the vote from taking place. Harry Reid (uncharacteristically) didn’t do anything wrong.

Actually, politically speaking he did make one mistake. He rolled the DREAM Act into the DADT bill. The DREAM Act creates a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants. Specifically, to illegal immigrants who have served in the US military for two years and minors who have been in the country for five years prior to the bills’ passage, and are obtaining high school and college diplomas. The DREAM Act is a bill written by Dick Durbin a year and a half ago, and it’s good for all of us. It’s good for all of us because it will help military recruitment and it will chip away at the skilled labor shortage in the US. Even in this crap ass economy, we don’t have the labor pool to match the jobs that are available. Our college graduation rate is going down, and we don’t have the skilled computer professionals that we need. As a recruiter, I do my best to hire a US citizen whenever I can. That hasn’t been as possible as one might think (even in the past year). I’m still having to process H1B visas for foreign workers. We need all the college grads we can get if we expect to hold our position in the world.

The DREAM Act is obviously a popular bill within the Latino community. I think that if Reid was good at playing politics, he would have called a vote on DREAM as a stand alone bill. This would force republicans to either filibuster it, thereby guaranteeing that the GOP wouldn’t receive a single Latino vote in the November elections, or passing it thereby undermining their SB 1070 rhetoric.

But he sucks at politics, so he combined them. This left Mitch McConnell with the opening to comically say that he would allow a vote on DADT if DREAM was removed from the bill. Oh, and he was going to buy every US citizen a  pony. Make no mistake, Mitch McConnell was never going to allow this vote to take place. Democrats in the senate acquiesced to republicans 170 times on the health reform bill, only to receive zero republican votes. In fact, I can count the number of affirmative republican votes over the past twenty-one months on my hands! Mitch McConnell is Lucy with her football from the Peanuts cartoons. It’s a fucking joke anytime he says he will work with democrats “if”. So he wanted Harry Reid to throw one group under the bus in order to give another group rights they should have had all along? That’s a bullshit choice, and I’m glad that Reid didn’t cave into that crap.

To summarize, Harry Reid didn’t make any mistakes that would have changed the outcome yesterday. Don’t let Mitch McConnell tell you otherwise. This vote (as with every other vote) was, for Mitch McConnell, about making people hate Obama. Did you fall for it, gays?

There will theoretically be another attempt at a vote on this issue after the election, during the lame duck session. I suggest focusing your Obama/Reid ire on a target that deserves it; Scott Brown. Why do I single him out? Because he represents the bluest of states, where gay marriage is legal. He did not represent his constituents yesterday. We need to put a world of hurt and pressure on Scott Brown. And you should start putting pressure on the ladies of Maine, since they’re low hanging fruit.

My guess is that if we can peel off one single republican, Reid will get all of the democrats in line since Obama explicitly stated that he would repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell this year. Once republicans united, the two democrats that joined them were irrelevant so I’m guessing that Reid didn’t fight as hard for them as he would if he had a republican. We won’t know for sure, until we get a republican.

So you can misplace your anger with Obama, or you can do something constructive with that anger. Call everyone you know in Maine and Massachusetts. Start Facebook pages pledging to vote against Brown, Collins, and Snowe. Organize rallies and money bombs to raise money to run commercials in those states.

Don’t fall for the “hate Obama” ploy. Let’s work together to get er done!

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