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07 October 2010

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Fred

Lets not forget the Supreme Court in this:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/04/101589/tidal-wave-of-outside-money-swamping.html

Nancy K

Fred, I agree with you completely. The Supreme Court has allowed our country to be sold to the highest bidder, and that includes international bidders. They can shake their heads all they want to and mouth the word no, but that is exactly what they have done.

As far as President Obama being so horrible, I don't agree. The jury is still out on that. I disagree with his decision to increase troops in Afganistan. I voted for him because I believe he would get us out of both wars, which has not been the case.

Byron Raum

I am not sure I would agree completely with Mr Giraldi as to the core causes. I would suggest that he is placing too much emphasis on personalities here. The only difference between Bush and Obama is that Obama put up a token struggle against the interests that have brought us to this stage, whereas Bush bowed to them willingly. But they take us into the same direction, no matter what the age, wisdom or level of experience of the current President. It basically comes down to this: America needs to fix itself. No President can do it for us.

zanzibar

I have been a long term critic of Krugman and the Princeton economic dream trio and their economic policies that continue to favor narrow private interests over the national interest. But a recent politically oriented and partisan op-ed by Krugman I believe is spot-on. Our current two party system has reached the end of its road. Partisans will disagree and split hairs in debate but deep down we all know it.

While there are a great many strategic geo-political issues that impinge on our national interest that we are not addressing as a nation, I continue to believe that the unprecedented and massive financial instabilities and the doubling down on the failed financial policies that further impoverish the American middle class is an incendiary powder-keg.

I am afraid that unless we as citizens can find a way to reassert our sovereignty the kleptocracy will give us a demagogue and what little liberty we have remaining will be gone. The vision and insight and the blood that our founding fathers shed in creating this great republic would have withered due to the apathy of the sovereign. Just as they feared.

Castellio

Increase state power against federal power. Move to a multi-party system. Get rid of the electoral college. Re-nationalize the Federal Bank (it wasn't always private). Limit campaign funding. Move to an educational/industrial policy rather than military spending to spur economic growth. Allow historical analysis back in public discourse.

rj

I may or may not be a progressive -- I fall on the liberal side of the political spectrum but beyond that, labels don't interest me. In any case, I'm not in denial about Obama on the world stage. I read lots of self-identified progressives who are extremely disappointed with Obama. I would say he certainly hasn't come to grips with the problems we're up against. Face to face with our national security apparatus he seems to "fold faster than superman on laundry day" as poker buddies used to say. However, Bush-Cheney seriously derailed the system, and if I had any expectations that Obama would be able to pull the truck out of the ditch -- well, then I was overly optimistic. Of course, "the world stage" at this point is pretty much beyond the grasp of our current political understanding -- just keeping domestic problems within a semi-coherent and rational framework is hard enough. I think he does have a grip on reality that is many times stronger that the previous administration's. That he can actually bring any presidential authority (about which he seems anemic) to bear on the problems facing us really doesn't inspire optimism. I hope I'm wrong.

Redhand

Here I offer no "cogent analysis" of my own but a few reactions to this interesting piece.

Hell hath no fury like a CIA agent who has had enough, I suppose. The prose here is searing: What's not to like in "If Obama were actually the wise, contemplative figure that he pretends to be instead of an inexperienced but reliable hack groomed by the corrupt Chicago Democratic Party machine, . . . "?

Girardi's critique of Obama's foreign policy and approach to Executive power is spot-on IMO. Few things depress me more about Obama than the depth of his duplicity in promising to restore the "rule of law" in Executive decision-making while actually institutionalizing and exceeding Bush's illegal power grabs.

Lord Curzon

I never thought I'd say this, but the Obama Presidency is looking more and more like a car crash in slow motion. Should he manage to win a second term, I hope he goes into "Do I look like I give a fuck?" mode and rolls those who blocked him.

J

Phil, Colonel,

Israel, U.S. finalize F-35 stealth fighter purchase - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

the last sentence -- "The entire deal will be funded by [the] American military. "



Once again, American taxpayers are hosed by its own Congress to the tune of $2.75 billion for a nation who continually stabs U.S. in its back, murders American citizens with impunity (USS Liberty, Rachel Corrie, Gaza flotilla), steals our high tech (Patriot Missile tech which Israel funneled to Russia), and espionage'd our nation's highest secrets to our nation's enemies (Pollard). Americas' mom & pop endangered by a postage stamp all the while being forced to 'finance' that postage stamp (while America's mom & pop are economically being forced to live on food stamps), Israel a postage stamp nation that has been nothing but a headache for U.S. since its 1948 inception!

Wanna take bets on how fast after they gets their grubby mitts on one that Israel funnels the F35s' tech to Russia/China? The timer starts......now......

J

Kunuri,

A question for you if I may -- what is the current take in Turkey regarding the French (Sarkozy) expulsion of the Roma (gypsies) to Romania/Hungary? The French short-skirt Sarkozy is acting in fine Vichy form in the same manner that the Roma received at the hands of French Nazi sympathizers during WWII. There is a good size Roma population in Turkey that have lived there without fear of persecution for many years. I was just curious as to the feeling in Turkey regarding France (Sarkozy)'s forced expulsions of the Roma.

Roy G

I agree that President Obama is not what Candidate Obama promised. I never thought he was the savior anyway, just the best of a mediocre bunch of candidates. I think he got the 'go ahead' from the powers behind the throne, when he indicated that he was amenable to 'play ball.'

In other words, I think the current institutional power structure itself is to blame - for example, look at the Generals playing politics while refusing to follow Obama's order to see an exit strategy for Afghanistan. Of course, George Bush played right along, so he was the steely strong 'Commander in Chief.'

I've always wondered what is shown to the CiC to make him compliant. It'd be easy for the Pentagon to fabricate any kind of horrific 'evidence' indicating that the GWOT must be kept up at all cost.

Yes, Obama is the President, so he must be held accountable. Otoh, I think the President as unitary executive in charge of leading the country is a relic of earlier days. The office has been co-opted by the hydra of special interests.

WP

Col. Lang,

It has been my impression from reading your blog that you have confidence in Gen. James Jones who is now resigning as National Security Advisor. What bodes with his apparent replactment, Tom Donilon?

Bart

Zanzibar, I fear it is too late. We are ruled by those with vast sums of money to spend on elections.

Watch what Congress does about those Bush tax cuts.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

I want to highlight the argument implicit in this article that voting out the Democrats is good because the new guys will be looking out for their backs. The problem with this position is that the new guys are hot headed radicals. The only thing that kept the Great Recession from turning into the Great Depression II was government intervention along with Unemployment and Social Security payments.

The new GOP will cut taxes, privatize social security, end unemployment extensions, speed up foreclosures and shut down the federal government. GOP leader open to the idea of a government shutdown. The best one can hope for in the next two years is only double dip Recession.

The idea that America can continue the Middle East Wars for another 10 years or a generation is crazy. The USA is broke and borrowing money to fight the wars. The belief that the USA can turn the Muslim Crescent with a billion people into melted glass without blowback is even crazier.

J

Here's a good one for ya:

Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back | Threat Level | Wired.com

“It seems very frightening that the FBI have placed a surveillance-tracking device on the car of a 20-year-old American citizen who has done nothing more than being half-Egyptian,” Alseth told Wired.com. "

Sidney O. Smith III

I respect greatly Ron Paul but I can’t quite support some of the extreme libertarians yet, aka anarcho-capitalists. Anarcho capitalism is imbued with an utopian promise and vision to the same extent, if not more so, than progressivism, and I reject any secular ideology with an aim of creating the utopia state,appropriate for all. Best you can hope for is to strive for a balance of power (which of course is subjective). And even then, it is fleeting.

That said, such an extreme and dangerous imbalance of power exists today that Ron Paul may be the best hope to curtail a federal government that now has created an executive branch with royal and imperial powers, can now assassinate US citizens without a warrant, and prints money to pay off an oligarchy (military and civilian), leaving our children with backbreaking debt.

Our nation is anti child, for sure. Just look where those baby boomers sent their children -- Iraq and Afghanistan -- and all the while talking the war talk at cocktail parties.

Ron Paul was not one of those talking the war talk.

Also, for what it is worth, I truly respect some of the libertarian scholars, particularly those contributing to the Keynesian vs. Austrian debate. I don’t know the answer to that one (does anyone?) And while I am not Rothbardian, Murray Rothbard was one brilliant scholar. Just check out this short read about the causes of economic depression.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard183.html


But, alas, anarcho capitalists, by their own admission, incorporate the Marxist dialectic, only pointed against the government and of course with the aim of implementing their utopian dream. Not much different than a Jacobin point of view, in an inverted sort of way. Don’t know if Paul believes the same. Hope not. Paul comes across as a very good man.

JM

zanzibar: "I have been a long term critic of Krugman and the Princeton economic dream trio and their economic policies that continue to favor narrow private interests over the national interest."

That is one of the most baffling statements I have read in a very long time.

R Whitman

There is entirely too much pessimism on this blog. In my 55+ years as an observant, politically and economically aware adult I can say the our current economic, political and military situation is temporary.

Things will change, probably because of some unforseen technological event and improvement will be evident.

This is America, people. We always snap back, regardless of how badly we screw up.

J

R. Whitman,

You talk about 'pessimism' on this blog? Evidently you're not look around the U.S. and seeing the dismal picture of the 'millions' that are now 'homeless', the 'millions' that are 'without' jobs, the 'millions' who by being economically shafted by crooked politicians who rape and pillage the public welfare coffers at will-- those millions are now on 'food stamps' because they don't have enough personal finances to get from month to month and eat. Do you know how many hungry/homeless 'children' in the U.S. there are today, do you? Have you ever looked down the more run down parts of the nearest urban environment to your person and seen the destitution on the faces of those who have lost all hope?

When you've walked a mile in the shoes of those of my fellow American citizens who once were gainfully employed now thanks to crooked politicians and crooked business CEOs/CFOs/boards and crooked U.S. Chamber of Commerce had their jobs 'outsourced' to some sh**hole somewhere on the globe, don't chide those of us who you see as 'pessimistic'.

All this BS we see could have been prevented, but when you're fighting crooks who have their hands on the power and finance levers, is reason enough for 'pessimism'.

J

Challenging the power of the Israel Lobby: What should be done?

What Should be Done: 18 Points of Action

1. Pressure can be exerted to force the Pro-Israel lobby to register as an agent of a foreign power.

2. Organize a campaign to withdraw investments in US companies which supply the Israeli regime with weapons of mass destruction, construction equipment to extend Israeli colonization of Palestine.

3. Create a data bank on all the key political officials who have long-standing, primary commitments to the state of Israel and who have collaborated with the pro-Israeli lobby.

4. Support the worldwide boycott against scholarly and academic exchanges with Israeli counterparts and institutes which uphold and participate in the colonization and repression of the Palestinians.

5. Legislation should be passed barring individuals who hold dual-citizenship (Israeli-US), especially those connected with the military-intelligence networks from holding sensitive positions in the government or controlling the political party nomination process, as is now the case of the Democratic Party.

6. Organize to eliminate Israel’s special privileges in tax exemption, trade, technology, and citizenship which burdens US taxpayers, increases Israeli competitiveness at the expense of US producers and facilitates Israeli emigration at the expense of other groups.

7. Support efforts to end the US embargo on goods, services and financial assistance to Palestine, recognize the democratically elected Hamas government.

8. Raise the issues of bringing Israeli officials to the International War Crimes Tribunal, or to criminal courts on charges of violating the Geneva Conventions and the protocols of the Nuremberg Tribunal.

9. Convert the issue of the US-Israeli claim of nuclear dangers resulting from Iranian uranium enrichment into a more consequential and general demand to turn the entire Middle East into a nuclear free zone.

10. Call for the International Atomic Energy Commission and other UN nuclear inspection organizations to investigate charges that Israel is manufacturing and storing nuclear bombs, and chemical and biological weapons contrary to the non-proliferation agreement.

11. Organize boycotts and campaigns to demand that local, regional, and national mass media outlets report and interview Israeli critics as well as its spokespeople. Propose debates, round tables, and forums which include Israeli critics as well as its spokespeople; file legal suits against Jewish lobbyists making libelous accusations of “anti-semitism” against informed critics who suffer loss of career appointments or promotions.

12. Demand that newscasters, analysts, and commentators dealing with Middle Eastern issues have their organizational and political affiliations clearly identified.

13. Legislation should be supported which bars individuals with dual citizenship and therefore dual loyalties from holding executive or legislative positions in the government.

14. Support legislation revoking the citizenship of individuals who enlist or engage in military activity for a foreign government.

15. One of the vehicles used by the Lobby to influence or buy the loyalty of legislators and US officials are paid junkets to Israel, where they are indoctrinated and propagandized by a bevy of Israeli politicians, and advocates of the Zionist state.

16. Since 9/11, hundreds of suspected Israeli spies have been deported, and several Lobbyists, US military and government officials have been charged with spying for Israel.

17. Legislation should be presented and veterans’ groups of all wars should be mobilized to demand Congressional hearings on the Israeli bombing of the US surveillance ship Liberty with prime witnesses among our naval survivors.

18. Support political parties and candidates who oppose Israel’s occupation of Palestine, its $3 billion dollar annual aid package and the Lobby’s pro-war Mid East agenda.


Castellio

J... shouldn't you present #s 15 and 16 as actions, not statements?

J

Castillo,

I am not the author of the article, James Petraeus is and that is the way he wrote it. All I did was highlight the main 18 points. Go to his article and read it through, those main points were only his first sentence of his points of action.


I agree with your need to change them to actions versus statements.

Castellio

J, thanks.

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