When I think of Obama right now, I keep thinking of torture and gays, and he is off course on both. We have high hopes yet, of course. If he does manage to get a health care proposal in front of Congress, and if there is some movement towards financial re-regulation, both within the next few months, well we can consider that movement. But right now Obama seems a little bamboozled.
The torture thing, like the economy and the various wars, are not his fault ... but they are his problems, and problems trump fault. The constant chatter on torture, likewise, is not something he can do anything about. Both the 'publicans and the new aggressive left talking heads can't get their minds off it. And this is a problem for the agenda.
Yes, torture is horrible, and ... surprise, surprise ... the dubyaites lied and fudged and used torture to try to extract "proof" that the tyrant Saddam was in bed with the puritan al-Qaidah. But what does banging that drum get us right now? What it does is to make Dick Cheney relevant. What it does is to keep Bush in the conversation. What it does is give various troglodyte 'publicans a platform to call Obama a traitor. And what it does not do is to reveal the opportunity to break out of the old politics into the new.
I saw a piece ... can't seem to locate it now, but will substitute this note for a link if I stumble on it again ... today which noted that Obama seems to have been bamboozled by his generals. I think that is true in regards to his failure to pull any significant units out of Iraq. But Obama has to refuse to release more photos of torture. There is no upside for him, he hardly needs in any real sense a further proof of the immorality and anti-democratic ... indeed anti-American ... nature of the Bush administration. And the release of those photos would only serve to infect his efforts to re-orient American foreign policy with the very poisons he seeks to supersede. I am certainly for transparency, and Obama came to office on a platform of transparency. But this is no win for him. Or for us. Revenge traps us in the past, no matter how well-deserved; I think it serves the 'publicans if only because it feeds their ability to obstruct and delay and get in the way.
Oberman ... Maddow ... move on. Leave dubya behind. What about the agenda for the future?
Now gay rights works the same way, only Obama is here the one who is hanging on to the past to no good effect. If he killed "don't ask, don't tell" today, the news cycle would be two weeks long, and then it would seem like it had never happened. Gibbs, press secretary, had this to say "'To get fundamental reform in this instance requires a legislative vehicle,' Gibbs said. 'The president made a promise to change the policy; he will work with the Joints Chief of Staff, the administration and with Congress to ensure that we have a policy that works for our national interests.'" To use a word, what a pile of horseshit. Have some chutzpah, Obama ... just do it.
But ... and this is getting to be an eerie refrain ... he doesn't just do it. I understand the cool, the need for timing. But the enemy ... I mean the 'publicans ... are on the run. Gay marriage is sweeping the country. We are still spending scarce federal dollars chasing Arabic speaking faggots out of the army.
Have some goddamm balls, Barack ... just end the stupid policy.
But "no" ... because we are still living in the era of dubya ... and the torture and the gay debates prove it.
When do we move on?
I am glad that Gokey is gone. He bugged me. I never really liked his voice, and the performances seemed carbon copied to me. But I suppose I did let my bias interfere with my critical faculties to some degree. He's probably better than I think.
He double-bugged me when I got wind of the christian conspiracy to win him. Hardee har, they didn't win ... oops, that is not nice. Regardless, it says something about the curiosities of American Idol voting, but because they do not provide us with any demographic data, we can only speculate ... badly. I hope they re keeping this data somewhere, because some enterprising doctoral student should make a great dissertation out of it some day. The Twittersphere was alive with Christians promising to hang with Kris ... but that stinks a little given that, christian though he may be, they gave him no succor last week.
I thought Adam was predictable on Tuesday. Two hard, hard rock performances. I want the raw, shocking creativity of his "Ring of Fire" performance; I want him again to do something that we have never seen from anyone before. I think if he does that, the sheer velocity of his talent makes him the winner.
That of course relies upon a notion that there is a large portion of the voting audience who vote from the performance rather than the prejudice. And that is good.
I really like Kris Allen too ... although he should stick to a lower register. In the return to Arkansas piece, he sang a folk song and kept the voice down low ... it is so rich and sweet not like candy but like molasses. He will be a luxuriant, velvety balladeer, and I love that schmaltz.
So in a sense, it does not really matter who wins, except that I want the fag to win. When I scratch myself, more often than not, my predilections devolve to this ... if it's good for the fags, then it's good.
So Adam, blow us away. Make it a romp. We'll all groove to the puppy a-croonin', but we will suffer spine chills when you make music no one has imagined before.
So Craigslist caved, and killed their Erotic Services in favor of something called Adult Services. Pretty much the same thing, as far as I can tell, except nobody speaks the nasty words, there are no naked pictures, and ... curiously ... they no longer categorize by m4m or w4m. What's that about?
When will we realize that people have sex? When will we realize that all of the bad that comes with prostitution is made worse by illegality? When will we realize that a service like Craigslist would allow a rational approach to public health to monitor disease, offer services, and protect people. Oh well. More idiot madness in the service of foot-stomping politics. I guess Craigslist had to semi-fold. But what a waste that we spend public resources on trying to prevent people from consenting activities.
Photos by Arod of street art around Florida Street. I took these photos in 2005. The third photo, near Harrison and 15th, has a legend that states that it is "De Frontera a Frontera," by Joel Bergner, June 2003.