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Susan McLain - for State Representative

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State Ballot Measures: 

NO on 86  

YES on 87

YES on 88

YES on 89  

NO on 90 

NO on 91

NO on 92

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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Teen rape suspect "just happened to slip away" (Video)  

Bob Terry dodges and weaves!     

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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California topples a tyrant

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10 Things US does worse than Europe

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Check video

- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 

More

 


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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column


Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 



Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

Steve Duin Schools get the blame 

School Reform/slate.com 



    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Chuck Riley for State Senate

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Local Ballot Measures: 

Wash County

NO on 34-221

NO on 34-222

Metro

NO on 26-160

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Kansas' ruinous tax cuts

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

 

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild



Check video


Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha

 Sign the online petition on Intel emissions in link below:  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Rediscovering Government

Is the US #1? 

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman 

krugmanonline.com 

 

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Monday
Sep292014

TRUE TO THE BLUE

     We just returned from a 4 day trip to Seattle to celebrate my 72nd.  While my Huskies were very disappointing despite a stout defense against a big Stanford offensive line, the Seattle Mariners kept their season in play through the final game which we attended to watch King Felix do his magic after a brutal loss to Toronto Blue Jays in his last start.  His 15th win just might get him his second Cy Young award.  

     Husky fans can only hope with a bye this week the Dawgs will get an offense back with some of that star dust from the M's who made each game meaningful until the very end of the season despite a roller coaster year.  The M's have the nucleus of a great team baring injuries next year and the stupid management tricks the M's are noted for.  They need to get a big bopper who can hit with men on base without giving up the farm!  

     For now M's fans can hope for a better season next year where we get to the playoffs not just within one game of them!  Keep Hope Alive. 

RAD's favorite Mariner, Dustin Ackley gets a key hit! 

Thursday
Sep252014

WALL STREET's MORAL OBSCENITY  

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I rarely give up my blog space to posting an article without extensive commentary but I'll let my headline above speak for itself except for one rhetorical question below:   

Wall Street Bonuses and the Minimum Wage

(Flickr/edans)

(Flickr/edans)

     Wall Street banks handed out $26.7 billion in bonuses to their 165,200 employees last year. That amount would be enough to more than double the pay for all 1,085,000 Americans who work full-time at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

     Purveyors of luxury goods always welcome the Wall Street bonus season, but a raise in the minimum wage would give America’s economy a much greater boost. To meet basic needs, low-wage workers tend to spend nearly every dollar they make. The wealthy can afford to squirrel away more of their earnings.

     All those dollars low-wage workers spend create an economic ripple effect. Every extra dollar going into the pockets of low-wage workers, standard economic multiplier models tell us, adds about $1.21 to the national economy. Every extra dollar going into the pockets of a high-income American, by contrast, only adds about 39 cents to the GDP.

    These pennies add up considerably on $26.7 billion in earnings. If the $26.7 billion Wall Streeters pulled in on bonuses in 2013 had gone to minimum wage workers instead, our GDP would have grown by about $32.3 billion, over triple the $10.4 billion boost expected from the Wall Street bonuses.

     This immense GDP differential only speaks to one price we pay for our contemporary Wall Street bonus reward culture. Huge bonuses, we learned from the 2008 financial industry meltdown, create an incentive for high-risk behaviors that endanger the entire economy. And regulators have failed to implement a provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation to prohibit financial industry pay packages that encourage “inappropriate risks.”

     RAD:  Why has the Obama administration failed to implement the Dodd-Frank reforms to stop these obscene bonuses?  

     Low-wage jobs, on the other hand, endanger nothing. Concentrated in agriculture, hospitality, and retail, these jobs provide real services. They deserve much higher minimal rewards.


For sources & methodology see "comments"

 

Tuesday
Sep232014

WHO IS THE ENEMY IN THE MIDDLE EAST?  

     Some media types argue that we are confronting a terrorist enemy in the Middle East that keeps morphing into different groups - first the Taliban, then al Qaida and now ISIS/ISL.  And some wonder if these groups engage in infighting whether they are worth our attention. 

     My reaction is that if it walks like a Duck, quacks like a Duck and poops like a Duck - it must be a Damn Duck!  

     Back in the Roaring '20s when organized crime got its start thanks to Prohibition and then morphed into the Mafia with branches in NYNY, the Second City and then Vegas did it make organized crime any less dangerous and/or less worth the FBI's attention?  The obvious answer, not a damn dimes worth of difference - whether the focus was on Al Capone, the Gambino family or Jimmy Hoffa. 

     For a short history on the Mafia here's what Wikipedia has to say:  

     So for those wanting to count terrorist cells on pinheads, does it make a difference whether the target of drones or air to ground missiles is a cell in Syria, Iraq, Somalia et al.  If the cells commit atrocities against innocent civilians, engage in ethnic cleansing, kidnap journalists or civilians for ransom, behead victims and/or target US assets abroad or in the homeland does it make a difference?  

     Any action we take has risks but so does doing nothing which critics like the author of the above commentary from Slate doesn't address.  But he is willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt:  

     "The reality is that there was never a good option in the series of events leading up to America’s newest military intervention. And the administration’s argument that this is the best strategy available at the moment to confront a pressing global security threat is a reasonable one."  

     But then the conclusion changes course: 

     "...this is yet another open-ended military engagement by the U.S...  [with]... little hope of resolving or even improving [what?].  Its legitimacy under international law is also questionable and these strikes have a very good chance of eventually benefiting America’s enemies.  

     Besides a poorly written conclusion, the author begs the question - "what if we do nothing?"  Do we and our Arab allies in the Middle East simply stand by while ISIS et al establish a bloody Caliphate which takes Damascus to Baghdad into a pre-modern age under the aegis of a corrupted version of Islam? 

     Now for sure there are risks.  But non-action is action which the author doesn't seem to get.  Prohibition created the mob and ever since we've had a war against the mob which has now morphed into the Mexican drug cartels.  Sitting by while violence stalks the streets from Central America to the USA is not an option.  But policing is not the only game in town.  

     Clearly we have to deny the oxygen to the mob by decreasing demand for drugs et al on this side of the border.  We also have to deliver on the promise of community mental health to deal with addictions of all sorts among other things.  And we have to create an economy which doesn't marginalize minorities and the working poor. 

     Those humanitarian and "economic development" strategies must also be front and center in the war against terrorism.  If we don't replace fear, hate and hopelessness in the Middle East with a sense of a better future - our bombs will accomplish nothing in the long run except to line the pockets of the military industrial complex. 

     It's easy to say the "war" on drugs, the mob or terrorism is just rhetoric, what is truly oxymoronic is engaging in a stupid war which doesn't get at the causes of such violent reactions by a minority to the dark side of the human condition.  If we're going to fight such wars - let's do it smartly.  

     Sitting comfortably in the "Grove makes terrorism an abstraction.  Then again that's what Americans believed before 9/11.  Keep in mind, Osama's targets included Toronto and Brussels.  Besides the US, their cells carried out actions in Kenya, Indonesia, Madrid and London.  By contrast drugs and gangs are not so abstract.  

     Why a Slate commentator is shocked that the US would use back channel communications with Syria, Iran and Israel displays a naivete that is shocking.  If you want to prevent an overreaction to American strikes, it's important to inform those in the area what the intent is.  This was a common practice by the "good guys" in the civil rights and anti-war eras!    

     The implied other point regarding our "allies" is working behind the scenes with Syria, Iran or Israel to stop ISIS is wrong.  In WWII we were allied with Joe Stalin's Russia by sending them lend lease war materials to stop the 4 million German war machine on the eastern front!  The enemy of our enemy is our friend?  

"Eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty" - Jefferson 

    



 

 

Sunday
Sep212014

SHOULD THE US BE MORE LIKE SCOTLAND?  

     My "CC" sent me this article from The Nation touting Scotland's referendum on independence before the voting took place.  In view of the results - a resounding defeat of the independence referendum, one might reconsider whether we should copy Scotland since this is no the first time such a referendum has been defeated.  And given the 85% turnout which allowed 16 year old to vote, the defeat crossed all demographic lines indicating Scots preferred the devil they know to the one they didn't know.

     Enabling state referendums is dicey stuff in many ways as we in Oregon have learned over the years, as other states have learned too.  Measure 5 the property tax limitation measure which passed in '91, a copy of California's Prop 13 which passed in there in '78, is an example of be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.  Ever since Oregon has not been able to fund K-12, higher ed and its social safety net to meet the needs of students and the poor. 

     But that's just the tip of the referendum nightmare.  Many ballot measures are crafted by self-interested groups who have an ax to grind which they can't get passed through the legislature so they go to the people.  Often times, big money is the name of the game as is the case in three initiatives we'll vote on in November the anti-GMO, the pro recreational pot and the Top 2 measures.  After the ad wars are over the public will no doubt be more confused than educated. 

     If one were to enable such measure to go national - the mischief that could be created would be mind boggling.  It would unlose a feeding frenzy of measures such as anti-abortion, pro school prayer, and pro-balanced budget national ballot measures - all favored by the right wing, especially the Tea Party.  Such measures would empower Right Wing funders like the Kock brothers and Karl Rove.  The Left would love to put up anti-war measures to end unpopular wars. 

     The real poisen pen here is that such national ballot measures would be an expedited means to amend the US Constitution.  That's really a dangerous proposition given the volatility of the public. 

     If such measures were simply "advisory votes" with no legislative impact, in effect, a point in time sense of the electorate, one might consider them useful tools to measure popular sentiment at a point in time.  But given the public's normal lack of attention to civic affairs and ignorance of the basics of American government - who their governor, US Senators, Congressmen or other local leaders are - one questions the value of such votes given the paucity of an informed citizenry. 

     But we have a tool for such via public opinion polling which is done routinely and accurately despite the public's suspicion of such polling.  Besides, isn't this what elections are supposed to be about?  Now where the Scots out did us is the number of people voting.  Presidential elections normally elicit around 50-60% of registered voters or about 30% of eligible voters, state and local elections have smaller turnout.  So if we want to increase voter participation that's a goal worth going for. 

     As I've posted previously, let's move to open not closed primaries.  Let's move to vote-by-mail across the USA.  Let's allow same day registration.  Let's do motor voter registration.  Or couple getting a Social Security Card with a national voter registration card.  And let's end voter suppression laws which discriminate against minority and low income citizens.  Each of these reforms will enlarge voter turnout and will encourage younger, women, minority and working poor Americans to vote. 

     The Scottish vote didn't turn out as the editors of The Nation imagined.  The lesser of two evils, the status quo won.  What will change elections in the USA is the changing demographic - a majority of the electorate being female. the growing youth vote of 18-35 year olds and the increased Latino vote.  While the GOP should do well in 2014 with the "older demographic" by 2016 and beyond the "new demographic" will favor more progressive candidates.  

     As the line in the movie "Goodbye Columbus" went "the future is in plastics."  Well the future in US politics will be in larger numbers of women, young, minority, gay and Latino voters joining with their more liberal counterparts among progressive white, African-American and Labor union voters.  

 

 

Sunday
Sep212014

IS OBAMA A CAPTIVE OF THE "DEEP STATE?"  

     If you don't know what "deep state" is, you're not alone.  Given the articles below - you can immerse yourself, if you wish, in the intricacies of counting supposedly malevolent angels on  pinheads and up your paranoia blood pressure accordingly!  

     In the meantime allow me to give you a short definition of "deep state" or what in the 1950's C. Wright Mills termed the "power elite" - a conjunction of top tier legislators, pointy headed defense nerds and corporate insiders - who IKE referred to as the "military industrial complex" - as he left the West Wing.

     While the term "deep state" implies some new entity like "the enterprise" which emerged in the Reagan years as Oliver North et al traded missiles via Israel for money to Iran to illegally fund the Contras in Nicaragua, "deep state" has been around since the Truman era as the national security state emerged in the "Cold War" years of the '50s, through the Vietnam era and down to the Iraq War policies of George Bush II. 

     Now the question is has Obama been suckered in or co-opted by "deep state?"  Some on the Left like the editors of The Nation or Salon argue Obama has become a "tool" of whatever name you want to put to it - "deep state", the military industrial complex or the power elite.  Certainly, minions of "deep state" who are considered advocates of American interventionism, on the Left or Right, have access to the West Wing as well as the Hill, along with major news media giants. 

     But does access to power mean the exercise of power?  Or is Obama a pawn of such so-called geo-political "realists?"  If one listens to John McCain who is the most public advocate of interventionism, one might assume the answer is NO since McCain et al have been very critical of Obama's cautious approach to dealing with the Assad regime in Syria, his pullout of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and his demand that any US air support against ISIS/ISIL be contingent on Iraq getting its political act together.  

     In other words, at best Obama is a reluctant warrior unlike the neo-cons of the Bush/Cheney era.  Does that make him a pawn of the more moderate wing of the so-called "deep state?"  Is there such a wing?  Not if one subscribes to the conspiratorial version of "deep state" that is implicit in the narrative of such an entity.  One is either a acolyte or an agnostic of "deep state."  Could it be that Obama is triangulating between powerful forces who represent "deep state" and more restrained members of the foreign policy elite?  

Here are the key points the President made yesterday regarding ISIL and our strategy to defeat their forces:

     Historians are cautious about characterizing presidents until 50 years have passed.  Maybe we should take such caution into any calculation of the Obama era.  But in a political culture driven by the 24/7 news cycle it's impossible to avoid the tendency to come to a quick judgment.  And given the short and long term impacts of American foreign policy, time is of the essence no matter where one stands, Right, Left or Center.  Given that reality, I refuse to put Obama in the "deep state" Locke box.  

     Obama was handed a terrible poker hand by Dubya et al on the home front and abroad.  But one thing is clear to this pundit, unlike FDR who Ken Burns' PBS series on "The Roosevelts" has chronicled this past two weeks, Barack did not wait to act until he took office.  He became pro-active during his election and inauguration to work with the outgoing administration to begin the process of saving the global financial system and setting limits on what we would do in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

     FDR by comparison waited 5 months until he took office to set his stamp on the economy and America's place on the world.  Given this delay how many people in the USA and abroad were victims of the collateral economic and military damage given this delay?  Leadership requires taking risks and in a democracy being willing to work with the loyal opposition.  By this standard, Obama showed considerable leadership and risk taking while FDR displayed a Clintonesque politics of triangulation by delay.  

     So for those quick to critique Obama - what's their view of FDR who is considered to have been the most successful president until Reagan came around?  Consider this - according to the Burns' documentary - FDR based on us cracking Japan's code knew there was going to be an attack on US bases in the Pacific by Japan - he just didn't know when or where?  By sending the Pacific fleet to Pearl Harbor he certainly gave the militarists in Japan a big target didn't he?  And after Pearl Harbor - war was on!   

     So if one wants to track the entrails of "deep state" - let's dial the clock back to FDR's Lend Lease and the post-Pearl Harbor era.  And on the home front let's not forget the 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were interned in the USA and a similar contingent in Canada plus internees south of the Rio Grand.  While civil liberties advocates feel Obama has allowed spying on Americans - I don't see any internment camps.  Quite the contrary - the media is awash with reports about the CIA/NSA spy network.  

     So excuse me for not shedding crocodile tears on Obama Agonistes, I lived through the Nixon years - I know government lying and spying and the Obama era doesn't even come close!  

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