Is Barack Obama turning into George W. Bush?

Those who want former President George W. Bush imprisoned, drawn and quartered or just gutted on national TV have expressed outrage at President Barack Obama’s reluctance to unleash the hounds on his predecessor.

They can’t understand why Obama won’t join them in prosecuting members of the Bush administration for condoning torture or other abuses of human rights in the so-called "war on terror."

We may have an answer. Obama doesn’t want to send Bush to the slammer because he plans to use some of the same abuses in his own war on terror.

Don’t look now but the candidate of change may have turned into the President of more of the same.

Reports The New York Times:

In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.’s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.

The administration has also embraced the Bush legal team’s arguments that a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees should be shut down based on the “state secrets” doctrine. It has also left the door open to resuming military commission trials.

And earlier this month, after a British court cited pressure by the United States in declining to release information about the alleged torture of a detainee in American custody, the Obama administration issued a statement thanking the British government “for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information.”

These and other signs suggest that the administration’s changes may turn out to be less sweeping than many had hoped or feared — prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies.

When you add these indicators to Obama’s growing list of broken promises and flip-flops, it looks more and more like that the great black hope is turning out to be just another political whitewash.

At this point, the Obama Greek Chorus usually rises up in righteous indignation with the usual mantra that "hey, give the guy a break. He’s only been in office a few weeks."

Maybe so, but in those few weeks Obama has reneged on his promise to keep lobbyists out of his administration, appointed a number of scandal-tainted Washington old-timers to key posts and talked the bipartisan talk while walking the partisan walk. Now we see he may want to treat the Consitution as toilet paper — just like Bush.

Am I disappointed? Damn right I am. Am I worried that we’ve been had? Yep. Obama’s decision to continue many of the flagrant abuses of the Bush cabal is an act of treason not only to the Americans who put him into office but also to the Constitution he swore to uphold.

If Obama does not reverse the abuses of the Bush adminsitration when it comes to treatment of prisoners then neither he or the Democrats can claim any moral or high ground when it comes to pursuing Bush or others involved in such abuses.

If Obama continues to operate under the same cloak of secrecy that marked the Bush administration he is no better than the former President when it comes to disgracing the Constitution and nation.

Since becoming President, Obama has not shown any willingness to roll back the many abuses of the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act. He did vote for some rollbacks as a Senator but also voted to reauthorize the act which — in itself — raises questions about his commitment to protecting the rights of Americans.

So far, Attorney General Eric Holder has played lip service to questions on torture, defining waterboarding as torture but leaving the door open to employ "aggressive interrogation techniques" against prisoners in the future.

This is not change. It is not a new hope for America. It is simply the same old political bullshit.

A word of advice to the Obama choir. Your shrill defense of anything he does sounds more and more like the GOP’s rabid defense of Bush’s abuses of power and disregard of the Constitution during his first term. Many of Bush’s die-hard supporters later regretted their steadfast defense.

Obama has said he will make mistakes but continuing Bush’s abuses of human rights from the "war on terror" is more than a mistake. It’s treason and should be treated as such.

(Updated at 2:21 p.m. to add additional thoughts)

49 Responses to "Is Barack Obama turning into George W. Bush?"

  1. almandine  February 18, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Campaign for Liberty…

    another Ron Paul endeavor just getting off the ground. What ya waitin’ for?

    Now, there’s change you can believe in!

  2. remoran  February 18, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    “Never stop questioning.” Einstein

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. – The Who

  3. griff  February 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Hear Hear!

  4. AustinRanter  February 19, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I love all of the sentiments expressed about this essay, but the question is…what does “We The People” do about these travesties of pre-election promises, and now acts of treason by our young new president?

    Kleenex, anyone?

  5. griff  February 19, 2009 at 11:18 am

    We accept it sheepishly as we always do. We’ve pretty much been conditioned to do accept that politicians will make promises to gain votes, and then not follow through on those promises.

  6. DejaVuAllOver  February 19, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    That liberals like me are disappointed (to put it mildly) in Obama does not, in any way, exonerate, excuse, exculpate or explain the rampant lies and debauchery of the Bush years. And even if Obama asymptotically approaches the malevolence of Bush or his soul brotha’ McCain, it’s almost impossible to imagine how he can top Bush on History’s Most Degenerate list. Even if Obama does nothing, which is basically what we’ve seen so far, that’s still far better than digging the hole as deep, as wide and as fast as possible, which was and is the GOP course. Things aren’t any better, but at least we’ve stopped digging.

  7. griff  February 19, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Wasn’t that the whole basis of Obama’s campaign? To undo what Bush had done? Does the word “change” ring a bell?

    Merely sitting in the bottom of the metaphorical hole would mean he’s just happy he didn’t have to do the digging, but he’s cool with the work that’s been done. Besides, he’s just digging with a different shovel now. Bush just passed the baton in the final leg of this relay race to the bottom.

  8. Jim C  February 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    The power brokers that used to be almost strictly in the republican party have been working for a foothold in the democratic party for some time . I believe that they realized that the strategy of pandering to southern whites , right wing religious types and other assorted wingnuts was beginning to backfire . If you notice , the entire leadership of the democratic party is now controled by the DLC ( the republican wing of the democratic party ) Reid , Pelosi , Hoyer , Emanual etc . Liberals have been marginalized to the point they have little say and no power . I am also convinced that a lot of the seemingly inaffectivness of the democratic leadership is on purpose . They feign helplessness and allow themselves to be blocked at every turn , never making the republicans actually stand up in the chamber and read the phone book or other such nonsense that the public would soon lose patience with . They never use their power to force good legislation , instead they just cave while wringing their hands about how helpless they are because of this 60 vote farce and so on . That certainly didn’t seem to block the republicans from passing all sorts of bad legislation , but the democrats just can’t seem to get it together, yeah , right . What I believe to be the reality is that we now have two conservative ( corporate run ) parties , one thats out front and one that pretends to be the opposition , kind of good cop , bad cop . They simply don’t want the public to figure this out for fear of a successful third party emergence , so the democrats keep talking a good game , the republicans keep whining about how liberal the dems are while corporations and kleptocrats are calling the shots . Point , has anyone heard anybody speak of trust busting , which we desperately need . These huge , powerful corporations are an anathema to a democracy , Teddy Roosevelt well understood this . Point , heard much about single payer health insurance ? Point , how about campaign finance reform ? Point , how about breaking the conservative stranglehold on the media ? Almost all outlets are now owned by a few very conservative corporations who have literally turned it into a propaganda machine that force feeds us infotainment , nonstop rightwing blather and little else . Hell , they have even neutered PBS and PBR with the exception of a couple of programs , corporate sponsers have done that work . Point , why hasen’t Obama moved to reverse the disasterous bush , or better yet reagan tax giveaways to the rich that leave the middle class bowed and the treasury broke ? Anyone heard any mention of restoring ” Glass- Steagal or other good regulation that was gutted or disguarded ? It worked fine for 70 years so why not simply restore it ? So here we sit , watching the likes of little Timmy Geithner and Larry Summers two of the jokers that paved the way for this mess enlisted to fix it , I won’t be holding my breath . The only one that’s missing is Phil Grahm and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Obama suddenly decided he would be just the guy for some cabinet post . If I seem a bit cynical , well , I am . I voted for Obama with my fingers crossed , hoping for the best , but really a vote against Mccain as much as anything . It does appear that we may be screwed , Pretty much everything we are allowed to see and hear filtered and shaped by the corporate media who along with other oligarchs seem to be in firm control of both major parties , so yep , we just very well may be screwed .

  9. griff  February 19, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    A couple of points, if I may.

    As long as we continue to buy into the left vs right hegelian exercise in distractive discourse the stranglehold these “opposing” parties have on our citizens will only get stronger. It is virtually impossible to break right now.

    There was plenty of talk here and elsewhere about the need for third party involvement, and they went all but ignored. Those of us, myself included, were continually and habitually “shown the door” when we failed to buy into the Obama hype.

    We were summarily ridiculed for even hinting that anyone should consider a third party vote.

    We were told that serious discussion could wait until Obama was safely in office. Well he is now, and I see neither hide nor hair of any of them. You voted for Obama, and you have the audacity to complain now that we should have had more third party ideas?

    I (and many others) was on this site daily trying to shout through the cocophony of Obama worship and expose the false paradigm, trying to make the very points that you make here today, using much the same language and analogies. There is no right vs left or conservative vs liberal. It’s all a show.

    There is only us vs them.

    It’s nice to see that you finally realize this, but you’re about four months late.

  10. sherry  February 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Deja, my hope was that we would at least stop digging the hole. Now, I am not so sure.
    This is what happens when we elect some one we don’t really know.

  11. AustinRanter  February 19, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Griff, I’d like to quote your opening comment from your last posting. I might add…well, I have tears in my eyes. You are soooo right on!

    “As long as we continue to buy into the left vs right hegelian exercise in distractive discourse the stranglehold these “opposing” parties have on our citizens will only get stronger. It is virtually impossible to break right now.”

    We the People have been sucker punched by the “dueling parties ideologies” for so long that our eyes are so swollen shut from this complete nonsense, and we’re incapable of seeing the truth.

    We the People have been sucker punched by the “dueling parties ideologies” for so long that we’ve been brain damaged to the point where logic and reason no longer travels through our synaptic connections.

    Right, Left, Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat…are words or terms, if you will, no longer stand for their original meanings.

    We all know that our government and leaders have been systematically usurped by “corporations”, hence we have Corp-Congress, Corp-Bureaucrats, Corp-Executive Branch, …etc, etc….which in effect makes our government a privately owned subsidiary of “The Corporation”.

    We do have two primary factions in government who are fighting for the controlling interest in “lobbyist, special interest, and related corp resources” that feed their egos, power, and pocketbooks.

    What we’re witnessing doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the general welfare of the citizens of the U.S.A. It has everything to do with the welfare of the U.S. Corporations of America (and other Nation’s Corporations) who contribute to the reciprocal game of powerism and wealth hording.

    Yep, here I go again…crying the same old same old. I’d like to say that I’m sorry for repeating this crazy, wild belief that our government no longer belongs to “We the People”…but, I can’t.

    Thanks Griff.

  12. sherry  February 19, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    You have made an excellent point, Griff. I voted for McCain as a protest vote.
    I realized during the primaries my vote didn’t count. Hillary actually had more votes, but somehow Obama came out with more delegates with the DNC’s gerrymandered system. Despite Hillary winning PA and TX with a 5 point margin, Obama walked away with two thirds of the delegates for each state.
    Despite numerous reports and accounts of cheating at the caucuses, nothing was ever really reported in the main stream media. The fix was in. Didn’t anyone find it the least bit odd, that Obama always won the caucuses?
    I can honestly say, I hope for the best. So far, I am feeling less than encouraged.
    Unless and until there is a viable third party candidate, I am not sure I will vote again. After all, it doesn’t really matter all that much, does it?

  13. Carl Nemo  February 19, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks JimC for your spot-on “state of the disunion” rant…! : )

    Don’t feel so bad about voting for Obama. My wife and I were sucked in too by his silver-tongued oratory. Based on his insider appointments to date and the questionable bill that Pelosi and Reid engineered without Obama taking them to serious task, I’d say we’re due for an endless stream of this “emergency” legislation during the next few years with each plea being more intense while there’s little to show for the vast expenditures except headline news about how billions are being pilfered or outright stolen by crooked federal, state and local pols and their patron contracting firms.

    Meanwhile; unemployment, foreclosures,tent cities and breadlines will get ever longer finally degenerating into rioting and escalating crime in the major cities and decaying suburbs filled with squatters,roving bands of gang bangers and meth heads stripping materials from foreclosed properties. The end result will be that many folks will get to enjoy the secret camps constructed by Halliburton et al. courtesy of the Bushista’s reign of (t)errors.

    We’ve been had by these republicrat bastards both sides of the aisle playing us for suckers. I’m now convinced that no election process or feelgood initiatives can change anything. They, the shadowy controllers, have now moved the U.S. into their “endgame” play.

    Carl Nemo **==

  14. griff  February 19, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I actually considered McCain momentarily for that same reason – a protest of Obama. A fleeting thought, but that’s how sick I was of the ridiculous hype. I couldn’t bring myself to do it though, but I certainly can’t blame a gal for doing it.

    Here in NY we had McCain and Obama representing the Establishment. We also had Nader, Barr, and McKinney. I voted for Barr, but instantly regretted not voting for McKinney, just to prove I’m not racist.

    And people think that vote fraud is strictly a Republican endeavor. Vote fraud favors the Establishment choice, regardless of party. Last time Bush had to win because Gore wasn’t fit for the part, and neither was Kerry.

    This time was custom-made for the “outsider”. I doubt they had to go to such lengths in the general. Obama was pretty much a shoe-in.

  15. griff  February 19, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    You’re welcome, but I do regret being a little harsh toward Jim in my comment. It’s very difficult for me to witness what’s happening when I saw it coming a mile away and was unable to really do anything about it.

  16. Chick  February 20, 2009 at 1:44 am

    McCain was a status quo promise of more of the same, or worse. A complete waste of time that would provide zero expectations of improvement. A close examination of his character, integrity, and honesty should make this obvious to the talented brain power I’ve observed opined on this site.

    Obama was a hope, a desire for change. Even his lack of experience was refreshing since we all know that the more ingrained the politician is in DC, the less focus he/she has on the people. Though I’ve heard that the Obama administration was going to hit the ground running, it isn’t running quick enough for me. But I attempt to remain patient, difficult as it may be, so that I don’t succumb to Griff’s total state of loss. I’m not far from there, and I struggle with contemptuous cynicism and utter futility. I doubt I will sustain another political bitch slap.

    What confuses me about the brilliance of those I read on this site, is the delusion that a third party is the answer. I predict, without any hesitancy, that should you get your third party candidate elected. you will end up just as frustrated as you are about all the modern day presidents we’ve experienced to this day. You still have to recruit from the human race, and you still have to deal with those that own them.

    This is probably the last election I’m willing to participate in. I hope Obama can excel expectations. If he doesn’t, rather than sink to the pits of inducing endless discouragement, I’m going to enjoy the sunshine, laugh with those I love, travel, and leave the politics to the rest of you. It is uncertain how much time we have to do these things in this wonderful economy that the politicians and corporations have served up. Good luck!

  17. Jim C  February 20, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Grif , I didn’t feel you were harsh at all , I was however a bit puzzled at your reply . I think I may have not been clear in my post , I am not , nor was I ever sold on Obama , I simply saw him as the best choice of the two , crossed my fingers and hoped for the best . I would love for a serious 3rd party candidate to get some traction , I didn’t feel Cynthia Mckinny was that person , her appeal was extremely limited and she had no chance what so ever of even making a good showing . I also see her as a bit of a flake and her running mate was a joke . As to your comment about liberal /conservative not meaning anything anymore , I thought thats what I said , obviously I wasen’t clear . I am an FDR , Nader , Kucinich minded liberal , I am quite aware that the democratic party is no longer the liberal party , I believe I covered that point , though obviously not with shining clairity . I feel that we are now trapped in a true catch 22 . We have the choice of corporate controled candidate A or B . I had concerns from the beginning about his ( Obamas ) vague or pseudo liberal positions , not to mention his close ties to Chicago university economists , that place is a hotbed of economic loony toons . I also wish more disillusioned liberals , thinkers , socialists , pinko commies , Naderites, hippies , whatever you want to call them , people who believe that the governments job is to represent the rights and welfare of the people would start raising hell with him . Back to my catch 22 statement . If Obama bombs , well what then ? Vote for the republican , I think not , 3rd party ? OK , show me a viable candidate . By viable I don’t even mean someone who will necessarily win , just make a decent showing , thats all , that can articulate the liberal position ( sorry , I know you hate the term , but it’s the only one I know ) . You may know we had a similar situation in the late 1800’s early 1900’s when both parties were completely controled by big business Teddy Roosevelt bucked the system and Wilson hated it but was side tracked by other issues ( a war and a stroke ) . The corporate grip wasen’t broken until an election in the early 1900’s ( the date escapes me at the moment ) when the socialist party won almost 30% of the vote and scared the hell out of the establishment . The democratic party saw the light and adopted most of their planks , thus forming the modern democratic party and setting the stage for FDR . The American socialist party then pretty much died out as its members moved to the democratic party . we have slide back into the same situation , we need such an event again , but you have to have a decent candidate , one who can’t be dismissed as ” fringe ” or ” moonbeam ” . There is also the problem of the media , conservatives understood that if they controled it they controled te message and could shape public opinion . There is a constant drumbeat of conservative commentary , the news has turned into complete pap and it’s getting worse . I mention PBR and PBS , they used to be one place you could get real news and commentary , seen Washington Week lately ? You control the media you control the message , you control the message and you can shape enough peoples views to control period . The republicans understood this when they did away with the ” fairness doctrine ” and you can see the result .

  18. Jim C  February 20, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    You make an excellent point ” that should you get your third party candidate elected. you will end up just as frustrated as you are about all the modern day presidents ” . There is another problem that is mostly overlooked . Lets say we did rise up and elect a 3rd party candidate , what then ? The congress and senate wouldn’t let him do anything , but would certainly work like mad to make damn sure he was a complete failure . Plus , how do you think our corporate controlled media would react to such a candidate if one started to get traction ? They would either give him no coverage at all or spin it to discredit him , or both . This media thing is the gorilla in the room , the trogen horse , the malignancy in the brain of our democracy . Listening to Obama dismiss reinstating the Fairness doctrine in some form or other made my blood run cold . A leader that truely wanted to restore our democracy would have made that the first order of business . He has to realize that in order to restore both our economy and political intellect these huge ( to big to fail ) corporations all need to be broken up , unless they are , we are done for .

  19. Jim C  February 20, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    One more quick point on some of your comments . If you want to post a protest vote why in the world would you vote for Bob Barr , Ron Paul or ” my god ” Mccain ? The only difference between Pauls or Barrs positions from bushes are they want to do everything bush did but faster , jesus people , think about it , read what these guys positions are , their ” ideas ” ( I use the term loosely ) are a corporate wet dream . And Mccain , he’s like bush without the mental clairity and sound reasoning . If you want to protest write in Batman or something , think how you would have felt if you had woke up wednesday morning to be welcomed by the news of the election of president Mccain ( and vice president Palin ) , boosted to victory by the ” protest vote ” in a close election . At least with Obama we probably won’t get another puritanical , grunting , knuckle dragging conservative placed in the supreme court just itching to drag us back to the middle ages , I would vote for him for that reason alone.

  20. AustinRanter  February 20, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Some good points Jim. There would be serious intrinsic and extrinsic problems that would evolve with a 3rd party president. And there’s no question as to how the efficacy of our Congress might be should there be another party vying for power and control of the resources that currently fuel our politicians and bureaurocrats.

    Third party solution is…well, just not viable for a couple of reasons that come to mind.

    Can’t we clearly see that a party is a party is a party? They all require a machine to backbone its survival.

    It’s all about who controls a party that defines the allegiance of the members who represents the party.

    There is no moral compass in politics.

    Creating a third party doesn’t guarantee that its allegiance won’t be to the very same special intterest as the two parties who now rob, pillage, and rape it’s constituents.

  21. almandine  February 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Jim, Jim, Jim…

    Ron Paul is a Libertarian, for God sake. He’s an Austrian economist for his and YOUR sake, no less. He’s a man who would remove the government control of your life and financial health if he could, for ALL our sakes… and you call him a corporatist. HE’s NOT. Ron Paul is all about liberty… the REAL kind.

    THAT is why I voted for him.

  22. Jim C  February 21, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Almandine , yeah , he’s a nice guy too . I have a friend at work that was a Paul supporter . He listens to some right wing loon Alex Jones who backed Paul . So you really believe selling off the national parks to the highest bidder , privatizing the highways and roads , he also wants to make abortion illegal , taking all regulations of corporations , removing pretty much all environmental regulations , doing away with minimum wage , most work place regulations and on and on and on leaving all these thing to the ” magic of the market place ” is a good idea ? Well , I guess we’ll just have to disagree . These aren’t wild insinuations either , I’ve both heard him spew forth this nonsense both in interviews and have been to his website . It’s simply amazing how little about his ” ideas ” his supporters really know or how little thought they’ve given to what the results of such policies would be . But , no sweat , if he ever did actually did get serious consideration there would no doubt be a huge WTF does he want to do moment and he would implode anyway , so go ahead support him if you like , he’s harmless , crazy , but harmless .

  23. almandine  February 21, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Jim – Don’t forget he would privatize money too. Yeah, I know – you don’t see how that could happen.

    As for the other stuff, the point would be to get govt out of most of it – and, yes, let the transactions in the marketplace decide the winners and the losers – financially speaking. Regulation would be less necessary in an honest-to-God free market, as the crooks would be discovered much, much faster and treated much more appropriately – right now. Financial crime and punishment would once again be able to function as it ought to.

    The issue of why govt would divest itself of some assets – OUR assets, by the way, has to do with the funding neded to maintain them. At present we don’t have any money… and that is why our National Parks, for example, are in such a state of disrepair. Ditto for other infrastructure… and look at the amount alloted for rebuilding in the current spendulus bill… peanuts. All this govt management of all our societal needs seems necessary to most – but when I look around it appears that the management ought to be fired for incompetence. How is it that such a wonderful [societal support] system as we think we have and need is doing such a lousy job?

    The only fly-in-the-ointment I see for moving to a system of individual responsibility is the current quality of our people. One-fourth of high schoolers drop out before graduating, a great number of folks think the govt is or should be the only source of making it on a daily basis, and hardly anyone is without significant debt. We have become The Great Society of learned helplessness. I have faith, however, that once it became clear that everybody had to make it on their own, using their own initiative and decision-making, they’d pull up their Big Boy panties and get on with it.

    If not??? Look around.

  24. griff  February 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    HaHa. Good luck. You can’t teach those with no desire to learn. The simple fact is that we have so much invested in the two party system that any excuse will do when defending it, regardless of the number of times it has betrayed us. We simply don’t believe in ourselves anymore nor do we believe in free markets or liberty. The government has to control every aspect of our lives, we’re simply not intelligent enough to handle our own affairs.

    As Plato once wrote…”Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught in falsehoods school. And the one man that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.”

    Or Dresden James…”When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

    The lies have been sold, the people have bought them, and the rest of us are fools and lunatics. Let’s hope they get those bridge projects going quickly, soon we’ll all need a place to live under or jump off of.

  25. almandine  February 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    “The lies have been sold, the people have bought them”… much like frogs in water brought slowly to boil.

  26. AustinRanter  February 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    The ongoing practice of Reactionism has been a slow, lingering death for America. But like most cancers, they slowly but surely kill their victims.

  27. Jim C  February 21, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Almadine , I for one don’t wish to live by the law of the jungle . This magic of the market place stuff has been tried before many times and always leads to the same result . The more powerful and corrupt wind up in control slowly moving the countries wealth and power to themselves . The idea that they will somehow self regulate has never worked and never will . All one needs to do is read the history of the early 20th century and or the late 19th or the 16th , 17th or pick your favorite to see what happens under such an arrangment . The top few get filthy rich , hoard wealth and resources , use their riches to stack the legal system to maintain control and form a kleptocracy . It’s just a shame that we have to keep going over this well trodden path again and again always with the same result . Expanding on your logic , if your house catches fire it should be your responsibility to put it out etc etc . You may also have noticed ( or maybe not ) that the first ones running to the government with their hands out were the rich when their little schemes blew up in their faces yet again . The amount the ( personal responsibility ) crowd gets in various handouts from the government is vastly more than the whimpy poor could ever imagine . This personal responsibility stuff seems to be forgotten when it’s their ox being gored , sounds great until it’s you or your family starving or without shelter . It’s also hard to come up by your bootstraps if some powerful enity wants the boots and straps for himself . Again , this stuff isn’t new , read some history about what happens with unregulated greed is allowed to rule , if you want to live in such a system , fine , but parden if I pass .

  28. Warren  February 21, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Bob Barr is not a Libertarian. He’s a very conservative Republican who stole the nomination at the Libertarian convention. This can happen in smaller parties. A certain segment thought that it was better to compromise their principles and nominate someone who just might win. Bad choice. He does not well represent Libertarian principles.

    That off my chest, voting for a third party candidate is IMHO the best way to vote our way out of the current mess. If enough people will do that then the momentum will naturally build. Just see what Ron Paul managed to accomplish.

    —W—

  29. RichardKanePA  February 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I like Carl Nemo see similarities between Obama and Jimmy Carter. When Jimmy Carter was President he was constantly sabotaged by the right-wing. George Bush Sr. actually arranged for the US hostage in Iran not to be released while Carter was President to make him lose his reelection bid, part of the infamous October Surprise

    The good people Obama picks, like Bill Richardson, are chased away as Obama is constantly pressured to pick establishment insiders like Hillary. John Conyers and Patrick Leahy proposed a Truth Commission to uncover all the mounds of Cold War dirt, but activists said “No.” Nothing should be exposed without prior agreement that Bush and Cheney belong in jail. Somehow the Truth Commission comments can no longer be retrieved at Capitol Hill Blue.

    Obama is constantly being pressured in an establishment direction, while those who disagree are kicking him and helping him trip instead of helping him resist the pressure. Or else cheer him which doesn’t help him resist the endless pressure to conform.

    Once a lot of people demanded change. Now they cheer instead of helping or else kick him to help him fall.

    The dirt is far deeper than even shill critics realized. The Mafia was part of the Allied effort against Hitler. During War II, Communists were the best fighters against Hitler, and the best antifascist spokes people in the media. The fact they were at first slow to oppose Hitler due to the Hitler-Stalin pack, made them better able to convey the message that now all Americans oppose Hitler. During World War II, the Teamsters Union was turned over to the Mafia to stop a wartime strike. Then during the Cold War the Entertainment Union was, as well, to kick the Commies out. During Contra-gate, drug runners would routinely whisper “I’m on your side” if they were ever caught, sometimes bluffing and sometimes with credentials of some sort to back the bluff up.

    Let’s find ways to help Obama do more instead of condemning him from all directions. I want to find ways to help him do better now, instead of cheering what he does when he is no longer President like I do Jimmy Carter.

    RichardKanePA

  30. sherry  February 22, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Jimmy Carter does a great job with Habitat for Humanity.
    As for Obama, I want the best for him, since he is America’s CEO, it is in all our best interests that he succeed.
    That said, he still needs to be held accountable. That is our job as citizens.
    The stimulus bill was a piece of crap. Sure there is good stuff in it.
    There is also a lot of bad stuff in it. The electronic medical records is hugely expensive, is a nightmare for patient privacy.
    Eventually, as Tom Daschle put it. “the most expensive care is in the last year of life……..Doctors will have to stop thinking of themselves as solo practitioners” if one gets too expensive, some bureaucrat gets to tell a doctor to follow the recipe. Obama is all for this. Taxpayers are spending $400 million on this. Pardon me, I DO NOT want Big Brother in my medical records.
    Secondly, he is closing Gitmo, but is sticking to Bush administration’s stance on torture. He is also denying constitutional rights to detainees.
    Same crap. Different name. Change you can believe in.

  31. Stratocaster  February 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Why and the hell doesn’t someone file charges against the Bush Administration for screwing the American people out of billions of dollars. That is the only thing the Bush Administration was about, screwing people out of their money.

  32. griff  February 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    And now it appears that Obama was a status quo candidate as well, regardless of what he said while campaigning.

  33. almandine  February 24, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Well Jim, call it what you will… but the brush you’re painting with seems like a pushbroom to me. History will show almost a complete lack of free markets, those being mostly circumscribed in breadth and time long ago. There has certainly been no generalized free market in this country since the start of the 20th century… the end of which can be traced to the creation of the Fed and its inflation-rich control of our system… except for the 1920-21 minor depression that the market righted because the govt butted out. We’ve been going mostly downhill ever since. Thus, on balance, except for the vision of “liberty” that free markets ordain, how would we know anything as to how they perform? The violence of govt intervention, in contrast, is well understood.

    All in all, though, that vision of liberty is something worth unfettered allegiance – something much more compelling than cradle-to-grave subjugation at the hands of those who would program your every move and desire… in the name of what?

    I suggest you ask any Russian, Chinese, North Korean, or other such “subject” how they feel about wealth and power. I believe you’ll find they disagree with your premise. Even Putin, himself, said at the G7 meeting that America would rue the day it decides to embrace Socialism more than it had at that moment.

    Why do you think that was?

  34. almandine  February 23, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Bush was just a tune up for what’s coming…

  35. sherry  February 24, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I fear you are absolutely correct Almandine.

  36. Jim C  February 24, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Well Almandine , I’m not really sure what the Nth Koreans , Chinese or Russians have to do with anything . Why don’t you ask the Dutch , French , Germans or Netherlanders instead , they refer to our brand of capitalism as ” savage capatialism ” as does most of europe . As far as the statement ” History will show almost a complete lack of free markets,” I’m not sure what or whose history you’re talking about , but it certainly isn’t ours . Almost from the creation of our country we’ve had almost unbridled free markets , what we lacked until around the late thirties was a middle class . Until then or at least from the begining of the industrial revolution markets were practically unregulated as were working conditions and corporate behavior in general . So I can only infer from your post that you are in favor of simply allowing our wonderful multinational corporate kleptocrats rape and pillage at will . Most civilized countries have figured out that is at best a very bad idea , at least from the prospective of the bottom 99% of us . If you really think that is just a nifty idea perhaps you should move to Mexico . Their system has kind of moved in that direction , there are a few very wealthy families that control pretty much everything , everyone else scrambles for the crumbs , it may be your idea of nervana .

  37. Stratocaster  February 24, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    This sort of looks like the bad cop/good cop thing where if someone is abused for long periods of time they will blindly follow anyone that gives them the faintest glimmer of hope.

  38. almandine  February 24, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    The lengths to which Socialists may go toward control of their societies, in general, can be seen in those 3 countries; their dismal financial fortunes result from that central control. Historically abysmal. As for the Western Europeans, I lived in Britain for awhile and have traveled extensively over the last 20 years throughout the countries you name, as well as the others over there. With few pockets of exception, the standard of living here in the US is well above that in those countries. If those places seem so hot, maybe you should move…

    The upshot is that Americans enjoy the highest standard of living anywhere… and as the old saying goes, if it is so terrible here, why people are clamoring to get in – scrambling for crumbs and all? Even in these hard times the emigration lines at terminals and airports are not busy with folks returning to the promised land after a mere visit in this hell hole.

    The so-called free market of which you speak is a myth – the tax code alone is 3.4 million words – and filled with such abominable crap as can be found here:

    http://news.ph.msn.com/business/article.aspx?cp-documentid=2419991

    which is responsible for at least one of the current problems we face with executive compensation in corporations, etc.

    It is much the same for tax breaks to corporations that offshore their operations or import cheap labor to compete with qualified US citizens, just to name a couple more political quirks. Thus, until we take care of the crooked politicians, the Fed and its criminal cabal, there will be NO free market to speak of in the US. It may look all rosy, but OUR CROOKS AND BANKERS are the cleverest.

    Ditto for FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC – the two government-sponsored-corporations MANDATED by Congress to loosen loans requirements so people who could not realistically afford to buy houses were allowed to anyway. Regulation, my friend… nothing free about it.

    More??? How long have they paid farmers not to farm? Think that’s free? Etc, etc, etc…

    No. I’m not looking for a nervana [sic] in which the crooks pillage, at will, and the rest of us reap the crumbs… but I am looking for a move to economic principles that will establish a system based on sound money and a market mechanism that will get us out of this debt-based mirage (er, morass) we think is the only way our financial system can possibly be. If that’s what you call Savage Capitalism… so be it.

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  40. griff  February 18, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Yep, we’ve been had, though it comes as no surprise to me. I wonder where all the rabid Obamanoids are now. You know, the ones that insisted a McCain presidency would be a continuation of the Bush administration, and Obama would bring new ideas and a new direction for America. The ones that insisted we all vote for Obama for our own good. The ones that shouted down any opposition as being racists and haters with all the rationality of trained monkeys.

  41. bryan mcclellan  February 18, 2009 at 9:20 am

    I thought I heard the new administration promise to park the old trash truck, dump it, rummage through to find what stinks and then fumigate it.

    Damn hearing isn’t what it used to be and my eyesight must be failing too as I’m sure these political promissory notions were shouted from the rooftops and exist somewhere in print. (No doubt soon to be blacked out by the CIA in all pertinent documents).

    This situation must be fallout from the auto industries failure.
    Our chief in charge of government sanitation has opted to get behind the wheel of the same steaming pile of crap his successor created, refuse to check the load or under the hood, and is hell bent to drive us off the cliff of Moral Ethics in government.

    Now that’s some kinda change. HACK!

  42. AustinRanter  February 18, 2009 at 10:10 am

    While it’s evident that the Bush war policies are still alive and well, and it does appear that there’s been no immediate action by Obama to eliminate or revise these policies…I don’t know if we can call the game on Obama’s actions as Commander In Chief just yet.

    I think what most complaints revolve around thus far with Obama’s few weeks in office is that everybody has an opinion about the time-tables…or priorities that Obama has placed on achieving some positive actions or results for some of the most diffcult tasks in our nation’s history.

    I’ve ranted and raved about Obama’s choices for his Cabinet posts. Actually, I’ve criticized him in so many ways, I can’t count at them all at the moment.

    But, with all he has going on with the economy…which was something Bush sure as hell didn’t do anything about in his departing days…how in the hell can, or better yet, why would Obama even want to try formulate knee-jerk-overnight-solutions regarding policies related to very complex problems associated with the two wars that are blazing? We have tens of thousands of troops whose lives are at stake.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would like to see expedient action taken on a number of points that Doug posted.

    But, the president doesn’t have enough hours in a day to take on all that’s emerged since he announced running for president.

    I do have to give thanks to the Universe that McCain isn’t in the presidency. Bagezzzzus, what a hell of a mess that we all would be in. We would all want to move to China.

  43. Nicholas H  February 18, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Congratulations, Doug, on seeing the light of day. The items mentioned in your column today are precisely why I voted for Cynthia McKinney.

  44. Carl Nemo  February 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    A great rant Doug Thompson and in my case you are preaching to the choir! I’m really disappointed with this guy and it seems we’ve been had again.

    My unsolicited advice is for folks to simply prepare themselves on an individual basis for their ultimate survival in the seemingly grim times to come.

    Our two-party duopolistic system is summarily broken and I see no way of fixing it shy of outright revolution. The ballot box doesn’t have the power to change things when both sides of the political equation ultimately report to the same shadowy controllers; ie., Bilderbergers, Tri-Laterals, CFR’s, the foundations, corporations et al. all facilitated through their deep pocket lobbyists and high level contacts. The press in this country and the world at large has been compromised for a long time and this being the case will ensure that “we the people” will always lose at this game as it seems so now.

    Our new president doesn’t seem to realize that simply delegating authority to a bunch of former insiders who all in some way have been instrumental in our national demise will not implement change.

    Supposedly he made 510 promises on the campaign trail; far too many as far as I’m concerned. In order for him to accomplish the greater majority of them, then he’ll have to micro-manage the details of government which would be a daunting task especially since he would have to massage so many different personas to get them to cooperate. Here’s a link to site that is keeping track of his campaign promises to date.

    http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

    Quite possibly President Obama is basically a good man who sees infinite possibilities for America; ie., an idealist who wants “team players” at his side and has high hopes of achieving his goals. The shadowy movers and shakers evidently groom people like him so they can inject them into the political scene for holding action purposes until their flagship party; ie., the Republicans can make it back to the White House. I believe President Jimmy Carter is an example of this phenomenon.

    I’m not looking for him to fail, but it seems on some of these most important issues such as torture, the war on a noun; ie., terror and the continued erosion of our remaining freedoms etc., it will be business as usual or worse.

    Carl Nemo **==

  45. sherry  February 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Your first clue was that he voted for FISA. He had a paper thin resume and what was on it, was nothing remotely indicating change.
    When I would ask people what impressed them about Obama, it was his books, his demeanor. Never his past policies. O that’s right. He didn’t HAVE any.
    And now you are all so shocked.
    Bless your hearts.

  46. griff  February 18, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    That’s right about FISA. As I said at the time, that bill did not need his support to pass, but he voted yea nonetheless. A not so discrete thumb in the eye to his faithful, who proceeded to simply ignore it or rationalize it away.

  47. woody188  February 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Big surprise. All the “major party” candidates we were given a choice to vote for were all globalist/corporatist stooges. So imagine that any of them would continue the same globalist/corporatist course that we’ve been on since the creation of the Federal Reserve. Democrat or Republican, it’s always going to be torture, spying, and a global imperial agenda.

    My country this of thee
    Sweet land of property
    Of thee I weep
    Land where New Orleans died
    Land of secret torture flights
    From every phone and email spy
    Let business rule

  48. AustinRanter  February 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Hell Fire…Hugo Chavez didn’t even want to be remotely associated with, or be like George Bush – why would Obama?

    I’ve not in anyway been a stumper for Obama, but come on. Gezzz, George Bush is probably wishing that he isn’t him… as narcissistic as Bush is.

  49. Warren  February 18, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Obama is ‘Establishment’. If you support and vote for the establishment you get more of the same. If you truly want change, support the heck out of people and parties that are outside of the establishment.

    I’m still naive enough to have hope for the electoral process, that is, if we (the voters) can get and keep control of it.

    —W—

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