Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty
"I will look after the security of the people. That is my job as your President."
(Clinton Global Initiative 9/23/14)
by Marc Platt
We DON'T know
what President Obama knows. Yet we endlessly listen to talking heads and politicians try to spin. Spinning is what makes the social media world go round and round within seconds.
We literally live in a 24-hour-newscycle more so than ever before. A story can change instantaneously in front of your eyes so fast, you can't even put context and perspective in real time.
So we turn to our "Trusted" pundits on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. We read our in-the-bubble publications like Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and/or Drudge Report, depending on your leanings.
The bottom line is these "News" organizations know NOTHING. Really! They only know what they tell each other.
The only people who REALLY know are sworn to secrecy. We know what the White House Press Secretary tells us, or the President (and surrogates).
Here's the deal. They cannot tell us what we NEED to know. They only tell us what they need us to know.
There are fantastic news gathering news organizations who have gathered information on Khorasan and ISIS months ago. It wasn't until the bombing in Syria started that the cable outlets started talking about them. The information on Khorazon has been out there for months.
The "Spin" that Khorasan was planning homeland attacks perked up the cable news outlets to start talking about them. President Obama knows about these threats months and sometimes years before we do. It is supposed to be that way.
If we knew what was really going on ALL THE TIME, we would be scared shitless.
Just know that this administration is doing the best they can to handle multiple threats all the time. Be glad that you and I don't have to stay on top of all this stuff. We have capable elected officials working in the White House, unlike the chickenshit congress who had to go get re-elected.
The House Republicans set their working calendar for 2014 for 114 working days...That is correct...114 working days.
How many days in 2014 do you think the President works? Even when he is on holiday, he takes calls with Putin and manages crisises.
So I repeat.."We don't know what HE knows." That is a good thing.
What a strange coincidence that this is the 50th Anniversary of LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Only HE could have ever gotten that done, if you know anything about his style of politics.
The Civil Rights Movement got a kick start a few weeks back when Michael Brown was gunned down on the street by a cop and left in the streets for more than four hours like a dead animal hit by a car. The only difference is this 18-year-old African American was unarmed and brutally shot six times by a man who was supposed to protect him.
Obviously we don't have all the facts. We don't know what happened when Brown approached that police car. What we do know (from 4 different eye-witness accounts) that Brown had his hands up in the air and was yelling "Don't Shoot!"
The city, state and country (in some ways) went ballistic in the days and weeks following and in the age of social media has come to life. Civil disobedience and social media seem to work a lot better than in 1964 when the cops used water hoses and dogs.
It was disconcerting to watch tear gas used and armored vehicles and military-looking police with military weapons. Is this America?
The difference in THIS Civil Rights Movement is the immediacy information is distributed by both sides.
Attorney General Eric Holder went to Ferguson and the racial turmoil seemed to slow down, but the citizens of Ferguson and the rest of the country want action.
We have a black President and he has to walk a fine line in his racial rhetoric. This inflames the liberal base who went all out in two elections to get him elected and re-elected. It is a very difficult assignment for a President who KNOWS that a great segment of his country hates him and his black family who reside in "The White House."
What we are learning is having a black President is divisive politically and that it is really up to the citizens to demand the change they want.
Does our country want to regress to pre-1964 America when shop owners could segregate? Are we really willing to undo all the gains?
Technology is great, but why do police departments need to look like our armed forces? Why are THEY armed with assualt rifles?
I constantly go back to the 2nd Amendment. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall notbe infringed."
It has debated, torn apart and then dissected time and time again. The 2nd Amendment does not mean the "POLICE." It was intended for "US" to be able to stop the tyranny of the government.
Our country has gone crazy with the ammassing of a lot of guns by a very few people. These guns get sold and re-sold and end up in the wrong hands. Crazy guys and gals get hold of them and shoot innocent people. The not-so-innocent folks on the streets of Ferguson could have really inflamed that situation if they had started shooting cops and innocent people during the demonstrations after the Michael Brown shooting.
The main lesson we are learning from Ferguson is that the citizens are armed with cellphones and they are filming every little thing. Some are tring to profit, others are trying to help.
2014 Civil Rights are more a product of technology and the use of that technology on many levels. The one disconcerting thing I noticed was the media and how the people played to the cameras. The media apparently had a bad attitude pushing the citizens around and on the other hand, used the media to make their point.
It is all about who and how to use social media.
"What we have here is a failure to communicate"
(Strother Martin in "Cool Hand Luke")
Sometimes I believe that the political press corps in the U.S. have little understanding and could care less that President Obama and his administration have a lot on their plate all the time. Reporters don't cover EVERYTHING, they cover what their bosses tell them to cover.
When a reporter is covering foreign policy and start snooping around to get a scoop, which is their job, they shouldn't get too upset when the administration doesn't go out of their way to help them. It has been that way since the beginning of our republic.
Obama has the added problems that social media and advanced 24-hour news cycles have evolved during his tenure. There are far MORE outlets, which means there are a lot more people snooping around trying to make a name for themselves. This is the nature of both sides.
It is true that President Obama has not helped his situation with the press corps by shutting them out and not giving them access, but the nature of his job has changed since even the days of Bush and Cheney. That administration ramrodded two wars down our throats and the Press Corps COVERED the story instead of properly VETTING the story in real time. The press did not do a good job calling this adminsitration en masse when they KNEW this administration was up to no good.
This gives me a clear understanding of Obama's disdain for the press corps. They call him arrogant behind his back. The tone of the press corps is very interesting when it comes to Obama. The press covered The Tea Party and never really QUESTIONED The Tea Party's motives and subtle racism.
The press corps haven't really even covered the fact that The U.S. Senate have overtly blocked so many of Obama's nominations, including so many State Department nominees. This is a HUGE story, but to this press corps...No big deal...
Obama has not helped himself by chiding the press "Off the record" on plane trips and then punished leakers. No wonder they think he is arrogant, BUT my belief is the press corps, as well as the GOP have lost the necessary respect for "The Office of President."
The country, the media and the world were quick to characterize George W. Bush as a dummy, a puppet of Dick Cheney. In real time, the press failed to do it's job on the lies that administration got away with costing America thousands of lives for OIL and money. Cheney and his cronies, including the Bushes got a lot richer by the time they left office. They tortured people, they ruined countries and NO ONE went after them for their obvious crimes, including the Obama administration.
Bush has kept his mouth shut, while Cheney has run around like a jilted wanna be Prom Queen. Obama rarely has said anything negative directly about the previous administration and the press corps have followed suit. THAT is a crime in my opinion.
So...To sum up...Obama is crappy when it comes to his handling of the press and the press is wrong in their handling of THE OFFICE of President. Both sides have two years to fix this problem.
The 2016 Horse race is on....
Rand Paul may come
out of the GOP pack not looking like such a clown.
He had a bad run there for awhile when he was nailed plagiarizing The Wiki (of all places) for several speeches. He would recite full passages from movie scripts that were easy to "Google."
It was not Mr. Paul's finest moment.
Lately, however, he is smelling like a rose when going head-to-head with not-ready-for-prime-time players like Rick Perry, from his own party. Paul, at one point, was shooting
big game by trying to knock Hillary Clinton and her husband former President Bill Clinton.
Is it possible Rand Paul will cease that idiotic line of thinking and stick to th ecompetition in his own party until he has securely dispatched THOSE threats in 2016. Might he just not comment on the Clintons UNTIL he has a reason to do so.
The press may catch on at some point in the near future and try to make news with quaotable quotes, but my guess is Rand Paul is in the process of redining who he is within the scope and structure of the GOP. There are enough stupid people in his own party for him to feast on.
Politics is all about devouring your enemies and then shotting higher and higher. Mr. Paul may have that chance if he can convince enough independents that he will have THEIR backs.
He is courting younger independents. That will be his base. He will have the Ron Paul (his father) base and Tea Party-minded people will have little choice but to gravitate towards his message.
Rand Paul will have to move towards the center and take the base with him. He will have to convince Republicans that he is the one and only chance for them to re-take the White House.
Also keep in mind Paul will have to vacate his U.S. Senate seat in order to run for President, due to Kentucky law.
I believe the man will go "All in." I believe he will court Wall Street, who may hedge their bets and throw bushels of money at his campaign AND Hillary Clinton.
The 2016 race is not going to be a landslide if Rand Paul is able to be the nominee. He is proving himself politically savvy enough to pose a real threat.
He is improving as a communicator and sharp as a tack these days when smoking out the other pretenders in his own party.
When he IS ready to take on Hillary and Bill Clinton, he may be ready at that time. He won't repeat his past mistakes of calling her unfit to serve in the White House because of Benghazi. He will have to tone down the " Bill Clinton is a sexual predator" language from earlier in 2014.
Let us see just how much Rand Paul has learned from HIS mistakes and if HE is ready-for-prime-time.
This Hobby Lobby ruling has me perplexed.
While the opinion narrows the scope of "Birth Control" to just a few forms that employers can object to based on religious views, the Supremes sent out follow-up notices in the following days UN-narrowing that scope to "All Forms of Birth Control."
This opens up a door for all private employers to challenge the courts with a variety of socially-driven issues such as firing employees for being gay. Yes, that door is now open because of "Religious Freedom." Many organizations are now gearing up to challenge social issues through this ruling.
This is the very thing Justice Ruth Ginsburg warned in her blistering 35-page dissent.
I won't go into the nuances, but you will see this play out in the next few years as workers are stripped little-by-little of any gains that have been made.
Conservative Judicial Activism is a very dangerous thing to lower and middle class Americans. There have been very few chances for the balance of the court to shift. The two Obama appointments replaced other liberal justices.
If Hillary Clinton is the next President of the United States, chances are good that she will make 1-3 Supreme Court replacements. Ginsburg for sure and maybe Scalia. That would make a 5-4 shift.
This is why I believe we are seeing a rush towards conservatism right now from Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and sometimes Kennedy. Kennedy has been the swing vote in many cases.
Women's reproductive rights is an issue that has held on by a string in the Supreme Court. The states in the south and the more conservative states with GOP-run state legislatures have enacted many draconian laws to thwart abortion clinics and the doctors who perform them.
This Hobby Lobby deal will have larger reprucussions for years to come as the 1% becomes entrenched. The workers will have to lump it or leave it as time goes on for the NEXT generation.
If you are liberal-minded, pray for good health for Kagen, Sotomayor, Breyer and Ginsburg for the rest of the Obama term. Hillary Clinton will have to navigate her own congressional minefield as it is getting worse on Capitol Hill.
The "Fever" is not breaking anytime soon.