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For the Soul of Mankind

By Melvyn P. Leffler

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One Betrayal Too Many

Posted on Sep 14, 2011
AP / Charles Dharapak

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at their “golf summit” in June at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

By Robert Scheer

It’s getting too late to give President Barack Obama a pass on the economy. Sure, he inherited an enormous mess from George W., who whistled “Dixie” while the banking system imploded. But it’s time for Democrats to admit that their guy bears considerable responsibility for not turning things around. 

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He blindly followed President Bush’s would-be remedy of throwing money at the banks and getting nothing in return for beleaguered homeowners. Sadly, Obama has proved to be nothing more than a Bill Clinton clone triangulating with the Wall Street lobbyists at the expense of ordinary folks. 

That fatal arc of betrayal was captured by a headline in Tuesday’s New York Times: “Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on ‘Lost Decade.’ ” The Census Bureau reported that there are now 46.2 million Americans living below the official poverty line—the highest number in the 52 years since that statistic was first measured—and median household income has fallen back to the 1996 level. As Harvard economist Lawrence Katz summarized this dreary news: “This is truly a lost decade. We think of America as a place where every generation is doing better, but we’re looking at a period when the median family is in worse shape than it was in the late 1990s.”

The late 1990s, it should be noted, is when President Clinton, working with Phil Gramm, the Republican head of the Senate Banking Committee, pushed through two critical pieces of legislation ending effective regulation of the banks. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act smashed the wall between high-flying Wall Street investment firms and the once staid commercial banks entrusted with the deposits and mortgages of America’s innocent souls. The next year Clinton signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, banning any effective regulation of the rapidly expanded trade in the collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps that have since haunted the world’s economy.

The collapse of those toxic securities led to the housing crisis and resulted in 15.1 percent of Americans now living in poverty, the same level as when Bill Clinton took office. But thanks to another one of Clinton’s grand triangulation strategies, the one he called “welfare reform,” the impoverished are now denied the safety net that existed before the Clinton presidency. Although 22 percent of U.S. children are now below the poverty line, the Aid to Families With Dependent Children program no longer exists.


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Some of us who voted for Obama thought he was no Clinton, but he was and is, as was demonstrated in his first days in office when he appointed two key veterans of the Clinton Treasury Department, Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, to head up the Obama economic team. Geithner, as treasury secretary, is the point man for the administration’s push to pass the so-called American Jobs Act, which the president hyped in his Sept. 8 speech to Congress and the nation. It was pure Clinton bull: I feel your pain while I help the superrich pick your pocket. 

Space permits only one example, that of General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, whom Obama selected to head his “Jobs Council of leaders from different industries who are developing a wide range of new ideas to help companies grow and create jobs.” Was that some cruel joke? GE under Immelt has grown and created jobs, but they are abroad rather than in our own troubled country. As a result, by the end of last year, only 134,000 of GE’s workforce of 304,000 were based in the United States; the remainder—and 82 percent of the company’s profit—were sheltered abroad.

Ironically, GE’s ability to avoid taxes was restricted by President Ronald Reagan, who had once been a spokesman for GE but was outraged by the company’s use of tax loopholes. It remained for President Clinton to offer GE some new tax breaks. As a result of being able to shelter profit abroad last year, GE had profits of $14.2 billion but claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. Immelt was the elephant in the room when Obama said in his speech last week: “Our tax code should not give an advantage to companies that can afford the best-connected lobbyists. It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs right here in the United States of America.”

It has been a long time since GE was creating jobs here during its “better light bulb” days, and the last spurt of GE participation in the U.S. economy came through its unit GE Capital, which specialized in toxic mortgage lending that once produced more than half of the company’s profits but ultimately led to a taxpayer bailout. 

Someone who knows a great deal about that sort of scam is Elizabeth Warren, the consumer advocate and Harvard law professor pushed out of Obama’s inner circle. In launching her campaign for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts this week, Warren posted a video that clearly defined the enemy:

“Washington is rigged for big corporations. A big company, like GE, pays nothing in taxes, and we’re asking college students to take on even more debt to get an education?”

Obama in appointing Immelt last January praised him as a business leader who “understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy.” Apparently, what Immelt understands is that what it takes to satisfy corporate interests instead of national needs is conning a president into looking the other way while you send jobs abroad.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new 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

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, September 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

I am a relatively new citizen, and have only voted in 2 elections. I think I can be forgiven for making the mistake that Democrat stands for liberal. I’ve learned that lesson for good. The Tweedle-dee-dee and Tweedle-dee-dum two party system is a good / cop bad cop scam (depending what your affiliations happens to be) and serves nobody’s purpose except the monied interests. But then all the died-in-the-wool capitalists should be happy if they really believe the truism that capitalism is synonomous with democracy.

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By Cliff Carson, September 15, 2011 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

As long as we are not too afraid to change, we have a chance to overcome the mess our Government is sliding into.  But if we are so afraid to take that chance for change, so afraid that we just accept the status quo, we deserve every bad thing that happens.  If we don’t change we need to leave our children and their children this note - ” Sorry children we never had the guts to correct our mistakes, you will not find a world changed for the better, and therefore here is our mess we left you.  If you are better than us, you might survive.

The Greatest Economist from my perspective was Wilfredo Pareto, who famous for his 80/20 rule, was almost completely ignored in his warning that the transference of Wealth to the Elites, once passed a threshold of no return, would cause a collapse of the system that would bring great harm to everyone, even to the Elites, but it doesn’t have to happen - unless we lack the courage to stop it.

We are becoming Economic Serfs to those Elites or as I called them a few days ago the Plutarchs. We have allowed ourselves to be split into two camps by the Elite -  to war against each other, while the real enemy is our own ineptness to recognize the criminal Shadow Government - The Elites, The Corporatist, The Plutocrats.  Unfortunately this ineptness is the historical trend over the last several decades.

Corporatism, Elitism, a Financial Shadow Government, whatever we call it, signals the coming of extreme hardship and a dysfunctional and corrupt Government, one that is trending toward dictatorial Corporate Governance. 
And yet we still join the chorus to sing praises to the political party of our choice.

If we seek moral and ethical behavior from our elected leaders -  no, if we demand it, and if we punish those who become corrupt, we can achieve change that is positive.  Nothing else will suffice. And we must do this for our children. It really is too late for us.

We cannot continue Party Loyalty and expect anything to get better.  We have to find the courage to change our minds about our Political Party System.  We are nothing but stupid if we continue to carry the hope that either the Democratic or Republican Party will save our future.

The majority of you will vote either Democratic or Republican in the next election.  Why?

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By diamond, September 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

“Ron Paul, has an entirely different views, on most every issue, than any other candidate running or “possibly thinking running” for President in 2012. It is actually refreshing to read his views!”

Ron Paul is a libertarian. They don’t believe in public education, public health, pensions, social security and they want a government so small you can drown it in a bucket. This poem is for all the free market, libertarian, Adam Smith worshipping fools like Ron Paul and his brothers-in-arms, the neo cons.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!


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By The Prophet, September 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sociologists writing a treatise on lynch mob mentality could use truthdig as a case study.

(Meanwhile, the Gods in the heavens look down with compassion, “What sad and tragic fools these mortals are.” “Apathy, decadence, corruption, perversion… their fate is sealed. Only a miracle could save them now.”)

After the lynching, the mob wanders away, wondering why the rewards of revenge are so empty. In their minds they begin searching for another scapegoat in the vain hope that another human sacrifice will absolve them of their sins.

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By crawlars, September 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yup pupmom…I too have read much on why we are where we are and the only candidate and come to the same conclusion. Ron Paul is the only trustworthy candidate…its either him or SOS. His book, The Revolution is a good read if anyone wanted to know where he was coming from.

In Scheers’ defense, and late or not, his book is well-written/researched and educational. He does get it and I do not hink he’ll be going partisan any time soon grin

Another read I’d recommend, though some would cry “conspiracy nut” (isn’t that getting old?) is Griffin’s “The Creature form Jekyll Island”, new edition. If you ever wanted to understand central banking/fractional reserve banking, fiat currency..this is great and astounding read.

But as you mentioned, folks need to do a little research and start asking “why?”. While most of the folks here seem to get it, the vast majority are yet to wake up. Yet, I have hope but there is not much time.

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By henrydeluxe8, September 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

@Yankee Sue, in your devotion you appear to have left out GE’s contribution to
the war machine.  No small matter.

And Healthcare, you are not serious, are you? half a trillion hand out to the
private sector, including the gutting of Medicaid and Medicare- AND_ not even
attempting to fight for the Public Option.  Are you aware that “Healthcare”
reform is a blueprint from the conservative think tank- The Heritage
Foundation? no of course not Credit card reform? hahaha. Please.  You must
really like war too since Mr Obama has kept in place pretty much everything The
Cheney administration came up with- AND has in fact expanded it.  You must
also like the the curtailing of civil liberties ala Bush, since Obama at every turn
has affirmed the unconstitutional Patriot Act….How about executive ordered
assassinations- like those too? You madam, are part of the problem in your
inability to understand what constitutes deception.  Get a clue.

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By pupmom, September 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is someone to study up on!

Do the research yourself.  Read what he says, IN ITS ENTIRETY.  Very important.

(R) & (D) are dead ends.  This they have proven to us.

Ron Paul, has an entirely different views, on most every issue, than any other candidate running or “possibly thinking running” for President in 2012. It is actually refreshing to read his views!

Remember, that no candidate, will EVER completely agree with all your views.  Ron Paul is different.  Give it time and study up.

Many many people and more each day are understanding that this “qualified gentle man” is just what America desperately requires to survive for future generations.

Everyone else says & does the “same ol same ol” routine.  We can not believe in any of them to fix the country.  They are the ones who put us right here, right now, in this kind of shape.

Each day that goes by, another tragedy, billions given away, war criminals still very much at large and living just as large while we flouder.

Ron Paul 2012

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By Yankee Sue, September 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Betrayal? Oh, please. Healthcare? Enforcement of labor laws? Credit card reform?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? The list goes on and on. We elected a
man not a God. This whole litany is ridiculously overblown. OK, GE took advantage
of legal loopholes and avoided taxes. (Reform the tax code!) It is also spending $1
billion to fund cancer research, it developed a unique gas turbine that doesn’t use
water and already has $1 billion in orders to replace inefficient polluting steam
boilers. It recently announced a 510-megawatt plant enabling the integration of
more renewable resources into the power grid…Get a grip.

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By REDHORSE, September 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

The sideshow and discussions about the sideshow continue. The Federal Government is a hollow (privatized) shell. The Chicago/“gold sacks” boys want the Social Security cash cow for their very own and are about (think supercomm) to get it. Obama is simply a cooler. The “greatest nation/people in the world” have their pants around their ankles. You’ll snivel but you won’t fight. You have it coming!!

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By ksoskin, September 15, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Let me join the chorus: way, way, WAY too late to give Obama any kind of pass
on the economy or anything else—human rights, civil rights, foreign policy,—
you name it and it was thunderingly obvious he was a disaster a long time ago. 

What is incredible, Mr. Scheer, is that you are just cozying up to that possibility

And even more incredible than that is how far you still have to go.  You end by
saying “Apparently, what Immelt understands is that what it takes to satisfy
corporate interests instead of national needs is conning a president into
looking the other way while you send jobs abroad.”

Really?  You don’t know that no one is conning this president to look the other
way in any way, shape or form?  You don’t realize that in terms of satisfying
corporate interests, he’s the man leading the charge?  And that he’s doing it in a
way that makes Bill Clinton look like a rank amateur? Then you aren’t paying

In case you lose your new and tender understanding about what a disaster
Obama is, just come take a look at the comments from your readers. We are
clear as a bell about what’s going on because the statistics you’re quoting aren’t
news and they aren’t just numbers to us—they define our lives, and we know
that things are worse than what the numbers show.  We’d really appreciate you
getting up to speed on this, and fast.

You can always check in with your colleague, Chris Hedges.  He’s had it right
since day one.

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By christian96, September 15, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

The real beginning of the end came on Nov. 9, 1989
when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and all
the king’s men can’t put it back together again.
I can still hear those words resounding in my
head, “Mr. G, tear down this wall!”  Was he given
an academy award for that performance?

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By henrydeluxe8, September 15, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

The betrayal started the day he got elected, as Matt Taibbi, wrote in Rolling Stone.

The Obama transition team headed by one MIchael Froman, a former Harvard classmate of Obama’s AND a high ranking executive at CITI group - in what most ppl would consider a huge conflict of interest- “worked out” an economic aid
package in October of 2008 with the help of one Timothy Geithner (then at the NY Fed), worth 300 billion, 300 billion! This is almost never mentioned.  In other words, Obama’s love affair with Wall Street was clearly in evidence from the get go.  That he quickly ditched the progressive economists that had accompanied him in the campaign can be deemed a blatant act of deception.  Can anyone imagine Mr Obama campaigning with Larry Summers and Robert Rubin? This president is indeed historical, cuz the “audacity” to loudly present himself as what he clearly is not, is a gross act of hypocrisy of almost unprecedented proportions.

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By keepyourheaddown, September 15, 2011 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Obama is finished, he was a fake…

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By Cole..., September 15, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting how the Obuma bunch react to the loosing election events—-by Whimpering!

The only rational explanation is that Obuma is suicidal and hell bent to take the reminents of the Demo party with him.

But, that could be he is only ‘politically suicidal’, the party will be trashed and he will be found to,  be standing on the ash, with his peace prize in one hand and a stone from the Statue of Liberty in the other.

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By Robert Speed, September 15, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our current economic problem and its parallels and
its solutions are historically available. Our
founders spent borrowed money, Lincoln spent borrowed
money, Roosevelt, and it only seems justified if we
have to go to war. But when Bush deployed the two
santa claus ninjas strategy on steroids and the
deregulation of the financial sector took a elephant
sized dump on the world and the United States, “hope
and change”, changed into Nuclear meltdown clean up
and repair. Conservative shibboleths were all
shattered and through burning wreckage strolled a
handsome and competent pleasant liberal black man. He
was invested with all the hopes and dreams of America
and for that Republicans hated him. The worse thing
that could happen would be for him to succeed. So
even though his success might turn america around
this could never be allowed or the very ideology and
brand identity of conservatism might be forever

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 15, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Y’all proggies need to realize (if you haven’t already) that liberalism is not the Left and you are not going to get Left politics out of liberal institutions like the Democratic Party.  That’s the first step.  What you do with that realization is another issue.

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By nssf, September 15, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer: I’m cheered to see that you’ve recovered from your longstanding apologist position in relation to Mr. Obama. I sincerely hope it lasts.

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Queenie's avatar

By Queenie, September 15, 2011 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

gstoddard.. “we need to win elections in order to establish policies.”

Elections? You really think we have real elections anymore in this country? HA!

What we have is SELECTIONS by the corporate/fascist/military cartel running the global economy. And they were afraid of McCain & Palin precisely because the result of their 4 years in office would have been like playing with a wild card. Obysmal/Obomber was a sure bet.

If you want to play the ELECTION game and vote for the fascist party, be my guest.

Me? I’m writing in Bernie Sanders.

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By crawlars, September 15, 2011 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is completely owned by the banking cartel as were most presidents for the last 150 years or so. Same with most of congress.
Psychopathic parasites that will do anything to create debt rule the world.

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By JniBGood, September 15, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In America, with the corporate [fascist] governance upon us, the conclusion of the Reagan Revolution upon us, and the destruction of our beloved Constitutional republic nearly a fait accompli, there is really only one thing to say:

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee [our beloved constitutional republic]!

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By jak123, September 15, 2011 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

The problem that Obama has with the right-wingers is one of authenticity. You can´t beat something with nothing.

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By Aquifer, September 15, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is that a picture of Obama getting down on his knees to Boehner or getting up off them?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, September 15, 2011 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Oh yes

Ralph Nader asked over and over “What is Your Breaking Point?” I guess Robert Scheer reached his.

Welcome to the club Robert.

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By davidtalks, September 15, 2011 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Of all the glowing nice things said about Obama during the 2008 election season, I never heard the word courage.

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By davidtalks, September 15, 2011 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Senator Obama voted for the 2008 bailout. All ya’ need to know, Mr. Scheer. Gitmo? Afghanistan? Infrastructure? How many lies does it take for a nation to fall?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, September 15, 2011 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

There are no circular firing squads.

The battle lines are crystal clear. You either on the side of the wealthy, as the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans are, including Obama or you are on the side of the rest of us.

There is no circular firing squad. That is a myth set by apologists. The firing squad have formed straight lines and pointed them in the right direction.

Glad to see that Truthdig is allowing articles like this.

Oh and Red Teddy

I am pretty sure that you will not be in DC October 5th. Far easier to sit and blog and complain.

To the rest who have the courage and integrity, see you in DC October 5th

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By truedigger3, September 15, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Re: By prisnersdilema, September 15 at 7:20 am

prisnersdilema wrote:
“….the same fools that brought us this diaster are still in charge, and they will march us right off a cliff with their eyes open, they don’t have the intelligence to understand what they have done.”

No Sir. They UNDERSTAND exactly what they are doing!
They are brutalising the poor and impoverishing the middle class and gradually siphoning most of the wealth of the country for themselves with the complete cooperation, collusion and partnership of Obama and the Democratic Party leadership.
Scheer is to late. Anyone who watched Obama even before the election would have easily known he is a fraud and a con man par excellence. He is doing it again getting ready for the next election and believe or not many people will be fooled again or well vote for the “lesser of two evils!”.

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By prisnersdilema, September 15, 2011 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

An interesting photo. Of Obama in an O.J. Moment. Much like O.J. Simpson, showed after all the dirty work has been done, it was time to enjoy a round of golf, untroubled by the day’s events.

Obama, like O.J., is a corporate spokesman. Elected on his image to appeal to the masses, to sell the corporate pogrom against American’s. Now that Obama has done his job, of turning the government agencies, into extensions of the corporations. Those agencies, can go about butchering the people in order to increase corporate profits. The congress will go along, because that’s what they are paid to do.

Then, Obama, like O.J. can take the time to enjoy his favorite sports, and sporting events, while lobbyists write the bills. And every once and a while, right on time, O.Jama will, like one of those Swiss cuckoo clocks with a bird that comes out of a house on the hour to tweet the time, come out to make a speech, to exhort the masses to once again believe, that all is well in America. That he is working hard for us, the hapless masses.

And hapless we are as the Republican party continues it’s carnage, un opposed in any meaningful way. By the president, who keeps stabbing us all right in the back.

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By caped amigo, September 15, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Your column is shear music to my ears (no pun intended). With your permission, I
am going to compose a folk song utilizing some of your words. Actually, it’s a
battle cry.

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By alturn, September 15, 2011 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

During Obama’s election campaign, the ‘little people’ gave more money to Obama than Wall Street.  Yet Wall Street’s money was far more enticing. Maybe because what Obama has implemented is straight out of a top business school’s playbook.  Being a Harvard grad, elite school grads seem to be the only group he respects and surrounds himself with.  Not with regular folks which someone who was truly a community organizer would or with spiritually high minded people which a Masonic president such as FDR did.  Who he surrounds himself with guarantees that radical solutions will not be considered.  Such as moving towards sharing the world’s resources, which his plans to dismantle social security and medicare show, is exactly opposite his direction.

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By gstoddard, September 15, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Ah! If only we had elected McCain and Palin!

I agree with many of Mr Scheer’s criticisms of the Democrats except I wonder if
Elizabeth Warren was forced out. It makes sense to me that she chose to run for
Congress rather where her voice can be more influential than as head of the
agency she organized.

My concern is how do we criticize the president constructively without forming
a circular firing squad? Unfortunately for liberals and progressives we need to
win elections in order to establish policies.

I have the sinking feeling that the Republicans will continue to control the
narrative and the Democrats will continue to run away from arguing from
principle for positive ideas (such as the morality of health care reform) and fall
back to their defensive posture that in the end is weak and self defeating?

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By Anarcissie, September 15, 2011 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

It’s ‘getting too late’?  It was too late when Mr. O appointed Summers and Emmanuel.  What on earth is Scheer talking about?

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By bigchin, September 15, 2011 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a liar and a fraud.

De-elect the president.

Vote progressive third party in 2012.  The Manchurian candidate must be stopped.

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By radson, September 15, 2011 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Bob :Nice photo of Obummer golfing with a Boner .Who do think is going to be Prez. Obama’s’ major reelection contributor ,well I’ll say Mr. Immelt and GE.Why ? well its simple if you look at Tax exemptions and a new jobs creation program .

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By James Pannozzi, September 15, 2011 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The full extent of the retribution coming against the two main political parties remains unknown.  The charades played by both are now exposed for all to see.

The political retribution will be swift and
unremitting.  Unheard of candidates, many with no
prior political experience, will be elected at the
expense of the entrenched and long term
“politicians”.  News media, currently under the
control of corporatist interests, will lose ground to
upstarts and interlopers, like al-Jazeera and others,
as Netflix like news systems replace the cable and
network entrenched hegemony.

There will be no more “novelty” presidents.
The current one has already lost.  A genius at
telling everyone what they want to hear, that’s how
he got elected but… somehow the actions never seem
to jive with the speeches… very curious but very
telling!  Ah yes he’s for “main street”, not “wall
street”.  Yes indeed.  Until he returns to the safety
of Washington and it is time to pick his staff,
cabinet, and other important positions.  Ah yes, he
wanted to end that preposterous Afghanistan war but
... let’s just wait for one more report from the
General, shall we?  ONLY a few more years to go.
Of course he CAN’T bring the troops home just yet, there’s NO JOBS for them.  And worse, THERE’S NO PLAN TO FIX THE “NO JOBS” situation because such a plan would have to reverse the last 15 years of outsourcings, globalism, NAFTA and all the rest of the “package” deal.

The enactment of Draconian reforms - term limits,
easy recall elections, expansion of the Supreme court to over 20 justices, the ELIMINATION of the obsolete “electoral” college AND, the END of redistricting games - all of it is coming, soon, and dramatically…by popular reque… er… make that DEMAND.  That’s if, hopefully, all goes well.
If it does not… see Egypt.

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By John Iacovelli, September 15, 2011 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think one way of seeing the 2012 election is as an auction with two bidders. On the one
side, the Republicans act as bidding agent for the “dirty” industries—oil, chemical,
paper, what remains of manufacturing, and so forth. The Democrats act on behalf of the
newer FIRE industries, Financial, Insurance and Real Estate. It’s an oversimplification,
but a useful one. We’re stuck in the middle, with no bidding agent acting on our behalf.
In this context, there is no “betrayal.” Clinton and Obama were never representing us to
begin with. And judging from the comments above, I’d say a lot of us feel that way.

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By prisnersdilema, September 15, 2011 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

Next up on the betrayal list is a reformulation for unemployment compenstation. The Republican’s are already salvating over this one…

When Obama, goes down he will take what’s left of the Democratic party with him, along with the remaining middle class. At this point all we have to look forward to is a total and complete collapse of America…

Just as Clinton was a Republican in drag, who set up the middle class, for what has come to pass. Obama is another one, who does the Republican bidding, then tries to mollify, and settle the nerves of the betrayed with pretty words.

Say good bye to this country….the same fools that brought us this diaster are still in charge, and they will march us right off a cliff with their eyes open, they don’t have the intelligence to understand what they have done.

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By Leefeller, September 15, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

I too raised eyebrows when Obama selected Wall Street cronies for his staff, the bile outs were a lot more than I would have given the to big to fall ass hole crowd.

My opinions on Obama emulate and seem to procure their shucking of hope and change right along with Sheers, one difference I feel is Obama is dealing with the obstructionist Congress, a Congress full of nothing new bought and paid for Republicans and I suppose to lesser extent so called blue dog Democrats?  As for the new Tea Bags, I suspect they are manipulated by the agendas of their benefactors like Koch Brothers and ALEC, with or without the higher pay, they seem to have some religious overtones plus a stench of racialism and birther residue following them around.

It is like Congress as a majority works on commission, I have more respect for ladies of the night, because they really earn their money and they are frowned upon?
Congress in the majority are whores to the special interests, lobbyists and now super packs. The people be damned.

Obama is not the only problem, but his lopsided giving away everything, including the kitchen sink compromising portions to special interests says something in my book!

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By jojojo, September 15, 2011 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget his having stacked the Deficit Commission with the likes of Alan ( I hate working people) Simpson, and cutting tax revenues for Soc Sec.

I say make all current and former members of Congress go on Medicare as their medical coverage, and Soc Sec as their retirement program.  THEN see if they want to cut those programs.

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By johncp, September 15, 2011 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

Scheer is up to his old tricks.  He has a personal problem with Clinton, and in his book, which Salon happily pushes, promotes the notion that Clinton, by design, sought to pull our country down.  Scheer tells us that both Clinton and Reagan “enriched” Wall St. while impoverishing main st.  The notion is preposterous.  Reagan was philosophically inclined to this behavior.  Clinton was compelled to engage in it.
There is a greater difference here, than many people may suppose.  All politicians that rise anywhere near the heights that Clinton achieved will have already made their peace with Wall St., accepting that political power comes with accomadation to Wall Street’s demands.  This is true of all our presidents.  Scheer would like us to believe that Clinton was in Reagan’s company.  The difference is that Reagan enthusiatically gave Wall St. what it wished.  To believe this about Clinton is nonsense.  Wall St. “took” what it wanted during Clinton’s tenure.  Clinton had no say about it.  To suppose otherwise is naive, especially in view of what Clinton achieved for the middle class.  Would the republicans have sought so strenuously to destroy Clinton, including a groundless impeachment, were Clinton such a pro-Wall St. supporter?  Scheer has given Obama infinitely more latitude than he gave Clinton, even though any simpleton can see that Clinton was vastly to be preferred to Obama in virtually every measure. Scheer simply despises Clinton for reasons more personal than he’d like us to know, and uses his relative celebrity among the news intelligentsia to promote his personal hatred.

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By Wikileaks for Nobel, September 15, 2011 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

John M, you simply reproduce segments from an article and additionally, you do not even identify the author.

This is not okay.  It isn’t a contribution to conversation here, and it violates copyright standards.

But I think you knew that.

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By Wikileaks for Nobel, September 15, 2011 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

Why, after all that has happened—and not been done—does Mr. Scheer state that “it’s getting too late” for Zero to act on the economy?  What exactly would it take for Scheer to acknowledge that it is already long past the pull date for Mr. Corporate to have decisively steered the economy in the direction of jobs and needed taxation?

Mr. Scheer, your Democratic bias is showing…and it also reveals something close to a lack of integrity.  Please check your assumptions and make sure you aren’t giving a free pass to corporate flunkies who have a “D” by their names.

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By John M, September 15, 2011 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

In societies governed by persuasion, politics is
mostly talk, so liberals’ impoverishment of their
vocabulary matters. Having damaged liberalism’s
reputation, they call themselves progressives. Having
made the federal government’s pretensions absurd,
they have resurrected a supposed synonym for the
government, the “federal family.” Having made federal
spending suspect, they advocate “investments” — for
“job creation,” a euphemism for stimulus, another
word they have made toxic.
Barack Obama, a pitilessly rhetorical president,
continues to grab the nation by its lapels, demanding
its attention, and is paying the price: The nation is
no longer listening. This matters because ominous
portents are multiplying.
Bank of America, which reported an $8.8 billion loss
last quarter, plans to lay off 30,000 out of a
workforce of nearly 300,000. The Postal Service hopes
to shed 120,000 of its 653,000 jobs (down from almost
900,000 a decade ago). Such churning of the labor
market would free people for new, more productive
jobs — except that to reduce unemployment, the
economy needs an approximately 3 percent growth rate,
triple today’s rate.
Consumers of modest means are so strapped that Wal-
Mart is reviving layaway purchases for the Christmas
season. The Wall Street Journal reports that Procter
& Gamble, which claims to have at least one product
in 98 percent of American households, expects hard
times for a long time: It is putting new emphasis on
lower-priced products for low-income shoppers.
Just as Obama administration policies have delayed
the housing market reaching a salutary bottom,
Europe’s policies designed to delay Greece’s default
on its debt are probably making that inevitability
worse. If the contagion reaches Italy or Spain (“Too
big to fail and too big to bail”), we shall learn how
hollow Europe’s banks are, and how much U.S. banks
are entangled with them

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By John M, September 15, 2011 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

During the debt-ceiling debate, the New York Times,
liberalism’s bulletin board, was aghast that
Republicans risked causing the nation to default on
its debt. Now two Times columnists endorse slow-
motion default through inflation: The Federal Reserve
should have “the deliberate goal of generating higher
inflation to help alleviate debt problems” (Paul
Krugman) and “sometimes we need inflation, and now is
such a time” (Floyd Norris).
Ken Rogoff, a Harvard economist, suggests “trying to
achieve some modest deleveraging through moderate
inflation of, say, 4 to 6 percent for several years.”
This is an antiseptic way of saying we should reduce
the weight of our indebtedness by reducing the value
of the dollars in which it is denominated. But does
the nation need more uncertainty? And note Rogoff’s
serene confidence in government’s ability to control
such things — inflation will be fine-tuned within a
narrow band, switched on for just a few years, then
off, like a government-approved light bulb.
It is a wonder, this faith-based (and often campus-
based) conviction that the government that brought us
the ethanol program can be trusted to precisely
execute wise policies that will render the world
predictable and progressive.
For two years, there has been one constant: As events
have refuted the Obama administration’s certitudes,
the administration has retained its insufferable
knowingness. It knew that the stimulus would hold
unemployment below 8 percent. Oops. Unemployment has
been at least 9 percent in 26 of the 30 months since
the stimulus was passed. Michael Boskin of Stanford
says that, even if one charitably accepts the
administration’s self-serving estimate of jobs
“created or saved” by the stimulus, each job cost
$280,000 — five times America’s median pay.
And research by Garett Jones and Daniel M. Rothschild
of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center
indicates that just 42.1 percent of workers hired by
entities receiving stimulus funds were unemployed at
the time. More (47.3 percent) were poached from other
organizations, and 10.6 percent came directly from
school or outside the labor force.
Obama’s administration, which is largely innocent of
business experience, knew its experts would be
wizards at investing taxpayers’ dollars. Oops. After
receiving more than half a billion stimulus dollars
in loan guarantees, bankrupt solar-panel maker
Solyndra has shed nearly all of its more than 1,100
The economic policy the “federal family” should adopt
can be expressed in five one-syllable words: Get.
Out. Of. The. Way. Instead, Energy Secretary Steven
Chu, whose department has become a venture capital
firm for crony capitalism and costly flops at
creating “green jobs,” praises the policy of
essentially banishing the incandescent light bulb as
“taking away a choice that continues to let people
waste their own money.” Better to let the experts in
his department and the rest of the federal family
waste other people’s money.

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By Jayman, September 15, 2011 at 5:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The liberal media has acted reprehensibly throughout this farce. Beginning in 2007 when ABC was writing articles about how cool his drug use was, right up to happily joining in on the nasty race baiting of honest American citizens that tried to tell you people this Health Care bill was garbage, and continuing on today by ignoring the theft of an $800 billion dollar stimulus, and keeping quiet his scandals such as; Fast and Furious, Solynrda, illegal wars, and ignoring voter intimidation violations, to name only a few.

The hypocrisy that has been displayed by liberals and the media will never be forgotten in this country. The American people were thrown under the bus to support an untested, unknown, inexperienced, pop cult fad, that had assumed the most powerful position in the country, and let him run free to wreak havoc.

We will probably have to have 42 million people starve to death before this media criticizes anything this president does, or does not do.

One thing Obama learned very well from his alleged education at elite American Universities was how to scam white liberals, he’ll have you all crying for him and making more excuses by the time it’s all over, he’s at least good at THAT. The only thing good that may come from this is that Obama has utterly destroyed the any credibility of the mainstream media may have had left, the progressive liberal party, and Keynesian economics.

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By Dr Bones, September 15, 2011 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

$ 16 trillion handed to the banks and we get record unemployment and poverty. 

How is that trickle down Reaganomics (on steroids) working out for everyone.  The top 5% are making out like the greedy bandits that they are.

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By Philip Dennany, September 15, 2011 at 4:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have been asking for the Democrats to dump Obama and open up the 1=2012 election for anyone with proven past record, determination and more grid that Obama lacks. There are a couple dozen, the best in my book would be Kucinich, Warren, or Sanders(that works harder for democrat ideals more than 99% of those now holding office under that title.  Our (D)leaders are cowards or Blue Dogs that are easily bought(contribution bribed) away from their voter base.  No way will I dare vote for Obama ever again regardless of his promises.  He is too ready to surrender even after taking too much from the majorty population.

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By JohannG, September 15, 2011 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

By definition, in a Democracy the People get the
government they deserve. Is Obama a morally vacant
leader whose first priority is to remain in office?
Sure. Have the Republicans gone off the deep end?
Sure. Are the majority of Americans ok with that?
Sure. The majority of Americans can’t find their own
behind with two hands in the dark and happily vote
against their own economic interests (if they vote at
all). Our elected leaders understand these facts and
behave accordingly. The root cause of our corrupt
system is that, on average,  Americans are a stupid
and ignorant bunch. The only real way out of this is
education combined with compassion. Robert Scheer’s
articles provide such education and are based on a
moral sense of fairness and justice. Always a
pleasure to read.

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By bpawk, September 15, 2011 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

Like you said in your article, you voted for him so you helped bring this upon yourself.  You had Ralph Nader who could have been a real alternative but you thought you were too good for him - now you’re suffering because you have nowhere else to go and Obama knows it. He can afford to alienate his base because of this fact.

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By Ricardo Sanchez, M.D., September 15, 2011 at 4:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Mr. President: It saddens me to have to say that your new old tack is not only too little and too late, it is also wrong. When you are dealing with extremists, the middle ground that you are obsessed with is a rotten deal for mainstream Americans.  You keep on trying to convince your detractors to support their own agenda! Then, you let them frame you as the “job-creator-in-chief, a sure ticket for a one-term presidency. Presidents don’t create jobs, certainly not those presidents who only picked up golf after they got to the White House. Since manufacturing is now a China thing, the only US job creators are your friends in Bank of America. They are doing their part: 40,000 of their neo-slaves to be laid off in celebration of the bank’s return to profitability funded with the taxes paid by… those very 40,000 and the rest of the “unwealthiest” suckers, all of whom pay more taxes than General Electric. Don’t count on corporate America to create the jobs that would decrease their profits. Sure, stocks have lost value, but that only hurts the retirement plans of the people that voted for you. Downturns generally have little impact on management compensation: they get a bigger bonus when they cut the payroll, not when they grow it. Their incomes are guaranteed, they effectively retired the day they landed a “job” in one of those “too big to fail” schemes. They love high unemployment; it makes our labor market almost as attractive as China’s.
To turn this around, you would have to get back to the time when it LOOKED that you wanted to change the direction and speed of deterioration of all things American. Back then, it looked like you recognized the problems: from the cult and cuddling of the mega rich , to the demise of justice, the unjustified intervention in foreign countries, the kowtowing to the Israeli masters and that “ready to compromise ideology-less stance” on every important principle, barring none. The extreme right will never invite you in, even if you insist in offering everything they want. If you plan to retire as a pastor, keep on turning alternating cheeks and continue working on your golf game. Otherwise, simply explain to voters why you have not been able to get anything done: it’s your honest (and pathologically naive) attempt to negotiate with Republicans, hard core Obama haters who are perfectly willing to commit suicide and drag the entire US into a dustbin as long as you leave the White House pronto. If you are not willing to explain this fact and expose in plain terms the self-destructiveness of the “Party of No”, you ought to quit now and grab a good sit to (continue to)  watch the Tea party roll back the 20th Century.

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By christian96, September 15, 2011 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

I just sent the following message to President
Obama at The White House:

A few days ago I kindly
ask you not to interrupt
“The Price Is Right” with
your speeches.  Do you think you would listen?
Of course not!  You had
to interrupt The Price Is
Right to show off your
bill.  Therefore, I am
going to tell the truth
to the American people
as depicted in the following comments I posted this morning on after a report by Robert Scheer
titled, “One Betrayal
Too Many.”  By the way,
feel free to interrupt
The Price Is Right to
present a bill eliminating
income taxes on social security for individuals
making less than $50,000
annually, as you promised to do PRIOR to the 2008
election.  God bless.

By christian96, September 15 at 1:38 am

We,the people, hold these truths to be self-evident:
(1) People worship money, especially those people
calling themselves “politicians.”
(2) A small minority of people have lots of money
through their investments in American corporations.
(3) The vast majority of people have very little
money and thus must borrow from banks.
(4) Banks make lots of money through their investments in corporations.
(5) Politicians have arranged for American corporations to make MORE money by leaving American
soil and obtaining cheap labor overseas.
(6) Politicans, banks, and corporations have arranged to have anyone stamped on(as in “stampede”)
by the American military if they try to change
the above-mentioned truths.
(7) Therefore, to avoid the stampede, learn to be
happy with your welfare, and food stamps. Watch
ballgames and movies on television and learn not
to covet your rich neighbor’s bank account.

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By elisalouisa, September 15, 2011 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

Even folk with formal I.Q.s of 75 can see through this Obama jive-talk.

An assumption that may prove to be untrue.

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By drbhelthi, September 15, 2011 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

“Obama in appointing Immelt last January praised him as a business leader who
“understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy.” 
Scheer article

Viewing the situation from what has actually happened, that which is viewed to
be requirements in order that the USA can compete in the global economy? 
“Global economy” ???
-  the salaries of Americans must be lowered to that of Far Eastern nations, e.g.
China,  which Barack al Obama and crew are bringing about, with acceleration; 
-  the availability of existing jobs in the USA must be equalized with 3rd-world
countries, via the exportation of jobs from the U.S. to said countries, which
Obama and crew initiated over two years ago;
-  also, the banking system in the US must be totally subordinated to the
counterfeit debt system of the Zionist-controlled Federal Reserve, which Barack
bin Obama and crew accelerated via doubling the U.S. national debt.

Doubling the US national debt, and requesting even more, and trying to distract           Americans and the world from comprehending the counterfeit-debt, theory-limited procedures of the “Federal Reserve,” has been a winning achievement of the Barack al Obama entourage.  However, the world saw the deceit with the 2008 counterfeit bank defaults and Americans are slowly awakening to the deceit. 

And, for all the gullible, poor “folk of color” and “folk not of color”, illegal
immigrants granted voting rights, and the several names of the dead who arise
from their graves to vote in USPresidential elections.  The latest 2012 pre-election
promise, to suck you away from your intelligent, non-bin Obama decision, and
back into the Barack bin Obama fold :  “I will tax the Rich to pay for the debt.” 
Even folk with formal I.Q.s of 75 can see through this Obama jive-talk.

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By wpfwfan, September 15, 2011 at 2:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Only one betrayal too many?  Your betrayal quota is very high indeed before you reach one many.

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By christian96, September 15, 2011 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

We,the people, hold these truths to be self-evident:
(1) People worship money, especially those people
calling themselves “politicians.”
(2) A small minority of people have lots of money
through there investments in American corporations.
(3) The vast majority of people have very little
money and thus must borrow from banks.
(4) Banks make lots of money through their investments in corporations.
(5) Politicians have arranged for American corporations to make MORE money by leaving American
soil and obtaining cheap labor overseas.
(6) Politicans, banks, and corporations have arranged to have anyone stamped on(as in “stampede”)
by the American military if they try to change
the above-mentioned truths.
(7) Therefore, to avoid the stampede, learn to be
happy with your welfare, and food stamps. Watch
ballgames and movies on television and learn not
to covet your rich neighbor’s bank account.

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By blogdog, September 15, 2011 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

betrayal? - many among us knew Obomber was a puppet before Nov. 2008 - good
research is out there - - curiously though, Scheer’s
focus is usually on the Bomber’s selling out the Middle Class to the Banksters, not
on expanding the Global War OF Terror

sad to say, but even the left-lib-progs will turn pale when they see that the only
way the Bomber and his fellow war criminals (Sarkozy and Cameron) can manage a
stable occupation of Libya is after NATO finally bombs another million civilians to

bloody hell, Scheer, call him the war criminal that he is, or head for the bar to join
all the other washed up journalist pundits

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By Litl Bludot, September 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

Mr.Scheer, finally, you are starting to see the problem clearly. Obama is the fake choice, as such he completely blocks any real change, but instead has accomplished corporate fascist policies and actions even more reactionary, more deadly for civilization and the biosphere than Bush. In other words, he is a traitor to those who he professes to represent.

His actions will go down in history as those that definitively ended U.S. democracy and cemented corporate fascism, which will lead to the end of all beauty on this lovely planet.

Tragically, you and your colleagues, except for a few brilliant exceptions such as Mr Hedges and Chomsky and Nader, (who you refused to believe, much less support but instead gave your belief to Obama) do not have the guts to say this yet. Perhaps you don’t see it, but I think you do. You have been disastrously wrong, castigating those of us frantically trying to tell you what Obama really was BEFORE the election.

Why don’t you call for an alternative to Obama now, while there’s still some time. For instance, Elizabeth Warren could run for president instead of the Senate. We need emergency critical thinking that is bold and honest in order save what’s left of our country and the planet.

Tragically, you and your colleagues, except for a few brilliant exceptions such as Mr Hedges and Chomsky and Nader, (who you refused to believe, much less support but instead gave your belief to Obama) do not have the guts to say this yet. Perhaps you don’t see it, but I think you do. You have been disastrously wrong, while those of us frantically tried to tell you who and what Obama was BEFORE the election.

Why don’t you call for an alternative to Obama now, while there’s still some time. For instance, Elizabeth Warren could run for president instead of the Senate. We need emergency critical thinking, that is bold and honest, to save what’s left of our country and the planet.

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By Memory Stick, September 14, 2011 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone should remember that the first priority of a (D)emocratic controlled government (all 3 branches) was to pass a law that required all the dumb serfs to run out and purchase insurance from a for profit company.

Something Obama said was “like requiring homeless people to buy a house”
Obama on Ellen:

They didn’t really care whether said serfs could or would be able to afford an extra few hundred dollars a month to funnel into future campaign contributions, which is where much of these mandated dollars will go.

What a farce. And they got their sycophantic followers to support a (R)epublican bill.

A 3fer.

“No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people”
Henry Louis Mencken

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By redteddy, September 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

I agree with the article but it doesn’t really put forth any useful recommendation. 
We can choose not to vote allowing Republicans to tear into the economy and
society at large or, we can build a third party who would be mocked and ignored
like Nader, vote for Obama out of some democrat pavlovian habit. What else is
there?  Americans don’t have the energy or unity for a revolutionary confrontation
with corporate power and the plutocratic state so we can continue to scribble and
grumble and pretend to ourselves it makes a lick of difference.

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By pundaint, September 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

The only issue I would take with the piece is any sense that this is only now apparent.  This was clear during the first 4 months of his term.

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By Robespierre115, September 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

The real tragedy is how libtards don’t learn and keep supporting Obama and other worthless suits in power just because they run under the banner of “Democrat.” At least Republicans are honest enough to say clearly and plainly that yes, they do support letting someone die if they don’t purchase insurance, “liberals” prefer to be willingly blind to at least pretend they are supporting the right side.

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