Obama Is Worse than Bush In Favoring the Super-Elite, Bailing Out the Big Banks, Protecting Financial Criminals, Targeting Whistleblowers, Keeping Government Secrets, Trampling Our Liberties and Starting Military Conflicts In New Countries
Glenn Greenwald notes that even Democratic party loyalists are getting fed up with Obama’s Bush-like actions:
Even the most loyal establishment Democrats are now harshly denouncing the president for his war on transparency ….
This secrecy has become so oppressive and extreme that even the most faithful Democratic operatives are now angrily exploding with public denunciations.
(Greenwald gives numerous examples.)
The Hill reported last month:
A majority of voters believe President Obama has been no better than his immediate predecessor, President George W. Bush, when it comes to balancing national security with the protection of civil liberties, according to a new poll for The Hill.
Thirty-seven percent of voters argue that Obama has been worse than Bush while 15 percent say he has been “about the same.” [In other words, a total of 52% think Obama is just as bad as Bush. That was before the drone controversy – discussed below – went viral.]
The results cannot be fully explained as party line responses. More than one in five self-identified Democrats, 21 percent, assert that the Obama administration has not improved upon Bush’s record. So do 23 percent of liberals.
Indeed, more and more Democrats are waking up the fact that Obama is doing a lot of the same stuff Bush did.
Bush was a horrible president. His warmongering, disrespect for civil liberties, redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the super-elite, and obsession for secrecy were all abysmal.
But how does Obama stack up by objective measurements?
Let’s compare …
Income inequality has increased more under Obama than under Bush.
Liberal Nobel prize economist Joseph Stiglitz said in 2009 that Obama’s toxic asset plan “amounts to robbery of the American people”.
While everyone knows about the $700 billion “Tarp” bailout which started under Bush, a top banking analyst puts the current bailouts under Obama at more than $780 billion each year. (Background here.)
Obama has prosecuted fewer financial crimes than President Reagan, Clinton or either of the Bush presidents.
Obama’s chief law enforcement officer – the Attorney General of the United States – has publicly stated that he won’t go after big banks.
Obama – even more than Bush – is protecting criminal activity by prosecuting and harassing whistleblowers.
Indeed, the Obama administration is are literally treating whistleblowers as terrorists.
In March 2010, AP documented that – under Obama – 17 major agencies were 50 percent more likely to deny freedom of information requests than under Bush.
An ACLU staff attorney puts it:
In some ways, the Obama administration is actually even more aggressive on secrecy than the Bush administration.
A new AP investigation published last week shows that the Obama administration has recently become more secretive than ever.
An Orwellian America
As a young man, I voraciously read George Orwell’s “1984”, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Alvin Toffler’s trilogy which included “Future Shock”‘, “The Third Wave” and “Power Shift”. During the era of the Vietnam War, I wondered seriously about the future and how it was destined to unfold. Now being considerably older, I have the vantage point to reflect back on my early ruminations and expectations. Unfortunately, I am too old to alter the lessons that are now so painfully obvious. Instead, I pass the gauntlet to those who can understand and take action on what I have unavoidably come to expect for America.
A FRAMEWORK OF UNDERSTANDING
I recently read a perceptive paper by Chris Hedges that would have made any English Professor envious, powerfully philosophical but not something an Economics department would pay much attention to. I found it both intriguing and enlightening.
I have borrowed so heavily from it, that I am unsure where the lines diverge. Therefore, below I give full credit to Chris Hedges and take full credit for all the bad ideas.
Chris Hedges of TruthDig.com wrote 2011: A Brave New Dystopia, from which the following evolved.
The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.
We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through:
• Sensual gratification,
• Cheap mass-produced goods,
• Boundless credit,
• Political theater and
While we were entertained,
• The regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled,
• The laws that once protected us were rewritten and
• We were impoverished.
• Credit is drying up,
• Good jobs for the working class are gone forever and
• Mass-produced goods are unaffordable,
…. we find ourselves transported from “Brave New World” to “1984.”
The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is clearly sliding toward unavoidable bankruptcy.
It is time for Big Brother to take over from Huxley’s feelies, the orgy-porgy and the centrifugal bumble-puppy.
Following President Obama’s lunch meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins described the food served and said the president was not able to eat since his “taster” was not present.
“University of Maine recipe for healthy lobster salad — I pointed that out to the president in keeping with the first lady’s initiatives and Fox Family Potato Chips made in Aroostook County where I’m from and wild blueberry pie full of anti-oxidants, see this was a healthy lunch as well. We did have a little ice cream on the pie too, also made in Maine, Gifford’s Ice Cream. So in all seriousness this was well received,” Collins told reporters on Thursday after the meeting at the Capitol.
“Unfortunately, you know, the president can’t,” said Collins when asked if Obama ate at the lunch meeting.
March 13, 2013
Author and economist, John R. Lott Jr. told Conservative Commandos Radio Show (CCRS) that Professor Barack Obama wouldn’t shake hands and would turn his back on him during discussions on controversial issues when they both worked at the University of Chicago.
“He had the most extreme consistent reaction interacting with me as anybody that I ever ran into,” Lott told CCRS host Rick Trader.
Lott was discussing his new book, At the Brink, in which he recalls some of his interactions with then-professor Barack Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.
Lott told Trader, “The reason why he [Obama] stands out in my mind so much…he had the most extreme consistent reaction interacting with me as anybody that I ever ran into by far in academia.”
“Also he [Obama] was the only one that just told me, point blank, that he didn’t believe people should own guns.
“I mean there were other very liberal academics, or left-wing academics who would think that there ought to be strict gun-control or regulations. But, he stood out because I don’t think I ever had anybody else just so flatly tell me that they don’t believe people should be able to own guns,” Lott said.
Lott also elaborated on some of his other interactions with Obama:
“He wouldn’t shake hands, he’d turn his back on me; the book goes through some of these things.
“And, you know, it was just obvious that he disliked me. He disliked me a lot. Not just, you know, as one would normally dislike somebody that they disagree with, but I think he actually viewed me as evil in some way because of our differences on the gun issue.”
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