Mokhiber: Single Payer and the Duplicitous Rahm Emanuel

June 18th, 2009

” . . . the corporate Democrats and Obama are now engaged in a protection racket - protecting the bloated, wasteful health insurance industry from sure extinction if single payer becomes law” Click here

Solomon: Obama and Anti-War Democrats

June 18th, 2009

“ . . . it was so important to President Obama to get the war funds that he was willing to paint a political target on the backs of some of the gutsiest new progressives in Congress.”Click here

President Obama Betrays the Gay Community

June 18th, 2009

“Time to live up to your promises”Click here

Scahill: ‘The Responsible Left’ Funding Obama’s Expanding Wars

June 18th, 2009

The cowardly Democrats who checked their spines at the door to Congress when they voted Tuesday try to defend their flip-flop on war funding. Frankly, it is embarrassing. Click here

Democrats’ Mandate

December 6th, 2008

More War - The Democratic majority in Congress, which has been funding our wars without serious limitation or oversight for two years, will continue to operate in tandem with Republicans to kill dark-skinned foreigners. To judge from our vote, we think America’s done the world a million favors. We seem to consider ourselves a generous people, taking on the woes of humanity, liberating, democratizng, even to the point of sacrificing our children. Or somebody’s children anyway.

Our wars are self-aggrandizement of the worst kind. They prove that kids are willing to kill and die for us. We like to think that war has kept Americans safe since 9/11, even if we have to forget that 100,000 GI’s got harmed in the process, and several thousand came home in boxes. Bush said in a lame-duck interview with ABC that he will miss those little heart-to-hearts with grieving Gold Star parents. Why does he find this so satisfying, and what makes him and the newsmen think we would? The election, that’s what.

Obama and the Democrats in Congress, awed by the public outpouring of nationalism, promised to continue what we’re doing for at least another year in Iraq and indefinitely in Afghanistan. The election gave them a mandate for this.

No Justice - The corruption of the judicial system will continue. Democrats promised no freedom for innocent victims of the post 9/11 hysteria. No penalty for prosecutors who abused their power. No sanction for lawyers who approved illegal acts, including torture, kidnaping, perjury, blackmail, domestic surveillance, and obstruction of justice. Obama and the incoming Democratic Congress have promised explicitly not to seek justice against government wrongdoers. There will be no retribution for malfeasance, and no compensation for the malfeasors’ victims. Democrats now have a mandate for this.

Corrupt Congress - Every seat in Congress, regardless of party, is held by a well-financed candidate. It’s not possible to win an election without money. The news media won’t recognize candidates who don’t spend money on advertising. The money comes from private parties, and they are seldom disappointed in the dividends their investments yield. Bringing dollars back to the district is still the best way for a member of Congress to attract financing and get good press. Congressional accomplishments in the public interest are few and far between in such an atmosphere, while deregulation, targeted tax breaks, earmarked projects, and “constituent services” of various kinds are routine and have become the currency of the legislative process. Even as Congress has buzzed with corrupt activity, the economy has failed, the armed forces have been exhausted and depleted, pollution is rampant, and the future is bleak. Reform was not on the election agenda. Democrats now have a mandate for this.

Private Health Insurance - There will be no single-payer health care for Americans. Health care will continue to be a for-profit venture, with insurance companies claiming the major part of the proceeds. Citizens will have to shop for coverage and take what’s offered at a price dictated by predators. Illness-related bankruptcies will continue, and people will continue to die for lack of sufficient health insurance. The continuation of for-profit health care was the promise of Democrats during the election campaign, and they now have a mandate for it.

Imperial Presidency - When Democrats in Congress took presidential accountability “off the table” two years ago, they set a precedent for the new executive and his successors that effectively exempts the president from all laws. The president may now attack other countries without provocation, hold prisoners without legal process, torture prisoners during the course of their detention, spy on Americans, order prosecutions to commence or abate according to political exigencies, suborn perjury, and decline to execute federal laws. Barack Obama pledged not to hold his predecessor accountable for any of these crimes. By winning the election, he and the Democrats in Congress can now claim a mandate for placing him and his successors in office above the law.

New New Orleans - The federal government displaced hundreds of thousands of poor people from New Orleans by neglecting to maintain the levees that could have prevented the floods of 2005. The new New Orleans will have no place for these unfortunates, who now occupy a diaspora stretching from Texas to New England. Whatever survived of their homes has been long since plowed under. Forecasts tell us the city is slated for development as a sub-tropical playground for the rich and near-rich, with only enough members of the servant class in residence to satisfy the needs of vacationers. There will be no justice for these victims of the other Gulf war, made permanent refugees by floods that were deliberately allowed to happen by public officials. World Trade Center victims got government checks for the illegal acts that allowed them to perish on 9/11. Katrina victims will get nothing. Obama and congressional Democrats discussed New Orleans not at all during the political campaign, and they now have a mandate to forget the displaced residents altogether.

Homeland Security - Democrats conspired with Republicans to create a homeland from what was once a republic, and they have no plans to undo that ill-fated experiment. They degraded the Immigration and Naturalization Service in favor of a general enforcement bureau that imprisons thousands of men, women and children in for-profit concentration camps. They merged independent law enforcement agencies into a framework for martial law, and they now monitor the personal associations, charitable contributions, and political affiliations of millions of Americans. They count hundreds of thousands of terrorist suspects walking among us. Their agents appear in airports and railway terminals in camouflage fatigues armed with assault rifles. They can challenge you for papers at any time, jail you without charges and torture you in custody, and you have no legal recourse. These abuses were hardly discussed during the election debate, and Democrats now have a mandate to continue them.

Hired Guns - Mercenary soldiers with a license to kill are allowed to operate freely, not only in foreign countries but on the streets of our own cities. The owners of these private armies have amassed millions in government payments, and they have the arms and the intelligence to put your neighborhood or mine under occupation at any time. Democrats proclaimed their support for these militias during the election, and they can now claim a mandate to strengthen, enrich and consolidate them.

State Religion - The judeo-christian character of our government is no longer a matter of controversy. Democrats trumpeted their “faith” during the election, repudiating all other religions, and they declared their loyalty to Israel in the clearest possible terms. When all else fails–as seems to be happening right now–voters and their leaders can pray together to the God of Jesus and Moses, who is now on the side of Democrats and shares their mandate.

Corporate Welfare - Democrats and Republicans agreed during the election to effect huge transfers of taxpayer dollars to private business. Voters were under no illusion about these payments. We knew they would continue after the election, and now the super-rich beneficiaries can claim a mandate for this entitlement.

For-Profit Pollution Control - Democrats have promised to create a market in environmental pollution. You will be able to sell your God-given right to foul the Earth to the highest bidder. Instead of regulating emissions, Democrats plan to license them. You can put a scrubber in your stack so somebody else doesn’t have to. Voters, who seem not to care about the world we are leaving to our grandchildren, gave Democrats a mandate for this.

Self-satisfaction - Let’s all give ourselves a round of applause for electing a person with a dark complexion. That’s what Democrats are doing, as if they deserved congratulations for overcoming ever so modestly the national tendency toward bigotry and ignorance. To listen to the speeches they made during the election, Democrats have redirected the contempt that used to be reserved for people of African descent onto Arabs, Persians, and immigrants without papers. The election results tell us that they can rightly claim a mandate for sanctimony.

Maybe we should be willing to give Democrats a chance to prove the skeptics wrong, but that’s easier said than done. The forces of reason have been burned so many times by phony patriots that we distrust our leaders implicitly. The burden of persuasion seems to be on the self-proclaimed change agents, basking in victory with expressions of self-congratulation that make them sound a lot like their predecessors in office.

Denvercrats: Nominee’s Skin Color Makes History

August 29th, 2008

Democrats think they’ve redeemed their party by nominating somebody whose skin is slightly darker than average. They haven’t. On important issues, Democrats are but a slight improvement over Republicans, with whom they will promptly sell out after the election. That’s because people with money buy Republicans and Democrats alike, and they ask only for the preservation of the economic and political status quo. Easy enough. Make changes at the margins and pretend you’ve accomplished something. Democrats have been doing this for years.

If you’re in love with Obama or Democrats, keep in mind that their “plan” to win the undeclared war in Afghanistan is based on the belief that presidents have the power to wage war on behalf of the nation. They don’t. Waging war without formal legislative approval is a form of tyranny, and our Constitution checks tyranny in every possible way. Democrats and Republicans agree that these constitutional prohibitions are obsolete and that the president has and should have the power to move soldiers around like chess pieces.

Somebody I know as a pacifist has fallen in love with Obama and now believes that there is justification to continue the bloodshed in Afghanistan. I was shocked. Are there civil libertarians for Obama who think he will promptly release the innocents confined without legal process by our government? Do any of my Obama-worshipping Quaker friends doubt that Obama will appoint federal judges and federal prosecutors who believe in the efficacy of the death penalty? He certainly holds that belief, and so must the people who cheered him in Denver.

Change at the margins is all this party promises. The crooks who don’t remain in office will walk confidently away from our devastated goverment to take positions in industry, buying and selling the influence we stupidly conferred on them. The rich will certainly get richer, and the poor will get poorer, and the world’s wealth will concentrate within an ever-contracting circle. Obama promises this, and so does McCain, and Democrats and Republicans can be depended on to deliver it by shrewd action and inaction.

Wake Up, Dennis!

August 27th, 2008

“Wake up, America!” says Dennis Kucinich to a packed convention hall as he pleads for peace, justice and principle. Wake up, Dennis! Open your eyes, and you must discern a bought crowd and a bought party.

Wake up, Dennis, and ask yourself what these Democrats are all so happy about. They should be standing in silence in observance of the sorry state of our country. They choose the nation’s leaders, and they have nothing to celebrate. They should be plotting a solution to the mess we’ve got ourselves into, but they’re patting themselves on the back. You won’t hear a word from them about our bombing of civilians in other countries, about the catastrophe that looms unless we stop burning fuel, about the debt our grandchildren will have to bear because of our foolish national adventures, or about anything except how to win.

Wake up, Dennis, and you’ll observe that this ain’t the salt of the earth you’re talking to. This party courts the same interests as the other party. “Who’s paying for this convention?” you might well ask when you wake up. This party coddles a “faction” that sides with the other party on critical issues, to ensure that the policy of the other party, and the policy of the rich patrons who are paying for both conventions, is the policy of the nation.

Wake up, Dennis, and you might hear the catch in the voice of the self-described “progressives” dotting the audience. I heard some left-wing radio personalities gloating over their presence at the convention. A couple of well-placed members of Congress had talked to them, and they were star-struck. They’re so pleased, Dennis, that the party allowed you to make a speech, as if they actually believed any of your demands had even the slightest chance of being met.

Wake up, Dennis, and ask whether this party will stop the wars, all of them. Will they recompense the displaced and dispossessed of New Orleans? Or punish felons in government? Or promise food, shelter, and health care for all? Or restrain corporate political power? Or end the brutal oppression and exploitation of the poor by the rich? Or find out what really happened on 9/11/2001?

Wake up, Dennis, and ask whether this fat, happy crowd, browsing at the buffet tables of notorious international racketeers like ATT and Coca-Cola, really cares what ordinary people want. Do they care about peace, justice, and principle, or are they just out for a good time?

The Darkness of This House Has Got the Best of Us

July 4th, 2008

Click here for “The Darkness of This House Has Got the Best of Us”

Lindorff: Primary Over, Hillary Won

June 29th, 2008

Click here for “Primary Over, Hillary Won”

Greenwald: The New Republic syndrome

June 24th, 2008

Click here for “The New Republic syndrome”