arcana imperii :: the book of j


Obama's Failure

Have you had a chance to read Drew Westen's New York Times article entitled «What Happened to Obama?» --Here's an abstract. Please have a look and share it round. We all should hear and understand this message.
The president is fond of referring to “the arc of history,” paraphrasing the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s famous statement that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation.

In contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public — a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. Had the president chosen to bend the arc of history, he would have told the public the story of the destruction wrought by the dismantling of the New Deal regulations that had protected them for more than half a century. He would have offered them a counternarrative of how to fix the problem other than the politics of appeasement, one that emphasized creating economic demand and consumer confidence by putting consumers back to work. He would have had to stare down those who had wrecked the economy, and he would have had to tolerate their hatred if not welcome it. But the arc of his temperament just didn’t bend that far.

[...] instead of indicting the economic policies and principles that had just eliminated eight million jobs, in the most damaging of the tic-like gestures of compromise that have become the hallmark of his presidency — and against the advice of multiple Nobel-Prize-winning economists — he backed away from his advisers who proposed a big stimulus, and then diluted it with tax cuts that had already been shown to be inert. The result, as predicted in advance, was a half-stimulus that half-stimulated the economy.

[...] All [Americans] know today, is that they’re still unemployed, they’re still worried about how they’re going to pay their bills at the end of the month and their kids still can’t get a job. And now the Republicans are chipping away at unemployment insurance, and the president is making his usual impotent verbal exhortations after bargaining it away.

This pattern of presenting inconsistent positions with no apparent recognition of their incoherence is another hallmark of this president’s storytelling. He announces in a speech on energy and climate change that we need to expand offshore oil drilling and coal production — two methods of obtaining fuels that contribute to the extreme weather Americans are now seeing. He supports a health care law that will use Medicaid to insure about 15 million more Americans and then endorses a budget plan that, through cuts to state budgets, will most likely decimate Medicaid and other essential programs for children, senior citizens and people who are vulnerable by virtue of disabilities or an economy that is getting weaker by the day. He gives a major speech on immigration reform after deporting more than 700,000 immigrants in two years, a pace faster than nearly any other period in American history.

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The Seven Dwarfs Revamped

This cartoon seems to be passing the test of time. It is now 2011 and «The Seven Dwarfs Revamped for the 1990s...» still rings true! Of course we may now use more Zoloft and Effexor XR and Xanax than Prozac but the result is still the same, ha ha!

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Quotation of the Week

«You can't have everything. Where would you put it?»
~Steven Wright

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Norway's A-ha to Sing Again

Norway's pop band «A-ha» will reunite to perform during an upcoming memorial ceremony in Oslo's Spectrum concert hall for the victims of the 22 July attacks. They had split last year. The three musicians said that they were to get together to «honour those who have been torn away».

The group said they wanted «to show appreciation to everyone who made an effort to help out on 22 July, and to express our sympathy to the survivors who now are left in sorrow» and that «On 22 July, we, like everyone else in Norway and the rest of the world, were shaken to the soul by these actions of cruelty and violent provocation against everything we stand for.»

You may read more on the Norway Attacks here at the Beeb.

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Quotation of the Week

«Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.»
~Eric Hoffer

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Quotation of the Week

«Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?»


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