Friday, August 5, 2011

Linkin' Log

Time I used some of these links. If you've already seen all these, congratulations!

This blogger argues (via) that Obama's in the running for one of the worst presidents we've ever had.
He is not there yet, he has some powerful competition, but like a pitcher winning games after 300, he is rapidly going to pass many of them. Of course, no one can be as bad as Buchanan, who brought America to the brink of civil war, but the number two slot is up for grabs. And Obama's debt game, is him seizing a chance to be the most nakedly criminal President since Nixon.
Aside from the sheer relief of seeing someone say such things, the post is worth reading just for the history. I didn't learn much about Buchanan or Tyler in high school history -- I only knew of Tyler as half of a campaign slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too", and Buchanan as the only "confirmed bachelor" (nudge nudge, wink wink) President we've had. History really is interesting, if it's done right.
I do have to quibble with one of reasons the blogger thinks Obama is so bad:
8. Failure to engage in the simple act of removing the dictator of Libya once that course was decided upon, and allowing the rest of the Arab Spring to become like the Revolution of 1830 in France: replace one dictator with another. In case you don't know they are still beating protestors in Egypt
First, Obama has no business trying to remove a foreign dictator. That sort of meddling in other countries' affairs is exactly what the US shouldn't do. It's permissible to refuse to do business with such a person, but that's exactly what the US likes to do, and had been doing with Qaddafy since the middle of the Bush administration -- all the lovely oil, don't you know. Second, how should Qaddafy be removed? The US/NATO alliance has already tried to kill him directly, but only managed to kill family members and other civilians. The US pretended at first that we were attacking Libya solely to protect civilians, but we didn't stay with that course either. What we've got here is another case of the fallacy that you should always stick with your principles and finish whatever you start, even if your principles are awful and you're doing something you never should have started. (I know, it breaks my heart to kill all these civilians, but now that we've started we have to keep going until we've killed them all.)

Hm, his number ten, "Failure to address the ongoing protectionism in China", isn't so good either. The US is in no position to cast the first stone there; we built our economic power on protectionism, like virtually all developing countries.

Here's an interesting post on the effect of the debt ceiling deal on citizen activism elsewhere, as in Wisconsin. And did you know? "All of their [Ohio's, that is] Democratic House members voted no on the debt ceiling deal. And, if you're wondering about the Wisconsin delegation, I can tell you, just one of their three Democratic House members voted yes, compared to every Republican."

Here's Jane Hamsher on the "primary Obama" meme:
Whenever the talk of a primary comes up, I always ask “who is going to do this?” The answer is always someone like Bernie Sanders or Jan Schakowsky, the same people whose job it is to put the Good Liberal Housekeeping Seal of Approval on whatever piece of neoliberal shit the White House cooks up to please the bond vigilantes. The people who suddenly become okay with war when the White House says so, who shake their fists in the air with outrage right before they fold, the people you can count on to always be there when there’s nothing they can do…and are nowhere to be found when they can. ...

If you want my attention, tell me how you’re going to take out Bernie Sanders or Jan Schakowsky or Raul Grijalva or Peter Welch. Let me know how you plan to send a message and enforce discipline with the people who claim to represent your values, but betray them over and over again because they have no fear whatsoever of you. Dennis Kucinich is getting redistricted out of office, so the other side certainly knows how to make themselves heard. Message received.

Yesterday Bernie’s job was to stand up in the Senate and whine about Tea Party extremists. If Bernie had one-tenth of their conviction, his vote alone could have saved the country from the shitty health care bill that put them all in office.

If you want to have power, stop slobbering all over abject failure. And stop dreaming that you’ll ever have any influence at the top by elevating people whose only systemic function is to serve as an opiate for liberals when they’re getting screwed. Good lord, Mitch McConnell ran circles around the Democrats these past few weeks. Even as you watched him orchestrate the American decline, you had to marvel at his political skill — and acknowledge there was no one on the left who could do that.

Finally, there's this good piece on how the US smothered youth resistance. (I think "smothered" or "stifled" is more accurate than "crushed.") The upheavals of the Sixties were a signal to our owner-rulers that our young had too much time on their hands. A relatively affluent society that encouraged them to go to college just let them start thinking. Along with a surge in the corporate war against working people, we got a more or less conscious offensive on the young, to make sure they'd never have so much freedom again. The writer doesn't mention Obama's cooptation of their idealism in the service of his election, and of course schools have always "educated for compliance and not for democracy," but if you hadn't noticed the functions of some of the other social changes Levine mentions, read the article.

I've added emptywheel and Ian Welsh to the blogroll because they've written so much lately that I found helpful, and so I wanted to keep an eye on what they said next. You might want to do that too.