Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two Presidential Elections - Political Not Funny Jokes

America has a presidential election in November which is not news.  However, Obama has lost a lot of progressive voters because he has broken most of the promises he made and has pretty much sold out to the moneyed crowd.  The only reason he might win again is that the Republican party so far has failed to put forward a credible candidate.

These two op-ed pieces put the choices in perspective:
Bill Boyarsky's What’s Really at Stake in 2012  in TruthDig lays out the GOP position - they do not care which GOP candidate is elected as long as he/she is not so brain-dead they cannot hold a pen to sign bills a Republican controlled  HoR and Senate will put forward and the bills they intend to put forward will take America back to the 19th century.  Read the comments under it to get the reaction of disillusioned progressive liberal voters to Obama's presidency.

Obama, the Human Rights Hypocrite by Paul Craig Roberts in Counterpunch describes what has happened during the Obama presidency, essentially a continuation of W's policies.

As a foreigner, I am hoping for Ron Paul as he has promised to put a "Closed" sign on the American Empire, take all the troops etc home, close all the military bases and stop interfering in the affairs of other countries.  Of course, we all hoped Obama would do something along those lines too.

Russia has a presidential election on March 4th with 5 candidates running, which is not news either. While Putin is expected to win, for the first time there is opposition in the streets and even with a 10% or more padding margin, it will be by a reduced majority.  That is news.

Of the (Kremlin approved) opponents, Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation will be the strongest contender, mainly as people vote in protest. Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (and a "clown") get a few seconds coverage on the nightly news compared to Putin's several minutes but of Mironov (A Just Russia) and Prokhorov (Norilsk Nickel and Russia's 3rd richest man) we hear nothing. 

Prokhorov was the only independent to make the cut.  The Election Commission goes through the deliberately obtuse required documentation with a fine tooth comb and if the candidate does not meet Kremlin approval, then one undotted i is all it takes.

Putin is credited with bringing "stability" to Russia after the chaotic decade under Yeltsin (See Casino Moscow by Matthew Brzezinski for the 90's in the FSU).  The truth is that much of the spoils had already been divided up by 2000 so of course the shooting died down... a little.  If you read Anna Politkovskaya's "Putin's Russia" which cover's his first four years as president, it is obvious that stability meant that the criminals were in control of the business, the old Soviet Nomenclatura were safely ensconced in the bureaucracy and the FSB kept it all under control so everyone at the top got their share of the loot and anyone who complained was looked after, so to speak.  

It was reported just recently on Ukrainian news that Putin is worth almost 140 billion.  Even if it is rubles, $4.5 billion is not bad for a small time mid-level spy to accumulate.  I also read a while back of a $1 billion house (???) being built near Sochi someplace by Putin's friends for him.  Just to show their appreciation for the stability of course.

 Zyuganov is calling for a reStalinization of Russia, however if you look at recent news items from BBC in the lead up to the election, it would seem it is already happening.



9 comments:

  1. I am an Obama supporter and here's a website you might be interested in.

    http://obamaachievements.org/list#top

    Here's his website ...

    http://www.barackobama.com/

    As with any media .. it's always good to get several sources of information - I know you know this but it can get very confusing in this day and age of instant communication and 24/7 news stations ... each clamoring for sensationalism ... very competitive.

    Newspapers are fighting for survival -- many have closed. I'm old and love to read newspapers still... but it is a dying medium.

    The Republicans have the poorest candidates they have had since I can remembere - I'm 69.

    President Obama is not perfect f'sure but the mess he inherited will take a few years to correct. He's doing very well. New stuff almost daily ... I voted for Hillary. I was very upset she didn't win. Obama just wasn't ready. I have been pleasantly surprised at his accomplishments.

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    1. I am sure Obama has done a few things for the benefit of American citizens but no spin doctoring in the world can hide the sordid facts as laid out by Roberts. And the argument that better vote for him as the lesser of two evils has worn pretty thin for folks who see no change regardless of who gets in.

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  2. Such a mess in which to live. Wherever.

    Thanks for the links.

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  3. You've pretty much summarized everything I know of Russian politics not much new there. As for Ron Paul, I'm sure the republicans wouldn't let him within a mile of the White House. Cut their military money making machine? Never!

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    1. Russia is being governed exactly as it was in Soviet times, perhaps worse but the system is the same.
      Agree Ron Paul won't stand a chance for the reason you gave and also from his platform he would set the USA back not to the 19th but to the 18th century.

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  4. Some of the things I am disappointed with President Obama, but if you live here you are aware that every step of the way he has been opposed by a Republican Congress whose stated goal has been to see Obama as a one term president. There has been no working with this congress who opposed every single proposal the President has offered. He saved the auto industry and has championed infer-structure spending. He has tried to compromise with Republicans, but each time loss advantage. I wish we had a government that would demilitarize, close Guantanamo and spend that money on social programs - but that is not going to happen.
    There is no viable alternative to President Obama this election...my hope is that we could change the complexion of the congress and senate to a democratic majority and then perhaps we could see some actual progressive legislation passed.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I do not disagree, necessarily. Just saying if enough folks are fed up and boycott the election, Santorum could be president.

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  5. One more note: some of Ron Paul's liberal ideas about smaller military and less overseas involvement I can appreciate in the abstract, but Paul also has a history of some pretty racist policies and extreme radical ideas. Once you look beyond the icing he is not a good choice.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Ron Paul would be a TERRIBLE choice for AMERICANS.

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