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Thursday, January 16, 2014


When you look at Obama’s record , you see a politician who is at best a moderate conservative Republican, but more likely one who has continued  the Bush policies and expands them.

Even before he was elected, he voted for the TARP bank bailout and continuation of the FISA court for secret surveillance. The TARP bank bailout (as written in the book “BAILOUT” by the TARP overseer Neil Barofsky) was used by Obama’s treasury to shovel as much money as possible into the banks, while giving lip service to foreclosed homeowners. After he was elected, but before taking office, Obama showed his loyalties by filling the Treasury Dept with Wall Street people like Larry Summers and the same people who deregulated the banks in the Clinton administration.

The NSA has expanded it’s secret surveillance to tap and store phone and internet records of every American. This surveillance is ostensibly to prevent “terrorism”. As the FBI has done for decades, and is the norm in totalitarian states, data is usually collected on citizens to identify dissidents and squelch political protest.

After election, he spoke about reforming NAFTA and closing Guantanamo but neither has occurred. Instead he supports expanding NAFTA with his TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP and another treaty for the Atlantic countries. The inmates of Guantanamo (as well as in other secret prisons) are still subject to torture and “military” justice.

While many states have legalized marijuana and people are waking up to the uselessness of the “War on Drugs”, federal agents have harassed and shut down medical marijuana facilities. While there is talk of finding a way to integrate illegal immigrants into this country, Obama has jailed and deported more illegal immigrants than any other president.

People who leak information on the illegal activities of the government, and journalists who report on them, are harassed and prosecuted. Obama judged Bradley Manning guilty before there was ever a trial. Obama called Edward Snowden a traitor because he exposed the illegal activities of the NSA. Journalists who report on the “dirty” side of this administration are stopped at the border, their computers confiscated, their persons violated.

America is close to becoming a police state. There are Swat teams on the Great Lakes harassing boaters in the name of Border Security. There are checkpoints and road blocks on major roads inside the United States, not only near border areas. They stop motorists and demand “identification”.

Although Obama did remove troops from Iraq, we remain a huge presence in that country supporting our puppet government with weapons and money. Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, ostensibly to combat Al Queda, but more plausibly to support our favorite government there. He has also expanded military (mostly special ops) around the globe as in Yemen and Somalia. With the drone program he boasts that he is “good at killing people”, although many people, including Americans, have been killed by drones without any explanation or justification.

Obama’s stimulus in response to the “Great Recession” was mostly tax cuts. Obama’s budget reflects his priorities, mostly to accommodate the Republicans: high defense spending, entitlement spending, and more tax cuts.

Obama’s “signature” achievement, the Affordable Care Act, was written to accommodate the needs of the Pharmaceutical Companies, Insurance Companies, and Hospital Corporations, not the public. “Single Payer” or “Public Option” was not even considered. It does not cut medical costs, but portends to stem the rise of medical costs.  It is definitely a boon to the above companies, and also probably another expensive entitlement which will be paid by future tax payers.

It is certainly not only Barack Obama alone who is responsible for all of the above. Money is at the center of our political system and those who can raise the most money (primarily from corporations, special interests, and rich benefactors) have a huge advantage. Lobbyists for the large corporations, the Military-Industrial industry, and now the Surveillance Industry, have great power in the political process. If you cannot blame Obama for all of the excesses, you can certainly blame him for doing nothing, if very little, to stop them.

Sheldon Wolberg


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