"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Nov 16, 2010

Priorities Abound

I still have replies to which I must respond, in the post preceding this one - but I thought these three seemingly separate items needed the explicit linking they actually deserve:


"The U.S. is preparing for an expanded campaign against al Qaeda in Yemen, mobilizing military and intelligence resources to enable Yemeni and American strikes and drawing up a longer-term proposal to establish Yemeni bases in remote areas where militants operate.

The developments are part of a U.S. scramble to step up the hunt for members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist organization behind a recent failed attempt to blow up two planes over the U.S. using bombs hidden in cargo. 

Limited U.S. intelligence experience in Yemen has created 'a window of vulnerability' that the U.S. government is 'working fast to address,' a senior Obama administration official said.

For now, the U.S. gets much of its on-the-ground intelligence from a growing partnership with Saudi Arabia, which shares a border with Yemen and has a fruitful informant network in Yemen's tribal areas. 

In the rush to build up capabilities, the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies are moving in equipment and personnel from other areas, and over the past year have expanded the size of teams in the U.S. analyzing intelligence on AQAP. The emphasis now is on expanding the number of intelligence operatives and analysts in the field.." 



"...And for the Obama administration, which promised not to seek any further construction freezes as a precondition for securing this one, it is unclear what will happen to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process if this freeze, like the last one, comes and goes without a Palestinian commitment to remain in negotiations with Israel on creation of a Palestinian state. 

Under the proposed freeze, negotiated by Mr. Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during nearly eight hours of talks in New York last Thursday, the Israelis would stop most construction on settlements in the West Bank for 90 days to break an impasse in the peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Those negotiations began in Washington in early September, but soon faltered over Palestinian anger at resumed settlement construction, when a previous 10-month freeze ended. 

In return, the Israelis would receive 20 advanced American fighter jets and other unspecified military aid, as well as American promises to oppose any Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza without Israeli agreement. 

The United States would veto a United Nations Security Council resolution along those lines and actively work against similar resolutions in forums where it does not have a veto.."  


h/t Mister Smith Himself


"...Certain "choices," like cutting back on his wars and his surveillance state, are not going to be involved. But he doesn't mind going after Social Security and Medicare, or raising the federal gasoline tax by 80 percent or so (which is highly regressive -- that is, it will hurt people in lower income brackets more). To counter discrimination against the vulnerable Corporate-Americans (corporations are people too, you know! they have feelings! they can hurt!), the corporate tax rate will be cut by about 25 percent, from 35 to 26 percent. The hike in the gasoline tax is intended to make up for the loss of revenue that will result from that generous gesture...."

Regarding this:

"We're going to have to make some tough choices [tough = bad for poor people, good for the rich]," Obama said. "The only way to make those tough choices historically has been if both parties are willing to move forward together."


The Obama expansion of the Bush continuation of the Clinton extension of the Bush redoubling of the Reagan government must hurry to expand its limitless wars to include permanent bases in dangerous, exotic Yemen, must (after eight hours of jaw-jawing) give its military and UN imprimatur to Eretz Yisreol's starving hunger for lebensraum, must make tough choices about the future of the already laughable social safety net, on a very short schedule...

...but it couldn't keep big pharma and big insurance from writing up the exact health care law those industries needed, has no political capital left to expend on gay marriage or a repeal of DOMA, cannot effectively counter the Republican/media narrative of poor and black people killing the economy with their non-redlined home loans, et cetera ad nauseam ad infinitum.

Get it yet?

Barack Obama's job is to put a hood on the gallow's face while holding the line against an increasingly unlikely and negligible liberal reaction. Barack Obama's task is fairly straightforward. He has to kill the final iteration of the American welfare state. 

He's doing it, right out there in the open...

1 comment:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Who could have thought that calling off the Cole attack investigation because it risked embarassing the Saudis would be a bad idea.

And to think, we also have knuckle-draggers calling for strikes on Iran for the sake of political expedience.