Dougas Rushkoff has a forward looking post up on his blog regarding Obama and change and the hard work that lay ahead and he makes a number of important points, including:
No, the opportunity is not to create the next great website for modeling bottom-up community activity, but to go and actually do the stuff. It is to participate the public school, work towards alternative energy possibilities, design and install bicycle lanes, argue at work for equal pay for women, assist local agriculture projects, develop complementary currencies and non-profit credit unions.
My faith in the change we need will be strengthened by my own and others initiative. Obama can inspire us, and even remove some of the obsolete regulations preventing progressive activities from taking hold. His ability to lead us out of this mire into a brighter future will be limited, however, by our own capacity to engage.
This cuts to some very important realities that we must deal with.
Real progress and solutions always require a good amount of change and innovation, both sorely lacking the past several years in our leadership from the White House and the private sector. Most of it rooted in a lethargy born of fear, intimidation, arrogance and eliminationism.
The truth of the matter is glaringly simple: conservatism is about maintaining the financial and emotional status quo, and brought to it’s extreme (as we’ve seen in the Theocratic and NeoCon movements) it becomes about fighting any change at all, no matter the outcome, with hatred and lies and a grab for power. Under such strict cognitive processes, monetary concerns and real issues – whether of national security or social security – take a back seat to ideology and the pursuit of power. And therein lay a great amount of chaos, decay, myopia and stagnation. It’s deeply ironic coming from the party of Lincoln, and also quite tragic. The legislative and policy record of the Bush White House will be the final historical testament to a mind set gone awry, a movement of nothingness and disaster run amok.
And, keep this in mind: the “solution” from the conservatives that will surely come forward in the coming days will be to rebrand the same old as new and improved. As conservative pundit and writer David Frum said recently:
One thing that will certainly happen is a fundamentalist response…”‘If only we had been more consistently conservative, none of this would have happened; there’s still a conservative voting majority out there, and Bush alienated them with his too-centrist policies and various deviations from conservative orthodoxy; McCain was obviously unacceptable; and if the voters turned down ham and eggs, it’s because they wanted double ham and double eggs.” That will be one view. How fast, how dramatically, and what form the alternative will take—that, no, we have a deeper problem—I can’t predict. But it will come.
And, it’s already happening. Karl Rove and others have been on the disinfo campaign, touting a version of what Frum states, as has Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
It can, to some degree, be a mild amusement, and chalked up to the rants and silly gyrations of a political party in its final death throes. But, considering the level and severity of the issues facing us not only as a nation but as a planet, such an attitude is not only foolish, but downright dangerous. People are struggling. And, all indications are that it is going to get worse before it gets better.
The success or failure of any civilization is predicated upon the success or failure of certain social structures, not the least of which is the ability of the masses to supply themselves with essentials – food and shelter – in reality, and the perception of what lay ahead is extremely important.
The great success of Mao Zedong in a country of a billion over the course of decades was initialized primarily by a deep understanding of that reality – people need to eat and have a roof over their heads – and the movement continued with great success (for those in power at least) for generations (and still does to some degree) because it was extended into an oppressive movement in order to maintain itself. The first move of all power structures is to attempt to solidify that structures existence – to secure it into perpetuity. And, that is a paradox that literally creates a scenario by which real change and solutions are sorely hampered. Change becomes obsolete. And, in the case of the Cultural Revolution, illegal.
Of course, the very nature of human social groups predicates that all power structures will inevitably collapse under their own weight, since solidifying power and creating change and progressive solutions for the masses – ensuring people have enough to eat and a place to sleep – are not always conducive. Which is usually what happens on a much more rapid time frame here in the USA, since we have elections. At least, that’s the theory.
IMHO, people of progressive attitude look to their leaders for good ideas, and the sharing of those ideas. Just like what we do in forums, and blogs and community gatherings. And, Obama is both a symbol and a working example of that.
The great failure of George W. Bush, if you strip away all of the politics and the hubris, is that he never asked the American people to assist in the struggle that lay before us, he never engaged the great minds and powerful work ethics of the people to deal with the looming and serious issues that were literally laying themselves at our feet begging to be dealt with. He only asked us to spend our money and shop. And, shop we did!
The results are crystal clear for anyone with an ounce of common sense to see.
Real solutions require real work, as Douglas points out.
And, work we shall.Read More
What I see in NYC. The antiquated circa 1950's voting machine where you turn the lever to vote then move the red handle to ppunch the card. A volunteer then turns another lever outside the booth to reset as you exit. whew. Not too crowded but a line is begining to form.Read More
Am off to vote very soon, and will write a short report on that, but wanted to address a few issues for the record.
The word of the day for the next few years will be “legitimacy”, as the ideological right wing bottom feeders who’ve been in power the past seven and a half years, overseeing the debacle that is their deceptive and pathetic response to 9/11 (from Iraq to Afghanistan to the TSA), the abomination that was their reaction to Hurricane Katrina, the politicization of national security and Constitutional rights and law, the over deregulation of the financial industry, the corruption, the bankruptcy of the American economic system and in the coup de grace: the McPalin campaign, likely the most ineptly run in history, and the most egregiously negative. Nake no bones about it:
They will make an attempt to establish that Barack Obama’s presidency is not legitimate. It will be the right wing clarion call.
Let it be said here and now that the right wing extremists will place their hatred and ideology before the public good, before properly thought out and intelligent debate, policy and solutions. Let it be said here and now that we shall see the right wing extremists of this nation publicly attempt to destroy and make movements to sabotage any and all forward movement in regard to any policy that comes from an Obama Administration. You think the Clinton years were fraught with acrimony and hate from the right? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
All for the sake of their precious conservative egos and ideological inner processors which has no off switch. In their view there is no such thing as a good idea or a logical plan of attack if it is not cut from their right wing extremeist ideological cloth. Unfortunately, they simply have an old list of tried and true gimmicks that simply do not work anymore. And, they will cling to it like a cat in a bathtub clinging to your arm.
Gratefully, most American’s have seen through the nonsense.
Yesterday, David Neweirt wrote a prescient post on this over at Crooks and Liars. An excerpt:
Facts don’t matter to people like the Putz and Fund, though. They’re only interested in propagating right-wing bullshit. These guys are setting the table for after Tuesday.
We can count, I’m sure, on four years of hearing how Obama stole this election. After all, the one thing they can’t stand is to admit they actually got their asses kicked.
Read the entire post.
(Christy Hardin Smith over at Campaign Silo nails it.)
It has begun. Note how they employ the guilt by association tactic, coupled with generality, (that is: if it’s going on in one place, the entire election is suspect.) Get your druthers on. And go vote!Read More
The one and only Rude One over at The Rude Pundit lays down some track that has to be read, so I’ve excerpted the entire thing in all it’s glorious rudeness:
Closing Argument (Rude Version): Rise Up, Assholes, and Get Your Lives Back:
One of the things that the last eight years, if not the last couple of decades, has demonstrated is that, with lots of exceptions, we have become a nation of assholes. Indeed, the story of contemporary America is that of an unprecedented combination of Republican patriarchal politics masked as democracy, multinational corporate control of media and the means of production, cheap electronics and cheap credit pouring into the hands of people who have no business with either, and the propagation, through the government, the corporate media, and the churches, of a mighty myth about the primacy of the individual above all else. And that has turned us into a bunch of assholes.
We’re self-righteous pricks, convinced that each of us is so goddamned important that people actually want to read about our every move on Twitter or Facebook. Or that every conversation we want to have with another person is so goddamned urgent that we need to have Bluetooth shoved up our asses and the ability to blink out a text message. Every filthy-mouthed tool with a laptop can blog whatever dribbles out of his or her deranged mind and believe that people should give a shit about reading it. We have become such mega-consumers that the act of consuming has been subsumed into our identities, with all things merely a couple of clicks away on our iPhones. And the people mentioned above would have it no other way. The more blinking lights mesmerize us into thinking we have it all, the less we think about everything that’s going haywire.
There’s shit that could be tolerated. The Clinton years lulled the assholes into blithe acceptance. 9/11 should have been the beginning of some assertion of asshole activism, but we were told to go about our business. And we did. We fucking did. Then, even as a deep anxiety was already creeping into American consciousness, Katrina happened. And the war went haywire. And now the economy is on life support. When you fuck with an asshole’s ability to stay self-involved, well, that’s something that has to be dealt with. Harshly. When the failures of the Bush administration finally pierced into the Tivo-numbed skulls of America, it was like shoving a fist up the ass of a sleeping giant.
What we’re witnessing this election season is the ultimate triumph of American assholism: don’t you fuckin’ tell us we can’t change things. Maybe the end result of selfishness is self-empowerment, the belief that, yeah, goddamnit, we are important enough to transform this shit. Because this ain’t about McCain, this ain’t about Obama. It’s about us. That’s what Obama has tapped into, and that’s what we have responded to. Barack Obama hasn’t asked us to transcend our asshole ways. He’s asked us to use them, to turn the tools of egotistical expression into weapons, to act like righteous motherfuckers to those who have power. Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground and the SDS were fuckin’ jerks. The civil rights marchers were rude and impolite to the status quo.
Now is the time, this final confluence of events, that has allowed us to be able to say, “How dare you have done this to us. How fucking dare you.” It’s why for so, so many people race doesn’t matter. It’s why even the South and West are in play this year. Even an asshole can do what’s right.
No policy talk here. No comparisons with McCain. Let’s keep this clear: By making Barack Obama president, we return to a simple American idea, one that the Founders embraced when they were such jack-offs to the British: this land is our land, my land, your land. But it ain’t fuckin’ their land.
Amen brother.Read More
How pathetically dumb and desperate is the right wing at this very moment? Pretty damn dumb. Woke up this morning to see Memeorandum linking to a Newsbusters article (your first clue) that reads:
P.J. Gladnick / NewsBusters.org: Hidden Audio: Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry
The ever moronic Gateway Pundit chimes in:
EXPLOSIVE NEW AUDIO— Obama Promises San Francisco Audience He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry!!
Being an truth free orgy, Cappin’ Ed gets in on the action:
So, here’s the deal: the audio and video of this interview has been available since January 18 2008, the day after Obama sat down with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board.
It’s not hidden at all.
Newsbusters is wrong, Gateway Pundit is wrong, and so is Sarah Palin, who said today:
“Why is the audiotape just now surfacing?” Palin asked, leading someone in the crowd to shout, “Liberal media!”
“This interview was given to San Francisco folks many, many months ago,” Palin said. “You should have known about this, so that you would have better decision-making information as you go into the voting booth.”
Newsbusters gets the source correct, but it’s not hidden audio if the video is available is it? We don’t have to go into how the fear mongering obsessed Gateway Pundit skews it to “Obama promises San Francisco Audience He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry!!”
And, truly pathetic… Palin just parrots the lies from the blogs that the audio was not available! What tools. They’re being led to their doom by the right wing blogs!
Here’s the full text of the quote in context:
“I voted against the Clear Skies Bill. In fact, I was the deciding vote — despite the fact that I’m a coal state and that half my state thought that I had thoroughly betrayed them. Because I think clean air is critical and global warming is critical.
“But this notion of no coal, I think, is an illusion. Because the fact of the matter is, is that right now we are getting a lot of our energy from coal. And China is building a coal-powered plant once a week. So what we have to do then is figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon. And how can we sequester that carbon and capture it. If we can’t, then we’re gonna still be working on alternatives.
“But … let me sort of describe my overall policy. What I’ve said is that we would put a cap and trade policy in place that is as aggressive if not more aggressive than anyone out there. I was the first call for 100 percent auction on the cap and trade system. Which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases that was emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants are being built, they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted-down caps that are imposed every year.
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel, and other alternative energy approaches. The only thing that I’ve said with respect to coal — I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as an ideological matter, as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it, that I think is the right approach. The same with respect to nuclear. Right now, we don’t know how to store nuclear waste wisely and we don’t know how to deal with some of the safety issues that remain. And so it’s wildly expensive to pursue nuclear energy. But I tell you what, if we could figure out how to store it safely, then I think most of us would say that might be a pretty good deal.
“The point is, if we set rigorous standards for the allowable emissions, then we can allow the market to determine and technology and entrepreneurs to pursue, what the best approach is to take, as opposed to us saying at the outset, here are the winners that we’re picking and maybe we pick wrong and maybe we pick right.”
If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante,“then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”
This warped view is rooted in a simple mindset: “free speech is fine as long as I agree with it.” and “anyone who espouses contrary views (the media for starters) don’t count as free speech.”
Glenn Greenwald gets to the point: (and it’s a damn shame this even has to be pointed out…)
The First Amendment is actually not that complicated. It can be read from start to finish in about 10 seconds. It bars the Government from abridging free speech rights. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re free to say things without being criticized, or whether you can comment on blogs without being edited, or whether people can bar you from their private planes because they don’t like what you’ve said.
If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.
This isn’t only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it’s inherently unfair when they’re criticized. And now, apparently, it’s even unconstitutional.
And, of course, wingnuts worldwide are going batshit with fear mongering that the coming liberal “movement” is going to be straight out of 1984 replete with state owned banks, military tribunals without due process, violation of domestic privacy laws, ethics violations and incompetency.Read More
McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb gets handed his hat by Rick Sanchez of CNN, which is like getting beat at checkers by a guinea pig. Tbogg notes: “The sad/funny thing is: Goldfarb probably thinks he aced it.” No doubt.
Historically, hatred is a powerful motivator for the conservative movement in the United States and we are finally seeing it all come to a watershed moment. (truth is, it’s always been a pathetic attempt at solidifying “the base”, and a long term suicide plan.) The years of right wing hate mongering are out of the dark corners and have gone mainstream, for a simple reason: McCain and Palin can’t win on the issues. And, they know it.
Sadly, hatred is the only tactic the McCain and Palin campaign has left. An argument can be made it’s all they ever had in the first place. And, they use hate to it’s fullest, and it works. Too well.
So, what are good American’s supposed to think when that hatred becomes public and vocal and ugly? We should be very outraged and take action, because we are witnessing eliminationist and fascist tactics and behavior right before our eyes. A few examples:
McCain is in the middle of one of his eliminationist rants, implying that Obama is a terrorist with the line: “Who’s the real Obama?” and an audience member shouts out “terrorist!” McCain says nothing. (Note that he reacts confused and annoyed to it. So, he definitely heard it.) Here’s the video:
“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.
“Boooo!” said the crowd.
“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’” she continued.
“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.
“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.
Palin went on to say that “Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers’s living room, and they’ve worked together on various projects in Chicago.”
A person threatens the life of a presidential candidate (on the 40th anniversary year of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy being killed no less!) and nothing is said about it. No campaign statement refuting it. Amazing.
Now, if this happened at an Obama rally, if someone at one of his rallies shouted out “kill him” in reference to McCain, it would be over. That’s a fact. Think about the hate filled behavior of the McCain and Palin crowds for a moment, and the fact that a presidential candidate and VP candidate are literally promoting hatred with threatening results, and getting away with it with nary a mention of it, or outrage, from the press. Perhaps the bar is truly that low.
Of course, Sarah Palin is a right wing extremist who hates America. No one expects too much from a dumb sportscaster I suppose.
So, who are these hate filled eliminationist fascists at the McCain / Palin rallies? Well, not to put to soft a point on it: they are not bright, angry and ill informed. Generalists with just enough facts to be dangerous. Conspiracy theorists, malcontents, extremist, anti-intellectual, knee jerk assholes.
Watch the video from Blogger Interuppted:
These are the people who still beleive that Bush is a good president, and they are McCain’s base, and rallied around Sarah Palin as the VP pick with gusto and determination, knowing nothing about her.
We are at the cusp of taking our country back from these ignorant hate filled turds.
Nuff said.Read More
Sarah “Winky” Palin on Barack Obama in an interview with Faux News:
Some of his comments that he has made about the war that I think may — in my world– disqualifies someone from consideration as the next commander in chief.
In my world, a grown adult who can’t speak properly – construct proper sentences maintaing the proper tense, for example – should be disqualified from consideration as the next VP. The job is, as we all know, a heartbeat away from the job of commander in chief. Someone give this C+ American a 3rd grade grammar book.
Video of the mangler:
Here’s an extended quote from the debate. The mangling is just mind boggling. Unable to construct a proper and coherent sentence. Scary. In answer to the question from Ifill about what was her Achilles Heel…
My experience as an executive will be put to good use as a mayor and business owner and oil and gas regulator and then as governor of a huge state, a huge energy producing state that is accounting for much progress towards getting our nation energy independence and that’s extremely important.
But it wasn’t just that experience tapped into, it was my connection to the heartland of America. Being a mom, one very concerned about a son in the war, about a special needs child, about kids heading off to college, how are we going to pay those tuition bills? About times and Todd and our marriage in our past where we didn’t have health insurance and we know what other Americans are going through as they sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care? We’ve been there also so that connection was important.
But even more important is that world view that I share with John McCain. That world view that says that America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan so beautifully said, that we are a beacon of hope and that we are unapologetic here. We are not perfect as a nation. But together, we represent a perfect ideal. And that is democracy and tolerance and freedom and equal rights. Those things that we stand for that can be put to good use as a force for good in this world.
John McCain and I share that. You combine all that with being a team with the only track record of making a really, a difference in where we’ve been and reforming, that’s a good team, it’s a good ticket.
Jane Hamsher at Campaign Silo says Palin has no clue what “Achilles Heel” means, and I think she may be right. Holy cats.
Via Think Progress, Barney Frank makes a reference to a bipolar baseball player in describing John McCain’s behavior at the symbolic but not unimportant White House meeting the other day on the financial meltdown. From TP:
“When asked by the Washington Post whether McCain “will be able to spin the idea that he swooped in and saved the bailout bill,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) replied:”
It depends on whether you guys get fooled or not and write that [bleep]. … Before McCain came in, we thought we were working. McCain comes in, it gets screwed up, now McCain leaves — I dunno, it’s like Jimmy Piersall.
Right wing propaganda troll Drudge and his droogs think that McCain won the debate, (and McCain’s victory was announced before the debate began and before it was even known if McCain would attend) yet polls say otherwise. So does a Fox focus group run by GOP turd Frank Luntz. So much for a McCain win, preordained or not.
IMHO, McCain came off mean spirited, clueless, repetitive, arrogant and condescending towards Obama. The entire “Obama doesn’t understand” routine was just sad and dumb. Because it was very clear that Obama did indeed understand. It was indeed mean versus lean.
Obama could have been stronger, but it was interesting to see him pound away at McCain and the old geezer’s reaction, trying not to explode. And, McCain’s not being able to even look at Obama? Wow. It all adds up in the minds of voters.
The next debate will be the double punch. The third the knock out. Watch.Read More
And it is crazy. The folks who spent a year telling us Barack is not ready to be President are now extolling the virtues of being on the PTA. The folks who mocked Obama’s “celebrity” for six months are now buying Palin dolls because of one speech she read at a convention. The whole thing is just nuts.
The RNC video “tribute” to 9/11. With Obermann’s reaction, and he hits it on the head.
Note the scary music (juxtaposed with schmaltzy music) with clean and dirty images and the jingoistic narration. Walter Lippman would be proud. My comments follow.
What occurred on 9/11 is not for sale. It’s not an event that is to be used for political posturing, most especially by a group of American extremists who would use it to proffer the most un-American of ideas: if you disagree with us you are the enemy.
The video is propaganda meant to promote fear not only of terrorism, but of any political opposition. Taken in context with the many speeches at the RNC, the only
conclusion that can be made is that Conservatives see political opposition and those who were responsible for 9/11 as one and the same.
It’s all a ruse to continue their goal of one party rule. The most un-American thing I can think of…
What about you?Read More