Friday, January 29, 2010

Glorious Bastards – a review of the film Inglourious Basterds: I am Jewish and I LOVED this film. I wasn't prepared to love it as I had heard about the violence which I often cannot endure but I did love the film. Why? I was born in 1948 after the greatest catastrophe, the Holocaust, was perpetrated on the Jewish people – my people. Thankfully, I never experienced it but year after year I absorbed the horror of it in film and by the word of mouth from parents and friends who knew about it or experienced themselves the evil that had befallen our people. I have viewed hundreds of hours of film footage of it, documentaries on it, bought and read books and anthologies about it, viewed TV drama devoting hours to it, viewed and participated in lengthy discussions and yet through all of that one burning question remains and it is not necessarily the word why. We can find thousands of rationales for the Holocaust but the question of what can we do about it remains illusive. As a na├»ve child I said to my parents but we won the war as if that were the happy ending of it. The answer always was an unsatisfying yes we won the war but … .

The trials at Nuremberg, the trial of Eichmann, the imprisonment and execution of some of Nazi hierarchy to be sure was some satisfaction but not the kind of satisfaction I desired for such unpardonable and unspeakable crimes. I had to face reality. There was no revenge huge enough and there was certainly nothing that could bring back the cerebrally unfathomable six million. What does six million mean? It is an utterly incomprehensible number made even worse because it is a number that COULD have included me. Only an accident of location and time of birth made me a learner about and not a victim of those events at that horrible time. Still, there is no revenge which is able to give purpose to the purposeless. That is a hard reality for a Jew who was born in America to swallow. Are not the good guys supposed to win? Do not the bad guys get sent to hell? The answer is a discouraging no the good guys do not always prevail and no, the bad guys probably do not end up in hell. Truly there is no good ending for this incredible story.

This film, though, albeit in fiction form, satisfied the desire for revenge for those dastardly deeds perpetrated within a historical minute slightly more than 65 years ago. The end of the film was the Dante’s inferno for the Nazi curse. It was glorious to watch as hell by Jewish hands was visited upon the entire Nazi hierarchy including Hitler himself in the confines of a beautiful theater as if the entire war was played out right then and there on film and I rejoiced. I felt like I took a bath in flames that cleansed the world and me of one of man’s most horrific crimes. It was as if God himself burned the screen, blew up the theater where Nazi big wigs sat and screamed to them this is Jewish revenge; this is Jewish punishment for what you have done. I loved it and wished it were true.

Alas, it is not true though as it is a work of fiction. So afterward I am bounced back to reality yet again and know there is nothing I can or will be able to ever do about it. I can as a Jew never exact my pound of flesh but I did, for over two hours, feel as if I had.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Boycott the Darkness: Recently a new film starring Mel Gibson called "The Edge of Darkness" has been or will be released in theaters. I ask that you boycott this film and ALL Mel Gibson films for that matter. This man is a Holocaust denier and blatant anti-Semite. I refer you to this link below in an article by Roger Friedman of Shobiz411.com that explains Gibson's anti-Semitism without my trying to compile a list of my grievances against him.

I refused to see the "Passion of the Christ" first because it was horrifically violent and second because a film emphasizing the death of Christ and the alleged Jewish involvement in it served only to inflame ancient absurd Christian anti-Semitic vitriol against the Jews and stoke the fires of potential violence in this age old insanity. He is not a friend either to the traditional Catholic church as he promotes his own brand of Catholicism.

Mel Gibson is vile and I ask you not to contribute to the success of anything he creates. The only way to hit him back is in his pocketbook and I ask you to consider never seeing anything Mel Gibson is in or creates.

Thanks.

http://showbiz411.blogs.thr.com/2010/01/27/mel-gibsons-father-goes-after-the-pope-and-catholic-church/
On Howard Zinn: There has been no one in my life since the historian Howard Zinn, left wing professor, at Boston University in the late 60's who had a more profound influence on me than he. I truly loved this man for over 40 years and remained in touch via email. I call that generation of the late 1960's the greatest generation as the values of peace it promulgated and the hope it engendered for me has gone unmatched.

Although he is gone, I will continue to re-listen to his lectures, re-read his book, and try to keep his spirit alive in my heart for the rest of my own life. I am saddened today but in my email from him just about three days ago when I felt so dispirited by the the election in Massachusetts as it seems yet again I am assaulted by the forces on the right standing on the precipice of regaining power (as if the last eight years were not enough), said that I should never lose hope, that I should always continue to remember that change comes not from the top down but from the bottom up. He said I should never give up my passion for justice and change. He lived that fight up even up until his death yesterday, January 27, and said there can be no change without hard work and that it is, as iterated in his recent documentary for the History Channel, the people who truly speak. I will always remember him.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

SPOT ON! When I read, Frank Rich, NYT preeminent editorialist, write an op ed for the Sunday NY Times and says everything or near everything I have been complaining about the Obama administration for months, I am, if you will excuse my ego this one time, patting myself on the back. If Frank Rich has written brilliant columns, this was, in my opinion, one of his best. I can disagree with none of it because I have said most of it myself albeit not quite as elegantly.

I guess I do not "need my head examined" after all as I was accused by a relative of mine I did when I have been critical of Obama who for some walks on water. He does NOT for me. He has made, vis a vie the Scott Brown election, a GRIEVOUS if not fatal error and could if he does not change his modus operandi cost our country lives and fortune. Scott Brown is NOT a man of the people like the Republican mantra dupes people into believing and sometimes I wonder if Barack Obama is not as well. He needs to change course or, in fact, he will be a one term president. Sad, because his potential in November, 2008 was so overwhelmingly good.

I provide the link below for those who have not read it.! He is SPOT ON and the White House should take note and FAST!! Onward.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/opinion/24Rich.html?hp

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ramblings: I have had little sleep. My cat keeps screaming at 3:00 a.m., my eye is bothering me, I have to have a glucose fasting test at 9:00 so I can't eat OR think, my partner's mother has Alzheimer's and is in the Metro West hospital because they can't control her in assisted living, Haiti is well Haiti, my president who I used to be in love with has deserted me and is in la la egotistical, deluded, naive and denial land, the democrats around him are shaking in their boots blaming "leftists" for their plight!! Nancy Pelosi was nearly incoherent when she made her lovely announcement about health care she barely could get the sentence out, the Supreme court handed down a decision that is nearly as bad as the all time bad one Dred Scott decision and makes this country nearly a permanent oligarchy, I am hoping the Democrats can come up with something to stave that off but seeing how they act on health care forget it, we are ruled by one minority party vote of Scott Brown and the Republicans (sounds like a rock group ... hey we can make some money off that Scott Brown and the Republicans.) Republicans are breaking out the champagne and are thrilled that their bank accounts will reach the stratosphere.

So no one talked about the fact if there will be more billionaires so just who is going to service them, build their buildings, do all the things blue collar and middle America does, who will have the factory jobs when the factories are overseas, who will teach their kids, who will get into universities, who would even want to come to this country now with it's glorious rags to riches gone, it's minorities protected gone, where your child will be worse off than you not better??? Where people just will be continuing to die without health care.

Well I'm in my usual suicide mode :-( only kidding ... as that great racist Scarlett O'Hara said in Gone with the Wind that fabulous 1938 Academy Award supreme racist film that Americans were then flocking to: "Tomorrow is another day." Yes, it is and we are going backward. Reactionaries anyone?

Sorry, it's 6:30 a.m. I have to be cynical and mad or I'll just sit and cry and then after my glucose test look for a whiskey bottle AND I don't even drink EVER and I don't smoke gave smoking up a LONG LONG LONG time ago, I am a health food addict, a fanatic about trying to move as much as I can even though it could kill me if I fall. Why am I doing this? Maybe I could write a satire and make LOTS of money and then go to Denmark!

Sorry, I'm a little off this a.m. :-\ Need to regroup... Read the below link of Glen Greenwald. It's perfect!

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A DECIDEDLY BAD DECISION: If any of us on the left ever thought Obama would be the end to our problems have SURELY gotten a rude awakening. Feast your eyes on the most disgusting opinion ever written by the Supreme Court since Dred Scott. Corporations now have clear sailing to spend as much as they want on political candidates. Now the nation is TRULY bought and paid for by the corporation. They even rolled back McCain/Feingold.

If we thought it could not get any worse, welcome to the United States of Oligarchy!! More conservative justices anyone?

We are unraveling and fast but the people elect Brown and think HE will be an independent Republican and will be for them. Oh sure. In which universe? We are plagued by corporate swindles that nearly brought down not only the US economy but world economy as well and NOW they can buy all US elections everywhere with ad infinitum amounts of cash. Sure, let's get some more deregulation of the always good-willed corporation. I say great. Let's see how fast we will be selling apples on street corners while the phenomenally wealthy sip mint juleps in the Caribbean! Finally, sometime maybe in some distant future this country will have learned its lesson. 1929, 2008 and a few other depressions in addition, were simply not enough for the never-to-be-underestimated masses.

Here is the decision if anyone can stomach to read it.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/A_Politics/scotus.pdf

p.s.: Here is Glen Greenwald's column for Salon.Com He is BRILLIANT and writes spot on opinion.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My next prediction: Scott Brown/Mitt Romney 2010 or vice versa Romney/Brown
A Full Court Press: This was an email I sent to Bill Press in response to one of his opinions.


It's true, Bill, we did not have 60 votes anyway BUT and this is HUGE -- the right wing white entities are energized like they have not been before and will try to duplicate this ALL around the country.

Two days ago I got a robo call from it said Washington D.C. asking if I thought a marriage was between a man and a woman. I screamed of course NO but this is what they take from the Brown win. They go into other issues and no matter Brown did not characterize himself as Republican he is. He is 150 degrees the opposite of Teddy. This is more than about health care although that is part of it this is about a right wing crazy nationalistic base that is angry about our war losses after WWII and the inability to recapture that glory. It is an anger about that and an anger about race AND I would even say an anger about god and gays. It's ALL in the mix and this is why this THING that happened in Mass is so threatening. They will use this as their own ticket to ride their own rancid teabag extremist right wing agenda. For them it's full steam ahead and WE are in the cross hairs! Just my opinion.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Election Malaise: The special senatorial election is a pathetic loss for the Democrats. There is enough to go around in the blame game. In fact, in my opinion, it is everyone's fault involved in this election: (1) the candidate was utterly remiss and non existent literally on vacation until it appeared Brown was breathing down her neck. She seemed cold, like an iceberg and out of touch. Her gaffes were ridiculous (2) The White House because they are playing an over thought game. They are MUCH too removed and should be taking as I have been saying for ages a more Bushian approach. I.e. Bush got EVERYTHING he wanted done. Why? Because through Cheney, et al the mantra was a STRONG ultra strong executive. In my opinion, since FDR that is the essence of our politics. The Congress is impotent especially a Democratically controlled Congress. We have a big tent and many different opinions in the tent. He put the ball in their lap on health care when he SHOULD have carried it himself coming out STRONGLY against the idiocy of the teabag movement in the summer I call the summer with guns. He didn't. He went to Martha's Vineyard and let those town halls work their poison. Racism runs deep in this country and it should NEVER be forgotten.

If you have a 60 vote majority and a huge majority in the House and a so called "liberal" Democratic president you should lose NOTHING. NOTHING should be as hard as they have made it. The White House said the Coakley campaign didn't ask them for help. WHAT? Are you kidding me? As Keith Olbermann said "what the hell do you want an engraved invitation?" They should have moved in FAST with such a HUGELY important election. Coakley never should have run. She has as much exciting charisma as a rock and listening to her is as interesting as a course in advanced calculus. (3) The banks: Obama put in the foxes in to guard the chicken coup. I have been saying that from the beginning. His economic team of Geithner, Summers and by proxy Rubin are NOT Main Street. They are Wall Street. Those highly unethical bonuses should have been fought. (4) The Healthcare madness in general (5) The Democratic party for not vetting a GOOD solid candidate to replace the utterly charismatic Teddy. They got the opposite in Coakley (6) The Democratic people (including me) for not voting Capuano. He would have taken this race by 10 points. I learned my lesson. Take NOTHING for granted and look at candidates carefully. A 35 point lead has been absolutely squandered by a third rate candidate, Brown, who is the 100% opposite of Teddy Kennedy. I hear Teddy rolling around in his grave.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Prediction time: Stream of conscious: Not only will Brown win, he will win bigger than expected and a tip of the hat to Coakley, Obama, and the Democrats who shoot themselves in the foot ALL the time. She is a LOUSY candidate who ran a LOUSY campaign and Obama pure and simply LIES. Oh sure as he said yesterday a vote for Scott Brown is a vote for Wall Street. NO, Mr. President, a vote for YOU was a vote for Wall Street as he put in Wall Street hacks to fix the economy. They fixed it alright ... for themselves! I have gone from love of Obama to divorce inside of a year. This senate seat if it happens will be a HUGE HUGE loss and a BIG HUMILIATION and will dump Obama's health care OR what's left of the damn thing into the city dump. It's anemic and he is NOT what he said he was. Capuano would have been a MUCH better candidate. Coakley is about as charismatic as listening to a lecture on advanced calculus and now CNN is talking about her Shilling Red Sox gaffe. This is the intelligence of the media and the inability of her to handle a ridiculous question. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, it matters not. Sit back and enjoy the next three years of a worse economy, thousands dying from lack of proper health care, a climate disintegrate and eternal never ending war. The country should have great entertainment as long as the bombs do NOT fall on us!

Obama cannot rule, he cannot legislate and he is NOT accountable to his base. Why doesn't he just switch to the Republican party? That way he can have all the Republicans on his team he wants and obviously he wants them there. He is after one year in my opinion a FAILURE I don't care HOW HARD IT IS TO LEGISLATE. HE had a 60 vote majority in the Senate and a commanding majority in the House and he is a Democrat too. What would LBJ have done with his situation? Obama withdrew his power on health care when he shouldn't have, let the insanity of tea bagging rule the day and he reached out to Republicans that hate him. He did not rein in Lieberman by threatening to take his chairmanship away and he did not know how to manage the blue dogs. That's what we elected him for -- TO BE A POLITICIAN! He ratcheted up war, toned down his rhetoric on restoring civil liberties and became tone deaf to those who supported him the most.

Moreover, he forgot the racism of the past 300 years. It matters and is directed at him like a white very white laser. So many of us who were his base loath him now. But oh yeah, Rahm Emanuel says you can take your base for granted. BULL SH&^%. No you can't and I am proof of that par excellance. Am I furious about tomorrow YES! In my solidly blue state of which I was so proud to be a resident, Teddy Kennedy's 48 year seat possibly will turn Republican and his life-long dream of health care among so much other socially good legislation will be down the toilet. Am I mad at even the prospect of that? YOU BETCHA!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Both on the Mark: Two Boston Globe editorialists Joan Vennochi and Jeff Jacoby have competing op ed pieces about the impending special election between Coakley and Brown. One hangs Coakley's probable loss on the character or lack of it of Beacon Hill state government and Duval Patrick's unpopularity. The other Jeff Jacoby, hangs it on Obama. I had my own opinion which is as follows:

Both of your editorials are excellent. Naturally, I am an ardent Democrat and would not even think for one second about voting Republican no matter if they ran god for office, but I am utterly dismayed at the confluence of events which have collided into a potential head-on train wreck for Coakly, Obama, Democrats in general and any vision of health care Obama may have had. Rahm Emanuel was dead wrong, Obama cannot take his base for granted. They will not necessarily a priori support him. I think I will hear rumbling at Ted Kennedy's grave in Arlington if a Republican wins his former 48 year seat on Tuesday.

It's not that I do not think Coakley capable and bright. I do and I personally think she is yards smarter than Brown. If she looses, and I suspect that may happen, she will lose because of both Beacon Hill AND Barack Obama. You both are correct. Moreover, incumbency is out. I would add, however, one more rationale perhaps more important than the ones you site. I watched the gathering today of the Democratic big wigs online. The one with whom I was MOST impressed was Mike Capuano. He was riveting, charismatic and had passion. I asked myself why I voted for Martha Coakley in the primary when Capuano was CLEARLY more moving. Answer: I have NO idea. I did not watch the Democratic candidates carefully enough perhaps. It is my opinion that Capuano would have taken Brown and the element that is missing in Martha Coakley is passion. She looked tired and worn out to me. Moreover, Capuano has experience. There is something to be said when a candidate moves you. Besides the Boston police officer singing the national anthem which made me cry, Capuano was the most emotionally rich speaker. He was better -- much better -- than Kerry and Kennedy's cane, better than Vicki Kennedy, better than Martha's niece and better than Martha herself. She is missing passion and both Capuano and Brown have it.

But we must play the ball where it lies. Today's gathering was a hail Mary pass. I just hope like Doug Flutie she can run it into the end zone and win the game. I have my doubts!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dismayed: A Letter to Howard Zinn: Hi Professor Zinn. Whenever I feel sad or down regarding the political trajectory of the country I go onto Utube and listen to one of your lectures which I did entitled "The Holy Wars." I loved that. Tonight we rented a film about Woodstock which, of course, catapulted me back to those late 1960's years that I loved so much. I love reliving those days when I thought all change was possible and continue to shake my head and wonder what happened. I thought, too, how just a year ago I was SO hopeful with the Obama presidency only to have those hopes dashed one by one as his policies reflected little and sometimes no change at all. So now we come to the Coakley race and believe me it's not that I love Coakley so much but it is the unbelievable boomerang that is the nature of the American public. Upset with the power that is go to the Democratic corner. Upset with that go to the Republican corner. It reminds me of a bouncing ball bouncing from one side to the other not knowing where to land and so it bounces in perpetuity never to find a safe place to rest.

I see something not so nice within the heart of this country. There is a nastiness, an anger and an almost fascistic quality to a large part of the electorate. I know that in the history of this country there have been times when the good shows through and major change occurs. Sometimes though that change takes centuries. Often those who fought the hardest for rights never make it to see those rights won. Yes, the Coakley race has taken its toll on me NOT because I love her so much at all but because of a HUGE disappointment in a president for whom I held out such ebullient hope just a year ago. Does the public especially in Massachusetts REALLY think Scott Brown or those other Republicans like him will be the key to extracting them from their malaise? It's like putting the same germ in your body to rid you of the illness. Can people be so incredibly stupid? I suspect they can and THAT is the etiology of my sadness.

Yes, we can continue to fight an uphill battle but now I am 61 years old and I have hoped since those wonderful days when all hope seemed possible that WE would create the better world. I know you say leaders cannot be counted on to do anything and that change must come from the people but when the people themselves disappoint one so, where is there to turn? If I were a religious person I would turn to god but I'm not a religious person. So I still do not see except when I hear you speak that the nature of this land can be molded for the better. I think it has a crudity, ignorance and an angry white racist strain running all the way through it -- north and south, east and west. So where do I look to recoup what I thought I had so many years ago -- hope?

What a disappointment -- a HUGE disappointment Obama has been. I think his use of his vast power has been dismal and he is not the man I thought he was. I think when he invited Rick Warren to his inauguration I SHOULD have seen the handwriting on the wall. How can one analyze him without thinking he lied. All his beautiful words were simply words and meant nothing. This loss will be STINGING and I can hear the Republicans crowing for days. It makes me sick. So back to Republican rule yet again. When will it end? I truly fear for the structure of the nation. It is split right down the middle. Pat Buchanan said that this is a "center right" country." If so how that change will come from the bottom up I have no idea. I simply do not see the good in man at all. I say Hobbs was right. Life is nasty, brutish and oh so very short and that is true in this country and is true nearly everywhere else.
Why I Love the Jews: I often wondered why in me there was an ever present lust for knowledge, a value for learning above anything else even money, an unrest because the shortness of life dictates there will be much I never know, a horrible sadness in my soul that I should be better than what I am, and a love for those who are blessed with the cerebral acuity and the collegiate success to prove it.

We must, I am afraid, play the hand we were given but I boastfully take pride in my people whose DNA I am thrilled and blessed to share. This article by David Brooks appearing in the New York Times (link below), even as I certainly know some of it, illuminated to me why I love the Jewish people so.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/opinion/12brooks.html

Friday, January 15, 2010

The possible Coakley crumble and eventual mid-term madness is another issue about which I have many thoughts. I am doing what I can and have all week and HOPE she is electable. The fault that she may not be is multifaceted. I will not get into it now as I have more fish to fry but I can assure you my thoughts about either the win (yes, God willing) or the loss (God forbid) are shall we say NOT mild.
Haitian Horror: It seems we've traveled this road before with Katrina. I think this time it will be different as we have a man at the helm who is so much more attuned than the last leadership disaster, pardon the pun at this time, or lack of it.

I have thoughts about this, of course, which are more complex than the obvious disaster. Haiti has a history of brutality of occupation (American), French/Spanish colonialism and slavery but at a time less chaotic I will write about it. Suffice it to say now is the time to show our common humanity and give. There are indications in every media where to send a donation. I sent mine to the American Jewish Committee Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund link below. There are literally dozens of other reputable organizations. MAKE SURE IT'S reputable. There is always the Red Cross. We also gave blood to the Red Cross yesterday.

https://www.kintera.org/site/c.ijITI2PHKoG/b.5719841/k.1795/AJC_Haiti_Earthquake_Relief_Fund/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=5719841&en=aiLNJXMAL8KIK5PPKcKIK3OJKkI3J9MJJjKQLWOHInJXJ1NKKwF

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Glen Greenwald's Insightful Analysis: My latest hero is Glen Greenwald of Salon.com. I do not always agree with everything he says but on so many issues the man is a verbal veracity machine.

He said the following: "It's truly astounding to watch us -- for a full decade -- send fighter jets and drones and bombs and invading forces and teams of torturers and kidnappers to that part of the world, or, as we were doing long before 9/11, to overthrow their governments, prop up their dictators, occupy what they perceive as holy land with our foreign troops, and arm Israel to the teeth, and then act surprised and confused when some of them want to attack us. In general, the U.S. only attacks countries with no capabilities to attack us back in the "homeland" -- at least not with conventional forces. As a result, we have come to believe that any forms of violence we perpetrate on them over there is justifiable and natural, but the Laws of Humanity are instantly breached in the most egregious ways whenever they bring violence back to the U.S., aimed at Americans. It's just impossible to listen to discussions grounded in this warped mentality without being astounded at how irrational it is. What do Americans think is going to happen if we continue to engage in this conduct, in this always-widening "war"?"

For his whole post see: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

My response:

Glen's editorial on why they hate us is brilliant. I call him my verbal veracity machine. And yet, assuming he is Jewish as I am, I am always uncomfortable at his indictment of Israel. Do I think Israel always does everything correct or always acts in a moral way? No, of course, I do not but when the left waxes generally lugubrious toward the Islamic or Palestinian cause it makes me squirm. I know his words have some truth but really, Glen, do you think if the US made a 360 degree about face foreign policy toward Israel that Muslims would cease all violent activity? I highly doubt it. Moreover, there is NO question in my mind if that were to happen the state of Israel, yes, the Jewish state of Israel would be dust.

Is that what you want? Truly, how would anyone, for example, who was homosexual fare in Muslim lands? How do they fare in Israel? I often use that as a yardstick for how democratic and humane a country is. I think homosexuals fare MUCH better in Israel and there is no about that. As you say the illumination of the would be suicide bomber was stated in Haretz newspaper in Israel. Is the Israeli position ever touted in any Muslim land? Rarely.

Glen does the Holocaust mean nothing to you? Is Jewish history meaningless? Do you think, given the chance, that Israel's neighbors would like nothing more than to, as they say so often, drive Jews into the sea?

I simply do not know WHY the left is so in love with the Palestinian cause. Is your memory so short that you cannot see the reality of what I think is your own people? How do you think you would survive in Arab lands? Not well I suspect and neither would I.

I cannot give up my support for the only democracy in that violent neck of the woods. I can, though, ask the government of Israel to think well when they decide to use force!
Mid-term Malaise: I am experiencing mid-term malaise. The loss of the problematic Senator Dodd was expected and leaves the door open for AG Dick Blumenthal to keep the seat in Democratic hands in Connecticut. North Dakota’s 30 year Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan is a huge loss but he probably would have lost anyway in November. He read the tea leaves and North Dakota is a red state. It is a year incumbents are in disfavor as there will be Republican loses as well which may eclipse the Democratic ones.

Those turnarounds are not at the center of my sadness. It is those dyspeptic tea leaves that have me concerned. Something much more profound and much more disturbing is the culprit. If I wrote a book I would entitle it "How I Went from the Heights of Hope to the Depths of Despair in One Year." Last year, at this time, I was ebullient. The same time this year I need Prozac pills. It’s a dramatic change. What accounts for it?

The president I loved and thought was different from all other politicians morphed into something I loath -- just another politician. In order of importance my reasons are as follows: First: the economy. Barack Obama picked a treasury team who were part of the very cause of the economic disaster. Geithner, Summers, their mentor Rubin, Bernanke and others are sunk knee deep into the swamp that is Wall Street and were, in fact, the choreographers of the exotic instrument dance which led to the fall. In other words, he put the foxes in charge of the chicken coup to pull us out of the quicksand they created. Should we be at all surprised that our tax money went to Wall Street bonuses? Those bonuses if not unethical should have been illegal. They should have been fought, if they had to, in the courts until the proverbial hell freeze over. It means that while Wall Street looks (for now) a bit improved. Main Street remains in double digit unemployment and worse the same exact bank/investment too-big-to-fail dance continues.

Second: Healthcare. He was NOT engaged when we needed him most during the right wing gun toting, Obama is a Nazi sign-carrying summer of insanity which saw people yelling at each other and literally biting fingers off. He decided a nice vacation in Martha’s Vineyard would be in order. He should have hit back hard at those intellect-starved tea baggers and sign carrying lunatics. He didn't until the autumn. By then it was too late and worse he abandoned the very thing he said was the most important part of healthcare during his campaign – the public option. He let a divided Congress tediously construct a complex bill with no one, seemingly, at the helm to steer the ship.

Third: Obama is losing his base. The president reneged on almost every promise of his campaign. He is not holding Bush illegalities accountable and he is committing this country to yet more expensive, never-ending and eternal war. He has abandoned gays as well as those who care about a small matter of Constitutional civil libertarian principles and who supported him 20 to 1. He fed them crumbs because Rahm Emanuel said it wasn't important to worry about the base. But it is very important because the base provides excitement and the fervor he needs to sustain his presidency. If we do not vote, he will not get re-elected.

Without jobs for Main Street Democrats and the president will have cooked their own goose malaise. He reached out to Republicans who turned their backs. He turned the other cheek which works nicely in religion but does NOT work in politics. You NEED your base and I need to take my pills!
Midterm Malaise: Here is my analysis of domestic political events now as I see them with the loss of Congressional Democrats for 2010. I posted them on McClatchy News. The second post was a response to a guy who thinks the American people are not so stupid as to vote for Republicans again in 2010. It is off the top of my head and not great writing as one is limited on a blog:

The BOTCH is multi-fold. FIRST is the economy that is the MOST important part. Putting the causes of the economic disaster the foxes in charge of the chicken coup was DISASTROUS. It meant the focus was on Wall Street and not Main Street where a good recovery has yet to be seen, bonuses that should NOT have happened even IF it fought out in the courts did. (2) Obama lost his base. To gays who supported him 20 to 1 he was unconscionable and fed them crumbs because Rahm Emanuel said it wasn't important to worry about the base. But it is very important because the fervor for him is critical to maintain power. (3) Obama reneged on almost every promise of his campaign, holding Bush illegalities unaccountable, civil liberties and war (4) Healthcare. He was NOT engaged when we needed him during the summer. He should have hit back hard those intellect STARVED tea baggers. He didn't. He let a divided Congress try to do it. They didn't. We needed him. He is a HUGE disappointment seemingly erudite and aloof. Something is missing in Barack Obama and I don't what.

Answer to a guy (Tom Degan) on McClathy News: YES, the American people are stupid enough not to think back a year when the Republicans were the worst curse on this nation and brought us to the brink of a HUGE depression and lied us into war killing hundreds of thousands. The bailouts were necessary but ignoring Main Street was a huge blunder as were the bonuses. The American people's memory is thin and they will care in November if their condition is better which means JOBS JOBS JOBS. Without jobs for Main Street Democrats with the help of Geithner and Summers and Obama have cooked their own goose. A Paul Krugmanesq economic team was needed. Obama picked the WRONG economic team! They better work miracles because they are SURELY going to need it in November and beyond. I was part of Obama's base. I LOVED him and had such hope. He is a HUGE disappointment to me. He reached out to Republicans who almost literally spit in his face. He turned the other cheek. Works in relgion does NOT work in politics. You NEED your base!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Linguistic Lullaby: I am listening to a Teaching Company tape entitled "The Story of Human Language." It is recorded by Dr. John McWhorter, a linguistic expert. To say he is brilliant does not do justice to his essence. If you have some free time and are interested I highly recommend it. I gathered from some online info about him that he is somewhat controversial in the African American community because of his Cosbyesque political views. Personally, I do not care where his politics lie. His lectures are a pleasure to hear. I was so impressed I sent the following email to the Manhattan Institute where he teaches:

Recently, I had the pleasant experience of viewing CD lectures from the Teaching Company entitled "The Story of Human Language" given by Dr. John McWhorter. I have not listened, admittedly, to it in its entirety but what I have listened to presents a stunning example of scholarly excellence. Dr. McWhorter's breadth of knowledge of language is astounding as is the silken expressive quality of his presentation. I am guilty of the crime of sometimes judging a person by the quality and the content of what they say and the grammatical preciseness of how they say it. Dr. McWhorter sets an example for all of us.

I looked Dr. McWhorter up and found some Wikipedia information on him. I must admit I was surprised that the Manhattan Institute where he teaches was characterized by it as a "conservative think tank." I will try not to hold that against him as I am an ardent Democrat and write opinion pieces www.natalierosen.blogspot.com from a moderately left wing point of view. Still, one should not, pigeonhole a person. If he is correct, well spoken and precise it should not matter where he sits on the political spectrum.

To me listening to Dr. McWhorter was like watching liquid silver poured into a glass. He is a fount of knowledge and I can only envy his brilliance and expressive linguistic abilities.

I hope one day our nation can reunite under the umbrella of intellectual achievement and recognize this country still holds its freedom of speech as one of its most important civil libertarian principles. Many have given their lives to defend a homeland that remains one of the freest on planet earth. I know this liberal is grateful for that!

Thanks to Dr. McWhorter for sharing his excellence with the Teaching Company who then makes it available to us.
Thank you, Elroy

Friday, January 01, 2010

Rush to Judgment: Rush Limbaugh is in the hospital with a possible heart attack. Can I wish Rush well as some liberals have said they do? I wish I were a better person. I wish I had the love and warmth that I had as a young left wing worker for all things peaceful and good. That was when I was 21. I am 61 now. I'm still left of center, my basic philosophy has remained in tact give or take a few divergences but I am not nice now. I do not have the love and warmth I once had. I'm jaded. I'm jaded by decades which saw ad infinitum war and a poisonously divided nation. I have felt the virulent tenor of the times which probably existed before the Civil War. No wonder we never forget that war. It divided us so.

My born-post-World-War-II life has basically known nothing but a nation at war in some foreign country or another far removed from me. We make war, we wage it, we invade hundreds of countries, destroy what infrastructure there is, set up hundreds of bases, kill/maim hundreds of thousands of people, stay for years and prop up the wretched of the earth costing trillions. How about if we provide health insurance to our people? Oh no, it's much too expensive as we end one war and go into another. Polticos promise the world and deliver little of what they promised. Barack Obama, that man who thrilled me back to those years of youthful hope, disappoints me again as he tries to kiss those who not only will not kiss him back, they spit in his face. He makes deals with the devil which have alienated his base and those of us who put him in power. A year later his approval rating is 47% down from a high of 67%.

I can show the love when something is achieved. But it is not. The right wing is amoral we all know that. Their opposition's life in their mind is as cheap as dirt. So my love dwindled and what's left is only embers of it. Thus, my dear Joan Walsh, a liberal commentator who wishes Rush Limbaugh well, I cannot because he so often wished liberals ill and hopes the president fails or worse. It would mean nothing if his viral words directed into his golden microphone did not spread a mutant infection and influence so many. They do and have helped fuel Republican intransigence and racist division in Washington and around the country. Rush Limbaugh more than any other toxic conservative commentator has resurrected the southern Confederate cause of whites and trumpets for glorious war this time against all things liberal, intellectual and humane.

No, I cannot be as good as you are, Joan Walsh. I do not wish Limbaugh well. I cannot turn the other cheek which has turned so much it's broken. I wish him the same he would wish for any liberal who was ill and has many times. I have no doubt because of his millions that big bag of gas will just keep rolling along. YEARS of being overweight, YEARS of drug addiction to Oxycontin and god knows what else, years of stress and angry hate toward anything liberal, years of smoking cigars and years of other probable nefarious activities have finally caught up with the biggest of all gasbags. I wish him no good and I admit it. In fact, a little suffering may go a long way so that we can say good how does it feel. Think of what a pickle you would be in, Rush, with no job, no home, no money and no health insurance. Maybe he could relate at least mentally to that. Then again knowing Rush Limbaugh he would not even think twice about it.

No, I do not wish Rush Limbaugh well.