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Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Ok, I really like your blog; writing often clever and the pov is from a good altitude.

But what's the point? That this POTUS executes the office of POTUS pretty much like the last POTUS and the POTUS before that? You were expecting Che Guevara?

"We have a new type of rule now. Not one man rule or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decisions. They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident; inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine that they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which button to push." ~Wm Burroughs, 1989.

There is one difference that isn't cosmetic. Paul O'Neil was a much better choice for SecTreasury than the international financial criminal currently holding the post.

See yesterday's NYT Op-Ed for further evidence.

Check mark W.

I blame the filibuster.

Look over there! Sarah Palin just walked into a Denny's!

For more information about NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake, visit the Save Tom Drake facebook page:


Follow @savetomdrake on twitter:


Thank you for putting this all in one place. Makes it much easier to link to the evidence.

One minor nit with the ACLU, it's not just accountability for torture, it's actual torture that Obama's Administration still seems to engage in (although it's difficult to tell because a lot of sites that were good about documenting torture under Bush seem to not discuss it much now, odd that). Fortunately, some folks still care enough to document it, see here for a brief roundup of recent stories.

Stephen Malagodi: But what's the point? That this POTUS executes the office of POTUS pretty much like the last POTUS and the POTUS before that? You were expecting Che Guevara?

Well, no. I was expecting the Spanish Inquisitition. The point is that Obama's supporters and defenders, and there are still many of them, claimed that Obama would be very different from Bush. "An Obama victory could have big positive repercussions for progressive politics," wrote one who wasn't just a starry-eyed kid. Remember the celebrations after the election? Remember his inauguration? And even now, when he has established his mala fides, they still claim that he's achieved so much, and could achieve so much more if it weren't for the Republicans. And the corporate media keep fretting that he's too liberal, he needs to move back to the center. Many of his defenders, though, and he himself, modestly assert that too much has been expected of him, he shouldn't be blamed just because he isn't Che Guevara and hasn't remade the world already. Others, who during the campaign touted him as an agent of change, now sneer at anyone who compares his legend to his record; they've become devotees of Realpolitik now that their guy is in office. And so on. No, it's just a matter of attending to what he's doing compared to his own claims, the corporate media picture, and the slobberings of his adoring fans.

i was a stone's throw from the inauguration in '08 here in babylon d.c. (working, but w/a fightin' owl's gaze on the crowds).

the enthusiasm of the african-americans was something to see.

and very, very sad.

i told friends & fam he'd be worse than w. most of 'em didn't believe me. most of 'em still don't.

here round DC, to say "bho is worse than gwb" is to speak a language almost no one can relate to.

Stephen -

I hardly expected Che, I expected as bad as GWB. And we got worse!

That's one of the many reasons I voted for Nader. Again.

"What's the point?" you ask! Indeed...

Isn't it great that George Bush is now intelligent, articulate and black?

You left out "clean".

the enthusiasm of the african-americans was something to see.

One of the few genuine positives of Obama's ascension was that it broke a major social barrier in this country. That moment was important, completely aside from Obama himself. And one of the other positives is that he's so clearly shown (for anyone who's willing to see) that a black president (and a Democrat no less) can and will do all the same things--right down to scapegoating blacks--as a white president.

As I've written before, I'd be overjoyed if people didn't have to learn that same kind of lesson (or even the same lesson) again, though I know I'm wishing in vain.

Sure, and when the first female President is elected, it'll be deja vu all over again - everyone raves about the historic moment, and then the business of death carries on. Just look at Thatcher, Albright, Rice, Ms Clinton etc etc for the clues.

Regarding Obama's skin color - one commentator noted that no black descended from slaves has yet been elected President, and I think there's a lot to that. He has safely marketable features (he doesn't look like the guys in the mug shots, y'know?)

Yeah, I recall some schmuck ranting about those safely marketable features as well:

Obama is just black enough to make middle-class white Democratic voters feel a little edgy for supporting someone of color, but reassuringly white enough (in both his appearance and mannerisms) not to scare them off. And his milquetoast message of non-threatening uplift is the perfect way to offset the racial scare factor that might otherwise apply.
Nonetheless (and in spite of who he is and what he's done), it's good that a country with such a long and vicious history of racism as the US has now had a black president.

Holy shit John, that was you? That was when I first started wandering the blogosphere, and was just revelling in the fact that I wasn't totally alone in my out of step perspective.

To your last statement above, I will just point out - as you did further above (I think, maybe not?), and Arthur Silber has at length - that Obama is *effectively* (i.e. in what he does and says) an anti-Black racist. He's continuing the vicious history of racism, but with a new twist so that it'll seem to all the progs that that history has come to some kind of terminal point. Tell that to the incarcerated victims of the War on Drugs, for example.

Hmmm...maybe I am alone in my out of step perspective.

Anyhow, thanks for the reply - love the guy in the photo by the way.

If I've said it once I've said it 100x the past couple of years - Obama is in no way African-American, which is important.

The whole basis of affirmative action - an idea I generally support - is that the experience of being slave descendants has added challenges to the lives of people today through successive generations of missed opportunity.

Obama was raised by white people and went to prep school in Hawaii and college with a foreign sounding name, which puts him in rather a different category than a guy named John Smith from Baltimore for middle class whites.

He's half genetically from the opposite side of the most genetically diverse continent than American Afr-Amer folk are, and half white.

The grad irony to me is that if he shares anything with the average African American, it's being partially genetically white! Just not through ancestor rape this time.

Long story short I don't see much of a barrier being broken that counts for crap.

Man, I've awful with the typos today!

I meant "grand" irony. And I meant more "missed or denied opportunities."

Love the blog by the way!

Wow, the genetic determinism I'm seeing here is pretty wack. What difference does it make if Obama is descended from slaves or not? I can't remember which African-American blogger said it, but one's remote ancestry or the color of the skin of the people who raised one don't mean dick when one is pulled over by a traffic cop or stopped in the street for Walking While Black. ("Oh, pardon me, Officer Friendly, but I am not truly an African-American! My father was from East Africa, and I was raised by my white mother and grandparents!" "My mistake, Sir! Please accept this gift card as a token of my regret for profiling you inaccurately.") This is like saying that a friend's daughter, whose mother is white and whose father is the 'descendant of slaves' but played no role in her upbringing, and who grew up in a college town away from American Black culture, is "in no way African-American".

As for Obama's name, many African-Americans have adopted "foreign sounding names." That doesn't do them much good when the heat is on either.

Racial/ethnic labeling is full of these pitfalls. (Look at the tangle around the permutations of "Asian.") Essentializing race and ethnicity does no one any good.

It's not just GENETIC (I point this out only for the irony; African Americans and Obama only have European genes in common, if anything!), it's the fact that there is no family history of being descended from slaves and sharecroppers and generation after generation of the withholding of educational and other opportunities.

It makes a HUGE difference, both in how he got where he is and in his outlook, which is basically upper middle class social climber. This is not a man with relatives who did crap in the civil rights era. This is not a man who had a single relative who could tell him what the bad old days of the '60s and earlier were like. This is not a man who even had (as many working class whites like me) conscripted relatives in a filthy illegal war. I don't think that Rev. Wright for example, who

Do you honestly think that at any point in his life Obama has faced serious problems from cops? Seriously? Like the average working black guy does?

The guy is half African elite (with no life experience connected to that) and half college educated white, and was raised in the latter world. In Hawaii.

Who do you think is going to be more likely to get some action from Bryn Mawr co-eds, let's try that. Black dude John Smith from Cleveland or Barack Obama who's half African, from Hawaii? I can assure you that white college educated America has a 180 degree different opinion of educated Africans and their own countrymen who happen to be black. Totally different.

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