Saturday, April 18, 2009

Obama Wows 'Em In Latin America-- Republican Hypocrites Snipe At The President Here At Home


You may have read here at DWT that we were disappointed with the very modest baby steps the Obama Administration announced towards Cuba last week. The ritualistic screaming and denunciations from the extreme right left-behinds and revanchistas of the Cuban-American community in Florida and a few bribed shills from districts where Cuba isn't an issue, was largely ignored. That may have encouraged Obama to go a little further during his summit with the leaders of the rest of the countries of the Western Hemisphere, all of whom enjoy satisfactory relations with Cuba. America-- if not the Cuban-American would-be aristocracy who still nurture the dream of overthrowing the Revolution and reasserting themselves as the feudal lords of Cuba-- is ready for change in regard to the dysfunctional and shameful relationship we have with one of our closest neighbors.

Today's NY Times is reporting that the Latin American leaders were impressed with Obama's willingness to move beyond the archaic Cold War era boycott of Cuba long dictated by a few wealthy fascist families from pre-Revolutionary Cuba (plus the American Mafia). Obama said the U.S. "seeks a new beginning with Cuba" and is willing to sit down with the Cuban government and work on better relations.
Mr. Obama’s remarks, during the opening ceremony at the Summit of the Americas, are the clearest signal in decades that the United States is willing to change direction in its dealings with Cuba. They capped a dizzying series of developments this week, including surprisingly warm words between Raúl Castro, Cuba’s leader, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Other leaders here said that in watching Mr. Obama extend his hand to Cuba, they felt they were witnessing a historic shift. And in another twist, Cuba’s strongest ally at the summit, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, no fan of the United States, was photographed at the meeting giving Mr. Obama a hearty handclasp and a broad smile.

...“I know there is a longer journey that must be traveled in overcoming decades of mistrust, but there are critical steps we can take toward a new day,” Mr. Obama said, adding that he was “prepared to have my administration engage with the Cuban government on a wide range of issues-- from human rights, free speech, and democratic reform to drugs, migration, and economic issues.”

Fascist elements in the U.S. were stunned and upset that another Fox-created boogie-man, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was treated as a head of state instead of like a pariah or a terrorist. Obama knew his agenda for change wouldn't be achieved without lots of sniping and hysteria from the far right, but he's moving steadily forward on multiple fronts and, so far, neither their tea parties nor the hissing of obstructionist pip-squeaks like Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) have managed to do anything but mark the opposition as out-of-step reactionaries with no ideas beyond going back to more hopelessly failed and disastrous Bush policies.
Instead of embracing exponents of change, the teabaggers invited asked a number of Republican members of Congress who have supported bank bailouts and other no-strings-attached giveaways to Wall Street speculators, free trade policies that empower contemporary variations on the British East India Company and schemes to gamble Social Security on the stock market.

Among speakers scheduled to titillate teabagger rallies are Florida Congressman Ander Crenshaw (appearing in Jacksonville), Arizona Congressman John Shadegg (appearing in Phoenix), North Carolina Congresswoman Susan Myrick (appearing in Charlotte) and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (appearing in Madison).

All cast the Tory vote for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which gave hundreds of billions of dollars to banks and speculators.

No doubt, Ryan's the worst hypocrite in the bunch.

The ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee has emerged as the GOPs pointman on "fiscal responsibility" issues. Yet, this Tory legislator played a key role in passing the Wall Street bailout last fall, rallying Republican votes for the measure when sincere conservatives wanted to vote "no" to the $800-billion giveaway with Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders, who said, "rescuing the economy does not mean we have to just give away $700 billion of taxpayer money to the banks," and Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, who said, "Taxpayers deserve a plan that puts their concerns ahead of those who got us into this mess."

Technically, Ryan represents Janesville, Wisconsin, but his real designation ought to be: Paul Ryan, R-Wall Street.

Janesville is, or at least was, a manufacturing town. Yet, Ryan has since his election to the House in 1998 consistently voted for free-trade pacts-- including the extension of most-favored nation trading status to China-- that have been devastating to the community and others in his southeastern Wisconsin district. How devastating, last winter, the sprawling General Motor plant that had been the community's top employer for nine decades, was shuttered.

What was Ryan doing in the months before the plant closed? Campaigning for a scheme to gamble Social Security funds on the stock market and gut Medicare and Medicaid. Had Ryan gotten his way, tens of millions of Americans who lost most of their retirement savings when the stock market crashed in the fall would also have lost much of their Social Security safety net. And they would have had an even harder time getting access to medical care.

Fiscally responsible? Not Paul Ryan.

His whole career has been about redistributing wealth upward, rewriting trade rules to favor multinational corporations, robbing the federal treasury to enrich his banking industry benefactors and running up debts to bail out Wall Street.

If Sam Adams had encountered this Tory, they would have tossed him in Boston Harbor with those crates of tea.

You can help stop Paul Ryan-- before it's too late.

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