Sunday, June 3, 2012

Last Call

If you want to know what we're up against on the right, we'll I've been detailing that for months now:  Citizens United and SCOTUS allowing unlimited millions if not billions into politics,  GOP voter suppression in red states disenfranchising minority voters, the war on women's reproductive rights as well as their economic ones, the assault on college-age Americans leaving them high and dry, and deliberate sabotage of the economy in order to regain political power.

If you want to know what we're up against on the left however, read the Smirking Chimp website these days and ask yourself why they're always doing fundraisers so they can bring you authors like Mike Whitney and articles like this on why Barack Obama is doomed.

No, Mr. President, Europe is not to blame and neither is congress. You, Barack Obama, are 100 percent responsible for the high unemployment and the dismal condition of the US economy. If you had been paying attention to business and listening to the zillions of competent economists (Stiglitz, Krugman, Reich, Thoma, Weisbrot, Galbraith, Baker, Roubini, etc. etc) who've repeated ad naseam that we needed more fiscal stimulus (and financial regulation "with teeth") then we wouldn't be in this mess today. But, now, because of your lackadaisical sit-on-your-duff-and-do-nothing attitude, the economy is headed back into the shitter which will pave the way for a Romney victory and 8 more years of trickle down, starve the beast, corporate welfare and warmongering. Thanks alot, Barry. 

Whitney's tirade is typical of the "firebaggers" or "emoprogs" or "puritopians" these days, the folks who have no intention of voting for Barack Obama this November out of a sense of personal betrayal and unconstrained fury.

The bottom line is that Obama hasn't done a damn thing to fix the economy or put the country back to work. He thought he'd done "just enough" to finesse his way through the election and win another 4 years, but that's not the way it's working out. Now it looks like Obama will be a "one termer" who'll return to Chicago sometime in late January 2013 to join the "lecture circuit" and work on a multi-million dollar book deal. And the rest of us will be stuck with vulture capitalist, Mitt Romney.


President Obama has done "nothing".  He is "100% responsible" for the economy's very real problems.  Whitney also characterizes the President's chances of winning re-election as "zilch" elsewhere in the article.  And most of all he is telling readers to accept being resigned to not just four, but eight years of Mitt Romney as President.

[...]The truth is, Obama could have pushed through any amount he wanted. He was elected in a landslide with a mandate to change the direction of the country. No one could have stopped him. He had carte blanche. Instead, he chose to betray the trust of the people who put him in office. He surrounded himself with the same Wall Street flunkey's as Bush and then proceeded to starve the government as best he could without literally sending the economy off the cliff.

Isn't that what happened, I mean, if we're going to be honest with each other?

It's not, of course.  But Whitney and many like him, furious that Barack Obama hasn't been able to fix anything because of the existence of the other branches of the government, ignoring the real betrayal of Senate "centrists" and Blue Dogs in the House, and ignoring the lessons of 2010's election debacle which handed the House to the GOP assuring the last two years would be awful for 90% of America, have a narrative to sell.

Sites like Smirking Chimp and Fire Dog Lake set themselves up as the opposition to the powers that be from the left.  They got donations.  They gained political power in DC circles.  Then something awful happened to them.

A Democrat was elected President.  Suddenly their donations dried up.  So they simply changed targets from Bush to Obama.  It became a nice niche to have, and others joined the fight, picking up the model.  They consider 2010's loss of 60+ House seats and 7 Senate seats as a personal success that they are happy to take credit for in order to "teach Obama and his supporters a lesson."

If you recognize the outright fanaticism of fever-bright "purity" at all costs layered over cynical manipulation to maintain status and power as representatives of the "party's true base", that's because it's the exact tactics that the Tea Party used to great success in 2009 and 2010 in cowing and purging the GOP of moderates, all while taking in oodles of cash for wingnut writers and websites.

The tactic isn't quite as successful on the Democratic side, but it's still a burgeoning cottage industry on the left.  And make no mistake, they plan to continue to blame Obama for a long, long time.  But you'll of course donate to their righteous cause to stop Mitt Romney in 2016, won't you?  Or his successor in 2020?  That's at least eight years of fighting the "good fight" by playing to lose, you know.

The reality is at this point in the game there are several "liberals and progressives" who are deeply invested in Barack Obama's defeat in November, financially, politically, professionally and personally.  The only tool they have to generate page views and money is outrage, and that has to be directed at the President no matter what he does.  The folks on the "left" who are now bound and determined to see the President defeated in November are trapped in a hell of their own making.  And they profit the most by being the lords of that hell when we are all forced to join them under another Republican rule.

Only this time around, eight years of Romney would pretty much destroy the country, assure a Supreme Court that would be arch-conservative for decades, and would dismantle the safety net under hundreds of million of Americans for good, all but ending our 236-year experiment with representative democracy.

They're strangely okay with that, however.  That should tell you something.

An Inconvenient Doof

Mitt Romney went to the site of Solyndra, the solar company that received stimulus money but still went bankrupt, as a sign that the Obama administration's green jobs initiative was nothing more than "crony capitalism".  Unfortunately for Mitt, not only is the charge he's throwing around not true by admission of his own spokesman, it turns out as Governor of Massachusetts he had his own "crony capitalism" problems with now-bankrupt solar companies taking government money and going under.

A Bay State solar panel developer that landed a state loan from Mitt Romney when he was Massachusetts governor has gone belly up — a day after the GOP presidential hopeful ripped President Obama’s green-energy investments.

Lowell-based Konarka Technologies announced late yesterday that it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and will cease operations, lay off its 85 workers and liquidate.

“Konarka has been unable to obtain additional financing, and given its current financial condition, it is unable to continue operations,” CEO Howard Berke said in a statement. “This is a tragedy for Konarka’s shareholders and employees and for the development of alternative energy in the United States.”

The demise of Konarka could become a hot topic on the campaign trail because Romney personally doled out a $1.5 million renewable energy subsidy to the Lowell startup in 2003, shortly after taking office on Beacon Hill.

And on Thursday the GOP candidate was stumping outside the shuttered Solyndra solar-panel factory in California, blasting the Obama administration’s $535 million loan as a symbol of “crony capitalism.”

“If Romney gets a little bit of heat because he participated in some of these policies at a point in time, it’s all fair in the world of politics,” said state Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton). “He’s criticizing on one hand, he’s got to take criticism on the other.”

A Romney spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Oops.  Mitt has his own Solyndra, it seems.  I'm betting you won't be hearing about how Mitt Romney wasted taxpayer money and lost jobs, right?

I have no idea why Romney even bothered to bring this up.  Any discussion about how jobs were lost under President Obama's "failed stimulus" has to then encompass the tens of thousands of jobs Romney wiped out as CEO of Bain.  It's a 100% losing subject for him with swing voters at the very least.

Pretty stupid move if you ask me.

Local Opinion Nasty Response

I normally enjoy writing letters to the editor, and I get the occasional e-mail in response from a reader who found my site.  Normally those are positive or respectfully disagreeing, and I enjoy reading the message and learning how my words are processed by people.  I've learned a lot about word choice and had some newbie mistakes rightfully pointed out in responses.  My time with the editorial advisory board was what converted me from 100% fiction, and gave me the blogging bug.

This time I got my first real hate mail. I don't know how many of our readers know Springfield very well, but it is both the best and worst of the Midwest.  It has the best in people, music and food, and the worst in racist, religious and gender intolerance from the other end of the spectrum.  There is open and accepted bias in many circles, and it shows itself at unexpected times.  In this case, hoping I am kicked in the gut with steel-toed boots.

When a woman spoke up in defense of gals and gays, it was bound to irritate someone.  You can read it here if you like.  It's a summary of everything I say here.  The comments are glitchy, I can't read them even if they are there.  Now that each comment costs you a free page view, they are scarce, which may also be why I got my first hate email.

A disappointing milestone, but I'll be happy that it was so long coming instead of disappointed that it came.  I will print it, frame it and put it on my wall.  I wonder if Bubba Wifebeater knows he made my day.  First of all, he heard me.  He got my message loud and clear, and I think my words will tumble around in there for a while.  Second, I will have a framed letter to mark the occasion.

Smoking Stupidity: Springfield Blows It Again

Springfield is only one of many cities that is struggling with public smoking.  We banned smoking in all restaurants, and have mostly regretted it ever since.  Business did in fact suffer, and people were angry.

I understand both sides, as I should.  I smoked for 15 years before quitting.  I am not one of those annoying reformed smokers who nags and "helps" those around.  I give smokers plenty of space, and if someone mentions they are trying to quit then I am happy to share what worked for me.  I recently celebrated my five-year anniversary of the day I quit, and of course I love it.  I paid dearly for my peace and freedom from the worst addiction I've ever known.

Smoking is dangerous.  It's pointless, poisons the people around, stains clothes and buildings, and offers no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  There is nothing nice to say about the habit, the fires, the people whose kids go without because prices soar and the addiction comes first.

But it's legal.  And that has to mean something.

I have a major problem with attacking legal activities and taxing the hell out of them.  I will say I'm not convinced smoking should be legal, but while it is it deserves the same freedoms as other activities.  Otherwise we end up with a subjective list of what is approved and what is not, and if you're not on the approved list then you are subject to attack because you "deserve" it in the eyes of a few.

From a business perspective, I still believe it should come down to choice.  If I paid as much in taxes as the downtown businesses, I'd damn well want control over any legal activities taking place within.  I can absolutely defend forcing businesses to clearly label whether they are a smoking establishment to honor those who want to exercise their right to go elsewhere.  If there really is such a non-smoking following, then those who choose that will reap the benefits.  To tell adults how they can behave in public, when the action being debated is within the boundaries of the law, is wrong.

I'm not saying smoking doesn't need to be addressed.  The parenting mentality of local government has to be reigned in.  Then we can find a logical solution that is ethically and logically sound.

Well Now Here's Your Problem

Mitt Romney and the Republicans are howling at Friday's jobs report, saying it proved how "President Obama failed us" and demanding that voters give them the keys to the kingdom.  Only one problem with that notion.  When given the opportunity to lead and help create jobs, Republicans said "nope, we're not going to lift a finger to help the American people".

Today, in his weekly address, President Obama called them out on it. Sarah Jones:

Coming in for the partisan kill against blatant Republican obstructionism to murder what’s left of our economy since they were last in power in hopes of regaining power, Obama pointed out, “Since then, Congress has only passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that’s allowing working Americans to keep more of your paycheck every week.” He continued, “And that’s important but Congress hasn’t acted on enough of the ideas in that bill that would make a difference and help create jobs right now.”

Pursing his lips in disapproval, he condemned the Republicans, “There is no excuse for that. Not when so many people are still looking for work.”

In typical Obama fashion, he ended on an encouraging note, “My message to Congress is let’s get to work.” I picture him patting John Boehner on the head and offering him ice cream if he’ll put down the golf club and the Whiskey and just stumble on into the House for a few minutes to press Yes on a few jobs bill items.

This is what Republicans can expect for their unpatriotic cheering yesterday to disappointing economic news.

Republicans, you’re on notice. Get to work. Do something for the American people.

Not gonna happen.  Republicans have been married to the idea of sabotaging the economy to gain full control of the country literally since the day Barack Obama took office.

Also let's remember that because Republicans have blocked jobs bills, we've done nothing sisnce the stimulus ran out at the end of 2010.  Which is precisely what Republicans say we should have done in the first place.  And surprise, we've stalled out for the last 18 months, more or less.  This is now Obama's fault.

Funny how that works, huh.
Related Posts with Thumbnails