Obama Being Awesome - >

Dec 2015
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Breaking news:
Barack Obama READS BOOKS! Here are some of his recommendations from 2019:
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Dec 2016
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Obama Being Awesome ............ Hollow Man Filled With Ruling Class Ideas:
As reported by Paul Street in Counterpunch:

............................... The subject of Garrow’s meticulous history is a single-minded climber ready to toss others (including family members, lovers, and close friends) aside in service to an all-consuming quest for political power fueled by a belief in his own special “destiny.” (It is clear from Rising Star that Obama was set on a run for the presidency by age twenty-five.) Dozens of former Obama associates interviewed by Garrow report having been impressed, even blown away by the future president as a young man. But many others were put off by Obama’s sense of superiority and arrogance (“full of himself” by the recollection of one Harvard Law classmate [p. 337]) and by his often lecturing, professorial “know it all” presentation – and by his transparent hyper-ambition.​
During his time at Harvard Law, fellow students invented “the Obamanometer” – a numerical measure of how long Obama would spend taking up class time with long-winded dialogue with the professor, often while claiming to speak on behalf of his fellow students.​

scrolling through the middle of this long book review ...................... “It’s not always clear what Obama’s financial backers want,” the progressive journalist Ken Silverstein noted in a Harpers’ Magazine report titled “Obama, Inc.” in November of 2006, “but it seems safe to conclude that his campaign contributors are not interested merely in clean government and political reform…On condition of anonymity,” Silverstein added, “one Washington lobbyist I spoke with was willing to point out the obvious: that big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn’t see him as a ‘player.’ The lobbyist added: ‘What’s the dollar value of a starry-eyed idealist?’” Obama’s allegiance to the American business elite was evident from the get go. It was well understood by the K Street insiders that Silverstein interviewed in the fall of 2006.​
His “dollar value” to Wall Street would become abundantly clear in early 2009, when he told a frightened group of Wall Street executives that “I’m not here to go after you. I’m protecting you…I’m going to shield you from congressional and public anger.” For the banking elite, who had destroyed untold millions of jobs, there was, as Garrow’s fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Sukind wrote, “Nothing to worry about. Whereas [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt had [during the Great Depression] pushed for tough, viciously opposed reforms of Wall Street and famously said ‘I welcome their hate,’ Obama was saying ‘How can I help?’” As one leading banker told Suskind, “The sense of everyone after the meeting was relief. The president had us at a moment of real vulnerability. At that point, he could have ordered us to do just about anything and we would have rolled over. But he didn’t – he mostly wanted to help us out, to quell the mob.”​
The Biggest Omission: Empire
The most glaring thing missing in Rising Star is any understanding of U.S, Senator and presidential candidate Obama’s imperial world view. His brazenly “American exceptionalist” and imperial mindset, straight out of the Council on Foreign Relations, was written all over Obama’s foreign policy speeches and writings (including large sections of The Audacity of Hope) in 2006, 2007, and 2008. I wrote about this at length in the fourth chapter (titled “How Antiwar? Obama, Iraq, and the Audacity of Empire”) in my 2008 book Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics.
This significant omission but it is unsurprising given Garrow’s own apparent enmeshment in the American imperial mindset. Rising Star’s long epilogue includes John McCain-like criticisms of Obama for failing to launch military strikes on Syria and for being too allergic to “the use, or even the threat of force” in global affairs. Garrow even offers a lengthy critical quote on the need for “the next president” to be more “resolute” from the former leading imperialist defense secretary Robert Gates, who Garrow strangely describes as “the weightiest and most widely respected voice of all.”​
“Problems Out There with the Situation of African-Americans in Society”
Obama first became something of a celebrity when he became the first Black editor of the Harvard Law Review in February of 1990. “I wouldn’t want people to see my election,” Obama told the Associated Press, “as a symbol that there aren’t problems out there with the situation of African-Americans in society” (Garrow, Rising Star, p. 392). Note the carefully calibrated nature of Obama’s public commentary already at the age of 28: “problems out there with the situation of African-Americans in society” could just as easily refer to alleged Black personal and cultural failure (a persistent white-pleasing theme in the rising star’s political rhetoric) as it could to cultural and/or institutional and societal racism. Note also that while Obama’s election and re-election to the U.S. presidency brought few if any tangible material and policy gains to Black America (whose already terrible economic situation deteriorated significantly during his time in office), it functioned as something like the last nail in the coffin of many whites’ stark reluctance to acknowledge that the nation’s still deeply embedded racism any longer poses real barriers to Black advancement and equality in the U.S. “Are you kidding me?” I’ve heard countless whites say, “we elected a Black president! Stop talking about racism!” Never mind the persistence of deeply embedded racial inequality and oppression at the heart of the nation’s labor and housing markets, credit and investment systems, legal and criminal justice systems, its military and police state, and its educational and media systems – and the dogged tenacity of personal and cultural race prejudice among a considerable part of the white populace. In that and other ways, the tragedy of the Obama years has been greatest of all for those at the bottom of the nation’s steep social and economic wells.​
King v. Obama
If I could ask Garrow one question beyond the personal matter of why my own heavily researched and annotated study of (and Left warning on) “rising star” Obama (Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics [Paradigm-Routledge, 2008]) is so egregiously missing in his bibliography and endnotes, it is this: what does Garrow think his previous epic biography subject Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. (who politely refused progressives’ effort to enlist him as a presidential candidate and whose bust sat behind Obama in the Oval Office), would have thought of the career of Garrow’s new epic biography subject, Barack Obama?
As Garrow knows, King in his final years inveighed eloquently against what he called “the triple evils that are interrelated,” essentially capitalism, racism, and militarism-imperialism. King came to the end of his martyred life with the belief that the real faults in American life lay not so much in “men” as in the oppressive institutions and social structures that reigned over them. He wrote that “the radical reconstruction of society itself” was “the real issue to be faced” beyond “superficial” matters. He had no interest, of course, in running for the White House of all things.​
Obama took a very different path, one that enlisted him in service both to narcissistic self and to each of the very triple evils (and other ones as well) that King dedicated his life to resisting.​
The Obama-King contrast continues into Obama’s post-presidential years. As Garrow showed in Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King. Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (William Morrow, 1986), the great Civil Rights leader and democratic socialist Dr. King sternly refused to cash in on his fame. Now that he out of the White House, Obama, by contrast, is cashing in. He’s raking in millions from the publishing industry and Wall Street and he’s back to his old “hobnobbing” ways with the rich and famous.​

Obama being non-awesome or me offering an antidote to this absurd and unbalanced hero worship of a man who has more in common with the much hated Trump than differences, except for the obvious differences in personality. Now I'm wondering exactly how long Donald Trump dreamed of becoming president!
 
Dec 2015
19,719
19,790
Arizona
Obama Being Awesome ............ Hollow Man Filled With Ruling Class Ideas:
As reported by Paul Street in Counterpunch:

............................... The subject of Garrow’s meticulous history is a single-minded climber ready to toss others (including family members, lovers, and close friends) aside in service to an all-consuming quest for political power fueled by a belief in his own special “destiny.” (It is clear from Rising Star that Obama was set on a run for the presidency by age twenty-five.) Dozens of former Obama associates interviewed by Garrow report having been impressed, even blown away by the future president as a young man. But many others were put off by Obama’s sense of superiority and arrogance (“full of himself” by the recollection of one Harvard Law classmate [p. 337]) and by his often lecturing, professorial “know it all” presentation – and by his transparent hyper-ambition.​
During his time at Harvard Law, fellow students invented “the Obamanometer” – a numerical measure of how long Obama would spend taking up class time with long-winded dialogue with the professor, often while claiming to speak on behalf of his fellow students.​

scrolling through the middle of this long book review ...................... “It’s not always clear what Obama’s financial backers want,” the progressive journalist Ken Silverstein noted in a Harpers’ Magazine report titled “Obama, Inc.” in November of 2006, “but it seems safe to conclude that his campaign contributors are not interested merely in clean government and political reform…On condition of anonymity,” Silverstein added, “one Washington lobbyist I spoke with was willing to point out the obvious: that big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn’t see him as a ‘player.’ The lobbyist added: ‘What’s the dollar value of a starry-eyed idealist?’” Obama’s allegiance to the American business elite was evident from the get go. It was well understood by the K Street insiders that Silverstein interviewed in the fall of 2006.​
His “dollar value” to Wall Street would become abundantly clear in early 2009, when he told a frightened group of Wall Street executives that “I’m not here to go after you. I’m protecting you…I’m going to shield you from congressional and public anger.” For the banking elite, who had destroyed untold millions of jobs, there was, as Garrow’s fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Sukind wrote, “Nothing to worry about. Whereas [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt had [during the Great Depression] pushed for tough, viciously opposed reforms of Wall Street and famously said ‘I welcome their hate,’ Obama was saying ‘How can I help?’” As one leading banker told Suskind, “The sense of everyone after the meeting was relief. The president had us at a moment of real vulnerability. At that point, he could have ordered us to do just about anything and we would have rolled over. But he didn’t – he mostly wanted to help us out, to quell the mob.”​
The Biggest Omission: Empire
The most glaring thing missing in Rising Star is any understanding of U.S, Senator and presidential candidate Obama’s imperial world view. His brazenly “American exceptionalist” and imperial mindset, straight out of the Council on Foreign Relations, was written all over Obama’s foreign policy speeches and writings (including large sections of The Audacity of Hope) in 2006, 2007, and 2008. I wrote about this at length in the fourth chapter (titled “How Antiwar? Obama, Iraq, and the Audacity of Empire”) in my 2008 book Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics.
This significant omission but it is unsurprising given Garrow’s own apparent enmeshment in the American imperial mindset. Rising Star’s long epilogue includes John McCain-like criticisms of Obama for failing to launch military strikes on Syria and for being too allergic to “the use, or even the threat of force” in global affairs. Garrow even offers a lengthy critical quote on the need for “the next president” to be more “resolute” from the former leading imperialist defense secretary Robert Gates, who Garrow strangely describes as “the weightiest and most widely respected voice of all.”​
“Problems Out There with the Situation of African-Americans in Society”
Most of us were under the impression that you were leaving (or had already LEFT) DTT. Surely, there are other discussion sites that would have a better appreciation of your bloviating, long-winded, addlepated, cynical, gloom-riddled, unfortunate verbal onslaughts.
Your post was a book review, authored by Paul Street, which included a compare/contrast of Obama and King, with the obvious intent to raise up one and bury another. In my experience (after reading WAY too many of your posts) you thrive on disrespect and scornful abuse. Your contempt is noted. Now move on.
 
Dec 2016
5,955
3,033
Canada
Most of us were under the impression that you were leaving (or had already LEFT) DTT. Surely, there are other discussion sites that would have a better appreciation of your bloviating, long-winded, addlepated, cynical, gloom-riddled, unfortunate verbal onslaughts.
Your post was a book review, authored by Paul Street, which included a compare/contrast of Obama and King, with the obvious intent to raise up one and bury another. In my experience (after reading WAY too many of your posts) you thrive on disrespect and scornful abuse. Your contempt is noted. Now move on.
It was a lengthy book by an author who had done some real honest and clear-eyed research on Obama. When I'm on Twitter since Hillary's big Waterloo event, I've blocked or lost a lot of followers I used to have and thought were sensible on these kinds of issues. If I was living in the US in 08, I would have voted for Obama against WWIII advocate - John McCain and his idiot Veep, and since that election had a lot more than the usual buzz around it, and it occupied much of the discussion I had with my US relatives at the time, they might have assumed I was working on the Barack for president campaign!
But I never became a fanboy, like some of my younger cousins, nephews and nieces did, who cast aside all of their usual suspicion and cynicism about politics in the hope that this one would be the diamond in the rough.

I was tracking and criticizing his decisions and statements early on in his first term when he had control of Congress and could do virtually what ever he wanted. When it came to war crimes, he declared "we need to look forward, not backward." Maybe that was just to get Cheney away from his rolodex planning his own assassination attempt! But on environment, at a time when we were already being told that we were living in the time when the fight against global warming would be won or lost, he comes up with an "all of the above" energy strategy. On healthcare, he dangled a 'public option' and then reneged on it, and when he armtwisted Dennis Kucinich into violating his principles to support a reworked Romneycare that Romney himself ran away from, the details revealed uncontrolled insurance, hospital and prescription costs would eventually make all of the offered plans unaffordable for most people! He bailed out Wall Street banks but had nothing to offer all of the people left underwater on mortgages after the real estate meltdown, some forced out of their homes. The wars went from 2 to 7, military budgets kept rising, the NDAA created by the War On Terror excuse, kept getting renewed every year, and kept whittling away at American's legal and privacy rights.... cause security trumps freedom!

So, it's hard for me not to see Obama as a liar and a cheat, who has since leaving office, been collecting gifts from the range of corporate and financial backers who owe him so much! I don't know how many Obama fans disconnected their brains and erased all that went on during his administration, but to a cynic, it was a smooth transition from Obama to Trump on most issues (except as I've mentioned - Iran), so endless Twitter threads of Obama worship.... swooning over his pictures and videos makes me think most liberals gave up in 2016 and decided to move into and live in an imaginary world, where a perfect Hillary inherited his throne and admirably handles all of the domestic and foreign threats just like they did on The West Wing some years back, when they decided the presidency stayed under Democratic control.

As for leaving completely..... I had been checking in on a weekly basis for more than month, not seeing much of interest, but maybe a fresh war clears the senses, now that so many online liberals have suddenly become concerned about the threat of nuclear war again. Something they never thought of back when Obama announced a 10 year plan of more than a $trillion to upgrade nukes and missile delivery systems. When this forum turned overwhelmingly liberal focusing exclusively on Trump and removing Trump by any means necessary, all else was forgotten, including underlying principles like opposing wars and obscene levels of military spending. Democrat warmongers were now in vogue. Now that we have Trump running around with matches in a gas-lit room, the appeal of Democrat versions of Trump - Joe Biden, should lose their appeal, and everyone claiming they will lead us all out of a looming disaster will have to prove their worth and their sincerity.