Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Battling ISIL: For the Hearts and Minds of our own Citizens

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Last night President Obama said we will attack ISIL (or ISIS or IS…). Yes, they are extremely nasty, it makes sense to attack people who massacre religious minorities and behead US reporters. Even the Pope agrees that in this case violence must be met with violence. That is the easy part.

But the scariest aspect of ISIL is that they are attractive to citizens from western Europe and the United States. Sure, this is scary because they have our passports, but what should really unnerve us is what it says about our society. We have citizens who are so disaffected that they want to join in on beheadings!?

How is it that we offer these citizens so little that ISIL’s fanaticism is more attractive than what they have at home? Home for them must be pretty horrible.

What we doing about this side of the problem? We need to struggle for the hearts and minds of our own citizens. Instead I fear we will treat them as criminals and further drive them into the welcoming arms of this hateful movement.


©2015 Kent Borg

Associated Press and Passwords

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Dear AP,

Today you tweeted that there were two explosions in the White House and Obama was injured. It seems you didn’t intend to do so. Someone else broke into your Twitter account. In other words, someone else had your password.

Jeeze, it isn’t that complicated:

  1. Make up a password, with some random stuff in it, so it can’t be guessed.
  2. Don’t tell your password to anyone…


  1. Tell Twitter.
  2. Tell those who will be tweeting on your behalf.

Not that complicated.

Do not reuse your password on other systems, don’t e-mail it, don’t let spyware run on your crappy Windows box and see you type it. (Tell those who tweet for you to also not tell anyone.)

It is a piece of information that needs to be managed. If it were a hundred dollar bill you could keep track of it, right? Okay, pretend it is worth at least that much. Use a little care.  (Dear CBS: Didn’t you lose your Twitter password recently, too? Same lecture. Shape up.)

-kb, the Kent who is getting tired of such sloppiness.

© 2013 by Kent Borg

The Southern Strategy and How the Democrats will Rescue the GOP

Friday, November 16th, 2012

I read a story about how it was the gay vote that pushed Obama over the top. No, other stories say it was single white women. No, it was blacks. No, it was Latinos. No, it was east Asians. No, it as unions.

No, it was all of the above. Had Romney shaved off just one hunk of the Obama coalition, he would be working on his transition right now.

But the GOP is in a pickle and can’t grab any of the Democratic coalition. Because at the very core of the current Republican Party is Nixon’s “southern strategy” of appealing to southern racists. This became a theme with them and the GOP is now defined by what they are against. They oppose: anyone who isn’t white, anyone who isn’t straight, Democrats, abortion, atheism, damn foreigners, uppity women, poor people, cities, science, green-anything, etc. And, they are against government.

They are *for* a left over Norman Rockwell image, particularly if we choose a Rockwell that includes business, guns, and a Bible. That demographic has now shrunk below 50%, and is slowly fading.

The problem with defining a party by being against things is that they can’t open the tent for any of these hated threats without chasing out those already in the tent.

This pickle will vex them for years and years. I don’t see how they can fix it.

Instead, the GOP will regain power when the Democrats mess up enough that people vote for the other party without worrying what that party is. Maybe some third party will get the benefit, but probably it will still be the GOP. Let’s hope the GOP reforms itself into something mostly reasonable by then. For the sake of the USA, don’t pray for the GOP to suffer, pray for their quick recovery.

-kb, the Kent who is still trying to wrap his head around the meaning of the 2012 election.

© 2012 by Kent Borg

Intentionally “Pulling a Biden”, Mark II, “True Crime”-Edition

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Today the Des Moines Register lamented that they had a great phone interview with Obama (seeking their endorsement), that he was lucid and frank and enlightening (I forget the details, I am vamping, but you get the general idea), but that it was off-the-record.  They wrote a blog posting about it, moping over the great stuff they couldn’t publish.  Probably mentioned it in this morning’s printed paper, too.

Then, oh, okay…the White House relented and agreed to let them publish it.

Now everybody in Iowa will read it, with a critical eye, to see why it had been off-the-record.


-kb, the Kent who admires cleverness.

© 2012 by Kent Borg

Romney’s Not Stupid

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Chattering classes are saying that Romney criticizing of our embassy–criticism released while the embassy in Cairo was under attack–these folks are saying that this was stupid.  Oh, how limited the critic’s vision.

It was wrong for Romney to make such criticism, but was is not stupid.  Not stupid, that is, if his only goal is to get elected.

In this case, it did not work.  Okay.

The downside is that people who already don’t like Romney have further reason to not like Romney.  Big whoop.  Others won’t notice nor care.

The upside: Romney might have landed a good blow in one of Obama’s strong areas: foreign policy.  Things are not going swimmingly in foreign lands, there are some messes out there, to probe at that topic is reasonable.  Sure, this was a wild punch, but if the game keeps going as it is going, Romney is going to lose.  He needs some external event to change the game, and when an external event comes along, he needs to swing at it.  Otherwise, he has nothing left but crossing his fingers and hoping that his minions will manage to steal a key state or five.  Heck, he isn’t even campaigning very hard right now, some days just flying back and forth across the country.  Traditional campaigning isn’t going to do it alone.

-kb, the Kent who tries to figure it out.

© 2012 by Kent Borg

Hollywood has the term “magic negro”, but how much magic do we expect from this mortal man Obama?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

I heard on news this morning about reactionaries doing well in Greece, and I remember to note the general swing to the right in Europe: this is valuable perspective.

Obama has been very disappointing to those on the left, but remember the environment he is in. Who in the world has resisted swinging way right in this environment?  Mostly everyone is charging right.  At least Obama is resisting.  And he is resisting.

While I am defending the man, remember another disadvantage he has.  Not only did George II destroy both our government’s and our country’s finances, and not only did he try to make most of the world hate us…

He also did a damn good job of gutting the federal work force.  Good people were driven out, quit, and retired. Rightist incompetents were hired at every opportunity.  The people Obama has under his employ include a lot of terrible people who want to do bad things, people who are dolts and crooks.  People who now have civil service protections.

When Obama’s history is written his work to rebuild the basic functioning of our government will be a big item.

I am looking forward to reading It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, just out by Thomas E. Mann (Brookings) and Norman J. Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute).  There is an argument that Washington is not its most broken ever, that it was more broken just before the US civil war.  Wow, what a low bar.  Just before the war where we killed 700,000-plus fellow Americans, we were worse off than we are now.  We are in a very bad place.  My mother is right about that.

Hollywood has the term “magic negro” for a swath of characters with mystical powers, but how much magic do we expect from this mortal who is badly constrained by a reality that is trying to crush him and our country?  He is doing one hell of a good job.


©2012 Kent Borg