Openly hostile: Obama has squandered the benefit of my doubt.

Superficially, Obama remains an appealing personality of great apparent warmth, intelligence, and compassion, which initially made his promise of change credible.  Here’s a partial list of grievances accumulated against him in his short tenure as President via Paul Street that not even the warmest, fuzziest Al Rodgers’ diary could redress.

* Significantly expand the reach and intensity of imperial violence (replete with the mass slaughter of civilians and the related escalation of targeted assassinations) in South Asia.

* Promote a notorious assassin and death-squad leader (Lt. General Stanley A McChrystal – former chief of the military’s special Joint Special Operations Command) to the position of Commander of U.S. Forces in the newly merged “Af-Pak” war theater. [1]

* Sustain the criminal occupation of Iraq beneath rhetoric of withdrawal. [2]

* Increase “defense” (empire) spending, consistent with the following statement in a report issued by the leading Wall Street investment firm Morgan Stanley one day after Obama’s presidential election victory: “As we understand it, Obama has been advised and agrees that there is no peace dividend.”[3]

* Revive military commissions.

* Continue the practice of renditions.

* Maintain secret prisons for persons “held on a short-term, transitory basis.”

* Continue the unspeakable torture of prisoners by an “extrajudicial terror squad” (Jeremy Scahill’s description of the Pentagon’s sadistic “Immediate Reaction Force” in Cuba) at Guantanamo Bay. [4]

* Advance the policy of “indefinite detention” (potentially permanent incarceration) for Guantanamo prisoners for whom no legally compelling evidence can be marshaled.

* Intimidate England (with a threat to withhold intelligence data on potential terrorist attacks!) into preventing a Guantanamo victim from having his day in court on the Bush administration’s torture practices. [5]

* Sustain the Bush administration’s abrogation of habeas corpus rights in regard to the roughly 600 “enemy combatants” kept at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan (where people rendered out of other countries like Yemen and England can be considered “war [-zone]” prisoners!. [6]

* Advance nauseatingly specious legal and moral arguments (“better to look forward than backward”) to prevent serious federal investigation of the Bush administration’s human rights crimes.

* Sustain George W. Bush’s domestic wiretapping program.

* Invoke the “state secrets” (akin to the divine right of kings) doctrine to prevent disclosure of evidence in response to lawsuits emerging from Bush era rendition and surveillance policies.

* Suppress photographic evidence of U.S. torture practices.

* Justify all this and more in the name of the supposed “global war on terror” that was supposedly launched in legitimate defense against the supposedly unprovoked jetliner attacks of September 11, 2001.

* Disregard qualified progressive defenders of civil liberties and human rights from consideration for appointment to succeed Supreme Justice David H. Souter and to thereby counter the hard right leanings of the court’s conservative majority. [7]

* Send clear signals of intent to roll back and partially privatize Social Security and Medicare benefits.

* Betray campaign pledges to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to insert stronger labor and environmental protections. [7A]

* Betray campaign pledges of serious intent to advance an elementary and overdue labor law reform (the Employee Free Choice Act).

* Force and approve an automobile industry re-structuring that drastically cuts domestic autoworkers’ jobs, wages and benefits while subsidizing General Motors’ further shifting of jobs abroad. [8]

* Advance a tepid, business-friendly health care “reform” that leaves the leading parasitic insurance corporations (major campaign sponsors of his) in power.

* “Methodically erase single-payer advocates from the picture” (Glen Ford) of health care reform despite the fact that a majority of Americans have long favored a single-payer (“Medicare for all”) health insurance system. [9]

* Spend trillions of federal dollars on taxpayer handouts to giant Wall Street firms who spent millions on his campaign and who drove the economy over the cliff.  Obama’s Wall Street bailout rejects the elementary bank nationalizations and public financial restructuring that are required to put the nation’s credit system on a sound and socially responsible basis, choosing instead to guarantee the financial, insurance, and real estate industries’ toxic, hyper-inflated assets while keeping existing Wall Street management in place.  It amounts to a giant effort to “keep perpetrators afloat” (liberal economist James Gailbraith) through a scheme in which  the government takes more than 90 percent of the risk but private investors reap at least half the reward.

I could go on. It’s not a pretty story. And it’s only going to get worse.


That’s a pretty horrendous agenda, not exactly the one he promised, and certainly not the one we were hoping for.  That’s Bush’s agenda of imperial, unitary executive-loving, secrecy-ridden, corporate welfare state-promoting, common man-crushing fascism dressed up in hopey-changey pants.  This is not change.  This is not a rollback of Bush, Grover, and the neocons.  The all-out assault on human dignity and the rule of law continues apace.  

The Automatic Earth has been calling the financial cataclysm with dead-eyed accuracy, including the fact it was always and remains not a financial crisis, but a full-blown political and constitutional hurricane:

Well, it doesn’t take much, nor long, to get from the biggest corporate industrial bankruptcy right back to suspicious slash illegal slash criminal behavior, does it? As a matter of fact, says Greg Palast, that behavior starts right at that bankruptcy, with the Obama administration demanding workers hand over their pensions funds in exchange for worthless GM stock. It’s against the law. It’s called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

So is, or should be, who knows anymore?  what the NY Post says AIG is doing: “AIG is trying to seize a $490 million charitable endowment; and claw back $27 million it already awarded to New York charities; to pay executive bonuses”. $180 billion hasn’t toned those bozo’s down one single decibel.

Christopher Cox actively hindered his staff at the SEC from doing their work, something he actively denied for a long time. Let’s see the criminal charges. Yeah, sure.

A commission will investigate what caused the crisis. Obama plans to get tough on Wall Street, which pledges to push right back. Guess who’ll win that one? Come on guys, it’s just a show, and all it takes is for you to believe it long enough for everything you have to be stolen from under your lazy asses.

Celente is right: this is Mussolini’s fascism, a country ruled by its corporate interests. And those are not the same as your interests. And in case you don’t think it’ll happen to you, make no mistake: a government that even so much as tries to get away with stealing its citizens’ pensions is capable of just about anything.

“The rule of law” is a term that exists to keep a check on those who govern. Wiki: “The rule of law, also called supremacy of law, is a general legal maxim according to which decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws, without the intervention of discretion in their application. This maxim is intended to be a safeguard against arbitrary governance.”

It’s safe to say that the rule of law means little these days.

In Barack Obama’s America, the ruling elite are unaccountable to law.  They are free to fuck you, torture you, spy on you, steal your healthcare, pensions and jobs, and generally promote worldwide mayhem.

I am openly hostile to this lawless pandemonium.


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  1. Behind Obama’s charming mask is a freaking horror show.

    • Edger on June 3, 2009 at 00:57

    “…so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street.”

  2. Hard leftists like myself were under few illusions that an Obama presidency would be any challenge to hegemony.  However, I and others offered “critical support” because a particularly noxious clique of kleptocratic imperialists was becoming entrenched, and that could not be allowed to continue.

    The only thing I find surprising now is how much more the “liberal face” of corporate hegemony has come to resemble its eviller twin in the years since we last saw it.

    • Viet71 on June 3, 2009 at 01:24

    It’s so hard to believe this.

    He promised change.

    He is so charming.

    And, Jesus, he’s black.  Which means he must be good.,

    Sorry, I support Obama.

    He’s my guy.

    • jamess on June 3, 2009 at 02:43

    the checklist of broken promises,

    and abandoned principles.

    I was wondering just how bad it was?

    Now I know.

    We need to give Jonathan Turley a Megaphone somehow,

    and direct line to DOJ —

    better yet a seat in the Cabinet

    as Protector of Constitutional Matters!

    thanks, Compound F for the post

  3. you name it, “American interests”, and the control they have over what decisions our government makes.  I think they were effective in concealing it for decades, at least from the vast majority of the population, but then along came Bush and company and pushed it to a new level, as bidded by the elites.  They even went so far as to try and make torture legal, something no administration in the past had tried to do, even tho torture still happened on their watchs.  The came Obama, saying all these fancy dancy words about hope and change, and promising this and that.  No figure could have pulled it off like he did.  Now we see it was all planned that way, as bidded on by whoever is behind Obama, mostly the same as those behind Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr., etc.

    The good thing for us is the severe contrast Obama is presenting after the Bush years, is waking alot of people up about what is really happening in this country and world.  And with the information available on the internet, the knowledge grows and grows.  Maybe, enough citizens can wake up before its too late.  

    • zett on June 3, 2009 at 04:29

    and paused…do I vote for Obama or do I “throw away my vote” on Cynthia McKinney or one of the other 3rd party candidates? Mainly because I felt I had to do my bit to keep Sarah Palin away from the WH for absolutely certain, I voted for Obama. I now regret it.

    I was hoping that things would be a tiny bit better with Obama, and maybe in some cosmetic ways they are better, but I can’t abide the same-old same-old on fundamental human rights issues.  I am angry, but I am also sad because I wanted to like Obama, hell I still do.  He is a charming motherfucker, for sure.  But no amount of charm can hide that he is just doing the bidding of the oligarchs.

    I am left wondering if we got even Russ Feingold in as President, would the oligarchs just control him too? I’d like to imagine they’d have to threaten him or his loved ones to do it… but then again, maybe there is something about running for President that would pull anyone to the dark side.

  4.  the agenda of the MI Complex.

    But, the real problem isn’t Obama – or any politician – they are all followers of trends and powerful interest groups at best & nothing more. (In Obama’s case his entire political career was started with money from the owners of General Dynamics) .

    The real problem though is the idiots who will blindly accept and argue for all these horrible policies, if it has a “D” attached, that they would rail against if the same thing had an “R”.    

    I also voted for him, but I doubt I will ever vote for a D again–I doubt I will ever vote again at all, since it is in fact a total damn farce.  But that too, I fear was part of the plan.  To disenfranchise the little bit that voting in the US does do–and while it is a very little bit; it is indeed something, and I do shudder to think of how bad McCain would have been.

    But then again,  perhaps that is what  we needed, because of the starkly real face McCain would’ve put on these same policies.  For me, I’ve since  voted with my feet and left.

  5. do over again, who would you vote for?

  6. Buried in the NYT, the true story of who is really in charge of our economy, our homes and our lives. Hint: it ain’t the government.

    “Promised Help Is Elusive for Some Homeowners”

    MESA, Ariz. – She had seen the advertisements for the new government program offering relief. She had heard President Obama promise that help was on the way for homeowners like her, people who had lost jobs and could no longer make their mortgage payments.

    But when Eileen Ulery called her mortgage company – Countrywide, now part of Bank of America – the bank did not offer to alter her mortgage. Rather, the bank tried to sell her a new loan with a slightly lower monthly payment while asking her to pay $13,000 toward the principal and a fresh $5,000 in fees.

    Her problem was that she did not yet present a big enough problem to merit aid.

  7. That’s a pretty horrendous agenda, not exactly the one he promised, and certainly not the one we were hoping for

    I don’t see much in there that is different to what was promised. Increase the size of the military, check. Watered down health care reform, check. Compromise between two sides of debates even when one is right and the other is wrong, check.

    I am pleasantly surprised by how much of Obama’s actions I approve of, while you are bitterly disappointed, and the difference would seem to be not how many of Obama’s actions we both approve of.

    As I said when it was filtered down to two Hedge Fund Democrats … the decision facing a progressive in the general election would be which opponent we would rather have in the White House.

    Just as in 1932/1934, with another politician that talked a better game than he delivered on his own, the question ahead of us is whether we can press ahead in 2010 to break the logjam of Republican and Democratic opposition to progress in the House of Representatives.

    • geomoo on June 3, 2009 at 18:09

    It’s hard to listen to Obama.  I question the decision, but I have stopped putting much time into the “politics” of the day, on the basis that our intelligent, passionate debates are unlikely to have any affect on the course of the ship of state.

  8. butt off and emptied my wallet to elect the smile. Never an Obama fan but I really didn’t want the Clinton’s back, well they are back with a vengeance. I don’t think you ever elect a person you simply vote for one machine or crime family vs. another. I too am now openly hostile to this administration. Didn’t Jefferson say that this is the proper stance of citizens to the government?

    In a way Obama pisses me off more then bush at this point, as bush was an overt asshole psycho, from the begining of his sorry life. He came from a long line of facsist, CIA, skull and bonesmen. I thought maybe Obama would be an old school Democratic type like FDR or the Kennedy crime family. But from what has gone down so far he wasn’t lying when he talked unity, unity between the various factions that used to have to at least put up a show of opposition to each other. Now it’s just openly corporate and military rule, even the crumbs they try to throw to the public, is designed make them money, healthcare, banking reform all of it is to maximize their vig.      

  9. But not terribly surprised. He telegraphed his allegiances with the first bailout and FISA.

    I guess I’m less afraid that Obama will have me renditioned.. is that a good thing?

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