Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

There can be no transformative leader in a paralyzed government

Posted in Barack Obama, media, politics, United States by allisonkilkenny on June 13, 2010

Photo from humanitieslab.stanford.eduI feel sorry for Matt Bai. It was just three years ago that he sighed over the wasteland of the Clinton era and pondered aloud, what was it all for?

Even without the allusions to the old days, his speech seemed strangely reminiscent of that first campaign, and not necessarily in a good way. Listening to him talk, I found it hard not to wonder why so many of the challenges facing the next president were almost identical to those he vowed to address in 1992. Why, after Clinton’s two terms in office, were we still thinking about tomorrow? In some areas, most notably health care, Clinton tried gamely to leave behind lasting change, and he failed. In many more areas, though, the progress that was made under Clinton — almost 23 million new jobs, reductions in poverty, lower crime and higher wages — had been reversed or wiped away entirely in a remarkably short time. Clinton’s presidency seems now to have been oddly ephemeral, his record etched in chalk and left out in the rain.

Yeah, what’s up with that? Why does America seem to be forever spinning its wheels, and why has politics been reduced to a series of empty promises and arguments about abortion and gay marriage?

Apparently, Matt has been asking this question for three years because he has yet to find an answer.

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This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on November 20, 2008

Jeremy Scahill

 

barack-obama-capitolU.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good.

Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton’s White House. Although Obama brought some progressives on board early in his campaign, his foreign policy team is now dominated by the hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990s. This has been particularly true since Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the Democratic primary, freeing many of her top advisors to join Obama’s team.

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Human Rights Contradictions Evident With Obama’s Attorney General Pick

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on November 19, 2008
Eric Holder, Jr.

Eric Holder, Jr.

From MAMA Radio in Colombia:

Holder’s Links to Chiquita Brands International Not a Good Sign for Justice For the Victims of Paramilitary Terror
By Mario A. Murillo

(Bogotá, Colombia)

First the good news: We’re two months away from President George W. Bush’s last full day in the White House. The countdown for the end of the nightmare has begun in earnest.

Now the bad news: As Barack Obama puts together his cabinet and eyes a slew of former Clinton officials for key staff positions, it is becoming ever more apparent that all those calls for change coming from progressive circles in the U.S. – and abroad – have fallen on deaf ears.

Most striking, at least for the time being, is the soon to be named position of the top law enforcement official of the country. It looks like the first African-American President will appoint the first African-American attorney general in the coming days, something that on the surface looks like an advance, but should actually sound alarm bells for anybody seeking true change in the way things are done in Washington, especially when it comes to bringing corporate criminals to justice.

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