Daily Archives: April 27, 2010
I’m sure most readers notice that I am a supporter of President Barack Obama. That’s not to say that I won’t speak out when, in my mind, I see him taking a wrong path toward a policy or an issue regarding our country.
Barack Obama’s right-wing opponents cast him as a socialist failure. His left-wing hecklers see him as an overcautious hedger. But, critics notwithstanding, the President is on a path to be a huge success by the time of November’s midterm elections.Before the jabberers on the right (What about the huge debt, the broken tax pledge, the paucity of overseas accomplishments?), the yammerers on the left (Guantánamo hasn’t been closed, gays aren’t serving openly in the military, and too many policies cater to business interests) and the chides in the media (POTUS and party poll numbers are down, and Washington is more partisan than ever), look at the two key metrics that underscore Obama’s accomplishments. It is too early to assess the ultimate measure of victory: whether the President’s actions have been prudent and beneficial, domestically and internationally. But by Election Day 2010, Obama will have soundly achieved many of his chief campaign promises while running a highly competent, scandal-free government. Not bad for a guy whose opponents (in both parties) for the White House suggested that he was too green in national life to know how to do the job — and whose presidency began in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis that demanded urgent attention and commanded much of his focus.[...]Obama’s two best personnel decisions are probably the two men serving right below him: Vice President Joe Biden and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Yes, Biden still falls victim to caricature as an irrepressible big mouth and is the butt of late-night jokes. And Emanuel can be overly brash and flutter nerves on Capitol Hill and among Administration allies. But Obama knew what he was getting in both men, and they have performed up to or above his expectations. With their West Wing offices across the hall from each other, Biden and Emanuel often work in tandem, each doing more heavy lifting than is publicly seen or commonly known. Obama — who proved during the campaign that he knows how to maintain control of his operation without micromanaging — sets the tone and overall goals, and then allows his Veep and chief, along with other senior advisers, to execute his plans.
I know a lot of people have not heard of Greg Palast. I have been reading a fan for a few years now. So here is some info from his “About” page:
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Armed Madhouse” (Penguin Paperback 2007). When Palast, an investigator of corporate fraud and racketeering, turned his skills to journalism, he was quickly recognized as, “The most important investigative reporter of our time” [Tribune Magazine] in Britain, where his first reports appeared on BBC television and in the Guardian newspapers.
Here is the video from The Thom Hartman You Tube channel, with Greg Palast on the AZ immigration bill issue:
Monday night, Rachel Maddow reported on the Arizona Illegal Immigration Law and its roots.
The bill was introduced by Republican state senator Russell Pearce, who circulated a white separatist e-mail screed, and who also got caught on tape hugging a neo-Nazi. The guy taking credit for writing the law is Kris Kobach, a birther running for secretary of state in Kansas, and who is an attorney for the legal arm of FAIR, an “immigration reform” group whose founder, John Tanton, argued in 1986 about whites being out-populated by non-whites. The group has been funded for nine years of its existence by The Pioneer Fund, formed “in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition, and the eugenics movement.”
The video below is the segment in which Rachel supplies her audience with information on the bill’s original authors:
“Our investigation in Arizona discovered the real intent of the show-me-your-papers law”.
[Phoenix, AZ.] Don’t be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens.
I don’t buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning.
What’s new here is not the politicians’ fear of a xenophobic “Teabag” uprising.
What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote — and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.
In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters … directed by one Jan Brewer.
Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer’s command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelmingly Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected.
That statistic caught my attention. Voting or registering to vote if you’re not a citizen is a felony, a big-time jail-time crime. And arresting such criminal voters is easy: after all, they give their names and addresses.
So I asked Brewer’s office, had she busted a single one of these thousands of allegedly illegal voters? Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution?
No, not one.
Which raises the question: were these disenfranchised voters the criminal, non-citizens Brewer tagged them, or just not-quite-white voters given the José Crow treatment, entrapped in document-chase trickery?
The answer was provided by a federal prosecutor who was sent on a crazy hunt all over the Western mesas looking for these illegal voters. “We took over 100 complaints, we investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case.”
This prosecutor, David Iglesias, is a prosecutor no more. When he refused to fabricate charges of illegal voting among immigrants, his firing was personally ordered by the President of the United States, George W. Bush, under orders from his boss, Karl Rove.
Iglesias’ jurisdiction was next door, in New Mexico, but he told me that Rove and the Republican chieftains were working nationwide to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria with public busts of illegal voters, even though there were none. More here>>>
We have not seen the Tea Party folks picketing Wall Street or supporting finance reform efforts although they approve of banking reforms.
We have not seen the Tea Party folks picketing the AZ capital, complaining about too much government intrusion regarding the newly signed AZ immigration bill. Nor have we seen them picketing the AZ capital for the blatant violation of the Constitution by implementing the bill.
In fact, all the things the Tea Party folks say they stand for are in the spotlight right now and all we hear is crickets from the Tea Party folks on the national level.
Could it be because they really don’t know what they stand for?
It’s a peculiarity of the human species, that if you speak from the pulpit of patriotism or religion, you can spew almost any kind of nonsense, and gather followers.
Take Sarah Palin, perhaps the nation’s leading demagogue. She shouted this irrationality to a cheering Tea Party crowd, “Is this what their ‘change’ is all about? I want to tell them, nah, we’ll keep clinging to our Constitution and our guns and religion – and you can keep the change.” The mob screamed in ecstasy, without bothering to wonder what she meant.
Does “they” just refer to Democrats, or is “they” the whole U.S. government? Hard to tell. Ironic, how hating the government now equates with patriotism and the Constitution.
According to Mrs. Palin, “they” have violated the Constitution in some unexplained way. And she indicates “they” will take Tea Party guns and religion away. She doesn’t explain how “they” will do that, but so long as she wraps herself in the flag and religion, her worshipers won’t remind her she has no idea what the hell she’s talking about.
I empathize with Tea Party folks, because one thing they want, I also want: Lower taxes. But I would be embarrassed to allow a hate-mongering, anti-everything, nitwit like Sarah Palin be my guide.
Really folks, is this the best you can do? There are excellent, economic ways to reduce taxes (which you will see if you comb through this blog site). But knock it off with the American flags, the Constitution, guns and religion, none of which have anything to do with lowering taxes.
Unfortunately for Tea Party “logic,” they not only want lower taxes, but lower deficits and less government. At the same time, they want a stronger army, better schools, federal supervision of banks and other financial firms, better roads, defense of our borders, defense against terrorism, safer food, better retirement, better unemployment insurance, police, health care, rescue from hurricanes and other disasters, more jobs and a better environment.
Hey, Tea Party. The things you want cost money. So if you want both lower taxes and a reduced deficit, where will the money come from? Cutting both taxes and the deficit requires dramatically reduced government spending. So, how will that get you the things you want? It won’t. All it will get you is a Sarah Palin.
Sure, raw, mob emotion can make you feel strong. Look what it did for Joseph Goebbels. But eventually, morning will come and you will realize your torches, pitchforks and white sheets were silly. Only then, can we have the rational discussions that will help us create and take the steps to improve our nation.
Sadly, the “T” in Tea Party does not yet stand for “Think.”