Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Vultures, Vultures Everywhere



As part of a nascent and irregular feature* on this blog, let us once again travel back roughly eight years and check in with President-elect Barack Obama.

Is he busy tweeting insults on Twitter, appointing dangerous lunatics to powerful positions in the federal government, lying about vote fraud or upending American foreign policy to make himself a trifle wealthier?

Nope, nope, nope and...nope.

Historical Note:  The post below mentions something called "awards" which were a thing that existed in the ancient blogging world.  In this case, the "Weblog Award" for Individual Blogger was something I won back in 2008 thanks to the energetic support of readers like you.  The same year, Andrew Sullivan won the "Best Blog" award.  In 2009 they shut the whole shebang down, which just goes to show you.  Also of minor historical note, in the original comment section a reader asked me how my job search was going.  A question which, like The Exorcist, just keeps getting funnier every time I think about it. Post also contains a reference to "Norm Coleman", who was a scary Disney character made up mostly of teeth and bullshit which Disney discontinued because it was giving kids nightmares.

Me, from January 14, 2009:

Everybody Comes to Barack’s

“Round up the usual suspects” Edition

So this happened:
Obama Pulls Up a Chair at George Will's House

By Michael D. Shear
Where does one dine a week before becoming the leader of the free world?

At the Chevy Chase, Md., house of conservative columnist George Will.

President-elect Barack Obama left his temporary home at the Hay-Adams Hotel at just after 6:15 this evening, arriving about 20 minutes later at Will's house, valued at $1.9 million.

Aides said the visit was a dinner party; eagle-eyed reporters spotted two other conservative columnists among the guests: William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and David Brooks of the New York Times.

This from the pool report, issued minutes ago: "Thanks to an enterprising photographer, a shot through a window showed op-ed stalwarts William Kristol and David Brooks are also part of this unlikely gathering of tight, right suits."
And while there is no official word on what they discussed, but running a sophisticated poly-dimensional analysis of sound vibrations picked up off the window, lip reading, and flatulence all run through the Mass Speculatometer 3000, it probably sounded a little something like this...

KRISTOL
Do you mind if I ask you a few
questions? Unofficially, of course.


OBAMA
Make it official, if you like.


KRISTOL
What is your nationality?

OBAMA
I'm an Islamofascist.

BOBO BROOKS
(scribbles madly)
Pulitzer here I come!

OBAMA
That was a joke.
I was born in Hawaii if that'll
help you any.

KRISTOL
I understand you lived overseas for awhile.

OBAMA
There seems to be no secret about
that.

KRISTOL
Are you one of those people who cannot
imagine the free market in your beloved
Socialist France?

OBAMA
It's not particularly my beloved
France.

WILL
Can you imagine us in London?

OBAMA
Now that you have fucked up the
global economyfor the next 30 years,
only

in Monty Python sketches.

BOBO
Ho, diplomatist!

KRISTOL
How about Chicago?

OBAMA
Try making a living peddling rims and tee-shirts
on Maxwell Street and then come back and
talk to me about “capitalism”.

KRISTOL
Aha. Who do you think will win the
culture war?

OBAMA
I haven't the slightest idea.

BOBO
I read in my column in the NYT that Barack is
completely neutral about everything.

KRISTOL
You weren't always so carefully
neutral. We have a complete dossier
on you.

"Barack Obama, allegedly American. Possibly
forty-seven. Used ACORN to cheat Caribou
Barbie and that old guy out of the White House ."

How you did it is a little vague. We
know you love tax increases, Mr.
Obama, and also we know that you used
to be cool with gay marriage.

Don't worry. We are not going to
broadcast it.

Barack looks up from the book.

OBAMA
Is my skin really brown?

KRISTOL
You will forgive my curiosity, Mr.
Obama. The point is, the enemies of
corporate feudalism have come to the Village
and we wanna know which side you are on.

OBAMA
My interest in whether your fucked up
Mainstream Media stays or goes is purely
a pragmatic one.

KRISTOL
In this case, you have no sympathy
for Fox News, huh?

OBAMA
Not particularly. I understand the
point of view of the Rachel Maddow, too.

KRISTOL
Anonymous bloggers publish the foulest
lies on Teh Internets every day, and even after
David Broder called them potty-mouthed
poo-heads they continued to post their
Liberal trash.

BOBO
Of course, one must admit, some of them are
pretty fucking funny.

KRISTOL

I admit they can be clever.
From l'affaire Jeff Gannon to the US Attorney
unpleasantness they have vexed us.

With our beloved Mooselini


they continue their slander,
We intend not to let it happen again.

Obama gets up.

OBAMA
You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your
business is bitching about trivia and pimping
your failed ideology. Mine is running
the world.


Later, to escape the sounds of Angry Neocon Love coming out of George Will’s sex dungeon wine cellar, Brooks slipped out on the porch with the President-Elect. Then, after a long, uncomfortable pause punctuated only by the sounds of traffic, the muffled, far-away shrieks of Billy Kristol in the transports of welt-raising deregulatory ecstasy, and the eye-rolling of the President-elect…

BOBO
What in heaven's name brought
you to the Center?

OBAMA
My political health. I came to Center for the waters.

BOBO
The waters? What waters?
The Center is a fucking desert!

OBAMA
I was misinformed.

In the months and years to come will see waves of dispossessed Conservatives -- Ideologically Displaced Persons -- washing up on our shores and looking for a home. And once they've wiped their filthy little feet on the Rug of Contrition and gone through decontam they will be surprised at what a relatively hospitable joint we run here over here on the Left side of the Earth.

Because the Liberal phantasms that have kept them angrily mesmerized their entire lives have been products of their own viciously partisan propaganda.

Over here in the Real World, we value hard work. Self-sustaining communities. Good schools.

Healthy, well-informed citizens.

Choice, for everybody.

Marriage, for everybody.

A government based on transparency and rigorous, well-considered performance standards.

Taxes that balance the need to pay for the infrastructure and the maintenance of the commons without need to promote creativity and the entrepreneurial drive that makes the wheels go ‘round.

And whatever their history, people who share these values and are willing to work on the means of realizing them are our allies and should be greeted as such.

So in that light, I understand Obama’s gesture. I don't agree with it, but I get the idea that, as Lincoln said, we destroy our enemies when we make friends of them.

But while that idea might contain some truth, this is also undoubtedly true:

BOBO
My dear Barack, you overestimate the influence
of the Wingtards. I don't interfere with them and
they don't interfere with me. I am a Reasonable
Conservative and master of my fate! I am...

LEE ATWATER'S GHOST
Ronald Reagan’s zombified corpse is here, sir!

OBAMA
You were saying?

BOBO
Excuse me.

That as long as the livelihoods of men like Brooks, Kristol and Will depend on defending an obscene doctrine and ripping the guts out of anyone who opposes their loathsome agenda -- no matter deeply they bury the blade under layers of silk batting -- they remain democracy’s enemies.

And until a Conservative of any age, race, gender or class can cheerfully make a bonfire out of their dog-eared copies of --
“Atlas Shrugged”
“Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America”
“The World According to Ann Coulter”
“Hollywood Nation: Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin, and the New Media Revolution”
“Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild”
“The ACLU vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values”
“The O'Reilly Factor for Kids”
“Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism
“Setting the Woods on Fire”,
“Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down”
“Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and their Assault on America”
“The Case Against Barack Obama”
“Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning...

-- and a thousand others and pee on the ashes and walk away feeling the better for it, they simply cannot be trusted inside our perimeter.

ps. Thanks to the astonishing labors of many, kind peers, friends and complete strangers, I have apparently won the 2008 Weblog Award for Best Individual Blogger. Which stuns me. However until the Secretary of State completes the correct paperwork or Norm Coleman concedes, nothing is certified or official, so I’ll wait for The Word before posting a proper “Thank You”.

Until then, many, many thanks.

* Ironically, "nascent and irregular" is also my shirt size.

16 comments:

duquesnepdx said...

You just made me realize how much I'm going to miss Obama all over again. Him and his big empty bag of fucks to give.

I really wish I could have watched him hand that off to Hillary.

pdore said...

Unfortunately, you missed the heartwarming ending:

Obama: David, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

bowtiejack said...

Great stuff as always.

I really want to recommend to you a link that another one of your commenters posted yesterday:

https://youtu.be/sPDd9cibY9A?t=383
Professor Richard Wolff

This is an analysis that makes more sense to me that all of the despair, jeering, etc, elsewhere about this election.
You can get the gist of it in the first 10-20 minutes.
Basically, having been screwed over for the last 40 years, a lot of people voted for change: Obama in 2008; Trump this time.
And probably a lot of the same voters.

But later on he makes a truly chilling observation (which he ties into a lot of other stuff) about how only 1 of the 20 largest container shipping companies made a profit in 2016. Why? All the stuff made-on-the-cheap in Third World countries has to be transported to market. But nobody's buying! If nobody's buying, there's not enough shipping needed and, back up the supply chain, there's no need to manufacture stuff or employ workers in the Third World countries which supply Walmart, etc.. Which is causing riots in Korea not being reported here. (We do know what Brad Pitt and the Kardashians are doing though.).

I'm getting a terrible feeling that the election and all the rest of it is like a bunch of ants fighting on a log that's getting ready to go over Niagara Falls.

bowtiejack said...

Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, the 7th biggest container operation, went bankrupt in August and currently (12/6/16) 9% of container ships are idle or laid up ( going into Xmas!! ) compared to 2.5% at the beginning of the year.
http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/ships-shipbuilding/idle-container-ship-fleet-skyrockets-hanjin-collapse_20161206.html


Karen Rea said...

Trickle down GOP style after ACA and MEDICARE so-called replacements: Mom couldn't afford the expensive Medicare option and now she's sick. Her middle aged children have to decide whether to help Mom out by taking out a second mortgage or tell the kids, "No college for you". Now, because the mortgage payments are out of sight, they cannot afford to save for their own blasted retirement and they certainly have no money for discretionary spending. So with much lower demand, the economy goes into recession. And this is assuming the adult kids HAVE a house to mortgage. Or, they can let Mom take out a reverse mortgage, or sell her home to pay Dr. bills. And let's not even think about an old lady in a nursing home with Alzheimers asked to choose her Medicare insurance. No insurance vultures hanging around nursing homes, I'll bet. Uh huh.

john_m_burt said...

Ironically, "nascent and irregular" is also my shirt size.

Huh. You and Dave Bowman both.

trgahan said...

@bowtiejack

If more down ticket incumbents got tossed out, then I'd maybe buy the "economic anxiety" or "change voter" argument.

Your average Trump voter has voted Republican for 50, 40, 30, or 20 years depending on their age. In good economic times and bad. They most recently and specifically voted to STOP Obama from doing more for them after he gave them the ACA and the ARRA. Democratic infrastructure, job training, etc. bills have gathered dust for 6 years to the thundering applause of the "economically anxious working class."

The parties didn't flip in 1964 because LBJ signed a free trade agreement. The parties didn't flip again when Nixon gave China favored nation status or when Reagan dismantled the last visages of the economic infrastructure that had made America Great.




Robt said...

ou are on it Bowtiejack. When you point to the the down tickets of Congress.
I might have thought that Marco Rubio after all his precious moments and absences could be considered. RE elected he was.
Every NOn republican had known for a year. Every American was made aware tht Obama had a ninja stealth hooker infiltrate the Texas bird hunting club fortress and assassinate Justice Scalia. Scalia, the planet of the apes law giver.
When was the last time the court tilted 5-4 in opposition to the republicans? But a mere 46-48 percent of Americans voted in an election that directly changes the "changey thing". We all knew GOPers would vote GOP. Hell Dems voted GW. Yeah, independents to.
If less than half the country voted in a presidential cycle. I consider all the voter ID, voter purging --Suppression Voter Apathy, the more Trump lied the l. And it was enough to alter the key states just enough.
Remember the Penn. State Senator who bragged that voter ID would ensure Romney the election? Voter apathy. The more Trump lied more tuned out. The more lies of HRC the more repeated the phrase, "I don;t have nothing against a woman president, but not this one"? Some blame I will rest on HRC's campaign porch. She left opening *for whatever reasons).
But then, The Dems/ liberals/ progressives have left American broadcasting (communicating) completely over to the Koch's RNC ans corporate America for at least 30 years. Competing for hearts and minds of the party came round at election season onset. Leaving hearts, minds and souls to the twice daily dose of Rush all these years have led people to Alex Jones. Many are probably unreachable now for a generation. The Holy Spaghetti Monster only knows how I have tried to reach out.

There is more to it. If you noticed Wi, Mi, Pa all have GOP statehouses and governors. So I am back to gerrymandering and suppression.

The simplest of nonsense like, Dems are commies while Trump embraces Putin. It is the absence of logic.
Like I ask the cons I know,
They admit to Soros taking over the world with his money. Yet Koch Brothers who?

Robt said...

"as Lincoln said, we destroy our enemies when we make friends of them."

But who is befriending who?

Trump seemed to make a lot of pals with all his lying promises of all the water they can drink as they were dying of thirst in the desert.

Congressional Dems made friends with GOP and got what in return for 8 years?
I guess Dems thought they were making pals but were just being stroked.

The is this,
"On January 3, 2017, Democrats will hold the majority in the Senate for a few minutes, until the newly-elected Senators are sworn in. Biden could convene the Senate in those few minutes and call for a vote. The majority could then suspend the rules and vote in Merrick Garland." Dave Waldman

If legally accurate and true. I say do it. Do not expect to gain in the next mid term. Act and act now. Give me something to vote for and contain the virus.

* Note;
will hold off on my congrats until valid word comes through. Or Trump tweets how it was rigged and he should have won it.

Andrew Johnston said...

@Robt: "There is more to it. If you noticed Wi, Mi, Pa all have GOP statehouses and governors. So I am back to gerrymandering and suppression."

Worth noting that those states were targets for the GOP's 2010 REDMAP nationwide redistricting strategy. Not sure that this was a direct cause of anything but there are plenty of ways it could be an indirect factor.

Karen Rea said...

Robt: I think the only flaw in your "competing for hearts and minds" argument is that Republicans, at least since Goldwater, haven't given a damn about minds at all. Trump is the penultimate manifestation of the long slog through the darkest parts of the human soul and all of its worst impulses. Trump and his fellow travelers don't give a whit about the mind, logic or truth of an argument or position, they only want you to FEEL fear and horror when thinking about any opposition to their "point of view", if you want to call it that.

And that's the thing that Democrats, and especially Hillary, forgot. You have to tell stories, not put up charts. We Dems actually LIKE logic and truth and facts, but half of our citizens find those qualities a bridge too far. We are a pathetic people. Maybe it will take a Trump to snap us out of it, but I fear it's too late.

Karen Rea said...

Robt: I think the only flaw in your "competing for hearts and minds" argument is that Republicans, at least since Goldwater, haven't given a damn about minds at all. Trump is the penultimate manifestation of the long slog through the darkest parts of the human soul and all of its worst impulses. Trump and his fellow travelers don't give a whit about the mind, logic or truth of an argument or position, they only want you to FEEL fear and horror when thinking about any opposition to their "point of view", if you want to call it that.

And that's the thing that Democrats, and especially Hillary, forgot. You have to tell stories, not put up charts. We Dems actually LIKE logic and truth and facts, but half of our citizens find those qualities a bridge too far. We are a pathetic people. Maybe it will take a Trump to snap us out of it, but I fear it's too late.

Robt said...

Hey, Andrew Johnson.
It absolutely had something to do with it.
TGOP have gotten smart about this electioneering.
First election with the Civil Rights Act carved surgically impotent. Never one news piece of coverage the entire election. It had it part.
Gerrymandering had its part, all the voter purging , suppressions et al ..
They figured shaving votes he from this and there from that would be invisible and too complicated to put together . Disguise it all with the carnival barker.
Appreciate the supplement and well accepted.

Robt said...

karen Rea,

Your specificity is most appreciated. For I have many flaws of the subject.
Only picking one is nice of you.
I understand your conclusion that the right does not care of Hearts and minds as it pertains to the game we all see them play.
But I disagree. This is what Rush Limp-Paw was blasted out nationally for. Rush is the father of Levin, Beck, Alex Jones, hannity, laura Ingrahm and all the next generation wannabes! Rush to this day brags on air of, "filling young minds full of mush" Unquote.
It is not about them "Caring" about the hearts minds and souls. It is about conditioning them. To the point that they have "TRiGGER" words that initiate fear, hate, self loathing, selfishness, greed. It is true.

"coming for your guns"... Socialized health care---V.A. ?
Conservatism equals freedom and liberty.
Ok, GOP sugar and spice and everything nice
while Dems are snakes and snails and puppydog tails.

Now to many GOPers FOX is liberal and Breitbart is the conservative truth.
pat Robertson blathering fire and brimstone at others (religions to) for selling their false gods and goods. Which provides him the eyes and ears to sell his snake oil.
The rights reinforcing zombie politics daily via corporate communications is astounding. BillO on FOX can repeatedly say and I quote, :Dr. Tiller the baby killer does it to get rich". Say it daily on national cable TV. Until one of his distraught viewers takes the exact action BillO prescribed, over and over and over.
Billo claimed he did not "yell bomb" on a plane. True in reality. Billo said nothing about Dr. Tiller providing abortions on planes. He did incite and propagate the message of (something) needs to be done.

To end my flaw defense,
I agree with you that they do not want hearts and minds.
I disagree with you (and other for that matter) that they are after "MINDS". Mind Control, institutionalizing basic elements of faith in their political ideology/ Whatever it may mean today.
This is how republicans vote for Trump no matter what. You see, If I were face as a registered Democratic voter with a candidate Trump in the party as its nominee. I could vote republican to thwart the illness that has plagued my party's election.
They could not..
many I talk with voted against HRC knowingly Trump was worse. Figure that out.
As one told me, "Trump could burn it all down and he hates Government".

I have noticed something in recent years that appears to substantiate some of my points on this.

We are all used to meeting people and early along they express their religious beliefs, religious (clan). Perhaps I have been conditioned that is not so abnormal. Getting to know people.

But now (even before announcing one's religious views early in any type of relationship.
They now inform me of their political ideology as conservative before announcing their pride in their religious faith.

This usually follows by categorizing me as the "liberal" etc etc. Which is only conditioned words to them to dehumanize that in which my thought may not justify to their propagandized condition.

let me end here. Didn't mean to preach or elaborate so long.
Thanks for the thought.

Karen Rea said...

Robt: No problem. I disagree in that they condition the mind and BODY to react negatively to any point of view not theirs. They want the adrenaline pumping, visceral anger. If you watched Trump people at his rallies, they were red-faced, angry, ready to blast anyone who questioned their hero. Trump says the reporters in the room are all liars, and they shake their fists, ready to explode. If a reporter happened to ask one of them why they supported him, they gave answers that contained no thought, no rational reasoning, but the visceral, gut and spleen. And, yes not every single supporter was like that, but enough to be frightening. At least to my eyes and ears. I crave logic and facts and thoughfulness. That's why I like Obama, even when I disagree with him. I know for a fact that he has at the very least pondered an issue before stating his opinion.

But, maybe you're right. I'm not trying to necessarily argue with you so much as look at these folks from a different perspective. I think we are in deep doo doo as a country right now. Only two Republicans have thoroughly scared me over the years, Goldwater and Trump. And Trump is in a league of his own on my fright-o-meter.

Robt said...

Re; karen Rea
Try this for logic. Dylan Roof was raised with some rotten views. He became susceptible to some of the ugliest right wing media and it sucked him in further down a rabbit hole. yourself nor I could plead him out of it. Then, He took it further to who he would associate with. Reports of some KKK and other types.
How did it direct him?
Yes there are angry, jealous, hateful, envious folks that think the undeserving took something from them. The superiority entitlement and the greed of not ever enough.

I think we are in agreement but a technicality might be in the way.

As I witnessed as well when the Trump supporters were activated by Trump's trashing and blaming the press. What is being funneled to them daily is the news outlets are Democrats. liars, blame them for your ills in life because of their lies that caused your grief in life. Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, Commies, Socialists, Tree hugging, Godless (of course) All Dehumanizing. Once dehumanized, their conscience numbs and easy justification to "punish" relieves the anger and directs it.
I know this because of the military training I received. You see, they need the troops to kill people they do not know. Over ride their own natural morals to kill the enemy. Instead of being killed. This is old and proven. jap? Kraut? Gook? Rag head" all dehumanizing slurs to trigger, they are not human. It is easier to kill something not human. I know this is a harsher version.
The "lock her up" were trigger words of hate to excite a rage. Dehumanizing her so it is OK to punish HRC with prison for life. Bypassing any reason for proof of guilt. HRC is not perfect and she has been dehumanized since her husband was elected. The right's trigger words were in place for quite some time. Made it easy for them to jump from Christmas Card gate to emails of evil. But I think you know this. Just don't take it all the way down the dirty road. And it is more dusty than dirty. When the Tea Potters rose and had rallies. I went to see who they were. Most were what I call "visible floaters". They were able to "repeat" (sort of) what Rush or Beck said on the radio. They were unable to take the conversation further. Upi see Rush showed them the iceberg above the water and we all know the largest piece of an iceberg is below the water. The analogy is accurate.
I am with you on Goldwater and Trump. I need to add Cheney to that list.

You mention you lean to logic. Help me with this one would you.

When the KKK, Nazi groups, White supremacists, hate American Government crowd Are joined by the upper class who want tax breaks. All who live in the freedoms of this country. Many of those freedoms defended by our veterans.
Vote for a President who went out of his way to pay nothing for that freedom, for the support or care of the veterans (of taxes). Used our court system for his lawsuits and bankruptcies. bribed our very elected officials for his selfishness (by his own admission) Also join in to vote Trump were the religious Right who Trump proved immoral by any level of all 7 sins.

As a veteran. How am I to respect those who voted with the KKK for a tax cut so they do not have to pay to care for veterans that need care?
How do I give deference to people of faith now that vote for immorals promised to them?
You say you "think we are in deep doo doo". Fascist-ayn Rand Doo Doo at that.
Once the realization of there is NO "Great Again" as advertised. Trump faithfuls will need someone to blame. Wanna guess who "those" people blamed will be?