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Posted on Nov 28, 2008

By David Sirota

Judging by the proliferation of capital letters in the e-mail correspondence I receive, many seem worried that Barack Obama may not deliver the promised “change we can believe in.”

After voters rejected the mantra of free trade and deregulation, some contacting me say they are upset about Obama hiring so many free-trading deregulators who birthed today’s economic mess.

With the president-elect having touted his opposition to the Iraq war, some are bothered “that Obama’s national security team will be dominated by appointees who favored the Iraq invasion and hold hawkish views,” as The Los Angeles Times reports.

Others recall Obama insisting that “change doesn’t come from Washington, change comes to Washington,” and say they are dismayed that his government will be run by Washington insiders. And still others are confused that Obama championed a progressive platform but, as The Nation’s Chris Hayes notes, “not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive” has been floated for a major Cabinet position.

To my fearful letter writers, I offer three responses.

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First, I counsel not fretting too much yet. While there is truth to the notion that “personnel is policy,” crises can make radicals out of former Establishmentarians, and the president-elect’s initial declarations imply a boldly progressive agenda. “Remember, Franklin Roosevelt gave no evidence in his prior career that he would lead the dramatic sea change in American politics that he led,” says historian Eric Rauchway.

Second, I tell e-mailers they are right to be somewhat distressed, right to ignore Obama loyalists who want them to shut up, and right to speak out. When President Clinton rammed George H.W. Bush’s NAFTA through Congress after candidate Clinton pledged not to, he provided ample reason to now recollect the saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” And voicing concern is critical. As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without demand.”

Finally, I ask my pen pals if they are really shocked.

Despite the election’s progressive mandate, Obama is not what Ronald Reagan was to conservatives—he is not as much the product of a movement as he is a movement unto himself. He figured out that because many “progressive” institutions are merely Democratic Party appendages and not ideological movement forces, he could build his own movement. He succeeded in that endeavor thanks to the nation’s Bush-inspired desire for change, his own skills, and a celebrity-obsessed culture.

Though many Obama supporters feel strongly about particular issues, and though polling shows the country moving left, the Obama movement undeniably revolves around the president-elect’s individual stardom—and specifically, the faith that he will make good decisions, whatever those decisions are. With that kind of following, Obama likely feels little obligation to hire staff intimately involved in non-Obama movements—especially those who might challenge a Washington ruling class he may not want to antagonize.

This is the mythic “independence” we’re supposed to crave—a czar who doesn’t owe anyone. It is the foreseeable result of a Dear Leader-ism prevalent in foreign autocracies, but never paramount in America until now—and it will have its benefits and drawbacks.

Wielding his campaign’s massive e-mail list, the new president could mobilize supporters to press Congress for a new New Deal. Or, he could mobilize that army to blunt pressure on his government for a new New Deal. The point is that Obama alone gets to choose—that for all the talk of “bottom-up” politics, his movement’s structure grants him a top-down power that no previous president had.

For better or worse, that leaves us relying more than ever on our Dear Leader’s impulses. Sure, we should be thankful when Dear Leader’s whims serve the people—but also unsurprised when they don’t.

David Sirota is a bestselling author whose newest book, “The Uprising,” was released in June. He is a fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future and a board member of the Progressive States Network—both nonpartisan organizations. His blog is at www.credoaction.com/sirota.

© 2008 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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By Inherit The Wind, December 7, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, December 5 at 2:20 pm #

Sam Adams beer sucks!
*********************************

Instant judgment: You have no taste. When you recommend movies or restaurants, I won’t go to them. Next you’ll tell me Genesee Beer is good.

*********************************
Carlberg, here, when I can afford it..usually, cheap wine..
**********************************

Guess I was right..Carlsberg—might as well be buttwiper.  And there’s a difference between cheap wine and inexpensive wine (the heartburn and headache go with one of them..)

***********************************
Its so much easier to just post on food or beer…why not address the points about war mongering? Specific to Obama, I mean. Cause there is nothing there.
***********************************

(yawn)

***********************************
NOW I see—so you ARE going to DC!! How much did you have to contribute for tickets to that?
************************************

Actually, no.  But it was an opportunity for a joke, so I couldn’t pass it up.  I’ve been to DC, thousands of times—commuting everyday from Northern Virginia (where we had the votes to put Doug Wilder in office, and where the people there now have thrown out George Allen and replaced Warner (R) with Warner (D).)

************************************
YOU , especially,will be happy to know that the bars in DC will be OPEN ALL NIGHT! Maybe you can drink yourself into thinking he was a good presidenial pick!
************************************

I’m there already and I’m stone cold sober tonight.  Unlike all you whiners here, I happen to think Barack Obama is the BEST presidential selection since FDR—including the “sainted” Jack Kennedy. And FDR was the best since his cousin, TR, who was the best since Lincoln.

*********************************************
Wait a minute—-is that what you already did? Sly!!

Are you hungry or something? Cause I could send something, maybe..government cheese for nachos??
***********************************************

I’m not Sly—I’m ITW.  I don’t need that famous gummint cheese…thanks anyway.  What are YOU doing with it?

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By KDelphi, December 5, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Sam Adams beer sucks! Carlberg, here, when I can afford it..usually, cheap wine.. Its so much easier to just post on food or beer…why not address the points about war mongering? Specific to Obama, I mean. Cause there is nothing there.

NOW I see—so you ARE going to DC!! How much did you have to contribute for tickets to that? YOU , especially,will be happy to know that the bars in DC will be OPEN ALL NIGHT! Maybe you can drink yourself into thinking he was a good presidenial pick!

Wait a minute—-is that what you already did? Sly!!

Are you hungry or something? Cause I could send something, maybe..government cheese for nachos??

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, December 5 at 11:15 am #

ITW—So…by this logic, because I stated many times aht I feared he would do what he is now doing, even though many people here insisted that his was going to CHANGE things—I have no right to be angry about it now, in my own coutnry? Wow…

How much beer did you drink??
************************************************

All of it.  You got any more?  How about popcorn? If not, what about Nachos?  I only like the good stuff, like Sam A. not buttwiper.

****************************************************
I posted drunk or high a coupla times—-regreted it too! I never do it now.lol…
****************************************************

Really?  You mean you posted all that….SOBER???

****************************************************
So—you say that Nader and DK WILL NOT be appointed?! Oh gawd!! Well, I just give up!! I think I’ll go get drunk! I was certain they would ...oh, never mind….
****************************************************

Not me.  I’m outta beer.

****************************************************

; (

And, the US will NEVER stop war-mongering, war profiteering, neglecting its own citizens, etc. So, why bother, youre absolutely right…

Are you going to the coronation? Cause, I could, like , ride with you…
****************************************************

Yeah, sure.  If you don’t mind riding in the bed of the P/U.

J/K!  You can ride in the passenger seat….Did you shower first, though? (don’t want anybody smelling like a brewery in MY truck!)

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By KDelphi, December 5, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

ITW—So…by this logic, because I stated many times aht I feared he would do what he is now doing, even though many people here insisted that his was going to CHANGE things—I have no right to be angry about it now, in my own coutnry? Wow…

How much beer did you drink??

I posted drunk or high a coupla times—-regreted it too! I never do it now.lol…

So—you say that Nader and DK WILL NOT be appointed?! Oh gawd!! Well, I just give up!! I think I’ll go get drunk! I was certain they would ...oh, never mind….

; (

And, the US will NEVER stop war-mongering, war profiteering, neglecting its own citizens, etc. So, why bother, youre absolutely right…

Are you going to the coronation? Cause, I could, like , ride with you…

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 5, 2008 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

Damn! I’m out of popcorn!

KDelphi: Why don’t you and FolkTruther go to Warshingdon and tell Obama what he needs to do?  I mean, what a stinker Barack is: He’s doing exactly what he said he would do, and he isn’t appointing a bunch of ideologues with no record of actually being to get things done—like Nader and Kucinich.

I got news for you: The chances are slim-to-none of DK getting an administration job, and his chances of getting a Cab post along with Nader’s chances of getting ANY appointment are ZERO. NADA. RIEN.

I’d even be happy to make book on that.

As usual, TD’ers are mad at Obama for not being the guy he never said he would be.  To them, “change” has to mean socialism, neo-marxism and other FAILED systems.

I’m gonna go get more popcorn…And beer, I forgot the beer…..

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By KDelphi, December 5, 2008 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Louise—you never seem to address the issue we are supposed to be talking about! Did you read the posts? This did NOT “start with George”. Surely you know that! Maybe not—it seems to be the only change you expected—see , this thing called elections happens every 4 yrs, and, ...

If you expected that Obanma woudl chose a cabinet like THIS, you were in the minority, I can assure you.Of course, we would have “CHANGE” from BUSH—unless he pulled an FDR or changed the constitutaion!(Hey, maybe he shouldve tried—who wouldve stopped him? Certainly not the Dems!) ANYBODY woudlve been CHANGE from Bush!

Maybe, YOU are the true Republican plant…

BTW—I rather like Richardson—I wish Obama would appoint a cabinet of them—Kucinich, Nader, Sanders, Feingold, I could go on. There are plenty of qualified progressives out there…its just that Obama is a conservative..But, it is no use. The Dems are just conservative to the core. I have no more use for them.

But—never fear! The duopoly reigns!

Note to self: Consensus + caution = CHANGE

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By Louise, December 3, 2008 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

“Maybe I am missing the point…what is it? That no one should be able to criticize Obama now, once he is elected? Before? When would it be ok?”

Gosh I’m glad you asked that question!

What IS the point?

Now consider ... if Obamas cabinet actually starts solving problems in an incredibly effective way ... will you post positive comment on the outcome? Or will you simply look for something wrong, as you do now? It’s not that I object to criticizing Obama. It’s the looking intensely, almost joyfully for failure. That’s just so republican.

I think it’s safe to say most of us want the failure that the last eight years has been to STOP! You can call that hope or foolhardy, I don’t care. I think I would feel the same way if I was gambling with treatment on a possibly fatal cancer. Would you condemn me for having hope?

Yes indeed, what IS the point?

Once again I repeat:

“… it’s just impossible for me to FORGET George and the repubs created this mess! So I’m going to wait out the next 49 days (48 now, soon to be 47) until Obama actually IS in charge, before I reduce myself to mud wallowing.”

By the way, I use the term mainstreammedia on a regular basis and I do intend it to be all-inclusive, and I don’t understand what you mean. Sorry.

Folktruther,

Reality-based truth is often based in reality. And the reality is, if we want to see any sort of sanity restored to our government, a good place to begin is with people who have been in touch with, or touched by the insanity swirling around us. I doubt you could find anyone better qualified to step into the middle of that swirl than someone who has managed to function effectively and still keep from getting swallowed up in the swirl.

Perhaps you are one of those who has no respect for the military, or sees no value in anyone who has made the military their career. Otherwise you would be able to understand where I’m coming from. Jones is a brilliant choice and I have no fear that future events will prove that true. At least to those of us looking for a cure, instead of another disease.

Just for the heck of it, who would YOU pick to run the country and solve the problems? And how would you make that happen?

You know this article was based on the premise that
“Barack Obama may not deliver the promised “change we can believe in.”

But frankly, obvious preconcieved prejudice exposed here, reveals a lot of folks never were looking for that change in the first place. And seem far more anxious to focus on failure.

Maybe it’s the baby-blanket syndrome. Anticipate the worst, cause that’s the blanket that’s familiar and feels comfortable.

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By Folktruther, December 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

No, Louise, we can’t come up with orginial ideas like you do.  We simply haven’t your originality.  Your defense of a war monger and corporate toady, Jones, as a BRILLIANT appointment, now that’s original.  We prefer the reality-based truth.

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By KDelphi, December 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_media

(or MSM, as it says under google). That’s where I got it and , also, from you…). And, I think main stream media includes all three cable news channels. (with MSNBC and FOX being the worst)Also, Rupert Murdoch radio, etc.

If you thought it was too inclusive, you shouldnt have used the term.

“The communications audience has been viewed by some commentators as forming a mass society with special characteristics, notably atomization or lack of social connections, which render it especially susceptible to the influence of modern mass-media techniques such as advertising and propaganda. The term “MSM” or “mainstream media” has been widely used in the blogosphere in discussion of the mass media and media bias”


From Louise:

“Seems to me some “truth” diggers sound an awfully lot like some cable news, news-casters, [with a few notable exceptions] who couldn’t find a positive thing to say about a new administration, if their income depended on it! “


Or, if you prefer:


“So maybe, in spite of all the high-minded intellect and thoughtful “independence” you prowdly suffer from, you really are being totally manipulated by mainstreammedia….”


And this, is not from a “blog”:

“...a paper in Billings, so he manages not to mention the key point. Money. Go to maplight.org….”

Here are Obama’s contributors, from maplight, and opensecrets.org

Interest Contributions
Retired $41,377,564
Attorneys & law firms $37,193,295
Schools & colleges $15,955,408
General commerce $12,306,371
Security brokers & investment companies $6,946,172
Civil servant/public employee $6,353,080
Business services $5,995,808
Democratic/Liberal $5,671,243
Book, newspaper & periodical publishing $5,392,514
Physicians $4,530,946

Here is Security brokers & investment companies
Contributions Bills supported and opposed Showing contributions
Jan 2001-Oct 2008 Senate / Jan 2003-Oct 2008 HouseTop 10 Recipients Funded
Recipient Amount
Barack Obama $6,946,172
John McCain $4,537,268
Hillary Clinton $4,228,148
John Kerry $2,754,730
Christopher Dodd $2,092,631
Joseph Lieberman $1,598,850
Charles Schumer $1,479,701
Mitch McConnell $584,560
Christopher Shays $573,176
Norm Coleman $563,422


Maybe I am missing the point…what is it? That no one should be able to criticize Obama now, once he is elected? Before? When would it be ok?

This did not start with “Bush” (either one), but here is Obama praising Reagan again:

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=9204

“What happened was Democrats had gotten complacent, had gotten fat and happy. they thought there was a government program to solve every problem. Ronald Reagan came in and said we need to break out of the old ways of doing things and create a leaner, more effective government,” he said. “That was the right message then. I think that right now we went too far in the wrong direction. We can’t go back to the old liberalism of the past, but [when] you are on your own economic philosophy [of] Bush and McCain doesn’t work either. Let’s try a new way where we apply common sense, have government do what it does well.”

I’m not sure why this matters.  It’s a total misreading of Carter’s legacy, who was basically a conservative Democrat operating along very similar lines to Obama (with huge majorities entering after a disgraced Republican President).  Perhaps the worry is that the conventional wisdom about how to govern is being set by Republican interest groups, and Obama is following his lead from these groups, at least rhetorically.  I don’t know.  But I want our understanding of history to be clear.  Ted Kennedy ran against Carter in 1980 because he was too conservative.  Liberals just never had a chance to govern.

And, at this rate, they never will. I am tired of waiting..arent you? Of course we could do worse—but we could do better—especially after eight years of Bush—who you claim , got us to where we are.

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By Louise, December 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi,

“mainstreammedia!” (?) That’s pretty all-inclusive.

And I repeat:

“... it’s just impossible for me to FORGET George and the repubs created this mess! So I’m going to wait out the next 49 days (48 now) until Obama actually IS in charge, before I reduce myself to mud wallowing.”

As far as the ban thing goes, I’ve never been banned so I cant offer an opinion. Besides, I really don’t have time to “check the sites that people are stating that they are banned from”, all day. And still read stuff that hopefully will educate me. Which by the way, eliminates most conservative sites.

I do enjoy researching people and policy as it becomes relevant. But all to often, relying on blogs (both sides) gives more bias than valuable research material.

Report this

By KDelphi, December 3, 2008 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

Louise—I wonder why it is that you dont just check the sites that people are stating that they are banned from—those are almost all completely pro-Obama, and there are alot more of them than there are free speech “zones”.Just google “liberal blogs” or check the bottom of the page, here, after you go to the Home Page.The MSM?? You mean MSNBC? Or Fox? Two sides of the same coin.

ender-While it is true what you say about the Bush Family Cartel, it took a Dem Congress to vote in all the “Project for a New Am Century” proposals. Bush couldnt do it alone. Of course, they didnt “take back the Congress ” until 2006—-noticed the big difference? Me neither. Oh! Minimum wage…still too low…humiliating by world standards of living.. But, they are always just one more vote away from making big time change!

Obama’s “health insurance plan” has been out there for a long time, and it was never to be “national”, in the usual sense of the word—15 million left out were low estimates. Now, they will have the Wall St. Bailout and “we cant reverse the tax cuts during a recession ” excuse to do nothing. Good, I would rather see them do nothing than to try another market based mess, that would just pacify those already covered, or, who think that they dont need to be, into self-congratulating about “health insurance reform”.If it costs less than $850 billion—we can afford it. If it is more popular than the Bailout—they did that anyway! FISA too!

The Baucus plan would just “pool the sick”, as is already done. We know what to do. No need to re-invent the wheel. We could do HR 676. Obama doesnt want to. He could.He wont. Here is why Baucus wont (I submit..)

The writer works for a paper in Billings, so he manages not to mention the key point. Money. Go to maplight.org. Its a nice site that analyses campaign contribution records. If you look at Max Baucus, here’s what you see as his top contributors.


Total Campaign Contributions Received: $15,975,018

Top 10 Interests Funding
Interest - Contributions
Attorneys & law firms - $950,692
Security brokers & investment companies - $478,703
Lobbyists & Public Relations - $477,870
Insurance companies, brokers & agents - $397,435
Other physician specialists - $322,699
Commercial banks & bank holding companies - $320,157
Pharmaceutical manufacturing - $294,620
Life insurance - $281,900
Pro-Israel - $280,191
Hospitals - $256,097

I dont think that Obama is “worse than Bush”, maybe , same as Clinton—the problem with neo-liberals, as I am beginning to fully understand is , that, people assume that they are more compassionate, that they wil enact progressive programs, and, then when they dont, they claim to just need “one more term”, “ont more majority vote”, etc. So, nothing ever changes, so , then we get the GOP Vampires, and people are so terrified , they vote Dems. Rinse. Repeat.

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By Hulk2008, December 3, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All the naysayers and critics have one thing in common:  they all profess individual omniscience.  Imagine so many geniuses and experts “out there” in the hinterland and not one of them actually DOing ANYthing - just pointing fingers and foaming at the mouth.  These same experts kick the TV and yell at Payton Manning when he gets intercepted -  THEY would have done SO much better.  Yeah, right.
    There have been so few progressives actually in government in the last half-century that there’s nobody who knows how to accomplish ANYthing - much less reform government even before the new administration can get sworn in. 
    Give the new guy half a chance to get started.  If he can do ANYthing about healthcare or stop one of the wars he will have accomplished a miracle.  So far he has at least gotten the Europeans making nice-nice.
  So, Experts, define YOUR ideal cabinet for us.  I’d put money on its being even less successful than Jimmy Carter’s - a really intelligent kind man who got the shaft from all the insiders and his “friends” from day one of his Presidency.
  Outsiders automatically lose even when they “win”.

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By wonderwinterland, December 2, 2008 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s voting record and financial backers should have given everyone a clue.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 2, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, November 30 at 12:05 am #

Re: Cyrena

It would be well appreciated if you stopped the nonsense.
***************************************

She stopped but the rest of YOU have gone on with your paranoid fantasy nonsense.  Repeating yourselves on thread after thread, the same 10-20 posters. 

WHERE’S THE POPCORN! IS THERE ANYMORE BUTTER FOR IT?

Report this

By Louise, December 2, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther,

Has nothing to do with emotion. Just sick of reading the same thing over and over again.

Cant you folks come up with an original idea?

Report this

By Folktruther, December 2, 2008 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Louise- As to whether or not Obama is promoting the ‘Change We Can Believe In” it is quite true that you and the other Obama apologists don’t know yet. But the rest of us do.  Your problem in accepting the reality-based truth is not primarily intellectual but emotional.  You have wanted an alternative to Bush and have identified with Obama as such a alternative.

He isn’t, as his appointments and reneging on his campaign pormises clearly indicate.  He has appointed a highly-powered, experienced and strong staff of hawks to continue the endless War On Terror.  He has appointed neoliberal Clintonizes to continue unregulated globalism.  He has acquiested silently to the SWAT militarization of the police, the overflowing prisons, and the twenty thousand combat troops that Bush stationed in the US for use against the American population.

You want to wait before you accept this emotionally, and want us to wait too.  Fraid not.  The time to mobilize against the Bushite policies of Obaman is now.  Right now.

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By Louise, December 2, 2008 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

“Obama may not deliver the promised “change we can believe in.”

At the risk of causing serious, possibly harmful, collisions between loose brain cells bouncing about in cavernous craniums, I would like to point out, [drum roll please] WE DON’T KNOW YET!

So, just for the sake of giving those pained cells a break, why don’t you bitch-and-moaners jump over to: “Obama Introduces National Security Team” and find some fresh bodies to attack?

Or maybe you already have.

Seems to me some “truth” diggers sound an awfully lot like some cable news, news-casters, [with a few notable exceptions] who couldn’t find a positive thing to say about a new administration, if their income depended on it!

So maybe, in spite of all the high-minded intellect and thoughtful “independence” you prowdly suffer from, you really are being totally manipulated by mainstreammedia!

But it’s just impossible for me to FORGET George and the repubs created this mess! So I’m going to wait out the next 49 days until Obama actually IS in charge, before I reduce myself to mud wallowing.

But hey, if it gives you pleasure ... smile

Report this

By ender, December 2, 2008 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

that the USofA has been doing the bidding of a tyrant in the Offal Office for the last 8 yrs.  Anything is uphill from that.  If you read Obama’s books and listened to his speaches, you should have as I expected him to be a Clintonite Centrist.

The only progressive in the Primary race was Dennis Kucinich and the Dems made sure he never got a fair shot.

The difference is Obama will be working with a Democratic Congress, and Clinton was statistically the best President in 50 yrs while working with a Republican Congress.  NAFTA was his major screwup, but the monied elite in this country were going to get that passed if they had to kill someone to do it, and only an Obama and massive popular support for ending or reworking that treaty will have a chance.

Unfortunately the Bush Family Cartel has left us with a debt so massive and the military in such a shambles that Obama probably will not be able to deliver a really good healthcare plan in the first term.  We all know a private enterprise plan would bankrupt the gov’t in our current financial situation, and Congress is too beholden to private insurance and the AMA to let Obama Nationalize Healthcare.

If Obama just returns a majority of our troops home and treats military procurement as a necessary evil and not the Family Business he should be able to reduce military spending dramatically and quickly.  From that can come middle class tax cuts and domestic programs.

Education and Environmental protection can happen with relatively small funding and large policy changes.

Obama will probably not be the great Liberal endallbeall that many of us hoped for, but he won’t be dickbushmcsame and you damned well better be glad about that.

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By KDelphi, December 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

anar-peace—thanks for info. and link! I always try to read stuff like this very carefully, so I wont comment on the link yet, but it looks very good, some other ones on here, too…..I was thinking—-how about Cynthia McKinney? I havent gotten usual newsletters (emails) from Kucinich or Sanders, either. Maybe just because of “holidays”? Maybe you can think of someone, just to get people to think about alternative paradigms.—..I was banned from the DU my first day I logged in !! lol! Also, CD, etc.That is why it is still puzzling to me that Dem supporters are so ENRAGED when someone posts the rare questions about the Dems—-they have so many sites to choose from!

It didnt work for the neo-cons, and, in the long run it will sink the neo-libs. But, in the meantime, people suffer…

Folk—-that is a very good point,that some seem to be ignoring—like “its a change back to Clinton”—that is GOOD?? That is when the DLC started betraying labor, etc!  The country has moved so far Right, that, especially to young people, who have only known Bush and Clinton, Obama probably looks pretty good, no matter who he picks, or who he presents himself with! It would take socialism ten years to have the uS even approaching “change” towards “liberalism”, as it is defined in other countries…

Muscleboy—Please try getting your news from somewhere beside MSNBC. I used to like it..then I realized I was just “yes-yesing” myself.The Dem Convention was really the last straw. It was just ridiculous…

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By leilah, December 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Read up on Obama’s stayover, Robert Gates, as SECDEF.

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/111208.html

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Allan Krueger's avatar

By Allan Krueger, December 1, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

The country is in the BUSH - NeoCON toilet. Give the man a chance! He is already a better President than BUSH!

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By dihey, December 1, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

There will be a simple way to find out what President Obama is up to in Iraq and Afghanistan after January 20, 2009.
Find out how many US soldiers there are in Iraq and Afghanistan at the end of every month. It is that simple.
If the DoD/Gates/Pentagon cannot give you the numbers they are hiding the truth.

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By Folktruther, December 1, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

I’m not pessimistic, Ed Harges.  I think the American people can and will change the US power system over historical time.  But not by supporting Obama.

Obama has just appointed a high powered and experienced Security Team to not only continue the Bushite War On Terrorism, but to expand it, increasing the US military and expanding the Afghan war to Pakistan. 

His financial team will continue the Bushite neoliberal policies, and his criminal jusstice team will continue to erect a police state.  His appointment to Homeland Security, Janet P,  openly calls herself a conservative in police matters and sponsored a vicious anti-Latino law against immingrants.

Obama is consolidating the Bushite counterrevolution.  He is triangulating like Clinton, but AFTER Bush 2, when the Elite political consnsus has moved sharply to the right.  Obama apologists will increasingly resemble neutered Republicans, which Obama is allying with.

It is therefore necessary for true progressives to oppose Obama while searching for a way to unite and mobilize the progressive left.  this can only be done by subverting American ideology, which is a tapistry of bullshit from beginning to end.

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By davidperi, December 1, 2008 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Couple of times I´ve seen on the news what Obama has said about the change.  “I am the one who has the vision!”  So Obama selects his people.  Don´t you think it is about time we know “what is his vision for change is?”  So we as dumb sheep are not led down the path blindly.

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By Ed Harges, December 1, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

re: Folktruther, November 30 at 9:34 am:

Your pessimism is totally justified, of course. I mean, just take as one example the issue of Israel’s “separation barrier” (mostly a wall), which doesn’t at any point actually separate Israel from the occupied territories (OT) but is entirely built *inside* the OT and effectively annexes big chunks of it. Hillary was a fervent and early advocate of this wall and still thinks it’s just swell, while Obama has never endorsed it. Does his appointment of Hillary as SoS imply that he now endorses this monstrous project? As long as the US continues to subordinate its foreign policy to Israel, we can expect nothing but more trouble.

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By Muscleboy, December 1, 2008 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

Obama made bold promises.  We all assumed them to be truthful knowing it would be a full agenda he would have to martial the US government and all of us, but we knew it could all be done with the proper will.

I don’t think we can go entirely by his picks for one post or the other.  It is awfully strange that, at first, defense industrial complex mouthpiece MSNBC and it’s so-called experts stated Obama was to select Robert Gates, Bush’s faithful minion, beyond almost any doubt,  as defense secretary—other sources said the Obama transition team was saying it was less than a 1 in 10 chance he would go for Gates. I felt at hopeful once again.  But all along MSNBC said it was the “likely” choice of President Obama.  I am extremely stressed to read now that it seems to be just that, his choice beyond a doubt. What caused him to change is a mystery.

For all of us that have fought for what we thought was the good side, I don’t think it’s quite time to call Obama, “Bush continued.”  I think there is some hope.  I’m also destressed in his selection of Eric Holder who had chosen to destroy health care reform legislation by destroying the career of key Democrats at the same time the legislation was up for vote.  That and General James Jones whose entire career is faithfully serving the prince of darkness George Bush.

I’m destressed to a very great extent and gravely concerned for the country but I’m not ready to give up hope just yet. Not quite.

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By Anar-peace, November 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, November 30

Obama followers patiently awaiting instructions
Defending his unbroken string of establishment/hawkish/conservative appointments, the general speaks:

“What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking. But I understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That’s my job—to provide a vision in terms of where we are going, and to make sure then that my team is implementing.”

________________________


1984 would be an excellent book to understand the language of modern day Democratic Party politics.

The majority of Democrats at DU whom organized around grassroots politics, were at all times,  simply a DLC tool. They are not even centrists; they are far right wing Republican/Democrats—not liberal/progressive Democrats.

They certainly are not “underground”  radical Democrats; because they would allow free speech; even Republicans to speak,  provided they not — takeover — the purpose of the assembly.

If people want to organize the actual liberals; it seems to me this might be the best time of all,  using the Nader model in 2000.

But find a new leader for the liberals; rather then Nader.

I wish it could be Nader; but he has been to slandered by the MIC and the Republican/Democrats.

Some of the Obama cult Dems may defect; before I got banned from DU,  I Received some valuable information — about the new strategy; that is—propagated—by the Obama coaches to the cult.

They are very careful and trained as well. They have actual licensed former and probably current shrinks—making sure no one deviates from the DLC triangulation political message of Bill Clinton.

Simply mentioning that shrinks; are some of the main organizers,  should get alot of people to defect.

_____________________________


Triangulation (politics)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clintonian_triangulation

Triangulation is the name given to the act of a political candidate presenting his or her ideology as being “above” and “between” the “left” and “right” sides (or “wings”) of a traditional (e.g. UK or US) democratic “political spectrum”. It involves adopting for oneself some of the ideas of one’s political opponent (or apparent opponent). The logic behind it is that it both takes credit for the opponent’s ideas, and insulates the triangulator from attacks on that particular issue. Opponents of triangulation[who?], who believe in a fundamental “left” and “right”, consider the dynamic a deviation from its “reality” and dismiss those that strive for it as whimsical.

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By KDelphi, November 30, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Shift—GOOD QUESTION! The neo-liberal response to a simple suggestion was so out of line with the suggestion, as to only expose their desparation. Maybe Obama coudl hire his pr team right here?

Michael—I have been wondering at Labor’s lack of confrontation for years now. I just do not know. But, it make people not trust unions so the GOP and neo-libs must be esctatic@

Outraged—I participated in the netroots stuff (most were lawyers, etc, but many helped to “word” what alot of us had in mind,with more “legaleaze”) . Obama pretty much ignored it. Unfortunately , history is written by the winners…

That is why we have to win!! If people have money, they should put it to use organizing. If Labor would take off their rose-colored glasses, and join sp-usa and others, we night have a chance here.

In the meantime, “dig this”!! (If this doesnt scare you—it first appeared on CommonDreams, but I got it from John Caruso, who says it is written by—he says he is not kidding—“Joe Hope”...

Obama followers patiently awaiting instructions
Defending his unbroken string of establishment/hawkish/conservative appointments, the general speaks:

“What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking. But I understand where the vision for change comes from. First and foremost, it comes from me. That’s my job—to provide a vision in terms of where we are going, and to make sure then that my team is implementing.”

And a soldier responds, in words that really must be read in their entirety to be appreciated:

Obama is picking people with the toughness and experience to get things done. We should be more supportive of his choices. The way I see it, we (the people who support Obama) are like foot soldiers in a nonviolent war for revolutionary change. Like any good soldier, I must trust my commander. Obama is my commander (in-chief) and I trust him. Okay, so here’s the tricky part. In a war, it is not the duty of a foot-soldier to develop the entire strategy for the war, nor is it the duty of a foot soldier to decide what orders to obey and which to disobey. No war could be won by an army governed by anarchy.

In this war, (against radical Right-wing government and social forces) it is up to Obama to craft a winning strategy, not us - the disorganized rabble. When we judge his strategy in a negative light, our criticism is ignorant, because we do not know what his full strategy entails. Keep in mind, it would be foolish, in a state of war, to simply divulge what that strategy is. So we must have faith in Obama and trust him. If we want change (and I know I do) then we must trust him, even when we feel we can’t. We must see beyond our fears, and remember that sometimes it is more important to follow than to try to lead. The Left does not need more wannabe leaders and more petty infighting. It’s like each of us has a piece of a puzzle, but only Obama can put the pieces together to create an image for our future.

END of PASTED post!

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By Folktruther, November 30, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Outraged, your suggestion to ‘buy Obama back’ displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how the power system works.  If the population were organized enough to contribute a significant amonnt of money to a cause, and we are not, it would be to pay organizers to help form a mass movement.

Obama is not up for sale. The problem is not his personal corruption but that of the power system. He is playing the power game the way capitalist power systems REALLY work as opposed to how we are Educated and Informed that they are supposed to work.  All professional politicians have to do so if they are to be elected.

The corruption occurs because the ruling class promotes its own interests under the guise of promoting those of the population.  Therefore politicians must conform to the Elite consensus to get the money, media and orgaganiation to win while pretending to conform to the population consensus.  As the US power system is near the end of its lifetime cycle historically, the deviation between the two consensuses is more obvious than at maturity.

So it is useless to ask Cyrena to be civil.  She wants to be a Dem Insider and the only way she can defend the obvious disparity between what Obama said and implied when running, and what he is doing after he is elected, is by smearing dissidents.  This is the same tactic that the Gops use, the Ann Coulter or Rush Limbargher approach to political discourse.

As the Dems go continuously to the right, and Obama continues Bush’s policies, this will more and more be the Dem and Zionist approach to progressives.  It HAS to be because they cannot argue on the basis of reason and evidence because that is against them.  Most of the Dems are not as venomous and poisonous as Cyrena, but the approach is the same.  You just have to expect it and get used to it.

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By michael roloff, November 30, 2008 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

that ruined the hen house and led to the fiasco, and with Paul Volker back on board, I think guarantees that the bail-out will be on the back of the American working class; no more outsourcing since every one will work for Chinese and Mexican wages! Look at how neglectful Obambi is of Labor so far which did so much to assuage working class prejudices against him and provided 100s of millions in support. In foreign policy what with Gates continuing [whose record goes back to the days of Brzezinski’s destabilization of Afghanistan and the creation of he genij the mullahs who can’t be put in a bottle] I see imperialist business as usual. I myself am not surprised in the least since these vague promises of change didn’t do the trick for me, and if you look at where the real bulk of his monetary support came from, it is not surprising that he continues with Citicorp and Goldman Sachs people. Of course he is eye and ear candy by compare, and so his charisma will give him a bit of breathing room. He is these people’s captive, whatever"vision” he really has is unlikely to be implemented by this team, and not in the world such as it is.

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By Outraged, November 30, 2008 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

Re: Cyrena

It would be well appreciated if you stopped the nonsense.

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By Outraged, November 30, 2008 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

As an afterthought to my previous post, if a PAC were to be established for this purpose, isn’t it viable and extremely realistic to consider that MANY foreign countries would donate.  Save us…save themselves.  No bloodshed.

The world needs an honest lawyer in charge of this PAC…. I’m open to suggestions, although there is one which comes to mind.

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By cyrena, November 30, 2008 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Shift writes:

“...Wouldn’t you think that if Obama really cared about people that he would hold a press conference and find a way to get the food pantries filled?...”

~~~

You’re kidding, right? HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE?????????????????and find a way to get the food pantries filled????????????

Oh my God. Why are so many new crackpots coming out of the woodwork NOW? Didn’t we have to put up with enough of them BEFORE? Jesus H Christ. We need a break from this terror by the crazed.

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By Outraged, November 30, 2008 at 12:47 am Link to this comment

Re: Shift

Your comment: “The People are hungry.  Where is our President Elect?  He is dining with bankers and economists.  Wouldn’t you think that if Obama really cared about people that he would hold a press conference and find a way to get the food pantries filled?  It’s not complicated, the People have been forgotten.  A little thing like food for the poor is unimportant compared with saving the rich.  Too cynical?  I think not.

This is true.  So…. I had the thought after reading your comment, a thought I’d been pondering since I felt Obama had been “bought out”, and that was… couldn’t we simply “buy Obama back”.  The claim is that the banks, for the most part are bust.  So how much money did they give Obama…. couldn’t we, as the multitudes…. do them one better (with stipulations of course, a proposal not unlike his “other” big money donors).  WE, the taxpayers, have a great deal of money.  Think about it…. I don’t say it’s something we should HAVE to do, but desperate times call for desperate measures… can these “campaign donors” match our collective ante?

Something tells me Obama just might “take us up on that deal”.  They say all is fair in love and war.  Additionally, our proposal would allow Obama to be written in the history books as saving democracy (a notable advantage) whereas “they” only give Obama the prospect of eternal damnation, at least as far as democracy or America is concerned.

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By Marshal Gebbie, November 29, 2008 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is lost in the wilderness
Obama is being discreet
His selections for office confusing,
And his war plans portend a defeat.
To walk out of Iraq tomorrow,
To leave it all up in the air
Is a massive display
Of chaotic foreplay
Which will inevitably bring despair.

All the factions are screaming objections,
The war room is gnashing it’s teeth,
The oil lobby is throwing a tantrum
And the Republicans stamping their feet.
The White House is echoing silence
Old Georgie is holding his peace,
For the damage is done
With Iraq in the gun
Now the warmongers seek a release.

For old Saddam was harboring terrorists
Or so the story went
So Cheney, Bush and Wolfowitz
Reacted…and they spent
A fortune on a war machine,
America invades
And those Middle Eastern oil fields
Became protected everglades.
Nobody called it criminal,
Invasion was OK…..
But now embarrassment is everywhere.
Old Glory ....Now Must Pay!
So Obama is plucking his forces
He is pulling the military out
....Regardless of the consequence,
....Regardless of the rout!

The Kurds and the Turkish are restless
The Sunnis hold grimly to power
Shiites appeal to Iranians
To invade, behead and deflower.
The occupying Armies
Cling to what passes for peace,
While the faithful are called
To keep the martyrs enthralled
And the car bombs explode in the streets.

So Obama is plucking his forces,
He is leaving Iraq in the mud
For the vacuum will bring a catastrophe
An implosion of violence and blood.
Disorder will spread through the region
Escalation will build on itself
Arab kills Jew
And the Jews may kill you
For Armageddon won’t wait on the shelf.



Marshalg
Mangere Bridge
27 November 2008

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By Jim C, November 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Here are two more relevent articles to this discussion , one is another by Sirota http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2008114828/pitfalls-and-possibilities-orwellian-pragmatism , the other on Obamas fundraising that was in the LA times ,http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/11/obama-money.html . If the links don’t work the Sirota article is on Buzzflash and the fund raising one is at Rawstory . They both dovetail with this one .

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By Shift, November 29, 2008 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

The People are hungry.  Where is our President Elect?  He is dining with bankers and economists.  Wouldn’t you think that if Obama really cared about people that he would hold a press conference and find a way to get the food pantries filled?  It’s not complicated, the People have been forgotten.  A little thing like food for the poor is unimportant compared with saving the rich.  Too cynical?  I think not.

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By KDelphi, November 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

dihey—Congress will not “oppose” what? They will go along with “getting out of Iraq more intelligently than we went in”. They will go along with ‘waiting to reverse the tax cuts”. They will go along with half measures on heatlh insurance.They will go along with the “war on terror”. They will go along with supporting Israel, no matter what they do. They will go along with agri-business, Wall St. FISA, The uSA Patriot Act, and all the rest of it.

What is it you are afraid they “wont oppose”?.

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By dihey, November 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

With regards to what he will actually propose to do, the crucial speech of President Obama will be his first “State of the Nation” address next year. To make any judgments I will have to wait for that speech. Possibly the most salient points of that address will be the issues that he does NOT touch.

Meanwhile it is perfectly acceptable and fair to point out discrepancies and dislocations between his statements during the campaign and his statements now. It is fair to criticize his support of stupid Bush policies. It is also kosher to signal and attack half-cocked ideas, semi-truths or outright lies launched by Obama. Why should he, a dyed-in-the-wool machine-politician be exempted from our most patriotic sport of kicking around politicians?

One of my concerns is that an Obama administration will not have any opposition in Congress. As long as the Republicans have not renewed themselves there will not be such an opposition and there is not likely to be a Democratic opposition with pitbull Rahm Emanuel in charge of party “unity” and “loyalty”. Bad, bad, bad.

Now that the growth of “third parties” is again proven to be wishful thinking, we the voters can only bring about change by supporting and electing truly* independent and innovative US Representatives and Senators that are not beholden to the Dems or Reps. Forget about third party candidates for the presidency. That will not work until the stranglehold on Congress by the Dems and Reps is broken.

*as opposed to the Lieberman joke.

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By TAO Walker, November 29, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

The bloom is sure going off the Barack-O-rama “rose” in a hurry….at least among many of those commenting here.  Good thing all the grandiloquent imagery is preserved in the netherworld of the cyber-sphere, because it won’t be long before the great expectations raised by his campaign and “victory” will be at-best a bitter recollection. 

Some here seem to see through the media-generated facade to the still-disintegrating “civilization” behind it.  Most of even these, however, are as yet unable to see a way clear of the wreckage that offers them any incentive to welcome it’s actual (and inevitable) conclusion….their vision still distorted by generations of being ruled by fear.

Here in Indian Country we’re thoroughly grounded in the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, who is in-turn engaged fully in the never-ending Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself.  So the passing of one more land-of-make-believe, with its grandiose delusions of “global” empire, hasn’t the disconcerting effects on us surviving Savages it is having on our domesticated Sisters and Brothers who’ve mis-spent their own lives as captives within that contraption.

So for now this old Man can only urge those unfortunates to “Be not afraid.”  The “world” you’re so caught-up in has no more actual substance than the last hollywood horror-movie that you got so taken-in by.  Soon the “projector” will reach THE END of the last reel, and you all can come back into the natural Light and genuine Love of Life.

It’ll be good to have you all with us again.

HokaHey!

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By KDelphi, November 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Jim C—Hey! How is it going?

I have given this deep and extensive thought, and, I diagnose, the PUSH ME/PULL YOU Syndrome!

Remember Dr Doolittle (ironic)? Remember, he had a sortve “conjoined llama-like animal” that pushed and pulled and just “went with the tide”, never really deciding anything.

Like Obama’s speech against big agri-business, until someone from the industry called him out on it in the NYT—he regressed, saying he was “just quoting what he’d read in an article”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html

http://lambbeforethyme.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/pollan-ny-times-essay-10-12-08.pdf

The “as if” personality let down its shiny verneer for a split 15 minutes, when Krugman, you know, the Nobel prize winner?, had the audacity to question Obama’s market based health care. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/04/opinion/04krugman.html

His defender’s responses were more anti-Clinton (ho-hum)) than pro-Obama, which said argument now fades into glitter and dust as he HIRES her!http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/hopeful-signs-on-health-care/

Apparently, unable to , even as a Nobel Laureate, stand up to the glare of Obama love, Krugman “sortve” recants…“better than I thought”

http://vichydems.blogspot.com/2008/02/paul-krugman-vs-obama-brilliance.html


Why were Krugman, Conyers and others right in the first place on health care? Because the entire world says so. Also, Physicians for Natl Heatlh Care, the entire Congressional Black Caucus, and many others. Everyone except big insurance interests and some greedy doctors.
http://www.pnhp.org/facts/singlepayer_faq.php


People usually begin a pro-Obama talk with “He’s not perfect, but…”. and later on, may even say, “...but, we need to push him,,,and still later,,,“but not too hard”...it is cognitive dissonanace or push-me pull-you syndronme.


coloradokarl—thanks for the example “our future is in your hands…but dont stress on it”.


Louise—Yes, we should ALL try to avoid interpreting what he says and reading his mind. It may burst the bubble.We should just wait. No point in trying to participate, really, as long as the duopoly is in charge.Yes, I criticized him before. But, I have to admit, I didnt expect this!

Look, this isnt really about Obama, so much as the Dem Party! They just keep selling out! Already, Lieberman, Clinton , Gates, Volker (yes I read up on him—gawd!!), Summers—-be honest—is this what you expected or voted for?

jackpine—It already IS a “dire emergency” for alot of the uS. For those still in the street after Katrina—it has been for a long time. For the soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan—it already is. For people in GITMO, for those spied upon by FISA, the uSA Patriot Act. Already is.

Birch—If, when Obaama was campaigning he had said, “I just want to work with the power brokers in DC”, do you think he would have had a landslide?

Why should Obama’s AIPAC talk terrify us? And his “forgiveness” of Lieberman? (Anyone who thinks his AIPAC talk was “too easy on Iran…”!!)

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/06/obama-confronts.html

I mean, c’mon, Obama ultimately backed Lamont!

Vichy Dems. http://www.counterpunch.org/santina03142008.html

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By qengineer, November 29, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: “a celebrity-obsessed culture”

There may be voters who voted for Obama because he is a celebrity.  Given his message and our times I doubt it.  How weird it is to think the election was in any significant way about celebrity.  I think McCain/Palin thought it was about celebrity…

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By Nara, November 29, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama promised he will end trickle-down economics.  Obama promised he will pursue a less confrontational foreign policy.  He adopted a progressive rhetoric during the campaign.  Now we are told he never ran on a progressive agenda and therefore we must not be upset with the personnel choices he has made.  His movement is predominantly progressive.  If he governs way to the right of his movement he will soon find out there is no top-down power he can have that no previous president had.

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By dr wu, November 29, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Good cop (Obama); bad cop (Bush)—twas ever thus in our Tweedledee/Tweedledum democracy of sorts —really an military/oligarchy when you think about it.

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By J D Smith, November 29, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No one should be surprised.

If one cares to do so, it is possible to learn most if not all recent Presidents and candidates for that office from the Democratic/Republican part are or have been members of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Search for information on that organizaton’s aims.

As a group, we who want change in our national activities make the mistake of believing it can be achieved if we can convince the apex of our power pyramid change is what we want.

THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

The apex worked very hard for a long time to make things the way they are.

It is rather up to the base of the pyramid to provide irresistable motivation to the apex that the change(s) we want is GOING TO BE in their interest as well.

Anyone want to describe irresistable motivation?

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By dihey, November 29, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Obama is a masterful dissembler if not deceiver. His campaign for nomination spewed tons of hot air. All of my friends believed that he would “end the war in Iraq”. Obama had promised nothing of the sort. He promised to “redeploy combat units”* which sort of suggested to my friends that the remaining soldiers would be armed with whistles like the London Bobbies. Obama actually promised a scaled-down but continued and indefinite occupation of Iraq and this snake oil was swallowed by fools as “ending the war”.
The people of Iraq have unmasked Obama’s fraud by fighting hard for the SOFA agreement. There will be no Obama-style occupation after December 31, 2011.

* “Redeploy” means taking troops out of a section of the front and placing them into another segment ready for attack. This is precisely what dissembler Obama had in mind. Take troops out of the front line Iraq and send them to front line Afghanistan to attack.

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By Louise, November 29, 2008 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Once again we see a writer explain another persons mind and motive to us. Awe, the power of the writen word.

And once again we see a handful of anonymous wannabe writers comment, and re-enforce the notion that it is possible to read the future and probe the inner workings of someone else’s mind. Possible because they say so!

And still again, the writer and the wannabe’s tell us all to ignore any thought we might actually see change, because THEY don’t!

And it’s all sorta irrelevant since there is not yet, a 44th president.

Perhaps 44’s “change we can believe in” is presented as opposed to, 40, 41 and 43’s “change we believed in until we got the shaft!”

[42’s positive change went ignored. Must have been to little pain.]

Perhaps the change we need to re-focus on, is that which has already been done to us and our government! Change that, working hard for low these many years, has dragged us to the bottom!

A clearly visible change that nobody noticed, or cared to notice until THEY got kicked back on their behind.

I suggest THEY get back up, dust off their derrière’s and answer this, is it possible you presume to much? Is it possible you really cant read Obama’s mind? Is it possible you cant grasp the notion that to make a runaway train stop, you have to have someone there who understands how to work the lever?

When the runaway train slows, then stops, or at the very least gets moved to another track, I think we can all talk about change. In the meantime maybe we need to wait until we actually have a 44th president, before we label him a failure!

But since it’s clear some have no interest in waiting out the remaining time until Obama actually becomes president. I guess that’s a suggestion they will chose to ignore.

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that those who find fault with Obama and everything he does now, are the same “those” who found fault with everything he said and did BEFORE he won the election. Right?

Right. An interesting word with so many connotations.

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By jackpine savage, November 29, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Fundamental change will never happen by electing a politician…not unless a dire emergency forces that politician’s hand once in office.

What i’m saying is that feeling betrayed only exemplifies that you weren’t thinking, but hoping and believing, when you voted.  And if you thought that pulling a lever was all you had to do in order to right this ship of fools/state, then you’re a fool.

It’s well past time to grow up, America.  Perpetual adolescence is not very becoming.

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By Folktruther, November 29, 2008 at 2:19 am Link to this comment

Obama is continuing Bush’s policies.  He is consolidating the Bushite counterrevolution.  If you opposed Bush’s policies, then you will oppose Obama’s, the only difference being the rhetoric and that a Dem is carrying them out.  They may be implemented more intelligently, BUT THEY ARE THE SAME POLICIES!  More war, more class inequality and impoverishment, and more police state oppression.

Bush initiated the War on Terrorism with the 9/11-antrax homicides.  Obama is for implementing the War on Terrorism by INCREASING MILITARY EXPENDITURES and EXPANDIN THE UNWINABLE AFGHAN WAR TO PAKISTAN.  He has reneged on withdrawing troops quickly from Iraq.  He slavisly supports apartheid Israel’s oppression and war againt the Muslims.

He has appointed neoliberals to the economic policy positions, those who implemented the deregualation that caused the crisis.  He has backed off from repealing the Bush tax cuts for the rich.  He is against single payer medical care.  He hasn’t appointed a single progressive to office.  The class inequality of the American people will continue to grow.

He voted for spying on the American people, has stated that the US doesn’t torture (as Bush does), after promising to filibuster against it.  He is lying more subtly but in the same way that Bush did.  He has not opposed any of the police state measures instituted by Bush.  The lawlessness will continue but be more subtly and concealed.

He is handsome, talented, intelligent and worked his way up from the working class.  BUT HE IS IMPLEMENTING THE SAME POLICIES AS BUSH.  More subtly, with greater intelligence and discretion, BUT THE SAME PLICIES.

We have to look past the superficial personality and party changes and see the underlying power dynamics if we are going to resist them.

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By Alan, November 29, 2008 at 12:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yogi Berra’s ghost says: Let me reiterate AGAIN:
McCain-Palin was the rube ticket,
Obama-Biden was the corporate ticket.
Chevron Oil: “Do people do doodoo? People Do!”

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By coloradokarl, November 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Dear Barack Obama, I see you took my advice and took a break from the madness, good man. Football, silly movies with the kids and some quality quiet time with Michelle. I hope you shut out the rest of the world, it’s important and it may be your last chance. Our future is in your hands, Barack Obama, Don’t stress about it though, I’m not, it’s really no big deal. Which ever direction you go, Left, Right, Or Center, we will be fine. Remember! Actions speak louder than words! And Actions cause equal Reactions! Love and Compassion off sets Hate and Greed. Your Beautiful Daughters are the Key. In them you will see our Future.

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By tom1j, November 28, 2008 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

that came out of all this is that we got the first mullatto president. Other than that, business as usual. Did anyone really expect anything else?

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By Jon, November 28, 2008 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

or, seeing is believing.  As opposed to believing is seeing.

What I see: Obama appointments and team members who gave us NAFTA, who pushed for unfettered deregulation, who said women could not do science and math, who were pro-Iraq war (and who campaigned on it), who used to be the CEO of Citigroup, who runs the NY Fed (a private corporation). 

This tells me that I am going to get: an economic policy that hands over billions to the banks (since Rubin and the NY Fed cut a deal last weekend to put this in place) but ‘delays’ over the ‘confusing’ nature of helping Main Streed (read=workers, their families).  I’m going to get a foreign policy that might ‘obliterate Iran’ while sending troops to Afghanistan (a place that helped kill off the Soviet Union decades ago).

So you take over a business, you feel the entire direction is wrong.  Do you retain the people who only know how to go down that wrong path?  Do you say to Rubin and his disciples, “well you guys helped really screw up the country, and its job structure and you made billions doing it, but now, I want you to reverse all this and do so happily and with as much passion as you used to screw America before now?”  “”

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By Birch, November 28, 2008 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

In addition to FDR and Lincoln, we should be looking at the experience of Harry Truman. He said at one point something to the effect that he sits all day giving orders, signing documents and talking to people, but nothing happens. We have to remember that the US ship of state is a huge super tanker, and you don’t turn it around on a dime.  There are many centers of power and interests - the Presidency is only one - and not even the most powerful. If Obama wants to get anything done, he can’t be the bull in the china shop; he’s got to work with the power brokers of the establishment. Unlike the Kennedy’s, he’s not one of the owners of the country; he’s just a functionary, like Bill Clinton. So, he has to tread carefully. He has one thing working in his favor, however - the financial crisis. Just as it helped to get him elected, it may help him to make changes that otherwise would not have been possible in normal times. I do think, however, that the left should keep up the pressure, because it does have an impact, otherwise why would a journalist have asked him at one of his press conferences whether he was living up to his promise of change.

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By Ed Harges, November 28, 2008 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Jim C gets the prize for making the point most cleanly. Speaking of the progressives who have been right about everything, Jim writes:

“...Wouldn’t it make more sense to place at least some of these people in the administration…?”

That is exactly IT. Obama keeps trying to defend himself by saying, “We need people who know how to get stuff done in DC, and that means I have to have people from previous administrations. It would have been irresponsible to reject this reservoir of experience.”

Mr. Obama, please stop arguing against a straw man! NO ONE IS SAYING THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE HIRED AN ADMINISTRATION CONSISTING *ENTIRELY* OF LEFT-LEANING OUTSIDERS!!!!

But there is no excuse for the fact that progressives are not represented by even ONE SINGLE PERSON whom Obama has given any responsibility for either economic or foreign affairs.

Every single appointee is either a deregulator from the Wall Street-first crowd, a military-industrialist hawk, a religious/ethnic supremacist from the Israel-first crowd, or some combination of the three.

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By Jim C, November 28, 2008 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

PSmith , I couldn’t agree more about Campbell , I have read all of his books and have a collection of his tapes . He is definitely a sage and very well may have been a bodhisattva . Are you perchance buddhist ? I have been for over 35 years , it was good to see him mentioned . I am going to send your comment to a friend who is also buddhist , I’m sure it will bring a smile to her face , she has a huge collection of his work . Thank you for the post .

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By prole, November 28, 2008 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

From whistling in the dark to praying in the dark. Obama’s true believers simply won’t give up the ghost. Whether it’s from wounded pride in refusing to admit they’ve been duped -or have themselves been duping - or stubborn naivete in desperately clinging to the wistful
messianic “hope” they had conjured up around an unknown, untested Chicago machine pol who was to lead his starry-eyed acolytes to the new zion, the will to believe in St. Barack is stronger than the facts of his duplicitous public persona. “Change we can believe in” has
now been grotesquely transmuted into a ‘Dear Leader’ we can believe in. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we’re still to go on believing. Trust to your emotions and not to your reason. That’s how St. Barack was elected, after all - even if only 31% of the electorate fell for it - and that’s how he will govern. “Despite the election’s progressive mandate, Obama is not what Ronald Reagan was to conservatives”. No, he is, or wants to be, what Bonzo is to him. As Obama gushed in a Nevada newspaper interview during the arid
campaign, “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it.  I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating.  I think people, he just tapped
into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.” Obama shares Ray-gun’s aversion to the “excesses” of the 60’s and 70’s, i.e. excessive protest, excessive democracy, excessive ‘bottom up’ activism - as do apparently many of Obama’s admirers and diehard supporters.  In the same interview, Obama also asserted, “I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure.  I think part of what’s different are the times.” Whether or not the cunning Obama Copacabana wants to see himself as a “singular figure”, his fawning claque still do. So now we’re to have it that, “the Obama movement undeniably revolves around the president-elect’s individual stardom—and specifically, the faith that he will make good decisions, whatever those decisions are.” With that kind of blind faith, the machine pol goes from “singular figure” to saintly fuhrer, and the circle is squared. Anything now is permitted. If Dear Leader declares it so, it is a ‘good decision’ and a ‘good American’ will fall in line. “With that kind of following, Obama likely feels little obligation to hire staff intimately involved in non-Obama movements—especially those who might challenge a Washington ruling class he may not want to antagonize.” Quite. With that kind of cult following, St. Barack feels little obligation to anyone other than the Washington/Wall Street ruling class who bankrolled his sham campaign - which thumbed its nose at public funding - that created his phoney public persona and who now pull the strings of their new Reaganesque puppet. “This is the mythic’independence’ we’re supposed to crave—a czar who doesn’t owe anyone”... in the public - just his corporate patrons and handlers. “It is the foreseeable result of a Dear Leader-ism prevalent in”... America’s inexorable slide into authoritarianism and third-world status. “For all the talk of ‘bottom-up” politics’, his movement” was always directed toward a “structure [which] grants him a top-down power”. “For better or worse, that leaves us”... either sitting on our hands helplessly… “relying more than ever on our Dear Leader’s impulses” - or, taking ‘bottom up’ politics seriously, at last.

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By Paul Revere, November 28, 2008 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the more things change…
the more they remain the same.

We’ve been had!

meet the new boss, same as the old boss,
only smarter,
and thus much more dangerous.

Gates, emanuel,
all the signals of the coming war on Iran,
all these neocons in the cabinet
lieberman rehabilitated,
no war crime prosecution or investigation,
actually no investigation of any kind.
a totally pro wall street and anti main street attitude…

THIS IS NOT AT ALL WHAT WE VOTED FOR !

Just wait, it’ll soon be very clear.
Can’t wake up to reality?
Call it cognitive dissonance,
give it time…
That too shall pass.

we should have known,
I mean there was FISA and many other signs

but we wanted to hope
and believe
that change would come.

some change !

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By Jim C, November 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

Simply put , there were lots of liberals who saw this mess comming and warned against the path we were on . Wouldn’t it make more sense to place at least some of these people in the administration rather than the same idiots that got us into this mess hoping they’ll get it right this time ? I have yet to see one liberal brought into Obamas inner circle . He says he wants a lot of different opinions , apparently what he means is a lot of different ” conservative ” opinions . I for one wish he would start paying less attention to Lincoln and more to FDR , or even TR . Lincolns problems and challanges were quite different than what we face today . FDR’s were pretty much identical , they were even caused by the same poisonous trickle down theory which lead to the same result . I would guess by Obamas retoric that he would have brought Jefferson Davis into his administration , along with traitors and turncoats and bushwackers , no problem , lets just all hold hands and sing kumbiya . How about a little justice for the millions of people that have been harmed by this criminal bunch who have almost destroyed our country and it’s standing in the world ? The root of todays mess was doing away with Glass Segal which was put in place to prevent just this from happening . Has anyone heard a word from Mr Obama about restoring it ? I haven’t . I am also troubled by his packing his administration and advisors with DLCers . The DLC is nothing but the republican wing of the democratic party . The main contention they have with the conservatives is who gets the most corporate money . It bothers me greatly that he seems inclined to fill his administration with people who adhere to an economic theory and ideology that has been throughly disproven and has been disastorous every time is has been tried while seemingly ignoring one that has saved us from the aformentioned dabacle time and again . I hope we haven’t been had . Hows it going KDelphi ?

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By KDelphi, November 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

P-Yes, I do agree (and always did) that it is better than a continuation of Bush. Samosamo…same argument!

I dont feel “lucky” at all! The US has deserved better leadership for a very long time—-at least the ones that dont get to speak, who dont have lobbyists…

Even given that, there are things that have been done, that cannot be rolled back—-and the ones that can, the Dems dont seem to have the balls to do!

No, I’m not a “Repug”, I’m registered (still, because I voted Dem ) as a Dem. In practice, unless it looks close, I am ,minority party.

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By KDelphi, November 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

PSmith—I am tired of hearing “well, he’s not perfect”, and, in fact, it isnt so much all about Obama anyway—it never shouldve been!

If that is the best defense you have—he is better than who we have currently—I just wouldnt say anything..

The Team is shaping up in ways that, if I had predicted them before the election, wouldve been shouted out of a room…

Gawd, the things I read and heard about Hillary!!~! How phony to pretend its all copacetic now! What happened to “Hillary voted for the war! *(Biden?) Throw all of Bush’s teram out! Hillary is an irrelevent bit*ch! Leta vote for JUDGEMENT!

It is worse tham predicted by Nader-ites, etc.But, you can bet that most will never admit it..

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By KDelphi, November 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

ED—I wish I could believe that. But, the GOP will put up another openly corporate/military/walking industrial/masquerading as a person a**hole, and people will say, “Oh, b-b-b-ut—we cant let (!) win!”. And I will say, “But the Dems are the same, except they ‘feel your pain’, but they really dont!” and I will be told to shut t f up.Or to site “statistics that are from a verifiable source” of their choosing.

Folk—It truly is looking to be conservative enough to thrill Newt Ginghrich…even I didnt expect THIS!

What a lovely parting gift for George~ your wars werent so bad, we’re gonna stay in! Gates is just fine!!We were teasing about Hillary being a hawk—actually, we like hawks very much!~ And, on that bailout, as long as I get $1000 at gawd knows what interest from Japan to buy my brat-a** kid stuff he dosent need for Xmas—I’m a happy person!Oh, and George—just enjoy the “holiday”, dont worry your tiny little head about pardoning anyuone…we arent about to press charges on anyone!! (They know too much!hehehehe)

Yeah, I had sour grapes for dinner yesterday, and not much else. But, at least I wont have to spend years eating my words..

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By Anar-peace, November 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Ironically “liberal pacifism” is the only means to bring—peace and prosperity—to the United States, and around the world. A true ultra liberal/progressive would press to have all wars (secret and overt) stopped immediately; and to have the CIA abolished.

There can’t be peace now; or in the future, if the seeds of destruction are planted by the Obama team with Gate’s on it.

His team should be planting the seeds of peace; and non-violence —rather then war, to bring a lasting conflict free environment.

The current hawk military is not trained; in non-violent crowd control, etc., so they should leave now.

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By Ed Harges, November 28, 2008 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Our Dear Leader promises to obey the wise men of Wailing Wall Street.

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By Concerned, November 28, 2008 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As many of you might have done, I contributed to the Obama campaign. I was less interested in his brand of politics than I was in a rejection of the politics of, gosh, the last 40 years.

But when president-elect Obama start floating business-as-usual trial balloons, I wrote to his transition team and told them that if he took certain steps I would not donate any more money.

If enough people do the same thing, it will make an impact on Mr. Obama, especially as the election cycle seems to have been extended to two years.

And, think about it, has there ever been anything like http://www.change.gov? There are still almost two months to make your voice heard before the inauguration.

Good luck to us all.

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By ThatDeborahGirl, November 28, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am no more willing to accept an Obama dictatorship than I was one with Bush.

I want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt - after all I voted for him despite my misgivings on his FISA vote and knowing that the alternative was the exceedingly poor choice of John McCain.

Obama must understand that black folks, white folks and every shade in between want real change. Not just retribution and vengeance for the past 8 years although a little of that in the way of treason hearings wouldn’t hurt. But NO ONE who voted for Obama wants any of the Bush Administration people to have the power to buy so much as a toothbrush with government funds, let alone, the ability to set policy. Working across the aisle is one thing. Working with people who have proven they are more than willing to fuck over the American People is quite another.

Note to Obama: We Want Bush Out and That Means His Minions Too!

The backlash against Obama will be swift and brutal if people don’t see the “change” they feel they “need”. And it won’t only be black folks it will be white folks who will say “Enough is Enough” and the real revolution will begin.

People will not accept from Obama, a black man, what they took up the ass from Bush. It simply will not happen.

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By P. T., November 28, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Actually, Barack Obama owes his election to the presidency to the movement against the Iraq War.  The Democratic Party establishment does not seem to like to emphasize that.  Unlike Obama, all his major opponents for the Democratic nomination had supported the war.

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By Folktruther, November 28, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

As Sirota put it, appointments are policy. But the Dem leaders response to conservative appointments is to WAIT to critize, it being illegitimate to criticize the president-elect. 

Since it is obvious that Obama has immediately and drastically gone to the right, to serve the Elite consensus rather than the popular consensus, the Dems will later have other reasons to Wait to criticize him.

The WAITING you can believe in.

The time to mobilize against war, noeliberalism, and a police state is NOW.  Right now.

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By Ed Harges, November 28, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

from KDelphi, November 28 at 7:59 am:

The next time these questions come up. the answer will be, “In the SECOND term! THAT is when things really get done!”.
————————

And KDelphi, what the Obama folks don’t seem to understand is that if Obama governs way to the right in his first term, continuing to do the bidding of Wall Street and the Israel lobby, he may not get a second term.

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By KDelphi, November 28, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

HE (Obama himself) never said he had to assume centrist positions—well, maybe in Canada, over NAFTA—to get elected.

Unless I missed that one.

I only heard it out of his overly loyal followers—“he’s progressive to the core”, “of course he is for the poor—he got food stamps once”

I also did not hear the promises some seemed to, from Obama—again,from his overly loyal followers—“universal health care, ” “out of Iraq’ “reverse the Bush tax cuts”.

I tried to ask “But why are you so certain he will do this?” Anyone who tried to ask any questions knows what the answer was….

The next time these questions come up. the answer will be, “In the SECOND term! THAT is when things really get done!”.

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By Eric L. Prentis, November 28, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President-elect Obama’s selection of Misters Summers and Geithner for leading economic positions is terrible, they got us into this present lousy economy and will double down to save face. When asked if this is “change we can believe in,” Obama said he supplies the vision and my economic team just implements it. This is the first truly naïve statement I have heard Obama make. Those leading government institutions, if they are not fully behind Obama’s policy, will say all the right things but drag their feet, obfuscate, misdirect, trick, lie, put the wrong personnel in charge, not fill a position, bribe and sabotage the secretly hated policy. It will be two years before Obama figures out what went wrong, and it will then be too late.

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By Ed Harges, November 28, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

from RdV, November 28 at 6:50 am:

‘Because ultimately he is “the decider”. ‘

Yes, RdV, he does curiously isolate all progressive virtue in himself alone, doesn’t he?

Not only doers this appear arrogant, but it may also be a bit dangerous (see my previous post).

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By RdV, November 28, 2008 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

Because ultimately he is “the decider”. Is that what he is suggesting? One point however, if all his advisors are cut from the same centrists retread mold—what are the alternative views he has to decide between?

  I thought it was a lame response from Obama—with just a bit of a sneer starting to peek through, and anyone who defends it surely strains credibility claiming well, he never was a progressive, when all through the primaries claimed that he had to assume centrist positions to get anywhere.

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By Samson, November 28, 2008 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

The one thing we know about Obama right now is that he will say anything, in order to obtain personal power.

But, now we are beginninng to see the truth.  This is looking like a very right-wing administration.  The Democrats seem to have completely given control of foriegn and military policy to the Republicans and the right.  And they’ve given control over economic policy to Wall Street.

Hey Democrats, back when you rejected Hillary in favor of Obama, is this what you thought you were getting?  Have you perhaps noticed yet that what Obama was saying to you back in the primaries was maybe not entirely truthful?  Did you really do all that grassroots work just to keep Wall Street in control of the economy and Gates as Sec of Def?

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By coloradokarl, November 28, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

My voice has been heard, yours is heard also. I entered the “Blog-a-sphere ” 2 months ago and have heard a term I used bounced up the political chain until it slid out on Obama’s breath on tuesday. Yes, our opinions matter! We are the common conscience of America and in turn the World. I am Impatient with Obama and hear calming voices cry,“Give the man a chance!”. Chances are like Hopes and Dreams, They are but Illusions and lack substance. Actions speak louder than words. Obama’s stern fight for his Blackberry gives me cause to Question past Presidential “Bubbles” and the brainwashing and isolation from common folk.
Obama is very smart. We are all smart in our own special ways.

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By Ed Harges, November 28, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

G. W. Bush was always somewhat protected from impeachment (or worse) by the fact that we all knew one thing: if we got rid of Bush, we’d still have Cheney, who is even farther to the right, and we’d still have the rest of Bush’s far-right administration governing just as badly.

Now, it looks like nothing of the sort protects Dear Leader Obama. If the Wall Street bankers or Israel’s Likudniks don’t like what Obama’s doing, they know that getting rid of him would leave a vice president and cabinet very much to their liking - with the exception of not a single person.

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By KISS, November 28, 2008 at 7:15 am Link to this comment

Me thinks David is whistling in the dark. Best way to avoid the goblins is to pull the covers over your head. Obama’s actions are certainly leaving his constituents wary and fearful.
Maybe he has been listening to Joe Lieberman, a fine paradigm of the dimmos.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 28, 2008 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

Ok…I’ve read this article twice and I STILL have no idea what the hell Sirota is talking about.  Best I can infer is that Obama is not pigeonhole-able.

Is that bad?

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By jmndodge, November 28, 2008 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

to bring the change promised.  Indeed, if I am honest I recall that he didn’t promise me what I wanted, but rather a mind set which would bring the partisan divide closer together.  There is certainly a much more conservative, militaristic and corporate bent than I had hoped for in the Obama transition team.  I however, will reserve criticism until he has had opportunity to govern. 

The economy will bring pain to everyone,  but hopefully the combination of his strong mandate, and the dire situation will give he power to make change happen, and that the change will be progress.

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By Shift, November 28, 2008 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

The blessing of this modern age is the decentralization of thought and action and therefore power.  Barack Obama has attempted to utilize the power of the internet to promote centralized results, i.e. his presidency.  The net however is an entity of decentralized power where everyone become a publisher and everyone’s voice is heard.  Let those voices ring loudly.  Obama’s lack of experience and insecurities are clearly reflected in his choices for cabinet posts.  He has surrounded himself with the big guns.  The weakness in the Obama argument that he is in command and makes the decisions is reminiscent of another decider. Obama’s decisions regarding cabinet selections, I believe, are deeply flawed and will steer the ship of state badly. Even our friendly opposition must be strong and sharp.

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