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Dear Barack, Spare Me Your E-Mails

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Posted on Dec 9, 2009
Obama
AP / Susan Walsh

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Tuesday.

By Robert Scheer

Barack Obama’s faux populism is beginning to grate, and when yet another one of those “we the people” e-mails from the president landed on my screen as I was fishing around for a column subject, I came unglued. It is one thing to rob us blind by rewarding the power elite that created our problems but quite another to sugarcoat it in the rhetoric of a David taking on those Goliaths. 

In each of the three most important areas of policy with which he has dealt, Obama speaks in the voice of the little people’s champion, but his actions cater fully to the demands of the most powerful economic interests. 

With his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, he has given the military-industrial complex an excuse for the United States to carry on in spending more on defense than the rest of the world combined, without a credible military adversary in sight. His response to the banking meltdown was to continue George W. Bush’s massive giveaway of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, and his health care reform has all the earmarks of a boondoggle for the medical industry profiteers.

Health reform was the subject of Obama’s Tuesday e-mail, which proclaimed in its heading, “We will not back down.” Addressing me by my first name, which I assume is in acknowledgment that I, like the millions of other suckers with whom he so intimately corresponds, had contributed to his campaign, he began with a clarion call for yet another contribution, this time to donate.barackobama.com/FinalStretch.

“As we head into the final stretch of health reform, big insurance company lobbyists and their partisan allies hope that their relentless attacks and millions of dollars can intimidate us into accepting the status quo.  So I have a message for them, from all of us: Not this time. We have come too far. We will not turn back. We will not back down.”

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But we, following him, have already backed down. Does the president not recall that he began his health care reform effort by ingratiating himself with the insurance lobbyists in taking “single payer” off the table on day one? The insurers are not really upset with what may survive as a minuscule public option, for they have won the big prize: Everyone must buy insurance from them under penalty of law, and there will be no built-in requirement for cost control. Their so-called opposition to the current plans has to do with fine-tuning the president’s guarantee of their future profits.

The same contradiction between progressive rhetoric and big-business giveaways was on display, also on Tuesday, when Obama addressed the economic crisis. Speaking at the Brookings Institution, an Establishment think tank that helped craft the radical financial deregulation of the Clinton years, Obama blamed Republicans for the mess. He thundered against “an opposition party, which, unfortunately, after having presided over the decision-making that led to the crisis, decided to hand it over to others to solve.”

Rubbish. It was Bill Clinton—in his trademark triangulation of progressive rhetoric with the big-business agenda—who presided over the passage of banking deregulation that led to the mess. Obama knows that full well because he laid out that sordid record in a major speech on economics during the primary campaign, in March 2008 at Manhattan’s Cooper Union:

“Under Republican and Democratic administrations, we failed to guard against practices that all too often rewarded financial manipulation instead of productivity and sound business practices.” He specifically cited the New Deal protections of the Glass-Steagall Act and other legislation that Clinton’s radical deregulation legislation had swept away. Inexplicably as a matter of logic, or all too predictably given the political power of Wall Street, Obama as president turned to the same pro-deregulation Clintonistas to run his economic “reform,” led by Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. 

As for “solving” the banking problem, Obama simply followed the lead of his Republican predecessor. The throw-money-at-Wall-Street solution for which Obama takes credit is the one crafted by Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, and it was fully endorsed by then New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner, whom Obama named to replace Paulson. The buying off of the financial hustlers was blessed by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has been renominated to that position by Obama. 

The solution that Obama boasts of has left us with trillions more in debt, one out of four children poor enough to qualify for food stamps and, as Obama conceded in his Tuesday speech, “more than seven million fewer Americans with jobs today than when this recession began.”

I do agree with one line in Obama’s e-mail to those of us who hoped for the best from his presidency: “the opponents of reform will not rest.” But I didn’t expect him to be one of them.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, - “What is your opinion regarding Obama’s escalation of troops to Afghanistan?”

-

In short I believe wars are inevitable.  Change the human condition and you’ll find your peace.  Until that time you deal with the real word before you and try to remain on top and not, repeat not, be taken down or forced to submit to another’s will. <—Osama bin Laden’s goal if you study his teachings.  The Soviet Union, Japan and Germany held the same goals in contemporary times. Saddam Hussein twice attempted, by means of deadly force, to become the number one holder of the worlds oil supplies.  These are but a few examples of the world’s aggressors.

The Presidential Oath is one of the briefest in all of government.  As the President of the United States Mr. Obama must first and foremost defend the nation and constitution.  And it matters none what Obama believes are the slights, mistakes, or egregious behaviors in Americas past. He has a task for today.  And today there are real people, real groups, and a few real nations trying to destroy the United States.  Just as there are others trying to destroy their neighbors and those about them.  Just as the United States destroyed Saddam’s Iraq and President Clinton destroyed Milosivich’s Yugoslavia. Or the WWIII Soviet/American wars. This is the world every President and King steps into.  Blaming America First and Foremost, as many here on this site do, is, frankly, nonsense.  The United States does not operate in an vacuum and she is not THE cause of the worlds ills or the human condition.  I’ll no longer listen to that.

With that said, and again very simplistically, I believe the United States owe the Afghan people a debt almost beyond our ability to pay.  It’s impossible to be of true help if we are being shot at and blown up.  Unfortunately, and understand I do not take this lightly, this means first sending in some of the best men and woman this country produces who are trained to break things and kill people.  America’s brightest and most dedicated are not trying to kill the Afghan people. They are, successfully, killing the people trying to kill them.

-

Woman can now earn a living in Afghanistan.  Little girls by the millions are attending school. Little boys can now learn math and the sciences (not simply the Koran).  And 99% of Afghans do not want to go back to witnessing five powerful Warlords running rampant across the country - as in what followed after the U.S. turned it’s back on Afghanistan in the past. Proper schools, hospitals, much needed roads and real and meaningful international aid and trade is the very least the world can do for Afghanistan.  I will again hang my head in shame if this effort is not led by the United States.

The United States owes these people a tremendous debt.  Turning our backs to them yet again is the worst possible option.

Advocate of war?  Far from it.

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By radson, December 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

To Tao Walker

Actually I was expecting a longer post ,but since you have stated your philosophy on countless occasions ,repetition becomes somewhat predictable.Robert Sheer is testing the waters once again and you daresay
that he is merely maintaining the sheep in the herd ,with reference to the abusers of the consensus,but he is also suggesting the possibility of a Third way ,which in a way is also what you are stating with regard to
unshackling oneself from the oppression of a duopolistic arrangement.The obvious direction now being chosen by the administration has lead many followers to question the wisdom of their electoral decision of a year ago,but that in itself as you imply does not diminish the polarity of opposing Poles that bring all and one to be stuck by the magnetism that draws -or should it be drag-the electorate to be fused within a common dilemma of blindness which promotes the Caste.The fact of arguing amongst one another ,whilst the propagators laugh at the intransigence displayed by the opposing players is a convincing evaluation that
you bring forth with regards to the Tormentors,but perhaps Robert does have a noble reason be upset ,don’t you think.

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By katydid, December 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Untill we get it through the voting publics head that making our elections ONLY citizen funded, the corporations, not just in this country but WORLD WIDE will continue to own our Congress/Country.  Congress will not respond to “the people” of this country untill we do this!!!

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, December 11, 2009 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man

You state:

“I’m an advocated of war?  Exactly how did you reach that conclusion?  Due my failure to see the world as you do?  What an extremely odd and overly aggressive thing for you to say.  The fact is I abhor war and killing.”


If I have unfairly accused you of being an advocate for war, you have my heartfelt and sincere apology.

It’s difficult to tell from your previous comments, exactly what your feelings about war are, so let me ask you straight out. What is your opinion regarding Obama’s escalation of troops to Afghanistan? Are you a subscriber to the “War To End All Wars” theory? Are you like Richard Nixon, who believed the way to end war was to escalate war?

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, - “The bottom line here is that you are an advocate for war, and not for peace.”

-

I’m an advocated of war?  Exactly how did you reach that conclusion?  Due my failure to see the world as you do?  What an extremely odd and overly aggressive thing for you to say.  The fact is I abhor war and killing.

“Demonization is the one characteristic of all wars.” <—You said a mouthful there, friend!  Might you have a hand mirror about?

In the course of a single afternoon you needlessly established an one sided adversarial relationship between us.  And why?  Because I don’t think as you do. 

Good luck with spreading peace.  Excuse me if I don’t follow your tactic for achieving it.

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By TAO Walker, December 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Forced by sell-out politicians to buy private “health” insurance “....under penalty of law,” Robert Scheer here complains bitterly.  So what part of “....(you’re) all livestock!” is still up for debate among the allamerican herd of homo domesticus?

Scheer and his fella ‘n’ gal exceptionalists are the “....huddled masses”-equivalent of an abused spouse who just keeps coming back for more….“for the sake of the children”?  This isn’t going to stop until the DEAD END “dominance” paradigm is put-out of ALL our misery.

“The devil you know” is NOT a viable alternative to the Natural Living Arrangement you’ve abandoned (and are so instrumental in your tormentors’ efforts to destroy), tame Sisters and Brothers.  Get back to where you STILL belong….The Tiyoshpaye Way.

HokaHey!

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By Xntrk, December 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

A brief update on Louise’s suggestion to ‘unsubscribe’ fom Obama’s e-mails. I got another one this a.m., and did just that. Sure enough, I was redirected to another site which asked Why?

So, I told ‘em…

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, December 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man

Demonization is the one characteristic of all wars. It’s also the easiest propaganda technique the advocates of war use. Need I list the actions of the United States that allow our enemies to demonize us? Sorry, the list would take hours to post, and I don’t have the hours required, or the stomach to go over it all again.

The bottom line here is that you are an advocate for war, and not for peace. Being an advocate for war bears certain responsibilities. If I called you a child killer, you would be outraged, but that is exactly what you are.

Peace is not an unattainable goal. It requires rational thought, and a great deal of effort on the part of those who advocate for peace to refute the inhuman and faulty logic of those who advocate for war. There are avenues to peace, but people like you block those avenues. Perhaps we can not provide peace to the people of Afghanistan, but we can provide peace to the people of the United States.

I can foresee your argument regarding providing peace to the people of the United States. You will say that adopting a peaceful approach will make us vulnerable to terrorist attack, when in truth, withdrawing our troops from that area of the world, and taking a more rational and diplomatic approach to solving the problems of the part of the world, would, in fact, reduce the threat of terrorist attack.

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By oregoncharles, December 11, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Buyer’s remorse, Mr. Scheer?  I’m thinking of your debate with Ralph Nader about 3rd-party campaigns, which you were honest enough to post here.

Both Scheer’s article and the last few comments nail down the point that the Big 2 parties pursue the same policies; the Democrats just paste a smiley face on them, and occasionally dole out crumbs from the table to the unwashed (and the left).

The strategy of “working within the system,” meaning the Democratic Party, is bankrupt.  It leads only to despair. 

If the people struggling to redeem the Democrats turned their energies to a genuine progressive alternative that already exists, the Green Party (http://www.gp.org), it would instantly become a “viable” option.  It does help that the Right is so unhappy with its options that a “Tea Party,” if formed, would beat the Republicans - according to a recent poll.  Someone will doubtless take that hint, splitting the Right, or the Tea Partiers may turn to the Constitution Party, which recently cost Gordon Smith (R - Oregon) his Senate seat.  Party hearty, folks.

In an (even) 4-way race, you can win with 26% of the vote.  That gives us a real shot; plus, an absurd result like that would lead to Instant Runoff Voting on a national scale, greatly improving our elections.  Sometimes you have to break eggs to cook them.  Just having some Greens causing trouble in Congress would be a whole new picture.  Imagine Sanders and Kucinich many times over, but independent of the Democrats, which neither is at the moment.

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By Former Teacher, December 11, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not surprised but I am disappointed that neither Mr. Scheer nor any posts here mention the debacle Obama has made of education reform. Education is crucial for a truly democratic society.

As a candidate, Obama’s education team was led by Linda Darling-Hammond, an educator with a long and excellent history of work in education as teacher, teacher-educator, researcher and reformer. Yet his choice for Secretary of Education is a basketball buddy, a man who was a professional basketball player in Australia before returning to the U.S. and somehow becoming Superintendent of Chicago schools. No teaching or education credentials of any kind before that. (kind of like Bush’s Secretary of Ed., Margaret Spellings, whose credentials were a B.A. in political science and school-aged children of her own). And what did Arne Duncan do for Chicago’s students? Closed schools that were underperforming, for which he was lauded, but with no improvement of any kind for the students who had been at those schools. Check out this link for a history of Arne Duncan’s role in Chicago Public Schools:
http://www.counterpunch.org/weil08242009.html

The continued emphasis on test scores benefits a few huge publishing companies that publish THE tests and score them for another fee, test preparation materials, books and programs “guaranteed to raise test scores.” What is truly guaranteed is that there is no room in the curriculum nor time in the school day for thought. Drills, memorizing algorithms, formulaic writing practice, finding the one answer the test-writer expects are the daily school fare for most students as schools strive for higher test scores. Principals, frightened their schools will close, spend more money on test preparation programs, eliminate athletics, music, dance, drama, and recess and make after-school-more-of-the-same mandatory. No wonder kids are dropping out as soon as possible or are forced out by principals and teachers afraid to have too many low scorers in their schools. But all this is great for maintaining the status quo. How many students graduating with this kind of education will have the knowledge or skills necessary to look beyond the rhetoric of a candidate? to recognize when his/her own best interests are not being served? How many, after so many years of conforming to the status quo of such schools, will be able to recognize their part in it and refuse to continue? Those who don’t get through school become fodder for the big business of incarceration.

I voted for Obama because I thought he at least had a better education policy/team. I should have known better.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

By cann4ing, December 11 at 1:55 pm #

By Go Right Young Man, December 11 at 1:48 pm #

Is it correct that if one applies your logic then Bush is not the liar and criminal?

___________________________

No.

-

Not to put too fine a point on it, however, you appear to contradict yourself.

Is it safe to assume you hold a profound hatred for President Bush, therefor, his deeds appear more egregious to you?

Here is another interesting and salient fact.  You would not be able to present one claim by President Bush about bin Laden or Saddam Hussein that was not uttered previously by his predecessor.  And both U.S. President’s attempted to kill and/or capture both men.

-

Considering that President Obama now supports renditions, military tribunals, the Patriot Act, “enhanced” (torturous) interrogations, domestic surveillance and attacking inside other countries that never directly attacked the U.S., which crimes are you looking to have the Obama administration prosecute?

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

JDmysticDJ, - “Recognizing that Obama’s justification for war in that speech,  is exactly the same as the justification our enemies use for their violent acts; casts a new light on this concept of a “worldview.”

-

You make an excellent point.  Osama bin Laden seems to honestly believe in his cause and, therefor, justifies his deeds.  So it’s a matter of taking sides.

Of course I believe his notion of Islam is twisted and sick.  I have chosen which side I support.

Saddam Hussein too seemed to believe in his cause when he called for “All Good Arab Brothers To Attack U.S.Interests Around The World” and, when he began paying the families of every successful Gaza and West Bank homicide bomber.

President Obama appears to appreciate your point also.  Now that he sits in the Oval he talks like he never has before.

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By Louise, December 11, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

I can understand Scheer going bonkers when he received yet another unsolicited email asking for money. I get them all the time.

But I guess in this case I’m way ahead of Scheer.

When some candidate in some state far away asks me for money, I scroll down to the ‘remove me’ link.

When some insurance corporation tells me how badly I need to buy their death insurance, or their ‘let us make you sicker’ health care insurance, I scroll down to the ‘remove me’ link.

When some right-wing whacked out so-called news site emails me warning me I shall surely die if I don’t subscribe to their hate mongering, I scroll down to the ‘remove me’ link. And so on.

I’m smart enough to know the auto-generated computer program that sends emails to everyone on the auto-generated email list doesn’t know me, because it is an ‘it’, not a who. Besides, I’m just not that important.

But since I do have an email address, and I do occasionally send letters to the editor, my congressaurs, and even the president, (past and present) of course the ‘it’ has me on the ‘its’ list. And I do like to stay informed, so every time I click on an invitaion to ‘add my name to your mailing list’ I risk ending up on that auto-generated list.

But there is a way out.

Thanks to consumer laws passed in time gone by, I can choose to let ‘it’ know, I do not want to hear from ‘it’ again. So, I click on the ‘remove me’ link and remove myself from it’s auto-generated computer program email list. Pretty simple, eh?

But the real story here is Scheer fishing around for a column subject. What’s up with that?

It’s not like there isn’t plenty going on ...

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Cann4ing, - “My world view is that facts and truth are precious; opinion is cheap.”

-

So is it possible that the “facts” may look completely different when armed with the information the U.S. President receives, therefor, his or her “opinions” would change?

I think we can agree that President Obama, in many cases of foreign policy, sounds and acts a great deal like Presidents Clinton and Bush before him.

-

Here are some salient “facts” you may not fully appreciate.

President Clinton began what we see as the modern day “extraordinary renditions”.  President Clinton attacked Yugoslavia (which never attacked the U.S., AND against the will of the United Nations) It was President Clinton who first raised the issue of Saddam Hussein being of great threat to the world and tried in vain to remove Hussein from power.  It was President Clinton who signed and supported the Iraqi Freedom Act.

It was President Clinton who told Larry King that President Bush needed no more authority from the Congress or the United Nations to use the military to invade Iraq and remove Hussein.

Interesting, yes?

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By cann4ing, December 11, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man, December 11 at 1:48 pm #

Is it correct that if one applies your logic then Bush is not the liar and criminal? 

___________________________

No.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

cann4ing,

I did look over, however briefly, the link you supplied.  But right now I’m not interested in another’s opinions. Not even Dr. King.  I was more interested in the way you frame the topics you write of.

You didn’t answer my question.  Is it correct that if one applies your logic then Bush is not the liar and criminal?  It’s realistically every U.S. President since Johnson?

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, December 11, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man

You State:

“What’s the lesson?  Either Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama saw a great deal more information about the world than you have, making them right and you wrong or, each of the above felt the need to lie once in office, therefor, making your worldview correct.”

George W. was once asked if he followed the news in the media, he responded “Why should I, I’ve got a lot of very smart people who do that for me.”

Every morning the President of the United States is given a National Security Briefing; this briefing is compiled by perhaps the most extreme elements of those who determine Foreign Policy.

To put it a different way; every morning the President of the United States is being “conditioned” by the most extreme elements of those who determine foreign policy.

The issue of whether Presidents lie once they come to office is a spurious one. Having listened to President Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech yesterday, it’s clear to me that he believes what he said in that speech.  Recognizing that Obama’s justification for war in that speech,  is exactly the same as the justification our enemies use for their violent acts; casts a new light on this concept of a “worldview.”

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

Cann4ing, - “By making excuses for the man who deceived America in promising “change we could believe in,” you only deceive yourself and set back the progressive cause you claim to support.”

-

Is it at all possible that Mr. Obama entered office believing in things very close to how you see them, however, after being fully briefed he now sees things much differently?

The current president’s actions in office -rendition, enhanced interrogations, domestic surveillance, Predator drones, attacking inside Pakistan, indefinite incarcerations and the Patriot Act- coupled with the first 1/3 of his Nobel speech, seems to indicate he now sees the world in a much different light than you seem to.

Is it possible that the world looks a great deal different when armed with a great deal more information?  The types of information the U.S. President receives?  Is that a possibility?

-

President Ford once spoke of how struck he was that things looked so completely different from the House, where he once served, and the Oval.  He once said that while in the House he simply could not understand what the president was doing.  But, when in the Oval, he realized that he simply couldn’t understand why the Senate and House were acting the way they collectively were.

I wonder aloud if there’s a lesson in that.

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By cann4ing, December 11, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man, December 11 at 1:15 pm #

Trying to understand your worldview and context.

__________________________

My world view is that facts and truth are precious; opinion is cheap.

It is obvious from the alacrity of your response that you did not link to “Beyond Afghanistan” and read what I had to say on the subject.  Inside that article, you will find links to my five-part Brad Blog series on “The History of CIA Torture.”

Within the context of that five-part series, you will review a set of facts that would aid you in making up your own mind as to whether Bush/Cheney et al. should be the subject of a formal war crimes investigation; possible prosecution.

And, by the way, the issue of whether an individual should or should not be prosecuted for war crimes has nothing to do with whether they slap a (D) or an (R) at the end of their name.

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By cann4ing, December 11, 2009 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

By Virginia777, December 11 at 12:58 pm #

Obama-bashing is destructive to the Left, not only that, it is hindering their much-needed mobilization.
____________________________

No, Virginia, it is Obama’s anti-progressive decisions which are “destructive,” which is why there is a need for progressives to mobilize in opposition to those decisions.

There is no comparison between wing-nut Obama bashing which is based on disinformation from the hard-right echo chamber (e.g., the “birther” movement, “death panels”) and the effort by well-informed progressives like Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges to speak truth to power.

By making excuses for the man who deceived America in promising “change we could believe in,” you only deceive yourself and set back the progressive cause you claim to support.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

cann4ing,

So, in other words, President Bush is not the liar and war criminal?  It’s actually Clinton, Bush and Obama? Or, applying your logic, you would realistically label every U.S. President since Johnson as war criminals?

If that be the case then why are you talking about and holding onto the notion that Bush should be prosecuted for a crime or crimes?

I find it impossible to single out President Bush when applying your reasoning.

Trying to understand your worldview and context.

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By garth, December 11, 2009 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

For Obama’s cheering team:

Give me a B, give me a B, give me a BAC.
Give me a K, give me K, give me KST.
Give me an A, give me an A, give be an ABB
Give me an I, give me an I, give me an ING
All of these B. Obama, he’s a BACKSTABBING POS.

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By cann4ing, December 11, 2009 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Oh, sorry, Go Right Young Man, I neglected to provide you with a link to “Beyond Afghanistan.”

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7476

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By cann4ing, December 11, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

By Go Right Young Man, December 11 at 12:15 pm #

What’s the lesson?  Either Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama saw a great deal more information about the world than you have, making them right and you wrong or, each of the above felt the need to lie once in office, therefor, making your worldview correct
__________________________

You’ll find the answer in my piece at The Brad Blog:

“Beyond Afghanistan:  Applying the lessons of ‘Beyond Vietnam’...”

While there is a fundamental difference between the Harvard-educated Barack Obama and a barely literate George W. Bush, the common thread linking all three Presidents you mentioned is their subservience to Wall Street, Empire and the military-industrial complex.

And, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized in “Beyond Vietnam,” if we wish to truly understand what is occurring, we need to start by looking in the mirror.

King’s words are as applicable today as they were then:

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.  We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person oriented’ society.  When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

King added:

“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.  With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries and say: ‘This is not just’...The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.  A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: ‘This way of settling our differences is not just.’”

If it were possible for King to see what Obama is doing today, he’d spin in his grave.

In the words of I.F. Stone:  “Governments lie!”

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By Virginia777, December 11, 2009 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

You are right, Peetawonkus, the right-wing fascists and the “liberal” Obama-bashers are sounding a whole hell of a lot alike these days, aren’t they??

(Yikes!)

This is proves my point, Obama-bashing is destructive to the Left, not only that, it is hindering their much-needed mobilization,

(which Sarah and her pals are loving!)

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By Virginia777, December 11, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

fortunately, TD-ers, today we have the conveniently named Go Right Young Man doing the Obama-bashing this time,

I mean, really, if Go Right Young Man calls Obama a “Neo-con”

I would add that something is wrong with this picture…

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By Go Right Young Man, December 11, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

cann4ing,

Lesson learned:  The freshman Senator, Obama, was against military tribunals, rendition, the Patriot Act, domestic surveillance, combat drones, “enhanced” interrogations, indefinite detention of the enemy and attacking inside another sovereign nation that never attacked the United States directly.

Presidential Candidate Obama, too, was against all of the above.  But now?  After entering the Oval and being fully educated and briefed on how the world actually looks and works?  President Obama supports all of the above.  Which, by the way, makes the current President an authentic “Neo-Con” (New Conservative) and not the evil cartoon character most progressives have termed. 

-

What’s the lesson?  Either Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama saw a great deal more information about the world than you have, making them right and you wrong or, each of the above felt the need to lie once in office, therefor, making your worldview correct.

Which do you believe it is?

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By Peetawonkus, December 11, 2009 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

From Politico…
“President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech Thursday is drawing praise from some unlikely quarters – conservative Republicans – who likened Obama’s defense of “just wars” to the worldview of his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush.

It’s already being called the “Obama Doctrine” – a notion that foreign policy is a struggle of good and evil, that American exceptionalism has blunted the force of tyranny in the world, and that U.S. military can be a force for good and even harnessed to humanitarian ends.

“There will be times,” Obama said, “when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”

The remarks drew immediate praise from a host of conservatives, including former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.”

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By Inherit The Wind, December 10, 2009 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

JD:

I don’t THINK I misread you—I certainly didn’t think YOU were defending Fox Noise but rather thought you were attacking Mandinka for defending it.

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By mandinka, December 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

virginia if you have work to do your the only liberal that has ever done any. The qualities of libs are easy, live off of others, don’t pay any taxes and then tell people how to live their lives. OHHHH to be that obtuse

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By cann4ing, December 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Right, Virginia—you can work supporting Obama’s betrayals as he meets privately with the insurance cartel and pharmaceutical industries to sack single-payer, sides with his corporate campaign contributors, Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and while his Justice Department refuses to prosecute those in the previous administration who committed war crimes.

Just what is it you “mobilize” for, Virginia—and why?

One thing is clear, Virginia, you cannot call yourself a progressive and support Obama at the same time.  Trying to do so is a fool’s errand.

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By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

yeah, cann4ing and mandinka, good idea

drown yourselves in cynicism. The rest of us, have work to to.

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By trf, December 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What do you mean “populism?”  While he rode on a wave of populism into office, he hasn’t done a damn thing that is “populist.”  When will the wars cease?  When will the Wall Streets bailouts cease?  And what’s wrong with “populism” anyway?  Isn’t that called representative government?  These jokers are “voted” into office to represent the people, to reflect the will of the people.  Instead, they represent the people in the boardrooms.

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By cann4ing, December 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

The great thing about the unsubscribe on Obama’s sleazy emails is that they ask you to say why.  Gave ‘em an eye full.

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By radson, December 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

The United States of America the land of dreams and prosperity ,where supposedly all citizens are to be treated equally within the framework of the Constitution ,but what has become of the Constitution.The US
Constitution was the first of it’s kind in the Western World ,followed by the Polish Constitution -the very first in Europe- at the time both were considered to be outlandish with the all powerful Aristocracy that had
maintained such Unfettered dominance throughout Europe and all of it’s colonies in order to maintain their lineage and power -what I refer to as the Hapsburg dating game -.Nevertheless the Polish -Lithuanian
commonwealth was destroyed by a concerted despicable agreement of Partition between the Prussians ,Russians and Austrians,but also for those who have studied Polish history would agree ,that there was a very important determining factor that has been overlooked ,and you are so right .The Targowica Confederation which was basically a Cabal of Super wealthy magnates that conspired with the Partitioners to destroy Poland ,thought only of their own Status and greed to maintain their Personal ambitions and Status Quo with a blatant disregard for their own country ,although some will argue that the outcome was not of their
device.The correlation of the past with what is presently transpiring in America may lead many US citizens to question the validity of the Corporatist’s almost unchallenged influence in the State of Governance ,which maintains through the abusive means of the MSM to glorify them as the upholders of the American Way-really- explain that to the unemployed.The duopolistic system of electoral choices for the electorate has been manipulated within a magnificent verse of lies ,the US Congress has become a Jet Set club of the wealthy ,the Senate follows suite into the Penthouse of corporatist excesses and the Presidency
has become a fallacy ,where even a fool could be the figurehead-W Bush being a classic example-.Does it sound like a repetition of history ,well I’ll let you be the judge ,but when the next elections come around and
the only choice is between a Donkey and an Elephant and the Corporatists fund both Parties ,then YES the Constitution is in grave danger.

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By mandinka, December 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

Karl Marx and Mao are looking more like patriots and intellectuals compared the barak messiah obama

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By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Obama is not a fraud, I am not posturing here, this is the truth. You can either wake up and see that (more importantly, use it to help mobilize the left, to press its agendas to him)

or you can drown in cynicism.

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By wildflower, December 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Re Scheer: “Their so-called opposition to the current plans has to do with fine-tuning the president’s guarantee of their future profits.”

And we can be certain the healthcare insurance lobbyists along with their Republican, Independent and “moderate” Democrat representatives are planning to do some fine-tuning in the “executive salaries” section of the current bill as well.  Currently, it denies corporate income tax deductions for excessive executive salaries. God forbid the country and/or the American people should benefit in any way from the profits of health insurance industry, especially in an area involving the excessive executive salaries.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

You Say:

“Are you telling us that Fox Noise, and the gang have TOTALLY reversed themselves on medical malpractice insurance, now saying it’s insignificant?”

Huh?...I was telling the resident tea bagger that he shouldn’t get his information from Fox News, because Fox News talking points lack substance.

Nowhere did I suggest that Fox News had changed its position on Tort Reform. What I did say (using a quotation, citing the CBO and the GAO) was that the cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance is a small part of the cost of health care.

I’m confused, did you completely not understand my comment, or did you purposefully misrepresent my comment?

Your analysis of Fox News is right on; something I’ve known since the early 90’s.

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By liecatcher, December 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Dear Barack, Spare Me Your E-Mails
Posted on Dec 8, 2009 By Robert Scheer

When Robert Scheer said:
“Barack Obama’s faux populism is beginning to
grate,...”, he unleashed a tidal wave of
facts,feelings
forecasts & misconceptions. When the fascists
unleashed the W W 2 holocaust,over 12 million people
were murdered,including gypsies,gentiles & Jews.
Bush3 doesn’t discriminate or have to make difficult
decisions, he just follows the orders of the cabal
that installed him. Therefore, Government Sachs will
continue to rob the poor & destroy America.

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By Bette Grogan, December 10, 2009 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Then DONT READ it!  Jeesh!

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By daniel e rowell, December 10, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I WILL say it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I   TOLD   YOU   SO !!!!!!!!!!!!

HE IS   A   FRAUD.  WHY COULDN’T EVERYONE ONE
SEE THIS TWO YEARS BEFORE THE ELECTION??????

ANYONE WHO WRITES A AUTOBI BEFORE THEY ARE 100
YEARS OLD IS POSTURING.

AND TO west>AND< dyson<AND>smiley<AND>jackson{}{}{}
FRED HAMPTON WAS RIGHT WHEN HE SPOKE OF BLACK IMPERIALISM !!!{}{}[]]][I TOLD YOU SO/\/\/\/\/\/\

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By truedigger3, December 10, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Re: By Virginia777, December 10 at 1:25 pm #

In answering your question, yes Virginia, there is Santa Clause and I submitted your wishes to him.

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By garth, December 10, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

To paraphrase, James Brown,

“It’s man’s world, but wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.”

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By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

oh so now, garth, you are digging into Michelle

how cute

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By garth, December 10, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

I saw an excerpt of Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on C-SPAN.  The camera did a close-up of Michele, “The President’s Better Half,” Obama. 

Camera’s do not lie.  They have a unique capability of capturing what you really don’t want to reveal..

The look in Michelle’s eyes revealed something of a distant mirror—Nefertiti, Cleopatra, or more aptly in this case, Desdemona.

She’s wants to be the struggler.  Her college thesis at Princeton was about racism and the anti-gender policies and practices there.  All at the age of 21 after growing up the daughter of ward boss in Chicago’s South Side.

She’s the one who deserves the prize, right?

Michele’s the one who whispers in his ear.

The days of glad-handing, hail-fellow-well-met politician are gone.  These are the times of slime and deception.

God bless you one and all.

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By bob, December 10, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

if you don’t want his emails then take your address off of lists

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By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

“true"digger3:

Obama is NOT more dangerous than Cheney, that is a bold-faced lie and ignorant of the truth.

what is your objective here? I am starting to wonder…

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By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

I see garth has amped up for another “fun” day of Obama bashing (his hobby) with more science fiction fun

oh boy…

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By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

you got that right, JDmysticDJ!!

the fascists are marching in and all these liberal nihilists can do is lash out in disappointment that one (count um) man (a Democrat by the way) can’t do all their work for them.

this is so destructive and potentially, devastating.

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By garth, December 10, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Excuse the butchering of a ditty from the 60s, but here goes:

Try to remember the time in Novemeber,
when we elected a callow fellow…

When you stop and think it over, Obama is no surprise.  There were plenty of alarms going off, but unfortunately, they were silenced by shouts of racism.

He has introduced the Black Caucus to the elite.  Look at the recent claims against black Congressmen.  The nature of these claims differ, starting with the hounding out of office and later jail time of Adam Clayton Powell.
These guys, the new fakirs, are the latest entrants to the kneeling pad before the trough.
Now personally, I excuse, Jefferson of Louisiana.  He was trying to find a method, albeit a little simplistic, to freeze clams. (A little confusion is the excuse.)
Any fisherman can tell you that if you find a way of freezing clams, they’ll beat a path to your doorstep.  Jefferson never took into account the FBI beeating such a path.
Rep Watt of NC offered an alternative bill to the Paul-Grayson bill that wants some oversight of the Fed.  Watts’s bill gave more power to the Fed.

And I’ve forgotten, or rejected his name, but he’s the round faced, bald representaive from Mississippi who wants to cash in with the Credit card companies.  He wants to be lobbied.

As is the wont of most peoples to look at their plight from an historical perspective, consider this: Slavery, Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall.  They all led to Barack Obama.  Whaaaa?
They sidetracked the history of the black race in America and gave us this disgrace to his race.  Raca.

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By voice of truth, December 10, 2009 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

There are already a lot of comments of “I Told You So”, so I’ll leave that one.  But let’s look at reality.  The guy has done NOTHING but talk.  That’s all he does.  My brother made the same comment to me last year that is echoed here, “at least he can communicate well”.  So I ask, what the hell is the use of communicating if you never have any intention of doing what you are communicating???

If I were a liberal, I would also be devastated.  And to those that complain that talking bad about Obama is bad in itself, get a freaking brain!  The “any democrat is better than a republican” is so ludicrous it defies comment.

And finally, the real crux of Obama’s failure is this.  He is WAY over his head.  He is the monster ego who thought how cool it would be to become President, but all the constant demands of the President are a hassle.  He basks in the glow of taking Air Force One to NY for the night to see a show, playing golf with bigwigs constantly (he’s already played more than W in total).

Just look at the behaviour he and his staff exhibit when disagreed with?  He truly gets pissed off if someone disagrees with him!  Shit, 60M people voted AGAINST him, and thinks no one will disagree with him?  Hell, he LOST the popular vote in the Dem primaries to Hillary!  People forget that.  He just can’t believe that anyone would criticize him!

This guy is a complete joke.  The only difficult decision he has had to make was Afghanistan, and after months and months of “deliberating” (read: ignoring), he chose a path right down the middle, and alienated everyone.

Wake up people, why don’t you mobilize ANOTHER Dem candidate in 2012?  I’ll bet Hillary could be induced.  SHe’s not gonna stay at State for 8 years!

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By truedigger3, December 10, 2009 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

ITW wrote:
“The Teaparty Movement hates Obama because:
A) He’s not a right-wing Fascist Re-thug a la Cheney.”
____________________________________________________

Obama is more dangerous than Cheney and he will do much more damage to the country and the middle class and the poor than Cheney did.
He is masking his realself under the cover of his blackness, charisma and toothpaste smile.
You still hung up on partisanship while it is very glaringly obvious by now that we are having a single party in this country which the corporate moneyed elite party.
The Democratic and Republican parties are the good cop bad cop routine, everyone of them has a role to act at certain time and situation.!
Can you tell me what did Obama do or doing differently than Bush except a cosmetic make-blieve changes on the fringe issues.

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By joe lara sr., December 10, 2009 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

AUDIO UN ABRIDGED VERSION OF THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULERS BY AMY GOODMAN AND ALSO PERUSE THE SHOCK DOCTRINE BY NAOMI KLEIN.; FOR STARTERS.

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By mblue, December 10, 2009 at 6:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Say what you want about Ralph Nader, but he claimed in 2000, shortly before the election in which the Supreme Court installed GWB as our president, that there is very little difference between the two major parties because they are both beholden to the same corporate interests. The Dems proved him correct throughout the eight year Bush presidency. Even after 2006 when they gained a majority in the House and Senate. And they still continue to do so today with health insurance reform that is the delight of the health insurance industry, a ramped up war that the MIC can only take pleasure in, and an economy that continues to cater to Wall St. bankers. Although I admire Obama as a person, something I could never do with his predecessor, I believe he is heading toward a one term presidency which could possibly lead to a Romney/Palin or Palin/Romney winning ticket in 2012.

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By liecatcher, December 10, 2009 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

Bush3 is a consummate liar, deceiver, hypocrite, and an
indiscriminate predator, but nobody can call him a
racist.
During the campaign some critics said he wasn’t black
enough. Now it seems their fears may have been
realized.
“AP - Black lawmakers who have held their tongues
during most of President Barack Obama’s first year in
office are stepping up their demands that the
nation’s first black president do more for minority
communities hit hardest by the recession.”

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By Inherit The Wind, December 10, 2009 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

JD:

Are you telling us that Fox Noise, and the gang have TOTALLY reversed themselves on medical malpractice insurance, now saying it’s insignificant?

Weren’t these the same lying @$$holes who in 2004 made a big deal of John Edwards being a litigation lawyer and that the WHOLE health care crisis was due to ... excessive malpractice insurance due to excessive awards?

I’d ask if these propagandistic bozos think we are all idiots but the answer is not only “YES” but that they are RIGHT!  We HAVE forgotten their former positions, just like we forgot them being deficit reduction hawks until Reagan (called it a “Balanced Budget Amendment” then), budget hawks again under Clinton, budget spendthrifts under Bush, and now budget hawks again!

Obviously Americans are imbeciles to keep believing them—look at the “Teaparty Movement”. On NPR, the reporter asked a leader what she opposes about Obama and ALL the crazy b**** could come up with is “I don’t think he loves America”—that was as specific a reason as she had.  Let’s face it: The Teaparty Movement hates Obama because:
A) He’s not a right-wing Fascist Re-thug a la Cheney.
B) He’s Black (but they can’t say that) so they talk about “welfare” and “socialism” as code phrases for Black.

Sheer: Let me solve your problem in 2 words: Spam Blocker!

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By JDmysticDJ, December 10, 2009 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

Virginia777

These reckless nihilists, who are contributing to Obama’s destruction, don’t know what they are doing.

Without a viable third party, the alternative will be much worse than Obama.

The bumper sticker should say:

“Obama, better than the alternative.”

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By liecatcher, December 10, 2009 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Having a few Bush3 bloggers, whether stealth Bushites
or just ignorant/delusional, is important as a
reminder/warning that destroying/enslaving America
doesn’t require fooling all of the people… ,
especially once you control the money supply & the
MILITARY INDUSTRIAL CONSPIRACY.

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By Russian Paul, December 10, 2009 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

I’m glad Scheer is starting to refer to himself as a “sucker.” I came to terms with
that within weeks of voting for him, but most, like Virginia777 can’t seem to snap
out of that stupor.

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By thebeerdoctor, December 10, 2009 at 1:44 am Link to this comment

writeon’s analysis (Dec.9,12:06 pm) is thought provoking for comparing President Obama to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  I recall the remarks made by Blair after Nine One One where he provided an articulate platform for war mongering that former President George Bush was incapable of. President Obama’s speech at West Point was an elegant sounding mishmash taken directly from the Bush play book and given a Tony Blair like spin. Does it really matter that all of it was complete horse manure?
writeon misses the mark for myself, when he states that Obama was an anti-war candidate. Many people deluded themselves in to believing that. But any careful examination of his candidacy policy statements revealed something quite different. Add to that his bellicose threats towards Iran at both of his AIPAC speeches, and you discover a politician that has striking similarities to former Vice-President Dick Cheney, where might always makes it right.
The Trojan horse anti-war candidate has been used before. Robert Kennedy’s 1968 campaign was a prime example. Sometimes the illusion is more real than reality.
Yes Virginia777, there really is a fraud who was honestly elected. His name is President Barack Obama.

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By JDmysticDJ, December 10, 2009 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Mandinka

“Medical malpractice costs are a tiny percentage of overall health care expenditures. Medical malpractice insurance and claims costs represent, at most, only 2 percent of overall health care spending in this country, according to both the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting Office.”

These right wing talking points you’ve picked up from Fox News, Limbaugh, or wherever will only get you in trouble, they have no substance.

I’m not saying that 2% is totally insignificant, but it is a very small percentage of overall expenditures. If you want to know why malpractice insurance costs make up 2% (at most,) you should ask the Insurance Companies, who sell malpractice insurance, because they profit from selling the insurance.


Go Right Young Man

You silver tongued devil you. Who are you proselytizing to?

You State:

“But many of those same industrialists saw nothing wrong with cutting deals with statist regimes. For example, the Swope Plan, put forward by Gerard Swope…”

This is Gerard Swope:

“Swope is possibly best-known for his labor relations innovations. While at GE, Swope implemented numerous labor reforms, making conditions better for employees with voluntary unemployment insurance, profit-sharing, and other programs considered radical in their day. Swope increased sales and overall efficiency (economics), earning high profits and market share, while focusing on employee training, retention, and loyalty during an era when most Big Business leaders treated labor poorly.”

Swope was not exactly a member of the “Status Quo,” was he?

You State:

“So far, the health-care industry has mostly been trying to cut insider deals with the government, not fighting to defend the status quo.”

If the Health Care Industry isn’t the “Status Quo,” then I don’t know what the “Status Quo” is? We’re still waiting for one vote from the right side of the isle, to reform health care. So it seems to me that the right is supporting the “Status Quo.”

Regarding political donations; you seem to be politically astute enough to know that Corporatists donate to both the right and the left, in order to insure their political influence. Until the 2006 mid-term elections, the right received the lion’s share of donations from the health care industries.

Do you remember Hilary Care? Oddly, Hilary received the most money from the health care industries during the primaries. Perhaps the health care industries thought Hilary would be the next president.

I won’t argue that the system isn’t corrupt, clearly it is. The question arises; who is it that is corrupting the system, and who is it that advocates for those who corrupt the system? As much as you want to blur the realities; it’s clear that the left is opposed to the health care industries, (and the right,) on the issue of health care reform, and that the issues coming up will pit the left against business and the right. Are you going to argue that the right will not try to preserve the failed economic policies of Greenspan, Freidman, Reagan, and the neoliberals.

We the people who are, ideally, the Government, need a government big enough to protect ourselves from the abuses of Big Business.

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By Virginia777, December 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Dear Robert Scheer: Spare me your Obama tirades

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By vwcat, December 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I personally think Obama has done a pretty good job.  Consider the fact that he was seeing a great depression coming straight at us like locomotive and an unimaginable mess by the Bushies to clean up.  Having to shelf most of his agenda to address the thankless topics of cleaning after the incompetent spoiled rich kid and his cronies unspeakable messes, Obama has done a pretty good job.
I just wonder how these know it alls, armchair quarterbacks hitting the keyboards trashing the guy would do being faced with quite a list of emergencies and the total collapse of not just our economy but, the world’s as well when ours crashed?  How many could have saved it in the nick of time and kept us from a depression.  Granted, it meant having to shore up Wall Street to keep us afloat but, the alternative would have been far uglier then any of these screen jockey’s and their hi ho mouse have any clue about.
They will never know how Obama saved their thankless behinds.
And has had to deal with so many thankless things to straighten out the mess only to find he is being trashed and vilified for his trouble.
Maybe he should have just let you thankless brats deal with the fall out instead.

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By berniem, December 9, 2009 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

Maybe St. Ronnie was right about govt. being the problem with one caveat. The concept is OK; its just the calibre of the people implementing it that are ruining it. Since our votes really count for naught when in competition with a sizable check, why not try a nationwide vote boycott? Sure, all the hacks would get at least their own vote, but would that suffice constitutionally? Or how about no one filing a tax return? The worst that could happen is that the economy would boom with such a sudden burgeoning of our main growth industry, namely the prison system. Of course this is all pipe dream because this nation is populated by lemmings who’ll follow wherever the flag and the cross lead.

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By Jersey Josh, December 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think Shift asked the right question in message #289091. Regrettably, I voted for Obama. However, I was never enthusiastic about him. All he said was “change”. I’ll answer Shift’s question. Obama is worse than Bush because he says nice things, but does the opposite. I rather have a guy like Bush telling me he wants to blow things up, illegally spy on people, and torture people, and then following through. Give me Mr. Bonehead over Mr. Sneaky Man.

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By mandinka, December 9, 2009 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

Bobz, if Palin gets thru the vetting process?? Can you share with me the vetting process that barak went thru during his nomination?? If he went thru one it wasn’t very vigorous, an AXE murder would be able to get thru the democratic “vetting” process

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By liecatcher, December 9, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Maybe there is hope for the hope die hards.

If Bob can go from:
 
ROBERT SCHEER’S COLUMNS
Who Are You and What Have You Done With the Community
Organizer We Elected President?

To:Robert Scheer’s Columns
Dear Barack, Spare Me Your E-Mails

Fund raisers always hit suckers again & again.

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By cann4ing, December 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Dennis Kucinich plans to present to “privileged resolutions” in Congress to end the war.

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By Terry Brauer, December 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer has articulated my sentiments precisely. I have returned several mailed fund-raising letters bearing Barack’s signature with similar responses.

If there will be a formula for alienating the armies of progressive campaign volunteers for 2010 and 2012, the President and Congressional Democratic leadership have clearly outlined it. They will perfect it as they pursue a course of conduct amounting to Change We Would Be Idiots To Believe In. The Dems exhibited more spine when they were in the minority.

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By starfish, December 9, 2009 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

The only positive thing I’m hearing from the die-hard Obama believers is that Obama is not as bad as Bush.

What a slogan ... what poetry ... what a bumper sticker: 

  “Obama: not as bad as Bush”

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By Mary Charlotte McCall, December 9, 2009 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s good to be able (again) to comply with one of my new resolutions:  limit the emails I get and political comments I have to read.  Thanks to Mr. Scheer and his fawning commentators, I will be leaving the truthout community.  It will give me more time for the Nation, whose long life and cogent, thought-through reflections are much more relevant to real issues in a real world. 

When Mr. Scheer’s intelligence and insight approach that of Obama’s and Katrina vanden Heuvel, who have the energy and good sense to listen and search for answers, I might listen to him again.  And when he has the long history of fighting for left-wing solutions that the Nation has, he may have earned a place at my table.

Bye-Bye Mr. Sheer.  Bye-Bye truthout.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Bob:

So you got a typical fund-raising email.  BFD.  Why do the so-called progressives get all bent out of shape about this when you have two simple alternatives:

1) Press “DELETE”.  This is not hard.
2) If you want even more click on “tools” your mail app and tell it Obama’s messager are “Junk Mail” and block the sender.

DUH!!!!!!!

Isn’t than easier than whining about it?

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By Mike Havenar1, December 9, 2009 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m an older leftist but one without dogma or illusions about perfection or Utopia. I detect a lot of left-wing adventurism and “infantile” leftwing-ism in the daily din of leftward attacks on the first progressive President in my lifetime. Consider for a moment what you wouuld be able to do, if you were the first black Prtesident of the United States. Consider the tightrope you must walk between the estab lished interests who can bring you down with a concerted attack and just one or two failures in your administration’s policies. President Obama seems to realize that compromise is necessary every step of the way, and things he might want, like a public option, will not pass, and will in fact torpedo yet-again a health plan for the American people. I think that President Obama realizes, like Camus, that “a world where children are not tortured might not be possible; but it is possible to limit the amount of children tortured.” We cannot attain heaven on earth, but we can limit hell.
Give the guy a better chance. Some left-wing “critics” only want to be seen as more-radical-than-thou, and have no more actual principles than the fundamentalists they oppose.

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By jack, December 9, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” Right now Palin’s approval rating is at 46% and barak’s is 47%, he has a lot to
be concerned about especially if she is on the ticket in 2012.”

>>>> only one answer to that: Dems Draft Oprah!

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By Ralph Kamden, December 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why oh why didn’t you listen to Nader or Kucinich? Obama was in the pocket of Wall St. from day one. He never had the cojones to fire tat arrogant torturer McChrystal. So, progressives and liberals we are perpetually “Waiting for Godot.” May the gods help us.

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By plainsman, December 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Alex Jones figured this out a long time ago:

obama deception
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

Fall of the Republic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebOTc-7shU

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Daye's avatar

By Daye, December 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Bravo, Mr. Scheer! Thank goodness. It’s long
past time to totally oppose Bait & Switch
Obama.

Recently my raw breakfast oysters soaked in
Knob Creek went down the wrong way when I
read an editorial by “The Nation’s” publisher,
Katrina vanden Heuvel, fawning over Apollo
Obama for whom she’s been waiting, waiting,
waiting ... apparently like some gushing blonde
weeping her prayer in a marriage store on the
Las Vegas strip who met a gamer full of charm
& promises a few hundred nights ago, “Oh, dear
Lord, when will his Lincoln limo come for me?”

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By BobZ, December 9, 2009 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

Mandika,

“Barak is getting desperate that’s why you see the flurry of emails. Right now
Palin’s approval rating is at 46% and barak’s is 47%, he has a lot to be concerned
about especially if she is on the ticket in 2012.”

I doubt Obama is losing any sleep over Palin. If by some miracle, she slips through
the primary vetting process and gets the nomination, Obama would destroy her.
She will be the Republican Party’s worst nightmare. She would end up being the
most tightly managed presidential candidate we have seen in our lifetime. She
would make “W” look like Einstein. She would be lucky to win her home state.

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By truedigger3, December 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Joel wrote:
“since 1992, i’ve notice a pattern with these stealth democratic party operatives like Sheer, Michael Moore,The Nation, anti war organizations, and shills like Kuncinich & John Conyers. They criticize sleazy candidates like Clinton, Gore, Kerry & fraudsters like Obama, and sometimes very strongly.

however, during the election season they suspend the criticism, endorse and campaign for them”
____________________________________________________

Joel,

You are a making a good observation shared by many. Let us hope that was in the past where there was “hope” and let us hope it will be different in 1012.

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By Jean Gerard, December 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who’s got a suggestion for how to get the military-industrial-Pentagon out of
Congress, the White House and Wall Street?

Who’s got a clue about how to reorganize the worldwide financial interests of
United States and international corporations for the benefit of people who need
those benefits desperately?

Who has an idea about how to get media to stop depending upon corporate
advertising for the funds that keep them alive? 

Who wants to suggest a way to help the lower and middle classes to unite on
common goals and work together for their mutual benefit?

Who has a practical idea of how to move the American people away from living
for the consumption of food, entertainment and gossip and turning them from
illusions toward something at least halfway toward reality.?

I really feel we have passed the point where criticism is useful.  Surely
everything critical has been said at least once, most of it many times.  How
about people who can command the TV and radio time and the print space
committing themselves to come up with practical suggestions at least one day
a week.  Give their constituencies something to work toward.  Free them from
hopelessness.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, December 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

to the ironically named liecatcher and truedigger:

“Obama is a fraud, pretender and a bullshit artist second to none” - first of all, did you leave anything out?

Secondly, what an over-generalized, juvenile piece of crap this statement is.

You have both proved my point today, thank you very much.

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By liecatcher, December 9, 2009 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

To truedigger3, December 9 at 8:52 pm

Thanks. Since you covered it all, I’ll just say AMEN!!!

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By truedigger3, December 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Good article for the uninitiated, but it stated facts and observations about Obama, which were glaringly obvious long time ago starting with the election campaign, that Obama is a fraud, pretender and a bullshit artist second to none.!

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By mandinka, December 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Barak is getting desperate that’s why you see the flurry of emails. Right now Palin’s approval rating is at 46% and barak’s is 47%, he has a lot to be concerned about especially if she is on the ticket in 2012.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, December 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Nah, I’ll skip “Burning All Illusions”

(and I could care less who Tiger screws… although I take note that you tied the two - he and Obama - together)

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By Mark Solomon, December 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One term Barry isn’t capable of doing anything except sending out e-mail and helping his corporate pals drive the middle class into extintion.

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By Tokin Lib, December 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Disappointment with “thePrez” is a spreading
pandemic, but I do not understand why folks are
disappointed. Were folks disappointed in Nike when
they found out about the slave wages paid to shoe
assemblers in Indonesia? NO! It’s just bidness. Obama
was always already only another product marketed at
our fears and insecurities, no matter how necessary
after the long years of Raygun/Bushevism. His
campaign won international accolades and wide
admiration in the “pr-biz” for the effectiveness of
its propaganda strategies, especially its
appropriation of the Netz.

Besides that, there’s the whole “Obama” thing:
fatherless child, knowing intimately (if never
apparently recognizing) the contradictions of DuBois
“double consciousness, striving for success: approval
and acceptance by the Owners. Expecting—even vaguely
hoping—Obama might turn on the Owners and back
populist initiatives for justice, equity, fairness,
etc, was always risible. To do so he would have had
to not only bite, but savagely amputate the hands
that have curried, and cosseted, and carried him to
the pinnacle of privilege and power he now occupies.

NAGAHAPUN.

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By glagadec, December 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Read: “Burning All Illusions”- a guide to personal and political freedom by David Edwards. It’a an amazing book that puts it all together from the individual “mind-fuck” that we all get in this culture to the Geo-political machinations of the power elite who control the curtain and sure don’t want you to look behind it. Obama is behind that curtain,so screw the whole “well he’s a lot better than Bush or Cheney” cliche. Is this what we’ve come to? That’s are gold standard? Comparing Obama to that trolodyte nitwit and his Reptillian vice president? Man check your standards. Oh yeah…you’re “realistic”, you’re in touch with the Real Politick, you know how things “work” in the nest of vipers [ with a few exceptions, Bernie] we keep gertting allowed to vote for. Where is campaign finance reform? Where is the competition in health care? Where is an actual, meaningful goal in one, not two wars? Where is the new industry? What about some tariffs on the crap coming into the country? Why does my father -in -law pay 29 bucks[from Canada] for the exact… the exact… same medicine that they want to charge him 79 bucks for here? Still with the Patriot act that our lazy ass politicans didn’t read? No jobs…boy have we got a war for you…take your pick. How long before we repeal the “people” status of the fascist corporations that are bleeding us to death in more than one way? Inquiring minds want to know. I can’t believe that some people are still making excuses for Obama.Read Chomsky who has been marginalized by the so called “liberal press” as just ...you know…too “out-there”.It proves exactly what he contends” “The Manufacturing of Consent” and The Necessary Illusions that politicians like Obama depend upon: he who frames the issues…wins!! And these guys are great at that.But heh, we got distractions..like who Tiger screws…while we’re all being screwed and trained to hold their cocktails as they do it. I am so sick of the s.o.s!!

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By KDelphi, December 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

You STILL gettin’ those?! MOst of us clicked on “unsubscribe” long ago..or, if you didnt,WHERE have you been??

BTW—better ‘n Bush will probably not be a good campaign slogan. In 2010 or 2012. Pray the GOP runs someone like Palin—Dems will look good next to her, at least.

Speaking of Daily Kos, I wonder if they would still ban me for criticizing Obama…oh, well, dont care.

Virginia777—the problem with “bush was worse” is, that, yeah, so I expected that, So would every Dems…it isnt worse to be betrayed by someone who pretends to “feel your pain”???? Then all will remain as as is.

Bush was never expected to be for the poor and working classes…but alot of people expect the Democrats to be, because they SAY that they will be…at least with GOP, they know what to do with power when they get it.

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By garth, December 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Oh, I get it with the e-mails.

My wife and I saw a heart-wrenching commercial on cable about the cruelty to animals, and to help those animals, you could ease your conscience by sending a donation to some Animals’ group.  We sent a check.
Shortly thereafter we started recieving all sorts of letters, brochures and calendars from this group.  It does’nt take much to figger out that this is a scam—They paid more for the mail-outs than we gave them.

And the same thing is true for all those friggin’ political candidates, PBS and all the rest of that shit.

Obama got most of his funding from Wall Street investors. 
For them, it raises their level of euphoria that they are pulling the wool over all the eyes of all the ones who donated small amounts of hard earned cash.  It’s a numbers game. 
They piss your money way on advertising or parties while you are contributing to their cause, roting for their success.  You are letting them know that you are a sucker.

And in America, there’s one born every minute.

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Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, December 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

to Schift: I’d be happy to help answer your question,

“Who is worse?” George Bush is a hundred times worse than Obama

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By Virginia777, December 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

you got that right, BobZ: “Every time I get pissed off by the Democrats, I see Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin on the tube, and I remember just how bad things were a year ago”

I do not understand this myopic viewpoint, considering what we just got out of so very recently, its a waste of time and destructive.

(just what we need, greater destruction of the left)

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By Shift, December 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Obama has sided with the economic elites at the expense of people.  He is actively participating in class warfare against working people.  His policies are harmful to people.  Bush told us he was screwing us.  Obama tells us he’s our friend then screws us.  Who is worse?

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Eric L. Prentis's avatar

By Eric L. Prentis, December 9, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

On the never-ending mid-east war in Iraq/Afghanistan and the economy, President Obama is a tool for the big interests, what a dud.

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By bozh, December 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We are a nation of laws” say pols. What pols don’t say is the fact the ‘laws’ had been written solely by the masterclass and other warlords.

And not since 1776, but since 6k bc. Hamurabbi,senacherib, hitler, peter the great, bismarc, sargon, mussolini, slave owners all wrote ‘laws’ and not just wrote but also [re]interpreted in such a way that none of them cld ever be wrong.

They can be mistaken, tho. But that’s as far their culpability extends.
Of course, a US prez can be wrong only if s/he’s caught cheating on his/her spouse or runs afoul of the funni uncle.
Essentially, thats’ what happened to unlucky nixon. He, nevertheless, remained a godhead as far as slaughter of s.asians went.

And obama knows this. Denying basic human rights: such as right to life and the right to liberty for own soldiers and alien pop is “lawful” and a constitutional demand.

Other countries are ruled by tyrrants/despots but not US; US is ruled by laws.
Also sprachen alle kaisern, meine freunden! danke

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By BobZ, December 9, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

I’m not ready to write Obama off just yet, although I too am getting tired of the
constant requests for money and to get involved in health care reform when it is
apparent that the reform is going to be too little and too expensive. Afghanistan
was on the table during the campaign so no surprise that Obama is pushing that.
I just hope he gets out in 18 months. The re-regulation of Wall Street and the
banking industry needs to be accelerated and implemented before we get
ourselves in another “too big to fail” scenario. Every time I get pissed off by the
Democrats, I see Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin on the tube, and I remember just
how bad things were a year ago.

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By HereGoes, December 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for expressing what has been on my mind for many months.  As a registered Democrat, I was very suspicious of the Obama campaign when they referred to it (especially in the e-mails) as a “movement.”  I had serious doubts about any politician who was able to convince so many voters that he wasn’t political, he was the “one.”  True voices of change have been repressed for too long now, and it is extremely disappointing that Obama was a pretender to that throne.  I respect Mr. Scheer’s depth of analysis, his historical perspective and yes, his outrage.  And I’m still mad that I can’t read his columns in the LA Times.  Keep at it,  Mr. Scheer!

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By NABNYC, December 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

I agree.  Everytime I get an e-mail from the Obama fundraising group, pretending to be some kind of grassroots organization, I get so angry at their arrogance, and at how little they obviously think of the public to write this garbage. 

My issues, my disappointments, are the same.  The Democrats promised to end the wars, but they have escalated, starting a new war in Pakistan, staging a coup in Honduras, buying bases in Columbia to begin to overthrow any democratically-elected leader in Central or South America that favors independence for their own country—just like Reagan.  On foreign policy, just like Reagan. 

The refusal of the Obama administration and the Democrats to investigate, indict, prosecute members of the Bush administration for international war crimes is a disgrace.  The refusal of the Obama administration and Congress to investigate, indict, prosecute, seize the assets of most of the top people from Wall Street for financial crimes, theft, fraud, is a disgrace.  Instead of prosecuting them, the Democrats have stepped into the Republican’s shoes and give money to these criminals in exchange for a percentage kick-back.  Same for the war corporations. 

As for national healthcare, Obama held secret meetings at the outset (like Cheney’s secret meetings with oil corporations) and negotiated away all of our goals:  no single-payor, no public option, no nothing for the people. 

What the Democrats calling health care “reform” will simply be another major giveaway of taxpayer money to the medical industry by forcing citizens to buy insurance, with the premiums spread around to the thieving doctors, drug sellers and hospitals who so grossly overcharge already that our people die because they can’t afford to see a doctor.

I feel more like a “subject” than a citizen.  We plead with the government to do something to help the people, and they throw pennies at us as they fly over in their private jets.  Our politicians get obscenely rich from bribes, sell their votes, are corrupt down to the fillings in their teeth.  And everybody knows it, and they write laws to make sure that they can get away with it.

For example, the federal politician’s bribery statute is written in such a way that the complaining party has the burden of proving a quid prop quo was negotiated—that Senator X explicitly agreed that he would vote against a national healthcare system in exchange for Insurance Company Y giving him $50,000.  Of course none of them are that stupid.  Instead, the arrangements for the bribes are made indirectly, couched in different language.

For everyone else in the world, in a representative position like the politicians, the mere fact that they took money would give rise to the presumption that they had breached their duty to the people they are supposed to represent.  If the judge takes money from one side in a case, for example, the judge’s decision would be thrown out as being the result of corruption.  Our politicians should be judged the same way.  They should be barred from taking money from anyone. 

Also barred from accepting employment with any industry or organization affected by the politician’s decisions while the politician was in office, for a minimum of 5 years after they leave office. 

If we don’t stop the criminal enterprise, the bribery and corruption, then we need to stop pretending that the politicians represent us. 

In Northern Ireland, for example, the Catholics don’t for a minute think that the Protestant politicians represent them.  They are the enemy.  The people organize to force the enemy (the politicians, in this case) to do what the people demand.  No false illusions among those people that the Protestants will help them just because they hold political office.

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By Clevelandchick, December 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent piece Mr. Scheer, I unsubscribed awhile ago to Obama’s E-mails and gave them a eyefull to read as my reason.  Obviously didn’t do any good.

But I’ve also told local Dems I know and have supported in the past that I won’t be voting in 2010 or 2012 and that most of my friends feel the same.  I told them the national party is moving too far right and cozying up to big biz as much as the GOP.  They know voters are feeling this way, you can tell they are worried.

But, I don’t expect Hillary would have been much different.  She was up to her eyeballs in industry lobby money as well. The party needs an enema to rid itself of all of the corporate cash clogging the system.  We’ll never get change until corporate lobbyist money is banned from electoral politics.  I just don’t see that happening, they like the money and the power too much.

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