Category Archives: racism

Nice cartoon. Ha-ha.

From the Monday ‘Patriot Humor’ feature at The Patriot Post. And the joke is?

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UPDATE: jonolan points out that I read this one wrong. The joke is that the letters behind Carney spell ‘white washing…” and that, indeed, is funny. The site it came from features regular racist slurs and that influenced how I interpreted it at first.

On an anniversary 2

I just listened to John Lewis being interviewed in his Congressional office by Gwen Ifil for The News Hour. Lewis is the last surviving speaker from the 1963 March; he was also the youngest – just 22 years old. It was a moving interview, well  worth seeking out at pbs.org.

On an anniversary

This was the anthem. Then – and always.

Sean Hannity’s wet dream comes true

Oh boy, ‘s true. From ABC News, and now echoing with hallejulia’s from every single bit of righty internet real estate, where, all along, the between-the-lines-meme has been that George was really a hero.

George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.

Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family of four — two parents and two children — trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

This isn’t directed at Zimmerman who did a good thing here. It’s his media fans. They do piss me off.

 

This is how we roll down here in The Sunshine State

Will someone explain this to me please.

(CNN) — Saying he had no discretion under state law, a judge sentenced a Jacksonville, Florida, woman to 20 years in prison Friday for firing a warning shot in an effort to scare off her abusive husband.

Marissa Alexander unsuccessfully tried to use Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law to derail the prosecution, but a jury in March convicted her of aggravated assault after just 12 minutes of deliberation.

(Lost in the circus these last weeks: the Zimmerman case first made national headlines, not just because of racial overtones, but because it was the case wherein the rest of the country was introduced to Florida’s twisted “Stand Your Ground Law”. Most of us were repulsed. But hey . . . )

This kind of nonsense can break up families

Oh the ugly . . . anger spreads today across the land because the First Family spent lottsa taxpayer money staying in Ireland. And the First Lady is bad. Bad, bad, bad . . . here are the first six comments from a post at something called reagancoalition.* (The story began at the Moonie-owned, barely subscribed financial failure The Washington Times, and then went to Newsmax where this coalition-of-racists picked it up.)

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So she’s a low class n—ger with a big black butt whose kids hate her. Obviously. But it’s sooo classy to make fun of the kids (later comments savage them). I remember Limbaugh going after then 12 year old Chelsea Clinton and making fun of her looks. That was classy too.

An aside: the Obamas made a State visit the UK in ’10; Bush did the same in ’03. In 2011, the BBC compared costs and other aspects of the visits.  It’s here and is very interesting. Note that Bush brought 700 people with him; Obama brought 500. Pretty much this is what happens when a President of the United States goes calling.

*(Stipulated: 1) this looks like a wing site, and 2) I remember the Bush/monkey stuff but he was the president and she isn’t.)

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I gave the original of this picture of my great grandfather to that cousin. It’s a precious one as he is reading the very first edition of The Saturday Evening Post, in 1887.

Anyway, the story that occasions this post popped up on my timeline on Facebook as a ‘share’ from a second cousin. When I first went onto Facebook, I was delighted to find relatives I hadn’t communicated with in decades and we began some lovely getting re-acquainted dialogue. I even joined this cousin’s sister in a genealogy project which we conducted via email. It was a great deal of fun and very rewarding. She was deeply interested in family history – unlike my own nieces and nephews – so I sent her many heirlooms from my own great-grandparents, grandparents etc; it was mostly original photos, letters, even some wedding veils . . . it was a wonderful year or two for both of us.

Until last year. That’s when I began streaming this blog onto my facebook page. The communications died, emails were only answered in the most cursory way and eventually not at all. I had all along been quite familiar with these women’s politics and knew we were very different that way. But that wasn’t the sort of thing what we talked about, so it didn’t matter. Or so I thought.

I’ve not unfriended either of them and never will, but it’s a loss.

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From Glenn Beck’s ‘Blaze’: whuddaya think?

Teh blacks are gonna get us this time fer sure!

In case you can’t see it, the cryon reads:

VOTER INTIMIDATION CONCERNS: Member of Black Panther Party at PA voting site. (Got it? One member. And he is present. I’d say case closed.)

  • Doocey at 0:16: “That looks like intimidation. Like in 2008.”  No question. Being black is quite enough proof.
  • Video at 0:50: OMG, the intimidator in chief just opened the door for a lady!! I’ll bet she’s a Kenyan commie!
  • Other guy at 0:54: “It appears to be intimidating. It is intimidating!” Oh dear, I hope that guy doesn’t open any more doors or we all might die!

This keen bit of reporting ought to earn those FOX fellows the Great Hero of the Electoral Restoration of 2012 badge.

Expect that tonight enough underwear will be tied into knots to bring everyone home from the Space Station and shuttles be damned!

 

 

Now this is a perfect example of an Emperor in the buff

Something happened in the “offstage” hours yesterday at the RNC Convention that should put the lie to that transparently contrived parade of Hispanics onstage. Since it happened in the afternoon though – that part of any convention destined for the memory hole – it’s not likely to get much attention beyond newsjunkiedom.

Jack Hitt of The Atlantic was there reporting, alongside Italian and Puerto Rican correspondents. There’s video at the link (UPDATE: I’m putting up the video after all – it’s really shocking.]

[Paulites were mid-chant (about delegate counts] when a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

The chanting carried on for nearly a minute while most of the other delegates and the media stood by in stunned silence. The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly stepped up and asked for order and respect for the speaker, suggesting that, yeah, what we had just seen might well have been an ugly outburst of nativism.1

 

And another. You’re on a roll ladies!

More from Little Green Footballs:

 

Oh dear, another constituency down. Well done GOP


from Little Green Footballs

Not much has changed in that other Philadelphia

Remember Philadelphia Mississippi, that quaint little Jim Crow town in the deepest of the deep South?

You don’t? Let me refresh your memory . . .

. . .  it had long disfranchised  African Americans and subjected them to racial segregation and Jim Crow laws. Philadelphia in June 1964 was the site of the murders of thee civil right activists: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. . . .

Ku Klux Klan members (including Cecil Ray Price, the deputy sheriff of Neshoba County) released the three young men from jail, took them to an isolated spot, and killed them.

The film, Mississippi Burning tells the whole sordid tale.

Philadelphia changed on the surface, but as the years went on politicians running for office knew its heart was as black as ever. So it was just 14 years later that the most cynical and blatant dog-whistle ever heard from a political figure was delivered to the good folks of that very town. The location, of course, was the statement, as much as the words.

On August 3, 1980, Ronald Reagan gave his first post-convention speech at the Neshoba County Fair after being officially chosen as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. He said, “I believe in states’ rights … I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.” He went on to promise to “restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them”.[

Philadelphia made a little news again just yesterday.

PHILADELPHIA, Mississippi — Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday it is “unfortunate” that a predominantly white church in the state wouldn’t allow a black couple to get married in its sanctuary.

. . . The Rev. Stan Weatherford, pastor of the church, married the Wilsons at a predominantly black church nearby. The wedding was moved after some congregants at First Baptist told Weatherford they opposed allowing black people to marry in the church.

“As hard as we work to try to convince the rest of the world that Mississippi has changed — and, in fact, we have — to see an unfortunate situation like that occur is very disappointing,” Bryant said Thursday in response to questions from The Associated Press.

William Faulkner, the most famous literary Son of the South, observed back in the 1950’s, “the past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past.” Yup.

They want to rig it, not fix it

Isn’t it a comfort to know that Gov. Voldemort and his paranoid cynical minions in the Florida Republican Patty are moving aggressively, along with other Republican legislatures, to fix a non-problem that they invented out of thin air ? Just like with that earlier threat to the nation, ‘Welfare Queens’, attention must be paid!

Voter registration fraud must be stopped! And dammit, here in Florida, we’re making that happen. Just in my own tri-county area, where we’ve finished running the State lists against our own rolls, of our 100K+ registered voters, two have been proved to be cases of actual voting fraud. Two whole people.

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars plus thousands of man hours from public employees have been expended. Two cases.

Today, The NY Times (sorry, no linkee) reports that in 2005, the election reform bipartisan ‘commision of  that day, led by former Sect’y of State James Baker and former Prez Jimmy Carter, found  that 140,000 Florida voters were registered for absentee ballots in four other states – 46,000 in New York City alone. Another 60,000 were also registered  simultaneously in North or South Carolina. When a few thousand of those registered for absentee ballots in Florida, their second state, there was no investigation. Repeat, there was no investigation.

In a comment thread over at MashedPotatoBulletin about the voter ID push, I said:

I don’t think many people would object if the process were announced and then implemented over a period of years allowing sufficient time for everyone to get the ID. Once we’ve all got one, it’ll be easy to put a process in place to plug in new voters as they qualify. In fact, I think every citizen should be issued a voter ID card whether they register or not. Just get it done and cut out that silly middle step.. It could be Federal and make it acceptable for all States.

If it were done that way, I’d be fine with it. But of course that’s not how it’s being done because ID itself is not the point. Suppression is the point.

Onward Christian soldiers. March as to war; it’s the Republican way.

Well done John McCain. For that, we’ll get off your lawn

Stand back McCarthy! (and where are Walsh and Wilson?)

John McCain is still that old guy down the street who yells at you. He is still the guy who was willing to risk this country in Sarah Palin’s hands. And he is too enamored of war for my comfort.

Another thing John McCain is? He is one damn stand-up guy.

What’s remarkable about this is that it is remarkable. Where were his colleagues? Who else spoke as forcibly? And publicly? Good on him.  (video posted thanks to Orhan who once again came to the rescue.)

What YOU Can Do on May Day

POSTED BY ORHAN

May Day is an international day of celebration to honor the labor movement. This year the Occupy movement has made a call for mass action—the May First General Strike (#M1GS): a day without the 99%. Over 115 US cities have organized in solidarity with this call to action.

A general strike is a way to build and demonstrate the power of the people. It’s a way to show this is a system that only exists because we allow it to. If we can withdraw from the system for one day we can use that day to build community and mutual aid. We can find inspiration and faith—not in any leaders or bosses but in each other and in ourselves.

If you are inspired by the day of action but don’t live near any organized events you can still take part. If you can’t strike, take the first step. We can work to shift the balance of power back into the hands of the people little by little in our everyday lives.

Here are some examples to get you thinking:

  1. Move Your Money: If you haven’t already, May Day is as good as any to move your money out of a national, corporate bank into a local bank or credit union. Support your local community and break up the “too big to fail” Wall Street banks that threaten our economic system. Learn more about moving your money here: www.moveyourmoneyproject.org
  2. Have a Potluck: Share a meal with others and and talk about subsidized agriculture and factory farming or make a meal with friends to serve to local homeless people a la Food Not Bombs.
  3. Start a Personal/Community Garden: On May Day, start or pledge to start a personal or community garden. Growing our own food means independence from corporate farms. This is one more way to take your self out of a system bent on keeping us complacent.
  4. Have a Free Store/FairGet together and share your unwanted items with others. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You could be helping someone who was about to go out and buy a (fill in your item here) anyway.
  5. Ride your bike to work/carpool with friends: Ride your bike or arrange a carpool to work. When you do this you are lessening our country’s dependency on outdated, unclean energies.
  6. Screen a Movie: Invite your friends or neighbors over to watch a documentary. After, have a discussion about how it relates to your values or the ideas of Occupy. You can watch political documentaries online at the following links for free:
    http://http://crimethinc.com/movies/

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/category/politics/

    http://www.documentarytube.com/category/political-documentaries
    http://freedocumentaries.org/
  7. Have a Skill Share: Give a free class to share your skills and knowledge. This could be as simple as giving a knitting demonstration or as complex as teaching someone a new language.

We have the power in our hands to change the course of our day to day realities if we are willing to participate and reach out to our neighbors and communities. In the words of Steven Biko, ”the greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Big business should not be in control of us, we are the many and they are the few.

(Source)

Don’t forget to look for actions in your area here or here.

May Day 2012: a real Labor Day

POSTED BY ORHAN

ImageSpring is in the air, and you know what that means–that’s right, Occupy Wall Street is back, bigger and better than ever! Although actions have been ongoing for several weeks, the first major action will be the worldwide General Strike called for May 1st. From OccupyWallSt.org:

May 1st, also known as International Workers’ Day, is the annual commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a General Strike for the eight-hour workday. In many countries, May 1st is observed as a holiday. But in the United States, despite the eventual success of the eight-hour-workday campaign, the holiday is not officially recognized.

Now, in response to call-outs from Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Chicago, Occupy Oakland, and other General Assemblies and affinity groups, the Occupy Movement is preparing to mobilize a General Strike this May 1st in solidarity with struggles already underway to defend the rights of workers, immigrants, and other communities who are resisting oppression. Dozens of Occupations in cities and towns throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia have already endorsed May Day.

To quote the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, who recently called for a national General Strike in Spain on March 29th to protest labor reforms:

For the CNT, the strike on March 29 must be only the beginning of a growing and sustained process of mobilization, one which includes the entire working class and the sectors that are most disadvantaged and affected by the capitalist crisis. This mobilization must put the brakes on the dynamic of constant assaults on our rights, while laying the bases for the recovery and conquest of new social rights with the goal of a deep social transformation.

I’ll be at the NYC action; hope to see you there! I’ll post links and updates as they become available.

Dear newsmedia: George Zimmerman is not charged with killing a black teenager; he is charged with killing a teenager

Just heard it again on a radio news broadcast: “George Zimmerman has been taken into custody and been charged with the murder of a black teenager.” That’s what the news reader said – pet peeve of mine.

There may well be racial overtones to this crime, and there are valid reasons to suspect that there are, but Zimmerman is not being charged on those grounds. Zimmerman is being charged with murder, quite serious enough on its own. But  the real defendant in this trial will be the State of Florida and its insane  “Stand Your Ground” law.

So is the racial aspect a matter of concern? You bet it is. But I think the larger threat is to all of us; it is another wound to our tradition of common law.

The Supreme Court just upheld strip searches for unpaid parking fines, so I shudder to think what will happen if a challenge to this Florida law makes its way to that gorgeous white temple to justice. I figure the NRA will get there first.

Rep. Allen West has it exactly right. And that is not something I’ve ever said before.

Rep. Allen West, he of my enlightened state of Florida, is a frequent target of my brethren on the left. He can get all ‘rancid right’ with the worst of them. But here’s what he wrote on his Facebook page today about the killing of Treyvon Martin:

I have sat back and allowed myself time to assess the current episode revealing itself in Sanford, Florida involving the shooting of 17-year-old Treyvon Martin. First of all, if all that has been reported is accurate, the Sanford Police Chief should be relieved of his duties due to what appears to be a mishandling of this shooting in its early stages. The US Navy SEALS identified Osama Bin Laden within hours, while this young man laid on a morgue slab for three days. The shooter, Mr Zimmerman, should have been held in custody and certainly should not be walking free, still having a concealed weapons carry permit. From my reading, it seems this young man was pursued and there was no probable cause to engage him, certainly not pursue and shoot him….against the direction of the 911 responder. Let’s all be appalled at this instance not because of race, but because a young American man has lost his life, seemingly, for no reason.  I have signed a letter supporting a DOJ investigation. I am not heading to Sanford to shout and scream, because we need the responsible entities and agencies to handle this situation from this point without media bias or undue political influences. This is an outrage.

Even a clock is right twice a day . . . .

Rusty the Racist still keepin’ it classy

There really aren’t any limits for him. NASCAR, he says, boo-ed the First Lady because she is ‘uppity’. Uppity.

Limbaugh also said “we don’t like being told what to eat; we don’t like being told how much to exercise; we don’t like being told what we’ve got to drive; we don’t like wasting money; we don’t like our economy being bankrupted. We don’t like 14% unemployment. The question is, what the hell is there to cheer for when Miss Obama and Ms. Biden show up?”

“I’ll tell you something else,” he said. “We don’t like paying millions of dollars for Mrs. Obama’s vacations. The NASCAR crowd doesn’t quite understand why when the husband and the wife are going to the same place, the first lady has to take her own Boeing 757 with family and kids and hangers-on four hours earlier than her husband, who will be on his 747. NASCAR people understand that’s a little bit of a waste. They understand it’s a little bit of uppity-ism.”

Rush doesn’t much like women either. Jill Biden is properly addressed as Dr. Biden, but I guess that’s uppity too – although probably not as uppity as it would be were Dr. Biden a black woman of course.

Mr-Limbaugh-of-Palm-Beach is an old pro at this stuff – here are some of his top hits (and they do keep on coming):

  • “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
  • “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
  • “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”
  • “They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?”
  • [To an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”
  • ”I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.  They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well.  I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve.”
  • “We need segregated buses… This is Obama’s America.”
  • “Obama’s entire economic program is reparations.”

(h/t NewsOne for doing all the work)

You gotta have a lot of prisoners to save money this way

A special state indeed. Texas is going to cut costs in its prison system by:

  • Texas ended the decades-old practice of serving last meals to inmates about to be executed after one man ordered an elaborate feast of hamburgers, pizza and chicken-fried steaks that he did not eat. (Well, that alone must have saved hundreds of dollars!)
  • Most states serve their inmates milk in cartons, but Texas prison officials said switching to powdered milk would save them an estimated $3.5 million annually.
  • Thousands of other inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs.

In the US, two million people are in state prisons alone. In 2010, 225,000 of them were in Texas, or 1 in 100 residents. They built 174 new state prisons between 1979 and 2000, a 706% increase. (Texas has cut its prisoner growth rate in the last few years, but still holds the lead.)

Wonder how many of those prisons are private for-profit?

Broke. My. Heart.

This is from Wednesday’s debate. There’s no need to watch the whole thing – just listen to Williams’ question and the audience’s gleeful applause about 12 seconds in. Screw schools and bridges; let’s build us some gladiator stadiums!! Yeah!

FOX makes it crystal clear

But we always knew who they were, didn’t we? Screen grab from today:

Immigration message wars: you know who’s winning

This one has it all covered

Anti immigrant fervor is all around us; there has always been a subset of Americans who hide in their dark corners and whisper to each other about the purity of the race.

Increasingly though, we see this meme transmitted  out in the open, via right wing media, mostly talk radio, and via FOX and blogs. The language on TV is much more polite of course, at least on FOX’s ‘news’ shows. But it’s increasingly in full view on FOX & Friends and on Hannity, where the non-European, non-Christian is  viewed with suspicion.

The case for immigration gets lost in this cacophony.

So here’s something I’d like to see. I wish someone would create a series of pro-immigration videos disguised as anti-immigration videos. Let them warn us about the ‘other’ and tell us of the dire consequences of allowing these lesser beings among us. Tell us why we should be afraid. Do the videos absolutely straight-faced with no disclaimers that ‘we really don’t mean it’.

And set the videos in 1895 or 1910 – as full blown period pieces properly costumed and using the angry, often hateful protest language of the day; and direct that language at the ‘others’ of the era – the Irish (especially Irish-Catholics), the Italian, the Jew and the Chinese.

I’d really like to see that.

I’m off to see X-Men – Ta-Nehisi Coates already saw it

Ta-Nehisis Coates is a relatively new columnist at The New York Times. I read him today – for the first time – because his column invoked X-Men: First Class, a movie I am about to go see. (I love this stuff.)

Just want to say he’s a gorgeous writer. What a thrill these days to find such as he. I look forward to more.

Why Balloon Juice is so popular

It’s because John Cole is funny. He understands the power of language and here achieves a bit of typographic brilliance. In a single sentence, he replays a years long narrative. Herewith:

Fox news alerts concerned white people everywhere that there is a new common enemy (not apologizing) for their two minute hate. This time it is Rev. Wright Barack Obama Michelle Obama Eric Holder Van Jones Shirley Sherrod black farmers the new Black Panther Party Charlie Rangel Desirée Rogers Rev. Joseph Lowery AC-DC’s Back in Black Black Hole Sun The Man in Blackblack black BLACK BLACKITY BLACK BLACK! rapper Common:

Sarah Palin took issue with the White House inviting Grammy Award-winning rapper and actor Common, born Lonnie Rashin Lynn Jr., to a poetry event hosted by the first lady on Wednesday night. 

During an appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record,” Palin said, “The White House’s judgment on inviting someone who would glorify cop killing during Police Memorial Week, of all times, you know, the judgment, it’s just so lacking of class and decency.”

Jon Stewart also took up this bit of nonsense last night in what might be one of his top ten takedowns of FOX News. (Conservative readers who don’t follow Stewart should know that Stewart’s really-very-all-the-time-favorite target is CNN.)

Hate is just so damned lucrative these days

POSTED BY ORHAN

Chris Hedges has a long post at Truthdig describing the Muslim Menace industry, a group of right-wing organizations that bill themselves as “counterterrorism specialists and experts on the Muslim world”, and make big bucks indoctrinating US law enforcement and security agencies in the evils of Islam.

The indoctrination is done through seminars paid for with public funds and “preach that Islam is a terrorist religion, that an Islamic “fifth column” or “stealth jihad” is subverting the United States from within, that mainstream American Muslims have ties to terrorist groups, that Muslims use litigation, free speech and other legal means (something the trainers have nicknamed “Lawfare”) to advance the subversive Muslim agenda and that the goal of Muslims in the United States is to replace the Constitution with Islamic or Shariah law.”

Below is a sample of modern-day witch hunter and Christian fundamentalist Walid Shoebat, whose presentation is titled “The Jihad Mindset and How to Defeat It: Why We Want to Kill You.” According to Hedges, “Shoebat, who bills himself as a reformed terrorist and who speaks to law enforcement officials around the country, tells his listeners that mainstream Muslim organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations are terrorist fronts and that Islamists are by nature violent extremists and pedophiles.”

Here Shoebat explains to a group of extremely gullible Christians why the Mark of the Beast, usually referred to as 666, really means Muslims, who owe allegiance only to the Antichrist. The part that gets me is when he says “It’s so clear! The reverse of what you believe is what they believe. The antithesis of the Bible is what they believe in.” And Shoebat and his colleagues are spewing their racist garbage at taxpayer expense.

Top 20 Tea Party Reactions

This one has to be my favorite – first time I’ve seen anyone question whether Obama was actually even born. Of woman.

And the doc dying? Now that’s cooperation.

FROM Buzzfeed:

Random thought: the tragedy of missed opportunities

Moments when this country could have made epic and positive changes – but didn’t.

President Andrew Johnson –  He entered the White HOuse following Lincoln’s assassination. He had utter disdain for the emerging Reconstruction policy, stopped it and led with is own bigotry.  The legacy of slavery wasn’t addressed again until the mid-20th century (Truman to Johnson).

GW Bush – Following 9/11, just eight months into his presidency, George Bush had a nation that would have followed its president anywhere, risen to any challenge. He had a chance to give us a ‘go to the moon’ challenge and the US could have begun a journey to lead the world in alternative energy technology (not instead of Afghanistan; the efforts could have been side by side).

Obama – He walked into office on a day when the nation would have enthusiastically gotten behind a call for vast reform of the financial industry, the  tax codes and a stronger regulatory structure. But he didn’t. Stimulus was the right thing to do, but it stopped short. And in the financial industry at least, it reenforced the bad behaviors that led to the meltdown.