When the Republicans threw out the legacy of Lincoln and made a pact with the devil by assimilating the Dixiecrats they sowed the seeds of their destruction. It got them political dominance for 2 decades but the religious fundamentalists, neo-segregationists and nativists they pandered to rather then remaining useful idiots for corporate interests now are running the show and have a death grip on the party.
It's now the party of the rural deep South and Appalachia. It is collapsing every where else as the vicious raving wingnuts seem as alien to average Americans as a Taliban Mullah. It may not have seemed so at the time but the loss of the Dixiecrat wing was the best thing that ever happened to the Democratic party. It is now a center-left coalition that can encompass 70% of the nations electorate.
The oligarchs who thought they had the perfect formulae for destroying labor and robbing the middle class are scrambling to find some leverage in the Democratic party. They certainly have their stooges in place in Geitner, Summers and the legislators who are doing their bidding gutting the bankruptcy bill.
Because they want the West Bank. Gaza was more trouble then it was worth with zip in terms of resources and a huge population crammed into a small squalid space. The West Bank has the water supply Israel depends on and that is a resource more valuable then oil.
Between the Israeli government's desire to control the regions vital water supply and the religious fanatics desire for a greater Israel devoid of Arabs - Gaza was a small price to pay to be able to continue the annexation of the West Bank using the para-military fanatics in the settler movement as it's extra-legal vanguard force.
The issue of torture has nothing to do with AL Qaeda and what are enemies do or don't do. The Republicans always say torture is OK because we use it against really bad people guilty of heinous acts and torture works. You have to fight fire with fire.
Well we have prisons filled with murderers, child rapists and bad guys guilty of acts as heinous as any act of terrorism. Shouldn't we be water boarding them to? Why not bring back the rack? If torture is an effective method and an effective tool why not use it against all the bad guys not just terrorists? Maybe they had it right in the middle ages and guys like George Washington were just a bunch of naive wimps not willing to do what was needed to defend our country. Maybe the founders were wrong and we should be looking to Ivan the Terrible or Vlad the Impaler as role models instead of the founding fathers.
It's hilarious to hear these clowns complain that Obama is not being "tough" on Chavez. For the 8 years of the Bush administration the US sent Chavez $30 Billion + a year. Who cares if you engage in some juvenile chest thumping and macho rhetoric when you are shoveling mountains of cash into Chavez's pockets. Hugo was laughing all the way to the bank.
Of course no one on the news ever mentions the river of dollars that continuously flows to Chavez from the same Republican corporate oligarchs who talk so tough about Chavez on camera and what our huge balance of payment deficit with Venezuela means. Or the fact that we have been financing the terrorists who would like to destroy us by sending billions more to the Saudi Royal family who are nothing more then the Taliban with Gucci loafers.
There is an old saying keep your friends close but your enemies closer. It was perfectly appropriate for Obama to be civil and diplomatic with Chavez at a diplomatic conference. It shows strength and smarts rather then weakness and stupidity.
As well as the new South. Florida, Virginia and North Carolina are turning blue. They will have to hole up in the rural deep south or the Appalachian hinterlands. The demographics everywhere else are sweeping them away.
The way the CNBC crew gushes over the Chinese leadership you would never know they were Commies and anti-democratic autocrats who can compete with the Castro's any day on human rights abuses and repression. Listening to Kudlow and the rest you'd think they were card carrying members of the Club for Growth.
I don't believe when we engage bad people (many of whom are allies and trading partners) we get very far by insulting them and letting them know what evil scumbags they are on diplomatic visits (even if it may be true). I expect as soon as his brother kicks the bucket Raul and the Generals that support him will do everything they can to emulate the Chinese model which would be a step in the right direction. It's something Raul attempted in the past but it got squelched by Fidel.
Everything you have written could have been written about China or Vietnam, both Communist dictatorships. Our policy towards Cuba should be the same as it is currently with China and Vietnam. And no Chinese and Vietnamese expatriates living in the US don't determine our policies with those countries.
The abysmal failure that is the embargo has done nothing to bring freedom to Cuba and in reality helped only 2 groups.
1. It's the best thing that ever happened to the Communist government of Cuba. No party big shot has ever suffered any deprivation because of it and it's provided a gold plated excuse for all of Fidel's failures.
2. The scam artists in Miami who pocket 90% of the billions the federal government spends that is supposed to be helping build democracy in Cuba. Instead it's fattening the bank accounts of phony 'freedom fighters' in Miami and oiling the local Republican party patronage machine.
100 years ago the British arrogantly thought that the British Pound would forever be the foundation of the world economy. Many in the US display the same hubris about the dollar's reserve status today. Before the Republican ascendancy the US was the world's largest creditor and largest exporter of manufactured goods. Having gutted our income producing economy and replaced it with a vast Ponzi scheme we are now the world's biggest debtor. We have been maintaining our living standards despite declining real middle class income by borrowing money from the rest of the world with our number 1 creditor being China.
The collapse of the credit bubble means the end of the US consumer as the engine of the global economy. US consumers now must focus on saving and repairing their balance sheets which means a lower standard of living and less consumption. This process has already begun in earnest as we have gone from a negative to positive savings rate in the last few months.
The exporting nations are already being forced to develop local and regional consumption to replace dependance on the US consumer. There is less incentive going forward for the leading exporting nations to subsidize our consumption only to be repaid in devalued dollars.
If we survive the current crisis and avoid a deflationary collapse the price we will pay will be raging inflation. Good for creditors like us but bad for the lenders. At that point it is reasonable to assume that the world will tire of financing our living standards at the expense of their own and some scheme involving a basket of currencies or some new pan-asian or global currency will supplant a collapsing dollar.
Simply tell AIG you can figure out a way to cancel the bonuses or we can negate all the contracts by pushing you into bankruptcy. If these were teachers or auto workers those contracts would not have been worth the paper they were printed on and no one would be talking about losing good people if they are not properly compensated.
We have a 2 tier system. Government sponsored socialism for the rich and a predatory form of capitalism for the rest of us. Obama will be making a big mistake if he does not deal with AIG with an iron fist. It would make the bail out much more politically palatable to a skeptical electorate.
What makes you think that the Israeli right that is scuttling the possibility of a 2 state solution will accept Palestinians as an equal partner in a "bi-national" government unless they control the state, the military, the borders for all cantons, etc., essentially more of the same. That is a bigger fantasy then holding on to the hope for a 2 state solution.
If the Israeli cantons hold military power over the Palestinian cantons it's occupation and apartheid by another name. There are really 2 choices one state where everyone has an equal vote like any western democracy with no favoritism based on race or religion. Or two sovereign states that have all the rights and privileges of any state.
Any solution that subjugates the Palestinians to Israeli domination in any form is not a solution.
It's not an Israel lobby or a Jewish lobby it's a right wing Likud-Neocon lobby. Their policies are dangerous to both Israel's and the USA's future security. Hopefully Obama will abandon the Bush-Likud-NeoCon-religious-right policies that have been as disastrous for Israeli's as they have been for the USA and the Palestinians.
Yes Republicans have been trying to convince us that government can't do anything right. Which maybe the case when they run government. They would like to get government out of education just like they got government regulation and oversight out of the markets and kept it out of our healthcare system. The result? The economy is collapsing and we have the most inefficient, most expensive, most privatized healthcare system in the industrialized world. Now you want to apply the same model to education?
No thanks. Let's fund public education and let's support the unions, screw Republican schemes to finish off public education and break another union.