President Obama Stands With The American People Against Corporate Money In Politics!

When the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United ruling January 21, 2010 that cleared the way for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash in political campaigns with very little transparency, it even prompted the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to mention it in his State of the Union address. It elicited the childish, “nuh uh” look and utterance from Justice Alito — that instead of sparking a debate about the decision, made the media pontificate about whether it was appropriate for the President to mention the ruling and whether Alito’s response was appropriate. To me it signaled that the President really does care about the influence money has in our politics.

Now I know the haters on the left and right will trot out the old, President Obama has gotten a lot of money from big business meme, but when you look at what they base it on, it’s people who work for big business who are giving to President Obama. And yes, some of the leaders of business as well. And in their criticism lies an assumption that everyone who works for a big business is conservative and/or Republican. And that those employees, being all conservative, must be giving to President or candidate Obama because he is conservative too or that they are buying influence with him. They opine that anyone with money must be conservative and therefore if they give to a Democrat, then Democrats must be just like Republicans. It’s quite a twisted line of reasoning when you break it down. It’s just one example of the simplistic logic that permeates our media and punditry.

I had a real world example in my family. My step father was a successful lawyer and businessman, yet he donated to and voted for Democrats all his life. He also was a philanthropist and gave a lot of his money to many different causes and was modest in how he spent money. I go back to a recent post where I derided the concept of generalizing, where it is so much easier for people to just lump everyone together and attack that lump, instead of deal with real people with varying opinions. The same holds true for those who want to vilify everyone who works on Wall Street or for an evil corporation.

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All Blame And No Credit From The Professional Left Towards President Obama!

I remember all those many months ago when President Obama made clear that he was going to pull our military out of Iraq by the end of 2011 and how it was met with skepticism and pretty much dismissed by those in the Professional Left, who see everything through a filter that turns President Obama into another one of the Bush children.

Here are just some of the headlines from those supposedly über progressive blogs that have spent the last 3 years trashing on the most liberal president in a generation.

From – Justin Elliott on September 12, 2011

Obama poised to break Iraq pullout promise

This one was from May 11, 2011 from Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel

Iraq Withdrawal Date For U.S. Troops May Be Pushed Back Beyond 2011

There are many more where those came from. It’s been interesting to watch as these same people who were heaping blame and skepticism on President Obama’s promise to get all the troops out of Iraq are now failing to give him any credit for it. Glenn Greenwald and others are doing all sorts of contortions in order to avoid admitting that President Obama has kept another of his promises and has ended the Iraq War, which should send the likes of Greenwald into the streets in celebration. Instead, they are, in a round about way, praising President Bush for setting the initial timetable, which everyone met with skepticism as just a temporary measure that would be changed later on. That is why the Republicans are freaking out so much about it, they never intended on leaving Iraq at the end of 2011. Robert Parry spells it out in this piece called “Why the Left Won’t Accept Success”…(emphasis mine)

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When White Liberals Attack – Gene Lyons On Race

Melissa Harris-Perry wrote a very thoughtful piece exploring the reasons why President Obama, with his many successes in the face of great opposition, is struggling in the polls with white liberals. It is something I’ve been frustrated with since before the President was sworn in — when people on the left began attacking him about his appointments to various cabinet positions.

At first, I didn’t want to believe that race was a large part of that equation and chalked a lot of it up to “bitterness” left over from the contentious primary fight with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and the others. But as his presidency progressed and more evidence continued to pile up, I, as a white liberal, began to see that the source of a lot of that disrespect and vitriol clearly was coming from an elitist and superior attitude, much of it rooted in race.

If you haven’t been following the story, I recommend you read Joy Reid’s piece at The Reid Report. She gives some background on the reaction to some on the left to Harris-Perry’s powerful post.

My first instinct whenever I come across something that is clearly over-the-top rhetoric is to attempt to find out the source of that vitriol. Strong opinions don’t usually materialize out of thin air, they come from somewhere and I like to find out where. Using the Google machine, I decided to go back and read some previous writing by Gene Lyons as it relates to race and particularly, President Obama. What I found was quite shocking, in my opinion. You decide for yourself.

On matters of race, I’ve learned as a white, 49 year old male to listen and defer to those who have a closer connection to the effects of racism. What the hell do I know about suffering from racism, other than what I can learn from those who have suffered through it. It’s impossible for me to completely understand what it is like without having experienced it. I’ve accepted that fact and when a person of color speaks about it, I listen and try to internalize it.

One person that I listen to very intently is Melissa Harris-Perry, a very wise and thoughtful person who always makes sense to me whenever I hear her speak or read her words.

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What The Professional Left Wants You To Forget!

What bothers me the most about many of the President’s critics on the left is their complete lack of context and history.

When I read something from one of the usual suspects that makes no acknowledgment of either the Republicans lockstep opposition or the accomplishments of President Obama considering that opposition, I know that they have other motivations.

When I hear Michael Moore on damn near any show he can get on, say that President Obama hasn’t done anything, I have to wonder if it’s because he is just ignorant and hasn’t paid attention for the last 2 & 3/4 years or if he is just blatantly lying for his own gain. There has to be a reason why he wants to push false memes and help Republicans get back in control of the White House.

Emilia has an excellent post about what a dumbass Bill Maher is and she goes on to remind us of what many in the Professional Left don’t want you to remember. It’s called reality.

What’s most annoying and indicative of his lack of perspective and basic common sense, is the same old same old arguments and talking points and the inevitable comparison with FDR.

Obama could have done this. Obama could have done that. He’s caved on everything financial. He gives in to the Republicans. In the words of another well-known liberal scribe, !Yada yada yada yada.”

I want to SCREAM.

Let’s address FDR and the fabled Hundred Days. FDR was working in a time when the Republican party consisted of most of your scions of financial and industrial behemoths in the US. Really, Roosevelt should have been part of that set-up, but he was the exception to the rule. Apart from those guys dotted about the place, the rest of the country was B-L-U-E.

In the Senate alone, which then had 96 members, the Democrats had a majority of 71. And it’s true what Gov Granholme kept shouting. From the very beginning, the President simply didn’t have the votes. In fact, there was only a period of about four months – from the time Al Franken was belatedly sworn in as Senator until Ted Kennedy’s death in August 2009 – that the Democrats had the fabled 60-vote majority, and two of those votes were Independents who caucused with the Democrats, and one of those Democrats was Joe Lieberman.

Do you understand that? Does Bill?

In the beginning, with the stimulus, there were 57 Democrats (Franken awaiting confirmation) and two Independents, lacking one vote from the magic sixty. But both Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were ill. That made 55 Democrats and 2 Independents. To pass the stimulus, 3 Republican votes were needed, which was why the stimulus amount was reduced – in order to entice Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter to cross the aisle.

Even afterward, with all the healthcare debate, as well as the Republicans, the President was fighting the Blue Dog likes of Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln.

Do you understand that? Does Bill?

As for the fact that the President “caved” on extending the Bush tax cuts, Bill needs to cop this truth: At the end of July 2010, before the August recess, the President summoned Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to the White House to tell them he wanted Congress to vote on repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in September before Congress adjourned for the Midterm hustings. He felt that this would be a good campaign point. Reid and Pelosi refused.

That’s right. They refused. Reid was in a tight race, you recall, with Sharron Angle, and didn’t want to anger wealthy fence-sitters in Nevada. If that weren’t enough, Reid enlisted Russ Feingold – yes, Heavenly Father Progressively Pure Saint Russ Feingold – to plead his case. Feingold, reportedly, lobbied the President to leave off voting on the repeal of the tax cuts until after the Midterms, during the Lame Duck session.

That worked so well, didn’t it? If you recall, the Republicans, high on scoring a major victory in the House and reducing their minority in the Senate, wrote a letter telling the President that they would refuse to consider any legislation during Lame Duck until the tax cuts were done and dusted – meaning extended.

The ensuing negotiations, with the Republicans simply refusing to budge, were anything but a cave on the President’s part. Even ueber Rightwing sage and intellectual, Charles Krauthammer, despairingly admitted that. In fact, he called Obama’s “caving”, the Swindle of the Year, and berated the Republican party for allowing it.

I give credit to few Republicans, but Krauthammer’s a real intellectual, and he’s certainly smarter than Bill Maher for recognising that.

Not to mention a slew of legislation in that compromise, which helped the poor, about whom Bill Maher says he cares so much, Congress also managed to repeal DADT and pass the First Responders Health bill and the START treaty. Besides, the tax cuts were only extended for two years – until 2012 – making them fodder for the campaign cannon next year, if not sooner.

As far as the debt ceiling crisis is concerned, maybe Bill should realise that voting on raising the debt ceiling was part of the Lame Duck proposals too – getting that out of the way in the last days of a Democratic Congress – but Harry Reid pooh-pooed that idea, wanting to bring the vote to a head when it was due to be heard, originally in March 2011. That way, he reckoned, the Republican House could own part of the responsibility.

And how well did that work out?

I remember all of that, but isn’t it amazing how many have forgotten?

Self-Defeatism On The Left!

Liberals have derided conservative voters who vote against their own self interests for decades. The perfect example of this self-defeatism is middle and low income people voting for Republicans — who want to shift the nations wealth from poor and working folks to the wealthy in this country. They have been convinced by the very effective brainwashing that began in the Reagan supply-side era, when we were all told that it would trickle down to us, or rather on us.

Many of these very same liberals who deride that group on the right, are doing it themselves. In 2011, the best example of this can be seen in the efforts by Cornel West, Tavis Smiley and Ralph Nader. Eric L. Wattree helps us understand the stupidity of the self-defeatist left, who in my opinion, don’t give a shit about the people they claim to represent. (emphasis mine)

Obama has caused me tremendous frustration on several issues, but simple common sense dictates that my being frustrated is far preferable to allowing the GOP to come into power and turn the United States into a nation of corporate feudalism. That’s a level of common sense that Ralph Nader, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West seems to be lacking. Tavis seems to be keeping a low profile in this effort, by the way, but somehow I still visualize West sitting on his knee with Tavis’ hand in his back.

Isn’t it curious how all of their criticism is directed at Obama while, this point, it has become abundantly clear that the GOP has turned into a group of radical lunatics with absolutely no sense of limits, or any respect for the United States Constitution?


Anyone – and I do mean ANYONE – who would do that is either stupid, insane, think they’ll benefit from a GOP victory in some way, or are so blinded by an oversized ego that they’ve lost all connection with reality. It is clear to most thinking people that President Obama, flaws and all, is our best defense against turning the nation over to a GOP who want’s to drag us back into the Middle Ages. If that wasn’t the case, Nader and West wouldn’t have to mount a talent search. Thus, it’s one thing to have individual principles, but placing the entire nation in jeopardy to indulge those principles suggests an egomania that, at the very least, borders on psychosis.


Again, this is not the first time that Nader and West have engaged in this failed strategy. West supported Nader in his self-serving and childishly petulant campaign during the 2000 election that led to the appointment of George W. Bush. So while West is running around claiming to be so outraged over the economy and lack of jobs for the poor and middle class in this country, he’s partially responsible for it.

Elections have consequences and this country can’t afford the consequences of another Republican presidency.

The Pragmatic Progressive Saturday Reading List!

There was so much going on this week and so much emotion with the fight to save Troy Davis from being killed, I know I missed a lot of great articles that I’m just getting caught up on. As always, please add your links in the comments and let’s talk about shit!

1.  ”Tavis Smiley and Cornel West: The Reign of Fools is Over”;

2.  ”Does the West/Obama Controversy Constitute Blacks Airing Dirty Laundry?”;

3.  ”Is the Attack on Prof. Melissa Harris-Perry’s Article Criticizing Prof. Cornel West Due to Male Academic Cronyism?”;

4.  ”How Do Politicians Get People to Vote Against Their Own Interest?”;

5.  ”Tavis/West: We Know We’re Hurting, Now Tell Us the Truth About Why”;

6.  ”The Tavis/West Poverty Pimp Tour“;

7.  ”Dr. Cornel West and Intellectual Rice Cake”;

8.  Is the GOP Manipulating Black Intellectuals to destroy the First Black President?”

And lastly, I’ll leave you with this quote from Elizabeth Warren, who I hope gets a lot of face time on cable news networks in the next couple of years and beyond.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

Cornel West And Tavis Smiley Have Never Supported President Obama!

As Dr. Cornel West continues his crusade to undermine our President, I keep hearing how he was once a supporter of President Obama. If he did claim to be a supporter, it was just that — a claim.

I decided to go back in time with the help of Google and find out if he ever REALLY supported Barack Obama and exactly when it was that Dr. West and his sidekick, Tavis Smiley, began their assault on our first black president.

I typed into the search bar the words “Cornel West Supports Obama” and then proceeded to weed through hundreds of hits about Cornel’s criticism of President Obama, page after page after page of links to stories about “black mascots” and “oligarchs and plutocrats” and “fear of free black men”. There were articles by conservatives and liberals, all using Cornel West to justify their own hatred and dislike for our President.

I came across one transcript from an interview he did with Amy Goodman about 2 weeks after the election where Dr. West very cautiously applauds the election of President Obama, but you can already begin to see the formulation of his strategy to undermine him.

I looked at hundreds of results from my Google search and that one transcript was about the extent of the “support” I found for President Obama. I challenge any defenders of West to provide more, besides people saying he supported the president.

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The Professional “Whiny” Left Revealed!

If you haven’t gone to iTunes and subscribed to the Bubble Genius Bob and Chez Show podcast, you are missing out on the best political analysis around and a lot of great laughs. You can find them at their respective blogs, Bob Cesca’s Aweseome Blog! Go! and Deus Ex Malcontent where they consistently tell it like it is.

I personally look forward to the show like a little kid looks forward to candy.

A few weeks ago, they did a show called “Stop Whining”, which I highly recommend you listen to, after you subscribe to them on iTunes. But in case you prefer reading or are at work and can’t really listen, I took the time to transcribe a large portion of that show for your reading pleasure. I think it exposes the true motivations and agenda of those who have become known as the “Professional Left” or the name I prefer, “Firebaggers”.

As with anyone, I don’t agree with everything they say, but damn near everything in this portion of the show. The one thing I disagree on is the characterization of the blog post by Deaniac83 from The People’s View that was the impetus for a lot of the discussion. Deaniac83’s post about the debt ceiling deal, as I saw it, was about how that deal wasn’t as bad as it was being portrayed by many on the left. I didn’t perceive it as approving of the deal, but rather that the President made the best of a bad situation. Contrary to John Boehner’s characterization that he got 98% of what he wanted, when you look at the deal from a wider perspective, President Obama “ate his lunch”. They quickly move away from that subject and on to an incredibly insightful analysis of the “firebaggers” — who seem intent on helping the Republicans take down our Democratic President Barack Obama. Enjoy and share widely!

Bob Cesca (B)- I don’t watch Morning Joe anymore, but I can guarantee you that they were talking about this, concern trolling about it on Morning Joe over the last couple of days, because they love to do that. Oh look, the president’s losing his base…when, we’ve talked about here, it’s not really the base. The liberal blogosphere is not the base of the Democratic Party, certainly not the Obama campaign. And it never has been…we’ve always been fickle, we were divided during the primaries in 2008. A lot of people were very hesitant to jump onboard, once President Obama became the nominee. But regardless, here’s the story. Backing up on this..”The Obama administrations point person”…this if from the Huffinton Post, “The Obama campaign’s point person in New Mexico recently sent an email to supporters defending the President’s position on the debt deal and bashing the Nobel prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the quote

Chez Pazienza (C)- interject for a moment, the vital, vital outpost of New Mexico

B- That’s exactly right, ah…columnist Paul Krugman..

C – Defending the frontier

B- Right, the quote unquote “firebagger lefty blogosphere”, On the evening of August 1st. dunt, dunt, duh duh…cue the dubious music for this. “On the evening of Aug. 1, just after Congress passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling, Obama for America (OFA) New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Please take 5 minutes to read this, Please.” He used the magic word twice. “”I know many of you have raised frustrations, but please, I implore you, please take 5 minutes and read the article below. It does a great job of explaining the Debt Ceiling deal,” Sandoval wrote in bold text.” Now, that was all he wrote and then it proceeded to include this blog post from a blog called The People’s View and the blog post went on to, ah, criticize Paul Krugman as being a political rookie, it used the word firebagger, you know, which is sort of the colloquialism combining Firedoglake and teabaggers, which I use that a lot, It’s, I think it’s appropriate.

C – It is actually.

B – He even used the ah…

C- I try really hard, actually, not to do too much of the adjusting names because I’ve always thought that it’s kind of childish when you do like the, you know, the Rethuglicans….(crosstalk)….but firebagger admittedly works and of course I can’t let myself off the hook for calling them teabaggers so uh..

B – Well you have to…

C – That’s a joke that makes it’s own gravy

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Anatomy Of A Glenn Greenwald Smear Job!

I’m not a huge fan of Glenn Greenwald. There are many reasons why I dislike the man and his writings, but the main ones are his dishonesty and hyperbolic rhetoric. I only read him when I’m tipped off to something particularly crazy.

I’ll be honest and say that when he was assaulting the Bush administration, I was cheering him on. But even then, I noticed that Greenwald played loose with the facts and exaggerated things beyond recognition (Warning, right-wing link). So even though it was aimed at Bush, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Lying and misleading is a Republican thing, but of course, anyone who knows about Greenwald, knows that he is a libertarian (civil, LOL) and doesn’t vote.

I was searching Google one day and came across an article in The Nation titled “A Response to Glenn Greenwald“, written by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. Of course, I had to click on it. In recent years, Greenwald has become an example of how — with the growth of the internet — people have been given platforms who don’t deserve it and don’t have enough integrity to wield such power. Glenn Greenwald has shown time and time again that he is vicious in his attacks on people and uses every sleazy rhetorical technique known to humans to push his narrative. He is completely anti-Obama, anti-government and anti-Democratic Party. He used to be anti-Republican Party during the Bush years and that is when he established some false credibility with the left.

I did a study of his posts on for a period of just over a month. What I found was — out of 43 posts, 38 of them were anti-Obama and the remaining 5 were about something non political. There were zero posts that attacked Republicans. ZERO! I guess the GOP hasn’t done anything recently that has upset Glenn.

If you want to experience the full impact of Glenn Greenwald’s hyperbole and over-the-top rhetoric, I suggest you read things in the order that I did. None of the articles are extremely long, with the exception of Glenn’s and his many updates, so it shouldn’t take that long. But you can certainly just keep reading here, too.

I first read the response to Glenn Greenwald from Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, the subjects of Glenn’s scorn. I then went and read the original piece they had written that upset Greenwald so much. And finally, I read Greenwald’s wild-eyed screed, laying into the two people who wrote the offending piece

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