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    • Deep state
      House Democrats seek list of Trump appointees "burrowing in" to Biden administration https://t.co/9haPZkgBQv pic.twitter.com/0cu4tvAyRf — The Hill (@thehill) November 26, 2020
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    • The Path Of The Great Prophets
      A religion is an ideology with supernatural elements. We consider it OK to criticize Marxists or capitalists or libertarians or monarchists, but we tend to shy  away from saying that a religion has bad elements. The Hindu caste system is evil. It needs to end, and it needs to end today. If The Laws of […]
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The worm is turning on Obama

I’m getting that vibe.  It’s like the country is starting to realize that, Oh. My. God., we might be stuck with this loser for four more years.  How did this happen?  I have a hypothesis that the last time Americans picked a president was in 1996 but I’ll save that for another time.

What I’m surprised to see is how many opinion makers are now turning on him.  There was The Daily Show last week when Jon Stewart pointed out that a felon in the West Virginia primary got 40% of the Democratic primary votes.  There was Kristen Schaal disgusted with her choices this year and pleading, “Please run for Office, Hillary Clinton”.

And now we have Richard Cohen.  Wait, did he make the wanker of the decade list? Turns out he did coming in as 6th runner up.  Congratulations, Richard! Well, nevermind that, his latest column was unexpected.  Richard is basically saying, “Obama smells, he’s got no friends and nobody likes him.”

Last week I asked a member of the Senate if he knows of anyone who really knows Obama. He said he does not.

Washington is thick with stories about Obama’s insularity and distance. We hear how he does not listen to criticism — he sometimes just walks out of the room — and how he sticks to a tight circle of friends. His usual weekly golf game is mostly limited to the same people — and when he played a round with House Speaker John Boehner(R-Ohio), it was treated as an exceptional event. When, for whatever reason, Politico analyzed Obama’s golf outings (June 6, 2011), it found that Obama’s “golf circle has actually gotten much tighter over the past 212 years” — none of them politicians or, heaven forbid, journalists.

 […]But Obama cannot or will not indulge in the sort of face-to-face politicking that Johnson so favored. He has not stroked important contributors — one bundler told me he never hears from Obama. As the New York Times put it recently in an article about his fundraising on Wall Street, Obama himself has “a reputation for being cold at small gatherings.” “I just don’t think he likes us,” one fundraiser is quoted as saying.

The best that can be said for Obama is that he treats everyone with about the same degree of distance. One important Democrat used the term “cuckoo-clock events” to refer to White House receptions where Obama robotically appears, says a minimal amount of words and then disappears. He does not mingle — or, if he does, it is as little as possible. Bill Clinton, in contrast, was the host from hell. The party never ended.

I highlighted all of the negative words and phrases.  Considering the length of the post, this many negative phrases should sound alarm bells for his campaign.  Reading this, you get the feeling that Obama is callous, cold, insensitive to the feelings of others, and really doesn’t like people.  He’s a bit of a misanthrope.    There’s even a comparison to Bill Clinton who seemed to be warm, gregarious and a people person. Cohen seems almost wistful about the endless party that was Bill.  Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…

There’s more to that column about LBJ.  I’m listening to Robert Caro’s book on Johnson, The Passage of Power, and I can definitely see the characteristics of JFK in Obama.  He’s surrounding himself with the smartest guys in the room who have absolutely no idea how to deal with Congress.  Like JFK, Obama spent most of his time in the Senate interviewing for his next job.  JFK never passed a significant piece of legislation and was not known to be a “workhorse”.  You could cut Kennedy a break because of his constant illnesses but what’s Obama’s excuse?  Four years ago, we here at The Confluence predicted that he would have trouble working legislation through Congress because he’d never really had to do it and how could it have been otherwise?

But what we have here in Cohen’s column is cocktail party talk.  This is the voice of the Village who now do not want Obama at their lunch table.  It’s sophomoric and petty but when the press starts to turn on you, it can get ugly fast. The New York Times is calling him “cold at small gatherings”.  That can’t be good.

The second worm that has turned as been Yves Smith.  I know she has been critical of Obama in the past but her post today makes it sound like her hair is on fire.  It’s hard to pick excerpts from Barack Obama, the Great Deceiver, the whole thing is good, so run over there and read it yourself.  Here’s a taste:

Engelhardt depicts a malevolent leader without using that word. It is hard to see a policy of drone strikes that have and will continue to kill innocents, a continuation of extraordinary renditions, and assassinations of American citizens merely suspected of terrorism, in any other light.

But his actions are detrimental not only for their overweening, super-hero-like force, but more often, for serving vested interests by being deliberately weak, badly watered down versions of real reforms (and correspondingly, notice how often Obama maintains he was boxed in by intransigent Republicans, when in fact they serve as convenient scapegoats for what he wanted to do anyhow?)

And by taking as much debate and energy as the genuine remedies, they prevent the topic from being revisited for years, if not decades. The frequently criticized Dodd Frank is one example, but the poster child is Obamacare. The program manages the difficult feat of worsening the fundamental problem of our health care system, which is bad incentives and resulting out-of-control costs. It enriched Big Pharma and the insurers rather than bringing them to heel. The result will be overpriced insurance that covers little. We’re seeing that start now as the FDA is looking into make a number of widely used drugs, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol medications, over the counter, which would mean they would not be covered by health care policies.

Readers of this blog are likely to argue that they have a jaded view of Obama, but still regard him as preferable to Romney. But they seem to fail to appreciate another layer of Obama’s deception, that his charm and unflappable demeanor mask his ruthlessness. It’s no accident that he chose Rahm Emanuel as his initial chief of staff, an enforcer and by all accounts one of the members of what was an unusually tight inner team. The Democrats are now indistinguishable from the Republicans in their mastery of Rovian playing on identity politics. Obama has also proven adept at neutralizing well positioned actual or potential threats, such as David Petraeus, Elizabeth Warren, and Eric Schneiderman.

People who answer polls may not want to say what they really think of Obama.  They don’t want to be called racists.  But it’s not about race.  It’s about getting the feeling that, somehow, you’ve been had.  Yes, I think malevolence is not too far off the mark.  It started in the primaries of 2008.  It was the hooliganism of his on the ground supporters at caucuses, the fact that he took his name off the ballot in Michigan in order to monkeywrench the primary process, that he never stood up for the voters of Florida and Michigan and how he and his party treated his competition at the convention, with contempt and driven to humiliate.  Those of us who were not starstruck watched it in horror because we couldn’t seem to stop it and make people come back to themselves.

Back then, Yves was a cautiously optimistic Obama supporter.  Not anymore.  And once you see what you’ve been trying to avoid, you can’t unsee it.

Expect more of the same over the next couple of weeks.  The reality of the next four years is setting in and so is the slowly escalating anxiety and fear of what’s to come.

Tuesday: Obama is running for president again in 2012!!!

Let's not and say we did.

In case you didn’t know, because his campaign is trying to keep it low key and file early before anyone else notices, Obama is running for president in 2012.  That gives me a second opportunity to not vote for him.  I can hardly wait.

But where’s the fanfare?  The snooty “nose in the air” stylized graphic portraits of “Yes, we can” Man?  Why so hush-hush about the whole fol-de-rol?  The LATimes has a theory.  You’re going to love this:

Like other incumbents, Obama wants to avoid being viewed as a candidate for as long as possible to limit the scent of politics in his presidential maneuverings. He did not appear in the two-minute video that accompanied his emailed announcement, and he held no public events Monday. He did make an unannounced conference call to supporters in which he described himself as “a little older and a little wiser” than in 2008.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama was “not focused on elections” and that there would be “plenty of time well down the road for politics.”

OMG, isn’t that a hoot??  He doesn’t want to look like he’s playing politics.  And he’s “a little older and wiser”.  That would be an improvement over 2008 when he was inexperienced and over his head, not to mention shoved down our throats by a bunch of finance guys who wanted a weak president who would be their Yes Man.  But, frankly, my dear, I don’t believe it.  Obama doesn’t really like politics.  He’s in love with the *idea* of politics.  But real “down in the mud”, get in your face, LBJ style politics?  That’s icky and makes him feel like he needs a shower.

LBJ puts the squeeze on Congress

I think that’s clear now to most Obots.  Paul Krugman never was a Kool-Aid drinker but he’s been giving the guy a chance (more than he deserves, IMHO, after he cheated his way into the nomination).  Even Paul seems exasperated these days.

But then there are the Grape flavored addled ones, like Kevin Drum, doing his best Britney Spears imitation of her unquestioning belief in George Bush.  Arthur Silber has the low down on Kevin’s devotion and trust in Obama.  Here’s Kevin leaving Libya in the hands of God Obama:

So what should I think about this? If it had been my call, I wouldn’t have gone into Libya. But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I’d literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he’s smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted. I voted for him because I trust his judgment, and I still do.

No, Kevin, you didn’t vote for Obama because you trusted his judgement.  You voted for him because his campaign made you think you were smarter, cooler and more connected to the political zeitgeist than you actually are.  To be honest, I have never been impressed by Kevin Drum so it could be the case that Obama is smarter, better informed, better to…oh, don’t make me repeat the nauseating drivel.  Obama is none of those things.  He is just what I said he was: a corporate ladder climber, a schmoozer, a guy who wants the corner office just so he can have the corner office.  The responsibilities that come with that office are secondary concerns.  Or tertiary.  Or quantenary.  Right after winning the MacArthur Genius grant, an Academy Award and Woman of the Year.  Voters are such whiners.  They need to learn personal responsibility.  Michelle, where is that bowl of homemade, sugar free, organic, macrobiotic granola you’ve been growing in the front lawn as an example of what working mothers everywhere should be cultivating for their children in their copious free time?

Anyway, I’m getting off track.  Let the campaign season commence!  Obama and his droogs are no doubt commandeering the social media outlets as. we. speak. to convince us that whatever it is we thought we wanted from him that he failed to deliver was some unreasonable expectation on our part and that we are too demanding or something.  His guys (and they HAVE to be mostly guys) will spend the next 18 months trying to get us to vote for him and I will spend the next 18 months digging in my heels and demanding that he actually do something I like.  Like get a real jobs program, rewrite his lame healthcare insurance bill, figure out a way to stop the crazy Republicans in their tracks.  Yeah, right, dream on.

I’m voting Green or Socialist or Ladies Auxilliary or Player to be Named Later.  Obama can save his breath.  I haven’t listened to him since that clueless State of the Union address back in January.  Yada-yada-yada.

Podcast of the day: Witness- the birth of Medicare

It’s funny that the BBC frequently does American history better than, well, Americans. Recently, the BBC4 program, Witness, did a podcast on the Great Society and the birth of Medicare.

What I found interesting is that although LBJ was the president to sign the bill into law, the concept of Medicare was not a new one. It had been introduced into congress years earlier but had to wait until Democrats outnumbered Reoublicans by a ratio of roughly 2:1.

Think about that for a moment. In order to get the kinds of programs that theAmerican middle class actually likes, you have to reduce the number of Republicans in congress substantially. Conversely, when the number of Republicans reaches parity or exceeds it, these programs come under pressure for privatization and elimination.

This is a concept that escapes most voters who routinely vote for Republicans but who actually like liberal programs like Medicare and social security.

Check it out here: Witness- the Great Society and the birth of Medicare.