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. 
* Sustain the criminal occupation of Iraq beneath rhetoric of withdrawal. 
* 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.”
* 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. 
* 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. 
* 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!. 
* 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. 
* 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. 
* 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. 
* 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.