SOTU Preview….SoYou Don’t Have To

OBombA

(…don’t have to actually watch the sucky thing, of course.)  The title?: imagine an owl hoo-hooting it…

(with convenient blather subtitles)

Via White House email:

President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address on January 12, 2016 at 9PM ET.  Watch as he reflects on the road we’ve traveled in the last seven years.

Together, We Make Change Happen

When President Obama took office seven years ago, we were involved in two wars, losing over 800,000 jobs a month, and weathering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But, with his leadership and the determination of the American people, we have made extraordinary progress on the path to a stronger country and a brighter future.

We’ve proven that, together, we can overcome great challenges.
In his last State of the Union, President Obama will lay out the ways that we, as the American people, can once again come together in pursuit of a country worthy of generations to come.

Building a New Foundation for Prosperity

Seven years ago, President Obama took office amidst worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But since that time, thanks to the hard work of the American people, we have emerged from that crisis stronger. From rescuing the auto industry to creating unprecedented job growth, the President continues to work on building an economic foundation that works for the middle class and those fighting to join it.

Our businesses have added 14.1 million jobs over the past 700 months.  Amerika’s resurgence is real.

(Yet Another Fabricated Jobs Report, by Paul Craig Roberts, January 8th, 2016)

(The 3 Economic Stories of 2015 by Michael Hudson  (video interview here; under 6 mins.  HUDSON: Well, the leading story is that the economy has not recovered. That the 1 percent have recovered, but the 99 percent have not recovered. And there is no sign of recovery, or even any sign that the presidential candidates running in next year’s election are trying to do anything.)

Climate change: What We’ve Accomplished Together

In the last seven years, we have done more to protect our country’s iconic natural resources, combat climate change, and invest in a clean energy future than ever before — all while creating millions of new jobs. 

american-legacy

Redefining American Leadership in the 21st Century

From ending two wars to forging the deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, from re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba to striking a landmark trade agreement that levels the playing field for American workers and businesses, the President has worked to redefine American leadership for the 21st century. In his last year in office, we can show the world what is possible when America truly leads.

(The US Is Now Involved In 134 Wars; Or none, depending on your definition of ‘war’, By Timothy McGrath, September 22, 2014)  (TPP; (Fascism: a merger of state and corporate power)

In the past few years, we’ve made progress in making our foreign policy better match our American values, while doing everything in our power to ensure our homeland remains safe. View our foreign policy record so far.

‘President Barack Obama today sent Congress a proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Department of Defense budget request of $585.3 billion in discretionary budget authority to fund both base budget programs and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).)  Mmmmm, NATO.  Proxy wars?

Affordable Health Care That Benefits All Americans insurance companies

Leading the Fight to Ensure All Americans Are Treated Equally

(ObamaCare’s Relentless Creation of Second-Class Citizens’, Lambert Strether)

From securing basic rights and protections for LGBT Americans, to making our immigration system fairer and safer, to helping protect our homes and neighborhoods from gun violence, President Obama has worked to make sure that everyone has a shot at the American Dream. In his final year, the President is committed to protecting our country’s promise for all — no matter who you are, where you come from, or whom you love.

(Wealth Gap For Blacks, Latinos At Highest Levels In Over Decade)

(Least Transparent Administration Ever: A New Front in Obama’s War on Whistleblowers, Juan Cole)

Are Charter Schools the New Subprime Mortgages?

Flunking Arne Duncan by Diane Ravitch (and his ‘race to the top bottom)

Obama’s legacy as a Trojan Horse for Wall Street, the Military/Industrial/NewsOTainment Complex will certainly live on.  It’s hard not to mention here how racist both he and former SoS Clinton are, bombing black and brown people around the globe in their continuing War on Terra, creating more and more ‘enemies of the state’, some…even within, as O and DHS see it.  He will be already looking toward his coming days in the revolving door complex, piling up piles of wealth and ‘redistributing’ some of it as do the Clintons, Gates, and friends…while reaping more profits along the way through faux charitable ‘giving’.

shooting the war thugs

mural defaced, now: shooting the war thugs

Will the increasing numbers of us at ‘the edge of America’ take back our lives?

59 responses to “SOTU Preview….SoYou Don’t Have To

  1. SOTU, Barre’? The DESPOTUS’ “trailer” for it above, epitomizes DOUBLESPEAK, literally! His hooding by Notre Dame musta inspired his bad self ‘warship’!!

    Regardless, ya can’t drive from the back of the trailer; semi-colon!!!

    • well, i’d skip right to ‘utter lying bullshit’, but i was trying to hold my temper in abeyance…a bit. what’s the notre dame reference? oopsie: looked it up: honorary degree. i’d almost gone with an opening mage of him with his nobel peace medal, or this one as ‘shredder in chief’, but i reckoned in the end no one would want to see his face every time we clicked into the site.

      i just got a SOTU email from michelle; ay yi yi. same subtext though about ‘we all did this, yada, yada’, as though unconsciously they’re letting us know that collectively “we weren’t the change we wanted to see”. pfffft.

  2. Yeah, Michy; w’all in the Dubya House DID US! We the People were thereby torn A$$UNDER by DingleBarry for dope and chump ¢hange!
    My first ND anointing choice was: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.413097.1314518575!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/alg-obama-notre-dame-jpg.jpg
    It was prolly awarded for sports’ acumen; mebbe hOOPS?

  3. “They are most certainly, 100%, crocodile tears.” Otherwise it don’t add up. Man, you are killing children almost every day with your haha predator drones, yet somehow their deaths at your hands do not move you to tears or to even reevaluate the efficacy and morality of your drone assassination (indiscriminate murder) program. You are murdering children in the Middle east with absolutely no remorse and yet you cry for children murdered in the US. It doesn’t add up. Death of children just doesn’t really bother you that much. Unless you are so twisted you actually think white lives matter while brown lives don’t, then you are crying crocodile tears. I hear tell a lot of actors can cry tears at will. And you are certainly a talented actor.

    • Different between abstraction and the concrete experience of meeting the parents of the kids murdered in NewTown. People can have contradictory emotional responses to events. Especially people who have compartmental existences. To be in the PtB, you have to develop that skill of compartmentalization. And the hazing of a new member of the PtB is to challenge whether they are “tough enough” to deprive a family of income (through firing, layoffs, budget cuts, and so on) and “tough enough” to order soldiers to kill people. It’s not like the President himself sits in the pilot’s seat and guides the drone to its target. I doubt that even the assassination of bin Laden was visible in those terms to the President and the Secretary of State (who are privileged by plausible deniability and protection of seeing in personal terms the consequences of one’s orders.

      “Death of children’ is abstract. Death of a particular child in a particular place with particular parents is different. I think the tears were honest. But one cannot know without getting inside the head of someone else.

      Too often this sort of accusation is just reverse halo-effect. That doesn’t diminish the culpability for the effects of drone strikes; it actually makes the more acute because they are being done by someone who in emotional makeup understands the emotional and moral pain and still does it.

      It is not helpful politics to create cartoons.

      • Sorry for the one word response. You are right that the abstract does not effect us emotionally as does that which is specific and close at hand. It is however reprehensible that Obama can not relate the emotion he is allegedly experiencing to the identical devastation and horror he has unleashed on brown and black people thousands of miles away. He can’t make that leap and say this is the same pain that the parents of the kid I killed in Afghanistan feels. Regardless of whether his tears are real or not, they are black hearted irony.

        And I disagree. Sometimes cartoons are the best way to make a point.
        http://archive.rall.com/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=19097&g2_serialNumber=3

      • Sorry again, but I simply have to add this.
        ” are being done by someone who in emotional makeup understands the emotional and moral pain and still does it.”
        That’s the part that’s bullshit. I don’t think he understands the emotional and moral pains at all.

        • The disjunction between being able to empathize with one situation and not being able to recognize the need for empathy is part of what elites vet for. Seeing it in Newtown CT and not in drone strikes is exactly what the training is for. Seeing it with other board members and some suppliers and not with customers, local communities, and definitely not with employees is exactly what the training is for. Moral demonization or castigation does nothing to change the situation. Nor does ignoring the cases in which the elite is allowed to empathize. Except with his critics, the black President Obama is not even allowed that elite luxury. It is a part of the institutional racism that pervades American society. And the ability to use empathy polemically is a luxury accorded elites. Normally the test of empathy is ignored socially unless it is directly personal in some way. Or abstract and generalized as a character trait in order to make a polemical argument against them that they are a monster instead of a human being. That is a losing political argument; there are few monsters in politics. There are monstrous institutions that require individuals to act in some situations as if they were monsters.

          But my ethical thinking was shaped by Reinhold Niebuhr, whose book Moral Man and Immoral Society sought to cope with one of the moments in history that did turn truly monstrous. Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem also tried to cope with that same historical event.

          Always it is too tempting and easy to turn strong political disagreements into charges of inhumanity and miss the fact that until 1945 and and the slap to consciousness of what the German Reich and Nazi Party had done, that behavior was all too human and commonplace. That shock has worn off and institutions are once again asserting the power to strip their members and participants of empathy. Even on the left, empathy has turned selective. And yet, empathy is a primary tool of political intelligence in a tactical sense of removing the power of harm.

          Satirists are much better at making cartoons effective than are moralists whose cheap shots play the psychologically satisfying game of “ain’t it awful” in order to get approval.

          The ‘crocodile tears” charge about Obama’s emotions about suburban Newtown was a GOP-generated cheap shot trying to frame Obama as a complete monster. At base, those Republican propaganda charges are expressions of either racism or the manipulation of people who respond to racist rhetoric. That the left has a strain that responds to this is one of the primary ways that left organizing has been weakened from the labor movement before the Civil War to Occupy. The focus on Obama the person diverts from the huge institutions surrounding Obama that shape every person within their claim to obedience.

          After all, Obama’s obedience is the defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, and where those directly shaping his thought have leverage is arguments about what that means. Among those that have shaped his understanding of gun violence and drone assassination have be recent Supreme Court decisions, the advisors that he with the pressure of others (politics ain’t beanbag) appointed to advise him on national security and Constitutional law. And they have apparently framed the issue as “drone assassination or US military boots on the ground with even more casualties”. Disengaging is not yet an acceptable option with US government institutions.

          Increasing the political pressure to disengage and making the political arguments for why to do that, the moral arguments for why that is the proper thing to do, and the narrative from empathy that ties those together is much more important than going “demon-hunting”. That and preparing oneself and one’s location for the political collapse that is the likely result of twenty years of intentional political gridlock and propaganda war. That collapse is going to be extremely tough and in no way stirring for geezers like myself in what will become hostile territory in any collapse. I am keenly aware that if that comes to pass I will not be able to use nuance in political discussion or even have a medium like the Cafe Babylon web site on which I can express my very complicated political and economic views. Or openly discuss how movement move and politics operate.

          Again, too much of the left is fixated in attention on one office and one person, who does not have near the monarchical power they imagine. And approach politics in too mechanical and in a profound irony too individualistic a way.

          No one can speak for another’s interior life and understanding. It is understandable that the anger that this moment in history arouses causes people to try to do that. Personal experience and a reading of history and biography exposes that as impossible and as a tactical trap in relating to people and moving political issues forward.

          The speech on gun control was about Presidential power in an era of gridlock and the ability to use the law to protect people in an era of official lawlessness and media incitement (part of the issue with stochastic terrorism). The lack of empathy of the entire Republican caucus with respect to the attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords struck every Democratic politician (or at least their staff) that they have targets painted on them. Legislators are permitting open and concealed carry at more and more types of locations, but strikingly not legislative chambers. And yet screening gun purchasers for past convictions is suddenly an offense against the Constitution. And doing what is legally the mandate on the executive departments to do is deemed tyranny. And those are crocodile tears because of the dead children in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia and …and. Americans will not allow their President to give a damn about children other than (white) American children. That the kids killed in Newtown were and affluent enough and suburban too (and possibly Republican as well). And in the current political climate they have gone from from passively not giving a damn to actively commanding their President not to show any signs of emotion over anything, not even dead white children.

          Sometimes I think in the heat of polemics we lose the thread about why we find drone assassination offensive in the first place.

          • Please. You have to excuse me for not wading through all of that sophisticated rationalization. There are two sides to that racialized view of Obama. On the one hand he is unfairly castigated because he is black. On the other hand he is given a pass because he is black. I do neither. I castigate him because he is evil. And does evil things. And because I am black that casts a shadow upon me. Fuck Obama.

          • Oh yeah. What I really can’t stand is evil masquerading as good and this just struck me as the epitome of it. Evening if the tears are real the tragedy exists in the fact that he is oblivious to the irony.

          • Sorry for multiple responses but once my mind gets on a certain track…
            Here’s a thought. A kind of metaphysical math problem. If the killing of one kid in America can cause Obama to shed a tear, how many dead Afghani children would it take? I am sure you’ve read the Drone Papers. As someone said on the subject drones aren’t a tool, it’s a policy. And it is the signature war policy of Barack Obama. And, in my opinion, a war crime.

    • i confess i didn’t see tears, just his swipes at the corner of his eyes. one constant in the definition for sociopathy is that one has no conscience, feels no guilt or remorse. studies seem to indicate that often sociopaths do learn to er….pretend to be moved so a to blend in. the most consummate prez actor was bubba clinton, imo, not ronnie raygun. (“i feel yer pain…”)

      but i’d guess that even sociopaths can be sentimental, and i’m thinking now of the holocaust nazi war criminals who could tear up at bach and other inspirational german composers’ music. then too, narcisistic personality disorder shares traits w/ sociopathy.

      but re: blacks asking O about his failures to address black issues, wealth or income gaps, or in this case ‘bidness opportunities’, i did think of this remarkable quote of his from 2012: “I Am Not the President of Black America”. boyce watkins reacts here.

      the sole time i remember seeing a spontaneous emotional reaction from his was when his buddy, henry louis gates was hassled by cops in front of his own door. anger. anger. outrage.

      • Oh yeah, he was crying all right. To be honest, I couldn’t believe it. Those were real tears all right, as he turned to the camera to display. I don’t know how he accomplished this. Genuine emotion; method acting or dabbing his eye with an irritant provided him by the CIA. But the tears were real. Well not necessarily ‘real’, but actual. As I indicated above, his empathy is very limited in scope. He can feel empathy for white children perhaps and for people who look like him (Trayvon) or black people of the elite black class to which he himself belongs, but that is apparently about the limit. Poor black or brown? Look out! He’ll bomb the shit out of you.

        Ted Rall is right on point in today’s Counterpunch
        ” If you order killer robot planes to blow up people who haven’t been convicted of a crime in any court, and those killer robot planes blow up those people and other people who just happen to be nearby when the missile hits, you’re an evil person who did an evil thing, and it doesn’t matter one little bit that you have a winning smile, that you say you’re trying to keep America safe and strong, that you’re fighting “them” “there” so we don’t have to do it here, that you’re funny at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner, that you look adorable alongside your two beautiful daughters, or that you’re the first black president.

        Save the qualifiers. You’re evil and I’ll draw you evil.”

        • Well, as I said, I hadn’t seen any wetness, just the moves, so it’ll have to be an open question to me, whether he’s adept at mega-compartmentalization or just a garden-variety sociopath who’s passing as a human being. Doesn’t matter altogether, he does what he does, and he lies about ‘we don’t torture’, as well. he just redefined rendition in maybe 2011 by way of some fancy time language with the help of one of his attorneys. ah yes, here it is, 2012:

          ““The way this is written, you are going to take us out of the rendition business,” Mr. Rizzo told Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Obama’s White House counsel, referring to the much-criticized practice of grabbing a terrorist suspect abroad and delivering him to another country for interrogation or trial. The problem, Mr. Rizzo explained, was that the C.I.A. sometimes held such suspects for a day or two while awaiting a flight. The order appeared to outlaw that.

          Mr. Craig assured him that the new president had no intention of ending rendition — only its abuse, which could lead to American complicity in torture abroad. So a new definition of “detention facility” was inserted, excluding places used to hold people “on a short-term, transitory basis.” Problem solved — and no messy public explanation damped Mr. Obama’s celebration.

          “Pragmatism over ideology,” his campaign national security team had advised in a memo in March 2008. It was counsel that only reinforced the president’s instincts.”

          Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will‘, NYTimes.

          • It doesn’t matter, but I am surprised, with your powers of observation, that you don’t see the wetness around the 1:3o mark. But then again, you didn’t see the smoking gun I showed you earlier.

            • oddly, my answer doesn’t seem to have taken. trying again: observation takes good eyes, at least in this case. mine are crap, only walmart cheaters available to me. like now: they seem to be finished for the night.

              sorry to disappoint.

              • I understand. Here’s a close up.
                He definitely shed a tear.
                Actual if not real.
                https://i2.wp.com/media.salon.com/2016/01/barack_obama_crying-620×412.jpg?w=653&quality=80&strip=info

                • okay, i see tears galore. is that a screen shot from one of the others? i can’t think so. but after THD had said that croc tears were an R construction/diss, i realized i really didn’t know the meaning or etymology, so…i looked it up and laughed heartily:

                  “Crocodile tears are a false, insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grief. The phrase derives from an ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while consuming their victims. While crocodiles do have tear ducts, they weep to lubricate their eyes, typically when they have been out of water for a long time and their eyes begin to dry out.”

                  • I had a hard time believing they were real, given who they were coming from. My eyes don’t often lie to me, so I had to believe them. But I did a double take and reran the video. It boggles the mind. The compartmentalization, as I think THD also said, must be working at 100 per cent. There is no way any empathy will be escaping the provincial vault. I tell you the truth, there are many things I dislike about the Obama regime but the drone robot murder program I like least of all. Bail out banksters, sold out healthcare, destroyed Libya, mass surveillance and so on. The drones are the worst thing he ever did. How could such a man shed tears of compassion. It’s like a Mafia hitman crying over the death of his own child.

                    And what is he using his tears to accomplish, as he turns to display them to the camera? Gun control. One of his handlers most have told him. “You can make it if you cry.”

                    • your assessment of yourself seem to be correct: once you get the bit in your teeth…you run with a meme. yes, but do see my comment to juliania on the chuckle-worthy quotes. sleep well; many of us are in the soup now together. cold comfort…yes.

                    • (no more nested comments reply spaces):

                      but yes, glad to oblige. please pay the café cashier $1.99 on your way out the door.

                      or: read my current killer kops diary as recommended, esp. the comment by halcyon well…the black radical tradition things, as well, perhaps. ;-)

                  • Thank you fa lettin me be mice elf, again.

                    • lol; welcome, dear.

                      you might like to listen to umi saleh on black agenda radio link halcyon brought in a comment on the new police thread. he is on fire; what a treasure! (i erased the rest so as not to be a spoiler.)

                    • Oh that is so funny. and weird that it ended up the way it did. When I first started ranting on this I came up with that silly transmogrification of a Sly Stone song. “You can make it if you cry”. It became a refrain in my head so I thought I’d end with it. And then you gave me the perfect opportunity to underscore the reference. LOL!

      • I’m not a big fan of firing the “sociopath” label-making gun (Remember those label-making guns with the dial of letters?) Psychological arguments in politics don’t sway much and don’t really enlighten much. Was Joe McCarthy a sociopath or just a belligerent drunk? Seventy years after his suicide, even Hitler’s psychology and whether there was pathology is hard to pin down. Arendt’s banality of evil is a possibility for all people, regardless of mental state. That’s what makes mental screening for gun ownership so tricky.

        Arendt in fact sees the banality of evil as an expression that under a certain set of circumstances almost anyone is capable of evil. She makes that same argument again in The Origins of Totalitarianism in saying that the Enlightenment focus on on equality was from the sense that everyone is equal in their propensity in certain circumstances to murder. And that justice seeks to reduce that propensity for the sake of civil order. (Yep: No justice; no peace.)

        Are there indeed people so damaged that they are incapable of understanding justice as an obligation. If so, how do they get damaged? What does that damage look like? For now, my operating principle is that Arendt’s sense of equality operates and that attributions of monstrosity are purely metaphorical or polemical and not analytical. Yes, that realization rankles me too. Because it seems to cast psychology as theology in secular language. And as we saw in Guantanamo, psychologists can produce their own inquisitions, torture and all.

        • morning, tarheeldem.

          Wow, and you didn’t even mention the Milgram experiments. ;-)

          But seriously, while I see your broader point, i’d point out that a low percentage of sociopaths are monsters, but that most have adapted to morés of the greater society, and i’ve read of some who were trained behaviorally to evidence at least simulated consciences. (i will say that i have personal experience of one of those cases.) and yes, the theories of causation of sociopathy: nature or nurture i still in its infancy. i tend to lean toward it’s beginning with attachment disorder (failure to bond), but for some with the seeds in place, the lack of true self-identity plays a large part, as in: wanting the validation that comes with power-seeking (sometimes wealth). given that a lack of remorse doesn’t provide a moral self-correction, it often leads to the hubris we witness with narcissists, who share common traits.

          as an aside, there used to be a quip about the three professions which in applying for…should automatically disqualify one. President is one of them, but i’ve forgotten the others. police-person?

          but the milgram experiments may have shown that evil in obeisance to authority is the sort of banality arrendt describes, although i’ve only read a few of her essays, and forget. but yes, i do think it worth looking at the psychological patterns of leaders, in this case ‘the leader of the free world’ Imperium…precisely because of the disconnects that he allegedly cares about ‘background checks and domestic massacres by gun’, but can also choose who to extra-judiciously murder by drone (well, private companies purportedly have taken the reigns now; who knows the truth?). And that his foreign misadventures exemplify, as do clinton’s, the exact same seed of violence that pervades our culture. but that’s a longer story, one in which i’ve already opined about after…sandyhook, it must have been, using alice miller’s great essays. i hope i did keep it; i liked it, myself. :-)

          yep, the president has his own constraints and ‘teachers’, but he never had to apply for the job, nor run a second time, and has a hella lot of leeway in what he does and does not do. that’s all for now, at least…it’s time to toast.

  4. All honorary degrees are awarded for kissing up to the PtB who are on the board of the university in question. Presidents, just by their office, are obvious choices and result in a competition to see who can get the speech (for posterity). Like most things with power, it ain’t personal.

    Yep, the last State of the Union report to Congress is usually low on new initiatives and big on “finish this work” calls even when partisan gridlock means a snowball’s chance in hell of action. President Obama would indeed be better off delivering it by email this year. But it does force some media time in which Republicans can be shown either sitting on their hands when what the public wants is discussed or wildly applauding President Obama, a President they have tried and failed to make illegitimate in the eyes of the public.

    More important than the SOTU this year is the fact that there is still a full year left before the next inauguration. It is possible for DAESH to be gone by then (even in their outposts in Libya). Heavy-handed US action would be counterproductive to this; that’s why the Congressional GOP caucus is baiting and goading the President to commit moar troops and moar bombs. If DAESH is gone, it will be from a consensus of that group of players who are negotiating the fate of Syria. I doubt that Saudi Arabia’s little dust-up with Iran by executing a Shi’a cleric made the Saudis more admired by the President. But moving on personal animus on the international sphere is not the President’s style. He saves that for those to the left Joe Lieberman.

    The economic situation is pretty much baked in for the next couple of years. And it is in the weird situation of high-riding assets and deflated commodities. Always a cue to drive the next round of “cost-cutting”, er layoffs even as new hires increase. Slicing an dicing full-time jobs into smaller and smaller contingency schedules can raise employment numbers off of that. Doesn’t even need the collusion of the government bean-counters. So the economic section of the SOTU is fundamentally boring. The big risk we are in is another asset-bubble collapse and the potential assets are multiple this time, including Chinese private-sector stocks (an interesting rigged game to begin with), a good bunch of global corporation stocks riding on expectations of consumers muddling through, and the Facebook-Google-phone app startup bubble. “Has Twitter made a profit yet?” is already an analyst’s mantra.

    The big pitch is the small-bore (love the metaphor) executive actions that the President just signed. That’s where the rhetoric will be and it will have the effect of baiting the gun lobby. Watch out for more (and likely better organized for the media) actions by gun owners. The homeland security types meanwhile will be Waco-Wacko and Ruby-Ridge shy of forceful action, unlike the takedown of Occupy Wall Street encampments. Most signs point to increasing craziness as the election approaches–one last attempt to try to make sure that the first black US President doesn’t serve out his full term; some dramatic sign of failure (since impeachment didn’t crimp Bill Clinton’s style).

    Why would you watch any last State of the Union anyway? To find out who the President has stocked in the gallery to showcase to the rest of the nation? Maybe now he’ll sign up Sean Penn. Is someone ready to arrest the replacement for Guzman?

    There was a recent release of a Hillary Clinton email that outlined Sarkozy’s reasons for war. The interesting one was France’s concern that Gadhafi was trying to replace France and the CAF in Francophone Africa. There was a lot of extrapolation about gold from that email, but the context in which it occurred was after the decision to go to war had already been made and the alliance was looking for the rest of Gadhafi’s gold to seize; most of the gold outside Libya was already seized. And they were looking for other possible oil purchasers to pressure into a boycott. It is the patented Clinton economic sanctions tactics.

    Most interesting prediction of year-end. Germany drifts toward Russia and away from NATO. I guess that is behind some of the retro-1938 mood in Europe of the moment. Old certainties.

    On the previous topic, it seems that DRC election is coming up soon and Joseph Kabila is prohibited from running again. A perfect reason for conflict, no?

    I think Western analysts are misjudging China’s economy by looking for relations from China outward to the West (broadly defined) and ignoring the Eurasian relationships with Russia and the -stans. Getting the infrastructure on the ground and operating in Eurasia is more important than the monetary niceties. The economic history of the US if filled with rapid infrastructure deployment and bankruptcies and defaults that deflated the capital cost to a level that made operation profitable in real (nonfinancial) terms.

    Getting more interesting.

    • “saves that for those to the left of joe lieberman”, lol.

      yeah, he’s legacy shopping as i indicated in the OP, and showing the audience what a wonderful world this can be in the future. guardian says he’s implicitly framing himself as an fdr, lbj, according chief-of-staff McDonut. and that he’ll talk about ‘inequality’ more, yessir.

      i hadn’t seen about the gadaffi emails; i’ll hunt, cuz the gold has long been of interest to me. now russia today (dunno the site veracity level) is saying that the u.s. and uk have already sent a lot of troops there already, way past the ‘plan to send’ meme abroad. what a mess.

      i’ll have to come back, i really need some brekkie, but i’d been reading marcy wheeler and b on the senn penn ‘story’, and someone linked to this fun one by andy borowitz. more later.

    • sadly, the economic condition for US is baked in now for far longer than a couple years, imo, and if the predicted bubble-bursts occur, then it will be full-tilt immiseration time, though it will serve to wake the sleeping class up, perhaps. sometimes, the wrong fingers of blame get pointed, though.

      i can see $30 oil impacting the market, but other commodities perhaps other nations, i dunno. but boy, are there a lot of opinions on the chinese economy! even stiglitz at bloomberg sayin’ ‘no big deal’, according to a headline. but i’d guess the scribes are looking to bring both bad news from china and russia, rather than seeking true analyses.

      interesting guess on germany increasing ties with russia, though. how many are wanting to kick frau frumpel and germany out of the EU by now? (by the by, i have a few links about ‘democratizing europe’ if i get to a post.

      on edit: oh, my; i found the long version of gadaffi’s gold/clinton emails. even the beginning is a big deal, i can’t wait to see if clinton’s implicated at all. oh, wait! not so much. but remember, her first act in libya was to create a central bank.

  5. Is it Dem POLITIC to SUFFER cartoons? :

  6. Since the conservatives “own and operate” the Republican Party and the conservatives “own and operate” the Democratic Party, and if Truth Telling and Shaming the Devil, wasn’t in such disuse, President Obama would be speaking directly to, of and for the Capitalist Caliphate.

    And necessary to my good mental health, I have taken to speaking in the form and function of cartoonist rhetoric, of the “Tajo de Pendejos, when it comes to the militia from Arizona, Nevada and Idaho ‘invading” Oregon and done in order to steal the public lands from the federal government and where the federal government stole the public lands from the Native Americans.

    • lol. at first i read it as ‘the Tao de Pendejos’, as in ‘the tao te ching’. ;-)

      but er…is it “slash the assholes”? i still like: ‘YallQaeda’. what welfare queens they are; this county is full of ’em. at least our Sagebrush Rebellion/tea party sheriff finally got voted outta office.

  7. Insofar as Barry’s s0tu is concerned, Turn in; Tunes(or Toons)On; and Drop 0′ !

  8. Wendy

    I liked your comment. To wit, a “tajo de pendejos” is a “bunch of dumb assess.” That’s the plural usage. The singularity is “Hijo de la Mala Vida.”

  9. how odd it is to me that such an ephemeral throw-away post as this would garner so many more comments (20) than my Zapatista one, which now has two. and those only because i’d offered my usual $1.99 to read and comment. ;-)

  10. Thank you for Michael Hudson’s three economic stories, wendye. Those are what we have in a nutshell. And he is now a professor at Peking University in Beijing – good for him. I notice that Yves always piles on the ‘China is collapsing’ articles at nakedcapitalism – what has gotten into her? As Tarheel says, perhaps, it’s all about survival. But really, that’s very short term survival, TH. That’s telling everyone to chuck the lifeboats, let’s stay on the Titanic. There was a presidential path open when Obama began his first term: he set aside the honorable course he was duty bound to pursue, to resist threats, refuse to perpetrate violence on other nations, and yes, maybe die for doing that. That’s the risk; it comes with the territory. He is culpable because he did not fulfill his oath of office.

    I think tears were an indication of his struggle with himself, at least as far as seeing what Putin asked – do you know what you have done? That is, there’s a war going on in his soul. I don’t think he’s upset that he couldn’t do all the things he wanted to do; I think he’s realizing what he has done while fighting that realization. ( Of course, that’s only supposition on my part; I can’t really know.)

    From what you are saying, TH, I deduce that it is no longer possible to even have a government. And yes, without one chaos will ensue. But aren’t we heading there in any case? Obama has steered us into terrible times, exposing us and the family he tries so hard to envelop in the lifestyle of the rich and famous to the abyss.

    Heaven help us.

    • great imagery, juliania, especially your last paragraph. perhaps this yeats metaphor as well?

      “Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; / Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…”

      your seeing obama perhaps at war with himself is almost the exact definition of ‘cognitive dissonance’. i don’t see it myself, putin’s pertinent question notwithstanding, save perhaps on that sole tears issue. perhaps: ‘why did i wait so long?’

      your paragraph here remind me of a number of questions i have concerning THD’s assertion responding to nomad, though, and i heartily agree with all of this…in spades.

      There was a presidential path open when Obama began his first term: he set aside the honorable course he was duty bound to pursue, to resist threats, refuse to perpetrate violence on other nations, and yes, maybe die for doing that. That’s the risk; it comes with the territory. He is culpable because he did not fulfill his oath of office.

      but oy, the myriad takes on china’s economy; just on this one at trnn, look at the many in the black box to the right of the video! (scanning this one did make a certain amount of sense to me, though, save for ‘the bubble bursting’ certainty. i have no idea if that’s so.

      cool on michael’s new job, though.

  11. This is a beautiful essay saying much of what I was feeling – I love how it even goes back to Noam Chomsky’s reaction to Hiroshima:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/12/drones-and-the-imperial-mind-set/

    • it’s a fine piece, and bless his heart for it. my favorite quote was ché guevarra’s, no surprise.

      i’ve been so horrified by the casual reports (and use) of drone assassinations that i’ve been writing about them for at least ten years, including creating imaginary stories of children in the fields hearing them approach, and the terror that ensues. the photos of dead children i had are fewer now, given computer crashes, but these still make me weep in horror at our collective abject acceptance of their ‘necessity’ and ‘pragmatism’. fuck that.

      as it turns out, i do have a category for drone assassinations, although it’s incomplete. and i blessed the bureau of investigative journalism when they began to compile lists of the dead-by-drone, oh, my stars.

      interestingly enough, or not, i was involved in a bit of a discussion at naked capitalism yesterday over bernie…and drones, and his shortish list of reasons for ‘going to war’. my favorite kurt sperry wrote a long and well-done comment about how incredibly superior a candidate he is to clinton, and i just ended up interrupting to include bern as an Imperialist via his own words on this diary, even if lesser so (who knows?) than the Hillary Hawk. it didn’t go terribly well with a couple ardent bern supporters. ;-)

      but while i’ll forgo asking THD any questions about his meticulous intellectually constructed response to nomad upthread, i will say that i was heartily offended by your saying this, amigo:

      “Sometimes I think in the heat of polemics we lose the thread about why we find drone assassination offensive in the first place.”

      i do not forget, nor do i forgive. i won’t vote for bernie, nor any other capitalist duopoly candidate, nor LOTE vote ever again, period.

      On edit: i’d meant to mention how many themes included on this diary mark harris had echoed, and that i’d missed his ‘time for a socialist vision in 2015′; i’ll read it gladly. i reckon it’s one of the main reasons i admire the zapatistas so much, given that they’ve been working on shared vision?shared power/shared responsibility they mean to lead to Good Government.

  12. Thanks for that link on China, wendye. I really am not an economist, but here’s the quote there that stood out for me:

    “China has a difficult policy problem on its hands. It is trying to so-called rebalance its economy, shift toward more reliance on consumers and household spending, which is only about 40-45 percent of GDP, and to raise household incomes. At the same time, it needs to worry about its massive debt, as a fraction of GDP is about 200 percent.”

    That ‘so-called’ got my attention. “So called”? Well, we certainly don’t want to shift towards more reliance on consumers and household spending, do we? Do we???

    “It needs to worry. . .” Why does it need to worry? Please explain this. (They didn’t.) I am probably wrong but I think I hear Prof. Hudson saying that a sovereign country should not be worrying about massive debt because as soon as it shifts its gaze in that direction it becomes Greece as she presently is, a broken splinter of a country that can never serve its people’s needs. Of course, that’s what ‘the world economy’ is aiming at in this interview. Debt forgiveness? Forgeddaboudit. Who does that profit? Not the households; not the workers.

    Da banks.

    • Good points, juliania. “So-called” is good because the idea that one needs to balance a consumer economy with — just what exactly? — is the economic analogy to false equivalency in rhetoric.

      China needs to worry about those debts owed outside of the renminbi zone. Or outside of the currency zones of strategic allies like Russia. The West, for example, regularly uses crushing debt and economic boycotts as a political tool. The first step of that pattern is to get countries to overextend themselves in debt for uncompleted and not yet cost-repaying infrastructure. Once overextended the project is canceled so that it never will repay and the debtor is stuck with the debt.

      I’m not clear that that is anywhere near the situation of China, which has sat on a dollar cash surplus of worrying (to the USA) size for about a decade. To the extent that they made good loans through the two banks they collaborated in starting, China might be in good shape to continue to roll out New Silk Road infrastructure. When that starts delivering commodities, people, and freight and receiving compensation that in part comes from lowering the cost of doing business for customers across Eurasia, the venture will pay off in the way that railroads in the US paid off to their private corporation owners in the 1880-1910 time period. Only with China, those payoffs go to the state enterprises that developed the infrastructure. It is signficant in this that there is minimal Western participation in those investments.

      • Thanks, Tarheel – I certainly defer to you on economics – and that makes sense to me. There is an interplay still within which the West has leverage, so it’s not clear how it is all going to turn out – I would hope for the ‘soft landing’ scenario, which probably equals the old Titanic drifting helpfully into shallow waters so we can all disembark with comparative safety. It didn’t work for Iraq and it didn’t work for Libya, to branch out anew, so I don’t really know if it will work for China, but it seems as if it is in all of our best interests that it does.

    • good-o, juliania. you read farther than i did. what i saw was the explanation of the ‘circuit breakers’ which i thought tallied with what joseph stiglitz had been saying earlier. yep, a capitalistic economist, but…not hysterical. i remember he’d been working for sarkozy (iirc) trying to create a ‘happiness index’ for france, which would have been a different way to guage economic success than…consumer confidence, say. ;-)

      looks as though thd has responded (not that i can divine all he must mean), and i find i’m way behind. kinda got sucked into my next diary…so many moving parts, and i get off on tangents so easily. thanks for the link; i’ll read it forthwith, or fifthwith, whichever comes first. ;-)

      • Well, you get points for remembering correctly that Stiglitz mentioned the
        ‘circuit breakers’. I only remembered somebody did, in a tolerant way, that they needed adjusting. And on the other side, there is debt forgiveness for some, as for Ukraine against Russia, so the playingfield is a bit rocky. Of course we know the IMF has the best of intentions . . .

        I really can’t believe the White House would try to sell what you have outlined above. That’s not a beltway bubble, more like a blimp, the kind that catches fire when tethered to the ground. Ah me, will we ever be able to truly laugh at stuff again? I miss that!

        • ha. it turned out that i received two more SOTU emails from the white house, biden and…ooof, i forget t’other one. but it all reminded me of either ‘happy days are here again!’ or:

          but this is freaking hilarious from RT: ‘SOTU: 10 Obama quotes that will make you chuckle‘ (laughing is more fun than…well, you know.)

  13. Do you buy this?
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/01/11/obamas_sotu_addresses_what_text_mining_tells_us_129273.html

    Me neither. It’s from RealClearPolitics.

    Nothing says amputated left wing in US politics like the chart in this article. Wherever the center of American politics is in the population, Obama is there. Wherever Obama positions himself immediately becomes “the left” for the right and frequently the “the neoliberal” for the left (even though it might be a Goldwater right wing position).

    • wordfish itself must be bogus, as are the terms that realclearpolitcs chose. for instance, if Rs use ‘terr’ism’, but O or Bubba used ‘islamic extremist enemies’, they’d be the same. ‘enivronment made me chuckle as well, as there can be different usages of the single word. ‘The environment’ (as in the ecosphere) would be highly different than say ‘an environment of political gotchas’ or what ever.

      silly stuff.

      i also wondered in your comment way upstream who you might have meant when you’d chastised ‘the left’ for __. as far as i’m concerned, there is no meaningful left in the US at this point. hence, the place we find ourselves.

  14. The only thing I could figure out was that there were two sets of four for everyone except Bush 1. And they get cute little red or blue buttons. Guess I go to the bottom of the class.

  15. They’ve ALL been Poppy’s proteges, Company men and extended burning Bushs’ crime family.

  16. it seems that real life is calling with obligations and…concerns…that need tending. i’ll sign off for tonight. best to all.

  17. Just a follow up on the topic of the diary. Seems the SOTU was the predicted trolling job on the Republican Congress from start to finish. Even the lines that got their applause were carefully trolled (in the fishing sense).

    • do you mean: ‘Dems are da good guys, R’s are da black hats’?

      i saw a headline that only 28 critters in the hall applauded the tpp; was that so? and er…you watched, you glutton fer punishment?

  18. I couldn’t read the transcript even, my phobia has gotten so bad, but quotes from the actual SOTU expanding on the ‘big stick’ crud from his first inaugural showed me how far this man has NOT come in learning to do his job the seven years he’s been granted by the ptb. (Would that it were only seven. Would that it had not even been one.)

    Now there’s this:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/329240-us-sanctions-iran-ballistic/

    I don’t know if this ‘breaking news’ is accurate, but it falls in line with the above pile of manure. moonofalabama.org had a presentiment yesterday and I’ve commented there this morning – but sorry I am to be reporting in this fashion on this day.

    “I knew Martin Luther King, and, sir – you are not Martin Luther King!”

    I early on stopped calling this man president. Now I can’t even say his name.

    • following the links say it’s true as can be, if highly illegal. but who would call the US out on it? hillary was touting the same yesterday, but then she sold weapons systems to the saudis in trade for contributions to bill’s ‘charitable’ organization.

      in the one rt link in black referencing the 2010 UN resolution, sammie powers was in the thick of it…at issue was the US claim that the missile could inherently be nuclear warhead capable. now what doe that mean? would a wee dirty bomb qualify as such?

      but rt had reported that once the deal with iran was implemented, the 2010 resolution on iranian missiles would time out. ergo, it seems that O had to hurry up before the last stage was complete, i expect. (i really wasn’t able to watch the whole video.)

      but hey; at least they sanctioned one UAE company! cripes, what wingnuttery. glad i spent the pat several days with mlk and ella baker instead. ;-)

      do we hear bibi in the background, or is that always true vis a vis iran?

      makes a mockery of this, no?

      • now ) may have said this in his ‘diplomacy, not war in the ME’ briefing above, but this is from the jerusalem post today:

        “WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on Sunday announced new sanctions designations targeting Iran for its ballistic missile activity, less than 24 hours after the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran entered into force, US Treasury Department officials announced.

        The White House came under fire on Saturday after reports surfaced that, in negotiating a swap of prisoners with Iran, it had been successfully threatened by Iran’s foreign ministry against implementing the new missile penalties. In October, Iran test-fired new ballistic missile models– designed to carry large payloads, particularly nuclear warheads – in violation of existing international laws.”

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