Obama v. Marshall

April 6, 2012

According to barack obama, John Marshall, the greatest Chief Justice of all time, was a reckless, activist judge.

Professor obama Gives a Lecture

In a response to press corps questions about last month’s obamacare hearings, our erudite professor/president lashed out at the Supreme Court, in what many saw as a blatent attempt to influence its ruling, in the process embarrasing himself by making several patently false statements about our Constitution and the Judiciary Branch.

Sensing — or perhaps tipped off — that last Friday’s initial vote had gone against his eponymous health care law, obama whined that the High Court was on the verge of taking “what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” The boy genius went on to refer to our nation’s highest court as “an unelected group of people [who] would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”

Ignoring for the moment obama’s standard demogoguery (and, admittedly, calling a slim 7-vote victory as “a strong majority” is better than the Nancy Pelosi’s earlier description of a strict party-line vote as “bipartisan“), it’s important to emphasize the temerity of the president’s comments.  obama insinuated that the Judiciary never does, nor should it ever, overturn laws passed by the Legislative branch.

Activist Judges — Proglodyte Version

That’s a false meme which crops up among right-wingers and proglodytes alike whenever rulings don’t go their way.  As one dolt at The Atlantic wrote following the first ruling against obamacare, “contrary to what many Americans believe, our Constitution actually doesn’t provide for judicial review. The power of courts to invalidate state laws is perhaps implied in the text….”  I guess that’s true, if you count ‘something some Alexander Hamilton dude wrote in this obscure & irrelevant book, The Federalist Papers’, as “implied.”

The “general liberty of the people”, Hamilton argues in Federalist #78, “can be preserved in practice no other way than through” independent courts “whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing.”

Hamilton rejects the claim “that the legislative body are themselves the constitutional judges of their own powers” as unsupported by “any particular provisions in the Constitution.”  To suppose “that the Constitution could intend to enable the representatives of the people to substitute their will to that of their constituents” makes no sense to Hamilton.

It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order … to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts.

obama and the jacobins also choose to ingore another important document.  Art. III, Sec. 1  of the U.S. Constitution, establishes “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordaind and establish” (94 of them at present, including the several that ruled on obamacare).

Art. III. Sec. 2’s provision that “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution,the Laws of the United States … under their authority”, including “controversies to which the United States shall be a Party….”

Faced with the prospect of a ruling he won’t like, our constitutional law professor-in-Chief simply wished away that part of the Constistution that actually provides for judicial review (albeit, not in so many words.)  And this is where the ghost of John Marshall needs to get medieval on obama’s scrawny ass.

Judicial Review — 209 Years Young

If you, non-Harvard-matriculated, non-constitutional-law-lecturing plebeians need to know of one Supreme Court case, it should be Marbury v. Madison (1803), when the Court first struck down a federal law, establishing forever more the principle of Judicial Review.

The great, acclaimed first Chief Justice, John Marshall, whose opinions are considered touchstones by all (legitimate) legal scholars, declared in Marbury v. Madison that it is “emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department, to say what the law is.”  Following the ruling, this principle became known as Judicial Review.  It’s pedantic semantics to argue that Judicial Review was only implied, simply because the 1803-vintage coinage didn’t appear in the 1788 text.

Since 1803, the Supreme court has used its power of judicial review to repeal  nearly a thousand state statutes, including (progs take note) Roe v. Wade. Another 160 acts of Congress, including 6 New Deal laws that overstepped the limits of the Commerce Clause, plus over 50 in the just the past three decades, have been struck down.  That’s about five a year — hardly “unprecedented.”

Homework Assignment … for the Professor

Alarmed by obama’s apparent direct challenge to Judicial Review, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered Eric Holder to respond in writing whether “the Department of Justice recognize[s] that federal courts have the authority in appropriate circumstances to strike federal statutes because of one or more constitutional infirmities.”

Holder complied by confirming that “the power of the courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute” while insisting his bosses comments were “fully consistent” with that principle.

Following what must have been a crash refresher course on constitutional law, obama back-tracked on his comments:

The point I was making is that the Supreme Court is the final say on our Constitution and our laws, and all of us have to respect it, but it’s precisely because of that extraordinary power that the Court has traditionally exercised significant restraint and deference to our duly elected legislature, our Congress. And so the burden is on those who would overturn a law like this….

They should have left it at that.  But White House spokesman Jay Carney  blurted out  that the president was specifically referring to “the precedent under the Commerce Clause” regarding a legislature’s ability to address “challenges to our national economy.”  Then the Harvard Law grad put his foot right back into his mouth:

We have not seen a court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on an economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce, a law like that has not been overturned at least since Lochner.  So we’re going back to the ’30s, pre-New Deal.

For the record, Lochner v. New York (1905)  predated the New Deal by three decades, is today considered largely irrelevant, and dealt with the Due Process Clause, not the Commerce Clause.

Real-life legal experts were quick to remind obama of U.S. v. Lopez (1995) and U.S. v. Morrison (2000), two quite recent Supreme Court cases where Congress was indeed found to have overstepped its Commerce Clause powers.  Both ruled that, even though a private act (packing a gun to school; beating up women; resp.) might have some aggregate effect on commerce, if not in itself commercial activity, it cannot be subject to regulation.

Calculated Ploy, or Emotional Outburst?

obama’s fractured-fairy tale version of Constitutional law may have been the first shot fired in a ploy to use the obamacare ruling in the election. Or, as fellow true liberal and political commentator, John Smart, surmised, “he lost his temper because he didn’t get his way.  That’s how narcissistic personalities act.”

Quite likely, the primary motive was to save the mandate by shifting a swing vote — Kennedy’s, most would guess.  But consider another possibility — the result obama was trying to influence was not a 5-4 in favor, but to avoid a 6-3 against.  Although the comments & questions of four leftist judges during the hearings mostly indicated support for the law, one line of questioning by Justice Sotomayor raised speculation.  “So … you’re answering affirmatively to my colleagues that have asked you the question, can the government force you into commerce,” she asked Verilli, the government’s attorney.  When he conceded that point, Sotomayor followed up rhetorically, “And there is no limit to that power.”  The need to establish a clear, limiting principle to the scope of Congress’ regulatory power — in this case, why insurance but not broccoli — was the central question on all nine justice’s minds.  It was the lack of clear limits that led courts nearly identical in philosophical spectrum as this one to rule in Lopez and Morrison.
Pols like James Carville believe obama can campaign successfully on a 5-4 loss, presenting it as part of the GOP crusade against ‘our values.’  Tacitly acknowledging that Republicans will control both houses come 2013, obama can offer himself as a ‘last line of defense’. The standard argument, that we need a Democrat in the White House to nominate new justices, will of course be made.  The fresh defeat of a law passed by Democrats contains more potency than the stale, vague threat to Roe, which three decades of conservative majorities on the Court have yet to repeal.

All these propaganda tools are seriously compromised were one of the four presumed ‘solid’ votes for the mandate to flip, especially an obama appointee.  Then the story line goes: ‘This guy devoted the entire first year of his term to getting this law passed,and now it’s wiped off the books.  He wasn’t smart enough to realize it had constitutional issues, nor could he even pick the right judge to uphold it.’

If obama did indeed learn that Sotomayor will rule against, it’s no wonder he lost his cool.

Do I Get My Single Payer Now?

Many progs, in sudden shock & disillusionment that the entire ACA may be overturned — not to mention fearing taunts by coworkers over their “Healthcare: Reformed!” coffee mug — desperately seek a silver lining.  If obamacare must be defeated, they reason, maybe it’s the first step to passing real healthcare reform: a single-payer system that covers absolutely everyone.  The more severely mentally ill believe losing before the Supreme Court was all along part of obama’s secret, multi-dimensional plan to implement single-payer.

Not so fast, gang.  Even assuming you somehow re-elect barry with Dem majorities in both houses while, barry’s simply not interested in single-payer.  In his impromptu teach-in he insisted that “in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure that people with preexisting conditions can actually get health care.”   Yet, as Single Payer Action —  you, know, barry, those liberals who filed that amicus curiae brief arguing against your mandate — stated in said brief:

[T]he Government characterizes the provision as necessary to the effective regulation by Congress of the national healthcare market, but disregards the proven success of single payer systems currently operating in the United States…. Congress has already implemented successful single payer systems that provide universal coverage to certain subsets of the population, including Medicare … and the Veterans Health Administration….

No surprise that healthcare experts who supported a national single payer system were banned from testifying before Congress.

A Tough Sell

Whatever the vote, if obamacare is struck down in whole or part, it will make touting the president’s list of accomplishments a tough sell.  To rally ‘the base’, obama may well be forced to promise of single-payer in his second term.  The GOP can easily counter by spinning it: ‘We just got rid of the obamacare y’all hate; now he’s promising to do obamacare all over again!’

Even from people who’d hoped for any kind of healthcare reform, giving obama a mulligan may be too much to ask.  He was handed a ‘mandate’ and large majorities in Congress, and he screwed up.  Those ideal conditions will not be recreated.  When the ACA was first introduced in 2009, it was a major disappointment to those on the far Left.  Now, a failure of obama’s healthcare juggernaut  may bring those long-supressed resentments back to the surface.  Given the efficiency of obama’s propaganda machine, it’s easy to forget the stridency of the voices on the Left originally opposed to obamacare:

  • Democrats “lost the initiative the minute that our party jumped into bed with the insurance companies,” complained Dennis Kucinich.  “This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry”
  • “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform” lamented Howard Dean. “Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill [it.]”
  • “From what we know about the bill, it is worse than passing nothing, ” seethed Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, who found the bill “worse than passing nothing. If I wanted Joe Lieberman writing a health care bill, I would’ve voted for John McCain.”
  • Huffy Poo opined that the bill failed to pass “the first rule of medicine … ‘do no harm.'”

Even those obama slut-monkeys, MoveOn.org, protested outside the White House, issuing a press release complaining “[w]ithout a public option, it’s just a giveaway to the insurance companies, and it does nothing to control costs.”
While obama’s team eventually quelled dissent from the Left,  it has been unable to remedy overall discontent with obamacare.  The latest Gallup poll reported that only 20% of Americans, and just 37% of Democrats, thought the mandate was constitutional; that only 11% of swing state voters feel the law has helped their families; that 53/40, voters favored repeal of the law.  Of the 28 states that filed suits against the ACA, 12 went for obama in 2008.  And Scott Brown tells us all we need to know about how Massachusetts feel about obamacare.

This November, when trying to get out the vote, OFA may find itself fighting the resentment of otherwise dependable voters like this MoveOn member picketing outside the White House in 2009:

“To me, it’s the death of health care.  And that’s sad, because this was a real opportunity. I think people voted heavily Democratic because they wanted something done to solve the health care problem, and instead we’re just getting something that will benefit the insurance companies.”

(c) 2012 by True Liberal Nexus.  All rights reserved.


Why the #Occupy Movement Will Fail — Part 2

October 19, 2011

Part 2 –  “Vague and Overbroad”

From our fellow true liberal, Fionnchu, the twelve demands made by the #Occupy Chicago group:

  1. Reinstate Glass-Steagall
  2. Repeal Bush-era tax cuts
  3. Prosecute “the Wall Street criminals” who caused the 2008 financial crisis.
  4. Overturn Citizens United v. United States
  5. Pass the “Buffett Rule”; Close Corporate Tax loopholes
  6. Strengthen SEC, Consumer Protection Board Regulatory Powers
  7. Limit the influence of lobbyists on legislation
  8. Prohibit ex-government regulators from working in the industries they once regulated
  9. Eliminate Corporate Personhood
  10. Give Equal Time for Free to all political candidates
  11. Pass the Fair Elections Now Act
  12. Forgive Student Debt

The old copy-editor in me couldn’t resist tidying up that list a bit. For the full, wordy wording of the list, see here.


Marketing 101

Lack of focus and muddled messaging is one of the primary reasons the #Occupy movement will ultimately fail.  The mental laziness evidenced in OWS Chicago’s rambling, stream-of-conscienceness demands is appalling.  The average person’s grocery list jotted on the back of an envelope — 1. Produce; 2. Dairy; 3. Meat; 4. Dry Goods; etc. —  is better thought-out.

Horrors, people, I used to work for “The Man”, but he taught me how to influence behavior through effective messaging.  I now pass those teachings on to you so you can bring down The Man with his own weaponry.  So stop the chanting and drumming for a moment, and listen up.

For better impact & clarity, these twelve points can be grouped under three broad, catchy headings:

  1. Put Muzzles &  Choke Collars on the Rabid Dogs of Wall Street   (1, 3, 6)
  2. End the Corporate Whoredom of Politicians  (4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
  3. Stop the Ultra-Rich From Pillaging, & Turning the Rest of Us Into Peasants  (2, 5, 12)

That’s all for today’s marketing lesson.  Class dismissed.  You may now rejoin the tie-dye or pumpkin-painting committees.


Vague and Overbroad

Unless not bathing for several months, crapping in public, and having anonymous sex in tents is all the Occupyers ever had in mind, nothing will come of this movement without a bit of planning.

“The Chicago protesters have vowed to stay in the streets until their demands are met”, but living outdoors in the Windy City will soon be a frakking freezing prospect.  So unless they are down with frostbite in delicate places, the Occupyers would be wise to establish some specific steps toward achieving their demands, along with concrete milestones.

So, ignoring for the moment the worthiness of these twelve demands, let’s examine just how clear, and how practicable they are.


1. Reinstate Glass-Steagal

Clarity:  Very Specific

Feasibility: High

SitRep: From 1933 to 1999, Glass-Steagal regulated banks, speculation, and established the FDIC.  For 66 years, it deterred the reckless financial practices that had brought on the Great Depression.  In 1999, Congress freed investment banks from the regulations of Glass-Steagal, which led to rampant & reckless speculations, the collapse of banks like CitiGroup, the TARP bailout, and the eventual onset of the Great Recession.  Bipartisan attempts to reinstate Glass-Steagal have gotten nowhere. President obama has occasionally called for minor tweaks to investment regulations.

Concrete Steps:

a) Demand that the president commit to a firm date when he will introduce legislation to Congress for a full reinstatement of Glass-Steagal;

b) Demand a pledge to vote to reinstate Glass-Steagal from every member of Congress;

c) Issue a pledge to refuse to vote for anyone running for federal office in 2012 who does not make this commitment;

d) Issue a pledge to refuse to vote for president obama if he does not give and then meet a deadline to introduce legislation to reinstate Glass-Steagal.


2. Repeal Bush Tax Cuts

Clarity:  Very Specific

Feasibility:  Straightforward, but Unlikely

SitRep:  President obama lied to us.  During his 2008 campaign, he vowed to repeal the Bush tax cuts, then reneged when given the Democratic super-majority to do so.  Now that he’s lost that friendly Congress, he promises to repeal the cuts — if we re-elect him & reward him with another Democratic majority in 2013.  Fool me once ….

Concrete Steps: #Occupy should demand that obama:

a)  Publicly & repeatedly say these words: “I broke my promise. I lied to you. I am sorry. I let John Boehner do me up the ass, and I liked it!  I am easily the most dickless of Dickless Wonders the World has ever seen”;

b)  Within 30 days, introduce to Congress stand-alone legislation repealing the Bush Tax Cuts;

Occupyers should:

c) Sign a pledge to refuse to vote for obama in 2012 if he does not meet these demands.


3. Prosecute Wall Street Criminals

Clarity:  Vague and Overbroad

Feasiblity:  Impossible

SitRep: Those “criminals”, Goldman Sachs, were already investigated, and found to be only slightly guilty.  They made $4 trillion on the scam, paid a $500 billion penalty, which was so surprisingly light that Wall Street reacted by raising GS stock value by $800 billion in one day.  In other words, they made out like bandits.

Just the other day, obama said “it might have been greedy, but it was legal.”

Concrete Steps:  Too late shutting the barn door once the horse has escaped.  Now, all you can do is ask yourself, WWDHD? (What Would Dirty Harry Do?)


4. Overturn Citizens United

Clarity: Very Specific

Feasibility: Hard but Do-able

SitRep:  SCOTUS ruled 5-4 to consider a corporation a person for the purposes of free speech & campaign contributions.   80% of Americans polled oppose the ruling.

Concrete Steps:

Plan A (complicated)  

Requires:

a) A dead SC justice — Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas (pick one);

c) a POTUS pledged to appointing judges who’ll rule this way;

c) a Senate willing to confirm said appointees:

d) an appeal


Plan B (simple)

Pass a Constitutional Amendment.  (See Article V of your operating manual)


5.  Pass Buffett Rule

Clarity: Very Specific

Feasibility: Straightforward

Concrete Steps:  See procedure for Glass-Steagal above.


6. Strengthen SEC, Consumer Protection Board Powers

Clarity:  Vague and Overbroad

Feasibility: Straightforward — if clarified

Concrete Steps:  Draft specific elements, divided between those that can be enacted by presidential policy, and those that require legislation.  Demand deadlines for appropriate action as per above.


7. Limit Influence of Lobbyists

Clarity:  Ephemeral

Feasibility: if clarified, Achievable in long-term

Concrete Steps:  No means exist to tackle the problem head-on, but would be greatly ameliorated if real campaign finance reform were enacted.  The public should also think twice about voting for a candidate who brags about raising one billion dollars in campaign contributions.


8. Ban Ex-Regulators from Working in Same Industry

Clarity: Very Specific

Feasibility:  Piece of Cake

Concrete Steps:  Simply add a standard non-compete clause to every regulator’s contract.   The inverse, prohibiting industry execs from becoming regulators, is perhaps even more important.

Can be implemented either by:

a) Presidential policy, or;

b) Act of Congress, or;

c) Constitutional Amendment


9. Eliminate Corporate Personhood

Clarity:  Specific, but sweeping

Feasibility: Dangerous and impractical

SitRep: Treating a corporation as an individual person for certain purposes is a sound and well-established tenet of our western legal system.

Entirely eliminating corporate personhood is, in fact, a radical, unprecedented proposal with unforeseen dangers.  Many advantages to the commonweal, such as limited liability for investors, the ability for the government to regulate & tax, or the courts to prosecute, single entities, would be lost.

Concrete Steps:  Stick to a constitutional amendment denying personhood to corporations in the specific instance of free speech & campaign contributions. (see #4 above.)


10.  Equal Access for Candidates

Clarity:   Vague and Overbroad

Concrete Steps:  Before the feasibility of this can be assessed, the Occupyers need to define exactly what this “equal time for free” entails (debates? media? voters’ guides?), what constitutes “reasonable intervals”, and how the FEC would be empowered to do so.

Overarching campaign finance reform would be a simpler resolution of this issue.


11. Pass Fair Elections Act

Clarity:  Specific

Feasibility:  Difficult

SitRep:  The bill was reintroduced to Congress yet again in April.  It has bipartisan sponsorship, but never gets out of committee. Gets no press coverage whatsoever.

Concrete Steps:  Formal demands for pledges from Congress members to pass, and the president to sign, with pledges to not vote for those who refuse.  Accost candidates in public — including that queen of all contribution whores, barack obama — and ask why they don’t support this.


12. Forgive Student Debt

Clarity:  Specific but sweeping

Feasibility:  Unlikely, but Achievable in long-term

SitRep:  Most of the world’s nations, realizing that a skilled & educated populace yields strength & prosperity, offer free higher education to every citizen.  In the US, the focus is not on that common good, rather on the personal advantage of greater earning power derived from holding a degree.

Unlike other nations, colleges in the US are largely private or state run. There is no federal university system.

Further, the cost of a private college education in the US is grossly over-inflated.  Any federal grant program would in part subsidize these inflated prices.

Concrete Steps:  Draft legislation – with specifics – that: 1) forgives all current outstanding federal student loans; 2) creates a federal college grant program; 3) provides funding, possibly through a tax on the admissions revenue of private colleges & universities.

Before this proposal has any chance of succeeding, the sway over our culture by anti-social memes needs to be broken.  Prepare for a long slog on that one.  And if you’re thinking of joining the Occupyers, pack your long-johns.


(C) 2011 by ‘tamerlane’.  All rights reserved.


Late For Work

September 5, 2011

Vacation season is officially over.  Time to shake the sand out of your beach blankets, throw the clubs in the trunk, and catch the

961 days and still no jobs plan? You're late for work, Mr. President!

last ferry to Wood’s Hole.  Time to get back to work.  AP reports that our Slacker-in-Chief will be spending this Labor Day at an AFL-CIO rally.  Presumedly, this is meant to:

  1. Offer a kiss & make-up session to AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka;
  2. Show obama’s solidarity with ordinary working folk.

The first bullet point is critical, considering all the things Trumka has said about obama lately:

“This is a moment that working people and quite frankly History will judge President Obama on his presidency; will he commit all his energy and focus on bold solutions on the job crisis or will he continue to work with the Tea Party to offer cuts to middle class programs like Social Security ;

“I think he made a strategic mistake when he confused the job crisis with the deficit crisis a number of months ago — when he would talk about job creation and then in the same sentence talk about deficit reduction and people got the two confused;

“I don’t know whether [obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is] making a difference or not…it’s a legitimate question whether that commission has done anything worthwhile.”

Trumka described obama’s job proposals to date as “nibbly things that aren’t going to make a difference,” and warned that “if they don’t have a jobs program I think we’d better use our money doing other things.”

The second action item will be covered by a mellifluous sound bite assuring that Dear Leader “gets” the struggles of us ordinary folk, along with a promise to make lots of promises in that jobs speech that’s been promised for a month now.

Does anyone else detect a certain lack of urgency here?  Ignoring the PR faux pas of not delivering The Big Jobs Speech at least by Labor Day,  what can we surmise about a president who, facing the worst employment figures in decades, (1,579 mass layoffs in July alone, totaling 145,000 workers) waits until Day 961 of his term to offer a proposal?

That barack obama does not actually give a rat’s ass about the “struggles of ordinary folk,” that’s what.

  • barack obama doesn’t care about my friend who called me this Labor Day weekend to tell me they’re losing their house.  After working for years as the CFO of a small manufacturer, that company went belly-up.  The only job they could find, bookkeeping, doesn’t pay enough to keep up on the mortgage;
  • He doesn’t care about my sister, scrounging for work after years of dedicated service as the E.D. of a large charity.  When the donations dried up (a serious problem for most non-profits, and a hidden cost of this not-officially-a-recession), the charity shut its doors;
  • He doesn’t care about the two young people I met this Summer, who despite having good degrees from good colleges, have zero prospects on the horizen for gainful, full-time employment;
  • He certainly doesn’t care about either me or my new client.  Me, desperate for some new business, I find someone who, after watching me ride their horse, wants to put it in training.  But they can’t, because their hours were just cut in half, and may be laid off soon.

How could barack obama, and his poncy wife, Mechelle Antoinette, relate to ordinary folk when they’ve coasted their entire adult life, and spend the past three years living like royalty on the people’s tab?   Barry’s own work history is a bit dubious:

Barry Barack Hussein Dunham Obama Soetero Soebarkah II

(Alleged) Curriculum Vitae 

  • 1975 or 1976 — ice cream scooper, Baskin-Robbins — Honolulu
  • Date unknown — deli counter clerk, business name unknown — Honolulu
  • 1980 — gift shop sales clerk, business name unknown — Honolulu
  • Sometime between 1981-1983 — construction worker, business name unknown — New York; (yeah, right)
  • Sometime between 1981-1983 — position unknown, company unknown — New York
  • Sometime between 1981-1983 — telemarketer, company unknown — New York
  • 1983-84 — data entry clerk, BIC — New York
  • 1985 — project coordinator, NYPIRG — New York
  • 1985-1988 — community organizer — Chicago; whatever the fuck that entails
  • 1992 – Project Vote, Chicago; registered voters
  • 1993-2004 — associate, Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland — Chicago; one litigation, handled Tony Rezko’s financial affairs
  • 1993-2004 — part-time lecturer, University of Chicago Law School — Chicago; no lectures given
  • 1997-2004 — state senator, Illinois; 129 ‘present’ votes, no legislation 
  • 2005-2008 — U.S. Senator; no legislation, no committee meetings
  • 2009 – present — President, United States — Washington; jack shit accomplished

So why should anyone in America care what this loafer has to say in his Jobs Speech?  His record of inaction, failure, and broken promises leaves him a sad joke without a shred of credibility.  Sure, a dwindling cadre of obots, like cargo cultists scanning the skies for the return of John Frum, faithfully await the day their Messiah will finally reward them with acts of wonder and majesty.  But they can forget about the promises of “green jobs” ever being fulfilled, as barry just yesterday caved to corporate interests and killed a clean air measure.

And that leaves us with…

… Rick Perry, who’ll no doubt have a photo op at some Texas factory, claiming that  ‘Every Day is Labor Day in Texas.’  When that really should be, ‘every job in Texas is a shitty job.’   Because, sadly, Perry’s “jobs miracle” (sic) was a momentary blip fueled by new jobs at or below minimum wage.  Texas can now proudly share with Mississippi the title of “State with the most low-paying jobs per capita.”

Looking at it from another perspective, over the past decade, a million Texans have merely been compelled to trade in their old, good careers for new positions at Wal*Mart and Pollo Loco.  And now unemployment there is creeping up again, while Perry has gutted schools, social services, and infrastructure — all the things “struggling ordinary folk” working one of Perry’s shit-ass miracle jobs might need.

Helping the likes of Perry get elected will be the likes of Michelle Malkin, who dedicated this Labor Day to slandering trade unions, with a list of Top 10 Union Thug Moments (no, I will not link).

I find a list of the Top Ten CEO Killers of Jobs more appropriate:

  1. Jack “Neutron Bomb” Welch, GE, 100,000
  2. Fritz Henderson, GM, 100,000
  3. Vikram Pandit, Citigroup, 75,000
  4. Lou Gerstner, IBM, 60,000
  5. Ken Lewis, Bank of Fucking America, 35,000
  6. Jeff “Job Czar” Immelt, GE, 34,000
  7. Mark Hurd, HP, 33,600 (including 24,000 in one day)
  8. Carly Fiorina, HP, 30,000 (not HP again!)
  9. James Owens, Caterpillar, 27,500
  10. Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon, 21,000

With at least a lifetime achievement award going to “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap.

Alternately, Malkin could have listed the Top 10 Mass Layoffs of 2011:

  1. Merck 13,000
  2. Borders 10,700
  3. Cisco 6,500
  4. Lockheed Martin 6,500
  5. Pfizer 5,530
  6. Blackberry 2,000
  7. Delta Airlines 2,000
  8. Boston Scientific 1,400
  9. Sears 700
  10. Gannett 700

We’ll leave Goldman Sachs 1,000, off the list, as that’s poetic justice.

Malkin has no use for unions, or ordinary folk for that matter, having never put in a single day of honest, hard work in her life:

Michelle Malkin

Curriculum Vitae

  • 1992-1994 — Cub reporter for Los Angeles Daily News
  • 1995 —  Intern at libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • 1996 — Free-lance columnist, Seattle Times
  • 2002 — present —  Book author
  • 2004- 2009 —  Commentator, FOX News
  • 2007- present  —  Blogger

Malkin could use some broader experience to pad out her resume.  Maybe she could move to Texas for a year to work at a Wal*Mart or a Pollo Loco.

Like Malkin, neither barack obama nor Rick Perry understand what it’s like to be an ordinary folk struggling to keep a job, struggling to find a job, struggling to survive on the low pay of a crappy job.  We ought to help them understand.  Both barry and Rick have performed miserably in their current positions.  Yet Rick is asking us to give him barry’s job, while barry wants us to re-up him for another four years.  Here’s how we should respond:

Hi, Rick?  Don’t call us: we’ll call you.

Hello, barry? — you’re fired!

If ever there was a time to hang a “Help Wanted” sign, it’s now.  To fill our open position, we need to recruit someone who’s hardworking and has a proven track record in high government positions.  They need to be intelligent, confident, and exhibit exceptional leadership qualities.  They must be ready to hit the ground running and assume the full responsibilities of the job on Day One.

It’s a hard job, even more so as the previous employee made a total mess of things.  It may be a tough sell to convince the right person, but we need to make an offer they can’t refuse.

If you know of anyone who fits this description, let them know the job is theirs for the taking.
Read the rest of this entry »


Not My Agenda

August 23, 2011

With his radio shows, The List and Talking With, John Smart provides a great service  by interviewing a wide spectrum of political activists, religious leaders, and other persons of public import, offering a virtual agora for open discussion, exchange of ideas, and debate.

On the July 27, 2011 edition of Talking With, Smart interviewed Amy Siskind, co-founder of The New Agenda (“TNA.”)  Siskind’s comments were at once obfuscating and revealing.  TNA’s singular goal is to increase the number of women elected to office.  While every true liberal would welcome such an increase, TNA’s method of achieving it is  counterproductive to promoting gender equality, and dangerously corrosive to our society in general.


Replacing (R) & (D) with (XX) & (XY)

Describing itself as an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls by bringing about systemic change in the media, at the workplace, at school and at home,” TNA vaguely sets its goals as achieving “safety and opportunity for all women by addressing issues which unite us and by advancing women into leadership roles.”

TNA claims it is a “non-political” organization.  But aside from the token bio of an athlete or link to some actresses charity, (plus a blog devoted to the standard denunciations of society’s affronts to women), TNA is primarily devoted to supporting political candidates.

We also know, from Siskind’s own telling of the story, that TNA’s founding members were political activists: Democrats, feminists, but most importantly, Hillary Clinton supporters.  Once upon a time, they fought for things like universal healthcare, social programs, a fair tax burden, gay rights, protecting the environment, and, naturally, women’s choice.  That was their old political agenda.

Following the Democratic Party’s rejection of their beloved candidate, these women readily abandoned their former principles to embrace a new agenda — help elect women of any political stripe.  TNA doesn’t give a damn what your position is on women’s rights or any other issue.  if you’ve got the XX chromosomes, you’re deemed a better choice for the office than any man could ever be.

If any doubt remained whether TNA has replaced the traditional Left vs. Right political struggle with the battle of the sexes, one need only look at TNA’s perverse labeling of races — “Solid Woman”, “Likely Woman,” “Leans Man,” etc.


Searching for Sexism in All the Wrong Places

An additional objective of TNA is to oppose sexism against any female candidate.  A laudable goal, considering the many & egregious instances of sexual stereotyping in the media and politics.  Sadly, TNA can often be found tilting at windmills, attacking sexism where none exists.  Let’s look at four examples among many:


1) Gypsies, Tramps and Sluts

As proof of Siskind’s theory that “powerful woman are always diminished by being thrown into one of three categories” — either “bitch,” “ditz” or “slut/whore”, she pointed to the accusations of two extra-marital affairs (i.e., “slut”) made against then-gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley. Siskind dismisses out-of-hand the possibility that these affairs actually may have happened.  Yet the allegations by her former speechwriter and another GOP politico were made in some detail, were backed by sworn affidavits, and were considered credible enough to be investigated by at least one local paper.

Moreover, in Haley’s case, such questions were entirely germane.  Haley ran on a “family values” platform, while a large part of her appeal lay in her image as a wholesome mom and obedient, Christian wife.  Haley had also publicly censured her predecessor & erstwhile mentor, Mark Sanford, for his own affair.  To expose the hypocrisy of such a “family values” candidate is no more sexist than to investigate the illicit affairs of Jon Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger … or Ted Haggard.


2) Shut Up, Bitch!

Back in 2009, TNA got its panties all in a wad over the perceived sexist slight of TNA’s official Hlllary surrogate, Kirstin Gillibrand.  On the occasion of the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, Gillibrand, like every other Democratic Senator, had been allotted five minutes to read into the record a brief, sugar-coated, meaningless endorsement.  The notoriously long-winded Gillibrand “was just over 6 minutes and 15 seconds into what was to have been her five-minute speech” when chairman Patrick Leahy was seized by such overpowering misogyny as to gently remind Gillibrand that her time was up.  When the loquacious rookie senator demanded “a minute more”,  the wimminz-hatin’ Chair gaveled her.

TNA provided this “typical example of sexist behavior” from Leahy, who “apparently … didn’t take his anti-grumpy meds yesterday morning”  — ouch, Amy! Talk about bitchy — with a thought bubble: “Sigh, young lady, what YOU have to say is simply not worth the time of day. Finish off so someone important (e.g. a male senator) can speak.”

Except that Gillibrand was the last speaker before the vote. Except that every other senator came in near or under the allotted five minutes.  Nah … had to be the sexism.


3) The Shrill Word

Like other “gender-degrading” language, use of the word “shrill” has been banned by TNA as a “description of a woman’s natural vocal range:”

As we all know, the word ‘shrill’ has a very negative connotation when used to describe a woman or a woman’s voice. The term ‘shrill’ has recently been used by the media as a purposeful weapon against female candidates, although never male candidates.

This disparaging adjective is a textbook example of gender-coded language that has been around for a long time…. This type of language is demeaning, misogynistic, and reminiscent of the Victorian era” and so must never, ever be used again. By anyone.

Except for TNA members, like Amy Siskind, who are allowed to call each other “shrill.” Siskind here:

I was driving my kids to their post-camp pre-school dental appointments when my cell phone rang.

Cynthia … was calling to let me know that she was hearing that McCain would announce shortly AND that he had picked a woman!

On the way back from the dentist, the phone rang again — Cynthia was so excited when she called. She was screaming that is was Palin – we both shrilled with excitement.

This must be like how it’s OK for niggahs to call each other “niggah,” but we can’t.  I don’t quite understand the logic, but how could I, seeing as I’m not a Shrill.


4) American History For Ditzes

On Talking With, Siskind accused the media of unfairly peppering Sarah Palin & Michele Bachmann with hard “questions on historical figures and Paul Revere” that male GOP candidates were not asked.  In Siskind’s world-view, this can only be due to misogyny, and totally unrelated to:

  1. The Tea Party claiming philosophical heritage from the American Revolution;
  2. Both Palin and Bachmann exhibiting a glaring igrorance of said American Revolution by making outrageously false statements.

Siskind’s argument might be more persuasive had she presented examples of male TP figures bolloxing American History, and then highlighted the double standard in treatment.  Yet she didn’t (or couldn’t), and instead copped out with her standard interpretation: that every attack on a female candidate is always a sexist attack.


Abortion Is Never an Issue (Unless Amy Says it Is)

TNA insists that abortion rights should never be a factor in women’s voting.  TNA’s 2008 epiphany was that Choice v. Pro-Life only divides women, diverting them from their common goal of helping women everywhere beat men.  So, TNA will never make a candidate’s stance on abortion an issue in a campaign.

Except when Siskind endorses a candidate, as she did with Meg Whitman over Jerry Brown.  The “non-political” TNA felt justified in breaking its no-endorsement pledge because one of Brown’s (female) staffers used one of the FORBIDDEN WORDS to describe Whitman — “whore.”

So, in a Huffy Poo article, Siskind exhorted women, especially former Hillary supporters, to back Meggers — “a working mom” (ROTFLMAO) over Brown and his “long track record of sexism.”  Siskind pointly referred to a decades-old Brown comment implying ambivalence on women’s choice, then falsely claimed that Whitman had never changed her position, when in truth Meggers had flip-flopped at least twice that year.

OK, except when Amy Siskind gets really mad, supporting a woman’s right to control over her own body is not relevant.  Why?  Because GOP “women understand women’s issues. Plain and simple.”

  • That’s why TNA favorite Sharron Angle advised the victims of rape or incest to “make a lemon situation into lemonade”;
  • That’s why TNA favorite Kelly Ayotte dragged Planned Parenthood before the Supreme Court in an attempt to save a New Hampshire law requiring parental notification prior to abortion on a minor;
  • That’s why TNA favorite Nikki Haley voted repeatedly to make all abortions illegal, then as governor vetoed $56 million in education spending;
  • That’s why TNA favorite Sarah Palin nominated a known perpetrator of sexual harassment for the position of Alaska’s public safety commissioner.


Qualified for Pub[l]ic Office

Siskind insists that Michele Bachmann “is very qualified to be President.”  This ‘qualification’ must be Bachmann’s pudenda, since in most circles, a career House back-bencher with zero legislation and marginal real-world experience is not considered “qualified” to be POTUS.  Unless, it seems, you’re a woman (or half-black), then you’re bumped to the head of the list, past truly qualified candidates.

In 2010, TNA lamented the low percentage of female candidates, but gushed giddily about how the GOP was “quietly filling its ranks with women.”  But as I pointed out following the midterms, in 2010 the Democrats still lapped the GOP 2-to-1 when it came to running women.  Yet for some unexplained reason, TNA displays an undue fondness for the GOP.


“I luuuv Susana Martinez!”
Siskind exclaimed on Talking With.  And what’s not to love?  She’s got tits and a snatch, thus meeting all of Siskind’s rigorous requirements for public office.  It’s just icing on the cake that Martinez also:

  • Opposes federally-funded abortions;
  • Opposes any form of gun control;
  • Supports an amendment banning same-sex marriage;
  • Supports school vouchers;
  • Vetoed $56 million in education funding;
  • Opposes any tax increases; advocates reducing corporate taxes to ‘create jobs’.

Not to mention that Martinez is a rabid global warming denier and anti-environmentalist who:

  • Accepted $220,000 in contributions from gas & oil donors;
  • Moved to gut state pollution regulations;
  • Named a conspiracy crackpot as environmental chief;
  • Violated the state constitution by ordering that new environmental rules adopted by the state not be published.

TNA had declared the 2010 New Mexico gubernatorial race a “guaranteed win for our side because Martinez’ opponent, Lt. Governor Diane Denish, was also female.  Yet Siskind and TNA displayed an unmistakable preference for the Republican.

Why was TNA so lukewarm about Denish?  She had a track record of helping families and young children, and advocated expanding early education funding and nutrition programs.  She was pro-environment with a plan for creating green jobs.  She supported single-payer healthcare with universal coverage for every child. Denish was heartily endorsed by the pro-choice Emily’s List.  As Lt. Governor, Denish lobbied for the passage of DNA sampling known as Katie’s Law — the same Katie’s Law TNA wrongly credits then-county DA Martinez with introducing.


Goodbye, Earl

The real reason behind TNA’s embrace of the GOP?  Revenge, ‘plain & simple.’`  In the minds of these women, the Democratic party was their loser husband, Earl, his rejection of Hillary the last straw in a long and abusive relationship.

When will the women of this nation stop accepting “guilt gifts” from the men in their lives who act abusively?

So these ladies worked out a plan, and didn’t take long to decide that Earl had to die.

When will we finally deliver the tough love and consequences for improper behavior?

Enter the dapper, older gentleman, McCain, to whisper the sweet nothings that these jilted pumettes craved.  Yes, we care about you.  I sooo want a woman as my running mate!  I value your input and your support.   Thelma and Louise  Siskind and co. fell for it hook, line and sinker.  It meant abandoning every liberal principle that fosters women’s rights and real gender equality, but the sweet taste of revenge (maybe with some fried green tomatoes on the side?) was worth it.

Disgusted with Earl’s  the Democratic Party’s sophomoric and sexist “Liberal Dude Nation” antics, TNA has decided to get back by throwing themselves into the arms of another man Party:   “Democratic (and newly Independent) women are finally saying: Enough!  If this keeps up, in 2012, former and current Democratic women might just be pulling the ‘R’ lever.”

And there we have it:  the sad, embarrassing spectacle of alleged modern woman, Amy Siskind, displaying the archetypical, emotional, irrational fury of a woman scorned.


Sexual Apartheid

TNA’s home page prominently features this definition:

sex•ism

Prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination on the basis of sex.

Yet selecting candidates solely on the basis of their their gender — the very agenda of The New Agenda — is sexism in its most raw and ugly manifestation.  “Sexism has no place in this great country,” insists Siskind. Yet, on Talking With, out of the other side of Siskind’s mouth came “voting on gender is a relevant criteria.”

“How did we allow such a high level of acceptable sexism to exist and flourish?” asks Siskind.  That query is a bit of joke from “a lifelong Democrat” who admits she voted GOP for the first time ever “for one reason: McCain selected a woman as his running mate.”

TNA’s smug pride in removing the “divisive” Choice issue is overshadowed by the far greater divide they create by pitting one half of the population against the other.  Is the goal is to establish a political landscape where men & woman are treated equally?  Where, as Siskind claims to seek, “all the candidates are put on equal footing” regardless of gender?  If so, then TNA is heading in the absolute wrong direction by prioritizing gender in its selection and treatment of politicians.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.  The New Agenda is wrong, very wrong.


(c) 2011 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.


A.B.O.

July 18, 2011

It seems to me a strange thing, mystifying, that the Democratic Party’s incumbent president, who has extended & expanded every odious bush administration policy, has betrayed every liberal principle, has broken every campaign promise, is in brazen contempt of the Constitution and several Federal laws, and has now unilaterally offered to cut Social Security, will be running unopposed in the 2012 primary.

Yes, he entered office inexperienced, but that’s because the king-makers ignored the will of the majority of voters in 2012 to pick a neophyte and incorrigible loafer, a con man selling rainbows and unicorns.

Yes, he’s faced tough opposition from Republicans.  But hey, they are the “opposition” party after all.  And he has only himself to blame for stinking up the joint so bad in his first two years that it cost the Dems the House in the mid-terms.

Even if his administration had in any way resembled a Democratic one, your incumbent is embarrassingly down in the polls vs. a generic GOP candidate, has sunk to 39% in pivotal Florida, and has shown no wherewithal to to turn thing around in the next 18 months.  The fat lady is already clearing her throat.


Change Horses Before You Get Bucked Off

Surely, many Democrats, while gravely disappointed in their hopeless-changeless incumbent, are still fearful of ‘changing horses midstream’ or weakening party unity with a primary fight.   But it’s a wives’ tale that strong primary challenges weaken the incumbent.  The reverse is true:  weak incumbents attract strong primary challenges.  In barry, the Dems easily have the weakest incumbent in American history.  Nobody — I mean nobody — likes him!   Not to mention that he’s not really a Democrat, rather a moderate Republican / corporatist whore.


Cowardly Lions

So where are the all the vultures?  The usual suspects have all declared themselves not interested.  Dennis Kucinich, that quadrennial protest candidate, is confining his protests to the sidelines this time.  Hillary swears she’s done with politics.  Feingold insists he’s not interested.  Every other potential challenger is laying low, protecting their careers’ futures.

Honestly, it’s not hard to see why.  Barry and his droogs fight dirty and nasty.  The first challenger to toss their hat into the ring would be skewered, roasted, drawn and quartered before that hat hit the ground.  It would be ugly. Medieval.

Just look at how barry won his four election battles:

  1. Midnight procedural challenge disqualifying all of his primary opponents;
  2. Leaked opponent’s unsavory divorce records;
  3. Leaked opponent’s unsavory divorce records;
  4. Massive voter fraud & rigging of caucuses, vicious personal attacks driven in to the hilt, race card played to the max; rigged convention.

The barry political-crime machine is masterful at raising huge sums of cash from the corporate tyrants he serves.  (Not to mention airhead bimbos like George Clooney and Tom Hanks.)  While doubts exist his 2012 campaign can match the ocean of money raised in 2008, barry is already way ahead of any potential primary opponents, who’ve raised exactly zero to date.

Since no one Democrat is brave enough to take on barry and his Chicago boys, is there no way to stop the obama juggernaut?


The A.B.O. Slate 

There is a way.  It’s a bit tricky, but is surely worth trying.

Most people aren’t aware that, when you vote for a candidate in a primary, you’re really voting for a slate of delegates pledged to vote for that candidate at the convention.  “Undeclared” delegates are occasionally chosen, seen most recently in Michigan in 2008. (though barry ended up stealing all of those, as well as a few of Clinton’s Michigan delegates for good measure.)

Just writing-in “none of the above” won’t count without a pre-designated slate to receive that vote.  The same goes for writing in a specific person’s name — if no slate of delegates exists pledged to that person, those write-in votes get tallied … then tossed.

What’s required is to run an A.B.O. — Anyone But Obama — slate in each state, delegates pledged to vote at the Democratic national convention for any candidate they like, so long as it’s not obama.

It really doesn’t matter who they nominate, or even whether the ABO slates from the several states chose the same person.  With enough ABO delegates in Charlotte, barry coudn’t receive an outright majority on the first ballot, opening up a floor fight of epic proportions and a brokered convention.  At that point, the cowardly lions might find the nerve to enter the fray and attempt to seize the nomination.   barry’s one billion dollars would be useless.  And if his droogs attempted to rig the convention like they did in 2008, our ABO delegates would simply  burn down the convention hall  march out and hold the vote in a bar across the street.

Who would prevail in this scenario?  Who knows.  Who cares, so long as it is Anyone But Obama.


Getting to Charlotte

Steve Martin once told a joke:  “How to earn a million dollars and not pay any taxes:  1. Earn a million dollars;  2. Don’t pay any taxes.”

Like Martin’s scheme, the devil is in the details of our ABO plan.  For many of us, it’ll require re-joining a discredited party we left in disgust.  However emotionally or ethically unsettling, it’s physically easy.

Far more tricky is getting to Charlotte.  A trip to the national convention is a plum reserved for long-time party loyalists and hacks of individual candidates.  The entire party machinery is in the hands of the obot apparatchiks.  In theory, however, the Democratic Party is the people’s party, and any registered Democrat is eligible to serve as an “undeclared” delegate.  And you, dear reader, are going to be that delegate.

The rules for selecting delegates vary from state to state — in the ones that assign delegates only after the primary, our ABO strategy may need to be modified. Caucus rules are particularly convoluted.

Here’ what you do. Tomorrow, call or visit your local democratic HQ and tell them you’d like to become a delegate, and ask how that works.  They’ll give you the run-around.  Be persistent.  Try not to mention that you oppose obama for as long as possible.  Ask if it’s possible to be an “undeclared” delegate.  Take down the name of the person you speak to.  If they give you information you later find out is false, report them, as they’ve just committed elections fraud.  Report back here in the comments section with what you’ve discovered.

The ABO slate might not succeed, but in trying, we can at least can send a wake-up call to the saner elements of the Democratic Party.  Please — pick Anyone But Obama!


(c) 2011 by True Liberal Nexus.  All rights reserved.


The White House Dials 911

December 17, 2010

Last week, the nation witnessed the almost surreal spectacle of Bill Clinton’s impromptu press conference at the White House.  Hurriedly called so Clinton could publicly endorse obama’s tax compromise with the Republicans, it featured 8 minutes of the boy president staring sheepishly like some altar boy while Clinton masterfully pitched the deal Barry’d botched selling so far.  After the hen-pecked obama, fearing a spanking for keeping his harridan waiting at a party, bizarrely left the press conference, we were treated to 20+ minutes of deja vu, as the Big Dawg settled in and fielded a range of questions from Haiti, to healthcare, to the economy, to dealing with Congress, plucking detailed facts & figures from his head, even offering nuanced & well thought-out policy options.  Painfully apparent was the realization that, not only did Clinton know more about the tax plan than its chief architect, he seems to know more about everything than everybody.

(To grasp the full impact of this phenomenon, one must watch the entire video or read the transcript.)


Why Bill, Why?

So sooner had the shock worn off, than speculation began as to why Clinton, a long-time foe of tax cuts to the rich, who as president both raised taxes and created jobs all while building a budget surplus, would favor this sell-out to the greed of the richest 2% of Americans.

We can philosophize until the cows come home whether there was a quid pro quo attached, and what that might entail.  But the question on this observer’s mind is: what was Clinton doing there in the first place?  Certainly obama didn’t say, I need to speak with my old friend and trusted mentor, Bill Clinton. It must have been the White House staffers who insisted, you need to talk to this guy. Perhaps they were hoping the boy wonder might pick up a few tips from watching the old master in action.  If so, that hope went unfulfilled.


Slacker-in-Chief

What’s becoming clearer with every passing day is that obama’s sloth, ineptitude and utter indifference is making it impossible for the White House to function as an organ, or to direct an Administration.  obama’s complete unfamiliarity with drafting & passing legislation, his total lack of negotiating savvy, his poor people skills, can no longer be ignored as when he was running for president.

Truth is, even if obama could handle the job of president, he doesn’t feel like it. He’s checked out, lost in ennui.  Was it not his own senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, who warned us that Barry is  “easily bored?”

He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.

The office of the presidency is one never-ending to-do list, some items profound (passing legislation, averting wars), some tedious (daily briefings, photo ops, press conferences.)  As obama’s early exit the other day attests, the focus of this First Family is on sumptuous parties and back-to-back-to-back vacations. The Slacker-in-Chief even played hooky one day in April, slipping out a side door without notifying his staff or the press corps, or — as some speculate, the Secret Service.  He claimed he went to watch his daughter’s non-existent? soccer game, held at an inner-city baseball field.

Honestly, wha’d y’all expect when you first dreamt of placing a lazy, self-centered, spoiled brat in the Oval Office?  The White House is paralyzed, the administration adrift, the Democrats in rebellion.  Washington burns while obama fiddles.


Dial 911

White House staff are frantically trying to light their own fire under little Nero’s butt.  Prior to President Clinton’s 911 dispatch, the lingering scuttlebutt was that Secretary Clinton should be brought in as VP, to force the boy wonder finish his homework, eat his vegetables, and complete his chores.

It may come now as a surprise to read of the increased role VP Joe Biden is playing at the White House.  Mock him if you like, but Biden has been around the block a few times, and retains excellent contacts and goodwill on Capital Hill.  If these stories are to be believed, it was Biden’s shoe leather, not Clinton’s breath, that got Congress on board the tax deal.   As one testy congressmen was quoted, “Biden brings everything that Rahm Emanuel brings, but the major difference is everyone likes Joe Biden.”  None of this will suffice in the long run, of course.  Barry simply loathes work, and no one can make him do it.

The public story line so far is that obama has suffered but a temporary setback.  Howard Dean and Axelrod of Evil hit the political shows last Sunday to insist that:  1) obama will definitely run for reelection; and,  2) no one in their right mind would even consider mounting a primary challenge.  In November, the press dutifully reported that Axel will be leaving the White House early next year to begin the reelection campaign.  A complimentary story planted last week speculated that the O12 campaign could raise — place pinky to lip — One Biiiillionnn Dollars!

Whatever this spin may or may not indicate about obama’s plans for 2012, it was meant to quash the concept that obama is a one-termer  To be viewed as a lame duck cannot help a president no one seems to take seriously anymore.  Not Democrats, not Republicans, not the media, not the public.


What About Plan B?

If Plan A fails, if things continue to spin out of control and Barry refuses to show up for work, do the party elders have a Plan B … or maybe a Plan (HR)C?  Just how desperate is the situation?

First off, forget about Hillary becoming obama’s VP. There’s no upside, only downside, for her.  It also wouldn’t do any good.

One option is to continue to muddle along as best they can, prodding Barry into occasional action, circumventing him when he refuses.  They can then play it by ear whether to cut their losses and convince Barry not to seek reelection, avoiding an increasingly likely primary challenge.  This seems to be the current plan.  It proved barely enough to salvage some legislation of the lame duck session, but it’s hard to imagine pulling it off for another two years.

Another scenario is to induce obama to step down now.  Radical as this may seem, don’t rule it out.  No one (who’s not a Republican) is benefitting from the obama presidency any more.  His handlers are exasperated, Democrats in Congress have given up on him, the media has turned on him. Even Soros now shuns him.

If Barry resigns, he gets to return to the job he was destined for: pop idol.  Biden becomes a two-year steward, makes emergency repairs, and steers the battered ship of state into dry dock.  A new VP is chosen and given prominent exposure as a key player in the administration, which amounts to a 12-month head start on their 2012 presidential run.  Speculate at will as to who this VP would be, and whether the quid pro quo speculated above comes into play.

That person, however, will most certainly not be Hillary Clinton.  In terms of influence, VP is a both a symbolic and a real step down from SoS. Nor does Hillary need the exposure — she could win a general election if it was held tomorrow.  The only scenario in which Hillary Clinton becomes VP is some variant of Agnew-Nixon-Ford, where two quick resignations propel her into the Oval Office.   Don’t hold your breath.


Which Way to the Life Rafts?

How can we little people influence the outcome of all this behind-the-scenes maneuvering? We can spread the word that BO MUST GO.  Beyond that, not much.  We’re third class passengers trapped in the steerage of an ocean liner.  We’ve felt the impact of the iceberg, and heard the screeching as it tore open the hull.  All we can do now is pray that there’s somebody up there on the bridge who’s taken ahold of the wheel.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.


Hillary’s Cretan Dilemma

December 7, 2010

With most of the Left finally realizing that the anticipated Unicorn & Rainbow Camelot is actually become The Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue, an ever-louder chorus of voices are speaking the previously unspeakable:  Obama should not run again.  Since Hillary Clinton was the logical, rational, best choice for president in 2008, only to be shoved aside by hopey-changey lemmings, eyes now inevitably turn to her as an alternative in 2012. While in Bahrain this week, The Secretary of State was asked yet again whether she intends on running for office. Her response:

“I think I will serve as secretary of state as my last public position, and then probably go back to advocacy, and probably on behalf of woman and children….”

This follows an appearance last month on Fox News, where Clinton declared,

“I am very happy doing what I’m doing, and I am not in any way interested in or pursuing anything in elective office….”

Despite the decided dodginess of Clinton’s full comments, the headlines blared that she had definitively promised never, ever to run again.  Never ever.  Stick-a-needle-in-my-eye never.  The dwindling ranks of obots rejoiced, while Hillary supporters lamented (with the exception of a subset who see Hillary as ‘tired’ and wish to protect her from further ‘abuse’.)  The Right, who’d love a scrum in the Dem primary, continue to praise Clinton … for the moment.  Chrissie O’Donnell officially has a girl-crush on Hillary.


Inscrutable

In truth, nothing at all can be gleaned from Clinton’s comments.  First, she deflected these questions in the most round-about way possible.  Second, the specific question on FOX was whether she’d run as obama’s VP.  Third, whatever Hillary’s true intentions, It was the only possible thing she could say.

Clinton is either:

a) definitely running, or;

b) undecided about running, or;

c) definitely not running.

Whichever is true, her on-the-record response would be the same.  It’s unthinkable for a cabinet member to publicly announce their intention to run against the sitting president.  To do so at this point would be fatal to her career.  However, even if Clinton were not considering a run, certain political advantages would still accrue by keeping people wondering.

Clinton has been deftly fouling off similar inquiries for two years now.  Only a political tyro (or Joe Biden) would do otherwise.  With her most recent statements, Hillary indulges us in three jalousies that we all know range from uncertain to preposterous:

1. obama will win a second nomination;

2. obama will win a second term;

3. obama loves Hillary so much he’ll bring her back as SoS.

Even Clinton’s professed love for her current job amounts to little.  Keep this in mind: If obama is the nominee in 2012, Clinton will not be SoS in 2013.  It goes without saying that a Republican president would not keep a Clinton in their Cabinet.   Were obama to somehow get reelected, Clinton is also out.  SoS is the prized plum. In ’08, obama offered it first to Kerry for his endorsement, then to Edwards for his, then to Clinton for her surrender.  In ’12, obama would dangle that plum before whoever could help him most.  If Hillary truly wants to keep her dream job at State, she needs to boost a protégé into the White House.


Reading Signs

With her public statements so unrevealing, what other signs can we parse to divine Hillary’s intentions?  Here are a few to ponder:

* During the recent mid-terms, Bill Clinton made a point of being seen campaigning for every Hillary delegate from 2008.  That simply could have been the right thing to do, but it may also have sent a message: Whose team do you want to play on? Whether that means Hillary Clinton ’12, or just the Clintonista candidate, is unclear.

* Evan Bayh has done everything — not seek reelection to his office, raise a ton of money, pull together a campaign team — that one does before running for president.  Bayh is a long-time Clintonista.   Whether his role is a “rabbit” to let Hillary enter the race later (with VP as the reward), or the actual Clinton Camp candidate, also remains to be seen.  If Bayh did not run, that would be noteworthy.

*  Why did the HRC 2008 campaign, which still exists as an entity, send an email last week asking for hefty donations to retire her campaign debt?   In return, the donor would receive a signed copy ($50 for paper, $250 for DVD) of her 2008 convention speech, in which, as the email reminds us, Hillary spoke of the “determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.”  The timing is curious.  Is this a simple attempt to wipe out that debt by tapping into Hillary love agitated by the recent speculations?  Or is a way to take bearings of the level of support?

* A pronounced break with obama on foreign policy, followed by a resignation, would be the strongest indicator of an impending run by Clinton.  The State Dept. and White House have spatted frequently, most recently in September over Clinton’s comparison of the drug cartel situation in Mexico to that of Colombia two decades ago, but these differences have been smoothed over so far.  A bungling of a flare-up in the Korean situation, however, or the White House dragging its feet on wikileaks, would provide more than sufficient cause for Clinton to break with obama. If she does, stay tuned.


Job Satisfaction

Of course Secretary of State is a job Clinton truly enjoys — dealing with other grown-ups who respect you, making a real impact in crucial global issues, serving as the face of the United States, stand in stark contrast to the pettiness, backstabbing, and general insanity of party politics.  Hillary would no doubt enjoy being President, too.  It’s the road to the White House that’s unpalatable.  But here’s the deal:

1)  We need Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2012 — she’s the only one who can run both as a Democrat and against the obama legacy.  She fought him in ’08, and by escaping the Senate, she is untainted by obama’s Superfund Site of toxic legislation.  Her unique broad-based appeal can also help win back the demographics alienated by the obamalonians;

2) We know Hillary can win the general election.  She currently owns the highest approvals of any potential candidate;

3) We know Hillary is eminently suited to fixing the dire condition of the Nation.  There may be others, but she has proven her abilities;

4) Hillary knows all this, too.

Whatever her designs, she cannot make a single move so long as obama remains the presumptive nominee.  Our first duty as true liberals is to ensure that Barry goes on permanent vacation.  Then ask Hillary the question again.


(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.


Legends of the Mid-Terms

November 10, 2010

Long before election day, the Legends that would be told about the 2010 mid-terms had been written.  Undoubtedly crafted by those they would best serve, the legends were accepted by a gullible public and an infantile media, as a shiny object tossed on the ground might entrance a simpleton.  They repeated the Legends until they had the force of truth:  Republicans are running record numbers of women! —  We will throw the all bums out! — Politics has been transformed by the rise of a new party, the Tea Party!

To find truth, the great mathematician, Karl Friedrich Gauss, urged “whenever possible, one should count.”  That is the difference between Data and Lore, between an enlightened world and a primitive one.  And, when one actually counts the results of the 2010 elections, the Legends fall and the Truth is revealed.


This Was No “Year of the Woman”

Legend tells us that the GOP, spearheaded by the TP, was running vast numbers of women, while Democrats had abandoned female candidates.  This wave of new Republican women in office would rival the gains of 1992’s “Year of the Woman.”  Based at least in part on this belief, significant numbers of women voters shifted their traditional support from the Dems to the GOP.  They were deluded.

Despite a handful of prominent TP female candidates, and a spike in Republican women running for office, women are still woefully underrepresented in the GOP.  As in prior years, 2010 saw women Democrats outnumber their red sisters two-to-one.

2010 Female Candidates

party   S    H    G    tot F     GT     pct of GT

Dem   9    91    5      105    484     22%

GOP   5    47    5        57    504     11%

(Senate, House, Governor; total female, grand total all candidates, female percentage of grand total.  Differences in grand totals reflect unopposed seats.)

As academician, author and former congressional candidate Jennifer Lawless observes, since 77% of the women in Congress were among the vulnerable Democrats, it would have required a vast upswing in female GOP candidates to improve gender balance. Despite the hype, that didn’t happen.  In fact, the RNC “ran women in only three of the 30 races that presented the best opportunities to gain seats.” For the first time in thirty years, the number of women in Congress will actually decrease. Adding insult to injury, “early reports of the new Republican leadership include no women’s names.”

A sub-legend has it that the GOP also ran many more minorities.  This, too, is myth.  Beyond a couple of prominent minority TPers, the face of the Republican Party remained overwhelmingly male WASP.  Only 3 of 37 GOP Senate candidates could be described as minority. One telling stat:  for Congress the GOP ran three times as many white men named “Smith” (6) as it did black women (2).


The “Bums” Are Still Here

During the 2010 campaign a meme, Rovian in its evil genius, took hold: ‘throw all the bums out!’ Given that most of the incumbents up for reelection were Dems, the spread of this mantra could only help the GOP.  Unsurprisingly, 53 Dems but only 2 Republicans were unseated in the House.  Many of these were freshmen in traditionally red districts, blown in by the storm of 2008, vulnerable to the slightest change in wind.

In the Senate, incumbents ran in 23 of the 37 races; 2 lost.  In the House, 378 of the 435 races — 87% — saw incumbents defend their seats.  Twenty-six of them (4 Dem, 22 GOP) ran unopposed.  The rest did extremely well:

House Incumbents, 2010 Mid-Terms

party     Tot       W      L       win pct

Dems    231     179     52     77%

GOP     147      145       2     99%

Both    378      324     54    86%

The numbers don’t lie:  in a year when the voters swore to ‘throw out the all bums’, they instead brought back nine incumbents in ten.  A full three-quarters of the new House will be comprised of these old “bums”.


There is No Tea Party

Legend has it, in 2010 the Tea Party fielded a long slate of newcomers who were swept into office and instantly transformed not only the GOP but the entire political landscape.  Counting tells another story.

The three major TP factions (Palin, Freedomworks, Tea Party Express) issuing endorsements mostly disagreed on who rated as a “genuine” TP candidate.  But looking at the largest slate, that of the Tea Party Express (TPX), it’s hard to detect the revolutionary wave spoken of in the sagas.

In the Senate, TPX endorsements went 10 for 15.  Four of those winners, though, were long-time incumbents, including John Thune, who ran unopposed.  Newbies went 6 for 11, including two of the six pickups.  Of 67 total GOP pick-ups in the House, only 28 were endorsed by TPX.  Forty-nine incumbents, five running unopposed, were on the TPX slate.  Only about 4 in 10 of the ousted Dem incumbents (22 of 51) lost to a TPX-endorsed opponent, whereas 28 of 37 of the rookie TPX winners were found in those vulnerable Dem districts.  Did the Tea Party make those seats vulnerable, or did it merely prey on the already weak?

Newly-minted TP members will comprise but 8.5% of the next House and 6% of the next Senate.  In the final analysis, it seems that the Tea Party is less a new party or faction, than a new name for the old right wing of the Republican Party.


Falling for the Legends

Political extremists have long known the power of the Big Lie.  The Legends of the 2010 Mid-Terms are whoppers.  When an incredulous public, egged on by the mindless parrots of the media, accept these lies, they exert an influence the truth would otherwise deny them.   Don’t fall for the Legends.  Count before you believe.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.


If You Thought the Frying Pan Was Bad…

November 4, 2010

— by ducksoup

The Republicans and other rightwingers vigorously and effectively portrayed Obama as a “socialist” or a “Marxist” or “too liberal.” The media people, being very stupid and afraid to say anything different, continued and repeated the rightwingers’ chant that Obama’s problem was that he was “too left-leaning.”

I even heard that turd David Gergen talking about Obama’s need to destroy Social Security (my verb, not his).

Obama’s problem is not that he has been too inclined to act in ways that pleased his base but that he acted in ways that infuriated his base, the very people who had voted for him: Democrats, liberals, women, gays, working class people, and independents.

He kow-towed to the corporate interests and big banks in his financial “reform” scam by not reining in the too-big-to-fail banks and cow-towed to the health insurance companies when be surrendered on universal healthcare and/or the public option without even making a pretense of a fight for those issues. He ducked and weaved on DADT and DOMA, further alienating the folks on the left to whom those were and remain important issues.

So, if Obama and the media whores now see this Republican sweep as a call for Obama to “move to the right” or further right, we are doomed.

The crazies on the Right are in the ascendancy, the Left is battered and subdued, the Right has all the passion, the Left has none. And the media goons will continue to press Obama to move further and further to the Right by cutting taxes on the rich, de-regulating whatever is still regulated (such as the safety of our food and the solvency of our pensions) and joining with the Republicans to end all pollution controls; end all wildlife preservation; end all efforts to keep our water supply safe and adequate; end all efforts to keep our air clean, safe and breathable; end all efforts to keep our roadways, tunnels and bridges repaired and safe; and in general end all efforts to protect the American middle class, the elderly, the poor, the children.

Next time anyone decides to vote for the Republicans to punish the Democrats for their wimpishness, remember what it is the Republicans plan to do to us and ponder if you like their plans and actions any better.

Just because it’s uncomfortable in the frying pan doesn’t mean that jumping into the fire will improve your body temperature or your life.

(c) 2010 by ‘ducksoup’.  All rights reserved.


A Two-Minute Drill

November 3, 2010

Those of you who closely followed last night’s election results may be perplexed by my assurance that the Democrats still retain sizable majorities in both the House and the Senate.

True, the 112th Congress will be dominated by TP/GOP newcomers, but the 111th Congress still has one session left to go, and Dems would be foolish to waste it.

If obama’s feeble electioneering efforts can be compared to a batter in baseball taking a called third strike to end the game, a football analogy better applies to this lame duck Congress.  The two-minute warning has sounded, but the Dems still have the ball.  Instead of taking a knee, they should employ a hurry-up offense to drive down the field and put up at least a field goal before the Half.

The players to lead this drive should be QB Russ Feingold and the other numerous Senators and House members who will shortly be benched.   No time for huddles, just run a few set plays  —  HR 676, for example.  First drafted in 2003, and submitted every year since, HR 676 is a real universal healthcare reform bill that would really work.  Its 88 co-sponsors expected it to finally be debated in 2009, but the bill was rudely shoved aside to make way for the lemming march for the perverse “obamacare”.

It took a resounding drubbing to pound into these politicians’ thick heads that obama was toxic.  As lame-ducks, they have nothing to lose — allegiance to obama cost them their jobs.  In contrast, they have much to gain — to have any hope of reviving their careers, they must jump from this sinking ship.  Overtly telling obama to ‘shove it’ will be both cathartic and constructive.

Passing HR 676 would also effectively repeal obamacare, thus beating the GOP to the punch.  An on-sides kick, if you will, to boldly retake possession of the agenda.

During this final session, a slew of true liberal legislation ought to be brought before the House, no matter how slim the chances of passage, if only to show what these particular Democrats stand for.  Feingold’s Rebels could also pass numerous non-binding resolutions declaiming the wrong direction taken over the past two years.  For an electorate that sullenly voted in the last three elections against one party then the other, these parting pieces of legislation would give a reason to vote for the Dems in 2012.

The clock’s running — snap the ball, Russ!


(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane’.  All rights reserved.