Tag Archives: Obama

Hang On Los Angeles, Here Comes The “Obamajam” – Again

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Mr. Obama is coming to town, and they’ll be shutting down much of the west side and two major freeways just to prove how important he is and how badly he needs to raise money for the Dems.   Oh wait, did I say two major freeways?   Scratch that, because here in Los Angeles, they are all major.    You shut down even one freeway and tens of thousands of Angelinos are impacted for miles around as the traffic flows off the freeways and onto surface streets, causing backups reaching into the next county.

Don’t think so?  By one count, the 405 freeway carries 374,000 vehicles per day.  They’ll be closing it not  once but twice for the Obama visit.    If you live here you will understand and probably start weeping.  If not, use your imagination.

The Los Angeles Times lists no fewer than 32 road and freeway closures over the next two days to accommodate the Obama fundraising tour.   You have to wonder if his “people” understand the nature of Los Angeles?  You have to wonder if at some point this won’t begin to have a negative  return at the polls? Oh wait,  LA is so blue, that he doesn’t really need to care about that, does he?

Shut it down.   Shut it all down.  Let the “Obamajam” begin.  And while you’re sitting out there stuck in traffic for hours with your air conditioner blasting to counteract the heat and humidity while your car sucks up $4 a gallon gas, pretend that it doesn’t matter.   Pretend there isn’t a better way.   I’m sure there is, but I have no hope that people living inside the DC bubble will ever figure it out.

Getting Ready For War In Europe (They Have Got To Be Kidding)

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Here we go again, the United States vs. Russia, with visions of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on a desk at the UN,  while the world awaited nuclear annihilation.

Because a nuclear exchange is unthinkable, we are now gearing up for a conventional confrontation with the Russians?  Oh, humanity!  They say it is being done to “deter Russian expansionism?”    Why?  Because that’s the way we did it in the 1950’s and 60’s?   When did “peace” become a dirty word?

Why not try talking?  Remember when some genius decided it would be a good idea to put in a “hot line” between the Kremlin and the White House?   Is diplomacy dead or is there simply too much profit (both political and financial) in warfare, to make peace a viable option?   Is peace a priority for anyone, anymore?   Or have we become so conditioned to our own military expansionism, that we simply accept it as being the best alternative available without considering the profits involved and the Pentagon’s interest in promoting what it does best, making war, while condemning anyone who opposes their point of view as being dangerously naive.

Is the idea of peace still an option or is America becoming some new form of Spartan/Roman ideal, with military outposts in every land and a general acceptance of perpetual warfare?   In the 60’s we revered the philosophy of Kwai Chang Caine and John Lennon.  It felt like we had a chance.  Now we salivate over “Game of Thrones, cage fighting and the real-life humiliation of dumbed down reality tv.  It feels like our chance has slipped away.

The situation in Ukraine, is complicated.   Political, ethnic and economic forces are all pulling at one-another,  irritated further by the the machismo of leaders like Vladimir Putin, who has been known to run around shirtless flexing his muscles.   He’s perfect bait for American political hawks, who tend to see complex geopolitical problems in simple black and white text of the 1950’s.

Mr. Obama, may not be naked and flexing in public but one wonders how the United States would react to a potentially hostile nation placing heavy military equipment on our border with Canada.   Not very well, probably.   Not very well at all.

If the hotline is no longer working maybe Obama can get his hands on Putin’s cellphone number – or we can continue repeating the mistakes of the past.

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Add:   The day after this was posted Russia announced that it was beefing up its nuclear arsenal in response to the U.S. sending heavy military equipment to NATO states along the Russian border.

 

People Or Profits? Mr. Obama Can’t Have It Both Ways

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President Obama is in Camden, New Jersey, promoting community policing.   He’s talking about the need to reform the criminal justice system, particularly with our current “drug culture,” and massive numbers of Americans, (disproportionately  back men), doing time in prison.   He’s also going to cut the supply of military equipment going  to the police as he touts the need to build trust between American communities and their police departments.     He also wants more young people to be able to go to college.

That’s all great.   But he said nothing about the cause.   He said nothing about job creation, about people being able to get a good paying job and funneling more money into education and after-school programs and housing.   About how you keep families from breaking apart.  About keeping kids off the street.

Politicians create the problems.   The police are then sent out to deal with the mess when what the politicians have done or failed to do,  falls apart.    Sure there are bad cops, but mostly there are cops trying to clean up the mess bad government has created by favoring the rich.

Mr. Obama, really shouldn’t complain about problems that have been caused by the off-shoring of good paying jobs here in the U.S., while he also supports his new “TPP” trade deal.   An international deal, made in secret, which Senator Elizabeth Warren, Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Senator Bernie Sanders and many others believe, based upon what they’ve seen and the impact of NAFTA and CAFTA,  will ultimately benefit the multi-nationals and Wall Streeters, far more than average Americans on Main Street.

Sure we need a better relationship between the police and their communities.   Of course we want more kids to be able to afford college.  Yes, more needs to be done about the scourge of drugs.  It’s also wonderful to help little old ladies cross the street and to say one’s prayers before going beddie-bye.

Job creation?  Increased funding for education to the point that college is affordable or even free?   Encouraging a job market that provides enough pay for one head of the household to support an entire family?  What’s that got to do with it?

Remember the words of the song,  “If you ain’t got nothin’, you ain’t got nothin’ to lose?” 

Perhaps we won’t have to equip our police to look like the First Infantry Division,  if we can just deal with root causes like underfunded education and the lack of good paying jobs while the rich fail to pay their fair share  for the nation’s financial needs while hiding their money in off-shore accounts.

Isn’t it interesting that the wealthy seem to have no problem when paying for the military, only for the state of our civilization here at home?   Could that be why our police are becoming increasingly militarized?

And so our President stands in front of an audience in Camden, expressing his concern for problems created largely by the lack of good paying jobs and a healthy, all inclusive economy, while, at the same time, he supports creating a more favorable business climate for multi-national corporations who have already expressed their disregard for the American people by off-shoring millions of jobs.

The American People or the TPP?  Mr. Obama, can’t have it both ways.

Mr. Obama, Change Your Neoliberal Ways

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Neoliberalism:  “A political theory of the late 1900s holding that personal liberty is maximized by limiting government interference in the operation of free markets.”   -The Free Dictionary

I fully support the Democrats over the Neo-feudal Republicans and their ongoing push to take us all back into serfdom.  At the same time, Barack Obama, continues to entertain as he keeps trying to play both sides of the aisle.   Or whatever it is he’s now doing.  Some of it is indefinable.

You’ve gotta love the President’s latest nonsense about the need to use a naval blockade to stop Iranian ships from delivering weapons to Shia rebels in Yemen.   He says it’s to protect navigation in international waters.  If that’s the case, why aren’t we protecting the ability of the Iranian ships to navigate into Yemeni ports?    He is making no sense at all.   Unless you get beyond the big lie and understand what’s actually happening.

The United States is blocking the Iranian ships (Shia) because they would deliver arms to Shia rebels trying to push back against Sunni government leaders supported by the Saudis who are also Sunni.   Get it?   As with the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, this is a religious war and we keep sticking our big nose into the middle of it as though we know how to solve the centuries-old conflict.

In this case, the U.S. is supporting the Sunni Saudis against the Shia Iranians at a time when we are attempting to cut a nuclear control pact with Iran.  What a bad joke.  I guess Mr. Obama, has to put Saudi oil above all else?    Admittedly there is also the Israeli conundrum, dictating that anything the United States might do to create a better relationship with Iran, even if that means limiting their nuclear weapons capability into the distant future,  is inherently anti-Israeli.

Mr. Obama is also appearing comical as he continues to defend the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, which is such a great deal that it had to be negotiated in secret lest the American people would find out what was going on and rise up in anger.

It appears the only people who approve the TPP are Mr. Obama, the international business establishment, those Asian countries who will benefit and the corporate controlled Republican Party.    On the other side are the Democrats and the American people, who might be angry as hell if they knew what was going on.

The TPP.    If it’s such a great deal then stop trying to “fast track” it through the Congress, tell us what  it contains and put it out there before the American people for a full debate prior to any vote in the House and Senate.

Stop cutting trade deals behind our backs.   You guys sold us on killing Glass Steagall while passing NAFTA, CAFTA and supporting the WTO.   It was good for mutli-national corporations, a handful of their major shareholders and a few foreign countries where slave labor continues to exist,  while it wrecked the American middle class.  We may never recover.

And now you want us to trust you with this secret “TPP” deal?  What a joke.   Come on Mr. Obama.   The nation needs you to restore the two-party system and be a Democrat.   Not a neoliberal who chooses sides to fit the moment in an attempt to placate the robber barons of our new Gilded Age.    Do what you were elected to do and put the majority ahead of a wealthy minority.  Come on, you can do it.   It might even help your party at the polls in 2016.   In fact becoming a real populist, instead of continuing to talk the talk while refusing to walk the walk, would make Dems a pollitical slam dunk in 2016.   Of course you’d be taking on Wall Street and the big money multi-nationals, which you can’t really do, can you?    And if you can’t, then what are we?   Are we done?