LEFT OF DAYTON

Afghan War: A Time of Great Discontent Looming: Obama’s Wars

January 7, 2009
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The true measure of a man is what he does with the promises
he makes. During last years presidential race I remained
skeptical about all of the candidates. Heard it, seen it
 before. Would Obama be a further disappointment as well?
His unwavering& uncritical support for Israel and a
willingness to escalate the US military involvement  in
Afghanistan have particularly troubled me. It really sounds
simplistic, but really, war is NOT the answer. In today's
NY Times the columnist  Bob Herbert writes about The Afghan
Quagmire [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/opinion/06herbert.html?th&emc=th]
and, on the Huffington Post, Tom Hayden offers an even
broader perspective.Will Obama piss of theprogressive/populist/left
base that helped put him in office? I hope not. At the same
time we cannot simply sit back and not be critical of
looming errors in judgment that could derail a much broader
agenda of hope and change.

Afghan War: A Time of Great Discontent Looming: Obama's Wars
By Tom Hayden
January 6, 2009

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-hayden/obamas-wars_b_155669.html

On January 21, President Barack Obama will take
personal responsibility for the wars in Afghanistan and
Pakistan launched under President Bush. The Afghan-
Pakistan war is uniquely Democratic in origin, however.
Since John Kerry's 2004 campaign, hawkish Democratic
security and political consultants have asserted that
Afghanistan is a good and necessary war in comparison
with Iraq which they label a diversionary one.

This argument has allowed Democrats to be critical of
the Iraq War without diminishing their standing as
hawks who will employ force to hunt down Al Qaeda. As a
result, the rank-and-file base of the Democratic Party,
and public opinion in general, remains divided and
confused over Afghanistan. As a result, opponents of
the Afghanistan escalation remain at the margins
politically for now, although backed by a healthy
public skepticism given the Iraq experience. (more…)
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President Obama’s Foreign Policy: The Change We Really Want?

November 27, 2008
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After nearly 40 years on the left side of the political spectrum I’ve come to expect disappointment and betrayal from the Democratic party. I am a skeptical member of that party. I want to have “hope”  for a better vision of the world my kids will grow up in.. I was impressed by Obama’s campaign and the outpouring of street level support for him. I was impressed with his speech at 5th Third Field. On the other hand John McCain was anathema, definitely not a good choice for President, so I voted for Obama. I did so knowing full well Obama is not the “democratic messiah”
So what do we do now? How does the amorphous movement of people
Maintain influence with the new President? What is the best path for progressives to follow? The article re posted below is one vision, focused on the critical question of what Obama’s foreign policy is going to look like. It’s long, but well worth the time. Expect more on this important debate.
_____________________________________________________________________________
November 26, 2008 By Joanne Landy jlandy@igc.org
Source: New Politics
Joanne Landy’s ZSpace Page

With the election of Barack Obama, millions in the United States and around the world are hoping for relief from the dangerous arrogance and destructiveness of George Bush’s foreign policy. President Obama is expected to take important positive initiatives — like closing Guantanamo and lifting the rule denying international organizations receiving U.S. aid the right to let women know about abortion. When the inevitable right-wing reaction to these initiatives comes, it will be crucial for us in the peace movement to defend them. On some broader questions, there is a chance that with strong continuing popular pressure — from both within and outside the United States — the pre-election hopes of many Obama supporters can be realized on issues such as an end to the war in Iraq or stepping back from Bush’s attempt to install “missile defense” in Poland and the Czech Republic. (more…)


THE FOX IN THE CHICKEN COOP/WHITHER THE “BAILOUT”??

November 22, 2008
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Speculation and suspicion about what political position the “most liberal” Senator, now President Elect Barack Obama, will assume once he arrives in office abounds. I understand the need to “hit the ground running”, especially considering the dire circumstances of the economy. At the same time, from this distant post,it starting to look like  the new administration is going to epitomize the line out of the old Who song, Won’t Get Fooled Again…”meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”
Hillary at State, Gates still guarding the coop at Defense. OMG. Really?
One unrepentant hawk, Gates, and saber rattling Hillary.
k, maybe Obama can focus them on HIS vision. Maybe.
With those two  he risks alienating the left even more on policy toward Iraq & Afghanistan.
He wants to stay; she’s never regretted her vote [“thought the prez was going to use diplomacy….]

And for the  Treasury post  we have the president of the New York Fed, Timothy F Geithner, from the District Bank most linked to Wall Street. Partnered with Current Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernake, Geithner has been one of the architects of the current Bailout fiasco.
How well has THAT worked??? Trying to save the Monopoly Capitalist system before main street totally collapses has proven to be a task beyond the capabilities of our current technicians.

I don’t pretend to have answers but a couple of things seem clear. “saving” the big 3 looks to me like a better bet than giving Billions to banks so they can buy other banks, pay off dividends and golden parachutes and hold half million dollar weekend junkets.

Dayton’s economy is so far down the tank [the view from this post on Main Street] that another blow coming in the form of closing local GM facilities, may be one that it takes years [if ever] to recover from. With some three million direct &  related jobs on the line nationally,  the fallout in cities with GM plants and suppliers will absolutely be devastating.

And oh yes, the “big 3” did it to themselves, anyone with a brain can see that. There are cars in Japan that get 50 miles to the gallon of gas. Detroit, with the help of DEMOCRAT legislators like the recently deposed John Dingell, has resisted higher fuel & emission  standards, further digging itself in the hole as it produced various SUV behemoths that just increased USA dependence on foreign oil.

Maybe some form of nationalization is what we need.
Dump the guys who so very stupidly flew to Washington in separate corporate jets.
Implement a “Manhattan Project”  for cars?
Because giving the fox access to the chicken coop is NOT working

Some pertinent viewpoints:

Honeymoon: Left Cuts Obama Slack for Now

By: Ryan Grim and Glenn Thrush
November 21, 2008 02:41 PM EST
<http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15845.html>
_____________________________________________

Dingell Loses to Waxman and Auto Stocks Dive
Call It What It Is: Corruption

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on November 21, 2008
AlterNet
<http://www.alternet.org/story/107974/>


2008 VOTING IRREGULARITIES IN KETTERING & WEST CARROLTON

November 7, 2008
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A campaign worker for Andi Eveslage, Democrat running in the for state rep in the 37th State district found herself in a confrontation with West Carrollton police  on Election day for passing out literature in front of the poll at the Grace  Lutheran Church, outside the legal limit of 100 ft. from the polling place. The church treasurer, who had been observed earlier tearing up Eveslage’s campaign signs [ a violation of election laws] was the person responsible for calling the police. A West Carrollton police serageant misinterpertd  the law and was authorizing the on site police to make an arrest when intervention by Eveslage via the county election board stopped them.

This was not an isolated incident according to Ms Evelslage, who was running against Republican Peggy Lehner for the seat. At Harry Russel elementary school. also in West Carrollton, the school principal tried to make two volunteers leave the school grounds. It took direct intervention by the candidate and a call from the board of elections to the district superintendent to get an apology and admission of ignorance of the law. Her father, stationed St Charles church in Kettering, was asked by a church person if they were standing outside the 100 YARD zone. The 85 year man calmly told her “no” , but that he was outside the 100 foot limit, where upon he was still told he had to move. He did not, asserting his right to be there under the law. Told that they were going to call the police Mr Eveslage retorted, “go right ahead, I’ll be here waiting for them!”.

The 37th is very Republican, the House seat having been vacated by John Husted  due to term limits. Real live Democrats  appearing at poll places is practically unheard of in this reddest of red districts. The harassment of Ms Eveslage’s campaign workers  is a blatant and illegal form of voter suppression. It is hard to know whether this was a concerted effor by backers of the very conservative Peggy Lehner [known or unknown by her] or just a failure of Board of Election officials to make clear to those volunteering their property as a polling place what the law is concerning what is allowable and what is not and where the boundarties lie for campaign workers. Regardless, it should not have happened and Board of Election officials need to be very forthright in training poll workers and educating property owners  where polling is set up about the law.


IS THE FUTURE REALLY OURS? TWO VIEWS OF BARAK OBAMAS IMPACT

November 6, 2008
1 Comment

Where have I been? Here it is November and the country I know of as America is a much different [changed] place. For me survival in a tough retail environment became ALL.
The recorded music biz is NOT what once was and realignment became the order of the day, requiring nearly all my energy

We are now faced with a uncertain future led by a man anointed as the next big thing by the American people. Republicans are out, Democrats are in. But what does this really mean? Sara Robinson offers one view, wherein progressives have won an ally who generally shares their view of the world. Larry Pickney, a former Black Panther and a contributor to the Black Commentator, offers a starkly different perspective in his essay More Of The Same, Only Worse .

I find myself somewhat in the middle, or muddle, as it were. I really  want to believe that the future IS going to be better due to  the leadership of this man, Barrack Obama.
I am of the 60’s, a disillusioned Vietnam Vet remembering and recognizing the ongoing collusion of the national [ and state and local] Democrats with conservative and  right wing forces. Yes there has been progress, but at what cost. How any Democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts, for the Iraq War authorization,  for the Patriot Act? The list is long and disgusting.

I am a democrat, small d. That does not mean being blind to reality.
We shall see whether the new shaman can pull it off, whether he can actually mobilize the American people in a new populist & progressive direction. I am waiting with bated breath…

The two articles cited follow:

All good movements turn into organizations turn into businesses turn into rackets.
—Old organizers’ saying

I don’t think any of us expected to get so far so soon.

Back in 2003, when Bush was southern-frying the Dixie Chicks and the Iraq War was propelling millions into the streets and progressive blogs consisted of a small handful of folks writing in their pajamas under esoteric banners like “Eschaton” or “Orcinus” or “Daily Kos,” anybody who suggested that America might someday return to its liberal Enlightenment roots was right up there on the wack-o-meter with those who dreamed that the country might someday abolish private property and adopt socialist utopianism. Nobody serious thought it was remotely possible. Amongst ourselves, we told each other that ousting the conservative juggernaut would probably be the work of a couple of decades. Or maybe even a whole generation. Or maybe it was a fool’s errand that wasn’t even possible at all any more. (more…)


OBAMA SLIDES DEEPER INTO GRIP OF ISRAELI LOBBY

June 23, 2008
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Reuters,
June 20, 2008

Jacksonville Fla

US presidential candidate Brack Obama said that

Israel is justified in providing for its security amid the “extraordinary
threat” posed to it by Iran.

He spoke after the *New York Times* quoted unnamed U.S. officials as
saying that Israel had carried out a large military exercise this month
that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran’s
nuclear facilities.

Obama, a Democrat who is running against Republican John McCain in the
November election, was asked at a news conference in Jacksonville, Florida
whether Israel was right to carry out the exercise.

“Without access to the actual detailed intelligence, I want to be careful
about characterizing what was done and whether it was appropriate or not,”
Obama, an Illinois senator, said.

But he added that the Jewish state was right to be concerned about the
anti-Israel comments of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and about
Tehran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas.

“And so there is no doubt that Iran poses an extraordinary threat to
Israel and Israel is always justified in making decisions that will
provide for its security,” Obama said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN20400368

What Bullshit.


As his over the top support for the Ethanol lobby [read agribusiness] shows [and McCain opposes], Obama’s spine is a weak as any Dummycrat in Congress when comes to really standing up the most powerful lobbyists he has so “firmly rejected”. By further fanning the flames of fear regarding the potential for a “necessary” surrogate military strike by Israel against Iran, Obama shows his true political position.

Yes, there are other serious differences between him and McCain, but his recent pro militaristic Israeli comments [re:AIPAC speech] show him firmly slipping into the pocket of those who would lead us into a potential World War III. Perhaps his next move is going to joing McCain ina duet on “Bomb bomb Iran” as in the YouTube clip??

What ever happened to the open diplomatic approach so loudly espoused during the primary campaign?? Mr Obama’s swing to the center right was to be expected in the general election. But, parroting the likes of Bush, Cheney and McCain on policy toward Iran is hardly a position that looks even remotely “progressive”.

Oh, and Mr Obama also opposes Impeaching the War Criminals Bush and Cheney…too much of an “unnecessary distraction”…
We need DIPLOMACY, not jingoistic posturing!!

 

Ray McGovern in Detroit Free Press Asks Conyers to Impeach Bush to Avoid Attack on Iran

June 19, 2008
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Impeach Bush now?
Congressional proceedings would help prevent another mistaken war
BY RAY McGOVERN • Detroit Free Press

United States Rep. John Conyers, the Detroit Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, has a rendezvous with destiny. He is uniquely placed to thrust a rod through the wheels of a White House juggernaut to war with Iran by commencing impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush.

A move to impeach would bolster the resistance to Bush among our senior military leaders who know that attacking Iran at this time would be the strategic equivalent of the marches into Russia by Napoleon and Hitler.

Since Conyers took the helm of Judiciary in January 2007, the train of abuses and usurpations by the Bush administration has gotten even longer. But oddly, Conyers has lost his earlier appetite for impeachment and begun offering all manner of transparent excuses not to proceed. On July 23, 2007, for example, Conyers told Cindy Sheehan, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood and me that he would need 218 votes in the House, and vociferously claimed the votes were not there.

Well, they are now. Last week, 251 members of the House voted to refer to Conyers’ committee the 35 Articles of Impeachment offered by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. Conyers should take them up. (more…)


LANNY DAVIS, CLINTON APOLOGIST, BAKED AND FILLETED

May 28, 2008
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Burned out by the Clinton-Obama primary battle ? I have to admit to feeling more than a bit fatigued, and I think of myself as a political junkie, type AAA. Regular readers will note an absence of posts over the last few weeks, mostly due to the above mentioned campaign fatigue,

I am just as suspicious of Barack Obama’s connections to the power elite as I am Ms Clinton, and have re-posted several well written articles regarding those connections on this blog. However, as time wear on , Ms Clinton’s rhetoric, and that of her husband, has grown increasingly shrill, and most regrettably, seemingly coming out of a Karl Rove Republican playbook. Maybe individually the remarks can be parsed and explained, but the low road, once taken, is hard to get off of.You can only bring up “white voters”, parrot bogus gas tax relief schemes [in agreement with McCain…] and imply entitlement so many times before the veneer of respectability wears off. If he wins, I sincerely hope Obama does not give into sharing his presidency with the Clinton’s…

One of the most obstinate and tenacious defenders of Clinton has been one Lanny Davis, who, armed with more “facts” than any three other interviewees, ardently believes that Clinton can make no mistakes . Nothing she says could possibly be interpreted as anything but righteous She is the perfect, entitled Democratic party nominee.
My opinion of this pugnacious and rude huckster….very low.

The article posted below is somewhat long and detailed, but it clearly lays out the fallacies in Davis’s wishful fantasies.

Adventures in Lannyland

Lanny Davis, annotated:

Here are two important neutral principles that should guide the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee when it meets May 31 to decide whether to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations — and, if so, how to allocate them between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

One principle is based in law, the second in pragmatic politics. Both principles result in the same solution: in some rough approximation, honoring the results expressed by almost 600,000 Michigan Democrats and more than 1.7 million Florida Democrats, who turned out in record numbers though they were told their votes didn’t count, were not responsible for the rules violations, and don’t want to be disenfranchised.

Record numbers? Not in Michigan. According to the Michigan Bureau of Elections, the record for participation in a Democratic Presidential Primary came in 1972, when 1,588,073 Michigan Democrats cast ballots. That is nearly one million more ballots than were cast this year. (On the other hand, had Michigan held an “official” primary, and had the voters had behaved approximately as they did in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio, about 2,000,000 voters would have cast ballots, easily breaking the record).

The legal principle supporting that solution is pretty simple. In U.S. contract law, the party breaching a contract usually has the right to “cure” the violation during the term of the contract. But if the other party stands in the way of that cure, the breaching party cannot be further sanctioned — and certainly, as a matter of fairness, the party preventing the cure should not stand to benefit.

If the breach in question is Michigan’s decision to advance the date of its primary beyond what the DNC permitted, it would seem that the parties to that dispute are (i) the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP), and (ii) the DNC. Therefore, if the MDP sought to cure the breach (that is, hold a do-over election), the principle that Davis articulates would suggest that the “breaching party” — a.k.a. the MDP — could not be further sanctioned.

It is unclear, however, what any of this has to do with the Clinton and Obama campaigns. At best it is an argument for seating Michigan’s delegates. It isn’t an argument about how to seat them. (more…)


Bringing the White Working Class Into the Progressive Majority//By Robert Borosage

April 12, 2008
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These are excerpts of remarks delivered April 9 at the Conference on a New New Deal in Washington, sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.


Let me offer a simple set of propositions.

1. Conservatism has failed—and conservatives, while they cannot admit it, understand that. You’ve heard this before, but it is important to repeat it. The failure is not simply that of clueless George. Conservatism failed not because the Bush administration was incompetent, although incompetence has been its hallmark. It failed not because Bush and the DeLay Congress were corrupt, although corruption has been pervasive. Conservatism failed because it is wrong. Wrong about the world. Wrong about the economy. Wrong about the society.

Its imperial and military fantasies led directly to Iraq, surely the worst foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. Its market fundamentalism generated Gilded Age inequality, a Depression-era financial crisis, stagnant wages and rising insecurity, and left America the world’s largest debtor, dependent on the kindness of strangers. Their celebration of deregulation and scorn for government ended up poisoning our kids, with uninspected toxic toys and diseased lunch-room foods. (more…)


Learning From the Cultural Conservatives, Part III: Taking It To The Street

April 8, 2008
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Part I
Part II

The conservative worldview has succeeded so wildly — and is still holding such tenacious sway over the ways Americans approach their current stack of problems — because the conservatives started out 30 years ago with a focused plan that put promoting their model of reality at the center of every other action. Over the past two posts, I’ve been mining the specific strategies that early planners like Paul Weyrich used to advance the conservative worldview, in the hope that we might gain some insight that will help us engage them directly on this deepest, most important territory.

Progressives will not be able to implement their vision of the future until we’re able to supplant the conservative worldview with our own. We won’t win until we take control of the discourse, offer Americans new ways to make meaning and evaluate and prioritize events, and get them to abandon conservative assumptions about how reality works.

I’d like to thank Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action again for turning me onto Eric Huebeck’s 2001 document that summarized, updated, and refocused the original Weyrich strategies. In this final piece, we’ll look some of the specific ways the conservatives structured their campaign to take their worldview to the streets, and ultimately replaced long-held democratic assumptions about government, economics, and society with the deadly and wrong-headed assumptions that now drive the thinking of the entire nation. (more…)


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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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