For many years now, Red State dot com has been the online launching pad for a good deal of the looniness that’s worked its way into our national conversation. Red State is not WND or NewsMax; it’s far too literate for that kind of comparison. It’s not quite Glenn Beck world either, but no doubt they share a readership.
Today, founder and editor Eric Erickson wrote this:
Barack Obama won the election.
He did not win by stealing the election. Voter irregularities always happen. It is one reason we support voter ID rules. But even in the worse scenario of reports out there, there were not enough tales of voter irregularities to matter nationwide. This is another benefit and built in safeguard of the electoral college.
Barack Obama won. He won by turning out the most people in a well run campaign. In other words, he won fair and square.
We here at RedState are American citizens. We have no plans to secede from the union. If you do, good luck with that, but this is not the place for you.
We have a place for you here if you wish to continue the fight against Republicans in Washington like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell who’d be happy to sell us down the river to keep their power, no matter how devoid of principle or sound policy. You have a place here if you’d like to keep fighting the Democrats who are intent on further stifling economic growth, pushing forward with Obamacare, bankrupting the nation, and siding with teachers unions against kids who deserve better.
Too many people have spent the past four years obsessed with birth certificates. Now they are obsessed with voter fraud conspiracies, talk of secession, and supposed election changing news stories if only we had known.
So let’s add dabblers in this latest nuttiness to birthers as a category of people we do not welcome at RedState. Our aim is to beat the Democrats, not beat a retreat to a Confederacy that Generals Grant and Sherman rent asunder well over a hundred years ago.
Even here at RedState, while we may not much care for him, President Obama is still our President and we are still quite happily citizens of the United States. If we must drain this fever swamp that’s taken hold of a few people on the right over this past week before we can drain the swamp in Washington, so be it.
All others need not apply.
Good for him.
I was not alone in finding Obama’s acceptance speech lacking.
Kevin Drum in Mother Jones:
Barack Obama’s speech tonight was….OK. But that was about all. It meandered, it skittered, and most of the time it seemed oddly themeless . . . there was nothing memorable, nothing forward looking, and nothing that drew a contrast with Romney in sharp, gut-level strokes.
Michael Tomasky in The Daily Beast
Let’s be blunt. Barack Obama gave a dull and pedestrian speech tonight, with nary an interesting thematic device, policy detail, or even one turn of phrase . . . This was the rhetorical equivalent of running out the clock . . . he thinks he’s ahead and just doesn’t need to make mistakes.
When you’re running against people to whom facts are irrelevant, the way you kill them is with facts. Not with rhetoric that’s vague and too subtle.
And here, Tomasky likes the same word that send those shivers up and down my back:
The only sentence I really liked was the one about citizenship. It makes my heart happy to hear a president use the word, because a lot of them don’t very much, especially Democratic ones, who are probably warned that the word might offend the non-citizen community. So that felt like it might be the start of something interesting, but it too just sort of floated out the window.
Joe Klein at Time Magazine kinda liked the speech, but also said:
He recognized the difficulty of our situation. He cknowledged mistakes. But he did not close the deal. The speech disappointed me, and I’m not quite sure why.
But I still wonder: What is he going to do with his second term? What are the next things we need to do as a nation?
Klein also said this – not exactly about the speech, but I like it, so here:
To be sure, he gave us more than Romney. Romney has given us practically nothing. And the expansive joy of the Democrats, in all their many wonderful hues, was far more bracing than the heavily narcotized and traitjacketed rage of the Republicans in tamped-down Tampa last week. The Republicans’ untoward anger, their illegitimate fantasies about Barack Obama, is an American disgrace. I like and admire the President; he’s smart and funny and exemplary. He’s made some very difficult decisions, correct decisions under impossible circumstances. He pulled us from the brink, from an economic disaster largely caused by the plutocrats now criticizing him so shamelessly and falsely. But I want more from him, more guidance, more leadership. Somehow — and this is still true for an electoral majority of Americans — we all do.
POSTED BY ORHAN
Gingrich would have had the best chance of beating Obama in open debate…plus I particularly enjoyed watching him give the mainstream media the lambasting it so richly deserves.
POSTED BY ORHAN
Several times a day what I read in the news makes me want to throw up, but this sentence on MSN took me way beyond the dry heaves to something I can only call brainpuke, the involuntary expulsion of ideas so vile that they and sanity cannot be retained by the mind simultaneously. Here we see the media in action, already manufacturing the “Iraq War” that will be inscribed in the history books:
President Barack Obama meets Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Monday, marking America’s exit from a war launched in a aerial “shock and awe” assault that went on to deeply wound both nations.
The notion of some sort of equivalence or mutuality of suffering between Iraq and the United States–some kind of shared pain experienced by both sides in this war, or even that it can be called a “war”: it was an invasion and occupation, on a false pretext, and it laid waste to a nation that had done nothing to ours; almost 5000 US soldiers dead, compared to between 100,000 and a million Iraqis; millions of internal and external refugees, infrastructure ravaged, cities reduced to rubble, children playing in streets strewn with depleted uranium, civil society extinguished, civil war continuing to rage–should be beyond the conceivable and the civilized; yet it’s what we need to believe and so we do, safely ensconced in our sense of moral certitude.
POSTED BY ORHAN
Despite the media hoopla and the Obama administration’s braggadocio surrounding the troop exit from Iraq, the US planned to maintain troops in the country indefinitely. The only reason for the withdrawal is that the Iraqi government refused to grant future immunity to US troops.
It was a slick move by Maliki, and demonstrates Obama’s lack of negotiating skills, even when he’s holding the big stick. He should have asked George W. Bush for advice.
In any event, only a neocon could be unhappy with the outcome: US troops out of Iraq.
POSTED BY ORHAN
According to today’s BBC, “an Iraqi judicial committee has issued an arrest warrant for the mainly Shia Arab country’s Sunni Arab Vice-President, Tariq al-Hashemi. The warrant was issued under anti-terrorism laws…”
The main Sunni political party is now boycotting the cabinet and accuses Shia Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of “monopolizing power”.
Meanwhile Danny Schechter reports, “Maliki has dipped into Saddam’s playbook by deploying his own secret police and military to round up hundreds of former Baathist supporters…A US think-tank documenting his crackdown is saying that Maliki is primarily concerned with his own survival.” Sort of like, uh, Saddam Hussein. And, like Saddam, “he too uses his son, Ahmad, to evict US firms from the Green Zone in Baghdad and do his father’s forceful bidding. And human rights groups are criticizing him for running secret jails, imprisoning journalists and critics, and firing 100 professors from a university in Saddam’s old hometown of Tikrit.”
Schecter continues, “With Maliki now terrorizing his own enemies, often in the name of questionable “plots” to overthrow him, Iraq will remain volatile. Bear in mind that after all these years, the Iraqis are still suffering from a broken electricity system as well as serious food and medical shortages.”
Posted in Current Events, From Orhan's Perch, Iraq War
Tagged Barack Obama, Current Events, Iraq, Iraq War, Maliki, Nouri al-Maliki, Saddam Hussein, Tariq Al-Hashimi, United States
I think it’s pretty unusual for a public attitude to survive this long, but I’m not much of a poll watcher, so perhaps you know better. Go ahead and correct me; I’ve recently realized that I apparently don’t actually know everything.
According to the newest NYT/CBS poll, 44% still blame the Bush administration for the mess. 15% blame Obama and oddly, that’s a tie with Congress, who also get 15%. I am really surprised. Good old American people seem to have their blinders off at last. The poll is here if you’re interested. It’s not particularly long and has more interesting stuff.
RR with Tip O'Neill
Repeatedly documented, but rarely cited in the current kerfuffle over raising the debt ceiling are two things:
- 1. Ronald Reagan “repeatedly signed deficit-reduction legislation in the 1980’s that melded annual tax increases with spending cuts just as President Barack Obama is now asking Congress to consider.” from POLITICO via Steve Benen, here, and
- Congress raised the debt ceiling under George Bush seven times – every time he asked.
. . . it’s also worth noting that the conservative Republicans of the 1980s were absolutely certain that Reagan’s policy would destroy the economy, and as part of the right’s unyielding track record of failure, they were wrong.
The larger point, though, is that when the 40th president sat down with lawmakers to work on debt reduction, he accepted as a given that the agreement would include a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. The debate would be over the ratio. Indeed, it’s one of the reasons Reagan ended up raising taxes in seven out of the eight years he was in office. (Remember, “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.)
Republicans in Congress balked in 1983. Reagan wrote to then-Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn) about their intransigence. From the letter:
The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.
Now Baker was a Senator I admired for his moderation, and many Republicans in the Congress then may have been right about the dangers of the debt. But that is not the point. Then, as now, they were ignoring the causes and resisting action on the consequences.
More from Benen:
Mike Huckabee recently said, “Ronald Reagan would have a very difficult, if not impossible, time being nominated in this atmosphere of the Republican Party.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had a nearly identical take last year, arguing Reagan “would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”
It’s also worth noting that the GOP never shut down the government when Republican presidents Reagan or Bush or Bush were in office. They did it only when the Democrat Clinton was in office. And now they threaten to do it to this Democratic president.
For the good of the country of course.
Posted in Congress critters, economy, Government, History, Politics, taxes
Tagged Barack Obama, congress, debt ceiling, Howard Baker, partisanship, Ronald Reagan, Steve Benen
POSTED BY ORHAN
Via Juan Cole, Daniel Ellsberg interviewed on CNN’s “In the Arena”:
[CNN]: These days, when you find yourself thinking about Richard Nixon, what comes to mind?
[Ellsberg]: “Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life. (And his aide Henry Kissinger was not the last American official to win an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.)
He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me-which forced his resignation facing impeachment-are now legal.
That includes burglarizing my former psychoanalyst’s office (for material to blackmail me into silence), warrantless wiretapping, using the CIA against an American citizen in the US, and authorizing a White House hit squad to “incapacitate me totally” (on the steps of the Capitol on May 3, 1971). All the above were to prevent me from exposing guilty secrets of his own administration that went beyond the Pentagon Papers. But under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendment Act, and (for the hit squad) President Obama’s executive orders, they have all become legal.
There is no further need for present or future presidents to commit obstructions of justice (like Nixon’s bribes to potential witnesses) to conceal such acts. Under the new laws, Nixon would have stayed in office, and the Vietnam War would have continued at least several more years.”
Bin Laden and Nixon are probably laughing in Hell right now.
Posted in From Orhan's Perch, George Bush, Obama, war
Tagged Barack Obama, Daniel Ellsberg, George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Nobel Peace Prize, Pentagon Papers, Richard Nixon, United States
I’m actually sorry Obama did this. I don’t believe in responding to conspiracy theorists with facts; it ends up making no difference. Wait for the newly minted pronouncements on what’s wrong with that birth certificate to emerge. They will.
Donald Trump wants to know how Obama got into those Ivy League colleges. He thinks it must be affirmative action, because Trump ‘heard’ that Obama’s grades weren’t all that great.
Via MediaMatters, Rush on Obama’s base from his April 14 show:
…his base is made up of people even more vile than he is…walking human debris…those savages that make up the Obama base are fit to be tied…their orgasm is for Obama to savage us…
Etc., etc., etc….
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Posted in comedy, elections, From Orhan's Perch, Idiot sighting, Media, Obama, The Daily Rush
Tagged Barack Obama, MediaMatters, Obama, President, rush limbaugh, United States
This is the first Obama 2012 commercial from the campaign. It’s remarkably modest and low keyed. I think they intend it to contrast (favorably) with the Hollywood style, superhero, over the top Pawlenty ads. Here are both ads. (h/t Dave at The Conservative Lie)
UPDATE: Oy! Sean tell us that the GOP is blocking embeds of their 2012 ad. Not auspicious for their chances in the second decade of the 21st Century.
UPDATE II: The GOP ad is no longer blocked. Embed away!
POSTED BY ORHAN
In a recent post, Robert Reich catalogs and rebuts the biggest whoppers spun by the Republicans regarding job creation:
“Cutting taxes on the rich creates jobs.” Nope. Trickle-down economics has been tried for thirty years and hasn’t worked. After George W. Bush cut taxes on the rich, far fewer jobs were created than after Bill Clinton raised them in the 1990s.
“Cutting corporate income taxes creates jobs.” Baloney. American corporations don’t need tax cuts. They’re sitting on over $1.5 trillion of cash right now. They won’t invest it in additional capacity or jobs because they don’t see enough customers out there with enough money in their pockets to buy what the additional capacity would produce. Florida Governor Rick Scott, for example, says his proposed corporate tax cuts “will give Florida a competitive edge in attracting jobs.” They’ll also require education spending be reduced by $3 billion. Florida already ranks near the bottom in per-pupil spending and has one of nation’s lowest graduation rates. If Scott’s tax cuts create jobs, most will pay peanuts.
“Cuts in wages and benefits create jobs.” Congressional Republicans and their state counterparts repeat this lie incessantly. It also lies behind corporate America’s incessant demand for wage and benefit concessions – and corporate and state battles against unions. But it’s dead wrong. Meager wages and benefits are reducing the spending power of tens of millions of American workers, which is prolonging the jobs recession.
“Regulations kill jobs.” Congressional Republicans are using this whopper to justify their attempts to defund regulatory agencies. Regulations whose costs to business exceed their benefits to the public are unwarranted, of course, but reasonable regulation is necessary to avoid everything from nuclear meltdowns to oil spills to mine disasters to food contamination – all of which we’ve sadly witnessed.
“Cutting the federal deficit will create jobs.” It’s not true. Cutting the deficit will create fewer jobs. Less government spending reduces overall demand. This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding back. Fewer government workers will have paychecks to buy stuff from other Americans, some of whom in turn will lose their jobs without enough customers.
Reich calls on the President to refute these claims loud and long, before they become conventional wisdom. He can’t understand Obama’s silence in the face of the Republican onslaught.
Posted in Congress critters, corporate power, economy, elections, Florida, From Orhan's Perch, labor, Plutocrats, Politics
Tagged Barack Obama, corporate income taxes, deficits, Florida, Government spending, jobs, regulation, Republicans, Rick Scott, Robert Reich, Trickle-down economics
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.
Posted in Afghanistan, Civics, economy, elections, energy, George Bush, Government, History, Politics, racism, Random thoughts, taxes, The President-who-is-not-Bush
Tagged Andrew Johnson, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Presidency, REconstruction, US History
POSTED BY ORHAN
President Obama’s executive order signed Monday that sets up a system of indefinite detention for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay contains tons of verbiage defining initial reviews, triennial reviews, file reviews, Review Committees, and giving detainees rights to government representatives and private counsel.
Nevertheless, close reading shows there will be a single test used to determine whether a prisoner is deserving of our everlasting hospitality: “if it is necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States.”
Who decides? A Periodic Review Board comprised of one rep each from “the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as the Offices of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff”.
Glenn Greenwald exhaustively lays out the case against Obama’s continuation of the Bush/Cheney policies.
Posted in Current Events, From Orhan's Perch, George Bush, Government, Politics
Tagged Barack Obama, executive order, Glenn Greenwald, Guantanamo Bay, homeland security, Indefinite detention, United States
Still laboring on my deadline work, but I coudlnt’ let this go by.
Did he really say that?
Mr. Karl Rove, great American, has stepped forward to warn his party that the birther movement is going to hurt them. Okay. He’s a political strategist and he knows this stuff and he is right.
But look what he finishes with:
” . . . Rove wants GOP presidential hopefuls to speak out. “If they’d step forward and say, ‘Look, we’ve got better things to talk about, than to fall into this trap that the White House has laid for us,’ this issue will start to go away.”
Posted in Civics, Congress critters, Current Events, Did I hear that right?, Government, Politics
Tagged Barack Obama, birther movement, Birthers, elections, Karl Rove, Obama citizenship, Politics
Thrasybulus (what a wonderful 18th century nom de plume!)at conscience of a progressive is not happy with a president about whom he was very enthusiastic not long ago. He speaks for many of us, although, in comments, I disagreed with the ‘messianic’ part. What I see is a failure of leadership and a failure to trust the core principles of progressivism, of liberalism, of the Democratic Party – name it what you will, our president isn’t delivering.