Should we trust Dennis ever again?
Nope. He sold his soul to the devil, himself.
As Kurt Nimmo writes at Infowars:
Meanwhile, Obama managed to arm-twist one-time totalitarian care opponent Dennis Kucinich into backing the plan Democrats say they will enact without votes in Congress. Obama had summoned Kucinich to Air Force One and Dennis kissed the ring. “Even though I don’t like the bill, I’ve made a decision to support it in the hope that we can move to a more comprehensive approach once this legislation is done,” he told reporters.
Apparently Kucinich no longer consider Obama’s totalitarian care plan a sham. In October, he said the entire legislative package was “a bailout for insurance companies.” The American people are “being mandated to buy private insurance. If you read the bill, the people are going to end up paying — the insurance companies can raise rates 25 percent right off the bat, if you read the bill,” said Kucinich.
Dennis Kucinich, one of a very small number of Democrats who originally opposed Obamacare, now apparently believes it is fine and dandy for the government to force the commoners to buy health care insurance at gunpoint. He also believes large insurance corporations deserve a monopoly in partnership with the government.
Should we ever trust Dennis Kucinich again? I think not.
Dennis tried to defend his indefensible traitor action (piece of shit, lying scumbag), presented at AfterDowningStreet
Single Payer advocates explain reality to the Corporate whores, Howard Dean and John Conyers. h/t SinglePayerAction
And we also get the benefit (read as “sham”) of having the senate protect the health insurance premium double digit increases.
There may be but one way to stop this horrendous bill: Wait until the individual states sue.
Raw Story explains that Virginia will sue
(not that you would think it is a good idea from the Dem party sycophants commenting there)
Or maybe Idaho (thanks to AfterDowningStreet) for the link:
Idaho on Wednesday became the first state to pass a law saying no thanks to part of President Obama’s health care proposal.
The Idaho Health Care Freedom Act says in part, “every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty or threat of penalty.”
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, a Republican, said Wednesday he signed it because he believes any health care laws should ensure people are “treated as an individual, rather than as an amorphous mass whose only purpose in this world is to obey federal mandates.”
Several other states may follow suit.
And of course, the obvious next step in the plan is to abolish Medicare and Medicaid. Walgreens in Washington State will stop accepting medicare payments for meds (which will be the last day my family will ever shop in their stores in TN or anywhere else, for that matter)
Effective April 16, Walgreens drugstores across the state won’t take any new Medicaid patients, saying that filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition — the latest development in an ongoing dispute over Medicaid reimbursement.
The company, which operates 121 stores in the state, will continue filling Medicaid prescriptions for current patients.
In a news release, Walgreens said its decision to not take new Medicaid patients stemmed from a “continued reduction in reimbursement” under the state’s Medicaid program, which reimburses it at less than the break-even point for 95 percent of brand-name medications dispensed to Medicaid patents. (h/t PrisonPlanet)
If you want to see a non-corporately owned person explain the truth in opposition to the flip-flopping Kucinich at Democracy Now. Watch as Nader says the truth about the bill and how Dennis cannot explain himself without admitting he had to kowtow to corporate pressures.
Dennis, you know that Obama is not going to help real America. Ralph knows this and is unapologetic in explaining it.
The video at the Democracy Now link is one of the most important you can see that not only tears Dennis a new asshole, but explains exactly what is happening in this bill. Dennis, however, is owned and indebted to the Corporately owned Democratic party. And as far as I am concerned, he can have them and suck on them and do whatever it is he needs to do to kiss their ass. At least Ralph didn’t.
At the end, Dennis shows his true colors and that his dedication and motivation is to protect Obama and the Dem Party.
This, in and of itself, is enough to write him off as I have.
by Ralph Nader
After several weeks of protests at Senate hearings and health care events by single payer advocates (visit singlepayeraction.org), six physicians from Oregon, with 191 years of combined real-world medical experience, are crossing the country in a 27-foot Winnebago making stops in nearly 30 cities, to debate, educate and advance full medicare for all. Everybody in, nobody out.
Calling themselves “Mad as Hell Doctors,” these physicians are already drawing crowds and expect thousands to turn out at each city that they visit, culminating in a large arrival demonstration in front of the White House around October 1. (Visit www.madashelldoctors.com)
They have written President Obama asking for a meeting “to discuss the future of health care as well as the moral, social, and fiscal imperative of enacting a single-payer system for America at this moment in our history.”
The White House turned them down flat, not even leaving the door open for reconsideration. Mr. Obama has met countless times with the CEOs of large corporations, whose greed and callousness causes so much of this crisis. Though he believes in single payer “if we started from scratch,” he has yet to meet with any single payer delegation.
The White House has shown that it lacks smarts. The formless, waffling Obama health insurance proposal is being shattered by the Republican cluster of Limbaugh-driven lies and the Blue Dog renegades in the Democratic Party, who are busy cashing mounds of campaign checks from the so-called health business. By ignoring and excluding the majority-supported single payer approach, the White House stifles any kind of insurance reform worthy of the name.
Publicized lies are translating into fears among people who should be supporting full medicare for all. FactCheck.org reports that “a notorious analysis of the House health care bill contains 48 claims. Twenty-six of them are false, and the rest are mostly misleading. Only four are true. For example, false are claims that the bill includes an order for end-of-life plans or health care for illegal aliens or assertions that ‘your health care will be rationed.’”
So wild are the falsehoods, fueled by runaway internet traffic, that the Republican National Committee implied in a fundraising letter that Democrats may structure the overhaul in a way to deny medical treatment to Republicans!
As with war, truth is the first casualty when it comes to the health care debate. The Democratically-controlled Congress, on its return after Labor Day, needs a wide-ranging personal, evidence-based series of public House and Senate hearings to again publicize the compelling story of avoidable suffering, fraud, waste, egregious profiteering and top executive self-enrichment – all subsidized by taxpayers.
Take the enormous and shocking information researched by Harvard Professor Malcolm Sparrow-an applied mathematician whose knowledge of health care billing schemes and regulatory deficiencies is without peer.
Mr. Sparrow is no arm-chair commentator. He has dug deeply into the enormously comprehensive frauds on medicare and consumers. He has found payments for medical services ordered by deceased doctors or huge payments in treatments for deceased patients-many gone for years.
Highlighting the widespread fraud on medicare by criminal behavior, he argues that these actions should be treated as “a crime problem” not just a “claims-processing problem.” Without criminal prosecutions, there is no deterrent stopping this massive robbery.
How massive? Read these words in recent testimony by Professor Sparrow:
The units of measure for losses due to health care fraud and abuse in this country are hundreds of billions of dollars per year. We just don’t know the first digit. It might be as low as one hundred billion. More likely two or three. Possibly four or five. But whatever that first digit is, it has eleven zeroes after it. These are staggering sums of money to waste, and the task of controlling and reducing these losses warrants a great deal of serious attention.
In the early 1990s, the Congressional Government Accounting Office estimated that billing fraud accounts for 10% of health care spending annually. That would be about $250 billion this year. In 1993, Attorney General Janet Reno declared that health care fraud was the number two crime problem, after violent crime in the country.
With someone as carefully authoritative as Malcolm Sparrow, the Democrats can make this crime spree front and center during the health care debate. People want to be assured that their health insurance dollars are protected. Instead the “license to steal,” which is the title of Mr. Sparrow’s groundbreaking book, continues. And the Republicans continue to sidetrack priorities for action with seedy prevarications.
It is a remarkable commentary on the state of the White House and Congress that the Democrats appear befuddled in dealing with the kind of coarse, cruel, fear-mongering that an FDR and Lyndon Johnson would have overwhelmed and sent packing.
Meanwhile, join the “Care-A-Van” of roadtripping Oregon physicians and their efforts to bring the message of health care for all to Washington, DC.
I was banned from the fucktard’s site. No reason given, but from the number of in-coming links from there and seeing that many of the readers there agree with me that Single-Payer, Not-for-profit healthcare should be FORCED on to the table (Excuse me, people, you realize they work FOR us, right?). It seems evident that my message goes heavily against the grain in the mind of an ass-kissing sycophant who must gather whatever popularity and power he can by turning against the true needs and desires of Americans, especially Progressives.
Today, Master Ass-Kisser, himself, posted about having Nancy Pelosi on for a live chat to discuss America’s Affordable Health Choices Act
I hope that her shit is more palatable than Mr Obama’s. In my mind, all shit is something to avoid, but not Johnny Boy. Mmm Mmm.
I want to know why it is that so many American “Progressives” have suddenly stopped fighting for real change (I think I know the answer to my question). Why is it that you Sheople jump on board with a water-carrying asshat like Amato, when you know he has bedded down with the Power Mongering Demublican Party? He gets his pat on the head and a little backing and man o man having fun with those celeb’s… but what do you get?
Fucked. That’s what.
I watched this shit for 8 years as you other dumbasses fell for “The Godly Man” W and his criminally, evil ways. I watched as “Bushies” formed and basically defended and supported each and every horrific thing he and his cronies did. What I did not expect, at the time, was to have those who kept saying they wanted change to turn into Bushies. For that is precisely what Kos, C&L and many other so-called “Progressive” sites have done (become what they so hated for the last 8 years). Do you fools not see the hypocrisy and irony in your actions?
Do you realize that it is the REAL Progressives, like me, who are pushing for change and NOT willing to satisfy for the status quo of them “letting us eat cake”? That those fake progressive sites are now nothing more than a caricature of their previous object of their hatred, the Bushies.
But there is a way even without these slaves to the Dem Party. Let me show you how another REAL Progressive without the shit on his lips addresses this issue:
Did you see that, Johnny Boy? How about the rest of you jerkoffs who are only capable of toeing the line they want you to toe? Aren’t you embarrassed to call yourselves Progressive when regression and capitulation is your only method? You see Johnny Boy, when someone is a Patriot, they don’t fall on their knees and gobble the Elitist goober just to stroke their own ego. They stand up to the ones that are standing in the way of PROGRESS.
What I am saying is that these money-grubbing, ass-licking, water-carrying sites like Amatos’ are just the other face of the Two Party system. With John, he is too ignorant to have planned it, so I can only assume that he is simply liking the attention, money and the time he gets to sit with Arianna and the few opportunities he gets to speak with Olbermann. I don’t know what, exactly, it is about these folks, except it must be some sense of need for attention and the limelight. It sure as hell isn’t about what is best for this country.
The other explanation would be that they are complicit. I don’t think so. John isn’t smart enough.
But, he is dumb enough to allow the Demublican Party to rule what the agenda for his site is. This is obvious when it comes to one of the most crucial issues facing us today… our healthcare. Unfortunately, he and those others are unaware or just plain too stupid to see how what they are ass-kissing about is going to be a dismal failure and we will have them and their stupid ass-kissing fools to blame for it.
Thank goodness we have a different voice than the sycophantic ass-kissers out there:
D Is For Deception
Yesterday, the House Democrats unveiled their health care reform bill.
Even if it passes, it is bound to fail.
Because it keeps the insurance industry in the game.
It will cost a trillion dollars over ten years.
It won’t cover tens of millions of Americans.
It won’t control costs.
And it’s a bailout for the insurance industry.
Only a single payer — everybody in, nobody out — national health insurance bill (co-sponsored by 85 members of the House — most recently by Congressman John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania)) will hit the grand slam — cover everyone, save money, control costs, and fix a broken health care system.
But what struck me yesterday while watching the Democrats was the depth of their deception.
There was Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
Both heaping praise upon and honoring Congressman John Dingell (D-Michigan).
And his father — John Dingell, Sr.
John Dingell, Sr. represented Michigan’s 15th district for 22 years until his death in 1955.
John Dingell, Jr. has represented the district ever since.
But not once during the press conference did anyone mention that it was John Dingell, Sr. who first introduced a single payer bill in Congress in 1943.
And it was Democratic leaders in Congress and President Barack Obama who took single payer off the table.
The Republicans will tell you straight up — we’re for big business.
Single payer is socialism.
And that’s why we’re against single payer.
When the Democrats are out of power, they will tell you what you want to hear — we’re for single payer.
They then take power, and all of a sudden, they are against single payer.
Take Henry Waxman (D-California) as a case in point.
For years, Henry Waxman was a co-sponsor of HR 676 — the single payer bill in the House.
Until earlier this year, when he became part of the leadership in the House.
Then Waxman took his name off the single payer bill.
In 2003, Barack Obama said he was for single payer.
Obama said at the time that we would have single payer in America only when the Democrats took back the White House and Congress.
Last year, Obama and the Democrats took back the White House and Congress.
And now President Obama is opposed to single payer.
The reality is that there is only one solution to the health care crisis — get the insurance companies out of health care.
The Democrats are now engaged in what Dr. Marcia Angell — former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine — calls “the futility of piecemeal tinkering.”
Angell and a majority of doctors in the United States — and a majority of the American people — believe that only a major single payer overhaul will get the job done.
That’s why we’re challenging the Democrats around the country.
And we will continue to challenge them, and the health insurance industry to whom they are beholden, until single payer becomes a reality in America.
We’re in it for the long haul.
Thanks to your generosity, Single Payer Action has directly confronted Democratic leaders including:
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-California)
Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York)
Senator Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland)
First Lady Michelle Obama
Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut)
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)
White House Health Czar Nancy Ann DeParle
Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana).
And we’re planning to ratchet up the confrontation when Congress heads home for the August recess.
We have more than 20 single payer activists in our network now — and the list continues to grow.
The idea is to build a national core group of activists who will challenge members of Congress in non-violent direct confrontation.
To demand an answer — why are you ignoring the plight of the American people?
And to demand action — put single payer on the table now.
We need your help now to fund and expand this network in time for next month’s Congressional recess.
So, please, donate now — whatever you can afford — $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000.
So that we can confront the corporate Democrats in August.
And remember, only two days left on our special book offer.
If you donate $100 or more now, we will send you a copy, hot off the press, of Theresa Amato’s hard cover, 379-page masterpiece — Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny (The New Press, June 2009).
Autographed by Ralph Nader — who wrote the foreword to the book.
Phil Donahue said this about Grand Illusion: “Theresa Amato takes the biggest swing — not a jab, but a roundhouse punch — at America’s corrupt electoral system.”
So, don’t delay.
Please donate now.
So that we can challenge the corporate Democrats on their home turf in August.
Together, we can make the difference.
Onward to a life-saving, cost-saving single payer.
Senator Dick Durbin said last week that the banks own Congress.
But they don’t come close to the hammerlock their brothers in the health insurance and drug companies have over the place.
The drug companies and health insurance companies control every nook and cranny on the Hill.
If you doubt it, look no further than the events of the past two weeks at the Senate Finance Committee.
Committee chair Senator Max Baucus called a full 28 witnesses for two hearings on health care reform.
Senator Baucus called on the Business Roundtable.
He called on the Heritage Foundation.
He called on the lobby known as America’s Health Insurance Plans.
But not one of the 28 witnesses called by Baucus supported what the majority of the American people want.
And what the majority of doctors, nurses and health economists want.
Single payer, full Medicare for all, everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital health care.
And so, Single Payer Action decided to act.
Last week, eight citizens – including three doctors – led by Single Payer Action – simply demanded that Baucus add a seat at the table for a single payer advocate.
Instead of adding a seat at the table, Baucus called for the police.
The eight were arrested, handcuffed, and charged with so-called “disruption of Congress.”
The police left behind undisturbed the horde of corporate lobbyists accustomed to “the purchase of Congress.”
This week, two doctors, two nurses, and a citizen from Maine – inspired by the actions of the Baucus 8 – rose and simply demanded that Baucus add a single payer advocate to the witness list.
Again, Baucus refused.
And again, Baucus called for the police.
Now it’s the Baucus 13.
Single Payer Action will not rest until America gets what every other Western industrialized country has – universal, not-for-profit, health care – everybody in, nobody out.
And more humane.
Thanks to your generous help, the launch of Single Payer Action is one of the more successful launches of a citizen action organization in recent memory.
Single Payer Action has gained widespread publicity – on National Public Radio, Democracy Now, in Politico, the Associated Press, and the National Journal.
Opportunity is knocking.
Now we must open the door.
Single Payer Action will pick it’s battles wisely.
And use its resources frugally.
To defeat the insurance and drug industries.
And secure single payer national health insurance for all Americans.
Sooner rather than later. (Because at least 60 Americans die every day from lack of health insurance.)
If you have donated already, thank you for being part of this great launch.
And remember – this is the last day to take advantage of our great two-book offer.
If you give $100 or more by midnight tonight, we will send you two galvanizing books that concisely detail the case for single payer in America.
Remember, this two-book offer ends tonight at midnight.
So, donate now.
We’re building one million Americans strong for single payer.
Let’s get it done together – for all Americans.
And for future generations.
Onward to single payer
Ralph Nader was right.
Last year, Ralph Nader ran for President.
I was Ralph’s national campaign coordinator.
During the campaign, Ralph called it as he saw it.
DC was a corporate prison.
The Democrats and Republicans were beholden to corporate America.
The corporate Obama we saw on the campaign trail in 2008 wouldn’t be much different just because he became President Obama and moved into the White House in 2009.
As usual, Ralph was right.
Exhibit A: Health insurance.
Today, fifty million Americans are uninsured.
According to the Institute of Medicine, 22,000 Americans die every year from a lack of health insurance.
Obama knows that a Canadian style single payer national health insurance system – everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctors and hospitals – will bring these numbers down to zero.
Zero people are uninsured in Canada.
Zero people die every year in Canada due to lack of health insurance.
Yet, during the 2008 campaign, Obama took single payer off the table.
It’s still off the table in the corporate prison that is Washington, D.C.
This despite the fact that, according to the most recent polls, the majority of Americans, doctors, nurses, health economists and even small businesses want single payer.
Even a young Obama wanted single payer.
Before he became the politician that he is today.
Obama still knows what the answer is – single payer.
Yet he bows down before the ever powerful for-profit health and drug insurance industries.
That’s just the seedy reality inside the beltway today.
The burning question outside is:
What are we going to do about it?
And the answer is:
We are going to deliver single payer for the American people.
To get the job done, we have launched – Single Payer Action.
Over the past couple of months, Single Payer Action has been out for a test drive.
We’ve been kicking the tires.
And things are looking good.
Single Payer Action exposed PBS Frontline for deliberately tilting its documentary “Sick Across America” to reflect an insurance industry bias.
The one-hour documentary never once mentioned single payer.
Single Payer Action activists burned their insurance bills outside a meeting of the health insurance industry’s main lobbying group in Washington, D.C.
Single Payer Action blew open the story about how Obama tried to bar single payer advocates from the White House health care summit last month.
As a result of that reporting, Obama was forced to admit two single payer advocates inside the White House gates for the summit.
And in West Virginia last month, a group of Single Payer Action belly dancers drew widespread attention when they shook it up for single payer at the Martinsburg offices of Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
Last year, after the campaign, we wrote to you promising action on single payer.
Action time has arrived.
Now, we need your help.
We believe that together with one million Americans working for single payer we can get it done.
Single Payer Action will be organizing outside the beltway, in Congressional districts around the country.
But right now, we need to raise $30,000 to propel Single Payer Action to the next level.
We want to organize creative, dramatic actions at congressional offices in as many districts as possible in coming weeks.
And we need your help to make that happen.
So, please donate now whatever you can – $10, $25, $50, $100 – to Single Payer Action.
If you donate $100 or more by May 14, 2009, we will send you two galvanizing books that concisely detail the case for single payer in America.
To make single payer a reality in America.
Let’s get it done.
PS: This two book offer ends 11:59 p.m. May 14 2009. So don’t miss out. Donate now.
And don’t forget to sign up at singlepayeraction.org.
There are unsung heroes that predicted what is happening to our country. Ralph Nader was one, but he writes about 10 others who, for years, have been trying to tell us that this was on its way… that our very government was owned by corporations and would kowtow to their directives. I join Ralph Nader and Dandelion Salad in recognizing these folks. From The Nader Page (h/t Dandelion Salad):
Why is it that well regarded people working the fields of corporate power and performance who repeatedly predicted the Wall Street bubble and its bursting receive so little media and attention?
Instead, the public is still being exposed to the comments and writings of people like Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, James Glassman (of Dow 36,000 notoriety) while others like Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, and Gary Gensler are newly-appointed at high levels in the Obama Administration. These men were variously architects, rationalizers and implementers of the massive de-regulation and non-regulation that unleashed the epic forces of greed, speculation and ruination of millions of livelihoods and trillions of dollars other peoples’ money worldwide.
Here are some of the people who got it right—early and often:
1. William Greider—author and columnist with The Nation magazine—wrote books (including Secrets of the Temple, 1988) and articles warning about the Federal Reserve and the anti-democratic consequences of rampant corporate globalization.
2. Robert Kuttner whose books (e.g. Everything for Sale, 1999) and articles predicted what will happen to workers and pensions when the regulatory state is tossed aside by the corporatists operating inside and outside of government.
3. Jim Hightower whose books (If the Gods Has Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates, 2000) and the monthly mass circulation Hightower Lowdown newsletter pointed out again and again the abuses of the “greedhounds” and vastly overpaid corporate bosses that have run consumers of health care, credit, cars and banks into the ground.
4. Nomi Prins (Other Peoples Money, 2004) a former managing director of Goldman Sachs, quit in disgust and began disclosing how these giant Wall St. firms deal and how, with their ideological backers, they wove their webs of deception and fraud against investors, students borrowing money for college, taxpayers ripped off by corporate contractors, sick people gouged and insurance companies denying legitimate claims. (See her book Jacked: How “Conservatives” Are Picking Your Pocket, 2008)
5. John R. MacArthur, author (The Selling of “Free Trade”, 2001) columnist and publisher of Harpers, authored a sharp, prophetic criticism of NAFTA’s effect on U.S. and Mexican workers. Finally, on March 24, 2009 the New York Times featured a report titled “NAFTA’s Promise, UNfulfilled.”
6. Robert A.G. Monks—the leading shareholder rights advocate in our country warned for years in books (latest Corpocracy, 2008) , articles, testimony and standup challenges at corporate annual meetings that keeping investors—the owners of these companies—powerless and dominated by corporate executives would lead to big trouble. Everyday, you can now see the ways that avaricious abuses of executive compensation by Wall Street led to cooking the books, hiding the debts and wildly losing other peoples’ money.
7. Tom Stanton, whose 1991 book State of Risk, exposed the dangerously undercapitalized condition of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and predicted coming disaster if this reckless leveraging continued. By comparison, a year ago Fannie and Freddie’s federal regulator, James B. Lockhart III called fears of a bailout “nonsense” and amazingly further lowered the required capital levels months before their collapse and takeover a few months later. Mr. Lockhart is still in his job heading a new regulatory entity over these two goliaths.
8. Republican Kevin Phillips, (latest book Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, 2007) whose numerous writings on Wall Street power and money and the dictatorial rule of the plutocracy were wise, historically—rooted premonitions of future collapse.
9. Dean Baker, (latest Plunder and Blunder, 2004) Washington-based economist, warned repeatedly earlier in this decade of the housing bubble and the calamitous consequences once it burst. He even sold his own home in 2004 and became a tenant, so convinced was he of the housing precipice.
10. Then there is Naomi Klein who has been documenting how economic disasters produced by corporations and their governmental cohorts end up not with reforms but with further increasing the power of the corporate state. (See Shock Doctrine the Rise of Disaster Capitalism, 2007)
Chances are that outside the independent media and an occasional public tv-radio interview, you have not seen or read them in the mass media. But they were right, so why haven’t you? Well, first of all, they took on commercial interests and called them out by name and specific misdeeds. Take it from one who knows, big advertisers do not hesitate to let their media outlets know about their displeasure. Publishers, editors and producers will deny being affected by such realities of the bottom line but money talks—not always but enough to screen out or marginalize the provocative early warners.
Second, these early warners are not like their counterparts such as the market fundamentalists and other active corporatists in the world of writers and commentators. The latter meet and plan often and ferociously attach themselves to political and corporate leaders. While the progressive forecasters do not connect either with each other or with their policy allies on Capitol Hill as much. The media likes to see growing power like that of the intertwined Heritage Foundation with the Reagan regime and their supporters in Congress.
Third, there is this sense that these progressives are exposing conditions that the reporters themselves should be revealing. So why not publish staff-driven magazine-style features instead of publicizing outsiders and covering an unfolding story as reportage. Journalistic prizes go to the former. But, they’re not the same either in reader impact or for change.
Finally, there are establishment figures who tried, in their own way, to blow the whistle—James Grant, Henry Kaufman and, twenty five years ago, Felix Rohatyn come to mind. Their astute alarms regarding excessive risk-taking were ignored. They are not getting much media play either.
Maybe it’s also a cultural thing. Big book deals, radio talk shows, promotions and quotable celebrity status go to the rogues, the grossly negligent, the suppressors of truth and the wrongdoers. They’re just so much more exciting!
This is a fast road to a state of decay.
I recently participated in a poll that the Nader organization asked its subscribers to chime in on. Since so many people consider me a freak for endorsing Nader, I wonder how these issues fit within the other’s agenda. You can take the poll, yourself, but just as well, go see the results broken down in a variety of ways.
In addition to ranking the top choices of all the respondents, as summarized in the e-mail, we also weighted the results based on a simple system in which we gave 5 “points” to each respondent’s first choice, 4 to the second choice, 3 to the third, 2 points to the fourth choice, and 1 point to the fifth. The top chart at the right (red bars) shows the percentage of the weighted total “votes” received by each of the issues.
The charts that follow show the distribution of the responses in the individual issue categories from 1 (most important) to 5.
You can read the information at the link below:
Some points of interest from the results:
So, how much do you Obamites differ from these desires? Would you rank anything differently? Do you expect Obama to pursue these issues?
I still have several friends who are touting the new president and posting shit about him with abandon. They seem like they have seen Christ, Himself. But, even within the same posts, I see where the Savior has lied to get where he is and these posters seem totally oblivious to his flip-flopping -or- since he is the Messiah, they don’t care.
Let me tell you, all you Obama-ites, this man is NOT what you think he is. It is obvious and has been obvious since he started the run. He is no progressive and certainly not liberal and if you are and you voted for the man, then you voted for an illusion.
I will sit back and watch as those who fought most desperately for him, defending him against “me” (a realist, apparently) and my “unfair” attacks against the man (altho, I have only pointed out the hypocrisy and blindness of him and his followers). That hurts and no one likes to have their stupid ass brainwashing illuminated for the world to see. To make it worse, we have people like Markos attacking the people who were right about the issues, even though their man did not get elected, and it is obvious that the entire kos sheople group has become Obama Maniacs, even though the site was started under rationale to fight against wars and lies by the POTUS. Its the same for the fine people at Crooks and Liars. To be able to hob nob and rub elbows with the Elite, Amato and Moulaitas have succombed to the lies and bullshit.
I read this article from SFGate this morning and it reassures me that within a few months to a year, I will be perfectly able to say, “I told you so.”
Somehow there is no gratification in that, since most people are too far gone to even realize what the man has been saying is AGAINST their interests. Mostly because he was a black man… different than the power structure you are used to, but still beholden to the very same power structure.
I hold you Obama sheople accountable for the “change” that will NOT happen. You and your “hope” is full of shit.
By Robert Scheer
Maybe Ralph Nader was right in predicting that the same Wall Street hustlers would have a lock on our government no matter which major party won the election. I hate to admit it, since it wasn’t that long ago that I heatedly challenged Nader in a debate on this very point.
But how else is one to respond to Barack Obama’s picking the very folks who helped get us into this financial mess to now lead us out of it? Watching the president-elect’s Monday introduction of his economic team, my brother-in-law Pete said, “You can see the feathers coming out of their mouths” as the foxes were once again put in charge of the henhouse. He didn’t have time to expound on his point, having to get ready to go sort mail in his job at the post office, but he showed me a statement from Citigroup showing that the interest rate on Pete the Postal Worker’s credit card was 28.9 percent, an amount that all major religions would justly condemn as usurious.
Moments earlier, Obama had put his seal of approval on the Citigroup bailout, which his new economic team, led by protégés of Citigroup Executive Committee Chairman Robert Rubin, enthusiastically endorsed. A bailout that brings to $45 billion the taxpayer money thrown at Citigroup and the guarantee of $306 billion for the bank’s “toxic securities” that would have been illegal if not for changes in the law that Citigroup secured with the decisive help of Rubin and Lawrence Summers, the man who replaced him as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration.
As Summers stayed on to ensure passage of deregulatory laws that enabled enormous banking greed, Rubin was rewarded with a $15 million-a-year executive position at Citigroup, a job that only got more lucrative as the bank went from one disaster, beginning with its involvement with Enron in which Rubin played an active role, to its huge role in the mortgage debacle. It is widely acknowledged that Citigroup fell victim to a merger mania, which Rubin and Summers made legal during their tenure at Treasury.
Yet despite that dismal record of dismantling sound regulation, Summers has been picked by Obama to be the top White House economic adviser and another Rubin disciple, Timothy Geithner, is the new Treasury secretary. Geithner, thanks in part to the strong recommendation of Rubin, had been appointed chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank after working for Rubin and Summers during the Clinton years. Once at the New York Fed, he was the main government official charged with regulating Citigroup, a task at which he obviously failed. Yet over the weekend, it was Geithner who hammered out the Citigroup bailout deal with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and a very actively involved Rubin.
As the Washington Post reported, Paulson had indicated last week that no further bailouts were planned before the new administration took office until “Rubin, an old colleague from Goldman Sachs, told Paulson in phone calls that the government had to act.” Rubin conceded in an interview with the Post that he had played a key role in the politics of the bailout.
This outrageous conflict of interest in which Rubin gets to exploit his ties to both the outgoing and incoming administrations was best described by Washington Post writer Steven Pearlstein: “The ultimate irony, of course, is that just as Rubin and Co. at Citi were being bailed out by the Bush Administration, President-elect Barack Obama was getting set to announce a new economic team drawn almost entirely from Rubin acolytes.”
As opposed to the far tougher deal negotiated on the bailout of AIG, the arrangement with Citigroup leaves the executives, including Rubin, who brought Citigroup to the brink of ruin, still in charge. Nor is there any guarantee of the value of the mortgage bundles that taxpayers will be guaranteeing. That is because, as candidate Obama clearly stated in his major economics address back in March, the deregulation pushed though during the Clinton years ended transparency in banking.
Why then has he appointed the very people responsible for this disaster to now make it all better? Why not ask him? Heck, yes, it is time for the many of us who responded to his e-mails during the campaign to now challenge our e-mail buddy as to why he suddenly acts as if the interests of Wall Street and Main Street are one and the same.
Oh please, Robert. The answer is that he duped you all, even though he was saying it all along. The “Progressives” that got him elected have become complacent and stupid, nor have they been paying attention.
By RALPH NADER
While the liberal intelligentsia was swooning over Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, I counseled “prepare to be disappointed.” His record as a Illinois state and U.S. Senator, together with the many progressive and long overdue courses of action he opposed during his campaign, rendered such a prediction unfortunate but obvious.
Now this same intelligentsia is beginning to howl over Obama’s transition team and early choices to run his Administration. Having defeated Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primaries, he now is busily installing Bill Clinton’s old guard. Thirty one out of forty seven people that he has named so far for transition or appointments have ties to the Clinton Administration, according to Politico. One Clintonite is quoted in the Washington Post as saying – “This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time.”
Obama’s “foreign policy team is now dominated by the Hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990,” writes Jeremy Scahill. Obama’s transition team reviewing intelligence agencies and recommending appointments is headed by John Brennan and Jami Miscik, who worked under George Tenet when the CIA was involved in politicizing intelligence for, among other officials, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s erroneous address before the United Nations calling for war against Iraq.
Mr. Brennan, as a government official, supported warrantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition to torturing countries. National Public Radio reported that Obama’s reversal when he voted for the revised FISA this year relied on John Brennan’s advise.
For more detail on these two advisers and others recruited by Obama from the dark old days, see Democracy Now, November 17, 2008 and Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet, Nov. 20, 2008 “This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House.”
The top choice as White House chief of staff is Rahm Emanuel—the ultimate hard-nosed corporate Democrat, military-foreign policy hawk and Clinton White House promoter of corporate globalization, as in NAFTA and the World Trade Organization.
Now, recall Obama’s words during the bucolic “hope and change” campaign months: “The American people…understand the real gamble is having the same old folks doing things over and over and over again and somehow expecting a different result.” Thunderous applause followed these remarks.
“This is more ‘Groundhog Day’ then a fresh start,” asserted Peter Wehner, a former Bush adviser who is now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
The signs are amassing that Barack Obama put a political con job over on the American people. He is now daily buying into the entrenched military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address.
With Robert Rubin on his side during his first photo opportunity after the election, he signaled to Wall Street that his vote for the $750 billion bailout of those speculators and crooks was no fluke (Rubin was Clinton’s financial deregulation architect in 1999 as Secretary of the Treasury before he became one of the hugely paid co-directors tanking Citigroup.)
Obama’s apologists say that his picks show he wants to get things done, so he wants people who know their way around Washington. Moreover, they say, the change comes only from the president who sets the priorities and the courses of action, not from his subordinates. This explanation assumes that a president’s appointments are not mirror images of the boss’s expected directions but only functionaries to carry out the Obama changes.
If you are inclined to believe this improbable scenario, perhaps you may wish to review Obama’s record compiled by Matt Gonzalez at Counterpunch.
Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions.
I will be dropping this subject after this post, but I felt like I had to address the madness of Nader hate over this subject. Anyone who knows anything about the man knows he never intended a racist thing towards the president elect. He said well of him and then said that Mr Obama had to make the choice of being an Uncle Sam (a patriot) or a toadie to the white man corporate run machine (Uncle Tom). He used a term a bit more harsh, but perfectly apt and descriptive of the thought (except to a few thin-skinned folk or those looking for a fight).
It is sad how he has taken a wrap over his usage of words simply because most people seemingly do not understand English and its nuances (especially when it is a mind like Nader’s speaking). They seemed more focused on trying to find the evil intent to make him some sort of Boogie Man.
Many of you know that I supported Nader for a variety of reasons. Mainly because he is correct and has been correct over all the important issues; notwithstanding his work in establishing and running several consumer protectionist agencies and companies. Working hard for YOU and ME his entire life. I can also say that during this entire campaign, I can not find a single individual that wanted to debate the issues that each candidate stood for and how Barack failed between the two. Not once and I asked many. Most voted for McCain. Oh well.
So my estimation is that the best man for the job (right now in history) was not elected. So be it. Now let’s move on. But don’t do so by trying to discredit the man for something he never meant as harm. By saying he is “irrelevant” when it was the system that kept him out of most of America’s sight.
John at jperryam recorded a video that mimics my feelings very closely and if you want to bitch about a couple of words that are “hurtful” someway, maybe you should also be outraged over a few other issues that Barack Obama FAILED on and Nader SUCCEEDED on.
On a side note, read the words the man said and tell me in a straight face that he “called” Barack Obama an Uncle Tom. Or even meant the man harm in any way. He offered a challenge that each and every one of you should also challenge the man with.
But no. It is more important to find some false assault on sensitivities than hold the damn man’s feet to the fire (the man YOU just elected).
Get some priorities, Please?
Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch interviewed Ralph Nader on Nov 5 and Ralph explains how The Corporations control America and Barack Obama. Very illuminating and well-done interview:
AC: In 2000,you drew nearly 10,000 people to a speech in Portland, Oregon. This year you got barely 2,000 in in the whole of Multnomah County where Portland lies, perhaps the most progressive county in the nation. Is this a sign of the withering of the progressive ggleft or the dead end of independent political campaigns?
Nader: It’s a sign of the swoon in the voting booth by people who told pollsters that they were going to vote for me at a level of 4 to 7 million; that is, 6 per cent nationally in the summer and 3 per cent the day before the election, according to CNN. In Washington DC district Obama got 94 per cent. I said to people, how many years have you known me? And they answered, it’s a historic occasion. I wanted to be part of history. The real issue in this campaign is the voters. These are people who knew all about Obama’s flipflops, his support for offshore drilling, for FISA, his role as the number one corporate cadidate.
When you in prison and you’re told you can’t get out and to chose between TB and cancer you’ll chose. It’s beyond politics, it’s psychology. This is what happens when we’re trapped in the winner take all closed system, watching tv.
The pattern is: Progressive politics for three years, and in the fourth year it renews itself with heavy doses of regressive politics and charges forward again.
I thought we’d get two to three millon votes. We had a huge internet presence.
AC: How many votes did you get? This year and in the last two campaigns?
Probably 700,000. In 2000 it was 2.8 million. In 2004, 450,000. But those figures don’t tell the story. In New York this time for example it was almost impossible to find me on the ballot.
AC What about you calling him an Uncle Tom on Fox?
Nader: On Fox I said that as the first African American president we wish him well. The question is, will he be Uncle Sam for the people or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations which are driving America into the ground. Fox cut it off after “corporations”.
He is less vulnerable to criticism and harder to criticize because of his race. When I said he was talking White Man’s talk, the PC people got really upset.
It doesn’t matter that he sides with destruction of the Palestinians, and sides with the embargo. It doesn’t matter that he turns his back on 100 million people and won’t even campaign in minority areas. It doesn’t matter than he wants a bigger military budget, and an imperial foreign policy supporting various adventures of the Bush administration. It doesn’t matter that he’s for the death penalty ,which is targeted at minorities. But if you say one thing that isn’t PC, you get their attention. I tell college audiences, a gender, racial or ethnic slur gets you upset, reality doesn’t get you upset.
Can Obama speak truth to the white power structure? There’s every indication he doesn’t want to. For example, in February he stiffed the State of the Black Union annual meeting in New Orleans. He’s a very accommodating personality.
AC: Ralph, Why do you think Ron Paul was able to excite younger voters and you weren’t?
Nader: Ron Paul? There’s the novelty aspect. It was his first try. He hasn’t been losing. He gets the hard core people focused on the gold standard, and abolishing the federal reserve. The “Get government off our back”, rock-ribbed Goldwater people. He says the things mainstream Republicans can’t.
AC: Are the Republicans down for the count for a while?
Nader: Any time there’s a terrorist attack they’re back in business. Enough people will soon forget what Bush and Co actually did. At the moment conservatives have been subjected to Obama’s shock and awe, but they still have all these social issues. As a candidate Obama dodged the Gay Marriage Ban ballot, but they’ll throw the social issues at him. The Republican inventory is intact: “tax and spend”, “over regulation”, plus all these social issues.
AC Does Palin have a future?
AC: How about the liberals and the left now?
Nader: The real crisis is the self-destruction of the liberal progressive community. It’s got nowhere to go, other than to renew its three out of four year cycle of criticism of the Democrats. They’ve nowhere to go because they’ve made no demands. He’s been a candid right-center Democrat and they’ve given him a free ride. No demands. From Labor? No demands. He gave them a sop on the card check. He campaigned for two years, promised blacks nothing, Latinos nothing, women’s groups nothing, labor nothing. Contrast the lack of demands on the liberal progressive side to what the Limbaugh crowd exacted from McCain.
AC: You think Michael Moore could have made some demands in return for his support?
Nader: Moore knows were his bread is buttered. He’s seen what the Hollywood set and the others did to me.
AC: How do you see the next phase playing out?
Nader: Obama faces three crises: wars overseas, economic collapse and the deficit. They can’t use fiscal policy very much, so he’s going to be strapped by things like Medicare.
He’s got along on general rhetoric, but now each decision will shake some section of the liberal constituency.
They need to launch a comprehensive program dealing with poverty, low income housing, corruption and extortion in the ghettoes, and doubling the minimum wage to compensate for inflation.
They need to address the right of labor to form trade unions without coming up against the steel wall of Taft Hartley
Health insurance? He’ll extend tax supports which will give the insurance companies more business. He should deal with drug prices, but that’s a battle he won’t undertake.
How’s he going to deal with the auto companies which are in deep trouble? Take the proposed GM-Chrysler merger hich makes no sense and will mean lay-offs for 90,000 workers. If people don’t want the cars then the sacrifices and subsidies are to no avail.
The only way this guy can ever get his head above water is if he is courageous. What he’s basically doing so far is giving the Clinton crowd a second chance. Rahm Emanuel? He’s the worst of Clinton. Spokesman for Wall Street, Israel, globalization.
Second: demilitarize foreign policy, establishing the international stability that flows from our becoming a respectful but energetic humanitarian superpower, confronting world issues like drinking water and infectious diseases.
He has to reverse course on Afghanistan. As Ashraf Ghani former finance minister for Karzai has said, the approach to Afghanistan should be the need for justice, the fundamental basis of all public order.
Third, he’s got to develop economic policy for the greatest good for the greatest number. Public works not bailout. Put money where it matters.
He’s got to say to the rich and powerful, you have to give up your greed. It should be a two-track presidency, dealing with issues day to day, and strengthening the fiber of democratic society. That’s partly a matter of shareholder authority, worker-owned pension funds, which is a third of Wall Street. If every such fund was given the authority to control what they own, it wd be over. Look at all institutional shareholderd in Fannies. Their holdings are worth one per cent of what they were and these were the second safest investments after Treasuries! Believe in first principles: what you own, you control. If you screw up you’re free to sink — the first and second principles of capitalism.
I’m going to write Obama a letter in the next month saying, what you have to do is a pre-State of the union where you lay out exactly where the Bush Administration has left America, in category after category, so you will not be hung with it. In the pre-state of the union, Obama should say, This is the mess
Second, Obama has to cut the sequence of war crimes and high crimes and misdeameanours. If not, he’ll become a war criminal himself within a month. Shut down Guantanamo with strict directives, no torture. If he continue his policies, then he’ll become a war criminal. If you going to restore the rule of law, you have got to draw the line between what you’re going to do and what you refuse to inherit. Then it’s a real fresh start.
Obama’s a guy who’s got away with a ten minute speech for two years. He won too easily. He didn’t have to respond to the liberal constituencies. He’s really had it very easy, because he had an easy act to challenge and an easy act to follow ,
AC: How do you feel about your run?
Nade: I’m happy I ran, because the alternative is total surrender. I carried the banner to 50 states. I surprised myself. Look at the abolitionist Liberty Party in the mid-19th century. It didn’t get a tenth of one per cent. Did you think those people wasted their vote? We were quite successful this time in beating back ballot access barriers , in Arizona and Ohio. It’s like the early stages of fighting Jim Crow laws.
AC: The history of third parties over the past thirty years is not very encouraging.
Nader: We’re advancing majoritarian programs and the majority voters are trapped into the two party choice This is what happens. Obama sank public funding. Not only did he betray the principle and therefore shattered his credibility. In so outdoing he way outraised McCain. I read the trade literature. Not one of these industries — banking, insurance, automotive, oil, agribusiness, international trade – is worried. They’re all totally calm. The corporate state moves on.
Corporate power has unique characteristics. It is perfectly willing and able to corrupt, regardless of sexual or ethnic preference. It offers equal opportunities to be corrupted or coopted . That’s why it’s very difficult for the civil community, which is affected by principles, nuances, honest disagreements, to confront the monistically commercial corporations. No one says ‘the big debate inside Exxon is whether to go more for oil or solar. That’s why every religion in the world, in their scriptures, issues a warning not to give too much power to the merchant class. The commercial instinct is relentless, consistent, limitless in achieving its goal. It will run rough-shod to destroy, co-opt or dilute civic and spiritual values that stand in its way.
By Ralph Nader
Dear Senator Obama:
In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words “hope and change,” “change and hope” have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not “hope and change” but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo.
Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?
To advance change and hope, the presidential persona requires character, courage, integrity‹not expediency, accommodation and short-range opportunism. Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Eric Alterman summarized numerous polls in a December 2007 issue of The Nation magazine showing that AIPAC policies are opposed by a majority of Jewish-Americans.
You know quite well that only when the U.S. Government supports the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements, that years ago worked out a detailed two-state solution (which is supported by a majority of Israelis and Palestinians), will there be a chance for a peaceful resolution of this 60-year plus conflict. Yet you align yourself with the hard-liners, so much so that in your infamous, demeaning speech to the AIPAC convention right after you gained the nomination of the Democratic Party, you supported an undivided Jerusalem, and opposed negotiations with Hamas, the elected government in Gaza. Once again, you ignored the will of the Israeli people who, in a March 1, 2008 poll by the respected newspaper Haaretz, showed that 64% of Israelis favored direct negotiations with Hamas. Siding with the AIPAC hard-liners is what one of the many leading Palestinians advocating dialogue and peace with the Israeli people was describing when he wrote Anti-semitism today is the persecution of Palestinian society by the Israeli state.
During your visit to Israel this summer, you scheduled a mere 45 minutes of your time for Palestinians with no news conference, and no visit to Palestinian refugee camps that would have focused the media on the brutalization of the Palestinians. Your trip supported the illegal, cruel blockade of Gaza in defiance of international law and the United Nations charter. You focused on southern Israeli casualties which during the past year have totaled one civilian casualty to every 400 Palestinian casualties on the Gaza side. Instead of a statesmanship that decried all violence and its replacement with acceptance of the Arab League’s 2002 proposal to permit a viable Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in return for full economic and diplomatic relations between Arab countries and Israel, you played the role of a cheap politician, leaving the area and Palestinians with the feeling of much shock and little awe.
David Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, described your trip succinctly: There was almost a willful display of indifference to the fact that there are two narratives here. This could serve him well as a candidate, but not as a President.
Palestinian American commentator, Ali Abunimah, noted that Obama did not utter a single criticism of Israel, of its relentless settlement and wall construction, of the closures that make life unlivable for millions of Palestinians. …Even the Bush administration recently criticized Israeli’s use of cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians [see http://www.atfl.org for elaboration]. But Obama defended Israeli’s assault on Lebanon as an exercise of its legitimate right to defend itself.
In numerous columns Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, strongly criticized the Israeli government’s assault on civilians in Gaza, including attacks on the heart of a crowded refugee camps with horrible bloodshed in early 2008.
Israeli writer and peace advocate, Uri Avnery, described Obama’s appearance before AIPAC as one that broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning, adding that Obama is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests. After all, the US has a vital interest in achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace that will allow it to find ways to the hearts of the Arab masses from Iraq to Morocco. Obama has harmed his image in the Muslim world and mortgaged his future, if and when he is elected president, he said, adding, “Of one thing I am certain: Obama’s declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people.
A further illustration of your deficiency of character is the way you turned your back on the Muslim-Americans in this country. You refused to send surrogates to speak to voters at their events. Having visited numerous churches and synagogues, you refused to visit a single Mosque in America. Even George W. Bush visited the Grand Mosque in Washington D.C. after 9/11 to express proper sentiments of tolerance before a frightened major religious group of innocents.
Although the New York Times published a major article on June 24, 2008 titled ‘Muslim Voters Detect a Snub from Obama’ (by Andrea Elliott), citing examples of your aversion to these Americans who come from all walks of life, who serve in the armed forces and who work to live the American dream. Three days earlier the International Herald Tribune published an article by Roger Cohen titled ‘Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque.’ None of these comments and reports change your political bigotry against Muslim-Americans, even though your father was a Muslim from Kenya.
Perhaps nothing illustrated your utter lack of political courage or even the mildest version of this trait than your surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention. This is a tradition for former presidents and one accorded in prime time to Bill Clinton this year.
Here was a President who negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt, but his recent book pressing the dominant Israeli superpower to avoid Apartheid of the Palestinians and make peace was all that it took to sideline him. Instead of an important address to the nation by Jimmy Carter on this critical international problem, he was relegated to a stroll across the stage to ‘tumultuous applause,’ following a showing of a film about the Carter Center’s post-Katrina work. Shame on you, Barack Obama!
But then your shameful behavior has extended to many other areas of American life. (See the factual analysis by my running mate, Matt Gonzalez, on http://www.votenader.org). You have turned your back on the 100-million poor Americans composed of poor whites, African-Americans, and Latinos. You always mention helping the ‘middle class’ but you omit, repeatedly, mention of the ‘poor’ in America.
Should you be elected President, it must be more than an unprecedented upward career move following a brilliantly unprincipled campaign that spoke ‘change’ yet demonstrated actual obeisance to the concentration power of the ‘corporate supremacists.’ It must be about shifting the power from the few to the many. It must be a White House presided over by a black man who does not turn his back on the downtrodden here and abroad but challenges the forces of greed, dictatorial control of labor, consumers and taxpayers, and the militarization of foreign policy. It must be a White House that is transforming of American politics‹opening it up to the public funding of elections (through voluntary approaches)‹and allowing smaller candidates to have a chance to be heard on debates and in the fullness of their now restricted civil liberties. Call it a competitive democracy.
Your presidential campaign again and again has demonstrated cowardly stands. “Hope” some say springs eternal. But not when “reality” consumes it daily.
Funny stuff (thanks Lynda),
But the truth is that Obama should win this by a landslide.
It takes a certain idiocy to equate John McCain with Barack Obama on many issues (altho I am quick to point all of them out). When they set us up for the choice of two evils, one is far worse than the other.
If Obama doesn’t win this election, it is rigged.
Hope you vote today.
I am shortly and for Nader.
Tennessee (and all other red states) will be a victory for McCain so there is no reason to be worried about your vote losing it for Obama.
Vote your conscience. Vote your desires. Vote for a real American hero.
Vote Nader to prove something. To prove you don’t have to be part of the system they force you into.
The Loser of this election for Barack Obama,
The Test that IS coming–
Jackson DiehlMonday, November 3, 2008; Page A21
George W. Bush had to react when a U.S. military surveillance aircraft was forced down in China and its crew detained for 11 days. The episode started as an accident, but Beijing used it to measure a new executive with scant international experience. In 1993 Bill Clinton was blindsided by the “Blackhawk Down” firefight in Mogadishu. After 18 U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush, he abruptly withdrew U.S. forces from Somalia — and taught Osama bin Laden not to fear American power.White House agenda. Condoleezza Rice might want to say. The State Department‘s efforts over the past year to negotiate the nuclear disarmament of that charter “axis of evil” member has deteriorated into something very like the status quo the Bush administration repudiated when it first took office. In exchange for not restarting its bomb production line, the regime of Kim Jong Il extracts bribes, like its recent removal from State’s list of terrorism sponsors. Obama (or McCain) team flinch? Not just in Pyongyang but in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo, any such probe will be minutely observed. Iranian Revolutionary Guard — in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and southern Iraq and on the Persian Gulf — have been almost eerily quiet. But they’ve not been abandoned. On the contrary, Israeli sources say long- and short-range missiles are pouring into Lebanon, despite a U.N. ban on arms deliveries to Hezbollah. Since a cease-fire began in late June, Hamas has imported through tunnels from Egypt an estimated 20 tons of explosives; dozens of anti-tank missiles; and tons of metal, fertilizer and chemicals used to build the rockets aimed at Israeli cities. U.S. officials say the camps in Iran where the Guard trains “special groups” for attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq are still busy. Binyamin Netanyahu. It will be preparing for its own presidential election, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — health permitting — will seek reelection. Will the Guard — the most hard-line of Iran’s competing factions — judge that a flare-up in Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq or the Persian Gulf is the best way to intimidate the new U.S. and Israeli leaders, undermine any move toward negotiations with Washington by Iranian doves, and bolster the campaign of Guard patron Ahmadinejad? Though Iranian moves are always hard to predict, that one would not be a surprise. Hugo Chávez, who need a Yanqui enemy, and small Eurasian countries such as Georgia, which need a U.S. shield against Russia. There are the Russians themselves — who measure their country’s power by its ability to thwart American initiatives. University of Maryland. One way to do that is to create a crisis — for example, a collapse of the Palestinian Authority or an Israeli strike on Gaza. Another is a positive surprise — maybe, an agreement by Hamas to a referendum on whether to accept a two-state solution. Either way, if the next president does not soon call on the Middle East, it will find a way to call him.
Of course Joe Biden is right — there will be an early international crisis to test the new president. There almost always is. In April 2001 — long before Sept. 11 —
Chances are the next administration’s first test will be a surprise. Yet some probes are predictable. For the past few months several familiar U.S. adversaries have been waiting out the Bush administration while painstakingly setting up traps they can spring on the incoming president. A few other actors are thinking about the ways they can get their problems onto what will be, from inauguration day on, an impossibly busy
Take North Korea — please, as
It’s not difficult to predict that sometime in 2009 the North will trigger another crisis when it refuses to honor its disarmament promises, threatens to fire up its plutonium reprocessing plant and demands new concessions from Washington. Would a fresh
Next is Iran, another stop on the axis that will remain roguish even after Bush’s departure. In recent months, the military fronts controlled by the
The question is when, not whether, this firepower will be put to use. By the spring Tehran will be seeking the measure of not only a new U.S. president but also a new Israeli prime minister — who could be the hawk
Beyond the rogues are the regulars: the countries that depend on American attention, positive or negative, to fuel their own political cycles — and are good at finding ways to grab it when they feel ignored. There are Latin American demagogues such as
And then there are the Israelis and Palestinians. At the annual Weinberg conference of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in September, two senior surrogates for the McCain and Obama campaigns agreed on one large point: that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would rank far down the new president’s list of priorities. Don’t bet on it. “Both the Israelis and the Palestinians will want to elevate their issues on the agenda,” says Shibley Telhami, a Middle East scholar at the
Read at World Prout Assembly, I found an article that lays out, quite concisely, the main issues that form my opinion of Mr Obama. I believe that Mr Obama has changed some of his views for political expediency (which, to me, is worse than those who stick to what appear to me to be foolish ideas). I can respect someone who truly believes something contrary to my belief, IF I know they are truthful about their rationale and purpose. In the case of Mr Obama, he has said and done some things before that now has changed (to fit a militaristic strategy). It is also true with universal, Single-payer healthcare.
That has basically disappeared with a nuance of “more affordable” healthcare that endures the Insurance companies keep a cut of the pie.
Many people are clinging to “hope” for “change”, but they deny what their chosen candidate says and does that is antithetical to hope and change. Many good, sound people cling to a hollow “hope”. A hope that Barack, himself, says quite frequently that “we” will do together. WTF is this “we” shit?
The only thing “we” can do is voice our thoughts to our representatives (which, in many cases means exactly Jack Shit) and we can vote in and out the people we want to DO the shit we want done.
So, I keep asking myself why in the hell people are either blind or willing to not hope for change, but more aptly, “hope” for “hope” that something will change. Duh! Why can’t we toss the blinders of the MSM and see the truth for what it is? Why can’t we then ask, “who truly wants to DO the shit we need done”?
They are out there, but so many of you are ear deep in the BS… you are drowning in hope for change that simply will not come from the one you place your hope in. His own words and advisors say this very plainly. Yet, you act as if it isn’t true. As if the Savior has a hidden agenda AFTER he winds the election.
Jeezus, people. It is always the same.
By James Petras
World Prout Assembly
Oct 28, 2008
10/29/08 – “WPA” – The presidential elections in the US, once again, provide an acid test of the integrity and consequential conduct of US intellectuals. If it is the duty and responsibility of the public intellectual to speak truth to power, the recent statements of most of our well-known and prestigious public pundits have failed miserably. Instead of highlighting, exposing and denouncing the reactionary foreign and domestic policies of Democratic Party candidate Senator Barack Obama, they have chosen to support him, ‘critically, offering as excuses that even ‘limited differences’ can result in positive outcomes,and that ‘Obama is the lesser evil’ and ‘creates an opportunity for a possibility of change.’
What makes these arguments untenable is the fact that Obama’s public pronouncements, his top policy advisers, and the likely policymakers in his government have openly defined a most bellicose foreign policy and a profoundly reactionary domestic economic policy totally in line with Paulson-Bush-Wall Street. On the major issues of war, peace, the economic crisis and the savaging of the US wage and salaried class, Obama promises to extend and deepen the policies which the majority of Americans reject and repudiate.
Twelve Reasons to Reject Obama
1. Obama publicly and repeatedly promises to escalate the US military intervention in Afghanistan, increasing the number of US troops, expanding their operations and engaging in systematic cross-border attacks. In other words, Obama is a greater warmonger than Bush.
2. Obama publicly has declared that his regime will extend the ‘war against terrorism’ by systematic, large-scale ground and air attacks on Pakistan, thus escalating the war to include villages, towns and cities deemed sympathetic to the Afghan resistance.
3. Obama opposes the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq in favor of redeployment; the relocation of US troops from combat zones to training and logistical positions, contingent on the military capability of the Iraqi Army to defeat the resistance. Obama opposes a clearly defined deadline to withdraw US forces from Iraq because US troops in Iraq are essential to pursuing his overall policies in the Middle East, which include military confrontations with Iran, Syria and Southern Lebanon.
4. Obama has declared his unconditional support for the position of the pro-Israel Lobby and the colonial expansionist and bellicose policies of the Jewish state. He has promised to back Israeli military attacks whatever the cost to the US. His abject servility to Israel was evident in his speech at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington 2008. Top advisers who have long and notorious links to the top echelons of the principle Zionist propaganda mills and the Presidents of the Leading Jewish American Organizations wrote the speech and formulate
his Middle East policy.
5. Obama has promised to attack Iran if it continues to process uranium for its nuclear programs. Twice, just weeks before the elections, Obama’s running mate Joseph Biden spelled out a series of ‘points of conflict’ (including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and North Korea) emphasizing that Obama ‘would respond forcefully’. Obama’s senior Middle East advisers include leading Zionists like Dennis Ross, closely linked to the ‘Bipartisan Policy Center’, which published a report serving as a blueprint for war with Iran. Obama’s proposed offer to negotiate with Iran is little more than a pretext for issuing an ultimatum to Iran to surrender its sovereignty or face massive military assault.
6. Obama unconditionally supports Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians and the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the leading cause of Middle East hostility, warfare and the discredit of US policy in the region. With three dozen Israel-Firsters among his leading campaign organizers, top policy advisers, speech writers and among the likely candidates for cabinet positions, there is virtually no hope of ‘influencing from within’ or ‘applying popular pressure’ to change Obama’s slavish submission to the Zionist Power Configuration. By supporting Obama, the “progressive intellectuals” are, in effect, allies of his Zionist mentors.
7. On the domestic front, Obama’s key economic advisers have impeccable Wall Street credentials. He gave unquestioning and immediate endorsement to Treasury Secretary Paulson’s $700 billion dollar taxpayer bailout of the richest investment banks in the US. Obama has failed to challenge Paulson or the banks over the use of Federal funds for buyouts and acquisitions instead of loans and credit to producers and homeowners. Obama’s backing of Paulson and the Wall Street bailout is matched by his meager proposals to suspend mortgage foreclosures for a three-month period, pending re-negotiations of interest payments. Obama proposes to escalate transfers of government funds to mismanaged financial institutions and bankrupt capitalist corporations, in efforts to save failed capitalism rather than pursue any new large-scale, long-term public investment programs which will generate well-paid employment for workers.
8. Obama’s economic team has openly declared their embrace and practice of ‘free market’ ideology and opposition to any effort to engage in large-scale injections of government funds in publicly-owned productive activity and social services in the face of wide-spread private sector failure, corruption and collapse.
9. Obama embraces failed private sector health plans, run and controlled by corporate insurance companies, conservative medical and hospital associations and Big Pharma. He publicly rejects a universal national health program modeled after the successful Federal Medicare program in favor of inefficient, state-subsidized private for profit plans that are costly and beyond the means of over one third of US families.
10. Obama is and continues to be an advocate for Big Agro and its highly subsidized and profitable ethanol program, which has increased food prices for millions in the US and for hundreds of millions in the world.
11. Obama advocates continuing the criminal embargo on Cuba, hostile confrontation with Venezuela’s populist President Chavez and other Latin American reformers and the duplicitous policy of promoting protectionism at home and free market access to Latin America. His key policy advicers on Latin America propose cosmetic changes in style and diplomacy but unrelenting support for re-asserting US hegemony.
12. Obama has not proposed, nor do his free market advisers and billionaire financial backers envision, any comprehensive plan or strategy to get us out of the deepening recession. On the contrary, the course of piecemeal measures presented by Obama are internally inconsistent: Fiscal austerity is incompatible with job creation; bailing out Wall Street drains funds from productive investment; and pursuing new wars undermine domestic recovery.
The intellectuals who, in the name of ‘realism’, support a politician who publicly and openly embraces new wars, billionaire bailouts and for profit, private sector-run health programs are repudiating their own claims as ‘responsible critics’. They are what C. Wright Mills called ‘crackpot realists’, abdicating their responsibility as critical intellectuals. In purporting to support the ‘lesser evil’ they are promoting the ‘greater evil’: The continuation of four more years of deepening recession, colonial wars and popular alienation. Moreover, they are allies of the mass media, major parties and the legal system which has marginalized or outright excluded the alternative candidates, Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney, who do speak out and oppose the war, the pro-Wall Street bailouts and propose genuine large-scale public investment in the domestic economy, a universal single payer health program, sustainable and pro-environment economic policies and large-scale, long-term income redistributive policies.
What is crass and unacceptable is the argument of these intellectuals, (an insignificant pimple on the Democratic donkey’s rear-end)that for a single moment believe that their ‘critical support’ of the Obama political machine will open space for radical ideas. The Zionists and civilian militarists totally control Obama’s war policy in the Middle East: There will be no space for peace with Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq. Wall Street controls the Obama’s financial policy: There will be no space for some Cambridge progressive to sneak in a handout for families losing their homes.
If multi-million trade union treasuries have spent a hundred million dollars on each presidential campaign have failed to secure a single piece of progressive legislation in over 50 years, isn’t it delusional for our progressive ‘public intellectuals’ to imagine that they, in their splendid organizational isolation, can ‘pressure’ President Obama to renounce his advisers, backers and public defense of military escalation, to see his way to peace with Iran and to promote social justice for our workers and unemployed?