Tag: President Barack Obama

Getting to a better building …

Construction and use of buildings account for a major share of global warming emissions. Depending on how one calculates, allocating roughly 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to this built infrastructure is roughly correct.  Heating … cooling … lighting … building materials … etc, it all adds up (and up … and up).  A good share of the building GHGs relates back to energy usage — where, after all, does the lion’s share of coal-generated electricity end up other than illuminating our entertainment systems and over-cooling during summer heat?

A simply reality: tremendous room exists for efficiency measures at not just cost effective but, in fact, profitable financial rates of return.  That energy efficiency has remained an under-exploited  example of a win-win-win space means that it remains a place for fast and effective action.

Today, President Obama focused on this win-win-win opportunity.  

11th Dimensional Chess & Social Movements

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

I hope the title of this diary will cause people to think.

It should be clear to many that although I voted for Obama in the election, he was not my choice to be the nominee.  Despite the rhetoric of his campaign, I saw him from the start as too closely connected to those at The Hamilton Project, the entrenched, corporate sector that holds too tight on power.  What bothered me most was that the marketing said the opposite.  He is now elected, so what matters today and in the future is his performance and what it means to Democrats and Americans.

Yesterday I watched the latest episode of Bill Moyers with Robert Kuttner and Matt Taibbi.

Watching and listening to the conversation, I wondered to myself how it was possible for someone who many told us was playing 11th dimensional chess to screw up the health “reform” situation (not to mention some other important issues) so badly.  More important, what are the ramifications.  The answer came from Robert Kuttner, and if you keep reading, you will discover.

Lethal Illusions

In Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges examines the pervasive ways in which Americans are separated from the complexities of reality and become trapped in a mind-killing, reality-destroying, one-dimensional existence.  For most of them, there is no way out of this corporate capitalist prison; for most of them, there is no escape; they can’t even try to escape because they don’t even know they’ve been locked up. They don’t see the guard towers, they don’t see the walls, they don’t even saw the bars of their own cells.  

Chris Hedges . . .    

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we spend more money, if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected.  Reality is dismissed and shunned as an impediment to success, a form of negativity, it is condemned as defeatist.  Those who question, those who doubt, those who are critical, those who are able to confront reality and who grasp the hollowness of this culture, are shunned and condemned for their pessimism.

Human beings have become a commodity. They are objects, like consumer products.  They have no intrinsic value.  Life is a brutal world of unadulterated competition. Life is about the personal humiliation of those who oppose us.  Those who win are the best. Those who lose deserve to be erased.  Compassion, competence, intelligence, and solidarity with others are forms of weakness.

In accordance with these lethal illusions, progressives are weak and deserve to be erased. Conservatives are strong and deserve to rule.  Capitalism is sacred.  Conformity is sanctified. Dissent is condemned.  The corporate media pounds this narrative into the public consciousness every hour of every day, in every conceivable way, through every visual, aural, emotional, and psychological form of communication ever devised.  The consequences have been devastating.      

President Honors Fallen at Dover Arrival

Earlier this morning:

Obama visits Dover AFB to honor fallen soldiers

President Barack Obama, right, salutes as an Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind., during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama made a midnight dash to this air base Wednesday to honor the return of fallen soldiers, absorbing the ultimate cost of war as the United States endures its deadliest month of the Afghanistan campaign.

On a clear fall night, Obama flew by Marine One helicopter to Dover Air Force Base to greet the flag-draped cases of 18 Americans killed in action this week…>>>Rest Found Here

Not This Time

When he was asking Americans to vote for him during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said . . .

We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington.  It’s a status quo that extends beyond any particular party and right now that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got, with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face, whether those problems are health care that folks can’t afford or a mortgage they cannot pay.

Before Obama appointed Wall Street insiders to run his economic policies and a Blue Dog to be his chief of staff, he told us . . .

Make no mistake about what we’re up against.  We’re up against the belief that it’s all right for lobbyists to dominate our government, that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem and this election is our chance to say that we are not going to let them stand in our way anymore.

Obama’s not only letting them stand in our way, he’s helping them stand in our way.  He let lobbyists write the Senate Finance Committee bill.  He campaigned for the public option, but now he’s caving to the Republicans and Blue Dogs who are telling us we can’t have it. They’ve viciously attacked the public option from the very beginning and they’re continuing to viciously attack it.

When he needed our votes, Obama condemned the very people he’s caving to now . . .

There are those who will continue to tell us that we can’t do this, that we can’t have what we’re looking for, that we can’t have what we want.   But here is what I know.  I know that when people say we can’t overcome all the big money and influence in Washington, I think of that elderly woman who sent me a contribution the other day, an envelope that had a money order for $3.01 along with a verse of scripture tucked inside the envelope.

I’m not sure what you think you know, Obama, but here’s what she knows–she knows what Democrats used to stand for, she knows what they must stand for again.  She remembers when FDR showed America what real change looks like, she remembers him winning the fight for economic and social justice . . .  

FDR- a great president Pictures, Images and Photos

From a wheel chair.  

FDR’s legs were paralyzed, but his moral courage wasn’t, his heart wasn’t, his determination to fight for the Americans who elected him wasn’t.  Unlike you, Obama, FDR wasn’t paralyzed by moral cowardice, he didn’t reach out to Republicans, he didn’t compromise with the liars and hypocrites of that degenerate party, he governed as a Democrat because that’s what he promised he would do.    

That elderly woman who sent you $3.01 remembers when Democrats were actually Democrats, she knows how desperately America needs another Democratic President like FDR.  She believed in you, Obama.  She trusted you.  She had faith in you.  She believed you when you told her last fall, when you told all of us last fall that . . .

We’re up against the idea that it’s acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election.  But we know that this is exactly what’s wrong with our politics. This is why people don’t believe what their leaders say anymore. This is why they tune out.  And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.

You’re throwing that chance away, Obama.  You’re letting the losers of that election kill reform, you’re shattering the trust so many Americans had in you, you’re giving us no reason to believe that anything will really change.

Seekers of Truth

Thunder on the mountain, and there’s fires on the moon,

A ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon.

Or maybe not.

There’s been a ruckus in the alley for 30 years, but too many Democrats still keep bringing bouquets of bipartisan flowers to gun fights.  They keep getting riddled with bullets, over and over again, but they still don’t seem to have a clue that their Bouquet of Bipartisan Flowers Strategy isn’t worth a flying fuck and never has been.  

Thunder on the mountain, rollin’ like a drum,

Gonna fight for change here, it’s where the music’s coming from,

We don’t need any guide, we already know the way . . .

Seeking the truth is the way.  Seekers of truth are not conspiracy theorists, they are not purists, they don’t wear tinfoil fucking hats, they don’t need permission from Kos or anyone else to seek the truth about 9/11, about stolen elections, and about every other BushCo crime Cheney and his thugs keep high-fiving each other about while Eric Holder does nothing and Obama kisses the CIA’s ass and the Pentagon’s ass and the NSA’s ass and calls it change we can believe in.


Barack, Barack, Barack . . . We Need To Talk

Barack Tells Detroit to Drop Dead . . .

The White House says neither GM nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more bailout money, setting the stage for a crisis in Detroit and putting in motion what could be the final two months of two American auto giants.  President Barack Obama and his top advisers have determined that neither company is viable and that taxpayers will not spend untold billions more to keep the pair of automakers open forever.

But American taxpayers are supposed to keep spending untold billions more to keep those predator banks on Wall Street open forever, aren’t they, Barack.  GM and Chrysler aren’t viable according to you and your fiend Tim at the Treasury Department, but those big banks that imploded and turned America’s financial system into a black hole of toxic debt are still viable.  Yup.  They’re as viable as it gets, they’re so viable they only need a trillion dollars every few months so they don’t China Syndrome themselves right through the planet, blast the Great Wall of China into rubble on the other side, and soar off into space to boldly go where no Masters of the Universe have ever gone before.        

Let’s summarize what’s been happening, shall we?  The big banks tell Barack to jump and he asks them how high. They tell Barack to fetch a stick and he fetches a stick.  They tell Barack to hand them another trillion dollars and lay back down by his dish like a good dog, and he hands them another trillion dollars and lays back down by his dish like a good dog.        

Welcome to Monty Python’s Flying Bank Bailout Circus

In “The Big Dither” Paul Krugman warns:

There’s a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obama’s failure to match his words with deeds. The reality is that when it comes to dealing with the banks, the Obama administration is dithering. Policy is stuck in a holding pattern.

Here’s how the pattern works: first, administration officials, usually speaking off the record, float a plan for rescuing the banks in the press. This trial balloon is quickly shot down by informed commentators.  Then, a few weeks later, the administration floats a new plan. This plan is, however, just a thinly disguised version of the previous plan, a fact quickly realized by all concerned. And the cycle starts again.

Welcome to Monty Python’s Flying Bank Bailout Circus.  Everything is under control.  Nudge, nudge.  Wink, wink . . .    

financial crisis Pictures, Images and Photos

Say no more, say no more.      


Obama Delays Habeas of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner

Last year, in Boumediene v. Bush, the US Supreme Court held that foreign prisoners at Guantánamo have a constitutional “privilege of habeas corpus to challenge the legality of their detention” promptly. Guantánamo prisoner Mohammed Jawad filed a habeas corpus petition (pdf file). The Bush DOJ filed a motion to dismiss or hold in abeyance, claiming no right to habeas until after a military commission trial. The Obama DOJ adopted the Bush pleading, and despite repeated inquiries from Jawad’s lawyers, do not wish to modify Bush’s legal arguments.  While adopting Bush’s pleadings, it appears that Obama really seeks to delay habeas proceedings until status determinations are completed before his 120-day deadline. However, even if true, the effect of Obama’s actions is a de facto granting of holding habeas in abeyance, not in deference to the now terminated military proceedings argued by Bush, but until the status determinations have been completed.

While All the World Wondered . . .

In Growing Anger in the Heartland, David Sirota writes:

A few months ago I appeared on Fox News and was told by “anchor” (hereby “cartoon character”) Greg Jarrett that “historians agree” that the New Deal exacerbated the Great Depression.  It was a statement so factually inaccurate that it approached insanity.  

Approached insanity?   Countless Friedman Units of full moons have come and gone since Republicans and their propagandists in the corporate media approached insanity.  They approached it long ago.  They went past it like it was standing still and have plunged into uncharted realms of lunacy so surreal and distant from human experience that psychologists can’t even begin to describe what the fuck is going on inside their thick skulls.

Sirota discussed Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero’s recent interview on FOX and observed that Bernero:

represents the boiling anger that’s roiling the country, and made a point that needs to be hammered over and over and over again over the din of Fox News cartoon characters–how can anyone with a straight face demand blue-collar workers take huge pay and benefit cuts at a time those workers’ tax dollars are subsidizing bonuses on Wall Street?  Part of the answer is that we live in a country whose ruling class is deeply insane.  Hardly a day goes by when you don’t see sociopathy packaged as Serious Opinion.

A typical example of this is Chase CEO John Dimon, who derided homeowners who are getting foreclosed on and declared “we should teach the American people, you’re supposed to meet your obligations, not run from them.”

I feel obligated to tell that highly paid hypocrite to shut the fuck up.  I also feel obligated to update him on the economic catastrophe he and his CEO friends on Wall Street are responsible for . . .  

Idiot Wind

An Idiot Wind has been blowing, it’s been blowing across America for a generation.  The Idiot Wind never stops blowing, it gusts every time the lips of a Republican start flapping, it blows harder every time the lips of corporate media hacks flap in praise of Republican lip flapping . . .

The Idiot Wind is everywhere, there’s no escape from it, there’s no escape from the damage it inflicts, there’s no escape from the Category Five propaganda it peddles, it’s unrelenting, it’s deafening, I haven’t known peace and quiet for so long I can’t remember what it’s like.  

Can anyone here remember what peace and quiet is like?  

Can anyone here remember what media integrity is like?  

Can anyone here remember what responsible journalism is like?

Can anyone here remember?  

The Clenched Fist

In his Inaugural Address, President Obama told the Muslim world, “We seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”  He told leaders around the globe “who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West” that their people will judge them on what they can build, not what they destroy.  He told those “who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, that they are on the wrong side of history, but that “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

It would have been more fitting to target Republicans with that message, Mr. President.  You’ve extended your hand to them, but they will not unclench their fists.  You’re offering a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect, but they will not unclench their fists.  You’ve given them three fucking cabinet positions, but they will not unclench their fists.  Those mouth breathers will never unclench their fists; beating Democrats, liberals, gays, minorities, and the poor and the powerless to a bloody pulp is what they do, it’s hardwired into their lizard brains.

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