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Freedom Rider: Obama and the Class War

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    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Back in 2006, Barack Obama sold his soul to Wall Street bankers, who then supported his run for the presidency. “Barack Obama became president because he told the Rubins and Altmans of the world that he was on their side while simultaneously convincing millions of voters that he was on theirs.”

    Freedom Rider: Obama and the Class War

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    You know, I suspect that on Social Security we’ve got a somewhat similar position.” – Barack Obama in debate with Mitt Romney

    When a Democrat gets away with austerity and wars of aggression it is truly time to admit that a new paradigm is needed.”

    Yes Virginia, there is a class war going on in America. There always has been, and the tide for working people ebbs and flows depending upon their own level of activism, world events, or economic conditions. For the past several decades working people have been losing and by growing margins with every successive presidential administration.

    Despite the phony wars between Democrats and Republicans, there is consistency at the top. Ever since the Ronald Reagan presidency Democrats and Republicans have done their best to put and keep the malefactors of great wealth, the 1%, on top. Barack Obama has done nothing to alter this awful trend. Like all of his predecessors he would never have become president if he hadn’t sided with the ruling classes.

    That simple fact explains everything the president has done to date and eliminates any pretense of mystery surrounding his actions regarding budget negotiations. His decisions to convene a deficit cutting cat food commission and to propose austerity measures including cuts to Social Security and Medicare are easily understood when the foundations of our system are understood.

    There is a nationwide casting call made up of rich, influential people who give a thumbs up or down to potential presidential candidates.”

    We do not live in a true democracy. We live in a country controlled by corporate interests and wealthy individuals. They are the rulers and they determine who does and doesn’t serve in public office and what those people can and cannot do. They choose the politicians before we know their names and Barack Obama is exhibit A in that regard. There is a nationwide casting call made up of rich, influential people who give a thumbs up or down to potential presidential candidates. The people who promise to work on their behalf get the yea vote before anyone votes in Iowa or New Hampshire. That is how the ruling class works.

    Barack Obama’s name was new to most Americans when he spoke at the 2004 Democratic convention but his presence there was proof that he already had buy-in from the movers and shakers and that he was planning his run for the presidency even then. The ambitious senator knew where his bread was buttered and showed his acumen and his loyalties early.

    In 2006 Obama was only in his second year in the senate when he spoke at an event convened by the Brooking’s Institution’s Hamilton Project, a neo-liberal think tank created by Clinton administration treasury secretary Robert Rubin and deputy secretary Roger Altman. The video of Obama’s speech shows us that the austerity measures being carried out today were being planned even then and the Rubins and Altmans of the world knew they had someone who could get away with doing what Republicans could only dream about.

    The ambitious senator knew where his bread was buttered and showed his acumen and his loyalties early.”

    The speech is a cornucopia of right wing fantasy made palatable by the supposedly liberal black man. “Too many of us have been interested in defending programs the way they were written in 1938.” “The forces of globalization have changed the rules of the game.” “The coming baby boomer retirement will only add to the challenges.” “Most of us are strong free traders.”

    Like every smooth talking politician Obama knows how to use the right language for each audience and the audience was larger than those present in the room during his speech. Barack Obama became president because he told the Rubins and Altmans of the world that he was on their side while simultaneously convincing millions of voters that he was on theirs.

    That is a recipe for electoral success. Americans are uninformed and deluded in many ways but they are not complete fools. Telling them that their Social Security benefits will be slashed is not a way to win votes. Convincing them that the other side is more evil and responsible for all the bad choices in a winner and Obama has mastered that art.

    Changing the name at the top is not the solution.”

    The fight against our own demise is not a hopeless one but it does require a level of analysis that is foreign to most people. Our system will always produce political leaders who work against our interests. It should be obvious that supporting the Democratic Party is to act against oneself. When a Democrat gets away with austerity and wars of aggression it is truly time to admit that a new paradigm is needed. The plea to stick with the Democrats should by now be completely discredited. Barack Obama has become the teflon president like his idol Ronald Reagan.

    The next Democratic president may not be as gifted at dissembling but will definitely be as beholden to the rulers as Obama is. Changing the name at the top is not the solution. Changing all the assumptions about politics is the solution. Voting for the green party or other parties will be the answer for some. Others will disengage from the political process and choose other avenues of activism.

    Yes, there is a ruling class and they will tell this president what to do before they choose the next one. It is time for everyone to decide where they stand, with the rulers or with the ruled.

    Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

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    Please think about it....

    “There is a nationwide casting call made up of rich, influential people who give a thumbs up or down to potential presidential candidates.”

    That should be obvious. If you aren't chosen by the elites, you won't get the billions of dollars donated to your campaign that you need to compete.

    Therefore, "Voting for the green party or other parties will be the answer for some," only if they don't understand the problem.

    Third party candidates, unless they are more solicitous of the rich than major party candidates, will never get a thumbs up from the rich and influential.

    So they will never be able to win. They also won't get the media coverage they'd need and they won't be allowed to participate in debates.

    If all you want is for your third party to qualify for matching federal funding, you might want to waste another forty or fifty years trying to grow your party.

    But if you want a government of, by, and for the people, you won't vote in any election where only the candidates of, by, and for the rich and influential can win.

    Sure, they'll win anyway, because the game is rigged. But you don't have to play in a rigged game where you'll always lose.

    Your vote is your consent. Do you consent to mass incarceration, torture, wars of aggression, cutting Social Security, closing schools, and giving trillions of dollars to the rich and influential?

    If you don't consent, don't vote.

    And please stop being racist and sexist. A black or female war criminal is no less evil than a white male war criminal.


    voting green?

    To Mark E. Smith: What can we do if we don't cast a vote for Green or similar party? I guess what I am asking is: What good would come of not voting at all?

    Yes, Ms. Kimberley. UPDATE

    It seems so "simple" when laid out like that.    Today I heard an interview with someone who called the economic condractictions between Obama speech and Obama action, the "too big to fail" and the population being robbed to "bail out" the criminal banksters as "insane".  It's not insane, it's smart use of age old capitalism in your face stealing with their now more brazen "yeah, we did it"...but we're "too big to fail".  People call something "insane" and "crazy" when they can't deal with the analysis because it's too big and scarey to look at capitalism, the 1per cent and recent history.  Like Howard Zinn used to say, "If you don't know history, it's like you were born yesterday and the government can tell you anything.".

    Update Apr.18: Examples from two recent radio shows-one interview and one taped speech.  Michael Parenti, in a recent speech pointed out how the very rich conservatives thru their paid media and thinktank supporters, use language (successfully) to divert and stop critical evaluation of them by saying "you're saying a conspiracy theory".  Parenti points out that this seems to deter people who would criticize, but gives examples of how the U.S. government, in its law prosecutions uses the terms "conspiracy", one example was the lawsuit against the tobacco industry, "conspiracy" was used by the government.  The other example, going to the use of "crazy" for those who you disagree with, struck me as funny, in the wee hours of the morning, when I heard a guest on the overnight show I like to call "Sea to Shining Sea" (not its real name, but I don't want to give it publicity).  In a rare instance of agreement, I did agree with the regular host that my guess is the Boston Marathon Bomber is an American.  The guest was comparing bombings of the 1960s of the "Left" to bombings by McVey and Conservatives.  He was saying that the Left bombers were "crazy", bombing labs, etc. but that McVey and militia groups (which he immediately suspected for the Okla City bombing and said he called gov't agencies who insisted for 3 days it was "Arabs" - and at the time, I too noted the racial/religious profiling by the media and that there was no proof or indication the Okla City bombing was done by "Arabs")  and here the guest goes into silliness: he was saying that McVey had ideological reasons but that the Leftist bombers were "crazy terrorists".   It was interesting he didn't note the difference in the numbers killed by Right wing extremist bomb-makers/users and the person killed by the Leftwing extremist bomb-makers/users.( * ) That was a good example of my point that people call political opponents "crazy" ....(*)I don't support bombing.  I do think I might fit "social democrat" as used by Parenti, but I'm not ideological.  He gave Norway and other Scandinavian countries as examples of social democrat gov't policies: health care for all, etc.

    Correction: I've been spelling McVeigh wrong

    A reflection of my print disability and not seeing newspapers,but learning names,etc. after getting online, and McVeigh was pre-my getting online. And I'd edit a correction if I could get back on to my original comment. 

      I empathize with and feel incredible sadness for the Muslims in this country. And anger at the bigotry, racism of the antiMuslim policies of the gov't... The Islamophobia is really in high gear, for several years. 

    Boston Marathon 2 Stooges


    So sad, so "true."

    I recall hearing on the boob tube that the FBI visited the suspects home not only BEFORE the present tragedy, but also RIGHT BEFORE one of the Bros. took off to visit Russia.  The FBI visited the abode and one of the kids still flew to Russia.

    Do you suppose?  Need spelling out?

    Given the VIRTUAL POLICE STATE we live in.  I mean. puhleez.  They had email, debit/credit, card, GPS, thermal, and Lord knows what else--bugging devices--tracking devices--satelitte devices--on these 2 poor, pathetic, pot-smoking kids...FOR YEARS PRIOR TO THE BOMBING.

    If one cannot DISCERN the breath and scope of the present SURVEILLANCE STATE and question how 2 wannabe, pot-smoking ameteurs who were tracked for 2 YEARS by the FBI (and CIA, and Home Land Security, and DIA, and any number of other alphabet agencies, AND THEIR PRIVATE SECTOR SUPPORTERS, even given the COMMERCIAL SURVEILLANCE that caught the pricks... you just don't fucking get it..  

    Listen ,Trillions are spent in Black Box Budgets, Private Contracting Budgets, Telcom Spy Budgets, Alphabet Defense and Security Budgets to track 2 sorry dicks from Chechnya.



    Are we so f***n stupid we've thrown in the towel?

    The National Security State "allowed" this to happen as a "Test Run."  We've unfortunately sunken to new lows, even worse than entrapping imbeciles, and nitwits, were are now allowing pot-heads to do the deal as experiments.  

    The Gov. has been spying on Muslims and Arabs systematically since 9-11 (hence the FBI visit to the abode BEFORE THE BOMBING AND FLIGHT TO MOSCOW) and adding insult to injury... a N**gga from Chechnya, the province that has terrorized Mother Russia for decades as a "Break Away Republic." 

    If we buy this one, goose is cooked.

    Luv to u, E.C.

    Ur response (WHEN DID THE TRILLION DOLLAR GOV AND PRIV. SECTOR AGENCIES KNOW 2 POT HEADS PURCHASED THE BOMB MATERIALS, GIVEN THEY KNEW WHEN ONE FLEW TO MOSCOW MORE THAN A YEAR BF THE INCIDENT?) will be my response to any of the 315 million thumb boobs and moronic dolts that live amongst us.  IT IS OVER.  AMERICA HAS FAILED (It was always set up for this, since we began hustlin' and killin'. 1492.  DOH!)

    Yeehaaaaaawwww!  Watch the bastard Humpty Dumpty along with all the mis-leadership class and remember the Feb 30th movement that Mr Glen Ford so brilliantly noticed.

    The Constitution is a dead letter Fascism is in full bloom

    They didn't read this cat his Miranda Rights under some national security, exigent circumstances exception.  Who'd a thunk it?  The walls and lines between domestic and international terrorism are further blurred by this incident, WHICH IS THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF IT.

    Please explain how BOMB SNIFFING DOGS that were reported on the scene didn't detect the crude bombs, please explain why the surveillance didn't detect the bomb placement, which just happened to be on the most HEAVILY TRAFFICKED AND MONITORED site in the race-- the Finish Line.

    Here's an excerpt from the Detroit Free Press:

    Also, the FBI interviewed the older brother at the request of a foreign government in 2011, and nothing derogatory was found, according to a federal law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The official did not identify the foreign country or say why it made the request.

    From The Detroit News:

    A foreign government REQUESTED the FBI (and probably CIA) to interview one of the suspects, back in 2011, the suspect boards a plane afterwards and perhaps visits the country that asked the FBI to interview him, and yet they were'nt tracked 24/7 afterwards with the instrusive machinery of the National Security/Surveillance State?  Wouldn't surprise me that the ol entrapment pattern (as CN said, they didn't need to buy the materials, they were given them) emerges.

    This pattern (as CN points out) is becoming all to familiar.  Didn't the "Depends Bomber's" (the Nigerian student who shoved a bomb in his Hanes underwear) Father called the FBI, was'nt this father a high government official in Nigeria moreover?  EVERYBODY and they mama know the person is a ticking time bomb EXCEPT the government with the greatest resources whose been given A HEADS UP!!  Puhleez.

    Either billions and trillions are being wasted on "security" or were just plain ol rubes.

    Funny how they can track and surveille Occupy Wall St. types, but "loose track" of a wannabe terrorist in the midst, pure B.S.  As we'd say in the "hood" there's some shit in the game.

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