Posts Tagged ‘US Politics’

Gabrielle Giffords the target of Sarah Palin

January 9, 2011

As much as I detest Sarah Palin and her politics it is undoubtedly crass of her opponents in the US to immediately use the Giffords shooting as an excuse to criticise her.

Just as it is ridiculous to blame high school shootings on Marilyn Manson, it’s unfair for Palin to blamed for the actions of someone who was clearly deranged. Who gets violently upset about a currency not being backed by gold or silver other than a total headcase?

However, I do agree that this is a good opportunity to call for an end to hardline political rhetoric (i.e. all the Tea Party goons labelling politicians traitors and threats to the constitution) and a collective re-commitment to the peaceful democratic process.



January 20, 2010

The left loses power in Chile?

The Republicans are victorious in Massachusetts, thus depriving the Democrats of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate?

Time to console myself with some Victor Jara and then an episode of the West Wing.

Bread and Roses.

December 22, 2009

I’ve just finished watching Bread and Roses – a cracking Ken Loach film based on the Justice for Janitors campaign in Los Angeles. The exploited cleaners – many of them women, most of them immigrants, all of them trying to survive on poverty wages – get themselves organised into a trade union. After some effective attention-grabbing protests they manage to secure important concessions from their bastard bosses.

Interested in the realities behind the story, I found myself reading up on the union that the janitors joined; the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU today is a major force in the US. It has nearly two million members, was at the forefront of campaigning in support of health care reform, and its solidly leftie president Andy Stern is apparently the most frequent visitor to the White House since Obama’s inauguration.

All good stuff. I especially like the fact that Ken Loach used working cleaners and union activists who had been through the real-life struggle as characters in the film. The documentary about the making of Bread and Roses that comes with the DVD features one of these cleaners saying that she couldn’t believe anyone as thin as Loach could possibly have the energy to be a film director. She also criticises him for scratching his arse too much on set.

All in all: two Jako thumbs up.

Stories from the States.

November 20, 2009

Here’s an inspiring story and here’s a sobering story.

Let Obama be Obama.

November 3, 2009

Arianna Huffington reviews a new book on Obama’s election victory and laments what she considers to be the lack of audacity now being displayed by Obama the President as opposed to Obama the Candidate. Huffington’s in a huff (so to speak) about the abandonment of all the vision and high ideals put on display by Obama during the election campaign. 

I think she is being slightly unfair. The massive federal intervention in the US economy, talk of nuclear disarmament, and launching of an attempt at reforming health care are signs that the Obama administration cannot be dismissed as essentially timid.

However, there does indeed seem to be a risk of the President losing momentum. Perhaps Huffington should be calling for a ‘Let Bartlet be Bartlet’ moment to take place in the White House soon?


October 21, 2009

“That’s a socialist mop”

October 17, 2009

Now, to the non-Democrats who may be watching today -– (laughter) -– I want everybody to know we believe in a strong and loyal opposition. I believe in a two-party system where ideas are tested and assumptions are challenged — because that’s how we can move this country forward. But what I reject is when some folks decide to sit on the sidelines and root for failure on health care or on energy or on our economy. (Applause.) What I reject is when some folks say we should go back to the past policies when it was those very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. (Applause.)

Another way of putting it is when, you know, I’m busy and Nancy’s busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else’s mess –- we don’t want somebody sitting back saying, you’re not holding the mop the right way. (Applause.) Why don’t you grab a mop, why don’t you help clean up. (Applause.) You’re not mopping fast enough. (Laughter.) That’s a socialist mop. (Laughter and applause.) Grab a mop –- let’s get to work.

No to healthcare! Yes to wealthcare!

August 27, 2009

Just vote No! We like the Status Quo!

A new campaign group is trying to make sure that the voices of the over-privileged are not forgotten in the US’ ongoing healthcare debate: Billionaires for Wealthcare.

Hat tip to Luke Akehurst.

Nutter shouts ‘Heil Hitler’ at Jewish man talking about Israel’s health care system.

August 19, 2009

Here’s another video demonstrating the total scummery of some of those opposing health care reform in the US. Unlike the last piece of footage, it’s not funny.

The Jewish man is talking to the camera about the benefits of Israel’s system of national health insurance when the out-of-view woman shouts “Heil Hitler” at him.

As you might expect, the man explodes in indignation at this interruption and asks her to explain herself. The woman mumbles something about how bad Obama is.

The man begins to explain to her how in America he had to spend two hours in an emergency room and pay $8000 dollars in hospital fees, to which the woman mockingly replies “Oh boo hoo”. 

Mental health services in the US clearly leave much to be desired.

“On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

August 19, 2009