Apparently, Americans would rather spend their time watching Simpsons reruns or fiddling with their iPhones than listening to the pompous pronouncements of the Dissembler in Chief. And good for them. It goes to show that no one really believes that a junior senator with a pedigree in community organizing is setting policy for the world’s only superpower. The idea is ridiculous. Obama is merely the mask that conceals the ruthless machinery of Empire. The real power lies beyond the veil, in the Deep State apparatus which decides everything from drone strikes to Gitmo, from NSA dragnets to habeas corpus, from deficit-slashing austerity to the “pivot to Asia”. Obama has no say-so in any of these decisions. He’s merely a public relations invention whose job is to look sincerely into the teleprompter while announcing the latest round of budget cuts or more of the deeply-regressive social policies his puppetmasters crave. That’s his job and everyone knows it.

Source: truthdig.com

Consider my spine chilled.

Consider my spine chilled.

What does it say about the Obama Administration, and the United States generally, that the architects of torture remain free, even though authorities have no legal discretion to absolve them, while Edward Snowden, who exposed various NSA surveillance practices, stands accused of being a traitor to the United States? Obama avers that torture is a moral abomination that made America less safe; he denies that water-boarding helped us in the War on Terrorism. He also knows that Snowden’s revelations sparked what he called a needed debate on surveillance. Yet he rejects the notion of granting clemency to Snowden, even though he has the authority to pardon his release of classified information.

Clemency for Torturers, but Not for Edward Snowden (via azspot)

It says this… that Obama is engaged in the business of keeping his family (and himself) alive. See: JFK Nov. 22, 1963 for more info.

Four things to remember about the the national debt

squashed:

  1. It’s not like consumer debt. If you or I have a bit of extra money, and we’re feeling conservative, we could put it in the bank. If the bank is conservative, it puts the money in U.S. government bonds. The bond is good because it’s backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Alternatively, the bank could just fill a vault with paper currency … which would be a solid way to store value so long as the full faith and credit of the United States government backs the currency. The point is that pretty much all currency in the world is essentially an I.O.U. from one government or another. So some amount of debt is unavoidable if we’re going to have a functioning global economy. And, as the world reserve currency, “some amount of debt” is a really high number.

  2. Total debt is far less important than the annual deficit. A very high percentage of the national debt is money owed by our government to itself.

  3. The national debt helps global security. If we owe various people in China $1.3 trillion, we have $1.3 trillion in leverage over China. It’s a bit more complicated than that—because there are two ends to any lever. But having China dependent on us if it wants to see any of a significant portion of its assets again isn’t wholly a bad thing.

  4. The perceived stability of U.S. debt is one of our more important assets. There aren’t a whole lot of things you could blow up that would be more damaging to the future of the country than that.

If you’re interested in things like “facts,” this is a good read.

Of course, if you believe Obama is the one responsible for a massive explosion in the size of our federal government, I think there just may not be any hope for you where “facts” are concerned… but whatevs.

This is a function of many factors the Dish has covered for years – the intellectual bankruptcy of conservatism under George W Bush; the rise of fundamentalist thinking in religion, economics and politics; the cultural marooning of the white rural poor; the substitution of a political party with a media-industrial complex that simply wants conflict for ratings and money; the collapse of anything that might be called a conservative intelligentsia able to converse with a liberal intelligentsia on common, empirical grounds; the cowardice of Republican elites in the face of their know-nothing wing, epitomized most brutally by John McCain’s selection of a delusional crazy person as his vice-presidential candidate in 2008; and the recourse to purism of an almost absurdist variety on the right – see Mark Levin’s influential view that the entire Constitution needs to be made over.
Something smells here. If this is the best the White House can come up with to make a case for starting a war with a country that poses no threat to the US, at a time when a majority of Americans opposes starting yet another war in the Middle East, and when most of the world, including America’s closest allies, are backing away from support for an attack, the conclusion has to be that there is no real case against Syria.

Rather, President Obama appears to have oratorically backed himself into a corner by saying he would bomb Syria for what he insists is a war crime it has committed, and now he feels he has to attack, committing an even more serious war crime, in order to defend his “credibility” as a leader.
There are few things more bizarre than watching people advocate that another country be bombed even while acknowledging that it will achieve no good outcomes other than safeguarding the “credibility” of those doing the bombing. Relatedly, it’s hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one’s national “credibility” depend upon periodically bombing other countries.
Barack Obama is so frustrating. He can give quite a speech. He says just enough of the right things to give pause, and sometimes genuinely seems to be in touch with the pain of the vanishing middle class. He has the appearance, on occasion, of the politician of your dreams – intelligent, forward-thinking, even-keeled, just. You want to believe in him, you really do. But just taking this week for instance, there’s just no way around the math. This new education plan may or may not turn into something five years from now. But right now, it’s all words. What’s not words is that the White House has been engaged all summer in a lunatic defense of a vast and apparently illegal domestic espionage program and tossed a young soldier in prison for three decades for exposing war crimes and torture. What’s also not words is that in a matter of months, not years, the President is going to need his base shored up and his poll numbers elevated to win what promises to be yet another drawn-out battle over the budget.
Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

Barack Obama, 2008.

My, how the times have changed.

(via letterstomycountry)

Heartbreaking.

…President Obama has very little moral authority at this point, because we know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent peoples, a criminal—George Zimmerman is a criminal—but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman, because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children, 221 so far, in the name of self-defense, so that there’s actually parallels here.