Barack Obama

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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:46 am

Fox News, with its usual level of subtlety and intellectual rigour, has been giving Obama crap about not going to Paris to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo after the shooting. Because, as we all know, if there is one thing les Nouvelles du Fox stands for, it's friendship and solidarity with the ideals of la Gaule.

So, naturally, I figured there must be some sound strategic and political reasoning that Obama had not gone in person to France.

And voilà! Obama seems to have given a perfectly measured and well-apportioned response.

I really hate to give Obama grief. I disagree with him on many, many issues, but he is not a bad man, nor an idiot, nor a coward. The problem is that even well-intentioned, intelligent and courageous men like Obama can be profoundly misguided. And further when (good liberal that he is) he does something remarkably wrong and unwise there will be a chorus of his 'conservative opponents clamouring for him to do it even more stupidly.

Ah well. Plus ça change.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby Antiochus » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:14 am

I quite liked his recent speech in Selma.

In a way, this could have been a low hanging fruit. The history, context and issues were already charged with enough meaning and gravitas.

Yet, I honestly believe the speech was good, maybe even beneficial for this problem we often call, with a flair for euphemism, the "issue of race". It also serves as a good reminder that, while he might not be one of the greatest presidents of american history, Barack Obama was one of its greatest campaigner.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:57 am

It's a speech that had its moments.

But only when he was actually addressing the problems the people who marched at Selma actually set out to solve, and the legacy of those problems, rather than trying to regiment the Civil Rights struggle into the Myth of Progress and the whole cultural project of an American Empire on which the sun never sets. When he mentioned the Maidan I admit I threw up a little bit in my mouth. To suggest that the men and women who marched for civil rights in Selma had anything in common with the skinheads and neo-Nazis who overthrew Yanukovych with blasphemy, arson and street violence is beyond insulting to their memory; it's obscene.

And I'm still highly unconvinced that the overthrow of the landed aristocracies of the Old World was for the best. But it's worth noting that the machine-minded factory-farming industrialists who ruled the Old South under King Cotton were not an old landed aristocracy with anything like a true sense of noblesse oblige, but rather a ruthless bunch of rentier capitalists - who just happened to have modestly better dress sense than those in the North.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby James » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:12 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:But only when he was actually addressing the problems the people who marched at Selma actually set out to solve, and the legacy of those problems, rather than trying to regiment the Civil Rights struggle into the Myth of Progress and the whole cultural project of an American Empire on which the sun never sets. When he mentioned the Maidan I admit I threw up a little bit in my mouth. To suggest that the men and women who marched for civil rights in Selma had anything in common with the skinheads and neo-Nazis who overthrew Yanukovych with blasphemy, arson and street violence is beyond insulting to their memory; it's obscene.

You're painting a large pool of people in broad strokes based on a subset among them.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:35 pm

James wrote:You're painting a large pool of people in broad strokes based on a subset among them.


No, I'm really not. Any more than pointing out the obvious that the Tea Party is motivated by racially-insensitive positions. The far-right Pravy Sektor were the ones directly responsible for Yanukovych's overthrow, as anyone who has been following the story with any regularity ought to be aware. And the ones responsible for the most death and destruction in the Ukrainian East, under the orders from the new government, have been neo-Nazi volunteer battalions like Azov.

In any event, are the enfranchised white, majority Ukrainians who were demanding accession to a monstrously unfair economic association with Europe, in any way comparable to black people who were being attacked with dogs and firehoses for the right to vote? Answer me at least this question.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:18 pm

And while we're on the subject of right-wing traitors to their country...

That is what the New York Daily News called the GOP signatories to the letter which undermined the Obama Administration's proposed nuclear deal with Iran. And the New York Daily News would be (for once) correct to do so. For members of the American government to sabotage a peace plan being conducted by another branch of the American government - and to do so by threatening to break international law, is hardly at all the action of a loyal opposition which has the best interests of the country at heart.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby James » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:52 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:No, I'm really not. Any more than pointing out the obvious that the Tea Party is motivated by racially-insensitive positions. The far-right Pravy Sektor were the ones directly responsible for Yanukovych's overthrow, as anyone who has been following the story with any regularity ought to be aware. And the ones responsible for the most death and destruction in the Ukrainian East, under the orders from the new government, have been neo-Nazi volunteer battalions like Azov.

In any event, are the enfranchised white, majority Ukrainians who were demanding accession to a monstrously unfair economic association with Europe, in any way comparable to black people who were being attacked with dogs and firehoses for the right to vote? Answer me at least this question.

Well, are you describing Euromaidan or a subset? Because if you want to characterize the movement itself as a neo-Nazi movement you're lending way too much credence to pro-Russia political propaganda. They're definitely there as an element and a dangerous consideration, they've got ins to leadership, and there could be long-term consequences. But even to characterize as broadly as you are here is to lean on one side of the story.

And you know I follow the story.

WeiWenDi wrote:And while we're on the subject of right-wing traitors to their country...

That is what the New York Daily News called the GOP signatories to the letter which undermined the Obama Administration's proposed nuclear deal with Iran. And the New York Daily News would be (for once) correct to do so. For members of the American government to sabotage a peace plan being conducted by another branch of the American government - and to do so by threatening to break international law, is hardly at all the action of a loyal opposition which has the best interests of the country at heart.

Yeah. It's pretty despicable. And the political stunt with Netanyahu, among other events. But it isn't so surprising. This is the group which just pushed to invalidate President Obama's amnesty executive order through a game of cat-and-mouse over DHS funding (really? seems like an odd target for Republicans) hot on the heels after learning what one would have expected to be a painful lesson when earlier pushing for a government shutdown over ACA.

The only saving grace I can see in this is that many of their efforts have backfired.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:55 pm

James wrote:Well, are you describing Euromaidan or a subset?


I was characterising a very significant subset - as significant as, if not more so than, the racists and white nationalists in the Tea Party. At least the Tea Party made some small efforts at distancing themselves from the racists within their ranks, which is more than the Euromaidan did. Both Batkivshchyna and Udar proved themselves willing to ally themselves with Svoboda and Right Sector. And Svoboda have proven themselves to be actual Nazis. Not even 'neo'-Nazis, they are the descendants and inheritors of the paramilitary forces of Stepan Bandera, which makes them Hitler collaborators and blood enemies of the Jewish people, whether the Jews of the English-speaking West still recognise them as such or not. Now, I know you follow the issue closely enough to be aware that this is an apt description of Svoboda, but it does often seem like you think appeasement of these goosesteppers seems to be fine and dandy as long as Russia pays for it.

And you still haven't answered my question.

Are even the gullible ordinary people - again, practically all majority, enfranchised whites - who got snookered into agitating for an EU accession deal (which most knowledgeable EE experts, like Sean Guillory - himself very far from being a fan of Putin, agree was a terrible idea for the country from the view of most of its people, and one which would result in capital flight and a massive loss of domestic jobs, as well as a rush on Ukraine's gas resources by European corporate interests) in any way comparable to the black people (and allies) who marched for the right to be treated as equal human beings by their own government?

Do you support the imagery the President used there? And can you see why I would be offended by it?

James wrote:Yeah. It's pretty despicable. And the political stunt with Netanyahu, among other events. But it isn't so surprising. This is the group which just pushed to invalidate President Obama's amnesty executive order through a game of cat-and-mouse over DHS funding (really? seems like an odd target for Republicans) hot on the heels after learning what one would have expected to be a painful lesson when earlier pushing for a government shutdown over ACA.

The only saving grace I can see in this is that many of their efforts have backfired.


I agree with the first part, of course.

As to the second - we'll see, I suppose. I hope they've backfired. But then again, some of these people have a remarkable knack for getting enough votes to keep their offices, and I get the depressing feeling sometimes that these sorts of stunts are exactly what the people who are inclined to vote for them in the first place like to see. Also, when exactly did Rand Paul sell off his soul for a mess of pottage?

Again, I really hope I'm wrong about this. And I really hope that the Democrats (who still seem to be the natural party of government at this point by the mere fact that they're not completely insane) are able to field some of the populist fire that the GOP have come to master. I'd sacrifice a hand or a foot to see more people like Warren, Sanders and Kucinich in national politics.
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:18 am

Will Obama's climate change plans stick or will this fall by the wayside once his successor comes into office?
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Re: Barack Obama

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:58 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Will Obama's climate change plans stick or will this fall by the wayside once his successor comes into office?


I think it's more likely they'll fall by the wayside.

In the first place, they're not going to continue unless a democrat gets elected. While that seems more likely at the current moment, it's not guaranteed. So if a Republican gets elected, pretty much everything climate-change related probably goes right out for 8 years (assuming re-election, probably a safe bet).

Besides that, I might have missed it - been watching/hearing less news lately - but there seems to be far less clamor about it now than 8 years ago. Guns have definitely taken a huge step forward, as has racial equality. Immigration was huge for a while, but I guess died down?

It also seems to be less of an issue internationally, so that contributes to the US not caring as much about it. That's my impression, anyway, like I said, I've taken in less news of late.
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