In order to survive we must keep hope alive — William Parker

* * * * *

THE END OF THE AGE OF THE OLD WHITE MAN
* * * * *

In This Issue:

David’s Notes

Change We Can Believe In?

Altoon’s Blogs

Tax Rates on the Wealthiest Americans

Trickle-up Economics

Great achievements in American Socialism


* * * * * 

DAVID’S NOTES

BYE-BYE OLD WHITE GUYS

As an old white guy myself I feel qualified and free to declare the end of the age of the old white man. It’s over and we should all, even us old white guys, celebrate. There is finally some hope. Maybe my quote from William Parker at the top of the Emailite that’s been there now for more than a year should read:

 In order to survive and keep hope alive
we got to get rid of those old white guys.

Well, it’s happened finally and we all should be glad.

And there’s no more obvious sign of the times than a Black/Interracial President nominating a Puerto Rican woman to the Supreme Court.
Because something is happening here,
and you do know what it is,
don’t you, Mr. Jones?

[for the source of this allusion, go to: http://www.bobdylan.com/#/songs/ballad-thin-man]

                  A DEEP BOW OF THANKS TO SHRUBBIE & CO.

The irony of all this is that a bunch of right-wing, fascist-leaning, old white men made all this possible. All of us liberal, radical, left-wing types–no matter what our color–owe a profound debt of gratitude, a deep bow, to Shrubbie, Gunner, Rummy and their henchmen. Without the George W. Bush Administration and their skullduggery, we would not be where we are today. Their disregard for anything but themselves and their cronies, their blatant chicanery and criminality, in short, their idea of a government modeled on the assumptions of the dictatorial, abusive father who always knows best, trucks no criticism and does whatever he feels like doing whenever he feels like doing it is the cause of where we are now.

                   RUSH LIMBERGER, ET. AL.

Rush Limberger, his assistant, the former Vice President of the United States of America, and the rest of the recalcitrant, obstructionist Republicans, can’t seem to get it through their heads that they lost.

To wit: this past Thursday, May 21st, Gunner’s speech before the American Enterprise Institute was clear evidence that the guy is desperate. Never in the history of America has an ex-Vice President behaved this way. For an excellent assessment of Cheney’s speech see David Brook’s op ed piece on May 22nd at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/22/opinion/22brooks.html You lost, Dick. You’re not The President anymore. Go home to Wyoming and do whatever you do out there. On second thought, that’s okay, with every new foray onto the airwaves that Gunner and his cronies make, they just dig themselves deeper into the hole they’ve made for themselves over the past eight years. Keep it up you old white guys. There’s nothing you could do that could help Our Guy more. [More on this from Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic below.]

                   WATERLOO, VIETNAM, AFGHANISTAN

Just as Waterloo was the end of that French guy, and Lyndon Baines Johnson watched his Great Society go up in flames in Vietnam, so too I worry that all of Brarack Obama’s good intentions will be burned to a crisp in Afghanistan. In this writer’s opinion the greatest conundrum facing Our Guy is how to get himself and ourselves honorably out of Afghanistan.


* * * * *

CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?

Recently Norman Turner sent the following. It raises some questions I think a lot of people have been asking lately.
Change we can believe in? I’m starting to wonder—have been wondering, actually, for a while now. Consider what Obama said in defense of reversing his decision on releasing the prisoner abuse photos.


“The publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals.”

A small number of individuals? Excuse me! It’s been shown that torture originated at the highest levels of the Bush administration and traveled down through the ranks. Many were complicit, including Rumsfeld and Cheney. I find it very distasteful that Obama is trying to sweep this under the rug.

My response was:
I’m not sure Obama is trying to sweep all this under the rug. The investigation of criminality in the Bush administration–Gunner, Rummy, et. al.–is proceeding apace in the Congress which gives Obama the chance to step away from the whole mess–a shrewd move. I think you’ve got to look at the big picture, the really big picture. Obama cannot be all things to all people all the time. He is a politician, he has to be. And from the gitgo he has not been a left-winger the way some of us would want him to be. For now at least he still has my complete, wholehearted and enthusiastic support.

Noman responded:

We agree that Obama is an exceptionally adroit politician. I’d add that the man has time and again shown remarkable political courage. Yet Paul Krugman in a recent column writes,

“In a way, it was easy to take stands during the Bush years . . . . Now, however, . . . staking out a position has become much trickier. Policy tends to move things in a desirable direction, yet to fall short of what you’d hoped to see. And the question becomes how many compromises, how much watering down, one is willing to accept.”

I agree with this, and especially so in respect to “a small number of individuals.” Obama needn’t have resorted to Bush-era scapegoating, and he had to have known that his words were false. Given the magnitude of the vile deeds committed in our names, I just can’t swallow it.

 

* * * * *

ALTOON’S BLOGS

 Our friend Altoon Sultan recommends the following blogs. And she should know!

OBAMA’S LONG WAR AGAINST CHENEYISM?

Andrew Sullivan argues in The Atlantic that: Cheney is taking the torture bait from Obama even as Obama refuses brilliantly to take the terror bait from Cheney. Obama is resisting the red-blue reductionism of the past while forging a new and powerful center. And the more Cheney and Kristol and Limbaugh posture as the future of the GOP, the worse they will do and the more likely it is that more sane and sensible conservatives will eventually fight back.

THE TORTUROUS DEBATE

Al Giordano in The Field argues that: Those [who] argue that the President should not have shifted positions on the photos – or that similarly argue that he should unleash prosecutors upon members of the previous administration – are essentially asking him to forfeit his ability to do bigger and more important things: like ending the production of nuclear weapons and stopping actual acts of torture from happening under his watch.
 
Altoon Sultan adds: I personally don’t care about the photos; the Abu Ghraib pictures were horrific enough to understand what these additional images must contain. What was impressive was the release of the memos, which many expected to be heavily redacted, and they weren’t. It was all there.


The right is pushing back hard on Gitmo and the American public still thinks that torture works (they watch too much TV, especially 24). Ugh. Our President needs some slack; he’s got a zillion things he’s trying to accomplish, very very important things, which are going to be hard as hell to get done. As Giordano points out, prosecuting wrongdoers doesn’t stop either them or people after them from doing the same shit all over again.

And do you realize that Obama’s ended new nuclear weapon development?! There will be strong resistance from the military, hence another reason to get them on his side.


* * * * *

Tax Rates on the Wealthiest Americans

People have been accusing President Obama of being a Socialist because of his plan to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans—from 35% to 39.6%.

The tax rate for the wealthiest Americans at the end of Ronald Reagan’s first term was 50%. Under Richard Nixon 70%.

Under Dwight Eisenhower 91%.

 
For a graph of tax rates on the richest Americans since 1920 go to: http://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/graph.jpg

It will boggle your mind.

* * * * *

Trickle-up Economics

From our friend Ray Bepko, this Editorial from the Charlotte (NC) Observer, March 3, 2009:

 “You might or might not call it hope, but you have to concede it’s audacious.

“President Obama’s proposed 10-year, $3.6 trillion spending plan, announced last week, would reverse the past 30 years of failed, Reagan-esque government philosophy. Assuming the country can afford it – for now that’s unknowable – there’s much in the plan to like.

“Goodbye – and good riddance – to “trickle-down,” the theory that more money for the rich eventually creates more money for the poor. It has “been discredited once and for all,” Obama’s budget plan states. Indeed, evidence shows that for 30 years, income inequality in America has grown. From 1979 to 2005, after-tax income for the top 1 percent of households rose 176 percent; for the bottom fifth it rose only 6 percent.

“And hello, “trickle-up.” Obama’s proposal takes welcome aim at that growing income inequality, cutting taxes for families earning less than $250,000 a year and raising taxes for families earning more.”

* * * * *

Great achievements in American Socialism

For a slide show of Mark Schone’s “Great achievements in American Socialism,” in other words, two dozen excellent things the federal government bought with your money. go to:http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/02/06/new_deal/index.html

This is a wonderful slide show. Don’t miss it.

The fundamental question here is: Do you believe in THE PUBLIC GOOD, or not?


* * * * *



Read More...