Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing

The media continues to prepare the nation for a real let down because Barack Obama has no intent in solving any problems for Main Street as he will continue to dish out "free lunches" to Wall Street and no matter how sleazy, crooked and corrupt the recipients of public funds--- one whom was helped out by the bailouts was good old Bernie Madoff.

Look at this:

"Not only is Obama saddled with lingering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is inheriting from President George W. Bush, but he also must deal with:

_a deepening recession in the U.S. and a spreading global economic crisis.

_an automotive industry on the brink of collapse and soaring national debt.

_increasing unemployment and its ripple effects.

_the threat of terrorism amid a historic transfer of power.


"Not only is Obama saddled with lingering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is inheriting from President George W. Bush..."

This is an outright lie. Obama, the Democrats and Bush are wholly and totally and completely responsible for these dirty imperialist wars for oil, dope and regional domination. These wars are every bit Obama's wars as they are George Bush's wars.

This country doesn't face any threat of terrorism that any other country in the world doesn't face; and, it is the barbaric, parasitic and cannibalistic policies of the United States government and the multi-national corporations in quest of greater profits that give terrorism life.

We now know that this rotten government--- Democrats and Republicans--- were fully aware of the dire economic situation well over one year ago and they with held this information from the rest of us as if they were guarding the secrets of the A-Bomb in order to try to get through the Election without having to address these economic issues. We are still being fed lies--- lie after lie just like the lies about the Iraq war; but now the lies are about the economy, too... an economy that is on the skids to oblivion, and if we remain on this road we will be on the road to perdition just like those poor people crossing the I35-W Bridge who thought they could do so safely because they thought, wrongly, the government was looking out for them.

Nothing short of nationalization can save the American auto industry. Allowing this industry, that has been subsidized to the hilt by the American tax-payer already, to remain in the hands of Wall Street coupon clippers is a recipe for complete economic ruin... not only for the auto industry, but for the steel industry and the Nation.

Obama has not remained "mum" during this transition because Obama does not intend to deviate from George Bush's policies... Roosevelt was setting the stage for a complete break with Herbert Hoover's reactionary policies because massive, massive militant opposition to Herbert Hoover's policies were well organized with people on the move on every front with a broad popular people's front developing with many people ready for revolution... Obama intends a smooth transaction thinking that his nice sounding, meaningless words will lull the American people into acquiescing in the same way that Democrats acquiesced to George Bush every step of the way for the last eight years.

What has been forgotten--- more likely intentionally ignored--- is that alongside Roosevelt's election thousands of communists and socialists were elected to public office in this country... from village mayors and county commissioners to state legislatures and a few in Congress... all with a progressive agenda demanding real solutions to the problems working people and the working class was experiencing.

The media is in high gear trying to convince us that we should not expect change.

Worse yet, the main stream media has refused to allow a full and free discussion, dialogue and debate to ensue as to what needs to be done by trying to convince us that there are no alternatives outside of capitalism which can solve our problems when in fact the only solutions lie outside of the capitalist way of doing things which got us into this mess.

Wall Street coupon clippers profit and the working class is stuck with this mess.

Working people let Roosevelt know in no uncertain terms that a massive redistribution of wealth was required to solve the problems of working people and today this is even truer than in the 1930's.

In the final analysis this unjust social system of capitalism enabled wealth to concentrate in the hands of the very few and any one with an once of common sense understands that a massive redistribution of wealth to working people who created this wealth in the first place is what is required.

It is interesting that the biggest Wall Street scoundrel of them all, Bernie Madoff, is linked to all of Obama's inner circle starting with Charles Schumer and the main stream media seems to ignore the corruption already swirling around Obama... including the Illinois governor. And then Obama has the audacity to appoint a worthless pimp to his economic transition team!

Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama, relatively young and inexperienced, is facing a rapidly growing list of monumental challenges as he prepares to take the reins of a nation in turmoil.

"I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead," Obama said after his historic election a little more than a month ago.

It was a sobering assessment at the time, but the country's problems have only worsened since then. Now, Obama sounds dire, particularly as he talks about the economy: "We're in an emergency."

He spoke during a week in which Congress killed a bailout of the failing auto industry, the government reported that jobless claims spiked to their highest levels in more than a quarter-century, and the Treasury Department said the nation registered a record federal budget deficit for November.

With woes foreign and domestic on more fronts than even Franklin Delano Roosevelt encountered when he took office in the midst of the Great Depression, Obama will be sworn in as the country's 44th president in January.

His leadership will be tested immediately and in many ways. His performance from the outset could well set the tone for his presidency.

Not only is Obama saddled with lingering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is inheriting from President George W. Bush, but he also must deal with:

_a deepening recession in the U.S. and a spreading global economic crisis.

_an automotive industry on the brink of collapse and soaring national debt.

_increasing unemployment and its ripple effects.

_the threat of terrorism amid a historic transfer of power.

At the same time, Obama may be drawn into an unfolding political scandal over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged efforts to trade the president-elect's former Senate seat for personal gain. The ongoing federal investigation could ensnare some of his top advisers and taint the self-styled reformer who has tried to steer clear of notorious Chicago politics.

The president-elect says he's "absolutely confident" his aides did not try to cut deals with Blagojevich, but at the very least, the scandal is a distraction for a leader facing the magnitude of problems on Obama's plate.

Obama also has promised an ambitious foreign and domestic policy agenda that includes withdrawing most U.S. combat troops from Iraq, cleaning up government, overhauling the health care system, fighting global warming and developing alternative energy sources.

Some priorities may fall to the wayside or be done piecemeal. But, so far, he has signaled an intent to move forward on much if not all of those plans. The question is how quickly he can accomplish his goals, while simultaneously confronting the growing list of major problems.

"There's a lot of ground giving under him. It's a terrific challenge," said Fred Greenstein, a Princeton University professor emeritus of politics and a presidential historian.

"From one perspective, it's as if he's about to take over the captain's job on a sinking ship. From the other perspective, he could be on a glide path to Mount Rushmore if he does a combination of morale building and energizing people while dealing with the economic distress by producing some constructive changes in the society and in the economy."

"The striking thing is he doesn't seem scared," Greenstein added.

Indeed, Obama exudes confidence. He has surrounded himself with people in his incoming White House and Cabinet who have decades more experience than him in government, as well as foreign and domestic policy. They include big names such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Larry Summers, Tom Daschle and Robert Gates, longtime Washington insiders.

Comparatively, Obama has been on the national stage for a short time. He was introduced to the country during the Democratic convention in 2004 when he was in the Illinois Legislature and running for the U.S. Senate. Age 47, he will become president after serving just four years in the Senate

Most historians liken the situation facing Obama to that which confronted Roosevelt — but the comparison does not seem to do justice to the colossal challenges Obama is facing.

Roosevelt was already an established politician when he came into office at the depths of the Great Depression in a society with no safety net for the suffering. And the economy was much worse then than it is now. But he did not have two wars on his plate, nor a political scandal swirling nearby. And Roosevelt did not have a planet suffering from global warming and watching its natural resources dwindle.

He also let his four-month transition pass by keeping his distance from Republican Herbert Hoover. The two men had sharp policy differences over how to address the Great Depression, and Roosevelt stayed mum between his election and his inauguration.

Not Obama. He's been extraordinarily active since his election.

With each new bit of bad economic news, he makes his views known — though he always is careful to defer to Bush when it's decision time. As president-elect, however, Obama's words now carry the power to move financial markets — perhaps even more so than those of Bush.

He has held regular news conferences to announce his Cabinet, and he gives the Democratic radio address on most weekends.

"Part of what he's doing is paying lip service to the notion that there's only one president while sucking up all the oxygen," Greenstein said.

Politically, with things so bad, Obama can claim any change for the better as a success. If the economic and security situation deteriorates further, he can rightly say he inherited a mess.

Obama won the election with more than 50 percent of the popular vote, and nearly three-fourths of people in an AP-GfK poll last week said they approved of how Obama has been handling the transition.

Judging by those numbers, he has plenty of political capital to spend as he tackles the country's mounting problems.