Posted on 09-03-2014
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

The Russian invasion of the Crimea is grist of the Obama derangement syndrome mill.  It is truly impressive how the right can fit their view of President Obama for any point of view.  He is the tyrant, the dictator, the man taking away all of your freedoms.  But now he is weak, feckless and wears mommy jeans.  Coupled with their contempt for the President is the odd fascination with former KGB agent Vladimir Putin (whose stock rose in certain circles after Russia passed statutes restricting the rights of homosexuals.

Putin of course is not the strongman of their wet dreams.  He heads a corrupt oligarchy funded by Russian oil and natural gas.  Russia is a decaying country facing demographic disaster and Putin’s long tenure has not even begun to stem the rot.  Even the invasion of Ukraine occurred from a position of weakness.  Putin’s patsy in Kiev was abruptly toppled and the demonstrators in the Western part of the country indicated that their future is in Europe not in Putin’s corrupt oligarchic embrace.

Jon Stewart has a nice rundown of the derangement infecting the right.  Video below:

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Posted on 01-09-2013
Filed Under (Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

Barack Obama surprised observers yesterday by electing to get Congressional approval for Syria.  He also appeared to go out of his way to assure the American people that this would not be an open ended military involvement.  The climbdown was clearly in response to the growing opposition to war in yet another Middle East quagmire, punctuated by the shocking rebuff to British Prime Minister David Cameron by the House of Commons this week.

Fans of constitutional governance should rejoice.  The decision also forces Congress to declare where they stand on the issue, instead of waiting to see what they could criticize the President for.  Of cours fans of the imperial Presidency are not delighted at the decision.  Warmongerers are unhappy that Obama is not going all in on regime change – still no suggestions from them on what the new regime would look like.

Senator Grumpy lashed out at the thought of the limited war.  His war loving amigo Senator Lumpy agreed.  Former Senator (and still war loving mega douche) Droopy was horrified that the President thought he had to go to Congress before bombing someone in the Middle East.

Left unsaid in all of this is what happens if the initial bombing does not change Assad’s behavior (which is likely).  What happens then?

Barack Obama backed himself into this conflict by drawing his imaginary red lines.  He has wisely toned down the rhetoric after gauging the opposition, but this was a stupid red line that should never have been drawn.  Once again I cannot help but wonder what happens when these lines are crossed by the other Middle East country Grumpy, Lumpy and Droopy want to bomb – Iran.

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Posted on 27-08-2013
Filed Under (Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

With Secretary Kerry’s speech Monday American military intervention into the Syrian quagmire seems inevitable.  Last year Barack Obama allowed himself to be backed into a corner by saying that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government constituted a red line.  Last week that line appeared to be crossed as horrific images of casualties from a nerve gas attack near Damascus emerged.

So like Libya, a human rights calamity is driving the United States to war.  The Syrian government and their Russian patron have of course denied that they used chemical weapons.  With the military balance slowly tilting in its favor the use of chemical weapons at this juncture is puzzling.  However the United States enters into a quagmire that it will be hard to extricate itself from.

Stupid comparisons to the Kosovo intervention have started.  The virtues of air power are once again being touted.  Yet in Kosovo the Yugoslav government only capitulated when the exasperated American government intimated that boots on the ground were on their way.  Here boots on the ground have been ruled out.  After the example of Libya the Russians are adamantly against any regime change.

American airstrikes by themselves are unlikely to solve this conflict.  Unlike Gaddafi, the Baath regime is backed by communities like the Alawites who have every reason to fear a massacre.  The Syrian opposition itself is now dominated by radical jihadists so the merits of them replacing the brutal Baathist regime can be debated.

But after a year, the warmongerers have their wish.  America is about to militarily intervene in an ethnic conflict where it has absolutely no idea as to the end result it wants or can achieve.  The suffering of the Syrian people is appalling.  However, the explanations as to why an exhausted America must be the gendarme of the world are not compelling.

It does not bode well for the prospects of war with another country in the region where Barack Obama against his better judgment was compelled by the outcry from the media, the right-wing and the Israeli government to draw a line in the sand – Iran.

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Posted on 08-11-2012
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

The spectacle of incompetence generated by electoral shenanigans of Florida Republicans finally draws to a close as Obama retains the Sunshine State and cements his electoral college blowout.

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Posted on 12-10-2012
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

The video below offers up a vivid display of ODS. The wingnut is confident that Obama is a commie but cannot articulate why. The bit of him being un-American typifies the typical racial dog whistle to this blogger.

It is easy to note that George W. Bush faced some vituperative outrage too. The key difference is that rage of this nature like the 911 truthers did not receive the tacit support from Democrats in office. Mitt Romney’s campaign has trafficked in these themes before, rather than challenge what Chris Christie would call the crazies. Video below:

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Posted on 28-06-2012
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

President Obama’s tyrannical attempt to ensure that the health care access of Americans is not subject to the vicissitudes of the job market or preexisting health conditions survived today after CNN, Faux News and the Huffington Post re-enacted Dewey v. Truman.

A 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John Roberts elected to uphold a bill originally drafted by the conservative Heritage Foundation.  You can read the opinion here.   The court embraced the nonsensical activity-inactivity argument and found the mandate (the only part of the bill that is actually unpopular) unconstitutional under the commerce clause but upheld it under the taxing power.  The bill now survives with the decisive vote of a chief justice appointed by George W. Bush, giving conservatives their new Justice Souter or Justice Blackmun to rail against.

Bozell: Roberts "reputation is forever stained in the eyes of conservatives, and there will be no rehabilitating of it” http://t.co/gYZAEPDI
@TimJGraham
Tim Graham

 

 

Meanwhile Mitt Romney offered a passionate defense of the independent mandate that was the most controversial element of Obamacare.

 

 

Oh wait…that was the last election cycle.

#MittRomney denounces US health law as "bad policy" and pledges to repeal if elected president http://t.co/tihYw9Uz #healthcare
@BBCWorld
BBC News (World)

 

 

This is now a socialist attack on our freedom

This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.
@benshapiro
benshapiro

Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn't a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies.
@SarahPalinUSA
Sarah Palin

Now more than ever: WHAT THE (BLEEP) JUST HAPPENED?
@MonicaCrowley
Monica Crowley

This also means that the Republicans resume their promise to repeal and replace (no idea with what).  It is time for the Democrats to highlight how most of this law is actually popular – once you take Obama’s name off.  Today truly was a pleasant surprise.

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Posted on 21-10-2010
Filed Under (Politics, Religion) by Rashtrakut

This is just embarrassing.  President Obama during his visit to India will be skipping a trip to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.  The Sikh shrine is a common stop for visiting dignitaries.  Unfortunately it requires visitors to cover their heads.  Sikhs have already been targeted by ignorant bigots in the past who confuse their turbans with the headgear worn by Osama Bin Laden, and evidently in this country any such covering is Islamic.

Singed by a previous controversy during the presidential primaries when pictures of him wearing traditional garb during a trip to Africa surfaced, the Obama administration is shying clear of any repeat performance.  The underlying politics are simple.  With increasing numbers of Republicans convinced that he is a Muslim and significant numbers doubting his citizenship, the administration wants to avoid adding grist to the nutjob’s mills.

While discretion may sometimes be the better part of valor, I am disappointed with this decision.  In an atmosphere of anti-Islamic bigotry ginned up over the summer by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin (and more recently with Islamophobic statements uttered by prominent Fox “News” personalities and bigots like Marty Peretz with no repercussions), the administration could have taken a bold stand for tolerance and common sense.

But instead we have an American President afraid to go into a Sikh shrine because ignorant bigots in his country will use it as further evidence that he is a Muslim – and thereby also lending credence to the viewpoint that somehow it is wrong to be a Muslim in American public life.  Here’s hoping that it is not too late to reverse this decision.

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Posted on 20-10-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

It has been very frustrating in the last year to listen to former Obama supporters complain that “he has not done anything.”  Faced with the worst economic condition for an incoming president since FDR, two wars, an opposition committed to voting no on any administration proposal and blocking many nominees (who later somehow get confirmed almost unanimously) and a wing of his own party paralyzed by timidity, Obama did not possess a magic wand to clean up the mess he inherited.  He could have easily lapsed into Bill Clinton style incrementalism, but did not.  My biggest complaints against him are (1) the opportunities squandered in pursuit of bipartisan compromise with an opposition united in lockstep truculence and expecting Obama to pass only their version of legislation (even though they lost the last two election cycles), and (2) his failure to clean up the excesses of the Bush administration’s tactics in the war on terror, where he has provided soothing rhetoric but little substance.  And yet in 2 years Obama has a litany of legislative accomplishments that dwarf his predecessors.  While the extreme left is disappointed in the health-care bill, Obama is the first president to actually get such comprehensive legislation through.

I will not make an exhaustive list of his accomplishments, because I don’t have to.  I recommend reading this article from Tim Dickinson at the Rolling Stone which lays them out.

I will harp on one accomplishment that has not got the press it deserves, and is noted in Dickinson’s article.  Passed with universal opposition from the Republican Party and to the disgust of libertarians of the Chicago school, Obama did what Reagan also did in the early 1980’s.  He bailed out Detroit.  The bailout prevented the cascading job losses in the Midwest that would have followed a collapse of General Motors and Chrysler.  The job picture would be far bleaker if he adopted the Republican party’s prescription of letting these companies fail.

Dickinson does not dwell too much on foreign policy (but he does raise some of the points below) where a lot of Obama’s accomplishments have been in tone more than substance.  But he has managed to bring Russia and China on board for sanctions on Iran and has stayed away from the pointless neo-con drumbeat for war.  The irritants from Caracas to Tehran have had a harder time rallying anti-American sentiments against the Obama administration.  The lack of substance unfortunately reflects the limitations of American power compounded by Israeli intransigence (aided by their allies here) and Palestinian weakness.

Much more needs to be done (notably sensible immigration reform grounded in reality).  But the man mocked as an inexperienced community organizer has accomplished a lot with relatively little public infighting within his administration.  These are accomplishments the Republicans will have a hard time rolling back.

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