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On 14 street there is a vacant lot, fiercely saved for years for the use of rats. (other such lots became community gardens, but this is locked so no one can disturb their use). Someone wanted to make a statement so a whole rats housing project appeared there

There’s the rat Shack, resembling a Swiss Chalet

There’s a rat shaped home

There’s the Capitol which gives this whole thing the political flavor that made me include it here

There’s a home that has been already inhabited by a rat and it’s about to be abandoned – or maybe it’s the rent collector

and there’s even a pyramid with a crystal on top for the more spiritual rat

and there’s a Simpson’s Lionel Hutz inspired welcome sign:


as an aside, last summer I photographed another exercise in futility in the same spot: guy trying to sell graffiti art next to a graffiti wall


I made two new entries in the Obama Lexicon today: Ideology (lack thereof) and pragmatism. They are now both newspeak for Republican It’s my way of saluting the continuing drumbeat that “Obama is above it all”

Because when I hear “lack of ideology” it’s the same message as “unbiased media” – it always means Republican.

Only Nixon could go to China. Only Obama can trash progressive ideals and principles and be praised for not having any

I chronicled this throughout this blog, most notably here about Obama’s base

n Jones, as in the slang word ‘jonesing,’ or craving, and as in a generation that’s lost in the shuffle.Jonesers are idealistic, Pontell says, but not ideological like boomers. “Boomers were flower children out changing the world. We Jonesers were wide-eyed, not tie-dyed.”


“Obama has this awareness that other presidents haven’t had. He’s white, and he’s black. He’s an elitist, and he’s regular folk. He’s not pinned down to a perspective.”

and here

His approach is like a weak version of the most unkind caricature of Big Dog, too afraid of offending the Serious People, too much wanting love and approval to be decisive, to make hard choices,to draw lines in the sand, etc.

And today, CDS-er formerly of Wall Street Al Hunt has a new entry in the Goldilock president chronicles

Obama Transcends Ideology by Riling Both Flanks: Albert R. Hunt

and fluffs away that

– Barack Obama, charges former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is “the most liberal president” in modern times, pursuing “an agenda that really is foreign to mainstream America.” Other Republicans routinely talk about the president’s “socialist” agenda. Simultaneously, the left wing says he’s a traitor to their cause. Liberal bloggers regularly accuse him of selling out to corporate interests, claiming that he has failed to keep his campaign commitments

By using the clueless fight over a GOP law as a straw man. Hunt is trying to make Obama into the “Goldilocks president

Maybe it’s time we define this “ideology” they think is such a dirty thing.

According to Merriam Webster, ideology is

2 a : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture b : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture c : the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program

and since we are talking about politics, I shall take C and try to sum up how it translate to the two major parties:

For Democrats, FDR spelled out most of it quite well

“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-
evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under
which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all
—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops
or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return
which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an
atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by
monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and
enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age,
sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must
be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to
new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon
how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for
our citizens.–FDR

I’d add a woman’s right to choice, the exclusion of discrimination based on sex and lifestyle, separation of church and state.

Then we have the GOP ideology which is centered on opposition to the government interfering in economy but clamoring it’s full force in social affairs such as keeping gays and women in their place and  waging wars – as we are number one.

There is only one right in the GOP ideology: freedom. It can be applied to any of the above.

There are no civil rights, only entitlements and they have to be stopped.

Corporations are to be protected  at any cost to people.

Free market .

In accordance with the hatred of government, everything must be privatized and sold to the highest bidder.

These are – the way I see them the major political ideologies in this country. To be above them is to believe in neither.

So what does Obama believe in?

In his apotheosis, Al Hunt gives Healthcare as example of “above it all”

The health-care bill he signed last week isn’t socialism and doesn’t create a government-run health system. It leaves intact an employer-provided system and private, if more regulated, insurance.

Yeah, Al Hunt of Wall Street, of course you’d love it. Unfortunately David Frum let the cat out of the bag: your non-ideological healthcare came from the very ideological Heritage foundation.

right-wing policy analysts proposed an individual mandate to purchase health coverage as a respectable, market-oriented, responsibility-based alternative to either government-provided health care (the nanny state) or mandated employer-provided health care (the boss state).

Anglachael mistakenly thought it was

Simply put, it is a lack of a political purpose for wanting to be president. He doesn’t have any specific use for power so he doesn’t value it.

But there are some very clear political goals here, only “Republican” is now “above ideology”. Here’s Al Hunt gushing again

At the same time, the president is transcending the old argument of whether the priority in elementary and secondary education should be more money or more reform; he says both, rewarding schools and teachers that show results and punishing those that don’t through the Race to the Top program. This increased accountability has infuriated some of the teachers’ unions that were Obama backers, and an important Democratic Party constituency.

I wasn’t aware of the money or reform argument. Silli ideologue me I thought it was always about public education vs privatization. About that right to an education FDR was talking about vs making it a privilege for the wealthy, like healthcare.

And in that, postpartisan Obama by putting a profit incentive and competition in education is making big strides in killing public education. And teachers unions too.

Mind you, the Wall Street media is in accord with Obama when they push the “above ideology” thinghy. It’s how Obama himself pushed his Republican healthcare

“Blanche is right that we sometimes get bogged down in ideology.”

Or what Thomas Paine said

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.”

So, who would be shocked that operatives in B0botland are pushing exactly this talking point, praising Obama for not having principles

Read the rest of this entry »

No, it’s not Thanksgiving, but Jr.jr pulled a W and the press is all a twitter.

The only relevant headline is in Stars and Stripes: US Death toll double than last year. Yes tabloids – it’s worth celebrating!

as for the corporation president lecturing on corruption – priceless!

Obama Times is oblivious as well

The Daily News …just cheerleads


Not Your Sweetie