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Monday, June 17, 2013

Shagadelic!

I just can't get that awful Austin Powers theme music out of my head - maybe that's because the NSA planted a chip in my brain that plays an endless loop of bad 60's music. Or maybe it's because we're being served up endless malarkey as excuses coming from the power elite about why it's oh so important that the NSA have total access to our every online and telephonic twitch and tweet.

It'll be interesting to see what more Snowden reveals as he discloses bit by bit the USG's efforts to undermine civil liberties all in the name of prosecuting the never-ending War on Terror. I certainly don't feel any safer. Sure, there are bad guys out there, mostly of our own creation. Just look at Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Al-Qaeda, and you quickly see how our friends of convenience during decades past easily became our enemies for this one. All in the service of Cha-Ching!, our lucrative military-"intelligence"-industrial complex.

So, please. Let's insist that Mr. Grooviness himself, Barack Obama, and all the other hacks dispense with their sanctimonious, patronizing "Trust us. We're here to protect you" admonishments to us, the pesky citizens who insist on an open debate and greater transparency. Let's get it all out in the open where we can judge for ourselves the merits and tradeoffs of such a policy. Then maybe we'll...behave. Oh yeah, baby! It's shagadelicious!

Monday, June 10, 2013

BFF

OK, OK, OK. Last week I said that the Republicans were hyperventilating when they compared the Obama administration to the Nixon administration. It's my turn to eat a little crow. Mea cupla mea maxima culpa. I was wrong. We should all be hyperventilating and be convinced once and for all the Barack Obama is a fraud and a shill for the military-intelligence complex. Constitutional law professor? What-EVER, dude. He's all about carrying on W's legacy, only with crisper efficiency, greater "Trust us and get out of our way" arrogance and sense of purpose.

As the details begin to trickle out about the PRISM software and the Obama administration's policy of spying on Americans first and asking the FISA courts' permission later it's become painfully clear that the Global War on Terror is here to stay for a while along with its disembowelment of whatever remains of our basic rights as were once enshrined by the Constitution. We're told about needing to make tradeoffs between security and liberty, and sadly most of us appear to be on board with that. And if things get a little messy, well hey - you gotta crack some eggs to make omelets.

Meanwhile, we see Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, coming together around a new model of cooperation. The two most powerful men, leading the nations with the two largest economies, both (now) with a well-established record of running roughshod over their respective peoples' basic civil rights. If that doesn't give you pause and make you wonder...what came first the chicken hawk or the egg?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Barry the Plumber

Let's leave aside the obvious political hysterics of the Republicans over Benghazi, the IRS "targeting" of teabaggers seeking activist welfare (and tax-exempt status)...the Obama administration's criminalization of investigative reporting merits all the criticism and concern that have been expressed so far...and then some.

Having said that, I'm sure the Repubican'ts will be the first to tear up their new ACLU membership cards as soon as a reporter dares to investigate the next Republican excess. That is unless Dick Cheney doesn't somehow order the poor bastard's disappearance so that he can harvest their organs and blood to extend his baneful existence for another ten years.

But back to Obama and his mea no have-a clue-a about the DOJ's unprecedented pursuit of leakers and the journalists who love them. It's pathetic on two fronts. First, he's the boss; he's in charge; and I'm dubious that the Justice Department attorneys who were behind this were somehow just going rogue. Maybe if he weren't too busy freezing out and marginalizing his cabinet members, he might have been more on top of this.

Second, he's a former Constitutional Law professor and yet he shows a dismaying disdain for the damage his administration has wreaked on the institutions of political competition and good governance in its almost vindictive pursuit of leakers. Shame on him and Eric Holder, as long as we're handing out blame for this. Why is Obama so damn concerned about prosecuting journalists when he's been so reluctant to go after the real criminals: half the Bush Administration for its illegal wars and torture and all of Wall Street for tanking the economy 6 years ago?

So while I would never compare Obama to Nixon, as the victimhood-embracing Republican martyrs have been doing, I would say that he's been about as adept in managing his administration's response to leaks as G. Gordon Liddy and the gang were at breaking into the DNC HQ in Watergate. All thumbs and a few screws loose.