Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hypocrite. Coward. President.

If I seem to be writing less frequently lately, it's because my anger and outrage are devolving into the usual depression. I never expected all that much of Obama, but I suppose all that financial industry money spent on his campaign affected even a habitual cynic like me, so I swallowed hard and hoped.

Hope. Bullshit.

Let's forget my usual economic complaints for the moment. This week, I heard promises about greater regulation of derivatives, more anti-trust suits, and action to limit predation by credit card. I'm not listening to promises anymore. I'll wait and see what, if anything, actually happens.

Onward and downward: where the hell is Dwight D. Eisenhower (or some reasonable facsimile) when you need him? It's looking more and more like Obama is being cowed by Pentagon bullies, with participation by CIA, NSA, and probably a dozen other agencies whose goddamned initials are top secret. Why has McChrystal replaced McKiernan? Beats me, unless it's that McCrystal is okay with an invasion of Pakistan from Afghanistan, and McKiernan isn't. And what will that consummate bully, Benjamin Netanyahu, bully our president into doing when they meet this week?

Take some action against the torturers? Um, no, 'fraid not. Come to think of it, we can't even release any more embarassing photos. Abolish the military tribunals? Uh, sorry, but that might force us to release some people whose "confessions" were extracted by the aforementioned torture. "Don't ask, don't tell?" Don't ask.

Last week, Dick Durbin observed that the financial industry, despite its setbacks, still had the strongest lobby in Washington -- but what Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex still has to be in the running. So, how many of the useless, overpriced "defense" contracts that now appear to be on the chopping block actually will be chopped? If experience is any guide, most of those turkeys will still be alive and well for next Thanksgiving, and for the one after that as well.

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