lookingforlissa

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Posts Tagged ‘News/politics’

Why I don’t blog about politics much

Posted by Lissa on May 23, 2014

Well, I haven’t been blogging about ANYTHING in the last year, so I guess it’s not surprising that I haven’t blogged about politics. But when I did start posting again it was all Mommy blogging. Do you know why?

Because politics are F***ING DEPRESSING, that’s why.

When I got back into blogging I spent some time reading the hits from my archive. You know, click on a post, read it, then click on the “related posts” linked at the bottom. It’s a great way to kill time while you’ve got an infant attached to your milk-makers :)

While some of my political posts still make for good reading, I got more enjoyment out of the personal recollections I’d captured for posterity. There are so many political bloggers, most of whom are smarter than me / work harder than me / have more time than me, etc. I don’t think I, or the world, is missing much if I don’t add my two cents. On the other hand, if no one writes about the digestive gymnastics of Little Gronk, no one will remember them a few weeks hence.

So that’s the personal aspect.

On the wider front . . . I’ve just gotten so damn cynical and disillusioned when it comes to politics. I still follow the news – Ace of Spades is my first and last read of the day – and every time I think things can’t sink lower . . . they do.

No politician of any stripe is an angel. Republicans have clearly earned and continue to deserve their moniker of The Stupid Party. But the crap that the White House pulls on a weekly basis boggles my mind. Here’s a quick recap from Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt email yesterday (the original includes hyperlinks, but they didn’t paste and I’m just too damn lazy to do it manually):

Similarly, I loved Pete Wehner’s post “New Obama Narrative: Epic Incompetence,” but I feel like it needed a bit of expansion. Because it’s not merely the competence that never arrived after all the hype of 2007 and 2008, but the entire gamut:

Bipartisanship: Obama doesn’t really respect anyone who disagrees with him; he prefers to adopt an “only adult in the room” pose, demagogue issues, and attack straw men. He’ll talk about the need for a “new tone” and then stand by as his allies attack opponents as “not one of us”, accuse them of committing felonies without evidence, and even of causing cancer. Far from the post-partisan healer he was sold as in 2007-2008, he’s a ruthless demagogue who urges his followers to “get in their face” and “punish our enemies.” “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.”

Honesty and willingness to acknowledge inconvenient truths: He thinks nothing of saying something that isn’t true if it helps him at the political moment — “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” When the promise is broken, it’s everyone else’s fault but his .

Engagement with the world: The president is functionally an isolationist and not that interested in the world beyond our borders. Russia’s aggression doesn’t trouble him enough to move beyond routine sanctions. Whether it’s the territorial saber-rattling of China and Japan, the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian Civil War, increasing violence in Iraq, the increasingly routine provocations of the North Koreans, or the prospect of leaving a bloody, Taliban-re-conquered mess in Afghanistan. . . it’s clear from his weak-tea proposals, sporadic public comments, tone, and body language that the president wishes it all would just go away.

Consistent Concern: He doesn’t give a rat’s tush about half the things he criticized in the Bush administration: the increasing national debt, a dysfunctional VA, domestic surveillance, concerns about Americans’ privacy, meeting with lobbyists in the White House, appointing lobbyists to high-level White House staff positions, rewarding big-time donors with ambassadorial appointments. . .

A Focus on What Matters Most: His own staffers have described him as “impatient and disengaged” in key meetings, and the intelligence community has wondered how closely he reads his briefings. With increasing frequency, he says he learns about problems within his own administration from media reports. (See the NRCC’s new “Obama Excuses” page.) He really enjoys the good life of the presidency and doesn’t see any reason why he should limit public expenditures on himself and his family during hard economic times. He recently laughed, “That’s the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want.”

Accountability: Obama is perfectly fine with letting his subordinates investigate themselves and assess their own failures — the Justice Department’s investigation of itself in “Fast and Furious”, the U.S. State Department’s review of its own actions before, during and after the Benghazi attacks; he picks his own people to examine his own NSA policies on domestic surveillance, and now Eric Shinseki will get to the bottom of any wrongdoing at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He rarely if ever fires staffers; the rare cases, like General Stanley McChrystal or Jofi Joseph, involve cases where an underling criticized him. Even the most consequentially incompetent, like Kathleen Sebelius, are given a soft landing months after they’ve made crucial errors to avoid administration embarrassment.

Respect for the Constitution: He was sold to us as a Constitutional law professor; in office, Obama enacted policies that violated almost every amendment in the Bill of Rights.

I think everyone who cares or thinks seriously about politics, world events, government or the like should be in favor of Republican presidents. Not because they will be superior in any way to Democratic presidents, but solely because Republican presidents are pressured and held accountable by the press while Democratic presidents just aren’t.

Sorry to end the week on a bummer note, but I’ve been meaning to mention this. To make it up to you, here’s a picture of Bubber without his cervical vertebrae:

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Why I don’t expect the current donor scandal to go anywhere

Posted by Lissa on October 9, 2012

Oh gosh, did you hear? Pres. Barack Obama is accepting foreign contributions to his campaign! The website is deliberately set up to allow donations without address verification! Gasp and ye gods!

*yawn*

We already did this, don’t you remember? Last election he received contributions from Adolf Hitler, John Galt, Nodda Realperson, and I think perhaps the leader of Iran.

I’m not real pleased about it, but neither do I see any differences in this go-round compared to four years ago. If no one cared then, why do we expect anyone to care now?

On the other hand, Benghazi just keeps looking worse and worse.

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Failed Obama operation provides guns used to massacre Mexican teenagers*

Posted by Lissa on October 3, 2012

First, let’s remind everyone that Fast and Furious is not a “botched” operation. To be merely “botched,” one would have to show how shuffling weapons over the border to Mexico without tracking devices or any attempt to keep an eye on them, and without informing the Mexican government, was going to have any kind of a useful or desirable result. Lacking grounds for “botched,” I’ve labeled the operation “failed.”

(Although some of my fellow gunbloggers are quite confident that the operation worked exactly as it was supposed to. I.e., American guns were used to kill Mexicans, so we obviously need to crack down on the sale of American guns. All that’s missing is the legislation to do so, and it’s only missing because the details of the mess came out. But I digress.)

Univision broke a story recently that guns from Fast and Furious were used in the massacre of teens at a party. Photographs of a body in the street and leftover pools of blood the next day provide the kind of gory attention-grabbing that news media *usually* love and would play every hour on the hour for the next week and a half.

Looking Glass News can’t cover this, because my imagination isn’t that good. How’s yours? Can YOU imagine how it would play out if President McCain’s administration started an operation that resulted in Mexican cartel members using American and American-provided guns to murder teenagers at a party in Mexico?

Somehow I do NOT think it would result in McCain going on The View to be eye candy. Nor do I think NBC News’ home page would include as its main article a story about rhinos in India.

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Our mainstream media is an utterly biased disgrace.

*Note: This was my first try at Truthaganda

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Thoughts on the Middle East situation

Posted by Lissa on September 14, 2012

In no particular order. . .

- Christopher Stephens seemed like a good and decent man (see LawDog for some background). Keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

- I thought of his family when I saw those terrible pictures of Stevens’ body being paraded/escorted through the streets. (If you’re not aware, what looks awfully like a triumphant displaying of the slain ambassador through the streets has been alternately presented as a crowd trying to carry him to the hospital. I fervently hope it’s the latter and think the pictures look much more like the former.) I came down on the side that the pictures are newsworthy, but I shrivel to think that his loved ones saw them and know that the world is seeing them.

- Our ambassador was slain when his poorly-defended and not-so-secret consulate in Libya was attacked. Our sovereign soil in Egypt was invaded. Our official Twitter feed from the Egyptian embassy was full of unbelievably f***ing stupid and craven apologies before and after the attack. And what’s shocking about all this is … that Mitt Romney commented harshly on it? Do we live in bizarro world??

- Also, it’s about as clear an example of press bias as I’ve seen in the last decade. You see, they had no problem with a certain Candidate of Hope of Change took to CNN to blast the current president and his opponent in 2008 directly after deaths of our servicemen. Needless to say, the story did not suddenly shift from the actual situation in the Middle East to What This Particular Candidate Said About It, How He Said It, and Doesn’t He Regret It.

- I think the proper response when asked about that infantile, badly-produced film about Islam that *supposedly* sparked the latest protest party is, “Yeah, it’s stupid and disrespectful. SO F***ING WHAT? We’re Americans! The right of private citizens to say stupid, infantile, offensive things is very well established. Sod off.”

- I say *supposedly* because I find it unlikely to the point of pure gullibility that spontaneous protests arose in two different countries on the anniversary of 9/11 due to a short film with clips on YouTube that practically no one had ever heard of before. Doesn’t it remind you of the Danish cartoon stuff? You know, the event where a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Mohammed. . . and not much happened. UNTIL some supposedly pious Muslims decided that the actual cartoons in the newspaper just weren’t all that bad (they weren’t) — so they added a few more that were FAR, FAR worse than anything published and went on a Middle East rage-grievance tour. As far I’ve heard, the imams haven’t had to go into hiding or been attacked by crazies, so I guess when THEY do it it’s okay, but if someone ELSE does it it’s time to burn flags and maybe kill people.

I’m not usually isolationist, but times like these make me want to wash my hands of the whole region. (Except any countries with a proven commitment to rule of law, democracy, free speech, women’s and homosexual’s rights, etc. I can only think of one country over there that fits that criteria but I’d be glad to hear of more.)

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Today’s edition of “Imagine if a Republican said that”: NEGROHOOD

Posted by Lissa on August 30, 2012

Typos are embarrassing. I sent out a letter to about twenty-five clients last week and didn’t realize it was still dated August 13, the date I composed it. I hate when I make mistakes like that.

I can’t IMAGINE making a mistake like this:

An Assembly candidate whose campaign sent mailers using the word “negrohood” to residents in his Sheepshead Bay district apologized Wednesday — calling the racially tinged language a “typo.”
“As the candidate, I take full responsibility for this inadvertent error and I am sorry to anyone who was offended by it,” Ben Akselrod, who’s running in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary against Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, said in a statement.
The Friends of Ben Akselrod sent the mailers last week, claiming that his opponent “has allowed crime to go up over 50% in our negrohood so far this year.”

What in the name of all that’s holy were these people thinking? How did that even get past the spellchecker, let alone the copywriters and editors? Good lord.

Mike asked me the other day if I thought that “racist Americans are almost entirely in one political coalition.” I thought about it and told him that I was quite sure both parties had members who were racist, but that Democrats were far more likely to make idiotic racist statements because they don’t get called on it. “Macaca” = the end of your political career. “They gon’ put y’all back in chains” = Joe Being Joe.

And since we’re speaking of political idiocies and parties, I should mention that Todd Akin is a f***ing stupid, senseless, misogynist, unscientific moron and I hope the write-in campaign buries this fool’s political career forever ‘n’ ever.

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Paul Ryan vs Joe Biden

Posted by Lissa on August 29, 2012

Go here for an amusing series of photo comparisons. I’m just going to feature one here, for the ladies:

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You’re welcome :)

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How many people read Dreams from My Father?

Posted by Lissa on August 28, 2012

I know I didn’t. I wasn’t interested in putting more money in the Obamas’ coffers and I wasn’t particularly interested in his backstory.

We learned with the “Obama ate a dog” revelation that most reporters and news media personnel didn’t read it either; that’s why it was so funny and so amazing when a mid-level blogger broke the story.*

Thanks to the Obama 2016 movie, more excerpts like the following are getting attention:

Looking back, I’m not sure that Lolo ever fully understood what my mother was going through during these years, why the things he was working so hard to provide for her seemed only to increase the distance between them. [snip] Sometimes I would overhear him and my mother arguing in their bedroom, usually about her refusal to attend his company dinner parties, where American businessmen from Texas and Louisiana would slap Lolo’s back and boast about the palms they had greased to obtain the new offshore drilling rights, while their wives complained to my mother about the quality of Indonesian help. He would ask her how it would look for him to go alone, and remind her that these were her own people, and my mother’s voice would rise to almost a shout.

They are not my people.

… She had always encouraged my rapid acculturation in Indonesia… She had taught me to disdain the blend of ignorance and arrogance that too often characterized Americans abroad.

Part of the whole idea of America is that you get to have your own ideas. Good, bad, stupid, productive, whatever — there’s no “party-approved” way that you have to think.

But think about the values that that snippet illustrates. Lolo works hard to provide and get ahead and then gets criticized and viewed as selling out to Americans, who Obama’s mother insists are NOT her people.

I can’t help but think it illustrates a background and a worldview that the majority of Americans would not find suitable in their President. And I rather think the major news organizations agree with me, or they would have aired these clips and given them wider audiences.

*For the record – I have no desire to eat dog, any more than I have desire to eat horsemeat or raw octopus. That doesn’t make it bad, wrong or evil – just not to my own cultural taste. But I’d be more likely to try dog than to strap a dog to the roof of my car, FWIW.

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My biggest disappointment with the RNC convention postponement…

Posted by Lissa on August 27, 2012

… is that I was really, REALLY looking forward to Joe Biden declaring, “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Tampa, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, ‘Ich bin ein Tampon.’”

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Blast from the past: How DID the ten good things about an Obama presidency play out?

Posted by Lissa on August 8, 2012

First off, it’s kind of amazing to me that I’ve been blogging over four years. Where DOES the time go?

Second, go take a look at this post I did back in the day: 10 Good Things About a Barack Obama Presidency. Go on, now. I’ll wait.

Back? Okay. So how did my prediction play out over the last four years?

10. Skinny fashions? Well, I can’t say I’ve noticed that on the streets, whatever Michelle Obama might tell us about the undesirability of surplus fat.

9. Out of wedlock birth decrease? Hmmm. I still think they set a good example but I can’t find any data older than 2009 so I don’t know if there’s been an effect on illegitimate birth rates.

8. No riots? Check! Unless you count OWS, which I don’t, because that was something different.

7. Have we been seeing lots of media coverage over the last four years that paint the economy as brighter than it is? Not to mention dippy articles about “funemployment”? Check!

6. Did everyone temporarily pretend to love America? Well, they DID give our President a Nobel Peace Prize. Check!

5. I missed somewhat on this one. Sure enough, the rest of the world DID go back to hating us, but rather than the media saying it was THEIR fault . . . they just didn’t report it. (For a recent example, compare press coverage of Mitt Romney’s “Jerusalem gaffe” – first two results on Google News have almost 5000 sources total – with “Obama turkey bat”, which is currently returning 150.)

4. Bitching and griping? Yeah, I’ve done my share, but the fact that I didn’t vote for the current President hasn’t helped a lot.

3. Young college folks disillusioned? Well, it’s a work in progress. The young folks I know are now aware that Pres Obama is not a lightworker, a miracle-worker, or The Next Big Thing. A lot of them are also unemployed. They still think Obama is a hella-cool guy and that Republican politicians are scum, but the bloom is off the rose, for sure. (And since I agree that many/most politicians in general are scum, we’re halfway on the same page here.)

2. Bill Clinton isn’t QUITE an ambassador to the heartland, but his speech at the convention should be verrrrry interesting.

1. Surprisingly, this one makes me the saddest. I always MUCH preferred that the first black president we elected would be, you know, COMPETENT, but I did plan to enjoy the symbolism regardless. Now? What an absolutely terrible example to set for our first president-of-color. It’s as if groundbreaking figures like Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens were replaced by Urkel; how well do you think HE would have done breaking the color barrier when he sucked at baseball or track? It’s awful. The first black president is a feckless, incompetent, promise-breaking, narcissistic failure. Dammit dammit dammit.

I can’t say I’m thrilled about a Mitt Romney presidency – he loves big government fixes in a way that makes my toes curl, and NOT in a good way – but I think it will be easier to redo my silver linings list if he wins.

I hope.

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The world may be doomed and most people don’t pay attention, but is that anything new?

Posted by Lissa on July 9, 2012

Unsustainable debt. A deteriorating military apparatus. A breakdown of the blue model in Europe and in many states; local governments and municipalities going bankrupt. The rise of a competing economic power in China that comes with a dictatorial government and an absolutely unsustainable demographic time bomb. And yet, the majority of adults in our country can’t name our Attorney General, can’t name the major players in the European Union, and will look at you blankly when you inform them that Medicare and Social Security cannot and will not continue as they have, because you can’t make up numbers forever.

They can probably tell you who the finalists are in American Idol, though. Or maybe Survivor, or Dancing With the Stars.

And yet . . . is this really any different than normal?

I’m too young to really have perspective on this, but surely during the Cold War the world was far more dangerous than it is today. The breakdown of the USSR was surely more disruptive than watching Russia and China angle for political and regional influence and power. And while the Middle East is a sucky mess, at least none of the neighboring countries have tried to push the Jews into the sea in the last few decades.

Were voters *actually* more informed twenty years ago? Thirty years ago? Hell, it hasn’t been THAT long since politics was “men’s business.”

Information is much more easily accessible nowadays – and, I think, much more interesting. We just have to convince our fellow adults that following politics is more fun than following soap operas.

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