Tuesday, February 12, 2013















Wall Street & War Street: Why we have trouble liking Obama 

     What's not to like about Barack Obama?  He's educated, erudite -- and even cute.  He gave a dynamite State of the Union speech. His family is perfect.  Michelle is intelligent, suave, beautiful and compassionate and Sasha and Malia look like an African-American version of the Brady Bunch.  Plus every racist, wing-nut, fanatic, truther, birther and pond-scum in America hates Obama -- so I should like him just for that reason alone.

     Plus Obama is tall and thin like my father.  How Oedipal is that? 

     And Obama is also trying to give us healthcare and to appoint judges on the Supreme Court who aren't complete corporate shills and/or wannabe neanderthals.  And the Prez is also trying really hard to drag America up from being ranked 33rd among modern first-world nations with regard to education.

     Obama also represents all of that stuff that I fought for so valiantly back in the 1960s -- racial equality, a Black man being able to achieve everything a White man can achieve, and like Ginger Rodgers used to say, "Doing it backwards and in high heels."  Except, of course, for the part about high heels.

     So why are we progressives having so much trouble liking Barack Obama right now?  Five little words.  "Wall Street and War Street".  Too many of our young men and women in the military are dying needlessly and being used like Kleenex so that large corporations and weapons manufacturers can make a killing.  Literally.

     Plus Obama has allowed -- and perhaps even welcomed -- the militarization of America's local police forces.  The friendly cop on the corner is now wearing Kevlar and carrying super-heat. 

     And that's not all.  According to MSNBC, "Despite President Obama’s stated objections to American indefinite detention policy, his Justice Department has forcefully advocated for it in court."  http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/01/03/obama-signs-2013-defense-authorization-minus-indefinite-detention-ban/ 

     And apparently this policy also means that if you and I object too much to the corporate takeover of our country, you and I can be detained indefinitely in Guantanamo too -- not exactly the Caribbean cruise we were hoping for.  And Obama is fine with that.  And War Street is too.

     According to journalist David Sirota, "Obama, let’s remember, is the president who escalated the Afghanistan War and whose spokesman recently reiterated that U.S. troops are not necessarily leaving that country anytime soon.  He is the president who has initiated undeclared wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.  He is also the president who, according to data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, has launched more than 20,000 air strikes -- and those assaults show no sign of stopping" http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_president_of_perpetual_war_20130125/ 

     Not only that, but Obama has apparently been in cahoots with all kinds of sleazy Islamic fundamentalist wing-nuts trying to stir up big trouble in Syria as well -- to the point that even those Syrians who truly hate Assad's guts are beginning to prefer Assad over the foreign 'rebels' who are currently destroying their country with the help of the U.S. 

      And according to both CLG News and Haaretz, the Obama administration has also been giving War Street neo-cons in Israel a green light for further air strikes on Syria.  "...'At least one to two additional targets were hit [there recently],' a Western intelligence official indicated to Time, adding that Israel received a 'green light' from the United States to carry out further attacks in the future."  http://www.legitgov.org/US-official-says-White-House-gave-Israel-green-light-carry-out-more-attacks-Syria

     That's totally scary.

     But the most important reason we have for not liking Obama's constant flirtation with War Street is his increasing authorization of continuous drone strikes and "targeted" assassinations -- both here and abroad.  And do you know what this drone mess ultimately means for you and me too?  At this current time, THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE ANYONE IS SAFE -- not even in our own homes here in heartland America.

     At any moment, today, right now, a War Street-owned hellfire missile could suddenly eliminate your home without warning -- and you too.  That's even more scary than when I was a kid and we thought that at any moment an atomic bomb might do us in.  But at least back then it would have been the enemy that was doing it.

     In addition, on Obama's watch, all too many Americans here at home have also been sold down the river into economic slavery by Wall Street -- in its never-ending lust to gut the American economy, feather its nests in the Caymans and kill the golden goose that has been laying golden eggs for Wall Street all these years.

     According to journalist Mark Karlin, "Obama, Geithner, Holder and others in the executive branch are sending a message that if you got enough dough and run banks too big too fail, you can break the law and hurt the economy for the average American, but you won't be held accountable -- and they will allow you to be rewarded to boot." 
http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17776-treasury-approved-bonuses-and-raises-for-wall-street-bankers-who-tanked-economy

     I would love to be able to like Barack Obama.  But for these two reasons, I just can't.  Why has Obama never stood up to Wall Street and War Street?  Not even once?  If he had, if he did, then his legacy as President would be AWESOME!

     But as it stands now, Obama is just managing to stand only a couple of rungs higher on the presidential-accomplishment ladder than even George W. Bush -- who wasn't even legally elected!
    

PS:  In 2003, Time magazine published a letter from me regarding Bush's upcoming war on Iraq.  It read, simply, "Is it possible that Iraq will be to America what Afghanistan was to the U.S.S.R.?  The similarities are chilling." 

      Well, it turned out that Iraq (and Afghanistan too) actually is to America what Afghanistan was to the USSR.  And if you are looking for any further proof of that statement, just go look in your mailbox on the first Saturday in August.  A whole lot of the money that might have gone to saving our post office is now going to pay for the Bush/Obama wars. http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/thom-hartmann/48068/the-usps-media-fail

     And also it seems that RepubliDems in Congress have come up with various poison pills that will force the USPS to sell off thousands of our post offices to private corporationshttp://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2012-11-09/article/40488?headline=Berkeley-s-Historic-Post-Office-is-NOT-FOR-SALE---Margot-Smith  How post-Soviet-Union Russian oligarch is that! 

     And let's not forget the poor buggers out in Rockaway who are currently dying in the snow because so much of our money went off to Wall Street and War Street instead of to them -- just like all the old people who froze to death on the mean streets of Moscow after the USSR fell or else died when the equivalent of Russian Social Security disappeared.  Oh well.  http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/02/us-cancels-regular-drone-strikes-on-saturdays.html

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 What next?  I'm still trying to get to Haiti ASAP but unfortunately my investigative-reporting trip has had to be postponed until the end of March.  Please donate toward my trip's expenses here if you can: 
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     And if anyone ever wants to hire me on as a travel writer (or war correspondent), "Have laptop, will travel!"


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