The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Bait and switch

Posted by keithosaunders on May 10, 2017

What else is there to say?  Damning testimony from Sally Yates reveals that Donald Trump was advised by Barack Obama not to hire Michael Flynn for NSA?  That’s OK,  just change the conversation by firing James Comey.  The administration is saying that Comey was fired over his handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails but that’s such a bald face lie I’m surprised that NPR reporters can keep a straight face while delivering the news.

The thing that confounds me is how difficult it is to discern whether the Trump people are really this incompetent, or if this all misdirection.  And does it even matter?  It appears that whatever was done to pave the way for these oligarchs was done long ago behind closed doors.  Was it Putin, the Heritage Foundation,  or a third party that we haven’t even heard of?  It hardly matters.  We’re in it now.

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A terrible week for the NY Times

Posted by keithosaunders on April 24, 2017

What a terrible week last week was for the NY Times. First they had a article about how being a part of the Trump administration is helping Ivanka’s brand. You might say, that’s hard hitting news, uncovering a fresh scandal. You would be wrong. It’s simply the Times being the Times, fawning and deferring to the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Now check out last Thursday’s juicy headline:

“Obama’s silence to end, but he won’t criticize Trump.”

What’s he going to talk about, rainbows & unicorns? Who the hell cares what he has to say when his replacement is one tweet away from starting WWIII?!

And finally, on Friday,, the Gray Lady went deep with a 4,000 word article about why James Comey investigated Hillary’s emails, while not releasing to the public the information that he was simultaneously investigating the Russian hacking. Not only was the article dull as dishwater, but it wasn’t news. That’s 10 minutes of work on my fantasy baseball team that I’ll never get back.

Thanks, Times, keep twisting the knife. I’ll be over here listening to Wynton Kelly.

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Comes the deplorables

Posted by keithosaunders on November 9, 2016

I was wrong.  For nine months I insisted that there is no way that the American people would elect Donald Trump.  Although we have a conservative, celebrity-driven culture, I insisted, we are not reactionary enough to elect an unintelligent, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, failed realtor.

How wrong I was.  Today, along with the rest of liberal Americans, I eat crow.  I over-estimated the intelligence of the American people.

And to the blue-collar, salt of the earth, working class Americans in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin I sent out a hearty and heartfelt, fuck you.   Get the fuck out of here with your high-minded morality and your hypocritical church going ways.  Because guess what?  He’s taking you down right alongside lefty, commie, kale-loving yours truly.

The fact is that you real Americans are going to need affordable health care, roads, schools, and who knows, maybe even an abortion or two.  Good luck with all of that.  Do you really believe that a crooked billionaire real estate mogul gives even the tiniest fuck about the state of blue-collar America?  If you do I was wondering if you would invest in my next recording project:  Keitho plays the music of Bud Powell.  That record has a better chance of going platinum than blue collar workers do of finding jobs under a Trump presidency.

Listening to NPR radio last night I nearly threw up in my mouth.  The general consensus was that a populist movement propelled Trump to the Whitehouse.  I call bullshit.  It was pure, unadulterated racism.  We have seen the kind of people that a Trump rally attract.  They are scum of the earth, thuggish, racist, white trash.  You can take that kind of populism and shove it up your ass.

Eight years ago I voted and for the first time in my life was proud to be an American.  Now I am ashamed to be one.  These are dark days.

 

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How low can you go?

Posted by keithosaunders on February 24, 2012

Just when you thought the Republicans could not sink any lower, they have gone on a rampage against — get this —  birth control.  Yes folks, brought to you by the people who gave you deregulation, the war on terror, and unlawful detention.  It would be laughable, but there’s nothing funny about wealthy white men attacking women’s rights.

These Orwellian scum have my utmost contempt.  The bar hasn’t been invented that’s low enough to prevent them from going under it.

With their recent ‘talking points’ attack on Planned Parenthood —  an organization that provides birth control, cancer screening, STD testing and abortions to 3 million women a year —  they have outdone themselves.  It’s as if, knowing that the White House is unattainable, their intent is to create as much racism, homophobia, and misogyny within their pathetic base, so as to yield a divided populous.

I’m no great fan of Obama.  His staff is chock full of people who are responsible for the financial meltdown, he dropped the ball on illegal detention, and he missed the chance to prosecute Bush administration war criminals.

In the end, Obama, like most politicians is beholden to big business, and hence, special interests.  Still, even allowing that he is a corporatist, he has managed to do some good.  He avoided a depression, got Detroit up on its feet, and took steps towards fixing health care.

My inclination has often been to say that there is not that much difference between the parties, but at this point how can anyone with half a brain not see the difference?  One party courts a progressive base, but is essentially just to the left of the center.  The other, at best is bat shit crazy, and at worst is a desperate, rabble-rousing, homophobic, racist, pack of miscreants.

 

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Follow the money

Posted by keithosaunders on September 9, 2011

I thought that Obama made a great speech last night.  Then again, that’s what he does — he’s a great orator.  We have yet to see him back up his rhetoric with bold ideas.  I was glad that he called out the Republicans in Congress, when he made his gentle gibe about simple math. 

Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies?  Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers?  Because we can’t afford to do both.  Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires?  Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs?  Right now, we can’t afford to do both.  

This isn’t political grandstanding.  This isn’t class warfare.  This is simple math.  This is simple math.  These are real choices.  These are real choices that we’ve got to make.  And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose.  It’s not even close. 

It’s interesting to note that the bulk of the cost of Obama’s jobs program will be incurred in the form of tax breaks which will be given to companies as incentives for hiring.  Even though Obama paid lip service to the idea that the rich should pay more taxes,  (why should Warren Buffet pay less taxes than his secretary?) I will be surprised if such taxes are enacted.  I cannot believe that the obscenely wealthy should be entitled to such an advantage when the economy is hanging by a thread.  Then again, big money is a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Certain issues in politics confound me, until I remember that there are forces unseen that are guiding the issues.  Behind such forces is big money. 

Health care is something we can seemingly all agree on.  Why shouldn’t there be a public option — polls show that the public favors it.  Yet it was a nonstarter during the health care reform debate of 18 months ago.  The answer is that the health insurance lobby is an exceptionally strong and wealthy force.  They don’t want it, ergo we can’t have it.

Gun control is another such issue.  Who in the general populace is in favor of automatic weapons?  I would guess the answer is well less than one percent.  Yet efforts to try to ban such weapons are quixotic to the point that members of either party would be risking political suicide to even attempt reform.  Again…follow the money.

The same could be said of the Iraq war.  It was obvious that the Bush and Blair administrations had no concrete evidence that Saddam had been harboring terrorists.  Yet we went in.  Why would we kill tens of thousands of innocent people, and spend trillions of dollars on an invasion that was, at best, a distraction from the ongoing war in Afghanistan?  Of course it was about money.  Either that, or stupidity.  Take your pick.

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To spend or not to spend

Posted by keithosaunders on August 14, 2011

I managed to avoid the radio for the majority of my cross-country drive, but there were a few times where I succumbed to the lure of talk radio.  I guess the left-wing media has yet to permeate the talk radio business — 100% of the shows I encountered were hosted by rabid right wingers.  A particular low light was when I stumbled across Sean Hannity interviewing Ann Coulter.  Hannity was flirting with Coulter throughout the interview, which lent it a creepy air.  I would rather imagine my parents having sex than have to picture a Hannity/Coulter tryst.  My god, I just threw up in my mouth.

Most, if not all of the shows, bemoaned the liberal compulsion to spend the country’s money.  Apparently the deficit is the number one problem we have, and should we balance the budget, all of our troubles will be solved.  Forget about unemployment — they do not so much as pay lip service to job creation, except for it being a direct by-product of tax breaks for the wealthy. (read, deserving)

All of this talk of cutting spending got me to thinking…we’ve got an election coming up next year and there is a tangible chance that Obama will be defeated, opening the door for fiscal responsibility Republican style.  I began to wonder what would happen if the Republicans got everything they wanted.

First, let’s assume funding for schools will be slashed by fifty percent.  After all, they are run by the corrupt teachers union and their funding is squandered on things like paid holidays. (and luxuries such as text books)  

All programs related to job training, college loans, and food stamps would be cut by at least 80 percent.  NPR and funding for the arts?  Eliminated. 

This brings us to cutting defense spending, but we all know this is a non-starter.  This leaves Social Security and Medicare, which I  assume would be drastically scaled back.  The health care bill would be repealed, but heck, that may even happen under the Obama administration. 

So what is the upshot?  I envision mass poverty.  With no jobs and rising expenses the middle class would be surviving on a wing and a prayer.  The lower middle class would become homeless, but since funding for shelters would have been all but eliminated, there would be an epidemic of homelessness on the streets of our cities and suburbs. 

Crime would skyrocket and prisons would be overflowing.  Disease would be rampant and emergency rooms would become triage units.  Eventually there would be rioting in the streets and martial law would be declared.

Now, I admit that this is a worst case scenario, but I am assuming that every possible spending cut would be achieved.  Is it so much of a stretch to envision chaos in a society virtually devoid of government? 

My point is that by listening to radio and TV pundits you would think that all of our problems would disappear if only we would cut spending.  I believe that our problems would be exponentially worse.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Misdirection

Posted by keithosaunders on August 6, 2011

How interesting that we never once heard the phrase, ‘debt ceiling’ uttered while Bush co. was bankrupting the country giving tax breaks to the obscenely wealthy, and starting wars with five trillion-dollar price tags. We know now that the fix is in and the deck is stacked.  The middle class is screwed and the poor may as well be serfs.

It is a simple case of misdirection. Our most dire need is job creation, yet stunningly the deficit has become the battle cry for an obstructionist Congress, and president Obama, for reasons unknown to me, has been all too happy to accommodate.

To hear the media report on the debt ceiling deal — a deal that will gut social programs, and decimate Medicare —  you would think that there was a sound argument for balancing the budget at the expense of the needy.  Though there is no basis, Tea Party Congressmen are not portrayed as incompetent hacks, but capable, altruistic politicians.

Yet somehow Obama is considered a liberal.  I’m hoping he will be challenged from his left flank next year. He needs a wake up call, as does the country.

I shouldn’t sell my countrymen short, however. People can recognize a bum steer when they see one.  The trouble stems from a complacent media — a media that all too willing to give credence, in the interest of fairness to  arguments that are, at best,  skewed, and at worst, a clear and present danger to the working class.

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Celebrating death

Posted by keithosaunders on May 2, 2011

The idea that there were people in the street celebrating Bin Laden’s death, and behaving as if it was time to party is disgusting to me.  It was reported that after hearing of his death, people spontaneously gathered at Ground Zero and began singing the Na Na Na, Hey Hey Goodbye song.  Is this what things have devolved to —  celebrating a man’s death in the same way you would a Yankees victory? 

I don’t care how many deaths bin Laden is responsible for –  using it as an excuse for a party is like a tacit admission that murder is a moral act, as long as you have the high ground.  I am grateful that he can no longer take lives, but I am not going to party and sing about it.    

The American response to the September 11th attacks, especially the Iraq war, seemed destined to escalate terrorism and to put our country at greater risk.  I felt uncomfortable with the Bush administration’s knee jerk reaction to wage war against a country that had little to do with the catastrophe.  It was as if the only way we were capable of reacting was to begin killing people, regardless of whether they were guilty or not. 

All the celebrating in the world will not bring back the thousands of Americans that died on September 11th.  Nor will it bring back the hundreds of thousands of people who have died since then.  Do you think we can call it even now?

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End of an era

Posted by keithosaunders on May 2, 2011

Tonight the news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by American special forces.  I spent an hour watching network news, as well as viewing president Obama’s address to the nation.  The news anchors could not overstate the importance of the event, calling it an end of an era that defined a generation.  On screen a series of stock footage of Obama, as well as troops wearing black ski masks holding automatic weapons, endlessly looped.

Obama’s speech was understated and humble, if not a little short on details.  Listening to the speech I could not help but recall Bush’s 2003 Mission Accomplished  speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq.  That speech was arrogant and smug, and ultimately untrue, as the war continues to drag on to this day. 

By the same token, despite what the talking heads say, I have a hard time believing that we have turned a corner in this so-called war on terror.  Yes, the man who is responsible for one of the great American tragedies is gone, but look at all that remains in the aftermath.  Still in place are the Patriot Act, warrantless wire-tapping, unlawful detainment, and the continuing abuse of civil liberties at our airports.  Furthermore, I have a hard time getting excited about Osama’s death in 2011, when he could have, and should have been captured at Tora Bora back in 2001. 

It is way too early to know what effect Bin Laden’s death will have on the nation, but one thing is certain — politically, this is a boon to Obama’s 2012 campaign.  The Republican party is chock full of fringe candidates, and whoever wins the nomination will be unable to attack Obama on being weak on defense.  Even if the economy only marginally improves he will be a lock.

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Baby needs a new pair of shoes…NOT APPROVED!

Posted by keithosaunders on February 17, 2011

These days budget cuts are all the rage in Washington D.C.  The new sexy talking point around the beltway is ‘cutting spending.’  All that money flushed down the toilet on needless programs like college aid, job training, and the EPA will finally be saved. 

Funny thing, though.  When George Bush was in office I didn’t read one word about cutting spending.  He couldn’t spend money fast enough.  Under his regime we saw an enormous expansion of government — two wars and the creation of the bureaucratic black hole that is homeland security.    The tax cuts for the rich made it certain that we would go into massive debt.   It was the go-go aughties, however, and everyone knew that real estate prices would continue to go up for the rest of time.  Taxes?  We didn’t need any stinkin’ taxes!

But I have to hand it to the Republicans.  They always manage to outmaneuver the Democrats.  They stay two steps ahead at all times.  When they were in power they spent money like drunken sailors.  By the time the Democrats got in there was only one thing to do:  Cut spending.  

With the massive poverty and the harm to our infrastructure that will result from these cuts guess which party is going to take the blame?  This clears the way for the next Republican administration and the spending can begin anew. 

Checkmate.

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