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I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.



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Dec. 16th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
This is why I come here....
I love this blog. Politics, football, and occasional pictures of attractive women. All we now are beer and nachos and I'll be in heaven.

As for Obama, well honestly what did you expect? He made his political career by following not leading, why would he change now? The best thing he has going for him is that his opponents are Republicans...who very well may nominate Palin. Which would make me vote for a Democrat for president for the first time in my life.

Chuck Jines
Dec. 16th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
Inverted Totalitarianism
Hi, I've just started reading the book 'Managed Democracy' by Sheldon Wolin. His thesis is that we are living in an inverted totalitarian state. The definition in Wikipedia describes it much better than I could:


I'd be hard pressed to not believe this is an apt description of our plight.

Dec. 16th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
I'm not convinced that Sarah Palin would or could ever run for president successfully; certainly not as a Republican. She's come to represent everything negative about the party, and not just to people outside of it. She's stupid and arrogant and craves attention, has numerous scandals behind her and before her - legitimate scandals, not ginned-up nonsense like the Birther "controversy" - and generally presents the worst possible face of this country to the rest of the world. So it will be a cold day in hell before she gets the nomination, IMHO.

I'd also say that she's revealed herself to be a person desperately in love with her own televised image, and she can't legally maintain her soapbox on Fox News if she announces a formal bid for the presidency - it's against FCC rules. Given the choice between a comfy seat from which to criticize everyone who disagrees with her and a very slim shot at an office in which she'd undoubtedly undergo some of the nastiest public treatment this country has ever visited on a government official, I think it's pretty clear that, unless she's totally delusional, she'll see that it's in her best interests to hint loudly that she might run for president until the last possible moment and then noisily back whoever most closely represents her perverted values.

Just my two cents.

Love the books.
Dec. 17th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Being Irish, I am quite familiar with the poem quoted. I have no allegiance to any American political party, and thus am not sticking up for Palin per se, but surely calling Palin the Antichrist is a bit much? (Coming as I do from a land where one is all too familiar with the dulcet tones of Ian Paisley proclaiming that the Pope is the Antichrist, I tend to find that making this claim is equivalent to bringing up Nazis as a point of comparison in a debate: the first to do so automatically loses.)

In any case, I think Palin ultimately proved a liability to McCain's presidential campaign. I don't see how she could pose a serious threat to Obama as the main candidate.
Dec. 17th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
She's not electable
Dec. 17th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
The poem reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

I wonder which was riffing on the other with those statements (if either).
Dec. 17th, 2010 07:37 am (UTC)
Kinda makes me sad
I am no rich person by any stretch of the imagination but I become rather depressed when I hear people preach that EARNED income is not deserved and is GIVEN. I would hope to think that if I am eventually successful in reaching goals to be labeled a "rich" person, I have to look forward to 50% of people essentially saying that I am no longer deserving of what I have worked for the same as did when I was a low earner. Enlighten me as to when I become the selfish "rich" person in this process? Funny, that I would eventually want to receive what I have worked for.
Dec. 17th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
This nation is in the midst of a civil cold war. Its Red V Blue and the issues don't matter.

Its like players have chosen roles and adhere to the characteristics of those roles as if it were a script. No one seems to think for themselves anymore.

Politicians are more interested in beating their opponents than getting the job done. Its disgusting and infuriating.

The whole system needs to be revamped from the bottom up. The founding fathers did not live in this world, and the wonderful system of government they created no longer fits the time.

China, an Authoritarian Capitalist society, is the future power in this world. Do not doubt it.

The majority is NOT always right. Most often they are wrong. What a nation we live in where the stupid majority makes the decisions.
Dec. 17th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
What else Obama did....
Lets not forget that Obama signed the PATRIOT ACT extension without reforms! You know, that evil law from the Bush era that the left cried and howled over.

His DHS Secretary, Janet Napolitano, put the full body scanners into airports(these photos HAVE already leaked on the internet: http://gizmodo.com/5690749/these-are-the-first-100-leaked-body-scans) and if you refuse you get your WHOLE body groped. ....Some of you were crying a few years ago because the NSA was listening in on people's phone calls but none of you are marching in the streets over this?

Speaking of those wire taps, according to The Privacy Coalition his administration is still letting the NSA do it!

From the Huffington Post: "Michael D. Ostrolenk, founder of the Medical Privacy Coalition, gave the president a D+ for his handling of medical record security, a grade worse than the group gave either presidents Bush or Clinton."

Dec. 17th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
Re: What else Obama did....
First of all, those scans are from a courthouse, not an airport. Has nothing to do with TSA.

Second... whats the big deal? Those body scanners reveal less about your body than the clothes you are wearing.

Flying is NOT a right. If you have to pass through a scanner that does not hurt your privacy but could save thousands of lives what is the big deal and where is the crime against our civil rights?
Dec. 17th, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
Re: What else Obama did....
1. Yes, from a courthouse but these images were never to see the light of day either. Just like what the TSA promises us.

2. Those images from the courthouse were fuzzy but have you seen the airport ones?

3. No, flying is not a right. Neither is talking on the telephone but people don't want the NSA listening in...unless you are alright with that...you know, to keep us safe.

How about all the reports of abuse?

The woman who was denied a flight because she didn't want her breast milk scanned. The Indian Ambassador to the U.S. having an enhanced pat down. The women being pulled out of line and having a pat down because of their large chests. Kids having to take their shirts off. etc etc etc

You might be OK with this but most Americans are not and see this for what it really is.

Anyways, everything that people hated about Bush when it came to our civil liberties is still in play and Obama is just adding more to the mess.
Dec. 19th, 2010 05:44 am (UTC)
Re: What else Obama did....
And what is the TSA going to do when a terrorist puts the bomb inside his body? They are already trying to do this with dogs and load them on commercial flights. Maybe you should consider what one of founding fathers had to say on the matter,
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Ben Franklin
Dec. 17th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
The tough thing is that I really do like President Obama. I voted for him in the primaries, and in the national election, and I don't regret that decision for a minute.

But I remember talking with my dad about this. He said that Obama while hoping to accomplish as much as he can, is willing to get any thing past that he'll just take what he can get out of negotiations and I feel like that's what we're seeing. You're right. He just doesn't want to fight, if it means that he can't get anything past. I hope somewhere down the road, in the next couple of months(I'd say weeks, but I'm not THAT hopeful) he would just decide to say enough. Because at some point, while bipartisanship is part of the President's job, he needs to call the Republicans on their bs.

This is what we need:

Dec. 18th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Usually I agree with you politically, but I think we have to have more faith that Obama knows what he's doing, here. I mean, after all, we can't see the whole picture the way he is able to by being in the Whitehouse. Carter was a smart man, but his reputation for not being able to get along and compromise with others is well established. Now Obama is being criticized for being too willing to make compromises and try to work with everyone. I know the tax system is absurd and needs to be changed, but if he changes it now instead of in two years what all will he lose? Possibly the health care reform he was able to get passed for one thing. If he could make all the changes that are reasonable in a politically expedient way, why on earth wouldn't he do it? He must stand more to gain for the country by putting it off. And Obama for six more years of running the country more efficiently is far preferable to any Republican alternative. If he is only able to serve for one term, he still will have made changes that are more lasting than Carter and under harsher conditions.
Dec. 18th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Hey we see eye to eye on something political!
It's funny George, just hours before I read your blog on the subject, I was making the exact same comparison about Obama and Carter to a friend of mine... considering our previous disagreements concerning politics, that's saying something. And speaking of those disagreements, I hate to say that I told you so, but...
Dec. 19th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Obama is trying "bipartisanship," just like he said he was gonna. We elected the best possible guy to do it; he's smart, he's got some economics cred and he knows his way around the argument. But let's not forget, this "bipartisanship" episode began as an experiment to see if the "culture war" could be put to bed. Evidently, it can't. Now we know.

On the other hand. Whatever Democrat we elect, it seems, we get Clintonian policies. Even when he ran against a Clinton, criticizing her policies, and won on that. The lesson is that it's not the man, it's the committee. Which means just electing the right guy isn't enough and may be a waste of time; reform of the party, if not the two-party system, is what's required.
Dec. 19th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
Don't lose hope! At least DADT just got repealed! I know its been a frustrating period at times, but considering where we were four years ago, I'm happy with the progress made and hope it continues.
Dec. 19th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
George, I've gotta ask--
George, I've gotta ask--did you actually expect a Democratic party hack to have a backbone?

The sad fact is, the Democratic party is nothing more than the "good cop" of the Oligarchy and Empire party--and in recent history, they are even better than the Republicans at supporting and implementing conservative and neo-liberal (pro corporate) ideals. Who would have thought that it would be a Democratic administration who forced Americans to buy shitty health insurance? (no single-payer Medicare here, move along now, no room at the table for you).

Just as Clinton cut welfare, actively backed a coup in Haiti, bombed Iraq, Sudan, and the Balkans, deregulated Wall Street, etc.--Obama hands billions to Wall Street, gives the military MORE money than they ask for, allows Israel to do whatever they want, continues to abuse our civil liberties (Patriot Act, TSA, Guantanamo, etc.) expands the phony 'War on Terror', supports a fucking coup in Honduras--does this really sound any different than Bush and the neo-cons?

Shit, if any of you Republicans out there had an once of integrity or consistency (an oxymoron, I know), you'd be head over heals for Obama. After all, he's been the best Republican president since Bill Clinton!
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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