Tag Archives: Politics

Poem: “The Dinner” (a salute to the white house correspondents dinner)

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The Dinner
by Ron Olsen

The watchers
And the watched
Nose to nose
Too close for those
Of opposing prose
An unholy alliance
Comfortable unease
In a room filled with
Corporate cheese
For those who should question
Not accept
Under the table a lobbyist crept
Doing something down there
I leave it to you
To decide what it was
To the many and the few
But doing it well
As smiles abound
Notebooks down
For the business of politics
Playing the clown
As the rubber chicken goes round and round

The poor forgotten
They’re having a ball
Yukking it up in the big banquet hall

The truth goes begging
Out in the street
While the corporate media
Meet to eat

I envy their status
Their paychecks, too
If I were there
I wouldn’t bother
With you

 

©2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

Hillary’s Going To Announce? Wow! Zowie!

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Apparent president-to-be Hillary Clinton will be announcing she’s in the race on Sunday. Could anything be more anti-climactic? Oh ya…there’s the whole gang of Republican contenders feeling the need to be as far to the right wacky as possible without appearing completely nuts (Rand Paul just walked out on an interview with the Guardian), to satisfy their fractionated base in the primary.   Once that’s over, the schizophrenic winner will do a one-eighty, becoming incredibly centrist in an attempt to actually win the race from a much broader base of constituents, a la Mitt Romney.

Again, totally anti-climactic.

How boring  and sad this process has become even with Jeb Bush thrown into the mix, with two royal families dominating for so many years and the procedure locked down by Wall Street and other heavily monied interests as we the sheeple, follow en masse, mostly underinformed, misinformed and disinformed by a media that’s many faceted and in some cases, beyond belief.

Then there’s that study out of Princeton, claiming America is no longer a Democracy.   Of course we’re not.    With a few exceptions, most government officials are for sale in our former democratic republic, throwing their allegiance to the highest bidders as they try and raise sufficient millions to stay in the race and get reelected.

Perhaps saddest of all, are the Hillary supporters who support blindly, simply because she’s a woman.   As if that’s a valid reason to elect a person to the highest office in the land.   As Robert Reich so wisely points out,  being a woman is not a platform.

Americans should be outraged.   But they’re not.  They’re more like sheeple, following along en masse, too exhausted from working two or three jobs (or doing the work of four people while holding down one job) to catch their breath and complain.   It’s now necessary to go $60,000 or more in debt earning a bachelor’s degree just to nail down a job as a barista.  A couple of generations ago, these same people would have been earning minimum wage as soda jerks, with the jobs filled mostly by kids still in high school.

One wonders how much more of this nonsense the American people will take?   Until “Citizens United” is overturned and the amount of money going to politicians is contained, nothing will change.   And nothing short of a political uprising, threatening to throw all the bums out unless they change it, will get us there.

Well, there is Elizabeth Warren, but she can’t run.   Neoliberal Hillary, the Clinton’s Wall Street backers and the Democratic machine are all standing in her way.   They have to.   With Warren or Bernie Sanders in the White House, there might be a chance, a slim chance but a chance nonetheless, of taking the country back from the bankers, the board rooms and the billionaires.   God knows, we can’t have that.

Netanyahu: The New Elephant In The Middle Of The Room

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And so, in their latest stunt to give a huge middle finger to the President of the United States,  John Boehner and his extremist Republicans have invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of the Congress – with no prior consultation with the White House – thereby ignoring protocol and possibly undermining America’s image abroad, including the Administration’s ongoing efforts to cut a deal on nuclear power development with Iran.

This current bunch of Republicans have repeatedly appeared racist and self-centered, consistently putting their party above the nation’s best interest.   They will say anything and apparently do almost anything to advance their party’s interest and the interests of their wealthy benefactors.

As political satirist Bill Maher has pointed out, there are those who just can’t handle the fact that there’s a black man in the White House.

The unspoken impact of race remains the elephant in the middle of the room with regard to the Republican Party’s refusal to establish anything resembling a reasonable relationship with this current president.   Their ongoing intransigence and hateful reactionism represent a slander against both Mr. Obama, and the Office of the President of the United States.

I was recently reminded by a former colleague that in foreign affairs the nation must, out of necessity, speak with one voice.   And that one voice is the President of the United States.   Not the Speaker of the House of Representatives, unless the Speaker wishes to undermine the proper functioning of the Republic, possibly touching upon sedition.

The Speaker was elected to represent his district.   The President, as America’s  only nationally elected official, represents all the American people.  Mr. Netanyahu, may not know this.    When America speaks with one voice, that one voice comes from the President.

It is sad that an elected leader of the Israeli people has seen fit to join the out of control John Boehner and his Obama-hating colleagues in this most recent staged event, particularly with elections approaching in Israel.    Netanyahu’s ongoing desire for the United States to become militarily entangled with Iran is transparent, as is his apparent belief that upstaging a sitting President of the United States will help to maintain his power base at home, which is where he should have stayed.

One can only hope sensibility will prevail and that most in the House and Senate will boycott Netanyahu’s inappropriate appearance, although you can be sure most Republicans will be there cheering him on, using him as a political stooge in their continuing effort to defame the Obama White House and undercut President Obama’s ability to avoid a potential war by reaching a deal on nuclear power with Iran.

John McCain’s refrain of “Bomb, bomb.bomb….bomb, bomb Iran,” continues to resonate.   He and Bibi Netanyahu are undoubtedly of one mind on the subject.

This entire misguided affair is simply sad, for both the United States and for Israel, and is one more indicator of how unreasonable and broken our politics have become.

One wonders if Mr. Obama will now be invited to address the Knesset.