War = Peace, Failure = Success, Taxpayer = Treasury

red tree

The conservatives essentially say that the Nobel Peace Prize was given to a man who has done nothing to deserve it and they’re far less than half-right. The part they were right about was lampooned on SNL a little over a week ago.

The Nobel Prize committee says Barack Obama has created “a new climate in international politics.” In reality, Obama’s rhetoric has largely cloaked a continuation and extension of Bush’s foreign policy.

Apart from the diplomatic rhetoric, there has been no meaningful reversal of US foreign policy in relation to the George W. Bush presidency, which might have remotely justified the granting of the Nobel Prize to Obama. In fact quite the opposite. The Obama military agenda has sought to extend the war into new frontiers. With a new team of military and foreign policy advisers, the Obama war agenda has been far more effective in fostering military escalation than that formulated by the NeoCons.

Since the very outset of the Obama presidency, this global military project has become increasingly pervasive, with the reinforcement of US military presence in all major regions of the World  and the development of new advanced weapons systems on an unprecdented scale.

Granting the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama provides legitimacy to the illegal practices of war, to the military occupation of foreign lands, to the relentless killings of civilians in the name of “democracy”.

Notwithstanding, we have a domestic policy that rewards catastrophic financial failure and ineptitude courtesy of the taxpayer. (This episode of Bill Moyers Journal is must-see TV.) If there were any true conservative brains in media land, they would be praising Obama’s foreign policy, mocking the Nobel Prize committee for giving it to a warmonger in their camp, and focusing on the socialist policies governing U.S. finance. It’s sad and tragic that connecting the dots is such a scorned skill amongst the DC Villagers.

Quitters Stick With It. Winners Quit.

Party on the roof (not), Park Slope, Brooklyn

Via TPM, that’s the take-away from Sarah Palin’s speech. On twitter, Ezra Klein advises ambitious bloggers to comb through the speech for other internal contradictions. The headline says it all for me and I hope we’re done with this hack. John McCain was an idiot for putting her on the national stage.

After the jump, there’s a long compilation of Richard’s forwards from the past weeks. Many of the links posted aren’t just opinion pieces from various political blogs… several are legitimate stories from respected news sources. Continue reading “Quitters Stick With It. Winners Quit.”

Tunneling and Landscaping

mchuge, pedestrian tunnel, riverside drive, nyc

One thing about tunnels is that to see the light at the end of them, you have to build them before you get to experience the darkness and wonder about the light at the end. If it’s a pedestrian tunnel as part of a bridge and landscaping project, it was an afterthought and there was some extra money lying around. (This is part of the Riverside Drive viaduct over 125th Street built around 1900. Before this, Riverside Drive ended at a cul-de-sac next to Grant’s Tomb. Now you know!)

I haven’t done one of these in a while so the first links are over a week old but of course they’re worth putting in the record. More links than you can shake a Chinese puzzle stick at are after the jump! Continue reading “Tunneling and Landscaping”

Table of Junk

table of junk

  • Steve Rattner, one of the new puppet masters
  • Ecuador election results continue leftward tilt in South America.
  • Obama administration quietly seeking extraordinary military power in Pakistan.
  • Messing with the polls and other tricks to manufacture consent to Israeli apartheid
  • Line between espionage and lobbying further blurred in recent acquittal.
  • Richardson and Roubini: We can’t subsidize banks forever. (No shit, Sherlocks)
  • The doomsday mentality in Washington: Preventing crisis or helping to create it?
  • Jiggering unemployment stats? Many people are doubting the stats.
  • Sham stress tests put to the test.

Dim Bullets in a Dark Tunnel

98th Street tunnel, Henry Hudson Parkway

  • The new quagmire: Seven questions for Barack Obama on Afghanistan. With hindsight of Mary McCarthy’s Vietnam memoirs and penned by retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.
  • Greenwald calls Jane Harman a bunch of names although strangely, hypocrite isn’t one of them. Jeff Stein delves further into the mess.
  • Socialist Andre Damon pretty cynical about everything.
  • Reese Erlich seems to think loosening policy toward Cuba will bring more illicit drug trafficking.
  • Jessie’s bond-trader friend whacks at the Wells Fargo earnings piñata.
  • Tom Engelhardt ruminates on the constant stream of civilian casualties that largely go unreported on these shores.
  • Dems want to sweep torture hearings under the rug as much as Bush flunkies do.
  • Israelis hawking first-class propaganda junket??!?
  • Bank stress test: a) too big to fail b) too big to fail…
  • Tiny violin playing for pro-torture Judge Bybee.
  • Texas sheriff prosecution for waterboarding by Reagan’s DOJ ignored by current torture advocates.
  • New York food banks stressed.
  • Polish pianist stops the show with anti-U.S. tirade.
  • The new terror alert: Swine flu hype conveniently killing off the torture story. Includes a history of “flu oddities.”

The Yawning Sarcophagus of Common Sense

The problem with the Tax Day Teabag Protests was that no alternative was offered. Some of those interviewed called Obama a fascist but could not articulate why they felt this way. The governor Texas threatening to secede is apparently signaling his constituents that it’s okay to hate America again. I understand the bipartisan frustration of tax dollars insuring that the wealthy stay wealthy, but middle class truck drivers and factory workers complaining about tax increases is way off the mark. These people didn’t complain when their dollars were funneled to Bush and Cheney cronies amid the privatization of the Iraq War. It’s basically the same thing. Continue reading “The Yawning Sarcophagus of Common Sense”

Come Back Tomorrow

The other drug store in my neighborhood is open 24 hours, bitches. What’s with all the red?

  • Obama officials embody the corruption he promised to get rid of. Glennzilla reports.
  • Boom time for criminal syndicates.
  • Robot army deployment.
  • Bill Moyers and Michael Winship call for a more serious investigation.

Update: I meant to point out Bob Dylan’s take on Barack Obama…

Winners in a Slow Economy

What can you say about the food sold at the 99¢ store? They got my 99¢, I got some food that tastes different, and the big guys with the obnoxious website did not get my $3.99. These are the same guys voraciously taking over the packaged organic food industry.

From Richard’s Forewards and elsewhere:

  • Tom Engelhardt lives in my neighborhood!! I’ve been observing these same buildings lie fallow since 2007, also hoping the influx of rich fresh blood would also help the Ding Dong Lounge.
  • Dean Baker pessimistic that Timmeh’s plan will help anyone outside the banking industry.
  • Via Atrios, Yves at Naked Capitalism: “Given the lack of any mention of a special resolution regime, or intent to develop one, the point of this bill is NOT, appearances to the contrary, to be able to put more firms into receivership. It is to get broader authority to bail them out.”
  • AIG’s ace in the hole?

Fixer Upper For Sale

The Wall Street Journal reports Obama’s poll numbers are really starting to slip. While this may be true, the MSM’s insistence that this has been true all along is false, partly because MSM coverage of the stimulus has been disingenuous. Obama’s centrist approach will keep him afloat for a little while. So the fringe is starting to fray.

Other stuff from Richard:

  • Chas Freeman’s on his withdrawal from the National Intelligence Council. Discusses the smear machine in front of the Israel lobby. Politico’s Ben Smith comments.
  • CIA reports Israel likely to go the way of South Africa.
  • Naked Capitalism still skeptical about bank behavior. The Japan model is just kicking the can down the road.
  • The left and the right both fascinated that the FBI’s terrorist watch list has hit 1 million. Keeping track of a million terrorists must be pretty easy!
  • Tom Engelhardt gives a history lesson in American imperialism in light of rhetoric over Afghanistan. (very long)

Richard’s Forewards 2

  • Nouriel Roubini recommends several drastic proposals. (registration req’d). These include:

    massive and more unorthodox monetary policy easing to defrost credit markets even if this may imply central banks widening collateral and taking greater credit risk; massive and front-loaded fiscal stimulus more on the spending than tax side and with income relief to agents with high marginal propensity to spend (poor, unemployed, state/local governments); rapid takeover of insolvent banks – full nationalization – and their quick clean-up and re-privatization (etc.)

  • New York Times ignores corporate welfare issues.
  • Israel continues to block charity shipments to Gaza.
  • Tom Engelhardt on U.S. foreign policy-speak.