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Posted on May 18, 2012
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By James K. Galbraith, The Baffler

(Page 4)

And the same is true for other countries. China, for example, has long made energy choices favoring coal partly because the resulting power plants are diffuse and militarily expendable. In a secure world, that country would be far more willing to develop its vast hydroelectric potential, as the then-invulnerable United States did in the 1930s. Hydropower is carbon-clean, but militarily exposed. A stable reduction of military fears is a key step toward opening up markets that can potentially permit resolution of collective problems on the grand scale.

In short conclusion: from the beginning, the Obama presidency will face acute situations requiring immediate action, especially in oil and housing. It should aim for early victories in these areas as the foundation stone for intermediate- and long-term programs. For the medium term, institution building and the restoration of competent and effective regulatory power over the financial system—both national and international—will be key.

For the long term, the goal should be nothing less than the transformation of our energy base and the solution of our environmental challenges—the rebuilding of America. And that can be done only in an international financial climate made possible by a return to multilateral decision-making and a commitment to collective security. The American people are ready for this. President Obama should be prepared to explain that leadership in a world community—leadership of collective action on the grand scale—is America’s true destiny. It is not in futile warfare, but in great endeavors, that a great nation finds its future, its purpose, its place in history, and prosperity, as well as security, for its people.

James K. Galbraith is an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations. He writes about economics for numerous publications. His latest book, “Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis” (Oxford University Press, 2012), is available here.

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, May 23, 2012 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Somebody must have just given Death a Melvin

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By prisnersdilema, May 23, 2012 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

To be cursed by the Devil is to truly be blessed….

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By JDmysticDJ, May 23, 2012 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

This is it. This is all I’ve got.

You are a counterproductive moron. You do nothing to help the progressive cause, you are a detriment to the progressive cause; you are a de facto supporter of right-wing reactionaries and a sophomoric purveyor of transparent demagoguery.

Obama authorized the murder of Osama bin Laden. Obama authorized the murder of American citizens who were in foreign lands inciting, and giving religious legitimacy to, the murder of American citizens. Obama should have defied Foreign Policy and Military Advisors and ended the wars immediately upon taking office. Obama has the blood of innocents on his hands, as do all Americans who support U.S. militarism.

Progress comes in increments. Forward is the word, not backward. Obama will inch us forward, the election of Republicans will be a great leap backwards. Change a horrendous reality where you can, but don’t succumb to being an irrational counterproductive moron.

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By prisnersdilema, May 23, 2012 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

No that’s not all, it is you who are the enemy, the kind of person that progressives
must reject political support from. If progressives ever hope to expand politically.

There is little difference between Bush and Obama. Mr. Obama, expanded the war,
murdered American citizens, and nurtured the corporate state. There are a long
list of Betrayals, that you support. If Obama loses, it will be partially because
people have gotten a good look at people like you, who are just the flip side of the
right wing republican party.

This is why he has no one to blame but himself, if he loses the elections, and of
course people like yourself, who have exposed themselves and him for what they
really are. Deranged political extremists, who justify their crimes against
humanity, because of someone else.

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By JDmysticDJ, May 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Is that it? Is that all you have to offer? You haven’t written anything except that I’m a bad guy. Gee, I’m sorry if I was mean to you.

How about this, “He’s been even more blood thirsty than Bush II.” (You are a moron) Obama banned torture, Bush II authorized it. (You are a moron) “Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography. ‘He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,’ said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz ‘It was on his mind. He said to me‘ ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’” (You are a moron and an ignoramus as well.) Bush II manipulated intelligence so he could start his own private war, a war that killed and maimed God knows how many, caused incalculable human suffering, displaced millions, and squandered trillions of dollars, “Bring it on,”  Bush got us into these wars and Obama is getting us out. (You are a moron) 

Do you think my insults are unseemly and sign of bad character? I do not apologize, I meant every word. If my insults struck a nerve, maybe you should ask yourself why. See yuh! Wouldn’t want to … and so on.

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By prisnersdilema, May 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

In your opinion, that’s all you have to offer is your opinion, like all of us who post
here…

That’s your opinion, nothing more, and there are many, millions of people who
believe differently… that doesn’t make them stupid, or counterproductive, or
anything else. It just means that they disagree with you….

Somehow you cannot accept that fact, and since your arguments, have not
convinced them,  you seem to believe that insults, make your opinions more valid,
and resort to personal attacks to attempt to devalue what others think and feel.

This is why you cannot succeed, because you resort to devaluing others. You won’t
succeed against the right, because you devalue them, and you won’t succeed with
independents, for the same reason…

Without mutual respect and understanding for an others opinion, all you create is
a shouting match….

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By JDmysticDJ, May 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

You write:

“You have succeeded in making, you the issue here. Rather than the issues themselves.
Nothing could be more telling. This is what you have always wanted all along”

Clearly it is you who are making me the issue here. You are attempting to deflect from the issue I have risen here, that issue being your counterproductive and irrational activism that can only have the effect of facilitating the Right and thus contribute to moving our politics further to the Right. Up to now you have not responded to my contention that people refusing to vote for Obama can only serve the interests of the Right. Do you dispute that fact? If so, I’d like to see an example of the convoluted logic that attempts to dispute that reality. Let me guess, you’ll be writing that Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same in spite of the magnitude of evidence to the contrary. I will be the first to agree that the Left as manifested by Obama and the Democrats is nowhere near far enough to the Left, but Obama and the Democrats are considerably farther to the Left than Republicans. The issue is moderation as opposed to extremism. Democrats are too far to the Right but Republicans are extremely too far to the Right. The only rational thing for a person from a Left perspective to do at the present time is hold the nose and vote for Democrats; the stench that arises from Republicans will permeate the skin and contaminate the body politic and there will be no nose pinching that will subdue the stench that will then emanate.

Wolin’s model for Liberal Totalitarian government – Inverted Totalitarianism – is interesting but it is not accepted as being the political reality in the U.S. but by a few, Hedges etc. But whether Inverted Totalitarianism is the political reality or is not the political reality in the U.S. is a moot point. Under the leadership of Republicans an Inverted Totalitarianism would be more severe.

“…inverted totalitarianism aims for the mass of the population to be in a persistent state of political apathy… Low electoral turnouts are favorably received as an indication that the bulk of the population has given up hope that the government will ever help them.”

You and those like you appear to be perfect examples of those who have been duped by an Inverted Totalitarianism. One might argue that the occupy movement is far from being apathetic, but it’s no secret that the occupy movement has withdrawn from traditional politics, eschews participation in politics, and even has rejected the concept of political leadership and organization.  (Inverted Politics?)

Mussolini is reported to have said,” Fascism would better be called Corporatism because it is a cooperation between corporations and the State” Call me passé but I believe Fascism/Corporatism is now and always has been the biggest threat to egalitarian Democracy. Republicans have been the strongest supporters of corporate interests and they have been since before the Great Depression, any other analysis would be incorrect and a demonstration of ignorance or a demonstration of political acuity devoid of any knowledge of history or current events.

I’ll conclude by restating my opinion that you and your ilk are guilty of a counterproductive and destructive nihilism born of ignorance, an ingrained reprobation, or an inability to come to terms with political reality as it is. Yes I believe you are dangerous and that your bizarre form of activism, if successful, will have dire if not drastic consequences.

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By prisnersdilema, May 22, 2012 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

I would have to disagree with your assessment, about Truth Dig, it is not a home of
counter productive individuals, but rather a place where, truth seeking seems to be the
most important activity.

Unfortunately, for you, your inability to control the debate, is more reflective of your rigid
thinking, and your own need to be controlling.  Your personal attacks are more reflective
of anger,  that someone would challenge your own personal grandiosity than anything
else.

Thankfully, no one has placed you in charge, for if they did you would quickly appoint
yourself the judge, of what sorts of opinions should be aired.  As you have demonstrated
time and again in your writing. Ideas threatening your personal quirks would be
suppressed.

Fascism, is already here in this country, with a one trillion dollar budget… Your
preference for Obama’s version is obvious. His murder of Americans, the suspension of
rights, signature on NDAA,  continued expansion of War, the corporate sacking of the
country.  All of these you have no problem with, or there someone else’s fault, as long as
Obama’s doing them, and not Romney.

Inverse totalitarianism as Chris Hedges, points out is already here, and Obama has
nurtured it. Along with tools like you, whose writing represents a self satisfied from of
drivel and mental masturbation, engaged in while, your hero marches all of us off a cliff.

You have succeeded in making, you the issue here. Rather than the issues themselves.
Nothing could be more telling.  This is what you have always wanted all along.

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By JDmysticDJ, May 22, 2012 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

Maani:

You wrote:

“…don’t be fooled by PD: you have many more allies here than s/he has.”

I must respectfully disagree with your above assertion, if by “here” you mean truthdig. Truthdig has become a media outlet for counterproductive individuals who are, I believe, best described as nihilists. You also wrote your opinion that such as prisonersdilema are “hopeless;” something I heartily concur with. When confronted by the counterproductive pathology of such as these I am compelled to respond; while having no delusions regarding any ability to correct their errant thinking. I do have aspirations of giving them pause regarding their pathology but I am more concerned with pointing out their counterproductive pathology on this public forum. Some might believe that my compelling need to point out the pathology of such as these is neurotic to some degree. In defense I’ll state that I honestly believe that the issues that confront us are of the gravest existential importance; the promulgation of truth is of the utmost importance. Pathological thinking left unchallenged is dangerous. I will continue to endeavor to put forth what I believe to be true and beneficial. To the extent that my words and thoughts ring true I will have fulfilled my existential obligation; fulfilling my existential obligation is very important to me, if to no one else. The danger is that my zeal will become offensive or off putting and thus counterproductive. I can only hope that any truth in my words and thoughts will become evident and overcome any perceptions of my being arrogant and self-absorbed.

Enough about me, I might be the most boring subject ever contemplated here on truthdig. I am only attempting to explain my rationale for confronting what I perceive to be dangerous pathology.

Speaking of dangerous pathology; the political chaos so evident today is a repetition of what has occurred at other places in other times. A fragmented and factionalized Left/Center replete with infighting and antagonism is a characteristic of pre-fascist governments best illustrated by the political chaos associated with the Weimar Republic in Germany and the Spanish Republic in Spain prior to fascist take-over in both Republics. The Left/Center in this country is divided, fraught with vehement animosities, and lacking in any cohesion. The Right in this country, on the other hand, after some brief infighting during the Republican Primary elections, has coalesced with one goal in mind; that being defeating the Left in the coming elections, while many on the Left, or who claim to be from the Left, such as prisonersdilema and others, appear to be unconcerned about the danger of a right-wing take-over. They argue that the Left/Center is not Left/Center at all, and that the Left/Center has become a part of the Right. That our Nation’s politics has been moving to the Right for several decades now is a fact that a person astute in politics will not deny. However, what prisonersdilema and others advocate, stupidly, will only move our politics further to the Right. They advocate not voting which can only benefit the Right, or voting for factions that have no potential other than the splitting of opposition to the Right.

I will not be so grandiose as to assert that a right-wing victory in the coming elections will mean a fascist take-over of our government. Or will I? It all depends on what a person’s perception of fascism is. Some believe that we are already living in a fascist state according to definition. I have done my best to point out the realities of what a right-wing victory will mean to the people of this country, and to the peoples of the world. I am constrained from reiterating, but I stand by what I have written. If the Right succeeds in the coming elections, it will be the likes of prisonersdilema who share in the responsibility for the travails that will surely ensue.

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By prisnersdilema, May 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for your support Frank.

I agree, that more people are waking up, and thats part of the reason why the
tools are so upset, they realize it too.

They must also realize, at least viscerally, that an Obama loss, will represent a
more concrete symbol of the cost of those betrayls, that will be much more
difficult to rationalize.

It didn’t have to be this way, but it is.. All the positive support, and effort of so
many people were wasted, on perpetuating a farce.

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By TheFrankFactor.com, May 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, you are NOT alone. Barack Obama is a tool and more and more, people are waking up to that fact. He’s hardly a Liberal and no Progressive but that’s become purely acceptable by a Left that operates on fear. Fear of the greater evil. It’s all they have. Until the middle class and these fear-based “democratic” party die-hards really feel the pain we will all suffer the continued erasure of the Left in America.

This Hope & Change product “Barack Obama” most certainly did promise change but the first order of business was to surround himself with the scum of Wall Street and insider criminals. He’s a fraud, mush as the entire campaign, election and voting systems in this country are frauds. They serve one prime directive and that is to destroy Progressive achievements and turn America into China.

But there are more people shaking off the B.S. feedbag of corporate media and party propaganda. It is just a shame that these excuse making Tools will make real change harder and harder the longer they perpetuate this farce.

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By Maani, May 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

JD:

I rarely use the word “hopeless” to describe anyone about anything.  But PD is pretty much hopeless when it comes to understanding some very simple facts.  S/he has now proven that beyond a reasonable doubt.

My suggestion would be to simply disengage from his/her provocations and stay focused on the general discussion.

And don’t be fooled by PD: you have many more allies here than s/he has.

Peace.

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By prisnersdilema, May 21, 2012 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

No, no matter how you have responded to all of this, it’s clear to me you are not
concerned one little bit over how I feel or what I think. Your only interest is in not
being wrong, and devaluing what I say. 

The harder you try, to vent on me, the more it becomes apparent that convincing
others is a way to deal with your own self doubts.

Unfortunately for all of us there are true believers like yourself that have a
personal stake, in some organization. Those beliefs sometimes act as a prop. 

Your post is full of anger and venom, so why does it bother you so much?  That
others don’t share your point of view?  Only you will feel your anger,  And that’s
what’s happening here, you feeling angry.

Your not helping your president any.  HIs cause is mostly already lost, because he
made too many mistakes. 

If Obama, wanted to close down Guantanamo, it would be closed. He is not
helpless. He has resources. He has allies. Of the approximately 90 now detained at
Guantanamo some place could be found for them.  As it was for the other 90 that
are gone. If it was impossible they would still be there. Those prisoners are not
supermen. If I remember correctly the state of Illinois, offered to put them up in a
state prison. 

We disagree. You choose to view things, as right versus wrong. I don’t see it that
way. 

Someday you will understand convincing me is just an attempt to convince
yourself.  Betrayal hurts, lots of us that voted for Obama feel that way, accept it
and move on…

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By JDmysticDJ, May 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

ABC World News:

By JONATHAN KARL (@jonkarl) and Z. BYRON WOLF (@zbyronwolf)
May 20, 2009

“The U.S. Senate today voted overwhelmingly to block funding to shut down the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, dealing another blow to one of President Obama’s signature national security issues.

In a 90-6 vote, the Senate followed in the footsteps of the House of Representatives and passed an amendment deleting $80 million in funds from a war funding bill earmarked to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Republicans have been raising alarm bells for weeks about the prospect of Obama’s planned Guantanamo closure.

Where will the detainees go, they’ve asked over and over. Will they be tried in the United States? And will former detainees, if cleared of the charges against them, be walking the U.S. streets?”


Prisonersdilemma if you are really concerned with closing Guantanamo maybe you should redirect your Obama hatred towards the Senate. I feel confident that the above information was unknown to you. My confidence stems from the observation that you appear to be ignorant of a lot of things. Oh well, at least you’ve got that Obama hatred thing going for you.

Once again, Obama is not a dictator, he does not rule by decree. Obama just like you and me must deal with political reality as it is. Actually, he’s a little more subject to political reality than you or me. Political reality, beyond his control, causes ignorant morons like you to hate him. You possess a hatred that is suspect, and that hatred does not serve you or anyone else well. It is dialectic such as yours that will help to usher the worst sort into political power.

Close to 9,000 people have visited this thread; it worries me to think of how many people might have been exposed to and influenced by the hateful and counterproductive venomous spewing of you and your ilk. Does it occur to you and others that you are actively and foolishly facilitating the strongest proponents of what you claim to oppose, or are you and your ilk just too blindly stupid to see that reality.

The House and the Senate are marked by the most extreme partisanship Congress has ever seen, yet you and your ilk continue to blather that there are no differences between the two Parties. Ignorant counterproductive nihilistic morons abound here at truthdig. Republicans in Congress have obstructed Wall Street regulation reform, Bills to create jobs, a fairer Tax Code, Health Care reform, etc., and if they could have they would have obstructed the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Republicans want to further cut taxes for the richest Americans, Increase wasteful military spending, while at the same time cutting what’s left of the Social Safety Net for the poorest Americans. Data regarding the distribution of wealth in this country is astounding to the point of incredulity, but the statistics are real and still the Republicans want to give more of the ever shrinking pie to the richest Americans. Republican economic policies will further shrink the economy for all but the filthy rich. Prosperity for average Americans is not in the Republican playbook, austerity for average Americans and obscene wealth for the very, very few is what Republican economic policies will bring while Republicans openly call for a more bellicose foreign policy.

Democratic politicians are far from perfect but they are far superior to the alternative, and the failure to recognize this simple fact can only be the result of ignorance. You and your ilk do a great disservice to the cause of peace and social justice and you do so out of ignorance. It is not that you are stupid per se; I can only believe that you are psychologically deficient in some way. You would be worthy of sympathy if you were not so dangerous.

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By prisnersdilema, May 21, 2012 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

President Obama has not closed Guantanamo. Instead he’s created a
rationalizations, as to why he has not done so. But as the commander in chief, he
can order it closed.

Saying that he’s going to or he meant to, is not the same thing as closing it.
Guantanamo is not closed.

There are still troops in Iraq. Obama, only changed, what their mission was called.
And there will still be troops in Afghanistan for a long time to come, saying that
there will be an early withdrawal, is not the same thing as withdrawing then.

Obama’s policies are the same as Bush’s, only the words have changed, but the
results are the same.

It wasn’t killing of Anwar Al-Walaki (and his son), and others, it was their murder.
There wasn’t any protest from the right, because it was a right wing move if ever
there was one.

I don’t consider, changing the words, change. Calling murder a killing, is not
change. Just like calling a depression, a recession is not change. The only thing
that will change in Washington if Bush, is not re elected is the words. All else will
remain the same.

Changing the name Obama, to Romney, or changing the name Bush to Obama,
creates the illusion of change, but the policies, and the outcome will remain the
same.

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By JDmysticDJ, May 21, 2012 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

Thank you Maani!

My respect for you increases with each of your posts that I read.

Peace

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By Maani, May 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

PD:

“So what happened then JD, because Guantanamo is still open?”

Did you read a single word of JD’s comment on this?  He explained quite well why Guantanamo is open DESPITE Obama’s attempts to close it.  Pay attention.

“George Bush’s foreign policy, is still in place, run by President Obama.  So it’s not going to be reconstituted, it’s the same foreign policy.”

GWB’s foreign policy did not include an early pull-out of troops from Iraq, did not include a foreseeable end to the Afghan war, and included a far more bellicose attitude toward Iran, among many other things.

“Just think what would have happened if President Bush, killed American citizens without due process?  But since it’s Obama, the left is for the most part mute.”

Excuse me?  It is, in fact, the left that has been most vocal about the killing of Anwar Al-Walaki (and his son), and others.  In fact, I have not heard one word of protest from the RIGHT - ONLY from the left.

“Their so scared of getting Bush back, they don’t understand that Bush never left.”

As JD noted, there are plenty of reasons to be disappointed with Obama.  But your suggestion that there is NO difference between Bush and Obama, or between Obama and Romney, is absurd in the extreme.

Peace.

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By prisnersdilema, May 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

So what happened then JD, because Guantanamo is still open?

Maybe, it was like one of those qualified orders that president Obama signed, like
NDAA, when he said he would never enforce it…..

George Bush’s foreign policy, is still in place, run by President Obama….so, it’s not
going to be reconstituted, it’s the same foreign policy….

Just think what would have happened if president Bush, killed American citizens
without due process?  But since it’s Obama, the left is for the most part mute..

Their so scared of getting Bush back, they don’t understand that Bush never left…

Responding out of fear, means that one forever remains a reactionary.. This
election cycle is going to be a very nervous one for you, if Obama loses, you will
have to learn to deal with it…

Many of the rest of us long ago realized that Obama was just another DINO.

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By JDmysticDJ, May 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

RE: prisnersdilema, May 20 at 9:28 am

Have you noticed how absurd, weak, and trite your argument has become?

Shame on you, fool!

*****************************************************************

Thursday, 22 January 2009 (Second day in office)

OBAMA ORDERS GUANTANAMO CLOSURE

“US President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp as well as all overseas CIA detention centres for terror suspects.

Signing the orders, Mr Obama said the US would continue to fight terror, but maintain “our values and our ideals”.

He also ordered a review of military trials for terror suspects and a ban on harsh interrogation methods.”


 
Like a typical Obama hater you apparently believe Obama is a dictator who can order by decree. Obama as Commander in Chief does have control over the military, but Congress refused to provide the necessary funding to close Guantanamo; Congress controls the purse strings. Apparently you believe the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Obama’s promise to withdraw troops from Afghanistan before 2014; (much to the vehement disapproval of Republicans) is of no consequence and does not demonstrate a difference. Mitt Romney said Obama bringing the troops home from Iraq was tragic, and Romney believes troops should be left in Afghanistan indefinitely. John Bolton, one of Romney’s foreign policy advisors believes we should have attacked Iran yesterday.
 
“[John] Bolton is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), frequent op-ed contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the National Review, Fox News Channel commentator, and of counsel to the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, in their Washington D.C. office.] He is also involved with a broad assortment of other conservative think tanks and policy institutes, including the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Project for the New American Century (PNAC), Institute of East-West Dynamics, National Rifle Association, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the Council for National Policy (CNP). Known for his strong views on foreign policy, often equating diplomacy with weakness and indecisiveness, Bolton is often described as a neoconservative…”

In the book, Empire’s Workshop Latin America, the United States and the Rise of the New Imperialism by Greg Grandin, John Bolton is in Grandin’s rogue’s gallery of murderous villains.

If you want to see George W. Bush’s foreign policy team reconstituted then Romney is your man. Only the ignorant are unable to distinguish the very real differences between Democrats and Republicans.

As I’ve written many, many times before I believe Obama is tragically wrongheaded with his National Security and Foreign Policies and I’ve called him a war criminal, but anyone who doesn’t believe that things will be far, far worse under the leadership of Republicans is an uninformed ignoramus devoid of the necessary knowledge to make the better existential choices, and a fool, shame on you, fool!

(Incidentally, what do you propose Obama do about Syria. Republicans such as McCain want to arm the Islamic radicals which will foment an even bloodier civil war, shades of Afghanistan circa 1980s. Do you propose that we invade, use cruise missiles, or bomb Syria in order to implement regime change? I’m sure you don’t, but using Syria as a criticism of Obama is stupid.)

It is fools such as you who are the betrayers, but you and your ilk are too consumed by ignorance and hatred to see that truth. Shame on you!
.

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By John Poole, May 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are still a lot of Obama dead enders posting on Truthdig who use
preposterous fear tactics. Both wings of the duopoly are owned by the Pentagon- a
corporation which uses violence against poor hapless expendables in foreign lands
to increase its stock value while most Americans shrug their shoulders.

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By Maani, May 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Uhh….am I missing something?  Lehman collapsed in September 2008.  But Obama was not even ELECTED until November, and did not take office until January 2009.  So what, exactly, does warning Obama about Lehman have to do with anything?  Wasn’t it BUSH who should have been warned?  Besides, Eliott Spitzer beat Galbraith by a couple of months, when he gave testimony to Congress in February 2008 warning of an economic collapse.  Not only did nobody listen to him, but it was only weeks after that that the scandal broke - a scandal clearly manipulated in order to silence him.

As for the economic collapse, Bush (in one of the few good thigns he did) passed the first stimulus bill, and Obama, in his first act as president, passed the second, larger stimulus bill, thus averting even a BIGGER economic meltdown.  (And shortly thereafter, he forced the bailout of the auto industry - which unquestionably saved it from massive bankruptcy and possible total collapse.)

I’m getting a bit perturbed by the revisionist history that is being written.

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By M Henri Day, May 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

«The entire point of a regulatory system is to regulate. It is to subordinate the activities of an intrinsically unstable and predatory sector to larger social purposes, and thus to prevent a situation in which financial interests dictate policy to governments.» Sums up the situation in the Euro zone in a nutshell. Alas, even those of us who realised that the scheme was impractible - enough here in Sweden that, despite the immense pressure put on the electorate, the proposal to join the European Monetary Union was roundly defeated in a referendum - are still going to be among the losers when, as we see happening today (and not merely in Greece), «financial interests dictate policy to governments». Things are going to get much worse, before - if ever - they get better….

Henri

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By prisnersdilema, May 20, 2012 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Yes, JD you and Pollyanna, have a thing going on….

People can’t see the difference, ” are unable to see the contrast between
Republican and Democrat ideology and objectives. “, because the difference is
inconsequential.

Out in the sands of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria,  where purported
freedom grows, irrigated by the blood, of children. Do you think it makes a
difference if a Republican pulls the trigger or a Democrat?

How about Guantanamo then? Does an,  I’m sorry, I couldn’t close you down, but
maybe next time, cut it?

People don’t like being betrayed….for some,  rationalization doesn’t help to blow
off back stabbing…

fool me once shame on you… fool me twice shame on me…

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By JDmysticDJ, May 20, 2012 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

I understand the pessimism, I’ve lived it, and I am extremely tired with the futility of it.

pes•si•mism


1. A tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view…

2. The doctrine or belief that this is the worst of all possible worlds and that all things ultimately tend toward evil.

3. The doctrine or belief that the evil in the world outweighs the good.


optimism

1. the tendency to expect the best and see the best in all things

2. hopefulness; confidence

3. (Philosophy) the doctrine of the ultimate triumph of good over evil

4. (Philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that this is the best of all possible worlds


I’ll confess that I am not optimistic, especially after reading the comments here and after being exposed to the general political climate as manifested in the Main Stream Media. It’s my impression that we are on the course to regress and not on the course to progress.


I am extremely frustrated that some are unable to see the contrast between Republican and Democrat ideology and objectives. I am not at all happy with the Democrats but only an irrational demagogue or an ignoramus would make the claim that there are no differences between Republicans and Democrats. Political reality dictates that there are only two viable choices for governance; Republicans or Democrats. Democrats “best” represent the interests of ordinary Americans and Republicans best represent corporate interests. That Democrats have failed to adequately represent the interests of ordinary Americans is a given but Democrats cannot be solely blamed for that inadequate representation. Political realities along with the leviathan-like power of right-wing corporate interests have presented a nearly insurmountable obstacle to achieving Democratic objectives.


I’m inclined to believe that ordinary people would be better off if Ralph Nader had been elected President along with a supportive Congress and I am also inclined to believe that ordinary people would be better served by Jill Stein or some other authentic progressive; providing there was the necessary congressional support, but Ralph Nader and Jill Stein, or other progressive, is not now and never has been a viable political alternative. A past that is gone and a future with zero potential, at present, are subject to contemplation but not anything other than a pipe dream kind of contemplation.


As things now stand the re-election of Obama with a supportive Congress is the only rational hope for obstructing the onslaught of corporate fascist-like governance. A Democratic President along with a Democratic Congress is our only hope for forestalling the rush to catastrophe - at present. Incremental improvement, however small, is preferable to corporate-fascism and global feudalism which appears to be the coming reality if the strongest advocates of corporatism have their way.


Is Obama a corporatist? Yes, I believe he is, in the sense that most of the world is dominated by corporatism, but Obama sees the danger in corporatism and of the two viable options for governance Obama and the Democrats are far superior to Republicans and our best hope of obstructing the worst aspects of corporatism. Violent revolution, insurrection, and the like will only hasten fascist governance and brutal repression. Rational thought and making the best choices yields our only source of optimism.

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By bpawk, May 20, 2012 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

And I and Ralph Nader could have told you that Obama would betray you, but nobody would have listened, as many were basking in the faux-liberal leader’s sunrays.

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By prisnersdilema, May 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

The truth hurts, to know that you have supported someone that has betrayed you,
that never intended to do anything but continued to further the Bush agenda,
must be equally difficult..

There won’t be a return to Republican control because the Republicans have never
stopped being in control.  President Obama has been controlled by the right ever
since he was elected.  He has unflinchingly kissed Republican asses on every
issue…

Keeping Republicans out of control is a delusion, they are in control and they will
remain in control. and Obama, and the Democratic party, that is a carbon copy of
the Republican party, will not change that…

Your anger is displaced, you should be angry at Mr. Obama, for his lies, countless
betrays, and pandering to the right.

Some people cannot face the truth. If the Republicans win it won’t be any different
that what we have now, fear is not going to win the Election for Obama, because at
this point, people fear him far more than Romney.  He’s been even more blood
thirsty than Bush II.

And if Obama loses, he will have no one to blame but himself. I guess NDAA, had
some repercussions.

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By JDmysticDJ, May 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Here in the comments an irrational Obama hater asks, “Do you still support it, I mean him?” (Meaning Obama.) Apparently this irrational Obama hater would prefer that people not vote for Obama - to what end? The question is rhetorical and the answer is obvious. If the voters withdraw their support for Obama and don’t re-elect Obama then the Republicans will control our government once again. If Obama should lose the 2012 election, chances are very good that the House of Representatives will remain under Republican control and Democrats will lose their weak majority in the Senate (23 Democrats are up for re-election in the Senate while only 10 Republicans are facing re-election.) Given the Citizen’s united right-wing Supreme Court decision and the overwhelming Super PAC support for Republicans, keeping the Republicans out of dominant governmental power will be a mammoth struggle.

So, if you’re not bothered by the shift to the Right in our government that has been occurring for over three decades now, if you don’t care about policies and the gross economic injustice that has resulted from right-wing corporatist economic ideology, and if you’re unconcerned with goulash Republican militarism then by all means carry on with your moronic, nihilistic, counterproductive, ignorant, and infantile Obama hating diatribes.

The more rational prisoners amongst know that we are imprisoned by a political reality where the best that we can hope for is better governance as opposed to tragically worse governance. There is no quick fix to the problems and injustices so evident; only best choices and a well reasoned long drawn out struggle will bring a better tomorrow and nihilistic anger and destruction/self-destruction is in no way a reasoned response or a method that holds any hope of improving conditions.

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By Marian Griffith, May 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—-The job of the Federal Reserve and of the other competent agencies in the next administration must be, in part, to reestablish who is boss.—-

It clearly has been established ‘who is boss’.
Sadly it is not the regulators nor the administration.

Also, it is clear that this was written before Obama was actually elected because nobody would expect any form of cooperation from the republicans. Not after four years of bitterly, and frequently irrationally, fighting anything Obama dared to be in favour of.
It is the conviction of the republican party that the USA has a one party system and that the election of a democrat president was a mistake that has to be rectified as quickly as possible (followed by measures to punish those responsible for that abberation and to prevent it from ever happening again).

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By John Poole, May 19, 2012 at 5:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, they knew. When will you Obama dead enders wake up?  Like Mr. Fish pointed
out, Obama wants to please only the rich.  This is old stuff.

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By prisnersdilema, May 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

In case you haven’t noticed Mr. Gailbraith, these people don’t respond to reason….

That’s because they are not reasonable people, they are not the kind of people you
cancel on…..and that means, walking away, from what they want… it’s a good way
to get shot in the back..

I suppose you are the kind of person that the media loves to trot out on Sunday
morning to throw in the face of Republicans, to point the finger and say…..

See we were right all along, now aren’t you sorry…..?

I will say it again, these people don’t respond to reason… They are not rational…..

What would be better at this point, is for you and others like you to stop the word
salad long enough to make a simple statement of facts…. in black and white….so
that people can understand….

And if you have the guts enough to do it, why don’t you stop pussy footing around
Obama’s re election and come out with it… Do you still support it, I mean him?

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By litlpeep, May 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Well, Obama wasn’t interested then; he isn’t interested now.

He is only interested in conserving the same status quo that Bush and Clinton and Bush and Reagan conserved: stagnating the US across the entire culture.

What a disaster of a president; it should be alarming to us all that we have had five consecutive disastrous presidencies.

But, hey, who cares?

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