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Not Much of a President

Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch on Barack Obama’s failed presidency:

“Obama is a master of gesture politics, but he tends to flinch in nearly every pitched battle, even when the odds and the public are behind him. His political instincts drive him to seek cover in the middle ground. He is a reflexive compromiser, more Rodney ‘Can’t We All Just Get Along’ King than Reverend King.  Even when confronted by bumbling hacks like John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Obama tends to wilt.

“…Obama was the physical and psychic embodiment of the new multiculturalism: lean, affable, assured, non-threatening. His vaguely liberal political ideology remained opaque at the core. Instead of an over-arching agenda, Obama delivered facile jingoisms proclaiming a post-racial and post-partisan America. Instead of radical change, Obama offered simply managerial competence….

“Of course, Obama’s most grievous political wounds were self-inflicted, starting even before his election when he rushed back to Washington to help rescue Bush’s Wall Street bailout. This was perhaps the first real indication that the luminous campaign speeches about generational and systemic change masked the servile psyche of a man who was desperately yearning to be embraced by the nation’s political and financial elites….

“Thus the Obama revolution was over before it started, guttered by the politician’s overweening desire to prove himself to the grandees of the establishment.”

Read it all here.

News Roundup 1/16/17

  • Rudi Giuliani’s cybersecurity firm’s website is riddled with vulnerabilities that can make hacking the site easy. Trump recently named Giuliani as his cybersecurity advisor. [Link]
  • A new report shows that it takes $2.6 billion to bring a new drug to market. This is a 146% increase since 2003. [Link]
  • One million Americans signed a petition demanding that Obama pardons Edward Snowden. [Link]
  • Catalan Separatists are launching a new campaign to try to win an independence vote that could happen in eight months. The vote would give Catalonia independence from Spain. [Link]
  • A top Egyptian court blocks Egypt from transferring two uninhabited Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia. [Link]
  • A Turkish cargo plane crashed in Kyrgyzstan killing at least 20 people. It is reported that most of those dead were people on the ground. [Link]
  • Syrian troops are losing the city of Deir Ezzor to ISIS. ISIS made significant advances to retake the city in recent days. [Link]
  • Syrian airstrikes killed 22 civilians over the weekend in areas around Damascus. The Syrian government is targeting al-Nusra with airstrikes. [Link]

Do You Agree that Libertarians are Fruit Loops?

That’s it!  I’m done with libertarians and regret ever associating with the Fruit Loops.

The final straw was a noted libertarian saying the following about foreign policy:

“The United States should observe good faith and justice toward all nations and cultivate peace and harmony with all, should not have hatreds against some nations and affections for others, should have foreign relations based solely on commerce, and should engage in equal and impartial trade with all, without seeking or granting favors or preferences.”

Geez, how naïve can one be?

A second noted Fruit Loop said, “We should not meddle with the internal affairs of any other country.  Instead, we should have free trade with all nations and political entanglements with none.”

Completely bonkers.

Then there is a third loony libertarian with an entire cranium full of Fruit Loops, who said, “The purpose of our foreign policy is not to bring enlightenment or happiness to the rest of the world, but to ensure the life, liberty, and happiness of the American people.”

This loon went on to say that we should not engage in wars of liberation or otherwise interfere in foreign wars.  Then the crackpot followed with this:  “Erroneous moral principle is the most fruitful of all the sources of human calamity and vice.”

How does someone acquire such dangerous notions?  Well, with respect to the third guy, his mother had drilled him in Horace’s motto about Roman mothers despising war, or in Latin, bella matronis detestata.

Who is this third guy?

Well, he is none other than John Quincy Adams, the son of John and Abigail Adams.

Who is the first guy?

That would be George Washington.

The second guy?

Thomas Jefferson.

(Note:  Editorial license was taken with the quoted comments of each of the three, in order to contemporize the flowery language of the eighteenth century.)

How could these three guys have been so stupid?  Well, John Quincy Adams’ education explains how.  He studied six foreign languages, the classics, history, political theory, the Bible, and a season of “The Apprentice” on TV.  (Note to today’s college-educated millennials:  The last was a joke.)  He also spent seventeen years in European capitals after he accompanied his father to Paris in 1778.  By the age of twelve, he was clerking for the highest U.S. emissaries.  Upon returning home, he earned two degrees at Harvard and began a law practice.  (Source:  The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy, by Walter A. McDougall)

Not having benefited from today’s multiculturalism, diversity, and political correctness, John Quincy Adams didn’t think much of Spanish (aka Hispanic) customs, culture and rule.  He called Latin Americans of his era “the most ignorant, the most bigoted, the most superstitious of all the Roman Catholics in Christendom.”

Yeah, John Quincy Adams was sure a dumbbell and far inferior intellectually to such contemporary political thinkers as Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Wolf Blitzer, Megyn Kelly, and the rest of the media/political highbrows who enlighten the American public about the true meaning of being an American and the indispensable role of America in the world.

Just think of what where we’d be if Americans still embraced the three Fruit Loops of Washington, Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams.  We wouldn’t be in the middle of the Israel/Palestine conflict, we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq or Afghanistan, we wouldn’t be protecting Europeans from the bogeyman named Putin, we wouldn’t have sent 50,000 Americans to their death in Vietnam, we wouldn’t have VA hospitals full of veterans with psychological and physical wounds, and we wouldn’t be in bed with such undemocratic regimes as the Saudis for their oil, because we would have the same understanding as Adam Smith about the wonders of markets in meeting demand for resources.

So why don’t I want anything to do with libertarians?  Because conservatives, neocons, liberals, and neoliberals have convinced me that libertarians are Fruit Loops, even though libertarians embrace the same policy of non-aggression as the Founders.  This means that the Founders also must have been Fruit Loops.

I have a final question, though:  Isn’t it un-American to think that the Founders were Fruit Loops?

Do We Need a Superstate?

If the state is required to overcome the free-rider problem, what’s required to overcome the free-rider problem inherent in the state?

News Roundup 1/15/17

  • Millennial’s income is 20% less than the Baby Boomer generation’s income was at the same stage in life. [Link]
  • The DOJ report on the Chicago Police shows the department has a culture of abuse and corruption. The report highlights the abuse towards African Americans. [Link]
  • Palestinians in the Gaza Strip only have power for four hours each day. Some people are starting to protest the Hamas government to turn the power back on. Part of the problem is that nearly 70% of consumers do not pay their electric bill. [Link]
  • ISIS is launching an offensive in an attempt to take the Syria government-controlled areas of Deir al-Zour. Deir al-Zour connects Raqqa to ISIS territory in Iraq. Over 30 have been killed in fighting so far. [Link]
  • Iraqi forces continue to make progress against ISIS forces in East Mosul. Iraqi forces are currently fighting to take Mosul University from ISIS. [Link]
  • Up to 30 people were killed when a US coalition missile or Iraqi missile hit civilians in Mosul. [Link]
  • In Iraq, ISIS burned a family of five alive for trying to escape ISIS rule. [Link]

The Antiwar Comic: The Russians Are Coming!

Will this election end?  I’m sure we’re all going to have lots to criticize the Donald about in the coming months, but Democrat Deadenders are really making it difficult with this nonsense.  I mean, if they stopped to think about it, do you really want to trust the CIA?

More comics at The Webcomic Factory.

Hypocrisy over Interference in Elections

Jonathan Marshall, a first-rate foreign-policy reporter and analyst, exposes the hypocrisy of American concern over alleged Russian manipulation of U.S. democracy in “Who’s the Real Manipulator of Elections?” This is must-reading for those who want to understand this issue, which is fueling Russophobia, a new McCarthyism, and a revived Cold War. The bottom line is that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

News Roundup 1/14/17

  • Trump selects Rudi Giuliani to be his cyber security advisor. [Link]
  • Both Houses of Congress pass a resolution for a budget that will allow the repeal of the tax and spending provisions of Obamacare with a simple majority vote. The budget resolution also added trillions of dollars to the national debt. This is not a bill, so no changes to US law will occur from its passing and it does not require a presidential signature.  [Link] [Link]
  • The EPA locks in a rule that will require all automakers to have an average MPG of 50 across their fleet of cars by 2025. [Link]
  • Julian Assange restates his pledge to be extradited to the US in exchange for Obama granting Chelsea Manning clemency. [Link]
  • Through executive action, Obama eliminates the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that has applied to Cuban citizens entering the US. Under the law, any Cuban who reached American soil was allowed to stay and seek citizenship. [Link]
  • On a leaked tape, John Kerry admits the US watched ISIS grow and thought the US could manage ISIS. The US was hoping ISIS would be a problem for Assad. [Link]
  • Fighting continues between rival governments in Libya. The National Salvation government seized three buildings in Tripoli from the UN-backed government. [Link]
  • Russia has invited Trump Administration officials to upcoming Syrian peace talks. [Link]

Interviews

I did some. 13 this week. Some are here. More coming soon.

Br’er Rabbit and the Neocons

Considering the hawkishness of Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense-designate James Mattis, the neocons’ opposition to Donald Trump looks more like Br’er Rabbit’s opposition to the briar patch.

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