June 16, 2009
December 11, 2008
Skin-deep coverage, backwards story
With the election over the MSM is looking for a juicy story to cash in on Obama’s popularity (even more). So no wonder everyone including the AP is peddling this guilt-by-association narrative. It’s so easy to sell to the headline-surfer: Obama is from the same state as Blagojevich, a state with notoriously corrupt politicians, therefore they all must be corrupt, including Obama.
Dig a little deeper, and think a little more about it, and you arrive at the exact opposite conclusion:
First, as Cenk Uygur points out, the proof of Obama’s cleanliness is right in Blago’s own words:
Could Blagojevich have been any clearer: “They’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.” Here is a man who clearly is not aware that he is being taped and man who clearly does not like Obama and so isn’t doing him any favors. In fact, he later calls Obama a “motherfucker.” And he clearly says on tape, “They’re not willing to give me anything.” [emphasis added since it apparently needs to be emphasized]
How much clearer did he have to be? Okay, you want more? Blagojevich then says, “Fuck him … For nothing? Fuck him.” Yet another reference to how Obama will give him nothing for the Senate seat. How can this possibly be interpreted as anything but a complete vindication of Barack Obama?
Second, it was Obama’s pressure and direct involvement that helped override Blago’s veto of ethics reform laws. Laws which would have made it much harder to keep shaking everyone down after January 1 2009, and that effectively pushed him to overreach, and gave Fitzgerald license to tap away.
So if anything, Obama should be getting partial credit for taking Blagojevich down and cleaning up house. Print that AP!
November 24, 2008
As I watch the civil war going on in Republicanland, and the different prescriptions their members offer for their ailments, it occurs to me that it’s not going to be as simple as ‘rebranding’, or returning to ‘big ideas’ or even putting together a broader coalition.
First let’s make something clear: The Republican party is not really about ideas or positions. They stand for fiscal responsibility, but run the biggest deficits. They claim to protect ‘moral values’ but their candidates and elected officials often lack them.
No, its sole purpose is to protect ‘special interests’, which is just a euphemism for saying large corporations (especially energy and military-industrial) and ‘old money’ (wealthy families that didn’t earn their wealth in their lifetime). The people that benefit directly from this protection make up a ridiculously small part of the citizenry. I’d say about 1%.
November 16, 2008
I must have read a thousand articles that point the finger at someone or another for our troubles. The latest one zeroes in on the baby boomer generation, especially its politicians which failed to lead on anything the last three decades (case in point our lack of an energy policy… only when oil hit $145 did they try to actually do something). Others blame the Republican philosophy of everything-goes free market. Or a Bush administration that didn’t even enforce the rules which actually were on the books. Lobbyists. Exotic derivatives. Speculators. And of course plain old Wall Street greed.
But politicians have always been fickle, financiers always greedy, and our market free all along.
I believe these are all mere symptoms. The root cause is a national media that fails to inform the citizenry and whose sole objective is to increase their audience (and their income).