Saturday, December 31, 2011

You Can't Support Ron Paul and Still Call Yourselves Progressives

2011 was an eye-opener of a year. Especially for some of the biggest mouthpieces of the Progressive media, the Professional Left.

Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann were exposed as de facto misogynists and rape apologists. Moore and Bill Maher were caught channeling their inner Limbaughs in being exposed as racists; and poor, irrelevant Joan Walsh let it inadvertantly and tellingly slip that she resents black people and that all strident supporters of the President are GOP trolls paid by Andrew Breitbart.

More worryingly, we've seen these selfsame self-appointed spokesmen for the sheeple Progressive Left recently urge people not to vote. However, as the last minutes of 2011 fade, the spectre of Ron Paul infiltrates their little lizard brains, and all of a sudden, Ron's the man who holds real hope and change.

Does he ever.

In the past few weeks, I've reiterated Paul's dodgy political and sociological positions, especially regarding racism, but in doing so, I find that those poor misguided EmoProgs (those who are entitled to criticize but must not be criticized, themselves) more akin to their Tea Bagging cousins in becoming selectively deaf when confronted with Ron Paul's disastrous shortcomings.

Be that as it may, and amidst all the inconsistent denials and rationales offered by Paul and his bots regarding the racist, homophobic and xenophobic content of his newsletters, CNN's Peter Hamby has come up with a book, written by Ron Paul, himself, during the late 1980s when he was mounting his first Presidential campaign as a Libertarian candidate.

As Hamby reports, it makes uncomfortable reading. What's more uncomfortable is that this was actually written by Paul, himself, and not some shady ghostwriter.

In his 1987 manifesto "Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution after 200-Plus Years," Paul wrote that AIDS patients were victims of their own lifestyle, questioned the rights of minorities and argued that people who are sexually harassed at work should quit their jobs.

The slim, 157-page volume was published ahead of Paul's 1988 Libertarian Party presidential bid and touches on many of the themes he continues to hammer on the stump.

Returning again and again to the of concept of "liberty," he hails the virtues of the gold standard, attacks the Federal Reserve and defends the rights of gun-owners.

But the book, re-issued in 2007 during Paul's last presidential bid with a cover photograph of an ominous SWAT Team, has so far escaped scrutiny amid the latest furor over his newsletters.

In one section of the book, Paul criticized people suffering from AIDS or other contagious diseases for demanding health insurance coverage.

"The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim - frequently a victim of his own lifestyle - but this same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care," Paul wrote.

In another chapter on the rights of individuals outside of government – the central theme of Paul's libertarian philosophy - he sharply criticized the "absurdity" of politicians who try to bestow differing rights on various social and ethnic groups.

It's dangerous to craft a separate set of rights for groups like Hispanics, African-Americans, children, employees and the homeless, Paul wrote.

"Until all these terms are dropped and we recognize that only an individual has rights the solution to the mess in which we find ourselves will not be found," Paul explained.

"Every year new groups organize to demand their 'rights,'" he continued. "White people who organize and expect the same attention as other groups are quickly and viciously condemned as dangerous bigots. Hispanic, black, and Jewish caucuses can exist in the U.S. Congress, but not a white caucus, demonstrating the absurdity of this approach for achieving rights for everyone."

Paul also defended the rights of an individual to "control property and run his or her business as he or she chooses," without interference from "the social do-gooder."

In a passage first flagged by the Houston Chronicle in 2007, Paul then claimed that sexual harassment should not be a violation of one's employment rights.

"Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity," Paul wrote. "Why don't they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable."

This book was re-issued in 2007, as the article states, and Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign manager, who's no stranger to Stormfront, himself, defends everything contained in its pages as exemplary of purist Libertarian doctrine.

Supporting Ron Paul isn't like eating in a cafeteria. You cannot pick and choose the policies which accommodate your so-called Progressive leanings. This is the real deal. Accept the fact that he wants to legalise the pot you smoke on a medical prescription, and you accept the fact that he wants to repeal Roe vs Wade and bring government control to centre around a woman's vagina and reproductive rights. Accept that if you're sexually harassed at work, it's up to you to quit. Accept that he wants to end America's empire, but also accept that he thinks the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional and that he believes vehemently in property rights and states' rights. In case you are unaware, a Civil War was fought for just that purpose.

Accept a Ron Paul candidacy and you get to share the big tent with a whole passel of neo-Nazis, real Nazis, white supremacists, Truthers and people who genuinely do believe that if you're poor and unemployed in the United States, it really is your fault. Don't mention climate change or environmental regulations, and be prepared to watch Wall Street go large.

Accept a Ron Paul candidacy and take it on the chin. No whingeing. No whining and no crying. You asked for it. And congratulations. You are no longer either Progressive or Liberal. In fact, if you're even thinking of supporting Ron Paul, you never really were.

Happy New Year.

Twitter Neutralises Don Cheadle

The internet and social networking are great equalisers in this day and age. Any public figure who interposes himself on a Facebook page or publishes his Twitter timeline leaves himself open to his public responding to his words and actions reported in the media.

When Don Cheadle recently stated in an interview that he wanted to see President Obama act more like a "gangsta," the fact that he had a Twitter account, allowed for various members of the voting public - the hoi-polloi, as many would call them, to call out Cheadle's inaccuracies in his perception of the President and to tell him, in no uncertain terms, that any stereotypically racial reference made about the President was wrong - even if a man of colour was making the reference.

These are members of the public, people who enable Cheadle's success by paying to see the films in which he stars. It's the ultimate encounter and living proof that, all too often, the common man knows more than he who has achieved the status of "uncommon."

Credit to Cheadle that he was polite and engaged with those criticizing his words. He didn't block, snark or toss ad hominem at the people telling him of their dismay. Unlike many public figures whose fragile egos cannot take criticism.

Read the chirpstory below. The best bit is when people start referring him to George Clooney for guidance. Twitter ... where every man or woman is equal.

History Understands Where Nostalgia Obscures

(Sigh) Fills my heart with pride that a woman from Virginia puts it all into perspective. Listen up, EmoProg Purotopians ...

Take it away, Melissa ...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wealthy People and Their Creatures Are Just Not Into the Middle Class

Al Sharpton not only shows how wealthy man Mitt Romney is insincere about the Middle Class, he also shows how Whoreanna Fuckington's Huffington Post's hack-in-training Sam Stein is an epic fail in trying to play the company man and push Queen Ratfucker's message that the President is just not into the Middle Class.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I think it's time Sam grew a pair and got weaned off Arianna's tit. Then maybe his voice would finally drop.

Ari Melber Prefers Dog Whistles

Bdyeeee Bdyaaaaa Valley Girl Alex (Gag me with a spoon) Wagner proves she might be learning a glimmer of something this past week on her MSNBC show.

The topic was Ron Paul. Watch Comcast's Robert Traynham define the euphemisms "property rights" and "states rights," and now watch The Nation's Ari Melber dismiss all the evidence linking Ron Paul to racism and homophobia, amongst other things, on the argument that, since we don't really know what's in Paul's heart, we should give him the benefit of a doubt.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Traynham is right to point out how offensive the "property rights" argument is, and what the history behind "states rights" is. After all, 650,000 Americans lost their lives arguing and shooting each other over "property rights" and "states rights."

But Ari Melber is OK with a potential President who doesn't know what shit his staff is putting about in his name. He can live with a potential racist and homophobe, he can live with women being denied control over their reproductive rights - all for the price of a legal toke and isolationism. And Ari Melber's OK with a President who's said that Israel doesn't deserve to exist?

We'd all do well to remember that The Nation went to great lengths in 2000 to push Ralph Nader, saying Bush and Gore were exactly the same. And what did that get us?

Some people really have no common sense, and those people shouldn't be given a public podium, much less anything with which they can communicate.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Don Cheadle Fucks Up ... Needs Civics 101

If there's an epidemic of foot-in-mouth disease going around Hollywood, I think poor Don Cheadle's contracted it. Either that or Headupassitis.

Apparently, in a recent interview with Jet magazine, he expressed his wish that "Obama" (what is it with these people that they can never use this man's title?) had been more of a "gangster" as President.

To hear a man regarded as one of the most intelligent and astute actors in Hollywood validate the comments of a racist masquerading as a Leftwing fundit (an unfunny comedian trying to be a political relevance) it totally disheartening.

What's disheartening is the realisation that Cheadle's "intelligence" may just be a facade as big and as broad as Matt Damon's pretence. Maybe I'm too harsh. Maybe Don just needs a few Civics 101 lessons, although he does say he watched Schoolhouse Rock and knows how a bill becomes a law.

Hmmm ... that's debatable, judging from the detailed statement he was forced to make clarifying what exactly he meant by using such a racially stereotypical and offensive term as "gangster" to describe the President.

Here's the bulk of Cheadle's response. Rub your eyes first, because, in addition to Civics 101, he needs a refresher course in punctuation and paragraph structure, so I've snipped it for comment value.

I realize that when speaking to reporters who are looking for the juiciest comments to print, a word like gangster in connection with a black president uttered by a black celebrity can almost be too much to resist. I also realize that when you do an interview you are likely to at least have your comments reduced and constructed to fit into a required space and never do you have say over the final edit. I say this not in defense but to offer some perspective. I believe I used the word gangster and I meant it. But I wasn’t talking about pants sagging and forties and “hoes” or any of that other nonsense and I find it hard to believe that that is what some people thought I was saying. I was talking about wish fulfillment; my own and my desire to witness something more than I had.

(In other words, folks, I didn't listen to a single word, the President said. Instead, I saw a rock star, a tabula rasa onto which I projected my hopes, my thoughts and my dreams. Now I know that I'm not gonna get my pony, and I'm disappointed. I'm not saying I wanted Shaft, but I'd have settled for Denzel Washington.) Tough. Denzel sticks to the profession he knows best.

When I was called by then Senator Obama to stump for him in 2008, I was honored and eager to do so. I took my two daughters with me to college campuses and rallied the troops for voter drives. Every opportunity I had to speak in public about my support for him, I did and still do. He is the clear choice in my opinion for 2012 and I will again support his re-election but those facts don’t mitigate what I earlier expressed about gangster, they coexist side by side.

Coming out of eight years of a president who I believe in many ways took us as dangerously close to the brink of destruction as any before him, I was hoping for a seismic shift in the other direction.

(Ah, yes ... another one who bought into the Bush-is-a-dictator meme and hoped that, really, this President would do the same, only in a Leftward bend. Tell me, Don, do you actually know that the President is not really that powerful a position within our structur of government. Civics 101, please. If you understand the relationship Congress bears to the President and vice versa, then you'll understand why there was no sharp veering to the Left. Besides, Don, if you'd bothered to listen to the President, in between all those hours you were campaigning for him and, at the same time, basking in your own celebrity status, you'd have realised that Barack Obama is and always has been a Left-of-Centre Pragmatic. Like Lincoln.)

I don’t think we’ve had that. Many of my friends and family are scratching it out somewhere decidedly south of the ever widening gap between the haves and have nots, looking at losing their homes, colleges they can’t afford and healthcare they can’t avail themselves of. They’re the ones I’m thinking of when I say gangster. I understand the constraints of the president when dealing with a congress apparently dead set against working with him and I know how a bill becomes a law (I used to watch Schoolhouse Rock too).

( {Sigh} You obviously don't.)

President Obama inherited a broken country mired in two wars, a financial crisis, a mortgage mess and more than we all probably even know about and has in my opinion brought us back from the brink. But I still see my friends in no better shape and the gap widening.

(The President has said repeatedly that this crisis was very deep and would take about ten years to sort out - that was first said, actually, when the President (as is) was the President-Elect. That's ten years from 2009 - that's almost three terms of a Democratic President. I say "Democratic" because the Republicans would lead us further back into the mire they stirred up 30 years ago.

Hear that, Don? The President is cleaning up a big stink left, first, by Reagan and then by Saint Bill Clinton, the Big Dog, the Great White Hope. Jeez, if you think one man is going to clean up a thirty-year halcyon in less than four years alone, you're not just dumb, you're stupid.)

I am not a policy maker and have no desire to be one. I am not running for office and would never be elected were I to. I have no designs on becoming a lobbyist.

Good. Then don't comment on something about which you only have a layman's knowledge, if that. Stick to the daytime job, Don. You're good at it. Anyway, we have enough "iconic" celebrity talking heads populating the fabled 1%. Besides, opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.

I am a father, a “husband”, an actor and a citizen of this country and planet who flippantly expressed on a press tour, a desire to see our president riding roughshod over his adversaries to get the job done for the least represented amongst us.

(Well, there really must be a Hollywood bubble, Don, or else, you've been hanging out smoking weed with Matt Damon. Because that's exactly what our President has been doing. Ask Lily Ledbetter. Ask the parents of Matthew Shepherd. Ask the scores of people whose children can stay on their health insurance until they're twenty-six. Ask the soldiers home at last from Iraq.

And, by the way, did you vote in the 2010 Mid-Terms, Don? Because if you didn't, you enabled the House of Representatives which exists today - a Republican majority who dances to the tune of the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party. We only ever had the elusice sixty-vote majority in the Senate for a few months, and one of those sixty votes was Joe Lieberman. 2010 lessened our majority in the Senate, which means various Republicans have to be courted for their votes, which means compromise. The President can't ride roughshod over Congress. No President ever has. Not even Bill Clinton, although revisionist history would tell you otherwise.

Bottom line, Don ... if you want a more liberal President, give him a more liberal Congress. Why don't you leave the Left Coast and campaign for some genuinely liberal candidates running in races with a real Republican opposition? Get out and talk to the low-information voters in some of these areas, and convince them of the President's good intentions. After all, that's your job as an operative.)

I still want that. I still want that with full knowledge that it might be an uphill fight that ultimately proves impossible given the hostile impasse our president faces. I still have a fevered dream of the POTUS smacking up John Boehner in a public forum in middle America and making him defend support of tax cuts for the super rich.

(Ain't gonna happen that way. The President is a smart man. He's already made Boehner look small several times. Do pay attention.)

I want to see somebody go to jail over the financial crisis and not just black, brown and poor whites over humbles and minor drug beefs. I want the president to bail out homeowners who fell for the okey doke from predatory lenders and are two seconds from living on the streets or are already there.

(Again, and I cannot say it enough, give him something with which to work. Reagan and Clinton completely deregulated the credit and banking industries. There was no way, given the nature of some of those people on the Hill, in 2010, with such Wall Street ties, like Chuck Schumer and Anthony Weiner (Democrats, by the way), amongst others, that a tightly regulated bill would pass. The best we could do was Dodd-Frank. We can build on that, with the right kind of people in Congress. Don, the President doesn't legislate. And as for prosecutions, as he, himself, said, what those people did was immoral, but - thanks to former Presidents - it wasn't illegal. Kinda like the same argument you have to give to the Republicans when they whine about abortion being murder. It might be immoral to them, but it isn't illegal. Again, you want them prosecuted, give us the Congress to do so - the buck might stop with the President, but it beings in the House.)

I want to see industrial polluters who are killing all of us slowly by poisoning our fragile environment swap places with the kid doing 15 years in Chino for shoplifting shoes. I want him to stand in front of the haters and go all Bill Duke on them and say, “You know you done fucked up now, don’t you?” I kinda want a gangster president.

(Shut up and sit down. We've never had a President do that, and I hope we never will. Look at the big mouths in Congress who engaged in that kind of discourse. Alan Grayson. Anthony Weiner. Where are they now? Not in Congress. The President is the President of all the people, and we are a diverse nation. If he goes angry black man on anyone, I don't care whom, he's going to be hanged, drawn and quartered by the media. He's the President. He's above that. That shit happens in the movies. You seriously need to visit reality some more.)

I was about to write that in the future I would chose my words more carefully but I’m sure I won’t. Besides, I think the debate is more enriching. I appreciate all the articles I was directed to and will try to find time to read them although I don’t need any more proof to support President Obama. I’m glad he’s at the wheel and not me – I woulda swung at somebody by now. I wish you all peace in the New Year and let’s keep on keeping on.

(Try some evening classes. And stick to the daytime job. Sometimes, Hollywood and politics don't mix. Just look at Roseanne Barr.)

Mr Sock Puppet Throws an Adolescent Hissy Fit

In the early part of George W Bush's second administration, widdle Glennie Gweenwald woke up one morning to find his voice had changed and his balls had dropped. Widdle Glennie had become a man. Something had changed him. Something that had been waiting over thirty years to happen.

Widdle Glennie had reached political puberty. So he decided to write a book. It was a book about which he'd thought long and hard. The title of the book was How Would a Patriot Act? Defending Values from a President Run Amok, and in that book, widdle Glennie revealed some things which he'd never admit publically today. Perhaps he thinks that people didn't read his book, and if they didn't read it, they wouldn't know that he confessed - things like, he trusted so much in the government of his country and the ability of elected representatives to adhere to the Constitution that he didn't really see any importance in voting at all, his trust was that great. Great and unquestioning, like a child's:-

I never voted for George W. Bush—or for any of his political opponents. I believed that voting was not particularly important. Our country, it seemed to me, was essentially on the right track.Whether Democrats or Republicans held the White House or the majorities in Congress made only the most marginal difference. I held views on some matters that could be defined as conservative, views on others that seemed liberal. But I firmly believed that our democratic system of government was sufficiently insulated from any real abuse, by our Constitution and by the checks and balances afforded by having three separate but equal branches of government. My primary political belief was that both parties were plagued by extremists who were equally dangerous and destructive, but that as long as neither extreme acquired real political power, our system would function smoothly and more or less tolerably. For that reason, although I always paid attention to political debates, I was never sufficiently moved to become engaged in the electoral process. I had great faith in the stability and resilience of the constitutional republic that the founders created. All that has changed. Completely. Over the past five years, a creeping extremism has taken hold of our federal government, and it is threatening to radically alter our system of government and who we are as a nation. This extremism is neither conservative nor liberal in nature, but is instead driven by theories of unlimited presidential power that are wholly alien, and antithetical, to the core political values that have governed this country since its founding.

Then came 9/11 and, like many others, life for widdle Glennie changed significantly, and so did his attitude:-

I believed that Islamic extremism posed a serious threat to the country, and I wanted an aggressive response from our government. I was ready to stand behind President Bush and I wanted him to exact vengeance on the perpetrators and find ways to decrease the likelihood of future attacks. During the following two weeks, my confidence in the Bush administration grew as the president gave a series of serious, substantive, coherent, and eloquent speeches that struck the right balance between aggression and restraint. And I was fully supportive of both the president's ultimatum to the Taliban and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan when our demands were not met. Well into 2002, the president's approval ratings remained in the high 60 percent range, or even above 70 percent, and I was among those who strongly approved of his performance.


During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president's performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

Quelle surprise! Widdle Glennie not only supported the Iraq invasion, he supported the President and was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, thinking one must always defer to the President's judgement in national security matters. He supported, succinctly, the Bush Doctrine ... in every respect, Charlie.

The preface to widdle Glennie's book goes on to detail how when he, like a lot of the rest of us who hadn't trusted George W Bush from the getgo (and it would seem that widdle Glennie wholly approved of all the uncertainty and dodgy machinations surrounding the hanging chad scenario in Florida which ultimately resulted in the Supreme Court handing George Bush the election), suddenly realised the real intention behind the Iraq invasion and all events emanating from the 9/11 attacks as a badly disguised ruse to encroach upon American civil liberties.

Suddenly, in 2005 no less, the boy had become a man. Widdle Glennie took a total interest in the political happenings of the day, developing a blog and writing to the extent that a mere six years later, the media feeds his ego by hanging on his every word and treating him as a pundit in veritas.

In any other country, a Greenwald would be sneered at by the political media as, at worst, a glorified blogger, at best a dilettante. Instead, in the United States, where socialites, social climbers, soccer moms, sportscasters, comedians and such hoi-polloi can claim credence as viable voices in political commentary without any real and direct experience with politics or political journalism at all.

A gig in Salon and slavish attention accorded widdle Glennie by the likes of The Guardian, along with various and sundry MSNBC talking heads pretending to listen attentively to widdle Glennie, stroked his ego and turned the child, overnight, into Mr Sock Puppet, who trolls the internet, looking for mentions of his name and dipping his toes into people's conversations to stir up a bit of ad hominem commentary to those poor souls who happen to disagree with his own view of the world, which is always right and always anti-Obama at the moment.

It's all so drearily puerile.

What's even more puerile on the part of the media is that Mr Sock Puppet is taken for a bona fide Progressive, when he's anything but.

Matt Osborne in his OsborneInk blog does a brilliant job in deconstructing Mr Sock Puppet as the leader of a gang whose political acumen is terminally stunted in teenage psychology to the extent that it would appear that Mr Sock Puppet is extending his disillusionment with Big Daddy Bush onto the shoulders of the man whom he has perceived to be Big Daddy Barack.

Bush and Obama are one and the same, and - oh - the new hero for change is Ron Paul. But as Matt painstakingly explains, not only is Ron Paul not what he appears to be - and Matt shows this by revealing aspects of Paul's agenda which Mr Sock Puppet and sheeple following conveniently chose to omit; indeed, sheeple following carefully ignore some things about Mr Sock Puppet, which would make any tried-and-true Progressive cringe in the nether regions:-

Remember, Greenwald says Citizens United is good for civil liberties. But what he means by those two words is very different from what most of us have in mind when we say them. The president has been consistently supportive of voting rights, for example, but that is elided from the Greenwald definition of “civil liberties;” he also elides the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Fair Sentencing Act, the overturn of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the president’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the US Commission on Civil Rights, etcetera.

Contrast that to Greenwald’s treatment of Ron Paul’s record. In his op-ed, Greenwald makes no mention of the congressman’s racist newsletters, his public stance on the Civil Rights Act, his attempt to strip Iranian students of federal financial aid, his evident homophobia, his numerous assaults on abortion rights, his desire to repeal the “Moter Voter” Act, his attacks on the 14th Amendment, etcetera. I regard his stance on the gold standard as a repeal of economic rights — one that William Jennings Bryan would abhor as a cross of gold.

In Greenwald’s story, not one of the issues in those previous two ‘graffs — not even the fight over voter ID bills that would disenfranchise millions of African Americans — count as civil liberties issues, but the supposed right of an American citizen to be free from harm while directing harm to other Americans does.

It doesn’t matter who is in power. Obama and Bush are “the same” the way Al Gore and Bush were “the same.” Glenn Greenwald’s narrative of power is anarcho-Randian, and therefore very popular on the internet. In his story, power is always the enemy of freedom, can never be used to protect or promote freedom, and therefore its use is never, ever warranted.

Thus Greenwald also elides the UN Security Council resolution on Libya from his story. Ron Paul would elide the United States from the United Nations. We used to call that view “fringe,” but in today’s Republican field it might be a centrist position. Surely that, too, would be Obama’s fault? See, I already know how this story ends.

With reference to the last point, here is Mr Sock Puppet's hero, appearing in a propaganda pitch for the John Birch Society some twenty-odd years ago, with the emanating brief that the US was better off out of the United Nations organisation, which was a sinister front for an entity intent on taking over the world and sublimating our sovereignty - even down to creating a new world religion:-

But, of course, as Matt Osborne would say, Mr Sock Puppet elides Ron Paul's conspiracy theories, just as Mr Sock Puppet elides admitting the fact that his entire strop with the President - which is a strop of such immense proportions that it borders on euphemistic racial dog whistling (Mr Sock Puppet was the first of the big mouths to refer to the President's supporters as "Obamalovers")- is merely the teenaged hissyfit of a daddy-adoring kid who finds out his old man's feet are made of clay.

Mr Sock Puppet needs to grow a pair and grow up.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cenk Uygur Comes Out of the Woodwork

I'm old enough to remember ratfuckers. They appeared, as if from nowhere, during the 1972 election year - young Republicans, mostly college students, trained to look and act like young Democrats of the day (the forerunners of today's EmoProg Puritopians), to infiltrate the offices and campaigns of the major Democratic Presidential contenders with the one aim of delivering Richard Milhouse Nixon the weakest possible Democratic candidate for the Presidential election of that same year.

They achieved their goal. They infiltrated the campaigns of Edmund Muskie, Henry Jackson and others, played their practical jokes and dirty tricks and effectively handed the nomination to George McGovern, whose disorganised and uncompromising campaign, run by people who, four years previously, were found in the streets of Chicago virulently protesting the Democratic convention of that year, resulting in the biggest defeat of a Democratic candidate in the history of the party. McGovern lost 49 states, carrying only Massachusetts (by dint of having Sargent Schriver, a Kennedy inlaw, on the ticket) and the District of Columbia.

The entire face of the Democratic party was altered after that. McGovern's campaign manager, Gary Hart, set about changing it from a party which fought for union rights and for the working class and working poor into a bi-coastal cocktail party comprised of educated elitists who had nothingn in common either with labor history or the working class. Most shunned the poor. All were idealists. When it turned its back on the Southern and Midwestern rural working classes and the Rust Belt unskilled workers and their unions - as soon as Hart proclaimed these people herd followers and "little Hubert Humphreys", the stage was set for a Republican takeover of the South and the rural Midwest and all points inbetween by the Republican party, thanks to the idealogical purity of Gary Hart and the ratfuckery, developed by Donald Segretti and enhanced and strengthened in subsequent years by two of Segretti's most apt students, Lee Atwater and Karl Rove.

You might say, along with Hart, who began so earnestly but ended in a welter of sordid "Monkey Business", that Atwater and Rove are responsible for what the modern Democratic Party is today.

Ratfuckery has reached a new level of sophistication. Coincidental to its further rise was the advent and enhancement of cable and internet media political discourse - the celebrity political pundit, or the Professional Left, along with the 24-hour news cycle - and the election of the first African American President.

Progressives sought love and comfort in the Leftwing writings and commentary of various pundits during the dark years of the Bush Administration, and - especially after Bush's second election triumph - many more talking heads emerged ... Many who had, until recently been practicing, full-on Republicans, themselves.

Seems there was a buck or two to be made proseltysing to the Progressives, and it might be mete to divide and conquer their intent in true Segrettian fashion, but via the media this time. After all, these poor souls were crying out for representative media voices in the Wilderness to counter Fox News.

Ceny Uygur was one of those ratfuckers. A failed corporate lawyer and neocon with an enhanced opinion of himself and an ego as fat as his broad ass.

He, along with the likes of Arianna Huffington and Ed Schultz, all former virulent neocons, sought to tap into the low information end of Progressive voters - young people and disaffected Left Coastal unreconstructed middle class types who yearned to be hippies again (or even for the first time) who either had forgotten how to think critically along the way or who had never learned. Suffice it to say, these people knew nothing and understood little about the way the government functioned.

They bought into the myth that Bush was a dictator, and when Barack Obama was elected, they assumed he'd be the dictator of their dreams, from the Left. The fact that many never listened to a word he uttered on the campaign trail was revealed in their early discontent and foot-stamping. Instead of listening to what he said, they projected their own ideals on his tabula rasa and hissyfitted when they thought he'd betrayed them.

Cenk, like the big stink that he is, tapped into that, furthering the myths they wanted to believe, encouraging their misguided misapprehensions with further and deliberate untruths about the President, his powers and what he actually could do. No one ever stopped to think how much a President's actions are enhanced or hampered by the Congress which serves him. Far easier to blame the man in charge, especially if he's black.

Let's see, during the course of the past three years, Cenk's been the man who has called the President a "moron," who has written opinion pieces where he openly derided the President as being stupid, who openly equated the President as being on what he perceived as the same idiot level as George Bush for what Cenk reckoned as the President's "betrayal" of all the public sector protesters in Wisconsin.

As early as February 2011, Cenk penned an opinion piece for Daily Kos, whose proprietor happens to be - surprise surprise - not only an ex-Republican but one who was a ward boss for Henry Hyde (he of the Hyde Amendment infamy), wherein he accuses the President of being a Republican. Projection much?

When MSNBC showed a rare glimmer of common sense and kicked Cenk's lard ass out the door of 30 Rock, he took to the airwaves, from Current (his present home) to CNN, whining that it was "Obama's fault" that he was sacked.

For these people, everything is always "Obama's fault."

It was because of the incessant, unrelenting and unwonted criticism of the President (and, by extension somewhat, of the Democratic party) made by Cenk and others of his unprincipled ilk, that low-information Progressive voters - yes, there are dumbasses on the Left too - and others accustomed to instant gratification stayed away from the polls in 2010, even cheering the defeat of most of the Blue Dog contingent in the House, never thinking past their second brain cell that these Blue Dog Democrats were replaced with the worst sort of Tea Party Republicans, whose low intellect rivalled their own and whose tail would wag the Congressional dog.

Thanks to Cenk ("Obama is a moron")Uygur, Ed ("Don't vote") Schultz and Queen Ratfucker Omnipotent of Medialand Arianna ("Obama just isn't that into the middle class") Huffington, we now have the Do-Nothing Congress with the lowest approval ratings in history and the ability to achieve jack shit on a stick.

But then ... that's all Obama's fault.

Cenk is at it again today, in what has become the newest mouthpiece of Rightwing ratfukery The Huffington Post. He's exhorting Progressives to vote against Obama in Iowa. And though Cenk's canny enough not to mention him by name, it's all too obvious that he's pointing his sheeple in the direction of Ron Paul, because this ill-thought and misbegotten diatribe is all about - you guessed it - civil liberties.

Look, I'm not saying civil liberties aren't important. They are, but they're being used cynically as a straw man by asshat pundits who know better as a distraction from the fact that Paul is a blatant racist, a liar whose stories about his racist past (and even present) are inconsistent, and who's also a hypocrite of gigantic proportions. Civil liberties about freedom of speech and property rights (a fine old Atwaterian dog whistle)are one thing, denying a woman civil liberties over her reproductive rights is another entirely. I wonder if Cenk, like Ron Paul, thinks education is not a right? That almost sounds elitist.

Here's his beef (jerky):-

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a crime against our constitution. It allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens by the military inside the US -- without a trial. It's one of the worst laws ever passed in the US and it passed with nary a peep of opposition. I'm positive that a huge percentage of the population is not even aware of it, partly because the establishment media didn't even bother covering it.

But it appeared for a while that the one guy fighting against it was President Obama. I was incredibly encouraged by that. I shouldn't have been. It turned out at the end that he was threatening to veto the bill because he wanted it to have even more executive power, not less.

Spot the blatant lie in that. Are there no libel laws in America?

But there's more:-

This president has been a disaster for civil liberties. Every time I think about the fact that he used to be a constitutional law professor, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Indefinite detentions, summary executions of US citizens abroad without a trial, warrantless wiretapping and much, much more. All of the things we were outraged Bush did -- and then some. Honestly, it makes me feel a little sick that I voted for him. At least, I could say that I fought tooth and nail against Bush.

And civil liberties abuses are the tip of the iceberg in disappointment with this president. Then there is the comedy of financial reform which doesn't reform a damn thing. There are the zero prosecutions of the top bankers who destroyed our economy through their fraud, took our money and now spit in our face with it. There is the extension of the Bush tax cuts. There is the cave in on nearly every negotiation (the payroll tax cut being the exception that proves the rule (by the way, he "won" on more tax cuts, a profoundly Republican idea). His crowning achievement of healthcare reform was a proposal originally written by the Heritage Foundation. There isn't a Republican idea that President Obama didn't want to cuddle with and adopt as his own.


And to be honest, I'm really disappointed that he does not have a primary opponent. This country is dying for someone who is going to take on the establishment. Who is that going to be on our side -- Barack Obama? On that, I know whether to laugh or cry. Every time I think about the idea that President Obama might be against the establishment, I laugh and laugh and laugh. There is never been a guy who was this enamored with the establishment. If he had wrestling nickname it would be The Establishment.


I would have loved a progressive alternative, but apparently we are not going to get one (except for Rocky Anderson running on the Justice Party ticket). Primaries are the perfect place to send a message without taking away votes in the general election. But it didn't happen because the Democratic establishment says we must fall in line because we wouldn't want to hurt the agenda of the president. The agenda of the president sucks and is deeply Republican. I'd love to at least get him to reconsider that agenda for a second.

OK, let's deconstruct these lies here a bit. Cenk starts this gaggle of lies by channeling his own interpretation of the NDAA. Cenk's a lawyer, and I appreciate that; but I also know that lawyers can also lie in one of two ways and sometimes both: they open their mouths, and they take advantage of a static computer screen which allows them to write anything. And Cenk's done both. In fact, he's done three things, because not only is he issuing lies from his foul mouth, he's issuing even fouler lies by talking out of his even more fouler ass.

Well, I know a lawyer too - one of the honest variety who, from time to time, freaks Glenn Greenwald's mind out so much he has to go hide in the closet with his possums and cry. So you can read here very accurate interpretation of the NDAA here and even moreso here. And for even more proof that Cenk's whipping up a passel of lies, the divine Milt Shook debunks Cenk's spin here.

Now this: There are the zero prosecutions of the top bankers who destroyed our economy through their fraud, took our money and now spit in our face with it.

Financial regulation breathed life again via the Dodd-Frank Bill, written by two top-ranking Democrats in the Senate and the House. Was it the best bill? No. Could it be better? Yes. But they had to write the kind of bill which would pass both Houses, particularly the Senate - and, face it, that was not going to be easy, with the likes of Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Mary Landrieu. And when Dodd-Frank passed, the Democrats didn't have the fabled 60 votes for cloture, so the bill had to be watered down enough to enable one of the three remaining Republican moderates - the two Maine senators and Scott Brown of Massachusetts - to support it.

As for prosecuting the bankers, as the President, himself, said a couple of months ago, what the banks did was immoral, but it was by no means illegal - and that fact was down to deregulationary legislature signed by Ronald Reagan and the Big Dog, himself, Bill Clinton. In fact, it's more Clinton's fault because he signed the law that repealed Glass Steagall and enabled the mortgage bubble to expand and burst.

And this: There is the extension of the Bush tax cuts. There is the cave in on nearly every negotiation (the payroll tax cut being the exception that proves the rule (by the way, he "won" on more tax cuts, a profoundly Republican idea).

What more proof does anyone need that Cenk and the rest of the Professional Left grifters are out of touch with real people's realities. The tax cut compromise effected in 2010 resulted in a plethora of benefits achieved in exchange for the working class, the unemployed and the working poor - the sort of people the Professional Left and many EmoProg Puritopians never consider because these people are not the sort with whom they want to be associated. Besides, such association might give then cooties of the brain.

Funny, how the leading pundits on the Right thought this a singular coup for Barack Obama. Charles Krauthammer certainly understood the magnitude of Obama's achievement in this compromise.

Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 - and House Democrats don't have a clue that he did. In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years - which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?

If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign. And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years. Two-thirds of that is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.

No mean achievement. After all, these are the same Republicans who spent 2010 running on limited government and reducing debt. And this budget busting occurs less than a week after the president's deficit commission had supposedly signaled a new national consensus of austerity and frugality.

Some Republicans are crowing that Stimulus II is the Republican way - mostly tax cuts - rather than the Democrats' spending orgy of Stimulus I. That's consolation? This just means that Republicans are two years too late. Stimulus II will still blow another near-$1 trillion hole in the budget.

At great cost that will have to be paid after this newest free lunch, the package will add as much as 1 percent to GDP and lower the unemployment rate by about 1.5 percentage points. That could easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.

Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party, this-time-we're-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.

And he gets all this in return for what? For a mere two-year postponement of a mere 4.6-point increase in marginal tax rates for upper incomes. And an estate tax rate of 35 percent - it jumps insanely from zero to 55 percent on Jan. 1 - that is somewhat lower than what the Democrats wanted.

The fact that had the President allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire, not only would that very middle class have been worse off, we would never have achieved the repeal of DADT or the First Responders' Bill or the START treaty. If someone like Krauthammer, who's no mean intellect, can see the method in Obama's madness, then why can't the Left? The dumbass Democrats who whined about this in Congress were grandstanders of the first degree. They're politicians. But, I honestly think that the people, themselves, left to their own devices and forced to think for themselves, would have reached the same conclusion as Krauthammer (albeit more positively). Instead, they chose to listen to the corporately-endowed Professional Lefters who deliberately misinform in order to promote their own agendae.

Furthermore, the singular "triumph" Cenk accords the President for the Republican's recent cave-in, wouldn't have even been possible this year, if he hadn't compromised on the tax cuts last year.

And then this: His crowning achievement of healthcare reform was a proposal originally written by the Heritage Foundation.

Well, even Krauthammer understands what the ACA will eventually achieve:-

The left never understood that to nationalize health care there is no need for a public option because Obamacare turns the private insurers into public utilities, thus setting us inexorably on the road to the left's Promised Land: a Canadian-style single-payer system.

That's been proven with some of the ACA benefits which kicked in this year. As well, Cenk should read what one woman, who - like Cenk - spent a lot of her time criticizing what she perceived to be the President's failings, wrote in apology to the President, for how "Obamacare" provided her with insurance cover when she found herself suffering from breast cancer.

Cenk is crawling from the woodwork, along - I imagine - with numerous other friends who'll latch onto the "civil liberties deprivation" theme as a stick with which to beat the President. They'll uses the civil liberties riposte to justify their support for a Ron Paul candidacy whilst ignoring the open racism Paul espoused whilst clouding their own behind a mask of patronisation and euphemistic dog whistles. Dog whistling, like other forms of language, evolves too.

Or else, the meme will be "don't vote." As we've already seen, Bill Maher got ahead of the game in promoting this as early as September. Then Michael Moore appropriated the Occupy movement to spread the same message.

And now Cenk's building up his "uncommitted" message to send to the President. Well, we might want to think about the sort of message this bully likes to send and never lose sight of the fact that Cenk is, at heart, always a corporate whore and a Republican.

It took less than five minutes for that fabled Occupy protester to smoke Cenk and his creature, Dylan Ratigan, out in this video, where Cenk can be seen patronisingly "shushing" a man from calling his and Ratigan's bullshit. Let's remember:-

This guy had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to call the Professional Left liars to their face, and what did they do? They ran.

For those of us real liberals, this is going to be the queen mother of all political battles, because we'll be fighting on two fronts. Make no mistake: Cenk wants you willing and uncommitted - uncommitted enough to stay home. Stay home and allow a Republican victory. Either way, Cenk wins.

Or do we simply want to be ratfucked forever?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mark Steyn Makes a Point to Consider

I am neither a fan of Bill Maher, and I'm certainly not a fan of Canadian conservative commentator, Mark Steyn, who's sitting in this week for Sean Hannity.

In case you weren't aware, Bill Maher, who's beginning a tenth season of Real Time in January, chose to remind his sheeple (and the rest of us) that he was still "relevant" by tweeting this on Christmas Eve:-

Wow, Jesus just fucked #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them’

This, of course, caused outrage - well, at least it did on Fox News.

I'm of the opinion that Fox and Bill Maher feed each other's fantasies. Maher appears regularly on Bill O'Reilly's show - being a close friend, he would. He constantly quips jokes and snide remarks about Fox on his program. And various other commentators pretend to be outraged whenever he says something which he knows will deliberately outrage the Right, specifically, the religious Right. Knowing what a starfucker and publicity-seeker Maher is and what a corporate hack the likes of Hannity and most of his ilk at Fox are, they're probably grateful for the inadvertant publicity they provide each other.

Come to think of it, I'm no great fan of Tim Tebow or, indeed, of anyone who espouses ostentatious shows of religion. Strip away the fanfare, and you've probably got a raging hypocrite behind the finery.

But Fox pundit Andy Levy offered an entirely different reaction to Maher's allegedly offensive tweet when he guested on a Hannity panel, moderated by Steyn.

“Bill Maher tweeted this for one reason and one reason only: to get a rise out of people. Why give him the satisfaction?” Levy argued, suggesting that “people need to stop being outraged at what comedians say” because “part of their job is to say things that are outrageous.” “He’s not a politician, he’s not running for office, he’s got a show on HBO and he’s a comedian– who cares?” he concluded.

This is very true, but Steyn's riposte was more prescient.

Steyn agreed, except to add that, in a world of “politically correct comedy,” comedians have their feet held to the fire for far less outrageous offenses ... noted as well that there were comedians like Maher and, to some extent, Jon Stewart, who also wanted political influence, and when they demand to be taken seriously, they should be held to a different standard.

This is actually a very valid point, because Bill Maher does want to be taken seriously. If you watch his program, the only comic elements are his monologue at the beginning and the New Rules section at the end. The opening interview and the panel discussion are a direct aping of shows like Meet the Press. There's no satire there. The discussion is deadly serious. Maher wants to be a pundit. He's the only comedian/satirist/whatever who appears regularly on political opinion shows with the likes of Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, John King or his BFF Billo on Fox. Stewart's appearances on those shows are rare, limited only to programs fronted by personal friends such as Brian Williams, Chris Wallace or - again - Billo. But Maher is everywhere, and his fans are legion.

When he's not subtly encouraging Progressives not to vote, he's regularly impugning and undermining the President, he's maligning him as "wimpy and wussy" on such serious discussion shows as that fronted by Fareed Zakaria.

The standard meme he's been pushing this past year is to imply that by the end of Barack Obama's four years in Office, we've seen no real Democratic policies, and this is one abject and open lie.

Maher has a gaggle of followers who are fervent to the point of almost being religious in their devotion. To them, Maher speaks the truth. Point out, with proof, any fallacy in his argument, and they turn a deaf ear or move the goalposts. These people are influenced by him, by his words and by his critiques; and his criticism of the President has devolved into open race-baiting.

Who, after hearing a person whom they acknowledge to be of superior intellect and acumen, would even think of voting for the President when such fallacies are promoted as truths?

So, as much as it pains me to do so, I agree with Mark Steyn in this instance. Bill Maher is insinuating his way into political discourse, holding the comedians' banner as a shield and a defence for the various times he's actually caught out in a blatant untruth. After all, he can say, he's only a comedian.

But he's not, and as someone who willfully disseminates the truth and imparts deliberate misinformation and lies to misguided and trusting fanatics, he's got to be held to a higher standard - as he holds this President; and, thus, he deserves to have his lies exposed - hopefully, to his face and publically.

The irony of all this is that Bill is constantly holding up Canada and Canadians to his masses of fans as superior to the America he derides as stupid, and Mark Steyn is Canadian.

I guess Bill is right about Canadians, at least.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Meanwhile, While the Left Was Looking for Reasons to Criticize the President ...

Three years have passed. That's three years when Democratic voters of all stripes could have built a viable coalition behind the President's leadership. (Yes, Professional Left, he does lead. He leads; you stir shit).

And whilst the Professional Left were busy pretending to be a friend of the sheeple who hang on their every word, whilst these selfsame sheeple depended on the celebrity talking head icons to assume their "voice," strange things happened.

First, a strident voice of the Professional Left called on his supporters to boycott the 2010 Midterms. This would "show" the President a thing or two. Well, it did. It showed him something that he already knew: that when turnouts are low, Republicans profit; and so we now have a Republican House of Representatives consisting of some of the most ignorant dumbasses ever to sit in that hallowed chamber.

Secondly, Republicans scored big in state elections as well, resulting in the fact that most state governors now are Republican. Now the Republicans know as well that when large numbers of people vote, the result usually favours the Democrats; therefore many Republican-controlled State legislatures implemented legalised efforts to deprive certain demographics of the basic right to vote.

Some measures were so extreme by some states, it harkened back to the days of poll taxes and literacy tests. Specific demographics targeted were usually the elderly, ethnic minorities and students - especially students.

But a strange phenomenon occurred. All the while this legislation was being passed, state by state, the liberal media voices - MSNBC and Current - said diddly-squat. No, indeedy. They were having far too much fun lambasting the President. Big mouthed satirists like Bill Maher ignored it as well. Far easier to lob missiles from the sidelines at President Sanford and Son.

Now, chickens have come home to roost.

Today's New York Times lists just some of the efforts that have legislatively been invested in keeping college students away from the polls.

Political leaders should be encouraging young adults to participate in civic life, but many Republican state lawmakers are doing everything they can instead to prevent students from voting in the 2012 presidential election. Some have openly acknowledged doing so because students tend to be liberal.

Seven states have already passed strict laws requiring a government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or a passport) to vote, which many students don’t have, and 27 others are considering such measures. Many of those laws have been interpreted as prohibiting out-of-state driver’s licenses from being used for voting.

It’s all part of a widespread Republican effort to restrict the voting rights of demographic groups that tend to vote Democratic. Blacks, Hispanics, the poor and the young, who are more likely to support President Obama, are disproportionately represented in the 21 million people without government IDs. On Friday, the Justice Department, finally taking action against these abuses, blocked the new voter ID law in South Carolina.

Republicans usually don’t want to acknowledge that their purpose is to turn away voters, especially when race is involved, so they invented an explanation, claiming that stricter ID laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud. In fact, there is almost no voter fraud in America to prevent.

William O’Brien, the speaker of the New Hampshire State House, told a Tea Party group earlier this year that students are “foolish” and tend to “vote their feelings” because they lack life experience. “Voting as a liberal,” he said, “that’s what kids do.” And that’s why, he said, he supported measures to prohibit students from voting from their college addresses and to end same-day registration. New Hampshire Republicans even tried to pass a bill that would have kept students who previously lived elsewhere from voting in the state; fortunately, the measure failed, as did the others Mr. O’Brien favored.

Many students have taken advantage of Election Day registration laws, which is one reason Maine Republicans passed a law eliminating the practice. Voters restored it last month, but Republican lawmakers there are already trying new ways to restrict voting. The secretary of state said he was investigating students who are registered to vote in the state but pay out-of-state tuition.

Wisconsin once made it easy for students to vote, making it one of the leading states in turnout of younger voters in 2004 and 2008. When Republicans swept into power there last year, they undid all of that, imposing requirements that invalidated the use of virtually all college ID cards in voter registration. Colleges are scrambling to change their cards to add signatures and expiration dates, but it’s not clear whether the state will let them.

Imposing these restrictions to win an election will embitter a generation of students in its first encounter with the machinery of democracy.

Quite right, but I feel the author of this article is wrong when he implies that the Justice Department was late to rally to counter these measures. The media had a part to play in publicizing what was happening as well. I didn't expect Fox to point out this atrocity, but I expected better from MSNBC and Current.

Instead, they've spent their time trying to take down the President; so all those young people who aren't disenfranchised by the odious actions of some states, will be dissuaded from voting anyway via the odious remarks made by the celebrities in whom they invest admiration and trust for political commentary and guidance - even though one of the most popular members of the Professional Left doesn't vote, himself.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Liberal PaulBots, Your Leader Says Education Isn't a Right

In case you're one of those disaffected Liberals, who aren't really Liberals at all, who are toying with the idea that Ron Paul could give you everything you think Barack Obama should have given you but didn't, live with this: Ron Paul does not think education is a right.

There is the proof. People are entitled to their property rights (he says it again, to Cenky-Stank this time) but no one has an automatic right to education, nor should anyone expect the government to pay for an individual's education.

I know that in this clip, Paul and Cenky-Stank are talking about higher education - as in university education, with Paul going all starry-eyed about how things were in his day, when college tuition cost a mere $350 per semester (a lot of money fifty years ago for poor people to find); but the truth is, Paul also believes this about education in general, and there are a growing number of people in the GOP who don't believe that Federal or state-funded free education for kindergarten through twelfth grade is a basic right for anyone at all. So public schools would be in danger of being wiped off the map under a Paul Presidency.

Of course, all those affluent, well-educated and prosperous Progressives wouldn't have any qualms about that now, would they? This would only affect poor people.

Strange Bedfellows

Zaid Jilani, a proud Southerner, doesn't think Ron Paul is at all racist. He tweets:-


Zaid Jilani is the Jimmy Olsen of Think Progress, the little kid they've let sit at the big kids' table; but if his bosses at Think really do think twice, they might think again about letting Zaid roam loose outside his stroller, because he's one of a growing bunch of Progressives who've morphed so much into Paulbots that they're as much in denial about Ron Paul's racist past (and present) as the real hardcore Paulites are in hiding it.

Let's be brutally honest for Zaid's sake: Ron Paul is a racist, and no matter how much he tries to deny it now, for expediency's sake, he is a racist. He invites support from white supremacists. An article in today's New York Times lists the frightening number of white supremacist and militia organisations who have made financial contributions and openly endorsed the Paul candidacy.

One of the organisations listed is Stormfront, which is the online identity of the American Nazi Party. Ron Paul has even, on occasion, allowed himself to be photographed with Don Black, who is the website's director and who is married to the ex-wife of David Dukes:-

Even though Ron Paul "disavows" these people and the views they hold, he doesn't distance himself from them. Once again, let's be simple for Zaid's sake: These people do not like black people. They do not like Jews. They do not like Muslims, especially brown or black Muslims. They have scant regard for Catholics. They believe in the supremacy of white Protestant America.

Regrettably, Zaid Jilani is not a part of white Protestant America.

If Zaid has any doubt about racist rhetoric contained in Uncle Ron's newsletters, he can have a read of them here. Or as The Chicago Magazine summarises them:-

Racist rhetoric is only the half of it. There's homophobia ("the reporter--who certainly had an axe to grind, and that's not easy with a limp wrist"; "[gays] enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick [i.e. getting AIDS]"), stock conspiracy theory ("In his speech to fellow Bohemians, Reagan advocated the old Trilateralist agenda item of four-year terms for Congressmen"—okay, the Reagan bit is pretty novel), a bizarro defense of chess legend and legendary antisemite Bobby Fischer ("all the makings of an American hero"), and much, much more. I don't think Paul's stances against the drug war and Pentagon funding are the only reasons the GOP is loathe to embrace Paul; no one much likes talking about the crazy uncle.

Paul's defense is that he disavows the various Ron Paul newsletters, didn't write them, and furthermore had no idea what was in them. There are two options: 1) he's lying, which is bad 2) he's not lying, which is at best embarrassing. If the latter is true, that also means he's been lying about them, at least by omission.

But for all that, Ron Paul is on record as claiming responsibility for his newsletters, as evidenced in this clip from 1995:-

As the divine Bob Cesca points out, Paul is actively promoting these newsletters here. He grasps responsibility by the lexicon he uses - "I do a newsletter" (active mode). He doesn't pass responsibility to others whom he later will claim wrote what they wrote without his knowledge (and from which he earned millions of dollars).

Associations with racist organisations seem to be part-and-parcel of the Paul family. As goes the father, so goes the son. I would imagine that Zaid, like many of his idealogical ilk, hate, detest and despise Ron's son, Rand Paul - but why? There is no difference politically, except that Rand more openly espoused his affinity with the Tea Party movement than his father did, which may make him unpalatable to Progressives. However, since Jesse Benton, a known white supremacist with links to the American Nazi Party, was Rand's campaign manager, it does seem odd that these white-sheet types seem to gravitate toward the Paul political family, who do nothing to separate the wheat from the chaff.

This isn't a matter of bad communication or an old man's views evolving into something more tolerant over time. The one constant that has never ceased to amaze me during the past three years of Barack Obama's seminal Presidency is how the election of our first African American President has succeeded in bringing racist cockroaches crawling from the woodwork on both Right and Left.

Any so-called Progressive or Liberal who is ready to abandon the most liberal President since Lyndon Johnson with the excuse that a curmudgeonly septuagenarian country doctor with racist and homophobic viewpoints, amongst other things, holds the key to their hopes is neither Progressive nor Liberal. If that Liberal or Progressive is comfortable enough to share a tent with Stormfront and other white supremacists, I would remind him of an old Southern saying:-

You lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas.

Zaid Jilani is a brown, Muslim Southerner, who says he can't identify racism because he isn't black but brown. Bullshit. In many parts of the South, brown is black - especially if brown is accompanied by the identifying proper adjective "Muslim." Zaid, those nice people you talk to who surround Ron Paul don't really like you. They're nice in the way "Southern hospitality" is superficially nice. For you to want to be like them or join in their jamboree defines you in others' eyes as the most pathetic kind of oreo; because at the end of the day, those people in Paul's court and likewise will only define you as a white man's nigger.

That's your choice.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Gift to Bill Maher (and Other Professional Left Sheeple)

Happy Festivus, Bill ... I know you're back in a few weeks and you'll be in Hawaii soon. Stalking the President, are you? Well, here's something of which those of us pragmatics would like to remind you ... it's a whopping big L-I-E you told this past autumn, and the extent of that lie should mean you have a burning probiscus in the middle of your face.

I'll let the divine Bob Cesca inform you. It's about the recent NDAA Bill he signed, with a special statement. I know you'll expound about this in January, using the usual Professional Left talking points, without ever bothering to read the legislation or to understand it. I just want you to understand THIS:-

A provision contained within the bill that put a tear in John Boehner’s beer this week, the bill which includes a 2 month extension of payroll tax-cuts and unemployment benefits, is a provision that specifically prohibits the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and President Obama has issued a statement reiterating his opposition to this provision.

In this bill, the Congress has once again included provisions that would bar the use of appropriated funds for transfers of Guantanamo detainees into the United States (section 8119 of Division A), as well as transfers to the custody or effective control of foreign countries unless specified conditions are met (section 8120 of Division A). These provisions are similar to others found in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. My Administration has repeatedly communicated my objections to these provisions, including my view that they could, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. In approving this bill, I reiterate the objections my Administration has raised regarding these provisions, my intent to interpret and apply them in a manner that avoids constitutional conflicts, and the promise that my Administration will continue to work towards their repeal.

To recap:

- President Obama signed an executive order on the day he took office in 2009 to close Guantanamo Bay

- This is the fourth time since 2009 that Congress has voted to block the closure of Guantanamo Bay

- Congress has voted overwhelmingly, in a bipartisan fashion, each of those four times to block the closure of Guantanamo Bay

The good news is, there is one provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that grants the president the discretion to hold civilian trials for detainees. And while some would argue that it shouldn’t be a matter of discretion, I would point out that having the discretion is better than having no choice other than military trials, which is what we have right now.

Got that, Bill? Obama never lied about his intention to close Guantanmo Bay. His Executive Order was overridden by Congress - bipartisanly. Even Saint Bernie Sanders, a regular puppet guest on your panel doesn't want Gitmo closed. And now they've shafted closure as fourth time.

I would hope you had integrity enough as an educated man to address this and to admit publically that you were wrong; but since that would mean you would look too much like a pussy, I doubt you will. Still, it's nice to know that Goebbels's Big Lie propaganda against which both your parents fought in the Second World War is alive and well and enjoying a new lease on life it's taken in the depths of your soul. You and your buddies in the Professional Left follow the Big Lie propaganda motif so well.

Your parents must be proud you turned out so well and that their fight against Big Lie propaganda was not in vein.

I'd like to take that latest bill and stick it up your scrawny ass.

Merry Christmas now. Y'all.

Chris Matthews Yearns for the Early Sixties (and Revises History)

In case you didn't know it, Chris Matthews has got a book to sell; so in these last few shopping days before Festivus - oops! sorry, Festivus is today - Christmas, he pimped out his wife to help sales of the book.

Chris must not be getting many media people interested in what, essentially, is his book of Kennedy myths, because he has to keep asking people to interview him. First, he asked Howard Fineman, professional hack, and Mike Barnacle, professional plagiarist, to interview him on his own show, for fuck's sake. Then he asked radio talkshow host Larry Elder to interview him and goes apoplectic before embarrassing himself.

This time, he played it safe and asked his wife, the fragrant Kathleen, to visit his last show before Christmas and nudge everyone in the direction of Chris's book as a last-minute stocking-filler.

You can watch the interview below, with the fun and games beginning around the three-minute mark:-

Several things of import occurred in this article. First, it's patently obvious that Chris is closer akin to Ron Paul than he'd ever care to admit. Chris wants everything to be just the way it was when Kennedy was King President - when the guys wore skinny ties and women essentially stayed at home, unless they were single. Then they were secretaries, stewardesses for Pan Am or teachers who got paid less than their male colleagues. And, hey, what's a little chauvinism when that was such a better, can-do time.

Well, it was if you were a white male.

That's the first reason Chris is extending his ueber bout of Kennedy man love. He clearly longs to return to the time which not only he, but Ron Paul, liked best. You know, when the poor knew their place and when black was black and white was justice. When women went to college or into theh workforce to find a husband. When things were neat and pristine, not sloppy the way they were in the late Sixties.

I suppose Chris expected an easy ride from "his Queen," so you can imagine his surprise when - right at the three-minute mark - she dropped a stinker question about Kennedy's role in the Civil Rights Movement, which resulted in one of the biggest lies a political journalist has ever told on television.

According to Chris, Kennedy went down to Mississippi and confronted then-Governor Ross Barnett. Directly. Not only that, but Kennedy told him that Barnett was, indeed, going to admit black people to the University of Mississippi, that that was the law. And he told George Wallace the same thing too. And for added measure, he sent in Federal troops to scare the bejaysus out of those unreconstructed rebels.

Yep, Kennedy took action. He was a leader in the Civil Rights movement, according to Chris. He single-handedly propelled Civil Rights through the Sixties to the point that his Civil Rights legacy existed well after his untimely death. He got things done, that Kennedy - not like this uppity ingrate who lives in the White House now.

Only, Kennedy didn't do any of the above.

As a Senator, Kennedy actually voted against the Eisenhower 1957 Civil Rights Act.(Lyndon Johnson voted for it). During his 1960 campaign, he tailored his talks to Northern Democrats as being pro-civil rights, whilst he told a different tale entirely to the South.

And as for schooling that dumbfuck Rebel governor, Ross Barnett, he didn't. Contact with Barnett, during the protests which arose when James Meredith tried to register for classes at Ole Miss, was by telephone. If you listen to the conversations, you'll see that Kennedy sounds anything but gung ho about enforcing civil rights to African Americans. Basically, he's doing what he has to do, what the law obliges him to do, and nothing more. Hey, Ross, this is his job description, no hard feelings.

Succinctly, the whole Meredith situation was a mess. When Bobby Kennedy, as Attorney General, couldn't get Ross Barnett, the governor who was also a Democrat and a member of the notorious Citizens' Council gang, to see sense, he passed the buck to the President. Kennedy had to ring Barnett and discuss the situation. Here's Kennedy using the so-called "bully pulpit." (The transcripts are below the player).


President Kennedy: Hello? Hello, Governor?

Governor Barnett: All right. Yes.

JFK: How are you?

RB: Is this . . .

JFK: This is the president, uh . . .

RB: Oh. Well, Mr. President, [words unintelligible].

JFK: Well, I'm glad to talk to you, Governor. I am concerned about, uh, this situation, uh, down
there, as I know, uh . . .

RB: Oh, I should say I am concerned about it, Mr. President. It's, it's, it's a horrible situation.

JFK: Well, now, here's my problem Governor.

RB: [Words unintelligible, interrupting] Yes.

JFK: This, uh, listen, I didn't, uh, put him in the university, but on the other hand, under the Constitution, I have to carry out the orders of the, carry that order out and I don't, I get, uh, I don't want to do it in any way that causes, uh, difficulty to you or to anyone else. But I've got to do it. Now, I'd like to get your help in doing that.

RB: Yes. Well, uh, have you talked with, uh, attorney general this morning?

JFK: Yeah. I talked to him and, uh, in fact, I just met with him for about an hour, and we went
over the situation.

RB: Uh, did he and Mr. Watkins have a talk this morning? Tom Watkins, the lawyer from
Jackson, or not?

JFK: Uh, yes, he talked to Tom Watkins. He told me.

RB: Yes, sir. Well, I don't know what. . .Well, I don't know what uh, I haven't had a chance to talk with him.

JFK: Now just wait just one minute, because I've got the attorney general in the outer office, and I'll just speak to him.

RB : All right.

(Governor Barnett put on hold)

JFK: Hello, uh, Governor?

RB: Yes. Hold on . . .

JFK: I just talked to the attorney general. Now, he said that he talked to Mr. Watkins, and the
problem is as to whether we can get, uh, the, we can get some help in getting this fellow in, uh, this week.

RB: Yes.

JFK: Now, evidently we couldn't, the attorney general didn't feel that, uh, he and Mr. Watkins
had reached any final agreement on that.

RB: Well, uh, Mr. President, Mr. Watkins is going to fly up there early tomorrow morning.

JFK: Right.

RB: And, uh, could you gentlemen talk with him tomorrow? You . . .
JFK: Yes, I will have the attorney general talk to him and then, uh ...
RB: Yes.
JFK: . . . after they've finished talking I' ll talk to the attorney general, on the phone and then if
he feels it's useful for me to meet with him . . .
RB: I thought . . .
JFK: . . . I'll do that
RB: I thought they were making some progress. I didn't know.

JFK: Well, now, he and, if he and Mr. Watkins, they can meet tomorrow. Now, the difficulty is, uh, we got two or three problems. In the first place, what can we do to, uh, what can we do to uh ... First place is the court's order to you, which I guess is, you're given until Tuesday. What is your feeling on that?

RB: Well, I want . . .

JFK: What's your position on that?

RB: . . . to think it over, Mr. President.

JFK: Right.

RB: Uh, it, it's a serious matter, now I want to think it over a few days. Until Tuesday, anyway.

JFK: Alright. Well, now let me, let me say this, uh . . .

RB: .I know what I am up against, Mr. President. I took an oath, you know, to abide by the laws
of this state . . .

JFK: That's right.

RB: . . . and our constitution here and the Constitution of the United States. I'm, I'm on the spot here, you know.

JFK: Well, now you've got, uh . . .

RB: I, I've taken an oath to do that, and you know what our laws are with reference to . . .

JFK: Yes, I understand that. Well, now we've got the . . .

RB: . . . we have a statute that was enacted a couple of weeks ago stating positively that no one who had been convicted of a crime or, uh, whether the criminal action pending against them
would not be eligible for any of the institutions of higher learning. And, uh, that's our law, and it seemed like the Court of Appeal didn't pay any attention to that.

JFK: Right. Well, of course, the problem is, Governor, that, uh, I got my responsibility, just like you have yours . . .

RB: Well, that's true. I . . .

JFK: . . . and my responsibility, of course, is to the . . .

RB: . . . I realize that, and I appreciate that so much.

JFK: Well, now here's the thing, uh, Governor, I will, uh, the attorney general can talk to, uh,
Mr. Watkins tomorrow. What I want, would like to do is to try to work this out in an amicable
way. We don't want a lot of people down there getting hurt . . .

RB: Oh, that's right.

JFK: --and we don't want to have a -- You know it's very easy to-

RB: Mr. President, let me say this. They're calling, calling me and others from all over the state, wanting to bring a thousand, wanting to bring f ive hundred, and two hundred, and all such as that, you know.

JFK: I know, well the . . .

RB: We don't want such as that.

JFK: I know. Well, we don't want to have a, we don't want to have a lot of people getting hurt or killed down there.

RB: Why, that's, that's correct. Uh, Mr. President, let me say this. Mr. Watkins is really an A-1 lawyer, an honorable man, has the respect and the confidence of every lawyer in America who
knows him. He's of the law firm of Watkins & Eager. They have, they've had an "A" rating for
many, many years, and, uh, uh, I believe this, that that he can help solve this problem.

JFK: Well, I will, uh, the attorney general will see Mr. Watkins tomorrow, and then I, after the
attorney general and Mr. Watkins are finished then, uh, I will be back in touch with you.

RB: All r ight. All right. I'll appreciate it so much, now, and, uh, there . . .. Watkins'll leave here in the morning, and I'll have him to get into touch with the, uh, attorney general as to when they, he, he can see him tomorrow.

JFK: Yeah, he'll see him and, uh . . .

RB: Yes, sir.

JFK: . . . we will, uh, then you and I'll be back and talk again.

RB: All right.

JFK: Thank you.
RB: All right.

JFK: Okay.

RB: I appreciate your interest in our poultry program and all those things.

JFK: Well, we're . . .

RB: Thank you so much.

JFK: Okay, Governor. Thank you.

RB: Yes, sir. All right now.

JFK: Bye now.

I guess that was JFK being forceful with ol'Ross. Even after that softly, softly approach, Governor Barnett was still recalcitrant, but Kennedy totally underestimated Barnett. Instead, he took the typical Northerner's view toward a hick, backwoods, dumbshit Southerner, as historian Taylor Branch exposed:-

President Kennedy apparently thought Barnett was a pushover. After the call, he turned to his brother and said, "You've been fighting a sofa pillow all week." But JFK was wrong. According to civil rights historian Taylor Branch, Ross Barnett had the president and attorney general wrapped around his finger.

"He's being kind of a yokel and saying 'Thanks for your help on the poultry program'," Branch says. "But Bobby Kennedy and Jack Kennedy are running Meredith up and down and trying to do whatever Barnett wants, so Barnett is not too upset...They're never sure whether he's making a fool of them or they're making a fool of him. But they know as the evenings go on, they feel less and less in control, so the suspicion starts to rise that maybe Barnett's making a fool of them."

So here's the second talk-tough phonecall:-


President Kennedy: Governor, this is the President speaking.

Governor Barnett: Yes, sir.

JFK: Now it's, I know that your feeling about the law of Mississippi and the fact that you don't want to carry out that court order. What we really want to have from you, though, is some understanding about whether the state police will maintain law and order. We understand your feeling about the court order and your disagreement with it. But what we're concerned about is how much violence is going to be and what kind of action we'll have to take to prevent it. And I'd like to get assurances from you that the state police down there will take positive action to maintain law and order. Then we'll know what we have to do.

RB: They'll, they'll take positive action, Mr. President, to maintain law and order as best we can.

JFK: And now, how good is--

RB: [interupting] We'll have 220 highway patrolmen--

JFK: Right.

RB: --and they'll absolutely be unarmed.

RB: Not a one of them'll be armed.

JFK: Well, the problem is, well, what can they do to maintain law and order and prevent the gathering of a mob and action taken by the mob? What can they do? Can they stop that?

RB: Well, they'll do their best to. They'll do everything in their power to stop it.

JFK: Now, what about the suggestions made by the Attorney General in regard to not permitting people to congregate and start a mob?

RB: Well, we'll do our best to, to keep them from congregating, but that's hard to do, you know.

JFK: Well, they just tell them to move along.

RB: When they start moving up on the sidewalks and different sides of the streets, what are you going to do about it?

JFK: Well, now, as I understand it, Governor, you would do everything you can to maintain law and order.

RB: I, I, I'll do everything in my power to maintain order--

JFK: Right. Now--

RB: --and peace. We don't want any shooting down here.

JFK: I understand. Now, Governor, what about, can you maintain this order?

RB: Well, I don't know.

RB: That's what I'm worried about you see. I don't know whether I can or not.

JFK: Right.

RB: I couldn't have the other afternoon. There was such a mob there, it would have been impossible. There were men in there with trucks and shotguns, and all such as that. Not a lot of them, but some, we saw, and certain people were just, they were just enraged.

JFK: Well, now, will you talk--

RB: You just don't understand the situation down here.

JFK: Well, the only thing is I got my responsibility.

RB: I know you do.

JFK: This is not my order, I just have to carry it out. So I want to get together and try to do it with you in a way, which is the most satisfactory and causes the least chance of damage to people in Mississippi. That's my interest.

RB: That's right. Would you be willing to wait awhile and let the people cool off on the whole thing?

JFK: Until how long?

RB: Couldn't you make a statement to the effect, Mr. President, Mr. General, that under the circumstances existing in Mississippi, that, uh, there'll be bloodshed; you want to protect the life of, of, of James Meredith and all other people? And under the circumstances at this time, it just wouldn't be fair to him or others to try to register him at this time.

JFK: Well, then at what time would it be fair?

RB: Well, we, we could wait a, I don't know. It might be in, uh, two or three weeks, it might cool off a little.

JFK: Well, would you undertake to register him in two weeks?

RB: Well, I, you know I can't undertake to register him myself--

JFK: I see.

RB: --but you all might make some progress that way, you know.

JFK: Yeah. Well, we'd be faced with, unless we had your support and assurance, we'd be--

RB: I say I'm going to, I'm going to cooperate. I might not know when you're going to register him, you know.

JFK: I see. Well, now,Governor, why don't, do you want to talk to Mr.Watkins?

RB: I might not know that, what your plans were, you see.

JFK: Do you want to, do you want to talk to Mr. Watkins then?

RB: I'll be delighted to talk to him, and we'll call you back.

JFK: Okay, good.

RB: Call the general back?

JFK: Yeah, call the general, and then I'll be around.

RB: All right. I appreciate it so much.

JFK: Thanks, Governor.

RB: I thank you for this call.

JFK: Thank you, Governor.

RB: All right.

JFK: Right.

RB: Bye.

Right. Now the negotiations begin about registering Meredith as a student - backroom negotiations, secret negotiations between Bobby Kennedy and Barnett's people. One aborted plan called for state police to confront Barnett at Ole Miss, with one officer drawing his gun, upon which Barnett would step aside and allow Meredith to register. Think about that - Bobby Kennedy, the Attorney General, not only signed off on that plan, he fomented it. You can read the transcripts of Kennedy's and Barnett's plottings here.

Why was this done? Well, it's simple. The Kennedys were Democrats; Ross Barnett was a Democrat. Different sorts, but Democrats all the same. In the early 1960s, the South was solidly Democratic, and - moreso than they do today - the Democrats actually needed the South. So this elaborate piece of kabuki theatre was devised so that Ross Barnett could save face. He could say that he had been forced, at gunpoint, to register James Meredith as a student at Ole Miss. Desegregation, it could be said, would have arrived at gunpoint. And it wouldn't hurt Kennedy either - both men could say that the Constitution was being enforced at gunpoint. But this plan was abandoned as too risky.

The situation in Mississippi was too volatile at that minute to register him as a student. Barnett then threw Kennedy a lifeline, saying things would quiet down in about three weeks. Kennedy haggles for two weeks, and Barnett gets cagey. Then Kennedy asks him if he could maintain order. Barnett assures him that he could - unless Meredith were registered - then he couldn't guarantee what might happen.

And Kennedy passes the buck. He caves.

Even though Barnett eventually promised Kennedy he would keep order, this happened the following day at the Ole Miss-Kentucky football game. Keep in mind that this is September 1962:-

Pay particular attention to the Governor's words against a backdrop of Confederate flags. That was on the night of Saturday, September 29th, 1962.

Earlier that Saturday, President Kennedy thought he had a deal brokered with Governor Barnett. James Meredith would be allowed to register for classes in Jackson, Mississippi, whilst the Governor would be in Oxford. That way, Barnett could say he didn't know about the registration and he could blame the Federal government for duping him.

More kabuki theatre.

Once again, Barnett backed out of this agreement, and the plan now reverted to the original one - Meredith would be escorted into Oxford by Federal marshals, in order to register for classes. When word of this leaked, angry mobs formed in Oxford, awaiting Meredith's arrival. When Bobby Kennedy heard of the situation, he phoned Ross Barnett and issued a bare threat: Allow Meredith to register, or the President would go on national television that evening and reveal all of the backroom negotiations concerned with this registration - titbits that would expose Barnett for the duplitious liar that he was. You can read the transcript of this bizarre phonecall here.

At any rate, the Attorney General's threat worked. If Barnett had been exposed as having been in secret negotiations with the Kennedys, his political career would be over. He agreed with the President and Attorney General to get James Meredith safely onto the University campus that Sunday evening, and he could register safely for classes on Monday morning.

The President thought he had effected a bloodless coup, and therefore, with confidence, he addressed the nation that evening, emphasizing what had, apparently, been accomplished, non-violently, in this desegregation effort.

Americans are free, in short, to disagree with the law but not to disobey it. For in a government of laws and not of men, no man, however prominent or powerful, and no mob, however unruly or boisterous, is entitled to defy a court of law. If this country should ever reach the point where any man or group of men by force or threat of force could long defy the commands of our court and our Constitution, then no law would stand free from doubt, no judge would be sure of his writ, and no citizen would be safe from his neighbors.

This speech, however, was precipitate. As Kennedy spoke, the air in Oxford, Mississippi, was blue. Riots were in full force, riots that would result in the deaths of two people. Once again, the President was on the phone with the Governor, demanding that he take control of the situation in Oxford.


President Kennedy: Well, we can't consider moving Meredith as long as, you know, there's a riot outside, 'cause he wouldn't be safe.

Governor Barnett: Sir?

JFK: We couldn't consider moving Meredith if you -- if we haven't been able to restore order outside. That's the problem, Governor.

RB: Well, uh, I'll tell you what I'll do, Mr. President. I'll go up there myself--

JFK: Well, now, how long will it take you to get there?

RB: --andI'll get a microphone and tell 'em that uh, you have agreed for him to be removed.

JFK: No. No. Now, wait a minute. How long--Wait a minute, Governor. Now, how long is it going to take you to get up there?

RB: 'Bout an hour.

JFK: Now, I'll tell you what you- if you want to go up there and then you call me from up there. Then we'll decide what we're gonna do before you make any speeches about it.

RB: Well, all right.

JFK: No sense in, uh...

RB: ...I mean, whatever you, if you'd authorize...

JFK: You see, if we don't, we got an hour to go, and that's not, uh, we may not have an hour.

RB: Uh, this, this man--

JFK: Won't it take you an hour to get up there?

RB: --this man has just died.

JFK: Did he die?

RB: Yes.

JFK: Which one? State police?

RB: A state policeman.

JFK: Yeah, well, you see, we gotta get order up there, and that's what we thought we're going to have.

RB: Mr. President, please. Why don't you, uh, can't you give an order up there to remove Meredith?

JFK: How can I remove him, Governor, when there's a riot in the street, and he may step out of that building and something happen to him? I can't remove him under those conditions.

RB: Uh, but, but--

JFK: Let's get order up there, then we can do something about Meredith.

RB: We can surround it with plenty of officials.

JFK: Well, we've gotta get somebody up there now to get order and stop the firing and the shooting. Then when, you and and I will talk on the phone about Meredith. But first we've got to get order.

RB: I'll call and tell them to get every official they can.

JFK: That's right, then you and I will talk. When they've got order there, then you and I will talk about what's the best thing to do about Meredith.

RB: All right then.

JFK: Well, thank you.

RB: All right.

Though there were several more conversations, in the end, Kennedy had to do what he really didn't want to do - send in Federal troops. But that escapade in no way taught the recalcitrant Southern governors that segregation was simply unconstitutional, and it would take a subsequent President, a Southerner, to sign the actual Civil Rights Act in 1964.

The actual truth was, although Chris Matthews refuses to admit it, that Kennedy didn't give much priority status to civil rights at all. As the BBC documentary, JFK: The Making of Modern Politics assessed:-

In office Kennedy made some terrible overseas blunders (though kept his nerve over the Cuban missile crisis) and was slow on domestic policy, particularly civil rights. Had he lived longer, I think he would have had a lower presidential reputation.

However, the UK's History Learning website offers this assessment of Kennedy's attitude toward civil rights' issues:-

Kennedy put political realism before any form of beliefs when he voted against Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Act. The route from bill to act nearly served to tear apart the Republicans and the Democrats were almost united to a politician in their opposition to the bill/act. Kennedy had aspirations to be the Democrats next presidential candidate in the 1960 election. If he was seen to be taking the party line and demonstrating strong leadership with regards to opposing the bill, this would do his chances no harm whatsoever. This proved to be the case and Kennedy lead the Democrats to victory over Richard Nixon in 1960.

However, during the presidential campaign and after he was nominated for the Democrats, Kennedy made it clear in his speeches that he was a supporter of civil rights. Historians are divided as to why he was ‘suddenly’ converted. Some saw the opposition to the 1957 Act as understandable from a political point of view. Others have adopted a more cynical view which is that Kennedy recognised that he needed the ‘Black Vote’ if he was to beat Nixon. Hence why he said in his campaign speeches that discrimination stained America as it lead the west’s stance against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.


Regardless of his promises, in 1961 Kennedy did nothing to help and push forward the civil rights issue. Why? International factors meant that the president could never focus attention on domestic issues in that year. He also knew that there was no great public support for such legislation. Opinion polls indicated that in 1960 and 1961, civil rights was at the bottom of the list when people were asked "what needs to be done in America to advance society ?" Kennedy was also concentrating his domestic attention on improving health care and helping the lowest wage earners. Civil rights issues would only cloud the issue and disrupt progress in these areas. Kennedy also argued that improving health care and wages for the poor would effectively be civil rights legislation as they would benefit the most from these two.

What did Kennedy do to advance the cause of civil rights?

He put pressure on federal government organisations to employ more African Americans in America’s equivalent of Britain’s Civil Service. Any who were employed were usually in the lowest paid posts and in jobs that had little prospect of professional progress. The FBI only employed 48 African Americans out of a total of 13,649 and these 48 were nearly all chauffeurs. Kennedy did more than any president before him to have more African Americans appointed to federal government posts. In total, he appointed 40 to senior federal positions including five as federal judges.

Kennedy appointed his brother (Robert) as Attorney General which put him at the head of the Justice Department. Their tactic was to use the law courts as a way of enforcing already passed civil rights legislation. No southern court could really argue against laws that were already in print - though they were very good at interpreting the law in a cavalier way !! The Justice Department brought 57 law suits against local officials for obstructing African Americans who wished to register their right to vote. Local officials from Louisiana were threatened with prison for contempt when they refused to hand over money to newly desegregated schools. Such a threat prompted others in Atlanta, Memphis and New Orleans to hand over finance without too many problems - few if any were willing to experience the American penal system which had a policy of punishment then as opposed to reforming prisoners.

Kennedy was very good at what would appear to be small gestures.

Chris Matthews is a man who loves and admires John F Kennedy and for obvious reasons, but hindsight is 20/20 vision, and as we distance ourselves from the heady days of the first rock star President, we often find that we are forced to believe he accomplished more than he actually did because of his martyrdom.

Chris needs to stop thinking of Kennedy in the religious and ethnic terms they hold in common, if he wants any book he writes about this subject to be taken seriously ... or to sell.