SocraticGadfly: 8/8/10 - 8/15/10

August 14, 2010

Could we see a coup in Pakistan?

The Guardian says President Zardari's dilatory response to the disaster of recent floods makes that entirely possible. Beyond looking at Pakistan's crisis-laden general history, the story reminds us that Bangladesh got its independence — and sought its independence — as a result of another natural disaster, the devastating 1971 cyclone, and hte government's poor response.

A coup now? The ISI would probably insist on us scaling back drone warfare. Support for terrorist groups in Kashmir might increase. The Obama Administration would use that as an excuse to extend land war in Afghanistan.

We'd be back at, about, 1989, only with U.S. troops in Afghanistan. This could be a disaster.

August 13, 2010

Afghanistan withdrawal getting put on hold?

It looks like it could be. But, I'm just a (nonprofessional) leftist fringe member. I'm not the experienced Barack Obama or David Petraeus.

What the defenders of Robert Gibbs don’t get

While I like a lot of what Gene Lyons has to say as a columnist, his defense of Robert Gibbs is something I just don’t get, even after exchanging e-mails on his recent Salon column to that end.

The Politico column I do get, because it’s an “inside baseball” piece.

Let’s set aside, as I told Lyons, Obama the Snooper being possibly worse than Bush, and focus just on domestic policy.

  1. Lyons defends Obama on not doing more for gay marriage, while ignoring Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  2. He ignores the Obama Administration’s apparent post-Deepwater collusion with BP to hide how bad the spill was, and more.
  3. He ignores that, not in 9 months, but in 16 months, Obama’s not-so-totally-environmentalist Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, had not done a lot to clean house not only in Minerals Management Service, but in the Bureau of Land Management and elsewhere.
  4. He ignores the question of whether Obama ever really wanted a public option on the health care bill, and whether the legislation we actually got isn’t calculated to raise 2012 campaign dollars.
  5. He ignores similar questions on the financial ‘reform’ legislation.
  6. Finally, defenders of Obama in general overlook the question of whether his personality, even more than Bill Clinton’s, is simply not that of a “fighter.” And that’s the key to all of this. Especially when combined with Shirley Sherrod’s lament that he needs to get to know some real people.

I'm taking Lyons as symptomatic of the professional class of neoliberals, quasiliberals, diluted liberals, once-upon-a-time liberals, compromise liberals, Kumbaya liberals, infected-by-political-correctness liberals and more who all feel this way.

And, they too are part of the reason, as I told Lyons, that we need more people to vote Green, Socialist, or whatever. Stop enabling Barack Obama and his ... ilk.

Stop enabling a Democratic Party that keeps tacking right; eventually, we'll have another Grover Cleveland.

Stop getting breathless over Obama's accomplishments, especially if there's white liberal guilt still in the background.

Finally, admit that plenty of Dems were in on the bills/actions that led to the financial precipice that Obama allegedly has reformed, but in actuality hasn't, and along with that, stop enabling the two-party duopoly.

Next test on how "liberal" Obama is, or is not, and how liberal his blanket defenders are?

Whether or not he appoints Elizabeth Warren to run the new consumer protection agency AND what sort of freedom she has, if she is appointed.

August 12, 2010

With 'liberal' columnists like Gene Lyons ...

And his half-defending Robert Gibbs, with a blatant refusal to distinguish between what Obama hasn't accomplished and hasn't even tried to accomplish (example: Lyons talks gay marriage and ignores DADT), then I guess we don't have a lot of truly liberal columnists.

August 11, 2010

Why Obama the Snoop should scare the hell out of you

Glenn Greenwald nails all the low points of how Obama is out-Bushing Bush on spying on America.

And yet, too many Democratic voters won't, or refuse to, wake up.

Meanwhile, to what end? Greenwald shows the government is drowning in its own data mining.

The real end? The contractors, such as DynCorp, SAIC and many others, becoming ever more another branch of government.

And, after that, then, the money that lobbyists for these companies give to political candidates.

More on why Google is the new Microslob or worse

Lying about Net Neutrality, and its interest in it, is the behemoth's latest "issue," especially when it's for the sake of a partnership with Verizon.

I am growing almost as tired of Googleholics as I am Appleholics.

Add in the question about whether Google has known, for some time, that some third-party apps on the Droid have been spying on users, and the Google mistrust issue just keeps on rolling.

Sorry, but it's time to reform some public pensions

Sorry, Colorado public workers, but, yes, your pensions need adjusting. Getting a guaranteed 3.5 percent hike every year, no matter the inflation rate, just doesn't fly.

That said, neither does the state structuring its pension system so that they replace, not supplement, Social Security, especially if state jobs in Colorado don't offer 401s, either.

Happiness is more than 'things'

If there are silver linings to be found in the current recession, this is one of them. Investing in "actions," like vacations, etc., is more rewarding than buying "stuff." That said, the story has a bit of a "fail." It still looks too much at acquisitiveness.