Obama's First Big Eff-Up
Sorry, but asking a leading member of the American Taliban to deliver the invocation at the inauguration is a bad move. (Why do we need an invocation at a public event anyway? But that's another can of worms.)
Rick Warren doesn't believe in evolution, equates gay marriage with child rape, and is adamantly against stem cell research He said that Christians who support environmental causes are Marxists. He has declared that those who do not believe in God should not be allowed to hold public office.
In other words, Rick Warren is a fucking idiot and a liar.
And evangelicals will never, ever vote for Democrats because of the abortion thing. So its not a smart political move, no matter what the MSM may say.
Obama had a chance to set a non-sectarian, progressive tone at the inauguration. I'm extremely disappointed that he has chosen to kowtow to the fundamentalists.
Dumb move. I'm pissed.
One way or another, there's really no way for the economy to grow strongly and consistently unless middle-class consumers spend more, and they can't spend more unless they make more. This was masked for a few years by the dotcom bubble, followed by the housing bubble, all propped on top of a continuing increase in consumer debt. None of those things are sustainable, though. The only sustainable source of consistent growth is rising median wages. The rich just don't spend enough all by themselves.
The flip side of this, of course, is that rich people are going to have to accept the fact that they don't get all the money anymore. Their incomes will still grow, but no faster than anyone else's.
How do we make this happen, though? I'm not sure. Stronger unions are a part of it. Maybe a higher minimum wage. Stronger immigration controls. More progressive taxation. National healthcare. Education reforms. Maybe it's just a gigantic cultural adjustment. Add your own favorite policy prescription here.
This isn't just a matter of social justice. It's a matter of facing reality. If we want a strong economy, we can only get it over the long term if we figure out a way for the benefits of economic growth to flow to everyone, not just the rich. This is, by far, Barack Obama's biggest economic challenge. Until median wages start rising steadily and consistently, we haven't gotten ourselves back on track.
Donate a pair of shoes to the local charity of your choice.
Send Bush a postcard, stating, "A pair of shoes has been donated to the needy in your name. This is a farewell kiss from the American people, you dog."
I'm so tired of the madness that has gone on for the last 8 years that I cannot generate the outrage any more. Even though I continue to be outraged.
The reason that we're in the mess we're in now is 40 years (since Nixon and Reagan) of crazy conservative economics (Clinton did what he could, but Clinton is not a true progressive). But the media will never tell the masses this.
We need an economy that rewards businesses for attracting and keeping workers, not one that rewards businesses who slash workers in order to deliver ever-increasing profits to the investors who don't really work for a living, they just move money around amongst themselves. A giant Ponzi scheme that's bound to fail -- oh wait, it did.
And I'm so tired of it, I can hardly generate the outrage any more.
The stupid Republican senators who would put the country in jeopardy in order to make a stupid ideological point by refusing to support an industry the loss of which would mean the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and sure economic collapse. This is the culmination of the truly nuts Newt Gingrich school of non-government. But do you hear the media calling them what they are -- unpatriotic and deeply, deeply offensive? Nope, not a word.
And it makes me tired.
The ridiculous media focused on one dumbass governor and trying to paint Obama with that brush, instead of focusing on the very real and enormous problems we have and how Obama is working to address them.
But I can hardly generate the outrage any more.
My late father used to say "that makes my ass tired." I never understood the phrase, but I use it now because what has gone on for the last 8 years (really for most of the last 40 years since the Republican Party became the party of idiots who put ideology ahead of country and who simply have no interest in governing and whose raison d'etre is siphoning as much money as possible to the uber-wealthy) truly makes me tired.
It won't be over any time soon, given the idiots we have for a media in this country, but I still have hope Obama will inspire and move things forward. I have to have hope -- because I just can't continue being so tired I can't even muster the outrage any more.
If I Had a Million Dollars...
Or a billion or even a trillion. Oh wait, we did -- until Bush's Great Iraq Adventure and the bailout of Emperor Henry's buddies. Atrios
It's a rather obvious point which has already been made dozens of times, but when you look at all of the money our government has blown in the last several years, from Our Glorious Iraqi Adventure to bailing out every financial institution, and you start to think of how that money could have been used more productively, it gets a wee bit frustrating.
Who is Sponsoring Terrorism?
I was talking with someone today who launched into a tirade against state-sponsored terrorism, specifically Pakistan. He claimed that the Indian attacks were carried out by people left over from when Pakistan's equivalent of the CIA funded terrorist groups. I pointed out that the Taliban were "left over" from when the U.S. funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to them to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Talk about your state sponsored terrorism. Ahem.
Our Craptastic Media
From Kevin Drum
and I couldn't agree more:
"Watching the Obama rollout of his national security team from overseas — I'm in Europe, on my way to Afghanistan — I was struck by the inanity of most of the questions from my colleagues."
No kidding. Did any of you guys see it? Obama only took four or five questions, and nearly all of them were just plain dumb. (And yes, there is such a thing as a dumb question.) As usual, when TV cameras are on, reporters were drawn like moths to flame toward a certain Russertesque style of "tough" questioning that's completely content free and, in reality, childishly easy to sidestep for any competent politician. Klein again:
"What's the point of raising the nasty things Obama and Clinton said about each other during the primaries? Did the reporter expect Obama to say, 'Well, I still believe her resume is overblown, that's why I appointed her...oh, and by the way, she still thinks it's dumb to talk to the Iranians without preconditions.'"
Needless to say, Obama swatted this question away without raising a sweat. The result, as usual, was a missed opportunity to at least try to get some substantive news out of the announcement. What a bunch of nitwits.