Saturday, July 26, 2008

Does America Want The Pride Back?

A couple of us here at L&Lpd have maintained that Obama isn't all that. A couple of others signed on early to his campaign, particularly after hearing Barack speak several times. Myself and maybe another couple have been cautiously on the fence, optimistic because of how his rhetoric moved his supporters (especially after my Iowa caucus), but wary of what Obama's campaign meant and where it might lead.

I'd like to direct you to this Fresh Air interview with Ryan Lizza, examining how Obama got started in Chicago, and how he got to where he is so quickly. Unllike most media stories about Obama, it's remarkably clear-eyed and honest, not only about the where the candidate was & is, but as to where he might be headed. There's no transcript, but you can catch the recording off the website or by podcast.

Short version is that Obama is ambitious (duh), and got where he was by courting moderates and even right-leaners to counteract the resistance he had from the old guard Democrats he was threatening to replace. Not only is it evident in his associations with other lawmakers and groups, its even quite explicit in his books and other writing. In other words - he's calculating and triangulating. He's willing to use right-wing frames to advance his own position. Something which his previous opponent has been castigated for. And something that's perceived by the liberal base as something that's against it's ethics or politics because of the compromises that same Clinton and her husband have supported that either limit or gut liberal reforms and programs.

It also puts Obama and his organization in eactly the same position of Bill Clinton in 1992. Both Bill Clinton and Obama represent change against the powers-that-be of the Democratic Party and Washington D.C. It's implicit in his campaign theme of Change - not only against the Republican incompetence and malfeasance, but also the Democratic Party itself.

But we all know how much the Clintons changed Washington. Meet the new Democratic Boss - same as the old Democratic Boss. But maybe change, as something different, is not what the country wants. Maybe we just want to return to competent government. To summarize a co-worker, the hope is that we can elect an Executive that is no longer a world joke. That at the very least is as competent as any other Western democracy. That co-worker has a had a very pleasant week because of Obama's European tour.

As Bob Rumson once said - "Does America Want the Pride Back?"

He's imperfect, but he's ours now. We may not like some of what represents, but he promises to be ten times better than the current idiot, and probably twice as better as the GOP nominee. And in our system, who else are ya gonna vote for? Ross Perot?

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Let Us Give Thanks and Praise

After watching the Obama speech in Berlin, I have only one thing to say:




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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fuck. Yes.

Rapper Nas Delivers Anti-Hate Speech Petition to FOX News.

And people say hip-hop can't be a force for change. Shit. I might buy his next album just because of this.

P.S. I'm back. With a vengeance. You may have noticed a change in moniker. There's a reason for it. Damn, it feels good to be home.

Peace in the Middle East,


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Sucking the Air Out With a 1000 Talented Hookers

Obama making headlines in the Middle East?

GOP Candidate posing for golf cart photo ops with other senior citizens?

Best GOP VP candidate now in a scandal?

Hell, it's time to drop a nuke on short-lister John Edwards and suck all the air out of the room for at least the next week.

And if Edwards turns up as the running mate, the frame for the 30%'ers has been constructed.

'nuff said.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Declaring Gin and Winning with a Busted Flush

My now departed Grandfather always tried to teach me how to play cards when I was little and bored. His favorite was Cassino - which was a dry joke for him. He was wounded by shrapnel and lost a finger at the tail end of Monte Cassino. Cassino is a tough game to learn, especially for an 8 year-old, so I would eventually just give in and shout "Gin!" - usually after the big Cassino got played - and laugh uproariously, throwing the cards everywhere. Luckily, Grandpa Greg was a good sport.

I bring it up because the McCain campaign is apparently considering declaring VP in order to get the attention off the other side.

(h/t Pandagon)

Update: Alaska Republican Governor Sarah Palin is now enmeshed in a large scandal (kos link) for using and firing state personnel for personal concerns. Gov. Palin had been seen as the Great White Female Hope in the GOP Veepstakes.

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I Wonder...

I wonder if this has anything to do with this.

And a tip of the hat to Senator Murray for doing something about it.

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It's Real Simple

I am increasingly frustrated by this Iraq/Obama debate.

What Obama is saying, used to be conventional fucking wisdom. Unlike President Bush, who hides behinds the skirts of General Petraeus, pretending that he is a victim to the desires of "the commanders on the ground," Obama gets what it is that the Commander in Chief is supposed to do.

C-in-C sets the mission, commanders and troops on the ground carry it out.

At Obama's press conference this morning he repeated this endlessly...but the corporate media has been reporting it as though it is an aberration. As though there is some arrogant 'taking over' by Obama of the war [occupation]. If the media were worth a fuck, they would be reporting that up until the Bush Administration, this was the way that it worked.

President Bush pretends that there is simply nothing that he can do, because he has to "listen to the commanders on the ground" when in fact. the. commanders. on. the. ground. listen. to. the. orders. of. the. president.

Let's be clear: the President sets the mission - the troops carry it out.

Hopefully, never again, will our C-in-C corrupt this order.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

I Used to Respect Canada

Robin Long became the first U.S. war resister since the Vietnam War forced to leave Canada and turned over to the U.S. military. Even though on June 3rd 2008 Canada's House of Commons voted in favor "to allow conscientious objectors" to "remain in Canada".

Let's add Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the long list of bu$h lapdogs.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may be set on embracing George Bush and his occupation of Iraq, but on Tuesday, June 3, the Canadian members of Parliament extended their embrace to the war resisters. By a vote of 137-110, the House of Commons called on the Canadian government to “immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members… to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada.” The motion also called on the government to “immediately cease any removal or deportation actions against such individuals.”

All the opposition parties — Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, and the Bloc Quebecois — came together to reject the policy of the ruling Conservative Party. The motion, however, is non-binding and the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper may choose to ignore it.
There are still many "war resisters" trying legally to remain in Canada and stay out of a war they view as unjust. However, with the deportation and jailing of Robin Long it does not look good for these soldiers who wanted to take a legal avenue. I hope his penalty is light.

There is blog up called Courage to Resist. Some of these soldiers have been to Iraq and Afghanistan, some are in Canada, others are awaiting trials in the U.S. They all have one thing in common... they are sick of war, fighting and the military. They are a diverse group; religious reasons, female soldiers who have been threatened, sufferers of PTSD, and others who have been there, seen the inhuman treatment of other human beings.

I hope Long tells every prospective troop who wants to sign up to be sure of what they are getting into. Once they sign the contract, gave their word... it's too late to say, "Oops, my bad."

When I enlisted, I never relized it would end up being the single biggest decision of my entire life. I figured a few years serving during a time of peace, get some college money, get out in good health, I'd be set for life. It does work for some... if it all goes according to plan. To enter during a time of war and expect all things to be rosy is idealistic to say the least.

These soldiers have my utmost respect. Canada not so much.

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