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Why The GOP Doesn’t Need a Last Minute Deal on the "Fiscal Cliff"

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Whoever invented the term “Fiscal cliff” should be forced to listen to it 500 times a day every day for the rest of his or her life like Chinese Water Torture. It’s Fiscal BS.

The military budget needs slashing and as for entitlements, the new taxes will be very welcome. Meanwhile, the bond vigilantes are going to remain strangely non existent. We’re going to be dragging along the bottom economically with the tax hikes or without them. After all interest rates at zero have done nothing to help over the last five years. Our problems are structural first, and fiscally driven second. There’s only so much macro-economics can do.

But my view on the “Cliff” is not really why I’m penning this.

It’s because if I were the GOP I’d be happy to play along with the Tea Party right in the caucus and say no to a deal. They win either way. The Dems, despite their recent electoral victories, could, yet again, come up with some weaselly short-term compromise. But even if they don’t GOP will remain strong in one key respect. They control the House and it’s all they need to do what they do best – which is say no.  The Dems will call them out as spoilers but the GOP will still control the House after 2014, because it’s gerrymandered out of Democratic reach and far less susceptible to the demographic time bomb hitting the GOP nationally.

I’d go even further than that. In some respects holding the Presidency and Senate are hassles the GOP can do without. They know that what they really want to achieve would cause uproar among the public – so why bother being proactive about it? You don’t have to run the show to starve the beast. You just have to make the place ungovernable.  The GOP have become a meta-party that governs by not governing.

So perhaps the GOP strategy is this.  If taxes do rise, and we truly go over the “Cliff” ( I don’t think we will suffer in any meaningful way but that’s beside the point ), the GOP can say “we tried to stop it, but the Dems pushed as over the edge”.  In other words, the GOP want us to go over, and they want the economy to fall further, so they’re ready to pick up the pieces with their lunacy.

The nightmare scenario for the GOP is that we go over the “Cliff” and not much happens except we balance the books, hit the rich where it hurts, and increase pressure for serious tax reform.

I believe that’s what the President is banking on.

Written by coolrebel

December 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Obama Created The GOP War On Women – And It’s Helping Him Win

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This is Barack’s M.O. He sees opportunities and he takes them.

In 2008 Bill Clinton said some dumb stuff which let Obama drive a wedge between Hill and the black vote ( which up to that time didn’t give two hoots that BO was black ). This year, BO’s luck was Rick Santorum’s surprise show in IA primary which elevated him and his weird medieval attitudes to women right to the fore until his inevitable defeat months later. Obama just watched and stirred and drove that wedge as various other lemmings jumped onto the extreme anti-abortion position, along with their Planned Parenthood fetish, and suddenly the “War on Women” was born with help from Social Media and the blogs.

The War is really a Democratic creation and a good one. And the more Barack’s campaign and the White House goaded the far right in the GOP the more they stepped right in it. The GOP wanted Akin out of the race. He’s set to lose. The GOP would have preferred Dick Lugar and his senate vote to defeat in Indiana. The GOP as a whole doesn’t want a war on women, because soccer moms are vital to a win in swing states. Romney has been his usual tepid self on the issue so he’s tarred with its brush. And guess what, OH is starting to solidify for Obama, FL is tied, and the Mid-West is holding for the President. Romney’s momentum after the first debate is thoroughly dissipated.

Since Rick first worked his ban contraception insanity Bo has been working it to win back women, knowing that they’re the key to the show. And it looks like it paid dividends. Bless Rick Santorum and Akin and Mourdock and the loons who put all that stuff on the GOP platform. Thanks guys.

Written by coolrebel

November 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Iran’s Leaders Need To Be Attacked To Save Themselves

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Yes, I know, it sounds utterly hare-brained. But hear me out.

Iran has problems. Big, hulking, not going to go away until after they get worse, step in ze huge pile of doggie do-do and right onto the hallway carpet kind of problems.

  • Sanctions have rent asunder their already tattered economy.  Another year or two of this and the people of Tehran might get antsy. If China dumps Iran’s oil, we’re looking at hyper-inflation.
  • Syria is finished so Hizbollah is finished, so Iran’s proxies are cooked, so its ability to be the scary monster who’ll lash out if threatened isn’t quite what it used to be.
  • It’s surrounded by Arab states that have thrown off their dictators, and shown the world how to get it done. Most importantly, they’ve demonstrated there is a tipping point that’s easier to reach than anticipated.
  • Iran’s the only place where there’s no threat of a new theocracy, because they’ve already got one that’s cracking at the seams. So no fear of blow-back for the West if they meddle.
  • It has the most enlightened, liberal, motivated middle class in any Middle Eastern country by far. If they get their chance to strike they’ll take it, and they’ve learned their lessons.
  • After the embarrassing display by the West during the Green Revolution, Washington won’t sit idly by next time the students take up their cudgels and man the barricades.
  • It’s pushing forward with nukes, but even if it gets the Uranium will not have the delivery device. It’s one thing to have a Scud fizzle on launch, it’s quite another if its tipped with a nuke.
  • It’s ability to hit back against a strike is limited. What can it do? A few targeted assassinations? Mining the straits? Ramming the odd tanker with fastboats and human torpedoes?

The Mullahs can’t afford to go on and they can’t afford to back down. The idea that Iran would just capitulate to the West is hard to fathom, but the idea that they can successfully trigger the nuclear power play it desperately needs seems oddly remote too.

See, I told you they were in trouble.

But maybe there’s a way out.

And maybe the way out is to provoke the West into an attack. Maybe that’s what they’re doing.

But, but, but why?

  • Because the West even if attacked would never invade and occupy Iran. That would be impossible and insane. They’d only be there to wipe out the nukes.
  • Because the intense nationalism of the Iranian people would overcome their hatred of the Mullahs who’d wrap themselves in the flag and say “You see! Great Satan was out to get us after all!”
  • Because the Chinese and Russians would be in there in a flash to help rebuild. No more sanctions. No more nukes. No more war.

Just a rejuvenated theocracy that will live to fight another day.

Written by coolrebel

October 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Chris Christie – Politician Supreme

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Don’t be fooled. Chris Christie is a self-serving, nutjob Conservative shit who hates Obama. He’s also a very savvy politician who knows Romney is toast and probably knew it when he made his “Me Me Me” speech during the GOP Convention. This show of windbreaker bipartisanship is based on the following; he wants to burnish his NJ credentials and look like he can ‘work’ with Democrats as he begins his Presidential run for ’16. He knows Obama needs him to play ball and not trash the President. It’s a win-win for Christie and a win for Obama. 

Written by coolrebel

October 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Chris Christie, Obama, Sandy

Parallel Universe: Obama as Moderate Republican, Romney as Blue Dog Democrat.

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Is it really that far fetched?


The Romney that was Governor in Massachusetts, you know, the Romneycare, pro-life, Romney could easily have been a Blue Dog. And if the GOP was the way it should be if it wants any hope of winning the White House in 2020 and beyond, it could easily nominate that Romney as its candidate.

And Obama the cautious, you know, the Obama who went soft on Wall Street, and pushed a Heritage Foundation Healthcare plan, and piled the Stimulus with tax cuts, and bailed on Elizabeth Warren, and didn’t take us out of Aghanistan, and is busy piling sanctions on Iran, and took out Osama Bin Ciao for Now, could easily be a moderate Republican in the Ford, Dole, Teddy Roosevelt, Bush the Elder, mould.

And here’s the i-y-ony.

A GOP Obama would be beating a Democratic Romney just the same as he is now.

Written by coolrebel

September 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Obama: Politics is More About Likability Than Ever.

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If I could earn a buck for every time the following was mentioned I’d be a rich man; we’re living in a digital age, elections are gotcha, soundbites and spin, people vote their gut, it’s a 24/7 news cycle.

What does it all add up to?

It adds up to this. Politics is a reality show. A great big amalgam of Survivor meets The Voice meets Big Brother meets The Bachelor, with added suits, bunting, tele-prompters, buses, planes, campaign teams and twenty-something, over-ambitious journalists in tow.

Ninety per cent of the people watching the show tune in to see the guy they don’t like screw up. Of that group, enough whites and women plus just about all the Hispanics and Blacks should be enough to give the Democrat a very slight edge, especially as polls show that Obama is not seen as being to blame for a profoundly economic meltdown so deep that it’s been hard to dig us out. So let’s give him 45.5% to Romney’s 44.5%, a number that is borne out by the polls to date, which balanced out pre-convention gave Obama a 1% lead overall.

The other ten per-cent are more interesting. They’re the ones who are actually swayed by the show.

In Hollywood, one of the biggest ways of divining whether a movie or TV show is going to make it or not is how “likable” the characters are. They have to be believable, and human, and good or bad, you have to empathize with them. A classic case is Tony Soprano. Sure he was a mobster, but he was human, flawed like the rest of us, and he had problems just like us. Another is Mr. Spock. Sure he was a half-human Vulcan with a nerdy logical streak, but to this day he’s one of the most popular characters in TV history.

The ten percent of voters who politicians care about are the ones that care most about likability. They’re not ideologically driven, they’re open to believing. And the way most of them decide who to believe is the same whether they’re looking at voting for a President or giving a thumbs up to a movie. In other words, six out of ten of them will vote for the likable guy. The other four will make a considered political decision.

Let’s assume the four split evenly. That’ll give Romney 2 and Obama 2. So what about the six?

Obama is more believable, more human, more sympathetic, more able to appeal to emotions, to a higher moral aspiration, he’s more familiar, more flawed, less arrogant, less rich, less entitled, less self-serving. Romney seems detached, awkward, mechanical, and rich. Obama showed that in Charlotte with a speech ( supported by Bill and Michelle’s too), which while a tad pedestrian, was a wonderful emotional appeal. Romney’s speech was rushed, impersonal, and perfect only for a powerpoint.

Of course, not everyone will agree, but let’s make what I would suggest is a conservative stab at suggesting that 4 of those 6 will find Obama more likable than Romney.

Add the 4 and 2 to Obama’s 45.5 and you get 51.5% per cent to Romney’s 48.5%, which is probably where the race is now, post-convention, nationally, and most importantly in the battleground states.

On October 3, the likability stakes really kick into high gear with the start of the debates. Romney, the awkward, dispassionate businessman, against the cautious, consider incumbent, a President with proven rhetoric, proven appeal, and the proven debating skills of the half-human Vulcan. (Give Obama pointy ears and he would be just like Spock).

Unless Romney hits home with a killer-zinger of Reagan-like proportions, which is highly unlikely, or gets a rise out of Barack which is even more unlikely, it’s probable that he’ll lose ground rather than make it up. Even if the debates are a draw, that’s good enough for Obama. His will be the more likable part of the split.


Written by coolrebel

September 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Arab World: Ignore The Mob. Support The Bourgeoisie.

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The Arab Spring in its initial eruption was seen, in some ways correctly, as a quintessentially revolutionary movement. We’re in the early stages of change and not much of what is happening now is pretty. But at least something is happening, just like at least something happened in the aftermath of the Storming of the Bastille in 1789.

Nobody would pretend that the French Revolution proceeded according to some organized plan. It was fraught with reaction, counter-reaction, fragmentation, factionalization, and unspeakable brutality. In some aspects, the French Revolution took on characteristics of a Civil War, with vast swathes of the nation unwilling to be brought under the Revolutionary banner.

In all revolutions of the modern era, it’s the power-struggle between the mob and the bourgeois instigators of rebellion that holds the key to success or failure. Which group will win out? Will it be the mob, fed by the bloodlust of the dictatorial Robespierre, or the principled positions held by so many who came before or were murdered by him, who understood and were prepared to die to uphold the enlightened freedom that was the key to the future of the Republic.

In France, it wasn’t until the arrival of the strongman, Napoleon, that matters returned to an even keel. There literally was no other man in France who could have done the job. Napoleon was an outsider, a Corsican, an Artilleryman ( the last professional arm of the French Army ), a brilliant and Machiavellian political mind, and a man with no compunction about turning the cannon on the mob.

There will be no Napoleon this time, but we should learn from the experience of late Revolutionary France in trying to forge a new future for the Arab World. It is up to us, America and Europe, the beneficiaries of enlightenment, to help bring it to our Arab neighbors, to actively support the secular, liberal forces that exist in every country, to make sure that they are not bypassed and manipulated by the mob and its Robespierrian leaders who feed the mob by pandering to extreme Islam, and running scared of Salafists. From Tunisia to Egypt, from Jordan  to Libya, From Iraq to Iran, the future lies not with Islamic government in any form, but with secular liberalism.

The President’s fury at Mohammed Morsi for remaining silent about the mob’s attacks in Egypt over a pathetic anti-Islamic video was probably so severe that he made a statement soon afterwards. Obama and all the leaders in the West need to continue that approach. After we’d dropped an ally in Cairo to enable the Egyptian people to find their own way, this is how they repay us?

Written by coolrebel

September 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm