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Health Care & Environment

07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Print view: Obama Year Two: Continued Betrayal and Failure (Part I)
LIBERAL? PROGRESSIVE?

Obama Year Two: Continued Betrayal and Failure (Part I)

by Stephen Lendman
Monday, 27 December 2010
The opposite of a yesteryear Democrat, Obama maintained a 30 year agenda of shifting public wealth to the rich, as well as supporting capital, not public welfare, including targeting middle class households for destruction.

Last December, a two-part article discussed Obama's year one betrayal and failure, accessed through the following links:

In year two, the pattern continued, revealing domestic and foreign policies that:

  • outdid George Bush by exceeding his harshness, lawlessness, belligerency, and public trust betrayal;
  • maintained a 30 year agenda of shifting public wealth to the rich, as well as supporting capital, not public welfare, including targeting middle class households for destruction;
  • looted the nation's wealth, wrecked the economy, and consigned growing millions to impoverishment without jobs, homes, savings, social services, or futures;
  • let hunger, homelessness, poverty, and those uninsured grow to unacceptable levels;
  • backed Wall Street's financial coup d'etat by greater Fed empowerment, as well as institutionalizing speculation, "too-big-to fail," super-wealth, and big money power;
  • plans new global monetary measures to control the world's money;
  • continued America's permanent war agenda by expanding imperial adventurism, increasing covert and overt aggression on new fronts with out-of-control military spending, exceeding the rest of the world combined at a time America has no enemies;
  • became the latest war criminal Nobel Peace Prize recipient;
  • executed his first successful coup d'etat in Honduras against its democratically elected president, then backed the fascist regime replacing him;
  • failed attempting regime change in Iran;
  • continued providing military, economic and political aid to the world's most ruthless, corrupt despots;
  • maintained a longstanding policy of supplying Israel with annual billions, more on request, other add-ons and extras, interest-free loans, the latest weapons, munitions and technology, unrestricted US market access, free entry of its immigrants, and unbridled support for its illegal belligerence, occupation, and crimes of war and against humanity;
  • presides over a bogus democracy under a homeland police state apparatus, sacrificing due process, judicial fairness, and other civil liberty protections in the name of national security;
  • continued torture as official policy, extraordinary rendition to prison hellholes, and for the first time, targeted US citizens for assassination;
  • invoked the state secrets privilege to prevent lawsuits by victims of rendition, torture, abuse, and those opposing warrantless wiretapping;
  • targets whisleblowers, dissenters, Muslims, environmental and animal rights activists, anyone challenging state power, and civil rights lawyers who defend them too vigorously called terrorists or threats to national security;
  • endorsed preventive detention without charge for those at Guantanamo considered dangerous, but no evidence allows prosecuting them;
  • expanded Bush administration spying and secrecy;
  • refused to prosecute its officials, suppressing proof of their culpability;
  • planned cybersecurity tyranny, threatening a free and open Internet, consumer privacy, and civil liberties; more on how below;
  • waged war on organized labor through fewer jobs, less pay, reduced benefits, and gutted work rules, including health and safety on-the-job protections;
  • tried controlling the media more aggressively than Nixon;
  • denied budget-strapped states financial help, forcing them to slash welfare programs, education, health care for the poor, and other vital services when they're most needed;
  • continued to commodify public education, end government responsibility for it, and make it another business profit center;
  • promoted dangerous vaccines for a non-existent threat;
  • promoted health care legislation that rations care; enriches insurers, drug giants and large hospital chains; places profits above human need; and keeps a dysfunctional system in place; Peter Singer's July 15, 2009 New York Times article endorsed administration policy, headlined: "Why We Must Ration Health Care," saying it's essential to apportion a "scarce resource" to those who can afford it; others will get only what they can pay for;
  • on the pretext of improving food safety, enacted agribusiness-friendly House legislation, harming consumers, small farms and food producers without improving America's industrial food system; on November 30, the Senate passed its own version; more on that below;
  • wants so far not passed legislation to let corporate polluters reap huge windfall profits by raising energy cost, while creating a speculative bonanza through a new carbon trading derivatives scheme;
  • cracks down harder on undocumented immigrants than George Bush, deporting a record number in FY 2010; others are held in over 300 detention facilities in nearly every state in the country, treated like criminals or terrorists; and
  • promoted a national ID card for all citizens and legal residents to be able to monitor them everywhere at all times.
Year two: Obama's destructive agenda continued.

Militarizing and Exploiting Haiti

An earlier article explained that Haiti is no stranger to adversity. Except for a brief time after its successful 1791 - 1803 revolution turning slaves into citizens and during Jean-Bertrand Aristide's tenure, it's experienced over 500 years of severe oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, occupation, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, and natural calamities from destructive hurricanes to powerful earthquakes, most recently on January 12. It devastated greater Port-au-Prince, killing up to 300,000, leaving around 1.5 million Haitians homeless with little aid and no help to rebuild.

Some countries reacted quickly, mostly a few Latin American ones, including Cuba and Venezuela. Washington did nothing, deploying marines and paratroupers instead, militarizing the country, obstructing, not providing aid, promising $1.1 billion, delivering none, planning only exploitation of Haiti's resources and cheap labor.

Haiti was opened for business, occupied to be plundered, its people on their own, sink or swim under circumstances assuring mass suffering, starvation, disease and for many, death. Only corporate interests mattered at a time of dire need.

Eleven months later, Haiti is still plagued by rubble everywhere, extreme deprivation, promised aid undelivered, none from Washington, 1.5 million without shelter in streets and other open spaces, and now raging cholera, and the aftermath of a sham election, institutionalizing coup d'etat rule.

Washington's imperial hand orchestrated it, denying Haitians any chance for real change. It represents another betrayal by a president showing contempt for essential needs, human rights, and basic freedoms, at home and abroad, even under the most dire conditions.

America's Permanent War Agenda

America glorifies wars in the name of peace, historian Gore Vidal titling his 2002 book, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace," saying:

"Our rulers for more than a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention our own."

It's persisted mainly since Franklin Roosevelt goaded Japan to attack us. It then continued in Korea, Vietnam, numerous proxy wars, the Cold War until the Soviet Union's 1991 dissolution, and now Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and new wars to be launched at opportunistic times against unnamed enemies.

Obama is America's latest warrior president, talking peace, waging war, packaged as liberating ones for democracy, freedom, and justice against bogus threats, when, in fact it's an imperial agenda for wealth, power, and unchallengeable global dominance.

He lied calling Afghanistan a "war of necessity, not choice," doubled the force contingent since taking office, yet stays mired in an unwinnable quagmire. He also destabilized Pakistan, plans control over the Caspian Sea's oil and gas riches, as well as energy routes to secured ports for export.

He approved US military bases encircling Russia, China and Iran, obstructing their solidarity and cohesion. He promised change and delivered betrayal, nearing year three of his tenure. Like his predecessor, he aroused global anger, his agenda endangering everyone, including Americans, heading the country for tyranny and ruin.

Enacting Obamacare

An earlier article called March 21 a day of infamy when House and Democrat leaders bullied, bribed, cajoled, muscled, and jerry-rigged Obamacare to pass, despite most Americans opposing it with good reason. Ralph Nader called it a "pay-or-die system that is the disgrace of the Western world," costing double what other Western countries spend and delivering less, rationing care to enrich corporate providers while making a dysfunctional system worse.

Henceforth, junk insurance policies will leave millions underinsured. Costs will remain out-of-control. Insurers can still deny care by delaying, contesting, preventing or over-charging people from accessing it. Everyone must have coverage or be penalized if opt out, a provision many states are contesting. A Virginia federal judge just ruled it unconstitutional, a battle the Supreme Court will decide. Company-provided policies will be taxed as ordinary income, harming working households most of all.

Physicians for a National Health Program denounced it, saying the new law "will enrich and further entrench (private insurers, forcing) millions of Americans to buy" defective coverage leaving most worse off than before at a cost of hundreds of billions of tax dollars given predators to game the system for profit, the public losing out. Moreover, 23 million Americans will remain uninsured, "translate(d) into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering."

Obama's centerpiece domestic policy scammed the public with a package of expensive mandates, new taxes, and sweetheart deals, creating a fragmented, dysfunctional, unsustainable system, denying Americans what they urgently need - universal coverage, an expanded, improved Medicare for all, everyone in, no one out, what neither party or Obama delivered.

Capitulating on Financial Reform

Omitting real structural reforms, Democrats, Republicans, and Obama agreed on a patchwork of half-measures. Instead of restraining financial fraud, too-big-to-fail empowerment, an out-of-control Fed, and casino capitalism's ability to game the system with public money, it institutionalized business as usual. The Financial Times (FT) quoted a Wall Street banker saying "We are all breathing a sigh of relief here....we can live with this." Indeed so since Wall Street lawyers wrote it. The FT added: investors believe the "overhaul in financial rules would not have a significant impact on the industry's structure and profitability."

Indeed not by:

  • empowering a financial aristocracy;
  • letting Wall Street run the country;
  • institutionalizing fraud, speculation and bailouts;
  • leaving executive pay, bonuses and perks untouched;
  • letting credit agency scams continue;
  • permitting giant banks, insurers and other financial firms to get bigger; and
  • establishing a toothless Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with other anti-reform provisions.

Bottom line: the worst of bad practices will continue, besides teams of lawyers devising ways around whatever regulations emerge. According to University of San Diego Law Professor Frank Partnoy, "Wall Street has always been very skilled at getting around rules, and this law will be no different," especially with its loopholes, half-measures, and overall weakness. Bankers got the best deal big money can buy. The public again was scammed.

Part II concludes Obama Year Two: Continued Betrayal and Failure.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on December 27, 2010.

 



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