Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tonight's Random Thoughts... And Our Nightly Contest


Remember when people, generally smitten rather than thoughtful ones, were ordaining Obama a transformative leader? Should dangerous Wall Street shill and empty suit Paul Ryan ever become President of the United States, Obama will have been transformative in the same way Franz von Papen was. Or Kurt von Schleicher, the German Chancellor (and monarchist-- i.e., handmaiden to the elites) between von Papen and Hitler. Von Schleicher sought to thwart Hitler's rise to power, first by putting together a bizarre coalition around a concept of a "non-parliamentary, authoritarian but participatory regime," embracing everything from labor unions to "moderate" Nazis. He failed and, less than 2 months after taking office, was replaced by the elites who felt Hitler had matured and could be trusted-- in much the same way Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer described their imaginary Mean Jean Schmidt in an endorsement. They fired von Schleicher and put in Hitler, certain they could control him, on June 30, 1933. Hitler had von Scheicher murdered 5 months later when it looked like he was trying to bring back the Hohenzollern monarchy to save Germany from the Nazi scourge. Too late! Be warned I'm writing more about Nazis and completely thumbing my nose at Goldwin's Law in the morning.

Now some more Nixonland; this time a little reflection on war. Our military men and women are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and no one seems quite sure why... or how to make it stop. Back when Nixon was president, it was the GIs in Southeast Asia who were working the hardest and most effectively to end the Vietnam War. Just as I was leaving for Afghanistan in the spring of 1969, Life Magazine started reporting on GI protests and "the terror it struck in the brass."
On March 20, alongside Route 9 by the Laos border, a captain ordered two platoons to wade into heavy enemy fire. They refused to budge: why fight for these cowards who refused to fight for themselves? A lieutenant colonel pleaded, then ordered; fifty-three still refused. They also refused to give their names. No disciplinary action was taken. The brass feared that the mutiny would spread brigade-wide.

The American army was collapsing in the field. "I just work hard at surviving so I can go home and protest the killing," explained one GI. ... In Vietnam soldiers wrote semi-seditious slogans on their helmet headliners ("The unwilling, led by the unqualified, doing the unnecessary, for the ungrateful...) and, caught in infractions, responded, "What are you going to do about it, send me to 'Nam?"

Reporters were noticing that that soldiers were lamenting "which of them would be the last to die for a war that even the president seemed to admit was a mistake?" Seem familiar?

Mike Pence is certainly the most far right member of the House Republican leadership-- and the most independent, kind a conservative loose cannon. His office called and woke me up a few weeks ago when I exposed him as the surreptitious source of the leak about Boehner's affair with printing industry lobbyist, Lisbeth Lyons, for whom Boehner tanked his own district's once burgeoning paper industry which he helped outsource to China. Many people in Washington think he has been considering challenging Boehner for the Speakership if the GOP manages the seize the majority next Tuesday. Earlier today, though, a less than dependable and certainly less than competent Politico reporter, Ben Smith, claimed that Pence may leave the GOP leadership to prepare for a bid for higher office.

Pence, a former hate talk radio announcer, is an ideologue and purity-queen and he probably doesn't want to be constrained by acting like a semi-adult if leadership needs to act that way from time to time. He joined Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, Sessions and the rest of the House leadership in voting in favor of Chinese currency manipulation, product dumping and job outsourcing although most of the GOP caucus ran from that position and voted with the Democrats. On the other hand, when Boehner, Cantor and Ryan were pimping Bush's 2008 no-strings-attached Wall Street bailout (TARP), Pence drew the line and refused to go along. 91 Republicans voted for the bailout in the House, many feeling strong-armed by Boehner, but Pence was one of the 108 Republicans (and 63 Democrats) who voted NO. Right now his story is that he feels like he can't commit to a two-year term in the leadership, although I've never heard of anyone using that excuse before.
Pence also believes that he can be a more effective conservative voice if he is free of the responsibilities that he would have in leadership of a House Republican majority... Pence was the winner of the presidential straw poll at last month’s Values Voter Summit, showing that he’s attracted a lot of buzz within the social conservative movement.

Last night's contest was for a rare autographed Patti Smith print and our winner, picked at random, was... Hilary in Baltimore, Maryland. Tonight's contest is for a box of 20 new CDs including new releases by Linkin Park, Neil Young, The Offspring, Eric Clapton + Steve Winwood, the Doobie Brothers, Green Day, Andy Bell (formerly of Erasure), The Corrs and others. So how to win the box? Well, just the way we did it last night, except tonight for the Blue America ad for Justin Coussoule. The ad is below. You can contribute to keeping it on the air on this ActBlue page.

Labels: , , , ,


At 5:50 AM, Anonymous me said...

Remember when people, generally smitten rather than thoughtful ones, were ordaining Obama a transformative leader?

I didn't see it myself, but what choice did I have? Both Hillary and McCain were obviously awful.

And look at the options now. How can I vote against republicans when the Democratic alternative sucks?

I think from now on, I'll vote straight Green. I don't like the Greens much either, but at least they are neither Demublican nor Republocrat. And the Greens are STILL the only party that demanded Bush's impeachment (instead of protecting him like the Dems did and do).


Post a Comment

<< Home