Failure in Government

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I have supported Barack Obama, but every time he appoints a rightwinger or a centrist (who are nothing more than rightwingers with apologies IMO) I lose a little hope.

I quote my friend TocqueDeville in DrSteveB’s earlier diary, Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General – worse than I thought:

I see it as a continuation of the same battle (20+ / 0-)

I’ve been having for the last 20 plus years.

If this pans out then it will be just another failed Obama appointment, along with a couple of good ones – maybe.

All of his appointments combined demonstrate what the late professor Carroll Quigley, of Harvard Princeton and Georgetown described about how the American political system is rigged so that we can have a great big election and real power never really changes hands. [emphasis my own ~ OPOL]

by TocqueDeville

The real power never really changes hands.

A drop of water is a wonder to someone dying of thirst.  A modest hike in the minimum rage seems a mighty victory to people who’ve been screwed into the dirt.  Going from totally insane to merely fucked up is going to seem like a breath of fresh air in Congress.

Change we can believe in?  Or crumbs for the starving?

We are no doubt going to see some real change, though it will likely be superficial and will certainly be fought every step of the way by repubs and dinos.  I am not convinced, however, that we will see anything remotely like the change we truly and desperately need.

The ultra-rich elite who have perverted our government for lo these many years are still firmly in charge.  If that weren’t true, we’d be busy getting the hell out of both Iraq AND Afghanistan – if for no other reason than the drain on our treasury.  Instead we are digging-in in Iraq and escalating in Afghanistan.

Huge American Embassy opens in Iraq

$700 million facility on 104 acres is largest such U.S. post in the world

The United States inaugurated its largest embassy ever on Monday, a fortresslike compound in the heart of the Green Zone – and the most visible sign of what U.S. officials call a new chapter in relations between America and a more sovereign Iraq.  [Ya gotta love that, a ‘more sovereign Iraq’ – more sovereign than utter domination and occupation by a foreign army? ~ OPOL]

U.S. Marines raised the American flag over the adobe-colored buildings, which sit on a 104-acre site and has space for 1,000 employees – more than 10 times the size of any other U.S. Embassy in the world.


Yep.  A huge honking fortress of an ’embassy’ to go along with our 14 ‘enduring’ military bases.  But we’re getting the hell out.  Just trust us on that.

If the U.S. is ultimately leaving Iraq, why is the military expanding its bases there?

The U.S. embassy in Iraq – the largest embassy in the world – approximates the size of the Vatican and runs its own electrical, power, and sewage plants. As former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Edward Peck said, “The embassy is going to have a thousand people hunkered behind sandbags. I don’t know how you conduct diplomacy in that way”.

Friends Committee on National Legislation

You, me and many of our friends may be out of jobs for the foreseeable future, millions may be losing their homes, one fifth of all Americans may be without health insurance, there may be 200,000 homeless vets sleeping on the streets but the ‘billions for bogus wars program’ marches steadily onward.

Gates Says $70 Billion More In ’09 War Funding Is Needed

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has told members of Congress that he thinks the Pentagon will need nearly $70 billion to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September, on top of the $65.9 billion approved by Congress.

Gates told Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, in a Dec. 31 letter that the military needed $69.7 billion more in fiscal 2009 to fund operations, replace equipment lost or worn out in the wars and replenish supplies.

Gates said his estimate did not include an expected massive reinforcement in Afghanistan, because the proposal was still under consideration. The buildup could nearly double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan – from 32,000 to about 60,000.

Washington Post

We’re also apparently NOT going to legalize marijuana, repeating the pathetic failure of my own generation.  It should have been legalized in the 60s.  We’ve known for over 40 years that marijuana is considerably less harmful than alcohol and a whole lot more fun (though your mileage may vary).  Damn near everybody smokes it these days.  You can walk into any 7-11 in the country and buy fourteen different types of rolling papers – virtually none of which are being used to roll tobacco.  How hypocritical are we?  Don’t answer that.

Ask yourself who is making all the money off of illegal pot.

Sanjay Gupta wrote a paper, evidently, titled Why I Would Vote No on Marijuana.  Allow me to paraphrase (sight unseen) – because I am an elitist prick with rightwing tendencies who cannot resist kissing the asses of the rightwing robber barons who are making a killing off of illegal drugs…AND marijuana.  No, I haven’t read his paper and I won’t, and yes, you can criticize me for that but fuck him and anyone who wants to keep cannabis illegal.  I’ve read plenty about cannabis, am familiar with the latest research showing how harmless and benign it actually is and I’ve had it with sanctimonious pricks like this.  Tell it to all those doing hard time in prison for cannabis offenses.  I’m not happy that he may become our next Surgeon General.  We need someone who will advocate an end to prohibition and the disastrous drug war.  My God!  How long do we have to keep this insanity going?    

The trouble with Sanjay Gupta

So apparently Obama plans to appoint CNN’s Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General. I don’t have a problem with Gupta’s qualifications. But I do remember his mugging of Michael Moore over Sicko. You don’t have to like Moore or his film; but Gupta specifically claimed that Moore “fudged his facts”, when the truth was that on every one of the allegedly fudged facts, Moore was actually right and CNN was wrong.

Paul Krugman in the New York Times

They won’t legalize pot or any drug because of all the money involved in keeping it illegal, money that goes to gangsters.  We need to ask ourselves why our politicians are always supporting gangsters and never supporting us.  And they pretend that they’re just being the adults keeping the lid on the cannabis jar.  Scum!

The magic 60 – we keep talking about that as if it would make a difference in our lives.  Like if we had just another senator or two with Ds next to their names, they’d stop screwing us every time we turn around.  They would defund the wars, bring our troops safely home, put all the thieves and war criminals in jail and make them give the money back, start taxing the rich and the corporations, keep people from losing their homes, raise wages, create jobs, make it easier for kids to go to school, give us universal health care, start helping poor people and the working class…yeah, right.

Something tells me that what will actually happen is that the excuses will get more creative.  We REALLY need 70 seats to REALLY make anything good happen – something along those lines.  Unless I miss my guess, the rich will still get richer, the poor will still get screwed, the thieves on Wall Street and in Corporate America will continue to go unpunished, we will do less than half of what needs to be done to combat climate instability, our government will still reek to high heaven and we will continue to fight bogus, immoral wars here, there and everywhere.  So what if innocent people are dying all over the planet for our greed and corruption.  So what if what the Israelis and the Palestinians are doing to each other is horrifying and obscene – the military industrial complex and its big money backers wouldn’t like it if we objected (remember, profits over people everyone) – so we’ll just monitor the situation.

More and better democrats, yeah that’s the ticket.  Just a few dozen more like Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi and we’ll turn this whole shitwagon around.

I suppose it’s fair to say that I’m skeptical.  



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    • OPOL on January 7, 2009 at 22:06
  1. what will we do when our guy wins and nothing really changes !?!…..

  2. Air Force counter blogging effort


    Shall we invade Ohio, Texas, Colorado or Seattle?

    Meat and milk gone


    I call it what it is Weapons of Mass Indoctrination

    Last but certainly not least a vast collection of stories about the sea of electromagnetic pollution all of us live in 24/7.  You need not stick you head inside a microwave oven you live in one.

  3. will bring as much change as the American people are willing to demand. I wish for the kinds of change that you describe. But there are too many people who either don’t agree with us or are too apathetic to fight for it.

    The one change I feel the most strongly about in this past election is that I think the people’s voice was finally heard. That certainly doesn’t get us there. But it means we CAN get there if we get enough people yelling loudly with us.

    • Viet71 on January 8, 2009 at 01:35

    Obama is a politician.

    He will please you sometimes, not other times.

    You will say, I am happy with Obama.

    Or you will say, I am not happy with Obama.

    You want perfect?

    I do.

  4. I, too, have and have had my doubts about any REAL progress or CHANGE for a long time. It’s not, however, so much because of Obama — or even some his appointments that I’m not 100% thrilled with — because I do think he will try to bring about “change” to the best of his ability — and that’s the problem — “his ability!”  His ability to do much of what he wants will be thwarted from so many angles, the worst being this, as I posted elsewhere:

    Without impeachment, these devils will be pushing all the buttons in the “shadows” — we’ll know from whence “weird” actions come, just won’t be able to prove it.  This is the REAL danger in having these people go off happily into their futures — it will STILL include ours — the price we will pay for not reckoning with them in the way that should have been done right down the line — ACCOUNTABILITY!

    Obviously, I would say some of the complaints you mention herein, such as the Green Zone embassy and so-called “more sovereign Iraq,” expanded U.S. bases, Gates’ new demand for monies for 2009, continual loss of jobs, etc. are not of Obama’s making, but have been carved out for Obama’s “plate” for him to deal with.  

    So, unfortunately, yes, you are right in much that you say!

  5. Army sorry for ‘John Doe’ letters to relatives of war dead

    The U.S. Army is apologizing to thousands of Army families who received letters beginning “Dear John Doe” after losing a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. is sending a personal letter to the families who received the letter.

    Only Under A Totally Incompetent CiC and Other Leadership, Military and Civilian, Could And Would This Happen!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The empire persists!  Long live the empire.

    I regret being brought up to believe in any of it, even a little.  One keeps hoping for a sane society, when one might as well hope that one’s alcoholic, professional victim family member will suddenly get their act together emotionally.  Or that terminal cancer will just go away.  I mean, sometimes it happens, but it isn’t a good bet, and probably an utter waste of what hope one has.

    I could sort of care less about weed — I mean, yes, the war on drugs is an obscenity, but if the so-called justice system reduced it to a misdemeanor, or otherwise sidestepped the issue while eliminating wholesale incarceration as a social program, that would be simply, unbelievably grand.   As the stuff in Oakland indicates, a big part of America is living in relation to the police very much like an occupied population.  If the systems of control got less radicalized, they can put any name on it they want…

    Gupta together with the comments on Medicare is somewhat terrifying.  Obama’s got the political capital, at this point, to do to Medicare what Clinton did to welfare — Nixon goes to China, the liberal dismantles yet another peice of the safety net.  

  7. “They won’t legalize pot or any drug because of all the money involved in keeping it illegal, money that goes to gangsters.”

    Well, you got that right. Hell, it’s the prison workers make work act. It keeps the prisons full, and the boots of the gestapo on the necks of the young and free. That’s the biggest racket of all…

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