Category Archives: Barack Obama

Keystone Kaput

It appears the Obama Administration is putting the kabosh on the Keystone XL pipeline, at least, that’s the early word. Republicans are gonna howl like stuck pigs, seeing as how the oil industry has bought their support, er, invested $12 million in contributions to friendly Congress critters.

They’re also gonna make up all sorts of nonsense about how this is gonna kill tens of thousands of jobs, a blatant lie.

Here’s a handy fact sheet explaining why this project has been so controversial and a pre-emptive debunking of some of the more notorious lies which I’m sure will be all over the news today because journalists won’t be able to “fact-check” at Wikipedia.

Oh, and yay. We finally win one. (Knock wood.)

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Filed under Barack Obama, Big Oil, environment

Boehner FAIL

John Boehner couldn’t muster up enough votes in the House for his debt plan, and with good reason: it sucks. It doesn’t address the long-term debt and it’s a short-term fix, which means we’ll be going through this whole frustrating exercise again in six months in the heat of a presidential campaign. In other words: it’s a political game.

I just don’t get it. I can’t imagine what Boehner is thinking, wasting so much time and effort and political capital on a failed plan that will just result in the same awful scenario in a few months. This has to be the mother of all political miscalculations: does Boehner really think the Republicans are coming out smelling like a rose here? Poll after poll says otherwise.

Yesterday I spoke to my Conservative Friend™ about this; he’s pissed off, mightily pissed off, says if he loses his small business because of political games people are playing in Washington he’s going to do something rash. The Tea Party “can kiss my nuts,” he said, which made me laugh because he said it with so much … passion. And then, of President Obama, he said: “I didn’t vote for the guy. But at least he’s trying to get people to come together on this, you know? At least he’s making an effort to protect the country. He’s probably being too bipartisan at this point.”

And then he stunned me with this astute observation: “What it all boils down to is they want the president to fail. They don’t want to fix the problem, they want the entire country to go down the drain so they can blame Obama. And you know why? Because he’s black. That’s what this is about.”

Yeah, that’s a conservative saying this. Not just any conservative, but a Wilson County, redneck, small-business blue collar guy. A guy who told me he voted for John McCain because he liked Sarah Palin. So, nice job Republicans. You’re not doing a very good job of selling your message to the American people here.

You really want to go through this again next year, too? Really?

[UPDATE]:

Bob Corker gets the message.

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Filed under Barack Obama, budget, John Boehner

>And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

>Obama’s Surgeon General pick Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been a veritable fountain of bad advice during his tenure at CNN. But the only time I ever blogged about him was to question his recommendation that financially-strapped viewers cut their prescription pills in half.

At which point an astute reader pointed me to this article outlining Gupta’s financial ties to Merck. Apparently during the time Gupta was on CNN promoting Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil and dismissing the dangers of Merck’s Vioxx pills, he was co-hosting an integrated marketing program sponsored by Merck called AccentHealth.

This strikes me as very bad form for a journalist, but of course Gupta is not a journalist, he’s a television personality, and of course he doesn’t know any better. This is the problem with modern broadcast news, which eschews journalists for the so-called “experts” who supposedly know more than any real reporter could.

CNN is the real culprit here for allowing this situation to exist in the first place. This opens the door wide to corporate hegemony, or what the article describes as

the growing tentacles of a corporate agenda that seeks to control every message pertaining to its corporate brands in every venue visited or medium viewed by a consumer.

We are left with questions surrounding Gupta’s judgment and whether his ties to corporations like Merck influenced his news coverage of that company and its products. We’ll never know if Gupta dismissed the risks of heart attack associated with Vioxx out of ignorance or avarice, but we do know Vioxx got yanked off the shelves and Merck settled an avalanche of lawsuits related to the product.

This does not mean to say I am out-and-out against the appointment of Gupta to U.S. Surgeon General. Seems to me that job is mostly about PR and communication, and Gupta has proved himself adept at that. But I do think most of the media snickering over Obama’s pick misses the point. “Judge Judy for the Supreme Court?” Ha ha very funny, Jay Newton-Small. The point is not that Gupta is a television personality who may be appointed to public office–have you nitwits forgotten that Ronald Reagan was a television personality, for crying out loud?

The point is to look at what it means to be a television personality in this day and age. Oftentimes it means being a shill for corporate advertisers. Someone should be looking into this, because I’m not sure we want the U.S. Surgeon General to be on Merck’s payroll.

Just a thought.

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Filed under Barack Obama, CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, media, U.S. Surgeon General

>Pastor Problems

>Apparently we liberals are up in arms over the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at President-elect Obama’s inauguration.

Overlooked in the uproar is this info from Salon’s War Room:

This time, though, the decision to get involved with Saddleback was actually not Obama’s. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, run by the House and Senate, put together the program for the swearing-in ceremony. Congress, not Obama, invited Warren (as well as scheduling a musical performance by Aretha Franklin; here’s hoping she doesn’t reprise the 2005 inaugural performance of John Ashcroft’s “Let the Eagle Soar”).

Really? Maybe I’m a skeptic, but I’m calling bullshit on that one. I find it hard to believe that if Obama objected to the pastor giving the invocation at his inauguration, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies would still have overruled him.

But what do I know. Definitely worth keeping an eye on, though.

Yes, there are lots of reasons why liberals would hate this choice for the presidential inauguration–Warren’s support of Proposition 8, his anti-choice stance, giving President Bush an “international medal of peace,” plus the whole way he set up Obama with a phony ”cone of silence” deal, etc. etc. Oh, I could go on.

I have my own reasons for not liking Warren, which have nothing to do with his position on social issues and obvious partisanship, and everything to do with what I call his “bullshit driven empire.” When religion and commerce meet, I have a problem. And this strikes me as the antithesis of what Jesus preached:

The ubiquitous “celebripastor” […] recently announced that he and Reader’s Digest have formed a “partnership” aimed at “produc[ing] an inspirational multimedia platform called ‘The Purpose Driven Connection.’”

The Plan: According to a Reader’s Digest press release, “the organizations will pool their international resources to produce and publish this Purpose Driven platform to help people who are seeking their purpose in life and wish to interact with others on their spiritual journeys.” The goal is to “provide a suite of bundled multimedia tools: The Purpose Driven Connection, a quarterly magazine; small group study materials delivered in DVDs, workbooks and downloadable discussion guides; and a state-of-the-art Christian social networking Web site.” All for a $29 membership fee.

This isn’t Christianity, it’s merchandising, and it’s revolting.

There’s already a host of Purpose Driven crap for sale as it is. Someone overturn this money-changer’s table already.

I don’t care that Rick Warren loves fetuses and hates gays, that’s standard-issue with this crowd. I do think he’s profiting from his soul-salvation business and that in my book is Class A hucksterism. He’s a fraud and shouldn’t be given the platform the Presidential inauguration provides.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Reader's Digest, rick warren

>No Room At The Inn

>How apt for this holiday season:

Sorry, We’re Booked, White House Tells Obamas

Updated | 3:12 p.m. CHICAGO—The White House has turned down a request from the family of President-elect Barack Obama to move into Blair House in early January so that his daughters can start school on Jan. 5.

The Obamas were told that Blair House, where incoming presidents usually stay in the five days before Inauguration Day, is booked in early January, a spokesperson to the Obama transition said. “We explored the idea so that the girls could start school on schedule,’ the spokesperson said. “But, there were previously scheduled events and guests that couldn’t be displaced.”

It remained unclear who on Bushes guest list outranked the incoming President.

Wow, that’s so family-friendly! Keep it classy, Bushie.

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Filed under Barack Obama, President Bush

>SCOTUS Redux

>While the Supreme Court declined to take on the last Obama citizenship petition, which Clarence Thomas brought to the court, now Justice Scalia has taken on an identical case:

Justice Scalia, by referring Wrotnowski v. Bysiewicz to committee on Dec. 12 may allow the Supreme Court to decide upon Barack Obama’s status as a presidential candidate before the currently scheduled Electoral College election day, December 15.

This case is essentially similar to the case of Leo Donofrio, who assisted Connecticut lawyer, Cort Wrotnoski, in drafting it. According to Donofrio, the basis is very much the same (not essentially about the birth certificate, but regarding a foreign father) and it includes additional corroborative research and/or reasoning. Also, the history of this case is less problematic for the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) than the Donofrio case, due to a suspicious misfiling of the latter case by a New Jersey judge which may have provoked a question of standing before the Supreme Court.

Oh, fer chrissakes. Talk about your “activist judges.”

So I guess the two conservative ideologues on the SCOTUS will continue to accept petitions challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as President until, what? A third Bush term? Another election? Nancy Pelosi is president?

Remember when everyone was clamoring at Al Gore to concede the election “for the good of the country”? Yeah, good times, good times.

This is ridiculous. For more, read Salon’s coverage of today’s press conference, which appeared to be long on looney, short on sanity. If this is the crowd Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia are hoping to legitimize, I seriously question their ability to serve on the nation’s highest court.

(h/t, Sadly, No!)

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Filed under Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama, Supreme Court

>Supreme Court To Decide Election AGAIN?

>[UPDATE]:

Looks like the petition is for real.
—————————————
I bet you thought Barack Obama won the presidency and everything was on track for a January inauguration. Fools!

In an extremely unusual move, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has agreed to consider a petition challenging Barack Obama’s citizenship after Justice David Souter had already rejected the petition.

I can’t vouch for the legitimacy of this story, since its source is a publication I’ve never heard of (“ Afro American Newspapers”), but here’s the scoop:

Supreme Court To Decide Obama Citizenship

All eyes will be on the Supreme Court Friday when an eight member panel will consider a lawsuit challenging the legal status of President-elect Barack Obama.

The Afro American Newspapers first reported the story on its website Wednesday night, calling Justice Clarence Thomas’ action highly unusual.

The same case was rejected by Judge David Souter earlier in the year. 

When Thomas agreed to hear the appeal he apparently broke with a court tradition of justices not interceding in cases where a colleague has ruled.

The President-elect has maintained he was born in the United States.

For some history, I blogged about this phony “birth certificate” story back in October when a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit. The Afro American Newspapers story is here. Basically, some delusional wingnuts have claimed that Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen, all evidence to the contrary. Despite the fact that federal judges have dismissed similar lawsuits on the issue, Clarence Thomas thinks the petition deserves to be heard.

Just as an aside, did you know that the only Supreme Court justice to be impeached was Samuel Chase, who

was impeached for allegedly letting his partisan leanings affect his court decisions.

Yeah, Clarence Thomas might want to remember that.

I guess presiding over one coup in 2000 wasn’t enough for Justice Thomas. Not that I think there’s any chance this will happen, but should SCOTUS decide for some reason that Obama is ineligible to serve as our 44th President they had better be prepared for some major civil unrest as a consequence of that action. I personally will be taking to the streets, as will everyone else I know, and don’t for a second think it will be a phony Brooks Brothers riot-style action.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Supreme Court

>Denial: Not Just A River In Egypt

>[UPDATE]:

Heh. I guess it could be worse. In Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shuttered a newspaper for putting Obama on the cover.

——————————————
Nope, that river runs through the heartland of America, too.

While America celebrates Barack Obama’s election victory, if not for political reasons than at least for the transformation in racial equality that it represents, certain stubborn pockets of the nation remain resistant.

First we have Sapulpa, OK, where the local newspaper refused to cover Obama’s victory:

The Sapulpa Daily Herald did not report that Barack Obama won the Presidential election in its Wednesday edition.

One paragraph on the front page did report the majority of Creek County voted for McCain.

“This is not only national, but it’s also local. And this is our President; he’s President of Sapulpa also,” said Scott Gordon.

More than a dozen protesters stood in front of the Herald’s downtown office Friday morning to get answers from publisher Darren Sumner.

Lest you think this is an isolated incident, my mother-in-law who lives in rural Western Kentucky reports that their local paper did not report on who won the presidential election, either. I’d say a lot of small town newspapers, steeped in denial, just couldn’t bring themselves to report the news.

It’s even worse a little further south in Mississippi, where teachers in Puckett and Pearl won’t even let students mention the president-elect’s name.

You guys do know that whether you talk about it or not, Barack Obama is still the president-elect, right?

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama

That Didn’t Take Long

Get your Obama impeachment gear here.

Of course, you might want to wait for him to actually take office before looking for reasons to impeach him.

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Filed under Barack Obama, impeachment

>Reagan Democrats

>They’re baaaack … sorta. Meet the former Reagan Administration officials who have endorsed Barack Obama:

Ken Duberstein, Reagan’s Chief of Staff;

Colin Powell, National Security Advisor;

Douglas Kmiec , head of the Office of Legal Counsel;

Paul Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve;

Ken Adelman, Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency under Reagan, and an advisor on the Soviet Union;

Peter Bridges, Reagan’s Ambassador to Somalia;

Charles Fried , Solicitor General of the United States;

Francis Fukuyama , advisor to Reagan on foreign policy and security issues;

Larry Hunter , Reagan’s chief economist;

Terry Golden , Assistant Secretary of Treasury and Administrator of the General Services Administration;

William Ruckelshaus , EPA director, also acting director of the FBI and Deputy Attorney General of the United States;

AND

William Weld, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts under Reagan and later Massachusetts governor.

I could go on but I think this list is impressive enough.

I’m just curious what those conservative McCain supporters who still revere Ronald Reagan think they know about Obama that these folks don’t. I’m not talking about differences on policy issues, I’m talking about those folks who say they can’t vote for Obama because he’s “risky,” “Muslim,” a “terrorist,” has “bad associations with scary people,” etc.

Is there a conservative out there who really thinks that Ronald Reagan’s former national security advisor would put America in the hands of an Islamic terrorist? Are there conservatives who truly believe that two of the folks who crafted the Reagan Doctrine would endorse a Communist for president of the United States?

Is there a conservative out there who thinks that Ronald Reagan’s chief economist would endorse a Marxist or Socialist? Or that Reagan’s former advisor during summits with Mikhail Gorbachev would want to see a Communist as president? Or that all of these former Reagan advisors and officials would endorse for president someone with supposedly “the most liberal record in Washington,” instead of the Republican–a Republican who was in Congress during the Reagan years, I might add?

That just doesn’t make sense to me. But I guess the average LIV doesn’t know about all of Obama’s support from across the aisle, since it’s not the type of stuff you hear on Fox News. But hey, McCain has Joe The Plumber, whom McCain called his “personal hero.”

But don’t take it from me. Take it from Ronald Reagan himself.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan