Monday, March 25, 2013

Roll Over, Roll On

Whether it's giving a pass to war criminal sadists, or kicking tens of thousands of kids off Head Start in the name of political sadism, President Obama always stays true to his political mantra: You gotta look forward, not backward.

So it is with great fetishist fanfare that the White House has just announced that the endangered Easter Egg Roll will now go on as planned. The Head Start evictees may not have been lucky enough to score a ticket in the lottery, but the Obama Administration thinks they can still take comfort watching a video of Bo the Dog pimping out the festivities. That is, if their homes even have an internet connection.... which, given that a fifth of all American children now fall below the official poverty level and electric lights are often a luxury, is kind of an iffy proposition.

Only Romania beats the United States for child poverty in civilized countries. As Sheldon Danziger, director of the National Poverty Center, puts it: "Among rich countries, the U.S. is exceptional. We are exceptional in our tolerance of poverty."

But hey. The First Family wants kids from all classes and income levels to have a blast anyway. Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag and smile though your heart is breaking. Get with the program -- Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!!!!!!!
In addition to all the fun and games, the day's activities — which will include sports courts and cooking demonstrations — will help educate families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines, which are key pillars of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
So pay no attention to the reality that it truly is Obama's hand that will sign into law those cruel, needless, draconian cuts to Head Start and other anti-poverty programs. One day of noblesse oblige for a handful of families will salve their consciences. But how about that irony of touting the expansion of early childhood education at his State of the Union speech in January, only to have to slash it to ribbons two months later? The Washington Post explains the glaring cognitive dissonance thusly:
Historians note that presidents sometimes get what they want, as Obama did with health-care reform, or they are rebuffed, as George W. Bush was in attempting to privatize Social Security. But rarely do presidents find themselves enacting major policies they fundamentally oppose. (or just say they oppose)
Lawrence Mishel, president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute, said Obama shoulders part of the blame. Since 2010, he said, Obama has spent too much time focused on the debt, including agreeing to significantly shrink domestic spending as part of his own budget proposals.(you can say that again!) 
“I think they brought it on themselves to the extent that they validated the deficit issue,” Mishel said. “It was always the case that the actual budget policy being pursued contradicted the rhetoric in the campaign. Now it’s even worse.” (when the divergence of his words and deeds comes back to bite Barry in the ass)
White House officials say they will continue to press forward on proposals that would not require new federal funding, such as raising the minimum wage, opening manufacturing institutes, revamping housing policies and overhauling immigration laws.(to be continued to be perceived as trying to do good things and at the same time lick the boots of billionaire lunatic sadist Pete Peterson and the Austerian Shadow Government.)
American Eggceptionalism


Zee said...

“Lawrence Mishel, president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute, said Obama shoulders part of the blame. Since 2010, he said, Obama has spent too much time focused on the debt, including agreeing to significantly shrink domestic spending as part of his own budget proposals.”

“'I think they brought it on themselves to the extent that they validated the deficit issue,' Mishel said. 'It was always the case that the actual budget policy being pursued contradicted the rhetoric in the campaign. Now it’s even worse.'”

To which you, Karen, added,

“(when the divergence of his words and deeds comes back to bite Barry in the ass)”

Well, which of Barry's many and obvious, contradictory words—past and present—did Mishel choose to believe, and why? Why are Barry's contradictory words and deeds NOT coming back to bite him in the ass amongst "true believers?"

Did Mishel believe the high falutin' rhetoric from Barry's 2008 nomination acceptance speech, about that being the moment in history that the rise of the oceans would slow, and the planet would begin to heal, all of which would cost the public significant dollars to remedy?

Or did Mishel believe what Obama said on the campaign trail about the perils of borrowing, the deficit and the national debt, when he condemned Dubya as “unpatriotic” for increasing the deficit and the debt by trillions?

If Obama has “ spent too much time focused on the debt,” well, isn't he doing what he promised to do during his campaign? So, along with Mishel, where were those demi-gods of The Dismal Science, Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz and the rest of 'em in 2008, to tell us that Obama was fretting about exactly the wrong things—the debt and the deficit—and that we should be skeptical of Barry?

Obama promised sooooo... much during his campaign that it was impossible to believe all—or, indeed, any—of it, and yet the country has bought his BS for two elections running now.

Please note that it is clear to me that Obama's hypocrisy and full-field-reversals on policy are well understood by the participants in this forum, at least in the wake of his first term.

What continues to astound me is that this is heresy amongst the “true believers,” seemingly thoughtful and educated people.

At my Progressive church—with some exceptions—Obama is still a full-blown Olympian god, and any criticism of him is implicitly branded as racism or bigotry or hate, even when his contradictory words and actions are well-documented.

Contradictory though it sounds, Sardonicky is my one refuge of sanity regarding Obama, conservative though I may be in many ways.

PS: Those eggs look like they are "teed up" for a golfer. Anyone got a driver handy?

Denis Neville said...

Roll Over, Roll On…

“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre." Frank Zappa

Fred Drumlevitch said...

On the subject of poverty in the U.S., below is a link to coverage, an eight-day photo-illustrated series of articles, an amount and type not often seen in most newspapers:

Pardon the repeat if this was posted previously by Karen or one of the well-read commenters here, but I have no recollection of it, which could be due either to a "memory buffer overrun", or it appearing on a (rare) day that I didn't read Sardonicky or the comments. Even if so, I think it's worth re-listing.

Pearl said...

Denis: your link to the history of drone killings in Pakistan since 2004 is beyond mind boggling. It is interesting that the increase in drone strikes and the numbers of people killed was highly accelerated since Obama's first inauguration and during his following term(s). The number of children blown to bits makes Newtown look like a minor glitch in the news (many while in
school) and the other descriptions were of civilians and a very large number described as "others". which could be actual targets or presumed enemy combatants. Read it and weep. If I had no other complaints about our
President, this alone would end my worship of the man.

Thank you for providing us with so much useful but increasingly horrifying information about the state of the Union. The clouds of U.S. behavior keep getting darker and darker and too many people are unaware of the diminishing
light and those responsible for it.

Thank you Karen as always for your efforts in the press and on your website.
I hope these rocks you are throwing in the water will be making bigger and
bigger ripples as time goes on.

And Spreadoption:
A belated thank you for your kind words after my comments about Obama's real motives for his Israeli visit. We have a group of real stars in our Sardonicky group who continue to inspire and educate and encourage me to get my thoughts together.
And you're on the right track reading Chomsky. He wrote a definitive book about Israel many years ago which has been updated recently and I recall him being called all kinds of names in the past. It is "The Fateful Triangle" which is a brilliant report and in recent interviews when asked about whether Israel will be able to survive with its present agenda he felt only time will tell.

Denis Neville said...

James K. Galbraith on short presidencies:

“[Obama]is not a progressive – he is not what Americans still call a “liberal.” He is a willful player in an epic drama of faux-politics, an operative for the money power, whose job is to neutralize the left with fear and distraction and then to pivot rightward and deliver a conservative result...

“One key to understanding how such things can happen in America is to remember that our presidencies are short…the President too is a young man. Unlike say Lyndon B. Johnson or Jimmy Carter, when his term ends he won't be able simply to go home. He'll need a big house in a gated suburb, with high walls and rich friends. And a good income, too, from book deals and lecture fees. He may be thinking about that now.

“The good news is: it won't save him. For if and when he ventures out, for the rest of his life, the eyes of all those, whose hopes he once raised will follow him. The old, the poor, the jobless, the homeless: their eyes will follow him wherever he goes.”

James F Traynor said...

The only reason Obama has been able to get way with his bait and switch strategy is that the field was plowed and disked a long time ago by the DLC and the Clintons. The Democratic base has been letting them get way with it for years.

Zee said...


I guess that I would disagree with Galbraith on two counts.

First, the result that Obama is delivering is not a “conservative result.” Obama is delivering a “corporatist/elitist result.” A genuine conservative would not countenance the innumerable corporate bailouts and sweetheart deals that Obama has offered to Wall Street, crooked “green energy entrepreneurs,” Big Pharma/Big Healthcare Insurance, and many other insiders.

As David Intrator has said, what we have now is not capitalism, but corporatism, and corporatism is most definitely not synonymous with conservatism. Any thinking conservative condemns crony capitalism just as much as progressives do.

Second, it won't matter how many eyes of “the old, the poor, the jobless, the homeless” follow Obama every time he ventures out from his ultra-secure estate to give a speech or hang out with his wealthy, celebrity buddies.

Even if they were protesting with signs outside the very gate to his compound—which they won't be, because they're elsewhere trying to just scrape by—he wouldn't see them as he drives past in his bulletproof stretch limo with darkly tinted windows.

His man-of-the-people, community-organizer days are already long over. He's now a rich celebrity, and those same people who helped make him so will now simply be invisible to him after November, 2016, if they aren't already.

Ironically, many of those same old, poor, jobless and homeless wouldn't even think of protesting or making themselves visible to him, anyway; instead, they'll defend him unto death as the greatest progressive politician since FDR, even as their healthcare, food and energy prices soar, and their social safety net benefits are pared away. Stupid is as stupid does, I guess.

Obama didn't transform America, he transformed himself and is even now "getting the hell out of Dodge."

James F Traynor said...

says it all