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Joe Biden: We leave Afghanistan in 2014. Period.

I generally don't cite Dave Wiegel's work but I think his propaganda is worth reading in this case.  I watched a lot of the detonating of the nuclear option in the Senate yesterday on C-SPAN.  So the filibuster is history, for the moment, or maybe for good.  A lot of people think it's a no brainer that the Republicans will now use this a a precedent for everything they do, when the Senate comes under their control, whenever that happens. That remains to be seen.  

I've seen strong opinions out there, and I tend to agree, that the Republicans won't limit it to non-SCOTUS judicial confirmations either, as Harry did yesterday. They'll nuke the filibuster for everything.  And I believe that's what's next for Harry Reid too, at the behest of Barack Obama.  I think the way this will be spun is that now that Harry nuked the filibuster, Republicans will take advantage of that the first chance they get and they will nuke it for every single thing that gets voted on in the Senate.  And since we know they will do that, then we should go ahead and do it ourselves, preemptively.  I think that's how it will go and it will make perfect sense and it will be justifiable. Why? Because the filibuster hasn't just been used to block Obama's appointments to various positions, judicial and otherwise.  It's been used to destroy good legislation, time and time again.

Now here is where it gets hard to explain what I'm sensing and speculating.  I think it's a given that Democrats, the left-wing of the Corporate party have used the filibuster habits of the right-wing of the Corporate party as a tool perhaps even more than the Republicans have.  I don't think that many people here disagree that the whole "we don't have the 60 votes" has been used as an excuse ad nauseum, for not passing good legislation, things that serve the interests of the people, and it's been used as an excuse by this president since day one.  I don't think anyone has forgotten how Joe Lieberman stepped up and used the filibuster to poison good bills when we had given the Democrats such good majorities that they really had to jump through hoops to explain why they couldn't pass things that the people wanted and that were possible.  And we're not just talking about small things. We're talking about critical issues, critical bills during critical times.  Time and time again, the Democrats sadly, oh so sadly, regretfully, could not pass the bills that they wanted and poor Obama just couldn't do for the people what, deep in his heart, he really wanted to do, because of that damned filibuster.  Alas!

So during those critical times, for those critical bills, why didn't Harry Reid exercise the nuclear option on the filibuster?  Why didn't he do it for the health care bill, for Dodd-Frank, for the various crises?  These are extraordinary times, are they not?  Extreme measures are justified in every other way because of 9/11, because the country is at war, because Wall Street crashed the global economy, because of severe recession, because of unemployment, because because of climate change, because of extremism and polarization, etc. The country is literally in a state of emergency. Does anyone in this world doubt that we've been in a continuous crisis ever since this president took office, and even before that? Our very democracy is at risk for reasons we are all familiar with. Our government has gutted the Constitution in certain ways because of the extraordinary circumstances.  So there has never been any lack of justification for removing the filibuster, a manufactured rule that subverts majority rule in the Senate.

But this president and his tool, the Senate, and the good cop left-wing of the Corporate party have used it to their advantage.  Republicans have blocked judges for five years and other than periodic whining, nobody did anything about it.  But suddenly, at a time when Obama has gotten his compromised signature achievement legislation finished, they've decided they just can't take it anymore and in order to get the judges approved they took a drastic measure and nuked the filibuster, after threatening to do it before but backing off and doing gentleman's agreements instead, which everyone knew would be broken and were broken in short order.  

So why did Harry Reid and Barack Obama feel that they had to nuke the filibuster now?  After all this time?  I don't think this was about judges.  I'm betting that the Dems take the nuclear option further and nuke it for legislation too and what worries me is that there are a few things on Obama's agenda, some of them things he has been obsessive about, and there are other things that the powers that be want to be able to stop from happening, such as repealing parts of the PATRIOT Act and reining in the NSA programs and committing to keep troops in Afghanistan for another decade at least and paying many billions to prop up their govt and their military and law enforcement.  There are other potential things on the horizon in the foreign policy arena too, such as discussions of putting troops into Libya to try to stabilize a country that we deliberately destabilized.  Who knows if designs on Syria and Assad are still in the works, at a time when the Congress and the country have absolutely no appetite for more war?  Or maybe one of the things in their agenda is a positive thing, peace agreement with Iran and opposition from a very Israel friendly Congress is anticipated.

And there is this dangerous coalition that has cropped up on the left and the right, a group of lawmakers who defy the Corporate party leadership, dangerous in eyes of the 1% powers that be and the military/intelligence complex, and they must be stopped.  There is "entitlement reform" and an austerity agenda, flattening the tax code and cutting corporate rates, a grand bargain, perhaps offshore drilling, all of which might be filibusted by progressive leaning Senators or a mix of Senators on both sides of the aisle.  I don't know how much difference one senator makes but they've now got Cory Booker who will toe the 1% line who replaced Lautenberg, a guy with many years and a lot of progressive influence, a guy who was nobody's fool.  Lautenberg caused Menendez to be cautious about his neoliberal and hawkish stances and there has been a noticeable difference in him since Lautenberg has been gone.  And then there is the TPP and the Euro trade agreements. The TPP was negotiated in secret, kept secret even from the Congress.  Obama wants to subvert the Constitution (again, this isn't the first time he's gone for this method) and do an end run around the normal Congressional process, by fast tracking TPP, allowing no amendments and putting it right to the floor for a vote with no input from committees or others.

He wants to take a bill crafted by the hundreds of corporate operatives who did have access to the TPP negotiations and documents when Congress did not, and force it onto the floor of Congress for a vote.  This is a trade agreement that will fundamentally change the way the world works and will undermine the power of the the Congress, the states, the people, the regulatory agencies, all in favor of the multinational corporations and the global bankers.  Members of the Senate on the left and the right who tend to defy the Corporate party leadership  are very likely to object to that and the filibuster could come from the left or the right, actually.  It's tragic that every member of Congress, House and Senate, don't try to kill the thing, but that's the corrupt state of affairs today.  

So my fear is that the real reason that Harry Reid and Barack Obama nuked the filibuster is because there are things on the agenda that are so unpopular and IMHO so wrong, that the only way they can bulldoze them through Congress is by getting rid of the filibuster threat and by passing them with a majority, perhaps with Joe Biden's help as a tie breaker vote, and with Nancy Pelosi's superb arm twisting skills and with the significant number of D votes in the House added to the votes that Boehner, also a Corporate party leader, can get, and to make sure that members of Congress with a conscience can't stop them.  

I hope I'm wrong and in fact, I don't think there's been a time when I have more strongly hoped my suspicions were wrong. But the timing of this filibuster thing smells, a lot. The best outcome is that it is what it looks like, on its face, and the Ds have just gotten sick and tired of the obstruction, especially after the govt shutdown, and Obama and the Dems have come around and realized that they need to put some more moderate influences into the conservative packed courts, and/or Obama has become concerned about his legacy and his plummeting approval ratings, and they see the leftward shift and more populist shift in the public sentiment and want to respond to it before their polling becomes more abysmal.  So maybe it's that.  But going by the history and the great lengths to which they go to playact and do the kabuki theater, I'm not betting on that, even though I am still hoping for it.

This Wiegel article is a two-page article and it's worth reading it to see how he lays it out.

How Democrats Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
The gutting of the Senate filibuster is a huge victory for progressives.

We do know how the Senate came to change its rules today, a vote that represented the biggest victory for the left since the election of President Barack Obama. That process started in the first weeks of 2009, after a Democratic landslide mighty enough to sweep even Al Franken into the upper house. The Republicans, who’d held 55 seats during the 2005 “nuclear option” fight, were down to 41. A new class of Democrats, including Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, buckled in for action.

They got a slog. An economic stimulus package, once expected to get up to 80 votes, got over the 60-vote cloture line only with huge concessions to three Republicans. A simple omnibus parks funding bill took weeks to pass. Then, in May, just enough Republicans held together to filibuster the president’s nominee for deputy secretary of the Interior. To Majority Leader Harry Reid’s surprise, the Democratic left honed in quickly on the filibuster, demanding that he change it.
[...]
Republicans didn’t try to convince Democrats otherwise. Their closing, baffled arguments against the filibuster reform (as recently as last week, Republican aides were confident the vote wouldn’t happen) were a series of threats, varying in their politeness. “When we have the majority, when we have a Republican president, we will put more people like Scalia on the court,” said Grassley when asked to envision a post-nuclear world. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that if the majority breaks the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate with regard to nominations, the next majority will do it for everything,” said McConnell.

Progressives know that. They expect that. They didn’t demand the change because they’re ignorant about the 2014 polls. If they lose that election, they’ll have given themselves a year to confirm judges and executive nominees. If they lose the presidency in 2016, they’ll have empowered a Republican to put judicial robes on whichever Federalist Society member he wants. But they expected Republicans to break the filibuster anyway. “I know that if there is a Republican president and a Republican majority,” Sen. Merkley said this month, “they will force up-and-down votes, because they demonstrated their commitment to that principle in 2005.”

Glen Ford in a series of interviews on the Real News about JFK's presidency.  Glen kind of shatters the myths about the Kennedy brothers and the civil rights movement.  Paul Jay pushes back about Bobby Kennedy and claims that he changed drastically over the years, which Ford doesn't really disagree with.  Ford, in his signature way, takes no prisoners and tells it like it is.  
Ford: "The Kennedy Brothers Thought the Civil Rights Movement Was a Nuisance at Best" Pt. 1

On this episode of Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Glen Ford discusses the JFK presidency and its relative indifference towards the black freedom struggle

Peter Kuznick, who worked with Oliver Stone on the Untold History of the United States series (which, from what I've seen of it, is a must watch, and which is now on DVD. I've not read the book but I suspect that is also well worth reading.  It begins earlier in time, late 1800's, than the TV series does, post WW1). Paul Jay is not an adoring interviewer like some other, say Charlie Rose.  He often challenges his guest, to varying degrees, and he does that a lot with Kuznick in this interview, using quotes from others, in this case Chomsky and Bacevich, both of whom are convincing (Bacevich more so than Chomsky in this case, IMHO.  I find something very "off" about Chomsky's sentiments toward Kennedy).  

Kuznick says that he dug deeper than others have, and claims that Kennedy's world view changed pretty drastically during his presidency, which is apparent when you examine his private conversations rather than the public ones.  Kuznick cites the Cuban missile crisis as a turning point and cites sentiments and statements Kennedy made, which indicate that he was constantly at loggerheads with his generals and the intelligence community.  He also talks a lot about his relationship and work with Khrushchev.  Kuznick acknowledges the hawkishness but says that others don't give enough weight to the rather drastic change in him after a couple of years in the White House.  Barack Obama is a prime example of why you shouldn't judge a president by his speeches, but I think that Kennedy's speech at American University might the exception to that rule because the speech is so exceptional, because there are numerous actions that support the views expressed in that speech, and because the animosity toward both Kennedy brothers by the military & intelligence community is well known and might very well have been the underlying reason for their assassinations due to the threat they posed to the burgeoning military & intelligence industrial complex.

Vietnam and the Legacy of the JFK Presidency - Peter Kuznick on Reality Asserts Itself Pt.1

On this episode of Reality Asserts Itself, Paul Jay and historian Peter Kuznick discuss whether or not JFK intended to withdraw from Vietnam before his assassination



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Comment Preferences

  •  Good morning. (14+ / 0-)

    I‘m hosting an online Transgender Day of Remembrance event tonight at 5pm eastern at Voices on the Square, 6pm Eastern at Docudharma and 7pm Eastern here at Daily Kos.


    Intersticial
  •  Morning tune - quite a different version (14+ / 0-)

    With this song, Moms became the oldest person (75 years old) to have a top 40 hit (#35) edition

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:47:52 AM PST

  •  Solar lamp post (14+ / 0-)

    I saw this down in NC and really liked it (though I'd stain the post).

    IMG_2023 - Copy


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:57:22 AM PST

  •  Happy... (14+ / 0-)

    Holiday Celebrating the Massacre of the Indigenous People of North America,  I hope that you and your family and friends are happy and safe with plenty to eat and be thankful for.

  •  New islet (from diary tweet) (10+ / 0-)

    is interesting. They don't know if it will last. It might erode and wash away. Then, again, it could solidify and stay if enough lava surfaces.

    Can't plant a flag just yet; the temperature of the rocks could be 1800 degrees F.

  •  Morning all (11+ / 0-)

    Well said Joanne: our majority in the Senate wasted by Joe Lieberman stepping up and using the filibuster to poison good bills.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:07:19 AM PST

  •  FP material, joanne. (13+ / 0-)

    Absolutely must-read for the entire community.

    Well done, joanne.

    Mornin', happenistas.

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass
    The 3rd Way has squandered our Resistance for a pocket full of mumbles, Such are promises All lies and jests; still a kossack's about the horse race And disregards the effects...

    by Words In Action on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:08:04 AM PST

  •  good morning all (13+ / 0-)

    Our government so unlike what we are taught.....

    I came across this comment made by Zen Rhen that Pluto had reposted......
     

    You want to thank those who gave minorities, the poor, women, the working class, every paltry benefit they have ever received from "government"?

    Then thank the people, the activists, the anarchists, the communists and socialists, the agitators and strikers, the labor protestors. Without them, and all they died for at the hands of government violence, we would not have the minimal, inadequate rights we have won from government.

    It was government that made the pro-slavery laws to begin with. It was government that stood in the way of equality for years. It was government that wrote the 3/5ths law into the US constitution, which, as a law, was very difficult to overturn.

    It was government that took the lands of free people in the New World, and practiced genocide. It was government which took one third of Mexico for itself by force, and now during Obama's term deports more Mexicans from their own lands than any other administration, while liberals like you pat themselves on the back for government protection of minorities. My god.

    It was government that refused women and minorities, and white men without property, the right to vote, so that in the first election of G. Washington, only 6% (the wealthier Americans) voted.

    It was government that provided enforcement of property "rights" of the owning class over other men during the slavery years.

    It was government which allowed and provided police to violently and murderously suppress worker's strikes to oppress the working class. It was government that tried to break up the unions, and has largely succeeded.

    It was government which has lied the nation into countless illegal wars. It was government that took us illegally into Iraq, and Vietnam, the Indian wars, the colonization of other lands.

    It was government that supported fascists regimes, while undermining democratic, socialist states.

    It is government that does nothing about climate change, the hegemony of the banking industry, the enabling of the disparities in wealth between the rich and the rest of us.

    It is government that incarcerates more citizens in the US than any other industrialized country. It is government that sanctions legal murder in capital punishment.

    It was government which has drug its feet for years on environmental protection and still does, bringing human kind to possible extinction in the next 100 years due to inaction.

    And that same government which now ignores international agreements against various war crimes made by a federation of nations to which it is a signatory.

    It isn't government that gave people their rights, it was the threat of revolt, of direct action, of losing support of the people, that forced a perpetually reluctant government to give in and respect rights.

    People are not given rights, but rather have their natural inherent right to live taken away by governments, and when some of these rights are returned, we thank government for the "gift" as if we need government to grant to us what was already ours.

    The only reason we got the "New Deal" is because Roosevelt and the existing plutocrats were worried about the unrest in the population during the great depression. The smarter ones like FDR realized a bone or two had to be given to the workers to keep the peace.

    For fucks sake, women still do not get equal pay in the work place, thanks to government top-down intransigence and imperviousness and inaccessibility to common people. And Blacks are still by far the least employed.

    Your deluded notion it is the central state which provides rights to the people ignores the years of struggle against government to repeal the horrible laws which have allowed all the atrocities to begin with.

    All of these same social rights and benefits can be provided by the people to themselves by free association, with agreements, and bottom up federations participatory communities. It is the people, not some separate, top down, central authority, who demand and fight  for economic and political equality. If not for the enormous struggle, these rights would not exist, if left to the elites in control of government.

    This was done in Spain during the anarchist revolution, and we are yet to provide all that the Spanish provided to their own communities during that period. In the '30s they built hundreds of free public schools, provided universal health care, pensions for all retirees, retirement at age 50, better safety in the workplace, healthier environments for food preparation, more respect for woman's rights, etc.

    In short, they gave themselves egalitarian equality on a scale that the US government has yet to come anything close to recognizing.

    It is never central government that does these things, but the people. When government gives respect to the people, it is only due to preserving the interests of its own existence that it does so.

    For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

    by allenjo on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:09:46 AM PST

  •  Good Morning Joanne and Happenistas! (12+ / 0-)

    Not walking yet since it is threatening rain again, but I may go solo or with Willie Bear later.

    I have several comments today. First this is the anniversary of the assassination of JFK in Dallas.  I think I may have posted this before, so forgive me if you have read this before.  I was in high school in St. Pete, Florida at the time, and Kennedy was coming to speak the Monday before in Tampa.  Along with several of my friends, I skipped school and drove to Tampa to see Kennedy speak.  At that time in my life, I was pretty much apolitical and I was motivated more out of curiosity of being able to see a sitting President speak.  I am glad that I went and shocked when he was killed four days later.

    On the nuclear option against the filibuster, I have strong reservations as to whether or not this will come back to bite us later.  I personally believe in having a filibuster option, but requiring that filibuster to be a talking one.  Tom Harkin had a good idea for reforming the filibuster which requires it to be a talking filibuster and sets time limits and decreasing vote thresholds to over ride it.  I think that option is one worth exploring.  The whole idea behind the filibuster in the first place is to allow the minority to express their public opposition.  IMHO, threatening to filibuster is NOT publicly expressing opposition which is why I prefer a talking filibuster which requires speaking on the record to the subject that is being filibustered.  Then the people can decide if the opposition is worthwhile, not just a ruse to create gridlock.

    Third, I wanted to update something I read in the local newspaper about last weekend's Pack the Pantry drive for the Sharing House (a local food bank).  Small town USA responded to the dire need of helping those with food insecurity, especially since the SNAP program has been cut back.  Last weekend, the people here donated nearly twice the normal amount of food that the Sharing House gets in its twice a year Pack the Pantry drive. It is good to see people do care about those in need.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:12:53 AM PST

    •  On JFK, (7+ / 0-)

      I was four but I remember it well because it was all over the television and my mother was traumatized. Even my dad, a staunch Republican who no doubt had his issues with Kennedy, was troubled and respectful. It has always struck me that it seemed at least that there was a time when humanity overtook ideology for most people back then, not only in terms of statesmanship within the official and political class, but also in the general population. I also remember my mother going through a book called "Four Days," which I've run across since, not long thereafter.

      I agree with your concerns on the filibuster and the fact that it would have been good to see how well forcing talking filibusters might have worked in limiting them. But making the system work for its intended purposes wasn't the point then, so we can expect it will continue to be thwarted under new rules.

      Congrats on the food drive!

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass
      The 3rd Way has squandered our Resistance for a pocket full of mumbles, Such are promises All lies and jests; still a kossack's about the horse race And disregards the effects...

      by Words In Action on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:48:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same here (4+ / 0-)

        I was three but I remember it well and there's really only one other thing that I remember from toddler years.  My parents were devastated.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:25:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well thought out comment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OLinda, joe shikspack, lostinamerica

        I truly appreciate your taking the tie to respond to my comment above with an excellent comment.  

        I made a similar comment to the one I made here on another diary and had someone immediately jump on it to tell me I was wrong about the "original" purpose of the filibuster and proceeded to give me a history lesson on it.  I may have been wrong about the original purpose of the filibuster, but I also see it as something, when properly managed via the rules, as a relief valve politically.

        As a former supervisor of mine once noted, we can plan for most things that we know will probably happen by closing the loopholes as much as possible but we cannot plan for meteorites.

        "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

        by gulfgal98 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:25:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  morning gulfgal... (5+ / 0-)

      i was looking over the coverage of the "nuclear option" yesterday.  

      so i thought about it a while and a question struck me, "will this manifestly change the enaction of the 1%'s agenda by the senate?"

      nah.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:10:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Morning, gulfgal (4+ / 0-)

      That's great news about the food pantry.  I'm just so sad that it's needed.  But it restores my faith in mankind to hear stories like that.  I believe that most people are good people and that most of our problems are because the 1% spends so much time, money and effort deceiving the public.

      I've always been a big fan of both JFK and RFK. I have deep regrets that we never found out what the world would have been like if they had been allowed to finish their work.  The idea that they were shut down because they wanted to effect real change, terrifies me, but I think it's a likely explanation. I loathe the people who put down people who question the whole thing as "conspiracy theorists" who are crazy or weird.  I heard someone talk about the "conspiracy theory conspiracy theory" or some such recently.  The powers that be do a really good job of burying stories in the conspiracy theory business.  It worries me that so many people are afraid to even discuss certain things because they'll be discredited and shunned for it.  And of course we have the professional conspiracy theorists who take everyone down with them, conveniently.

      Thom Hartmann, though I don't agree with him on everything and I think he was a ridiculous Obama apologist at times, has never been afraid to speak out about things that others are too cowardly to talk about, has had things to say on the subject.  I remember when Hartmann wrote his Ancient Sunlight book in the 90's about global warming and that was considered conspiracy theory too.  

      People don't trust their own instincts enough, IMHO, and the propagandists or psyops or whatever you call them, would like to keep it that way.  

      I was a toddler when JFK was killed.  My earliest memory is the day of his funeral.  My mother had the funeral on the TV and had left the room and when she came back in, I was imitating what was happening on the TV and I remember her walking into the room and the expression on her face. My parents were young parents at the time and they were devastated by the assassination and then when MLK and RFK were assassinated too, they were perhaps even more devastated. In 1968 they took all of us to DC for a family weekend, six kids and a hotel (motel actually) stay and all that. It was a really big deal and the first and only time I remember them taking all of us on a vacation that involved hotels and restaurants.  

      It was Thanksgiving weekend but Bobby's grave was still fresh, or seemed so to me.  The grass was not fully grown, though I don't know why since it would have been months later and you'd think it would have grown over the summer and fall.  But what I really remember is that it was overflowing with fresh flowers and I remember the way my parents looked while standing at the grave.  I could tell that it was affecting them profoundly.  You know how it is, how kids are wired to sense how their parents react to things.  


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:24:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beautiful story (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack, OLinda, lostinamerica

        about your family and how deeply affected your parents were over the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers. I grew up in a Republican household, but even my parents were very upset by the assassination of President Kennedy. They often disagreed with him, but respected him as our President.  We watched everything on tv and did not go out during the four days of national mourning. It was the respectful and patriotic thing to do back then.

        "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

        by gulfgal98 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:35:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  agree with your argument of how dems use repugs (10+ / 0-)

    hiding in plain sight is that both "parties" work for the 1%

    dems walked away from poverty by 1980 ("Seeds of Change" by John Atlas, an excellent book on ACORN)

    both factions (lets use the name from our history) are on the verge of doing terrible things but they don't want their finger prints on what they are doing

    TPP, social security, environment, etc.

    the crimes they sanction are obvious: violation of constitution (Al Gore made this point that Snowden showed what could be considered crimes against constitution), bankster protection, whistle blower prosecution, OWS shut down, food stamps reduced, ACA to support insurance companies, etc.

    but the American public knows little about this because the media is not doing their job as a check on power

    they are promoting consumers, not shoppers. Of course. Who buys the ads that support the media? Why the corporations or the government.

    both "factions" these days (I just thought of this so I need someone else to think about what I am going to say)

    both factions are walking a line that is getting narrower and narrower. The big  problems that have been ignored like poverty, education, etc. are getting harder to ignore and when the mood changes, the factions need to be on the right side.

  •  Obama, "People call me a socialist sometimes" (11+ / 0-)

    I posted this on Obama's speech in a diary yesterday and promptly received this reply that there is nothing any president can do about income inequality  and certainly not this president, so stop making unreasonable demands on Obama, he is not a dictator.....

    Obama, "People call me a socialist sometimes"

    "People call me a socialist sometimes," Obama said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, addressing 100 top business leaders. "But, no, you gotta meet real socialists. You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is," he said to laughter from the crowd.
    while listing his capitalist bona fides.......
    I'm talking about lowering the corporate tax rate, my health care reform is based on the private marketplace, stock market's looking pretty good last time I checked," he said, listing his capitalist bona fides.

    It is good that he is concerned about the growing inequality in our "system", because we need to know that those we elect to serve are aware first of the problem, to openly talk about it,  and then hopefully govern in ways that help to correct it.
     
    "And, you know, it is true I'm concerned about growing inequality in our system, but nobody questions the efficacy of market economies in terms of producing wealth and innovation and keeping us competitive."
    Talking about lowering the corporate tax rate, as if that is something to brag about at a time of such horrific income inequality is not comforting.

    ----
    and the reply...........

    as for our inequality - that also is beyond the scope of ANY president.

    we do NOT live in a dictatorship - and the unreasonable demands placed on this particular president are unprecedented.

    i really don't understand - or, well, maybe i do - this is a generation that compained bitterly about the abuses and over stepping of authority by 8 yrs of bush - now they seem to want the same thing from the current president.

    i don't want ANY president stepping outside the requirements of his office.  period.

    --------------------------------------------

    For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

    by allenjo on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:26:13 AM PST

  •  happy friday hippies! (11+ / 0-)

    IMG_2737 (Small)

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:27:17 AM PST

  •  I can't believe that I ever followed Woodward (13+ / 0-)

    he is such a jerk

    was he simply corrupted by being a kiss ass to power?

    or was he always like this?

    "Snowden should have come to me"

    what an egomaniac

    someone who was relevant during Watergate now is totally outside the times and the needed change in journalism

    was he a writer that had a way with words and could make up a good story?

    i stopped reading him when he gave those glowing stories about Bush

    Ha - now I have it - He is a major force in a media story that justifies power

    Wow - bold my own words - what has come over me?

    Now that I no longer hide what I am going to say here each day under the subject line of "morning", "morning again", but come right out with a subject so you don't have to click to get my words of wisdom, I have mutated to using bold.

    What will I do next? Now that I have been unleashed?

    end of a strange attempt at humor

    Glenn Greenwald has done wonderful work over the years of taking down media big wigs. After one or sometimes they get a couple of articles, I can never view any of them in the same light again.

    And Woodward is a prime ass hole.

    •  He was a sympathetic character for his (7+ / 0-)

      role in Watergate, "telling truth to power," or at least channeling it.

      It's been downhill since then, which suggests even then he was just in it for the ego.

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass
      The 3rd Way has squandered our Resistance for a pocket full of mumbles, Such are promises All lies and jests; still a kossack's about the horse race And disregards the effects...

      by Words In Action on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:54:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have mixed feelings (5+ / 0-)

      about Woodward and Bernstein.  I still very much enjoy their Watergate story and all that but he's definitely an asshole and I think he always has been, from what I've heard. But he's a useful asshole at times.  It's all about ego.  He made a real fool out of himself with that latest one, lol.  He can't figure out why Snowden didn't come to him?  I was skeptical about Gellman at first. I think he could easily turn out to be another Woodward. But I think I was wrong about him. He's growing on me.  I heard that he's going to work with Greenwald and Omidyar too but I haven't seen the official announcement.  NewCo is standing up for Gellman on this and going after Woodward. A taste of what it will be like to have a new media org with some power.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:37:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  JFK "after a couple of years in the White House" (9+ / 0-)

    changed. JFK and Kruschev lost control of their militaries. Chomsky correctly asks why wait until the last day to accept the settlement. But the diplomacy signalled a phased resolution of the cold war. The analogies to Lincoln are revealing. Just as Booth led the path for victory of the KKK fifty years later, we've learned to love the bomb and international law is a weak joke. November 1963 is a good benchmark for measuring the decline and fall of the republic and the rise of the militarized executive.

  •  Obama restricts photos of him - propaganda (5+ / 0-)

    does everyone remember "the most transparent administration in history"

    he is meeting the standards of double speak equal to W Bush

    here are some comments posted to the article linked below

    iowapinko • 10 minutes ago −

    'Barack Obama tm' is the first main-stream-media-created president of the U.S. The creature you see and hear in the news is the corporate image, the one they created and bought to represent their agenda.

    There seems to be no heart or soul left in the man. They can't allow the photographers in anymore, because if they happen to catch him at the right angle and in just the right light, people will see he's just a flat cardboard image with only one dimension, that of the greenback dollar bill.

    Aneesia • 11 minutes ago −

    A clear win ? It makes the President appear more paranoid the George Bush who was the worst President we've had.

    Apparently all we have today, and since I don't know when, Presidents that are much like latter day Caesars who sold out to the wealthy in Rome while they kept the people entertained

    itsthethird • 14 minutes ago −

    When the corporate president represents corporate interests while using poverty, law and greed to take from ordinary people using government and peoples checkbook to finance Jamie Diamonds distribution Ponzi scams to create greater poverty by greatest wealth transfer in history by raiding our public purse for worldwide public domination by corporate mafia elite powered by mafia style theft of ordinary public wealth to enrich Obama's elite mafia friends and family. The debt based corporate takeover of the world systems is not only bad its insane. But then greed will always end up producing the best outcome

    from the National Journal
    Again, this is propaganda – utterly lacking a skeptical eye. The irony is that Obama is using technology that democratized and flattened the media to centralize and strengthen the powers an institution, The Presidency.
    And from the article
    Of course, it deserves at least mention that what often passes for hard-hitting journalism within the White House press corps might make these complaints over photo-ops laughable for some, but at the end of the day any challenge to the Obama administration's assault on journalism will be welcome by those who cherish the role of the fourth estate.

    Perhaps the next letter from the nation's major news outlets, however, will condemn the Obama administration for what its critics pronounce as the most aggressive attack on government whistleblowers ever documented or its continued refusal to discuss how it legally justifies the existence of an international "kill list".

    White House: Our Visual Propaganda a "Clear Win" for American Public
    'Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing his official duties'
  •  Good Morning! (6+ / 0-)

    Clematis Seed Heads

    Clematis Seed Heads

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:54:13 AM PST

  •  Afghanistan, let's just get the hell out (5+ / 0-)

    Joe Scarbourough did a rant yesterday - first time I recall agreeing with him.

    It is time to just get out. Whatever will happen in that country is not up to the USA.

    This week university students there were burning an effigy of Obama and yelling anti-US rants. If the future of Afghanistan rest on those students, it does not bode well for US interests, as it is obvious that they want us out of their country, as much as most of America wants us out.

    For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

    by allenjo on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:04:04 AM PST

    •  There is no reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo, OLinda

      for us to be there or meddling in the affairs of anywhere else except for empire building.  We will try to remain in some shape or form in Afghanistan in order to extract resources. But I also believe that the US empire is very close to falling, and in a way, it might be a good thing.  Dr. Cornel West said it so well when he said, "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!"

      "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

      by gulfgal98 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:23:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just for the record: (7+ / 0-)
    Glen kind of shatters the myths about the Kennedy brothers and the civil rights movement.
    He's not exactly the first fellow to point that out. To be sure, the hagiographers have tried to paper over the resistance from the Kennedy brothers anything that was more than a very gradual ratcheting down of Jim Crow. Here's me in 2008:
    Unlike the impression one might get from watching the deeply flawed whitewash Mississippi Burning, J. Edgar Hoover was no friend of the civil rights movement. A gentleman racist himself, he had strongly suggested in a report about racial tensions to Eisenhower in 1956 that the NAACP was "overzealous" and that communists had strong influence among civil rights leaders. His record of smearing and spying on civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, are well-documented.

    The Kennedy Administration had its own reasons for trying to keep the Freedom Rides of 1961 from going forward. But when it became apparent the riders would not back down, the FBI was ordered to become involved. Instead of doing something public, transparent and pre-emptive of the Southern establishment’s violent response to any challenge of Jim Crow, Hoover took the secret police’s usual approach and spied on the dissidents. Nothing was done to stop Freedom Riders from being beaten up, firebombed and generally terrorized.

    Informed by a KKK snitch, the FBI knew beforehand that violence would break out in Birmingham. Even though agents knew that one police official regularly passed on information to the Klan, the bureau let the Birmingham cops in on some details about the Freedom Riders' schedule. Later, the bureau’s indifference got too little credit when four little girls were blown up in a Birmingham church basement. The FBI might just as well have been a charter member of the good ol’ boy network when it came to Jim Crow.

    It is bitterly illustrative of the white privilege of the time that the feds didn’t see fit to intervene when violence had accompanied previous voter registration efforts. Voter registration meetings were broken up by white citizens, often watched, sometimes led, by deputies. On September 25, 1961, Herbert Lee, a 52-year-old farmer and father of nine who had attempted to register to vote, was shot and killed by E.H. Hurst, a white member of the state legislature from the ironically named Liberty, Mississippi. The sheriff and others intimidated black witnesses to testify that Lee had threatened Hurst with a tire iron. Hurst was acquitted on the same day he killed Lee in an Amite County courtroom brimful of armed white men.

    One of the black witnesses, Lewis Allen, later said he had lied to protect himself and his family. He was soon being harassed by the police. Three weeks after Lee was murdered, Allen was blasted to death with buckshot in his driveway.

    When Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner disappeared, however, Bobby Kennedy "urged" Hoover to get a serious investigation going, and he did. The FBI search turned up several bodies, including that of a 14-(or so)-year-old African American boy wearing a CORE tee shirt. He was never identified. It is said that, eventually, the FBI interviewed 1,000 Mississippians about what happened to the three men before finding where the bodies were buried.

    By the time the three bodies were dug up six weeks after their disappearance, the national attention given to what everybody had known from the beginning was more than a "disappearance" made the failure of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to be seated at the Atlantic City Democratic Convention in August all the more infuriating. While the regular, all-white Mississippi Democratic Party had already begun its break with the national party after the Civil Rights Act passed that summer, Lyndon Johnson feared further losses in the South and chose to offer a ludicrous compromise that made nobody happy and was an affront to justice.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:11:16 AM PST

  •  JFK (0+ / 0-)

        Seventh grade, loudspeaker, President Kennedy has been shot, school is dismissed… classmates words a blur, Catholic church next to school, me the only one there, praying he's alright, priest preacher enters, to the alter, notices me there, 10 to 15 mins later others enter, overhear dead, tells the story next Sunday service, I'm supposed to beam. Don't quite remember leaving, I think too many crying, so went home, tears, hopes and future spent.
        Glad I'm Buddhist to this day. No Thank You, emphasis mine.
        So interesting the toddler stories and how many are now big time activists. The danger in nowadays fundamentalists sadism is they target toddlers. It's the fad, don'Tycha know? Me. I've learned to hate Benedict Arnold's money without guilt. I'll show ya fad!
        Anyone remember when 1st up was NSA reform? Jessica's been busy, I assume :) Marcy's on the clock. Round and round. Bugged! Busy filling the fake "Starship Enterprise" seat, perhaps?   
        Anyone for a dash of propaganda?
        TPP after Indonesia is DOA. Trust, right?
        Though it is nice that Colorado was included in the "relief" and appointments to function can now be filled as the bullies can't quite understand they've been decked!
        O no RFK, younger gens walking out of climate talks. No big worldwide deal. Ya.
        Will be glad when Greenwald's news is available. I'm subscribing. Ah, his name is Kevin…
        Names, names, names. names, names :)

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:35:24 AM PST

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