Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Obama is a two-faced liar*

* And Greg Palast loves it.

Now I understand Obama’s weird moves: dinner with those creepy conservative columnists, earnest meetings at the White House with the Republican leaders, a dramatic begging foray into Senate offices. Just as the Republicans say, it was all a fraud. Obama was pure Chicago, Boss Daley in a slim skin, putting his arms around his enemies, pretending to listen and care and compromise, then slowly, quietly, slipping in the knife. All while the media praises Obama’s “post-partisanship.” Heh heh heh.

Wow. A guy as unrepentantly liberal as Palast is happy about Mr. Post-Partisan Pragmatic President? Read more

Dear Lord Baby Jesus, we come before you today to inaugurate the new president of the United States of God…

Well, here’s a fine howdy-do: Rick Warren, pastor of the mother of all mega-churches, has been tapped to channel Jesus conduct a seance deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. Because Warren is, you know, a “moderate.”

…in 2004 Warren declared that marriage, reproductive choice, and stem cell research were “non-negotiable” issues for Christian voters and has admitted that the main difference between himself and James Dobson is a matter of tone.  He criticized Obama’s answers at the Faith Forum he hosted before the election and vowed to continue to pressure him to change his views on the issue of reproductive choice.  He came out strongly in support of Prop 8, saying “there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population … Read more

Is America ready for an honest conversation about abortion yet?

In this season’s eighth episode, Boston Legal – the relentlessly liberal ABC dramedy starring William Shatner and James Spader – lobbed an absolute bomb at those of us on the pro-choice side of the Roe v. Wade question. The bunker-buster was posed, predictably enough, by Crane Poole & Schmitt’s resident conservative, the gleefully Republican Denny Crane, portrayed by Shatner. BL fans know Crane to be positively Cheney-esque in his politics (although he did finally cross the aisle to vote for Obama because even he couldn’t stomach four more years like the last eight), and he routinely plays the straw man for the passionate liberalism of Spader’s litigator par excellence, Alan Shore.

This time, though, Crane (who’s battling through the early stages of Alzheimer’s) breaks through to a moment of pristine, Emmy-worthy clarity. Read more

The “dumbest generation”: sloppy thinking, maybe, but it’s put-up-or-shut-up time for Gen X

In the past I’ve written about a variety of generational issues, and have often focused on the Millennials. At times I’ve been construed as dogging them pretty hard. As I’ve tried to explain, my criticisms of them (for being entitled, for lacking critical thinking skills, etc.) haven’t really been criticisms of them, per se – a cohort that’s 75-100 million strong doesn’t get to be a certain way all by itself. The blame, if we want to use that word, falls on those responsible for educating and developing the generation.

Further, some have erroneously interpreted my critiques as somehow suggesting that my generation – X – was without flaw. Which, of course, is ridiculous. Every generation has its relative strengths and weaknesses, and X has been a trainwreck in some respects.

All of which leads me to the other morning, when fellow scrogue Brian Angliss forwarded along the link to a Washington Post column from Neil Howe, the man who co-authored, along with William Strauss, the finest series of works on America’s generations I’ve ever encountered. Read more

Mapping American progress

About three weeks ago, Jim Moss over at The Seminal laid the 2008 electoral results map over maps of poverty and income inequality. The visual comparison was illuminating, and Jim’s post got me to thinking – what if you did the same thing with a wider range of measures and rankings? What kind of picture would emerge? (Jim has himself expanded on the exercise in a couple follow-up postings here and here.)

So I spent some time digging, looking for data that may tell us something about how America is constructed at our current moment in time. Read more

Happy Thanksgiving open thread: what are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at S&R. Today we invite those of you reading (and really, don’t you have anything better to do?) to tell us what you’re thankful about.

I’ll go first. While I have much to be thankful for – a wonderful wife, the coolest dog alive, etc. – I find myself really appreciating the fact that for the next four years I won’t have to hold my breath every time the president opens his mouth. I won’t have to worry about his inability to speak in complete sentences, about whether or not he’s going to make up some new words, about whether he’s going to say something insanely stupid and embarrass us even further in the eyes of the rest of the world. Read more

The NFL’s wack-ass, statistically improbable day

In case you were watching a What Not to Wear marathon on A&E and missed it, yesterday was one more weird-ass day in the NFL. Fun, but weird.

  • For the first time since 2002 there was a tie. The Bungles and Eagles slugged slogged it out for 75 minutes, and in the end neither team could quite outsuck the other.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. So the ridiculously injured Broncos, who were missing several running backs (right now I think I’m third on the depth chart at fullback) and their entire starting linebacker corps, started Spencer Larsen (who I’m not sure I’d ever heard of, and I’m a Bronco fan) at fullback and linebacker. Read more

Concession speeches, mandates and the post-partisan reach-around

A few nights ago John McCain treated us all to a masterful concession speech. He was gracious, articulate, noble – he said all the right things and struck all the right chords as the nation and his party look toward the future in the wake of an epic statement on the part of the American electorate.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering: where the hell was this guy for the last several months?

I always marvel at the civility of concession speeches. Your opponent spends months degrading your character, questioning the legitimacy of your parentage, slandering you, your momma, your horse and everyone you ever passed in the street, fabricating the most staggering and colorful lies imaginable, and then when the votes are in he extends his hand like you’d been trading good-natured barbs over the monthly potluck in the church fellowship hall. Read more

Hey, Progressives: now what?

The Democrats are like the dog who chases cars, and then one day he catches one. Holy crap – now what?

For the longest time progressives were the opposition, the outsiders, and were in a sort of no-lose position. It’s easy to bitch (especially when you’ve got an administration like Bush’s providing more targets than you have ammo to shoot at), but being in charge of the agenda and having the power to actually do things, well, that’s another situation entirely.

Sara Robinson, who’s quite simply one of the brightest minds in the whole darned blogosphere, has some extremely useful thoughts on the subject of what comes next. Read more

Confronting racism, then and now: a confession and an apology

I’m about to share with you the most humiliating moment of my life.

This morning something deeply disturbing happened to my 13 year-old nephew, Christopher. He got a text message, which had been forwarded around from person to person, from one of his best friends, a girl we’ll call Ashley. It went something like this:

America has elected a nigger. Today in school show your support for the KKK by refusinshookg to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Christopher lives in Alabama, where this kind of ignorance isn’t terribly hard to find, and he’s a bit more advanced than some of his classmates where racial issues are concerned. He grew up in Charlotte (and NC urban areas are a lot more progressive than the outback), has always had black and biracial friends, and like so many kids of his generation he simply doesn’t see race as a big deal. Read more

ElecTunesDay: ending the War on Music

Trusting is one thing I don’t know
When it comes to the campaigning men
But I’ll meet you at the election
When I vote for the hope of this land
Sean Kelly

You may have noticed, if you’ve been paying attention, that the music industry has gone to hell of late. It isn’t that nobody is making good music anymore – on the contrary, there are legions of fantastic bands and artists out there. It’s just that the best ones rarely get played on the radio; the recording industry cranks out nothing but imitation, prefabricated product – the musical equivalent of Cheez-Whiz (Now With Zero Intellectual Calories!); the RIAA – the body that’s allegedly working on behalf of artists – never misses a chance to kneecap young, developing musicians; and if an artist is making a living, it’s probably at a day job and not with his or her music. Read more

Welcome to Double-Reverse Vote-Fixing Theatre

In a smoke-filled back room in an elite, moneyed private club on the East Coast, the following scenario is being discussed between two of the power elite’s more powerful elites. Let’s call them Dick Toole and Harry Johnson.

As Dick and Harry see it:

  • The numbers have been crunched and the party’s McCain problem looks terminal. This presidential election, they conclude, can neither be won nor safely stolen. Read more

America’s Negro Cracker Problem: none of us are free

Part two in a series.

There’s a rising tide on the rivers of blood
But if the answer isn’t violence, neither is your silence

– Pop Will Eat Itself, “Ich Bin Ein Auslander”

When all is said and done, nothing communicates the racism and knee-buckling stupidity of all-too-wide swaths of our nation quite like video. So if you don’t trust me to tell the truth about these folks, maybe you’ll trust their own words.

Read more

America’s Negro Cracker Problem: Ich bin ein Auslander

Part one in a series.

Listen to the victim, abused by the system
The basis is racist, you know that we must face this

In 1991 Pop Will Eat Itself produced one of the most damning comments on racism in society in the history of popular music. “Ich Bin Ein Auslander” was specifically aimed at anti-immigrant racism in Europe, but over the past 17 years it’s been impossible for me to hear the song without mapping its penetrating, undeniable truth onto our American context. Our black auslanders aren’t recent arrivals (although many of our brown ones are), but they nonetheless remain social, political, economic and cultural outsiders, and whatever progress they may have made in the several hundred years since they first arrived in shackles, only a fool can believe that the basis is no longer racist.

I said some time back, as the presidential election lurched into overdrive, that the heavy racist stuff was coming. Read more

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