Archive for the ‘Truth and Politics’ Category
Want the truth? Well, there it is.
- Daniel Ellsberg, true political hero, on Barack Obama’s Big GAP: http://is.gd/cKCqE
BIG GAP — Big difference between what is said and what is done. America is all about, “Say one thing – do another. Deny what the said and lie about what they did.”
By now the drumbeat of what Obama says versus what Obama does is growing louder and louder. As the question: What do you think about Barack Obama and his presidency and inevitably you will hear the words, “very disappointing.” The list of examples I could offer runs the gamut. What people thought they were getting when they voted for Obama is decidedly NOT what they got. Here is a classic example of the deviant, deceptive, double-talk, disingenuous outright lies that permeates everything.
Here Glenn poses the question regarding Obama’s and his “White House’s petulant, scornful behavior and what it reflects about its actual agenda.”
Democracy works in that the people get what they want, even when they have to manipulate the voting. Most Americans, as reflected by their choice this past presidential election, learned that what they were offered the last 30 to 40 years as reflected in the Bush/Cheney era took America into the Dark Ages, seriously compromising everything held dear and valuable.
Apparently Arkansas deserves a Blanche Lincoln. Is this the future of California, Meg Whitman (Republican)?
“Whitman launches first general election ad” – Whitman is NO politician? She’s going to take back Sacramento from what? Politicians like her?
Another classic example is this one: “Boehner: Government–i.e. Taxpayers–Should Help Pay For Oil Spill” – Pay attention the the words, i.e., “cost of the cleanup.” There are way more costs associated with the Gulf oil blowout the just the “cleanup.” Once President Obama began to say he was ultimately responsible and take control, he committed the American people to pay the bill – one way or another.
Long before this man became President of the United States Joe Blow predicted his systemic betrayal. It wasn’t until nearly a year into his presidency that people began to talk betrayal and actually use the word. When it came to George W. Bush doing the same thing, all you ever heard was that he is “stupid,” or misunderstood. More often than not, you heard that he probably made a mistake. So, we ended up with either a stupid or incompetent President and that was okay. Problem Barack Obama is he’s too smart and speaks too well to pass him off as an incompetent buffoon. He was and is malicious and deliberate all the way. He’s not interested in the reasons people voted for him. He’s only cares for his elitist buddies interests. The only ones that are stupid and incompetent are all those millions of people that voted for a corrupt and failed system.
–Joe–Everything Is About Something Different—
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about what seemed to be a glaring (and quite typical) scam perpetrated by Congressional Democrats: all year long, they insisted that the White House and a majority of Democratic Senators vigorously supported a public option, but the only thing oh-so-unfortunately preventing its enactment was the filibuster: sadly, we have 50 but not 60 votes for it, they insisted. Democratic pundits used that claim to push for “filibuster reform,” arguing that if only majority rule were required in the Senate, then the noble Democrats would be able to deliver all sorts of wonderful progressive reforms that they were truly eager to enact but which the evil filibuster now prevents. In response, advocates of the public option kept arguing that the public option could be accomplished by reconciliation — where only 50 votes, not 60, would be required — but Obama loyalists scorned that reconciliation proposal, insisting (at least before the Senate passed a bill with 60 votes) that using reconciliation was Unserious, naive, procedurally impossible, and politically disastrous.
But all those claims were put to the test — all those bluffs were called — once the White House decided that it had to use reconciliation to pass a final health care reform bill. That meant that any changes to the Senate bill (which had passed with 60 votes) — including the addition of the public option — would only require 50 votes, which Democrats assured progressives all year long that they had. Great news for the public option, right? Wrong. As soon as it actually became possible to pass it, the 50 votes magically vanished. Senate Democrats (and the White House) were willing to pretend they supported a public option only as long as it was impossible to pass it. Once reconciliation gave them the opportunity they claimed all year long they needed — a “majority rule” system — they began concocting ways to ensure that it lacked 50 votes.
All of that was bad enough, but now the scam is getting even more extreme, more transparent. Faced with the dilemma of how they could possibly justify their year-long claimed support for the public option only now to fail to enact it, more and more Democratic Senators were pressured into signing a letter supporting the enactment of the public option through reconciliation; that number is now above 40, and is rapidly approaching 50. In other words, there is a serious possibility that the Senate might enact a public option if there is a vote on it, because it’s very difficult for these Senators to vote “No” after pretending all year long — on the record — that they supported it. In fact, The Huffington Post‘s Ryan Grim yesterday wrote: “the votes appear to exist to include a public option. It’s only a matter of will.”
The one last hope for Senate Democratic leaders was to avoid a vote altogether on the public option, thereby relieving Senators of having to take a position and being exposed. But that trick would require the cooperation of all Senators — any one Senator can introduce a public option amendment during the reconciliation and force a vote — and it now seems that Bernie Sanders, to his great credit, is refusing to go along with the Democrats’ sham and will do exactly that: ignore the wishes of the Senate leadership and force a roll call vote on the public option.
So now what is to be done? They only need 50 votes, so they can’t use the filibuster excuse. They don’t seem able to prevent a vote, as they tried to do, because Sanders will force one. And it seems there aren’t enough Senate Democrats willing to vote against the public option after publicly saying all year long they supported it, which means it might get 50 votes if a roll call vote is held. So what is the Senate Democratic leadership now doing? They’re whipping against the public option, which they pretended all year along to so vigorously support:
Senate Democratic leaders are concerned about the amount of mischief their own Members could create if or when a health care reconciliation bill comes up for debate. And sources said some supporters of creating a public insurance option are privately worried that they will be asked to vote against the idea during debate on the bill, which could occur before March 26.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) acknowledged Wednesday that liberals may be asked to oppose any amendment, including one creating a public option, to ensure a smooth ride for the bill. “We have to tell people, ‘You just have to swallow hard’ and say that putting an amendment on this is either going to stop it or slow it down, and we just can’t let it happen,” Durbin, who supports a public option, told reporters.
If — as they claimed all year long — a majority of Congressional Democrats and the White House all support a public option, why would they possibly whip against it, and ensure its rejection, at exactly the moment when it finally became possible to pass it? If majorities of the House and Senate support it, as does the White House, how could the inclusion of a public option possibly jeopardize passage of the bill?
I’ve argued since August that the evidence was clear that the White House had privately negotiated away the public option and didn’t want it, even as the President claimed publicly (and repeatedly) that he did. And while I support the concept of “filibuster reform” in theory, it’s long seemed clear that it would actually accomplish little, because the 60-vote rule does not actually impede anything. Rather, it is the excuse Democrats fraudulently invoke, using what I called the Rotating Villain tactic (it’s now Durbin’s turn), to refuse to pass what they claim they support but are politically afraid to pass, or which they actually oppose (sorry, we’d so love to do this, but gosh darn it, we just can’t get 60 votes). If only 50 votes were required, they’d just find ways to ensure they lacked 50. Both of those are merely theories insusceptible to conclusive proof, but if I had the power to create the most compelling evidence for those theories that I could dream up, it would be hard to surpass what Democrats are doing now with regard to the public option. They’re actually whipping against the public option. Could this sham be any more transparent?
UPDATE: One related point: when I was on Morning Joe several weeks ago, I argued this point — why aren’t Democrats including the public option in the reconciliation package given that they have the 50 votes in favor of the public option — and, in response, Chuck Todd recited White House spin and DC conventional wisdom (needless to say) by insisting that they do not have the votes to pass the public option. If that’s true — if they lack the votes to pass the public option through reconciliation? — why is Dick Durbin now whipping against it, telling Senators — in his own words — “You just have to swallow hard’ and say that putting an amendment on this is either going to stop it or slow it down, and we just can’t let it happen”?
No discussion of the public option is complete without noting how much the private health insurance industry despises it; the last thing they want, of course, is the beginning of real competition and choice.
Is this a joke? Who says America is a country governed by law? The reality is something else!
America is ruled by the lawless. These guys, from President Obama all the way down to the most junior congressman or woman swore an oath before God and man to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” Instead they gut it.
Is there any wonder why Americans are so totally disillusioned with the current state of governance?
1. Thomas Geoghegan on the Case for Busting the Filibuster – Democracy Now
2. The Unconstitutional Filibuster – Mother Jones
Here’s the interview with Thomas Geoghegan on Democracy Now on “the Case for Busting the Filibuster.”
Some argue he was just a technocrat put in charge of political architecture that was initially setup by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Either way, he was responsible for the wanton butchery of millions of innocent civilian people, mostly all Asian. He, later in life, admitted that some of what he was responsible for doing , even during World War Two, were war crimes for which he and other Americans could have been prosecuted. Yet, he was allowed to die a peaceful death.
The question remains today, how could these so-called American patriots right after prosecuting and executing German and Japanese for the very same war crimes, turn right around and do the same things? Specially in his case, where he was just as dirty and knew what he had done to the Japanese! Were they stupid? Actually, historians tell us these men, Robert MacNamara in particular, were very bright, intelligent and well educated. History also tells us that he was at the same time, as were the majority of his compatriots, morally bankrupt. To be specific, his whole generation, the so-called “Greatest Generation” was morally bankrupt. That’s the generation that grew up during the Great Depression that learned to survive by doing whatever it took no matter how degenerate and self-debasing — to them the end always justified the means.
The Guardian newspaper of England reports on his World War Two exploits:
A graduate of Harvard Business School, McNamara applied statistical methods to the US bombing campaign over Japan in the second world war, as an officer in the US air force. He greatly increased the efficiency of US air attacks, devastating the civilian populations of Japanese cities
What they’re talking about here was his use of fire-bombing on civilian targets that murdered 100,000 people in a single night, the same as was used on German cities — the effect was the same as the atom bomb.
He then moves on after quiting his job as Secretary of Defense because he could see, but was too gutless to tell anyone at the time, that the US would lose that war, to run the World Bank. The World Bank along with the IMF has totally devestated the majority of Third World Nations ability to feed themselves. The World is on the brink of a food crisis of unimaginable consequences. MacNamara orchestrated the mass starvation of untold numbers of the Earth’s poplulation the likes of which, makes his mass murder of Asian people insignificant.
What lessons were learned? According to historian Howard Zinn – NONE! This is what he says about the current President Obama:
Unfortunately, you know, the present administration is still stuck in that kind of thinking. You know, I hear them talking in the White House and around the White House, Obama and the others, about winning in Afghanistan, and not asking, “Is it right that we are in Afghanistan?” To me, that’s one of the important things to think about when we try to learn something from the life of this figure McNamara.
What kind of thinking is Zinn talking about?
It seems to me one things which we should be thinking about, is that McNamara represented all of those superficial qualities of brightness and intelligence and education that are so revered in our culture. This whole idea that you judge young kids today on the basis of what their test scores are, how smart they are, how much information they can digest, how much they can give back to you and remember. That’s what MacNamara was good at. He was bright and he was smart, but he had no moral intelligence. What strikes me as one of the many things we can learn from this McNamara experience is that we’ve got to stop revering these superficial qualities of brightness and smartness, and bring up a generation which thinks in moral terms, which has moral intelligence, and which asks questions not, “Do we win or do we lose?” Asks questions, ” Is this right? Is it wrong?” And McNamara never asked that question. Even when he was leaving, even when he decided he had to leave the post of Secretary of Defense, even when he left, his leaving was not based on the fact that the war was wrong. His leaving was based on the fact, well, we weren’t going to win.
That’s the Robert MacNamara Legacy . . .
For more on lessons not learned you can read some revealing commentary by Howard Zinn, Marilyn Young and Jonathan Schell.
More from the Guardian here.
Sometimes we are blessed with a glimmer of real hope by the presence of real human beings, sometimes young and sometimes old. Who talks about “A Commitment to Truth” today in this world of liars? In fact, who commits to truth even if they have the wherewithal to seek it?
“A Commitment to Truth Requires a Commitment to Social Justice”
John Legend: “From the war in Iraq to credit-default swaps to the internet bubble to the real estate bubble, too often we got caught up in the hype and fail to see the real truth…Too often, we become apathetic. We see the lies, we see the obfuscation, the deception. And we fail to point it out. We’re afraid to rain on the parade, afraid to rock the boat, afraid to pursue the truth.”
Here he is speaking to graduating university students:
[You Tube Link to hear him live]
JOHN LEGEND: When I walked onto this campus, I felt like I had traveled to another world, a world that was bigger, busier and, yes, more challenging than the one I was leaving behind.
Before coming to Penn, like they said, I grew up in Springfield, Ohio, and much of my education had come from my parents, my Christian elementary school and the Pentecostal Church we attended on a regular basis.
With my grandmother by my side, I learned to play gospel piano, and I absolutely loved singing in the church choir. So, as you might imagine, I heard a lot of sermons. A lot of sermons. Some of them were rousing and inspiring. Some were the perfect cure for insomnia. And almost all of them were very, very long. I’m going to try not to do that today. Sometimes I just wanted them to wake me up when it was time for me to sing.
But it gave me a sense—it gave me a strong sense of morality, a belief that there was a right and there was a wrong. It gave me a sense that there were two sides to this journey we call life. Good versus evil. Dark versus light. Heaven versus Hell. You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists. Clear choices. Perfect opposites.
Like many people, I found comfort in that clarity. There’s a certain confidence that comes with being sure about the way the world works. It’s all written in an infallible book, and there’s nothing left to discuss. Mission accomplished. Read the rest of this entry »