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The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic

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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

(Page 2)

“What it said to me on a personal level,” he goes on, “was that brother Barack Obama had no sense of gratitude, no sense of loyalty, no sense of even courtesy, [no] sense of decency, just to say thank you. Is this the kind of manipulative, Machiavellian orientation we ought to get used to? That was on a personal level.”

But there was also the betrayal on the political and ideological level.

“It became very clear to me as the announcements were being made,” he says, “that this was going to be a newcomer, in many ways like Bill Clinton, who wanted to reassure the Establishment by bringing in persons they felt comfortable with and that we were really going to get someone who was using intermittent progressive populist language in order to justify a centrist, neoliberalist policy that we see in the opportunism of Bill Clinton. It was very much going to be a kind of black face of the DLC [Democratic Leadership Council].”

Obama and West’s last personal contact took place a year ago at a gathering of the Urban League when, he says, Obama “cussed me out.” Obama, after his address, which promoted his administration’s championing of charter schools, approached West, who was seated in the front row.

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“He makes a bee line to me right after the talk, in front of everybody,” West says. “He just lets me have it. He says, ‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself, saying I’m not a progressive. Is that the best you can do? Who do you think you are?’ I smiled. I shook his hand. And a sister hollered in the back, ‘You can’t talk to professor West. That’s Dr. Cornel West. Who do you think you are?’ You can go to jail talking to the president like that. You got to watch yourself. I wanted to slap him on the side of his head.

“It was so disrespectful,” he went on, “that’s what I didn’t like. I’d already been called, along with all [other] leftists, a “F’ing retard” by Rahm Emanuel because we had critiques of the president.” 

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president, has, West said, phoned him to complain about his critiques of Obama. Jarrett was especially perturbed, West says, when he said in an interview last year that he saw a lot of Malcolm X and Ella Baker in Michelle Obama. Jarrett told him his comments were not complimentary to the first lady.

“I said in the world that I live in, in that which authorizes my reality, Ella Baker is a towering figure,” he says, munching Fritos and sipping apple juice at his desk. “If I say there is a lot of Ella Baker in Michelle Obama, that’s a compliment. She can take it any way she wants. I can tell her I’m sorry it offended you, but I’m going to speak the truth. She is a Harvard Law graduate, a Princeton graduate, and she deals with child obesity and military families. Why doesn’t she visit a prison? Why not spend some time in the hood? That is where she is, but she can’t do it.

“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West says. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. It’s a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.

“He feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want,” he says. “He’s got two homes. He has got his family and whatever challenges go on there, and this other home. Larry Summers blows his mind because he’s so smart. He’s got Establishment connections. He’s embracing me. It is this smartness, this truncated brilliance, that titillates and stimulates brother Barack and makes him feel at home. That is very sad for me.

“This was maybe America’s last chance to fight back against the greed of the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats, to generate some serious discussion about public interest and common good that sustains any democratic experiment,” West laments. “We are squeezing out all of the democratic juices we have. The escalation of the class war against the poor and the working class is intense. More and more working people are beaten down. They are world-weary. They are into self-medication. They are turning on each other. They are scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful. It is a profoundly human response to panic and catastrophe. I thought Barack Obama could have provided some way out. But he lacks backbone.


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By readyforchange, May 20, 2011 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Cornel West is a breath of fresh air in dark danky room of lies, public deceit and media manipulations. Thank you sir for the moral courage to stand up and take the public and private beatings for speaking some truth about what is really going on in this country.

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By naed, May 20, 2011 at 5:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well some of you have figured it out now, Obama is just
another corporate shill for wall street and the filthy
rich, he is just another bush, in sheep’s clothing, BUT
THERE"S SOMETHING BLOWING IN THE WIND, CAN U FEEL IT?
IT"S CALLED REVOLUTION, AND IT"S ALREADY STARTED, IT"S
TIME TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK, THERE IS A MAN WHO ISN’T
IN THE POCKET OF BIG BUSINESS, OR THE FILTHY RICH, AND
HE"S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT !! IF YOU REALLY WANT YOUR
COUNTRY BACK. NOW IS THE TIME, VOTE FOR RON PAUL IN
2012.. ITS TIME BABY!!

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By JPM, May 20, 2011 at 2:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. I have so much to say about this column.

First, as much as I respect Dr. Cornel West I think he is wrong. If you do something make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Getting upset over not being invited to the party after all your “hard work” is a little childish. I guess the question is: would Dr. West had done all that campaigning for Obama if he knew he would not be invited to the inauguration? It sounds so petty just typing the question.

It’s unfortunate that people get to a certain position in life and gradually their vision starts to narrow. Their minds begin to close and they get a bit ornery when things don’t go their way.

Obama and his presidency is NOT about Dr. West and his ideology. It’s supposed to be about America as a whole. Obama cannot play favorites, even though he is African-American. He has to do what’s best for everyone.

Also, I guess people don’t understand economics. People with money make the world go round. Bottom line. Companies need workers to keep the money flowing. However, if rich people don’t invest in companies, no one gets hired, no one gets paid. Period.

Furthermore, most people do not outright own their homes; they pay on a mortgage that is issued by a bank. If banks fail, people would not be able to afford to buy houses, cars, start businesses, etc. Someone has to lend you the money to buy the home, the car, to use the credit card. We need banks to survive. It was the right move to bailout the banks. Although I cannot say I agreed with some of the terms of the bail-outs and the bonuses that were handed out.

Our economy is a house of cards, built on sand. Everything is done on credit. There is not enough overall capital to sustain us. That’s why we have such a large national debt and it continues to rise.

It’s hard for me to criticize Obama. I have no idea what kind of challenges he faces everyday. I’m sure on the campaign trail he had all kinds of lofty ideas on how to change the system. But I believe once you find yourself in the big chair the reality of the situation may change your priorities. (I’m reminded of one of the last seasons of the HBO show ‘The Wire’ and the struggles the newly elected white mayor faced in a mostly African-American Baltimore; and his arduous quest in trying to balance chaos and still make good on his campaign promises)

Lastly, I’m not sure who Ella Baker is or was (I will look her up after this post), but comparisons to other people can be very tricky. And should be left between the person making the comparison and who they see themselves as; not who they see other people as.

Dr. West I really respect the work you have done over the years and appreciate what you bring to the table, most-times. But I really wish there is some room for alternate perspective in the Utopian world you envision. Else you will continue to be disappointed by the choices human beings make.

Fight the good fight, do what you think is right, never seek credit and never regret it.—JPM

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By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

If the 70% Majority American Populace would pull their heads out of
their asses we could take over the Democratic Party and kick out all
the corruption.  This is a fact, not fiction.

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By WizardG, May 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

@screamingpalm: The Tea Party was a carefully devised end-run for the Republican set. They created the tea party (which received more prime time than any other party), because the same people who own the media and corporate superstructure own the republican/tea party. They also own the Democratic party, for that matter.(Obama is said to be looking for a billion bucks). He will receive a second term and will more than likely come out of the presidency a billionaire.

Just when the Republican party was suffering the most, the genius who thought up the Tea Party brought the Republicans back to life. They are one in the same.
The real trick is convincing the populace that these two parties work for them and their interests.We see they don’t, but hope seems alive for those who are difficult to convince.

Nothing but a super con-game. Those who have seen how elaborate a big con-game can get, should be impressed with one that encompasses the whole country!
The saddest thing is that we cannot find a way out of this maze. It’s impossible because the people who run this super con-game have all of the power and wealth plus military might, and are great at playing mind games etc.

It seems like an impossible concept, but if you consider everything that is happening to us and the world, and how the wealthiest one percent continue to drain the country’s coffers etc. You must see some signs that something diabolical and unimaginable is occurring.

There is no way out of this elaborate maze, especially for those who can’t accept that we are caught up in something this unbelievable. Yet they continue to believe in the imaginary omnipotent ‘God’!

And after all is said and done, it is the common populace whom will suffer the most as we are led to blame each other.

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By screamingpalm, May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

screaming palm

The Tea Party not swayed by propaganda?

Do you believe the Koch money that supports the Tea Party, the Tea Party rallies, and the Tea Party candidates does not promote a corporate agenda?

Check out the Tea Party websites.  There is a complete list of all bills in the Senate and House with a description of how the Tea Party should vote.  What interests do you believe those bills promote?  Perhaps the interests of the billionaires who fund the Tea Party websites and buses and rallies?  It’s a very clever way to organize a corporate marching guard. 

So much for a ‘grassroots’ agenda- no Tea Party member needs to think for themselves, the website tells you how to vote.


Granted, my point was a continuation of speaking to the propaganda of the DLC (i.e. blaming Nader for Bush). Say what you will about the Tea Party, but at least they are not bullied into submission like the Left. It was this idiotic reasoning that made many people (and many notables such as Michael Moore etc) abandon third party campaigns. I guess I just expected more from the Left than that.

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By Trustinself, May 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ok, we get it…can’t trust the Republicans, cant trust the Democrats. Can’t trust the Citizens of the United States to wake up and smell the coffee.  They used our ignorance and biases against us to manipulate us against one another.  They manipulated us with racism, poor education that taught us to memorize but not think, religion that kept us turning the other cheek, pledges to our allegiance to a country that gained the county by murdering its true inhabitants, creating its industry via enslaving people, pretending to have a war against the British to create a nation while all the time continuing to pay huge sums of money to Britain, even to this day as if we are subject to the Queen.  Citizens sat idly by while our farmers were paid to stop growing food, and chemicals were placed in our food, sugars and salts heavily laden in almost all food items.  Medical systems becoming overpriced and out of sight for the average person who cannot even afford medical treatment.  While people are advised to forget about one another and only think of self.  Divided we fall and fall we have.  We have stepped over the homeless and abandoned our children.  Caught up in debauchery, even accepting its OK, because the depraved elite say so.  We have completely abandoned our own morals and common sense.  We have rotted from within and then think by blaming others across the world via a manufactured war on terrorist that the media says exists.  Fear-mongering everywhere.  Fear to further weaken our resolve and keep us enslaved.  We do nothing only say we are trapped with nothing to be done.  Giving up before even trying.  Is there any thinking mind out there, among the geniuses amongst us that can put their heads together to figure a way out of this mess outside of a French Revolution.  But it will take geniuses with heart as well as brain, something this country has chosen to bury.  Its that very fact that has brought about the situations we now face.

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By Kelly Eden, May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dr West, I can’t thnk you enough for articulating the awful truth about Obama.  Perhaps he intends to accomplish some of the basic changes he promised to work on and that we voted him in for in his next term.

He sold out, and surprisingly Michelle has too.  I think they believe this is the more important accomplishment for the first black U.S. presidency: To assure America a black President will also work for the status quo.  But he was not elected to just sit in the White House and make us feel ok about him being there.

Our country is on the verge of collapse, we need systemic change, not just a change of face.

I am with you Dr West!

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By Anwar, May 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This brother, Dr. Cornel West, was only attempting
to hold this brother to his word, and open his eyes
and ears to the real problems that are bringing our
country into decline, he is only repeating the same
suggestions by noted economists and political
scientists. (I have also had issues with decisions
made by this POTUS, upon doing research, with
reference to the effects and the actual implemented
actions of particular policies and orders. For
instance, how is our healthcare plan really a large
step forward? Basically, once fully implemented we
are all able to pay a private organization money for
insurance and they can’t turn us away, but we can’t
negotiate prices in the markets and it’s mandated,
which means that the citizens of the US have to
participate in a insurance scheme in the private
market and we don’t have our own option in which to
disperse our OWN money, we can’t choose to opt out of
the private insurance market, we will slowly drain
our pockets as a country for private healthcare)
Please remember this, the greatest empires and powers
that have ever existed didn’t fall from without but
within. Their systems became corrupt and the dominoes
fell. You can’t hold up a country on a weak and
failing foundation. It will be swept away by one the
many floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes
that could possibly befall it. This is what I really
saw from the critique of the POTUS by this brother.
If you chimed into the WHITE HOUSE on the idea of
change and fixing the broken system, then you ought
to change and fix things that are broken or out of
order. To not do so is a shame and does not bode well
for us in the future. WE, yes ALL of us, have a very
big issue to deal with now. We have politicians that
aren’t scared of lying to us, in public, even with
youtube and other sources of media and video/audio
capturing devices! Either we don’t really care or we
can’t discern the differences between truth and
falsehoods. The first of the two being the worst b/c
that means we are tacitly complicit in our gov’t
corruption and created disaster in a very deep way.
Either our morals have significantly eroded in terms
of being able to correctly prioritize and do the
correct/moral action over the self indulgent/ego
driven action, or we are not mentally competent
enough to take care of our affairs correctly as a
country (and I don’t believe the latter). We hold
characters in movies and tv dramas even reality shows
up to a higher and more critical set of morals than
we do those who represent our intentions and ideals
as a WHOLE. Those brothers and sisters are merely
entertainment for enjoyment and pastime, but they can
deliver inspiration and messages. These other
brothers and sisters,however, are actually creating
the circumstances in which you will have to then
survive or thrive. This should really make you pause
to think who’s really more important and in need of
more scrutiny and critique, or eyes turned toward
them. As the saying goes,”art merely reflects
reality”, real or perceived. Our reality is that our
government is not what we have thought it to be, we
have been deceived, but we don’t have to stay this
way anymore. There is too much ability and potential
in our WHOLE to allow for this to jeopardize our
morals and direction. WE must ALL turn around this
ship and right it for the WHOLE. Oh and yes the POTUS
is included in the WHOLE. This is where our energy
needs to be pointed, alight of this critique, not to
badgering the brother for questioning the validity of
the POTUS and his administration. Before one casts
that first stone please check yourself and my
brother’s words to see if there is any ill or
untruthful statements, it not let’s take it as is and
learn from it as a WHOLE.

PEACE

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By Anwar, May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think that there has been a misinformation campaign
on the behalf of the POTUS, in order to save his
“brand” against this very realistically founded
critique . I am too a “black” man, but I do not
understand how this article/interview has been
contorted into the dialogue that is currently taking
place. He is not talking merely about race, but even
the tea party members (the regular citizens that is)
are correct in their assertions that our government
is legitimately corrupt and not working mainly in the
favor of its general population anymore but instead
for special interests, which really do exist and have
clout (unlike your 2nd grade school teacher) to make
things proceed in the way in which they wish for them
too, contrary to popular opinion, just watch
television commercials if you want to know who they
are. Probably due to that very same mechanism, this
very sane attempt to awaken discussion on the part of
the everyday citizen to the situation that we are in
and how we got here (in order to find or create a
solution) has been smeared as a “petty” attempt at
character assassination. ?????? This is very
unsettling and discouraging, but at the same time
lets me know that people are listening we just need
them to lend us their ears. Because at this moment
the general population has lent their ears to those
who don’t really care or show compassion toward them,
and in any society that is a very dangerous and
deadly game. There is never any good to come of
deceiving and leading people astray. On what would be
the 86th birthday of a brother by the name of Malcom
X or El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz I would like to remind
people of his his famous speech on the growing danger
being created through the maltreatment of people here
and abroad by our gov’t through its leaders and
policies, some know it as the “chicken’s coming home
to roost” speech. The simple idea that if you do ill
or bad to someone or something you will get ill or
bad back in return and vice versa for doing good and
being just, has been thrashed in our culture today.
You can’t even get people let alone politicians to
stand up for something just because it would be wrong
not to, unless they are paid for it or are directly
affected there is constant inaction by the WHOLE. We
have lost our moral compass and the ability to
empathize culturally and broadly throughout our
country. There are pockets here and there, but that
fact is that isn’t what is the norm. Our norm is
actually a perfect stew for crafting psychopaths:
increasingly isolating, violent, impulsive, greedy,
and apathetic citizens. But at the same time we are
more and more subversive of ourselves others but
submissive to those in positions of authority and
power. We are irresponsible and refuse to claim
ownership of anything that we do or create as a
whole. That’s why I seriously have a hard time
finding the blow back from folks on this critique
objective or warranted (for starters why would he
really still be so bitter about not receiving tickets
to the inauguration???? He was using the story as an
anecdote to showcase some of the inconsistencies of
the brother from public to private and with his
interpersonal relationships). The man took
responsibility for being led astray and in turn
leading others astray. He also explained why he feels
led astray, and if you treated someone the way he was
treated by the POTUS they would have feelings about
that as well (they are human). However, being in
authority gives you no right to downplay or degrade
someone’s critique or self. You must remember, this
is the exact same POTUS who allowed for the political
party opposing him to rant and rave and even get some
of the things they wanted as they brutally defiled
and attempted to execute the character of the POTUS.
??????

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By WizardG, May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

@Canyon Walker: You see, but you don’t see enough. I voted for Obama while knowing full well what we were getting. I have no illusions about what he is and who he is. Nor am I stupid on this subject. He is evil, and if you haven’t seen it yet then I have nothing else for you, except to wonder what it will take, considering everything negative occurring in your face.
As for your invitation. Are you as world known as Dr. West? You can’t compare yourself to him in the grand scheme of things I’m sure. I’ve read his books and listened to some of his speeches. What do you have and why would it be significant that you get an invite? Still for someone like a Henry Gates Jr. or any of the famous people, I’d expect them to get an invitation. It does represent some serious problems I hadn’t even considered. If you don’t see it that way you’re the fool.

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By truthinsf, May 19, 2011 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.  The fact that
West expected Obama to be super-human proves that he is
a fool.  Gee Prof. West, what a surprise, Pres. Obama
is a human being with all our flaws, and he’s also not
the great progressive hope that many on the left
assumed he would be.  And worst yet, he’s willing to
compromise to ensure his re-election.  You didn’t see
that coming ... really?

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By puca, May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love the Ivy League pissing contest between these two bluffers. Anyone who regards themselves as left is mad to support anything the democratic party thinks is a good idea. Didn’t both these fools (West and Obama), and all the other democrats support John Kerry, and Gore and Clinton? You act like that and expect there to be a revolution in government that puts ‘working people’ at the center of history. Grow up people, smash the 2 party one party state!

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By Canyon Walker, May 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

@WizardG:  My wife and I both worked for Obama.  She got an invitation to the Inauguration and I didn’t.  I was mature enough to not have a hissy fit.  West should be grown up enough to do the same.  There is no evidence that either he or I were deliberately snubbed.

I am disappointed with Obama in many ways, but I am not stupid enough to say that he is not my friend.  Or that “He is really nobody’s friend!”  People on the left - like you and me - should keep pressure on Obama and support progressives at the local, state, and national level.  When you suggest that Obama is evil, you damage the very things you believe in. 

I am proud to be on what Michael Harrington called “the left wing of the possible.”  It is a total waste of talent and time to rant and rave and threaten to start a third party.  Social and economic just are not coming tomorrow.  They may not even come in our lifetime, but we should do whatever we can to bend history in that direction.

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By Rich Monk, May 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellant!
The wise Professor Mr. West just calls it as he sees it, and he is seeing what we can all see. Where are the indictments for any Wall St. crooks/ frauds? Where are the indictment for the entire Bush/ Cheney regime for starting two illegal wars for profit?
Keep it coming Mr. West, keep the pressure on the President!

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By Night-Gaunt, May 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Obama is as far as I can see. By his actions, not what he says. However this questioning him of his Progressive credentials smacks of troll work. I see it crop up everywhere I read. There is always someone crawling out of the wood work to proclaim someone isn’t a “true Progressive” well then put up or shut up on the matter Ms Carolyn LaDelle Bennett for I grow weary of such unsubstantiated tripe.

It was hard for Professor West to see the first ever black president be such a far comedown from expectations. I wasn’t saddled with such expectations so I could see, even before he was elected, (protecting the Telecomms that violated our laws and constitution to eavesdrop on us for our gov’t) that he was just another corporate suit front man as the last one was. No real friend of ours as Clinton was before him. Just a bridge president with the appearance of liberality but at core supporting and expanding what other crypto-fascists have been doing since Ronald Reagan came on the scene and started the ball rolling in quick time to bring this republic down. Even if he didn’t know himself he was still a major contributor to it. He certainly influenced Pres. Obama.

But then look who Pres. Obama. surrounded himself with——Liberals and Progressives? No almost all of them Regressives. Who did he support financially? Those same ones that nearly brought the country down in 2008. Now they are poised to do it again since he had no interest in fighting for anything that would change the economic and regulatory condition from 2008. Easy enough to see but one has to have the blinders off, the scales removed, the stars blotted out for a clear vision of the world as it is, not as we want it to be. That is our problems within problems, like those Russian dolls, only with clusters of them in each succeeding carrier. We are in deep and the octopus is working to try to bite us again. There is little that can impede it from doing so.

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By WizardG, May 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

@McTN: You said “Right now, the president’s advantage for re-election is that the Republicans are so pitiful.”
Consider this. The whole election campaign and the meltdown of the republican party is all for show. We are the victims of an immense con game meant to keep the majority of the populace under the illusion that our society is still in their hands through choices and votes.
We appear to be the victims of a grand constant con, but most are unable or unwilling to see this. Actually I’ve only recently come to this conclusion myself. This stinks all to hell, but who’s aware? No one that’s who. What a sweet game, right?

The president’s advantages for reelection under secretive circumstances is a given. Get it? Everything we experience regarding the two parties and the whole facade is to keep the masses under the illusion of a free and democratic republic. Hogwash!

People tend to forget that votes can be tampered with, but they mustn’t make everything too obvious or the whole country might see through this long standing fictitious social structure, which was carefully constructed ‘Of The Elite, By The Elite, and For The Elite’!

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By WizardG, May 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

@Canyon Walker: You said you’re sorry that Dr. West didn’t get tickets, but his complaints sound petty.
The fact that he and his family were not invited speaks volumes about the condition our country is in. Dr. West is a World renowned spokesman for the welfare of all people not just black people. He is not misunderstood by those who see the magnitude of wrongs committed. He is not completely clear as to what he is up against, but the fact that he was denied tickets should give him clues as to how the Government and the Elite feel about him. (He should be very careful).

The president is not his friend! He never was! He is really nobody’s friend! Dr. West is more our friend and he seems willing to give his life for the common people, but he should awake from his hopes and dreams, because it does appear that our destiny has been well planned in advance! “Manifest Destiny” is alive and well and Mr. Obama is the latest marketing strategy for it.

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By McTN, May 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Dr. West sounds deeply disappointed.  How can anyone say he is having a meltdown?  He is simply repeating, in highly articulate form, the range of disappointments in the Obama administration.  President Obama campaigned on certain things, he even encouraged votes based on his and Michelle’s middle class experiences—“this may be the last time you can vote for a president who shops at Walmart.”  But the most important items on his to-do list evaporated.

Bailouts to the banks and corporations were abominable.  Selecting Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner? Daley?  Tax cuts for millionaires? Public option? Foreclosure fraud?  I, too, feel misled.

Right now, the president’s advantage for re-election is that the Republicans are so pitiful.

And by the way, I volunteered and donated to Obama, too.  And, no, I couldn’t get a ticket for the inauguration either.  But all those ministers and politicians who had rejected him for Hillary—they got tickets.

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By WizardG, May 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

@Carolyn LaDelle Bennett: You speak of Obama’s layers of weakness etc., but what if Obama is a willing participant in the Elite’s ‘Manifest Destiny’?

Many world leaders have signed their countries over to the elite because they were either threatened with grave consequences and/or they were lured with the assurance of great wealth. All at the expense of the people, or “populace” as MarthaA put’s it.

Obama appears confident in his position. He is boldly lying about everything! The illusions of healthcare are there for our conditioned consumption. The psychological games are played on us, but Obama seems a willing and well versed participant who was not actually voted in by the populace,(the illusive vote) but would have gotten there regardless, because his face is what the elite wanted in front of their latest barrage of pillaging across Africa and the Middle-East. There also seems to be other serious reasons for the elite choosing Obama, but we will have to wait to see them played out in his ‘assured’ next term!

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By WizardG, May 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@MarthaA; Your comment is strong and your theory concerning the political parties is nearly on track, but what you don’t realize is that we are being played “both ends against the middle” and there is no possible way that the “populace” can change anything!

That fact that both parties are playing the populace should be understood by the examples they show. They appear to both serve the ‘Elite’! The Elite appear to have created the perfect storm to fool those of us you would consider “morons” etc. Though it isn’t that we are morons it’s that we have been thoroughly conditioned into a broad con game from the very beginning. (Both ends against the middle). This allows the elite to set up the illusions of ‘everything’. Their (the elite) power is now so great and the populace so confused and delusional that we are easily manipulated from one day to the next!  Religion as well as other ‘tight grip’ factors play a very important role in keeping our minds numb and fairly anesthetized.
Only a few of us seem to be able to come out of our dizzied inoculation. As totally convoluted as our populace has been left, we might as well have been given some kind of potion at birth! As confused as everyone is, there doesn’t seem to be a way out! Especially if you consider that we are subjected to ‘Both sides against the middle’ and that the powers that have us under thumb are moving decades, if not centuries, ahead of us.
As I’ve said, there are other numbing factors that keep even the most learned of us from seeing the complete picture. One of those devices is religious belief. It is meant to numb the brain and twist the consciousness in certain ways. This is why brother West was unable to see the whole picture. It is also why he won’t understand that he is a target nearing victimization. The writing is on the wall, judging from his ill treatment, but his religious bonds refuse to better clarify his views.

We are left to fight our tiny battles against a super powerful foe. A foe who’s power we are unable to see let alone measure. We are left to fight weak battles against a foe that can turn us against ourselves!

Obama is on the same path that Mandela had to follow. Even though they started quite differently they winded up serving the same ‘Elite’.

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By Carolyn LaDelle Bennett, May 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Questionable Progressivist credentials all round—West and
his Bro

It saddens me that you pull out the same ole “professional
black/race” people every time you want an opinion on the
occupant of the Oval Office. These people like Cornel West
are themselves narrow-minded “black-ists” concerned with
their own face (superficiality). Not with world or domestic
affairs of which all peoples, all classes, colors, ethnics,
and nationalities are a part. Since West did so much,
according to him, to get the Obama people elected, he
apparently had no problem with putting another warmonger in
the White House. We knew this man would continue the war on
the world because he said so in his pre-election statements.
Was Mr. West not listening or didn’t he care about the
peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq and Palestine,
the whole region and its displaced peoples; and the effect
of endless war on the people of the world and the United
States? Where was West then? I’d seriously doubt the
“Progressivist” credentials of either of these men.

On May 18, 2011, I wrote more comment than usual on my blog
and titled the piece “Worse than the last — Obama Admin
threatens liberty.” It was pegged to a piece Democracy Now
did on the Obama Administration’s handling of the Thomas
Drake whistleblower case. The thinking goes deeper than
West’s concerns for West.  What I said was this: “No one
poses a greater threat to liberty than one in a seat of
enormous power who secretly feels himself inferior to and is
in fear of old, old power arrayed around him. This layered
deeply rooted pathology is lethal.”

“… A great danger to life and liberty — the whisper of
liberty enshrined in great documents and treaties and laws
potentially for all people — is a man harboring a
pathological sense of his own inferiority who finds himself
in a position of enormous power. Such a man “serves” with at
least three layers of pathology: delusional inferiority,
irrational fear, all shrouded in secrecy.

This layered pathology of fear and inferiority melts down
any core of morality or ethics — any independent thought,
any feeling of human being for human being, human rights,
impartial lawfulness or even a basic “feeling with”
(compassion).

“This impaired man sitting in a seat of enormous power
threatens liberty everywhere — because in office he must
embrace an old, old guard, entrenched Governors/Corporate
Power, long convinced of his inferiority, and with whom he
secretly agrees. To prove to them that he is “worthy,” he
must operate beyond their modus of brutality.…”

On May 16, 2011, in a piece I titled “Belafonte speaks
‘America’,” I quoted Harry Belafonte from a Democracy Now
(Amy Goodman) interview. I believe you will see the
difference between a “professional black/race man” (a
terrible flaw of any narrow-mindedness) and a citizen of the
world who is also an American concerned for the whole of
America.

“We the American people made the history of [the Kennedy
era] come to another place by our passion and our commitment
to change,” Belafonte said. “What is … sad for this moment
[the Obama era] is that there is no force, no energy, of
popular voice, popular rebellion, popular upheaval, no
champion for radical thought at the table of the discourse.

“As a consequence, Barack Obama has nothing to listen to
except his detractors and those who help pave the way to his
own personal comfort with power—power contained, power
misdirected, power not fully engaged.

“It is our task to no longer have expectations of him,
unless we have forced him to the table and he still resists
us. … If he does that, then we know what else we have to do:
that is to make change completely. … Until we do that, I
think we’ll be forever disappointed in what [the Obama]
administration will deliver.”

I too speak America.

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By mc.murphy, May 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

solerso, May 19 at 11:59 am

“but why would we waste their blood sweat and tears (once they have been
commited to the fight) on the democratic party?”

why, indeed?!

fuckno, @  http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By solerso, May 19, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

@marthaA

Martha theres two major problems with the argument your making, the first one is that your blaming the wrong people, you blame all those “semi-morons” who just dont get it. im glad you get it MarthaA, but for the grace of_______ there could go marthaA herself. there are vast and powerfull forces arrayed against all of us “semi morons” (you mentioned a figure of 70% so chances are im one too).The cultural and economic Hiroshima of “globalism” is one. the co option of the media and all three branches of govt by private corporate/capitalist interests is the other.
the other main problem with your argument is that its based on a wish.You wish the democratic party could be something it cant, would be something its not. You may as well wish a rat was a milk cow.  if only, all the people would get behind the system and…..back the democrats? we need all the people to back a revolution, marthaA, but why would we waste their blood sweat and tears (once they have been commited to the fight) on the democratic party?

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By Carolyn LaDelle Bennett, May 19, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Questionable Progressivist credentials all round—West and his Bro

It saddens me that you pull out the same ole “professional black/race” people every time you want an opinion on the occupant of the Oval Office. These people like Cornel West are themselves narrow-minded “black-ists” concerned with their own face (superficiality). Not with world or domestic affairs of which all peoples, all classes, colors, ethnics, and nationalities are a part. Since West did so much, according to him, to get the Obama people elected, he apparently had no problem with putting another warmonger in the White House. We knew this man would continue the war on the world because he said so in his pre-election statements. Was Mr. West not listening or didn’t he care about the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq and Palestine, the whole region and its displaced peoples; and the effect of endless war on the people of the world and the United States? Where was West then? I’d seriously doubt the “Progressivist” credentials of either of these men.

On May 18, 2011, I wrote more comment than usual on my blog and titled the piece “Worse than the last — Obama Admin threatens liberty.” It was pegged to a piece Democracy Now did on the Obama Administration’s handling of the Thomas Drake whistleblower case. The thinking goes deeper than West’s concerns for West.  What I said was this: “No one poses a greater threat to liberty than one in a seat of enormous power who secretly feels himself inferior to and is in fear of old, old power arrayed around him. This layered deeply rooted pathology is lethal.”

“… A great danger to life and liberty — the whisper of liberty enshrined in great documents and treaties and laws potentially for all people — is a man harboring a pathological sense of his own inferiority who finds himself in a position of enormous power. Such a man “serves” with at least three layers of pathology: delusional inferiority, irrational fear, all shrouded in secrecy.

This layered pathology of fear and inferiority melts down any core of morality or ethics — any independent thought, any feeling of human being for human being, human rights, impartial lawfulness or even a basic “feeling with” (compassion).

“This impaired man sitting in a seat of enormous power threatens liberty everywhere — because in office he must embrace an old, old guard, entrenched Governors/Corporate Power, long convinced of his inferiority, and with whom he secretly agrees. To prove to them that he is “worthy,” he must operate beyond their modus of brutality.…”

On May 16, 2011, in a piece I titled “Belafonte speaks ‘America’,” I quoted Harry Belafonte from a Democracy Now (Amy Goodman) interview. I believe you will see the difference between a “professional black/race man” (a terrible flaw of any narrow-mindedness) and a citizen of the world who is also an American concerned for the whole of America.

“We the American people made the history of [the Kennedy era] come to another place by our passion and our commitment to change,” Belafonte said. “What is … sad for this moment [the Obama era] is that there is no force, no energy, of popular voice, popular rebellion, popular upheaval, no champion for radical thought at the table of the discourse.

“As a consequence, Barack Obama has nothing to listen to except his detractors and those who help pave the way to his own personal comfort with power—power contained, power misdirected, power not fully engaged.

“It is our task to no longer have expectations of him, unless we have forced him to the table and he still resists us. … If he does that, then we know what else we have to do: that is to make change completely. … Until we do that, I think we’ll be forever disappointed in what [the Obama] administration will deliver.”

I too speak America.

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By Artful Dodger, May 19, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Past is Prologue.


Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Friday, June 6, 2008

According to news reports, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went out of their way to hold their long-awaited private meeting in a very specific location - not at Hillary’s mansion in Washington - but in Northern Virginia, which also just happens to be the scene of the 2008 Bilderberg meeting.

Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs told the media that Obama and Clinton held a private meeting last night but he refused to disclose where it taken place, except that it was not at Clinton’s home in Washington, as had been widely reported. Hillary campaign managers also refused to disclose the location of the rendezvous.

“Reporters traveling with Obama sensed something might be happening between the pair when they arrived at Dulles International Airport after an event in Northern Virginia and Obama was not aboard the airplane,” reports the Associated Press.

Dulles just happens to be walking distance from the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly where Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and the rest of the Bilderberg globalists are convening.

“Asked at the time about the Illinois senator’s whereabouts, Gibbs smiled and declined to comment,” the reports adds.

What is the only political “event” taking place in Northern Virginia at the moment? The Bilderberg Group meeting of course. Rather than taking the easier option of meeting at Clinton’s Washington mansion, Obama and Hillary went out of their way to grace the Bilderberg elitists with their presence.

The neo-liberal website Wonkette, which had previously ridiculed “conspiracy theorists” for ascribing power to Bilderberg, seemed to take a somewhat different tone when it made the connection between Obama and Hillary’s meeting and the Bilderberg Group.

“Guess who had a very private talky-talk in (maybe) romantic Northern Virginia tonight, probably at the Bilderberg Group meeting in Chantilly? Your Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton!,” states the blog. “They really met and talked, in private, Thursday night. And really, it sounds like they did this at that creepy Bilderberg Group meeting, which is happening now, and which is so secret that nobody will admit they’re going, even though everybody who is anybody goes to Bilderberg.”

I remember how many committed liberals would garotte those who raised objections about Obama in 2008. Now Cornell West is crying over being conned. All he had to do was surf to some “conspiracy” web sites in 2008 and he would have known far in advance the agenda of Obama. I may not have an ivy league college degree like Cornell West, but at least I can smell a flim-flam man from a good distance. He is just an over-educated mouth-breathing mark, who “got took”.

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By katsteevns, May 19, 2011 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

@Jaded Prole

VANDANA SHIVA: Traditional Knowledge, Biodiversity and Sustainable Living
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9K0cZGQgHA

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By Lessie Baskin, May 19, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cornel, get off of it.  You are not a black leader and you do not represent black people.  I am a black female and I have progressed more under President Obama than any other time in my life.  Could you just leave the ego behind, because I have had enough of you and Tavis; enough of your lip service.  What have you done for black people other than criticize others.  Again you do not speak for black people and you certainly do not live in the average black person’s world.

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By Jaded Prole, May 19, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

We do need progressive alternative candidates and parties but until the influence of money is removed from the electoral process, it seems a long shot at best. That should be a big focus and a major campaign in itself but it seems the left is unable to come together in a focused way. Given the state of corruption of the government and the courts it is probably too late. We need to be building self sufficient communities because this system has is in end-stage.

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By Canyon Walker, May 19, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

West says: “If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake.”  Well, that is exactly the situation we are in.  There are only two real choices, Obama or the Paul Ryan crowd.  Talk of a third party is a total waste of tme.  It may feel good, but it actually hurts the progressive cause.  As sad as this sounds, Obama is as far left as the country is currently willing to go.  I’m sorry that Cornel West didn’t get a ticket to the inauguration, but his complaints sound petty.

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By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

kerryrose, May 19 at 5:46 am.

There are only two political parties in the United States.  The Tea
Party is a Republican Right-Wing ruse to take the Right-Wing
Republican Party farther Right by fooling the Epsilon-Minus
Semi-Morons of the Common Majority into thinking there is a
choice other than Democrat and Republican—there never is and
no member of the 70% majority common population should be a
member of the Republican Party that only represents private
capital.

I wish the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons that make up the 70%
Majority Common Population in the United States would realize
that the Democratic Party could represent the public interests of
the majority population if the majority populace would quit being
Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons and do exactly what the Tea Party did
with the Republican Party and take the Democratic Party over and
make the Democratic Party represent the 70% Majority American
Populace, who are currently not being represented at all by the
Middle Class, who are in sole charge of the
Democratic Party and have moved the Democratic
Party to the Right where the Democratic Party
represents private interests instead of public
interests.

The 70% Majority Common Population are the ones being
sacrificed at the money altar and the only ones that can do
anything about it is the 70% Majority Common Population, the
American Populace, who must quit being Epsilon-Minus
Semi-Morons.

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By David J. Cyr, May 19, 2011 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

In a better world Malcolm could have been 86 today, May 19.

If there had not been a Malcolm X the corporate state wouldn’t have its MLK Day.

The Violence of “Nonviolence”:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=492&Itemid=1

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By kerryrose, May 19, 2011 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

screaming palm

The Tea Party not swayed by propaganda?

Do you believe the Koch money that supports the Tea Party, the Tea Party rallies, and the Tea Party candidates does not promote a corporate agenda?

Check out the Tea Party websites.  There is a complete list of all bills in the Senate and House with a description of how the Tea Party should vote.  What interests do you believe those bills promote?  Perhaps the interests of the billionaires who fund the Tea Party websites and buses and rallies?  It’s a very clever way to organize a corporate marching guard. 

So much for a ‘grassroots’ agenda- no Tea Party member needs to think for themselves, the website tells you how to vote.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

We are slightly worse than the Ivory Coast in wealth distribution among the population, Pakistan is better than we are on that. No Democratic-Republic can stand with that kind of mal-distribution of wealth. It is in fact impossible. One of many factors we need to correct if we are going to have even a smidgin of a chance to get our Republic back. As Bill Moyers’ says, we are very close to losing what we still have. Check out Bill Moyers right here on TruthDig.

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

ApprxAm, May 18 at 10:01 pm,

The true cause needs to be representation of the 70% Majority
Common Population, the American Populace of the United States that
because of the DLC, Democratic Leadership Council, which President
Obama follows, is not being represented in the making and enforcing
of legislated law and order in the United States.

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By ApprxAm, May 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Cornell West is not MLK.  Whatever slight he might…might have received from Obama makes him no martyr to Blacks or our true cause.

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By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Say No to Corporate America, May 17 at 4:25 pm,

Along with West, Gov. Howard Dean, M.D. was
also banished, for representing the majority
populace that the DLC doesn’t represent.

Populous and populace do not
mean the same thing, the words are specifically
different, as populous refers to many
inhabitants; while populace refers
specifically to the common people, the
masses; the majority common population, the
American Populace or Back Street America that is
being attacked, apart from the minority
populations of Wall Street and Main Street who
are the attackers
and have been the
attackers ever since the Conservative Revolution
began in the 1980’s, which is why I use the word
populace, instead of the Right-Wing’s
most preferred populous

It is more important than ever that the populace
of the United States, the Left, the Majority
Populace, Back Street America all over the United
States be represented by a political party,
because the cumulative voting strength and
contributions of the 70% Majority Common
Population of the United States as a united class
and culture are all that stands a chance to
counter balance the fascist leanings of the
current Right-Wing Supreme Court led by Roberts
and his Right-Wing Cronies and the corporate
interests of Wall Street and Main Street.

Wall Street has the Republican Party;  Main
Street has the Democratic Party; and the
American Populace have no political
party
and are unrepresented in the making
and enforcing of legislated law and order in the
United States of America, which is why the
American Populace is being tyrannized.

Even though it appears to be Main Street being
attacked, it is more specifically a Back Street
attack upon the American Populace and the
infrastructure for the American Populace that is
causing and has caused the destruction of small
town Main Streets across the USA and
imprisonment of a large majority of America’s
populace because of oppressive and tyrannical
laws made by Wall Street and supported by Main
Street to oppress the populace and destroy the
populace’s public school system.

If the 70% majority American Populace as a class
and culture, do not choose to be ruled by Wall
Street supported by Main Street, then Back
Street must always forgo backlash
votes
between the Democratic Party and
the Republican Party and secure a political party
of their own with representatives for America’s
populace in government of the United States by
whatever expedient means necessary in order
that the American Populace as a class and
culture will be able to have an equal part in the
making and enforcing of legislated law and order
in the best interest of the 70% majority American
Populace as a class and culture in the United
States that is currently being assaulted by
oppressive and tyrannical laws.

It is not necessary for the American Populace to
take over the Republican Party that represents
Wall Street’s American Aristocracy, as the Tea
Party did to help the Right; but the American
Populace, who are the Left, do have to take over
the Democratic Party of Main Street America’s
Middle Class, because the Democratic Party is the
only political party of the two that can be secured
for the 70% majority populace of the United
States, because it can be made to represent the
entire American Populace and form a balance, at
least until more political parties that are equal
with the Democratic Party and the Republican
Party can be formed through legislation to
represent the New Middle Class. 

Awareness in the 70% majority populace must
emerge and when awareness is sufficient to
establish a new order that will represent the
70% majority populace in the making and
enforcing of legislated law and order in the best
interest of the Majority Populace in the United
States it must be done to counter the Fascist
tyranny of the Corporate Right.

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By Ulrich Monteblanc, May 18, 2011 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People who continuously believe that Obama is going to transform into this progressive candidate during his second term..wake up and smell the coffee. He’s not. Especially with the knockout body blows he’s throwing at the middle class…with the upcoming Mileage Tax on top of rising gas and food prices, taxes, the outflow of our jobs. And there is of course, the startling lack of oversight of corporations and Wall Street Goons who have committed outright theft, plundering our nation’s wealth to cover their bad debts (which was due to purposely bad loaning practices).

I don’t know West’s feelings about Jews or whites. But, I do know this one thing: he’s right about Obama. And as soon as progressives stop looking to him as some sort of all-saving martyr/Messiah, the better that we can all start working on the problems we have.

And it can’t be accomplished by sitting on our asses here in front of our computer screens..or even writing our useless congressmen. It’s got to take action.
Not one has gone to jail. And the class wars against the

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By katsteevns, May 18, 2011 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

@ Leefeller
        If Obomba had produced the paper from last month way back in the beginning, (you know, the one that looks like a NORMAL birth certificate,) he might have avoided some headaches. How many people do we know who’s BC looks like the first one he produced? Not many, I would guess.
        And, instead of him inferring that those seeking authenticity where wackos instead of citizens exercising their right to redress grievances, he would have garnered more respect.
        Let’s face it, Obomba is no man’s man. Both his words and actions don’t make you feel like he is up there batting for the average Joe. Anytime he refers to the people in a positive way, since he took office, it portends a scripted afterthought.

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By Amon Drool, May 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

mr. gaunt…mc.murphy threw some some snark at TD’s man
of the center leefeller, who claimed to be finding
bigotry from the ‘radical’ left on this thread.  i
guess you’re not on your game tonight…

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By Night-Gaunt, May 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

No snark from me. You said “bigotry” I didn’t find it. So we are speaking passed each other here?

Anyway bigotry is when you carry out your own prejudices. One can hate _______ but never act on them. Just so you know. But I am interested in what you have got on the bigotry front.

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By mc.murphy, May 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, May 18 at 5:26

do you really need snark tags with a link to that post “fer ya"post?

do you see it likely that a bigot would be reading and linking to The Black
Agenda Report, Democracy Now, WSWS, and the rest of the links in the sidebar?

anyway, next time I’ll tag my snarky comments.

no harm, no foul. ; )


http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By DofG, May 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

One of the reasons there is so much intellectual and spiritual conflict in the world, is that most of us operate by the dictates of the ego rather than the immutability of Cosmic Law. We tend to see the world through the lens of inherited two dimensional concepts of morality, rather than with a dispassionate understanding that our universe as an impersonal “actuality”. Thus, as stated in his Nobel acceptance speech, Obama in operating in the world as he has found it! And thus, he has chosen to operate in this world politically as a democrat, but pragmatically as a non-ideologue. So under this condition he will always offend both his supporters and detractors.

Cornel West, like so many of the extreme “right”, see those in power as merely an instrument to make change at the expense of the whole, and the immortality of the past. And yes, change for the better is always a good thing. But like maxim in the movie Avatar, the constitution favors balance over factions! (Ocholcracy:Federalist Paper #10) It’s principle is that “we the people” move united to evolve self government; but without the tyranny of either majorities, nor minorites*. Thus, Obama, whether one agrees with him, or not, has chosen a surgical approach to bring about balance to the system, rather that a “radical mastectomy” of institutions that we are inherently dependent on. This is not to say that we can’t strive to make profound changes in our institutions; but that can only come about via the intellectual understanding of the governed, not merely any political leader, or an ideology. In other words, we focus too much on presidential politics, rather than focusing on our own maturation (as self governors) so that it may be directly reflected in our representation-the congress!

Obama keeps repeating e pluribus unum for our benefit; but we just don’t get that “we the people” are standing in our own way.

*minorities relevant numbers within the electorate, not respective to race.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

“Applied to the Obama presidency however, “make me do it” is a popular myth. It’s popular because the president and his lackeys repeat it endlessly. It’s a myth because it’s not true. Longtime activist Harry Belafonte, who played a key role in the Freedom Movement of the fifties and sixties, exploded the myth in a Democracy Now interview broadcast on May 16.

Belafonte was asked by host Amy Goodman whether he’d used his occasional access to directly share his many critical and valuable public policy insights with the White House. Belafonte replied that his only access to the president has been for a few seconds at a time, not long enough for any substantive discussion. But, he said, at one such event President Obama approached him to inquire when Belafonte and Cornel West were going “to cut me some slack.”

“What makes you think we haven’t?” Belafonte replied to the president? At this point the brief encounter was over.”

A telling bit from that article at http://mosquitocloud.net/harry-belafonte-explodes/ but I perceived no bigotry that Mc.Murphy claims. Just shows that some got to see what Obama is up close and he is just a neo-Liberal without the liberal.

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By Ditthi, May 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kudos to you Cornel West for saying what needs to be said. Stay strong and keep the fire alive.

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By screamingpalm, May 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Each and every election is important. It is not acceptable that people should bitch and moan about politicians or governments or elections ... but not vote.

Ah, but it IS. I didn’t vote last time because Nader was blocked off of the ballot in my state by the Democrats, forcing me to choose between two candidates that didn’t represent my interests.

Disenfranchised, I stayed home.

Although I don’t agree with the Tea Party’s stance on the issues, I have to respect them coming together against the Republican mainstream and not getting manipulated by propaganda.

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By mc.murphy, May 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, May 18 at 2:25

heres some more bigotry fro Harry Belafonte, and the Black Agenda Report fer ya:

http://mosquitocloud.net/harry-belafonte-explodes/

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By Jevan, May 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many of you are woefully constricted within the parameters dictated by those who
take advantage of you.

Your relentless pursuit of superficial straws to grasp amount to compulsive
psychological masturbation and your “leaders” happily provide the context for
your feverish ejaculations.

You’re reinforcing your own ignorance and backing yourself into an ever smaller
corner by continuously playing their game by their rules at your expense (and the
expense of those you so smugly claim to care about.)

- Ron Paul 2012 -

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By Leefeller, May 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Cornel West may be a morale philosophizer in the minds of Hedges and Cornel West and some of the posters here, but I have always found him more of an entertainer, because I have only seen him in that light.

Now I did not expect Obama to invite me to any of his special political events even though I sent him money for his campaign, I suppose not enough money to qualify anyway. Surely I did not throw 65 political events for Obama like West did. It would be interesting to see what qualifies for an invite? 66 events? ...Cornel West may have been a bit presumptions in his expectations, (political ambitions?)  but I also see the possibility of Obama not wanting to be seen with Cornel West for the same reason Obama threw Revered Wright under the Petrol truck; for political reasons. Both for being too black? I hope I am wrong on this.

My Obama as he has been referred to me by others posting here, now I find posters using the word worship to describe Obama supporters, this constant anti Obama colophon has been ongoing since the Hillery campaign, which suggests many things,... one possibility is some here are Republican/tea bags tainting the political soup for My Mr. Obama.  How about the far left who I find little different than the far right in calling for Obama’s birth certificate or his head on a platter, radicals are radicals.  Also I have seen some obvious racism. So it is really hard to tell, if there is more bigotry hidden in those far left closets the far right ones? After all this,  now I find out Obama may not black enough?

Ardee,  I found your last post enlightening and it seems to emulate my feelings and opinions quite well, this bonding thing makes me a bit nervous just as I also find it very amusing.

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By drbhelthi, May 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

“- but you would have truly done so if you had elected Cynthia
McKinney, not to mention crossing the gender divide as well.” 
katsteevns

I know of one “cracker” who wanted to vote for Cynthia McKinney, but
not to support Blacks or cross the gender divide.  Rather, because
she is genuine thru and thru, an American patriot with an abundance
of real-life experiences not tainted by wealth, the U.S.Military or
the C.I.A., who carries an intelligent head on her shoulders, who
sucks up to neither wealth nor power, and who cares for her “fellow
man.”

Which description the two major candidates did not, cannot, and will
never qualify for.

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By Maestro, May 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On Tuesday Nov. 8 of this year, if the Republicans have a slight lead in the polls, and a third party has only a small percentage of support, for whom will you vote? The question is rhetorical, but it is an important question. Mistakes that cause regret can have tragic consequences, and be uncorrectable.

“Don’t blame me, I voted for Obama,” more than likely would be a tragically sad bumper sticker after 2012. If you think that things can not get worse, then you are naïve, or reckless, or foolish.

“I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grave
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
He blew his mind out in a car
He didn’t notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.

I saw a film today oh boy
The English Army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
but I just had to look
Having read the book
I’d love to turn you on

Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in second splat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
and Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
I’d love to turn you on”

(The percussive and slowly fading C-major chord played by all four Beatles on a Grand Piano that would be heard here, could well serve as the final death knell of our ailing democracy.)

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By Mack, May 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think a lot of the politics up there is spot on, and Obama should be fearlessly criticized for his connections to Wall Street. However, West is definitely ego-tripping, I can’t believe any can deny that. His statement about Obama fearing free black men, what is the basis for that? That he doesn’t do whatever West thinks is best? And for this Obama isn’t “black enough”. Could you imagine a white professor complaining that the president isn’t white enough and being taken seriously.

As to the comments on Jews, I won’t even go there, but I find it interesting how few people posting here are ready to take West on for these pretty incendiary accusations, as if by sharing his criticism of Obama they feel the need to support West.

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By Walter Thompson III, May 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In general I believe some of what Dr. Cornel West has stated about Obama and his administration is indeed valid in the area of how middle class and poor working people are still struggling in this economy we all find oursleves swimming in under this administration. But that being said I have to agree with another in this forum when I say that Obama is doing what I voted for him to do. I was under no illusions that his presidency was going to be easy or a total reversal of the staus quo. What I did expect and want was a democratic pesident who is everyones president in trying to deal with the political realities as a real politician who is clever, and willing to walk in the political mind fields of what we know as democracy. In contrast a society and country like China can get things done quickly on large and massive scales in part because there is no drag of true democracy to slow efforts decided by a few people who have ultimate control. I voted for Obama because I believed he had the vision and intelligence to help guide this country through this particular time in American history. His presidency is about many issues of America including those things that divide us and sap away at our brand of civilization. Have I’ve been disappointed by some of Obama’s performance? Yes, and I agree with others that some of his problems have been induced by folks who want his presidency to fail. But I also believe Obama has passed the test as a true politician and leader who has shown a remarkable ability to govern in choppy waters from the left and the right and still have a grip on political and economic reality in these United States. Although I will be voting for Obama again, I do agree with Dr. West that great presidents are sometimes made by both historical events and vocal citizens who hold a president’s feet to the fire to be excellent and responsive. Ideally these actions should always be potent in a true democracy despite the problems of perception that can occur from differing opinions and points of view.

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By cripes, May 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

I see some Obama delusions still floating around the truthdig postings.

For those who think whites can’t criticize an Obama presidency; you seem to suffer from the delusion that because he’s “black” he’s your man in the White House. I can’t think of a president who’s done less for black folks than this phoney, unless lecturing them on being bad fathers, not to throw garbage from their cars and calling them “pookie” counts.
He said, “You know what would be a good economic development plan for our community would be if we make sure folks weren’t throwing their garbage out of their cars’.” Translation; black people are dirty and lazy.
Better think that through again.

To anyone who believes he’ll turn into a “real” progressive in his second term, well, we heard that on the campaign trail. It was bullsh*t then, and it’s bullsh*t today.

To those who say after his election, he was brought into a secret room and made to understand that if he pursued policies against the oligarchs, something bad would happen to him or his family, I can only say you should stop watching television. Obama was in secret rooms years before, and he eagerly bought whatever was offered to him. He knew exactly what he was getting into since AT LEAST the democratic convention speech in 2004. He was being groomed for HIS APPOINTMENT to the white house. All that remained was the Madison Avenue marketing campaign

It’s time the rest of us understand this.

The dregs of Obama worship are just that; a persistent belief, in spite of all the evidence, that he’s some kind of savior. Or even just a good guy trying to do his best in difficult circumstances. Delusions.
Grow up.

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By Low Cloudz, May 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m truly torn. 

West is right in saying that Obama has no backbone, no real concern about completing MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign, or challenging the landscape economically, militarily, or socially.  At the same time, West’s version of the dozens, essentially calling Obama a tragic mulatto goes way beyond the pale.  I think we’re at a time when folk can try to claim their humanity in whatever forms they see fit. 

I think we can all admit that we may all have possibly, ironically, placed too much weight on the shoulders of our Half-black president.  Boy, how history repeats itself…No president to date has challenged systems of power, and we want Obama to be the first.  We want him to press the reset button of all U.S. policies that maintain Empire, military and prison industrial complexes at naught, and somehow show us the way to Shiloh after 100+ years of cultural and ethnic strife.  We are caught between a rock and a hard place, and it pisses us off to admit it. 

There are no third party options.  This is it.

On Obama’s first day, someone sat him down and said, “Nice to meet you Mr. Hope and Change, this is military, this is the intelligence community, this is the Federal Reserve, this is the IMF/World Bank: don’t touch it if you know what’s good for you!”

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By katsteevns, May 18, 2011 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

If there is one thing that Black America does not owe to the Whites, it’s an apology.

They learned to be like the Whites by studying the Whites. And did so consistently at the end of a whip, at the end of a chain, under a boot, at the end of a rope, at the back of the bus, at both ends of a gun and from the plantations and ghettos, ghettos where they get a steady stream of drugs, guns, fragmented opportunity, broken promises and mis-education.

We made this bed….......but we still wanna bitch.

You think that by voting in Obama you stepped outside the herd, crossed the racial divide? No, but you would have truly done so if you had elected Cynthia McKinney, not to mention crossing the gender divide as well. You blew it, so suck it up.

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By Pookiedog, May 18, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

GLS   I agree with Reynolds…Dr. West is simply saying that Obama really does not have the black male experience of growing up in America, but whenever necessary Obama will use his blackness as a political tool but actually does not relate nor feels comfortable around a certain type of black man described by Dr. West.  And Dr. West believes that this is evident by the type of men who President Obama has surrounded himself with… He feels more “at home” around “whites and jews” To break it down for you in hood terms Dr. West was just saying that Obama is a “fake a** black man!” Period.  And there’s nothing anti-semitic about that, is it? 

Obama

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By solerso, May 18, 2011 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

@severed

i think your whole long post is an argument against something that West never said. He never said “Obama wont presuade, though he could be inclined to” he said Obama lied when he persuaded many that he was not a brutal capitalist tool, which he is. You yourself point out that he is “a creature of big business”, such creatures are the enemies of the people, they dont presuade others to help the people. Obama is not inclined to helping the people any more than Hitler would have been inclined to persuade Germans to not hate Jews,or Rick Scott is inclined to single payer health care.Obama is not a hostage of the peoples enemies, he IS one of the peoples enemies.

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By severed2009, May 18, 2011 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Obama is a creature of big business and the financial sector, yet his
demonization as an unamerican socialist is very successful.  Do his demonizers
really have a quarrel with him or is this just a stage show, professional
wrestling style, to distract us from what is really going on?  Is their quarrel a
charade, a dispute over tactics and emphasis in how to achieve the same basic
strategic goals, or a real difference over where the country should be headed
and/or how we should be deciding where we go.  If we are not clear on this,
how can we decide what to do or support?

Cornell West seems to assume a silent or confused majority that Obama could
have persuaded to support other policies, more friendly and helpful to the non-
superrich.  Cornell is one of the most persuasive people around, able to clearly
express a sophisticated theological understanding without lapsing into
theological jargon.  But he has not managed to budge the leadership of the
Southern Baptists or steal very many of their followers.  Yet he assumes that
Obama could have performed a similar feat in the political realm, or at least
that his chances of success were great enough and the costs of failure were low
enough that he should have tried.   

Unfortunately, the forces of darkness have been more successful in appealing
to our silent majorities than the forces of light.  Before what we want is
possible, we have to change what is possible.  We do not seem to be able to
compete with the forces of darkness in scare tactics, disinformation,
pseudofacts, and simplistic invalid reasoning.  Perhaps after an economic
collapse it will be possible to resurrect the simplistic understandings once used
to rally people against big business. But those in other countries who have
gained power using those simplistic understandings and no-holds-barred
political struggle have not achieved the success they promised. 

What we need is ways to make the silent majority less susceptible to scare
tactics, disinformation, pseudofacts, and simplistic invalid reasoning.  Without
this sort of transformation, any victories will be subject to reversal.  The
internet, for example, should give us new ways to do this, although to date it
seems to be making the problem worse, spreading communities who talk only
among themselves and become increasingly unable to even understand those
who disagree on basic matters.  So our problem is not so much a lack of will
and energy as a lack of understanding of how to apply our energy.

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By myhcal, May 18, 2011 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With regrets I post my comment and refer to Spike lee who in a movie had a character state “like crabs in a barrel, blacks drag each other down. West saw the president as his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, as with all the work West put in, West felt he was owed a position of power, that he did not get. Now the rant at how the President is not true to hisself or black people. West needs to utilize the system and get the Grants and any federal monies that are availible and contiue the fight at the educational level.

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By reynolds, May 18, 2011 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

gls; the ‘anti-semitic diagnosis’ is your inference. 
my read is that west feels he has been slighted by
someone who trades on blackness more than ever he has
lived, or will live it; a man who is, by whatever
analysis, a shill.

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By under, May 18, 2011 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

GLS is right on. West reveals himself to be further immersed in a paranoid, anti-
Semitic view of the world. Nearly every critique of Obama involves his interaction
with Jews.

Regarding speaking truth to power, West has cowered before out and out anti-
Semites like Farrakan, for most of his career. Not only has he refused to denounce
him, it appears now that he has started to think like him.

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By GLS, May 18, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Lots of interesting posts here, but I’m shocked how few
of them address how anti-semitic West’s diagnosis of
the problem is. We have more than one hundred comments
here, most cheering his analysis. I find West’s
statements incredibly, shockingly offensive—and it
makes me sad how few comments here (and Hedges himself)
seem to take issue with what he’s saying, which is
basically that Obama is in thrall to conniving Jews.
Very sad.

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By Pitchman, May 18, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Word of the Day: TREACHEROUS - See: “BEHIND THE VEIL”

http://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/2011/05/word-of-day-treacherous-see-behind-veil.html

treach•er•ous (trchr-s) adj.

1. Marked by betrayal of fidelity, confidence, or trust; perfidious.

See minutes 7:00 to 14:00 of “Behind the Veil” here (http://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/2011/05/word-of-day-treacherous-see-behind-veil.html).  Larry Pinkney’s insight on the Obama brand at 20:40 and “The Republicrats” at 1:39:22 speaks to the heart of a failed system.  If you watch nothing else, see the Chris Hedges speech on hope at 1:45:00. 

Uncovered; is a system that affords three wars and tax cuts for the wealthiest few but can’t afford to maintain our national parks or vital services for the most vulnerable among us.  While insightful, we cannot endorse the notion that free market capitalism is a failure.  It, like our beloved democratic republic and the rule of law, has been hijacked and subverted for the benefit of a powerful few.  No mater the system or it’s rhetoric; human evolution is marked by man’s struggle for sovereignty and self rule against the tyranny of power and control. “Behind the Veil” exposes a treacherous ploy purchased through, and implemented by, those we trust to represent us…

In March of 2009 Bloomberg reported the Government and Federal Reserve had spent, lent, or committed $12.8 Trillion on the bailouts.  Today you can add to this; our continual support of Fanny and Freddy, the Federal Reserve’s ‘Quantitative Easing’ programs at about $100 billion per month and that figure stands near $16 Trillion or higher.  Regardless; it is the largest transfer of wealth in human history and it continues unabated and wholly unchallenged. 

Meanwhile the Obama administration

  * Increases secrecy, blocking more Freedom of Information Act request in 2009 than the Bush administration in 2008. - Huffington Post, March 16, 2010
  * Fights for Government immunity in prosecutions for domestic spying . - Electronic Frontier Foundation April 7, 2009
  * Extends the Patriot Act without any reforms. - CS Monitor, March, 1, 2010
  * Cracks down on government whistle-blowers more than any President in history. - New York Times, June 11, 2010
  * Ignoring 70% of Americans who desired Universal Health Care, Obama cuts a secret deal with Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies - NY Times, March, 16, 2010…...

It’s a double edge sword.  Obama! Well, even ardent supporters must admit, like his promise to reform NAFTA, his campaign rhetoric was a vicious ruse.  Instead of using the bully pulpit to tell America the truth and ask for support to make real change, he is in league with those he feigned to rail against. 


Instead of drawing on his background in constitutional law to reinstate this vital social construct he continues in it’s blatant disregard.  At the same time true Republican conservatives have been neutered by sociopathic RINO ‘Republican in name only’ Neocons who have no affiliation to our country or it’s laws; but worship at the church of the lowest production costs; consequences be damned.


‘Behind the veil’ a small amoral clique, unrepresentative of the U.S. population, directs both parties to slice away at our liberties and economic prospects while pushing a foreign policy agenda of increased military intervention, in what will prove to be an unsustainable imperialist expansion.

“by their fruits ye shall know them” – Mathew 7:16

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By Pitchman, May 18, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Word of the Day: TREACHEROUS - See: “BEHIND THE VEIL”

http://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/2011/05/word-of-day-treacherous-see-behind-veil.html

treach•er•ous (trchr-s) adj.

1. Marked by betrayal of fidelity, confidence, or trust; perfidious.

See minutes 7:00 to 14:00 of “Behind the Veil” here (http://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/2011/05/word-of-day-treacherous-see-behind-veil.html).  Larry Pinkney’s insight on the Obama brand at 20:40 and “The Republicrats” at 1:39:22 speaks to the heart of a failed system.  If you watch nothing else, see the Chris Hedges speech on hope at 1:45:00. 

Uncovered; is a system that affords three wars and tax cuts for the wealthiest few but can’t afford to maintain our national parks or vital services for the most vulnerable among us.  While insightful, we cannot endorse the notion that free market capitalism is a failure.  It, like our beloved democratic republic and the rule of law, has been hijacked and subverted for the benefit of a powerful few.  No mater the system or it’s rhetoric; human evolution is marked by man’s struggle for sovereignty and self rule against the tyranny of power and control. “Behind the Veil” exposes a treacherous ploy purchased through, and implemented by, those we trust to represent us…

In March of 2009 Bloomberg reported the Government and Federal Reserve had spent, lent, or committed $12.8 Trillion on the bailouts.  Today you can add to this; our continual support of Fanny and Freddy, the Federal Reserve’s ‘Quantitative Easing’ programs at about $100 billion per month and that figure stands near $16 Trillion or higher.  Regardless; it is the largest transfer of wealth in human history and it continues unabated and wholly unchallenged. 


Meanwhile the Obama administration

  * Increases secrecy, blocking more Freedom of Information Act request in 2009 than the Bush administration in 2008. - Huffington Post, March 16, 2010
  * Fights for Government immunity in prosecutions for domestic spying . - Electronic Frontier Foundation April 7, 2009
  * Extends the Patriot Act without any reforms. - CS Monitor, March, 1, 2010
  * Cracks down on government whistle-blowers more than any President in history. - New York Times, June 11, 2010
  * Ignoring 70% of Americans who desired Universal Health Care, Obama cuts a secret deal with Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies - NY Times, March, 16, 2010…...

It’s a double edge sword.  Obama! Well, even ardent supporters must admit, like his promise to reform NAFTA, his campaign rhetoric was a vicious ruse.  Instead of using the bully pulpit to tell America the truth and ask for support to make real change, he is in league with those he feigned to rail against. 


Instead of drawing on his background in constitutional law to reinstate this vital social construct he continues in it’s blatant disregard.  At the same time true Republican conservatives have been neutered by sociopathic RINO ‘Republican in name only’ Neocons who have no affiliation to our country or it’s laws; but worship at the church of the lowest production costs; consequences be damned.


‘Behind the veil’ a small amoral clique, unrepresentative of the U.S. population, directs both parties to slice away at our liberties and economic prospects while pushing a foreign policy agenda of increased military intervention, in what will prove to be an unsustainable imperialist expansion.

“by their fruits ye shall know them” – Mathew 7:16


Visit http://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/

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By Pookiedog, May 18, 2011 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

I knew that his progressive and populist persona was B.S. before Nov 2008…just look no further at then Senator Obama’s vote on the FISA bill and what he vowed before the vote…

I just shake my head when I hear all these so called “intellectuals” complain about how they were duped into believing that Obama was the answer to all their prayers.

So what now? Let me guess…Many will argue that we must vote for him again because the alternative is much worse!  I am sick and tired of the same damn argument each election on why we MUST vote for democrats.

Listen up Green Party…I am about to give you the best marketing campaign that would cost thousands of dollars elsewhere…and if you like it I got more!

NOW EVERYBODY SING ALONG (to the melody of “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono )

“All we are saying is give GREEN a chance” (REPEAT)

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By katsteevns, May 18, 2011 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Those in power act as if God is dead. That being true, why bother acting honorably? The oligarchs will not be around to receive retribution for their crimes and will spend YOUR money to avoid the same.

Many from Walt Disney on up are hoping for science to bring them back to life. They believe this, count on it. The one thing we all have in common, and share the same fear in, is death. Power makes those who hold it feel immune, but only to a point. They have the best health care which helps them to not think about dying until the bitter end, and with medication, not even then.

For them, the possibilities are only limited to their imagination.


  “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” - Lord Acton,1887

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By abikecommuter, May 18, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Harvard and Yale rule! Why the banks and upward progress of economic power makes
obama looks like Bush IV and clinton like Bush II. If we can get some diversity on the
supreme court…

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By Charlie Cobb, May 18, 2011 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Politics—which is what we’re talking about if we’re discussing the presidency—has never been a morality play. To even metaphorically cast Cornel West as “conscience” and Rahn Emanuel as “Satan” is silly. As for Obama’s “heart” at best we can only make guesses, something I might do informally over a drink at a bar but hardly as serious analysis.

There is little Obama is doing as President that he didn’t telegraph as candidate. So even if you disagree with his policies (and I do with many of them) there is no basis for surprise or a feeling of “betrayal.”

If you want to protest Obama’s policies now, casting them as a morality play is not helpful. The only thing less helpful is the pop psychology displayed in the Cornel West quotes displayed in this essay.

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By photoshock, May 18, 2011 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Dr. Cornel West said correctly of President Obama, ‘he
lacks backbone.’

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By drbhelthi, May 18, 2011 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

“If one fails to understand the importance of circumstance upon
individual behaviour, then one should not be posting naive simplicities
in a forum as if they were fact.”  Lafayette

Agreed.
Looking at a fraternity of thieves from the outside is very dissimilar to
membership.  Once inside, one does as the leadership directs, and is
protected from outside attack. 

Also, titular position vs. functional position alters circumstances. 
Take the titular U.S.Presidency, for example.  Neither Congresspersons
nor the electorate nor the president make the important decisions.
Rather, the few who exercise functional control within “the fraternity”
make the decisions, which alters the circumstances.

Circumstances have a decisive effect.  A cadre of hirees and volunteers
currently confuse and distort the circumstances of information related to
USGOV activity, and pervade the on-line world with their creations. Thus,
fabrication replaces genuine events, subduing Americans and the world
with disinformation that replaces honesty with fairy-tale falsifications. 
Which are usually termed “lies.” 

Poor Barack bin Obama.  Being a member of the USGOV internal fraternity
changes the circumstances and makes him behave dishonestly.  And how can
he be honest and fulfil the promises he makes to the people who elect him
if the fraternity makes him behave dishonestly?  Don´t blame him; blame
the inner circumstances of the fraternity?  After all, some allege that he
means well - - ?

A psychiatrist friend of 35 years ago called this “shit thinking.” 
Not a DSM classification, yet practical and very understandable.
Obama has accelerated the destruction of the U.S.A. and is proceeding.
He and his fraternity leadership must be stopped.

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By David J. Cyr, May 18, 2011 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

Since 99% of voters are ever reliably corporate compliant the corporate state has no need to hide its corruption. Its FEC filings document the corruption, and OpenSecrets.org makes the data in those filings more accessible:

http://www.opensecrets.org/

Bush 2004 $367 million

Obama 2008 $745 million

The liberals were all wet loin ecstatic when their devious Democrat successfully more than doubled down on the corruption of money in campaigns. We all got the depraved Democrat corrupt POTUS the millions of liberal maniacs gleefully supported… chipping in their $5s and $10s to supplement Goldman Sachs’ $994,795, Citigroup’s $701,290, JPMorgan’s $695,132, and Morgan Stanley’s $514,881 “contributions” that purchased Obama.

Which Money owned Obama was an open secret before the voting. Which fools would vote for Obama was never any secret.

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By wfalco, May 18, 2011 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dr. West explains, as only he can, what the real concerns of Black and poor America are.
His points hit the nail on the head regarding our President. My concern,as a white guy, is his tendency to generalize others(such as Obama) as perhaps not “black enough”.The point is understood as I have worked in the African-American/Urban communities for over two decades. However, he generalizes and stereotypes, nonetheless.
Obama may be different from Dr. West culturally,but this is not a guarantee that alone is what defines a man or his philosophy.
Philosophical thoughts and perceptions are developmental and forever in a state of change or impermanence. Of course there are core beliefs, especially politically. My belief is that most nationally elected representaives and Senators who are Democrats are politically and philosophically liberal, if not radical.
However, these folks are stuck between a rock and the proverbial hard place. They have to be “perceived” as somehwat conservative or at least moderate-dependent on their geopgraphy.Without this perception by the citizenry they will never be elected to do anything at least somewhat progressive.
This is the game of politics, as it exists in the U.S. today.
And so Obama has played this game-to the dismay of many radicals,like myself.But does he have other options? In today’s America Obama’s game plan may be to play the centrist politcian until re-election. Once re-elected Dr. West may finally see the progressive/populist President that he had hoped for.

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By ardee, May 18, 2011 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

David J. Cyr, May 18 at 5:21 am Link to this comment


The liberal answer to too much money in elections was to more than double the too much money in elections.

The answer to your neurosis is therapy. Mr. St. Cyr The way you throw around the term “liberal” as in liberals did this, liberals believe that, one might think you actually knew something about your subject.

The vast majority of monies thrown to candidates like lures thrown to fish comes from such “liberal” sources as Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Goldman Sachs and a myriad of other flaming left wing thinkers like those mentioned.

The loosening of campaign funding declarations came from that bastion of liberality the Supreme Court, and most decisions coming out of Congress can hardly be seen as coming from the left side of the aisle either.

I do not know to whom you address these endless diatribes against a political philosophy you can neither recognize nor speak about with any degree of accuracy or , sorry to note, sanity.

Who you think you zoomin’ boyo?

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By GLS, May 18, 2011 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

Cornell West lost his bearings a long time ago,
possibly around the time he decided to appear in one
of the MATRIX movies. (There must have been some
serious philosophical reasoning behind him getting
his SAG card.) There is, of course, a real and
powerful critique to be made of the president’s
rhetoric and actions. But his comments here are
little more than an anti-semitic screed of the worst
sort. Notice his singling out of Jews throughout—the
people he points to, his claim that Obama only feels
comfortable around “savvy” and “very effective” Jews.
(We get it, Cornell.) This is absolutely disgusting
stuff—and I’m disappointed that you (Chris Hedges)
haven’t loudly attacked him for this, let alone his
deeply offensive claims about Obama’s racial identity
and the authenticity of a variety of African-American
experiences.

If Rush or Beck used the same language, you would
call them out in a second. Absolutely disgusting.

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By David J. Cyr, May 18, 2011 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

The liberal answer to too much money in elections was to more than double the too much money in elections.

All the money contributed to Democrats is money contributed to the Right, because Democrats are not in any part of the Left. They never were. The liberals’ Democrats get the greater evil done that the conservatives’ Republicans can’t.

A people who believe that money is needed to have elections are a people who will have elections always in service of Money, not people.

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By ardee, May 18, 2011 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Those who blame the victims for the successes of the criminals and perpetrators are abetting our slide into fascism, in my opinion.

To call the Tea Party a success is to gild the lily. I believe that without the Koch Brothers money propping up that sad little group, without a complicit media spouting about their “power” their “affect on our legislators” they would be exactly like the voice of the Left in this country, not silent but not heard.

When one scratches a Tea Bagger, one finds someone who can spout the mantras but has no real knowledge other than what has been drummed into their robotic little heads. I think this organization serves only one real purpose, to hammer unwilling legislators into submission with a very false sense of their “power”.

Despite all the ravings about left wing billionaires financing progressive politics the fact remains that the right has almost all the money, almost all the media and thus its voice is magnified beyond its real numbers. Amidst the blitz of propaganda about how the nation moves rightward one must note that all the polls continue to show that, on the issues, this nation is progressive still.

To blame the left for a war being won by fascism is to miss the solution, abet the villains and actually obfuscate and distort both the situation and the path out of the wilderness.

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By katsteevns, May 18, 2011 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

By solerso,

“I hold out great hope for the end of oil production. how can global capitalism/imperialism as we know it survive without cheap portable energy, ie., cars, trucks and jet engines..? i posit that it cant, and wont survive. then we as a species accept it and grow, and create a new economic cultural paradigm…”

This is the one scenario that will trump the oligarchs, right?
  Think again, my friend. They have all the time they need right now and the resources to prepare for this coming Orwellian society on a global scale. Do you and I have time and resources to prepare, not likely. When the oil is gone, water will become the new oil. All other resources will be scarce. Prisons will dominate the landscape. Mankind’s only hope will be to tap into the resources of outer space. And who will control outer space but the rich and powerful.
—————————————————————

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Frederick Douglass, 1857

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By Lafayette, May 18, 2011 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

POLITICAL AXIOM

sp: Why is it that the Right can have so much success with the Tea Party

Simple answer: Spoiled Brats fed up with a PotUS, who could not wave a Magic Wand and lift them from the Deep Shit of recessional unemployment and debt, decided to stay away from the mid-term elections.

This gave the momentum to the mindless TeaPartiers in an election where only 48% of the electorate decided to go to the polls. The result was to hobble the PotUS, since all money legislation must originate in the HofR, the control of which passed to the Rabid Right.

Each and every election is important. It is not acceptable that people should bitch and moan about politicians or governments or elections ... but not vote.

MY POINT

This IS a democracy we live in - there is no doubt of it. And if we have a political class of second-rate nitwits, it is because (1) we elected them and (2) they are the mirror-image of the electorate.

Take that for a Political Axiom. (Then you will understand the electoral scheming of people like Karl Rove.)

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By Lafayette, May 18, 2011 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

NAIVE SIMPLICITIES

pd: candidate Obama vs President Obama

If there is any dichotomy between the two above it is, de facto, between before and after holding the responsibility of the presidency. And you should have noticed it, because it is not uncommon.

Real power, holding and being responsible for its usage, changes people - not necessarily philosophically, but pragmatically. Meaning that the Ivory Tower wonk and the PotUS in the Oval Office are the same person but in very different circumstances.

What you say to intimate friends, is it the same talk you have with your boss? So, yes, we have a different discourse for different circumstances.

Or, to employ an axiom: The position one occupies makes the person more than the person makes the position. I.e., “power enables”. The before and after circumstance of an election changes candidates - who must proceed from wishful thinking to concrete policy making - with all the complexity that the latter possesses in our version of tripartite governance.

If one fails to understand the importance of circumstance upon individual behaviour, then one should not be posting naive simplicities in a forum as if they were fact.

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By screamingpalm, May 17, 2011 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

Why is the DLC propaganda so effective? Is the Left really that gullible? Why is it that the Right can have so much success with the Tea Party (without being accused of supporting “the Left”) and the Left ends in total failure with Nader or others? Democrats give me nausea.

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By Lafayette, May 17, 2011 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

THE BOOB TUBE

CW: 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.

If this is what it takes to awaken a sleeping mindset, instigated by the torpor of a Reckless Ronnie with his Trickle Down economic idiocy, then yes.

Whatever will break away grass-roots America from the mindless Boob Tube that incarcerates them in a money-driven Pavlovian News Nirvana of sugary, simpleton pap for the masses. Americans tie with the Brits for first-place in TV-watching at 28 hours per week. Meaning, in terms of a 24-hour day awake (of 16 hours) 7 days per week, they watch TV 21% of their time awake. (See here.)

Perhaps we should understand why so much donated money in electoral campaigns is spent on candidate TV-time (commercials and other)? Americans watch the Boob Tube for their principle source of information, including electoral. In second place as a news source comes the Internet and third place for local print news.

If they are reading forums, such as this one, then perhaps they get a sampling of considered opinion rather than the mindless commercials that sell candidates as if they were Mr. Clean. Then again, maybe they aren’t?

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By Virginia777, May 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

Message to all the Obama-bashers on this thread:

Can I offer you a Kleenex?

Ya’ll go sign up for the upcoming Bachman/Cain ticket, you are serving the right so well already!

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By Virginia777, May 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

Sole Prop:

I have two words for you: Herman Cain.

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By Virginia777, May 17, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

My friend said it best:

“Cornel is an excellent show guest, a fine thinker, quality writer, fascinating man. He also gets very butt hurt if people don’t tell him that every day. Also he has this ivory tower notion that if you simply fight the power the power will buckle. Guess what, Cornell? The Power doesn’t go away just because you wagged your finger at it. Cornel gets to sit in guest chairs and wax multi-syllabic about how Obama is a corporate stooge. He doesn’t have to deal with the fact corporations DO run things and Obama can’t just adopta Denzel On The Mountain stance and magically make it untrue.”

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By Divinepoet, May 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Moral philosopher Cornel West commited a sin by trusting Obama. Barak Obama is a politician and his philosophy is to grab power by convincing voters. He did it. He is successfull. Now you can not say he is deceptive.Politicians are always deceptive.They are pretender of truth. Truth and politics can not go together. So cornel, you have not done justice to yourself by trusting a politician like Obama.

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By Pookiedog, May 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

C’mon, I knew the sh*t (progressive and populist persona) was a facade before Nov 2008 just look no further than then Sen. Obama’s vote on the FISA bill and what he “vowed” prior to that vote. 

I just laugh and shake my head when I hear all these so called “intellectuals” realizing they were duped into believing that he was the answer to their prayers.

So what now…?  Let me guess….here’s the new argument…“Well, we got vote for him again…because the other choices are worse than him!” The only problem is that this argument has been used for the last 50 years!

Listen up GREEN PARTY…I’m giving your new marketing campaign that would cost thousands of dollars elsewhere…and if you like this one I got more!

NOW EVERYBODY SING ALONG (to the melody of “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono

“All we are saying give GREEN a chance..(repeat)

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By deep.honey, May 17, 2011 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great interview.  One for the ages.

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By Sole Prop, May 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

“...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.”

I guess that about sums it up. May you live in
interesting times. Kind Lear in the twenty-first
century. Then that’s what they say about timeless art:
it’s timeless. Get used to it.

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By mc.murphy, May 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

solerso,

i missed you

fuckno mc.murphy


http://mosquitocloud.net/

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By dee544, May 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So rather than just calling him out on specific
policies, these fools get to question his blackness?
Question why Michelle doesn’t go to the hood? Why
doesn’t Cornel teach at an Historical Black
Institution? Why doesn’t Tavis work at BET? This is
nonsense. This is why Nat Turner and Denmark Vessey
couldn’t lead the slave revolts to the outcome of
freedom. House negroes !!

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By Abby, May 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

West has been whining about the President for as long as the teabaggers have.  West sits in his ivory tower spewing wisdom to folks he sees as intellectually inferior to himself.  He has NEVER done anything to raise the status of the black community.  He has not led a march, boycott, done fundraising or anything else that directly impacts the black community.  His rants are simply that- rants because he wants attention. He did 65 events and I did over 100 for the President.  I did them because I wanted him to be President, not because I hoped it would garner tickets for my mother and me to the inauguration.  President Obama has broken more barriers for black people than West could even contemplate.  I fully expect West to travel to Israel w/ Beck.

West never challenges any member of congress nor does he ever expect them to address inequities in their own communities. Anything below the current Presidency is beneath him.  For him to even ascribe to racial identity as reason for disparaging the President shows that he has run out of attention getting rhetoric.  He was dumped at Harvard because of his inability to complete his work there, instead he focused on his own projects.  The man’s ego has no bounds.

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By eric, May 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ya’ll really get off on pessimism porn, don’t you?

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By peace drone, May 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Spot on…civil libertarian Obama vs President Obama…constitutional scholar Obama vs President Obama… justice, illegalities accountability Obama vs. two-tier inequality President Obama…government transparency Obama vs persecute whistle-blowers President Obama…Financial reform Obama vs economic team banking math-a-magic President Obama…draw down the national security apparatus Obama vs ongoing conflict in five countries President Obama

—-candidate Obama vs President Obama—-

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By solerso, May 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

@ROCKYR

thats the hard truth of it isnt it…and i’ll add that as long as people think the monopoly capitalist/imperialist system we have and have always had, can be “reformed”  then we will always be fighting a losing battle. I hold out great hope for the end of oil production. how can global capitalism/imperialism as we know it survive without cheap portable energy, ie., cars, trucks and jet engines..? i posit that it cant, and wont survive. then we as a species accept it and grow, and create a new economic cultural paradigm (or revist some old ones) or we self destruct .

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By Say No to Corporate America, May 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Chris, I can dig this article. I respect Cornel West very much so I’m glad he’s making the rounds; I hope we hear a lot more over the next year and a half. We really need to build that Third Party Formation.

Professor West said, “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?”  Oh, yes, but the truth is not coming from Obama so it’s up to ‘We the Awake’ and men like Chris Hedges and Cornel West to educate the masses. We all need to work to help others see the light. No conspiracy theories are needed; the truth is telling enough. We must do more than just think about third-party candidates, third formations and third parties, we must get them in places of power, from the local to federal level, and hope 2012 is not too late!

98% of DC lawmakers are from the left or right branch of Uniparty Inc. However, the Right has become so extreme as the Left has moved away from the base. That sends this country in the wrong direction so you see, there is no such thing as less evil in this play.  There can be no apathy and no excuses to play in the two-party game. The tired old ‘GOP-will-win’ argument does not apply this time. Even Republicans are finally on to the GOP thanks to Scott Walker [less the T-baggers, but who cares]. The GOP has the usual-suspects, gang-of-thieves so not much of a challenger from that branch (TPTB are happy with O). Obama has proven he sides with the corporation just by his appointments and continuing wars, plus one.  Now is an excellent time for Third/Ind if ever there was. There are solutions to the many problems we have because most stem from the global capitalist and GOV Inc. End all the wars is a great start. It is plain to see those in power are only making things worse (Pakistan war #4?).

Placing a Third Party in power is going to require a lot of Grass Roots and boots in the streets so DO YOUR PART! Get off the couch and help get 100% of eligible voters to vote instead of the usual 25% and maybe WE can beat any fraudulent voting worries. No excuses, not this time. OUT the Oligarchs and only support those who tell the whole ugly TRUTH. If you don’t have a good choice, throw your hat in the ring. Unemployed? Several job openings coming up and I hear they have a great health insurance plan. Dig the Truth!

A perfect example that shows ‘We the People’ are clearly not Obama’s number one priority is the Gulf Oil Disaster. The oil was bad enough but the Gulf was sprayed with millions of gallons of a dispersant where the main ingredient is classified as “POISON”, by the government; they ignored the one and only Environmental Precaution that plainly says, “Do not contaminate surface water”. Obama tells the world it’s safe (IT IS NOT!). Dead animals are still washing up every day; Obama placed a gag order on lab results for the unusual mortality event of dead dolphins. People on the Gulf are very sick and doctors need any and all information. An added insult came when the government gave the Air Force a ‘Special Award’ for spraying that poison. What kind of government does that?! BP pays Feinberg ($850K month) but Obama appointed the corporate friend to handle claims for victims. His regular clients include Exxon, Dow, DuPont and Raytheon so it’s no wonder the victims are getting screwed. Less than one-fourth of the money has been paid out and life-long fishermen haven’t seen a dime. If anybody wants to give Obama another chance, remind them, he tells THEM to swim in and eat poison. All the corporate appointments are bad enough, but allowing poison to be sprayed on the Gulf and its People is inexcusable. Obama is not stupid so that alone shows something is seriously wrong with the man. “Perhaps the dark heart of Emanuel was always the dark heart of Obama.”
http://saynotocorporateamerica.blogspot.com/

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By Jesse, May 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Had President Obama gotten the majority of the votes, his promises would have been kept. He must have realized it was compromise from here on in. To get to be President you need millions of dollars. That’s the system for you. Obama was pragmatic knowing he needed the money first. Professor West I love you. Everyone does but don’t be a hater on Obama. He’s living in a different world, the world of politics and has to swim with a lot of sharks. Matters of the heart don’t win battles in this arena. Forgive him and bless him for still trying to get something done for the people even though it’s not on his terms.

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By tank, May 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I offer to your attention a film about six priorities of the generalized instruments of management by countries and people of Earth.
Six Principles of Global Manipulation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fF3TQ0lJnU
Anti-Qur’an Strategy of the Bible Project Wheeler-Dealers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1wXgXwj3MI
Nibiru and Annunakis on the Swiss francs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDoU3tLwc3o

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By Rocky Rococo, May 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Third Party, third party third party, Democratic party, Republican party” blah blah blah.  No “third party”, no “alternative” or “progressive” politician is going to change anything until after the existing relations of power and disempowerment, of organization and atomization, between the rulers and the masses in our society are altered, bottom up, by building new organizations, new institutions of popular power.  Getting diverted into some quixotic “third party” campaign will only delay or make permanently impossible the necessary changes in the social structure and civil society to offer any alternative to corporate neoliberal capitalist hegemony.

Don’t vote, organize.

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By mc.murphy, May 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Cornel West v. Barack Obama
Melissa Harris-Perry http://www.thenation.com/blog/160725/cornel-west-v-
barack-obama

This is Rachel Maddow’s favorite guest, I believe, putting into perspective the
Left’s demise. Democratic Party’s gatekeepers are out in force fighting to institute
conservative wet dreams by pissing on progressives with unchecked abandon.

Truthdig, unfortunately is also such a gatekeeper of a Party brand which no longer
stands for anything other than class war under another name.

http://mosquitocloud.net/

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