Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday 25 July 09

Gawker's headline read:
"John Yoo Briefly Disturbed By Consequences of His Actions"

(via xymphora)

Salon commenter "mary_steyr" refers to that portal as
"the Parade Magazine of the Volvo and latte set"

not all lefty bloggers are bowled over by Obama's presumptive charm and agenda. Here's Avedon Carol:

people are starting to notice that Obama is just more of the same, only with better syntax. Maybe it's true that his ego made him think "bold" and decide to get a healthcare package this year, even if it's a crap package - but I doubt it. I think his desire to be seen as "respectable" by a bunch of right-wingers led him to shy away from presenting a plan that really works and making the case for it. He hasn't been bold at all - he's backed way off of single-payer, of ending the war, of transparency, of basically every promise he made or implied he was making. He knows perfectly well no one voted him in to give their money to Goldman Sachs and force them to buy crappy health insurance that still doesn't deliver healthcare. He's blown it because he didn't have the guts to do the business.

I wish I knew how to embed this very brief and very droll animation by Ann Telnaes.

Humana has an animation up as well, designed to explain health care reform, or to avoid explaining while seeming to, depending on your point of view. To be fair it's no worse than what various pols like Obama or Charles Grasley have been saying by way of explanations. It includes that by now familiar insinuation about how people who don't have insurance are primarily healthy people who just don't want to get insurance until they need it. The greedy uninsured, driving costs up for everyone. How many people actually believe this?

cross-posted at Hugo Zoom.

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At July 26, 2009 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jonathan... although I think Mr Carol misfires here:

"I think his desire to be seen as "respectable" by a bunch of right-wingers led him to shy away from presenting a plan that really works and making the case for it."

Barack Obama is already "respectable" to "right wingers" who matter -- financiers, insurance companies, nuke power industry, big pharma. They bankrolled his friggin' campaign!

Avedon Carol has lingering partisanship, anti-GOP partisanship, distorting his view.

At July 26, 2009 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS: I love how the lib-wools want to keep blaming GOP people like Yoo for things that Obama is happily continuing. Obama and his DOJ have the opportunity to counter Yoo's "rationale" memos, but do they revoke the "authority" given via Yoo's memos and renounce the torture authorized under Yoo's memos?


Lib-wools and pwoggies are so busy being partisan that they excuse all sorts of bullshit done by Obama/Biden, as long as they can point a finger at a GOP person.

This is why America is in such a clusterfuck right now -- instead of focusing on problems and fixing those problems, we have partisan piss-fests. Instead of people accepting the fact that Obama is furthering the agenda of Bush/Cheney, lib-wools and pwoggies are still blaming Bush/Cheney and turning a blind eye toward Obama.

Avedon Carol's comment shows this, as my comment above indicates.

At July 26, 2009 9:21 AM, Blogger rob payne said...

“People are starting to notice”
Well it’s a bit late for starting to notice since Obama is the prez. These souls who are beginning to notice are no doubt the same ones who hooted and hollered for Obama and marginalized and ignored the people who were warning them that Obama was part of the problem and not the answer. Obama was telling us exactly what he was during his campaign, all people had to do was actually listen to what he was saying but I don’t think that’s what happened. But then any candidate chosen by the establishment would have been just like Obama. Anyone who expected anything different probably does not understand how the game is rigged.

At July 26, 2009 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, Rob!

Did you notice recently that Howard Dean is shilling for Obama's "public option" health care fiasco?

This is the same Howard Dean who sought the Donkey POTUS nomination and gained a lot of grass-roots support by criticizing the status quo, but when the heat got applied to him he gave up his criticisms and agreed to become the Chair of the DNC. From that point forward, Dr Dean became another point-man for the DNC/DLC moneybags, and stopped criticizing the way things were... well, he stopped criticizing them wholesale and shifted to criticizing ONLY the GOP.

Now he's a lackey for Obama's health care fiasco.

As you say, anyone chosen by the mainstream parties to represent their interests is going to be the same thing as how federal power played out under Bush/Cheney -- if GOP, they'll be overtly fascist; if DNC/DLC they'll be covertly fascist and pretending to oppose the interests behind the GOP. In truth the interests are the same, only the rhetoric differs.

It's tough for people to admit error. I supported Dean while he was still gaining ground as a grass-roots, net-based candidate, but once he shifted to the Chair of the DNC I realized I'd made an error. I was blogging back then and I admitted it publicly in a blog entry. I admitted it in comments around the InterWebTubez. I have friends who have admitted they were gulled by the "hope" and "change" rhetoric of Obama and his appearance of "progressive" politics. But most people don't make such admissions -- they identify too strongly with their party and to assess their party as flawed is existentially threatening to them.

It's sad. But, knowing human nature, I suppose it's inevitable.

At July 26, 2009 4:23 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

”they identify too strongly with their party and to assess their party as flawed”
Yup, that’s tribalism in a nutshell. Tribalism must have once been a survival technique that worked and today all the trappings of our “civilization” are mostly symbolic manifestations of our inner tribalism id. It has all been ritiualized and it keeps people from thinking, a useful tool for unscrupulous politicians and their cohorts for manipulating the masses.

At July 26, 2009 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a wicked tool of psychological manipulation, the preying upon human tribalism. It's a centerpiece of "marketing" (advertisement) strategy.

Speaking of politicians cynically manipulating people... did you read Dmitry Orlov's latest entry? It's about home-schooling in Russia, but that point (in Russia) doesn't really make it irrelevant -- and the comments following are very enlightening.

Of course one might note that anyone reading Dmitry Orlov is likely to find the American public school system seriously flawed, given that Orlov's premise is that America is mirroring the USSR collapse and most Americans aren't willing to see it.

At July 26, 2009 9:33 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Guys, FWIW I do think that people who were quiet or willfully blind about Obama and Obama-ism in 2008 and have subsequently acknowledged the error deserve some credit, insofar as they're doing a hell of a lot better than

(1)people who may see their error but continue to deliberately stifle expressing it, because they want to stay on the reservation and continue to get the approval of like-minded others--

to say nothing of

(2)better than people who still do not see.

Avedon Carol(a she, by the way) and Lambert of Corrente have gotten a lot of flack from their mainstream lefty brethren for saying that progressives need to oppose the current healthcare reform, and that the mantra of "a bad democratic bill is better than nothing" is just plain wrong.

At July 26, 2009 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan -- I definitely agree with giving credit to anyone who is renouncing Obama support. Since I don't spend much time at a lot of the Donkey strongholds I don't see where that's happening. I have noticed a good number of commenters at Black Agenda Report apologizing for their prior support of Obama and these sentiments usually are offered with an observation that Obama is just more of the same thing we had before. When I see that kind of apology and admission, I am pleased -- it means people are paying attention to what's true and discernably real, rather than sticking with their tribe/party subgroup.

Actually I think that what has to happen before real changes begin in America is a real awakening among those who call themselves "liberal" and/or "progressive," because these are the people who style themselves as more enlightened, radical or "in touch" than mainstream Democrats. The real obstacle is endemic and systemic though. Many subjects taught in American colleges and Universities are taught as if the current system is optimal and the 2-party practical limitation is all we need. Much of what pretends at "news" and "analysis" of that "news" follows suit.

In order for a "liberal" or "progressive" to see what's real, he or she has to un-plug from his/her traditional sources of information and perspective. This requires almost a sea-change in outlook on life -- it's not just a change in politics. It requires one to admit that a big chunk of what he or she believes not only is untrue, but was a huge charade.

Read Erich Fromm's Escape from Freedom and you will see what kinds of obstacles there are to getting a real awakening among our countrymen. My guess is that most will have their awakening forced on them by the country's economic collapse.

As to Avedon Carol, I don't know why I assumed that was a man. I haven't ever seen the first name "Avedon" before, I've only seen the photographer Richard Avedon's last name. I guess I just thought of him.

At July 26, 2009 10:21 PM, Blogger rob payne said...


Public schools, I recall them with mixed feelings. I stopped saying the pledge of allegiance when I was in fourth grade because it seemed ridiculous to me plus I didn’t want to pledge my allegiance without understanding what it meant to do so. I recall some of the teachers as being pretty good but over all what I learned the most was kids are cruel. In sixth grade there was this kid named Mark. He had some kind of emotional problem and most of the kids in class tormented him with great glee. I also made some good friends as there were some decent kids too. But it seems to me that public schools are part of the propaganda machine with its edited and homogenized version of U.S. history. I didn’t really begin to dislike school until I was high school. High school is probably the worst when it comes to being turned into a zombie, I recall the people who ran for school president and all that crap were all from rich families, a bunch of little con artists, future politicians. The whole purpose of high school is to indoctrinate you for the military and is a complete waste of time. High school doesn’t even prepare you for college or mine didn’t. When I went to the local community college I had to actually learn how to study. It’s mostly a load of crap. Schools do turn out professionals, engineers, lawyers, doctors, etc. and perhaps a few of them are actually good at what they do. Still, this is more likely due to these individuals possessing actual talent than it is to their education.


Good points as always. I don’t have it in for Avedon Carol but I’ll stick to my guns with what I already said. Besides I was speaking more in general than aiming at Avedon. Though I do recall a time when someone said I was howling at the moon because I didn’t support his Royal Highness Obama the Magnificent (may his line never fail). So you must excuse me if I feel somewhat justified with my comment especially as Obama has been exactly what I thought he would be and apparently not what others who shall remain nameless thought he would be.


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