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‘Left’ Obamites Prefer Kool-Aid to Struggle

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    right turnby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Ford answers Linda Burnham's recent assault on the non-Obamite Left, whom she sneeringly refers to as victims of "Left ‘anticipatory disillusionment'" and assorted other "psycho-babble." Burnham sets up Left straw men, to knock them down, all in an attempt to justify her cohort's capitulation to Power. "One great tragedy of the current episode," writes Ford, "is that the [economic] crisis occurred at a moment when the remnants of the Left and Black movements in the U.S. have been neutralized by imperialism's Black champion." Hilariously, Burnham credits Obama with having "wrenched the Democratic Party out of the clammy grip of Clintonian centrism" when, in actuality, "Obama's government IS Clintonian. And the new president is as skilled and ruthless a triangulator as Bill ever was."


    ‘Left’ Obamites Prefer Kool-Aid to Struggle


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “Burnham’s definition of ‘motion’ does not involve confronting Power, but rather, attaching oneself to it.”

    Lots of folks on the left, it is now apparent, no longer seek anything more than to bask in the sunshine of Barack Obama’s smile. No matter how much national treasure their champion transfers to the bankster class, and despite his exceeding George W. Bush in military spending, so-called progressives for Obama continue to celebrate their imagined emergence as players in the national political saga. Having in practice foresworn resistance to Power, they relish in bashing the non-Obamite Left.


    In tone and substance, Linda Burnham’s recent, widely circulated piece, “Notes on an Orientation to the Obama Presidency” is several cuts above last summer’s vicious rant by Amiri Baraka, “The Parade of Anti-Obama Rascals.” But both assaults on Left critics of Obama are based on the same false assumptions and willful illogic, and although no one can trump Baraka in argumentative foul play and sheer nastiness, Burnham’s article is nonetheless littered with sneers at those who “are stranded on Dogma Beach…flipping out over every appointment and policy move [Obama] makes.”


    Burnham launches immediately into a denigration of non-Obamites, claiming Obama’s election “occasioned some disorientation and confusion” among those on the Left who “have become so used to confronting the dismal electoral choice between the lesser of two evils that they couldn’t figure out how to relate to a political figure who held out the possibility of substantive change.”

     

    “Burnham’s article is nonetheless littered with sneers at those who ‘are stranded on Dogma Beach.’”

     

    Burnham’s method is to invent straw men and then place words and thoughts in their fictitious mouths and brains. Certainly, we at Black Agenda Report were anything but “confused” by either Obama’s political conduct or his extraordinary popularity, having placed the young upstart under intense scrutiny beginning in the early Summer of 2003, while he was still a low-ranked candidate for the Democratic senatorial nomination in Illinois. His phenomenal talents, hitched to a transparently corporatist, imperial worldview – and a practiced dishonesty about his rightist alliances – made Obama a person worth watching. The BAR team, then operating out of Black Commentator, had Obama pegged as a potential vector of confusion in Black and progressive ranks long before his worldwide debut at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. And we were right. It is in Burnham’s political neighborhood that confusion reigns, not ours.


    Burnham claims that many on the Left “were taken by surprise at how wide and deep ran the current for change.” Either she’s talking about herself, or she hangs around a very cloistered crowd. Or, more likely, Burnham is conflating the word “change” with “Obama” – an effect of drinking too much Kool-Aid. In either case, none of it applies to folks like us at BAR – and there are a number of others on the Left – who more than five years ago understood both Obama’s mass appeal and the mass desire for real change, and feared that one would thwart the other.

    Left critics of Obama, according to Burnham, fail to recognize that he is not the “lesser of two evils,” but rather holds out the “possibility of substantive change.” This is a core position, central to the “progressive” Obamite argument. Beyond the fact of having broken the presidential color bar, which in the American context is a positive development on its face, Obama is near-identical to Hillary Clinton on virtually every policy issue, as became evident in the primaries. Their compatibility was revealed as something closer to political intimacy when Obama erected his Cabinet – a house as Clintonian as anything Bill ever built, with plenty of room reserved for friends from the Bush gang. Color aside, whatever kind of “evil” Hillary and Bill are, Obama is.


    Burnham outlines what she says is the “active conversation on the left about what can be expected of an Obama administration and what the orientation of the left should be towards it.” We will have to take her word for it, although her mischaracterization of Left Obama critics (certainly those at BAR) makes us less than confident that the “conversation” is as she describes. Below are the “two conflicting views” on Obama, on the Left:



    "First, that Obama represents a substantial, principally positive political shift and that, while the left should criticize and resist policies that pull away from the interests of working people, its main orientation should be to actively engage with the political motion that’s underway.


    "Second, that Obama is, in essence, just another steward of capitalism, more attractive than most, but not an agent of fundamental change. He should be regarded with caution and is bound to disappoint. The basic orientation is to criticize every move the administration makes and to remain disengaged from mainstream politics."



    The first viewpoint is no doubt held by Burnham. It is essentially mooted by the reality that most Left Obamites only weakly “criticize” and virtually never “resist” Obama’s rightist policies and appointments in the crucial military and economic arenas – which was, first, the fear and, later, the main complaint of the non-Obamite Left. The Obama Effect is to neutralize Blacks and the Left (Blacks being the main electoral base of the American Left) by capturing their enthusiasm for Obama’s own corporate purposes. Obama and his Democratic Leadership Council allies (and their corporate masters) monopolize the “motion,” all the while shutting out even mildly Left voices (as in the recent White House Forum on Health, from which single payer health care advocates were initially barred). Blacks and the Left have not been in any kind of effective forward “motion” since Election Day. As we shall see, Burnham’s definition of “motion” does not involve confronting Power, but rather, attaching oneself to it.

     

    “Whatever kind of “evil” Hillary and Bill are, Obama is.”

    Policy-wise, Obama no more “represents a substantial, principally positive political shift” than his political twin, Hillary – again, color aside.


    The second viewpoint is supposedly held by the opposition, and partially reflects the views of the BAR team. Yes, Obama is “just another steward of capitalism, more attractive than most, but not an agent of fundamental change.”  This has been easily observed, since Blacks and the Left have allowed Obama to act upon his corporate and imperial instincts, unimpeded by even the mildest counter-pressures. His presidency takes shape to the Right of Democratic congressional leaders, who have made more noise over Obama’s Iraq trickle-out and his clear threats to Social Security and other “entitlements,” than have many Left Obamites.


    Obama is not simply “bound to disappoint” – he has already been cause for great disappointment, even among those of us who scoped his essential corporatist nature years ago. Who would have predicted that he would play the most eager Gunga Din for the bizarre Bush/Paulson bank bailout decree, last year? Who would have foreseen that Obama would retain the loathsome international criminal Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense? That he would continue Bush’s policies on Africa – Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, AFRICOM – without missing a beat? That he would so quickly offer to put Social Security “on the table” for “reform” (in the Republican sense of the term)?


    But Burnham would have you believe the Left opposition are nothing but nitpickers, inflating executive pinpricks into major assaults. Thus, she seeks to make the opposition look silly, as if we “criticize every move the administration makes.” In truth, her argument is designed to excuse her and her Left allies failure to “resist” or confront Obama in any meaningful way.


    Like many of her cohorts, Burnham is quick to grant that Obama “is a steward of capitalism,” but maintains that “his election has opened up the potential for substantive reform in the interests of working people and that his election to office is a democratic win worthy of being fiercely defended.”

    Again, if Obama’s election opened up the “potential” for reform, so would have Hillary’s. They were (and remain) political brother and sister under the skin. The Obamites would be utterly helpless if unable to deploy (and abuse) the term “potential,” given the actuality of Obama’s presidency. Conveniently, “potential” lives in the future, where it can’t be pinned down. That’s why Obama’s “potential” is a central theme of his Left camp followers – it allows them to claim that the opposition’s critiques of their hero might harm the “potential” good he might do in the future.


    At any rate, the Obamite Left can claim no credit for Obama’s progressive “potential,” since they did little or nothing that might have caused him to abandon his relentless rightward drift.

    “Burnham’s argument is designed to excuse her and her allies failure to “resist” or confront Obama in any meaningful way.”

    Burnham & Co. want us to accept Obama’s corporate orientation as “what he was elected to do.” Burnham urges us to be “clear” about Obama’s “job description”: “Obama’s job is to salvage and stabilize the U.S. capitalist system and to perform whatever triage is necessary to restore the core institutions of finance and industry to profitability.”


    That is certainly what Obama and his big campaign funders believe his job is, but a progressive’s task is to cause him to serve the people – an assignment that I am not convinced Burnham and her allies have accepted.

    On the international scene (i.e., The Empire), Obama’s job – as Burnham says should be clear to “us” – is “to salvage the reputation of the U.S. in the world; repair the international ties shredded by eight years of cowboy unilateralism; and adjust U.S. positioning on the world stage [so far, so good, but here Burnham slips down the proverbial slope] on the basis of a rational assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the changed and changing centers of global political, economic and military power – rather than on the basis of a simple-minded ideological commitment to unchallenged world dominance.”


    Obama’s military budget, bigger than Bush’s, his escalation in Afghanistan/Pakistan, the unraveling of his Iraq “withdrawal” promises, and his provocations in Africa all signal that this president has no intention of relinquishing the goal of global U.S. hegemony. To paraphrase his famous statement on war, “I’m not opposed to imperialism, just dumb imperialism.”


    Burnham should bring herself to admit that Obama is, indeed, merely a more charming face pasted on the imperial monster – with the same teeth (weapons), appetite and ambitions. In an indirect way, she does offer a version of the truth, packaged in what sounds like genuine, praiseful admiration:

    “Obama has been on the job for only a month but has not wasted a moment in going after his double bottom line with gusto, panache and high intelligence. In point of fact, the capitalists of the world – or at least the U.S. branch – ought to be building altars to the man and lighting candles. They have chosen an uncommonly steady hand to pull their sizzling fat from the fire.”

    Burnham then sets up the Left straw men, so as to knock them down. These one-note Charlies, real or imagined, are incapable of sophisticated thought and analysis:

    “For the anti-capitalist left that is grounded in Trotskyism, anarcho-horizontalism, or various forms of third-party-as-a-point-of-principleism, the only change worthy of the name is change that hits directly at the kneecaps of capitalism and cripples it decisively. All else is trifling with minor reforms or, even worse, capitulating to the power elite. From this point of view the stance towards Obama is self-evident: criticize relentlessly, disabuse others of their presidential infatuation, and denounce anything that remotely smacks of mainstream politics.”

    Such people may exist, but they don’t resemble BAR or any of our allies and correspondents. Burnham is employing the cheapest trick of argumentation: she picks (or invents) the weakest, most unreasonable, narrow opponent, and savages him. I know of no serious activist that believes “the only change worthy of the name is change that hits directly at the kneecaps of capitalism and cripples it decisively.”  If that were so, then such activists would have nothing to do for most of their lives, since chances to “cripple” capitalism “decisively” are few and very far between.

     

    “Obama is, indeed, merely a more charming face pasted on the imperial monster – with the same teeth (weapons), appetite and ambitions.”

    But crises of capitalism do occur, and we are living through one of them. Capitulationists are also real, and reveal themselves at the worst possible junctures. One great tragedy of the current episode is that the crisis occurred at a moment when the remnants of the Left and Black movements in the U.S. have been neutralized by the “uncommonly steady hand” of imperialism’s Black champion, to whom Burnham and countless others have, yes, capitulated.


    In order to defend the capitulation, the Burnhams of the Left must credit Obama with achievements he has not made, plus the amorphous “potential” achievements to which he has “opened the door” and which will magically occur even in the absence of organized people making a demand. A hilarious Burnham example of an Obama feat: He has “wrenched the Democratic Party out of the clammy grip of Clintonian centrism. (Although he himself often leads from the center, Obama’s center is a couple of notches to the left of the Clinton administration’s triangulation strategies)….”


    Ha! Burnham imagines “notches” that aren’t there. Obama’s government IS Clintonian. And the new president is as skilled and ruthless a triangulator as Bill ever was, consistently finding a position to the Right of whatever passes for Left on Capitol Hill, but nestled near to the corporate bosom.


    Burnham spends additional pages working the same themes of Left “anticipatory disillusionment” and other psycho-babble to mask her own cohort’s capitulation. Many Obama critics did anticipate his center-right behavior, and we were correct – but never disillusioned. Political groupies, however, are fated to suffer disillusion and betrayal.  

     

    “The new president is as skilled and ruthless a triangulator as Bill ever was.”

    Burnham reveals inklings of her own emotional state when she gratuitously urges “those who missed interacting with the motion of millions against the right, against the white racial monopoly on the executive branch, and for substantive change,” to re-examine their political orientation. In addition to her condescending tone, which seems to assume that her targets have no experience with the “motion of millions” in actual political movements, rather than a corporate-shaped and funded presidential election campaign, Burnham appears to think of the non-Obamite Left as people who didn’t RSVP for the best party of the year, and are now resentful.

    In the last hundred words of the piece, we discover that her idea of “building the left” requires folding up the tent in or near the Obama camp. Examine this extraordinary passage:

     

    “The current political alignment provides an opportunity to break out of isolation, marginalization and the habits of self-marginalization accumulated during the neo-conservative ascendancy. It provides the opportunity to initiate and/or strengthen substantive relationships with political actors in government, in the Democratic Party, and in independent sectors, as well as within the left itself – relationships to be built upon long after the Obama presidency has come to an end. It provides the opportunity to accumulate lessons about political actors, alignments and centers of power likewise relevant well beyond this administration. And it provides the opportunity for the immersion of the leaders, members and constituencies of left formations in a highly accelerated, real world poli-sci class.”

    This sounds uncannily like Obamite Prof. Leonard Jeffries’ admonition that all Black folks “study Obama-ism.” Burnham’s gushings are remarkable for their abject surrender, not just to Obama’s persona and mystique, but to the institutional trappings and annexes of corporate-tethered rule. She wants us all to take lessons from the corporate-bought structures – to better serve the people? No. Burnham is telling us that now that she’s seen the Big Party, she doesn’t want to leave. She’s tasted that vintage wine, drank the good stuff, and is determined not to go back to movement rations.


    I do agree that Burnham can use some political education. “For the anti-capitalist left,” she writes, “this is a period of experimentation. There is no roadmap; there are no recipes.” Maybe, but there are abiding truths that she has willfully forgotten: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”


    Those elements that refuse to make demands of Power ought to stop calling themselves part of the Left. Unless the Left is in power, it is a contradiction in terms.

    BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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    Even if we concede the

    Even if we concede the unsupported and unprovable assumption held by so many progressives that Obama, in his cuddly heart of hearts, wants to "do good," the fact remains that he has willingly, eagerly embraced the worst aspects of the imperial system -- its aggressive militarism, its slavish service to the financial elite, and its lawlessness, secrecy and unaccountability. If he indeed wishes to do good, he has nonetheless quite openly and unashamedly adopted criminal means to justify his cuddly ends.
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    Achievements

    In order to defend the capitulation, the Burnhams of the Left must credit Obama with achievements he has not made, plus the amorphous “potential” achievements to which he has “opened the door” and which will magically occur even in the absence of organized people making a demand.
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    BAR executive editor Glen

    BAR executive editor Glen Ford answers Linda Burnham’s recent assault on the non-Obamite Left, whom she sneeringly refers to as victims of “Left ‘anticipatory disillusionment’” and assorted other “psycho-babble.” Burnham sets up Left straw men, to knock them down, all in an attempt to justify her cohort’s capitulation to Power. “One great tragedy of the current episode,” writes Ford, “is that the [economic] crisis occurred at a moment when the remnants of the Left and Black movements in the U.S. have been neutralized by imperialism’s Black champion.” Hilariously, Burnham credits Obama with having “wrenched the Democratic Party out of the clammy grip of Clintonian centrism” when, in actuality, “Obama’s government IS Clintonian. And the new president is as skilled and ruthless a triangulator as Bill ever was.”
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
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    Repair your credit

    The ways of Pres. Obama in making his state back to progression in terms of reviving our economy is really unshakable. Many Americans are struggling financially, and as times get tougher we often have to rely on our credit cards to get us through. Yet the banks and credit card companies -- many of which have received billions in taxpayer bailout money -- continue their abusive practices, hitting customers who make their payments on time with sudden interest rate hikes and new fees. Do you need to repair your credit? First thing to do is know all your credit score, and then if you figure it out, I think only you can tell whether or not you not need to repair your credit.  A defined step is to get your credit report; there are numerous websites, like Annualcreditreport.com.  It isn't a wise move to go for pay sites that have an extremely annoying and banal band on TV – you know who we mean.  The law makes it so you can get your report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion once a year for free, no payday loans necessary.  You might also put the credit cards away as you start to repair your credit. We all know that credit cards are really helpful, but in times of recession it isn’t good to have bad credit history so better work on you credit score and start repairing your credit before its too late.

    I ain't Mad at ya.... not really

    Egads!  There's a great article at the politico.com about the (surprise, surprise) FAKE (AIG) "Ain't We Gullible" outrage.  Here's some choice paragraphs from the piece pasted below:
     
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20108.html
     
    "AIG disclosed its retention-bonus program more than a year ago, including bonuses directed to those handling the exotic derivatives that got the company and the country into this mess

    The bonuses were essentially a nonissue when AIG got its initial bailout money, almost $150 billion under President Bush in the two months surrounding the presidential election. Joe Biden, then the vice presidential nominee, came out strongly against the bailout. Obama did not.

    Timothy Geithner, then at the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, was a huge proponent and architect of the AIG bailout. So if Obama had strong private opposition to the idea it did not affect his pick for the person who would oversee all bailouts.

    The bonuses were again a nonissue when Obama himself increased the bailout to $173 billion last month.

    It’s not like Republicans were any quicker to stop this impending “outrage.” Grassley might want AIG employees to seriously think about suicide now but the Iowa senator, who has been the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee for nearly a decade, was seemingly unaware of AIG’s publicly announced plans."
     
    The BONUSES WERE A NON-ISSUE when they got the loot folks!  Ha. By golly, I'm OUTRAGAED!  Treas. Sec. Geithner is an architect of the bailout.  But of course we can't f**k with the "sacredness" the inviolability of contracts unless we f**king with the labor unions' contracts. Even my poor Senator Grassley is in on the mooning, one of the most decent Repugs left in Amerikka. Grassley has after all been harder on Bush Criminality than Obama.
     
    "AIG officials are circulating a doomsday report on what would happen to the nation if it fails. Lawrence Summers and others have reportedly read it, according to this New York Times piece, which is well worth a read."
     
    This is absolutely enlightening AND entertaining.  Might as well laugh as the economy crashes to hell and the oligarchs black out the REAL NEWS.  I see the DOW is going up, even as "Aint I Greedy" circulates (gasp) it's 'Doomsday Report," wonder how many unemployed in Flint, Mich felt the bump in the DOW?? AIG ("Ain't I Greedy") is too big to fail proletariats and lord knows they need to attract as much talent as possible.  Hands off those bonuses you communist bastards!  HA
     

    That politico story is really

    That politico story is really interesting. I never actually realized that the AIG bailout was such an enormous amount. It really is difficult to comprehend. I read the NY Times story a while back and it's well worth reading for those that haven't already.
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    Obama's "Good Intentions"

    Aptly summed up by Chris Floyd, in his essay discussing the Red Cross's recent revelations about torture and murder under the Bush Regime.
    http://www.chris-floyd.com/

    As we all know, the Obama Administration is now fighting strenuously in court to uphold this cynical Bush strategy (and others) to cover up high crimes -- capital crimes -- by the leaders of the government. Obama has offered the excuse that he is fighting for Bush in court because he doesn't want to do anything that "would undermine or weaken the institution of the presidency." But how would applying the law of the land "weaken the institution of the presidency"? Why do the president and his minions need the "power" to commit crimes and get away with them? For make no mistake: in these court cases, this is precisely the "power" that Obama is seeking to preserve.

    Why does he want that power, and the "state secrets" get-out-of-jail-free card that goes with it? The answer seems obvious: because he wants to use that power for himself, and to pass it on to subsequent managers of the empire. For Obama is an intelligent man: he knows that the empire cannot be managed, maintained -- and expanded -- without recourse to criminal actions on a vast scale.

    Even if we concede the unsupported and unprovable assumption held by so many progressives that Obama, in his cuddly heart of hearts, wants to "do good," the fact remains that he has willingly, eagerly embraced the worst aspects of the imperial system -- its aggressive militarism, its slavish service to the financial elite, and its lawlessness, secrecy and unaccountability. If he indeed wishes to do good, he has nonetheless quite openly and unashamedly adopted criminal means to justify his cuddly ends.

    And in the end, what difference does intention make, when the action itself is evil and malign?

    Those corpses Danner speaks of will continue to fester and rot as Obama fights to preserve, protect and defend the tyrannical powers that Bush championed and expanded. The Red Cross, alas, will have more work to do in these putrid fields in the years to come."
     

    Don't trust Lou's math?... then check out Chossudovsky

    Michel Chossudovsky, at Global Research Ca, "America's Fiscal Collapse-Obama's Budget Will Impoverish America."
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12517
     
    Here's the neat thing, it's even replete with all those pretty charts and graphs I struggled with in Econ.  Follow the $8.5 TRILLION DOLLAR breakdown of the government's fiscal policies.  Chossudovsky:
     
    This is a "War Budget". The austerity measures hit all major federal spending programs with the exception of:  1. Defence and the Middle East War: 2. the Wall Street bank bailout,  3. Interest payments on a staggering public debt. 
    The budget diverts tax revenues into financing the war. It  legitimizes the fraudulent transfers of tax dollars to the financial elites under the "bank bailouts". 
    The pattern of deficit spending is not expansionary. We are not dealing with a Keynesian style deficit, which stimulates investment and consumer demand, leading to an expansion of production and employment. 
    The "bank bailouts" (involving several initiatives financed by tax dollars) constitute a component  of government expenditure. Both the Bush and Obama bank bailouts are hand outs to major financial institutions. They do not constitute a positive spending injection into the real economy. Quite the opposite. The bailouts contribute to financing the restructuring of the banking system leading to a massive concentration of wealth and centralization of banking power. 
    A large part of the bailout money granted by the US government will be transferred electronically to various affiliated accounts including the hedge funds.  The largest banks in the US will also use this windfall cash to buy out their weaker competitors, thereby consolidating their position. The tendency, therefore, is towards a new wave of corporate buyouts, mergers and acquisitions in the financial services industry. 
    In turn, the financial elites will use these large amounts of liquid assets (paper wealth), together with the hundreds of billions acquired through speculative trade, to buy out real economy corporations (airlines, the automobile industry, Telecoms, media, etc ), whose quoted value on the stock markets has tumbled. 
    In essence, a budget deficit (combined with massive cuts in social programs) is required to fund the handouts to the banks as well as finance defence spending and the military surge in the Middle East war.
     

    "They do not constitute a positive spending injection into the REAL ECONOMY.  (You know, the one folks in Detroit, Lansing and Phoenix are dealing with). "In turn, the financial elites will use these large amounts of liquid assets...to buy out liquid companies."  Great Caesar's Ghost!  You mean, more conglomerates, more monopoly power, more concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of the Elites!! Boy, I can see the Dow surging, can't you? Goddamn, sounds like the carcass they picked in the wake of the S & L Crisis.  You got to hand it to those purveyors of Disaster Capitalism, "heads they win, tails you lose."

    Yes! and it Counts!!

    I saw that article by Michel Chossudovsky too. He was a guest on Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner last Wednesday which can be accessed at KPFA online at:
     
    http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/49073
     
    The following is the write up from the March 11, 2009 show was the following:
     
    "America's Fiscal Collapse - Obama's Budget Will Impoverish America" with economist and author, Michel Chossudovsky. The administration's 2010 budget will entail the most drastic curtailment in public spending in American history, leading to social havoc and the potential impoverishment of millions of people. Defense spending and bank bailouts will consume all government revenue resulting in fiscal collapse that will lead to the privatization of the state."
     
    Check out Guns and Butter audio at:
     
    http://www.kpfa.org/archive/show/34
     
    To get good online audio analysis of Barack Obama, check out Taking Aim with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone at: http://takingaimradio.com/shows/audio.html

    Privitization of the State: "We Broke"

    Increased privitization of the State is already occuring as desperate solutions are sought to the financial crisis.  Here in Iowa they are thinking of selling the State Lottery.  Watch as toll roads and bridges are auctioned off to the highest bidder, for a temporary, ephemeral fix.  It's a gradual creep towards facism.  Isn't it apparent that the private sector has conjoined with the "state" to rape the commoner?  A fair litmus test for what constitutes facism I'd say.
     
    Meanwhile, I'm really starting to get a grip on those econ graphs. It's amazing the ephianies you get later in life about subjects you struggled with in college.  Here's one that illustrates what a TRILLION DOLLARS looks like. 
     
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12754
     
    As far as DERIVATIVE DEBT WORLD WIDE?, it's only $190K per everyone person on the planet. Here's a quote from the article:
    "The single conceptual pitfall at the basis of the disorderly growth of the global derivatives market is the postulate of hedging and netting, which lies at the basis of each model and of the whole regulatory environment hyper structure. Perfect hedges and perfect netting require functioning markets. When one or more markets become dysfunctional, the whole deck of cards could collapse swiftly. To hope, as US Treasury Secretary Mr Henry Paulson does, that an accounting ruse such as transferring liabilities, however priced, from a private to a public agent will restore the functionality of markets implies a drastic jump in logic."
     
    There is a sense of no sustainability and lack of longevity in the "Invisible One Quadrillion Dollar Equation" of the derivatives market especially with attendant Black Swan variables causing multiple implosions amongst financial institutions and counterparties! The only way out, albeit painful, is via discretionary case-by-case government intervention on an unprecedented scale. Securing the savings and assets of ordinary citizens ought to be the number one concern in directing such policy."
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12753
     
    Now while I've struggled with math concepts and statistics, I've always been pretty damn good with words.  Here's a few choice words for you.  "...The WHOLE DECK OF CARDS COULD COLLAPSE.."  Holy shit, sounds like a Ponzi scheme!!  But there is a clear policy proscription.  "Securing the savings and assets of ordinary citizens (not Wall St., the Conglomerates and the Banksters) ought to be the number one concern of directing such a policy." 

    Why Should The State Be Privatized?

    I think this entire bailout cry for help is a bunch of BS. Its a waste of tax payers dollars, and why privatize when State funds is coming from the Federal level. I am not (at all) interested in this debt that has been placed on the general public.
    If we are so hard up for money I suggest to pull out of the Middle East. Why can't we see that the people that we elected has turned on us?, due to the fact that most Politicians is playing the game of Politrixs with citizens. There would be NO debt if these credit companies was not so quick to give deals that the poor can't refuse.
    I do NOT feel sorry for Wall Street, the BIG3 automakers, or any other money sucking financial institute that's high on the hog one day, and begging the next day. I have been fighting the corruption in our Government for the past 40 years, and the situation is getting worse.
    I am a new member here on Black Agenda Report, but I am very much against non-senses reports, and I do label those types of Reports as American propagenda.

    "He's done a great deal already...."

    annicha:  "He's done a great deal to indicate that he is indeed working for positive change in that he has undone a number of unquestionable negatives inherited from the previous administrations."  Really?  How so, please articulate with cogent facts and arguments how this is so? A la Rachel Maddow, "shout me down, argue me down" that Obama doesn't represent a sepia-toned GWB.. no, his militarism is actually worse than GWB, right now, not 100 days or 4 years later.  Check out Chris Floyd's latest missive.  I didn't preempt the NY Times on singing the songs for future wars, multiple wars, multiple fronts so rapidly.  Even Obama has surprised Lou the Naysayer on his expeditious thrust into Liberal Interventionism and the phoney WOT.
     
    Thanks to Justin Raimond, at antiwar.com for breaking it down. "Continuity and Change: Forget the latter, Get use to the Former."  March 16, 2009:
     
    As a reward for killing 1,400 Palestinians in the Gaza blitzkrieg, ignoring U.S. demands to stop the building of "settlements" on the West Bank, and vigorous efforts to breach our security and steal highly classified information via its Washington fifth column, Tel Aviv has been reassured by President Barack Obama that $30 billion in aid will not be cut. World financial crisis? Impending US bankruptcy? Obama's newfound sense of fiscal responsibility? Put it out of your mind. All it takes is one phone call from Chuck Schumer, a tête-à-tête with Nancy Pelosi, and an editorial or two in the Washington Post, and – poof! – "change" turns into continuity. Obama will keep Bush's promise, and you can take that to the bank."
     
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=14405
     
    If that doesn't persuade you, try on Chris Floyd:
     
    "... But despite the glaring transparency of the NYT's stovepiping duties, it is still instructive to watch these operations in action now and then, if only to keep one's bullshit detector in fighting trim. And a story by Thom Shanker highlighted in the Times on Saturday provides an excellent example of this venerable and pernicious process.

    The nugget of "news" in the story was unsurprising -- but its implications were no less disturbing for that. Shanker, in the usual cringing courtier mode of our higher media, funnels the usual unexamined, unquestioned spin of  the usual anonymous "senior official" to let the rabble know that the poobahs on the Potomac are gearing up to fight even more wars simultaneously all over the globe. Specifically, what we have is -- as Shanker puts it in the inelegant prose that characterizes most NYT pieces - a "rethink [of] what for more than two decades has been a central premise of American strategy: that the nation need only prepare to fight two major wars at a time."

    No, what we need now, says Shanker's Anonymous Militarist, is the ability to fight every damn body every damn where in every damn kind of way. Not just a two-front war, but three-front wars, four-front wars, counterinsurgencies, police actions, nation-building (with the preceding nation-destroying, of course), on and on, all at the same time."

    All you "naysayers" out there, let's give Obama a chance, a brief reprieve from our nagging, petty, insolent naysaying.  Give the man room, puleez, to start more wars and conflicts, to bankrupt the US economy even further on foolish ventures to keep the elites in power.  We vote saving capitalism over suitcase nukes, afterall.  There's full employment opportunities in the military escapades of Amerikkka.  Now that's a Stimulus Package you can believe in.
     
    Never fear folks, it's "immoral" and "illegal" to abrogate "contracts" totally Un American..AIG had NO CHOICE but to pay those bonuses and billions to the gamblers er.. banks.  Ilegal that is, unless you have Union Contract then all is fair in love and war.  HA

    A defined step is to get your

    A defined step is to get your credit report; there are numerous websites, like Annualcreditreport.com.  It isn't a wise move to go for pay sites that have an extremely annoying and banal band on TV – you know who we mean.  The law makes (Dissertation) it so you can get your report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion once a year for free, no payday loans necessary. Philosophy Dissertation

    4.4.09 - NYC - March: End Obama's Wars NOW!

    4/4 SAT, 11 am - March: End Obama's Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan NOW! National mobilization on anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King's historic speech against the war in Vietnam at NYC's Riverside Church. Address the economic crisis by cutting military spending. Meet at Leonard, Franklin & White St, btw B'way & Lafayette St (6 to Canal St-Lafayette St, J to Canal St-Centre St, N/Q/R to Canal St-B'way); march to Stock Exchange on Wall St. Sponsor: United For Peace & Justice (UFPJ). Info: http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=4027

    AIG = Ain't I Gullible

    annicha, I told you this stuff wasn't that complicated.  Even a guy who earned a D in Econ can figure it out with a little critical thinking.  Who'd a thunk it; a mathematically challenged person like myself preempting the NY Times.  Maybe they should hire me as an "investigative reporter." 
     
    Financial companies that received multibillion-dollar payments owed by A.I.G. include Goldman Sachs ($12.9 billion), Merrill Lynch ($6.8 billion), Bank of America ($5.2 billion), Citigroup ($2.3 billion) and Wachovia ($1.5 billion).
    Big foreign banks also received large sums from the rescue, including Société Générale of France and Deutsche Bank of Germany, which each received nearly $12 billion; Barclays of Britain ($8.5 billion); and UBS of Switzerland ($5 billion).
     
    “A.I.G. has been trying to play the American people for fools by giving nearly $1 billion in bonuses by the name of retention payments,” Mr. Cummings said on Sunday.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/business/16rescue.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
     
    Barclays, Goldman Sachs, B of A, you know, the usual cast of characters. Guess what annicha, Ain't I Gullible isn't the only one "playing Americans for fools."  And don't bother to send letters or emails or make phone calls because Mr. International Yucca Mtn., Larry Summers, said "there's nothing the Administration can do."  This, annicha, despite the fact that US Taxpayers own EIGHTY PERCENT OF Ain't I Gullible.  HA  How did that loop hole occur?  Perhaps that will be my next "investigative" scoop!  There are more surprises out there annicha, hold on to your hat..er wallet.
     
    Yes, you naysayers, let's give the Obama Administration more time, have patience my friends.  Just remember, the road to hell is paved with "Good Intentions."  Ha

    Obama challenge

    It troubles me that more people in general and blacks are so focused on negative criticism and immediate change, that we can't give more support ,in light of the courage it takes to even be in his position. He's done a great deal to indicate that he is indeed working for positive change in that he has undone a number of unquestionable negatives inherited from the previous administrations. To paraphrase some commentary from the State of Black America Conference. Obama has "an incredible tight rope to walk" in light of the various and powerful interests supporting him, opposing him etc. Tavis Smiley in particular emphasizes how we need to hold and make him accountable to the extent that we can make him a great leader just as Frederick Douglas did with Lincoln.
    I believe it's possible that he does want to do the peoples will in the highest order and is so savvy/shrewd in understanding the systems drawbacks that he's suggesting consistently and subtly that we are his best hope of making him rise above the special interests and opposing forces that have inherently effectively castrated previous presidents' effectiveness, that may have had the peoples best interest at heart.
    It's been less than two months for goodness sake. I hope all these nay sayers are spending as much time in personally education, organizing and disseminating as they are in negatively criticizing.
    TBC
    "THE ONLY UNKNOWN IS THE HISTORY WE DON'T KNOW"
    HARRY TRUMAN
    (also a bright, healthy, just future)Thomassai

    THE TIME IS RIPE ONCE AGAIN FOR PEOPLE, ECONOMIC SLAVES OF ALL COLORS AND CREEDS TO
    EDUCATE, PARTICIPATE, DISSEMINATE, CONGREGATE, APPRECIATE, INCULCATE.......BEFORE IT'S
    TOO LATE
    WHAT MORE CAN I STATE

    Think about the Democratic Party= USA 1 Party System

    People can appreciate the desire of anyone waiting and wanting Obama to "do good."  But alas, Casey pretty much sums it up.  Obama doesn't care what you or I think nor is concerned about the fate of the working classes in general.  And frankly, neither was Bill Clinton and Larry Summers (now the "Face of the Nation" on economic matters).  Sumners is a man who posessed an intellect and heartless rationality that allowed him to say in writing, paraphrasing, "Let's dump chemical and nuclear wastes in Africa because it's a good cost/benefit outcome."  Obama has never even used the word "working class" part of his propaganda meme is to use the word "Middle Class" and indeed, from a "grassroots level", Obama is more concerned about the "Managerial Class" than the working class.  Go to the worldsocialistwebsite.com and get the facts on the ground about how people in Detroit are faring. Trust me, they could give a f***k about the ups and downs of the Dow.
     
    I worked at FDIC/RTC during the S&L Crisis, that resolution worked just fine.  The employees of the failed S &L's were not punished for the managerial/board decisions.  We hired them as lawyers, accountants, accountant managers, REO specialist, workout specialist.  They received very decent salaries, health and dental, but most knew they were contract employees and harbored no illusions about pernament employment.  Why wasn't Ms. Baird at FDIC named Treasury head?  Why aren't her cogent recommendations being implemented?  Why have we spent trillions through appropriations and and direct Treasury loans and we are still being gouged by Credit Card companies, small businesses continue to find credit "frozen?"  I'll tell you why annicha, it's because the rich elites don't give a f****k and neither do our bought and paid for Political Class of which Obama is now leader. 
     
    As far as the "naysers criticizing" you neglect that criticism and critical thinking lies at the root of educating people.  Sitting back and waiting for "pie in the sky", for "good intentions" don't mean shit. We deem critical thinking what you deem criticizing and naysaying.  Frankly, it's hard enough to open the eyes of intelligent persons like yourself, can you imagine the yeoman efforts it takes to enlighten the less-educated, the super religious, the (pardon me) Kool-Aid drinkers?  The other thing annicha, the problem is bigger, deeper, worser than the Political/Pundit Class will admit. The entire world is drowning in fake, Ponzi Scheme, "leveraged debt."  That debt exceeds the national budget of the entire world. Why is Summers, a man who is one of those chiefly responsible for creating the deregulatory climate that created this mess now all of a sudden the "Administration's Spokesperson" on economic affairs?  The same man who advocated turning African into several Yucca Mtns?  It's because Geithner can't lie with a straight face but Summers can.  It's because the US economy is a Ponzi Scheme and the Wealthy Elites are taking theirs off the top leaving nothing for the rubes below? 
     
    I would be curious to hear from you or anyone a question I've posed for over a year and a follow up question.  First, what legislative achievements of the Democratic Party can you point to? (any successful filibusters, how about "defunding" the wars, or blocking Bush's rank criminality), and given this irrefutable fact, why would any thinking person expect one damn thing from the Democratic Party and Obama who is now it's titular leader? The Democratic Party does what it does BECAUSE IT WANTS TO.
     
    Second, what will the public say, what will YOU say when the TARP, and the Stimulus and the Treasury Loans in the Trillions DON'T WORK!  I bet you and others will finally come to the conclusion that Obama and his Administration were not acting in the bests interest of the public, on the contrary they are acting in the best interests of the risk arbitragers, the hedge funds, the bond holders, and the risk takers who are buffering their foolish gambles and losses by taking theirs off the top, thanks to more taxes on you and me.  annicha, this shit ain't that complicated as the MSM would have you believe.  Debates over "nationalizing" the banks. WTF!,--that's exactly what we did when I was at FDIC/RTC.
     
    And one last thing annicha, the same corrupt politicians, Wall St. crooks, Mafiosa, and insiders REAPED THE REWARDS OF THAT DEBACLE TOO. It's called Disaster Capitalism.  Yes, the FDIC/RTC closed shop when they bundled and bulk sold the assets to, guess who?  Wall Street.  Big Ha annicha.

    Obama challenge

    Annicha: Many of Obama's most fervent supporters were not open-minded regarding Obama's experience, character, truthfulness, accomplishments or consistency on issues of substance. To many of them, he embodied change both literally and symbolically. Now, what you are seeing is a rising tide of people who are starting to wake up from their collective stupor of this very charismatic man and terrific orator. You have to realize that not being analytical and open-minded about our leaders is dangerous and irresponsible. Just look at the people of Nazi Germany and they will tell you why it is important to "hold and make our leaders accountable" just as Tavis Smiley says, no matter what their race and/or ethnicity is. Unfortunately, black folks are giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, up and beyond what they give to other Presidents. We must be careful no to be "Hitleresque" in our support of Obama and hopes for his success. He can just as easily take black votes for granted, while pursuing an agenda that does not benefit our communities and/or the nation as a whole. Therefore, we both agree on the accountability point, and will have to agree to disagree on all others. Good Luck to you Annicha.

    Understood...but Don't Drink the Kool-Aid!

    I fully understand where you are coming from. I understand you want to think Obama is not the same ole same ole.
     
    Obama would not have gotten to the top without being a sellout somewhere along the way.
     
    Race is not always relevant either. The race factor must not be the way Obama is analyzed. Obama now works for the corporate and global elite interests first and foremost. The ruling classes are the ones Obama must answer to first. Obama is not going to ask the street people what they think first. Obama is going to ask the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Soros what they think first before he is going down the nearest local tavern to get policy consultation.
     
    I understand your idealism and wanting to think Obama is a "change" president. Obama used words like "Hope" and "Change" as convenient political election slogans. They worked because most Americans did not critically analyze Obama.
     
    This is no longer the age of Lincoln and for that matter no longer even close to the days of Truman.
     
    So, I see what your saying....But please, Don't Drink the Kool-Aid!
     

    Thanks, Bevery,

    No tv.  Haven't figured way to do it via internet.  Am old, but new.

    Are you a terrorist or enemy combatant?

    FBI terrorist watch list hits 1 million entries
    By Patrick Martin
    12 March 2009
     
    The FBI's Terrorist Screening Center acknowledged this week that there are more than 1 million names on its official terrorist watch list, a number that suggests the vast scale of the police-state measures undertaken by the US government on the pretext of waging a "war on terror."
    It would be preposterous to suggest that these 1 million people are actually terrorists—in that event, Al Qaeda would have more troops than the US Army. Moreover, since an estimated 50,000 of those named are US residents, most of them citizens, this would mean hundreds of potential car bombers or airplane hijackers live in every major American city.
     
    The year-by-year increase has been staggering: 158,374 in June 2004, 288,000 in May 2005, 754,960 in May 2007 and an admitted 1,000,000 in March 2009, if not earlier. As an ACLU statement observed sarcastically, "Clearly, terrorists stand poised to replace suckers in P.T. Barnum's old adage, ‘there's one born every minute.' "
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/mar2009/watc-m12.shtml
     
    Feel safe?  A greater prison population than China, by more than a half a million, even though China's population is five time larger than America's.  And apparently, more terrorists than Pakistan or Afghanistan combined, wow!  Unparalleled local police powers; hell they even shoot'n white women in custody these days.  Don't you just love the WOT, the slick, refined facist state you live in?

     

    The Groundwork has already been laid for martial law

    Title of article by John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, read em and weep.  Next on the horizon: The Demise of Net Neutrality.  The internet will become the next front in the Phony War on Terror, coming to a computer near you soon.
     
    http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=581
     
    "During his two terms in office, George W. Bush stepped outside the boundaries of the Constitution and assembled an amazing toolbox of powers that greatly increased the authority of the Executive branch and the reach of the federal government."
     
    Go read the whole thing.  Sleep well tonight kiddies, Big Brother is watching. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Feith and the other sainted War Criminals are sleeping well after all. No phony, "liberal" Hauge prosecutions for them those are reserved for the tin horn dictators and syncophants we throw away.  When is Noriega getting out of the federal pen, btw?
     
     
     
     

    Facism is on the move worldwide

    Facism is making a resurgence worldwide.  The future is ominous.  Gideon Levy cuts to the core of the fraud that is the Israeli "Peace Movement" in a Hareetz article titled: "Born in Sin."  He begins by stating, "The Israeli peace camp was born in sin and died because of a lie: It began as the legitimate son of the sin of occupation, and died the illegitimate son of the lie that "there is no partner" with whom to negotiate on the other side. He ends the piece by saying, "The term "left" and the expression "peace camp" need to be removed from the Hebrew language." We no longer have the right to make use of them.  Any use whatsoever."
     
    Gideon Levy could just as easily been writing about the so-called "peace movement" the "left" in the United States.  A "left" beaten down over the years via corporate propaganda and punditry perpetrating as news, aided and abetted by the spineless wonders formerly known as the Democratic Party. 
     
    Facism is on the rise, worldwide.  It's seeds firmly planted post WW-II. There is a book whose title aptly describes it's resurgence and revival:  "The Beast Reawakens" by Martin A. Lee.  Lee details the creation and interworkings of international facist networks aided and guided by US intelligence services and traceable to Right Wing Elements in US and abroad. Many of us are aware of the details of which are famously known by the code name "Operation Paperclip"-- the US absorption of ex-Nazis and facists into its national security appartus justified as a center piece of the international struggle against communism.  The United States voted for facism over socialism or communism a long time ago. Which is why the demise of capitalism is deemed America's greatest national security risk by our intelligence agencies, not SARS or suitcase nukes.   Facism is on the rise in Italy which recently enacted immigration laws aimed at the Gypsies. Great Britain is a virtual police state, with surveillance practices and "state secrets" protections that would make Orwell proud. And Israel just lurched even further to the right.  It is now acceptable political speech to talk about Arab expulsion in Israel, no more are these the musings of Likud, they are also the musings of Labor.
     
    The Beast is Reawakend in America.  The elements of intolerance, control, and facism on the Right, aided and abetted by fraudsters on the "Left" are making a last ditch (and probably successful) effort to stauch popular movements and protests.  The "Librul" Birmbaums will gladly look the other way and write eloquent though vapid rationalizations on behalf of the Police State as it kicks into high gear. After all we "true progressives" are just mere outliers, person deserving of marganilization, ridicule and scorn.  Facism is one of the main reasons Obama has fought like hell to protect Bush's unconstitutional usurption of power disguised as "unitary executive" perogative, its why Obama personally intervened to protect a traitor and slimeball like Karl Rove who continues to spew his poison and bile and idiocies on the major morning and evening broadcasts.  A certifiable War Criminal parading as America's Modern Day Cicero, the sagacious political theorist protected by Obama from a Congressional subpoena.  If only poor Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, or Miguel Tejada could escape the reaches of Congress?
     
    The world is on the "cusp" and the battle between facists and true liberals is about to become heated and take a foreboding turn.
     
     
     

    Save Democratic Party

    I'm still trying to connect Vernon Jordon, the Clinton's "best friend" to introducing Obama to his eventual financiers. Any info on this Lou? Was the whole Hilary/Obama thing part of the farce?

    Obama= Clinton, Bush Continuity

    Deb:
     
    Check out Howard Fineman, Newsweek, 4-14-08, "The Bespoke Broker."

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/130608
     
    I think it's a fair assumption the Jordan is playing a huge behind the scenes role. Jordan will go down in history as perhaps the "true HNIC."  The Clinton Machine has indeed a much longer INSTITUTIONAL reach than Obama's Machine when it comes to the punditry, think tanks, "experts," and $$. Perhaps Obama saw it impossible to completely "dislodge" them, perhaps he made a Faustian pact with them, perhaps he's just truly one of them? I'm betting on:  (c) all of the above.
     
    It's fair to say astute gamers and gamblers in the Dem Party were putting money on several "horses", I'm sure some got in on the McCain action as well.  The Elites don't gave a damn who's driving the train as long as it doesn't detour off the tracks.

    The Real Obama Legacy: Where is the Left?

    Alan Greenspan declares the failure of free-booting capitalism.

    Joseph Stiglitz fights for more jobs and relief for the unemployed.

    Paul Krugman advocates the nationalization of the banks.

    Jon Stewart takes on Wall Street.

    The Corporate Mass Media reports on tent cities for the foreclosed.

    Putin and Medvedev point out the hypocrisy of the "new" U.S. Foreign Policy.

    European conservatives threaten War Crimes prosecutions of the Bush Administration.

    Where is the Left?

    While the criticism of the current - dismal - state of society is left to infamous reactionaries, irrelevant technicians, corporate anomalies, arbitrary entertainers, and foreign politicians, where is "the Left"? Where is that political movement whose sole reason for existence is to raise the banner of the fightback precisely at this moment... arguably, whose entire existence is predicated solely on their actions at such moments?

    The question is asked without distinction. Left Democrats, Left Independents, Left Radicals... Labor Unions and mass organizations and the CBC and anyone else who would remotely identify with  "the Left" - where are they?

    Where is the Left?

    Where is it? It is standing in defense of the government, that's where it is. It is entrenched in opposition to a political party which is already split fragmented and irrelevant. And through that continued "loyalty and opposition", it has already assured its own irrelevance.

    Is that too harsh? What then does "the Left" say to the rising tide of anger and misery, 650 thousand unemployed per month and tens of thousands of foreclosures... two wars without end and endless deprivation? It counsels patience, understanding of the government's "problems", education on political realities and distractions without purpose.

    This is the real legacy of the "Obama Movement"... of incrementalism and electoralism and bankruptcy without limits.

    Jobs, Food, Housing, Health, Peace, Justice - all is forgotten.
     
    Don't bother me... I'm waitin' on Obama.

    And if things continue to get worse, all is not lost. Perhaps "we" might "win" an even bigger majority in the 2010 elections and then... watch out.

    This government is not "our" government, just as the last twenty have not been. Unilateral disarmament in the face of intensified class war is not an option. Policy dicing in the shadow of depression is not possible. Patience in the face of naked Empire is not forgivable.

    Which side are you on?
     

    Two Things

    Great Article and I really like the new digs.
     
    This is one of my favorite sources of info!
     
    (And I really like Margaret's view on things)

    "Captain Jack" Obama's American Empire Project

    Although Mr. Obama can be seen as a definite fraud and someone who talks out of both sides of his mouth, much of his campaign rhetoric was so vague, so CIA-like in style and scope, that he now claims and quite often, that his message meant other things than what you heard said. Deconstructing his “change message” speeches, one can clearly see the vagueness and cryptic language used. He was often imprecise on exactly what he would change, opting to say the obvious, of not continuing the same failed policies of his predecessor, and then saying how he would keep some programs/policies and eliminate others. Typical political bullshit. His so-called opposition to the war in Iraq is/was a sham and has been all along. In many cases, however, one could very well argue that Obama is not actually a hypocrite on Iraq and other issues working on behalf of the American empire. Just because Obama criticized the Bush administration's war on Iraq, he never brought out the fact that it was a criminal war and violated crimes against humanity. Obama has an administration full of Neocon-connected advocates as well as pro-war cabinet members. Obama's so-called opposition to the war on Iraq was not reflected in his Senate voting record, in which he voted for additional war supplementals over and over again, in order to continue financing that illegal invasion.
     
    As Jeremy Scahill wrote in his article titled, "Obama's Mercenary Position," from the Nation magazine, on February 27, 2008:
     

    "A senior foreign policy adviser to leading Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has told The Nation that if elected Obama will not "rule out" using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The adviser also said that Obama does not plan to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009, when a new President will be sworn in. Obama's campaign says that instead he will focus on bringing accountability to these forces while increasing funding for the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the agency that employs Blackwater and other private security contractors. (Hillary Clinton's staff did not respond to repeated requests for an interview or a statement on this issue.)....Obama's broader Iraq withdrawal plan provides for some US troops to remain in Iraq--how many his advisers won't say. But it's clear that Obama's "follow-on force" will include a robust security force to protect US personnel in Iraq, US trainers (who would also require security) for Iraqi forces and military units to "strike at Al Qaeda"--all very broad swaths of the occupation...."If Barack Obama comes into office next January and our diplomatic security service is in the state it's in and the situation on the ground in Iraq is in the state it's in, I think we will be forced to rely on a host of security measures," said the senior adviser. "I can't rule out, I won't rule out, private security contractors." He added, "I will rule out private security contractors that are not accountable to US law."...But therein lies a problem. The US Embassy in Iraq is slated to become the largest embassy in world history. If Obama maintains that embassy and its army of diplomats and US personnel going in and out of the Green Zone, which his advisers say he will, a significant armed force will be required for protection. The force that now plays that role is composed almost exclusively of contractors from Blackwater, DynCorp and Triple Canopy."
     
    Read the full story @: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080317/scahill
     
    Scahill also writing in Counterpunch on December 2, 2008, the article titled, "Obama's Kettle of Hawks: Not One Anti-War Voice," which exposed just how Obamaite foreign policy would really look like as opposed to the phony/false rhetoric heard by Mr. Obama in his campaign. Scahill wrote the following in his Counterpunch piece:
     

    "When announcing his foreign policy team on Monday, Obama said: "I didn't go around checking their voter registration." That is a bit hard to believe, given the 63-question application to work in his White House. But Obama clearly did check their credentials, and the disturbing truth is that he liked what he saw....The assembly of Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Susan Rice and Joe Biden is a kettle of hawks with a proven track record of support for the Iraq war, militaristic interventionism, neoliberal economic policies and a worldview consistent with the foreign policy arch that stretches from George HW Bush's time in office to the present....Obama has dismissed suggestions that the public records of his appointees bear much relevance to future policy. "Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost," Obama said. "It comes from me. That's my job, to provide a vision in terms of where we are going and to make sure, then, that my team is implementing."
     
    Scahill's fine analysis on Obama's b.s. rhetoric is that: "It is a line the president-elect's defenders echo often. The reality, though, is that their records do matter...."
     
    The kicker in Scahill's article was this passage, however:
     

    "We were told repeatedly during the campaign that Obama was right on the premiere foreign policy issue of our day – the Iraq war. "Six years ago, I stood up and opposed this war at a time when it was politically risky to do so," Obama said in his September debate against John McCain. "Senator McCain and President Bush had a very different judgment." What does it say that, with 130 members of the House and 23 in the Senate who voted against the war, Obama chooses to hire Democrats who made the same judgement as Bush and McCain?"
     
    And how about this passage by Scahill:
     
    "On Iraq, the issue that the Obama campaign described as "the most critical foreign policy judgment of our generation", Biden and Clinton not only supported the invasion, but pushed the Bush administration's propaganda and lies about Iraqi WMDs and fictitious connections to al-Qaida. Clinton and Obama's hawkish, pro-Israel chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, still refuse to renounce their votes in favour of the war. Rice, who claims she opposed the Iraq war, didn't hold elected office and was not confronted with voting for or against it. But she did publicly promote the myth of Iraq's possession of WMDs, saying in the lead up to the war that the "major threat" must "be dealt with forcefully". Rice has also been hawkish on Darfur, calling for "strik[ing] Sudanese airfields, aircraft and other military assets.""

    Read the entire article @:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/scahill12022008.html
     
    I guess it does not matter any longer. Where have the real men gone to any more? Obama's campaign speeches were full of bullshit and misleading, yet, vague "promises," and the bogus-assed theme of "change" throughout was more of the same crap Americans like to hear, from their newest teen idol, or fancy dancer from "Dancing with Stars" and other moronic TV programs. Obama is a fine entertainer out of the Hollywood connected-Defense Department of the USA. Obama certainly is not John McCain nor George W. Bush. Yet, Obama is certainly the newest empty suit working on behalf of Captain Jack and the American Empire Project.
     

    America is Center Right: at best

    Back in November and after Obama's nomination this issue was raised by BAR in a different mode.  I'll repeat what I said back then: American is a Center Right in it's most 'liberal" manifestations.  To paraphrase Myrdahl, the American Dilemna is between high ideals on the one hand and poor performance on the other."  Has anything changed?  It's in our DNA.  Jamestown was founded as a colonial/predatory venture, the impetus of a charter from the Virginia Company of London.  Initially only English men could even vote.  Fast foward to today and you have so-called White Libruls and Black Progressives who have bought into the American Exceptionalism concept as deeply as a card-carrying member of the John Birch Society. (Listen to Corey Booker on Bill Maher, a slicker, "hipper" version of Obama)  Have a conversation with folks in your neighborhood and you'll see textbook displays of cognitive dissoannce.  Despite CONTINUITY  with GWB being the defining characteristic with the Obama Administration, the majority of Americans, even literate so-called "informed" ones lack the critical thinking skills to discern the bluster and bullshit surrounding not only Obama's actions but political discourse in general.  I debated a white liberal last Sunday he believes Obama is really, really trying hard to fix the economy, yet when pressed he admits he doesn't believe his actions will work and that there are simpler, better options.  On Super Bowl Sunday I debated Black Men in their 60s and 70s who think Obama will do magic wonders.  One stated that the problem with US military strategy in Iraq is that we haven't gone "total war" on them. When you asked them how if would feel if the Chinese had their foot up our ass, they get kinda quiet and start mumbling.
    Democracy is comatose and on life support in America, if not clinically dead.  Incredibily most people "get their news" from the mainstream Networks who also frame their references for them.  When the only critical analysis comes from Comedy Central which can be dismissed as "comedy" as Cramer recently did after Stewart busted his ass...well,  what can you say?  Every major network and newspaper in America is a bought and paid for propaganda mouthpiece.  Americans have no sense of history or context, they debate "nationalizing" the banks irrespective of the f***king FDIC/RTC bailout less than 20 years ago.  Which not only worked well, but employed thousands of regular, middle American folks who formerly worked at the failed institutions. 
    No intelligent person can have much faith in this country. "Marketing" has replaced critical thinking.  Chris Hedges wrote a great essay about a month ago that sums it all up:  The Elites have led American off of a Cliff.  Even listending to NPR today about the real challenges ecnomic and ecological facing this country, the guests admitted this country will not make proactive changes.  The reason that Geithner looks like a f*****king idiot everytime he opens his mouth (despite his apparent "brillance" on paper) is because he's pondering the future consequences of his personal legacy as a lying sack of shit, as he, and Wall St.,and CNN, CNBC et al. ,and the pathetic politicians of both parties continue to lie and refuse to reveal the magnitude of the Black Hole of Debt were in. While White Libruls and Black Progressives set up the GOP as the reason for Obama "not succeding" they will ignore the utter dimwittedness of his economic policy and military/foreign policy decisions.  I have no doubt they'll claim, "The Devil made him do it." 
    When the Bush/Obama Welfare Program for banksters and risk capitalists fails to jumpstart the economy, and taxpayers start asking where the money went, what is Obama going to say when he comes back for more money?  He has only his timid, weak self to blame.  Barack, go bold or don't go at all, you weenie.

    I can understand saying that

    I can understand saying that Stewart and Colbert are "up Obama's butt," but I don't get the same comparison with the Israeli lobby. Stewart actually came pretty hard on Israel when they were doing that week long seige on Gaza.

    Thanks, Beverly

    Three are new to me (I didn't know uprisingradio.org had text.)I'm a fan of
    WBAI and Pacifica.  I always look first to see if there are women writers/
    artists.

    Right on, Beverly!

    You've got it right on Colbert and Stewart.  It was very clear during the primaries that there would never criticize Obama--or at least put him to the same standards as they other folks they skewer.  But, then again, we should not be surprised.  This is the (neo)liberal white left--having an Obama in office helps them more than anyone else.  And some of the stuff they do (especially around race and gender) can really make you cringe.  What's more--have you seen their team of writers???  it's a bunch of all white male 20-somethings!  (of course, they've been struggling to "integrate" the show with more "black" commentary since Obamamessiah got elected...).  In any case, I stopped watching them after the elections.
     
    Btw, good call on counterpunch.org and dissidentvoice.org.  Along with chris-floy.com, antiwar.com, and arthur silber's blog, they are my lifeline these days.

    ayiti:found floyd

    Also found interesting article on TinyRevolution, Apr 15,2005 interview.

    Marketability

    The disposition of  Burnham is the same as that shown in the video shown here:
     
    http://www.playahata.com/?p=5802
     
    Skip to the portion where a young African-American male makes the "point" that being sucessful is about being "marketable."
    It is indeed a shift where being pleasing to the powers that be or to mass opinion is critical to "success" rather than truth telling, honesty and firm prinicples.
     
     

    Not many places on the "Left" critical of Obama policies

    I found this website after hearing Glen Ford on Hugh Hamilton's "Talk Back" on WBAI. Am older, only online a year,not Black. I waited awhile to comment, reading often. It seemed to me that Obama's candidacy "saved" the Dem. party. I admit to voting for him, knowing that he was too centrist (since his 2004 speech at the Dem.National Convention), because McCain was ...(find a word for horrible). I can't pick any argument with Glen Ford. During the campaign, I was aware that Obama and Clinton's policies were the same. The recycling of B. Clinton's administration did surprise me. The continuation of Bush's foreign policies, particularly the drones/missiles into Pakistan villages upset me, the keeping quiet about Gaza during the Israel gov't attack (I'm a Jew.), the now linking words "Afghanistan" with "Pakistan" are scaring me, as is the "advisers" (reminding me of Vietnam)... the continued secrecy in re court cases (ACLU, rendition/torture...), saying rendition might be continued...and the whole economic policy ignoring the poor. Without re-listing (and I'm no sage on economics), I am also surprised at the amount of cheerleading of Obama by Democrats. What Left is critical of Obama? Would someone list websites besides this one and Zcommunications? (Glenn Greenwald does a bit, as does Robert Parry and DemocracyNow, but those are not Left so much as progressive media critics and news coverage.) I ignore psychobabble.

    Burnham-Ford Foundation Link?

    According to its Form 990 financial filing for 2007, $55,000 of the $479,122 in yearly revenues that the Women of Color Resource Center collected in 2007 went to pay the salary of its then-executive director: Linda Burnham in 2007.
    And, according to the Ford Foundation website, between 2005 and 2008 the Ford Foundation gave three grants, totalling $1 milliion, to the Women of Color Resource Center to fund its New York City office.
    So Burnham may have a vested personal economic interest in writing politically partisan articles in defense of the Ford Foundation-backed Democratic Obama Administration's policies and which criticize anti-imperialist U.S. left activists who want to see U.S. troops immediately withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan by Easter 2009.
    Coincidentally, a Senior Director of Goldman Sachs (one of the Wall Street firms whose bail-out Obama and his economics advisors endorsed) named Robert Kaplan sits on the board of trustees of the Ford Foundation (which controlled $11 billion in assets in 2008).

    Glen Ford's Insightful/Precise Analysis Is Spot-On Again!!!

    Glen Ford's column, "Left Obamites Prefer Kool-Aid to Struggle" is the kind of hard-truth analysis that needs to be heard and I am again grateful to Black Agenda Report's continued great work. The paragraph towards the end, which struck me as the most interesting was this one:
    "This sounds uncannily like Obamite Prof. Leonard Jeffries’ admonition that all Black folks “study Obama-ism.” Burnham’s gushings are remarkable for their abject surrender, not just to Obama’s persona and mystique, but to the institutional trappings and annexes of corporate-tethered rule."
     
    I guess Professor Leonard Jeffries is also and unfortunately so, drinking the Obamite kool-aid. Yet, I thought  Professor  Jeffries was a critical thinker and someone with an open mind? I do not know much about Professor Jeffries other than his being a radical at one time. Perhaps, you could, Mr. Ford, if possible might provide the readers with more background of Mr. Jeffries in the future since I always was under the impression he had a fine radical reputation, but maybe this is what has even you confused about him (Jeffries).  
     
    In a discussion with one of my long-time friends last night we discussed people's ideologies. Even if someone considered themselves or said the words of being "liberal" twenty years ago or any other ideology, they could very well have been just mouthing the words, wanting to sound like they were "open-minded" or that they were inclusive. Others often say they are part of a certain "ideology" as a part of belonging or in a particular movement. So, perhaps many of the 1960s movement people were NOT as "radical" or "leftists" or "liberals" as they claimed to be. Many of those 1960s people who yelled anti-establishment and anti-corporation became the authority figures, climbed the corporate ladder, and became part of that establishment they claimed to hate. In other cases, some even became selfish, non-thinking college professors. Some college professors are the worst violators when it comes to being pro-establishment and echoing pro-war-racist strategies.  
     
    Bring up that the attacks on 9-11-2001 could have been an inside job, or that Osama bin Laden could have been a double agent for the CIA to sow a new war to keep the military industrial complex going, and they look at you as if you are weird. The establishment class started to bring up terrorism as the next possible security threat as the Soviet empire was collapsing. Yes, the establishment sought new enemies and Islam has become that "enemy." Even when you point out that 100% of the Intelligence Budget and 40% of the Defense Budget are "TOP SECRET" these same learned people seem to take pro-establishment views. The CIA has a Black Budget which will NEVER be OPEN to the public. And one then wonders why bin Laden could have been a double agent and the phony war on terror, I mean war on Islam is more about keeping and justifying military excursions into the Persian Gulf and Euasia going is a fraud. The U.S. has eyed Eurasia since the fall of the Soviet Union. The "Taliban excuse" was quite convenient to the ruling class who wanted access to open the Caspian Sea to big oil since the Soviet empire collapsed. The bin Laden family is connected to Bechtel Corporation. I find the entire "bin Laden story" to be quite fishy. With the surveillance tools of the U.S. and the most advanced technological tools by NASA and other similar agencies, the U.S. government could track people around the world anywhere. The equipment can look far into the ground and can see light in dark with the tools it possesses. If bin Laden is alive, the U.S. government knows exactly where he is and if he is dead-the same thing.  Obama soon after 9-11 was treated at an American hospital in Dubai.
     
    No, I do not believe in "conspiracies." But, as I tell people, I do believe in deep political collusion and the realities these Black Budgets and other forms of Defense-Intelligence Department secret planning sessions brings on to the ignorant American public's minds after hiring the Rendon Group and other like P.R. firms to do psy-ops, also known as propaganda tricks onto the American and International publics.
     
    Be careful of the posers and con artists from any generation and do not take at face value because someone says they are a "Black Radical" from the 1960s that they still are in 2009. Don't think that the people who were speaking out loud to be anti-establishment folks in the 1960s still are in 2009. Simply put, just because someone appears to speak the language of a movement does not mean they are doing so. Just because someone looks the part, does not mean that they actually fit the part.
     
    Rev. Wright is a former marine. He did his time in the military service, yet he does not speak like the military today. He saw reality unlike the same people who criticized him and vilified him. Rev. Wright obviously knows about the secret Defense-Intelligence and Black budgets that are in operation today. His take on AIDS was not so "wacky" either. Dr. Lorraine Day has a similar take, although not identical to the views on the AIDS crisis that Rev. Wright has taken. Some people do not buy into the pro-establishment take on how AIDS started and where it was directed.
     
    Again, I reiterate that going along to get along is NOT WORKING right now. Think of all the people now homeless and out of work who were just going along to get along, and where it got them. It appears that today's "left" is more about, and, yes, in this case the Republican-lite and the Reagan-like DLC "Democratic Party" than true leftist or radical action. What is left of the 1960s movements are more interested being part of the establishment, or to be in the corporate/professional class or members of this elite structure which they at ine time claimed to despise.
     
    Unilike many of those 1960s "activists" who are now part of the problem as entrenched establishmentarians, it is nice to see that the fine writers at BAR have not lost their consciousness and are writing/analyzing events the way it should be.
     
    Thank-you Mr. Glen Ford for your insightful analysis and I hope to hear you on Sirius 146 Left tonight with Mark Thompson. Until, then, have a great day!!!
     
     
     

    Glen Ford RE: Prof Jeffries & Sirius Left 146 Chat

    Dear Mr. Glen Ford,
     
    It was nice talking to you on Sirius 146 Left tonight with Mark Thompson. I want to also thank-you for clearing up and correcting me about Prof. Jeffries "not being a radical" and so on.  Thanks for answering my questions on Prof. Jeffries. I never thought I knew a lot about him although I think he has from time to time upset some pro-Israeli groups. Perhaps, you could correct me on this as well. Thanks again.
     
    On another note from the radio show, I also agree with you that many liberals can be seen as "neolibs" as James Petras has said in his many books, articles and interviews. Petras also has an interesting and what some would say a very "controversial" article on Obama. Susan Rice would fit this description as you said tonight on the radio. The Gordon Prather article "The WINEP-Weenies' Insane Iran Advice" can be accessed at:
    http://www.antiwar.com/prather/?articleid=14363
     
    Well take care and again, it was nice chatting with you on the radio tonight. All the Best!!
     
     
     

    Jeffries

    Having attended more than a  few Jeffrie's lectures back in the day, I too was very
    surprised at his unconditional, unsubstantiated support of Obama. If he is still in the
    classroom I can say this is one of the problems for our young people today. During Tavis
    Smiley's forum, Randall Robinson, even while praising Obama emphasized the warning
    that we must engage in critical analysis. He said our young people must be vigilant with
    this. He pointed out U.S. POLICIES that continue, to the detriment of the African diaspora.
    He didn't call Obama out, but it was clear that we need to look at policies and edicts that
    originate or are continued by the Obama administration. 
    I haven't been able to locate how Obama got unconditional support of so many 
    black folk, to the point that it is now vicerally painful for them to critique him and his
    actions. I know so many who testified that Obama would end the "war", i.e. bring
    the troops home. They can't even hear anything about illegal embassy or  private
    contractor let alone troops. It's much like a child putting hands to the ear.
    At this point, I'm more interested in how much Obama  willingly played black folk.
    To pretty much sideline- except to chastise- black folk during the running and KNOW
    that he'd still get the black vote. I'm thinking he's far slicker than Bill. Black folk are
    suffering double than the general population. And they pretty much have to take the 
    injury on top of the insult of being played.

    Conformists

    I couldn't agree more about the notion of the country being center right at best. The so-called political pendulum
    never really swings at much at all, really. It isn't that Democrats are cowardly, or lack courage, they know exactly what they are doing. There are so many Trojan Horses in the so-called Democratic party, and all of the supposedly liberal activists do nothing to defend the defenseless. When the average Joe or Jane six-pack thinks that they have worked for everything that they have, rather than have it subsidized every step of the way, they will continue to have a decidedly conservative bent. The Limbaugh's, Hannity, or Medveds of the world can easily win over minds, by saying that ACORN, welfare moms, The Great Society, dislocated Mexican immigrants,  Muslim terrorists, etcetera, are the source of all of their ills, rather than corrupt business leaders, corrupt governance,  racism. So called leftist progressives or liberals have this information and could easily counter it but they choose not to. For example where are the liberals out there defending ACORN? Where are the liberals publicly clamoring for the end to the economic violence that is the sanctions against Zimbabwe? Where are the liberals on Haiti? Few liberals even talk about Gaza, o r truthfully about Latin America and elsewhere. 
    Question for NYCartist: Very interesting comment earlier about Obama saving the Democratic party. My question is what do you think would have happened if he hadn't been used to revive the party? I'm just wondering what the fallout would have been.
     
     
     

    Interesting

    Not sure I agree with all your points, but it's great to have a dialog about the pros and cons of Obama's presidency. Keep on debating, that's what this country needs!
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