Friday, March 25, 2011

Presidential Irony

How bitter is the irony of Obama playing Nixon to Bush II's LBJ in the Middle East? In this scenario Bush's Dad is Kennedy, cautiously engaging in Iraq the same way Kennedy was only willing to dip America's toes into Vietnam. Bush I let the Shi'ites get massacred by Saddam because he was unwilling to commit to a drive on Baghdad. The follies of the son have shown this was the more prudent, if less moral, policy.

Here is Obama, following Bush II's LBJ, after a disastrous War with a massive cost of blood and treasure, he is married to staying the course. But why, Mr. President? For Nixon, the answer was ideological, but Obama is a pragmatist.

Iraq has yet to form a government and civil war is never more than a moment away. Afghanistan is mired in corruption and warlordism. In Pakistan, the United States is on the side of the anti-democrats. America is on the side of the dictators in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Bahrain, too, yet Colonel Quaddafi must go? Alas and alack.

Where is the administration's analysis for maintaining a massive, resented, military presence in Afghanistan? What about supporting an independent Kurdistan? A democratic Pakistan? Why support the status quo in Yemen and Bahrain?

Much like we would have voted for McGovern over Nixon, we should have gone Kucinich or Paul over Obama.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blaming the victim

The Clarion Content favors school uniforms, we believe uniforms help improve focus and eliminate potential classroom distractions. However, we do not support draconian school dress codes, which are quite different than uniforms. These dress codes, rather than eliminate confusion and issues, exponentially increase them by setting up battles where youth, inherently, naturally, push the limits creating conflicts with parents, teachers and administrators.

It was during the debate on imposing a statewide (as a sidenote surely this is an issue to be addressed on the local, not the state level) dress code in Florida schools that we heard one of the most egregious cases of blame the victim we have ever heard.

In attempting to illustrate the need for a dress code with the case of an eleven year-old Texas girl who was gang-raped by more than a dozen men, Florida State Representative Kathleen Passidomo said, "There was an article about an eleven year-old girl who was gang-raped in Texas by eighteen young men because she was dressed like a twenty-one year-old prostitute. And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students."

Wow!?! An eleven year-old kid, gang-raped by eighteen men and it was her fault because of how she was dressed?!? She had it coming? She wanted it? Eleven year-olds cannot consent to sex in this country. Period. We hope Representative Passidomo's constituents are calling for the resignation of this anti-feminist hater.

Read more here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The difference between Socialism and Capitalism

We grabbed this brilliant bit from our friends over at the MEP Report. Always challenging, probing and inspiring. You should check them out here.

Earthquake moved Japan 8 feet!!!

Reports from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that the coast of Japan moved eight feet during the massive 8.9 earthquake off of its northeastern coast last week. The earthquake was the most powerful to hit the island archipelago in its recorded history. The quake was so big that it shifted the Earth on its axis. Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9 magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).

Read more here at CNN.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Palin's 15 minutes up?

A newly released Bloomberg poll shows strongly negative numbers for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. 1001 adults were polled and 60% had an unfavorable opinion of Governor Palin, while only 28% had a favorable opinion. Interestingly, when compared to other politicians like Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie, more people had an opinion one way or the other about Palin than any other American politician, save for President Obama. Analysts say this means Palin will have a harder time moving the favorability ratings in her direction. More people have made up their mind on her, one way or the other, than any of the other potential 2012 candidates.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Deficit Hawk

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, a noted deficit hawk, gave Fortune magazine writer, Nin-Hai Tseng, an interview this week where he laid out some of the realities of the state of the state in Washington, D.C. Senator Coburn is often regarded as an eccentric, wild card---modern Washington parlance for a straight shooter who does not kowtow to lobbyists. The conservative Coburn has no patience for inefficiency in government, even in arenas traditionally sacrosanct to Republicans.

When asked about the Defense Department Coburn said, "I think there is at least $50 billion of waste in the US Department of Defense. But we don't really know because nothing in the Defense Department can be measured because they don't have audited financial statements. They're not even sure what they're buying and they're not even sure if they've paid for it. One of the things I've been working on for the last two years is to put financial controls in the Defense Department. They're highly effective at what they do but they're highly inefficient. There's a lot of money in that $600 billion budget that we could save just through good management practices."

The Senator also laid it on the line about the precarious state of America's finances, "I've studied a lot of international finance in the last year and a half and I've read the works of every major economist around the world and I've talked to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and I've talked to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. We're in deep weeds right now. If something collapses in the Middle East, and interest rates go up, we have the potential to go on a downward spiral that we cannot get out of. We're going to become Japan, too."

Obama and Libya

One more reality check for all the Obama apologists shoveling the bullshit filled buckets labeled "Change". The Obama administration, over Congressional objections, had been pushing a $77 million deal to provide at least 50 refurbished armored troop carriers to Moammar Gadhafi's army. Congress had stalled the deal which would have benefited the massive multinational arms dealer, BAE.

This is different from what King George the II was up to how? Rhetorically? We are supposed to take solace in although the Obama administration is more of the same, he at least denies that he is on the side of the dictators and the huge companies that profit from their existence? Isn't that actually worse? At least, we, the People, knew where George Bush II stood. He made no bones about the fact that he was screwing the little guy into the ground to help the Kenneth Lays of the world. The Associated Press reports, "General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman were among companies listed as attending the 2008 and 2010 Libya Defense and Security Exhibition in Tripoli."

BAE is a British firm with a United States subsidiary, BAE Systems, Inc., listed in 2010 as the nation's 12th largest government contractor. It is headquartered in Rockville, Md. It is a classic case of the rotten junction of politics, money and the military industrial complex. The company's board is chaired by former Gen. Anthony Zinni, former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command; former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, an Obama foreign policy mentor; and former Bush administration Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff.

Some change, Mr. President. Obama spouts a lot of rhetoric, then sells arms to Libya anyway, while green lighting tax relief for the very richest Americans. Nice work, Barry

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not Huckabee

This week, no less of conservative leading light than Washington Post columnist George Will, dismissed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's chances of winning the Republican Presidential nomination. Will said the average American wouldn't trust Huckabee to run a lemonade stand let alone have his finger on the button.

Will thinks the nominee should be drawn from a more obscure list that includes Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

It should be remembered that Will is, what would have been called back in the day, a Rockfeller Republican, not exactly a salt of the earth, Palinista.