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The Progressive Review

OBAMA UNDERNEWS

An Obama one night stand

 The people around him

 The strange rise of Barack Obama

TOPICS
 
Books
Essays
Fun facts
Pocket paradigms

ESSAYS

How Obama compares to Republicans

The strange rise of Barack Obama

Why your editor plans to vote for Obama anyway

Obama's non-political problem

Otohbotoh Obama

Putting Obama behind us

Positions Obama took before the election

The cowboys and the Ivies

An Obama one night stand

Why your editor plans to vote for Obama anyway

Obama's non-political problem

WHY OBAMA IS CALLED A SOCIALIST. . . AND WHY IT MATTERS

THE END OF POLITICS

PUTTING OBAMA BEHIND US

POSITIONS OBAMA TOOK BEFORE ELECTION

THE STRANGE RISE OF BARACK OBAMA

THE COWBOYS & THE IVIES

OBAMA'S MANY VIEWS ON MARIJUANA

THE TIMIDITY OF HOPE

BRAIN DRAIN: THE HAZARDS OF GRAD SCHOOL POLITICS

A FEW QUESTIONS FOR BARACK OBAMA

OBAMA & THE AMERICAN OLIGARCHY

OBAMA'S KNOW NOTHING POLITICS

OFFICIAL OBAMA BINGO CARD

THE POLITICS OF NOTHINGNESS

WHY OBAMA ATTRACTS THE RIGHT

WHY OBAMA IS CALLED BLACK

Enough of Lincoln already

Obama & Chauncy Gardiner

Obama & the American oligarchy

QUESTIONS OFF LIMITS TO THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS

MORE ON OBAMA'S HIDDEN PAST

Available as a T Shirt or mug

FUN FACTS

25 best lies of Obama

NY Post - During his first eight months in office, President Obamas at down for three times as many television interviews as his most recent two predecessors combined. . . In the New York Times alone, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, 405 stories on the Obama administration have appeared on the front page through mid-August of this year totaling 119,678 column inches. That's 9,973 column feet of Obama coverage on the Times front page alone. . .

As of mid-August, Obama submitted to a total of 66 television interviews, dramatically outstripping his two predecessors, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project at Towson University in Maryland. During the same period of their own presidencies, President George W. Bush gave 16 television interviews and President Bill Clinton gave just six.

Obama is also out-hustling his predecessors with the print media, giving 36 interviews with newspapers and magazines during his first seven months in office -- nearly doubling the numbers given by Bush and Clinton.

Dan Gainor, Fox News - In just 41 speeches so far [in 2009], Obama has talked about himself nearly 1,200 times - 1,198 to be exact. (That breaks down to 1,121 "I"s and just 77 "me"s.) Martha Joynt Kumar, a political science professor at Towson University in Maryland, said Obama has had nearly three times the number of interviews either Bush or Bill Clinton had at this time in his presidency. The New York Times Caucus blog reported: "As of his seven-month in office mark in August, he had done 114 interviews, compared to 37 by former President George W. Bush and 41 by former president Bill Clinton."

THE SECRET OF OBAMA
IN HIS OWN WORDS

Obama is, in his own words, something of a Rorschach test. In his latest book, “The Audacity of Hope,” he writes, “I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” That has been confirmed thus far during this campaign, and come November, Americans will have to decide if they want a Rorschach test for president. - James Kirchick, New Republic

BOOKS

Hopeless with Obama

POCKET PARADIGMS
SAM SMITH

The most conservative Democratic president of modern times pretends promise is a product and that life is just a game of Scrabble in which the best are those who find the right word.

Obama is the sort of guy who offers to split his Swiss cheese with you and then gives you the holes, while he takes the cheese.

Based on his current policies, it is fair to say that if he had been president at the time, Obama would have appealed court decisions granting civil rights to blacks, he would have expanded the war in Vietnam, and he would have opposed the ending of prohibition.

If you watch Obama closely he seems in public to have only two moods, happy or look-how-serious-I-am-about-this, the latter being the quality that allows Washington officials - and Harvard Law grads - to convince everyone else they should invade Iraq and Vietnam or forget about global warming for the time being. The problem is that, as one journalist noted, there is a big difference between being somber and being serious. And gravitas - with which Obama overflows - seems often just a karaoke version of seriousness.

Barack Obama didn't kill liberalism; he's just doing a nice job of burying it. The end of liberalism as a meaningful ideology came with the nomination of Bill Clinton. The argument was - although hardly phrased so accurately - that it was far better for liberals to dump their policies and become the indentured servants of an elected Democrat than to continue to press for their beliefs and miss out on all the power and the parties.

Obama isn't ideological. He takes the positions he does for the same reason that Willie Sutton said he robbed banks: because that's where the money is

The little available evidence suggests that Obama would more likely be a disappointment than a disgrace. Still in the end it's a sad choice between the venal and the vacuum. - 2008

 

President Obama contradicts Senator Obama again

Washington Post - Back when Barack Obama was a presidential candidate who boasted his background as a professor of constitutional law, he frequently criticized President George W. Bush for what Obama said was a “clear abuse” of executive power.

As president, Obama is being accused of doing the same, albeit not as frequently.

The issue at hand is his use of “signing statements,” official pronouncements in which a president offers his interpretation of legislation that he is signing — and in the modern era, sometimes announces that he feels free to disregard it.

While Obama has not issued as many signing statements as Bush did, many say he employs them in much the same manner.

High school students all over the country are in protest over new school lunch requirements.

Many are placing blame on first lady Michelle Obama. ... Healthy Black Women One student in North Carolina stated that she was glad that they are trying to get the students to eat healthier at school but the way that they are going about it is causing more problems than just eating extra calories. She stated that kids are throwing their lunches away because they are so “nasty”.

These new lunch requirements have been noted by the nutrition directors at high schools who are now asking that the Department of Agriculture loosen the reins on their requirements. A high school senior in Georgia says that it is Mrs. Obama’s fault but also must the fault of others as well. He said that he is sure the servers are just doing what they are told and that it can’t just be one person’s fault. He stated that most of the students will deal with the lunches they are served but a lot of them bring their own lunch now instead of getting it through the school. Most of the complaints are that the “healthier” food does not look edible.

The law that put these new standards into schools around the country is called the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act which was put into action by Mrs. Obama. School cafeterias are worried for the students as they are not eating a lot of the food they are given. It was found however that the problem does not lie on Mrs. Obama’s shoulders. The Department of Agriculture made the standards and some of the schools are having a hard time adjusting. One student sent a message on Twitter showing a photo of a sad-looking chicken sandwich and a carton of 1% milk stating this was all they had to each for lunch. The school however was not in compliance with the new standards as there were no fruits or veggies given.

The new requirements are that the meals must offer:

- Whole grains
- Low-fat or fat-free Milk
- Fruits
- Vegetables
- Protein

The students can decline two out of those five requirements but they are forced to take one veggie or fruit. That does not mean that they will eat it however. The problem is that teens are so used to eating junk food in large portions that they are going to be dissatisfied no matter what the new requirements are.

Obama transparency


List of all 10 unclassified opinions authored
by DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel in 2013

Obama backed net neutrality when he wanted your vote

New Yorker - In 2007, at a public forum at Coe College, in Iowa, Presidential candidate Barack Obama was asked about net neutrality. Specifically, “Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to reinstate net neutrality as the law of the land? And would you pledge to only appoint F.C.C. commissioners that support open Internet principles like net neutrality?”

“The answer is yes,” Obama replied. “I am a strong supporter of net neutrality.” Explaining, he said, “What you’ve been seeing is some lobbying that says that the servers and the various portals through which you’re getting information over the Internet should be able to be gatekeepers and to charge different rates to different Web sites…. And that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet—which is that there is this incredible equality there.”

Bush was tougher on Wall Street criminals than Obama

AMY GOODMAN - Who was tougher on corporate America, President Obama or President Bush?

MATT TAIBBI: Oh, Bush, hands down. And this is an important point to make, because if you go back to the early 2000s, think about all these high-profile cases: Adelphia, Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen. All of these companies were swept up by the Bush Justice Department. And what’s interesting about this is that you can see a progression. If you go back to the savings and loan crisis in the late '80s, which was an enormous fraud problem, but it paled in comparison to the subprime mortgage crisis, we put about 800 people in jail during—in the aftermath of that crisis. You fast-forward 10 or 15 years to the accounting scandals, like Enron and Adelphia and Tyco, we went after the heads of some of those companies. It wasn't as vigorous as the S&L prosecutions, but we at least did it. At least George Bush recognized the symbolic importance of showing ordinary Americans that justice is blind, right?

Fast-forward again to the next big crisis, and how many people have we got—have we actually put in jail? Zero. And this was a crisis that was much huger in scope than the S&L crisis or the accounting crisis. I mean, it wiped out 40 percent of the world’s wealth, and nobody went to jail, so that we’re now in a place where we don’t even recognize the importance of keeping up appearances when it comes to making things look equal.

Obamadmin most secretive ever

Obama considering trashing one of New Deal's great achievements

Word; From the man himself

"The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican," Obama in 2012 to Noticias Univision 23.

What the hell is Barack Obama's presidency for?

Obama has issued fewest executive orders per month since Grover Cleveland

25 best lies of Obama

Why does it seem like Obama is no longer our president but only a spokesman? He appears to save his passion for the golf course while his words and actions are strangely robotic. Do we have more in common with Egypt than we realize?

Obama's war against a free press is unprecedented. But then so is the level of bipartisan approved spying on Amiercans generally

British Conservative Party hires Obama's campaign manager

Barack Obama: The first what?

The globalization of Obama’s narcissism

Barack Obama: Our first Common Core president

Pocket paradigm: A good way to think of Barack Obama's second term is as a job application for his post-White House employment. - Sam Smith

How Obama killed foreign policy for domestic politics

Obama's White House: Treating the media like puppets

This will teach the White House not to tell people they can't photoshop photos of Obama

Obama compares himself to a liberal Republican

Is Obama already holding US citizens illegally?

2012...

Former Obama aide calls him as 'ruthless and indifferent to rule of law' as Bush

A psychoanalyst looks at Barack Obama

Moving right along to our next big problem

A possible cause of some of Obama's problems




MIKE FLUGENNOCK

Follow the bouncing ball


An Obama campaign ad

More on Obama's strange past

Judge says it's okay for Obama to be president

Obama's foreclosure failure

The growing cancer in the White House

Where the lesser of two evils pays off

Stephen Colbert on Obama's kill who I want policy: "To make an omlette you have to kill a few civilians.

Hawaii verified Obama's birth there

Good summation of "natural born citizen" law

Obama's non-political problem

The story that won't go away: Obama's birthplace

Obama got most from equity, hedge funds in 2008

Why your editor plans to vote for Obama anyway

Obama bio claims attempted bribe to keep Rev. Wright quiet during election

Obama's gay marriage timeline

One in six Americans think Obama is a Muslim

How many times will Obama fool liberals?

Don't say he didn't warn you

"Too many of us [have been interested in defending programs the way they were written in 1938." Barack Obama, 2006

Word: Obama's biggest accomplishment?

Why does Obama spend so much staring pensively out of windows?


CLICK FOR SLIDE SHOW

The American Idol presidency of Barack Obama

Obama's non-political problem

Otohbotoh Obama

Publisher of Harper's Magazine calls for Dump Obama movement

Some scary truths about Obama

Among billionaires, Obama is only the second most popular. Romney has 42 billionaires helping pay for his trip, Obama has 30, and Perry has 20. Gingrich only has four.

For all those who think we're crazy for criticizing the individual mandate: “If things were that easy,” Mr. Obama told the talk show host Ellen DeGeneres of the health mandate in February of [2008], “I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t."

Solar firm praised by Obama goes bankrupt, now under FBI investigation

Obamadmin reveals its deep corruption

Obama vs. FDR

Obama supplies top level access to film makers producing Bin Laden movie to be released one month before the election

Obamadmin reaches sweetheart foreclosure deal with Bank of America: NY AG objects

Obama admin refuses to tell senators how it's tracking Americans

Glenn Greenwald: Obama's betrayal

Obama disses Elizabeth Warren

How Obama could lose in 2012

The candidate liberals chose to love

Obama dismisses Libyan war issue as a lot of "fuss"

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. - Barack Obama, 2007

The crime behind hope and change

Michelle Obama gets buddy buddy with Wal-Mart

Obama blames God for Afghanistan, economy, and Gitmo

"When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, I ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and our people," Obama said later. "And when I go to bed at night, I wait on the Lord and I ask him to forgive me my sins and to look after my family and to make me an instrument of the Lord." - Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast. The National Prayer Breakfast is organized by the right-wing Christian extremist group, The Family, which among many other Christian sins is involved with Uganda's anti-gay campaign.

Daley part of effort to end an open Internet

Obamacare adding health benefits to small businesses

Obama hires Wall Street welfare father as chief adviser

"Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." - Obama three days after Hilllary Clinton dropped out of campaign. . . .. Naomi Wolf looks at Obama's Chicago style market loving buddies.

The strange rise of Barack Obama

As we have noted, one of the unanswered questions about Barack Obama is how a young politician of such little achievement got so far so fast - from state senator to president in four years. Wayne Madsen and Bill Blum provides new light on the subject. To understand this phenomenon, it is important to recognize that if a young Obama was vetted or otherwise used by the CIA, it was not all that unusual. From the 1950s on, the agency repeatedly interfered in the education of the talented young by recruiting or co-opting them for its own purposes. Yale's Skull & Bones Club, for example, was a classic case of a recruitment camp for future intelligence types. The purpose - for the short run - is more information, and - for the long run - a supply of US future government officials whom the agency trusts and can use. And it often begins with a bright college student an insider thinks might fill the bill. . . .

Wayne Madsen Report - WMR has obtained additional details on Business International Corporation, the CIA front company where President Obama spent a year working after graduating from Columbia University in 1983.

BIC used journalists as non-official cover agents around the world. The firm published weekly and fortnightly newsletters for business executives. . .

On February 24, WMR reported: "For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC's financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter.

An informed source has told WMR that Obama's tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC. In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as 'Barry Soetoro,' traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go 'partridge hunting' with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business. The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA's support . . .

Through its contacts with leading liberals around the world, BIC sought to recruit those on the left as CIA agents and assets. . . .

Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, and his father, Barack Obama, Sr., met at the University of Hawaii in 1960 in a Russian-language class. . . After marrying Indonesian national Lolo Soetoro, Dunham moved with Barack Obama, Jr. to Indonesia in 1966. . . Dunham left Indonesia in 1972, returning to Hawaii with her son. Dunham periodically made trips back to Indonesia, as well as to Pakistan, while working for the Ford Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the latter commonly used by the CIA for official cover agents.

Dunham Soetoro was in Indonesia when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979. Barack Obama visited Lahore, Pakistan, where his mother worked as a "consultant," in 1981. . .

Bill Blum, Anti-Empire Report - The question that may never go away: Who really is Barack Obama? In his autobiography, "Dreams From My Fathers", Barack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as "a consulting house to multinational corporations" in New York City, and his functions as a "research assistant" and "financial writer." The odd part of Obama's story is that he doesn't mention the name of his employer.

However, a New York Times story of 2007 identifies the company as Business International Corporation. Equally odd is that the Times did not remind its readers that the newspaper itself had disclosed in 1977 that Business International had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960. The British journal, Lobster Magazine -- which, despite its incongruous name, is a venerable international publication on intelligence matters -- has reported that Business International was active in the 1980s promoting the candidacy of Washington-favored candidates in Australia and Fiji. In 1987, the CIA overthrew the Fiji government after but one month in office because of its policy of maintaining the island as a nuclear-free zone, meaning that American nuclear-powered or nuclear-weapons-carrying ships could not make port calls. After the Fiji coup, the candidate supported by Business International, who was much more amenable to Washington's nuclear desires, was reinstated to power.

In his book, not only doesn't Obama mention his employer's name; he fails to say when he worked there, or why he left the job. There may well be no significance to these omissions, but inasmuch as Business International has a long association with the world of intelligence, covert actions, and attempts to penetrate the radical left -- including Students for a Democratic Society -- it's valid to wonder if the inscrutable Mr. Obama is concealing something about his own association with this world.

Colony Net, 2008 - In an effort to shore up his foreign policy credentials during the primary campaign, the junior senator from Illinois - then in a tight primary contest with Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania - bragged about the time he had spent in Pakistan. He argued that Clinton's foreign policy "experience" consisted only of quick photo ops, while he had spent "quality time" with "real people." Not only that, he had actually gone on a partridge-hunting trip near the Pakistan city of Larkana. His partridge-hunting apparently impressed the gun owners of Pennsylvania very little, inasmuch as Clinton won that primary by 10 per cent.

Eager to impress the Pennsylvania crowd with his "foreign policy experience" and knowledge of guns, Obama thus let slip the fact that he'd been to Pakistan. (It is believed that he made two trips to Pakistan.) There must have been more to that trip than meets the eye, however, because the candidate has said virtually nothing about it since. You won't find anything on the Obama campaign site. . .

Astute readers may have begun to wonder how a struggling young college student with a divorced, middle-class mother managed to fund a three week trip to Pakistan. . . But Barry Obama-Soetoro was off shooting partridges in Pakistan, hosted by a young man named Muhammed Hasan Chandio. Chandio's family owned a substantial amount of land in the region, and Obama apparently met him while both were students. (Chandio is currently a financial consultant in New York, and a donor to the Obama campaign.). . .

Another of Obama's hosts in Pakistan was Muhammadian Mian Soomro, Obama's senior by about 11 years, son of a Pakistani politician and himself a politician, who became interim President of Pakistan when Pervez Musharraf resigned in August of 2008. Soomro has said that "someone" personally requested that he "watch over" Barack Obama, but will not name that individual . . .

A trip to Pakistan is no doubt more than a jaunt to a Florida beach. Few Americans would consider traveling there now, thinking it to be a dangerous place. In 1981, when one of Obama's possible two trips there occurred, it was less safe. Because of the war between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, millions of Afghan refugees fled to Pakistan, which was under martial law. The Afghan "mujahedeen" fighters had bases in Pakistan, and they moved back and forth to fight the Soviets. . .

In the early 1980s, Pakistan was one of the destinations Americans were prohibited from visiting - it was on the State Department's list of banned countries. Non-Muslims were not welcome, unless they were on official business, formalized through the embassy of the country of origin. The simple truth is that no young American would have a reason to or be able to visit Pakistan in 1981, unless he was on official government business of which the State Department was aware. . .

Adding to the mix is the fact that Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, had visited at least 13 countries in her lifetime, and had worked for companies that required travel to Pakistan. Her employers appear to have included the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Ford Foundation, Women's World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. Note that USAID and the Ford Foundation have (allegedly) been used as covers for CIA agents. . . .

The story of Business International also includes its 1960s joint meetings with members of SDS at the prodding of Carl Oglesby. Not everyone was happy at the idea - including Bernadette Dorn - and probably for good cause.

Obama also was one of eight students selected to study sovietology by Columbia professor Zbigniew Brzezinski who, if he wasn't a CIA official, was as close as you can otherwise get. Brzesinski is now a member of Obama's inner circle.

If the Obama Pakistan story sounds somewhat familiar, it may because the Review was one of the few places that reported one of Bill Clinton's similar interesting trips:

"1960s: Bill Clinton, according to several agency sources interviewed by biographer Roger Morris, works as a CIA informer while briefly and erratically a Rhodes Scholar in England. Although without visible means of support, he travels around Europe and the Soviet Union, staying at the ritziest hotel in Moscow. During this period the US government is using well educated assets such as Clinton as part of Operation Chaos, a major attempt to break student resistance to the war and the draft. According to former White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich Clinton is told by Oxford officials that he is no longer welcome there."

MORE ON OBAMA'S HIDDEN PAST

Smoking pot with Obama

2010

The United States, which is currently engaged in a complete war against some weird guy with a website, is going to host “World Press Freedom Day,” the Department of State announced today. They’re all especially excited about protecting the flow of digital news, which is why Washington is “concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. - Wonkette

"I'm a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information. I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes ... And so I've always been a strong supporter of open Internet use. I'm a big supporter of non-censorship." – Barack Obama, November 16, 2009

"The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears. Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve." - Barack Obama

The vanity of Obama

Obama defines sin

When he was running for the Senate in 2004, Obama was interviewed about his religious views by Chicago Sun Times columnist Cathleen Falsani. The most curious exchange was this:

FALSANI:
Do you believe in sin?

OBAMA:
Yes.

FALSANI:
What is sin?

OBAMA:
Being out of alignment with my values.

HOW OBAMA IS TO THE RIGHT OF REAGAN

RAHM EMMANUEL: "FUCK THE UAW"

WHAT THE MEDIA DOESN'T TELL YOU ABOUT OBAMA'S SCHOOL 'REFORM'

OBAMA CHICKENS OUT ON A DEBATE WITH AHMADINEJAD

WHITE HOUSE AIDES BORED WITH IT ALL

A WARNING TO OBAMA FROM HIS BACK YARD

WHY OBAMA IS CALLED A SOCIALIST. . . AND WHY IT MATTERS

INSPECTOR HITS ADMINISTRATION'S CLOSING OF AUTO DEALERSHIPS

WHY THE STIMULUS HAS BOMBED

OBAMA ATTACKS CONSTITUTION AGAIN; ATTEMPTS TO STRIP MORE CONGRESSIONAL POWER

OBAMA PLANS TO TURN PUBLIC HOUSING OVER TO CORPORATE SLUMLORDS

OBAMA SEEKING WAYS TO SABOTAGE MIRANDA RULING

HOLDER SAYS OBAMA ADMIN IS READY TO IGNORE CONSTITUTION AGAIN

OBAMA INFORMATION CZAR WOULD STRIP FIRST AMENDMENT FROM BLOGS

KAGAN AND OBAMA: A PAIR OF APOLITICAL CAREERISTS

OBAMA'S ENDLESS WAR

OBAMA SELECTS RECORD-THIN JUDGE, BUT ODDS ARE THE REPUBLICANS WON AGAIN

OBAMA TO CIA: YOUR DRONES CAN KILL ANYONE

OBAMA SEEKS TO STRIP EVEN MORE BUDGET POWER FROM CONGRESS

MAYBE OBAMA ISN'T REALLY ALL THAT SMART

MEMO FROM A FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER

GOLDMAN SACHS PACS & STAFFERS 2ND LARGEST SOURCE OF OBAMA CONTRIBUTIONS

OBAMA BACKS OFF STUNNING INVASION OF PRIVACY

OBAMA HAS NSA WHISTLEBLOWER CHARGED FOR REVEALING FRAUD, WASTE AND ILLEGAL SPYING

A REAL SOCIALIST EXPLAINS WHY OBAMA ISN'T ONE

GALLERY: WHAT IT COULD LOOK LIKE IF ONE OF OBAMA'S
NEW NUCLEAR PLANTS BLOWS UP

OBAMA'S FORECLOSURE PLAN HELPS BANKS MORE THAN HOMEOWNERS

OBAMA ASSUMES RIGHT TO MURDER WHOMEVER HE WANTS

LAST DAYS OF SUMMERS?

OBAMA PUTS MORE MILITARY INTO AFRICA

OBAMA NAMES MONSANTO LOBBYIST TO KEY AGRICULTURE POST

OBAMA'S FORECLOSURE PLAN IS A FAILURE

OBAMA WILL SPEND MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH ON WAR SUPPLEMENTAL AS ON FORECLOSURE AID

OBAMA MADE DEAL TO DUMP PUBLIC OPTION

THE O BOMB: WHY IS OBAMA DOING SO BADLY?

OBAMA PERFORMS TRIPLE AXEL ON PATRIOT ACT

OBAMA BEATS RECORD FOR LEAST NUMBER OF NEWS CONFERENCES

OBAMA'S SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE HIT MEN

OBAMA: OPRAH WITH A PRESIDENTIAL SEAL

YESTERDAY OBAMA BASHES LOBBYISTS; TODAY HE BRIEFS THEM

OBAMA IN HIS FORMER LIFE SPEAKING ON BUDGET FREEZES

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SAYS IT HAS RIGHT TO KILL YOU WHEN YOU'RE OVERSEAS

BUSH-OBAMA HAVE SPENT $1 TRILLION ON WARS

THE BUSINESSMAN OBAMA ADMIRES

OBAMA TO RIGHT OF MCCAIN, VOLKER AND WALL STREET JOURNAL ON KEY FINANCIAL ISSUE

DEALING WITH THE OBAMA FREEZE WARNING

IS OBAMA JUST A SMARTER HAROLD FORD?

OBAMA GOT $20 MILLION FROM HEALTH INDUSTRY IN 2008

A FEW QUESTIONS FOR BARACK OBAMA

OBAMA & THE AMERICAN OLIGARCHY

MOVING ON WITHOUT OBAMA

SUMMERS HANDLED HARVARD'S FUNDS AS BADLY AS OURS

OBAMA GETS INTO BED WITH COPYRIGHT EXTREMISTS

OBAMA HELPING TO WEAKEN OFFSHORE TAX RESTRICTION

BIG TIME PAY TO PLAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE

2009

OBAMA BACKS MAJOR RESTRICTIONS ON FREE SPEECH

OBAMA FIGHTING TO CONCEAL TORTURE EVIDENCE

HOW OBAMA CAVED TO BIG PHARMA

OBAMA'S GUERRILLA WAR AGAINST THE AMERICAN LEFT

OCTOBER 2009

OBAMA'S NOBEL COMPANY

PUTTING OBAMA BEHIND US

OBAMA TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF 1200 TIMES IN 41 SPEECHES

MODIFIED DREAMS FROM OBAMA'S FATHER

OBAMA SNUBS GORDON BROWN

SEPTEMBER 2009

THE ENDLESS OBAMAMERCIAL

DEMOCRATS BECOMING SKEPTICS OF CZARISM

OBAMA DOESN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW IF YOU'RE ON THE TERRORIST WATCH LIST

AUGUST 2009

HOW TO SPOT A CONSERVATIVE

WHAT IF OBAMA IS WRONG?

GREAT THOUGHTS OF BARACK OBAMA BEFORE HE WAS PRESIDENT AND TRYING TO RUSH THROUGH A 1000 PAGE HEALTH CARE PLAN

JULY 2009

REMEMBER HOW OBAMA WAS GOING TO GET THOSE LOBBYISTS OFF OUR BACK?

OBAMA CLAIMS RIGHT TO KEEP PEOPLE IMPRISONED EVEN IF ACQUITTED

OBAMA WANTS TO DECIDE WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORTH LIVING ANYMORE

OBAMA'S CLASSROOM SPIES

SMOKE GETS IN OBAMA'S MOUTH

OBAMA DISSES MAYORS

OBAMA IN TROUBLE WITH RURAL DEMOCRATS OVER CAR DEALERS

JUNE 2009

OBAMA FIRES INSPECTOR GENERAL WHO WENT AFTER HIS PAL

FOLLOW THE BOUNCING 'JOBS SAVED'

OBAMA NAMES ANTI-ABORTION FIGURE TO KEY HEALTH JOB

THE PANOBAMARAMA VIEW OF THINGS

OBAMA SEEKS POWER TO HIDE WAR CRIMES

GRAND THEFT AUTO: OBAMA'S PENSION SCAM

DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, WORDS FROM BILL AYERS?

MULTICULTURALISM ON THE CHEAP

ANOTHER OBAMA PROMISE DOWN THE DRAIN

MAY 2009

OBAMA CONSIDERS VAT TAX

OBAMA SEEKS POWERS OF A DICTATOR

OBAMA ACCUSED OF DECEIVING CONGRESS MEMBERS ON AUTO PLANT CLOSINGS

HOLBROOKE, OTHER OBAMITES, REPORTED TO BILDERBERG

HEALTH INDUSTRY SAYS OBAMA MISLED ON ITS PROMISE

OBAMA, MEDIA LAUNCH WAR ON SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

OBAMA'S HEALTHCARE REFORM MALPRACTICE

OBAMA'S HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY BAILOUT

OBAMA PROMISES SOME PROTECTION FROM OFFSHORE SCAMS

STATS: PRESS FAWNS OVER OBAMA

OBAMA'S CZAROMANIA

OBAMA DUMPS NAFTA CAMPAIGN PROMISE

OBAMA WIGGLES ON PROSECUTION OF BUSH REGIME CRIMES

OBAMA REFUSES TO PROSECUTE CIA TORTURE CRIMINALS

APRIL 2009

OBAMA NAMES FIFTH RIAA ATTORNEY TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

OBAMA GOES BEYOND BUSH IN SUPPORT OF ILLEGAL WIRETAPS

LIBERAL GROUPS HAPPILY ENLIST IN OBAMA'S WAR

OBAMA SAY U.S. IS NOT AT WAR WITH ISLAM (NOT INCULDING PALESTINE, SYRIA, IRAN, IRAQ, PAKISTAN & AFGHANISTAN)

OBAMA BACKS SCHOOL DISCRIMINATION

WELCOME TO OBAMA'S WAR

HILL PROGRESSIVES BEING DISSED BY OBAMA

OBAMA ALIGNS HIMSELF WITH RIGHT WING OF DEMOCRATS

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SUPPORTS RECORDING INDUSTRY BULLIES

OBAMA CAVES TO ISRAEL LOBBY

MARCH 2009

OBAMA HAVING A HARD TIME KEEPING UP WITH IT ALL

OBAMA'S TELEPROMPTER DEPENDENCE

OBAMA'S TECHNOCRATIC AUTOCRACY

ANOTHER CZAR, ANOTHER CONFLICT OF INTEREST

OBAMA FURTHERS THE MYTH ABOUT SCHOOLS AND JOBS

OBAMA PROMISES TO OBSERVE TWO-THIRDS OF HIS IRAQ PROMISE

WHOSE DEFICIT IS IT?

NIXON & OBAMA'S FIRST 100 DAYS

THE STORY SO FAR: OBAMA & THE RIGHT

OBAMA'S TEAM: CLINTONISTA RETREADS & ELITE COLLEGE GRADS

OBAMA AIDES SAY OUTSOURCING TORTURE IS 'STATE SECRET'

FEBRUARY 2009

FORGET THE HONEYMOON

WHAT THE CENTRISTS HAVE WROUGHT

OBAMA BREAKS FAITH ON FAITH POLICY

YOU KNOW IT'S BAD WHEN THE HOUSE OF LORDS IS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT FREEDOM THAN OBAMA OR THE DEMOCRATS

ZINNI GETS OBAMA BRUSH-OFF

DESPITE CAMPAIGN PROMISES, OBAMA HIRES LOBBYISTS

POST PARTISAN DEPRESSION

OBAMA EXEMPTS MAJOR DEFENSE LOBBYIST FROM HIS OWN ETHICS RULES

OBAMA JOINS WAR ON SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE

OBAMA PRAISES AMERICA'S FIRST FISCAL CON MAN

OBAMA STRIKES BLOW FOR FUEL EFFICIENCY

CITIZEN GROUPS TROUBLED BY OBAMA'S MEDICAL RECORD PLAN

OBAMA BUYS INTO CONSERVATIVE TAX CUT MYTH

OBAMA TO OVERTURN FAMILY PLANNING ADVICE BAN

JANUARY 2009

OBAMA READY TO SWITCH AFGHAN PUPPETS IN MID STREAM

THINKING ABOUT OBAMA

PROBLEMS AT THE STARTING GATE

OBAMA'S DUBIOUS & HYPER EXPENSIVE MEDICAL RECORDS PLAN

OBAMA STIMULUS WILL LEAVE ECONOMY FLACCID

OBAMA'S NON-COMBAT TROOP TRICK

THE STRANGE RISE OF OBAMA

OBAMA'S NUKE BUDDIES JOIN WITH FRENCH FIRM TO COOPERATE "ON NUCLEAR POWER MATTERS."

OBAMA AND NUCLEAR POWER

THE OBAMA CON

HOW TO RAISE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS WITHOUT BEING INDICTED

WILL OBAMA GIVE BUSH & CHENEY AN ILLEGAL PASS ON THEIR WAR CRIMES?

OBAMA: NO TRANSITION ON MARIJUANA

BLAGOJEVICH AND OBAMA

OBAMA'S SECRET LIFE AS A FOOD CRITIC

DECEMBER 2008

THE MICHELLE THAT OBAMA SHOULD AVOID

OBAMA POISED TO BLUNDER IN AFGHANISTAN

OBAMA OWES CARTER AN APOLOGY

OBAMA & CASTRO ON LATIN AMERICA

RENDITION ADVOCATE LEADING OBAMA'S REVIEW OF INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

OBAMA'S BAIT & SWITCH APPROACH TO WHITE LIBERALS

OBAMA: JUST ONE MORE PROBLEM PROGRESSIVES FACE

OBAMA PUTTING KNIFE IN SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE

TURNOUT NOT AS IMPRESSIVE AS EXPECTED

NOVEMBER 2008

SCOWCROFT ADVISING OBAMA

WHAT'S WRONG WITH OBAMA'S HEALTH PLAN

IN 2006 INTERVIEW EMANUEL URGED MANDATORY NATIONAL SERVICE

NY TIMES NOTE PROGRESSIVE QUALMS ABOUT SUMMERS, GEITHNER

OBAMA HAS 200 COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS FIRED AT DNC

A NOVEL BLEND OF MINORITIES AND WEALTH ELECTED OBAMA

THE REVIEW HELPS CLOSE DOOR ON OBAMA'S DRAFT

OBAMA PRAYING AND PALLING WITH RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS

THE FIRST BLACK BILL CLINTON

HOW THE OBAMA FAIRY TALE BEGAN

WHY IS OBAMA'S FIRST OBLIGATION TO THE REPUBLICANS?

OBAMA MAY NAME CONTROVERSIAL CONGRESSMAN AS CHIEF OF STAFF

18 HOURS A DAY WITH OBAMA & STILL NOT KNOWING HIM

NAMES ON THE LIST: TIM GEITHNER, POSSIBLE TREASURY SECRETARY

YOU VOTE FOR A HARVARD LAW SCHOOL GRAD,
YOU GET A HARVARD LAW SCHOOL GRAD

Excerpts from the seven page questionaire for Obama job seekers

OCTOBER 2008

KICKING OBAMA ACROSS THE GOAL LINE

FORGET ABOUT BILL AYERS, HERE ARE SOME OF OBAMA'S PALS YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT

OBAMA KNEW BILL AYERS; MCCAIN IS DEPENDING ON PEOPLE LIKE THESE

FORGET ABOUT AYERS, OBAMA'S CHICAGO PROJECT WAS FUNDED BY WEALTH OF A RIGHTWING REPUBLICAN

ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE EIGHT YEARS AGO?

A CAMPAIGN FOR OBAMA IN ELEVEN SENTENCES

HOW TO BEAT THE REPUBLICANS

STARTLING NEW EVIDENCE THAT OBAMA ISN'T MUSLIM . HE'S IRISH. . . THEY JUST FORGOT THE APOSTROPHE

VENETIAN GONDOLIERS BACKING OBAMA

BRITISH AMBASSADOR SHOWS GOOD HANDLE ON OBAMA IN PRIVATE LETTER

OBAMA GETS CLOSER TO CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS

OBAMA DOES WELL AMONG LATINOS

OBAMA BACKTRACKS ON HIS POLICIES

SEPTEMBER 2008

THINGS PRESIDENT OBAMA IS GOING TO REGRET

OBAMA HINTS RETURN OF DRAFT

MTV NEWS BRINGS OUT THE BETTER OBAMA

MTV News host Swaye gets Obama out of the pulpit, away from the ponderous and off the parsing to produce one of his best interviews we've seen and far more appealing that his stiff debate appearance. It was relaxed, friendly and plain spoken. If Obama talked to older Americans this way, he's do a lot better. [Be sure to watch all the clips; they automatically follow each other]

MICHELLE OBAMA HAS COUSIN WHO'S A RABBI

YOU DON'T NEED A WEATHERMAN TO KNOW WHICH WAY OBAMA'S WIND IS BLOWING

THE BLACK AGENDA FOR OBAMA: NOTHING

AUGUST 2008

UNIONS CONCERNED OVER OBAMA'S WALL STREET POLITICS

GREAT MOMENTS IN CHICAGO POLITICS

OBAMA PADS HIS RESUME

VANITY FAIR CLAIMS TO HAVE FOUND OBAMA'S LOST BROTHER

MIDDLE CLASS MORE PROGRESSIVE THAN OBAMA, CONGRESS

DEMOCRATIC POLS IN SWING STATES SAY OBAMA SHOULD CUT THE HOPE CRAP AND GET STRONGER ON ISSUES

OBAMA BEATS MCCAIN AMONG CHRISTIANS

OBAMA: THE MAN AND THE MACHINE

THE SORRY HISTORY OF OBAMA'S APPROACH TO IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN

OBAMA CAMPAIGN STAGNATES

OBAMA FLIPS BIG TIME ON OFFSHORE DRILLING

OBAMA & MCCAIN: LIFE WITHOUT FATHER

OBAMA TALKS SENSE ABOUT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

OBAMA'S OWN GREEN ADVISOR DIFFERS ON ETHANOL

OBAMA & THE END OF POLITICS

JULY 2008

PRESS & OBAMA END THEIR AFFAIR

THE PROGRESSIVE PUZZLE: DEALING WITH THE OBAMA PROBLEM

STATE SENATOR OBAMA WAS IN POCKET OF COAL INDUSTRY

THE CHANGE WAR CANDIDATE

DEMOCRATS UNUSUALLY PSYCHED OVER ELECTION

OBAMA VETTING RIGHT WING AGRIBUSINESS LAWYER FOR VEEP

IS OBAMA QUIETLY PUSHING A NATIONAL DRAFT?

OBAMA ADVISOR WARNS AGAINST HOLDING THOSE IN POWER LIABLE FOR CRIMINAL ACTS

OBAMA WILL GET THE TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ . . .EXCEPT FOR THE ONES HE LEAVES THERE

OBAMA'S STRANGE AFFECTION FOR REAGAN

THE COWBOYS & THE IVIES

OBAMA: THE SORRIEST POLITICIAN AROUND

JESSE JACKSON'S NUTCRACKER BLEEP

OBAMA FLIP FLOP OF THE DAY: WELFARE POLICY

MERKEL TELLS OBAMA TO KEEP HIS CAMPAIGNING AT HOME

OBAMA VOTES TO TRASH FOURTH AMENDMENT,
LET BUSH & TELCOMS ESCAPE PROSECUTION

OBAMA FLIP FLOP OF THE DAY: WELFARE POLICY

MAKING A MUDDLE OF THE POLITICAL MIDDLE & WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

OBAMA LINKED TO THE ATTACK ON PUBLIC HOUSING

TELLING THE FACTS ABOUT OBAMA

JUNE 2008

RECOVERED HISTORY: OBAMA AND ISLAM

BILL CLINTON SAYS OBAMA WILL HAVE TO 'KISS MY ASS' FOR HIS SUPPORT

ONE OF OBAMA'S CHICAGO CONSTITUENTS TELLS HOW TO DEAL WITH HIM

WHO'S OBAMA TALKING WITH?

 QADDAFI ON OBAMA

BEST BUMPER STICKER OF THE YEAR

OBAMA THROWS PUBLIC FINANCING UNDER THE BUS

WHY WHAT OBAMA IS DOING IS NOT COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

POWELL MIGHT SUPPORT OBAMA

OBAMA SPIN A LITTLE OUT OF CONTROL

MORE THAN 85% OF AMERICANS WOULD DO BETTER UNDER OBAMA'S TAX PLAN

OBAMA SUPPORTS AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL SEARCHES

THE SPLIT PERSONALITY OF BARACK OBAMA

 

OBAMA DITCHES NAFTA POSITION THAT HELPED HIM WIN THE PRIMARIES

CNN In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine's upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn't want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA. "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered. . . Obama's tone stands in marked contrast to his primary campaign's anti-NAFTA fusillades. The pact creating a North American free-trade zone was President Bill Clinton's signature accomplishment; but NAFTA is also the bugaboo of union leaders, grassroots activists and Midwesterners who blame free trade for the factory closings they see in their hometowns.

OBAMA CLOSE TO ETHANOL INDUSTRY

LARRY ROHTER, NEW YORK TIMES Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates.

Nowadays, when Mr. Obama travels in farm country, he is sometimes accompanied by his friend Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota. Mr. Daschle now serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and works at a Washington law firm where, according to his online job description, "he spends a substantial amount of time providing strategic and policy advice to clients in renewable energy."

WILL OBAMA TAKE ON CREDIT CARD USURY?

OBAMA'S CHICAGO BOYS

OBAMA FANS THE BLACK FATHER MYTH

JAMES JOHNSON EMBARASSED OUT OF OBAMA POST

OBAMA MAKES WAR WITH IRAN FAR MORE LIKELY

OBAMA WOULD GIVE ALL OF JERUSALEM TO ISRAELIS

DID OBAMA & CLINTON GO TO SECRET BILDERBERG MEETING, TOO?

MORE REASONS OBAMA SHOULD HAVE VETTED HIS VETTERS

OBAMA'S VETTER BLEW MONDALE'S RACE

 HOW MANY TROOPS IN AN OBAMA RESIDUE?

OBAMA FLIP FLOPS ON CUBA

OBAMA'S TOP AIDE IS CORPORATE PR OPERATIVE

OBAMA'S IRAQ POSITION REMAINS IN DOUBT

HAROLD FORD TELLS OBAMA HOW TO CAMPAIGN

POLL FINDS OBAMA'S JEWISH PROBLEM A MYTH

CBS NEWS According to exit polls conducted in 30 primary states, Jewish Democratic primary voters overall supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama - 53 percent chose Clinton compared to 45% who chose Obama. . . Although Jewish Democratic voters favored Clinton in the primaries, Jewish registered voters overall say they would support either Obama or Clinton in a November match-up with McCain. According to CBS News Polls conducted from February to May, both Obama and Clinton would win among Jewish voters nationally by a comfortable margin. If the candidates were Obama and McCain, the polls show Obama would get 65 percent of the vote of Jewish registered voters to 28 percent for McCain. If the candidates were Clinton and McCain, Clinton would get 68 percent to 26 percent for McCain.

MAY 2008

IN FIRST 100 DAYS, OBAMA WOULD REVIEW EVERY BUSH EXECUTIVE ORDER

REUTERS If elected president, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said one of the first things he wants to do is ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while Republican President George W. Bush has been in office. Those that don’t pass muster will be overturned, he said.Other goals for his first 100 days: work out a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq; make progress on alternative energy plans and launch legislation to reform the health care system

OFFICIAL OBAMA BINGO CARD

Already geting tired of Barack Obama's platitudes? Stay awake with the Review's official Obama bingo card
Improvements welcomed

OBAMA'S VIEWS ON THE SUPREME COURT

OBAMA'S TOP AIDE IS CORPORATE PR OPERATIVE

 

OBAMA ADDS FAITH TO HOPE & CHANGE

OBAMA MOVES HARD RIGHT ON ISRAEL-PALESTINE

WITH OBAMA, THE DLC WINS AGAIN

TIME MAGAZINE DISCOVERS THAT OBAMA HAD A WHITE MOTHER

OBAMA'S ARMS LENGTH APPROACH TO THE GAY MEDIA

OBAMA'S KEY ADVISOR WANTS 60,000-80,000 AMERICAN TROOPS TO STAY IN IRAQ

OBAMA PRAISES FIRST GULF WAR, FOREIGN POLICIES OF REAGAN AND DADDY BUSH

ABE FOXMAN AND BARACK OBAMA

INTERESTING 1995 CHICAGO READER PIECE ON OBAMA

GOP CONGRESSMAN: TERRORISTS WOULD DANCE IN THE STREET IF OBAMA WINS

WHY DOES WALL STREET LOVE OBAMA?

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT OBAMA

OBAMA CAMPAIGN CAUGHT IN NAFTA DOUBLE TALK

THE OBAMA - REZKO STORY

OBAMA CAMPAIGN REPORTER: "HARD NOT TO DRINK THE KOOL AID"

CLINTON, OBAMA BRIBING SUPER DELEGATES

THE NEED FOR PROGRESSIVE PRESSURE ON OBAMA

OBAMA'S FINANCE CHAIR TIED TO SUBPRIME SCANDAL

BEHIND THE FARRAKHAN CONTROVERSY

LAND DEAL COMES BACK TO HAUNT OBAMA

OBAMA ON IRAQ: FEWER TROOPS, MORE BLACKWATER?

OBAMA TAKING BACK DOOR FUNDING FROM LOBBYISTS

GOP USING JOE MCCARTHY TACTICS AGAINST OBAMA

MICHELLE OBAMA'S THESIS

HOLDING OBAMA TO ACCOUNT

JUST WORDS ON JUST WORDS

SOME JEWISH LEADERS OUT TO GET OBAMA AS JEWISH VOTERS CARE MORE ABOUT DOMESTIC ISSUES

TOP OBAMA AIDE IS SENIOR ECONOMIST AT DEMOCRATIC ABANDONSHIP COUNCIL

ACADEMICS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST PRO-ISRAELI MCCARTHYISM

OBAMA JOINS THE BUTTONED UP LOOK

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT OBAMA'S PALS?

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT DRUGS & OBAMA?

BLACK COLLEGE PAPER QUESTIONS BLIND LOYALTY TO OBAMA

OBAMA DISSES 1960S AND 1970S

WATCHING OBAMA

BIPARTISANSHIP IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH

GRATUITOUS GRAVITAS & KING KAROAKE

THE TIMIDITY OF HOPE

JOHN KERRYING BARACK OBAMA

VIDEO OF OBAMA ON THE COURT IN HIGH SCHOOL

OBAMA WILLING TO PUT EXTREME RIGHTWINGERS IN CABINET

WHY OBAMA IS CALLED BLACK

WITH OBAMA, THE DLC WINS AGAIN

APRIL 2008

LIVE WITH THE ELITE, DIE WITH THE ELITE

SAM SMITH

Sure, Obama is an elitist. I thought it the first time I saw him. The tone, the dress, the moves, the constant pretense of being in deep thought, the patronizing explanation replacing impassioned argument. Another smart-ass from an Ivy League law school. The ones that talk grandly and carry a little feather. We've got a lot of them in Washington.

That's why many white liberals went for him. He was comfortably familiar in all but hue. They treat him like a prophet but in fact he's just another of the black ivies who are riding the political waves these days. For Obama and Patrick Deval it was Harvard, for Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia it was the Wharton School at Penn, for DC's Mayor Fenty is was Oberlin and for Newark's Cory Book it was Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. Not bad if you can't have a mother who was Irish or latino.

But it's not as politically wonderful as it seems to some. St. Barack still can't get comfortably past one of the sleaziest politicians in his party's modern history and shows up weakly in matches against a guy who hasn't done anything worth remembering since Vietnam. His purported magnificence somehow fails to make the same impression at the polls as it does at the rallies and fundraisers of the well committed.

That's not surprising but it's worth noting and suggests a bit more humility in the Obama camp wouldn't hurt.
Of course, humility is not highly valued there. After all, it takes something beyond ordinary self-confidence to move from state senator to presidential candidate without even finishing your freshman term in the Senate.

On the other hand, Obama's not a corrupt and conniving cad nor a decrepit warrior looking for another dogfight, so it looks like he's the best we're going to get.

And it's not totally his fault that he sees himself as God's gift to his party and his country. His elitism is not really the problem; it is the elitism of those who convinced him of this: the white liberals.

These are the people who couldn't stand John Edwards, the candidate who came closest to the New Deal and Great Society values of any Democratic leader in decades. But his policies didn't move them, only his accent and haircut.

This is not a new problem. I wrote about it almost two decades ago:

Today's liberals seem to lack a sense of politics as war, in which one constantly rearranges the order of battle to win one's ultimate objective. They see politics more as a secular form of religion in which success is judged not by societal change but by the rigor with which the faith is maintained. They are political fundamentalists and, like religious fundamentalists, as far removed from their liberal heritage as Pat Robertson is from Jesus.

As with the religious fundamentalists, the liberal true believers often miss the point. The canon becomes particularized and heavily a matter of style and form. They know how to speak like liberals to other liberals but not how to talk to the rest of the world.

The result is a strange distortion of liberal priorities. Gut issues of immense potential popularity such as health, housing, job creation and education are left by the wayside in favor of issues that, no matter how worthy they may be, are most likely to alienate liberalism from the largest number of Americans.

This then is Obama's problem now: not so much that he's an elitist but that he's surrounded by them, funded by them, guided by them - and for too long has been trying to imitate them. If Ed Rendell was not so foolishly infatuated with the latest pretender to the Bush-Clinton duopoly, he might take Obama aside and give him a few lessons in talking like a real person again. Look at what a good job Rendell is doing making Clinton sound like one.

But Obama doesn't seemed blessed by that sort of advice. Both his white liberal and black constituencies love him too much for getting this far and wouldn't think of suggesting that he dismount his great stallion and reach out beyond the Ebenezer Baptist - Harvard Law axis to people who are seeking something more.

It wouldn't be hard. He could join a majority of doctors in this country and support single payer health insurance. He could go after usurious interest rates. He could propose a housing policy in which the government become equity partners with less wealthy homebuyers and recovered its share at sale.

Hell, he could take just one position without a dozen conditions and it would probably help.

But instead, it looks like he will continue to be the man his fans adore and the rest can't quite figure out.

That's not the best way to win an election.

MEDIA BIAS DOESN'T GET MUCH WORSE THAN THIS

All three major presidential candidates have highly controversial religious ties. We searched news sites for mention of these candidates and their ties and came up with these results:

  • HILLARY CLINTON AND THE FELLOWSHIP: 45 MENTIONS
  • JOHN MCCAIN AND REV JOHN HAGEE: 502 MENTIONS
  • BARACK OBAMA AND REV JEREMIAH WRIGHT: 17,258 MENTIONS

DOUG HENWOOD'S OBAMA REALITY CHECK

MARCH 2008

OBAMA RAISES TWICE AS MUCH FROM BIG BUSINESS INTERESTS AS MCCAIN

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT OBAMA

[Matt Gonzales is running with Ralph Nader as an independent vice presidential candidate. From an article in Counterpunch]

CLASS ACTION REFORM: In 2005, Obama joined Republicans in passing a law dubiously called the Class Action Fairness Act that would shut down state courts as a venue to hear many class action lawsuits. Long a desired objective of large corporations and President George Bush, Obama in effect voted to deny redress in many of the courts where these kinds of cases have the best chance of surviving corporate legal challenges. Instead, it forces them into the backlogged Republican-judge dominated federal courts. By contrast, Senators Clinton, Edwards and Kerry joined 23 others to vote against CAFA, noting the "reform" was a thinly-veiled "special interest extravaganza" that favored banking, creditors and other corporate interests. . .

CREDIT CARD INTEREST RATES: Obama has a way of ducking hard votes or explaining away his bad votes by trying to blame poorly-written statutes. Case in point: an amendment he voted on as part of a recent bankruptcy bill before the US Senate would have capped credit card interest rates at 30 percent. Inexplicably, Obama voted against it, although it would have been the beginning of setting these predatory lending rates under federal control. Even Senator Hillary Clinton supported it. Now Obama explains his vote by saying the amendment was poorly written or set the ceiling too high. His explanation isn't credible as Obama offered no lower number as an alternative, and didn't put forward his own amendment clarifying whatever language he found objectionable.

LIMITING NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES: These seemingly unusual votes wherein Obama aligns himself with Republican Party interests aren't new. While in the Illinois Senate, Obama voted to limit the recovery that victims of medical malpractice could obtain through the courts. Capping non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases means a victim cannot fully recover for pain and suffering or for punitive damages. Moreover, it ignored that courts were already empowered to adjust awards when appropriate, and that the Illinois Supreme Court had previously ruled such limits on tort reform violated the state constitution. . .

MINING LAW OF 1872: In November 2007, Obama came out against a bill that would have reformed the notorious Mining Law of 1872. The current statute, signed into law by Ulysses Grant, allows mining companies to pay a nominal fee, as little as $2.50 an acre, to mine for hardrock minerals like gold, silver, and copper without paying royalties. . . The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007 would have finally overhauled the law and allowed American taxpayers to reap part of the royalties. . . Later it came to light that one of Obama's key advisors in Nevada is a Nevada-based lobbyist in the employ of various mining companies

ENERGY POLICY: On energy policy, it turns out Obama is a big supporter of corn-based ethanol which is well known for being an energy-intensive crop to grow. It is estimated that seven barrels of oil are required to produce eight barrels of corn ethanol, according to research by the Cato Institute. Ethanol's impact on climate change is nominal and isn't "green" according to Alisa Gravitz, Co-op America executive director. "It simply isn't a major improvement over gasoline when it comes to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions." . . . Obama voted in favor of $8 billion worth of corn subsidies in 2006 alone, when most of that money should have been committed to alternative energy sources such as solar, tidal and wind.

SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE: Obama opposed single-payer bill HR676, sponsored by Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers in 2006, although at least 75 members of Congress supported it. . . Obama's own plan has been widely criticized for leaving health care industry administrative costs in place and for allowing millions of people to remain uninsured. "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore ridiculed it saying, "Obama wants the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care plan-the same companies who have created the mess in the first place."

NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT: Regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement, Obama recently boasted, "I don't think NAFTA has been good for Americans, and I never have." Yet, Calvin Woodward reviewed Obama's record on NAFTA in a February 26, 2008 Associated Press article and found that comment to be misleading: "In his 2004 Senate campaign, Obama said the US should pursue more deals such as NAFTA, and argued more broadly that his opponent's call for tariffs would spark a trade war.

SOME FINAL EXAMPLES: On March 2, 2007 Obama gave a speech at AIPAC, America's pro-Israeli government lobby, wherein he disavowed his previous support for the plight of the Palestinians. . .

He wouldn't have his picture taken with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom when visiting San Francisco for a fundraiser in his honor because Obama was scared voters might think he supports gay marriage . . .

Obama acknowledges the disproportionate impact the death penalty has on blacks, but still supports it, while other politicians are fighting to stop it. . .

Obama aggressively opposed initiating impeachment proceedings against the president and he wouldn't even support Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold's effort to censure the Bush administration for illegally wiretapping American citizens in violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. . .

http://counterpunch.com/gonzalez02292008.html

STRANGE COINCIDENCES

 

DEVAL PATRICK 2006

 

OBAMA 2008

ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION

WE SHALL BE OVERCOME

OH BUMMER

SAM SMITH

I am already in trouble for not being sufficiently enthusiastic about Barack Obama and the dude hasn't even been nominated yet.

I even wrote that he was the best candidate who could possibly win, albeit adding that this was more cause for concern than for joy.

But the days when you took someone's vote and didn't ask too many questions are apparently over. In modern liberalism, you not only have to be on the right side but for the right reasons.

And so now, according to one blog, I am "excoriating Barack Obama" and full of "fear and loathing." Another reader writes to say, "you nay-sayers can either get on the train or get out of the way." Even two-thirds of my immediate family is on my case.

Yet before I am dragged off to my first Skeptics Anonymous meeting, let me try to explain why I haven't turned to Barack with appropriate enthusiasm and faith.

Just writing that seems silly. After all, until now even missionaries understood that it was their job to convert and not the heathens' task to justify their apathy and doubt.

On the other hand, I have been through this before. It wasn't long after I began writing critically of Bill Clinton that I became a "Clinton hater," a marvelous piece of snake oil semiotics in which the Clintonistas claimed the status of oppressed peoples while his opponents were dumped amongst the ranks of anti-Semites and the KKK.

One of the few pleasures of the last eight years, despite regularly excoriating the Bush regime, has been that no one has called me a "hater." In fact, in fifty years of journalism, Clinton is apparently the only politician I have ever "hated." The rest I have just criticized or exposed. I thought I was doing the same thing with Clinton but then I didn't yet understand post-modern politics.

All along, I just thought I was doing my job, serving my readers instead of power, the latter being the preferred cause of the more conventional media which has never understood the difference between objectivity and obsequiousness. Twenty years ago, I put it this way:

"The preoccupation of the press with power, in no small part, is a reflection of its own social ambitions rather than an accurate description of the world. The erstwhile dictum that the only way for a journalist to look at a politician is down his nose has been replaced by the dictum: don't bite the source that feeds and glamorizes you."

By the way, the politician the press was protecting then was named Ronald Reagan. Its love of power is quite non-partisan and the reader has become its non-partisan victim.

Then there's the problem of policy. I call it life but apparently the correct word is policy. In pro-Obama writings you find a dismissive approach towards "policies" as though they were nice things as long as hidden away in statements or for fellows at the Brookings Institution, but not the real - like enthusiasm, hope and faith.

Here's where I fail again. I actually think providing Americans with decent healthcare and housing and ending usurious interest rates is more important than having a nice president talking with enthusiasm about hope and faith.

Where did I pick up this odd idea? From the Democratic Party, which from Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson had it as a central thesis. Which is why we have a minimum wage, Medicare, Social Security and some modicum of control over banks and investment firms. Social Security once symbolized real hope to Americans. Now Obama symbolizes hope and, according to him, everything about Social Security is "on the table."

Sadly, for anyone under 35 there has hardly been a measure passed in their lifetime that would give much credibility to "policies." But it is possible. Consider what that evil man Richard Nixon did. He proposed a healthcare plan to the left of either Obama or Clinton. This plan included a provision in which any American could sign up for Medicaid paying on a sliding income scale. He indexed Social Security for inflation, created the Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA as well as the first real federal affirmative action program. If a guy as bad as Nixon could do all that, shouldn't we expect a bit more from the sainted Barack Obama?

Then there's the politics of the situation. In the old Democratic Party, liberals instinctively understood they were fighting a two front war: one front against the Republicans and the other against the bad guys in their own party: George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Carmine DeSapio, Richard Daley etc. With Clinton, the liberal wing of the party became gutless puppets of the Democratic Abandonship Council.

Compare that with the Republicans who reached their modern pinnacle in a state of constant internal conflict that goes on to this day. It is interesting to speculate on whether liberals, if they had been as assertive within their own party as the GOP right, might not have had similar results.

One other thing: I suffer from the delusion that if I want words put together well I should go to a bookstore and not to a political speech. As George Orwell noted, "in our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemisms, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness."

In one debate, for example, Obama and Clinton spent a half hour on healthcare and no one noticed that their entire purpose was to defend programs designed to protect the useless and destructive private insurance industry. I would feel quite differently about Obama's language if he used the words "single payer" as often as he does "hope."

Finally, if they insist on talking about hope, I've got the Obamists beat. My optimism far exceeds theirs because I truly believe we could have done better than Barack Obama. And still can some day.

WHY CHEERING IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Sam Smith

Two essential facts about the presidential campaign:

1. Of the present candidates who could possibly be elected, Barack Obama is clearly the best.

2. This is more cause for concern than for hope.

Symbolizing the new Middle Ages in which we live - in which thought and action are guided by media-driven myth (as opposed to the church-driven myth of the earlier medieval era) - Obama has arrived at his status without record, without programs and without a vision beyond a collection of trite but effective evangelical cliches. He is, however, of the right mythical looks, age and color.

Early in the campaign, I compared him to Chauncy Gardiner aka Chance the Gardener, an earlier manifestation of magnificent nothingness to appear on the American political scene - albeit the fiction of Chance was safely contained in the movie "Being There" while Obama was running for election to a real White House.

In the final scene, reports Wikipedia, "Chance is seen apparently walking across the surface of a lake while the most important movers and shakers in the USA discuss running him for President. This scene continues to generate discussion and controversy. Clearly we see Chance walking on water, an act with a clear biblical reference. . . Is there a prosaic explanation, such as hidden stepping-stones? Or is Chance the Savior (as so many of the characters are looking for)? Does he truly possess some special grace, given his simple innocence and simply being present to each moment without filters and ideas? In his 2001 book, The Great Movies, Roger Ebert argues for the latter interpretation. Another view is that the director (and the author) are simply asking the audience: "How much more would you have believed? We've been kidding you all along you know!"

The novel upon which the movie was based was written over thirty years ago by Jerzy Kosinski. The Obama candidacy may elevate Kosinksi to one of the most prescient political authors of modern times. After all, what is more Obamesque than the sort of phrase that got Chance started? - "In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again."

If you think that's an exaggeration, consider this from Chauncy Obama: "If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."

So here we are. We don't know what we have and we don't know what we're going to get. But to many it looks great.

Yet one thing is certain. The current mindless infatuation of Obama's supporters, while harmless enough with a rock star, will do our politics and our lives no good.

We have, after all, some experience with this. Obama isn't the first Democratic candidate to try to ride into town on the back of hope. Bill Clinton brought the whole town of Hope with him but by the end of his first term the word had all but dropped from sight.

Instead, Clinton mangled the social democracy of his predecessors, raised corruption to new heights and paved the way for the Bush regime, aided in no small part by the groupiesque infatuation among the liberal class.

If there was one thing we should have learned from the Clinton years is the danger of adoring politicians instead of pragmatically using them.

Sadly, however, the last presidential candidate to even hint at this was Eugene Debs who said once, "Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. He has not come; he never will come. I would not lead you out if I could for if you could be led out, you could be led back again."

Instead, we have a candidate who declares, "We are the ones we've been waiting for. . . We are the change that we seek."

Instead, we have a candidate who says, "My job this morning is to be so persuasive . . . that a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack."

As Joe Klein noted in Time, "the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire. Rather than focusing on any specific issue or cause - other than an amorphous desire for change - the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is."

The blogger Barhu writes, "What I find interesting about Obama is how narcissistic he is with his own rhetorical gifts. With so many millions of people finding so much inspiration in his rhetoric, what is it, exactly, that he is trying to inspire them to do? Has he made appeals to his young followers to join the military, the Peace Corps, Teach For America? Has he inspired them to give back to his country, to seek out public service, to serve, as John McCain has implored his followers, a cause greater than ourselves? Has he inspired his over-educated, overpaid followers to raise money for victims of Katrina or the tornadoes, to lobby for higher taxes, to sacrifice any of their wealth or intellect in the service of America? Has he tried, in any way, shape or form, to use his gifts to inspire his minions to become apart of the fabric of public service, to improve our nation through volunteerism, charitable donations, self service of any kind whatsoever?

"No. The only thing Barack Obama has ever inspired anyone to do is vote for Barack Obama."

This is the technique of generations of hustlers, many of them generating their con from the pulpit, others leading pseudo-psychological workshops, and a few - the most dangerous - with whole armies behind them. If you listen to Obama with any sense of history, you can not but be concerned.

Still the alternative is the atrocious Clinton or the egregious McCain and there is no suggestion here that these are better choices. Only that voters - instead of being reduced to hand clapping, check writing automatons - understand what they are getting with their vote and that, if that vote succeeds, they must be constantly on guard, know when to oppose and when to, as Pogo once put it, stand up on the piano and demand outrage action. We are not getting a savior, but at best an occasional ally.

We should be no less cautious of our politicians than the Roman Church is of its potential saints. The Guardian described John Paul II as having to go through the following:

"Theological experts will review John Paul's published works to determine if they are theologically sound, a historical commission will gather information to document his life, and Rev D'Alonzo and Monsignour Oder will start interviewing witnesses.

"When the material is gathered, the Vatican appoints a commission to review the case and make a final report to the Pope for him to decide if John Paul led a life of 'heroic virtue'".

"If he does, and the Vatican then confirms a miracle has occurred after John Paul's death thanks to his intercession, he can be beatified. A second miracle is needed for him to be made a saint."

Mind you, we are choosing something far more important than a mere saint; we are selecting a president - and, theoretically, not one to serve but to serve us. To the extent we ignore this difference, we approach the point described by Albert Camus to a German friend after the Second World War: "This is what separated us from you; we made demands. You were satisfied to serve the power of your nation and we dreamed of giving ours the truth."

IN SEARCH OF OBAMA

MONEY, ECONOMY & LABOR

AUDACITY OF HOPE - "Conservatives and Bill Clinton were right about welfare"

PAUL STREET - He opposed an amendment to the Bankruptcy Act that would have capped credit card interest rates at 30 percent.

Obama voted for a business-friendly "tort reform" bill that rolls back working peoples' ability to obtain reasonable redress and compensation from misbehaving corporations

THE NATION - John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are pledging substantial federal resources to stabilize the mortgage market and intervene on behalf of borrowers. Barack Obama's proposal is tepid by comparison, short on aggressive government involvement and infused with conservative rhetoric about fiscal responsibility. As he has done on domestic issues like healthcare, job creation and energy policy, Obama is staking out a position to the right of not only populist Edwards but Clinton as well. . . Though he has been a proponent of mortgage fraud legislation in the Senate, he has remained silent on further financial regulations. And much like his broader economic stimulus package, Obama's foreclosure plan mostly avoids direct government spending in favor of a tax credit for homeowners, which amounts to about $500 on average, beyond which only certain borrowers would be eligible for help from an additional fund. . .

Obama's disappointing foreclosure plan stems from the centrist politics of his three chief economic advisers and his campaign's ties to Wall Street institutions opposed to increased financial regulation. David Cutler and Jeffrey Liebman are both Harvard economists who served in the Clinton Administration, and they work on market-oriented solutions to social welfare issues. Cutler advocates improving healthcare through financial incentives; Liebman, the partial privatization of Social Security.

Austan Goolsbee, an economist at the University of Chicago who calls himself a "centrist market economist," has been most directly involved with crafting Obama's subprime agenda. . . Robert Pollin, an economist at the University of Massachussets, believes "these three advisers generally reflect Obama's very moderate economic program, similar to Clintonism." Wall Street apparently has come to a similar conclusion. Obama had received nearly $10 million in contributions from the finance, insurance and real estate sector through October, and he's second among presidential candidates of either party in money raised from commercial banks, trailing only Clinton. Goldman Sachs, which made $6 billion from devalued mortgage securities in the first nine months of 2007, is Obama's top contributor. When asked if Obama would hold these financial institutions accountable for losses incurred by homeowners and investors, his campaign refused to comment.

PAUL STREET - Obama has lent his support to the aptly named Hamilton Project, formed by corporate-neoliberal Citigroup chair Robert Rubin and "other Wall Street Democrats" to counter populist rebellion against corporatist tendencies within the Democratic Party.

IDEOLOGY

PAUL STREET - Obama was recently hailed as a "Hamiltonian" believer in "limited government" and "free trade" by Republican New York Times columnist David Brooks, who praises Obama for having "a mentality formed by globalization, not the SDS." . . .

POLITICS

PAUL STREET - He had to be shamed off the "New Democrat Directory" of the corporate-right Democratic Leadership Council by the popular left black Internet magazine Black Commentator.

The list was compiled by the DLC and Obama asked to be removed after he began getting flack about it - TPR

He lent his politically influential and financially rewarding assistance to neoconservative pro-war Senator Joe Lieberman's struggle against the Democratic antiwar insurgent Ned Lamont. Obama has supported other "mainstream Democrats" fighting antiwar progressives in primary races

Obama later reversed his position and supported Lamont in the general election - TPR

He criticized efforts to enact filibuster proceedings against reactionary Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Obama "dismissively" referred-in a "tone laced with contempt"-to the late progressive and populist U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone as "something of a gadfly."

He opposed an amendment to the Bankruptcy Act that would have capped credit card interest rates at 30 percent.

WASHINGTON TIMES - Barack Obama, the senatorial candidate of 2004, might have a bone to pick with Barack Obama, the presidential candidate of 2008. Videotapes of debates and speeches that were obtained by The Washington Times show that Mr. Obama took positions during his Senate campaign on nearly a half-dozen issues ranging from the Cuba embargo to health care for illegal aliens that conflict with statements that he has made during his run for the White House.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Obama voted to make John Negroponte the National Intelligence Director.

PAUL STREET - He voted for the appointment of the war criminal Condaleeza Rice to Secretary of State.

He refuses to foreswear the use of first-strike nuclear weapons against Iran.

WASHINGTON TIMES - In 2004, Mr. Obama told an audience at Southern Illinois University, "I think it's time for us to end the embargo with Cuba. . . It's time for us to acknowledge that that particular policy has failed." However, he stopped short of calling for an end to the embargo in a Miami Herald op-ed in August. He said he would rely on diplomacy, with a message that if a post-Fidel Castro government made democratic changes, the U.S. "is prepared to take steps to normalize relations and ease the embargo."

HEALTH

PAUL STREET - Obama claims to oppose the introduction of single-payer national health insurance on the grounds that such a widely supported social-democratic change would lead to employment difficulties for workers in the private insurance industry-at places like Kaiser and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Does Obama support the American scourge of racially disparate mass incarceration on the grounds that it provides work for tens of thousands of prison guards?

WASHINGTON TIMES - Mr. Obama told an AFL-CIO group in June 2003: "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer, universal health care plan." But in a recent debate he said he has never endorsed such a plan. "Senator Obama has always said that single-payer universal care is a good idea because it would increase efficiency in the system, but the problem is that it's not achievable," Mr. Vietor said.

CIVIL LIBERTIES

He voted to confirm Michael Chertoff as head of HSA

PAUL STREET - Obama voted to re-authorize the repressive PATRIOT Act.

He opposed Senator Russ Feingold's (D-WI) move to censure the Bush administration after the president was found to have illegally wiretapped U.S. citizens.

WASHINGTON TIMES - In an October 2003 NAACP debate, Mr. Obama said he would "vote to abolish" mandatory minimum sentences. "The mandatory minimums take too much discretion away from judges," he said. Mr. Obama now says on his web site that he would "immediately review sentences to see where we can be smarter on crime and reduce the ineffective warehousing of nonviolent drug offenders."

WHAT OTHERS SAY

WASHINGTON LOBBYIST - Big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn't see him as a ‘player'. . . What's the dollar value of a starry-eyed idealist?

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

PAUL STREET - Obama assiduously supported the ethanol-promoting objectives of the Illinois-based firm Archer-Daniels Midland, which has provided him with private jets on at least two occasions. He has also defended the interests of Illinois' gigantic electrical firm Exelon, America's leading nuclear plant operator and a company that has given more than $74,000 to his campaigns.

NUCLEAR ENERGY

Obama voted for a nuclear energy bill that included money for bunker buster bombs and full funding for Yucca Mountain.

DALLAS NEWS - Barack Obama says nuclear power should be explored as an energy option. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's "agnostic" on whether more nuclear plants should be built. . . "They've gone from 'no' to 'yes, but,' and some even describe themselves as agnostics, and that's a big improvement," said Derrick Freeman, senior director of legislative programs for the Nuclear Energy Institute, which supports the nuclear industry. . .

SOURCES OF FUNDING

PAUL STREET - His top career sponsors include Goldman Sachs, Exelon (a leading Midwestern utility and the world's leading nuclear plant operator), Soros Fund Management, J.P Morgan Chase & Co., a number of leading corporate law and lobbying firms (including Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden Arps, and Sidley Austin LLP), top Chicago investment interests (including Henry Crown & Co and Aerial Capital Management) and the like.

HIS BOOK

PAUL STREET - Obama relates youthful discomfort with his college roommates' "irresponsible" criticism of "capitalism" and then confesses respect for Ronald Reagan's supposed success in embodying what Obama calls "American's longing for order" (p. 31)

Obama commends "the need to raise money from economic elites to finance elections" for "prevent[ing] Democrats...from straying too far from the center" and for marginalizing "those within the Democratic Party who tend toward zealotry" (p. 38) and "radical ideas"

Obama praises fellow centrist Senators John F. Kerry (D-MA) and Hilary Clinton (D-NY) for "believing in maintaining the superiority of the U.S. military" and embracing "the virtues of capitalism" (p. 38). He applauds his "recognizably progressive" Third Way hero Bill Clinton for showing that "markets and fiscal discipline" and "personal responsibility [are] needed to combat poverty" (pp. 34-35).

Obama contends that defense of New Deal and Great Society programs is contrary to "the changing circumstances of globalization" (p.38).

Obama claims that the 1960s New Left expressed the same self-indulgent "more absolutism" (pp. 26-33) that animated the New Right.

The American people, Obama argues, harbor only modest expectation of their government (p.7), reflecting little concern (by Obama's account) with traditional left goals of social justice and equality.

In Obama's brand of "progressivism," serious concern over the nation's harsh disparities is consigned to leftist "cranks" and other assorted "unreasonable zealots" – people walking in the "absolutist" footsteps of Marx, the New Left, and (though Obama would never acknowledge this) the democratic socialist Martin Luther King, Jr.

Obama praises the United States' founders for "recognize[ing] that there were seeds of anarchy in the idea of individual freedom, an intoxicating danger in the idea of equality." If "everybody is truly free, without the constraints of birth or rank and an inherited social order," Obama asks, then "how can we ever hope to form a society that coheres?" (pp. 86-87)

The Bush-Cheney gang-bangers are "possessed," Obama says, "of the same mix of virtues and vices, insecurities and long-buried injuries as the rest of us."

Obama roots the greatness of America in its "free market" capitalist system and "business culture."

It is left to alienated carpers, "cranks" and "moral absolutists" of the "unreasonable" left (Obama's basic understanding of radicals) to observe the terrible outcomes of "our" distinctively anti-social (and incidentally heavily state-protected) "market system."

Obama criticizes "left-leaning populists" like "Venezuela's Hugo Chavez" for daring to think that developing nations "should resist America's efforts to expand its hegemony" and for trying to "follow their own path to development." Such dysfunctional "reject[ion] [of] the ideals of free markets and liberal democracy" will only worsen the situation of the global poor, Obama claims (p. 315).

THE MESSIAH AND HIS GROUPIES

I've been following politics since I was about 5. I've never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. [Obama] comes along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the New Testament. - Chris Matthews

It's almost like the Messiah, you know? - Jan Young

He looked at me, and the look in his eyes was worth 1,000 words - Field worker

You don't need to debate policy or discuss the day's headlines. You have a very personal reason for investing your time and energy in this campaign – that is the most compelling story you can tell. - Obama site

The New Kennedy - Morgenpost, Berlin

"Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I've heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence. - Ezra Klein

When you listen to Barack Obama, when you really hear him, you witness a very rare thing. You witness a politician who has an ear for eloquence and a tongue dipped in the unvarnished truth - Oprah Winfrey

REALITY CHECK: ENVIRONMENT

[From the Daily Green]

JOHN MCCAIN - Global Warming: Has supported cutting carbon dioxide emissions 30% below present levels by 2050 with a cap-and-trade regulation. Alternative Energy: Supports a variety of energy technologies, including nuclear energy, but has not spelled out a specific plan for research, development and deployment of new energy technologies. Also Notable: McCain co-authored the first Senate legislation designed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, in 2003.

BARACK OBAMA - Global Warming: Cut carbon dioxide emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 with a cap-and-trade regulation. Alternative Energy: Spend $150 billion over 10 years on renewable, alternative and clean energy research and development. Also Notable: Obama would create an independent, private clean technologies deployment venture capital fund to partner with existing investment funds and national laboratories to invest in new energy technologies.

HILLARY CLINTON Global Warming: Cut carbon dioxide emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 with a cap-and-trade regulation. Alternative Energy: Start a $50 Billion Strategic Energy Fund to pay for research, development and deployment of renewable, alternative and clean energy technologies Also Notable: Clinton would develop a "Connie Mae" program to help low- and middle-income families make investments in home energy efficiency

DALLAS NEWS - Barack Obama says nuclear power should be explored as an energy option. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's "agnostic" on whether more nuclear plants should be built. . . "They've gone from 'no' to 'yes, but,' and some even describe themselves as agnostics, and that's a big improvement," said Derrick Freeman, senior director of legislative programs for the Nuclear Energy Institute, which supports the nuclear industry. . .

OBAMA ARGUES WITH HIMSELF

JANUARY 2008

THE ECONOMICS OF OBAMA

THE REAL STORY BEHIND OBAMA'S 'PRESENT VOTES

GRATUITOUS GRAVITAS & KING KAROAKE

The choice between the two leading Democratic candidates is really between favoring the vast amount one doesn't know about Obama over the vast amount one should know about Clinton but which too many ignore. It is a choice between a guess and the gross, the unknown hustler and the known perp, the blank page over an overflowing, disingenuous and dishonorable record.

Mae West said that when faced with the choice between two evils, she always picked the one she hadn't tried before. This is clearly a strong argument for Obama, but fortunately we still have another choice left: John Edwards, whose proposals are the most progressive of the lot and whose supporters include those among the most active in pushing for real change and not just gossamer clouds of undefined hope.

Even if Edwards can't win the election, he will definitely win the argument because an America that succeeds will adopt his approach and one that fails will be sorry it hadn't. A fantasized future or a falsified past won't save America: real progress for real people just might.

JOHN KERRYING BARACK OBAMA

BIPARTISANSHIP IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH

What is the bipartisan solution for. . .

The Iraq war, which was started and continued with full support of both the Republican and Democratic parties?

The destruction of the Constitution through such means as runaway wiretapping and the Patriot Act, both of which have received strong bipartisan support including from major Democratic presidential candidates?

The harm done by the cynical No Child Left Behind Act, which received broad bipartisan support?

The growing use of torture by the US government, support for which is so bipartisan it hasn't hardly been mentioned during the current campaign?

Global warming, around which Republicans and Democrats have reached a consensus to keep as much below the surface as possible?

If we have much more bipartisanship, it may prove fatal. Candidates proposing bipartisanship or "post-partisanship" are really arguing for merging two dangerous mobs even more than at present.

Bipartisanship does not end conflict, it simply strengthens the conflict by those in power against the rest of us.

As Harry Truman noted, "Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan, I know he is going to vote against me."

FLOTSAM & JETSAM: WATCHING OBAMA

Sam Smith

I've been trying to figure out why I find Barack Obama less impressive than many of my white friends and have come up with two tentative answers:

First, I went to the same school as Obama, albeit graduating magna cum probation from Harvard College rather than with honors from its law school. Now Harvard graduates come in all flavors, but too many of the most successful ones learn quickly to gravitate to gratuitous gravitas. If you watch Obama closely he seems in public to have only two moods, happy or look-how-serious-I-am-about-this, the latter being the quality that allows Washington officials - and Harvard Law grads - to convince everyone else they should invade Iraq and Vietnam or forget about global warming for the time being. The problem is that, as one journalist noted, there is a big difference between being somber and being serious. And gravitas - with which Obama overflows - seems often just a karaoke version of seriousness.

(If you are inclined to think that college background is irrelevant, remember this: The Vietnam war was in no small part the invention and obsession of machismo-seeking Harvard grads and during the last twenty years of America's extraordinary decline, our country has been in the hands of products of Yale: two Bushes and a Clinton.)

The other difference I have with many of my white friends is that I have lived and worked most of my life in Washington, DC, which has as much pulpit borne politics per square inch as any place in the country. When Obama does his Martin Luther King cover, therefore, what comes to mind is not "I have a Dream" but, "Oh no, not again," for it brings to mind crummy council members and dubious mayors being propelled into office with the help of similar irrelevant rhetoric.

The fact is that King is long dead and black preachers, just like white ones, don't act like that much any more regardless of their comfortable cadences. The ministry - white and black - has walked away from the 1960s and its values just as surely as have the politicians and the media. So when someone tries to pull the noble preacher shtick, I feel more like I'm being conned than being converted.

The alternative to this is to spend less time looking for Jesus or JFK and MLK and more time seeking policies and a politics with which one is comfortable. They can come in all colors, geographies and genders - not because of them but because, for the good things in life, it just doesn't matter.

DECEMBER 2007

VIDEO OF OBAMA ON THE COURT IN HIGH SCHOOL

OBAMA VOTED 'PRESENT' 130 TIMES IN ILLINOIS STATE SENATE

OBAMA WILLING TO PUT EXTREME RIGHTWINGERS IN CABINET

NOVEMBER 2007

OBAMA PLAYED FOR SUCKER ON SOCIAL SECURITY

PAUL KRUGMAN, NY TIMES - Lately, Barack Obama has been saying that major action is needed to avert what he keeps calling a "crisis" in Social Security - most recently in an interview with The National Journal. Progressives who fought hard and successfully against the Bush administration's attempt to panic America into privatizing the New Deal's crown jewel are outraged, and rightly so.

But Mr. Obama's Social Security mistake was, in fact, exactly what you'd expect from a candidate who promises to transcend partisanship in an age when that's neither possible nor desirable. . .

Inside the Beltway, doomsaying about Social Security - declaring that the program as we know it can't survive the onslaught of retiring baby boomers - is regarded as a sort of badge of seriousness, a way of showing how statesmanlike and tough-minded you are.

Consider, for example, this exchange about Social Security between Chris Matthews of MSNBC and Tim Russert of NBC, on a recent edition of Mr. Matthews's program "Hardball."

Mr. Russert: "Everyone knows Social Security, as it's constructed, is not going to be in the same place it's going to be for the next generation, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives."

Mr. Matthews: "It's a bad Ponzi scheme, at this point."

Mr. Russert: "Yes."

But the "everyone" who knows that Social Security is doomed doesn't include anyone who actually understands the numbers. In fact, the whole Beltway obsession with the fiscal burden of an aging population is misguided.

As Peter Orszag, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, put it in a recent article co-authored with senior analyst Philip Ellis: "The long-term fiscal condition of the United States has been largely misdiagnosed. Despite all the attention paid to demographic challenges, such as the coming retirement of the baby-boom generation, our country's financial health will in fact be determined primarily by the growth rate of per capita health care costs.". . .

I don't believe Mr. Obama is a closet privatizer. He is, however, someone who keeps insisting that he can transcend the partisanship of our times - and in this case, that turned him into a sucker. . .

http://www.nytimes.com http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/11/16/5276/

SEPTEMBER 2007

GREAT MOMENTS IN CAMPAIGN HYPE

AUGUST 2007

THE OBAMA WAFFLE SHOP

DERRICK Z. JACKSON, BOSTON GLOBE - It is unclear if Barack Obama's caution precedes consensus or cave-in. Asked if he would eliminate discriminatory laws that punish crack cocaine possession so heavily that it would take 100 times more in powder cocaine for the same sentence, Obama started off by saying the law was a mistake. He talked about his record in the Illinois Senate.

"I want to point out that I fought provisions like this and in many cases voted against provisions like this, knowing the way they could be exploited politically," Obama told the Trotter Group of African-American newspaper columnists last week after addressing the National Association of Black Journalists. "I thought it was the right thing to do. Even though the politics of it was tough back in the '90s, as a state legislator I took some tough votes to make sure we didn't see the perpetration of these kinds of unjust laws.". . .

 

JUNE 2007

UNMARKED BLACK HAWK CONFIRMED AS OBAMA

WE RECENTLY suggested that Obama's foreign policy was nowhere near as liberal as many liberals believed. This view has now been confirmed by the Washington Post's conservative editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt

FRED HIATT, WASHINGTON POST - [Barack Obama and Mitt Romney] have laid out their foreign policy visions in parallel articles, released prior to publication in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs. And after you cut through some of their campaign rhetoric, here's what you find:

(1) The two candidates' programs are strikingly similar to each other.

(2) Both are strikingly similar to Bush administration policy.

(3) And both, far from retreating to isolationism in the face of Iraq and other challenges, set forth their own wildly ambitious calls for American leadership and the promotion of American values. "Boldness" is an operative word for both of them.

Obama begins: "After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew."

Romney writes: "In the aftermath of World War II and with the coming of the Cold War, members of the 'greatest generation' united America and the free world around shared values and actions that changed history. . . . Our times call for equally bold leadership."

The two differ in some respects, of course. Romney puts more emphasis on combating radical Islam and less on promoting freedom. Obama dwells more on Bush's failures and the value of diplomacy and endorses a "phased withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Iraq. But even there, the differences are not as stark as the candidates would like them to appear. Obama would maintain in Iraq enough troops "to protect American personnel and facilities, continue training Iraqi security forces, and root out al Qaeda."

And the similarities dwarf the differences. Both want bigger, not smaller, armed forces: Obama calls for an additional 92,000 ground troops, Romney for 100,000.

Obama calls for a doubling of foreign aid; Romney wants a Marshall Plan-like "Partnership for Prosperity and Progress" that would support schools, microcredit, the rule of law, human rights, health care and the free market in Islamic states.

Romney says that "the jihadist threat is the defining challenge of our generation," as real as the threat that was posed by Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union, and he promises an appropriately sized response. Obama, albeit using slightly different terms, agrees: "To defeat al Qaeda, I will build a twenty-first-century military and twenty-first-century partnerships as strong as the anticommunist alliance that won the Cold War to stay on the offense everywhere from Djibouti to Kandahar.". . .

In both cases, the criticism is not that Bush took on too much but that he accomplished too little. "We are a unique nation, and there is no substitute for our leadership," says Romney. Agrees Obama: "We can be this America again. . . . [A]n America that battles immediate evils, promotes an ultimate good, and leads the world once more."

If Iraq-weary voters are looking for someone who will call on America to "come home," they won't find that candidate here.

OBAMA GOT $168,000 FROM INDICTED BUSINESSMAN OVER THE YEARS

OBAMA: BRANDING TIMIDITY AS A VIRTUE

OBAMA PUSHING COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE ENERGY PLAN

MAY 2007

OBAMA WOULD CONSIDER WEAKENING SOCIAL SECURITY: "EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE"

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS - You've also said that with Social Security, everything should be on the table.

OBAMA: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Raising the retirement age?

OBAMA: Everything should be on the table.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Raising payroll taxes?

OBAMA: Everything should be on the table. I think we should approach it the same way Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan did back in 1983. They came together. I don't want to lay out my preferences beforehand, but what I know is that Social Security is solvable. It is not as difficult a problem as we're going to have with Medicaid and Medicare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Partial privatization?

OBAMA: Privatization is not something that I would consider . . .

http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2007/05/obama_brushes_a.html

OBAMA MAY NOT LIKE PACs BUT IS IN TIGHT WITH LOBBYISTS

WHY OBAMA IS CALLED BLACK

One of the jobs of a journalist is to keep cleaning up one's own mind. It is so easy to drift into a colloquial world in which habit, cliche and spin conspire to make one an unconscious co-conspirator in the myths of the time.

For example, I've been calling Barack Obama black.

Yet the only way Obama is black is if one accepts a definition that is culturally rather than scientifically derived.

White liberals want Obama to be black because it helps them feel that this election is another freedom ride and blacks accept Obama as black in a long tradition of turning the majority's cruelty to their own purposes, thus expanding their base in American society.

As a scientific matter, however, race is a racist concept and doesn't exist. It was invented as a tool of prejudice and still manages to survive despite even DNA evidence to the contrary. Race is to culture as intelligent design is to evolution. Here's the way I put in The Great American Political Repair Manual:

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What are considered genetic characteristics are often the result of cultural habit and environmental adaptation. As far back as 1785, a German philosopher noted that "complexions run into each other." Julian Huxley suggested in 1941 that "it would be highly desirable if we could banish the question-begging term 'race' from all discussions of human affairs and substitute the noncommittal phrase 'ethnic group.' That would be a first step toward rational consideration of the problem at hand." Anthropologist Ashley Montagu in 1942 called race our "most dangerous myth."

Yet in our conversations and arguments, in our media, and even in our laws, the illusion of race is given great credibility. As a result, that which is transmitted culturally is considered genetically fixed, that which is an environmental adaptation is regarded as innate and that which is fluid is declared immutable.

Many still hang on to a notion similar to that of Carolus Linnaeus, who declared in 1758 that there were four races: white, red, dark and black. Others make up their own races, applying the term to religions (Jewish), language groups (Aryan) or nationalities (Irish). Modern science has little impact on our views.

Our concept of race comes largely from religion, literature, politics, and the oral tradition. It comes creaking with all the prejudices of the ages. It reeks of territoriality, of jingoism, of subjugation, and of the abuse of power.

DNA research has revealed just how great is our misconception of race. In The History and Geography of Human Genes, Luca Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford and his colleagues describe how many of the variations between humans are really adaptations to different environmental conditions (such as the relative density of sweat glands or lean bodies to dissipate heat and fat ones to retain it). But that's not the sort of thing you can easily build a system of apartheid around. As Thomas S. Martin has written:

"The widest genetic divergence in human groups separates the Africans from the Australian aborigines, though ironically these two 'races' have the same skin color. . . There is no clearly distinguishable 'white race.' What Cavalli-Sforza calls the Caucasoids are a hybrid, about two-thirds Mongoloid and one-third African. Finns and Hungarians are slightly more Mongoloid, while Italians and Spaniards are more African, but the deviation is vanishingly slight."

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One of the reasons that so many consider Obama black is because of the one drop rule, which Wikipedia explains like this:

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According to the United States' colloquial term one drop rule, a black is any person with any known African ancestry. The one drop rule is virtually unique to the United States and was applied almost exclusively to blacks. Outside of the US, definitions of who is black vary from country to country but generally, multiracial people are not required by society to identify themselves as black. The most significant consequence of the one drop rule was that many African Americans who had significant European ancestry, whose appearance was very European, would identify themselves as black.

The one drop rule originated as a racist attempt to keep the white race pure, however one of its unintended consequences was uniting the African American community and preserving an African identity. Some of the most prominent civil rights activists were multiracial but yet stood up for equality for all. It is said the W.E.B. Du Bois could have easily passed for white yet he became the preeminent scholar in Afro-American studies. He chose to spend his final years in Africa and immigrated to Ghana where he died aged 95. Other scholars such as Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass both had white fathers.[20] Even the more radical activists such as Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan both had white grandparents. That said, colorism, or intraracial discrimination based on skin tone, does affect the black community. It is a sensitive issue or a taboo subject. Open discussions are often labeled as "airing dirty laundry."

Many people in the United States are increasingly rejecting the one drop rule, and are questioning whether even as much as 50% black ancestry should be considered black. Although politician Barack Obama self-identifies as black, 55 percent of whites and 61 percent of Hispanics classified him as biracial instead of black after being told that his mother is white. Blacks were less likely to acknowledge a multiracial category, with 66% labeling Obama as black. However when it came to Tiger Woods, only 42% of African-Americans described him as black, as did only 7% of White Americans.

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But politics isn't science; it isn't even traditional culture. It's its own world. Thus we have a man who hopes to be America's first black president whose only upbringing by a black parent ended when he was two years old.

Barack Obama's mother is white. His stepfather was Indonesian. The grandparents with whom he was sent to live when he was ten were white. But according to the media and his supporters, Obama is still black.

In Obama's case this is a myth that's a little hard to sustain, but by keeping his white relatives sternly away from the media and by playing up his culturally tangential connection to Kenya including a media-enhanced visit, he's done an impressive job.

But journalists aren't meant to play along with myths. Obama isn't black. Since the word race shouldn't even be used these days, it would be best to call him bi-ethnic or multicultural. There's nothing wrong with this; it just doesn't seem to attract as many votes and dollars.

If you look at Obama's life from a purely cultural standpoint, he is mainly part Indonesian and part Hawaiian, impressive but not exactly the deep pockets campaign fundraisers are looking for except for the fact that one of his school mates was Steve Case.

What is troubling about Obama's past is not what it was, but what he and his supporters have made it out to be. For example, it's dishonest to make his white relatives off-limits to the press. It is misleading to make him into an icon of American black culture. It is pure spin to give so much mileage to a Kenyan father who left the family when Obama was two and so little to his white mother or the white grandparents who raised him.

There is also a disturbing hidden parallel between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Both had fathers who failed their families. Both relied heavily on extended family for the love and support parents are supposed to provide. Both still seem to be seeking personal love and admiration in a massive public forum. It may be an unfair comparison, but America certainly suffered because of the screw-ups in Clinton's family. It should be at least fair for Americans to wonder whether they want vote themselves into another group therapy session.

If Obama would campaign as a multi-cultural candidate and tell us what - other than pulpit style cliches - his messed up past might suggest in terms of public policy, he would be a more honest and appealing candidate. He might help us grow out of race. But his advisors probably already know that the number of Americans willing to reveal their multi-cultural past on Census forms is miniscule and actually dropping. And he has clearly found that playing to the liberal evangelicals is paying off.

So instead, all we're getting is another political fairy tale.

OBAMA'S WHITE MOTHER

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - For [Chip] Wall and a few dozen others, Obama on the campaign trail often brings to mind Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama's mother and a strong-willed, unconventional member of the Mercer Island [WA] High School graduating class of 1960. "She was not a standard-issue girl of her times. . . She wasn't part of the matched-sweater-set crowd," said Wall, a classmate and retired philosophy teacher who used to make after-school runs to Seattle with Dunham to sit and talk -- for hours and hours -- in coffee shops. . .

In his best-selling book, "Dreams From My Father" and in campaign speeches, Obama frequently describes the story of his mother, who died of cancer in 1995, as a tale of the Heartland. She's the white woman from the flatlands of Kansas and the only daughter of parents who grew up in the "dab-smack, landlocked center of the country," in towns "too small to warrant boldface on a roadmap.". . .

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-0703270151mar27,0,3977057,print.story

NY TIMES, 2004 - Mr. Obama, 42, was not raised by black parents. His mother, who is white and from Kansas, split with his father, a Kenyan economist, when he was just a toddler. His father returned to Africa - and visited his son just once, when Barack was 10.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama's mother and her parents raised him, mainly in Hawaii. He did not grow up in a black world and his family had no particular connection to the black experience in America. . .

Mr. Obama seems to have realized early on that his situation would present him with some odd and complicated choices. In his memoir, "Dreams From My Father," he writes that he did not talk much about his mother's whiteness because he feared that "by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites" - a shrewd assessment of white people for a 12-year-old, and an even shrewder assessment of himself.

He would, therefore, go in the world as black because he thought it was the right thing to do, and because - it's clear from his book - he loved and missed and was mad at his father. . .

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3936013.stm

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - Obama was born in Hawaii. His mother was an 18-year-old white college student, whose parents had moved to Hawaii from Kansas. His father, Barack Hussein Obama, was an African, a native of Kenya employed as a low-level clerk who wrote letters to 30 colleges in the United States asking for a scholarship before getting an offer from the University of Hawaii. Obama already had a wife and family in Kenya when he married Obama's mother, Stanley Ann. When he left Honolulu, Stanley Ann and their two-year-old son did not go with him because he could not afford it on the scholarship Harvard offered. Obama saw his father again only once - when he was 10 and his father came to visit.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-0703270151mar27,0,5157609.story

LINDA CHAVEZ, TOWN HALL - Obama never fully comes to grips with the single fact that is responsible for his own confusion about who he is. Obama was abandoned: first by his father, a Kenyan undergraduate who met and married Obama's mother while on a scholarship at the University of Hawaii, and then by his mother, who remarried after Obama's father left, divorced again, and sent Obama to live with his grandparents. . .

Obama tells us less about his mother, who was still alive at the time he wrote this book. She is missing through most of the book. Even when Obama describes his time in Indonesia when he lived briefly with his mother and her second husband, an Indonesian, the details are sketchy.

What does come across, indirectly, is Obama's sense of loss when his mother sends him back to Hawaii to live with her parents, while choosing to keep his younger half-sister with her. Obama describes his awkward reunion with his grandparents at Honolulu's airport: "suddenly, the conversation stopped. I realized that I was to live with strangers." This can't have been easy on a 10-year-old boy.

"Dreams from My Father" never directly grapples with the question of what these abandonments did to shape Obama.

MSNBC - At school, Obama was surrounded by the island's richest and most accomplished students. America Online founder Steve Case, actress Kelly Preston and former Dallas Cowboys lineman Mark Tuinei, who died in 1999, attended the school around that time. Pro golf sensation Michelle Wie, 17, is a student there now.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17003563/

ONE DROP RULE

WIKIPEDIA - The one-drop rule is a historical colloquial term in the United States that holds that a person with any trace of sub-Saharan ancestry (however small or invisible) cannot be considered white and so unless said person has an alternative non-white ancestry they can claim, such as Native American, Asian, Arab, Australian aboriginal, they must be considered black.

This notion of invisible - intangible membership in a "racial" group has seldom been applied to people of Native American ancestry. The notion has been largely applied to those of black African ancestry. Langston Hughes wrote, "You see, unfortunately, I am not black. There are lots of different kinds of blood in our family. But here in the United States, the word 'Negro' is used to mean anyone who has any Negro blood at all in his veins. In Africa, the word is more pure. It means all Negro, therefore black. I am brown.". . .

Before 1930, individuals of mixed European and African ancestry had usually been classed as mulattoes, sometimes as black and sometimes as white. The main purpose of the one-drop rule was to prevent interracial relationships and thus keep whites "pure." In 1924 Plecker wrote, "Two races as materially divergent as the white and negro, in morals, mental powers, and cultural fitness, cannot live in close contact without injury to the higher." In line with this concept was also the assumption that blacks would somehow be "improved" through white intermixture. . .

In the case of Native American admixture with whites the one-drop rule was extended only as far as those with one-quarter Indian blood due to what was known as the "Pocahontas exception." The "Pocahontas exception" existed because many influential Virginia families claimed descent from Pocahontas. To avoid classifying them as non-white the Virginia General Assembly declared that a person could be considered white long as they had no more than one-sixteenth Indian blood.

In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling on the case of Loving v. Virginia, conclusively invalidated Plecker's Virginia Racial Integrity Act, along with its key component, the one-drop rule, as unconstitutional. Despite this holding, the one-drop theory is still influential in U.S. society. Multiracial individuals with visible mixed European and African and/or Native American ancestry are often still considered non-white, unless they explicitly declare themselves white or Anglo. . . By contrast these standards are widely rejected by America's Latino community, the majority of whom are of mixed ancestry, but for whom their Latino cultural heritage is more important to their ethnic identities than "race." The one-drop rule is not generally applied to Latinos of mixed origin or to Arab-Americans.

The one drop rule does not apply outside of the United States. Many other countries treat race much less formally, and when they do self-identify racially, they often do so in ways that surprise Americans. Just as a person with physically recognizable sub-Saharan ancestry can claim to be black in the United States, someone with recognizable Caucasian ancestry may be considered white in Latin America. . .

Professor J.B. Bird has said that Latin America is not alone in rejecting the United States' notion than any visible African ancestry is enough to make one black: " In most countries of the Caribbean, Colin Powell would be described as a Creole, reflecting his mixed heritage. In Belize, he might further be described as a 'High Creole', because of his extremely light complexion.". . .

Another consequence of the one-drop rule is that multiracial children of Black and White couples are less likely to self-identify as White as children of Asian and White couples. . .

THE POLITICS OF NOTHINGNESS

Sam Smith - Perusing still more puerile pandering in the cause of pacific politics by Barack Oblather, a vision suddenly appeared. While, according to Google, a few others have already experienced this transformational experience, it is still rare enough to deserve mention.

The apparition was, without doubt, Chauncy Gardiner aka Chance the gardener, the last manifestation of magnificent nothingness to appear on the American political scene - albeit the fiction of Chance was safely contained in the movie "Being There" while Obama is running for election to a real White House.

Like Obama, no one knew where Chance had come from. Even the CIA and FBI were unable to discover any information, with each concluding he is a clever cover-up by one of their own agents.

In the final scene, reports Wikipedia, "Chance is seen apparently walking across the surface of a lake while the most important movers and shakers in the USA discuss running him for President. This scene continues to generate discussion and controversy. Clearly we see Chance walking on water, an act with a clear biblical reference. . . Is there a prosaic explanation, such as hidden stepping-stones? Or is Chance the Savior (as so many of the characters are looking for)? Does he truly possess some special grace, given his simple innocence and simply being present to each moment without filters and ideas? In his 2001 book, The Great Movies, Roger Ebert argues for the latter interpretation. Another view is that the director (and the author) are simply asking the audience: "How much more would you have believed? We've been kidding you all along you know!"

The novel upon which the movie was based was written over thirty years ago by Jerzy Kosinski. The Obama candidacy may elevate Kosinksi to one of the most precient political authors of modern times. After all, what is more Obamesque than the sort of phrase that got Chance started? - "In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again."

Of course, there are differences between Obama and Chance. Obama does have a modest political record and he is intelligent where Chance was dense. But the dynamics of his unprecedented rise has painfully similarities, especially in the willingness of the public and the media to turn the corny platitudes into evidence of a Second Coming.

At a time of economic disjunction, enormous military failure, a national reputation on the skids and massive political corruption, it is not hard to see why the unwary should be attracted to one whose name in Swahili means "one who is blessed."

This illusion is aided by a media that has, to a major degree, given up covering facts in political campaigns in favor a deconstruction of images, rhetoric and sensations. One of the results is what candidates pretend to be becomes infinitely more important than what they actually are.

Thus the media has all but ignored the long list of scandals in Hillary Clinton's past in favor of such things as positive coverage of how she cynically responds to mention of her husband's impeachment.

Obama is playing this same card for all its worth. He knows full well that the presidency is not about the "audacity of hope" and that, even if it were, he has no right to control its downloads as though he was the CEO of the RIAA of optimism.

Obama is engaged in a sophisticated con with a long history in this country. We normally associated it with evangelicals - the Elmer Gantrys and the Jerry Falwells - but the scam can be used by liberals as well. Born-again liberals can turn their backs on reality as well as any conservative, finding solace in the comforting chicken soup of faith and hope. The problem, of course, is that reality just keeps truckin' along and Americans need far more than cliches to get them through the next few years.

While Obama is clearly being intellectually dishonest, this is, to be sure, a lesser sin than the congenital variety practiced by his leading opponent. The little available evidence suggests that Obama would more likely be a disappointment than a disgrace. Still in the end it's a sad choice between the venal and the vacuum.

WHY OBAMA ATTRACTS THE RIGHT

SAM SMITH - Harry Truman remarked that whenever anyone said they were bipartisan he knew they were going to vote against him. Barrack Obama is the latest major politician to use this ploy, promising mushy abstractions instead of actual policies, making nice to everyone in the room while ducking the issues they raise and, in a time of historic confrontation over whether America can recover its constitutional democracy, pretending that the answer is somewhere in the middle.

But what is the middle ground between democracy and fascism? Between having a job or a house or being unemployed or homeless? Between having health care or dying?

As William Lloyd Garrison put it, "Tell a man whose house is on fire to give moderate alarm; tel1 him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen."

The myth of the happy center is a major illusion dominating public life in Washington. But the truth is that from that internecine struggle of two factions of the American middle known as the Civil War to FBI assaults on activist organizations in the 60s and 70s, from the Palmer raids to anti-terrorism legislation, Americans have traditionally had more to fear from people they have elected than from those on the fringes of politics. In fact, the latter have often served largely as an excuse for the American center to tighten its grip on the political and economic system. This is not to say that the left and the right would not enjoy being just as violent and repressive given the chance, but the American center has rarely allowed that.

Even the KKK, so often cited as an example of the sort of threat the non-center poses, was powerful primarily because it was at the center, holding political and judicial and law enforcement office as well as hiding beneath its robes. In some towns, lynching parties were even announced in the local paper. And in the 1920s, both the Colorado governor and mayor of Denver were members of the Klan, the latter well enough regarded to have had Stapleton airport named after him.

The centrist myth most dramatically fails when those acting upon it dramatically fail. What is the center on Iraq? On climate change? On the creeping coup taking over America? On the monopolization of the marketplace?

A 10,000 word piece in the New Yorker - purveyor of the appropriate to the liberal elite - features Obama as the "conciliator" with hardly a solid program or policy mentioned. The message of the article - like Obama's - is that we don't need a president, just a therapist.

Take healthcare for example:

"'We've got to put more money in prevention,' he said. "It makes no sense for children to be going to the emergency room for treatable ailments like asthma. Twenty per cent of our patients who have chronic illnesses account for eighty per cent of the costs, so it's absolutely critical that we invest in managing those with chronic illnesses like diabetes. If we hire a case manager to work with them to insure that they're taking the proper treatments, then potentially we're not going to have to spend thirty thousand dollars on a leg amputation.' A young man asked about health care for minorities. 'Obesity and diabetes in minority communities are more severe,' Obama said, "so I think we need targeted programs, particularly to children in those communities, to make sure that they've got sound nutrition, that they have access to fruits and vegetables and not just Popeyes, and that they have decent spaces to play in instead of being cooped up in the house all day.'"

So just eat your vegetables and stay away from Popeyes and all will be fine.

Pressed on the matter, Obama does go a little deeper:

"'If you're starting from scratch," he says, 'then a single-payer system' -a government-managed system like Canada's, which disconnects health insurance from employment- 'would probably make sense. But we've got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off. So we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside.'"

Since ordinary people could adapt, say, to the expansion of the Medicare system in a matter of days, who are these people of whom Obama speaks who might "feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside?" Well, the insurance companies would be the ones most affected, and Obama has just sent a clear if covert signal that he won't be messing with them.

The right understands the centrist myth far better than liberals. They know that the center is homeland security for inaction in public, lots of action behind the scenes, and power staying where it should: with the powerful. It's not surprising that some of them see Obama as their man, the "black Reagan" as he has been called.

Yet he is also the liberals' Pat Robertson, and while the right can see where they can cut deals with him, the liberal evangelicals are all misty eyed by his talk of hope and faith. But Harry Truman was right: that guy serving you the happy meals of centrism in the campaign is likely going to be on the other side after election day.

A FEW THINGS TO FORGET ABOUT WHEN SUPPORTING OBAMA

WHY THE MEDIA IS PUSHING OBAMA

OBAMA: IMPERIALIST IN DOVE'S CLOTHING

[Mind you, this isn't an attack. Kagan likes it all, not all that surprising since he is with what is perhaps the most falsely named group in America this side of the Progressive Policy Institute: the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace]

ROBERT KAGAN, WASHINGTON POST - Obama's speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs last week was pure John Kennedy, without a trace of John Mearsheimer. . . No one speaks of the "free world" these days, and Obama's insistence that we not "cede our claim of leadership in world affairs" will sound like an anachronistic conceit to many Europeans, who even in the 1990s complained about the bullying "hyperpower." In Moscow and Beijing it will confirm suspicions about America's inherent hegemonism. But Obama believes the world yearns to follow us, if only we restore our worthiness to lead. . .

His critique is not that we've meddled too much but that we haven't meddled enough. There is more to building democracy than "deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box." We must build societies with "a strong legislature, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, a free press, and an honest police force." We must build up "the capacity of the world's weakest states" and provide them "what they need to reduce poverty, build healthy and educated communities, develop markets, . . . generate wealth . . . fight terrorism . . . halt the proliferation of deadly weapons" and fight disease. Obama proposes to double annual expenditures on these efforts, to $50 billion, by 2012. . .

"We cannot hope to shape a world where opportunity outweighs danger unless we ensure that every child, everywhere, is taught to build and not to destroy. . .

THE TIMIDITY OF HOPE

Sam Smith - Here's one reason Barack Obama talks so much about the audacity of hope: his policies are so meek.

For example, he is clearly afraid to get anywhere near single payer healthcare so he comes up with a plan where the federal government would subsidize the auto companies' healthcare in return for more fuel efficient cars.

Aside from the fact that this is in opposition to far wiser efforts to disassociate healthcare from the work place, aside from the fact it is a corporatist policy that makes government even more a hostage of industry, aside from the subsidy to General Motors and its ilk, Obama not only is afraid of challenging the health insurance industry, he wants government to help further fill its trough. Although less bizarre than Hillary Clinton's 1990s health plan, there is no justification for it other than pure political convenience.

If this is the best he can come up with, there's good reason he's taken the easy way out and applied the marketing principles of Tony Robbins and Marianne Williamson to a political campaign. Having gone through eight years of EST with Bill Clinton and almost that much of AA with George Bush, we should be burned out on psycho-therapeutics as opposed to physical reality but sadly many are taken in by Obama's covert message that if you trust in hope you don't have to worry about the details like pensions and healthcare.

There are several problems with this.

One is that no one has presented the slightest evidence of why Obama's hope and faith is better than that of any of the other candidates.

The second problem is that hope is not audacious at all. Audacious would be doing something now, audacious would be taking a personal political risk because the country needs it, audacious would be saying something unconventional because the conventional is killing us. Audacity is not turning one's back on present needs and praying that the future will straighten it all out.

One of the best kept secrets in America today is the extent to which hope and faith are being used as seedy substitutes for action and reason. Too often, hope is a form of postponement and faith a substitute for action or facing the truth.

But as they say in the 'hood, hope don't pay the cable.

And as Tijn Touber has noted, "If you hang on to hope, you'll always have to wait" and "waiting makes you passive."

Thus, someone like Obama functions as a political sedative. His message is that we don't have to worry so much about what's happening because we can let the future handle it.

This is not audacious; it's either a con or cowardice.


APRIL 2007

OBAMA WORKED FOR LAW FIRM TIED TO DUBIOUS LANDLORD

HIDDEN TRUTHS ABOUT OBAMA

KEN SILVERSTEIN, HARPER'S - Since announcing his candidacy for the Illinois Senate seat, Obama has raised the astonishing sum of nearly $21 million and has built close relationships with a number of traditional fat-cat donors. For example, one of Obama's leading career patrons is Skadden, Arps ($53,271, according to the most recent disclosure filings), a leading corporate law firm and one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party.

Several of the firm's lawyers donated money to Obama and also helped raise money for him as well. That includes Christina Tchen, a corporate litigator at Skadden who has represented major financial firms in consumer class-action suits. . .

In November of last year, three other Skadden attorneys helped organize a fundraiser for Obama's Leadership PAC, the vehicle he uses to support other Democratic candidates, and to boost his own political profile and gain support within the party. . . Others who have helped raise funds for Obama's Leadership PAC include John Gorman of Texas-based Tejas Securities, a major funder of Senate Democrats (and of the Bush presidential campaigns) and Winston & Strawn, the Chicago-based law and lobbying firm. Individual contributors to Obama include some of the best-connected lobbyists in town, including Jeffrey Peck (whose clients include MasterCard, the Business Roundtable, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and Rich Tarplin (Chevron, the American Petroleum Institute, and the National Association of Manufacturers).

In the magazine article, I asserted that Obama is not a mouthpiece for his donors; neither does his voting record mirrors the wishes of his contributor list. But, as I suggested, it's naive to think that he's completely unaware of who's footing the bills. Exelon, a leading nuclear-plant operator based in Illinois, is a big donor to Obama, and its executive and employees have given him more than $70,000 since 2004. The Obama staffer pointed out that the senator pushed for legislation that would require nuclear companies to "inform state and local officials if there is an accidental or unintentional leak of a radioactive substance," according to an office press release. Obama took a stand on that issue following reports that a plant operated by Exelon had leaked tritium several times over the past decade.

But Exelon is probably not entirely unhappy with Obama. At a 2005 hearing at the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, of which Obama is a member, the senator-echoing the nuclear industry's current campaign to promotes nuclear energy as "green" - said that since Congress was debating "policies to address air quality and the deleterious effects of carbon emissions on the global ecosystem, it is reasonable - and realistic - for nuclear power to remain on the table for consideration." He was immediately lauded by the industry publication Nuclear Notes, which said, "Back during his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2004, [Obama] said that he rejected both liberal and conservative labels in favor of 'common sense solutions.' And when it comes to nuclear energy, it seems like the Senator is keeping an open mind."

To anyone who thinks Obama is blissfully oblivious to the fundraising imperative, consider the following: in one of his earliest votes as a senator, Obama helped pass a class-action "reform" bill that was a long-standing and cherished goal of business groups. (The bill was the focus of a significant lobbying effort by financial firms, who constitute Obama's second-biggest single bloc of donors.). . .

http://www.harpers.org/sb-a-little-bit-more-on-obama-1161881683.html

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