Exclusive: How Obama’s Early Career Success Was Built on Fronting for Chicago Real Estate and Finance

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Barack Obama remains an icon to many on what passes for the left in America despite incontrovertible evidence that he does not represent their interests. There are many contributing factors, including his considerable skills as a speaker and his programmatic effort to neuter liberal critics by getting their funding cut.

A central component of the seemingly impenetrable Obama mythology is his personal history: a black man, son of a broken home, who nevertheless got on the fast track to financial success by becoming editor of the Harvard Law Review, but turned instead to working with and later representing a particularly disadvantaged community, the South Side of Chicago.

Even so, this story does not quite add up. Why did Obama not follow the usual, well greased path of becoming a Supreme Court clerk, and seeking to exert influence through the Washington doors that would have opened up to him after that stint?

A remarkable speech by Robert Fitch puts Obama’s early career in a new perspective that explains the man we see now in the Oval Office: one who pretends to befriend ordinary people but sells them out again and again to wealthy, powerful interests – the banks, big Pharma and health insurers, and lately, the fracking-industrial complex.

Fitch, who died last year, was an academic and journalist, well regarded for his forensic and archival work, as described by Doug Henwood in an obituary in the Nation. He is best known for his book Solidarity for Sale, which chronicled corruption in American unions, but his work that is germane to his analysis of Obama is Assassination of New York. In that, he documented the concerted efforts by powerful real estate and financial interests to drive manufacturing and low-income renters out of Manhattan so they could turn it over to office and residential space for high income professionals.

Fitch gave his eye-opening speech before an unlikely audience at an unlikely time: the Harlem Tenants Association in November 2008, hard on the heels of Obama’s electrifying presidential win. The first part contains his prescient prediction: that Obama’s Third Way stance, that we all need to put our differences aside and get along, was tantamount to advocating the interests of the wealthy, since they seldom give anything to the have-nots without a fight.

That discussion alone is reason to read the piece. But the important part is his description of the role that Obama played in the redevelopment of the near South Side of Chicago, and how he and other middle class blacks, including Valerie Jarrett and his wife Michelle, advanced at the expense of poor blacks by aligning themselves with what Fitch calls “friendly FIRE”: powerful real estate players like the Pritzkers and the Crown family, major banks, the University of Chicago, as well as non-profit community developers and real estate reverends.

Don’t take my word for it. Download the speech and read it. And then circulate it widely. And thank Michael Hudson, Fitch’s friend for over 30 years, for making this document available.

Robert Fitch on Obama

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  1. chitown2020

    This is how we get to the crux of who we are dealing with and why we are all here…very Deceptive Criminals….Funny story..One evening I tried to get onto the Cook County Recorder of Deeds website. The only thing that would come up on the page was the recordings of a Tony Rezko mortgage…No legal conveyances to be found of course, like EVERYONE else’s.. the CCR website one day was booting everyone to a Porn website. They are funny huh…? One day when I was at the CCR of Deeds office they had what an actual AUTHENTIC LEGAL ASSIGNMENT looks like up on the screen….. ! I have discovered a lot from the Recorder of mans deeds. Pay attention is my take. Sometimes the truth
    will present itself when you least expect it.

    1. chitown2020

      I would just like to add, Mayor Daley tore down the projects in the city when he was Mayor and turned the land into prime real estate. They turned apartment complexes in the south suburbs into section. 8 housing projects. I knew it was a scheme to grab prime real estate.

  2. Rehabber

    I’d wager BarryO did not have the grades to clerk for the SCOTUS. I have long suspected that the reason no one wanted his grades released is b/c it would show that his editorial position @ HLS was given to him.

    1. Holden Pattern

      You can write on to the HLS law review — more people write on than grade on — and then the members elect the editor-in-chief. So even if he actually was an affirmative action choice for the review (of which you have no proof — you’re just guessing), his peers thought he was a good choice for the top of the masthead.

      1. Rehabber

        According to available reports BarryO was one of 18 candidates for President on the HLS review. He also confirmed in a letter to the Harvard Law Record in 1990 that his appearance on the Review was the product of AA.

    2. unlikely

      I’m no fan of Obama –far from it– but it takes a demented goof to continue to be obsessed with Obama’s grades. What are you upset about, rehabber? The man did graduate magna cum laude from HLS, after all.

      As much as I hate the expression, “Get a life,” I think this applies to you and others who are concerned about this nonsense.

      1. patricia

        Agree. He’s obviously clever and can hold two thoughts in his head at the same time, which no one has accused either George W or Ronald of being able to do. The only thing Obama’s time in office makes clear is that intelligence makes little difference to the character and wisdom of presidential policies.

        People who bring it up are talking about something else altogether.

        1. Tim

          “The only thing Obama’s time in office makes clear is that intelligence makes little difference to the character and wisdom of presidential policies.”
          I always got the impression that truth is liberal heresy from the liberal mainstream in their attempt to discredit a republican candidate running on their integrity. I will caveat that by saying that it is rare to find a republican candidate that actually has strong integrity.

          As someone else said on this site before. In this day and age much more value is given to being clever than being wise. The truth of that statement runs pretty broad.

          1. chitown2020

            All of the Politicians sound idiotic because they are. I am writing in my choice for President because that is what freedom of choice means to me.

      2. dearieme

        The grades are of little interest in themselves: the interest is in his obsessive determination to hide so much about life.

          1. chitown2020

            Rumors abound. Like the real reason Blago went down was because he peeved off Obama by trying to sell off his old Senate seat. It was supposed to go to Alexi Gianoulias. Gianoulias family owned the failed Broadway Bank. It was a big scandal right before the election. They supposedly made a lot of loans to mobsters. Anyhoo, the poor guy who landed Obama’s old seat, Repub. Mark Kirk, recently had a stroke. He just left rehab yesterday the local news reported. Lots of coincidences…hmmm…

        1. patricia

          But dearieme, Jim, why does it matter? He has been doing enough garbage that effects us directly, which he’s also trying to keep hidden. “We can neither affirm nor deny” Gah. That he hides his personal past is simply part of his general modus operandi. Picking on those pointless personal bits is like blowing out candles when the house is on fire.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            why does it concern you so much that other people want to know his background? Employers are asking average Americans not only for their grades but also their Facebook passwords, their criminal and credit histories, and now their tax records (which employers can then use to give them even more bargaining power to lower wages).

            I think Barack can handle a few questions about his LSAT or want to see more of his poetry :)

            But the real issue is whether Obama was involved in intelligence. Even if Obama were “former” intelligence, the American people have a right to know.

          2. patricia

            Of course it’s because I’m worried that people will realize his grades are directly related to his “former intelligence” life, which would reveal his current cabalistic powers at the Central Intelligence Agency. And then somebody might do something about it! How did you know?

            Right to know. Left to know. In the know. The Cloud of Unknowing. No knowing. And we all know what that means. Which I don’t want you to know. ;-)

          3. Walter Wit Man

            You seem more concerned with shutting down certain avenues of inquiry than you do with seeking the truth or wisdom.

            Which is why you mock the idea that Obama was in the CIA.

            It’s incredibly naive to react the way you did to this possibility. Or, your goal is to shut it down because you want to hide the truth for some reason.

            Based on my short history with you I’m going with the latter.

          4. patricia

            How did I guess you would draw that from my comment, Walter?

            For you,
            Possibility = probability = certainty
            Argument = collusion = corruption.

            Also, you illogically demand for yourself that which you correctly note is illegitimate in the PTB:
            agreement with you = truth + loyalty
            disagreement with you = lie + betrayal

            If nothing else, revive your sense of humor, for god’s sake.

      3. Walter Wit Man

        There actually is a very good reason to see Obama’s records, as explained by Jack Cashill:

        “None of this, of course, proves Ayers’ authorship [of Obama’s Dreams from my Father] conclusively, but the evidence makes him a much more likely candidate than Obama to have written the best parts of Dreams.

        The Obama camp could put all such speculation to rest by producing some intermediary sign of impending greatness — a school paper, an article, a notebook, his Columbia thesis, his LSAT scores — but Obama guards these more zealously than Saddam did his nuclear secrets. And I suspect, at the end of the day, we will pay an equally high price for Obama’s concealment as Saddam’s.”


        1. Lambert Strether

          Most of this material is rehashed from the 2008 campaign. Putting aside for a moment the disinterested search for truth, most of these talking points failed in 2008 (as the form of collective oppo it was). Some remarks on a few of these failed memes:

          1. The Ayers thing doesn’t “work” because although it causes certain knees on the right to jerk, the notion of Obama as a revolutionary socialist is transparently ludicicrous. From a purely instrumental, polemic standpoint, a better question is “What kind of man writes two autobiographies?” This question has the great merit of starting from a known truth. (I’d say the kind of creep who checks himself in the mirror whenever he passes one. Or the kind of guy who’s got something to hide, true enough.)

          2. The whole Manchurian candidate thing, which also didn’t “work” at the time. There’s a good deal of fog about this. To the list Walter provides, I’d add that Obama’s transcript from Occidental is not available, so we don’t know how on earth he got into Columbia. And there’s plenty of grist in the rather odd history of where Obama’s mother worked, and for whom, and Obama’s early trips to Pakistan.

          In general, Obama’s rise seems mysteriously easy. But then con men can do that, and aren’t necessarily Manchurian candidates when they do. So I think Occam’s razor applies.

          What I find a little frustrating about this discussion is that (1) Fitch’s speech is a massive called shot (note the date. Obama turned out to be what Fitch thought he would be, and for the reasons Fitch gave; and (2) the “Friendly FIRE” model is terrific, and has also the merit of being true. Once Obama is wired into that huge regional power base and network — that is, they found the right con men — everything fell into place for him very fast. We don’t need additional explanations to account for it. From a purely polemic standpoint, it’s a far better frame than any of the tinfoil hat material. And from the analytical, truth-telling standpoint…. Well, it’s true.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            I totally agree with you that those themes didn’t work on a political level (putting aside the truth for its own sake).

            The Ayers and Alinsky connection just don’t ring true to me (nor does the “community organizing”. I don’t believe Obama was ever a lefty. Hearing Obama talk about Alinsky as if he once believed it is not convincing to me: (I thought I heard Obama talk about this himself but can’t find it now, but here’s Michelle talking about how Barack quoted Alinsky when they met, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw71uJXdcG0).

            So they need narrative tricks, like the image of Obama looking in a mirror and seeing himself in a suit and with a briefcase and thinking it not his true self.

            Or a an autobiography. This is were Ayers comes in. He probably was more of Obama’s handler, or fellow agent, etc., than he was anything else. He probably had the writing skills, as my link demonstrates. He is the one that appears to have helped Obama lay down his cover.

            So it’s up to Ayers and Alinsky to take the heat for Obama now as he sheds his liberal past, and he can throw them under the bus (or appear to) and it’s all good. The attempts by the right to link them don’t really work.

            But I disagree with you in one aspect.

            This is effective propaganda because it causes liberals to throw liberals, like Ayers, or Rev. Wright, or Van Jones, under the bus and it pushes the Democrats and liberals in a rightward direction. And it’s not really about this individuals, but the ideas they supposedly represent–leftist ideas. It’s a demonstration that lefties cannot have lefty things.

    3. chitown2020

      Wonder what Breitbart had on them…? Now Breitbarts coroner died under suspicious circumstances. Its all quite disturbing.

  3. Matt

    I would add, as a major contributing factor, the fact that so many of us on the left supported Obama’s candidacy with great fervor. You expect a John Kerry or a Joe Biden to let you down. Obama was supposed to be one of us, and it hurt – on a personal level – when he screwed us over.

    Personal pride makes a lot of people on the left stand behind Obama. If they don’t have to admit Obama is doing a terrible job, then they don’t have to admit that they were wrong about him. I think there was a lot of this on the conservative side in 2004 and 2006, when they realized Bush didn’t give a shit about a lot of their causes.

    1. Z

      Very broadly speaking of the left … and I’m sure that there are plenty of exceptions … their continued support of obama is tied to their vanity; they are so proud that THEY voted for a black man that obama has become a shining beacon of their moral superiority over all those that don’t support him. His race was such a large part of why they voted for him … the largest emotional reason why they voted for him, which for most people is the largest reason of all … and they are so very conscious of his race that they also assume that if you don’t like him it’s becoz of his race. That’s the first thing that comes to their mind. And they WANT to believe that you don’t like him becoz he is black becoz that supports their ego-enriching feelings of moral superiority … and inflates their belief in their virtuousness.

      And this is the mind set of a lot of liberals in the u.s.: they want to feel morally superior … they are eager to feel righteous. And what may have once began as guilt, now has “metamorphisized” into something more selfish and emotionally rewarding. And now that their emotional investment has been shown to be placed upon such a faulty foundation, they are aggressively defensive and protective of it. But, again, it’s primarily all about their arrogance and egos.

      And obama is EXTREMELY intelligent and realizes that and recognizes the vacuity of it which is likely why he has so little respect for the left … why he has such contempt and disdain for them … and why he considers the right to have more substance. For many on the left, his race was the biggest reason that they voted for him. So he plays the left, he has no respect for them … their adoration of him is really of themselves … and he feels no guilt in using it to his advantage.


        1. Z

          When I write about the left in my post, I’m referring to the liberals that have little or no moral convictions, which is the vast majority of them that self-identify themselves as being on the left, and whom will generally migrate to the polls in November like demo-zombies and punch their stylus through any name with a D beside it.

          There are also obviously people that self-identify themselves as being on the left that DO possess moral convictions and those folks will generally oppose obama becoz of their convictions and the fact that obama is an enemy to most of what they believe in.


          1. Christophe

            If you want your opinions to be taken seriously on such an intellectual venue, learn how to use your spell check and when to use “who” instead of “whom.” Sorry if those petty details sound like elitist disdain, but we each have to process all sorts of verbal cues in assessing each poster’s outlook and agenda. So many, in fact, that we all resort to shortcuts. Whether they are in the form of Limbaugh listeners looking for all caps to identify their ilk, or intellectuals combing through for spelling errors, we all use biased shortcuts.

            Whatever audience you intend to influence with your argument, you have to play by their rules. The audience here is quite exacting, but fully worth the extra effort to influence it.

          2. Z


            oh yeah, anyone that opposes the head pr man of the establishment obama has to be a conservative. There’s no other explanation for it.


          3. chris

            I think I posted this before but…

            In Alice Goodman’s libretto to John Adams’ great American opera “Nixon in China” she gives Mao the best ;ine of the evening. I don’t know if he actually said it and certainly Mao was a murderous bastard, but it’s still a great line:

            “Occasionally the true left calls a spade a spade and tells the left it’s right.”


          4. Z


            Thank you so much for your concern and your advice, but I don’t really have any interest in living up to your pedantic ideals. And despite the fact that I may make an occasional spelling or gramatical error as I quickly put together a post, I don’t believe that disqualifies my opinion. And if it does to some people, fuck them.

            Nor do I feel like I’m out of my intellectual league on this board.


          5. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Z, as for Christophe’s slam, “There Will Be Snobs.” consider the source.

        1. Z

          It’s there, it just lacks the cohesiveness right now to create a critical mass. Part of the reason why is that dumbasses allow themselves to be herded into the democratic party which divides and disperses it.


          1. Harold Swanson

            That doesn’t sound like any sort of real explanation to me as to why things are how they are. If you think this is happening, explain how in a way that isn’t just insecure condescension (“dumbasses allow”, etc.)

      1. MikeW_CA

        This comment illustrates the reason the Republicans are going to lose the presidential race in 2012:
        They just don’t get it. America’s “left” (“center right” to those in the rest of the world)
        isn’t going to vote for Obama because of liberals’ ego and self-righteousness. People are going
        to vote for Obama because Republicans have done such a poor job providing an alternative.
        Many Obama voters are disappointed with his policies. You would think that would have provided
        an opportunity for Republicans to broaden their appeal and take some of those votes. They’ve done
        the opposite. This year’s Republican candidates have outdone themselves in finding ways to
        ever narrow their appeal, and to alienate and exclude more and more voters.

      2. two beers

        What Z is trying to describe is the well-studied phenomenom of social psychology known as “cognitive dissonance.” Advertisers and marketers well understand this phenomenom.

        Simply put, most people like to think of themselves as smart and good people. Many people voted for Obama because it made them fell smart and good (in the moral sense), to do so.

        When it turned out that the construct was a farce — that the object of our action was not what he pretended to be — the dissonance kicked in. Liberals in the throes of cognitive dissonance ignore and deny the evidence that Obama is a conservative corporatist usurper of the Bill of Rights, because to acknowledge that that is what he is would be to admit that we, the hypothetical liberal Obama supporters, are not smart and good (in the moral sense) — that, in fact, being so gullible easily duped makes us stupid and morally suspect.

        Cognitive dissonance is so powerful that it prevails even when the subject is aware of it. For example, both my vote for Cynthia McKinney (who is black, female, and reasonably left-of-center) in the last election, and my pre-election perception of Obama as a fraud, made me feel smart and good (even though I am stupid and morally weak).

      3. maryevelyn

        What you are saying about white leftys or Progressives voting for Obama because they wanted to congratulate themselves for helping to elect the first black man to be President, I think is also true of white Independents. It was about being part of a grand historical moment.

        1. dirtbagger

          Obama was running against a 72 year old McCain who selected a genuine nitwit as his running mate. I think this had a bigger play in voting decisions than the lefty psychological theories that are being posted. After 8 years of Bush, even Nixon and Carter began to look very presidential.

    2. Sharon

      No one can accuse me of being excited about Obama. Even after I canvased for him I had a funny feeling he was not going to help the working class. Now we know. But still, look at who is running against. I am so tired of picking the lesser of two evils. What about the independents recruiting someone to run.

      1. chris

        There are plenty of other choices. Dr. Jill Stein (Green) and Rocky Anderson (Justice), to name just two.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          chris, there needs to be a BIG 99% (third way) movement with a LOT of money and a LOT of momentum, and the help of some New Economic Thinkers like Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, et al., plus some Radically Conservative Economic Thinkers who KNOW that fraud, looting, embezzlement, and skimming are crimes, like William K. Black–all of whom reject the Old Economic Thinking of the Chicago Gang in town and gown.

          1. maryevelyn

            Write in Ron Paul. He has a radically conservative economic philosophy. He has introduced a bill into the Senate to abolish the Fed. It will never pass. But one thing he did get accomplished. He added an amendment to Dodd-Frank to require that the Federal Reserve be audited. It has never been audited in 100 years of existence. I also found out recently that the Fed is not part of the government. It is entirely owned by stockholders.

  4. matt

    While Obama’s presidency has been very dissapointing, can’t say it wasn’t a surprise. While mainstream media might have supported him, there were plenty of stories from outlets like counterpunch and black agenda report that detailed his lack of conviction on key issues, as well as the enormous amount of support he got from Wall Street. He’s always been about saying the right things and put himself across as a product rather than anyone with real convictions. Obama is just another in a line of neo-liberal politicians like Clinton and Blair.

    Also–and this might be my own ideological bias–anyone praising Reagan and his old-timey values (what this nation needs is more gumption!) has to be looked at critically by those of us who identify as progressive/liberal/leftist. The last thing this country needs is a leader who identifies with someone as vile as Ronald Reagan.

    1. Klassy!

      Black Agenda Report was on to him from the beginning. Much of what is in this letter is echoed there.

    2. Klassy!

      Black Agenda Report was on to him from the beginning. Much of what is in this letter is echoed there.
      I’m not sure that I understand why Fitch describes Obama as a communitarian though.

      1. Klassy!

        hmm.. should I post the same thing again? I have such wisdom to add to this discussion.

      2. Waking Up

        From Robert Fitch’s speech:

        “Communitarianism flows from belief that we all share a common good. What’s needed to achieve the common good, communitarians insist, is sacrifice. But some parts of the community have to show the way in giving up their selfish, anti-communitarian habits. For communitarians, the first responders must be the poor. For black communitarians like Bill Cosby and Barack Obama it’s chiefly the black poor. Obama insists that the key to change is not resistance to oppression; not a battle against the exploitation of workers; or against institutional racism, or the domination of unaccountable financial elites; or the interests promoting gentrification.”

        1. Klassy!

          I guess I associate communtarianism more with people such as Dorothy Day rather than Jell-O shill Cosby.

          1. liberal

            “Communitarian” has been used as a perjorative in this sense for a couple decades now.

    3. bluntobj

      I apologize in advance for this slam, but it is required as it indicates the bias clearly evident and is tacitly acknowledged:

      “Also–and this might be my own ideological bias–anyone praising Reagan and his old-timey values (what this nation needs is more gumption!) has to be looked at critically by those of us who identify as progressive/liberal/leftist. The last thing this country needs is a leader who identifies with someone as vile as Ronald Reagan.”

      The “critical looks” here were completely suspended when looking at someone with a “D” after their name. The warnings were clear, and they were made on the right, and indeed, some on the left, yet the information points on the right were dismissed, derided, and ignored, and I’m not talking about straw man arguments like the birthers.

      Identifying Reagan as “vile” indicates that perceptive bias is still in place, and probably in place for most self identifying liberals and democrats. This information bias will ensure that vital information useful to judging the motivation, purpose, and character of the president will be ignored.

      1. Fiver

        “Vile” is an acceptable word for depicting a man responsible for a decade of US-managed/financed/provisioned slaughter in Central and South America, with hundreds of thousands killed, millions condemned to abject misery, because the various peoples wanted to ditch the US-“friendly” (or else) Governments that together with US business extracted wealth with voracious, wildly corrupt zeal.

        If that’s not “vile”, then what is it?

  5. lark

    Well I grew up in the neighborhood. I even knew Valerie Jarret. I think this article deeply misrepresents the transformation of the South Side. I am critical of Obama but not because of the this transformation or the information in the speech.

    btw, my family background in the South Side is old left, union, progressive. I’m not an apologist for real estate interests. I work in technology.

    First of all, the South Side has not gentrified in terms of race. It has become in a number of areas more middle class – and still black.

    Second of all, you cannot imaging how bad it was. Wow, the tears over the tear down of public housing by those who didn’t live in or near there! Spare me!

    Just wow. Those projects were disasters in every way – training ground for gang members. My friends in high school dodged bullets if they didn’t want to join. My sister’s high school was regularly SHUT DOWN by gangs. Folks the South Side of my youth was VIOLENT. It is still violent but the more solid and stable influence of a – yes, largely black – middle class is a good, good, good, thing.

    The truth about the transformation of the South Side is that it shows the potential of capitalism and investment to bring more social and economic health to a community. I grew up in fear that my neighborhood would turn to dysfunctional ghetto overnight. We hung on. Then some rich folks came in and made investments, guided by the likes of Valerie Jarret. I don’t mind at all!

    I am a skeptical capitalist. I would much rather have more socialistic features in the American system, such as universal health care. But this criticism is unbalanced to the point of misrepresenting the basic reality.

    I remember going back for a visit a few years ago and an old friend of the family took me on a driving tour. Neighborhoods which were looked like Dresden – barely an exaggeration – had sprouted all kinds of quality construction. The schools were much better. It was amazing.

    Go find another beat, or learn what you are talking about!

    1. lark

      One more comment. LIke I said I am quite critical of Obama. I think he’s tentative, he doesn’t fight for the common welfare. I thought I would, because he’s from the South Side. But he didn’t grow up there. He was one of those who gentrified the South Side.

      BUT I think the transformation of the South Side is an argument FOR Obama, his team, and their vision.

      They just are not tough enough, not scrappy enough to force these sorts of approaches and tradeoffs down the throats of the national level oligarchs.

      1. chitown2020

        Face it lark …they pretend to be improving things but, they are just rearranging the furniture. They are all sell outs to their fellow man and they are all exhorbitantly wealthy from it. They all scammed us.

      2. tyaresun

        Interesting take. Thanks. I too voted for Obama but realized the deception the day Summers and Geithner showed up.

      3. catlady

        hey, i still live here on the south side. it’s still a hell hole. it’s only become worse since the housing bubble collapsed. people are still shooting at each other. we have some fancy new school buildings (i suppose the construction benefited political cronies, i can tell you they did not hire people from the neighborhood), but the schools are still crappy, and they destroyed park land to build those schools.

        and still, there are people down here who think obama walks on water. however, there are plenty of blacks who can see right through him.

        1. chitown2020

          The decline of our nation is in plain sight and it is everywhere that you look, yet many don’t see where we are headed or why we are on a downward spiral. Empty homes and shattered lives…the stories are rampant. If the coverup doesn’t stop, we will all be a nation of debtors enslaved to debt caused by massive fraud and corruption. Ron Paul just spoke on CNBC he said that …..we are heading for the collapse of the dollar. ……………he forgot to add that it is all manufactured.

        2. chitown2020

          The head of the school board is a foreigner. ……Sheese..no Americans qualified for that job? Love how Emanuel kicked the EX-FBI guy out as head of the Chicago Police Dept. That proved to me that guys a sneak.

      4. Fiver

        So how much did the 45,000 turfed out get from all this community spirit vs Team Obama Real Estate Inc.?

    2. chitown2020

      Lark…do you think section 8 housing is any better…? No its not…the gangs and crime have just been more evenly disperssed and is rampant and an eyesore in the burbs. Daley just sent his problems to the suburbs and he and his rich white friends got richer from it. The problem did not go away..it is now more widely dispersed. Valerie Jarrett and the entire community reorganizing crew can take a flying leap into the middle of Lake Michigan IMHO…

    3. Bankster Blight

      You’re way off – Robert Taylor etc were Gov’mint created third worlds that in fact, once completely abandoned by outside society, even by law enforcement, became self reliant communities that people in fact did value. Even before Reagan’s total indifference these projects were pushed by crooks into blight, under the cover of “failed” policy. See the Yes Men’s appearance on August 28, 2006 at a “Housing Summit” in New Orleans for further informaton. People who scream about street crime are generally carrying an agenda or are misinformed.

      1. chitown2020

        Sorry Bankster Blight… spreading the government blight around the suburbs is not the solution. I am not misinformed. Myself and thousands of others are living witnesses to it.

        1. chitown2020

          The cops don’t want to answer calls in the suburbs now.. Here is an example…my husband and I were in a local bar with friends when an african American decided to give the middle finger to our friend for no reason…A verbal altercation ensued..his African American friend joined the altercation and it was escalating so I called the cops. The dispatcher asked me if there were weapons involved..I said how would I know…? He tried to get out of sending help and at one point hung up on me. After my insistence this was going to get ugly… 5 cop cars eventually came. My point is the cops aren’t so keen about going on these calls. I had to practically beg for them to show up.

          1. Phew

            Ivent what are you talking about? Undesirable people that somehow cause all the crime? Or your need to call the cops? Bigger jails? Gubmint hatred? No one can tell whether we’re dealing with prejudice, racism, ignorance or suburban lunacy when you do the postin’.

          2. chitown2020

            Sorry if the facts offend. The problem is a corrupt and broken system that has robbed us and destroyed lives while pretending to correct the problems. They have not. There is no fix for massive fraud that has created mass unemployment and mass underemployment. They are not correcting societies problems by trying to cover them up. I don’t blame the people who were made victims. My point is that we are all slowly becoming victims because of mass corruption.

          3. chitown2020

            My local news reported Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals is Obama’s Bible…..Which promotes community organizing as a means of infiltration. It is Marxist/Leninism revised. Lots of secrets, lies and deceptions to commit a lot of fraud.

    4. Waking Up

      Lark, what happened to the gang members and violence? Were they moved to another area? Often what you will see in a city as population grows is an expansion to “take” ever more land for use by the more affluent. In this case, primarily for the middle class. But, who were the primary financial beneficiaries of these actions? It’s one thing to change the “culture” of a community in a positive manner and something quite different to push people out.

      As for the African American community, especially that in Chicago, is it ignorance of Obama’s history or blind allegiance to someone simply based upon race that so few will speak up? Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in his “I have a Dream” speech: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Isn’t the black community doing exactly the opposite of Martin Luther King Juniors dream? They are judging Obama based upon the color of his skin and NOT on the content of his character. If they judged him based upon the content of his character, they would be in the streets and angry in mass numbers over his policies whether it’s on civil rights, the rule of law (especially letting financial fraud go unchecked), and too many other issues now to list in this comment.

      1. chitown2020

        The jails are so full that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants to open up shuttered Joliet Correctional center to house unruly NATO protestors. The only alternative. Dart said, is to put up tents in the yard of Cook County jail. The ridiculous part is the gagillions of dollars being spent by the Mayor to have the stupid summit here in the first place after just closing down 3 more mental facilities.

        1. chitown2020

          The local media reporting if a small plane flies over NATO airspace during the summit it will be shot down. Splatter..

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        WU, the African-American 1% needed Lebensraum in Chi — then there were two blocs of Dem One Percenters in Chicago to split the spoils of rule, and “Black Preachers” were the leading propaganda shills for the 1% White Master Class, bringing the lambs to slaughter slowly. This was the time-honored Dem racket of “Separate but Equal” Spoils Politics from Chicago to New Orleans and beyond. When Black Dem Spoilers got too much power, white Dixiecrat-Dems went for the exits, and joined their Masters in cruelty.

        The Republican “Southern Strategy” eventually broke the back of the Dem Spoiler Machine by seducing white Dixiecrat-Dems into the White Republican Fear Fold. But the Chicago Finance-Wall Street Mob found a way to put a Dem Spoiler in the White House, as the American Black Folk Hero, even though he was born in Kenya and had never traveled the journey of the American descendant of slaves who triumphed over poverty and prejudice, to lead an honest life of towering accomplishment. This was an Identity Politics FARCE. Obama was the perfect shill for the White Master Class 1% and the Black Master Class 1% in league with “Massah” for the Spoils, over the dead bodies of “brothers” and “sisters” left in the ghetto. Escape to “The Warmth of Other Suns” left our nation ripe for exploitation by colluding White + Black 1% Grifters in common cause against the 99% both “white” and “black,” who were “left behind” among the “poor” to fight over “trickled-down” gravy to put on their biscuits.

        Spoils for the 1% from the 99% is the CARDINAL ISSUE before us still. The exploitation of “race rivalry” obscures the commonality, the common exploitation, of the 99%. Romney and Obama are but puppet shills for the 1%. The elections are mockeries of democratic process. The 1% coup d’etat has taken place. What CAN we do? What WILL we do?

        Are American descendants of slaves still conned by this “race traitor” and traitor to the People of the USA? Have “We the People the 99%” been conned “enough” by White-Black Slavers for profit? Are we ready to rebel against “The Mind of the Master Class the 1%” who have pressed their Iron Heel on the heads of the 99% since “civilization” began?

        “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Citizens, We are that House.

        1. chitown2020

          Lenova….Believe me..I understand Chicago machine politics. It is absolutely NOT the race issue I am trying to expose here. It is the decline of our society in general that will eventually lead to societal chaos. Until we all stop being so damned touchy we can never have an honest discussion in this country about where our real problems stem from, the causes and the solutions.

          1. chitown2020

            I say let’s expose it all…..then let’s have some really honest discussions about why we are all here. What are we all so afraid of….? It is the labeling. Where did those labels emerge from…? The real players behind the scenes of all of this put those labels there to stop us from having honest discussions about why we are all here. That is why we are here. They are the dividers who cause FEAR..THE FEAR FACTOR. …We need to have some honest discussions so EVERYONE can work together to make the corrections that we need. Good lord…..they are turning all of us into their slaves now and that is because they have kept us DISTRACTED from what they have been trying to accomplish for decades Which is the theft of our FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE. So why don’t WE THE PEOPLE…ALL RACES COLORS AND CREEDS UNITE ON THAT ONE ISSUE. AND PUT ASIDE THE TRIVIAL SQUABBLES.. While we all argue about. stupid crap that THEY CREATED….THEY ARE STEALING OUR COUNTRY…..WHO WERE THE ORIGINAL SLAVE OWNERS…..? NOT ANY OF US…. THEY WERE…!!!!!!! LETS ALL OF US LET THEM KNOW THAT…

          2. chitown2020

            “Deception is evaluated from the perspective of an unsophisticated consumer.” (FTC -V- STANDARD EDUCATION SOCIETY; 302 U.S. 112,115,1937).

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            chitown, I have no bone to pick with you. I addressed “WU.” I think anyone from Chicago or New Orleans understands what’s going on.

          4. chitown2020

            I get your point Lenova. They are trying to cause distractions from the 500 lb gorilla in the room. It takes open minds to have honest conversations about the roots of this cancer they have caused. They have made that difficult but not impossible. People are waking up.

    5. bluntobj

      And yet power and profit flowed from elite networking, and has been the cornerstone of his political philosophy.

      Saying that this acquisition of power and profit from FIRE interests is ok as long as it benefited some middle class residents is like saying the big banks are not responsible for the bubble crash because they brought so much prosperity to the middle class in the 2000’s.

      not to mention a very relevant cliche:

      “The ends do not justify the means.”

    6. joecostello

      Oh bunk, you’re talking about the 20 blocks south of the loop, hyde park, and some other splotches, if you drive down halsted further south and go in any direction east or west, it looks like you’re in a small town in downstate illinois, theres one or two houses on a block. It doesnt look like Dresden because the official policy has been to tear down the abandoned housing, including the Robert Taylor homes.

      “Hardest hit were the South and West sides, where thousands of African-Americans abandoned neighborhoods beset by crime, foreclosures, bad schools and economic squalor.

      Particularly stunning was the flight from Englewood, an impoverished neighborhood on the South Side that lost more than 9,500 people — nearly a quarter of its residents — during the decade, according to the census. Nearly 10,000 more left neighboring West Englewood.”


      And it was dropping the decade before that, its been official city, state, and federal policy, Barry’s been part of it all.

      1. chitown2020

        Downtown is not showing the signs of depression yet. But it is coming. I was trying today to imagine a world without mass produced crap. A world without Starbucks, Pottery Barns and Big Banks. It’s coming and they asked for it. Destroying this nations economy will destroy them.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        “White flight” and “Black flight” are the same phenomenon: the flight of the “wannabe 1%” away from the deserted “loser” caste. The “winners” move up to the “good neighborhoods,” the “gated communities,” the “Disney cities,” Kaplan’s “stretch limousines.” The “losers” are left to fight over crumbs, to be robbed, raped, pillaged, drugged, ruined “by their own kind.”

        This is called “End Stage Capitalism” — the “perverse incentives” drive the desperately self-segregating mobs into “elite” criminals and “jailed” criminals, who become the new slave labor for the 1% Master Class–the .01% top of the pyramid and their .99% Agents below–the “all-seeing eye” of the Global “Nobility” Security State, kept in order by tiers of slaves from top to bottom.

        1. chitown2020

          We are here because of decades of secrets, lies, deceit, fraud, theft and abuse of the peoples money allowed by the traitor politicians from within.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Zbig connects to Kissi – Magog-Clinton-Rubin and RockyUChiFi for 1% “Total War”against the rest.

      Oreobama was groomed from Day 1 (CIA, Harvard, Ford Foundation, + Chase +Rubin + Clinton for Tony Soprano-type HUD deals in Chi. Clinton is ever Magog’s fixer. Obama is Stepinfetchit Glorified for C.21. How low can he get?

      1. chitown2020

        The ACORN scam is another one. We were set up and robbed from every direction. Hillary Clinton was pretty close to the truth when she made her Freudian slip about first time home boners. We all got the shaft from the great pretenders.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Rereading this column I am reminded what utter bullshit Obama’s cover story is and can’t help noticing how the NYTimes is trying to subtly sell the story.

      Obama the businessman is supposedly the aberration but really it’s Obama the community organizer that is the aberration. I love all the little narrative tricks like Obama looking in a mirror and thinking the suit wasn’t him. It’s the same gimmick as Thomas the doubter touching Jesus’s wounds.

      How much time did Obama spend community organizing vs. working for the man? I hear Black the Ripper singing: “You was VIP at the BIC and we know that means CIA.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB-vYuYhdSE

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        WWM, his “community organizing” WAS “work for the Mann.” He ALWAYS was a traitor, from Day 1. You might say that he was “born into” work for the Mann.

    1. chitown2020

      And golf..he and Michell’s Antoinette are living his dream and our nightmare.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Just what the Deep South dreaded: Them in the Big House, whites as slaves.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            chi, they will blame the Yankee, rather than admit they have been duped by their 1% Southern Master Class in league with the 1% “Yankee” + 1% New England. Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Florida/Michigan/etc. Master Class–to vote continually against their own interests. How stupid is that? They can’t admit it.

          2. chitown2020

            Right On Lenova. They pulled this off by secrets, lies and deceptions to defraud us. They will steal it all by the same method. Their greed will be their demise.

  6. Because

    lol, only the media and Repthuglicans call Obama “left”.

    Being a social climber makes one quite evident.

  7. F. Beard

    Speaking of the Left, if it would only get things right there soon would not be any Right left.

    But the Left gave away the store by allowing credit creation.

  8. AG

    No one gives a damn about the little guy.

    Orwell was proud of his decent Englismen and though I’m no WASP, I’m a pretty big Anglophile.

    I can’t vote for Governor Romney. He was a Bakers Scholar too; why doesn’t he seem very bright?

    He’s a deconstructor and President Obama is different kind of leveler, perhaps a bit less dangerous though.

    When I emigrated to the States it was because of misery but to come to America at that time “was a dream.” The flag was literature too.

    Maybe we were always just about Money but at least we had a story to tell. Yet, I reflect on the Peace that Eisenhower put into place following WW II and I begin to think I’m just painting black.

    Back to Orwell, following links you to a good read.


  9. Charles Frith

    There are so many anomalies with respect to Barry Soetoro that the people who actually have done the research are left facing a shrill group who use every response in his defence except the use facts to state their case. I’m undecided about the man but I know he’s a composite character with strong CIA connections to that composite. His mother’s strong links to CIA fronts is not hard to confirm as is his first CIA fronted job.

    1. Lambert Strether

      “I know he’s a composite character”

      Well, on the one hand, that’s a fascinating argument because that’s what Obama says the girlfriends in his biography were (the first one, I think). If I put on my tinfoil hat, I’d wonder if he was reproducing the tradecraft of his handlers.

      On the other, I don’t see how “know” is the right word here. And I don’t want to veer off into a world where all the passengers on the 9/11 planes were actors, for example.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Was it in the early 1960’s that Poppy’s CIA choices for “a thousand points of light” in U.S. Government Office began to Occupy the throne of the “President” and “Commander in Chief” of the Armed Forces–which Office became under his son’s treason as President the “Commander in Chief of the U.S. Government” through the exercise of extra-judicial “Unitary Executive” power? The Decider was indeed the Stealth Dictator, whose role was “perfected” overtly under Barack Obama–the Agent, while in Office as President/Commander, for the peak “foreign power” the .01%, and facilitator-in-chief for the financial coup-d’etat accomplished by the remaining .99%Agency of the Global .01%.

      Barack Obama is the symbol of The Iron Heel in action.

  10. ftm

    As much as I don’t like what Obama has done in office, I think this piece is naive. To get anything done in a big city as a local politician, requires frequent, large compromises. He saw that it was in his interest to hook up with the development crowd to try to improve his district. So what. Virtually everyone with a brain would make those compromises given the desperate state of parts of Chicago.

    No doubt this experience softened him for the disastrous compromises he has made as president with the rent extractors in the health and finance sectors, but the two situations are not analogous. In Chicago, he had no power and wanted to get something done, as POTUS he initially had power but wasted it on weak compromised policies instead to using the bully pulpit to savage the opposition and get important work done.

    1. Pebis

      “To get anything done in a big city as a local politician, requires frequent, large compromises.” and loads of corruption, kickbacks and bribes? This is classic politics and no one buys it anymore. Politicians and this
      arrogant exclusivity are widely hated and decidely un-democratic.

    2. bluntobj

      The mechanism to get things done is corrupted, and represents the heart of the matter:

      As long as government is the primary source of competitive advantage, it will be exploited and corrupted by those with resources and means to do so.

      It is important to understand that justifying any of this behavior is an intellectual falsehood, and attributing any benevolent concerns, thoughts, or actions to the president is also false. There is not an action or thought that is not coldly political, financial, or cronyist that comes out of the White House now. I don’t think its been that way since Reagan, or maybe JFK.

        1. chitown2020

          For starters his biggest campaign contributor in the last election was Goldman Sachs….I don’t blame Obama …I blame his owners. Those who bought his election put him in place to finish us off. Clinton set the robbery up and Bush helped them pull it off. It is secrets, lies and deceptions on a mass scale that put us here.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        b, like Nixon of the Southern Strategy, Reagan of Iran Contra, etc.? It was the Five-Star General as President Eisenhower in the 1950’s who warned the American People about the insidious power and danger of “Military Industrial Complex,” and about how we MUST not allow this complex and its profiteers to govern our civil society, since it would lead to our poverty under their tyranny.

        Much earlier, another great General, as President Washington, declined to become the imperial ruler of the nation, and warned the American People to have “entanglements with none.” Did we stick to our knitting?

        The Military-Industrial Complex of Totalitarian Bureaucratic Tyranny has come to pass. Our elected representatives in service to 1% profiteers, instead of to the American People and our Constitution, have been traitors.

      2. maryevelyn

        Read biographies of the Kennedys.Joseph Kennedy JFK’s father long planned the political careers of his sons. Joe was supposed to be the one who ran for President, but he was killed in an air crash over France so John, the next in line became the one.The family was fully integrated into the Boston polical business class. JFK’s grandfather on his mother’s side had been mayor of Boston.

    3. Waking Up

      ftm states: “He saw that it was in his interest to hook up with the development crowd to try to improve his district. So what. Virtually everyone with a brain would make those compromises given the desperate state of parts of Chicago.”

      So what? So what??? If you want to know why our country is rapidly deteriorating, a “so-what” attitude regarding bribery, corruption, and other fraudulent activities and “compromises” is certainly part of the problem.

    4. patricia

      But ftm, even if he needed “to get along to go along” inside the corrupt system, there was no need to continue it once he got to the top. He didn’t lose his initial power by “weak compromised policies”. He immediately invited the old cronies for the ride, and has subsequently deepened the corruption of his office, even further than Bush. He’s not soft. He’s hard as stone.

      Unfortunately, it is your comment that is naïve.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        I was disgusted by how he so easily threw Rev Jeremiah Wright under the bus, because, as it turns out he wasn’t a “real estate reverend” (love the term). And yet everything Wright said then about Obama as political operator has proved dead wright. The man is a slick Chicago machine player and snake oil huckster.

        Those lesser-evil apologists have no idea what damage the man will do after his re[s]election, when he has “more flexibility” in his own words. His track record so far is appallingly, gallingly neoliberal, Straussian elitist; there for all to see if they had eyes to see. Call it hysterical blindness, or vanity, but the awakening will be rude indeed, a la Shock Doctrine.

        1. patricia

          Yah, and Cornel West. Obama can make no excuse, having been privileged with support/training by those two. His need to reject them tells everything.

          “more flexibility” shudder

          1. chris

            alas, Cornel West is on record that he will vote for Obama anyway.


      2. ftm

        So what is the source of Obama’s dysfunction, loyalty to a corrupt system or weakness and fecklessness?

        Many comments here imply that a non-billionaire can arrive as POTUS without any hint of compromise in his background. For a guy from Chicago, Obama seems to have arrived very clean.

        I agree with you that he appointed soldiers of a corrupt system to key positions. But I don’t think that is central to his failures.

        Obama has ended up with a bunch of failed policies not because they are what he wanted them but because he didn’t understand how to keep and use presidential power. Look at the economy, we have 15% plus unemployment and he is out talking about deficit reduction. He apparently doesn’t appreciate that the President has little power and likely will not get re-elected if the economy isn’t growing. His policy rhetoric here is most definitely not about his self interest, our economy’s interest or even the interest of capital. He has deluded himself that he is somehow acting in the long run interest of the country when in truth insufficient fiscal stimulus in a depression is bad for everyone. It is just bad policy, period. And Obama has thrown in his lot with bad policy because he is just afraid of taking on the Republicans about the core issue of our time. Obama has fully bought the phony Republican deficit reduction frame. It is a near certainty that if Romney is elected, he will put the pedal to the floor with tax cut stimulus and we will all have to relive the false prosperity of the Reagan years.

        It will take a lot to convince me that weakness and fecklessness are not Obama’s fundamental problem.

        1. James

          Good points, but let’s acknowledge where this is headed. There must be a grassroots effort to impeach the President for his repeated destructive failures, from failure to prosecute war crimes, restore civil liberties or address financial criminogenics. Simultaneously, the Democratic base must force a primary challenge to destroy his chances (and Romneys) of being elected.

        2. patricia

          Hey, ftm: For me the center of it is that he has made the government deeply more opaque, increased illegitimate executive power, expanded the war machine, protected the financial sector from consequences of rampant fraud, and has put more whistle-blowers on trail than all other presidents put together. These are directly his own work.

          Here is another view, certainly excessive and not all to be laid in his lap directly, but you’ll get the point:


        3. Fiver

          That’s right. He’s an honest, decent man just trying to do the right thing, just like Bush, Paulson, Dimon, Bernanke, Blankfein, Rumsfeld, Gates, Petraeus and all the rest.

          Serving up trillions to Wall Street, expanding wars, limiting civil rights, and killing thousands of Muslims for NO REASON AT ALL, a health care bill written by and for the industry, no effort whatever on behalf of the poor, and actually, in every single policy area you can name – it’s all just been accidental. Obama wanted better. He just has not been able, no matter how hard to tries, and tries and tries, to even once use his power to help someone who needed helping if ANY other powerful interest objected. Or the blanket pardons he honored for all Bush & crony crimes, bankster crimes AND all his own Admin’s crimes.

          If journalist had been doing their jobs for the last 10 years, he’d have been run out on a rail long ago.

          If being a murderous, cold, calculating power zombie is OK by you, then I guess, he’s your man for another 4 years. I can assure you if he maintains the present course, there will be a crisis that makes 2008 look like a picnic during this next term. ”

          Feckless? Bullshit.

    5. LeeAnne

      He also wanted a very grand house way above his means. Easy! his gangster contacts can finance it for him. What’s his response when confronted with that trasnaction? “I was a knucklehead.”

      Cute! Sounds like they’re all under the same advisors -the same as bankers’ appearing before Congress back in the day -‘stick to emotional words. Never mind the law. It doesn’t apply us.’

      1. chitown2020

        Look into Obamas connections to Tony Rezco, Bill Ayres spray and Bernadine Dorhn.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          And don’t ignore the Louisiana gangster connections. Not for nothing did the deluxe “Panama Limited” train run overnight from New Orleans to Chicago and back, replete with swell sleeping accommodations and Diner with “Darkies” there to shine your shoes and serve up the “ham, grits, and red-eye gravy” before the swells reached the station in the morning. Follow the money and the DNA.

  11. Sauron

    Lamentations on the left about the poor, the working class, and the middle class voting against their interests are looking a little hollow right now.

  12. Your facts are off


    I think you got Obama’s history backward.

    “A central component of the seemingly impenetrable Obama mythology is his personal history: a black man, son of a broken home, who nevertheless got on the fast track to financial success by becoming editor of the Harvard Law Review, but turned instead to working with and later representing a particularly disadvantaged community, the South Side of Chicago”

    Obama went to work at a law firm in Chicago after law school. Before law school, he worked as a community organizer, and not after.

    I could find you the relevate passages from his biography to point this out, but I’m at work at don’t have the book currently on me.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Read the Fitch letter. He worked for a Chicago law firm that has been spun to be Doing Good because it was headed by a former activist. Fitch debunks that. As a lawyer, you “work with” clients. I did not specifically mention his activism. By representing, I meant as State Senator.

  13. bmeisen

    Spring 2008 an open gathering for Obama supporters was announced here in Frankfurt/Main Germany. The venue turned out to be a Bank of America office complex. Instead of going into to the light-filled atrium decorated with balloons and Obama banners I walked away thinking “There’s something fishy about all this.”

  14. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Is there a connection between the LISC, the real estate profiteering co-conspirators, Chase, Fannie, Freddie, and MERS? Follow the money & the DNA.

    This is as ugly as it gets: murderous spoils politics via “Friendly FIRE” by Obama & Friends, ruining “his people” for profit behind their backs, as brazen as an organized crime Don in Chicago, brought to D.C. as their Trojan Horse. What has he done for his mob as the Black Don in the Office of President, our treacherous war-spoils Commander in Chief? Why would any citizen of color vote for Obama, the arch traitor for personal gain? Bring RICO.

    “AMERICAN GANGSTER” (Directed by Ridley Scott, 2007, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

    Ruin him.

    1. Harold Swanson

      Explain this “Black Don” thing you mention. What do you mean by that?

  15. Harold Swanson

    Man, a lot of racist schizophrenics popping up in NC comments lately. I guess that’s the Internet . . . no other explanation for folks who would read Fitch on this subject and never realize the gap between the things Fitch has to say and the things they write trying to ‘agree’ . . .

    1. Waking Up

      When you don’t have an honest retort, or want to ignore the obvious, then by all means…resort to calling people “racist”. For those who care about humanity, it is a way to shut them down from an honest discussion. But, I’m sure you already know this and it is the real purpose of your post.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      H, why don’t you elaborate as you demand of others? Where you see racism, please point it out specifically, not with some nonsense blanket charge to cover all legitimate criticism of your man. That won’t stick here.

      The one charge you make of racism, where someone notes Obama is a beneficiary of affirmative action, doesn’t count. Sorry. It’s a fair point, especially in the context of an article showing him screwing his own community. It shows galling hypocrisy, where he calls on others to kill and die in his wars and to otherwise pull on their own bootstraps.

      And please see the Black Agenda Report for some truly biting commentary on your hero.


    3. Lambert Strether

      Please cite to examples on this thread, instead of making a general proffer.

      I’m asking this because the tactic of using false smears of racism against their opponent was often used by the Obama campaign in 2008, at least in my experience.

      This tactic was all the more appalling because racism was and is a real problem, so to leverage false charges of it is a scorched earth tactic there’s really no returning from.

  16. Z

    harold swanson and y and strangely enough,

    I don’t have time to spell out everything to you, so maybe it’s time you rattle your own brains and try to figure out things for yourself instead of attempting to get everyone else to waste their time responding to your twitter-length exhortions to defend and explain things to you that you are probably too dense to understand or have chosen not to.

    Bye bye,

    1. Dirty trix FAIL

      So. The past couple days ya got all these new friends who are comin out with loony white supremacist, freemasonjewbanker shit. How did a lady who writes for an audience that understands the derivation of the Gaussian copula get so popular with all these guys whose major life achievement is being white? Did she wind up on the blogroll of the hasbara noodges, or the Dem ratfuckers, or – gasp -International Man of Mystery Aaron Barr? Or all we all coming together, right and left, in opposition to our illegitimate kleptocratic police state? Any oathkeepers here? Maybe youse could, uh, have a word wit those NYPD sex-offender rentacops.

      1. Z

        So. Everyone that doesn’t support obama … or, maybe more accurately, everyone that calls out the fools WHO claim to possess principles beyond banging D on their ballots like demo-zombie idiots, but somehow always find a rationalization for voting D anyway no matter what the hell the democrats do … are now labeled as racists or jewhaters or whatever other nonsense labels you can come up with.

        You people are sad. I hope you are getting paid for being his fools.


        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Z, how is it that the “Independence” movement got crushed, and voters registered as “Independent” get trivialized?

          1. Z


            I’m not absolutely sure what you are getting at here, but I’m taking the guess that you are trying to make the “point” that independents lose support for their politics by criticizing either of the two parties … and I by the way, am thoroughly disgusted by both parties and won’t vote for either of their candidtes in the presidential election this year … and therefore that I should act nice and pretend to respect those that verbally attack anyone for pointing out the utter hypocrisy of those that constantly villified george bush, which he richly deserved, but now give their party hero, obama, a free pass when he does things that are often even worse than what bush did at times. I don’t see it that way: that I should play nice and pretend to respect hypocrits that back a president that does shit like this (and I don’t give a damn if they are democrats or republicans):


            These folks that back the same shit from a democrat that they go delirious about when a republican does it don’t deserve our respect in regards to those matters … they are part of the problem as they foolishly allow themselves to be rounded up into either of these two party’s herds … neither of which come slightly close to representing the best interests of the country or the vast majority of the people … and I believe that it’s best to point out their hypocrisies than try to reason nice with them when they have no interest in reason when it doesn’t support their positions.


          2. Z

            They also have no use for moral consistency when it doesn’t support their party’s heroes.


  17. A Little Night Musing

    For those who can’t get their hands on a copy of Fitch’s “Assassination of New York” (and the NYPL in all its branches has ONE! copy which must be read in site*), read this article from the Gotham Gazette written shortly after 9/11:


    Covers a lot of that ground.

    He’s greatly missed.


    * A sign of the further erosion of that once-great public library, and not necessarily related to the specific content of that book. I am continually amazed at what important books are represented by only one copy in the entire NYPL system.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ALNM, recall Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and the film of the same. Who needs fire, when a fat finger will do the trick?

  18. mac

    Obama is where he is because many many Liberals and sort-of-liberals wanted to vote for a Black man to prove to themselves that they were not prejudiced.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Look at the bright side — we got our first Kenyan-Aquarian president.

      Not much dynasty potential, though. Unless you consider Robamney to be the sixth term of the Bush-Clinton-Obama presidency.

      Hey, it’s all one big Depublicrat tent, isn’t it?

  19. tdraicer

    Left/liberal/progressive support for Obama has always been mainly about the symbolism of the “first black President.” It was a reversal of MLK’s dream; Obama was judged not by the content of his character but by the color of his skin.

    It is also why he was always the worst possible choice in 2008. Putting aside whther Hillary would have been better, if she was merely the same as Obama (there is nothing to suggest she would have been worse) there would have been a helluva lot more opposition from the left (because most l/l/ps don’t mean being thought of as sexist-as the Obama campaign demonstrated in 2008- but shudder at the idea anyone might call them racist).

    1. Merrylib

      Don’t forget the big deal about Hillary voting FOR the Iraq war, but BO spoke against it. Also Hillary carried Clinton “baggage.”
      And you are correct about sexism v. racism. That was the cover for lefties going for BO.

        1. Merrylib

          Exactly. While he was an *Illinois State* Senator he gave a speech opposing the war. Primarily on this basis, while the war was in full swing, the pro-Obama, anti-Hillary faction, like the kids on DK, skewered Hillary for her vote.
          Ostensibly for this reason, Frank Rich, then writing on the opinion pages of the NYT, was notably pro-BO and viciously anti-HRC.
          The sexism among the MSM pundits was palpable.

  20. tdraicer

    >(because most l/l/ps don’t mean being thought of as sexist

    “mind” not “mean”. Oops.

  21. Z


    Thanks for your concern and your advice, but I don’t really have any interest in living up to your pedantic ideals. And despite the fact that I may make an occasional spelling or gramatical error as I quickly put together a post, I don’t believe that disqualifies my opinion. And if it does to some people, fuck them.

    Nor do I feel like I’m out of my intellectual league on this board. Hardly.


      1. Z

        Ha ha ha. Do you have anything else to say or is all that you and your ilk are capable of is throwing out brief insults to posters?


    1. Dunning-Kruger

      Your problem is, the shit you talk about is just boring. Like so what if Obama got affirmative action? What do you care? It’s not like he bumped you outa your spot at Harvard. You couldn’t have got in anyway, Right? He bumped some white guy who’s richer and smarter than you. So it’s no skin off your nose. Let it go.

      1. Z

        Who the hell is talking about affirmative action and spots at Harvard? I know I ain’t. Maybe you got me mistaken for someone else. Or maybe my post on this resonated with you so much that it caused buzzing in your brain:

        “Very broadly speaking of the left … and I’m sure that there are plenty of exceptions … their continued support of obama is tied to their vanity; they are so proud that THEY voted for a black man that obama has become a shining beacon of their moral superiority over all those that don’t support him. His race was such a large part of why they voted for him … the largest emotional reason why they voted for him, which for most people is the largest reason of all … and they are so very conscious of his race that they also assume that if you don’t like him it’s becoz of his race. That’s the first thing that comes to their mind. And they WANT to believe that you don’t like him becoz he is black becoz that supports their ego-enriching feelings of moral superiority … and inflates their belief in their virtuousness.

        And this is the mind set of a lot of liberals in the u.s.: they want to feel morally superior … they are eager to feel righteous. And what may have once began as guilt, now has “metamorphisized” into something more selfish and emotionally rewarding. And now that their emotional investment has been shown to be placed upon such a faulty foundation, they are aggressively defensive and protective of it. But, again, it’s primarily all about their arrogance and egos.”


        1. chitown2020

          There are plenty of people who still think Obama is better than a Republican. Both of my parents are retired and believe the Republicans are going to take away their S.S. and their Medicare. I personally can’t stand any of the politicians. They all make me want to hurl.

          1. chris

            Have your parents heard of Simpson-Bowles, aka the “Catfood” commission, created entirely by Obama and which is now being pushed by none other than Nancy Pelosi, as well as the usual suspects like Steny Hoyer? It would not take much to disabuse them of their naivete and I would enciurage that discussion.

            The end of SS as we know it will be a wholly bi-partisan abomination.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Hey, I’m willing to pursue a broad generalization to see where it goes on occasion . . . but this is simply too broad of a thesis to be useful for anything.

          Liberals vote out of vanity?

          How many other motivations are there? Fear? Spite? Righteousness? Patriotism? Anger? Gluttony (ha-seeing if you’re awake,–although maybe some do vote based on this)? I’m sure there are more but I’m too lazy to name them (hey, there’s another).

          Seems like people are so different and there are so many different motivations and emotions that your theory, left votes vanity, is way too broad to be of any use.

          1. Z

            “Seems like people are so different and there are so many different motivations and emotions that your theory, left votes vanity, is way too broad to be of any use.”

            Ugh. Except that I didn’t write that. I said that their continued support of obama is tied to their vanity, I didn’t say that they necessarily voted for him becoz of their vanity.


          2. maryevelyn

            They are very proud of themselves for voting for the first black president of the US. And they are very sensitive about it, accusing who ever even mildly critices BHO of being racist in order to stop all discussion and demonize this critics. The problem with that tactic, however. It diminishes the actual fact of “racism.” I have noticed that the people who resort to this tactic are usually white journalists working for NYT or NPR.

        3. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Z, when you’re really smart, you cannot come to grips with having been conned by people who played you, so are “smarter” than you.

          I have a Ph.D (IUB) and I agree with you. I am one of those “smart” liberals who fell for the Obama fraud totally, but I believe in calling a fraud a fraud. He’s worse than Elmer Gantry, really. We were conned, Big Time.

          Fight back! Let’s draft one proven NOT a fraud: William K. Black: President 2012. Obama should be held for treason, at the least.

          1. Z


            To me, realizing when you are wrong and changing course to correct your mistakes is what makes one become more intelligent … and that’s probably part of the reason why you are as smart as you are. No one is ever right about everything … we all at every stage of our life have a ton to learn … but people that burrow themselves into false positions becoz they can’t admit that they are wrong inhibit not only their intellectual development, but also their emotional development.

            Hell, I can’t imagine how stupid I would be if I couldn’t admit that I was wrong and refused to evolve intellectually as a lot of what I believed turned out to be false.


  22. Nelly

    Read it thoroughly and although I didn’t support him on the primaries against Hillary Clinton, I would support him now because the alternative is much much worse and therefore won’t dare to circulate the info, and I hope you won’t too – but I’m not surprised at all from the info.

    1. Z

      One of the demo-zombies’ tactics against all those that criticize the actions of their party’s heroes: stick your fingers in your ears and repeat after Nelly: na na na na na na na na …

      How pathetic.


    2. Doug Terpstra

      The so-called lesser evil is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Social Security, Medicare, war on Iran, ongoing WS bailouts, etc. are at much greater risk from a camouflaged Neocon who can reliably drag members of the Dem party across the red line as he did recently with three new rigged trade pacts — something McCain could never have achieved. Please see Hugh’s excellent, detailed chronology:


    3. Jill


      You are advancing ideas that I hear from every Obama supporter. You are not alone among his backers in wanting to keep all evidence of reality away from others.

      Knowing the truth about Obama would make any person of conscience unable to support him. For this reason it is necessary to hide the facts about him. Bush’s third term has been full of horrors. In his fourth term, when he doesn’t even have to pretend to care in order to garner “liberal” votes, you will see cruelty and lawlessness unleashed on a scale this nation has not yet seen. You can take that to the bank.

    4. chris

      The Stepford Dem response.

      Hey man, get off those meds – they’re messing with your mind.

      1. Nelly

        Not at all guys,

        Simply one who has experience. With democracy it is always the lesser evil. As a woman who has a daughter I wouldn’t like her to live in my grand grandma situation surrounded by religious fundamentalism.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Two words: Stupak amendment.

          And three: “Honey, I’ve changed!”

          Say, why is it that Obama only discovered “the war on women” when the 2012 campaign season arrived?

    5. Lambert Strether

      Yeah, Nelly, I’m with you totally. I mean, if we elect Obomney he might claim the right to assassinate US citizens, or abolish posse comitatus so the military can be used as a domestic police force.

      Oh, wait….

    6. LeonovaBalletRusse

      N, if every “liberal” craps out, do they think Obama won’t be a worse tyrant, a worse traitor, during his second term?

      Is this the best that “smart” educated people can do? Bend over and take it?

      Get ready to grab your heels if you send him back to the White House, Nelly.

  23. stevefraser

    You don’t seem to understand that the Radical Left, the Stalinists, are a “…dictatorship of the Proleteriat…”. Obama is a Marxist, but because of the cultural tradition of our Bill of Rights and classical liberalism, he can’t immediately abolish private property. The next best option for the Radical Left is Progressivism (in Europe called Fascism). This is a commitment to ever increasing the power of the State, in which the individual counts only insofar as they further the ends of the State. See J. Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” for the details.

    1. DailyOfraud

      Goldberg cherry picks and twists history, but if you don’t know history you wouldn’t realize that. Blather sells.

    2. Hugh

      Gobbledygook. One of the great victories of the class war the 1% are waging against the rest of us is how they turn labels upside down and inside out. Obama not only embraced all of Bush’s most extreme policies. He expanded upon them, receiving applause from even the likes of Dick Cheney for doing so. So if you look at the policies, Obama has been governing to the right of George Bush. That is George Bush is to the left of Obama. Now apply your non-sensical political definitions. If Obama is a Stalinist, that makes Bush a Trotskyite. Or more commonly, Obama is called a socialist by the braindead bedwetters on the right. This then would make Bush a communist.

      Put simply, you’ve been had and you are spouting the very drivel that those who did it to you want you to spout. As long as they can get conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, shouting at each other, they can go on and loot the place with impunity. Wake up and drop the rhetoric. You do have enemies: the 1%. In our country, if you aren’t a looter, you are a lootee. And the only way the looters can get away with their looting is if the rest of us are too busy fighting each other to stop them.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Hugh, leaden bureaucracy is the enemy by any name, and the mother of all bureaucracies is the American Security State. See:

        THE BUREAUCRATIZATION OF THE WORLD by Henry Jacoby, translated by Eveline Kanes (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1976, 1973). This was written when “Berkeley” was still associated with free thinking, before Americans were propagandized into their condition as tools, idiots or robots.

        The apotheosis of Big Bureaucracy has been reached with help from the “Mormon” Empire (authoritarian patriarchy, foreign language skills, genealogy motherlode, obedience to Masters Who Know) in Utah, news of which in 2012 followed the publication of:

        “TOP SECRET AMERICA: The Rise of the New American Security State” by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin (New York, Boston; Little, Brown and Company, 2011).

        What would Kafka say? Actually, it’s too horribly absurd for words.

      2. maryevelyn

        Nobody is a Stalinist. Stalin murdered millions of Soviet citizens either by deliberately causing a famine, which killed between 3 and 5 million Ukrainian peasants (circa 1931-32) or through NKVD arrests and death through torture or being worked to death by starvation and Arctic conditions in the gulag system. Many millions of people were persecuted, separated from their families, and never seen again. The children under 12 were sent to orphanages (but not the same orphanages because if brothers and sisters were together they might form a conspiracy and take revenge). Ifthey were older than twelve they were shot. The wives of men deemed to be enemies of the people or part of the Left Opposition (Trotskyites) were also arrested tortured and sent to prison or gulag just for being married to a suspect and not informing on him.

    3. twiddler

      Hey steve, guess what! I’m the 1%, your bonegrinding labor supports me while I sit on my ass. And I’m the radical left, too! Try to wrap your hard-working patriotic waterhead around that. I don’t even have an opinion about capitalism, it’s neither here nor there. It’s irrelevant to knocking over corrupt parasitic governments like the one that sucks you dry day after day. You know why Soros is richer than you? Stick wit us, we’ll show you the ropes.

    4. LeonovaBalletRusse

      s, Obama is no “Marxist,” he’s a feelthy State Capitalist of/by/for the 1%.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Bruce is in Atlanta (and a Green, interestingly enough). Are you sure they’re Chicago-based? (They called their shot on Obama well before 2008, just awesome. On the other hand, IIRC, they never posted on the Fitch piece about, which is innovative in the FIRE sector framing. This is, I think, a testimony to the fragmentation of the actual, genuine (“third pole”) left, of which BAR is definitely a part.

  24. caseyOR

    A correction: Obama went to Harvard Law after he worked as a community organizer on the South Side. After Harvard, he returned to Chicago, was given an office at the University of Chicago, and wrote his book “Dreams of my Father.”

    I don’t disagree with your analysis, just wanted to set this one thing straight.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Here are more details of the book writing:

      “A 1990 New York Times profile on Obama’s election as Harvard’s first black president caught the eye of agent Jane Dystel. She persuaded Poseidon, a small imprint of Simon & Schuster, to authorize a roughly $125,000 advance for Obama’s proposed memoir.

      With advance in hand, Obama repaired to Chicago where he dithered. At one point, in order to finish without interruption, he and wife Michelle decamped to Bali. Obama was supposed to have finished the book within a year. Bali or not, advance or no, he could not. He was surely in way over his head.

      According to a surprisingly harsh 2006 article by liberal publisher Peter Osnos, which detailed the “ruthlessness” of Obama’s literary ascent, Simon & Schuster canceled the contract. Dystel did not give up. She solicited Times Book, the division of Random House at which Osnos was publisher. He met with Obama, took his word that he could finish the book, and authorized a new advance of $40,000.

      Then suddenly, somehow, the muse descended on Obama and transformed him from a struggling, unschooled amateur, with no paper trail beyond an unremarkable legal note and a poem about fig-stomping apes, into a literary superstar.”


      The author concludes Bill Ayers wrote the book.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I did NOT say he was a community organizer after Harvard. In addition to writing his first book, he also worked at a Chicago law firm for nearly 10 years, headed by a black former activist which he apparently spun when running for State Senator as proof that he was “working for” as in had clients who were members of that community. He represented the South Side of Chicago as state senator.

      I don’t see what you see as wrong with my description.

  25. Glenn Condell

    ‘The so-called lesser evil is the wolf in sheep’s clothing.’

    The neocon 1%er wannabe with the silver tongue who disguised himself in the rhetoric of the progressive 99%er, only to betray his background, his class, his supporters and his fellow citizens generally, not to mention the rest of us, his vote-less global subjects. His non-elite background, his ‘backstory’, was an ‘asset’ which he allowed to be strip-mined, which he SOLD, in order to help engineer the victory of the owners’ blue team, which arrived after general disillusionment with the excesses of the owners’ red team.

    Who am I talking about, Clinton or Obama? I forget.

    Both victories occurred in the wake of the electorate’s inevitable general revulsion of 1%er rule, once the media’s whitewashing could no longer plausibly hide the raw machinations of power and wealth and ‘interests’. Phew, we all said, as if on cue.

    Cue blue team victory, the bunting changes and the below-stairs and front of house staff are replaced, while their employers grow fatter silently within. In a term or two, the media wing struggle again to find fig leaves large enough to cover the blight, the disgust this time deriving not from 1%ers abusing political in power but from their nominal opponents’ inability to prevent this even when given power. At some point the signal changes and the media zeitgist follows; the ground will then be prepared for the next team change.

    This could theoretically go on forever, but only if there is bread to accompany the circus. People won’t keep watching with hunger pangs. The danger to this neat little arrangement is that as time goes by and people get hungrier, more and more peons realise that it isn’t an incapacity to force change that dogs the blue team, it is an unwillingness.

    I’ve often wondered what happens when the tendency of the governing minority of wealth to concentrate over time reaches the critical point where even their extreme prosperity cannot afford them certain security because there are simply too few of them left. But then I realised that there is an eternal source of replenishment to their thinning ranks which enables if not a ‘circulation of the elites; then at least a supplementation – the Conveyor Beltway that catapults lower order con-artists and grifters from the gutter to the stars.

    ‘much greater risk from a camouflaged Neocon who can reliably drag members of the Dem party across the red line as he did recently with three new rigged trade pacts — something McCain could never have achieved’

    This is a point Michael Hudson has made repeatedly: it is the left leaning/social democrat parties who have made most of the elite-friendly, citizen-crushing legislative changes over the last few decades, all over the West. The hard right parties run amok and soften up dazed electorates for the progressive sucker punch. In the delirium of their relief (and in Obama’s case, their genuine joy) the sheeple sleep through the loss of the wealth, their political agency, their freedom.

    I’m off to read Hugh’s list, but it would be hard to beat Glenn Greenwald as a one stop shop for items to put on Obama’s rap sheet.

    1. Sharon

      Is there any hope? Okay that was a bad word to use. Seriously I have felt that more of us need to understand what is happening, like 80% and from there force change. Otherwise I do believe we will be hopelessly trapped.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      GC, why do you spose poor Southern Boy Bill Clinton got a Rhodes Scholarship? They are not bestowed on the “brilliant” for free. There is “a catch.”

  26. Z


    Oh yeah, anyone that opposes the head pr man of the establishment obama has to be a conservative. There’s no other explanation for it.


  27. skippy

    Way to focus on the Puppet and not the Masters…. People.

    Politicians are just tools, cheap… plastic… malleable… tools. Its an environmental thingy!

    Skippy… until the relationship between monies and the breath of the commons occurs… expect more of the same.

    PS. ohhh yeah… you… can’t… your yuob depends on it… marry go round… never stopping…

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      skippy, every poor Louisiana boy “Wants to be Governor someday.” Up and Out.

    1. Hate to Sound Heartless

      Hey we’re all playing nicely and taking the charm or the bait of a “open blog free for all”. call it survelliance, datamining or a front, but insulting a corporation doesn’t really happen in the sense you suggest.

  28. Mikjall

    Good for Fitch, but not really “exclusive”: Evelyn Pringle published a whole series of good articles back in 2007 and 2008 on Obama, the crooked Chicago pol and slumlord crony, but of course no one listened. But what were people supposed to do if they had listened? Vote for McCain, who was even crookeder and who SAID he was a warmonger?









    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      M, exactly. That’s the absurd bind they put us into, that’s why our “democracy” is rubbish. I think words would fail Kafka at this evolution of End Stage of Totalitarian Bureaucracy. Maybe this is what was meant by “The End of History?”

  29. Jill

    This story showcases the complete capture of the American “press” to power. This information should have been available to the voting public during the primary and general election. I noticed the complete lack of actual information about Obama during both.

    Of course, he gave interviews in the tabloids!

    We have very few ways to obtain actual information about candidates and people in power. We really need journalists who aren’t elites themselves and who aren’t toadies to power.

    This speech clearly eliminates the lie that Obama suddenly changed once he became president. He’s the same guy before and after. I thought FISA made that clear, but certainly this does as well.

    Around 2005 or 2006 NPR offered actual reporting on things like the wars, torture, and financial illegalities. That means, if it suits them, they are able to produce hard hitting journalism which tells the truth.

    This type of reporting dried up upon the arrival of Obama. NPR has remained the go to place for his and the military junta’s hagiography. They are not alone.

    The fact that accurate information is released and suppressed at will tells you how controlled our society’s access to information really is.

    1. groo

      Yep, Jill,

      I was thinking the same.

      considering that the political opponents (Romney etc) have the means to know all the dirty laundry of their contenders,
      one can ask the question, why this is not a big issue in the presidential race.
      A meager couple of millions invested in detective-work should be sufficient to know all there is to know about the main contenders, right?

      One need not be a conspiracy-theorist to imagine that there is a double-layer of do’s and do’nts.
      What the taboos are.
      It is the Conservative American Spectator who sheds some light on the issue,
      i.e. his connections to his Chicago-sponsors.

      Looks like the billionaire sponsors behind the curtain have their own agenda, and do not want the plebs to know.

      A ‘free market’ of ideas and information is not what they want to have.

      The Puppeteers want to be hidden. This seems to be the higher agenda in this Kabuki of make-believe.

      If you do’nt play by the rules, you are excluded from the lucrative presidential afterlife, eg writing your memoirs, which saved Clinton, or making lucrative speeches at ridiculous financial terms, which is nothing but post-hoc corruption, and disciplines the candidate long after his active political life.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        groo, this is why “freedom of the PRESS” is a right guaranteed in our Constitution, so thoughtfully by our Founders.

        Digital “books” and “press” can be “disappeared” by one totalitarian fat finger, bringing the theme “Fahrenheit 451” up to date.

        Since Gutenberg, real presses have worked magic for the 99% v. the 1%.

    2. groo

      the most accurate description is the Greek gods.(1%)

      They have their issues, but if it is against the humans (99%) they stick together and crash the humans, because they deliver all the fun in their otherwise dull -ahem- life.
      The Greek gods have achieved, what our worldly elite still strives for: immortality. But they are working on that one.
      The ultimate irony: because of their intrinsic dumbness and concentration on power they need the HUMANS to work that out.

      To stay in the metaphor: Obama is promised the status of a semi-god, if he does his job.
      Such was the wisdom of our ancients.
      In plain sight for anyone with a working inner eye.

        1. groo

          yes, my dear,

          this why we occasionally drop by and assure ourselves, not on the coarse issues, but on the fine details of the eye of the beast.

          Appreciate your companionship.

    3. Fiver

      Much worse coming, I fear. When the next shock hits in this open-ended crisis – I don’t think it’s been just about finance, but has many planes – I expect we’re going to start seeing remaining good sources of information coming under very heavy pressure, with critical info going “poof” and sources just starting to wink out like the last lights in town.

  30. MikeW_CA

    When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he offered “Change You Can Believe In.” Nearly every voter took him up on the offer. Those of us who voted for him took him up on his other offer of “Hope” and believed in Change that included getting us out of counterproductive wars, closing a military prison that was undermining American values, bringing torturers to justice, holding financial criminals accountable, re-regulating and re-organizing the financial system, and looking out for the interests of workers and small business owners.

    Those who voted for McCain/Palin also voted on the basis of their belief in the Change that Obama offered. But for them, it was fear, not hope, that defined the change they voted against. That change included a big-government Socialist state that would favor workers over employers, blacks over whites, and would be relentlessly against businesses of every size. Both sides projected onto Obama their own imaginings of who he was, whether those derived from hope or from fear. Neither side was paying much attention to who Barack Obama really is, and how he was really likely to govern, as this speech illuminates.

    In 2012, though, big difference. Obama voters have, for the most part, recognized who he really is, and what he really offers. There’s been disappointment, but also resignation that Obama’s “Third Way” is still unmistakably better than what every Republican candidate (except maybe Paul) is offering, which seems to be “what we got from George W. Bush, but more of it.”

    Astonishing as it is, Republicans are still running against the Socialist Change Obama of their 2008 imagining, even as history has proven that imagined Obama to have no relationship whatsoever to the real one. As they double, triple, and quadruple down on their arugments, they not only fail to appeal to the disillusionment of some of Obama’s 2008 voters, they insult the intelligence of those voters who realize just how off the mark the image of the Socialist Obama is.

    1. Lambert Strether

      “Nearly every voter took him up on the offer.” Not true in the general, where Obama won, but not by that proportion. And certainly not true in the primaries, where the popular vote was close to 50/50, and if all states are counted, Clinton won a very narrow majority, not Obama.

      I imagine the Ds will double down on their tactics as well. It’s all the elite knows how to do: Double down on #FAIL (because it is not fail for them).

    2. Jill

      Mike W.,

      “Disappointment” is for those times you didn’t get that pony for your birthday! People who know what Obama is doing and only evince “disappointment” are not dealing with the lawlessness and cruelty of their “savior”. Torture, murder, endless wars, mass surveillance, a militarized police force arrayed against our people, massive financial fraud–and all people can feel is “disappointment”? There is something profoundly wrong with the lack of anger at these actions and the willingness to peacefully take on the abuse of others and the breaking of Obama’s oath of office.

      Today’s Democrats are willing to trade every principle, everything that we should hold dear, including the lives of others for your imagined “safety” of reelecting a Democrat to the presidency. This cowardice and failure to stand for justice in the face of your fear will bring down our nation.

    3. Fiver

      The Republicans threw this election on purpose. The only way Obama loses is if he sees Medusa and turns to stone.

      Wall Street’s choice of Obama was genius. To neuter the “left” entirely, while forwarding a collection of far right (plus the ridiculously plastic Romney) unelectables who could nonetheless pull policy relentlessly right – that is shrewd.

      I see events in the US and Europe on a similar track, in that the “far right” was deliberately set on a course by its major bagmen that had them all competing to have themselves tossed first from the game by the MSM “shapers” – when Trump and Beck were pounded out of action so close in time together it was a signal to me that they were all going to go down, which of course they did. Ditto Berlusconi, Sarkosy, Merkel, and others. The “faces” are being changed out, with an apparent “win” for “progressives” in the cards for this year and next.

      In 2016, after 4 years of bumbling from one mess to another, the US voter gets his/her last chance to save their form of Government. The Republican will be a serious, warm or thoughtful, optimistic, well-mannered, speaks management-goop – and after winning takes the world all the way into real trouble.

      Which is why a real 3rd party, ready to go because its founders do nothing but work for the next 3 years to forge a new alliance capable of turning it into a 3-way race can give the people’s interest their shot – if they would for once all commit and work for it. It really would be possible to gain real power in just 1 election.

      1. Jill


        Jeremy Scahill traced the funding of candidates by the MIC during the run up to the 08 election. MIC donors shifted over from Clinton to Obama and Obama was suddenly anointed as the candidate!

        Now we see one loser candidate arise after another on the part of Republicans. This serves to frighten Democrats. They keep up their donations to Obama, they scream loudly for the election of their war and financial criminal. To Obama’s handlers, what’s not to like!

        I say medals of freedom all around to Sarah, Rick, Newt, Mitt, Michele, even Ron…! They all serve so well! But Obama, he is the best thing to come down the pike. The shadow govt. figured that out in 08 and they have run with it ever since. Why “change” such a good thing?

  31. briansays

    from/via jesse

    Putting Rubin, Summers and Geithner in power was the tragedy of the Obama administration. Obama and Bush were both given an opportunity to be transformational – a Churchill, a Roosevelt. Obama’s problem was that he sought out the biggest asshole in America – Robert Rubin… (Note, he later recants and nominates Larry Summers – Jesse)

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Why would he be “transformational” except to enrich his superiors more yet?

  32. Dennis Dix

    President’s Obama’s initial role, in Chicago as a vested client of the city’s “pro-growth coalition” is largely a reflection of the “Black bourgeoisie’s” new
    institutional role as the “apparent” mediating and supervisory class, in the urban politics of the “post civil rights” era as against earlier aspirations toward such “stewardship”.(as per, Prof. Aldolph Reed Jr. and others)

    This, of course was premised on the 30-40 year demobilization of the Black working and lower middle classes, in the wake of the “Black Consciousness/ Power movements, of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

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