Is Obama Going To Leave Office With A Good Economy, Or One That's In The Shitter Like Today
thus handing the presidency to a Republican?
Nothing is ever going to get done with this Congress. The Right has done all the redistricting, so they can lose in future elections.
That's correct. They can get re-elected no matter what and sit in Congress blocking anything they want. It really is quite awful.
And the cause of it, to be blunt, is that Obama refused to campaign in 2010 and Rahm Emmanuel didn't do anything either.
The business cycle has its own momentum (thank God), and there's not a whole lot the President or Congress can do to completely disrupt it. Oh, they can move the needle a little one way or the other, but it's pretty tough to really kill the beast.
That said, in 3 more years we should be near the top of the cycle (maybe we'll have just peaked), and people should be feeling pretty good about things. Of course, that's generally when they start a war, so who knows.
Nonsense R3. In fact there was no business cycle between 1992 and 2002, was there? Get a grip. The whole thing is government incompetence and private sector corruption and capital strike. None of it is "natural."
R3 is one of those people who thinks his car has feelings.
Barack Obama: Two Kinds of Awful
by ANDREW LEVINE
There is something to be grateful for: lesser evil arguments for reelecting Barack Obama are “so last year.” Should we be grateful too that he won? Very likely. But that is small consolation for the fact that we must now look “forward” to four more years of him.
This is not the time to rehearse arguments against lesser evilism or to identify the lesser evil in an election that already took place. The time for that was before November 6. What is urgent now is to understand how the results of that election burden us.
Those burdens fall into two distinct categories: those that follow from Obama’s ineffectualness, and those that follow from his being on the wrong side of the main issues of our time. For those in the former category, it is unfortunate that Obama is not more effective than he is; for the others, it is fortunate indeed.
I can't stand that rag, it's always counter-productive to conventional wisdom.
it's always counter to Israeli "wisdom."
[italic]Counterpunch[/italic]? Which publishes Israel Shamir, a Holocaust denier and supporter of Belarus' dictatorial regime? Why on earth would you insult such a lovely publication?
Here's what Shamir had to say about that loveable Cambodian, Pol Pot:
[quote]The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life. He was brought up in royal palace circles; his aunt was a concubine of the previous king. He studied in Paris, but instead of making money and a career, he returned home, and spent a few years dwelling with forest tribes to learn from the peasants. He felt compassion for the ordinary village people who were ripped off on a daily basis by the city folk, the comprador parasites. He built an army to defend the countryside from these power-wielding robbers. Pol Pot, a monkish man of simple needs, did not seek wealth, fame or power for himself. He had one great ambition: to terminate the failing colonial capitalism in Cambodia, return to village tradition, and from there, to build a new country from scratch.
Counterpunch? You're kind of an idiot, R6
[quote]NORMAN POLLACK: Liberal Fascism in America
Israeli boosterism/censorship in America -- remember that the next time you wonder what happened to American music, cinema, and literature.
Wall Street and the industry lobby can't afford to sit out and stall the economy for four more years. They somehow have to do something in order to rake in profits that will be counted in favor of Obama whether Wall Street and the industry lobby likes it or not.
R9 if you are trying to make ANDREW LEVINE, the author of that piece, out to be antisemite, you are truly a moron.
Sadly he missed the lies of economic globalism and trade, the third issue where Obama is COMPLETELY WRONG.
Likudnik tripe. No thanks.
R13, I'm telling Dataloungers that Counterpunch is the sort of publication that makes apologies for a murderer like Pol Pot. Counterpunch is the sort of publication that regularly publishes garbage from a Holocaust denier. Those are good indicators of Counterpunch's editorial standards.
The Obama Era
Liberal Fascism in America
by NORMAN POLLACK
Is liberal fascism a misnomer? Perhaps Sinclair Lewis’s antecedent question is more basic, Can it happen here?
Fascism comes in several varieties without losing its distinctive structural-ideological-political features, all of which point to an hierarchical societal framework characterized by extremes of wealth and power, a system of government authority, its opaqueness shielding it from accountability in both domestic and foreign policy, and, because of its secrecy, able to hide its disconnection from the public interest, as for example a dereliction of responsibility to the working class in terms of job creation, the preservation of the social safety net, and adequate funding for public education, and meanwhile, able as well to hide its connection, rather, to ruling groups and upper social strata through beneficial economic and fiscal policies, subsidies, the wider geopolitical strategies for wealth accumulation in international affairs, and the protective cover of military strength and involvement to preserve order and a martial spirit at home and trade and investment opportunities abroad—ensuring the resultant generation of wealth will not be channeled inward to democratize the social order.
Prevention of democratization at home, unilateral exercise of dominance on all major indices of power and a broad counterrevolutionary posture abroad, pretty well sums up the paradigm of fascism in a skeletal form, its methods varying to suit historical circumstances and cultural tastes, repression in some cases, persuasion and a promotion of false consciousness in others, so long as the basic objectives are served: inequality, secrecy, militarism (all, under Obama, brought to fruition via the warm glow of rhetorical liberalism).
Liberal fascism is an elusive historical formation; instead of goosestepping automatons, gas chambers, Stuka dive bombers, the bombastic Leader, all is normality on display, although, to be sure, some traces of the nonliberal variety of fascism remain.
For goosesteppers substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarization of the total culture, under constant reinforcement, with Second-Amendment gun-rights zealots rubbing their hardware in our noses.
For gas chambers substitute the structural reinforcement of gun violence, incarceration of an underclass, surveillance—admittedly far less painful, but expeditious in its social-control consequences.
For the Stukas, we actually go one better, with armed drones for targeted assassination, directed to terrorizing, as did the Stukas along with the closer analogue, buzz bombs, whole populations.
And for the bombastic Leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at work in planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while and, now, advertising his “Fireplace Hangouts” in a phony effort to imitate FDR’s Fireside Chats.
[quote]Oh, this again -- no real argument
Yes, this again. [italic]Counterpunch[/italic] is the sort of crap periodical that publishes apologies for Pol Pot. [italic]Counterpunch[/italic] is the sort of crap periodical that regularly publishes pieces from Israel Shamir, who is not only a Holocaust denier, he supports the dictatorial regime in Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe. Why the fuck would the editors of [italic]Counterpunch[/italic] do that? Do you really believe it believes in truth and justice? Or does it just believe in being controversial?
It will be in better shape than the economy he inherited.
And if Hillary runs, it won't matter. The republicans won't be handed anything. She wins.
by LINH DINH
The coarsening of a people doesn’t happen overnight. When I came to the States in 1975, the Gong Show was about as rude as it got on television. Some earnest sap would get bumped for crooning, “Feelings, nothing more than feelings,” but no one ever got screamed at, had their wig knocked off or made to sob in public. No tune ever urged murder, and even a group named War only sang, “Why can’t we be friends?” The year’s top hit was The Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Compared to now, it was a cheesy time, for sure. American cheese.
Then came Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Springer, etc. Before Stern made it nationally, he was only big in the DC area, where I happened to live at the time. In 1982, an airliner crashed onto the 14th Street Bridge, killing 78 people, so Stern called Air Florida the next day to book a flight from National Airport to the 14th Street Bridge. Many kids at my school, Jefferson High, thought it was brilliantly funny, and I’m not sure now if I laughed along, but even then, I could sense that not only Stern, but the country itself had crossed a line. If 78 corpses in a freezing river is an occasion for any kind of collective mirth, then we’re certainly fucked. Stern’s reputation has been built on such jokes, remember, and he’s no fringe character but one of our most popular radio personalities. Ever.
By 1989, I was standing on a ladder, house painting while subjected to my boss’ radio always tuned to Stern in the morning, then Rush Limbaugh in the afternoon. It’s a miracle I still have live brain cells. A Limbaugh show would start with a sustained burst of gunfire and hand grenades exploding. Now, I have nothing against “shock” per se, or black humor, but we’re not talking about Celine, Artaud, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski or Andy Kaufman, but simply crass idiocy. Loutish Limbaugh became so popular, he was asked to be a commentator on Monday Night Football.
Violence, always violence. From infancy, Americans are conditioned to enjoy violence, then lured or pressured to support it at every stage of life. Merely by voting, Americans sanction carnage against foreigners, and to have a healthy stock portfolio, one should also invest in mass murder. Even holding onto to a job can mean implicit or explicit participation gratuitous violence. Let’s say you’re an honest and mild-mannered cop, but if your colleagues were kicking a prone suspect, LAPD style, you’d arouse suspicion and ridicule for not joining in. What are you, a snitch? Who do you think you are, Christopher Dorner? And in war, massacres and mass rapes are initiation rites and bonding rituals, what bonafide heroes indulge in, for to abstain is to be a queer or pussy. What are you, a snitch? Who do you think you are, Bradley Manning?
With preemptive wars, drone hits, extrajudicial killings and torture, illegal violence has become institutionalized in the USA, and as we normalize such outrages against humanity, we become more corrupt on every level, for if one can justify greed-driven, random or even recreational or therapeutic killing, what Limbaugh called “letting off steam” in regard to Abu Ghraib, then one can justify any other immorality.
In all spheres of our public life, governmental, media, entertainment, sports and even academic, violence and corruption have taken over. CEOs bankrupt millions, while TSA flunkies lift cash and electronics when not fingering nuts. To watch bouncing balls, we must thank the troops repeatedly. Our jocks are lying junkies. Gotta gain that edge, you know. To keep their jobs, even elementary school principals and teachers fix grades. In such a foul swamp, the honest man or woman is a fool, at best, and may soon be out of a job, if not already.
Corroding individuals and nations, corruption weeds out the honest and competent, while abetting the ruthless yet servile, towards inferiors and superiors, respectively. With so much corruption in high places, even the bought media must acknowledge that there is unprecedented mistrust in the entire system, but feeling impotent, all the hoi polloi can do is cheer when one of their own fight back. Seventy-year-old private contractor Arthur Harmon was hired by Fusion Contact Centers, and when it tried to stiff the old man after he had done his work, he shot its CEO, Steve Singer, and Singer’s lawyer, Mark Hummels. Harmon then committed suicide.
With public trust plummeting, poor Capitalism will suffer, the media lament, but what about the contagion of so much lying, cheating and unchecked violence? Our grinning Prez continues to kill so casually, so often, after joking about drones. Our Secretary of State gleefully chirped, “We came, we saw, he died!” It should come as no surprise, then, that hardly a week goes by without at least one multiple shooting where innocents are killed for no reason, beyond the fact that the shooter may have had a bad day, week or life.
And as the heavyweights steal big, us strawweights shoplift, filch from work or barter our boss’ merchandises. Gotta supplement those starvation paychecks. Barista, I’ll give you a free cappuccino, smart blonde-blended amaro joe, in exchange for a frankenchicken enchilada from your minimum wage shack of employment. Or take this schmuck working at Ross, the Dress for Less store. For a while now, he’s been sneaking shirts, wallets and belts into the trash, to recover then peddle for cheap.
Last May, 47 U.S. Marines and 21 civilian accomplices were charged with stealing assault rifles, bullets, night vision goggles and $800 flash lights to sell on eBay and Craiglist, at garage sales and through direct meetings. Buyers included domestic gangs and foreign agents. Since the country itself is, by far, the world’s biggest arms dealers, why shouldn’t its lowly grunts get in on the action? Last April, six US Army soldiers were arrested for selling stolen weapons, trafficking cocaine and offering murder for hire, “wet work,” with a hit costing $50,000, plus five kilos of coke. Your gang’s initial could be carved, free of charge, into the deceased individual.
In an AT&T commercial, a suited guy asks a bunch of kids, “Who thinks two is better than one?” All the kids shout, “Two!” Suit continues, “Now, what’s better, being able to shoot two lasers out of your eyes at the same time, or just one laser out of one eye?” A kid then explains, “It’s just fun. One beam, OK, it does a little bit of damage. Two beams, it makes something explode!” So there you have it. To sell a gadget that allows you to bungle two activities simultaneously, they use cute, goofy kids to gush over a futuristic weapon, as fired by a cyborg. We subject our children to maddening, nonstop and inhuman stimuli, then wonder why they’re suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. With them going apeshit inside their No Dummie Left Behind cages, we drug them some more, as if there weren’t enough toxins already clogging their veins.
Our media push violence and stupidity on us, then justify it by saying this is exactly what we want, since we are belligerent morons, more or less, but it’s clear we haven’t always been this way, and don’t think I’m just using the cheeze whiz 70’s as a benchmark. In 1927, “I’m Looking Over a Four Leave Clover” was a huge hit, and you don’t have to understand its lyrics to know that it’s not about banging some ho. In 1929, Fats Waller scored with “Ain’t Misbehaving.” Even as Al Capone’s boys were mowing them down in Chicago, Americans were singing along to, “I don’t stay out late, don’t care to go / I’m home about eight, just me and my radio / Ain’t misbehavin’, I’m savin’ my love for you.” Compare that with 50 Cent’s “remember the good times, the chips we stacked / the clips we packed / and all the bricks we cooked from coke to crack.” Or, “Y’all can love me, or hate me, or suck my dick / I like my hoes just like Summer, no class.” Good Lord, and I thought smoking unfiltered Camel, drinking half a six pack or making out with a girl outside the 7-Eleven (after working eight hours at McDonald’s) was badass. Forgive me, Ice-T, for I’ve wasted my corn syrupy teens.
A question worth asking: Who benefit from a more compulsive, hence more violent, population? Well, if you’re pushing eternal warfare, which we are, you’ll need a pool of nutcases who are willing to shoot anyone for any reason, or none at all, and more deranged oafs at home to go “Rah! Rah!” over any bombing run or drone hit. Are we going into Mali next? Why not? Where is it, by the way? There has never been a country fighting so many wars without a serious debate about any of them. And if you want people to buy first, think later, to rack up life-wrecking debts to satiate all ephemeral cravings, then you ply them with poison, flickering television and thumping music. You don’t want a population capable of deliberating, reflecting, thinking clearly or even listening attentively, much less reading, but one that can be jerked around by any sexy come-on or dumbed down slogan. In Allentown, I saw a hand drawn sticker featuring a large “HAPPY” pill, with this caption, “POLITICS IS THE ART OF CONTROL. GO BACK TO SLEEP.”
Americans are the most drugged and indebted people on earth, with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and childbirth among developed nations. We don’t think much about the future, nor can we envision what it might bring. With no universal healthcare, many of us don’t even dare to think about our own bodily decline or vulnerabilities. “Kicking the can down the road” has become our mantra. Each speech by the President is a vapid pep talk with no correlation to reality, yet, clouded by virtual or real narcotics, many of us still clap and cheer. Others mumble that it’s time we fight back, but with our enemy ill-defined or out of reach, we’re reduced to shooting innocents or ourselves.
I don't care at this point who is in office as long as our economy gets better.
Trolldar r22 and see the crazy.
Trolldar r24 and see the hall monitor.
r20 r21 and r22 are three parts of the article
Please, anyone with common sense knows that reality TV is modern times' gladiator games (distracting the stupid masses from going after the higher ups).
Obama works within a corrupt system where anybody who'd dares to change it gets either killed or pushed out.
Only a rogue militant group version of Anonymous which threatens with physical violence, kills, or hurts those corrupt individuals will manage to change things for the better in our lifetime. Obama can only make tiny small changes that may very well be reversed when another Republican gets into office (thanks to Rove's firewalled voting fraud).
Republicans are determined to make sure he leaves disaster so they can regain power
Wasn't the economy in the shitter upon his reelection?
Yes, r28. Thanks to Mitt Romney, the Tea Party, the war on women, etc., Obama was able to win in spite of it all.