Odyssey of the Mind, Hopeless at WH: Barack Obama and I
17 minutes ago – Odyssey of the Mind, Hopeless at WH: Barack ObamaWith the little outsourced help…and I am Sid Harth@webworldismyoyster.com …
Apr 13, 2012 – In 1989, New York voters elected Manhattan Borough President David … daily polls saw it coming and grimly told Carter the situation had become hopeless. … “
selfish,” “uncaring,” “a Social Darwinist” and whatever else come to mind. … We have 2 of the worst people ever, running in Obama and Romney.
Mar 31, 2011 – Hopelessly stuck sitting on the fence and hoping that he doesn’t … As for telling us that the US will turn over Operation Odyssey Dawn to NATO, well, isn’t that disingenuous too? … Still, President Obama now wants to arm the rebels, but, we have …. Ideology is only in the mind of the voter – not the politician.
May 3, 2012 – Yes, the upcoming biography of the president goes into the details of his … and the evolution of his mind and temperament, especially during years as a … they might just concede that Obama’s personal odyssey is a remarkable …. of the Cable Bundle; 6: The 11 Ways That Consumers Are Hopeless at Math …
They certainly don’t have the best interests of their fellow citizens in mind, and it’s …. Over the past few months we have learnt of a number of reports regarding a paper ….. On May 29, 2011, President Obama visited Joplin, Missouri, the site of a …
May 25, 2012 – Reason’s Mike Riggs titles his post on this, “Barack Obama … While the WH is deflecting questions about his pot smoking and the …. The problem will be that we are already hopelessly screwed. … He’s always alone, because he’s so much smarter than everyone else–in his own mind–that he occupies a …
Barack Obama has built his presidential campaign on a huge pack of lies. … the information that Obama found himself deeply in debt and “hopelessly blocked. …. which established Obama’s pose as a brilliant writer (and therefore a fine mind, in the … It is possible that we have now gotten direct confirmation of this from Bill …
Father Barack Hussein Obama senior from Kenya, mother Ann Dunham from Kansas (USA). ….. in this unprecedented documentary trailing their history-
making odyssey to the White House. ….. Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion ….. as we have done in Obama Love: 101 Warning Signs You Idolize Barack …
Feb 28, 2011 – From Tehran to Tripoli , the Obama administration has been pathetically …. From News Radio 620 AM, Milwaukee, we have this: …. Jauch, who has been stuck for more than a week on an unplanned odyssey in his native state. ….. Keep in mind that this is the same Human Rights Commission that Barack …
If Barack Obama, lame duck presidency of his, fail to impress upon the voters, as to how a successful businessman, a known millionaire, a twice governor, has more money to squander on attack ads, more friends with more money for monetary and moral support, more trained and active spin doctors to defend Mitt Romney against all political and moral codes of the American voters, mostly but not necessarily, the middle class, I shall be a ghost writer for Barack Obama’s short and sweet, Oops, sour Memoir.
Odyssey of the Mind, Hopeless at WH: Barack Obama
With the little outsourced help
…and I am Sid Harth@webworldismyoyster.com
WASHINGTON – As senior aides for President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney stepped up their political attacks, the president said he was frustrated that he had failed to change the toxic political atmosphere in Washington after he was elected in 2008.
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“Those who feel that like lemmings they are being led over a cliff would be well-advised not to read this book. They may discover that they are right.”—Noam Chomsky
“Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank have skillfully smoked out the real Barack Obama . . . the technofascist military strategist disguised as a Nobel Peace Laureate, but owned, operated, and controlled by Wall Street, Corporate America, and the Pentagon.”—Thomas H. Naylor, co-author of Affluenza, Downsizing the USA
“The writers assembled here hit hard, with accuracy, and do not pull punches.”—Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship: A Human History
The Barack Obama revolution was over before it started, guttered by the politician’s overweening desire to prove himself to the grandees of the establishment. From there on, other promises proved ever easier to break. Here’s the book that dares not let Obama off the hook. It’s all here: the compromises, the backstabbing, the same old imperial ambitions. Covering all major “Obummer” categories since he took office, this fast-paced collection will delight the critical and offer food for thought for those contemplating the 2012 electoral circus—and beyond.
Jeffrey St. Clair is co-editor of CounterPunch, author of Born Under a Bad Sky and Been Brown So Long it Looked Green to Me, and co-author of Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press.
Joshua Frank is an environmental journalist and co-editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland. His investigative reports and columns appear in CounterPunch, Chicago Sun-Times, Common Dreams, and AlterNet.
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About the Author
Joshua Frank: progressive journalist, author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George w.Bush, and co-editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland.
Kevin Alexander Gray is a civil rights organizer in South Carolina. He is also a contributing editor to Black News, was a former president of the South Carolina ACLU, and was Jesse Jackson’s South Carolina campaign manager in 1988. He s author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike.
Ralph Nader: Author of Unsafe at Any Speed, lecturer, attorney, and five-time campaigner for president of the US.
Kathy Kelly is an author, pacifist,and three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She s author of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison.
In what is probably the most “psychological” essay in the book (Obama the Deregulationist) Andrew Levine tells us the reason for the betrayal of liberal principles: Obama is not a liberal and never has been; he is a libertarian. (Others have noted this, e.g. Paul Krugman -”More and more it’s becoming clear that progressives who had their hearts set on Obama were engaged in a huge act of self-delusion. Once you got past the soaring rhetoric you noticed, if you actually paid attention to what he said, that he largely accepted the conservative storyline, a view of the world, including a mythological history, that bears little resemblance to the facts.) Realizing that Obama is a libertarian explains a great deal, why, for instance, in the debate over “Obamacare”, the “public option” was dispensable window dressing, while the “private option” was never in question. It explains Obama’s readiness to let Wall Street call the shots, and his attack on business regulations. It explains why Obama is so eager to get the most shameless corporate types into his administration, and why, on matters of war and trade and other issues of immediate concern to capitalists, he can’t do enough for them – to the detriment of his core constituencies. These are not just political maneuvers or expressions of unrequited partisan yearning, and neither are they concessions to ineluctable constraints.The are misgjuided but principled positiions that actually make conventional liberalism look good. . . . Just as “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” neither can a Reagan-besotted executive committee of the entire ruling class.”
Bradley Manning (The Torture of Bradley Manning by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis) is accused of humiliating the political establishment by revealing the complicity of top U.S. officials in carrying out and covering up war crimes. In return for his act of conscience, the US government is holding him in abusive solitary confinement, humiliating him and trying to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life. . . . The lesson is clear: You’re better off committing a war crime than exposing one. There is one big difference between Obama, who has prosecuted more whistle-blowers than any president in history and Richard Nixon’s treatment of Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers: Nixon never had the heroic whistle-blower of his day thrown in solitary confinement and tortured. (For another view of the Bradley Manning case, see Bill Quigley, “Obama’s Assault on Civil Liberties: Twenty Examples.”)
Sibel Edmonds looks upon the Obama presidency as a third term for George W. Bush as she discusses the State Secrets privilege; NSA Warrantless wiretapping; Accountability on Torture; the Revival of the Bush Era Military Commission; And “On War and Bodies Piling up.”
The editors, Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank, provide us with the first and last essays in the book. In “Barrack Obama, Changeling,” they tell us that Obama’s worst political wounds were self-inflicted when, during the campaign, he rushed back to Washington to help in the Bush bailout. “This was perhaps the first real indication that the luminous campaign speeches about generational and systemic change masked the servile psyche of a man who was desparately yearning to be embraced by the nation’s political and financial elites. Instead of meeting with the victims of Wall St. predators or their advocates like Elizabeth Warren and Ralph Nader, Obama fist-bumped with the brain trust of Goldman Sachs and schmoozed with the creme-de-le-creme of K Street corporate lobbyists. In the end, Obama helped salvage some of the most venal and corrupt enterprises on Wall St., agreed to shield their executives from prosecution for their financial crimes, and, predictable, later got repaid with their scorn.”
In “Occupy the System” the editors assert that “Obama’s first term revealed the utter vacuity of our political system and the prodigious level of corruption eating away at the sinews of the U. S. empire. Democracy itself is being degraded. From bank bailouts and war to indemnification of corporate criminals and assassination orders against American citizens, the most urgent matters of government are now hatched without public debate in the secret chambers of power.
I’ve only scratched the surface in this review. Read the book and you’ll be overwhelmed.
Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank have collected 56 essays from prior to, from early on in, and from quite recently during the Obama presidency. The collection, just published as Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, has a consistent approach to its topic. The authors, including Kevin Alexander Gray, Jeremy Scahill, Chris Floyd, Sibel Edmonds, Franklin Spinney, Kathy Kelly, Marjorie Cohn, Chase Madar, Michael Hudson, Medea Benjamin, Charles Davis, Ray McGovern, Dave Lindorff, Bill Quigley, Tariq Ali, Andy Worthington, Linn Washington, Jr., and many more, don’t agree on everything. A few try to urge serious progressive plans on Obama that they would never have proposed that Bush champion, not even rhetorically, not even for laughs. The book is not organized by topic; it’s a random, if chronological, ride through a catalog of catastrophes. But it’s united by the theme of horrendously bad government in the age of Obama. It ignores the mythology and treats Obama based on his actual performance.
Reducing the charges against Obama developed in detail in this book to a Declaration of Independence-like list of grievances might look something like this:
Obama has taken massive funding from Wall Street, appointed Wall Streeters to top positions, and followed their lead, to the benefit of banksters and the detriment of the rest of us. Obama, despite promises the contrary, has put lobbyists in positions of power in his administration. Senator Obama’s corporatist vote for the Class Action Fairness Act was in line with the rest of his performance as senator and later president.
Obama has taken massive funding from war profiteers and worked in their interest, empowering a collection of war hawks from the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton eras, and including no opponent of militarism in any high office.
Obama abandoned the people of Gaza to their fate beneath Israeli bombs.
Obama bailed out AIG, but not you or me.
Obama delayed de-escalation in Iraq and tried every way he could to avoid complete withdrawal.
Obama has expanded secrecy, sought retribution against whistleblowers, expanded warrentless spying, protected confessed torturers, revived military commissions, and expanded the military.
Obama has made anti-environmentalist corporate tools the heads of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.
Obama’s administration facilitated and accepted a military coup in Honduras.
Obama has continued and expanded upon aggressively inhumane immigration policies.
Obama championed corporate health coverage over Medicare for All.
Obama tripled the size of the war on Afghanistan.
Obama has championed nuclear power.
Obama has backed murderers in Colombia and put U.S. troops into that country in the interests of big oil.
Obama has dramatically escalated drone killings, developing a new type of war.
Obama has continued pointless killing in Afghanistan on the basis of false pretenses.
Obama has appointed a deeply flawed candidate to the Supreme Court.
Obama has expanded the weaponization and the use of nuclear power in space.
Obama facilitated the kind of drilling that created the BP oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, and then sought to cover up the extent of the damage.
Obama has kept tax breaks for billionaires in place, persuading his followers to continue calling them “the Bush Tax Cuts.”
Obama has claimed the power to torture and to “rendition” prisoners and kidnap victims to other countries that torture.
Obama has promoted corporate culture and CEO heroes, while failing to promote nonprofit groups — a fantasy that contributing author Ralph Nader proposes for Obama while never having proposed it for Bush.
Obama has pushed deregulation as a solution to the problems caused by deregulation.
Obama has served Israel at the expense of human rights, peace, and democracy.
Obama has gone around Congress and courts to approve of Monsanto’s GMOs.
Obama has tortured Bradley Manning.
Obama has pushed U.S. weapons sales on foreign nations.
Obama has punished Iranians with sanctions while threatening war.
Obama has expanded nuclear weapons spending.
Obama has worked largely against the interests of organized labor.
Obama has sabotaged efforts to protect the earth’s climate.
Obama has thrown Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block.
Obama has extended the worst parts of the PATRIOT Act, plus secret parts we haven’t seen yet but which are somehow nonetheless “law.”
Obama has militarized police forces, expanded wiretaps, prosecuted Muslims for speech, raided activists’ homes, preemptively detained journalists, and supported the prison industrial complex and the widespread use of solitary confinement.
Obama has launched a fraudulent war on Libya as a “humanitarian” effort, while aiding human rights abuses in Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere.
Obama has abandoned his effort to close Guantanamo, which was only ever — in reality — an effort to move one of the United States’ lawless concentration camps to Illinois from Cuba.
Obama chose to pursue an insufficient economic stimulus bill, not to mention increasing economically damaging military spending each year thus far.
Obama has continued the “war on drugs.”
And Obama has shut down activism in this country by appearing to be what he is not and by virtue of the malady that causes millions of people to believe that self-governance consists of cheering for one team in a sporting competition.
St. Clair and Frank describe Obama as “so innately conflict-averse that even when pummeled with racist slurs he wouldn’t punch back.” But Obama does not appear to try to minimize conflict across the board. He avoids conflict with those on the right — and often there is little basis for, or value in, supposing that his mental state is one of surrender as opposed to agreement.
There are two things that Obama is able to count on. First, no matter how seriously he attacks the interests of ordinary people, major liberal groups will support him. Second, no matter how much he supports the agenda of the right, major rightwing groups will attack him while demanding more. These two states of affairs feed each other. Attacks on Obama from the right are absolutely essential to generating his liberal support. Obama is the Not-Romney candidate. And that liberal support helps produce attacks from the right. Hopeless could help some to break out of this cycle of guilt or innocence by association.
I’ll leave you with a slightly modified verse from Paul Simon:
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
We are hopeless, we are hopeless
The moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody sing hello, hello, hello
Somebody say ih hih ih hih ih
Somebody cry why, why, why?
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President Barack Obama blows a kiss to Oren Baer, son of Ken Baer, the departing Associate Director for Communications and Strategic Planning at OMB, during a visit to the Oval Office, July 12, 2012. Baer’s daughter, Avital, and wife, Caron Gremont, watch at left. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
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