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The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic

Posted on May 16, 2011
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Obama shakes hands with Princeton University professor Cornel West after speaking at the National Urban League’s 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington in July 2010.

By Chris Hedges

The moral philosopher Cornel West, if Barack Obama’s ascent to power was a morality play, would be the voice of conscience. Rahm Emanuel, a cynical product of the Chicago political machine, would be Satan. Emanuel in the first scene of the play would dangle power, privilege, fame and money before Obama. West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral commitment, that his legacy will be determined by his willingness to defy the cruel assault by the corporate state and the financial elite against the poor and working men and women, and that justice must never be sacrificed on the altar of power.

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Perhaps there was never much of a struggle in Obama’s heart. Perhaps West only provided a moral veneer. Perhaps the dark heart of Emanuel was always the dark heart of Obama. Only Obama knows. But we know how the play ends. West is banished like honest Kent in “King Lear.” Emanuel and immoral mediocrities from Lawrence Summers to Timothy Geithner to Robert Gates—think of Goneril and Regan in the Shakespearean tragedy—take power. We lose. And Obama becomes an obedient servant of the corporate elite in exchange for the hollow trappings of authority.

No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”

“When you look at a society you look at it through the lens of the least of these, the weak and the vulnerable; you are committed to loving them first, not exclusively, but first, and therefore giving them priority,” says West, the Class of 1943 University Professor of African American Studies and Religion at Princeton University. “And even at this moment, when the empire is in deep decline, the culture is in deep decay, the political system is broken, where nearly everyone is up for sale, you say all I have is the subversive memory of those who came before, personal integrity, trying to live a decent life, and a willingness to live and die for the love of folk who are catching hell. This means civil disobedience, going to jail, supporting progressive forums of social unrest if they in fact awaken the conscience, whatever conscience is left, of the nation. And that’s where I find myself now.

“I have to take some responsibility,” he admits of his support for Obama as we sit in his book-lined office. “I could have been reading into it more than was there.


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“I was thinking maybe he has at least some progressive populist instincts that could become more manifest after the cautious policies of being a senator and working with [Sen. Joe] Lieberman as his mentor,” he says. “But it became very clear when I looked at the neoliberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, ‘Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level.’ And the same is true for Dennis Ross and the other neo-imperial elites. I said, ‘I have been thoroughly misled, all this populist language is just a facade. I was under the impression that he might bring in the voices of brother Joseph Stiglitz and brother Paul Krugman. I figured, OK, given the structure of constraints of the capitalist democratic procedure that’s probably the best he could do. But at least he would have some voices concerned about working people, dealing with issues of jobs and downsizing and banks, some semblance of democratic accountability for Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who are just running amuck. I was completely wrong.”

West says the betrayal occurred on two levels.

“There is the personal level,” he says. “I used to call my dear brother [Obama] every two weeks. I said a prayer on the phone for him, especially before a debate. And I never got a call back. And when I ran into him in the state Capitol in South Carolina when I was down there campaigning for him he was very kind. The first thing he told me was, ‘Brother West, I feel so bad. I haven’t called you back. You been calling me so much. You been giving me so much love, so much support and what have you.’ And I said, ‘I know you’re busy.’ But then a month and half later I would run into other people on the campaign and he’s calling them all the time. I said, wow, this is kind of strange. He doesn’t have time, even two seconds, to say thank you or I’m glad you’re pulling for me and praying for me, but he’s calling these other people. I said, this is very interesting. And then as it turns out with the inauguration I couldn’t get a ticket with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange. We drive into the hotel and the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration. My mom says, ‘That’s something that this dear brother can get a ticket and you can’t get one, honey, all the work you did for him from Iowa.’ Beginning in Iowa to Ohio. We had to watch the thing in the hotel.

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By Ricardo, April 24, 2012 at 3:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am still a work in progress Black Diaspora, I want to see black folks think cratlciily and not monolithically, I want us to rise up from the bottom of almost ever demographic. Unfortunately, I think our focus misplaced as a people.I respect your positions and your candor. Thanks for sharing them with me.I believe that you’re also sincere in your wish to have blacks improve their lot in life.In that we’re in agreement.As I write this, Barack Obama has already been elected President Elect.The Dems don’t give a hoot about our schools, crime, poverty or any of the social blights of Black people they just use us to garner votes and I will not comply.National party politics—that is, politics at the congressional and presidential levels—can only legislate mandated directions, and perhaps fund some of those mandates. Take the No Child Left Behind law. According to some teachers, it is a good law (not all agree, of course). The problem with it, I’m told, is that it was underfunded, or not funded at all.My point: improving schools, ending poverty, and crime, are almost exclusively local problems that require local solutions.I would like to see a local confluence of resources—people and money—to strive toward a resolution of these seemingly perennial problems.If there’s a role for the federal government in this effort, then it should participate. Otherwise it should leave the task to those closest to the problem.McCain’s motto was Country First. A better motto would have been People First.Country and people are not always synonymous.We need solid solutions to these problems with the awareness that people (educated and working) are our greatest resource, and We the People should act accordingly.Black bloggers—conservative and liberal—can be powerful weapons in our communities to change them for the better.What we need are strong, viable coalitions dedicated to the betterment of our various black communities.That will be my goal during this next administration and beyond.

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By drbhelthi, March 25, 2012 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

@Iman, November 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

You wrote an excellent composite of opinion that is devoid of factual information.

Fortunately for that part of the USA, which the being Barack H. Obama has not continued to destroy, following on with the NAZI-Bush family´s destruction, genuine Negro Folk have a much better contact with reality than you.  The videos of Dr. James Manning are factually based.  His “bandwagon” reflects reality.

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By Silver, March 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great insight by all of you!
Stay on top of our challenges we will need you more than ever!
As we are in deep shit! The United 99% can change everything in 45min!
Occupy all! 300 million vs 3!
This next Election Fire !

Defend us against ourselves & politicians
Vote 3rd Party!;)

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By ardee, November 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Iman, November 9 at 4:17 pm

A well reasoned, partisan as hell, and rather false portrayal of our Fearful Leader.

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By Night-Gaunt, November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Imam you must remember that President Obama is a Regressive not a Progressive or Liberal. He just plays one on TV. He throws us bones from time to time in the culture but where it counts in the military-industrial-espionage complex he rules harder than Bush did. How much longer before not just killing Americans over seas for being called “enemies” (without any legal proofs used) can be done here as well with armed drones? First in secret then later promoted when the people are ready to rally around it?

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By Iman, November 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s amazing how people can become so selfish and unrealistic. First, President Obama is not a dictator.  Has anyone understood or realized that this President has inherited the worse case Scenario.  He is the AMerican People’s President.  He is not the President of African Americans.  I am African American and I can say this.  We should be more careful about who we elect to Congress, or who we elect to our Mayor’s or Governor’s offices.  Has anyone realized this Congress, the Republicans first priority and only priority was and still is to make sure President Obama is not re-elected.  They will bring tne entire Nation down, to ensure one man is not re-elected.  President Obama has tried everything to bring bi-parisan.  If anything, he is too patient.  I think it is so STUPID for African Americans to harp on what has he done for us, when the entire nation is suffering.  Again, we should be making sure we are voting for the approriate local officers in our states, Mayors, etc., sending the righ people to Congress, so that the President can do the things he wants for everyone.  We just don’t get it.  I was afraid, that when President Obama became President, there would be this “Oh, he’s not doing anything for us”.  Do something for your damned self.  How many of us stopped voting with the Presidential election, and did not go out to vote in the mid-term elections for Mayors, etc.  NO President has had to deal at the same time, what this President has dealt with.  Trillions not Billions of debt his first day in office. Come on now. Two wars.  A congress set on breaking him before he got started.  Don’t talk to me about the CLintons please!  We can be such FOOLs.  If he were a Dictator, he could do anything he wanted.  But because of who we as Americans Voted into COngress, he’s had to make compromises to get just a bit of what he has been trying to do.  I still believe, if he gets a second term, He can tell them to go to hell, and they know it.  That’s why the effort to make him look as if he had done nothing right.  This Nation is safer and more respected with President Obama in Office.

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By Joan Marie Davidson,Ph.D., October 20, 2011 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m late on this but need to affirm that yes, Obama is the president of us all, black white, red, yellow, green, and has had much o deal with, including W/Cheney messes and disasters. He remains MY president and I feel no pity for West who feels he deserves more attention & recognition of ALL HE HAS DONE. He is a media hog, and wants attention, always. Smart he may be but he’s not MY
choice for either socio-poliical insights or music.
He ought to curb hius resntments. He’s had his media moments this month(Oct2011) at OWES,NYC and should keep quiet for a while.

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By drbhelthi, August 15, 2011 at 1:14 am Link to this comment

“Young can fight the system but unless you can create jobs you’re no bettet off,
can’t even call it a win at the end of the day. You get it now?!”  Kris (unregistered

Omitting the role of the NAZI element of the CIA in Ann Dunham´s family-life, and the life of “Barry´s” stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, to include the money provided by the Zionist Ford Foundation, omits the heart of the story.

“Lolo Soetoro, a reserve Indonesian army officer called back into service in the
army in 1965 from his CIA-supplied scholarship at the East-West Center at the
University of Hawaii, was a foot soldier in the putschist cabal of Suharto, the man
who the CIA designated as the leader of the 1965 coup. Lolo Soetoro was one of some
4000 Indonesian army officers who were trained in the United States between 1958 and 1965 and the CIA and Pentagon ensured that these officers would be available for the long-planned overthrow of Sukarno.

Barry Obama Soetoro’s mother, Ann, was dispatched from Hawaii to Indonesia in 1967,
along with seven year-old “Barack Obama”, to infiltrate villages in Java to carry out a CIA survey of political leanings among the Javanese population.”  (most of which folk were later murdered by Suharto-CIA-sponsored forces.)

If your “porch sitter” critique reflects your level of information on the topic, you are wise to apply your “You get it now” observation to yourself.

Porch sitters are not found among 49-yr-old CIA operatives who have worked for the
CIA since the age of 20.

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By kris, August 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

blah blah blah yawn….. just another Porch-Sitter with his hand out and a bad attitude.
Nobody who voted for the Chief among Porch-Sitters thought he was qualified to actually
act in the capacity of Head of Last Remaining Super Power, he was only elected to
make rapartions, and it’s easy enough to see those are unraveling and crumbling - why?
Because it was the wrong move for the sum-of-the-total. Porch-Sitters don’t take jobs
much less make jobs, so if you guys want to go back to having at least something in
your hand (re: those good ol’ days) then you’re going to want to help put someone else
in that oval office in the next election. You can fight the system but unless you can
create jobs you’re no bettet off, can’t even call it a win at the end of the day. You get it

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By Night-Gaunt, August 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Well Bonnie if your are going to be a racist then put out your insult fully. Or you just come off as half assed. Go full ass to the max if you think you are right. Don’t be shy.

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By Bonnie, August 13, 2011 at 11:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are to clowns. They are nothing less than “house-Ni***ers and can take thier so-called degrees given to them by thier slave-masters and whipe their butts with them. As a white woman married to a black man, it seems to me the more the white devil pats the black man on the head like a dog and gives him approval, the black man forgets his people and the black backs they stepped on to get them where they are. Shame on you two Uncle Toms!

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By drbhelthi, June 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

“The only think Obama wants is to be re-elected. He could not care about
our Black behinds-I am so sorry my black people but we have been duped
and we deserve better.”  L. Jackson

Look at your motive for voting for Obama.  You ignored his half-white,
british and C.I.A. upbringing, identified with his half-black, and his
fantasy promise to fulfill your wish list.  Like one of my Caucasian
friends wrote, “If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you are not a
racist, vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you are not an idiot.”

Cornel West did not go ballistic; he just went stupid, and stayed.

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By Leefeller, June 14, 2011 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Far as I am concerned Mike Gravel said the right things and so did Ralph Nader but I liked what Obama said, except for his war hawkish stuff and he was the big boys candidate. Sadly with a Repulsion Congress bought and sold by the elite self interests Obama has to fight tooth and nail to get anything done. 

I mean lets face it any politician can say all the right things, rare as it may be, havening a politician doing what they say as all the right things is even rarer then Prime Rib on my budget.

Now we have the Republicans saying they are going to cut taxes, gut Medicare, privatize Social Security, and create jobs by lowering those horribly second hugest corporate taxes in the world? 

And at the State Level the Republicans are making it harder to vote, to have collective bargaining (gut unions) voucher education, with high unemployment allowing child labor so business can lower wages.

Looks like the Republicans are doing some things they didn’t say they were going to do or did they say they were going to attack the middle class? (for it is a given) ..Government should not be in the making job business the Auto industry was not to big to fall, screw the working people message from the Republicans seems to be in unison.

What I do not get,... are the Republicans for real? They make all their shit up and act like they are saying what the voters want to hear?

Politicians say all kinds of things, does it mean they will do them?  It seems to me they have agendas and scripts choreographed for them by their benefactors, one need only follow the money to the folks behind the curtain.
Why would this not be so for both parties?

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By Saje Williams, June 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I said from the beginning that Obama, like Hillary, was a “status quo” candidate.  Like West, apparently, I was an Edwards supporter early on.  He was saying the right things.  Things that needed to be said.  But we need someone with some measure of personal integrity to be saying these things.  There was a time when such things went on under the radar, but since we live in a time when “news” is as much about gossip as it is about things that affect more than half a dozen people, the whole paradigm has changed.
Regardless, anyone who didn’t recognize this about Obama from the outset wasn’t actually paying attention closely enough.  He gave more than enough hints along the way.
When we have people in charge of regulating industries who believe they actually work FOR those industries, we’ve got a problem much larger than one man—even the President.  Avarice and corruption infests our body politic like a cancer.  And no one is capable of wielding the scalpel to excise it.  We’ve a triple threat—Republican sociopaths, complicit Democrats, and a corporate media that will NOT do its job.

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By Timothy Stewart-Morris, June 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All I ever here from blacks is how President Obama let the black community
down.  Obama is the president of the United States of America, and he owe
nobody nothing, but to govern this country fair and responsibly.  I am a bi-
racial brotha, and to expect President Obama to solve the problems of Black
America is totally wrong. 

However, we also have to keep in mind that entering office Obama was faced
with many worrisome issues such as the economy, joblessness, foreclosures
and many other issues left by the outgoing President.  I will take at best most of
his first term to clean up the mess President Bush left, and if re-elected for a
second term which it will happen, then he can focus on the issues. 

Remember what he said, “things have to get worse before they will get better,
but if you work with me I will turn this country around.”  And, things will get
better patience is needed, although the patience of the American people is

Peace and love to you all.

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By ardee, June 12, 2011 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

L jackson, June 9 at 6:26 pm

I think that the governance of Obama is an issue devoid of color in that he has been equally bad for all of us, white, black, yellow or red.

To say that Clinton, who balanced the budget by summarily throwing thousands off welfare, was better for blacks than is Obama seems a rather thin comment to me.

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By L jackson, June 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a fraud and West is right on! No one campaigned (in my hood and family) for him than me. I was so proud and felt he was someone to believe in. Now I will not vote for Obama because he is a politician—give illegals a free pass to citizenship(just to get votes of Hispanics)- Give jobs to illegals anot Americans. No focus on the recession in hardest hit areas-like inner cities. No open door policy to Blacks. Come to the back door. Clinton was better to Blacks. The only think Obama wants is to be re-elected. He could not care about our Black behinds-I am so sorry my black people but we have been duped and we deserve better.

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By smith, June 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The media spin on this piece is crazy.  West’s critique, taken in context isn’t that harsh and he raises some fair points.

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By Christo, May 31, 2011 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More bull and obfuscation from Cornel West. As I recall, he was not a supporter of Obama. He supported Edwards before things fell apart. In fact, on youtube, for those who care to investigate, Mr. West can be seen acting in a less than appealing manner calling out then candidate Obama about who was funding his campaign, “Arab money, Chinese money,” etc. Quite ugly, to be honest. And I quite doubt Mr. West actually did 65 events for then candidate Obama as he opines. The old skool race hustle is ringing hollow. Now Cornel West is reduced to pulling out his measuring tape to measure who is authentically black. Just plain silliness. Let me say this, however, for those of you questioning the man’s intelligence with rubbish about affirmative action, etc., anyone recall Firing Line, Buckley’s PBS show? That’s where I was first exposed to Cornel West, he was the “professor,” as William Buckley respectfully referred to him, and the dude was sharp, absolutely brilliant. But this was before he became a media celebrity and touted as the leading American intellectual and became friendly with that hump who goes by the name of Tavis Smiley. Sad to see his mind is becoming diminished with his pathetic criticisms of the president.

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By arpryse, May 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

What a naive commentary from Prof. West. Setting aside
the peculiar sour grapes regarding the inauguration, it
surprises me that Prof. West is not more aware of how
the American government functions. Pres. Obama has
operated in extremely tough economic circumstances with
a government system that requires cooperation amongst
congressman and senators and yet some change has been
achieved. You feel duped? You try getting that myriad
of conflicting interests to cooperate. Good luck with

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By Lynne, May 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hear what he is saying.  I agree with some but West & many in my humble opinion fail to address the negative aspect of the Far Left, such as, deliberate ignorance of Godly spiritual influence (exp taking prayer out of school, condemning teachers who want to invest in praying for their students more than indoctrinating them that their God given sexuality is up for grabs or that they are accidents with no purpose)& keeping power in our community, lack of moral compass & the need of Afro Americans to not be slaves to aspects of the Left or Progressive agenda that hurt us & others.  Yes embrace what is good but not swallow the poison with the vitamin.  Also, I have mixed feelings regarding the Tea Party.  On one hand they are not exactly Wall Street & filthy rich pro bail out (such as Wall street & big Bankers bail out)& really do address aspects of Big Govt. waste & the intrusion of Big Brother incl. Bush Big Govt. expansion, Patriot Act & Obamas continuation and support of it.  However, blind cuts must accompanied with compassion & championing the rights of the poor.  It seems to me the Far-Left has moved to not addressing the issues surrounding poverty & crime more so than issuing temp band aides that for appeasement, while slowly stripping away civil liberties in the name of Progression.  Unless Cornel West & other Afro Americans leaders address this, regardless of what zip code we as a people move to we will carry the same luggage.  This is a universal issue that affects us all and just as with all things those at the bottom can become more vulnerable to the wiles of such evil.

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By terris.linenbach, May 27, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Regarding who to blame, Dr. West can look in the
mirror. Nobody in the “first world” can become as
powerful as a Senator by being progressive. Barack
had already been chosen by the banking elite when
West was wasting his time doing charity work for Mr.

As for progressive voters: look in the mirror. You
got what you wanted. If you’re not happy, change.

As for Mr. Obama’s record: it’s better than Palin’s
will be. She’ll have to kill Mitt Romney first -
don’t put it past her.

As for Mr. Obama’s decisions: they are obviously
clouded by a desire to be accepted as a white man and
more importantly, his #1 priority to keep his family
safe and avoid the assassins who are everywhere.

Regarding tea baggers and everyone else: It’s easy to
judge when you’re anonymous.

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By paulocal, May 25, 2011 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Barack’s former minister, the Right Reverend Jeremiah Wright gave us sufficient warning in his National Press Club briefing when he informed us that Mr. Obama “was just another Chicago politician.”

So far, Rev Wright is the only person to have seen through the Obama facade. He is just yet another sign that America is a rapidly dying culture. Period.

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By Sarafaith Pekor, May 25, 2011 at 4:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dr. West speaks like a wounded teenager, riding the bitter about not being asked
to the dance. Bi-weekly unsolicited calls and prayers? Fury over the calls not being
returned. Shameful words excoriating the President after inaugural tickets were
not offered? Sounds like STALKING to me and poorly controlled anger over not
being able to purchase a ride on Obama’s coattails….

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By mulp, May 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Can you imagine if Barack Obama had taken office and
deliberately educated and taught the American people
about the nature of the financial catastrophe and
what greed was really taking place?” West asks.

Well, Professor West is currently teaching at
Princeton; how many courses has he added to the
Princeton curriculum on the political economic and
public policy failures of the past three decades over
the past decade?

It seems to me enough material exists in the public
record, summarized in hundreds of books, for about
ten core curriculum courses, and at least a hundred
special topic seminars.

Obama has a job that occupies him all of the day so
he really doesn’t have time to prepare and deliver
lectures every night in prime time to educate the
public to the many many problems in academic
teachings on public policy coming from such
institutions as Princeton.  And I don’t believe any
network would turn over three hours of prime time for
lectures from now until Obama leaves office, even if
Obama and his staff and Cabinet were able to prepare
the lectures.

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By Russ Winter, May 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it revealing that Paul Craig Roberts,
considered one of the intellects behind Reaganomics
is sounding almost the exact same theme as Cornel

Thinking American from all political spectrums
instinctively know that the nation is being
systematically looted by plutocrats/kleptocrats and
their stooge agents like Bush and Obama. Revolution
will be the only way out to prevent a complete
economic collapse. Unfortunately I feel even a
revolution will arrive too late for prevention, but
will be the byproduct of the economic collapse. 

Paul Craig Roberts:  “The west prides itself that it
is the standard for the world, that it is a
democracy. But nowhere do you see democratic
outcomes: not in Greece, not in Ireland, not in the
UK, not here, the outcomes are always to punish the
innocent and reward the guilty. And that’s what the
Greeks are in the streets, protesting. We see this
all over the west. There is no democracy, there are
oligarchies, some of these smaller European countries
are not even run by their own governments, they are
run by Wall Street… Revolution is the only

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By Joseph thims, May 24, 2011 at 9:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to Prof. West

1.  He should have been invited to the inauguration instead of the porter.
2.  He was marginalized; Obama did not return his calls
3.  He should have done more for the poor instead of the bankers etc, 
4.  Michelle should visit the prisons
5.  Obama is not black enough.
6.  Slap him

You obviously were not deemed worthy of an invitation due to something you did; that lead to being marginalized. If you knew you were marginalized why would you expect to be invited? You knew Obama was returning others calls; so why would a learned strong black man like yourself still seek his approval, or affection, or his graces.  Why didn’t you just walk away from him dear learned professor? Was the spot light too enticing?

You claim to be fighting for the masses shouldn’t you have rejoiced that one of them was invited to the inauguration instead of you; an esteemed professor. Oh I forgot; it’s all about you. You want the limelight for yourself not the masses.

By saving our financial institutions and some other major corporations Obama saved a lot of jobs. If you don’t see that then well……  Could he have extracted a pound of flesh instead of half a pound; maybe yes but that’s not the issue.  He saved jobs for the masses.
He negotiated to extend unemployment benefit to nearly two years for the masses; the opportunity cost is forgoing some taxes on the rich he wanted. 
The National Healthcare warts and all is for the masses. 
How Black should he be before you feel he is black enough for you? ARE YOU THE ARBITER OF WHO IS BLACK and who nominated you?
Who are you to tell Michelle what she needs to do; who died and made you a King. What would Michelle accomplish by going to the Prisons?
Bitter small men always turn to physical fight if he believes he has been wronged justly or not.

Your main issue is that, there was a spot for you the President’s table but you screwed up royally so that spot went to Rev. Al Sharpton.  In your bitterness you chosen to become a shrill; unfortunately it takes away from your stature.  PLEASE REMEMBER HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE US (for all its citizens not some of them.) 

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By Stencil, May 24, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

If the bus won’t turn left I won’t ride the bus. If the bus only goes to the homes of the rich to drop off the estate workers I won’t ride the bus. This isn’t my bus. I hope Cynthia McKinney runs again in 12 so I can once again put my vote in a deserving place.

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By Leefeller, May 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Jocko, we are not becoming a police state, I prefer to call it a Fascist state, slightly more comprehensive and all the peaces of the puzzle fit better. 

Living here in the US of Amerika does seem a bit off the deep end…. We got nasty terrorist’s trying to kill us, we got cloned Republicans trying to screw us and we got Israel running the whole show according to the copious number of bigots running around here in Amerika!

Jocko, makes much sense, the smarter of us should all get out of town,... You know ... the towns folks are you know…...(in unison from the movie Blazzing Saddels) ....morons!

I am packing up my Tequila and bagpipes, so I can move in with you Jocko, leave the light on for me!

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By j1, May 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

Dr. West’s thesis that the rhetoric was a fraud is spot on.  He goes further than I might in analyzing the possible causes but either way I share his profound disappointment in the corporate-spokesman-in-chief.  I also share his even greater disappointment that this is the best the sunset of empire can muster up.

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By jocko, May 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amerikans are clearly insane. Most of you all are stuck in this creepy zombie trance where you go back n forth every four years voting for whatever corporate puppet actor they shove in front of you, than pat yourselves on the back that you’ve done your bit for democracy. I mean, you had a prez in the 80’s who was an ACTUAL ACTOR & you still haven’t cottoned on to this scheme? Hollywood reigns in the polls to. Ob@mas color has everything to do with it- you all thought because he was black, the most profound change was coming & you could all roll back asleep & let your psychopathic goverment go back to doing whatever it wants. Thats shows what a superficial shallow lot you are. You want rockstars for leaders,

Amerika is finished, you’re infrastructure is collapsing, you’re broke, a police state is rising around you to manage the third world country you’ve become & you’re STILL arguing over some puppet? This is nothing less than mind control

Get out of your country before the bodies start piling up.

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By pointus, May 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Cornel West is a man of principle. Barack Obama is not.

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By Joanne Forman, May 23, 2011 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Obama had REALLY meant change, he would never have been selected to run.

We need a thorough discussion of what “race” means, and who defines it.

See Sinclair Lewis’ clumsy but savage satire, KINGSBLOOD ROYAL, where a man discovers he is 1/32 “Negro”, and his life is ruined.

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By Clarence, May 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As an Afro-Caribbean man I am in many ways sympathetic to the plight of my Afro-American brothers and sisters. However, I think that Cornell West was a bit naive in his expectations of Obama, given the reality of the character of politricians in general.

It should have been clear to all and sundry that America would never have (s)elected an African American as President in normal situations. The abnormalcy that was created with the disastrous Bush presidency created the situation for Obama to be (s)-elected. It should have been clear to everyone that after Obama was sworn in and hopped into bed with Bush and all his other cronies, that it would have been business as usual. Also, he who pays the piper calls the tune and despite all of the election campaigning that Mr West would have engaged in; this is not the same as hard cash.

I was under no illusions when he won the election and said to a family member that if I understand how American politics work, it would be just a continuation of the former policies; especially the foreign policy. I said that Obama would have to surprise me by shifting the Bush focus. This was further etched within my mind after he chose his cabinet; which saw a return of some of the very same people that occupied Bush’s cabinet.

I think that the American people, the black folks that is, were expecting too much given the fact that this would have been their first time under the rule of a black president; unlike we Afro-Caribbean people, who for years have been subjected to black political rule while the whites retained control of the mercantile and economic sectors.

In any event, all politricians are the same; it is all about promises, promises and more promises. These guys are very good at talking the talk but hardly ever walk the walk. It is called POLITRICKS.

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By M.P. Muno, May 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Professor West,

I have to express my disappointment with your comments.

OK, fine, you don’t feel that an 800 billion dollar stimulus package, ending don’t-ask-don’t tell, a renewed START treaty, a finance law emphasizing consumer protection, the favorable outcome for unions in the auto bailout, or steps toward universal health care coverage are enough to establish Obama as a progressive. I guess I can understand why you would want more, in these hard times.

However, what does Obama’s race, or that of the people he works with, have to do with any of it? Is it that you feel cheated, because you judged Obama’s character based on the color of his skin? Professor, are you that which I had always assumed you were fighting against?

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By Jamal, May 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I worked tirelessly to get Obama elected not to mention all the money I poured into his campaign. For what? What has this N done for his people? How many of his people are in his cabinet? How many people of colar has he appointed to the federal courts?

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By bpawk, May 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

In terms of the race card - Obama can afford to ignore blacks because he knows that as long as his face is black, they’ll vote for him so he doesn’t have to court them.
In terms of someone saying Al Gore lost the election because of Ralph, you are wrong - 10 million registered dems left dems and went republican - ralph did not see 10 million votes therefore he couldn’t have ‘stolen’ the election.
Wake up people!

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By mc.murphy, May 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

“I campaigned and voted for Nader in 2000. Nader split the liberal/democratic vote and
cost Gore the election”

Slapped onto the rest of your rant makes that claim plain bullshit! No one I know who
voted for Nader would trot out such unmitigated tripe.

You live in the conservative, petrified mind of American idiotcracy which gave us our
current Socialist Randian paradise of an Empire, and you will support it to the hilt
because, contrary to John Dean’s claim; authoritarian personalities reside on both sides
of the political equator.

Supporting fascism, as so many here seem to do, is neither progressive nor conservative.
It is fascistic, period.

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By James, May 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a middle class white guy that campaigned aggressively for Obama - he was a new JFK to me -
someone who was determined to get us out of the
mess created by rich, white, elite, mostly
Republicans, led by “W” and his neo-conservative
imperialists. His speeches were electrifying and
gave so much hope - but now I feel like I have been
duped - especially after reading about one of my
hero’s - Dr. West - and how the President has
treated him. Of course I will vote for Obama in
2012 - but my vote is now based on “the lessor or 2
evils” rather than Change, Yes We Can.” Man, what
has happened to Obama since taking office? His
promises? His core ideologies? His sensitivity to
take on the rich, white, thugs that crippled this
country? I’m starting to give credence to a 3 party

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By Night-Gaunt, May 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

NO it was found that Gore won that election by counting all the votes but it was 18 months later and too late. Was Buchanan to blame too?

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By acidfly, May 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Does our government design somehow prevent him from using the power given to him by the people from taking a solid stance on an issue then generating support for it in congress and with the citizens? Bully pulpit or something?  Name a single campaign related issue that has been followed up on or carried out since the election? he did little or nothing even when Dems controlled both houses…I realize the battle is a hard one, but cant at least pretend to put up a fight?

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By postimo, May 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

mackTN said “We should have elected Nader back in

Are you serious???

I campaigned and voted for Nader in 2000. Nader split the liberal/democratic vote and cost Gore the election. He was defacto responsible for the Bush catastrophe.
You may believe Gore was just another evil politician but he was the lesser of two evils.(something I naively missed in 2000)

I find it interesting that the black community can’t get past the race card with Obama.

Obama is the child of biracial parents. What if he
had, like some children of biracial parents,
caucasian colored skin and features???

If Obama were white, would black people still think he owed them something???

Would they still think he should address the “black issue” as mackTN (and Cornel West) seem to think???

What exactly does mackTN expect Obama to do???

mackTN complains that black unemployment is near 20%. But he ignores the fact that the rate of unwed black mothers is at 72% and black students are consistently at the bottom of the academic barrel. Nationwide, blacks have the lowest test scores and the highest drop-out rates.

That’s a social issue and the reason that black unemployment is near 20%.

If we’ve learned anything from Amy Chua, it’s that
academic success depends on parental involvement and the importance of academic success within a culture.

You actually wanna hold Obama responsible for reducing teenage pregnancies and making black men responsible for the women they indiscriminately knock-up???

While we’re at it, why not have him part the Red Sea and turn water into wine.

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By JimBob, May 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Acidfly, all you get for “taking a stand” when you don’t have a hope of making anything of it: you look weak and foolish.  Obama is avoiding this in order to keep what powder he has, dry and usable to whatever extent the future will allow.  You claim to understand that he doesn’t have a magic wand, but you’re a long way from putting yourself in his position in our particular government-design.

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By acidfly, May 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Long story, condensed version is…yes, most of still support Obama as he is certainly the lesser of two evils. We just wish he would take a stand on something, anything,he said he would. hes accomplished a few minor things but certainly none of the things he campaigned on. He crumbles at the first sign of confrontation. He’s not stood his ground on a single damn issue. he does what is convenient not what is right. We dont expect miracles and realize he doesnt have a magic wand to fix the problems, but please take a bloody damn posistion and stick to it come hell or highwater knowing that right is right and wrong is wrong. No miracles just representation

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By Night-Gaunt, May 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Funny Dr. West was using the terms “brother an sister” to show inclusion, nothing else.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 22, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama certainly has accomplished a lot in two years.  We’ve seen the most revolutionary changes in our government since the founding.  The president can now murder American citizens simply by declaring them to be terrorists; he can make war on any nation without consulting congress; he can spy on American citizens without worrying about those old fashion warrents; he can torture American citizens and declare them guilty of crime before they’ve been tried in court.  No other president in our history has been able to do
what Obama has done.  His accomplishments are unique.

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By mackTN, May 22, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Forget the inauguration.  That’s personal and petty.

Black people do not expect Barack Obama to cater to them.  But we are a valid
voting constituency on whom he depends for re-election.  We are just as valid
as Latinos whose immigration plight Obama has championed.  We are just as
valid as women, for whom equal pay was a problem.  We are just as valid as
Israel, a country for whom we will go to war. 

Black unemployment is near 20%.  And I dare say that those who are employed
are underemployed.  Talking about jobs and pushing a jobs bill should not only
help African Americans but all Americans.

And why can’t the president talk to a largely black group without being
criticized for it?  He went to Al Sharpton’s whatchamacallit and didn’t even allow
photographers to take pictures!  Then he hires Al Sharpton, of all people, to
defend him in the media.  I’m sorry, that’s something the Clinton’s would do.

There is no defending Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Daley.  These people
bring an experience and point of view that represents the institutions that
defrauded this country. 

How is this change you can believe in?  Yes, I can?  Changing business as usual?

We should have elected Nader back in 2000.

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By JimBob, May 22, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi: “You might as well use
the chant, “the people around me are responsible for my
stupid behavior.””

Sorry, but that’s a specious comparison.  The POTUS
does not have magical powers and we have this
inconvenient thing called Congress that yes, DOES
affect what “the government” does.  The president is
NOT “the government”.

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By Harvey Pittman, May 22, 2011 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dr. West,

I wonder if you can imagine how deeply offensive to white liberal intellectuals is your racist (and quasi-religious) use of the word ‘brother’ and parroting of a few polysyllabic words while persistently butchering the English language.

While the positions you espouse are essentially correct, it is clear you have virtually no understanding of the implications or underlying concepts of these catch phrases typically expropriated for political gain by black opportunists with little else to contribute.

“A black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.” Good God, this sounds like a snippet from ‘freshman composition’. What did you expect? Grow up.

I am near death now, over 70, and as a life-long liberal and intellectual I tell you I have had about all I can take of ‘affirmative action’, ‘entitlement’ and ‘political correctness’. We were not all born equal, and it is time we admit it; we can no longer afford a system of governance in which the stupidest 51% run a country and possibly an entire planet into the ground over the objections of the brightest 49%.

I have a friend who has an IQ of 150+, a marvelously bright, perceptive, diverse and well-educated mind in everything from physics and math to anthropology, classical music, evolutionary psychology, literature, sociobiology and many other fields. You would fall far short by any measure of intellectual ability or achievement. Yet he can’t get a job cleaning toilets at Princeton, and there you sit with a ‘soft’, ‘social promotion’ degree and faculty position due to society’s abreaction and guilt over slavery and worse. Princeton should be ashamed, and take appropriate action.

Where, Dr. West, is your outrage, your sense of unfairness and injustice, at this? Never mind that this is not a question of the historical maltreatment of an insignificant segment of a world population, but of the present and future systemic self-destructive abuse of intellectual resources leading to the collapse of a civilization and destruction of a planet.

Tavis, in your heart you know better. Who put you up to this? When will you take on the real issues (which would produce far better ratings and notoriety)?

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By drbhelthi, May 22, 2011 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

“I’m seriously dismayed by many of the comments on here. Obama has
accomplished A LOT in the past two years and yet it’s still not enough for
some of us. The fact that idealistic dreams get blindsided by real world
realities and corruption seems lost to left wing ideologues.”  postimo

Increasing the national debt needlessly, accelerating the murder of mid-
eastern Moslems, removing additional rights of Americans, damaging folk with
the CIA “see-thru-concrete-machine” at airports, and defrauding the world
with a Hollywood production of allegedly murdering Osama bin Laden (died 19
Dec. 2001) on TV are accomplishents?

Accomplishment for the NAZIs who moved their H.Q. from Berlin to D.C.,
Huntsville and Ft. Bliss, TX, via “Operation Paper Clip,” 1947-1952,
perhaps. For Americans, they are accelerated degradation of the U.S.A.

The comments of numerous NWO shills are a bit distressing. However, just as
accurate comments are permitted, shill-troll comments are permitted,and are
becoming increasingly recognizable.  As falsifications of the “Obama cabinet
acting team,” e.g., watching grey static on the TV screen while pretending
pictures are being displayed, increase, so increases the obviousness of
falsification has and your falsifications.

Some of you are becoming as obvious as the zionist trolls, with their
“jewish hate” bad-mouth.  The puke-up, “Obama can´t do better because the
mean people wont let him,” is a transparent cop out.  You might as well use
the chant, “the people around me are responsible for my stupid behavior.”

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By Leefeller, May 22, 2011 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

Yeah I am upset that Cornel West did not get his invite to Obamas party, but not as upset as I am on whats going on outside of Cornel Wests larger then Chaney ego.

In the state of Wisconson, Republicans at the state Congress there have slipped in post haste, some of the most confusing voter voting requirements It seems a plan designed to make it impossible or very hard for large segments of the people to vote in Wisconson. Timed and shoved through for the recall votes in Wisconson, following the recent union busting.  Apparently limiting how people will vote is decided by who will vote? 

This is also happening in many other Republican states, Ohio, Florida and others, am I the only one who sees the paid for Republicans showing their fascist colors with blunt clarity?

Seems some states have been taken over by thugs who are making sure the people have little say in the future on anything which should be concerning the people, the minority is in control now and they plan on keeping it that way, we should just get used to it and worry about cornel Wests feelings about how Obama has dissed him? 

Cornel West seems not even a small blip in the great scheme of things,... just another distraction as we see this blind focus on the Republican president choices,...mean while ignoring what is happening at the states level. 

Seems to me we are diverted worrying about what Cornel West thinks while Wisconson and Ohio are moving with the speed of light into the fourth Rich.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 22, 2011 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

No I think tar is sticky and you gum things up. Nothing more. So now you produce a side show when your usual opaque one is failing? I’m on to you.

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By Virginia777, May 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment


“I’m seriously dismayed by many of the comments on here. Obama has accomplished A LOT in the past two years and yet it’s still not enough for some of us. The fact that idealistic dreams get blindsided by real world realities and corruption seems lost to left wing ideologues.”

me too postimo. Exactly.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Is it bad, Night-Gaunt to be black?  You seem to think so and
you think that’s not racist.

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By Egomet Bonmot, May 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

At this crucial moment in the election cycle it’s incumbent on Obama to put as much distance between himself and Jeremiah West as possible wink

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By Night-Gaunt, May 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Tar is black, are you black? How can it be racist just because of its color? It’s what it does that’s the point, sticky and viscous. Are you sticky and viscous? Playing the race card now? How low of you.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Tar baby is really racist, Night-
; you should be ashamed of yourself.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

SteppingRazor, May 21 at 1:50 pm,

Whatever you do, don’t vote more Republicans in. Perhaps there will

be some liberal Independents or liberal Greens to vote for.

I really don’t think the Republicans get in honestly, I think the vote is
electronically frauded, because I run into a way more Democrats than

I wish the nation had at least seven political parties that were all
equal with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and
maybe some day there will be, because this two party system is
too corrupted by the Conservative Right.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

You know what will happen to you if you wrestle the tar baby MarthaA? But I know you can take it and give it back with panacea, Leefella.

To put it colloquially, we are in deep shit. Our enemies are organized and have no campunction about what they do to us in order to win. But we must not be like them or what is the use of winning? If they win it won’t matter if 80% of the population would be against them because they will have worked out how to control most of them who won’t fight and of those that will they are trained in counter-insurgency in a dozen countries over 60 years. So violence will be the refuge of the losers and they will love us to do it. Call me a “doomer” if you will but if we don’t truly understand our position and our adversaries we will get blindsided.

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By Leefeller, May 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Gebeebiz on a cracker!... Martha A, Where in hell do you form your absolutist opinions? Since the world was supposed to end today and I am still here, I suppose in all righteousness you will have been whisked off to the rapture, my form of racism may keep me here, what of other forms?

Even so, hopefully before you leave us, Martha A calling someone something or suggesting a person is this or that, it would show a small degree of prudence to understand disagreement does not necessarly a bigot make, unless one counts stupidity.

Simply put, I do not find West the great icon others and obviously you find him to be,... according to you, Martha A this makes me “some form of racist” ... I suggest in your mind only.  My disappointment in Obama in the same light, would make me some form of half racist?  So Racists come in different forms now, how about disagreement, what form does that take in the grand Martha A scheme of forming things?

Since I find Chomsky a good read, and in my mind not elevated to the greatness expressed by several others who post here,... I guess this makes my opinion some form of bigot towards self righteousness, pomposity or possibly just plan Idol worshiping.

Yes, if forming an opposing opinion means I am some form of racist in some minds incapable of comprehension,... then so be it!

I hate golf, and have had little interest in Tiger Woods, this clearly substantiates my form of Racism and bigotry towards golfers which says little about my bigoted love for the great sport of watching paint dry.

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By ocjim, May 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

So Cornel, who else or what else is there?

You couldn’t possibly consider the alternatives in the Republican party, who are absolute lackeys of the plutocrats. At least, he might not sell us out completely. American politics has no 3rd alternative. Only the crazies or the forces behind crazies choose assassination. Maybe Obama is afraid of that. What other excuse can we give for his allegiance to Wall Street and his phony high-flown rhetoric for the people.

Let’s face it. He is a bitter disappointment but where is a viable alternative?

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By JimBob, May 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Dr. West is so blinded by the (mostly irrelevant) color of Obama’s skin he
can’t see that being elected president doesn’t confer
magical powers.  He thinks if Obama was the right
black man (i.e. Dr. West) he would lift up the poor,
educate the ignorant and put us all on the right path
in spite of our contentiousness and heterogeneity. 
West is so busy blaming Obama for not being a Magic
Negro, you really have to wonder if the good doctor
ever made it out of the sixties.

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By gerard, May 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Regarding U.S. policy toward Israel:
  Due to fear, selfishness and general cussedness, Israel has got itself to the place where its policies toward Palestinians are unsupportable by any rational standards.  It shows signs of self-destructing—and calling the process “security” and “survival.” In spite of many individual Israelis who would like to see present policies changed, their government—like ours—has made itself inaccessible for fear of “weakening” and “losing control.” 
  I’ll wager that the similarities between Israel and US (and other states trying to avoid change) are obvious, and perplexing to the whole world, especially in view of the gross military power each holds, and the determination to use that power to “control all those whom it fears or who “get in its way.”
  If this is true, in part or in whole, it is easy to
see why the US can’t really do anything to innovate on the side of a “peace process”.  It has no moral authority to do so. It has no “peace process” itself. Nor can it conceive of the idea of “fairness” when it itself is supporting its own policies of dominance.  Both countries are desperate, struggling to hold onto an out-of-kilter status quo that has lost its philosophical and political balance.  Furthermore, both may realize just that, which makes them even more fearful.
  Objective third parties are desperately needed in this world, freezing as it is in its own nationalistic autocracies. Call it “dictatorships”, call it “democracies” or “empires.”  Not much difference, really.  They are all trying to freeze solid when everybody knows that life itself is forever changing, and that only death remains the same.

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By SteppingRazor, May 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cornel West is right as rain on this subject. Obama is dishonest and I will not vote for him again. Nuff said.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

“80% have been polled who want to retain Social
Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” —Night-
Gaunt, May 21 at 12:29 pm

That’s good, Night-Gaunt, 1/2 of the Middle Class choose to
keep Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as they are not all
independently wealthy, living on exorbitant amounts of capital, even
though they have chosen as a New Class to abdicate any
responsibility for the Common Population Class and Culture.  Also,
remember there are poor in each class and culture, not just in the
Common Population’s Class and Culture as is propagandized. 

Post a link, if you can, so we can see who came
up with these percentages, because the
Conservative Right-Wing and the Conservative
DLC definitely won’t like that, not that they will
pay any attention to it anymore than stopping
all their private wars, because the common
population do not have representation in the
making and enforcing of legislated law and order;
perhaps that 10% if it is true can be a benefit to

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By Night-Gaunt, May 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Just as a reminder, 80% have been polled who want to retain Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Mark A. Goldman, May 21 at 11:30 am,

The only way our government will ever be what we want it to be will
be when the 70% Majority Common Population’s class and culture in
the United States understand that they ARE the Common Population
and are the majority population of the United States and like Martin
Luther King, Jr. draw up a political platform and an agenda, then rally,
march, and demand representation in the making and enforcing of
legislated law and order for their majority populace class and culture
in the Congresses of the United States.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

The only way our government will ever be what we want it to be will
be when the 70% Majority Common Population’s class and culture in
the United States understand that they ARE the Common Population
and are the majority population of the United States and like Martin
Luther King, Jr. draw up a political platform and an agenda, then rally,
march, and demand representation in the making and enforcing of
legislated law and order for their majority populace class and culture
in the Congresses of the United States.++++++++

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By Night-Gaunt, May 21, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

We have reached a point in our degradation of the republic, where it isn’t fully operational anymore. Impeachment is out of the question. Prosecution of war criminals at home, out of the question. Separation of church/corporation and state, not so much anymore.

I see it as a deliberate, long range attempt, to bring down our present organization to do what Machiavelli said to make room for another organization. One we will like even less. Where the defenses we still have would be gone then. Not what we should let happen. But the longer we wait the harder it will be.

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By Mark A. Goldman, May 21, 2011 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

I agree that Obama probably won’t be impeached.  Whether he is or is not, it’s important that citizens understand that he ought to be, and not get trapped into the idea of thinking that just because we have a criminal government that won’t impreach him, it doesn’t mean that we have to lose sight of knowing the difference between what we have and what we want it to be.

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By MollyJ, May 21, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Well, I’m just a white woman who, like Obama, has Kansas roots.  Like Obama, most likely, there were not great expectations for me, a janitor’s daughter.  I cannot say that Obama entirely surprised me.  His campaign was so awash in money tht you knew it did not all come from $25 donors.  While I haven’t been surprised, I have been dismayed.  If Obama is being held up as successful Democratic presidency, then surely what other proof does anyone need of a duopoly?  But I share Dr. West’s dismay.  To those who much has been given, much is expected. 

I guess I was hoping that his “inner constitutional lawyer” might show itself but it’s hard to believe this man ever sat in on a serious discussion of the constitution.

But until people get to the realization that there is no remaining functioning government infrastucture that represents the common man, we cannot move on to what must come next.

I believe Dr. West’s courageous words on that may help us to move on to that next stage.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Is Leefeller some form of a racist?  Appears
to be.

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By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Mark A. Goldman, May 21 at 7:37 am,

George W. Bush wasn’t impeached, although the majority of the
population wanted him impeached, Nancy Pelosi said No, President
Obama will not be impeached, either, for the same reason.

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By Leefeller, May 21, 2011 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Seems to me Cornel West is just one more icon filling the eyes and minds of those seeking to be infatuated,... those kinds of people who need to behold a walking talking, living saint.  Some sort of personal mandate or individual requirement seemingly almost like a fetish requiring an apparent fawning with tear filled misty eyes. Part of the lusting or fulfilling an insatiable giddyness of peoples need to worship icons…. Why am I having visions of people (not just mooney eyed girls) tossing their panties and bras on a stage,... now becoming a weekly occurrence?

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By Mark A. Goldman, May 21, 2011 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Time to Tell the Truth:  Obama ought to be impeached

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By CJ, May 21, 2011 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

It’s evident some are here to rabble-rouse or just to insult, sadly and stupidly if
intentional. If not, then profoundly ignorantly.

If West is flawed, he is so in his love for most everyone, in his trust in most
everyone, in his hope for everyone, boiled down in his simple faith in humanity.
Which is damn hard to share and so all the more admirable in Cornell West.

Cornell West is among the best of our public intellectuals, Obama not so much.
In fact, Obama not at all, even if he did (comically, but according to
Republicans) “throw Israel under the bus.” THAT’LL be the day! But at least
Obama has moved so far along re Palestine as G.W. Bush, who said all the same
stuff Obama said the other day.

(Meanwhile, did Mitchell finally just give up? After finally grasping the actuality
of Israel v. Palestine? Meaning the actuality of the U.S.‘s role as benefactor to
Israel and destroyer of Palestine?)

A lot of people, obviously, took Obama’s bait, including (probably) most of
those on the left who didn’t vote for him due to some distrust based not least
in what Hedges was reporting about Obama at the time.

West well characterizes Obama, as reported by Hedges in this piece. I recall
Doug Henwood writing in his LBO that he thought Obama upwardly
mobile. In one sense, why not? Why should he be different than most every other American? But ambition to upward mobility exacts a price paid by countless others.

It’s all true of the President, who continues to shock or at least
surprise—time after time with his maintenance of lunatic policies and
seemingly countless excuses for maintenance of lunatic policies—from a
(frankly) half-assed healthcare bill to continued war on Afghanistan. (I won’t
bring up again the murder, as opposed to capture and trial, of bin Laden.)

Obama himself took the bait offered up by his sponsors. In Obama’s case no
switch followed taking bait, as happens to most of the rest of us. Obama’s a
true believer, like, say, Larry Kudlow, to whom Obama is a lot closer than, say, to Jeremiah Wright.

He and the rest of the ruling class keep near and dear a “vision” of America that
went out no later than 1975, maybe more like 1875, whenever Reconstruction
ended with a thunderous thud. Unless the dream was always a bait and switch
operation. I happen to think so, Bill of Rights notwithstanding and Constitution
that encoded inequality.

I’d rather be as optimistic as West… I do much appreciate him, his profound
understanding, particularly of the black experience in the context of the so-
called “American Experience.” And he certainly had SOME reason to hope—given
events in the 60s. Those seem so bygone by now, and Obama isn’t old enough
to have been much around for those. The sell-out has been ongoing just about
ever since (if not long before, as noted). (I cannot agree with Chomsky that we’ve become more civilized.)

Belief systems are the greatest of adversaries, for both individuals and
collectives. Americans and America has yet to overcome a shared system and
don’t appear likely ever to do so.

But then I’m just a cranky pessimist, opposite Cornell West. I guess that’s
another reason I appreciate him so much and hope he doesn’t wind up too
disillusioned. We need him, no matter occasional misplaced energy, just to give
some of us reason to get up in the morning.

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By ardee, May 21, 2011 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

truthinsf, May 19 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cornel West is a Socialist tool and egoist masquerading as an intellectual.  Let’s be honest, if he were white, he would not have the job he does, and no one would pay attention to anything he has to say.

This comment deserves to be commented upon, if someone else has done so I missed it and apologize for giving it so much more than it deserves.

What it deserves is to be wrapped up with last nights dinner and discarded in the garbage can before it stinks up the entire forum.

Steve is, presumably, white, thus can avoid being thought of as really,truly stupid because of that lack of melanin.

So, tell me Steve, are you a tenured professor at Yale? Oh, you would be if blacks didn’t get all the good jobs huh?

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By Leefeller, May 21, 2011 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

Just because someone is well known in the world or in my neighborhood,... I still may find disagreement in what they have to offer and say without being dazzled by their notoriety as if I am a Catholic fawning over the pope quoting the gospel.

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By NWBill1, May 21, 2011 at 12:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Professor West got it wrong about the Tea Party’s ascend into the national conversation. Like so many other liberals, he believes along the lines of “give people what they think they need, and they won’t bother you with petty issues.” Wrong! Saying that the Tea Party wouldn’t have been nearly of a factor if Obama had championed jobs creation is a narrow-minded view. The Tea Party formed because of a government and a President who believes two things it doesn’t; that people don;t have the right to keep what they earn, and that government should be larger and more powerful, not less. All anyone who isn’t sure about that has to do is go to Youtube and type in “Rick Santelli rant.” That’s it. But here we have two presumably well-educated black men with college degrees who can’t seem to understand a simple concept. And, professor West, in the world that I live in, people who can’t understand simple concepts about the folks they are supposed to be leading and teaching don’t earn or deserve their roles in society.

But don’t worry ... you’ll both have plenty of time after 2012 to think about this, and hopefully figure it out then.

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

By -, May 20 at 3:13 pm,

What you have stated in your post isn’t anything like what Professor
West said at all.

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

mc.murphy, May 20 at 2:22 pm,

The Left is in the process of developing a dialectical frame that will
compete with the dialectical frame that has been used by the Right
from the time of Nixon to the present to put the Left in the cross

When the dialectic of the Right, that has gone around from the
time of Nixon to the present to accuse, condemn, denounce, and
put the Left in the cross hairs comes back around from the Left to
the Right, the Right will have itself to blame for the cause of its
own dilemma.

It may be a good time for the Right to try to resolve the backlash
of the Right’s destructive behavior, but I seriously doubt that the
Right of today’s time in America will be any different than the Right
of Louis XVI’s time in France, and we all know what the result of
Left-Wing backlash was there.

BTW, you arrived on this blog at the same time as
LibyaWest, and your defense of LibyaWest
causes me to consider you to be of the same Murdoch/Koch Bros.
Conservative Right-Wing bunch trying to pass yourself off as being
liberals against the Democrats or President Obama.

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

President Obama was elected as a Holstein leader of the cows, but
he wants the cows to lead themselves and now the cows are trying
to lead themselves, hopefully it isn’t too late.

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By -, May 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gee, Brother West, you almost make it sound like you regret choosing which candidate to support based solely on his skin color.  Does this mean that you now understand that you can’t determine a man’s political beliefs exclusively by examining his epidermis?  Most of us figure this out by the time we’re about seven, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m not impressed by your 20/20 hindsight.

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By John Poole, May 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Three points to make: 

People PLEASE keep the rants to a few paragraphs.  Don’t use this site as your
personal blog venting hole.

Secondly, is anyone else thinking we are in for an auto bubble?  Yes, Detroit was
bailed out and now they are making it possible for the proles to buy a lot more
car than they need or can afford. Once the “moral hazard” of bailing out big auto
was ignored big auto knew they had permission to not really change but to
continue building and making hideous military styled vehicles for prole losers.
Foreclose is the term when dealing with property but “repossess” is when
dealing with a vehicle. Good luck “foreclosing” on the expensive vehicles sold to
the morally bankrupt proles (“no money down, no interest and you don’t pay
anything for two years” con) once they stop making any payment whatsoever. 

Thirdly, I tried to enact a no vote party in 1971 where by not voting you actually
counted as voting for “none of the above”. The party of none of the above would
automatically run in every election and garner even the “vote” of those too lazy
to vote at all. The tally would be based on the number of “potential” voters (over
21 whether registered or not). My point was to shut down the preposterous
charade of so called representational democracy.

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By Realist, May 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shame on Dr. West for believing his presence is more deserving of any other man—black or white. Perhaps the driver prayed every day for Obama’s success—and twice on Thursdays. The elitism and outright egotism inherent in his written statements and public appearances, and the whining…good lord, man. How blind IS he to his own arrogance?

How much recognition does Dr. West need to satisfy his ego?

This is so much less about policy differences than the lack of respect West is getting: Were Obama to have obstinately stood fast on every principle we would be much worse off…no movement in our rotting healthcare paradigm, more troops (everywhere we don’t want them) don’t ask, don’t tell, more grid-lock….the “change” has been less dramatic and more incremental than we’d like, but Obama “lives to fight another day” rather than being tossed on the rubbish heap of politics.

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By mc.murphy, May 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, May 20 at 1:49

it also epitomizes the moral decrepitude of the Liberal left which continues voting
for a Party that gives rise to the indignation expressed by ‘Libya West’.

Here’s your 70% and no one is asking to see a political ID to join in:

get the fuck with it, MarthaA, because that 70% sounds like bull when you cannot
even discern legitimate indignation.

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By bill Jones, May 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any clown who uses the phrase “dear brother” when
they’re talking about politicians deserves what they

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By no future, May 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

some idiot here wrote: ‘Do you really think rocks cares if Cornel West wrote a

how profound. rocks don’t care about anything as far as we know, so you’ve
scored a huge blow against the villain West.

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

LibyaWest, May 20 at 1:04 pm

Your post epitomizes the Right-Wing’s sock puppets pretending to be liberals:

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By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

LibyaWest, May 20 at 1:04 pm

Your post epitomizes the Right-Wing’s sock puppets:

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By LibyaWest, May 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

barrage insane o’bomber, is a lying, baby-killing, torture-loving, war mongering, mass-murdering, jig-dancing traitor.  Good to know that at least some of the Black leadership isn’t as spineless, as characterized by the also not so spineless left, as that lying, baby-killing, torture-loving, war mongering, mass-murdering, jig-dancing traitor, barrage insane o’bomber.

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By LibyaWest, May 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

barrage insane o’bomber is a lying, baby-killing, torture-loving, war-mongering, mass-murdering, jig-dancing traitor.  Good to know that at last some of the Black leadership isn’t as spineless, as the characterized by the left, as that lying, baby-killing, torture-loving, war-mongering, mass-murdering, jig-dancing traitor, barrage insane o’bomber.

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By mc.murphy, May 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Dr. Social, May 20 at 10:01 am

But he’s half white, yet all, merely based on the color of his skin flushed genetics
down the oubliette…

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By drbhelthi, May 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Anyone, Black or White or in-between, who has tired of playing Uncle
Tom to Obama, can simply stop.  STOP.  QUIT.

After reading many of the blogs again, two questions come to mind.
How many Blacks who played Uncle Tom to Obama have been disappointed
with an inverted “PAYOFF”?
How many Blacks continue to “Uncle Tom” Obama, holding onto the belief that he will “arise,” turn into a Phoenix that will deliver all poor people, especially Blacks, from “whatever”?

As an erstwhile univ. professor, I would propose to prof. West to post a copy of the newest bumper sticker on his car:


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By postimo, May 20, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

@ Leefeller
I thought my “primate ancestors” comment would get me labeled a “godless liberal” and wanted to preemptively avoid the moniker. 


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By Dr. Social, May 20, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

If African-Americans feel betrayed by Obama, how about Whites who “made the great leap”? Quickly I realized that Obama, at best, was just another lying politician. He was the first, and last, Democrat I will ever vote for. I will not vote for a Republican either (Although if “The Donald” can be coaxed back in the race, he may get my vote as a giddy act of national suicide). I just can no longer particpate in the sham that the cynical call “America.”

It’s over for this country as we know it, but I am not expecting it to get better. The future holds a corporate-facist feudal system enforced by Xe thugs and predator drones.

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By Leefeller, May 20, 2011 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

postimo, a good rendition and outline of how things seem to me, actually well done comments. (only because I find myself in agreement?)

I feel many posters here are left wing posers and little different then Tea Baggers with delusions caused by mental limiting steroids.

Setting the rising sun on anyone,... never the less Conrail West seems simplistically cloaked in the least and seemingly emulating Tea baggery in the flesh.

My only question to postomo, is bringing god into the equation of the post,  by asking;...  “Do you really think God cares if Cornel West wrote a book?”  I would rephrase the question in a realistic light to read;... ‘Do you really think rocks cares if Cornel West wrote a book?’

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By mc.murphy, May 20, 2011 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

JPM, May 20 at 2:30 am

Hey JPMorgan you shit head, if I may. Allow me to present to you a simple chart on
the underlying reasons for the deficit, which will also starkly outline ways of fixing

Learn something and pass it on!

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By Night-Gaunt, May 20, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

The Right hates him because he does what they want.
The Left hates him because he does what the Right wants.

Strange? Yes. But then it is like with that previous bridge president Clinton who through a few sops to the Left then proceeded to do what <b.Bush</b> could not do push through DODT, rendition, NAFTA, GATT, WTO and other items while still creating jobs and a surplus. He was hated even as he did their work for them. It certainly made him look good. So it is happening now for Obama who is reviled even as he follows the Republican ne’ corporate line which is what dominates in Washington.

We are still being played. Our only chance is for the Progressive that still exist in the Democratic Party somehow seize power from the corporate conservatives and move the Democratic party away from where we are going. Down the rat hole of fascism.

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By postimo, May 20, 2011 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

According to Cornel West:

“Obama lacks a backbone
Obama has no decency
Obama has no loyalty
Obama has a fear of black people
Obama is evil”

The right hates Obama because he’s done too much.
The left hates Obama because he’s done too little.
White racists hate Obama because he’s too black.
Black racists hate Obama because he’s too white.

It’s funny what happens when a black elitist gets passed over in favor of a lowly hotel bellhop… Obama becomes an ungrateful, self-absorbed shill for big business and the Jews who’s afraid of free black men.

I guess Obama calling for a return to Israel’s 1967 borders is undeniable proof he’s pandering to those conniving Jews. As for being a self-absorbed shill to the corporate elite, I guess healthcare reform and repealing the Bush tax breaks are nothing but meaningless rhetoric. As for being afraid of free black men…I won’t even go there.

I’m seriously dismayed by many of the comments on here. Obama has accomplished A LOT in the past two years and yet it’s still not enough for some of us. The fact that idealistic dreams get blindsided by real world realities and corruption seems lost to left wing ideologues.

That’s the difference between Obama and left wing ideologues. He’s smart enough to figure out how to get things done and adult enough to make them happen. You’re just siting on the sidelines and bitching. Maybe Emanual was right…you’re f***ing retarded.
Liberal ideologues (save Dennis Kucinich) never get elected and never implement policy changes because the right blocks them every step of the way.

And someone named ‘Wizard G’ responded to someone else name ‘Canyon Walker’ with:
“Are you as world known as Dr. West? You can’t compare yourself to him in the grand scheme of things I’m sure…What do you have and why would it be significant that you get an invite?”

This is perhaps the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard from a so-called “liberal progressive”.
Wizard G is an idiot and a pathetic excuse of an
intellectual. The sad thing is that he doesn’t even realize it. It also reminds me of Scott Adams.
Since Mr. Wizard obviously fails to grasp the point of progressivism and humility, in the grand scheme of things we’re all a mere evolutionary wink from our primate ancestors or perhaps you prefer MLKs words that we’re all “Gods children”.

Do you really think God cares if Cornel West wrote a book?

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