For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow…

stevebell512You know, I’m okay with Obama not agreeing to Dennis Kucinich’s notion of a “Department of Peace.” Really, I am. I mean, I love the idea, but I can see why someone who thinks extrajudicial killings of Americans is hunkey-dorey would be apprehensive about it. And I guess I can understand why Obama would be okay with the FBI actively harrassing peace activists in the hopes that it’ll intimidate them from protesting and thus further marginalize the voice of reason, effectively silencing the inconvenient protests against things like his pet wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and who-knows-where-else he may want to go kill people soon.

Really. Real-politik and all that. But. It takes a whole different level of “fuck you, hippies” to go out of your way to honor and reward Henry Kissinger, the Dick Cheney of his era, a man about whom one can perhaps most kindly say that his continued presence among us is proof that God is either not there at all, or else is a cynical bastard that revels in misery, and rewards those who make others to suffer. (Of course, Monthy Python many years ago claimed he was so lovable because he had “nicer legs than Hitler, and bigger tits than Cher,” but I’m not one to judge in such a superficial fashion).

Anyway, Hillary Clinton is apparently completely smitten with the animated old corpse, and recently had him deliver a keynote address on a conference on killing with impunity “The American Experience in Southeast Asia.” Really? Shit. That’s like asking Jeffrey Dahmer to keynote a seminar on interpersonal relations. Seriously, the architect of the destruction and demise of entire nations, the man who gave us Pol Pot & Pinochet, who helped drag Vietnam out and cost the lives of so many — you couldn’t find anyone more inappropriate to give the talk?

The man is a wanted war criminal. And in a more just world, the only interest the Obama adminsitration would have in him would be his swift prosecution and sentencing so he might be held out as an example for others to fear. But, alas, he is one of “them” and so he can move with impunity and risk nothing. I’m sure that’ll go over real well in Southeast Asia.

(Drawing by Steve Bell for the Guardian)

Vote, you dumb fucking hippies, vote goddammit, don’t make me bring out the Palin…

beatingsListen, Mr. President, the reason we’re not fired up is not because we’re stoned, like your press secretary so helpfully suggested a few weeks ago. And it’s not because we don’t appreciate the risk of letting the Republicans regain control of Congress. It’s because it didn’t seem to matter much when we turned out in droves, took a risk on the bold, brave, new kid on the block with the whole vision thing,  and gave you an unprecedented mandate to change things, including control of the House and Senate. We gave you and your party all the tools you needed to deliver — and then, you didn’t. No, it was largely the same ol’ shit, ‘cept a different crowd of crooks (well, actually, a lot of them were the same: Geithner, Emanuel, Summers, and the rest of your handpicked crew of advisors and spin doctors — they were all members of and firm believers in the same corrupt system that you & they have worked so hard for the past two years to further empower and indemnify).

Oh, sure, the Orange Oompa Loompa of Evil, John Boehner, and his gang of hypocrites and born-again basket cases fight a tough fight — we knew that. That’s why we voted them out of power for a bit. But what we didn’t know was that you’d take over and then promptly roll over and cave before the fight even started. Instead of leading you let yourself be misled. By the Republicans that you insisted on “having at the table” and by the grade A wankers in your own party who should be kicked out, rather than appeased. At every single opportunity to stand up for the true values of the Democratic party, you chose to cave like a house of cards, every time there was a principle worth fighting for, you threw in the towel and compromised. When you could have gained the upper hand and won some goodwill by simply reversing past wrongs, you instead chose to make matters worse by digging deeper. More exectuive powers, less accountability, fewer checks and balances, more fear & surveillance.

Oh, and this made me LOL:

The president said he keeps a checklist of his campaign promises and that he has met, by his account, about 70 percent of them.

Really, now? 70 percent? I’d love to see his list. If it includes “smiling,” “breathing,” “getting up in the morning,” and “believing in myself” then I’m sure he’s hitting home run after home run. But as far as those more tangible promises that we had hoped for when we got him elected? Well, not so much. Things like an end to pointless wars and a return to sane public policy in general haven’t seen much play so far. Later? Well, you know, maybe you should have saved things like “cover my friends on Wall Street from head to toe in tax payer dollars” for later, and done something for the rest of us first. But, silly me, I’m just one of those stupid hippies.

Real Change starts at the top, Sir, not at the bottom. Don’t tell the grassroots that it’s our fault that your administration has been a failure, or that we’re setting our standards too high. Rule of law? Surely that’s not too much to ask.

Good luck “motivating” your base by calling them irresponsible and blaming them for all your failures.

But… But… We Thought They Were Our Friends?!?

bait-and-switchSo, how’s that whole “the insurance industry has a seat at the table” thing working for Sir Change-A-Lot and his oversold lemon of a health care reform?

Just days away from the implementation of new rules that will prevent insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, numerous major insurers have opted to end the sale of child-only policies.

No, say it ain’t so… You mean, first we gave them everything they wanted and let them write large parts of the legislation, then we gave them ample time to get their policy revisions all lined up to dump the people who were supposed to benefit from the new rules… and now they turn around and do this? Who would have thunk? Goodness, you just can’t trust anybody these days… why, next you’ll tell us we shouldn’t let BP and friends monitor their own compliance with oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico — what’s a dumb sucker with a big smile to do?

Seriously. How in the hell does Obama hope to campaign on this monument to bad negotiating skills? It’s pretty much the only thing he’s got to show for his first couple of years behind the wheel of the bus, and now it’s rapidly collapsing to the point where he’ll probably be better off disowning the whole thing (well, actually, knowing Obama he’ll quickly blame it on those damn pesky progressives, who “made him” do it). Nancy Pelosi (D – Powerless) seems to get it, though she didn’t do a whole lot about it when she had the chance to do so:

“Earlier this year, the companies pledged to cover children with pre-existing conditions – in keeping with the spirit of reform that requires they no longer drop coverage for these children. Now, some companies are backtracking on writing new policies, potentially leaving many children without the health insurance they desperately need.”

“[Time] after time,” she concluded, “insurance companies will place profits over patients.”

Yes, Mrs. Pelosi, they will. That’s why we wanted your boss to come up with something a little more visionary when he drew up his plan for health care reform, something like single payer health, that would have taken the insurance bandits out of the equation. As it is now, they can laugh all the way to the bank: they can ditch all the dead weight, rejigger their policies exhorbitantly, and blame it all on the reform. Meanwhile, the government has now committed itself to force all the sheep to sign up for whatever lame policy their local extortionist can cook up. Helluva job, Barack. You’re one tough negotiator — I can see why this took a whole year to pull off.