Archive for White House

The ruling class…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

rulingclassAll this talk prior to the election about how Obama was going to bring in his Socialist friends and turn the United States into New Russia seemed silly then, to anyone with half a brain and an education beyond Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Now, with most of Obie’s cabinet appointments announced, it appears downright ludicrous.

As many of his suckers supporters have noted, since winning this agent of “change” has stacked his future White House with The Old Guard—picks from either the Clinton years or Bush holdovers, otherwise known as The Usual Gang of Idiots.  Particularly with regard to foreign policy and especially Iraq, it’s going to be hard to tell the new place from the old place.

As this article in Politico states today, Obama’s many supporters from the left and even left-center are becoming dismayed at what lies underneath once the mask has come off, and not just regarding appointments.  First there was the pledge to immediately repeal Bush’s tax cut for the hoity-toity, but now he’s reversed that, and wanna bet the cuts become permanent at the end of 2010?  He’ll find some reason—the economy is just starting to move, and stimulus spending by the business community is helping to create the new jobs we need to grow.  —Gee, that’s pretty good; maybe I should be his speechwriter.  Of course, there will be a slight uptick in jobs, and he’ll tell you it’s because business-owners are spending again that’s the reason, but it will be no such thing.  Instead the gov’ment will just jiggle the numbers as they always do to make things look at least slighty better than they are.  Wanna save this posting till 2010 and see if I’m right?

But that doesn’t surprise me so much.  What does make me pause is his change of position on the Iraq war.  The audacious commander-in-chief-elect had campaigned very pointedly on ending the war “on day one.”  I actually thought there might be some truth to that, since he was against it from the very beginning and consistently voted down any aid to the effort.

But things have changed again.  (Maybe that’s what he meant by “Change is coming soon.”)  Now Obama merely says he will, on day one, begin to design a plan that includes a responsible draw-down.  Boy, that’s pussy-footing that even a Michael Dukakis couldn’t match.

Somewhere recently—and now I forget where—I was reading a post about how America really has a set ruling class (with many of the participants named either “Clinton” or “Bush”) no matter who runs the show.  I wish I’d bookmarked it, because I’d link to it here as my parting shot.  It’s true.  You say potato* and I say spud, it’s all the same thing.  Here’s to another four years of tacking to the right, hemming and hawing on Guantanamo, Abu Graib, civil liberties, tax cuts for working people, corporate accountability, Pentagon accountability, and a host of other issues we were promised would see “change.”  The audacity of it is, 2012 is just around the corner, so soon we’ll start hearing about “change” again.

*Or potatoe if you’re Dan Quayle.

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You win some, you lose some…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 26, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth
McCain supporters at a recent rally

McCain supporters at a recent rally

First the bad news: The Anchorage Daily News of Sarah Versace Palin’s home state of Alaska has endorsed Barack Obama, aka “That One,” for president.

Ouch.

Even in a campaign where lately, everything that can gone wrong has, that’s gotta hurt.  Don’t worry, though.  It still endorses Ms. Palin in the swimsuit and talent competitions.

Read all about the pain and indignity here.  (Don’t fret, Johnny Mac. Apparently rednecks in Virginia are still for ya.  Read the endorsement below Anchorage.)

Now the good news: McCain did get a ringing endorsement recently, from a source far larger and more powerful and influential than the piddly Anchorage Daily News.  Or Colin Powell.  Or wussy embittered ex-Bushie Scott McClellan.

Al Qaeda has endorsed John and Sarah for president.

Am I talking about the Al Qaeda that would like to wipe us off the map and flush us down the toilet, if only they had the indoor plumbing in their caves to do it?  —You betcha.

Read all about that here.

Funny, though, how Senator McTemper isn’t talking about that endorsement. No TV ads, nor mentions on the Sunday morning talk shows.  I doubt he even bounded out of one of his 28 cars and through the front door of one of his eight homes and yelled to Cindy, “Hey, cunt, guess what?!?  Those gooks—I mean, ragheads—endorsed me!

But hey, an endorsment’s an endorsement, right?  He has so few that I’m betting he privately clipped the article and put it in his scrap book anyhow: “Al Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election.”  (You have to wonder what kind of support.  Is McCain sending them donation solicitations too?)

And how Barack Obama can honestly run a campaign ad that says John McCain is supported by terrorists.  Kinda makes the association with Bill Ayers seem amateur by comparison.  I guess that’s what the McCain camp means when they say their guy has more experience.

The damned liberal media…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

Let’s reach back into the saddlebag and take another look at an article from back in 2005 that shows you just how “liberal” the mainstream media is:

Questions of Character

By PAUL KRUGMAN

New York Times, October 14, 2005

George W. Bush, I once wrote, “values loyalty above expertise” and may have “a preference for advisers whose personal fortunes are almost entirely bound up with his own.” And he likes to surround himself with “obsequious courtiers.”

Lots of people are saying things like that these days. But those quotes are from a column published on Nov. 19, 2000.

I don’t believe that I’m any better than the average person at judging other people’s character. I got it right because I said those things in the context of a discussion of Mr. Bush’s choice of economic advisers, a subject in which I do have some expertise.

But many people in the news media do claim, at least implicitly, to be experts at discerning character – and their judgments play a large, sometimes decisive role in our political life. The 2000 election would have ended in a chad-proof victory for Al Gore if many reporters hadn’t taken a dislike to Mr. Gore, while portraying Mr. Bush as an honest, likable guy. The 2004 election was largely decided by the image of Mr. Bush as a strong, effective leader.

So it’s important to ask why those judgments are often so wrong.

Right now, with the Bush administration in meltdown on multiple issues, we’re hearing a lot about President Bush’s personal failings. But what happened to the commanding figure of yore, the heroic leader in the war on terror? The answer, of course, is that the commanding figure never existed: Mr. Bush is the same man he always was. All the character flaws that are now fodder for late-night humor were fully visible, for those willing to see them, during the 2000 campaign.

And President Bush the great leader is far from the only fictional character, bearing no resemblance to the real man, created by media images.

Read the speeches Howard Dean gave before the Iraq war, and compare them with Colin Powell’s pro-war presentation to the U.N. Knowing what we know now, it’s clear that one man was judicious and realistic, while the other was spinning crazy conspiracy theories. But somehow their labels got switched in the way they were presented to the public by the news media.

Why does this happen? A large part of the answer is that the news business places great weight on “up close and personal” interviews with important people, largely because they’re hard to get but also because they play well with the public. But such interviews are rarely revealing. The fact is that most people – myself included – are pretty bad at using personal impressions to judge character. Psychologists find, for example, that most people do little better than chance in distinguishing liars from truth-tellers.

More broadly, the big problem with political reporting based on character portraits is that there are no rules, no way for a reporter to be proved wrong. If a reporter tells you about the steely resolve of a politician who turns out to be ineffectual and unwilling to make hard choices, you’ve been misled, but not in a way that requires a formal correction.

And that makes it all too easy for coverage to be shaped by what reporters feel they can safely say, rather than what they actually think or know. Now that Mr. Bush’s approval ratings are in the 30’s, we’re hearing about his coldness and bad temper, about how aides are afraid to tell him bad news. Does anyone think that journalists have only just discovered these personal characteristics?

Let’s be frank: the Bush administration has made brilliant use of journalistic careerism. Those who wrote puff pieces about Mr. Bush and those around him have been rewarded with career-boosting access. Those who raised questions about his character found themselves under personal attack from the administration’s proxies. (Yes, I’m speaking in part from experience.) Only now, with Mr. Bush in desperate trouble, has the structure of rewards shifted.

So what’s the answer? Journalists who are better at judging character? Unfortunately, that’s not a practical plan. After all, who judges their judgment?

What we really need is political journalism based less on perceptions of personalities and more on actual facts. Schadenfreude aside, we should not be happy that stories about Mr. Bush’s boldness have given way to stories analyzing his facial tics. Think, instead, about how different the world would be today if, during the 2000 campaign, reporting had focused on the candidates’ fiscal policies instead of their wardrobes.