Obama is a Conservative, What a Surprise and So Why Do They Hate Him?

Submitted by MIKE SPINDELL

As someone who voted for Barack Obama twice and also did some work in his campaigns president_barack_obama1for President, I have made no pretense of my disappointment in him. I wrote about my discontent here and here.  A prominent Republican Bruce Bartlett wrote an article for The American Conservative where he makes the case that Barack Obama is a classic Republican in the mold of Richard Nixon.  In his article “Obama is a Republican” Bartlett wrote the following: In my opinion, Obama has governed as a moderate conservative—essentially as what used to be called a liberal Republican before all such people disappeared from the GOP. He has been conservative to exactly the same degree that Richard Nixon basically governed as a moderate liberal, something no conservative would deny today. (Ultra-leftist Noam Chomsky recently called Nixon “the last liberal president.”) .

Bartlett’s article goes on to enumerate why All of Obama’s major policy initiatives are Republican/Conservative programatically. In my opinion Bartlettt provides an airtight case that Barack Obama has actually governed to the Right of Republicans such as Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower. Follow the link and read it for yourself if you think that I’m exaggerating. Particular instructive is this paragraph on Obama’s economic policies towards Wall Street and Corporations. “Despite Republican harping about Obama being anti-business, corporate profits and the stock market have risen to record levels during his administration. Even those progressives who defend Obama against critics on the left concede that he has bent over backward to protect corporate profits. As Theda Skocpol and Lawrence Jacobs put it: “In practice, [Obama] helped Wall Street avert financial catastrophe and furthered measures to support businesses and cater to mainstream public opinion. …  He has always done so through specific policies that protect and further opportunities for businesses to make profits.”I think Cornell West nailed it when he recently charged that Obama has never been a real progressive in the first place. “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit,” West said. “We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency.”

Bruce Bartlett’s article when you read it will I think make my case about Obama. The question remains then on why there has been so much hatred towards him from the Right Wing. There is a simple, obvious answer. They hate him because of the color of his skin





Posted in American History, Big Oil, Conservatives, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Economics, Government, Health Care, History, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Political Science, Politics, Progressives, Propaganda, Racism, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Society, Stock Market, United States, US Military, Wall Street, World History | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley: No Problem with a Confederate Flag at the Statehouse Because No CEOs Have Complained


By Elaine Magliaro

Last week—during the gubernatorial debate in South Carolina—Democratic candidate Sen. Vincent Sheheen said that the Confederate flag at the statehouse should “be retired to a museum.” Sheheen added, “I think the people of South Carolina are tired of having an image across America that’s not truly who we are…” He continued by saying that everyone should “rally together under a flag that unites us all, the American flag, that looks toward the future, and not the past.”

Nikki Haley Governor of South Carolina

Nikki Haley
Governor of South Carolina

In her response to Sheheen, Governor Nikki Haley admitted that the Confederate flag was a “sensitive” issue. Still, she defended the flag’s presence at the statehouse and rejected the idea of removing it. While Haley conceded that South Carolina “had suffered an image problem in the past”—she claimed that her state “had moved beyond those days.” Haley added, “What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”


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Posted in Conservatives, Politics, Racism, State Government, Tea Party, United States | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Commercializing History and the Ruination of American Culture


There has been a TV commercial running lately that is really pissing me off.

Watch it and you will see Abraham Lincoln, in superhero mode, involved in a complex chase sequence that ends with him escaping in a van with Ben Franklin and George Washington. I’ve seen this commercial perhaps a dozen times and for the life of me I can’t see the tie-in with Quicken Loans , its’ sponsor.  Putting the merchandizing effectiveness of this ad to the side, watching it makes me angry and this anger at the commercial use of American History’s Icons in general is something I find infuriating. People who have read my pieces through the years may find this confusing, but the truth is I love being an American and feel a deep emotional attachment to this country. I consider myself to be a patriot, just not a jingoistic one, or one who believes in that tired nostrum “my country right or wrong”.  America became a home for my grandparents in the 1890’s and has done fairly well by the generations of my relatives that followed. I grew up inculcated by American history and cognizant of the “American Dream”. That my country tends to frequently disappoint me in living up to its ideals, is a measure of how much I wish that to be different. Because of my deep, emotional attachment to this country it angers me when its history and its icons are trivialized in the service of some corporation adding to its bottom line.  When and how did Abraham Lincoln, perhaps our greatest President, become a superhero hawking product? This is true similarly these days for both George Washington and Ben Franklin, as I will illustrate and discuss. Continue reading

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Adolph Hitler, American History, Christianity, Civil War, Education, Government, Historical Persons, History, Hypocrisy, Immigration, Media, Memories, MLK Assassination, Mythology, Nazis, Presidents, Propaganda, Psychology, Religion, Sexuality, Society, Sports, Technology, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Meditation on Ritual


For many years in the late 60’s and through the 70’s a group of twenty five friends and red-white-blue-flagco-workers would camp for a weekend on an island in the middle of Long Lake, in the Adirondack mountains. At the time these were the people who were closest to me, even more so than my family. The island we camped on in the middle of this magnificent lake was as beautiful and tranquil as you might imagine it to be. You could only reach it by boat and the isolation added to the feeling of peace that settled over us when we were there. An old mansion had once stood on a rise looking out at the Lake. All that remained of it was a huge fireplace and chimney. We would cook large dinners as twilight descended. As we ate our meals more wood was piled on the cooking fire until it was a large blazing bonfire and we would get high, talk, gaze into the fire’s ever changing shapes and play/sing music as night descended, sharing the communion and the warmth of our interrelationship.

As I recall those long weekends four decades past, I recognize that we were taking part in a ritual as old as the beginnings of human society. The sharing of a communal meal, the comfort of close companionship, primitive music and a roaring fire keeping away the terrors of the night. These earliest of human rituals developed the beginnings of that which we call society. Ritual as I define it is a combination of repetitive actions, rites and procedures performed by two or more individuals that provides comforting feeling and a sense of shared togetherness. The behaviors tap into the most universal of human archetypes and thus are easily recognized as reassuring by participants and by groups. I’m using my own definition here because if you Google “ritual defined” you will get a multiplicity of definitions, all with some precision, that in the end make the explanation of ritual more complex than it should be, hence my own hubris in creating my own definition.

As millennia passed the communal campfire developed into a complex mixture of ritual that bonded people together and like the earliest ones provide the comfort of safety in a fear ridden world. My generation of hipsters abjured the rituals we inherited, even as we created rituals of our own. It is a fact of humanity’s existence within society’s that communal rituals are needed to bond us together and that the breakdown of some of the binding rituals of American society, have separated us and have made our lives more chaotic and less personally meaningful. Let me explain what I perceive. Continue reading

Posted in American History, Christianity, Economics, Education, Government, History, Hypocrisy, Judaism, Media, Memories, Mythology, Propaganda, Psychology, Religion, Society, Sports, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Oliver Explains How to Use Animal Visuals to Make Listening to Supreme Court Audios More Entertaining

By Elaine Magliaro

I love Last Week Tonight with John Oliver! Here’s a video clip from last night’s program on the subject of no television cameras being allowed to film Supreme Court proceedings and how to make listening to SCOTUS audios more interesting:

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Posted in Dogs, Humor, SCOTUS, Short Video, United States | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Music Monday: Fugues

by Gene Hownington

I’ve been listening to music in the car quite a bit lately. A little of this, a little of that, but on the longer stretches I’ve preferred classical music. Lately, I’ve been listening to fugues.  I’m a sucker for counterpoint. A fugue – meaning “to flee” or “to chase” – is a baroque classical form that traces back to the 16th Century. The word itself is French and describes a contrapuntal composition where a theme (sometimes called the subject) is introduced at the beginning and repeated throughout the composition in different keys. I like the way fugues build. They are very rational structures mathematically speaking. Some are even mirror fugues, which are actually two fugues where one is a mirror of the other and played in a key above or below the main melody “like a mirror”. There are also Italian named variants on fugues, the fugato (a small fugue inside a piece of music that is otherwise not a fugue) and the fughetta (a small fugue). This later leads to the piece I’ve been listening to most for it is a rather large fugue.  Its name in German in fact means “great fugue”. This is Ludwig von Beethoven‘s Große Fuge in B-flat major. Enjoy.

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Posted in Art, Music | 22 Comments

Former New York Times Columnist Bob Herbert on How Millionaire and Billionaire School Reformers Are Ruining Public Education in the United States

BillGates5By Elaine Magliaro

Last week, I wrote a post about Bob Herbert and his new book titled Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America. Herbert, who was a columnist for the New York Times for eighteen years, is now “a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, a national think tank that works to promote economic opportunity and equity for all Americans, democracy, and a strong public sector.” Recently, Herbert talked with Bill Moyers on Moyers & Company about the inequality of income and wealth in our country—which he thinks should be a great cause for concern for Americans. Herbert said that the United States is becoming a place of limited expectations” instead of a “land of opportunity” for all.

On October 6th, Politico published an article that Herbert wrote about wealthy school reformers and how they are having a negative impact on public education in this country. In The Plot against Public Education, Herbert talks about how millionaires and billionaires are “ruining our schools.” He says the school reformers’ “let’s try this, let’s try that” approach to improving public schools “has been a hallmark” of their “efforts in recent years.’


Herbert provides an example of what he calls the reformers’ “hit-or-miss attitude” with regard to implementing new educational approaches—Bill Gates’ idea to break up large high schools. Herbert said that Gates “backed his small-schools initiative with enormous amounts of cash. So, without a great deal of thought, one school district after another signed on to the notion that large public high schools should be broken up and new, smaller schools should be created.” Herbert said that establishing these smaller schools—or academies as some called them—within larger schools “was an inherently messy process”—and that the details appear not to have been well hashed out. But Gates was “on a mission to transform American education” and wasn’t concerned about the nitty-gritty—such as what might happen when you had “two, three or more schools competing for space and resources in one building.” Herbert said, “That caused all sorts of headaches: Which schools would get to use the science labs, or the gyms? How would the cafeterias be utilized? And who was responsible for policing the brawls among students from rival schools?”

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Posted in Education, United States, Wall Street | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments