President Obama Wins a Second Term for Whom?

November 10, 2012 by

The Democrats could not have won so handily without the Citizens United ruling. That is what enabled the Koch Brothers to spend their billions to support right-wing candidates that barked and growled like sheep dogs to give voters little civilized option but to vote for “the lesser evil.” This will be President Obama’s epitaph for future historians. Orchestrating the election like a World Wrestling Federation melodrama, the Tea Party’s sponsors threw billions of dollars into the campaign to cast the President’s party in the role of “good cop” against stereotyped opponents attacking women’s rights, Hispanics and nearly every other hyphenated-American interest group.

A Game of Inches: Chinese Condom-Maker Sizes Up Obama and Romney

November 9, 2012 by

The caption on this post on the China Weibo blog of the Durex condom company reads “The difference between Obama and Romney is…” Actually, I think the PRC regime-meisters might have a slight preference for President Obama as “the devil you know.” Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a protean shape-shifter and it was never clear where he might come down on the reckless-feckless-clueless continuum in China affairs. I would like to share a few observations. A common emotion on the Democratic side, other than elation, is amazement at the fact that the Romney team was genuinely surprised and dumbfounded by its defeat, which to them was “a bolt from the blue.”

The Kardashians voted: Now you have no Excuse

November 6, 2012 by

The ever-preening reality stars, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian let it be known to their millions of fans via social media that they exercised their right to vote. While I find their celebrity status to be undeserved, I will give them credit for exercising their right. Leaving her fans in suspense, Kim Kardashian tweeted her 16,542,488 followers, “Sending in my absentee ballot now!!! Make sure you vote!!!!… I’m filling out my voting card in a room filled w people,everyone is telling me their opinions! Vote how YOU want.”

Some Pre-November 6 Humor

October 29, 2012 by

As is often the case I receive mass emails from time to time. One email in particular I thought worthy to share and upon reading it there is some truth in it.

Prelude to Election: The Third Presidential Debate

October 23, 2012 by

There were no spectacular implosions, no remarkable points of stumbling. The third and last debate between President Barack Obama and contender Governor Mitt Romney was not the most exciting affair, though it showed Obama to be far more accomplished, and the result for Romney acceptable. Sitting down, Obama could assume the role of academic in viva mode, searchingly probing Romney on vulnerable points.

US Politics and the Middle East

October 19, 2012 by

US elections are manifestly linked to the Middle East, at least rhetorically. In practical terms, however, US foreign policies in the region are compelled by the Middle East’s own dynamics and the US’ own political climate, economic woes, or ambitions. There is little historic evidence that US foreign policy in the Arab world has been guided by moral compulsion.

Romney’s Proposed Foreign Policy: Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

October 9, 2012 by

Stuck in a Cold War, Ozzie and Harriet time warp, Mitt Romney is living in a black and white dream world where America’s foes are easily identifiable and manageable, military solutions are preferred and effective, and America simply cracks a whip and everyone else snaps to attention. This was in clear evidence at yesterday’s VMI speech, in which Romney characterized America as a weak and feckless power under President Obama, and where every enduring high profile conflict in the world has a simple solution and would simply disappear as he waves a magic wand as president.

Mitt Romney Comes out Swinging

October 4, 2012 by

Verdicts on the first presidential debate of 2012 overwhelmingly favour Governor Mitt Romney. Romney articulated his message with a sense of clarity about the political ideas and principles he represents. In contrast, President Barack Obama conveyed his arguments with the deftness of a policy wonk, the clarity of his own vision overshadowed by dense policy explanations. The debate was always Obama’s to lose, with a senior Romney advisor noting that voters expected Obama to prevail in the debates by a margin of 25 points.

In the Midst of Plenty: In Defense of American Workers

October 2, 2012 by

It has been over a half century since Jack Kerouac posited ‘whither goest thou, America?’ to a nation facing an uncertain future. Listening to the party platforms being created at both national political conventions it is apparent that the country is still trying to find its compass, and many issues have remained unresolved over the past fifty years. Progress made need not be diminished; however, the country must work harder to not only preserve what it has already achieved, but also engage more encompassing issues in a deliberate manner.

A Look to the US Presidential Debates

September 28, 2012 by

For political junkies, US presidential debates can be both exciting and formulaic. There are too many restrictions and candidates invariably pull out numerous stock phrases that sound excessively scripted. However, there’s also the possibility for drama, doublespeak and, most entertainingly, mistakes or miscalculations.

Some Thoughts on a Frustrating Presidential Race

September 20, 2012 by

Barack Obama inherited a mess, but his presidency has been, by most historical standards, a massive disappointment. Obama has had some foreign-policy successes, but most Americans could not care less about foreign policy. Besides, he has alienated the left-wing of his party by perpetuating (and even expanding upon) many of the counterterrorism policies of his predecessor. Obama is telling the American public that we need to move “Forward” and that Mitt Romney would be a step backward for a host of reasons. It would appear that Obama’s strategy is working.

In the Midst of Plenty: American Plutocracy

September 19, 2012 by

In the lead up to the global financial collapse, America’s top 1 percent held nearly 35 percent of the nation’s wealth; a 275 percent increase over the past 30 years. Growing income inequality has been a concern for generations; however, the nation’s shift away from its traditional economic policies succeeded in silencing the most vocal critics. America’s transition into a service economy and subsequent push for market dominance has created an elite class that has superceded its predecessors in expanding enterprise and cementing personal advantages.

Romney’s Contribution to the Unrest in the Middle East

September 14, 2012 by

Among the things that are consistent about Mitt Romney are the chameleon-like nature of his political character, his incessant pandering to the small-minded among his political constituency, his frequent flip-flopping on major policy issues throughout the course of his political career, and his ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. None of this would serve him well as president in a country as divided along ideological lines as the United States of America today, but even less so in a world convulsing with political change and yearning for thoughtful leadership.

In the Midst of Plenty: America’s Struggling Political Economy

September 12, 2012 by

“Deficits don’t matter” was the refrain from the previous three Republican administrations justifying their unwillingness to adhere to their fiscally conservative campaign platform and doling out corporate welfare to any company aligned with their interests. It was utilized as a means to defend the nation’s ballooning deficit: depicting it as a temporary consequence to ensure the countries domestic economic stability.

Chicago Teachers Strike: Targeting the Teaching Evaluation

September 11, 2012 by

“This was a strike of choice, a bad choice for our children and not necessary,” decried an irritated Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. 350,000 students and 26,000 teachers have stayed out of classes now for two days as contract negotiations take place between Chicago Public School officials and the city’s teachers’ union. This is not small beer – the strikes are taking place in the third-largest school district in the U.S.

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