Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obama Miseducates Us Like Lauryn Hill

Was Jada's latest album any good? Now that I barely listen to music I don't know these things. Anyway, Obama gave a very good speech tonight and wisely appears to be rapidly deprioritizing healthcare reform in favor of an (as yet undefined) jobs bill, mentioning it somewhere in between community colleges and foreign aid to Zimbabwe. Whether his jobs bill, or the natural recovery of the economy, will actually create enough jobs for Democrats to maintain anything above the narrowest majorities in Congress remains to be seen, but the strategy, at least, is sound.

However, Obama did make one small but glaring mistake - attacking the Supreme Court as they sat several yards in front of them, and doing so in a fashion that can only be described as (a) deliberately dishonest or (b) negligently ignorant. First, Obama said that the Supreme Court "reversed a century of law"; as discussed two posts below, they left untouched the century-old law in this area, and have never signaled any interest whatsoever in invalidating bans on corporate contributions, which date back to the times of Teddy Roosevelt. What they reversed was a single clause in a seven year-old law that they had already neutered a few years ago. To confuse the two is like mixing up a single affirmative action program and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Then he said that the decision would open up the floodgates for special interests, which is probably wrong as a predictive matter, but at least it isn't a baldfaced lie. Then he claimed that the decision allowed foreign corporations to run campaign ads - which again is either a lie or really bad misinformation on the part of his speechwriters. A different provision of campaign-finance law, left untouched by the decision, bans foreign corporations from running any electioneering ads at any time whatsoever, or making any donation to any candidate or party. The decision only dealt with the rights of American corporations. Naturally, one of the Justices, Justice Alito, couldn't help but shake his head in disagreement and mouth "that's wrong" - and now remarkably some are accusing him of lacking decorum. Obviously the lack of decorum here is on the part of the President who presumes to publicly tell to their faces the members of the highest court in the land how they ought to construe the First Amendment, and in doing so lies to the public about what they just decided. As if the media wasn't already doing a bad enough job explaining this stuff. Just as the Justices traditionally never applaud during States of the Union, lest they appear to be partisan, a President shouldn't use a State of the Union to bully the Supreme Court about how it ought to be deciding cases. I was also baffled by his suggestion to Congress to pass a bill that "addresses some of these issues." The Constitution's the Constitution, and the Court has the last say as to what it says; Congress can't change it unless it wants to amend it. As for My Son John, it wasn't at all the camp classic I was expecting, but rather a pretty devastating portrait of a 50s nuclear family in crisis, and in particular the fraying relationship between a mother and her grown-up son, that just so happens to be a rabidly anti-Communist movie




1 comment:

MF said...

The Jada album is as bad as you probably imagine it is. It blows my mind that it's apparently sold, like, 200, 000 copies to date in this climate when even a rapper with the buzz and hits of Gucci flopped.

Who the fuck are the 200, 000 people who buy Jadakiss solo albums in 2009?

That new Styles P & Green Latern mixtape has some sweet moments, though.