Monthly Archives: January 2012

Andrew Sullivan, you are an incredibly huge hack!


This is a repost of my comment on Andrew Sullivan’s blog:


Click here to see Andrew’s article

Andrew Sullivan, you are an incredibly huge hack. Let me explain:


1. “I did so not as a liberal, but as a conservative-minded independent appalled by the Bush administration’s record of war, debt, spending, and torture.”


You’re so appalled by the Bush administration’s record of war, debt, spending and torture, but you’re not at all appalled by the Obama administration’s continuation and escalation of these same Bush policies. You are a hack.


2. “But given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb.”


Either you have been living in a cave for the past four years, or you are a partisan hack. Can you name even one promise that he has kept? Filibustering warrantless wiretapping? He voted to end the filibuster, and then voted for the bill. Stopping the war? He escalated and expanded it, leaving Iraq only after his vigorous attempts to stay were thwarted by the Iraqi government, escalating Afghanistan and starting new wars (covert and otherwise) in Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere (and trying to pick a fight with Iran). Increasing transparency? He has used the state-secrets privilege more than Bush did, and he is working to undermine the FOIA. He has led an unprecedented war against whistle-blowers while ignoring the crimes that they expose. Stopping attacks on our civil liberties? Obama signed the indefinite detention bill. He made a list of American citizens who will be murdered without a trial. No president has attacked our civil liberties more than Obama. Obama has delivered? You are a hack!


3. “Under Bush and the GOP, nondefense discretionary spending grew by twice as much as under Obama.”


Obama is spending more than Bush ever did. Every year the US Government spends more than the year before. You are really reaching to find a silver lining here. If we leave out the bloated defense budget that Obama has expanded, and the “nondiscretionary” spending, then he has still increased spending, but not as much per year as Bush did. Isn’t that splendid? Hack!


4. “Obamacare … It is based on the individual mandate, an idea pioneered by the archconservative Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich, and, of course, Mitt Romney, in the past. It does not have a public option; it gives a huge new client base to the drug and insurance companies; its health-insurance exchanges were also pioneered by the right. It’s to the right of the Clintons’ monstrosity in 1993, and remarkably similar to Nixon’s 1974 proposal.”


And you think this is a good thing? He cynically promised to fight for the public option AFTER he had secretly bargained it away. He forced millions of Americans to buy a product that they do not want (for good reason). The bill that he signed was written by healthcare industry lobbyists. The American medical system is the most expensive in the world, but it provides less benefits than cheaper systems in other countries. Obamacare made the system more expensive, and did not meaningfully increase benefits. You’re bragging about Obamacare? You are a huge hack!


5. “But where Bush talked tough and acted counterproductively, Obama has simply, quietly, relentlessly decimated our real enemies, while winning the broader propaganda war. Since he took office, al Qaeda’s popularity in the Muslim world has plummeted.”


If he decimated our enemies, then the troops can come home, right? Obama squandered the good will that he brought into office. He has expanded our reckless war in Afghanistan, and started new ones. The US is more hated under Obama than it was under Bush. Iran is now more popular then the US in most countries throughout the world. Bush was a tough-talking belligerent cowboy. Obama is a smooth-talking belligerent “liberal” whose policies are worse than Bush’s. The primary difference between Bush and Obama (besides the escalation) is that Obama makes pretty speeches, with an impeccable sense of irony, for example, announcing “preventive detention” at the Hall of Records that houses the US Constitution, effusively praising the constitution that he is simultaneously shredding. Decimated our real enemies? Winning the propaganda war? When did propaganda become praiseworthy? Hack!


6. “anything requires 60 Senate votes even to stand a chance of making it into law”


I’m so tired of hearing this lame excuse. Obama came into office with majorities in the House and Senate, and a huge mandate from the voters. If he had fought for progressive causes, he could have made huge changes, but he chose to stack his Cabinet with Goldman Sachs employees and he fought AGAINST progressive causes at every opportunity. Bush never had 60 Senate votes, but he managed to accomplish lots of right-wing goals, and Obama has accomplished even more right-wing goals. If he’s so ineffectual without 60 votes in the Senate, how did he manage to wage an undeclared drone war in multiple countries? He could have used that unilateral power to make things better instead of making them worse. For example, he could have closed some of our foreign military bases and brought the troops home, cutting the military budget and helping our economy at the same time. He could have ended our pointless war in Afghanistan, but instead he went around starting new ones. The president has massive power, and Obama has used it, he just hasn’t used it to keep his campaign promises. Instead, he has used it to disregard and flout them.


7. “Even the bank bailouts have been repaid to a great extent by a recovering banking sector.”


This is a huge lie. The bank bailouts have not been paid back, and they never will be paid back. AIG cost the taxpayers billions, and those billions will never be paid back. Goldman Sachs had bet billions on AIG, and when AIG went down, those bets were lost, but the taxpayers made Goldman whole, paying their losing bets as if they had won. That money will never be paid back. The Federal Reserve “printed” trillions of dollars and loaned them to banks, effectively giving them billions in interest income. Every dollar they printed stole value from the dollars in our bank accounts and retirement funds. Our economic system may never recover from the malfeasance and incompetence of the Obama administration during the financial crisis. Bailouts have been repaid? You are either an incompetent or a liar, as well as a hack.


8. “The Iraq War—the issue that made Obama the nominee—has been ended on time and, vitally, with no troops left behind.”


I touched on this issue earlier, but now you are just lying. Obama did not leave Iraq by choice; he was kicked out. He vigorously fought for an agreement that would keep our troops in Iraq, but the Iraqi government refused to make our troops immune from Iraqi law. He left behind the largest “embassy” in the world with thousands of troops (public and private). No troops left behind? You are a hack!


9. “Obama has moved his own party away from a Pelosi-style reflexive defense of all federal entitlements”


Republicans have been trying to destroy the social safety net for decades. Now Obama has joined in. You think that this is a good thing? Hack!


10. “Under Obama, support for marriage equality and marijuana legalization has crested to record levels.”


“Under Obama, a crucial state, New York, made marriage equality for gays an irreversible fact of American life.”


These are bizarre and outrageous claims. Are you trying to credit Obama for changes in public opinion on issues where he takes the other side? Obama does not support marriage equality. Obama does not support marijuana legalization. His “justice” department has escalated the attacks on patients, and he has not only failed to fight for marriage equality, but he has spoken out against it. Obama had NOTHING to do with the changes in New York. The fact that Obama has failed to join the public in supporting marriage equality and marijuana legalization is not a good thing, and only a hack would claim that it is.


11. “Vast government money has been poured into noncarbon energy investments”


Are you referring to Solyndra? Obama’s shills don’t usually mention that, but I suppose that a hack like you might see a silver lining there. “Sure it was a scam and the taxpayers got conned by Obama’s campaign contributor, but it promoted solar energy, right?” You are such a huge hack.


12. “Two moderately liberal women replaced men on the Supreme Court.”


Two “moderates” replaced two liberals. Obama moved the court to the right. Hack!


13. “too-passive response to the recklessness of the major U.S. banks. But it’s worth recalling that at the start of 2009, any responsible president’s priority would have been stabilization of the financial system, not the exacting of revenge.”


Obama took massive campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs, then stacked his cabinet with Goldman employees, than stood idly by as Goldman extorted billions from the taxpayers. There was no mention of revenge, or even responsibility. The greedy executives who ruined our financial system went unpunished. There were no prosecutions (unlike the much smaller savings and loan meltdown where 1000+ went to prison). Obama wasn’t passive, he was complicit. His government stole billions from the taxpayers and gave them to the super-rich and their corporations. Obama doesn’t represent us; he represents the financial industry and specifically Goldman Sachs. He is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldman. And you’re defending that. Hack!


14. “Yes, Obama has waged a war based on a reading of executive power that many civil libertarians, including myself, oppose. And he has signed into law the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial (even as he pledged never to invoke this tyrannical power himself). But he has done the most important thing of all: excising the cancer of torture from military detention and military justice. If he is not reelected, that cancer may well return. Indeed, many on the right appear eager for it to return.”


OK so he waged an illegal war, took away our freedom, and lied about it, but at least we haven’t found out about any torture recently. Do you really believe that the US government has given up on torture? You are not only a hack, you are a stupid hack!


15. “He has offered to cut entitlements (and has already cut Medicare)”


I’m glad you approve of Obama’s attacks on the social safety net. Democrats used to support the social safety net, but cutting it is now “bipartisan.” Hack!


16. “If I sound biased, that’s because I am. Biased toward the actual record, not the spin;”


This entire article is nothing but spin. You, Andrew Sullivan, are an incredibly huge hack!

Gene Lyons, you are an incredibly huge hack!

This is a repost of my comment on Gene Lyons’ Salon Blog:

Click here to see Gene’s article:

Gene, you are an incredibly huge hack. Let me explain:

1. “But I digress. Hasn’t the Great Man renounced the race baiting and conspiracy mongering in the newsletter he supposedly never read?

“Just kidding!” Paul said. You know, like a junior high school girl.

I’m like, whatever.”

Not only an ad hominem attack, but a lie too. Or do you have a link to video of Paul saying “Just kidding!” This wouldn’t make it past the editor of the third-grade class newsletter at my local elementary school.

2. “Drug War … Alas, no Democrat, and certainly no black or Latino Democrat, can afford to touch it. So Obama gets a pass.”

This is nonsense. The drug war is extremely unpopular. That is one reason why Paul is so popular despite his eccentricities (a polite way to describe his extreme differences from mainstream politicians). Obama could easily end the drug war if he weren’t a tool of the interests that profit from it. He only gets a pass from partisan hacks like you, Gene.

3. ““Even when he’s right, as on bombing Iran,” I wrote, “he’s wrong. (Hint: it’s about the Jews.)””

Now you’re accusing him of antisemitism without a shred of evidence.

“But wait,” you might say. “Look at the evidence in the very next paragraph!”

OK, let’s look:

“Numerous Paul loyalists angrily seconded the motion.”

OK, so you’ve got guilt by association. Is that all you’ve got? Do I even need to say it? You’re saying it for me. “Look at me! I’m a partisan hack!”

4. “While he’s often cagey about how he expresses it, Ron Paul’s whole history as a conspiracy theorist is right out of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion””

I think you’re saying that you can’t find a shred of evidence that Paul has ever said anything antisemitic, but you are so smart that you detected his hidden antisemitism by analyzing his political ideas. I have an idea. Why don’t you tell us specifically what Paul said that led you to this conclusion?

5. “Here’s a second thinker in the Paul tradition: … Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad”

Why not Hitler? Just because Godwin’s law doesn’t specifically include “evil middle-eastern dictators” doesn’t get you off the hook. Only a hack would use such a sleazy rhetorical trick.

Partisan hacks on the left and right are attacking Ron Paul because they want to see a presidential race between two corporate bagmen without any pesky talk about endless war, assassinations of American citizens (one of numerous attacks on our civil liberties), or bank bailouts (issues on which both bagmen agree). Some of these partisan hacks are very good writers and their attacks are extremely effective. Gene, you are not one of those partisan hacks. You are a sorry excuse for a partisan hack. Whatever, indeed!

Full disclosure; I voted for Obama in 2008 and then swore to never vote again when I realized that I had been conned. I registered as a Republican to vote for Ron Paul, because I would love to see him shake up our corporate rulers (not that they would ever let him come anywhere near winning). I disagree with many of his positions, and he would most likely be a disaster as President, but Obama is a smorgasbord of disaster; a cornucopia of disappointment. He’s Bush on steroids, with a smooth-talking liberal face to make partisan hacks like Gene Lyons like (or at least not mind so much) policies that they hated under Bush.

I love what Ron Paul has done to the national debate, and I want to see more of it.