Monday, December 29, 2008
While Berdard Madoff was churning investments to pay suspiciously high dividends, "legal" lending institutions were making N.I.N.J.A. loans (No Income,No Job, no Assets) selling 700, 000 dollar homes to people making 14,000 dollars per year with no payments for the first two years. These deadly loans were then bundled and sold in lots of 100 to willing suckers such as AIG and Citigroup. The lending institutions were irresponsible and the people accepting these loans were either delusional or mathematically challenged. However, thanks to deregulation there were no laws broken, mainly because there were no laws left to break.
America, from top to bottom, was in an economic tailspin. With virtually all of our manufacturing gone and the service jobs in exodus, the only product we could create for profit was debt. We were truly living in a red economy. How could anyone be surprised at the crash we are experiencing? The reality of Ronald Reagan's regulation free trickle down economics is being realized as bankruptcy started with the major corporations and is now trickling down to the families of the workers they laid off.
President Elect Obama's vision of a green economy, supported by tax policies which penalizes the exportation of jobs, can create a stable alternative to the current dysfunctional mess we find ourselves mired in. It will undoubtedly take a while to become reality but it may be our only hope, with an emphasis on the word "hope".
However, if this ship is to be turned around we also need to convince our citizens to stop wandering aimlessly through discount stores spending money they don't have to buy things they don't need.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
President Kennedy 2016?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Congressman and women who mock and taunt corporate CEO's during the bailout hearings need only look in the mirror for the culprits. In 1980 Ronald Reagan was swept into office pushing his pro-corporate agenda of deregulation and both sides of the aisle were thrilled to accept his deeply flawed economic theory. The deep recession of the 1970's had created public anger at the government and politicians were able to channel this anger towards an amorphous government entity rather than at the individual members of who made up the entity, themselves. Thus, deregulation worked to create the facade that both Congress and the President were fixing the Country's economic woes by ridding corporate America of the bothersome interference of a bloated inept government while distancing themselves from this government.
The Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions act of 1982 deregulated the savings and loans institutions and the "S and L crisis" was not long to follow. This major deregulation bill was sponsored by Democrat Ferdinand St. Germain and Republican Jake Garn, it was co-sponsored by Democrats Charles Schumer and Steny Hoyer. This was, or rather should have been, the canary in the coalmine predicting the ultimate results of deregulation. Allow the financial institutions to take unreasonable risks, and they will destroy themselves.
Both the allegedly liberal Brookings Institute and the ultra-conservative American Enterprise Institute strongly advocated deregulation despite the opposition of many left leaning economists and the anti-globalization movement. Not surprisingly, both sides of the aisle are now eager to blame greedy corrupt CEO's and overlook the effects of their legislative actions. If not for deregulation none of this could have possibly taken place. Corporations have always operated within the confines of U.S. policies and regulations and if they are allowed to take suicidal risks they surely shall. The role of government is to monitor and adjust the corporate environment to protect the American consumer and worker. Deregulation was extremely effective in its intent, however the law of unintended consequences has created an economic disaster of epic proportions.
Democrats, Republicans, and mainstream media pundits are unified in the assertion that Corporate CEO's are the cause of the impending economic collapse of the United States, and possibly the International finance system. Those who created and imposed deregulation are eager to find a scapegoat.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
One of the most progressive Presidents America has ever elected is about to take office and some are upset because he didn't clone Dennis Kucinich and name the clones to every Cabinet post. We watched in horror as President Bush hired and fired for the last eight years based solely on ideology. The most incompetent bunglers were appointed to critical Government positions, such as F.E.M.A., because they were loyal right wing "Bushies." Now the same people who complained the loudest about George W's appointments are unhappy because their guy gives weight to competence when choosing his Cabinet. There is no credible argument against his Cabinet choices other than ideology.
Some have complained that President Elect Obama is breaking campaign promises by changing his mind regarding a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. One of the principal complaints against George Bush has been his refusal to adjust his policies to fit changing circumstances both foreign and domestic. Clearly the policies regarding energy must be re-evaluated now that oil prices have dropped below $44.00 per barrel. There are certainly are more pressing issues which require attention.
Others, who are stuck in an ideological war of opposition, infer that any Republican approval of his Cabinet choices constitutes prima facia evidence that the choices are bad.
Recently, House Member Barney Frank made the astonishing assertion that Obama is not doing enough. That despite the fact that he can do little except make public comments and prepare to take office. Granted President Elect Obama has promised major changes, but it is far fetched to expect any of those changes before he gets in office.
It appears that some people are so accustomed to fighting the "system" that they don't realize when they've won.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
President Elect Obama's non traditional leadership style creates a new political paradigm which renders many of the traditional methods of analyzing politics ineffective. Though mild mannered and pragmatic, President Elect Obama is a powerful visionary leader in the mold of JFK , Lincoln, and Martin Luther King. Visionary leaders are exceptionally self confident and typically select the most competent subordinates even though there may be some slight ideological differences. The leader provides the vision and tasks the subordinates with making it a reality. The leader envisions a synergistic environment which requires loyalty and dedication but not unanimous agreement on all issues.
President Elect Obama's National Security Team selections reflect his commitment to the competence and diversity required to fulfill his vision much more than his ideological inclinations.
The National Security Team:
Defense Secretary - Robert Gates
Born in Wichita Kansas, 1943
Secretary Gates has a master's degree in history from Indiana University and a PH.D. in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. He served on the non-partisan Iraq Study Group whose findings were much criticized by right wing war-hawks. The recent Russian incursion into Georgia and the cold-war like conflict over the European missile defense shield create a necessity for an experienced soviet expert. As a former CIA director he will also be able to combine military and intelligence resources to address President Elect Obama's foreign policy priority of accounting for missing soviet nuclear weapons. He is widely viewed as a centrist in Washington political circles.
Admiral William Fallon, a known center-left military leader, recommended that Secretary Gates be kept on as Defense Secretary. President Elect Obama is known to have consulted with Former "Bush 41" National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, a close friend of Robert Gates, for foreign policy advice.
Ambassador to the United Nations - Susan Rice
Born in Washington D.C., 1964
A Rhodes Scholar, Ms. Rice earned an M.Phil. and a D.Phil. from New College, Oxford. In 1990 the Chatham house-British International Studies Association honored her dissertation as the UK's most distinguished in international relations. Rice's classmates and professors at Oxford included advocates of the role of the United Nations and international law. Ms. Rice's nomination is a clear indicator that right wing anti-U.N. policies based on American exceptionalism will be no part of the Obama foreign policy.
National Security Adviser - James Jones
Born Kansas City, 1943
The former four star General served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander and as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corp. Jones is known to have a placid demeanor, a methodical approach to problems, and boasts impressive negotiating skills.
Secretary of State - Hillary Clinton
Born Chicago Illinois, 1947
The bad news - if you choose Hillary you get Bill.
The good news - if you choose Hillary you get Bill.
Though somewhat hawkish on foreign policy of late, Senator Clinton is a smart politician and unlikely to jeopardize one of the premier political appointments in the world. Few can argue the strength and competence of Senator Clinton or worldwide appeal of the Clinton brand. There will be few doors that Bill can't open for Hillary if his considerable skills and connections are needed. This appointment also serves to consolidate President Elect Obama's power within the Democratic Party and create an opening for a more progressive replacement in the Senate.
Homeland Security Secretary - Janet Napolitano
Born New York City, 1957
The former attorney for Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings was appointed as the United States attorney for the District of Arizona by President Bill Clinton. In that capacity she participated in the investigation of the Oklahoma City Bombing. She also served as the Arizona Attorney General and Chair of the National Governors Association. In 2006 she defeated her Republican gubernatorial opponent by a nearly 2-1 margin.
Attorney General - Eric Holder
Born, The Bronx, New York
Son of an immigrant from Barbados
Former Superior Court Judge, United States Attorney, and Deputy Attorney General of the United States.
After assisting in prosecutions for the ABSCAM sting, he was appointed as a Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by President Ronald Reagan.
The Columbia Law School graduate once worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
His wife's sister, Vivian Juanita Jones, was one of the first two African Americans to enroll in the University of Alabama and became famous when Governor George Wallace blocked them from enrolling. Interestingly, Malone was refused entrance by Governor Wallace and an army of State Troopers when she arrived to enroll accompanied by U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. President Kennedy subsequently activated the National Guard and she was admitted. In 2007 Holder joined the amicus brief which urged the Supreme Court to uphold Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban. During his 1997 confirmation hearing for Deputy U.S. Attorney General he told Congress ""I am not a proponent of the death penalty, but I will enforce the law as this Congress gives it to us."
Attorney General Designee Holder's background seems to suggest that he will aggressively pursue a progressive agenda.
The Centrist, or even right leaning Cabinet that the mainstream pundits speak of never materializes when the Cabinet members are evaluated individually. The group rounds out as a collection of pragmatic intellectuals with exceptional experience and knowledge in their respective fields of assignment. The lone Republican Administration holdover, Secretary Robert Gates, comes highly recommended by one of the most visible anti-neocon military leaders in recent years, former CENTCOM Commander Admiral William Fallon.
The Obama political model will likely confound mainstreamers for years to come. Progressives who have accepted the mainstream assertion of Obama's move to the right and Conservatives who are beaming about the so-called right leaning/centrist Cabinet will be surprised to find that President Elect Obama will Govern exactly as he promised, bottom up politics at home and a cooperative spirit abroad. It is also remarkable that his Cabinet is conspicuosly absent representation from the Red States of the Deep South and the right wing of American Politics.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"So far, the forgotten man, the middle-class U.S. taxpayer, has had to bail out Wall Street, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We are sick and tired of having to pay for the recklessness of others, and we are not going to take it any more."
I can only assume that his use of the term "we", refers to the multi-national conglomerates his party represents who have been shipping American jobs overseas for the last thirty years. It certainly doesn't apply to the three million auto workers doomed to unemployment by his plan.
Former Representative Armey consistently supported the Reagan policy of deregulation. The Reagan era deregulators asserted that industry dynamics would create an atmosphere of self-regulation. They argued that this market driven business environment would keep corporations honest and provide the best prices for consumers. The crumbling financial markets seem to indicate that their argument was exceptionally flawed.
The argument that the Automakers, and their three million jobs, should be allowed to pass into oblivion is based on the same logic as were the principles of deregulation. Corporations should not be restrained, restricted, nor bailed out by the Government. Sort of a Darwinian version of capitalism where the strong survive and the weak die off. Unfortunately, in this model the strong who survive are the Corporate leaders and the weak are the workers and consumers.
The last thing America needs to do is to follow the advice of those who's policies created this catastrophe. Particularly when the advice is once again to let corporate nature take its course. I argue that corporate nature is taking its course. Corporate nature is self destructive and corporate greed eventually unhinges the social structure which enables the profitability and ultimate survival of corporation. Unrestrained corporations focus only on short term profit margins and lose sight of everything else.
I believe that Dick Armey and his army of deregulators should be shut out of the rescue process. In fact, their advice should be accepted only for its value as an indication of what actions should not be taken.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The Japanese and European automakers salivate at the thought of three giant competitors falling. The idea that consumers will still purchase vehicles from auto manufacturers who are in the midst of chapter eleven is wishful thinking. Chapter Eleven procedures for a manufacturer creates the natural consumer fear of purchasing an obsolete product. This will mean a near halt in sales and the end of America's portion of the worldwide auto market, one that we are not guaranteed to regain.
The Republican Party is fighting the auto industry bailout and gambling that Detroit is not the final nail in our economic coffin. Three million auto workers and likely five times that number of related jobs may be more than America can handle both emotionally and in real dollars. Consumers may panic and freeze spending killing the last hope for avoiding a depression. If the Congressional Republicans have their way President Obama will be rebuilding the U.S. economy from the ground up, but they'll have nothing to rebuild.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Targeting working class Americans with tax cuts, freezing home foreclosures, and infusing capitol into infrastructure projects will undoubtedly increase the deficit. However, these actions will improve consumer confidence and create badly needed jobs. Once the economy begins to turn the corner President Obama can slowly return the government to fiscal responsibility and begin to work on the social reform agenda which helped propell him to power. Bill Clinton's first major economic package passed without a single Republican congressional vote. Passing an economic package which increases the deficit may not be easy, but this is not the time for easy politics. An expensive economic stimulus package may create a target rich environment for his enemies in the short term, but the alternative is to play the traditional political game as expected, and fail.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Having been soundly rejected by the electorate, the Republican Party is left to dress its wounds and develop strategies for 2012. During this election cycle the voters sent a clear signal that political moderation is in order. As a result some GOP pragmatists are signalling a willingness to accept some level of bipartisanship and move somewhat reluctantly towards the center. The problem they will soon encounter is that they have so effectively trained their base to be extremist that they will reject any move towards ideological moderation. Southern Republicans in Congress may face losing to more conservative challengers in the next primaries should they move towards the center, the only likely salvation for the party as a whole.
The Grand Old Party is in a "catch 22" situation. If they moderate their ideological positions it will get them some desperately needed mainstream support but it will infuriate their base. If they double down on their conservative positions they solidify their base but move farther from the new political mainstream, particularly the youth vote. I suspect we will hear the Party leaders invoke the name of Ronald Reagan and proclaim that they intend to return to the conservatives values of his era. As the Country moves forward, their fateful strategy will be to move forward by going backwards 25 years. Their effectiveness in creating an extremist base is proving to be a bittersweet success.
Monday, November 03, 2008
The latest polling data can be interpreted to predict either a blowout for Senator Barack Obama, or to indicate that Senator John McCain is easily within striking distance. Many of the critical state races are either within the margin of error, or close enough to give the challenger a reasonable opportunity for victory. Should the margin swing just a few points in several states, Senator Obama's sure victory becomes a razor thin loss.
However, the polls are just one part of the data which predicts the outcome. The best analogy I can summon is that of a swimmer recognizing an object approaching him as a shark's fin. The fin is a sure sign of serious danger, yet it is only an indicator. The real danger is below the fin, the part that actually does the biting is below the surface. The Obama team's ground game is deadly.
Howard Dean's 50 State strategy is clear and apparent in the Obama game plan. The Obama campaign is dedicating huge amounts of money and effort to the grassroots efforts more commonly referred to as the "ground game." The strategy of investing heavily in the field work and aggressively attacking the Republicans in states which they traditionally carry will show up much more prominently at the polling booths than has been reflected by the polling data. The poll numbers do not accurately reflect the effect of the Obama Camp's 5 million nationwide volunteers and their herculean two year effort to register new voters. Hundreds of thousands, or more likely millions of these new voters will not show up in polling data as likely voters, nor be counted in any of the pre-election statistics. Many non-traditional voters have only a cell phone and therefor will never receive the calls necessary to be counted in the traditionally run polls. The Obama grassroots numbers are astounding; 5 million volunteers, over 400,000 doors knocked on daily, and 82 field offices in Ohio alone. In Montana, nearly 25,000 new voters between the age of 18 and 35, a demographic which heavily favors Obama, were registered since January 1, 2008. This in a State which saw only 456,096 votes were cast in the 2004 election and currently shows dead even in the polls.
I predict an overwhelming victory for Senator Obama. Senator Obama will quite possibly carry every coastal State from Maine to Florida and a number of Congressional races will be shocking upsets in favor of the Democrats. Both Georgia and South Carolina have strong chances of turning blue due to African American and youth turnout. There will be nothing remotely close about this election. Come Wednesday, you'll likely need a history book to find a Republican in Congress. How long before the news pundits give Howard Dean the genius status they awarded Karl Rove?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"[T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. "
A casual glance at the constitution would reveal to Governor Palin that the Vice President's duties are limited to becoming President if the President is unable to serve, casting a vote in the event of a Senate Deadlock, and to preside over and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College.
Governor Palin represents all that is wrong with her Party. She is a simple minded ideologue who garners support from the base because of her image rather than her competence. She reminds us how George Bush became President and why we must never again elect the "guy (or gal) you would like to have a beer with."
Garland's theory of universal irony will no doubt present a significant roadblock to the reconstruction the Republican brand. One of the rules of this theory is that your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. The GOP's strength has been that their base, roughly 25% of the country, are ideologues who support their far right wing policies regardless of the outcome. This gives them a tremendous advantage during elections because they need only muster another 26%, by hook or crook, to win. The commensurate weakness is that this 25% will be loathe to buy into the centrist shift necessary to realign with the rest of America and re-emerge as a political power in four to eight years. Instead the preference of the base will be to scapegoat the media, minorities, and the McCain campaign. They will surely ignore the misguided policies which lead to this inevitable clash with reality. This organization will face the principle stumbling block of addicts and alcoholics, you can't fix a problem until you accept that there is a problem and that your actions created the problem.
The GOP faithful maintains strict adherence to the rule of fools. When something doesn't work wise men change course, fools do more of it.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--
PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.
COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.
PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--
COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?
PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.
It is painfully obvious that Governor Palin has been done a disservice, to be kind, by the Republican party. The idea of seeing this person in the White House would be laughable were it not a realistic possibility. She is without the most rudimentary grasp of the complex issues facing America today. Though this weakness appeals to her neocon handlers, it could leave the rest of us crispy and radioactive.
Her assertion that her proximity to Russia counts as national security experience is on its face too absurd to merit discussion. The McCain camp is wise to sequester their Vice Presidential candidate from the media.
"our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of." - Sarah Palin
Monday, September 22, 2008
In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity.
It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment
- Ronald Wilson Reagan, Inaugural Address January 20, 1981
After 27 years, Ronald Reagan's argument that governmental meddling impedes the progress and growth of business is finally laid bare. The foundation of this policy is that corporations are fundamentally honest and if left unchecked they will not manipulate the system to make a profit. Clearly, last weeks events have exposed the long term effects of trusting corporate executives to run the most powerful economic machine in the history of mankind.
Those of us grounded in bare facts and logic realized long ago the disastrous consequences of President Reagan's policies. In his New York Time Article "Debunking the Reagan Myth," Paul Krugman wrote:
The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen.
However the best, or rather the worst, was yet to come. Ronald Reagan's policy of leaving rich greedy corporatists was taken to another level when George W. Bush filled his cabinet with corporate executives. These far right wing economic policies have been dragged to the far left by reality. The cry of socialism regarding the financial bailout may be somewhat accurate but the alternative may bankrupt the U.S. economy, a chance the government is not willing to take. America is being taught by Wall street that far right wing economic policies work just about as well as far right wing foreign policies. Eventually, the government will be forced to take over the other industries and move towards a mixed regulated economy.
Currently its up to voters to decide whether to turn left or maintain course and speed......straight down the path of destruction.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
The fundamental flaw in the Palin marketing plan is that it's not grounded in reality. Governor Palin holds extreme right wing views on social issues and her foreign policy, though yet still a mystery, is likely to the right of mainstream America . At some point soon she will be forced to expose her ideological views and lay waste to the centrist marketing plan while it is still in its infancy. Her belief that abortion should be banned even in cases of rape and incest and her Bush-like views connecting religion to foreign policy will eventually push the majority of centrist independents into the Obama camp. It will then be clear that choosing her as his running mate has done little more than anchor Senator McCain to the far right wing conservatives.
Friday, June 13, 2008
The Clinton "movement" revealed the existence of a center right leaning democratic machine and its powerful alliance with the American political right. Facing political annihilation, the Clinton people ran for political cover in the only place where they were guaranteed shelter, the right wing media machine. We watched Bill Clinton chatting it up on the Rush Limbaugh show, Geraldine Ferraro spewing racial venom then hanging out with Sean Hannity despite his white supremacist ties, and Ed Rendell praising Fox news for their objective balanced coverage. Faced with true progressive policies, many Clinton supporters chose to openly ally themselves with John McCain in their fight against the Obama people.
Now the truly interesting part of this political soap opera begins. How can the right wing Democrats stay warm and fuzzy with their Republican comrades without completely severing their ties from the Democratic base in an environment of civilian political rebellion? Meanwhile, how can the Republicans keep their party alive while supporting far right wing policies? Policies which are being rejected by a population being crushed by them. My guess is that neither group can maintain their hidden agendas anymore. The time for illusionary politics is over and without political smoke and mirrors, the American people finally get a chance to vote based on some semblance of reality.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
As the rules committee begins its deliberations, my thoughts go back to a wonderful book written by Hillary's campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe titled "What a Party!, and what a party it was! Those who are pondering his fight to seat all of the Florida and Michigan delegates with full votes should understand how he viewed that issue when he was the Chairman of the DNC. In 2004, he had a conversation with Carl Levin regarding Levin's plans to move up the Michigan primary. To that end, I give you an excerpt from page 325 of Mr. McAuliffe's Book.
"I'm going outside the primary window," [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me
"If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," I said. "We
will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously
and you lost."
He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their
own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that
point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of
the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.
"You won't deny us seats at the convention," he said.
"Carl, take it to the bank," I said. "They will not get a credential.
The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not
let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the
rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it."
at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding
all the cards and Levin knew it.
It seems that it is a good thing for Clinton Campaign Chairman McAuliffe that he is not facing DNC Chairman McAuliffe on the this issue.
Friday, May 23, 2008
The mainstream media outlets were all over this comment and the obvious political fallout. As usual, the pundits talked endlessly about the proximate results, the obvious political ramifications using the context of the Democratic Primary election process. What was completely ignored was how those comments affect the Clintons argument of electability for the general elections. Repeatedly the Clinton's surrogates have gone on the air opining their belief that the Black Community will unite around Senator Clinton if she takes the nomination from Senator Obama despite losing the number of elected delegates, states won, popular vote (unless you use her convoluted method of calculation), and significant fiscal irresponsibility. Tonight, that argument ends. Though ignored by the mainstream media, it should be quite clear to Party insiders that there is an irreparable breach between the Clintons and the Black Community. Members of the Black Community have no reason to press the issue, but the affect of that reality on the general election can not be overstated. Senator Clinton is not only unelectable, she has become an anchor threatening to drown the entire Party. The truth is quiet but powerful, the Clinton's are despised by Black Americans. Granting her the nomination at this point under any circumstances would be catastrophic for the Democratic Party. A significant number of Black voters would sit out the General Election easily giving the White House to the the Republicans, possibly losing both houses of Congress, and wasting the greatest opportunity for the Party in decades.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Lets face it, Hillary's arguments reveal some pretty creative desperation. I think her latest argument is that she leads in the popular vote if you count Florida and Michigan, ignore the votes in the Caucus States, divide the number of voters by the score of the last six Super Bowls won by the AFC minus the point spread, then multiply that by the percentage of voters in West Virginia who suffer from severe periodontal disease. There is no logical bridge too far to leap for Hillary to make the argument for her candidacy.
Personally, I don't think I would want a person who is so desperate for the Presidency that they have created their own reality waiting for me to "expire" or otherwise be removed from office. Now let me be very clear, I am not in any way saying that the Clintons would be plotting on Senator Obama day and night...but hey...things happen.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The Clinton's need to convince the Superdelegates that they are the only electable candidates because of their dominance with White, lesser educated, blue collar voters. Simultaneously they must also convince them that the racial, social, and economic class divisions created during the primaries will be overcome in the general elections. It is quite clear that these arguments cancel each other out.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."
"There's a pattern emerging here," she said.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
After replacing Admiral William Fallon at Centcom with their puppet Patraeus, the Neocons are primed for another unprovoked attacked on a Muslim Country. To that end, another aircraft carrier is en route to the Persian Gulf to immediately frighten the prices of oil up another twenty dollars per barrel. Being the conspiracy theorist that I am, I suspect that Iran's decision to completely stop conducting transactions in US dollars has sped up the Cheney Administration's need for war.
The people who brought us the cakewalk in Iraq have cooked up another military strategy and are set to make that disaster look like a wise move. Attacking Opec''s second largest producer, when oil has risen to 120 dollars per barrel, will be the final nail in the economic coffin of the Unites States.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
As has been the case throughout this election, the Clinton supporters have ignored the Black voting bloc in their arguments. If this argument is applied using Black voters as the variable unit it creates the logical conclusion, only to a significantly greater degree, that Senator Clinton in unelectable. Outside of Pennsylvania, Senator Obama has bested the Clintons amongst White male voters and nearly tied them in the overall White voting bloc on a number of ocassions. However, Senator Clinton has been consistently beaten by historic proportions for a Democratic primary contest (typically 90-10) in the Black voting bloc. If the argument is that a 70-30 victory is so lopsided as to indicate a fatal divison between a Primary Candidate and a voting bloc, then how much more so does the string of 90-10 losses that the Clintons have sufffered with Black voters indicate the same. Are we to believe that the Clintons can overcome a string of losses by 90% or higher to a voting bloc and ultimately make amends with that group, yet Senator Obama can't overcome a fewer number of losses by much smaller numbers?
No reasonable person would argue that any Democrat could be elected President without both a huge turnout of Black voters and an overhwhelming advantage in that voting bloc.
The Clinton's argument makes the point that Senator Obama has a far greater chance of reconciliation with their core supporters than they with his. This logical conclusion is obvious, unless of course those constructing the argument discount the value, and possibly even existence, of Black voters.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It was inevitable that the forces promoting aristocratic rule would fight to revive the one issue that could keep them in power, racism. To that end, the right wing of the Democratic Party and the Republican machine have joined forces. After Senator Obama blew Hillary out consecutively with the White rural voters in Iowa and the Black rural voters in South Carolina it was clear that the people had progressed to a point that they would inevitably unify against the oppressive wealthy class. Bill Clinton gave the signal to attack with his Jesse Jackson comments. It also announced that the Clintons were severing their ties with both the Black community and the progressives. From that point on, the Clintons and their surrogates (including those in the media and the Republican Party) have worked to remind the White voters of America that their social duty is to vote for politicians who look like them, despite the obvious conflict with their economic needs. The media turned to evaluating the individual contests on how the different categories of "white voters" responded to the candidates. Suddenly, the question of whether race was important in choosing a candidate surfaced as an exit polling question. More recently, the North Carolina Republican Party has launched an Obama attack ad which began running the day Hillary began campaigning in their State. Simultaneously the creator of Bush Senior's Willie Horton ad has released his latest divisive master piece tying Senator Obama to Gang Violence by showing split screen pictures of him next to urban blight and plastering the words gang violence and urban terrorism all over the screen.
This pesky racial harmony is creating major problems for the wealthy corporate class of politicians and we can expect that their bipartisan unity will only become stronger and more obvious as their fear of losing power increases.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This may seem like a stretch, but I believe that the Republican leadership actually prefers Senator Clinton over John McCain. He is not nearly as predictable as she on the issues which are their top priorities. The unpopular Iraq war is destroying the Republican Party and I am sure that, despite their public statements, many Republicans in Congress can't unload this albatross soon enough. If they can get the war over soon and have the luxury of blaming the "defeat" on a democrat, the Republican Party can see some daylight to make a move on the Presidency and Congress in 2012. Meanwhile, Hillary's aggressive militaristic foreign policy is music to the ears of the neocons. The few domestic policy differences she has with the Republicans will be overlooked because of her willingness to nestle up with the Corporate lobbyist and keep the backroom deals flowing.
I expect the Republican Party to be much more aggressive in their attacks on Senator Obama. The person who should really be worried about that is John McCain.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Hour after hour, the right wing pundits build their case against Obama. Despite the obvious fact that it has had no effect on the polls, the Republican machine continues to hammer away at the absurd claim that Senator Obama is an elitist with a sprinkling of Jeremiah Wright whenever they can find an opening.
Democratic voters need to ask themselves why the Republican support system in the media is aggressively working to insure that a particular Democrat wins. Clearly, the Republican Party prefers that the Presidential race revolve around irrelevant issues completely unrelated to their horrendous foreign and domestic policy failures during the last eight years.
Ultimately, the question is why the Republicans are working feverishly to defeat Senator Obama. Would any sane person believe that their intentions are in the best interest of the Democratic Party?
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
We have learned that the White voters have little or no interest in the economy or the occupation of Iraq, except where it benefits John McCain. The American people will make their voting decisions based on the statements of Jeremiah White only. The Jeremiah Wright story has become the foundation of all cable news stories night and day. You need only turn on any of the three Cable news networks and get a three minute egg timer. Rarely a period will pass that you couldn't both cook a tasty cholesterol filled egg and hear a Jeremiah Wright reference. The polls that showed Senator Obama moving ahead of Senator Clinton in preference for handling the economy and foreign policy have been replaced by endless loops of Jeremiah Wright looking like a scary angry Black man.
The subtle racism of the major cable news outlets has been replaced by outright divisive anti-black bias. The language of racial division is used routinely. Every political story refers to the "WHITE VOTERS" and their reaction to whatever racially charged issue is discussed. The unspoken inference is that the white voter is turned off by the discussion of race. The leap of logic from there assumes that they once the white voter is turned off by issue of race being discussed they will not vote for a Black candidate. They will ignore their dire economic circumstances and the horrendous foreign policy blunder that is Iraq, then vote based on race and race only. Barack Obama receiving 85% to 92% of the Black vote in various states is a sign of racial division that will send a negative signal to "WHITE VOTERS", yet Bill Clinton consistently getting 85% and higher of the Black vote was a sign of his acceptance by Black America and helped him win.
The major news networks' most insidious racially misleading tactic is to consistently put right wing Black pundits on the air and infer that the black community is equally divided between the right and left politically. This hides the reality that the Black community sees the right wing pro confederacy movement as its natural enemy. Joe Watkins, a Black Republican strategist has morphed into a "Black preacher" since the Jeremiah Wright story has come to prominence. The number of Black republicans on air has skyrocketed while the presence of left leaning Black pundits has been reduced to practically none.
MSNBC has increased the visibility of Pat Buchanan, one of the most racist political pundits in America. In 1969 Buchanan opposed President Nixon visiting Martin Luther King's widow because in his words "It would outrage many, many people who believe Dr. King was a fraud and a demagogue, and perhaps worse. ... It does not seem to be in the interests of national unity for the president to lend his national prestige to the argument that this divisive figure is a modern saint." He would later go on record as opposing making Dr. King's birthday a national holiday. Buchanan has also defended the Confederacy writing that the Civil War was about "the right of a people to break free of a government to which they could no longer give allegiance," States' rights, and cultural differences. As an example of his racially biased work, last week when Bill Richardson endorsed Obama, Nancy Pelosi stated that the candidate with the most pledged delegates should be the nominee, and it was announced that there will be no re-vote in Florida and Michigan, Buchanan announced that Barack Obama had the worst week of any of the Presidential candidates because of the three week old Jeremiah Wright story.
Its time to call these pro-Hillary/McCain alleged news organizations out. They will not stop their intentional racially divisive tactics, but we who oppose and resent these tactics should make our opposition clear.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
- GE is the holder of several massive military contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- In a list of the 100 biggest defense contractors the company is ranked number seven.
- Throughout the 1990s GE was involved in so many fraud cases that the government set up a special investigations office specifically for the company in the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Management Agency. GE was indicted on 22 criminal counts.
- The CEO of GE, Jeffrey Immelt, gave $4,000 for President Bush’s 2004 campaign, and $1,000 for Bush’s 2000 campaign.
- NBC’s parent corporation, General Electric, had $14.6 billion in total military revenues during 2003-2006 (10th biggest U.S. military contractor)
The right wing media outlets are following Hillary's lead for an all out full court press on Obama and the anti-war members of the electorate. Many months back Senator Obama warned that the Status Quo will not go down easily and that Exxon-Mobile will not give up their profits without a fight. It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that there is a bi-partisan effort by the mainstream political machine to stop the "Change Movement" from upsetting the apple cart and weakening the military industrial complex's stranglehold on a Country that at least had the appearance of democracy. The race issue may appear to be the center of this controversy but in reality it is merely a tool of a desperate bi-partisan right wing political order facing its greatest threat since the Civil War. Hillary's desperate "do anything to win" tactics are actually reflecting the fear, desperation, and determination of her Republican and Democratic supporters.
I don't believe that Senator Obama has been blindsided by recent events. If you have ever been deep sea fishing you should think of the analogy of a fish fighting on a line. The fish puts up a tough fight then appears to fade and give up at one point. However, when the fish gets close enough to see the boat and recognize the reality of its impending doom, it makes its last run which is also its most powerful. Any seasoned fishermen knows that this fight is coming and that if the fish is going to break the line, this is where it is going to happen. The veteran fishermen is not fooled by the appearance of a victory just before that last run by the fish. He or she keeps steady pressure on the fish all the while anticipating the strongest resistance near the end of the battle.
It is at this critical point in the fight that progressives need to recognize that the current attacks are not on Senator Obama or any particular group of his supporters. There are much larger issues in play and falling for the race bait helps the bi-partisan right wing political establishment hide their true motivations. Like you and I, Hillary's core support groups recognize that she is near the boat. The real fight has just begun.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Like Hillary, Murtha has a history as a right wing pro-war House Democrat whose views have often been barely discernible from most Republicans. In 2001 he co-authored the "Flag Desecration Amendment" with Republican Duke Cunningham. In 2005 Senator Clinton followed suit by co-sponsoring anti flag burning legislation along with Republican Bob Bennet of Utah. Both Clinton and Murtha voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 though Senator Clinton later implied that she thought it was a vote for inspections. However, I would argue that the name of the resolution should have been sufficient to clear up any questions about the intent of the bill's authors. As late as 2005 Murtha still argued that the problems in Iraq were due to lack of planning, refusing to admit that the invasion was a mistake. Dick Cheney referenced John Murtha saying "One of my strongest allies in Congress when I was secretary of defense was Jack Murtha, a Democrat who was chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee."
The media was shocked by Murtha's sudden about face on the Iraq occupation mainly because of his long time record as a war hawk. Now his endorsement of another right wing war hawk has been used to re-write history and recast both he and Hillary as doves.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
One thing is very clear regarding this issue, white America (a term I use to refer to a culture rather than merely a race or ethnicity) has no idea of the anger and resentment in the Black Community over the vicious racism and oppression their people have faced. I would surmise that if the press were to look over videotapes of most Black Preachers for twenty years they would be shocked by many of the angry comments they would find. Let me be honest, as a radio talk show host for several years, there are quite a few comments that I have made that would likely bring the ire of the mainstream press. A few hundred years of slavery, lynchings, and Jim crow laws tend to leave a bad taste in one's mouth. I once devoted an entire show to why America should celebrate the date the emancipation proclamation was signed rather than July Fourth. I referred to Thomas Jefferson as a serial rapist and questioned why George Washington waited until after his death to free his slaves. Believe me, that show had enough sound bites to keep Fox News busy for weeks. Mainstream America is shocked that Black community leaders have verbally attacked the mainstream culture in this country, maybe it needs to be aired out and discussed. The anger and resentment is real, so lets make it public.
Ultimately, Senator Obama just has to keep fighting and get to the convention. He will surely be beaten up and tattered when Hillary gets through. Then, the Jeremiah Wright story will be long used up and it will be rather difficult for the Republicans to convince the voters that Senator Obama is a Muslim after spending so much time attacking his Baptist Minister.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The problem arose when it became fairly obvious that, barring a miracle, this change movement was going to seriously threaten the status quo. The status quo, led principally by the mainstream media, has embarked on a major campaign to neutralize this threat. Senator Obama has a brief political background and little or no skeletons in his closet which left the media with one issue, race. You need only watch CNN for a few hours to recognize that it has become all race, all the time regarding the Democratic Primary. One week they are showing pictures of Senator Obama in traditional Kenyan apparel and linking him to Louis Farrakhan inferring that he is a Muslim. The next week they are showing film clips of his Christian pastor making extremely ethnic sermons and commenting on race related issues in a fashion that most blue collar Whites find uncomfortable. The strategy is clear, paint Senator Obama as a Black only candidate and frighten the blue collar White voter in Pennsylvania into voting for Senator Clinton. As revolting as the strategy is, I can't see an alternative for the Clinton media surrogates at this point. Hillary's one week of victory and momentum left her behind a dozen more delegates than before the week began. She will be heading to the convention behind in delegates, popular votes, states won, and money. You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear.
To be honest, we can't be surprised that the mainstream political machine would stoop to such historic lows to try and stop a monumental threat to their political cash cow. Before the Pennsylvania primary vote I expect them to trot out a modern equivalent to Willie Horton and try to scare the be-Jesus out of the average White guy. What alternative do they have, stick to the issues and get crushed?
I continue to hold the position that the Clinton People are out of control and it is the duty of the Party Leaders to stop this cancer in the Party. It has become clear that the Clinton wing of the Party is challenging the authority of the standing Party Leaders. It is my belief that the Party Leaders have put together a strategy to stop Hillary's insurrection. Keep an eye on Nancy Pelosi and her inner circle for clues.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Groupthink - a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. (Wikipedia)
In my evaluation of the Clinton Camp's recent activities I am struck by the similarities between their inner circle and the inner circle of the Bush Administration during the run up to the invasion of Iraq.
The term "groupthink"was coined in 1952 by William H. Whyte and researched extensively by Irving Janis. Mr. Janis recognized two prevalent causes of this condition:
- Structural faults in the organization: insulation of the group, lack of tradition of impartial leadership, lack of norms requiring methodological procedures, homogeneity of members' social background and ideology.
- Provocative situational context: high stress from external threats, recent failures, excessive difficulties on the decision-making task, moral dilemmas.
Fast forward to the Clinton campaign. The Clinton camp continues to project success despite Obama's overwhelming lead in both the pledged delegate count and popular vote with few States left, several of which are likely victories for Senator Obama. They appear blind to the long term damage caused by their brutal reckless tactics. Worse yet, they have attacked and offended the groups they would undoubtedly need if they were able to secure the nomination. Their current illogical rationale seems to be that they can lose the popular vote and the pledged delegate count, promote the Republican nominee, infuriate the Black community, then convince the Superdelegates to override the wishes of the voters.
It appears that they believe the path to the nomination will be a "cakewalk" and the Obama supporters will "welcome them as liberators". Isn't it always amazing how groups of people get together and create a paradigm contrary to reality. Then live comfortably in that paradigm as it crumbles around them.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
"[McCain has] never been president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."
"I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
"Of course, well, you know, I've got a lifetime of experience. Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience. And you know, Senator Obama's whole campaign is about one speech he made in 2002."
The issue of experience is certainly a fair, though ineffective, strategy for the Clinton camp to employ. However, confounded by the futility of their efforts, the Clinton camp transformed the strategy into a bipartisan attack on the likely Democratic nominee. They unofficially joined forces with Senator McCain and began the Republican Senator's first line of attack. I suspect that sometime between now and November we will see the video of Senator Clinton's remarks again.
It is clear that the Clintons have ignited a war between the right wing (liberals) and the left wing (progressives) of the Democratic Party. However, Senator Obama's near insurmountable lead in delegates and overall votes means that Senator Clinton's treasonous remarks damages both wings in the general election.
The appearance is that the right wing of the Democratic Party would prefer a Republican President over a progressive. This should come as no great surprise since their history has always been to strike so called "bi-partisan" deals with the Republicans rather than side with the left wing of their own Party on issues of substance.....such as Preemptive military attacks on sovereign nations and massive tax cuts for the wealthy.
The Democratic leadership would be foolish to allow this contest to continue in its current form until Pennsylvania. The Clintons have declared in both words and deeds their intent to destroy the Party's likely nominee. Five weeks of scorched earth Clinton politics may be fatal for the party's White House bid. The Party leadership needs to take immediate and decisive action. Treason of this magnitude cannot be tolerated. Gary Hart floated this balloon as soon as the incident occurred. He was dead on target with his article "Breaking the Final Rule".
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman [of any color] he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is."
The quote from "1984" was:
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
The remarkable similarity between these quotes is fairly obvious, both deliberately invert reality. In the style of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and the Bill O'Reilly Mrs. Ferraro infers that America has changed in a fashion that now gives the advantages to Black males and the disadvantages to White males. In Mrs. Ferraro's twisted version of reality, Black males are lucky because they are a privileged class and the unfortunate Whites of both genders have to take the crumbs left behind. In a country where white males occupy 97% of all administrative positions in the fortune 500 Companies, Black males are socially privileged? The naked truth is that the exact opposite is true.
This is reminiscent of the fascist dictator Joseph Stalin claiming to be a socialist and Hitler naming the fascist Nazi party the "National Socialist" party. The ultimate dishonesty is to make statements that are not merely incorrect, but are a deliberate inversions of the truth. In this case, playing the race card in this manner is intended to send a coded message to Whites that they must band together to protect themselves before the privileged class of Blacks take everything they have. It is directed towards the struggling blue collar Pennsylvania voters who are viewed as susceptible to this kind of right wing fear mongering. It is remarkable similar to the arguments made by modern White supremacists and identifies Mrs. Ferraro as another Democrat who resides with Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman (until his recent rejection by the voters), and Hillary Clinton in the far right wing of the Democratic Party.
Monday, March 10, 2008
1 - The Clinton Camp argues that the voices of the Florida and Michigan voters must be heard for the sake of democracy. These voters, if overlooked, will be so angry that they will flock to John McCain in the general election and give the White House to the Republicans. If the Democratic Party disenfranchises millions of voters in two critical States, the White House will go to the Republicans.
2 - If Barack Obama is selected by the primary voters (which I am guessing includes Michigan and Florida) the Super-delegates should ignore the voters and select Hillary as the nominee, effectively disenfranchising every democratic primary voter in every state. This may not be democratic, but those are the rules. The disenfranchisement of overwhelming numbers of African American and youthful voters will be of little consequence in November.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Enter Bill and Hillary Clinton with their scorched earth primary campaign. They found themselves behind in a policy and issues driven campaign and decided to follow their instincts. The results are creating, or more accurately "have created" what will prove to be a radical realignment of the Black vote. Mis-judging Black voters to be similar to the white voters, they have embarked on an attack campaign of historic proportions against the first viable African American presidential candidate in U.S. history. Labeling this a miscalculation would be the equivalent of referring to a tidal wave as "moisture". The Clintons appear to believe that they can use character assassination, distortions, and outright lies to eviscerate a Black man of great dignity and integrity and that if they win, African American voters will forgive them and support the Democrats in the general election. These miscalculations will not only cost them dearly, but their party is in jeopardy of losing the African American vote for the foreseeable future. In growing circles within the Black community, the Clintons are as hated as the most right wing ideologues. The Democratic party is being viewed as an accomplice, either by commission or omission, and will pay a dear price in the long run.
The appearance is that the Clintons used the Black Community for votes and now have not only abandoned them, but turned into the virulent racists that they always were to achieve a political goal that they could not otherwise achieve. The Democratic party's refusal to condemn these tactics, rightly or wrongly, drags them into the same paradigm. This creates a racial fault line in the Democratic party which can't easily or quickly be repaired. Far better to be a far right wing enemy of the Black Community than to be a viewed as a cunning deceptive backstabber. In the upcoming elections, if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Nominee, I predict that the Democrats will see the lowest percentage of Black votes in the modern era. Black voters will simply look for an alternative, or stay home.
Low Black turnout equals nationwide disaster for the Democratic party and that disaster will be well earned. The Clintons will do anything to achieve their goal, including destroy their own party.
George Bush has destroyed his party, how fitting that the Clintons should return the favor by following suit.