Archive for August, 2012

Star Time at the GOP Conclave

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags on August 31, 2012 by playthell

Mr. Chameleon!

On Fake Narratives, Damned Lies and Jingoism

It is altogether fitting that Marco Rubio should introduce Mitt Romney on the last night of the Grand Obstructionist Party convention; since both men are shameless liars.  Rubio built a following in Florida by concocting a story about his family fleeing to freedom in America, seeking refuge from the horrors of Castro’s communist dictatorship.  He was really getting over with this story; casting his family in a heroic anti-communist mold helped him win a Senate seat in Florida…and then an enterprising reporter at the Miami Herald decided to check his story out and discovered it was a lie.

The records show that Rubio’s parents immigrated to this country in 1958, fleeing the right wing Cuban dictator Fulgencia Batista, an American Lackey, not Castro.  Hence Rubio is a certified liar.  He was on stage in this strategic position because the Republicans need him; he is their Latin golden boy that they are counting on to deliver the Hispanic vote.  A vain hope that I believe will result in heartbreak. And although he has a superficial understanding of American political, economic and racial history, coming onstage following Clint Eastwood made Rubio look young, bright and dynamic.

Eastwood was a great embarrassment as he stuttered and stammered like a doddering old dunderhead.  He came across like an over the hill actor lost onstage without a script; cuttin the fool before the world. Clint didn’t seem to have a clue what Mitt’s position is on fundamental questions.  Still he was a hit with the delegates, a gaggle of pugnacious airheads, but looking at the response on social media, and the professional commentariat, Clint went over like a lead balloon everywhere else.   But Mitt wasn’t much better.

The most impressive moment in Mitt’s speech was his grand entrance, where he entered the auditorium from the rear and strolled down the aisle stopping to shake hands and embrace supporters the way the President does at a State of the Union Address.  However the entrance was yet another mistake, because it gave us a chance to take a good look at the lilly white mostly male delegates; which nullified their carefully crafted strategy of having racially and gender diverse speakers in a made for television portrait of Republican inclusiveness.

And the examples he used to illustrate American greatness early on contradicted the major theme of the convention. He didn’t point to a captain of Industry who had amassed a great fortune, the hero of today’s Republicans, but spoke glowingly of the wonder of the Moon landing and how it inspired him, and he recalled with a deep feeling of gratitude how the US government literally fed his father and grandfather and their family when they returned from self-imposed exile in Mexico, fleeing the chaos of revolution. This underscores the fact that the American government effectively maintains law and order; which makes the good life possible.  All this from a government that they constantly tell us can do nothing right?

Mitt was stiff, stupid, condescending, and given to dangerous bellicose rhetoric.  His comments on the Obama presidency amounted to little more than a series of snarky one liners befitting a smart-alecky teenager that in no way addressed the actual policies of President Obama: which are complex, humane and visionary.

The most poignant example of Mitt’s limited pedestrian backward vision of the role of the Presidency is embodied in this comment: “President Obama promised to stop the seas from rising, I just want to help you and your family.”  In leading the fight to reverse the trend toward global warming, Barack is trying to save everybody’s family. There is no greater demonstration of the progressive futuristic vision of President Obama, and the reactionary backward looking of Mitt Romney.

Mitt’s saber rattling reminded me of the fact that he was a schoolyard bully.  But this time he is picking on the wrong guys.  Our would be Commander-In-Chief sounds like he can’t wait to start a war with Iran – although he never mentioned the two wars started by the last Republican President that we are still waging a decade later, and will cost four trillion dollars.  This pugnacious chicken hawk dodged service in Vietnam, and seems to think of war as a video game.  That’s why he cavalierly hurled insults at Russia, whom he has already declared is “our number one enemy.”

That outrageous statement, offered a few weeks ago, caused Colin Powell – a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State – to come out of retirement and publicly declare: “No they are not Mitt!”  Unlike Mitt, whose foreign policy experience seem to consist of his Mormon mission to Paris where dined on pate and flaming crepes while other young Americans were losing life and limbs on the battlefields of South-East Asia  – General Powell understands that the Russians have a nuclear arsenal that can obliterate every city in the United States half an hour from now!  And we have no defense for it.

As I write I am listening to the commentary about Romney’s speech on Morning Joe, and it is hard to imagine an instance when superficial chit chat has been so confused with serious analysis. It is evidently of no concern to this convocation of chatterboxes that Romneys’ speech was based on lies repeated ad nauseum. They seem to regard Mitt like a trained monkey. With all the talk about whether the speech humanized him, one got the impression that like a monkey, it doesn’t matter whether his speech makes sense, the fact that he is speaking at all is worthy of applause!

Aside from the fact that Mitt’s economic plan is a rehashed version of George Bush’s folly that wrecked the economy; the aggressive character of his foreign policy could get us all killed!  Mitt Romney is a dangerous lightweight, an avaricious bean counter, who does not begin to possess the attributes  necessary to lead a global power in this challenging age.

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 31, 2012

 

An Evening of Crazies and Losers

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on August 30, 2012 by playthell
John McCain: Deranged Warmonger

The Republican Follies went from Bad to Worse

           AsI listened to the ahistorical profoundly ignorant rants of Rand Paul, a physician who fancies himself a Constitutional scholar, early on in the evening, I thought things had to go uphill from there.  Not so!.  As the evening proceeded I began to notice a dominant pattern that alternated between crazies and losers. Those whose ideas are so crazy that they have yet to become the policy of the US government, and if they did it would spell disaster; and those who have held power but are currently losers.

In some cases they lost a bid to gain higher office ala John McCain, and others are associated with disastrous policies like Condoleezza Rice, and have been largely banished from any visible role in Party affairs.  Their appearance as prime time speakers at the Republican Convention appears to be some sort of resurrection for burnt out stars in the GOP galaxy.  By the end of his speech Big John had declared war on most of the world.

Then came Mike Huckabee – a failed Rock and Roll bass player, failed presidential candidate, and a jack leg preacher cum radio verbal arsonist -who strolled onstage and repeated every lie the Republican repertoire with gusto. Huckabee is false to his faith, false in his rendition of American history, and false in his professions of concern for the poor and working class – of whom Jesus said “as you do unto them you do unto me.”

Huck also bored us with the obligatory hard luck rags to riches bunk that fuels a fake right-wing populism; then inundated us with impassioned religious mumbo-jumbo!  It is amusing to witness the hypocrisy of Protestant Fundamentalist who try and reconcile their bible – which they swear is the literal word of God – with the heretical theology of Mormonism.

Huckabee has the cadences and impassioned delivery of the southern protestant preacher, but never has it been employed to more anti-Christian purposes.  His speech clearly elevated the imperatives of politics over the requirement to defend the fundamental tenents of his faith.  The Southern Baptist position that Mormonisn is not Christianity may be inconvienent for those who place political victory over defending the faith, but it is more honorable.  On the other hand Huckabee is as complete a fraud as one is likely to find in public life.

It is interesting that the Republicans chose Condoleezza Rice over Colin Powell or Allan West as the foreign policy/national security spokesperson – considering her awful performance as National Security Advisor to George II.  Perhaps it’s because Powell is too sane and West is insane.  So they chose a well-spoken hawk in silk stockings and lipstick who gave them a triple threat: a woman, an African American and a football loving Hawk.

When compared to the saber rattling jingoistic rhetoric of John McCain, who appears to be itching to start wars everywhere, the measured sophistry of Dr. Rice can succesfully masquarade as wisdom.  But upon close examination her ideas about the world are as muddled and dangerous as John McCain’s folly.

Despite her pretentions to great wisdom, like Lady Macbeth, the former National Security Advisor has blood on her hands.  And in the fullness of time she will be exposed by careful historians as the person most responsible for allowing the tragic attack of 9/11 to happen!  I have examine the evidence and have no doubts about it.

Those who would like to interrogate the basis of my argument for this claim should read my essays on Dr. Rice posted on this blog.  Some may think it courageous to have her speak to the nation…I think it’s a risky business, because it invites thoughtful critics to excavate the horrid skeletons in her closet.

Condosleezza Rice giving the Measure of George Bush

A Sophisticated Aunt Jemima

Suffice it to say that Dr. Rice’s speech was a model of erudite foolishness, accompanied by the kind of well-rehearsed theatrics that reveals her training on the oratorical teams that were so popular in black southern schools when she was growing up. When she evocked her parents I could not resisit envisioning her as a precocious little prig who would not hestitate to dropa dime on here mates in order to ingratiate herself with the adults.

She is still a shameless toady to power.  The audience love her corny rap, and none of the speakers fared any better.   Alas it was entirely predictable right-wing hogwash.  The speakers all hit on the same themes and the audience erupted in applause on cue like Pavlov’s dogs.

Then came the man of the hour, Paul Ryan; the Grand Pulbah of the Republican budget hawks: Except he is a fake.  He voted for every one of Bush’s deficit creating measures.  Now he has proposed a budget which if enacted experts say would throw 45 million people off medicaid, while give the rich trillions in tax cuts.

The Catholic bishops and theologians have declared him a hypocrite who professes Catholicism but elevates the teachings of the amoral Russian atheist Ayn Rand over the preaching of Jesus Christ.  Ryan’s speech was a symphony of off key lies; especially his criticism of President Obama’s stimulus program, and his total misrepresentation of the Affordable Health Care Act and Medicare.

Paul Ryan is a career politician and seasoned demagogue with no evidence of a conscience.  Judging from the tumultuous applause of his audience, and the fawning admiration of much of the punditariat, Ryan’s lies about the aims of the policies he is proposing might win him the earthly office he seeks – given the racism, ignorance and confusion of millions of white Americans and their endless supply of money to promote these backwards tendencies – but it won’t get him into the Kingdom of heaven!  This causes me to question Ryans professions of faith.

The Bishops of his church has called his budgetary priorities sinful, and he can conjure no text where Jesus Christ would bless his actions.  The concern for the poor he professed during his speech is contradicted by the Social Darwinist policies he advocates; which will crush the poor while the rich gets richer.  Hence I don’t believe that Ryan has faith in anything but money and power!  If he were a true Christian he would be scared to death that he’s gonna bust hell wide open.  Like my Grandaddy George would say: “Dat boy’s a liar and a fink / his feets stink / and he don’t love Jesus!”

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 Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 30, 2014

Lies! Racism! Voter Suppression!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on August 29, 2012 by playthell
 A Belligerent Fat Boy

 On the Republican Strategy for Victory

Watching the speakers at the opening session of the Republican convention it quickly became clear that their themes were based on the series of blatant lies they have been telling about President Obama in their campaign ads.  And it is equally clear that they are addressing an audience who does not care about the facts. This is irrefutable evidence that they believe the people who are likely to vote for them are either stupid or, like them, don’t give a whit about the truth so long as it serves their political objectives.

Hence, early on it was clear that we were in for a protracted charade, a badly conceived farce masquerading as serious drama; a sad spectacle of po dumb rednecks applauding plutocrats and their shills who are pledging to take away their health care, destroy their unions, scrap minimum wage laws, and make them work longer to get Social Security.  And in the absence of affordable health care many will not live to collect on the social security benefit that they have been taxed their entire working life to pay for.  Well, that’s one way to reduce the cost of Social Security.

They are also advocating making it harder to qualify for welfare during a prolonged period of economic depression when work for pay is beyond the reach for millions of Americansm due to structural unemployment brought on by technological innovations and globalization.  The question arises: why are these working class white folks applauding this Republican ticket?

It is a self-destructive move, because their jobs may be shipped overseas any day by the likes of Mitt and his crowd of amoral plutocrats.  These people  would plunge American comunities into chaos faster than hopalong Cassidy could draw his guns, they can increase profits by relocating overseas where they can obtain labor at near slave wages and they have no right to organize. They have done it many times before, and it’s their plan for American workers.

We heard the “Weeper of the House” John Boehner, deliver a tasteless diatribe against President Obama that amounted to bearing false witness…which according to the teachings of his church is a mortal sin.  Boehner is an embarrassment to his lofty office, and raises real questions about the intellectual and moral gravitas of the people who repeatedly elect him to office.  They apparently  believe this crude simple minded palooka is a superior guardian of the peoples’ interest than the brilliant, progressive, legislator Nancy Pelosi – one of the greatest House Speakers of all time.

Then we heard the Governors of Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia brag about how well their states are doing while denouncing President Obama and the federal government; whose Economic Stimulus policies made it all possible. All of these states benefitted from the rescue of a collapsing economy by President Obama’s policies; after their party’s president, George Bush – who has become a non-person amongst this crowd – wrecked an economy bequeathed to him by Bill Clinton, with a balanced budget and a surplus of billions.

The governor of Ohio conveniently forgot to mention that 1 of every 8 jobs in his state is directly related to the auto-industry!  And had President Obama not rescued that last major vestige of the American manufacturing sector, as Mitt Romney advised, Ohio’s economy would be in shambles.  The state of Virginia was largely insulated from the full force of the Bush Depression by the large number of government jobs the state enjoys.  To close the naval facility at Norfolk alone – the largest naval base in the world – would plunge the state into depression.

Then came that absurd loser Rick Santorum, who was tossed from his Senate seat and kicked to the curb by Pennsylvanians. During the campaign he cast Mitt as the devil, and now has come to sing his praises.  His speech was not only based on blatant lies about the President’s welfare policies, but he nearly dammed Mitt with faint praise.  Sick Rick was a dirty joke, with his barely concealed racist dog whistles.

South Carolina Governor Nicki Hailey was as dull, mechanical and corny as the Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal; another shameless suck up to white racist with East Indian roots, whom the Republicans once thought of as their answer to President Obama.  But then we heard him offer a rebuttal speech to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, and he looked so stiff and doophus I wrote a commentary titled “The Return of Hoody Doody.”  He soon fell into a black hole and we have not seen him on the national stage again.  I predict the same fate will befall Governor Hailey.  She is a shameless liar and a grinning, boring, charlatan.

Miss Ann

Praising her Boo

Just before the keynote speaker, the rotund governor of New Jersey who looks and often acts like a a barroom bouncer, they brought on Mitt’s “secret weapon.”  Ann Romney said she had come to talk not about politics but love.  She lied.  After a sappy condescending pitch to American women, trying to relate to the experiences of working women that she obviously knows nothing about, Miss Ann offered a syrupy panegyric to the Mittster; whom she first painted as the love of her life, she made a dead up political pitch delivered with great skill and panache.  The audience loved her…but not like Sarah the Alaskan Barbarian.

As for Fat Chris…well, after announcing it’s not about love but respect, which seemed to dis Miss Ann’s silly rap, it was the standard free market anti-government, anti-union, American Exceptionalist prattle; which is common fare in the Grand Obstructionists Party.  Hence his heralded speech turned out to be much ado about nothing.

At times he came across as a pompous windbag, belting out his lines like a circus barker.  Reverend Al Sharpton, a verbal virtuosso of the first rank,  called him the “Ralph Cramden of the Republican Party.” But he looked more like a belligerent Humphrey Pennyworth to me.  And he did Mitt no great service.  Of 26 hundred words, there were 1800 words spoken before Mitt was even mentioned.

Then “Jersey Fats”  returned to talking about himself and his accomplishments in New Jersey.  His self-serving performance lends credence to the rumors about that Fats turned down Romney’s offer to run as his Vice-President because he is convinced that Mitt is destined to lose.  Therefore Christy is laying the foundation for a run at the White House in 2016.

Christy may even be deluded enough to believe this artless diatrube would do for him what Barack Obama’s eloquent insightful speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention did for his career.   As I listened to this chain of fools, mountebanks, blaggards and shameless charlatans the Grand Obstructionist Party inflicted on this nation last night – all of whom sang the praises of democracy, yet none spoke out against the shameless and possibly criminal efforts to suppress the black and Latino vote – I was once again reminded of Shakespeare’s words at the close of Macbeth: Twas a tale told by idiots / all sound and fury…signifying nothing!

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 Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 29, 20

Which Way America?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on August 28, 2012 by playthell
 Mitt’s looking backward…..Barack’s eyes are fixed on the future

 A GOP Victory Would be a Giant Step Backward

This week the Grand Obstructionist Party will hold their quadrennial convention in Tampa Florida, a glittering city on the Gulf of Mexico. Symbolically it is a fitting venue, because the ostentatious affluence of its downtown area where the conventioneers will frolic masks the rotten underbelly of dark ghettoes and red neck trailer parks that litter the landscape of Florida.

It also camouflages a backward state government that passes laws like “Stand Your Ground,” which has created a Dodge City like atmosphere where self-styled vigilantes gun down innocent children and are allowed to walk away without detention.  And if you listen to the governor of the state – a political Neanderthal who adheres to a free market theology which is about as factually based as astrology – all that government need do to solve the unemployment crisis is scrap regulations on business and cut taxes to the rich.  This is also the economic program of the national Republican party that wrecked the economy under Bush.  Hence Florida is the perfect place for a convention of ignorant gun loving yahoos and heartless plutocrats.

We can rest assured that all the major themes of the convention will be based on lies and the promotion of mass ignorance, because this is the basic strategy of the Romney Campaign.  Of the three main themes of the Romney /Ryan campaign ads, upon which their talking points are based, all are transparent lies.  Which raises a fundamental question: If President Obama’s record is as bad as they say it is why don’t they just attack his record?

The answer is simple: Barack Obama has a sterling record of accomplishment.  Some are obvious to any fairly intelligent observer who has not been hiding in a cave fleeing the Bush horrors the last four years.  Among these are: saving the world financial system from collapse and preventing another “Great Depression,” rescuing the auto industry, providing millions of Americans with affordable healthcare, signing the Lillie Ledbetter equal pay law making it a crime to pay women less than men for comparable work, authorizing the daring raid that killed Osama bin Laden, instituting a new regulatory regime for Wall Street, etc.  But  there are many other outstanding accomplishments of which the public is largely unaware.

Hence they are confused by the hysterical prattle emanating from the twin towers of babble anchored on the right and left of the American political spectrum proclaiming the Obama administration a failure.  Fortunately, the earnest seeker of wisdom and truth does not have to rely on the ideologues and mindless fanatics for a final assessment of the Obama presidency.

There are two serious books that annihilate the preachment of misinformed ideologues: “The New New Deal” and “It’s worse than it Looks.”  The first book was written by the award winning Time Magazine reporter Michael Grunwald.  It is a richly detailed account of the brilliant way President Obama’s  800 billion dollar stimulus was invested to create the basis for a new American economy based on technological innovations like a green manufacturing sector, which can sustain the working class by providing a living wage, and restore vertical mobility into a revitalized middle class.

After tracking where the money went like an intrepid financial detective Grunwald concludes:

 “The stimulus has launched a transition to a clean-energy economy, doubled our renewable power, and financed unprecedented investments in energy efficiency, a smarter grid, electric cars, advanced biofuels, and green manufacturing. It is computerizing America’s pen-and-paper medical system. Its Race to the Top is the boldest education reform in U.S. history. It has put in place the biggest middle-class tax cuts in a generation, the largest research investments ever, and the most extensive infrastructure investments since Eisenhower’s interstate highway system. It includes the largest expansion of antipoverty programs since the Great Society, lifting millions of Americans above the poverty line, reducing homelessness, and modernizing unemployment insurance. Like the first New Deal, Obama’s stimulus has created legacies that last: the world’s largest wind and solar projects, a new battery industry, a fledgling high-speed rail network, and the world’s highest-speed Internet network. “

The second book is written by Norman Orenstein, the reigning authority on the US Congress, and it details why the Congress has become immobilized by gridlock and is making it impossible for the President to implement many of his ideas.  Some of which Dr. Paul Krugman – a Princeton Professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics – says are tried and true methods from the Great Depression of the 1930’s, which is the only example of economic collapse in American history of the magnitude of the Bush crash.

Dr. Orenstein contemptuously dismisses the argument that both parties are equally guilty and places the blame squarely on rightwing zealots in the Republican Party.  He contemptuously denounces the press for not making this distinction clear when discussing Congressional gridlock – calling them unindicted co-conspirators with the Republicans in confusing people.

Orenstein’s assessment is given added credibility by the fact that he is a resident scholar at the conservative, pro-Republican, American Enterprise Institute.  Arm with these seminal text it will be easy to demolish the hail of lies coming from the Obama bashers on the left and right, and convincingly demonstrate that a vote for the Grand Obstructionist Party will be a giant step backward!

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 Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 28, 2012

The Empire State Shooter

Posted in Cultural Matters with tags , on August 24, 2012 by playthell

 

                  Another Slaughter on an American Street

 A Sign of the Times!

Mass shootings have become almost a routine affair, a sad fact of life in the USA today.  They may not happen all the time, but they can happen anytime. Not everywhere but anywhere. And as I write they are happening with such frequency it’s hard to keep up with them. However while most appear to be senseless, or at any rate unfathomable to the average citizen, today’s shooting near the Empire state building, in which ten people were shot an two killed,  appear to be crystal clear.

A laid off worker decided to kill the man who fired him.  A few years ago this type of shooting was routinely referred to as “going postal,” because the most dramatic instance of a mass shooting at the time was perpetrated  by a fired postal worker who decided to exact vengeance on his former co-workers  by returning to the job site and opening fire on as many people as he could.

This kind of mass slaughter differs from those in Columbine, Arizona, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Wisconsin, et al; in which the shooter had some vague and generalized discontent with the world.  Here the shooting is work related and the target was a person the shooter feels is the cause of his economic plight; the boss who took the bread off his table and threw their life into chaos. From all appearances this seems to be the motivation behind todays shooting.

Recently the question was asked on a cable talk show as to whether the prolonged unemployment crisis will result in civil unrest; the way it has elsewhere in the world.  I think we are already seeing civil disturbances due to the stress of economic desperation; the unending anxiety experienced by people facing homelessness and starvation.

But because it is expressed in anti-social behavior like an escalating crime rate, and the increased incidence of mass shootings, it is not recognized as social unrest.  It is simply dismissed as criminal behavior or a fit of madness, with no connection to the brutal protracted economic crisis that is swelling the ranks of the dispossessed in the richest society the world has ever seen.

The Republicans who speak so glibly of shredding the social safety net and leaving the poor and unemployed to starve, while accusing them of being lazy good for nothings looking for a handout, are playing with social dynamite.  In some parts of the world violence is targeted against the rich by the poor; like Knee capping in Italy and kidnapping in Latin America.

Right now disgruntled workers in the US have advocates in the organized labor unions that have fought for programs that help the unemployed maintain the basic necessities of life. But if the Republicans succeed in destroying these government entitlements, shredding the safety net  and destroying the power of unions to fight back through the political system, we shall many more acts mass slaughter and the danger zone will be everywhere!

Nowhere to run….

 

Nowhere to hide!

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 24, 2012

 

Rudy Giuliani Disses Joe Biden

Posted in Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 23, 2012 by playthell
A hypocritical, racist, blowhard

 A Case of the Pot Maligning the Kettle

As I listened to Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani holding forth on Face The Nation, CBS’ long running Sunday morning news and public affairs show, I thought of the race baiting politics and racist policies Giuliani employed when he was Mayor of New York.  I was torn between impulses of laughter and rage as Rudy said of vice President Biden “I’ve never seen a vice president that has made as many mistakes, said as many stupid things. I mean there’s a real fear if God forbid he ever had to be entrusted with the presidency whether he really has the mental capacity to handle.”  I could hardly believe my ears: Rudy Giuliani questioning Joe Biden’s intelligence and judgment: What Chutzpah!

Evidently, like his cronies in the Grand Obstructionist Party, Rudy thinks the public is either suffering from amnesia or they are too stupid to recognize that they are being played.  Rudy sounded like a reformed whore who has become holier than thou.  After all, based on his criticism of Biden he must believe that we have forgotten his scurrilous history.  Let me refresh your memories.

This is the guy who nearly incited a police riot outside City Hall with reckless rhetoric when he was running for Mayor.  The elegant, gracious, politically astute David Dinkins was Mayor and much of the untutored white ethnic workin class mob felt the same way about him they feel about President Obama: like the world had turned upside down and things were falling apart.  Rudy Giuliani recognized this anger and sought to harness it with barely concealed race baiting rhetoric.

Since this was New York City in the late twentieth century and not Alabama in the 1960’s, Rudy stopped short of employing racial epithets.  He didn’t call anybody “niggers;” instead, he smiled and talked of fairness based on merit not “racial quotas,” while enacting some of the most racist policies of any New York Mayor in the twentieth century.

His sins were all the more perfidious because he had served as the Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York, thus he was well aware of the wholesale economic discrimination against women and non-white minorities in securing contracts to provide products and services to the City Government – the largest contractor in this gilded city.

Not only did he do nothing to stop the practice – which was in violation of federal equal opportunity laws, he ordered all government agencies to stop keeping records of the race, ethnicity or gender of those awarded city contracts. In other words Rudy systematically destroyed the evidentiary record which provides the factual basis for class action suits by the injured parties.

In other words he rendered the most effective weapon victims of race and gender discrimination could employ to gain legal redress.  Hence solidifying institutional discrimination in New York city government. Yet this racist charlatan now lectures Joe Biden on racism?  The Veep hasn’t a racist bone in his body!

When we consider the question of judgment the “America’s Mayor” fares perhaps even worse.  Lest we forget, this is the guy who appointed Bernard Kerik to Police Commissioner and then recommended him to head the massive Homeland Security Agency. Fortunately he was thwarted in that ambition when the FBI investigated his fitness for the job and discovered Bernie was mobbed up!  Yet his benefactor, self-righteous Rudy, swore he hadn’t a clue about his protégés mob ties; for which he is presently doing from now until in the slammer.

But the most powerful statement about who Rudy Giuliani is came from his daughter.  When Rudy was the leading challenger for the Republican presidential candidacy in 2008, his daughter publicly endorsed Barack Obama!

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Auguat 22, 2012

 

Please Stay In the Race Toddy Boy!

Posted in Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 21, 2012 by playthell
                    He says women can’t get pregnant during rape!

 

Notes on the War Against Women

If the realty it magnifies were not so tragic, Congressman Todd Akin’s statement on women and rape would be hilarious.  Akin, who is the Republican challenger for the Senate Seat of Democrat Claire McKaskil, was enjoying a commanding lead in the race.  But in a fortnight he provoked a swelling chorus from the national Republican Party to quit the race. This rejectionist movement is led by Republican Paul Brown of Massachusetts in the Senate, as they all run for cover to try and avoid the toxic fallout.

Many believe if Akin continues in the race they will lose a seat they had already chalked up in the win column. And the Republican National Committee has announced that no funds will be invested in his Senate bid.  Yet, as I write, Congressman Akin is announcing on Mike Huckabee’s show – the former Republican presidential candidate who had endorsed him –  that he shall not quit the race.  I say bully for you Todd!  Don’t let those Washington part hacks push you around!  What a marvelous gift you are to the Democrats.

Mitt Romney, aka “Mr. Chameleon,” is his usual stiff, cautious, amoral, phony baloney self; pooting around equivocating and accidently exposing his true character. The problem is that the Republicans are already 17 points behind President Obama with women in the coming elections, and Todd Akin’s basic view of reproductive rights is the view of the Republican Party.  And that the Republican attack on their reproductive rights is simply the advance guard of a full-fledged war on women.

The scurrilous attack on law student Sandra Fluke by Rush Limbaugh on National radio – when he called her a whore and said she should allow us to watch her having sex on television.  He was defended by many Republicans and Mitt barely said a word in condemnation.  But this contemptuous attitude toward women is reflected in the Republican Party’s hostility towards the Lilly Ledbetter Act outlawing wage discrimination against women.

Their contempt is mirrored in the assault on Planned Parenthood which provides free cancer screenings for a multitude of women who could not otherwise afford them.  Hence is the fear that this multiple assault on the status  of women will finally be viewed in its entirety, not a sincere change of heart, that’s driving the male chauvinist in the GOP: “Grand Oppressor Party.”

Akin’s  claimed  in “legitimate rapes” women don’t get pregnant, and he claimed to have medical evidence showing that women’s bodies had the ability to shutdown it’s reproductive machinery in a real rape.  He also said that he opposed abortion even if the rape was real, and justified this outrageous anti-woman statement with the argument that it is the rapist not the unborn child who should be punished for the crime.

This statement sparked a firestorm, yet in reality it is the position of the national Republican Party. Committing oneself to a policy of forcing a woman to carry a baby to term even if it is the result of rape or incest has become a litmus test for Republican candidates in large sections of the USA today.  It is so common out there in the red state boonies that a reactionary creep like Todd Akin felt completely at ease spouting such dangerous anti-woman drivel.  And the clueless old fart actually looks surprised at the outrage it has provoked.

Consider Akin’s response: “I made couple of mistakes,” says Congressman Akin, “I made that statement in error.  What I said was ill-conceived…And I also know that women do become pregnant from rape…and I want to apologize for anyone I’ve hurt.”  For anyone who has actually seen the video tape of the statement – which has been looped everywhere in the mass media – the Congressman’s attempt at apology must seem too little too late.

I was overjoyed when Toddy announced earlier today that he intends to stay in the race no matter what the Washington apparatchiks have to say.  He is a gift that wil never stop giving….for the Democrats!  So I hope he continues to believe that his candidacy is an instrument of God’s will, and fervently press forward in pursuit of his goal. He says he does not need the support of the Republican establishment because his passionate grass roots support will put him over the top.  I say onward Christian soldier!

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 21, 2012

 

 

Stop Whining Annie…

Posted in On Republican Women, Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 20, 2012 by playthell
An arrogant, Over privileged, Stepford Wife

 ….Just Show Us Yo Tax Returns!

If, as we are told, Ann Romney is Mitt’s secret weapon, this joker is in big trouble.  As questions swirl around his tax returns, which are now routinely referred to as Mitts “Secret” tax returns, Miss Ann responds to questions from reporters about being more transparent with their tax returns over the years by becoming petulant and unhinged.

Miss Ann is a very bad actor and therefore cannot disguise her contempt for those beneath her social status who are impertinent enough to insist that she answer questions about what she and Mitt chooses to do with their money- which they have been hiding in a lot of suspicious places.  So what if the press is the eyes and ears of the people, and the reporters are just doing their jobs?

Miss Ann postures like a dowager speaking to servants as she announces in no uncertain terms that they are not telling us another word about their wealth and how it is taxed.  Yet she seems to be totally unaware of how she is coming across to those viewers who have even half a functioning brain.

For despite her haughty attitude, she looks frightened and confused; like a deer caught in the headlights of a tractor trailer bearing down on her.  When the camera zooms in close, the look of anxiety on Miss Ann’s face would make a good spot in the airline commercials that asks “Wanna get away?”

In two major television interviews she has gone from bad to worse when asked about releasing additional tax returns.  On one occasion she said to Robin Roberts, a veteran Afro-American reporter: “We have told you people enough about what we have and how we live.”  And in a later interview on NBC’s Rock Center she said emphatically that there would be no more tax returns because they will just be used by their enemies to pick them apart.  “We have paid everything the law requires of us,” she announced.

When the interviewer asked did she think the public had a right to know how much taxes they paid, since after all her husband was running for President; and would soon be debating tax policy with President Obama, Miss Ann fairly spat out her incredulous reply.  “Haven’t you seen what they are doing to us?” She asked.

Then she defiantly declared that the only thing releasing more tax returns would do is “give them more ammunition to use against us.” With an air of stony resolve, Miss Ann announced on national television that “There will be no more returns!”   My Harvard trained tax attorney, who spent 20 years working for the IRS, tells me they are definitely hiding something…. and it is almost certainly immoral and unethical.  The only question is if it’s illegal.

Despite her fumbling attempts to make nice, this is a cold blooded bitch.  I can easily hear her say of the struggling poor, the people who need the food supplement programs her husband vows to slash: “Let them eat cake!”  Miss Ann strikes me as being as clueless as Marie Antoinette; whose attitude caused her to literally lose her head.  And she seems as callous as “Hard Hearted Hanna” a dirty bitch in Savanna, who was observed standing on dry land, pouring water on the head of a drowning man!  Mitt’s weapon is not only secret….it’s deadly.

The Sport of Plutocrats

Miss Ann and her dancing beast

     

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 17, 2012

Farewell My Queen

Posted in Movie Reviews, Playthell on politics on August 19, 2012 by playthell

 An Intimate History of the French Revolution

Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette in the Hall of Mirrors

 A Blast from the Past with Lessons for Today

Farewell My Queen, a wonderful new French Film, provides us a unique view of the great 18th century revolution in France. Based on a novel by Chantal Thomas, and directed by Benoît Jacquot– whose oeuvre includes “A Single Girl,” and “Deep in the Woods” – this compelling film reconstructs history in living color.  And like all outstanding European period films he uses the grand artifacts of their history as props.  The costumes, wigs, jewelry, furniture, fine horses, and the decision to use candle light in many of the scenes, and the eloquently spoken French – with English subtitles – all serve to invest this movie with a feeling of authenticity and transport us back in time.

The choice of Versailles Palace as the setting for the story to unfold was the first of many brilliant artistic decisions made by the producers of this movie.  For there is no better visual symbol of why the Revolution happened. From themoment I walked through the big golden gates and entered the cobblestone courtyard at Versailles Palace on my first visit to Paris, I could almost hear the voices of the enraged mob that stormed this monument to vulgar opulence in August 1789, dragging King Louis the XVI and his Queen Marie Antoinette from their plush quarters and later beheading them in the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

As I roamed through the many rooms of Versailles, each seemingly more fabulous than the next, with endless decorations of gold leaf and tons exotic marbles, I reflected on the starved and ragged masses of Frenchmen locked in a Darwinian struggle for bread. Strolling down the magnificent Hall Of Mirrors, it became abundantly clear that the Aristocrats of the Ancient Regime of France, with their arrogance of power and avaricious profligate ways, got just what they deserved when the revolutionary masses rose up and cut off their heads in the guillotine!

The Great Hall of Mirrors

This is how royalty lived while the masses starved

The French Revolution was one of three great bourgeois revolutions of the 18th century – along with the American and the Haitian Revolutions – that rejected the doctrine of The Divine Right Of Kings to rule and declared the fraternity and equality of man to be the natural order of things.  And the new order was born in blood just like humanity.  There are many ways of telling history; the work of professional historians sets the standards and constructs the master narrative, but great novelists, dramatists and film makers can bring this narrative to life so that we can relieve it.

What sets this story apart from all others that I have seen about the French Revolution is the way the tale is told through the eyes of those who served the royals and aristocrats.  The coachmen, cooks, maids, seamstresses, grooms, and foreign mercenary soldiers like the King’s personal Swiss Guards; which he employed because he was afraid to trust Frenchmen.

Most Dramatic were the numerous ladies-in-Waiting, who existed to serve the every whim of the Queen – like personal maids to the rich today – whose story is the central theme of this film.  The actresses were marvelous. Their portrayal of the intense lesbian lust between the beautiful Queen and her married female lover Madam Gabrielle de Polniac, and her young voluptuous reader who would like to be the object of the Queen’s romantic interests– played by Diane Kruger, Lea Seydoux and Virginie Ledoyen – provide some highly erotic moments that no porn movie can match.

  The Queen and her Lover

 The screen sizzled with girl on girl passions

 We observe the progress and the fall of the monarchy through the whisperings of the army of palace servants, as they grow increasingly surly and disrespectful of their former masters.  And we can experience the growing sense of terror and panic as the aristocrats read the handwriting on the wall and look for the quickest way out of France. As I watched them dressed up as servants, scurrying around to see what valuables they could smuggle past the encroaching mob, I thought of an observation of that great authority on revolutions, CLR James: “The only time the rich can be trusted is when they running for their lives.”

Then I thought of Mitt Romney and the American Plutocrats, who are as given to arrogance, avarice and debauchery as the decadent French aristocrats.  And suddenly I heard Bob Marley’s voice singing: “We gonna run them crazy bald heads outta town!”

 One of Mitt’s  Buddy’s Mansions

This is where Mitt held a recent fundraiser with fellow plutoctats 
 

The City Mitt Left Behind

 How the other America lives

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 19, 2012

Is Paul Ryan a Bullshit Artist?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on August 17, 2012 by playthell
Yo Can’t take the heat Dog?

In Search of the Real Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney and Paulie Ryan are a perfect political tandem in more ways than one.  They share the same toxic ideas about politics and economics – which can be summed up as amoral social Darwinism, featuring unregulated financial markets, environmental degradation, racism and plutocracy – and they are both consummate liars.

They are constructing a campaign based on outright lies which will flood the airways in carefully crafted ads paid for by plutocrats who are free to spend as much as they please as a result of the Citizens United Decision, one of the High Court’s lowest moments.  Although their lies can be easily refuted, both men are assuming the majority of the electorate is either two stupid, racist or intellectually lazy to exert the effort.

Ryan presents himself as a deficit hawk; a fiscal policeman crunching the numbers and fighting for polices that address the budget deficit.  Yet he voted for every one of the budget busting polices during the eight years of the Bush Administration, including the massive tax refunds to the rich, which created massive deficits and wrecked the economy. And both remain committed to that basic strategy.

The only difference between the Romney/Ryan economic philosophy and the aproach of George Bush, as Bill Clinton pointed out, is that their philosophy is Bushism on steroids.   Since at the end of eight years Clinton bequeathed a balanced budget and impressive surplus to the nation – which Bush quickly squandered – he knows whereof he speaks.

Ryan has been a boisterous public critic of the President’s economic stimulus package that saved a teetering economy from collapsing into the abyss, telling everyone who had a television camera that the Stimulus did nothing to affect the unemployment rate.

Yet in the past few days the Boston Globe has retrieved letters written on Ryan’s Congressional stationary, and bearing his signature, in which he is requesting more stimulus money for his district in Wisconsin, and he claims that stimulus money had both saved jobs and created new ones.

Ryan is also lying about the consequences of his budget priorities on Medicare.  And he has been called a liar by the Harvard and MIT professors who designed both Romneycare and Obama care.  They say the only difference between the two plans is the number of zeros they were working with.  But this issue deserves its own discussion, and will be the subject of my next commentary.

However the part of his past that Ryan is trying his best to bury is his intellectual debt to the atheistic Russian Social Darwinist philosopher Ayan Rand.  The brilliant MSNBC host Laurence O’ Donnell aired a video tape last night recorded in 2008, where Ryan tells us that Rand is the source of his entire political philosophy; he says that she inspired him to enter politics to help realize her vision of society.  And he required all of his congressional Staff members to read and discuss Rand’s books “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

Then, with a devilish grin, O’Donnell produced rare footage of Ms. Rand in an interview with John Carson where she scoffs at the idea of God, said the family was not a necissisary institution, the Vietnam War was an absurd American Imperialism.  She is also on record calling Ronald Reagan a moron.

Added to all this, Catholic theologians and the Council of Bishops rebuked him for placing the teachings of Any Rand on the ideal society over the preaching of Jesus Christ!  That’s why he was on Fax with Brit Hume denouncing his fomer love for her “atheistic philosophy.” If Mitt is “Mr. Chameleon,” Ryan is trying his best to become “The Invisible Man.”

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Commentator / Cultural Critic

Harlem, New York

August 17, 2012

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