Friday, September 07, 2012

Points to Ponder

An opinion by Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian entitled "Democrats parade Osama bin Laden's corpse as their proudest achievement" captivated me. The article is here and below. Greenwald talks about the astounding nationalistic viciousness heard not at the Republican convention once known for its patriotic fervor but at the once war-loathing Democratic Party convention known for its love of peace. He was astounded by the chanting of USA over and over again; by the repetition of its crowd cheering the killing of Bin Laden, the excellence of the Special Forces raid and a commander-in-chief Obama who gave the steel spine order to carry the killing out. The delegates after all were cheering death. Glenn Greenwald, as he always does, gave me pause for thought.

When Jews celebrate the Passover we are told over and over again in the Haggadah (the retelling of the story of the Exodus) that God and the Jewish people took no pleasure at all by the 10th and final of God's terrible plagues -- the slaying of the first born Egyptians -- even when that plague set the children of Israel free. Of course this is simply a story BUT it is one with profound implications for the discussion.

For ten years after the 9/11 attack, the felling of those huge towers in New York City and the slaughter of nearly 3000 innocent human beings, I checked my computer every single morning after the attack with the hope that the perpetrator of that great evil was killed. I searched my computer in vain because it never happened. Until one night around 10:00 p.m.,10 years after the attack, while watching MSNBC, president Obama asked the press to assemble on quick order. No one knew why. Excitement was in the air accompanied by fear. Could it be another terrorist attack or god forbid a nuclear threat? No. It was the answer for which I had been waiting 10 long years. The US, indeed, killed bin Laden the leader who perpetrated the most vicious attack on the American homeland since Pearl Harbor. I was ECSTATIC. I woke everyone up in my house, called every friend and cried with joy.

Then I stopped celebrating. What about that story in the Haggadah that was told by my father leading our sedars so many years ago? What about the 3000 who would never be brought back to life even though Bin Laden was dead? What about the invasion of a country that did nothing to us slaughtering thousands, sending more into exile and worse destabilizing a tinderbox part of the world? What about the loss of our precious civil liberties the bedrock of what truly makes our nation exceptional?

I do not know the answers to those questions but I still, even now, when I ask those questions and despite remembering the teachings of the Passover feel a sense of pride that American strength is like no other. Perhaps revenge is basic to human nature, maybe even hate is part of our viscera; whatever it is I cheered at Bin Laden's death and I am glad this president gave the order to kill him.

Michael Moore -- Take Him Seriously

Read and heed what Michel Moore has to say.  Yes, I said the convention was superlative and it was BUT WE must ENSURE this president is elected and only WE can do that.  Check out what he says below.  It gives me pause for thought, speculation and fear.  I believe we will NOT be saying President Romney in January BUT I am not naive and know the very worst things can happen in nature AND in politics.  Do NOT let it and only YOU can prevent it.

Read the article from Michael Moore below and send it on.  It just may save a few lives!

"President Romney" – How to Prevent Those Two Words From Ever Being Spoken ...a letter from Michael Moore

Thursday, September 6th, 2012


In two months we Americans will go to the polls once again to decide who the president will be for the next four years. We will not be allowed to vote on those who wield the true power in this country. On November 6th we will not vote for the chairman of ExxonMobil or JPMorgan Chase or Citibank or the Premier of China. That day will come, but not this year.

Now, I know there are a goodly number of you out there who believe there's not a snowball's chance in Kenya that Barack Obama will not be re-elected to the White House. And why would you believe otherwise? After the incredible Democratic convention this week, with the best rock-em-sock-em speeches I've heard from a Democrat's mouth since … since, I don't know when. You can't help but not have a contact high after this past week if you are of the sort who believes in economic justice, peace, and a five-dollar latte. Right now, with the buzz on, you are sitting there thinking that your fellow Americans will turn out in massive numbers, either because they want to continue the Obama era or because they're scared shitless of the barbarians at the gate – or both. You're convinced that the Republicans have blown it with all their talk of the lady parts they want to control even though we now know that they have no idea where those parts are, what they are, or how they work.

Yes, it certainly looks like the voters will reject this obscenely wealthy man called Romney — Romney of Michigan/Massachusetts/New Hampshire/Utah/Zurich/Grand Cayman — this man who will not explain exactly how all his wealth was obtained, where he keeps it, or how much taxes he pays on it. He wants to turn the clock back to the '50s – the 1850s – and he refuses to offer any specific plan about what he'll do about anything. He wants to run the country like a corporation but he can't even control one 82-year-old actor on his own convention stage, a Hollywood legend who, in the matter of ten and a half minutes went from Good (walking onto the stage) to Bad (talking to a chair) and then to Ugly (the chair started … swearing?). It was better than the best cat-flushing-the-toilet video on YouTube and it was a gift to all of us who know that Romney is doomed come November.

Or is he?

Last week, I said on the HuffPost Live webcast that we had all better start practicing how to say "President Romney" because, living in Michigan, I can tell you that there's trouble here on the two peninsulas and it's not just because Romney is a native son or that we like to watch kids from Cranbrook chase down gay kids and chop their hair off. One recent poll here showed Romney leading Obama by four points! How can that be? Didn't Obama save Detroit?

No, he didn't. He saved General Motors and Chrysler. "Detroit" (and Flint and Pontiac and Saginaw) are not defined by the global corporations who suck our towns dry and then split town to make more money elsewhere (except, of course, they continued to design and built crap cars, so eventually they didn't make the money at all). These cities in Michigan are about the people who live here, and in the process of "saving Detroit," Mr. Obama had to fire thousands of these people, and reduce the benefits and pensions of those who were left. There's a lot of pissed off people in Michigan (and Wisconsin and Ohio), people who weren't saved even though the corporation was. I'm just stating a fact, and those of you who don't live here should know this.

The other problem facing us this election (spoiler alert – angry white guys may want to stop reading right now) … is race. We all fear there's probably a good 40% of the country who simply do not want a black man in the Oval Office. In fact, in 2008, Obama lost the white vote. He lost every white age group except young people (18-29). And yet he still won by 10 million votes! The optimistic secret the Obama people know is that only about 70% of the voters in November will be white. So if he can win just 35-40% of them, and then get a massive majority of people of color, he can win re-election. There is no question in my mind that Obama is more popular than Romney and if everyone could vote from their couch like they do for American Idol, Obama would win hands down. As I have said before, we live in a liberal country. The majority of Americans (who do not call themselves "liberal") now support most of the liberal agenda – they're for gay marriage, they're pro-choice, they're anti-war, they believe there's global warming, and they hate Wall Street for what it has done to them and their neighbors. The Republicans know this: that we, the majority, will have sex when we want and with whom we want, will read and watch whatever we want when we want, will use marijuana if we want and if we don't want to then we certainly don't want our friends who do to be throw into prison. We are sick and tired of being poisoned, by chemicals or propaganda, we think the Palestinians have been given a raw deal and we want our friggin' jobs back! The Christian Right (and their Wall Street funders) know this all too well – America has turned, and there's no going back to not loving someone because of the color of their skin or expecting women to cede control of their bodies to a bunch of Neanderthals. So, what's a Rightie to do now that we've turned the joint into Sodom and G? They have to suppress the vote! They have to stop as many liberals from voting as possible. So they've passed many voter suppression laws to make it hard for the poor, the minorities, the disabled and students to vote. They honestly believe they call pull this off – and they just may. The only "positive" thing about this is that their need to have such laws in order to win the election is an admission on the part of the Republicans that they know the U.S. Is a liberal country and that the only way they can now win now is to cheat. Trust me, if they believed that America was a right-wing country they'd be passing laws making it so easy to vote you could do it in the checkout line at Walmart.

But the voting on November 6th will not take place at Walmart or on any potato's couch. It can only happen by going to a polling place – and, not to state the obvious, the side that gets the most people physically out to the polls that day, wins. We know the Republicans are spending tens of millions of dollars to make sure this very thing happens. They have built a colossal get-out-the-vote machine for election day, and the sheer force of their tsunami of hate stands ready to overwhelm us like nothing we've ever seen before. Those of us in the Midwest got a taste of it in 2008. Traditionally Democratic states – all of which voted for Obama – saw our state legislatures and governor seats hijacked by this well-oiled machine. We didn't know what hit us, but these new Republicans wasted no time in dismantling some of the very basic thing we hold dear. Wisconsin fought back – but even that huge grassroots uprising was not enough to stop the governor bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. It was a wake up call, for sure – but have we really woken up?

It's been a great week in Charlotte, and I'm getting ready now to watch Barack Obama give his speech. It's OK for us to take a couple days to high-five each other, but I cannot stress enough to you that unless you and I are doing something every day for the next 60 days to get people out to vote, then there is a chance we will all be saying "President Romney" come January. Don't think it can't happen. Hate, sad to say, at least in America these days, is a far greater motivator than love and feelin' groovy.

For those of us who believe that the history of the Democrats and the Republicans is to do the bidding of the 1% (Obama's #1 private contributor in '08 were the people at Goldman Sachs), and that while the Dems are a kinder/gentler bunch, they are also just as quick to want to take us to war and sell us out to the corporate interests (and, yes, Obamacare is a $$ gift to the insurance companies; only a single-payer system will stop that), this election is a bit of a bitter pill. We were hugely disappointed when President Obama didn't charge out of the gate after his inauguration and undo the damage that had been done (as FDR did in his first hundred days) – and only when Wall Street stopped writing him the big campaign checks this past year did he get his mojo back and start fighting the fight that needs to be fought. He's a good and decent person (when he's not sending in drones to kill Pakistani civilians or prosecuting government whistleblowers), and his election four years ago was a high point of such emotional intensity I just couldn't get over how hopeful I was that this country had changed and we had found our moral footing. Reality set in a few weeks later when he put Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in charge of economic policy and then he changed his mind about closing Gitmo.

OK, so people like me, just once in our lifetime, would like to get our way all the time! Is that too much to ask? Of course, there is a different question that is in the air now — shall we give the country back to the crowd who gave the country to the 1%? I think not. So let's join in with our liberal majority and be fierce and relentless in these next two months. Let's spend this time educating people what we mean when we say things like "single-payer" and "Blackwater." Politics and the fate of the nation (and the world – sorry, world) are on the front burner and those of us who want to wrestle control of our society out of the hands of the few can take healthy advantage of these coming weeks. Don't sit it out. Don't try to convince anyone Obama has magically transformed us – just tell them four years is simply not enough time to undo all the hurt caused by biggest economic crash since the Great Depression and the biggest military blunder/lie in our history.

I'm going to go with my optimistic side here (sorry, cynics, you know I love you) and imagine a Second Term Obama (and a Democratically-controlled Congress) who will go after all the good that our people deserve and put the power of our democracy back in our hands. There's good reason why the Right is terrified of a Second Term Obama because that is exactly what they think he'll do: the real Obama will appear and take us down the road to social justice and tolerance and a leveling of the economic playing field. For once, I'd like to say I agree with the Right – and I sincerely hope their worst nightmare does come true.

Democratic Convention Wonderful -- Preliminary Thoughts

The Democratic Convention was absolutely the greatest, most well orchestrated, hopeful and BRILLIANT convention I have ever seen in my life and I have seen a few. I would criticize NOTHING. This is what happens when you have academic and intellectual excellence getting the job done.

The Republican Party seemed like amateurs but most of all, as the FACT CHECKERS proved, and YES THEY MATTER, it was a convention STEEPED in lies and utter disrespect to the office of the presidency by Clint Eastwood's unintelligible, near senile, dastardly inane act. The Republicans know, now that they have gone to the extreme, they are in quicksand sinking fast.

They have absolutely NOTHING. Now there is SO much media and they have been so sensitized to Republican mendacious policy taking us into an Iraq War on lies, killing THOUSANDS. Republicans lie about war, they lie about health care, and they lie about the president ad nauseam.

The Jobs number WENT UP today and unemployment went down. Yes, it's slow but it's is going in the right direction. The president SAID it would be slow. The states which have Republican legislative control have immorally driven public sector jobs down and kept us from an even better jobs report. If the president had someone sane to work with in the House of course it would be even better. But this is GOOD -- not the best -- but VERY good given how difficult the task is and given Republican oppositional strangulation so the president would fail even if that treasonously meant the country could fail too. Furthermore, it shows you the president is right!

I am hoping the Republican Party of know nothings is turning into dust where it belongs. It needs to form something new because the best in their party are bolting and they will be left with the stupids. That party will be DONE. It is an irrelevant Party because it is mean, hateful, mendacious and our country to its core is NOT. That Party will perish and that's a FACT to be fact checked after the Obama second term!

Wishful thinking? Maybe. But I think I am right and I hope to live to see it!

Barack Obama, I believe, has won himself the presidency for the next four years! AND WE MUST ENSURE IT! LET'S ensure too the great Elizabeth Warren is elected to the US Senate as well!!


Another WOW!  Barack Obama has won himself the presidency for the next four years!