- Made fun of Obama for imagining the possibility of talking to Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, and legitimately despicable people like the President of Iran.
September 4, 2012
Much respect to Democratic voters who want much better than they’re offered. With that in mind I read the Democratic party platform.
1) LOWER corporate taxes, snuck into a paragraph that’s supposed to differentiate their economic polices from Republicans.
2) Bragging about extending free trade agreements, but promising that they will stop and reverse outsourcing by wagging their fingers about it and eliminating “tax loopholes” that they are implying are greater than the wage differential between American and Chinese workers.
3) A “Buffet Rule” so millionaires don’t pay lower tax rates than the middle class (okay, how about a lot higher ones, i.e. progressive tax?)
4) Bragging about GM bailouts (tiny fraction of the Wall Street bailouts which they claim Obama OPPOSES!), even though the government didn’t tie bail outs to things like making US fuel efficiency standards match first world levels, likely insuring that they will be bankrupt again within a few years.
5) “All-Of-The-Above Energy Policy”… catchy and familiar… I wonder where they got that slogan from? I wonder which of the “all” options will be dominant? Let’s ask Duke Energy, the company that strong-armed the convention into meeting in Charlotte..
6) Obama cut $2 trillion in spending. Yay! Wait, what did he cut? No mention… obviously it was bad, wasteful stuff, unlike the rest of the stuff he didn’t cut. Trust us.
7) Promises that the Affordable Care Act “won’t be the end” of healthcare reform efforts… so… universal insurance like the rest of the first world? Nope, but more “health funding targeted towards blacks, Latinos, and gays.” Enjoy the empty shout-outs while you can, guys.
8) Takes credit for reducing “racial disparities in drug sentencing laws.” That’s right, did you know the punishment for equal amounts of crack vs cocaine is now ONLY 20 TIMES AS HIGH!
9) Quoting MLK about volunteerism… you forgot another great MLK line, “My country is the greatest purveyor of violence on earth.”
10) Still talking about a fantasy Al Qaeda from the intro on, proud that Obama has DOUBLED the yearly spending on Afghan war since taking office.
11) “We have responsibly ended the war in Iraq.” NO. The Iraqi parliament ended the war in Iraq by refusing to continue immunity for US soldiers accused of crimes. The Obama admin. pressured them against this and wanted to extend the war. Why is this important? If they’re lying about that why do you think they’ll be honest about Afghanistan?
12) “The Democratic Party knows there is no greater responsibility than protecting the American people,” from their paragraph on the military. War machine uber alles.
13) As long as anyone else in the world has nuclear weapons, Obama promises us that we will too. Because they are really useful, apparently. Meanwhile the president of Iran (and I’m not a fan) is calling for a nuclear-free world NOW, something most of the world’s leaders would strongly agree with.
14) Having the biggest military in the world is non-negotiable. (Ironic, as our build-ups are what justify other countries’ imitation, and our cast-off arms become their new arsenals.)
15) Did you think ending the war in Iraq would lead to decreasing the military’s power? NOPE, it’s time to “retool our forces.” $$$!!!
16) Democrats see vibrant democracies “from Mexico to Chile,” i.e. a narco-state of stolen elections and a country now ruled by fans of the old dictatorship who spray rubber bullets at an emerging nationwide protest movement, but (besides maybe Colombia) the only “conservative allies” we have left in Latin America.
However, they are deeply concerned about democracy in Venezuela, where the Socialist Party has swept more fair elections than any other coalition in the hemisphere (affirms Jimmy Carter among many other objective voices.)
PS – Obama will NOT apologize for US-backed death squads throughout the hemisphere, despite which Romney decided to title his book “No Apologies!” and make the idea that Obama somehow apologized for extreme American evil his primary foreign policy issue.
17) Promises to combat efforts by other countries to persecute gay people. I’m sure our strong allies, the Gulf monarchs, will follow through on this any day now.
18) The President has “steadily worked to build an international framework to combat climate change.”
CONTRAST: Leading climate change denier Marc Morano: “As skeptics, we tip our hat to President Obama in helping crush and continue to defeat the United Nations process. Obama has been a great friend of global warming skeptics at these conferences. President Obama could not have turned out better when it came to his lack of interest in the congressional climate bill and his lack of interest in the United Nations Kyoto Protocol.”
The platform devotes nearly 10 times as much space to justifications for militarism as it does to addressing either environmental problems or financial reform.
It’s is a pretty expensive collection of words, many of them false but most just empty. Where is the accountability that comes from responding to critics? I.e. REAL critics, civil society groups, etc… not just bullshit talking points from Republicans.
Well, there it is ladies and gentleman, your Lesser Evil Platform of 2012.
Much love and luck to the Non-Evil forces protesting Wall Street South!!!
May 1, 2009
The Distant Ocean has this excellent breakdown of what Obama really thinks about the rest of the world and the role of power in it:
“I think it’s important to recognize, given historic suspicions, that the United States’ policy should not be interference in other countries, but that also means that we can’t blame the United States for every problem that arises in the hemisphere.”
– Barack Obama speaking at the Summit of the Americas
“Historic suspicions”? Yes, I imagine the International Court of Justice decision condemning the United States for its covert war against Nicaragua might have raised Nicaraguan suspicions of U.S. interference. And I guess the report of the UN’s Historical Clarification Commission for Guatemala, documenting U.S. backing of the genocidal forces the U.S. had installed in the 1954 coup, might have made the Guatemalans suspicious. And I suppose watching U.S. planes, helicopter gunships, and warships destroying the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama during the 1989 invasion might have given the Panamians some suspicions about U.S. interference.
(For just one second, imagine the U.S. reaction if Germany’s Angela Merkel gave a speech in Israel calling out the “historic suspicions” of Jews regarding past German “interference” in their affairs. In fairness to Obama, he did subsequently refer to “past errors, where those errors have been made,” though he also said that discussion of these errors only rises to the level of “stale debates” about the past; I’ll leave the analogy to you.)
By contrast, here’s how Obama characterized Venezuela:
You take a country like Venezuela — I have great differences with Hugo Chavez on matters of economic policy and matters of foreign policy. His rhetoric directed at the United States has been inflammatory. There have been instances in which we’ve seen Venezuela interfere with some of the — some of the countries that surround Venezuela in ways that I think are a source of concern.
So centuries of extensively-documented U.S. intervention in Latin America can be dismissed as “historic suspicions”—but when we’re talking about allegations pulled out of the collective ass of the U.S. government and leveled at an official enemy, there’s no longer any need to qualify the interference (which any reasonable person should agree is rightly a “source of concern” to us, though Obama tried to keep this menacing threat in perspective by noting that “Venezuela is a country whose defense budget is probably 1/600th of the United States”).
And this was Obama’s laugh line in response to Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega’s account of just a tiny portion of the vicious U.S. interference that produced these historic suspicions:
“I am very grateful that President Ortega didn’t blame me for things that happened when I was three months old,” Obama said in his only direct reference to the Nicaraguan leader.
(“I am very glad that Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t blame me for things that happened before I was born,” Merkel said in her only direct reference to the Israeli leader.) The article also notes that Ortega “prompted a smirk from Obama when he referred to ‘Yankee troops.'” Yes, what a hilarious anachronism! How amusing our victims can sometimes be! Like when the U.S.-backed Contras in Nicaragua would cut off men’s testicles and leave them in their mouths? Hey, what’s the matter, cat got your tongue? Oh, no, my mistake, you’ve got a mouthful of balls! Ha ha ha! Maybe Obama should have quipped, “I am very grateful that President Ortega didn’t blame me for the castrations and nun-raping that happened when I was still snorting cocaine in my youth.” The laughs just never stop, do they?
The smirk in question—which, as this small survey of his comments indicates, was only the most visible sign of Obama’s paternalistic contempt for the banana republicans all around him and their petty obsession with the hundreds of thousands of their citizens killed by direct and indirect U.S. intervention over the years—looked something like this:
All of which illustrates why Obama truly is a perfect representative for the U.S.A., since he is, without a doubt, one of the most unbelievably sanctimonious assholes I’ve ever heard.
December 17, 2008
Millions of people (both in the US and around the world) feel hopeful about the election of Barack Obama. Since his father was African, many people from the world’s poor majority believe he will be more sympathetic to their struggles. Since he’s only been in politics a few years, many people here believe he won’t continue the mistakes of our past leaders in these times of great crisis.
So far most of Obama’s early actions and announcements appear to be a giant SLAP IN THE FACE to both of these hopes. Please read on about Obama’s probable foreign policies and domestic policies as well as the people he’s bringing to power.
If you supported Obama before but disagree with these actions of his now,please contact your congressional representatives and Barack Obama’s office and tell them this stuff is totally unacceptable in a democracy (cite specific examples that really bother you).
Also you can help by passing this site on to friends and linking to it on sites and forums. I welcome any criticism and conversation, the easiest way to contact me is by posting a comment on this site.
We didn’t vote for another Bush term so let’s do whatever we can not to get one. Spread the word to people you know who voted for Obama. Follow your conscience, keep your hope up and remember politicians never bring change, but they sometimes respond to it.
December 17, 2008
The Obama campaign has said, due to military spending and the bailout, they “probably won’t be able to meet our commitment” to raise foreign aid. Unfortunately, what foreign aid currently exists is often systematically designed to bankrupt farmers in the developing world, since the US is the only aid providing country that refuses to buy food aid from local farmers, instead using hunger as a cynical excuse to dump excess inventory from large, subsidized agrobusinesses, who claim this as a tax writeoff.
Obama wants to increase the size of the military, even though we spend more than all the rest of the world combined on “defense,” and it actually makes us less safe. Solving world hunger, transitioning to sustainable energy, industry, and communities, providing health care for all and promoting R+D and sustainable employment might seem to you to be more important priorities to which the trillions of dollars being burned up in military spending (when the full costs are counted) might be better dedicated. But you, my friend, are not Barack Obama.
Obama lied about his commitment to have US soldiers out of Iraq within 16 months, and he was dishonest to begin with since he fully intended private mercenaries to continue on there even after said “withdrawal.”
He wants to ramp up the war in Afghanistan, despite the fact that history has shown that only real social investment and not military force can bring peace to the region, one of the poorest and most miserable on earth.
Middle East Peace
Obama’s anti-Palestinian stance is in some ways the strongest of any US president ever, and directly opposed to opinion of the people’s and governments of every other nation on earth. He does not seek a two-state end to the Israeli conquest, says he will not negotiate with the elected government of Palestine, and claims that Jerusalem should be considered the capital of Israel, something no other president or world leader has ever before seriously proposed.
The plight of the Palestinian people is a huge cause of foreign support for anti-US terrorism (due to our government’s financing of the majority of the military operations against them).
Obama regards the democratically elected (in a landslide) governments of Venezuela and allied nations as “enemies of the United States,” and has urged sanctions against them. He has ruled out the possibility of ending the cruel embargo against the people of Cuba, despite the worldwide consensus that the embargo is illegal, hurts common people, and has been counter-effective in bringing political freedoms to the island.
Obama supports Colombian attacks of soveigern nations like Ecuador, in which civilians are killed. He considers the drug-and-death-squad dictatorship in Colombia to be America’s best friend in the region. He supports bringing the “Colombian solution” of military response to the drug trade into Mexico.
Martin Luther King Jr., a REAL AGENT OF CHANGE, said “My government is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” Obama, a false prophet of progress, says the opposite, “We lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.”
That is why Obama is president and MLK was, very likely, assassinated by our own intelligence agencies.
Total US military spending per year is now over $1.4 trillion. That’s enough to solve every major material problem of humanity.
December 17, 2008
Socialism for the Megarich
Barack Obama has been almost universally supportive of President Bush’s plans to throw free money from tax payers to extremely wealthy investors whose recklessness brought about this, the greatest world economic crisis in 70 years. Right now we are looking at EIGHT AND A HALF TRILLION DOLLARAS being handed out, at a time when all kinds of necessary spending on human needs and a sustainable economy are being rejected due to “lack of funds.”
Even more damning is the likelihood that financial regulation will not be reintroduced to prevent similar crises from repeating in the near future, and that many of the people who (almost purposely) engineered this disaster are now coming back to power in the new Obama administration. (Lawrence Summers and Robert Reich in particular.)
Obama supports a multibillion dollar giveaway to US automakers, whose commitment to producing fuel inefficient vehicles (and fighting of legislation to improve fuel efficiency standards) has brought them to bankruptcy. It does not appear that Obama will require much change in the kind of vehicles the “Big 3” produce as part of the bailout.
A Fake “Green Economy”
One of the few inspirations for hope in our current economic problems was the chance that they would cause the institution of the kinds of radical economic changes that humanity needs to survive coming resource shortages.
Obama has taken this theme, stripped it of legitimate accountability, expert opinion, and hard numbers, and turned it into his first major address to the nation. Now we hear that “rebuilding roads” (the opposite of a green solution) and “replacing wasteful lightbulbs in schools” (as opposed to just banning wasteful lightbulbs and other kinds of wasteful production, like hummers, as was done during WWII) is the best he can offer a world on the brink.
Earlier, his campaign had mentioned the cost of the bailout as the reason why they would not be able to follow through on their promises to greatly increase alternative energy production in the US.
Finally, Obama has consistently embraced ethanol as both a solution to resouce problems and a magic cure for rural America. In fact, grain ethanol is, to quote the UN, “a crime against humanity,” responsible for most of the doubling of grain prices that we saw this year, leading to great increases in hunger. As the Worldwatch Institute points out, the grain needed to make enough ethanol to fuel an SUV up just once could feed a person for one year.
In fact, as currently produced it takes more energy to produce ethanol than can be derived from it–it only exists dude to massive government subsidies, the same subsidies that cause non-subsidized farmers in the developing world to go bankrupt when “free trade” agreement banning their tariffs are enforced, as Obama plans to continue doing.
It seems that Obama flat out lied about taking away the giant Bush tax cuts for the megarrich, and also hopes to to withdrawal his proposal to tax oil companies on the insane profits they’ve recently enjoyed at the expense of everyone else. He may still follow through on plans to cut taxes for the “middle class” (at a time when the US faces it’s greatest deficits and need for public investment ever), but keep in mind that when leading Democrats talk about the middle class, they mean people who make $250,000-$100,000 per year.
Obama opposes critical fuel taxes (supported by every leading environmental scientist and environmental body) that would be used to support the development of alternative energy.
There is now emerging historical consensus that targeted public spending–and NOT tax cuts for wealthy corporations and individuals–is the best way to help the real economy recover and grow.
Obama opposes universal healthcare (aka “single payer”) , which is supported by most Americans and is successfully used by most developed nations to provide healthcare to all their citizens at a fraction of the cost of what Americans spend per person each year. His plan amounts to forcing people to pay inefficient private insurance companies.
Obama’s congressional allies have claimed that he and them won’t be able to keep their promises to pass a major economic stimulus package due to “resistance from Republicans in congress.” The Democratic Party already controls the majority of both houses, and with just one moderate Republican could break any filibuster in the Senate. Therefore this claim is a lie.
Good public spending benefits the economy far more than tax cuts. Note that infrastructure spending that leads to renewable power, public transit and energy efficiency has an even greater return on dollar invested. Even greater is the value of simply regulating best-practices of efficiency into all new production, construction, and design.
December 17, 2008
The main way President’s use their authority is by choosing who to delegate it to. What do Obama’s early picks say about him?
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
- Thought Iraq War was a great idea. Still does in private.
- Opposes restrictions on US military aid to governments that engage in gross and systematic abuses of human rights. Supports unconditional military aid to evil, torture-loving government leaders like those of Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, Equatorial Guinea, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Kazakhstan, and Chad.
- In 2002, Senator Clinton voted in favor of an amendment by right-wing bigot Jesse Helms that prohibits the United States from cooperating in any way with the International Criminal Court, and its prosecution of individuals responsible for serious crimes against humanity, such as those responsible for the genocide in Darfur. In addition, this vindictive law also restricts U.S. foreign aid to countries that support the ICC.
- Refuses to support international treaty to ban land mines, which is supported by almost every other government on earth, since land mines kill and permamently disable thousands of civilians every year, mostly women and children.
- Joined with Republicans to defeat a proposal that would restrict US export of cluster bombs to countries that use them against civilians. Up to 98% of casulaties from cluster bombs are believed to be civilians, with 30% of the bombs failing to explode on impact and turning into land mines.
- Drafted resolutions condemning the World Court’s for criticizng Israel’s construction of a “security wall” inside the terrority of another country and major human right’s groups condemnation of Israeli targetting of cilivians inside Palestine and Lebanon. (Because it’s not enough for us just to finance these crimes, we also have to immediately officially condemn any ethical organization that brings them to light.
Robert Gates, Secretary of “Defense”
- First ever military chief to be carried over from a president of a different party.
- Like Obama, doesn’t think it’s a big deal that the US spends more on the military than EVERY OTHER NATION ON EARTH COMBINED (especially when military spending funnelled through the Depts. of State, Homeland Security, and Energy is figured in, along with debt on past military spending) and in fact wants to increase the size of the military, even though our military is actually making things more dangerous for people here and everywhere.
- Was first rejected by Senate as CIA head for his near continuos “politicizing” (aka lying) about intelligence on nearly every “national security” issue. Was close advisor to CIA head Bill Casey (writing all his speeches and testimony among other things) who , like Bob Gates, thought it would be a great idea to sell missiles to Iran and crack cocaine to poor Americans in order to finance a terrorist war on the impoverished civlians of Nicaragua, one that, as the World Court, Catholic Church and others observed, focused on torture, rape, kidnapping, and murder of civilians as it’s primary mode of operation.
Lawrence Summers, Director of White House National Economic Council
- Oversaw the deadly imposition of “Structural Adjustment” throughout the globe, destroying a majority of the economy of the former USSR, catalyzing crises in Asia and Latin America, and reducing the quality of life for hundreds of millions of poor people through requiring cuts to social safety nets, privatizing of public industries, and the free reign of financial speculation across the globe.
- Even people at Harvard thought he was too elitist.
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Fatherland Homeland Defense
- Leading advocate of using the military to round up immigrants along the Mexican border, supportive of chain gang prisons for undocumented immigrants and people awaiting trial.
Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff
- Enlisted in the military. Not the US one. The Israeli one. Making him the only US congressperson to have ever done so.
- One of the most pro-war Democrats who worked to convince others in his party to support Bush.
- To quote his dad: “Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”
Eric Holder, US Attorney General
- Serves as a lawyer for Chiquita bananas, defending their funding of right-wing death squads in Colombia that targeted union and peasant leaders.
Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
- As head of Chicago Public School District suspended and expelled tens of thousands of students through “zero tolerance” programs considered perhaps the strictest in the nation. No data supports the claim that such tactics increased safety in schools.
- Authored a plan called Renaissance 2010 that sought to pit inner city schools against eachother in “free competition” to access to funding.
Richard Holbroke, Special Envoy to Southeast Asia
- Oversaw US arming and coordination of the invasion of East Timor by “our” proxy, the Indonesian military, an unprovoked attack that lead to the deaths of 200,000 East Timorese, one-third of their entire population.
Ray Lahood, Secretary of Transporation
- Is Republican. (Remember those guys the majority of Americans requested not be in power in the executive branch anymore?)
- Has a rating of only 27% from the League of Conservation Voters. (Hint: That’s bad!)
- Unlike all academic experts on energy policy, thinks increasing domestic oil drilling could be a significant “solution” to energy and transportation problems.
Greg Craig, White House Counsel
- Lawyer for Bolivian ex-President Sanchez de Lozada who is charged with extreme corruption and genocide for, among other things, ordering the murder of 60 civilian protestors in 2003. Craig says “we do not accept your characaterization of those events as a massacre.” His other lawyer, Howard Gutman, was an early member of Obama’s Financial Committee.
Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence
- As head of US military forces in the Pacific during the 90’s, backed Indonesia’s brutal war against the East Timorese and consistently led the campaign to reinstate and increase military aid to the brutal Indonesian military.
Sonal Shah, Transition Team Advisor
- US Coordinator for Vishwa Hindu Parishad, militant group that was held responsible for the genocidal pogroms against Muslims in the western Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 that killed 2,000 people and rendered 100,000 homeless. The Indian coordinator of the genocide, Narendra Modi, stays at the Shah family home when he visits the US.
- In 2005, Salazar voted against increasing fuel-efficiency standards (CAFE) for cars and trucks. In the same year, Salazar voted against an amendment to repeal tax breaks for ExxonMobil and other major oil companies.
More important even than who Obama’s appointing is who he ISN’T APPOINTING:
- Opponents of war, military waste, or the kind of destructive corporate economics that led to our current crisis.
- Proponents of universal healthcare, serious humanitarian aid, or radical changes to the way we use natural resources.
Al Gore, the last elected president from his party, Al Gore, believes Obama should announce a national goal of getting 100 percent of electricity generated by renewable sources within 10 years. Guess what? He’s not going to have any kind of authority in Obama’s administration.
Your tax money at work. Death squads and nuclear weapons, military and energy waste, financial chaos, lack of social safety nets… Do we want more of the same, or real change that brings progress for all people?