Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Death Squad Commander

Who knew we were electing Roberto D'Aubuisson four years ago. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine? Burn in hell, killer.

In interviews with The New York Times, three dozen of his current and former advisers described Mr. Obama’s evolution since taking on the role, without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war with Al Qaeda.
They describe a paradoxical leader who shunned the legislative deal-making required to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, but approves lethal action without hand-wringing. While he was adamant about narrowing the fight and improving relations with the Muslim world, he has followed the metastasizing enemy into new and dangerous lands. When he applies his lawyering skills to counterterrorism, it is usually to enable, not constrain, his ferocious campaign against Al Qaeda — even when it comes to killing an American cleric in Yemen, a decision that Mr. Obama told colleagues was “an easy one.”
His first term has seen private warnings from top officials about a “Whac-A-Mole” approach to counterterrorism; the invention of a new category of aerial attack following complaints of careless targeting; and presidential acquiescence in a formula for counting civilian deaths that some officials think is skewed to produce low numbers.
The administration’s failure to forge a clear detention policy has created the impression among some members of Congress of a take-no-prisoners policy. And Mr. Obama’s ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron P. Munter, has complained to colleagues that the C.I.A.’s strikes drive American policy there, saying “he didn’t realize his main job was to kill people,” a colleague said.
Beside the president at every step is his counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, who is variously compared by colleagues to a dogged police detective, tracking terrorists from his cavelike office in the White House basement, or a priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama, echoing the president’s attempt to apply the “just war” theories of Christian philosophers to a brutal modern conflict.
But the strikes that have eviscerated Al Qaeda — just since April, there have been 14 in Yemen, and 6 in Pakistan — have also tested both men’s commitment to the principles they have repeatedly said are necessary to defeat the enemy in the long term. Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants; in his 2010 guilty plea, Faisal Shahzad, who had tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, “When the drones hit, they don’t see children.”
Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence until he was fired in May 2010, said that discussions inside the White House of long-term strategy against Al Qaeda were sidelined by the intense focus on strikes. “The steady refrain in the White House was, ‘This is the only game in town’ — reminded me of body counts in Vietnam,” said Mr. Blair, a retired admiral who began his Navy service during that war.
Mr. Blair’s criticism, dismissed by White House officials as personal pique, nonetheless resonates inside the government.
William M. Daley, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff in 2011, said the president and his advisers understood that they could not keep adding new names to a kill list, from ever lower on the Qaeda totem pole. What remains unanswered is how much killing will be enough.

Chris Floyd, speechless.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

JFK @ 95

His tribute to Robert Frost, October 26, 1963. He was speaking of Frost, but also -- as we can now feel -- about himself as well. How far we have "evolved" away from Kennedy's dreams. . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

White Negroes

One of the best readers of our political and media culture is Adam Curtis of the BBC. He recently posted a brilliant essay celebrating a 1969 documentary by Dick Fontaine called Mailer for Mayor -- on the great writer's insane run for the office (with Jimmy Breslin as his running mate!): both men calling for the secession of the City from the rest of New York, creating our 51st state. (Let's please lose Staten Island, while we're at it.)

Curtis's piece details Mailer's embrace of hipsterism, and his warnings about its possible underside: the dangers of co-optation in service to corporate capitalism. Done. Long ago, done. Barack Obama being the ultimate White Negro, but for his no doubt being, as are all bullies, a physical coward.

(Thomas Frank's book The Conquest of Cool has the same subject, as does Frank's wonderful journal, once extinct -- now revived, The Baffler.)

Embedded in Curtis's post is the documentary itself. Awesome.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let It Bleed

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."


Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. has always been that rarest of men -- a progressive not in ideology or narcissistic stance, but in heart, soul, and deed. He has bled for others. While so many of his generation became vampires, pimps, and baboons, Kennedy instead chose to be a protector of all those needing protection: the powerless, the weak, the sad. His father's son indeed. His estranged wife Mary, with whom he had four children, was often by his side as they battled the worst in our midst. In 2001, they were arrested together for trespassing at Camp Garcia -- the U.S. Navy's training facility on the island of Viesques, Puerto Rico. The trespassing caused the suspension, for merely a day, of "live-fire exercises" by the goons who have basically seized the island. He and Mary were co-directors of the Pace University Environmental Litigation Clinic -- a clinic that trains law students in suing corporate polluters of the nearby Hudson River. And on. . . He and Mary separated two years ago.

Media ghouls and carrion-birds will now descend on her passing. Both RFK, Jr. and the family were tricked and exploited by the Obama campaign throughout '08. In February of that year at American University (the site of JFK's greatest speech), Ted, Caroline, and RFK Jr. passed the torch to the man who would become the anti-JFK: elected as peacemaker, governing as mass-murderer. Several times during the campaign, Obama made us all believe RFK Jr. would be his EPA head. When the time came for the appointment, Kennedy didn't even get a sniff. The appointment instead going to Lisa Jackson -- a corporatist woman of color.

The family has always brought out the best and the beast in man and fate. Once again, the beast was waiting.

Mary Kennedy, RIP.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mr. Chomksy. . .

. . . goes to DN. On Occupy, Obama, drones, the Middle East, and Latin America.

"If the Bush administration didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers. If the Obama administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Man of Freedom

Obama-ites at my workplace were jumping with glee yesterday at their hero's embrace of two men kissing in public. Gotta hand it to the Hustler. Sure knows his audience.

As I've posted before, I worked hard for Senator Barack Obama throughout '07 and '08, contributing financially to the campaign several times. This November, I'll be voting for Mitt ("Atta Girl!") Romney for two reasons: 1) To stick it to the greatest ideological traitor in U.S. political history and 2) Much better to have a dunce as the face of world-wide mass murder and domestic corporate tyranny than the face of a chocolate Elmer Gantry. When I tell people this, some responses I get include "I'll think he'll walk the walk in his second term" (yeah, he'll walk what's left of our society right off the plank) or "it's not in my DNA to vote Repub" or "Obama is greener than Romney" or the clear favorite: Supreme Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Court!

(Regarding the SC, the five fingers of the Corporatist Judicial Fist aren't going anywhere for decades, barring an act of God. And if we do get lucky, look at the two Identity Politics zeros Obama's already appointed, and this with a Democratic Senate, something he certainly will not have after November.)

I think many have fallen into the "my guy is cooler than your guy" hole. (Last night we saw a mini-perfect storm: on one side of the frame we had Barry O. -- the least cool guy in the world -- hangin' with Clooney and his posse; on the other, Letterman's Top 10 List, all about NitMitt's hair.) One decent thing Obama has done is expose what the anti-Bush urban libs were truly about: Bush offended their MetroSexual IDs. That's it. Psychopathic narcissists are not Leftists. In fact, as we saw with scum such as Elia Kazan, they're the first types to sell you out when trouble a-comes. And that's what they've done these past four years -- sold out on what is truly sympathetic or empathic toward others, toward other countries, other cultures, other faiths, toward parts of our own history. The types who line up to watch the Oscar-winning Separation from Iran (a great film) but who will then cheer on airstrikes against Tehran.

Scum. Worse than TeaBaggers or crackers who are just not aware. Obama's real function was to make this wad feel okay about its Cranial Rectal Embedment and its own moral depravity. What an achievement.

And now let me defend George W. Bush.

In a way. I think it would be easy to argue GWB's second term as much less illiberal than Obama's first. From 2005 - 2007, Bush had pretty much free reign: a re-election and no more reason to fear the voters, a Republican House and Senate and Judiciary. Yet he immediately began to draw down in Iraq (much faster than did Mr. Nobel Peace Prize ), set up the Baker Commission as cover to do that, threw out the "privatize Social Security" red meat to FreeMarketeers then quickly forgot about it, stuck Dick Cheney back into his stinking rat-hole for the entire second term, proposed nothing of an economically fascist nature, did pass the Prescription Drug Plan (a much more progressive act than is ObamaCare), and pretty much made fun of himself and all U.S. power whenever he was in public (intentionally or not). It was as if he were saying: "Yeah, folks, I'm your POTUS and this is what you're all really like. You and this country."

What a radical! But then pwogs rarely have a sense of humor.

So Obama is for Freedom to Cross Dress. Good for him. Now how 'bout freedom to whistle-blow, freedom to get a good education for your children without going bankrupt, freedom from being assassinated by your own government for having wrong opinions, freedom to care for one's own health, freedom to work hard and not fear termination at a moment's notice, freedom to support and vote for a Third Party candidate without wasting one's time, freedom to cross bridges and highways that don't collapse, freedom from vampires sucking all the blood from our past, present and future.

And the freedom to elect a real man as President.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good Women

Cibo Matto.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Marxmas

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Through the Looking Glass

Last month Pew Research released its annual "Trust in Government" poll, asking Americans whether or not they trust their own government. The high-water mark for "yes" was -- surprise -- November of 1963, by a score of 82 - 18.

Last month's results, a new low: 18 - 82.

And how 'bout this, from America's bwave MSNBC-sucking pwogs?
Obama has also relied on armed drones far more than Bush did, and he has expanded their use beyond America’s defined war zones. The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 83 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s drone policy, which administration officials refuse to discuss, citing security concerns. The president only recently acknowledged the existence of the drone program, which some human rights advocates say operates without a clear legal framework and in violation of the U.S. prohibition against assassination. But fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, meaning that Obama is unlikely to suffer any political consequences as a result of his policy in this election year. Support for drone strikes against suspected terrorists stays high, dropping only somewhat when respondents are asked specifically about targeting American citizens living overseas, as was the case with Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni American killed in September in a drone strike in northern Yemen.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


No, these are girls.

And these are girls.

And these are girls.

And these are girls.

And this is a girl.

And this is a girl.

And this, most wonderfully, is a girl.

These are skanks.

As Eileen Jones brilliantly sums up.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Let us celebrate with the Professor, in a brilliant, always interesting discussion with the Dutch, about most everything. Frustrating too, as the interviewers interrupt and go on a bit about their own ideas, as if we cared. Still, a great 89 minutes.

And with the lovely Laura Flanders.