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Archive for the ‘dennis trainor’ Category
note: This website is undergoing a re-organization and will be idle
Barack Obama went from becoming the first black president of the Harvard Law Review (1990) to becoming the first black president of the United States of America so quickly, that it is not a stretch to say that we have only known him as a candidate. His life, for the last eighteen years, has been one carefully modulated and expertly managed campaign. Even when he held such underachieving slacker status positions such as United States Senator, his votes, his appearances, his public statements- and even the shirtless beach photos – have all been part of the larger campaign. As a candidate, perhaps no one has ever been as good as Obama. He has been so good, in fact, expectations of his presidency are rivaled only by an Evangelical Christian’s expectation that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Like Christ, Obama is now a myth. The man will never walk in step with what we think of him, because we have projected so much onto him. Yes, it does speak well of his campaign that it was able to leverage the desperation of so many who were so horrified of our own inaction these past eight years. We needed a savior to rescue us from the shame brought on because we had, collectively speaking, done nothing after George Bush stole the 2000 election save for prop up a cottage industry that fed us a steady stream of clever anti-Bush t-shirts and bumper stickers for us to brandish on the sidelines as our President proceeded to treat the constitution as a pesky little obstacle in his way as he waged his comic book battle of good vs. evil, now let loose from the safe confines of his little village idiot of a head and leaving a trail of blood soaked deserts and unknown blowback in its wake.
There are some who will give Obama high grades for a longer than average honeymoon period simply because the man has replaced will be remembered by history as the worst president to ever hold the office. Alfred E. Newman would have been an improvement on Bush, the subliminal thinking will go, and Obama is surely better than Alfred E. Newman. But for many, the bar is set unreasonably high. Like Christ, many praise Obama as a revolutionary. I’m more inclined to agree with Ashley Sanders, former spokesperson for the Ralph Nader campaign, who described the change that Obama has sold us as
a hazy feeling that Obama (despite all evidence to the contrary) was the peace candidate, the environmental candidate, the Black candidate, the people’s candidate. The whole production borrowed ideas that were actually dangerous to Wall Street, gutted them of danger, and resold them as ideas that were dangerous to Wall Street. It used spectacle to create the illusion that an infinity of similar options was the same thing as a meaningful choice, as real change or authenticity. It was the triumph of ideology: getting people to vote against themselves in the name of themselves.
The whole thing smacked of buying punk clothes at Hot Topic.
As Americans, we know not where to get punk clothes but at Hot Topic, and are so entrenched in ad culture that we would not know a revolution unless it was being sold to us. Here is what is being sold to us in the first week of the Obama presidency: Obama has swept into town and takes swift action in reversing the criminal culture of torture and rendition and secret prisons by issuing an executive order to shut GITMO. This much is true.
Read the rest of this entry ?
While no one president alone can wave a magic wand and change the world, Barrack Obama has inspired the kind of hope that has people thinking big. Even if you don’t buy into the Obama revolution and think Obama espouses a foreign policy that could only be described as “the Bush doctrine, with slightly less calories” (and you would be correct) you can still dream big, can’t you?
On the eve of the inauguration, let’s create a list, if only as a social experiment, of the things we want in the first year from this administration. Express your wishes in a short phrase or sentence like “single payer healthcare” or “revoke the policy of pre-emption” or “all dogs neutered”. I’ll take the most compelling of these & create poll.
On the day after the inauguration, I will post that poll right here at Operation Itch. This should give us a clear idea of what Operation Itchers want in Obama’s first year.
Then we can put our heads together and see if we can’t achieve it. Don’t think we can get anything done together? Come on, say it with me now- YES WE CAN. – DT ( you can read the David Swanson article I talk about here)
On biggering and BIGGERING and BIGGERING and BIGGERING, turning MORE Truffula Trees into Thneeds which everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE needs!”
- Dr. Seuss, THE LORAX
“Istanbul was Constantinople/ Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople/ Been a long time gone, Constantinople/ Why did Constantinople get the works?/ That’s nobody’s business but the Turks” - Lyrics from “Istanbul”/ They Might Be Giants
It is hard to resist the pull to join the growing bandwagon of pundits, analysts, soccer moms, and plumbers offering their advice to Barack Obama as he prepares to become the forty- third president of the United States. Not that I am hesitant to share my opinions. After all, it was this time last year that I found myself, by virtue of sharing my opinions in a few YouTube videos, sitting on the Dennis Kucinich campaign bus across from the man running for president just days before the New Hampshire primary getting paid to offer my opinions on all matters related to politics. Dennis Kucinich, with all of my help, took 1% of the vote in New Hampshire. So I don’t delude myself into thinking that Rahm Emanuel will be presenting the president elect with the cliff notes of the advice that is to follow.
Amid all the hoopla of the campaign mixed with the sober realities of the never ending war(s), a recession that is on the eve of a global depression and the ever increasing possibility that I will never get a job writing for The Daily Show comes the question: what if Barack Obama is not only the next president of the United States, but the last president of the United States?
Andrew Osborn, in his December 29th article in the Wall Street Journal, sheds some light on Russian academic Igor Panarin, who predicts that the United States has seen her last presidential election cycle.
Panarin is even getting requests to scribble his John Hancock (will anyone remember him?) on this map (pictured here) he created. Read the rest of this entry ?