Capitalists except when Obama does it

The Obama administration recently announced that the regulation of domain names for the internet, which has been controlled by the government, will soon be decided by the free market. dot-com-domain-seisure  So of course conservative groups who rail against government regulation cheered loudly, congratulating Obama for supporting capitalism.

Ha ha! Just kidding!

Just a few days ago we saw how conservatives love capitalism and the free market (except when government regulations help their Big Money contributors).   

And how the basic premise behind Fox News is “Whatever Obama does, we’re against it.”

So I don’t have to let you know how Fox reacted, do I?  

Helping criminals means you’re unfit

Despite the fact that our system of justice works when accused criminals are allowed to have at least one lawyer to fight against the full might of the government, we defense attorneys are still daily insulted by people who think that if we defend bad guys, we must be bad guys too.  This is despite the fact that defense attorneys are the ones who are making sure the government doesn’t just stop and search everyone all the time, ignore all your rights, and lock you up without reason.gavel

Not good enough for the US Congress.  They denied the appointment of one of our nation’s greatest defense attorneys today to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division because the guy had spent his career defending people’s civil rights.  Clearly, this makes him perfectly unsuitable for the position.  Worse yet, many Democrats (including my own Senator) voted against him.

Obama rightly criticized those who voted against him:  “The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. As a lawyer, Mr. Adgebile has played by the rules. And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him. The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice — and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an outstanding public servant.”

Apparently the only person who should be eligible to head the Civil Rights division is someone who has absolutely no experience with it.  Because otherwise, he or she may actually take action to address problems or something, and we can’t have that.

All lawyers should be insulted by this.

Whatever Obama does, it will be wrong

If Obama tries to solve the Ukraine situation with diplomacy: He’s weak and ineffectual.

If Obama takes military action: He’s rash and careless with our troops’ lives.

Remember, if you are a Republican, the bottom line is this: No matter what Obama does, it’s always the wrong thing.Obama-Putin

This “Obama is always wrong” attitude must really hurt them, because in their hearts they can’t really believe it, can they?  I recall when bin Laden was killed, and you could see it in their faces.  They wanted so much to cheer and celebrate like the rest of us, but they had to find some fault with Obama.  It was just impossible for them to give him credit.  Then they had to deal with Gaddafi.  Had George W. Bush gotten rid of him, the praises would never end.  But Obama doing it?  It’s terrible.

They are now blaming Obama for the Ukraine/Russia situation because, of course, the world reacts to the United States and never does anything on its own.   In all seriousness, the situation in the Ukraine has nothing to do with Obama.  This protest would have happened no matter who was President, and Putin would have taken action no matter what.  You know that’s true.

But some conservatives are pointing to Sarah Palin and giving her credit (I am not making this up) for predicting that Putin would attack the Ukraine if Obama was President.  Why Putin waited six years until Ukraine rebelled against him with no encouragement or backing from Obama, she hasn’t explained yet.  (Palin also predicted that Obama would invade Pakistan, too.)

The Ukraine uprising is a good thing.  It is a move towards modernization and away from the repressive Russian government.  We should be encouraging this completely.

Ironically, many of the conservatives who are criticizing Putin had just months ago praised him and called him “The Leader of the Free World” for his cracking down on gays.  Seriously, because when you think of “free world” you immediately think of throwing people in jail because you’re a bigot.

So let’s revisit this post in a bit and see if I am correct.  No matter what decision Obama makes, the right will criticize it.  And I predict this as well:  Someone on the right will have said beforehand what they would do in his place — and then when Obama does that, they will back down and claim that it is a bad idea.  Wait and see.

“He only won because he’s black”

Michelle Bachmann said Americans voted for Obama because he was black and they felt guilty. Yep! That’s why I supported Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Carol Mosley-Braun and Herman Cain. s-michele-bachmann-large300

No. Wait. I remember now. I didn’t support any of those people.

Dammit! Why can’t the world be as simple as Michelle Bachmann, where there is black and white and nothing inbetween — where the color of someone’s skin is the determining factor instead of complicated things like their experience, stand on the issues, and education?

But no, that’s just too subtle for her. The fact that the majority of Americans supported a Senator who graduated at the top of his class from both Columbia and Harvard Law, whose positions on the issues most matched theirs, and who belonged to the party that had won more votes in three of the last four Presidential races is completely meaningless to her, because the only thing she sees is the color of Obama’s skin.

Let’s see … there is a word for someone like that, isn’t there?

As if facts mattered…

Next time your conservative friend talks about how much Obama has destroyed the economy, point out:

The Dow was at 7,949 when Obama took office.  It’s now at 16,130.*   1794804_726536620713610_48031525_n Under Obama, the Dow keeps setting new records.

Unemployment was at 7.8%.  It’s now at 6.6%.

GDP growth is harder to quantify.  I am not sure where the image here got its numbers.  From what I can tell, it averaged around negative 3.1 under the last year of Bush and has averaged around 1.7 under Obama.  Not great numbers, but certainly an improvement.  (There was one quarter where it was 4.1% but using the best number and ignoring the others is misleading.)

The fiscal deficit, which is the gap between expenditure and revenue, was at 9.8% of the GDP under Bush, and was 4.9% for last year.

Consumer confidence under Bush was at 40.0% when Obama took over.  It is now at 80.7%.

So anyone who tells you things are going downhill is just plain wrong.

Then again, anyone who tells you were are doing great is also just plain wrong.  Almost all of that economic gain has gone to the 1%.   The rest of us are still floundering, and the middle class is dying.  Unemployment is still too high and wages are still too low.  And the debt keeps rising.

Bottom line:  Obama is not destroying the economy.  You’re thinking of Bush.  However, he has not solved everything either, so Obama supporters who try to sugar coat things are exaggerating.  

Had the Republicans passed a jobs bill, maybe we would be in better shape.  Our infrastructure is falling apart, and we could be hiring millions of people to fix roads and bridges for a fraction of what we give away to the 1% in tax breaks and subsidies they don’t need.   Investing in people as well as our infrastructure is wise and pays off dividends in the long run.  If we had a Republican President, there is no doubt in my mind we would be doing this now. However, the Republicans have repeatedly said that they will stand in the way of anything Obama wants. They don’t want him to claim successes for anything.  The interests of the party outweigh the country’s needs, after all.

That’s the real economic scandal.

* all numbers are as of February 18, 2013, updated from the illustration accompanying this, to the best of my ability. (Some sources were difficult to interpret and I am not an economist.)

Businesses must be free (except when they do things we disagree with)

“Yeah, gimme a pack of Marlboro Lights.”

“Sir, this is a Foot Locker.  We only sell shoes here.”

“What?  But that’s illegal!  You have to sell me cigarettes!”

So we find another gross injustice and example of discrimination in American society.

This has brought about some questioning from the media. “How can a business decide to not sell a legal product?” asks a reporter from Fox News. (Ha ha! I really didn’t need to add the “from Fox News” part, did I?)

Anyway, Miss America pageant contestant and Fox News “reporter” Gretchen Carlson was quite upset about CVS’s decision to no longer sell cigarettes.

cvs"Businesses need freedom!"  Fox News continually shouts. "A business owner shouldn't have to answer to anyone about their internal decision-making … Except when they decide things we here at Fox don't like.  That's different."

I think the real reason Fox is so upset is because President Obama applauded CVS for taking this position. And as we all know, if Obama is in favor of anything, Fox News is legally required to oppose it.

I anxiously await the day Obama proclaims that "breathing is good."

No, we are not moving toward a tyranny

It’s hard to debate with people who are convinced that the United States is becoming a tyranny.

Does anyone really believe that Obama will say, “I’ve decided to suspend elections and remain President-for-Life”?  Do you really believe the military, who swear an oath to the Constitution and not the President, will go along with this?  Do you think all the politicians who won’t even pass a simple jobs bill for Obama will roll over at this?  Hell, can you imagine Hillary Clinton deciding she’ll go along with it?

It ain’t gonna happen.  But some paranoid people who probably should be taking some sort of medication think that basically “If I don’t get my way, then clearly this country has become a tyranny.”

There are a lot of things our country does that I don’t like.  And I think the President has become much too powerful (but that has been going on for generations).  But the chance of anyone turning our country into a tyranny is next to zero.  Calm down already.

This usually comes up with gun debates.  Gun owners who feel that their rights are being trampled cannot understand that the vast majority of Americans disagree with them.  Even the Supreme Court disagrees with their interpretation of the Constitution.  Only 13% of Americans in the latest Gallup poll think there are too many gun control laws.  49% say there aren’t enough, and the rest think it’s just fine or have no opinion.

As I stated previously, the way you get change in the US is by getting the population on your side and voting in change (through referendum like the ones legalizing marijuana and gay marriage), by electing politicians who agree with your views, or by bringing lawsuits to protect your rights and affect change.ExecutiveOrders_byPresident (1)   Sometimes your viewpoint will lose.  That’s how it works in a democracy.

The latest crap is about Obama’s Executive Orders.  Executive Orders are not mentioned in the Constitution, but have been around forever and the Supreme Court has said they are Constitutional.   There’s one internet story going around about “Obama’s 932 Executive Orders” which is a complete pack of lies (whoever wrote that hopefully was wearing flame-resistant pants).  Further, he’s issued less Executive Orders than many of the Presidents before him.

So just calm down.  There are indeed issues concerning our personal rights and liberties that we should be worried about with the government.  But we’re not going to become a tyranny.