Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Greenwald’

All Good Just A Week Ago

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

A remnant from the Rand Paul filibuster story. I’ve watched this video of Marco Rubio quoting Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa on the floor of the Senate about ten times. It always leaves me with my mouth open. If you told me 7 years ago that the President of the United States would be a black guy named Hussein Obama and that the likely Republican front runner to succeed him would be quoting Jay-Z on the floor of the Senate, I would have rolled my eyes and said, “Come on man!” Just more evidence that The Times Are A Changin’.

Anyway, this video led to some mildly entertaining discussions with my conservative uncle. He pointed to Rubio’s comment that things would be much different if President Bush waffled when asked if he had the power to order drone attacks to assassinate US citizens within the United States and citing a Glenn Greenwald blog post calling out liberals for their embrace of Bush era policies, including (amazingly), the keeping of Gitmo opened. Good points all, but I reminded him that hypocrisy is a double edged sword. Both Rubio and Mitch McConnell lent support to Rand’s filibuster, but where have they been for all this time on the expansion of government powers to fight terrorism? #StandWithRand starts trending on twitter and these guys are newborn civil libertarians?  Can anyone imagine them joining a Democratic filibuster in protest of Bush Era executive overreach?

It was all good just a week ago.

Same with spending: where was brave deficit hawk Saint Paul of Wisconsin when the prescription drug bill was passed without any source of funding? Oh yeah, he provided one of the deciding votes.

cuz, it was all good just a week ago.

How about the Tea Party? Where were they when the Bush Administration went on their 8 year spending binge? Nowhere to be found. The didn’t even exist until America hired a (black) Chicago Democrat to clean up GW’s mess.

and it was all good just a week ago.

and how about the most blatant example of Republican hypocrisy over the last 4 years: Benghazi. Iraq War: over a hundreds thousand people died as a result of Bush’s bad decision and the lies he told to sell it. Meh… Benghazi: 4 people die and the president shades the truth for a couple weeks. National Outrage!!

cuz it was all good just a week ago.

And since we’re talking about the intersection of politics, hypocrisy and Hip Hop, how can it be that it’s okay for Marco Rubio to quote a song by Jay-Z and Too $hort, on the floor of the Senate, but when Common get’s an invite to the White House, it’s a national emergency on Fox News. Someone on the staff of The Daily Caller might want to do a google search for “Too Short Nancy Reagan” I mean…

It was all good just a week ago…

What to Expect from Lawrence O’ Donnell

Monday, January 24th, 2011

As noted below, Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC and his time slot will now be taken by Lawrence O’ Donnell.

Here’s an interesting clip which gives you an idea about how he might be as a host.

In this discussion with Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com, O’Donnell proclaims that he is “a socialist” but that he brings practical experience to every political issue and understands that the only way for liberals to exercise any power in the system we have is to get votes from the broad middle. It’s an interesting dichotomy for the Democrats (as well as for Republicans): on the one hand, you need the moderates to maintain power, but on the other, needing someone like Lieberman or Ben Nelson inherently indicates that the policy is going to be significantly watered down once it’s passed.

More on this idea later, but the point I was making here is to illustrate the combination of left wing politics and pragmatic knowledge of how the system works that O’ Donnell will bring to the table.

The Crumbling Empire

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

I had a few minutes at home today in the middle of the day and flipped on the TV.  The HBO documentary that I’ve been trying to avoid was on. 12th and Delaware  is about an abortion clinic in Fort Pierce, Florida and the Christian group across the street that accosts the women coming out of the clinic and tries to convince them not to have abortions.

When I turned it on, a black girl was sitting in her apartment looking out the window talking about how she didn’t want to be pregnant. She had tried to drink vinegar,  huff solvents and “move heavy things,” but since she was told that she could die or become infertile from an abortion, she had decided to keep her baby.

I changed the channel to David Gregory’s Afghanistan interview with General Petraeus. Interspersed with clips of American soldiers in combat operations, Petraeus was explaining that the troop withdrawal from surge levels would be based on “conditions on the ground.”

Over the past few weeks there has been discussion on the left about how cities and municipalities are cutting services that many depend on, including teachers, school days, bus service, police officers and even streetlights and police helicopters in the case of Colorado Springs, CO. This was highlighted in a New York Times article and featured by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Glenn Greenwald at Salon entitled his post about those cuts, “What collapsing empire looks like.” Krugman fleshed out the debate, pointng out that, as emerging countries invest in roads and infrastructure, 

a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead.

Krugman continues, explaining that these cuts are a direct result of the American aversion to tax increases and that, for all of the talk about “welfare queens” and lazy people collecting money from the public dole, we are now seeing that when tax revenues decrease, everyone suffers as streetlights are turned off, police and teachers are fired and (in the case of Hawaii) students are given shorter school years.

How did we get to this point? It’s the logical consequence of three decades of antigovernment rhetoric, rhetoric that has convinced many voters that a dollar collected in taxes is always a dollar wasted, that the public sector can’t do anything right.

The antigovernment campaign has always been phrased in terms of opposition to waste and fraud — to checks sent to welfare queens driving Cadillacs, to vast armies of bureaucrats uselessly pushing paper around. But those were myths, of course; there was never remotely as much waste and fraud as the right claimed. And now that the campaign has reached fruition, we’re seeing what was actually in the firing line: services that everyone except the very rich need, services that government must provide or nobody will, like lighted streets, drivable roads and decent schooling for the public as a whole

I’m not one who says that we should get out of Afghanistan immediately. I think that we should give it our best shot in the next couple of years and then turn over to the Afghans while keeping a much smaller presence in the country in the long term. But I think that if we’re going to spend the money to nation build in Afghanistan, then we should nation build here as well; and if push comes to shove, I would rather build America then Afghanistan.  The contrast between us paving roads and building schools in Afghanistan and Iraq while we fire teachers and unpave roads here in America couldn’t be more striking.

I don’t want to get into the moral issues responsibility, life and death, free will and government control that are involved in the abortion debate, but surely most people can agree that the girl in 12th and Delaware could have used some more education before she huffed solvents in an attempt to cause a miscarriage of the baby that she eventually decided to have. I feel for the women suffering in Afghanistan, but we have people in America that need help as well.  

The Tea Party has tapped into something powerful: people (especially Americans) don’t like paying taxes. The question is whether they would rather have their streetlights turned off, cutback on police protection and shortchange the children of America in order to keep those lower taxes….and whether they will be as upset as I am by the contrast between our nation efforts building in Afghanistan and the crumbling of our infrastructure in America. If we’re not willing to pay the taxes necessary maintain the Empire and take care of our own country, then maybe we should consider dispensing with the Empire altogether.