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A Team of Zombies

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Posted on Feb 6, 2009

By David Sirota

Only weeks ago, the political world was buzzing about a “team of rivals.” America was told that finally, after years of yes-men running the government, we were getting a president who would follow Abraham Lincoln’s lead, fill his administration with varying viewpoints, and glean empirically sound policy from the clash of ideas. Little did we know that “team of rivals” was what George Orwell calls “newspeak”: an empty slogan “claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts.”

Obama’s national security team, for instance, includes not a single Iraq war opponent. The president has not only retained George W. Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, but also 150 other Bush Pentagon appointees. The only “rivalry” is between those who back increasing the already bloated defense budget by an absurd amount and those who aim to boost it by a ludicrous amount.

Of course, that lock-step uniformity pales in comparison to the White House’s economic team—a squad of corporate lackeys disguised as public servants.

At the top is Lawrence Summers, the director of Obama’s National Economic Council. As Bill Clinton’s Treasury secretary in the late 1990s, Summers worked with his deputy, Tim Geithner (now Obama’s Treasury secretary), and Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel (now Obama’s chief of staff) to champion job-killing trade deals and deregulation that Obama Commerce Secretary-designate Judd Gregg helped shepherd through Congress as a Republican senator. Now, this pinstriped band of brothers is proposing a “cash for trash” scheme that would force the public to guarantee the financial industry’s bad loans. It’s another ploy “to hand taxpayer dollars to the banks through a variety of complex mechanisms,” says economist Dean Baker—and noticeably absent is anything even resembling a “rival” voice inside the White House.

That’s not an oversight. From former federal officials like Robert Reich and Brooksley Born, to Nobel Prize-winning economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, to business leaders like Leo Hindery, there’s no shortage of qualified experts who have challenged market fundamentalism. But they have been barred from an administration focused on ideological purity.

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In Hindery’s case, the blacklisting was explicit. Despite this venture capitalist establishing a well-respected think tank and serving as a top economic adviser to Obama’s campaign, the Politico reports that “Obama’s aides appear never to have taken his bid [for an administration post] seriously.” Why? Because he “set himself up in opposition” to Wall Street’s agenda.

The anecdote highlights how, regardless of election hoopla, Washington is the same one-party town it always has been—controlled not by Democrats or Republicans, but by kleptocrats (i.e., thieves). Their ties to money make them the undead zombies in the slash-and-burn horror flick that is American politics: No matter how many times their discredited theologies are stabbed, torched and shot down by verifiable failure, their careers cannot be killed. Somehow, these political immortals are allowed to mindlessly lunge forward, never answering to rivals—even if that rival is the president himself.

Remember, while Obama said he wants to slash “billions of dollars in wasteful spending” at the Pentagon, his national security team is demanding a $40 billion increase in defense spending (evidently, the “ludicrous” faction got its way). Obama also said he wants to crack down on the financial industry, strengthen laws encouraging the government to purchase American goods, and transform trade policy. Yet, his economic team is not just promising to support more bank bailouts, but also to weaken “Buy America” statutes and make sure new legislation “doesn’t signal a change in our overall stance on trade,” according to the president’s spokesman.

Indeed, if an authentic “rivalry” was going to erupt, it would have been between Obama’s promises and his team of zombies. Unfortunately, the latter seems to have won before the competition even started.

David Sirota is the best-selling author of “Hostile Takeover” (2006) and “The Uprising” (2008). He is a fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future. Find his blog at OpenLeft.com or e-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com.

© 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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By Bertil, February 7, 2009 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Now, we have Delayed Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) with companies that have admitted criminal acts allowing them to walk away from any justice being served, completely.  Grit TV with Laura Flanders talked about it with Lindsay Beyerstein.  Companies like AOL, Monsanto, AIG to name a few have all avoided criminal prosecutions using these agreements. 
Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General is at ease with these agreements according to Lindsay Beyerstein.
So that brings it full circle.  Instead of trials and bad publicity, the companies can do what they like, confess to the crime to some government insider, get a DPA and then continue to collect Federal bailout monies.
It all works out well.  The media won’t cover it and only a few who happen to see Grit Tv will know.
This is Armegeddon.  After seeing David Brancaccio’s program on PBS last night where he interviewed the mayor of Memphis and Elijah Cummings, the congressman from Maryland, who are going after the fraudulent lenders and the Teasury Department, it became painfully obvious just what was going on.  Next to annihilation, the best alternative is massive dislocation.
It used to be said FDR saved this country from a Communist revolution.  Bush’s right-wing re-writers of history tried to refute it by saying the market would have brought the country out of the Depression if WW II didn’t. 
Now, it would seeem that a WW III is out of the question, but what is not out of the realm of these madmen is provoking a rebellion and putting it down with overwhelming force to declare martial law.  What would follow would be a more severe type of government.
I can’t forget this one question posed by a little Iraqi girl speaking about the soldiers in the American occupation of her homeland on Democracy NOW!, “Why do they have to be so harsh?”
It has all come home.

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By Phracktivist, February 7, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The guy started the immediate OVERTURNING of the destruction of our Constitutional Republic on day one.”

Let’s see… Patriot Act? Yep, he says he supports it. Military Commissions Act? Not a mention; neither the Patriot Act 2, Defense Authorization Act, Victory Act, or New Freedom Initiative. He still wants warrantless wiretapping of innocent Americans, and still is in favor of rendition as well. He’s made no mention from what I’ve seen about stopping the growing Police State or the framework of Martial Law that Bush set up (with the help of Clinton before him). He won’t even commit on impeaching Bush & Co. for war crimes. The only thing he’s done is throw his liberal base a bone so they’ll stay asleep at the wheel just like the conservatives did during Bush’s wretched tenure.

“He’s dismantling this whole ‘war OF terror’ set-up that brought us within a gnats’ eyebrow length of a Totalitarian prison beyond imagination; at least as fast as it procedurally possible.”

....how? He wants more war with Afghanistan, already 22 innocent people are dead in Pakistan after the first air strike (counter-productive, much?), cites WMD crap with Iran (the National Intelligence Estimate begs to differ). How is that stopping the war on terror? It’s bait and switch!

Let’s see.. what started the animosity against the US in the first place? Oh right, interventionist politics like Operation Ajax (the 1953 Iranian coup d’état), and continuous bombings in the region that have killed uncount innocents. All Obama is doing is smacking more beehives.

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By Shift, February 7, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Reality is knocking !

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12193

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By Folktruther, February 7, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

the public annuncements by Russia and the US is now part of a bargaining process that may or may not lead to dentente with Russia.  Jackpine ot the contrary, Russia is very concerned about a military attack from the West, this having occrured four times in the past century:  WW1, anti-communest intervertion, WW2, and the Western destrution of the Soviet economy during the counter revolution.  Then there was the unprovoked Georgian attack, orchestrated by Cheney.

Russia is the territorialiy biggest country in the world with relatively sparse population (140 million) which is declining.  The Soviet Union was dismembered, Yugoslavia was dismembered, and there are maps put out by the neocons that involve the dismembering of Russia and Pakistan.  Russia is now saying that there is something you need and something we need,

Although Cyrnea’s and other Obamanites defense of Obama is mostly bullshit, there is acutally something progressive Obama could do here, since Bushte Russian policy was so demented.  Whether he will do it or not is an open question. He is a protege of Zbig, among others, and as a Pole Zbig has made his career largely as one long attack on Russia. 

Even other Realist Gops, like Scowback, look askance at his wanting to Nato-ize Georgia and the Ukraine.  Will Obama break loose from this Zbig policy enough to do a deal with Russia that eases tensions?  West Europe would welcome one, but only time will tell.

China has kept in the background on the canceling of the US airbase, but the valiant Kyrgyzs are on the border of China, and they don’t like American airbases there.  They lead the Shanghai Cooperative Orginzation of Russia and the ‘Stans.

More generally, the West has suffered a major economic, political and prestige blow by the failure of Western neoliberalism.  So maybe other states on the US payroll will follow the lead of the valiant Kyrgyzs and boot out the US military.  We could use the money.

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By cyrena, February 7, 2009 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

By KDelphi, February 6 at 10:28 pm #

I read that Putin said that they would allow US caravans thorugh, with anything “non-destructive”...what does anyone make of that?

~~~

But earlier, this was jackpine’s assessment of the same..

“..But i wouldn’t assume that V.V. Putin is doing it to bring peace.  Russia is not afraid of a conventional attack from the US, nor should they be. They smacked around our proxy pretty bad in Georgia and we just whimpered and whined.  The nukes are where the US’s real advantage lies and Putin’s setting Obama up to relinquish his advantage.

The closing of Manas AFB was all Moscow turning the screws.  If we can’t keep the Kyber open, we’ll have to use either Russia or Iran…and neither will come cheap.

Don’t think for a moment that Putin isn’t angling to repay what he considers the most ignoble treatment of Russia during the 90’s.  Whether he’s right or wrong about what happened doesn’t matter.  He (and a lot of Russians) see it as rape, and he wants revenge…”

Interestingly enough, this piece from the NYT supports the the one school of thought that jackpine subscribes to Putin, but also claims a possibly ‘different’ mentality from the Kremlin, that might actually be more susceptible to cooperation because they possibly see a practical and political advantage.

“..Russia has emphasized its desire to cooperate with the United States and NATO in Afghanistan since the announcement on Tuesday that Kyrgyzstan, a close Russian ally, will close the Manas air base, a critical link in supplying the war effort in Afghanistan. Losing access to the base is a serious setback to President Obama, who hopes to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan.

Both Russian and Kyrgyz officials have said Russia played no role in the decision to close the base. But it was announced in Moscow, just as Russia promised Kyrgyzstan $2.15 billion in aid, and American officials concluded that Russia had encouraged the move.

Though Washington scrambled to dissuade Kyrgyz officials, the national security chief, Adakhan Madumarov, said Friday, “The fate of the air base is sealed.”

Competing interests shape Russian policy on Afghanistan. The Kremlin is eager to ensure stability in the region out of fear that the heroin trade and Islamic extremism could spread across its borders. But many Russians also feel deep frustration at the presence of the United States military in former Soviet republics.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/07/world/europe/07russia.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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By cyrena, February 7, 2009 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

By SusanSunflower, February 6 at 2:52 pm

•  “In fact, I couldn’t find any cause Obama went out on a limb for to support ... where he risked anything.”

Well susan, you might need glasses or a little bit more light from your sunflower. Have you not been paying any attention to what Obama has been DOING, (not just SAYING), whether it involved ‘going out on a limb’ to support or not?

I mean for Christ’s sake! The guy started the immediate OVERTURNING of the destruction of our Constitutional Republic on day one. He’s dismantling this whole ‘war OF terror’ set-up that brought us within a gnats’ eyebrow length of a Totalitarian prison beyond imagination; at least as fast as it procedurally possible. And if you’ve listened to Dick Cheney’s last threat to us all, that he was gonna launch another terrorist attack if Obama continued on this path of returning to a transparent and Constitutionally based policies, you’d KNOW that is a pretty big risk.

You think this guy hasn’t ‘risked anything’. How about his LIFE ?

How is it that you spinsters don’t get that Obama didn’t ‘have’ to run for President, so THAT was a ‘risk’ and a cause to support from the gitgo. The guy was observant enough, (like millions of the rest of us) to see us in this disastrous condition, as a direct result of the coup that was executed against us in the 2000 Judicial decision that put the regime in power. The majority of the destruction was set in motion early on, at least enough for any legal or political scholar to notice. The torture, the prisons, the extrajudicial illegalities that were later made ‘legal’, and the whole disregard for the US Constitution and the politicizing of the Justice Dept. So, when the morons of the US were brainwashed enough to allow this same regime to CONTINUE the coup another term, SOMEBODY had to do something. It didn’t HAVE to be HIM, but no better alternatives presented themselves.  In fact, if it had turned out to be anybody else that was ever seeking the job, (aside from maybe Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich) we ALL might just as well have bent over and kissed our asses goodbye by now. And no, we’re not out of the woods yet; at least not as long as we still have so much of the previous poison so well entrenched in our political apparatus.

I read these hormonal posts from some of you folks, and I just wonder if you’re even conscious, or you’re just so totally into your Obama Obsessions, for lack of anything better to obsess about. 

How much would you like for him to ‘risk’ for the ‘cause’ and which cause are you talking about? Would you like him to risk his ability to even get the ‘cause’ accomplished? Just for the sake of discussion, pick a ‘cause’ that you want him to ‘risk’ himself on, and then maybe I can better understand what it is that you all can point to as failures, or unwilling to risk something. I don’t know from these posts, whether or not you think what he’s doing isn’t a worthy ‘cause’. (Leading the restoration of the Constitutional Republic and trying to manage a soft crash landing for an in-progress crash of the economy) OR… if you think he hasn’t displayed any ‘risk’ to himself in that undertaking. So I’m confused. Someone please enlighten me.

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By blogdog, February 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

Sirota epitomizes the “pissed of progressive” - watching all he worked for to get a “progressive” elected just go up in smoke - voi-là - smoke and mirrors - same ‘ol, same ‘ol— how long ‘till you’re convinced?

Obama: The Postmodern Coup - Making of a Manchurian Candidate

http://www.amazon.com/Obama-Postmodern-Making-Manchurian-Candidate/dp/0930852885

updates here
http://www.gcnlive.com/Programs/WorldCrisisRadio/On_Demand.html

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By cyrena, February 6, 2009 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi writes:

“Pres. Obama has also said that he supports the Employee Free Choice act, but, would “like to do something that doesnt anger business so much”—I have no idea what that means.”

~~~

I have no idea what that means either KDelphi, but you’ve put this in quotes, about ‘not angering business so much’ that I’m assuming you really did hear him say this, and in this specific context.

Do you perhaps have a reference? I’d really like to read the whole comment in context with whatever the conversation or topic was that produced such a quote.

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By KDelphi, February 6, 2009 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

I read that Putin said that they would allow US caravans thorugh, with anything “non-destructive”...what does anyone make of that?

I think that the uS treated Russia terribly, after the “fall” of the uSSR. We interfered in their affairs, and, as their economy collapsed, partly due to quicky capitalism and Clinton’s installation of Boris Yeltsin, we did nothing.

I know why hawks wanted to keep the Cold War going, and the Defense Industry. But, the multi-natls couldnt wait to get their hands on another juicy marketplace.

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By Outraged, February 6, 2009 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Re: Jim C

Your comment: “Bravo Wexler , great post and explanation of the liberal point of view .

I agree, Wexler’s comment is spot on.  But I disagree with your premise that this is “a liberal point of view”.

I live in a community of many, many conservatives.  And although we may disagree regarding one social issue or another, by and large they ENDORSE accountability.  I can second that.

Accountability is NOT a “leftist” perrogative, it is the perrogative of ALL those of integrity.  The Washington ilk who have disguised themselves as conservatives and claim to be Republican, have little commonality with “Joe Schmoe” Republican.  Of these “Joe Schmoes’”, those of integrity are definitely redrawing the lines.

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By Bboy57, February 6, 2009 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

What he said.

You think all of these nominees were hashed out at the Bilderberg meeting he attended after the nomination was secured ,and met with his future cabinet members bosses. It can’t be that scandelous can it? Well, but he is still alive isn’t he. Making friends, Washington style.

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By cyrena, February 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, February 6 at 5:59 pm #

“The reduction in nuclear arms would be wonderful, and it seems unlikely that Obama could say no.  If nothing else it would be a feather in his cap.”

~~~

Actually jackpine, this reduction has been a major part of his platform and now agenda, though it’s been overlooked by most that don’t have a particular ‘consciousness’ of the nuclear proliferation issue.

But, some of my colleagues have been paying close attention, and I get updates from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation among other similar organizations devoted to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

So that much at least, has been a ‘planned’ feather for his cap, but I don’t expect Sirota to comment on ANYTHING the Obama team has done right so far. wink


It’s against his ideological genetic construction.

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By jackpine savage, February 6, 2009 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

The reduction in nuclear arms would be wonderful, and it seems unlikely that Obama could say no.  If nothing else it would be a feather in his cap.

But i wouldn’t assume that V.V. Putin is doing it to bring peace.  Russia is not afraid of a conventional attack from the US, nor should they be. They smacked around our proxy pretty bad in Georgia and we just whimpered and whined.  The nukes are where the US’s real advantage lies and Putin’s setting Obama up to relinquish his advantage.

The closing of Manas AFB was all Moscow turning the screws.  If we can’t keep the Kyber open, we’ll have to use either Russia or Iran…and neither will come cheap.

Don’t think for a moment that Putin isn’t angling to repay what he considers the most ignoble treatment of Russia during the 90’s.  Whether he’s right or wrong about what happened doesn’t matter.  He (and a lot of Russians) see it as rape, and he wants revenge.

Russians never forgive and they never forget. (There are more than a few who still hate France for Napolean’s invasion of 1812…even though Russia kicked his ass all the way back to Paris.)

If this were a game of chess i wouldn’t want to be playing Obama’s side.

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By Folktruther, February 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

You are right, Allen Gurfinke, Obama has finally come up with something that serves the interests of the US and the world, negotiating a reduction of nuclear weapons and decreasing tensions with Russia.

Assuming it’s not more bullshit, which, with his record so far, is a big assumption.  Essential to this process is dumping the first strike missle bases in Poland and Checko and stopping the attempt to Nato-ize Ukraine and Georgia.  If he actually does this-big if-he would have actually accomplished something progressive.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, February 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

J.K. Galbraith

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By P. T., February 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

In an economic crisis the ruling class will always try to save itself before anybody else.

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By KDelphi, February 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

It was absolutely predictable that GOP (and Blue Dogs) would convince Pres. Obama to give them some corporate tax cust, take some social programs out of the Bill, etc, and then, fillibuster it.

Harry Reid has even agreed to wait for a 60 vote majority!! WHY??? Never mind..


Leefeller, unfortuantely “they” have found something in Solis’  husband’s taxes….no one in DC pays their taxes, you know? What a coincidence that she supports Employee Free Choice Act… Pres. Obama has also said that he supports the Employee Free Choice act, but, would “like to do something that doesnt anger business so much”—I have no idea what that means.

Thank you Wexler! NOw, everyone pile on nader! Pretend like he got everything wrong…

G. Andreson—

“No absolutely not, their source of political power has always come from the financial sector, Wall Street, the Credit Card Companies, the Car Companies the banks, and petro chemcial companies.”

—And where does the “power” come from for the moderates? (Dems) Same place. They all voted for Bailout, (without provison for the working classes, submitted by Sanders, Kucinich, etc), Dodd and Biden wrote the credit card and bankruptcy bills, etc.“Did anyone really think that the right wing zealots were just going to roll over and let Obama implement his platform?” Yes. Because they have a very similar platform.

 


Folktruther—Absolutely!“So we must formulate realistic theoies of people and power simple enough for the popualation to understand.  These ideas will be unfamiliar, surreal, outlandish and in bad taste.  They will be ideologically absurd and seditious, what Michael Parenti has called the DIRTY truth.  These must be available when a political crisis occurs, to help make the politically impossible the politically inevitable.  If American does not go to the left, it will go to the right, with dire consequences.” It even sounds exciting—isnt anyone else bored with this political bullshit?

diamond—“definition of Obama as ‘to the right of Hillary Clinton’ leaves out the fact that she voted for the war in Iraq and Obama voted against it.”

HOW could Obama vote AGAINST the “Iraq War” when he was not in the Senate at the time??? Biden voted for it—-Pres. (Sen.) Obama said he “didnt know how he wouldve voted for it” if he had been in the Senate….
I am not saying that he is “to the right of Hillary”, although she might have been Left of him on some social issues.

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By Jim C, February 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Bravo Wexler , great post and explanation of the liberal point of view .

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By Thomas Mc, February 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Bush. Lite.

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By screamingpalm, February 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Great article by Mr. Sirota and great posts by Mr. Wexler! My thoughts exactly… thank you!

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By SusanSunflower, February 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Obama’s cachet is that he believes in “pragmatism” and “bipartisanship” ... though, like “terrorism” those tend to place tactics and “results” over some bedrock value system.

In fact, I couldn’t find any cause Obama went out on a limb for to support ... where he risked anything. 

I have no idea if the stimulus package will work ... probably won’t, but I know that there are millions of Americans who not only voted for Obama but felt hope and a connectedness to our country and our government ... as many said, “my president, finally”

There are many people hurting who are really counting on, praying for Obama’s success in this ... Unfortunately, congress seems unpersuaded ... perhaps quite reasonably and responsibly ... they do have a responsibility to their constituencies ... regardless of what neophyte Obama wants.  Will the delay cause the ship to capsize?  I sure hope not, but creating the appearance of an Obama versus Congress dynamic serves no one.

After recent revelations wrt TARP, these misgivings and concerns wrt the stimulus package (particularly since there will be other packages to be lobbied and theorectically approved in the future) perhaps should not ride on Obama’s popularity.  No? This is setting a bad precedent and creating the appearance of having put a brake on Team Obama’s momentum ... (which makes the republicans look more powerful than they did a week, even just days, ago.) Like the attorney said, never ask a witness a question you don’t already know the answer to.

I’ve known people who were first in their class or just otherwise brilliant who for years failed to comprehend that having the “best idea” is less important than being able to get other people on board .... with enthusiasm… that after high school and/or college, no one cares what your IQ is. I’m hoping Obama hasn’t bet too much on the power of “best and brightest.”

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By Leefeller, February 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

William W. Wexler,

YOur case in point when Gravel attacked the military complex at the first Democratic debate.  Obama and Hillary both looked like deer in front of headlights.

You are correct we will need to shovel for ourselves from a local perspective, the hand writing is on the wall. 

Your last paragraph is quite well done.

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By John McCaneToad, February 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s not the kind of change we can believe in.

You voted for, “the best and the brightest”, but you got the “the worst and the dullest”.

Welcome to the New America, just like the Old America

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By diamond, February 6, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Susansunflower if your pants were on fire (in fact, economically speaking, they are) would you demand 100% pure spring water to put them out. And your definition of Obama as ‘to the right of Hillary Clinton’ leaves out the fact that she voted for the war in Iraq and Obama voted against it. He, in a sense, in now cleaning up the mess Democrats like her voted for. And his vote proves two things (a) he has a conscience and (b) he has the courage to act in accordance with his conscience. These things should not be underestimated. He’s tough, too, because only a tough person could come through a life path like his and end up where he has.You could do worse. A lot worse. I think Nader would be a disaster as president, and I base this on the experience here of state governments that went into coalitions with the Greens (disastrous and paralyzing), and it’s fortunate for America that he’ll never get a chance to prove me right.

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By thebeerdoctor, February 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Wexler’s post points out that the so-called crazy leftist notions are not crazy at all. The reason they are perceived that way by the general public, is because of the unrelenting propaganda campaign that reached a new pitch under Ronald Reagan, who, along with his media minions, actually convinced a large segment of the population that labor rights are bad, that environmental protection is bad, that only big business should be allowed to decide how things should go. This is not just political oppression, it is more importantly cultural oppression in a myriad of ways: from the so-called war on drugs, to the war on a woman’s biological rights, to the suppression of employees at Walmart to organize. Also the never ending campaign to convince the regular citizenry that increased military spending is essential, and that defense of Oh Holy Israel is at the top of the plate. The vast majority in this country are not on the deck of this U.S.A. ship…they are being keel hauled under it.

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By William W. Wexler, February 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

tdbach…

I will try to disagree with you without being disagreeable.

It’s too bad that our ship of state was foundering on the rocks in the last national election.  If we were not choosing our last possible way out over a continuation down the same tragic path, the minor party candidates whose ideas you disparage would have fared a lot better.

In fact, polls in some states showed Nader around 5% or even higher at times during the primaries.  You see, even when shut out of the process, minor party candidates manage to get their ideas across to those who are paying attention.  I wonder what would have happened if Nader would have had a podium during the Presidential debates?  Do you truly believe that either major party could stand up to the simple and true logic Nader presented?  If so, you’re wrong.  They would have been shattered, their platitudes would have been smashed to smithereens on national TV. 

You don’t seem to care for the wild ideas of us lefties.  Wild ideas like social justice, economic justice, the rule of law, corporate responsibility, equal representation under the law for all people, not imaginary constructs called “corporations”.  Do you like breathing clean air?  How about your water?  Had any PCBs lately?  Do you think your employer should be required to take all possible steps to make sure you aren’t killed or maimed at your job?  How about health care?  Is that just for the rich, or employed, or some other subdivision of the population while the others of us have to just get sick and die or go bankrupt?  How about the 40 hour work week?  Maybe it should be 80?  Yeah, that’s it.  We can work 80 hours a week for crap wages just like they do in the 3rd world.  That’s perfect.

Wild ideas, td, I hope you can see the value of some of them.  You say we’re as far as out of step with the “American people” as Bush and the neocons are.  Really!  I’m just as American as you are, and so my friends who have bothered to open their minds to ideas that can’t fit into sound bites puked out by talking head idiots on the cable news networks.  Out of step?  Maybe out of step with the false arguments, the straw man, the hyperbole, the rhetorical slight-of-hand, the hucksters who lie and cheat and manipulate and meter the truth out in little bits that support their skewed point of view. Yeah, I’m guilty.  I’m out of step with that.

But I can read, and I’m not afraid of ideas, even yours.  I don’t want my information digested, processed, and filtered, I want it raw, even f*cking raw, if you know what I mean.  I sure wish that someday people will insist on hearing the whole thing, and nothing but the whole thing before they make up their minds.

That day is coming along and I think it’s going to be here sooner than you might think.  If Obama gets his next $trillion and it doesn’t “fix” anything, which it won’t, then what’s next?  More of the last 8 years?

NO, not that.  What’s next is that people are going to actually have to start doing some freshman year science and learn how to apply problem solving techniques to REAL LIFE.  Right now there is nobody who can succinctly and accurately even come CLOSE to describing the problem.  At least nobody who is getting close to the Obama team.

When the people who have been warning about the problem for years are ignored, when they have solutions that would have prevented the situation, when they know how to fix it or at least part of it, and you reject them and their ideas out of hand, I think that’s more of a statement about the state of your mind than anything else.

Just sayin’.

-Wexler

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By thebeerdoctor, February 6, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

The legendary journalists Bartlett and Steele have looked into Treasury Secretary Geithner’s tax troubles. I hope this link works:
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/6/investigative_duo_jim_steele_and_don

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By Allan Gurfinkle, February 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m definitely in the gloom and doom school regarding Obama, but, on the other hand, we have the following ...

President Obama seeks Russia deal to slash nuclear weapons

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5654836.ece

This is probably the most important issue of our day.  Of all our ‘enemies’ Russia is the only one that can actually do us harm, i.e. blow us off the face of the earth.  Lessening the tension with Russia would be a MAJOR improvement over the previous administration.

Beyond that, Obama didn’t bargain on the economic collapse, and to expect him to take a tangent on the solution is perhaps hoping for too much.

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By SusanSunflower, February 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

I’m not saying “I told you so” (though I did my best to convince anyone and everyong that Obama was simply NOT a liberal, nor a “progressive” except in the sense that he was almost certainly not “recgressive” and would not self-identify as a conservative, though I figured from his voting record he was to the right of Hillary Clinton who was to the right of Edwards, etc.) .... We’re stuck with him, for better or worse, for the next 4 years and we could (and may well) do worse than to have him for the next 8 years….

I’m concerned that he seems so unprepared for this “stimulus package log jam” ... he’s stomping his little foot and exhorting congress to get with the program ... yet, even he admits there are flaws in the package ... and then there is that half-dozen of highly critical DEMOCRATS who are also in no hurry to “get with the program” ....

If he thought the “honeymoon” was going to make this a shoe-in, he was very naive ... as the days go by, we’ve seen—by some polls—popular “support” for the package decrease (probably as much due to republican hectoring as confusion as to what really is in this thing) ...

I am beginning to get the feeling that he’s lost a sure grip on the reins.

from the nyt:

“President Obama’s economic stimulus plan includes about $1 billion to help local governments hire more police officers, which would resurrect a Clinton administration program that had been largely shelved by President George W. Bush.

snip

The stimulus package also includes about $2.6 billion for other law enforcement needs, like overtime for police departments, help with rural drug enforcement and assistance to crime victims.”

=========================================================

I’m not sure these policing funds are up for discussion—while they’re talking about cutting education funds ... do they think the need for those funds will be self-evident and passed under emergency funding bills in 9 months or so when state coffers run dry?

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By rolmike, February 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

The changes made so far are very minor, nothing fundamental; and a lot of the cosmetics have gone wrong too. On the other hand, I did not buy into Obama’s Koolaid and had few if any expectations that someone whose funding came in large part from Wallstreet would tame it. Next week another big bail out of the Goldmann Sachs graduates will occur. I don’t think there has been a US government with as many generals and admirals part of it.

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By thebeerdoctor, February 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Before everyone does you-know-what upon his grave, I offer up this quote:

“In a world that grows smaller by the day, perhaps we can begin to crowd out the destructive forces of zealotry and make room for the healing power of understanding. This is my hope. This is my prayer.”
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

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By Leefeller, February 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Almost a century of corporate manipulations will take more than 15 days to circumvent, even if I were king. One could hire the Queen of Hearts to chop off some heads, even then it will take a long time. Diamond has a realistic approach, anyone who expected change to happen quickly is living in never never land with Michel Jackson. 

Questioning in my mind, is how anyone can believe Obama is and was a progressive, never did he seem one to me even though I voted for him. 

Time will only tell, I told you so’s are premature after only 15 days.

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By Paul_GA, February 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

“I like to join you with that pint of whatever it is you’re drinking.” ~ Bertil

Me too, Bertil!  wink

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By diamond, February 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Obviously David Sirota voted Nader/Greens. Obama is bringing the troops home from Iraq, closing Guantanamo,trying to find countries to take the mad, crippled and INNOCENT inmates, getting rid of Bush’s shameless anti-contraception, family planning, abortion ruling for third world countries and trying to bring some sanity back into the political system after eight years of anarchy and mayhem on an international scale. He’s capped the salaries of those shameless slugs that take government bailout packages and then head off to the golf resort to spend some of the money awarded to them for failing morally and economically on a scale not seen since 1929 and the Great Crash.

However, it’s a fine line between pleasure and pain as they say, and being anti-business at a time of financial armageddon would not be a smart move. And he needs to be smart. He’s a man balanced on a narrow beam above a snake pit. I hate to tell you this but if Ralph Nader was president he would have to do what Obama’s doing. If he went to war with business he would tear the country apart and collapse the economy completely and HELP THE REPUBLICANS to claim he was incompetant so they could stage some kind of coup. Obama is a student of history and he knows how the Republicans used Vietnam and the Watergate hearings to divide the country and keep the Democrats out of office for decades. I still encounter people who claim Jane Fonda lost the war in Vietnam. Or the even more famous ‘We didn’t lose the war, the liberals/media did’.If you wonder at Obama’s softly softly approach you need to refresh your memory on Vietnam, Nixon and Watergate. The CIA orchestrated most of that debacle too. They’re such useful people. One of the CIA’s finest turned up on a website spinning some line about the Battle of Tora Bora and how bin Laden was a coward, wearing dark sunglasses and a beard just like bin Laden’s. They must have those beards in a big costume box, like an amateur theatrical troupe. People like Sirota are attracted to politicians who can never be elected because that way they can keep their illusions. It’s like that saying that the poor think if they were rich everything would be all right. They’re the lucky ones: the rich know it isn’t true.

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By Bertil, February 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

“I feel that we are very, very lucky to have Obama at this pint in our history.”  tdbach

I like to join you with that pint of whatever it is you’re drinking.

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By prole, February 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

How many different ways can ‘progressive’ pundits find to say the same thing? How many times can they slice and dice what by now has already become a threadbare theme?  “How, regardless of election hoopla” [most of it whipped up by deluded ‘progressive’ publicists] Washington is the same one-party town it always has been”  Great insight thanks to brilliant hindsight. What else is new? “Only weeks ago” ‘progressive’ prophets were “buzzing about a ‘team of rivals’ America was told that finally, after years of yes-men running the government, we were getting a president who would” be the second coming of Abe Lincoln and Jesus Christ all rolled into one. “Little did we know that ‘team of rivals’ was what George Orwell calls ‘newspeak’”  Newspeak for yourself, ‘we’ all weren’t so credulous. There were voices crying out in the wilderness many months ago against this new false messiah. “Obama’s national security team, for instance, includes not a single Iraq war opponent” - neither did his campaign team if anyone bothered to look closely then. “Of course, that lockstep uniformity” does NOT “pale(s) in comparison to the White House’s economic team”— obviously, foreign affairs is a far more deadly business than the domestic economy. It’s perhaps not surprising however that such enlightened ‘progressives’ should feel that the plight of Gaza and Iraq “pales” compared to the continuing gluttony of middle-class American over-consumers. Nonetheless, as is already well-known, “the White House’s economic team— [is]a squad of corporate lackeys disguised as public servants” - as was most of oily Obama’s campaign economic team, if anyone was paying attention then. “The anecdote highlights how” ‘progressive’ cheerleaders like Sirota and Scheer and Amy Goodman, et.al. that were trumprting the advent of their new savior Obama only a few months ago, are now crying in their beer, adopting the pose of dissillusioned idealists duped by another charismatic charlatan reneging on his very vague campaign promises of ‘hope’ and ‘change’. A political about-face that they could not possibly have seen coming in a million years. It’s almost as if it was all scripted in advance. From ‘hope’ and ‘change’ to ‘fear’ and ‘loathing’. You thought Karl Rove was bad, now you’ve got David Axelrod. And worse still we’ve got those stupid “I didn’t told you so’ progressive talking heads with their 20/20 hindsight. “Indeed, if an authentic ‘rivalry’ was going to erupt, it would have been between Obama’s” team of zombie progressive pundits who helped sell his “empty slogan” campaign and a more visionary Left.

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By Shift, February 6, 2009 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Obama is no Lincoln.  Zombies, Zionists, and military death tokens are his beat.

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By Folktruther, February 6, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Obama is intelligent, good looking, well spoken, non-White, and delivers Progressive rhetoric from the Progessive Dem Party.

He is also pro-war, pro-business and pro-police state, continuing the policies of the political counter revolution under the Bushites.

Rank and file progressives seem to have a hard time understanding these two contrary aspects of the Obama administration.  He is talking nice to the people with Progrssive rhetoric while promoting the policies of the class-based power struture.  What is there about this that is hard to understand and accept?

this doesn’t mean that the sitution is historically hopeless, merely dismal.  The Amereican people must unite against the Dem-Gop bloc to trasnform the American power system, which has been captured by Zionist neoliberals, imperialists and militarists.

They have abandoned any attempt to make things better for the population and simple steal and extort enough money to join the world ruling class.  Just as the Mongols at the end of a hard day of killing and looting would kill their mares and eat them, the US ruling class is eating the American people now that they have no more use for them.

The ruling class, through their money, media and management, contol the electoral system.  Obama needs their support to get re-elected.  He was, in effect,  offered a deal: do what we say and we will make you president of the whole fucking country.  If you betray us we will kill you.

The American people apparently have a hard time accepting this because it goes contrary to American ideology.  Americans still have a residual political Faith in the American Dream in the same way that 50 million Americans have a feligous Faith that End Times are a-comin’.

Apparently the only thing that will shake this Faith is a Crisis of some kind.  In which case the possiblity exists that Americans will go to the right rather than the left.  a Crisis unites people in a given direction, depending on the political ideas available at the time.  And traditional mainstream Progressive ideas of Americans are childish and delusive.

So we must formulate realistic theoies of people and power simple enough for the popualation to understand.  These ideas will be unfamiliar, surreal, outlandish and in bad taste.  They will be ideologically absurd and seditious, what Michael Parenti has called the DIRTY truth.  These must be available when a political crisis occurs, to help make the politically impossible the politically inevitable.  If American does not go to the left, it will go to the right, with dire consequences.

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By tdbach, February 6, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

During the primary, I often wondered aloud how Obama’s supporters here in far left field would react once he took office - and I was pretty sure he would win the primary and the general. I warned y’all that he was not a lefty in the sense that you would have him - he’s a pragmatist, a realist. He’s too smart and too grounded to think that radical changes in the mold of Kucinich or Nader - who are much more ideological kinfolk to this crowd - were do-able or even desirable. You saw how many votes those guys got.

You are just as far out of step with the American people as a whole as Bush’s neocons are. Probably more so. In the spectrum of ideas and thought, there will always be extremes, one way and the other. You are out there in the extreme left, but you don’t seem to know it.

It’s a matter of perspective. From your vantage point on Pluto, Mars and Earth look about the same. In policy terms, Obama is no more like George Bush than Earth is like Mars. But you’re too far away to see the differences.

I feel that we are very, very lucky to have Obama at this pint in our history. He’s a remarkable human being. And this from a guy who voted for Hillary in the primaries! I’m glad now that Hillary didn’t win. And I really glad someone like Kucinich or Ron Paul can’t get elected. Man would we be screwed then.

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By 99jonny100, February 6, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

P.S. I like to make predictions—I can foresee a future, less than
4 years from now, that will see Pres. Obama in front of the cameras
proclaiming to the nation:  “I am not a crook.”  This is a fine kettle
of fish, isn’t it.

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By Chill, February 6, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Deeply disappointed so far in Oabma’s actions and inaction.  We can all speculate as to what is really going on and to how much he really knows…bottom line is that the basic paradigm of the “American Way” is broken. 
I’m leaning on the side of hoping for a full meltdown… that way we might be able to rebuild a more integral and effective way of living in in communion with the earth and all it’s inhabitants. 

That is IF we survive the meltdown.

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By Leefeller, February 6, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Trickle down bailout, by any other name is just more of the same mental bend over and spread them folks.  We are screwed, Wall Street should go down big time, the banks should go down big time.  Socialism is a tainted word, sponsored by close to a hundred years of corporate lobbing and manipulation into what is called the new world order. It is not considered socialism when money is given to the elite few, now social security were it helps most people must not exist. 

We cannot support buy made in the USA, because it is not fair to the workers of the world?  Opportunists manipulators set up the house of cards, let them fall with it.  Many of us already have.

World Order be damned, it has screwed small little people from India to the US.  We see something like the return of the Middle Ages surf system happening before our eyes.

Tao Walker in part and others say we need to support our local economies and communities, expecting big brother to do it for us, is really pie in the sky mental masturbation. Corporate mentality needs to be dismissed.  from our lives.

Opportunism is always present, ignorance supports it.

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By Leefeller, February 6, 2009 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Reserving the right to bail on the bail out?  Very vunney, reminds me of Hillary saying she voted for a bill, but hoped it would not pass.  Politicians give weasels a bad name.

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By M.B.S.S., February 6, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

im enjoying the zombie motif.  its so apropriate.  how about some pavlovian dog imagery or incubus or succubus?

hey wexler, i know what you mean.  want to have a good time?  go over to dailykos and start talking about nader or compare obama’s ethics and triangulation to bill clinton’s.  they will welcome you warmly with cookies and kisses.

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By tropicgirl, February 6, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

If anyone is watching C-Span, Diane Feinstein just reserved the right to bail on the stimulus. HA! (12:30ET)

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By thebeerdoctor, February 6, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

I have sympathy for President Obama. Surrounded by the sharks who got him to the captain’s chair, he has already discovered that ‘baby, these people are not your friends’.
I wonder if he cringes at night, replaying the phony praise for the clowns in Congress he speaks highly of during the day? Does he really believe that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are effective leaders, helping the country?
And all that bipartisan nonsense.
Make no mistake, the entire world is weighing on his shoulders, but unfortunately for him and the rest of us, most of the people he has to help him, really are not worth a damn.

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By Bertil, February 6, 2009 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

What we need is a recall mechanism or vote of no confidence.  I don’t think the country can take 4 years of a Bush-lite.

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By Mark, February 6, 2009 at 10:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Money = power

It “takes” bundles of money to get elected to national office.

Wealthy benefactors expect something in return for their “contributions”. That’s “business as usual”.(For more information re the foregoing see: Blagojevich, Rod)

You don’t get elected to the U.S. Senate from the 5th largest state in the Union, much less the Presidency, without understanding how the game is played.

But wait, you say. He’s now the most powerful man in the World, he can do whatever he wants.

Would that it were true.

Assuming he wanted to go “broken arrow”, countless enforcers would corral or destroy him utilizing whatever skeletons there might be in his closet. (For more information re the foregoing see: Spitzer, Eliot)

Moreover, keep in mind that according to FBI statistics there are more guns in this country than automobiles.

The history of political assassination in this country illustrates that a “lone nut” with a gun is extremely useful if you want to remove an “inconvenient” person.

All in all, I’d say “business as usual” is in no real danger from the current POTUS because, in the end, it doesn’t matter who he is.

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By tropicgirl, February 6, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

Terrific post and, as usual, terrific reaction.

There is a disconnect between Obama and whoever his constituency is these days:

1.  Obama does not recognize the fact that years of outsourcing, harmful immigration, export manufacturing, offshoring, bad trade deals have actually caused most of this from the employment/mortgage standpoint. BUT WE DO. This is not a democrat/republican issue. There are “corporatists” in each party. Obama, unfortunately seems to be one of them. England, France and many other large countries are realizing this and people are demanding to be put first again.

2.  Our president does not realize the incredible impact that his double standards have had on discouraging people, both in the things he supports and the people he chooses. If you ask people, in general, the first bailout was essentially stolen, tax cheats should not be in positions of authority, lobbyists shouldn’t either. Banks and Wall Street are to blame just as they were in the 30’s and the 80’s. Nothing is new here. And the average person knows PORK when he sees it and no amount of talk will change this or the stench of the Congress and Senate.

3. I don’t think Obama realizes how offensive is the Democratic refusal to offer everyone a simple 4 percent mortgage or something like it. It goes to the point that the ENTIRE RECOVERY PACKAGE PICKS AND CHOOSES UNFAIRLY WHO WILL GET HELP AND MOST OF US WON’T. Schumer slapped us in the face yesterday. Mortgage relief for the average person is WAY TOO SLOW IN COMING. These mortgage ideas are still just proposals, still favoring investors, and we all know it.

4.  Lastly, the American people know that Obama can’t really defend this stimulus package OR explain EXACTLY HOW IT WILL HELP PEOPLE. Everyone gets up in front of the camera and performs theatrics and rhetorical speeches but no one is really saying anything. For example, can you, or should you “stimulate” demand? Most of us think that was part of the problem to begin with.

Put that together with the irresponsible hawkish speech and actions of Panetta, Biden, Petreus and Clinton, who seem to be about ready to implode the entire foreign police into a bigger mess, that spells BIG PROBLEMS down the line.

One last thing, Obama should not make the mistake of assuming his critics are all republicans.  I am liberal but I admit I’m getting more actual facts from a variety of media, right and left and I don’t want that to stop (Stabenow you are a real idiot). I can handle freedom of speech for everyone and make up my own mind. This is Obamas most pathetic argument.

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By Eric L. Prentis, February 6, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

David Sirota’s “Team of Zombies,” amen, President Obama has been co-opted on defense and economics. Need much more FDR!

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By RX, February 6, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

We, who would demand a significant and comprehensive change in our economic policies, radical, even, really are splintered here in these fifty states, aren’t we? Splintered and somewhat isolated in a way which makes any kind of mass action nearly impossible. An organized, efficient one day national strike, for example. If this were possible, I do believe things might be different. We might have a shot at an outcome more favorable to our designs.

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By Bilejones, February 6, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What did you expect? The central purpose of Government is the looting of the Governed. There may be 2-3% shift at the fringes as to who are the looters and whom the looted but there was never any prospect of real change. The knicker wetters were delusional fools.

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By Bertil, February 6, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Webster Tarpley predicted something like this happening if Obama were elected President in his two books, The Unauthorized Biography and The Manchurian Candidate. 
But this fight in congress and in the press over the stimulus bill is just another way of playing the division game. 
Of course, the Wall Streeters do not think of it as stealing.  To them it’s caveat emptor. 
Two guests on Democracy Now on separate days this week mentioned the groundwork that is being set for the downfall of this country.  David Cay Johnston and Bartlett and Steele talked about the shift of all wealth upwards and an unfair tax system, respectively.
Right now, these people with their inordinate power are going over this country with a vacuum cleaner taking up all the money that isn’t hidden or tucked away.

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By RdV, February 6, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Your mistake, G.Anderson, is assuming that the Democrats are a significant improvement.

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By RX, February 6, 2009 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Obama does seem to have gotten the message that trying to court the favor of Repig ghouls is pointless, since their m.o. is only to undermine him and destroy his administration. My larger concern goes back to Chris Hedges’ piece the other day, quoting his conversation with Sheldon Wolin, wherein Wolin essentially said that Obama may not have the stomach for a full-on battle against America’s entrenched values of its military-industrial complex and faith in a virulent hyper-capitalistic god.

If all that happens is that this economy is restored to previous settings- credit markets are freed, banks no longer feed at the government nipple, and consumers revert back to zombie-like waves of shoppers- what will have been accomplished? This is the best chance most of us will ever see for a total restructuring of the American Imperium, but if Obama chooses not to wage the fight it will be the same as it ever was.

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By Paul_GA, February 6, 2009 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3, KJV).

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By G.Anderson, February 6, 2009 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

This is the way things were bound to be. Because the right doesn’t want to let go of political power.

Did anyone really think that the right wing zealots were just going to roll over and let Obama impliment his platform?

No absolutely not, their source of political power has always come from the financial sector, Wall Street, the Credit Card Companies, the Car Companies the banks, and petro chemcial companies.

Corporations that have made trillions gutting this country of jobs, through deregulation, put in place by their toadies in congress.

They could care less what happens to America, because they would rather see this country go under than lose control.

They want to keep things the way they want, and they’ve had decades to dig in.

So do we really think that Mr. Obama can change all that without a bloody fight, in a few weeks time? Just because the people voted for him?

They are the plutocracy, the ones who tried to help Bush to turn this country into a dictatorship. If it wasn’t for his incompetance we’d be there now. Like Bush they believe the constitution is just a god dam piece of paper.

This isn’t going to be easy, it will be a long bitter hard fight.

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By Bubba, February 6, 2009 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Excellent, Wexler.

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By Leefeller, February 6, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Here Here, William W. Waxler,

Must admit, Nader had some good ideas and so did Gravel and maybe even Paul? 

Health care would be a nice project for the people of this country, I wonder if the oppositional little people on the street to a National Health Plan have changed their minds after losing their jobs? I got mine does not work any more.

We need more people like Solis working with Obama instead of Clinton drones.

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By William W. Wexler, February 6, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

This shouldn’t be surprising news, should it?

In June of last year, Obama began his run to the right by backtracking on his pledge to “talk to our enemies as well as our friends”, conveniently timed to allow him to tell AIPAC that Hamas is a “terrorist group”, even though they are the legally elected government of Gaza.

On issue after issue, from “faith-based” initiative to FISA, from gun control to death penalty, from impeachment to single payer health care, and the list is endless, Obama carefully calibrated his message to pull in the imaginary “middle” voters who apparently must listen to Faux News 24/7 and have no clue what their own interests are.

So the same Obama who voted for the last bailout, the guy who has surrounded himself with the people who created the failed policies of the past, is now trying to foist off another $trillion crime in exactly the same way Bush did… by telling us that if we don’t do this our economy will fail and it will take years to fix it.

Frankly, that’s bullshit.  We do NOT need another omnibus ripoff bill that throws money at undefined problems almost as fast as it can be stolen.  And steal they will.  For example, it’s reported this morning that Elizabeth Warren’s bailout oversight committee has uncovered a $78 billion theft in the first HALF of the last bailout; it was done by over-valuing the junk that the government bought.  Wow.  25% of the first $350 billion stolen right before our eyes, and that’s just the part we KNOW about.

Sorry, I have drifted from David Sirota’s topic.  Of course, he is exactly, precisely, 100% on target with everything he wrote. 

Here’s another question that I would like to have addressed, and Mr. Sirota might be just the right person to do it.  Why did the national media black out Ralph Nader and the other minor party candidates in the last campaign?  Nader was on the ballot in 45 states.  He predicted all of this.  He tried to stop it the best he could, although he has been shut out of the political process for over 2 decades other than trying to run for President. 

Nader has something to tell us about this situation.  He HAS been saying it, and despite the plain truth that he is also 100% correct, he’s ignored, shut out, marginalized by the press.  This includes the so-called “progressive” press, BTW.  I have been censored on some of these wannabe progressive websites for posting about Nader’s politics and positions.

Just one more comment for those who have struggled through my rant and gotten this far.  Instead of trying to “fix” some undefined problem with many bushel baskets full of billion dollar bills, why not start with a known problem that has to be fixed and fix that?  Health care is in crisis, it is costing 85,000 American lives per year, it is bankrupting the former American middle class, and it is killing the ability of businesses to be competitive?  We need a comprehensive single-payer health care system, and we need it right away.

So, if you’re an Obama advisor who accidentally wandered onto TruthDig, please tell Obama to take this compound issue one problem at a time.  He will get his bills passed and be a national hero.  And our health care costs will go down by 50%.

-Wexler

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By Chris Bieber, February 6, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ah….buyers remorse…

and to think the false dialectic “choice” of McCain and Obama fooled people to think there’d be “change”...

While we knew there’d be no chance as THAT WAS NOT OUR DRIVING GOAL, we supporters of Ron Paul warned not only the stupid GOP but Americans of what was in store for all of us as a result of the BIPARTISAN socialism and globalism and utter servility regarding the impending collapse and march to martial law. 

The zombies of the “team” of handlers of BHO is matched by the glassy eyed fawning servile adulators in the rallies and marches(soon to in front of VersaillesWhite House with pitchforks and torches demanding MORE power and authority be given to President Wesley Mouch er Obama) and the conditioned sycophantic media courageously working overtime at the Ministry of Truth for unbiased journalism covering our government and its “change”

Hope you are all happy and content…...

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By RdV, February 6, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Hate to say this but Obama is emerging as their boy.

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By Leefeller, February 6, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

One post Obama selected which seems people supportive, is Solis for Labor Secretary.  Of course she cannot be,  for she supports labor. Anyone have ideas on how to support her nomination?  For years the Labor secretaries have been supportive and in the pocket of Special Interests.  We need her.

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By Bubba, February 6, 2009 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

Obama is an economic ignoramus. Politically he is a coward. Welcome back to the Clinton years.  Glack.

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By Purple Girl, February 6, 2009 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

I think Pres Obama has come to realize it’s not just Repugs who continue to ‘clinch their fists’. Hellova try,but these guys have been on the Corp and Saudi payroll for decades. They stopped working for US when the ‘Reagan’ Monarchy took power. Infact some even agreed to infiltrate the Dem party to act as covert operatives under the guise of the ‘DLC’ and So called ‘Blue Dogs’- Who holds your leashes? WE knwo know it was the Repugs who yanked Clinton into obdience- NAFTA, ‘Modernizatin Act’,Saudi & Isreali foriegn Policy domination.
Obama’s idealism blinded him to the fact that not only did the Repugs Hate the ‘American Way’ but so do their lap ‘Dogs’. These Dogs were never duped by the Bush Admin, they were complicite. willing co conspirators in the attempted to ruin the ‘Great Experiment’...New Age Royalists to ‘King George’ and his puppet master DickCo.
Granted I am a bit surprise to find out Sen Webb is one of their operatives, but I guess his military training aided him in his deception… something Hillary obviously lacked- Blue dog in a pantsuit. Couldn’t tell the difference between her and McCain, even wondered if it was Dick in Drag.
Pres Obama is surrounded with Enemies of the State, regardless of what color they don themselves in. There is no conversion of the Immoral and Unethical, they just change their MO to remian in power.

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By Jaded Prole, February 6, 2009 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

I expect Obama to be somewhat of an improvement domestically but I see no evidence of “change” when it comes to foreign policy. As far as the economy, what he seeks to save are the worst segments of a corrupt system and even then, he seems unable to stand up to the Repug minority.

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