Weekend thoughts: Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on Obama 2013

Obama is not who he’s thought and pictured to be. He’s not even close to that person, according to many who get almost no mainstream press (see also James Fallows’ comment below).

Here is Dr. Cornel West’s most recent assessment, along with Tavis Smiley’s. I won’t put the headline quote in the headline; I’m not the right person to be that blatant. But Dr. West and his partner Smiley are fully capable of speaking for themselves.

Cornel West and Tavis Smiley appeared with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. Dr. West’s striking characterization comes in his first response, beginning at 2:45 in the clip. Watch (h/t Huffington Post):

For starters, West is right about election costs:

“It morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion dollars on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election.”

Yes — we talked about that here. And I don’t think $6 billion (that’s $6,000,000,000 in zeros) is the final number. Some of that Dark Money is dark indeed.

And the quote that has many buzzing (3:25 in the same answer; his emphasis):

“I’m glad there’s not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Rockefeller Republican in blackface with Barack Obama, so that our struggle in regard to poverty intensifies.”

Interestingly, a little later Amy Goodman reports a conversation Obama had with Harry Belafonte, in which Obama reportedly asked something like, “Why don’t you and West cut me some slack?” and Belafonte replied, “What makes you think we’re not?” Word.

The whole thing is worth a thorough, careful listen. The discussion of the right-wing meme — Obama bribed minorities with “things, stuff” is something you’re going to hear from the right for quite some time. Be ready to respond to that one too. (Your answer via Smiley: “This is precisely why they lost.”)

The critique of the “American left” who “won’t take responsibility” by Michael Eric Dyson (12:00) is priceless Hippie-punching. Hey dude; we got fists too. Read on.

And finally, do not miss the takedown of Dyson “Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others” in West’s “Everybody’s up for sale” riff starting 15:30. Priceless. Truly and literally priceless — you couldn’t buy it, and money runs screaming from it.

Click here for part 2 of this discussion.

Why show this clip? Four years’ worth of leverage

I’m putting this up for two reasons. One, I personally agree with West and Smiley (or Smiley & West, since they’re a duo now). They talk here not only about poverty — a huge issue for blacks, as well as for a great many whites and others — but also about drone-kills, bankers, and a whole range of issues that concern progressives.

But the second reason  is even more vital, in my view. As I said up front, Barack Obama is greatly misperceived. Everyone paints him as varying flavors of this guy — the Bold but Frustrated Progressive.

No one paints him, comedicly or otherwise, as this guy — Betrayer of Hope and Change. Even Republicans missed that critique (thanks in large part to their drunk-with-racism beer goggles). But here we are, progressives watching “our champion” fail to defend us, time after painful time.

People can believe what they want, but at some point, we’ll have to face the truth. At some point, we’re just going to have to believe our lying eyes. And when we do, and are willing to say that truth out loud, we will have leverage.

I strongly believe that to frustrate Obama’s Rubinesque Neo-liberal agenda for the next four years, one of the angles we have on him is his legacy … more specifically, his hunger for his legacy, and most likely, all the money it will bring.

I think his model is post-electoral Bill Clinton — multiple millions in book and speaking fees, adoring worldwide crowds, and a family firmly levered into the class just below the actual rulers — the billionaires who funded him in this electoral life.

Here’s James Galbraith on Obama’s real legacy (my emphasis and paragraphing):

The President is not a progressive – he is not what Americans still call a “liberal.” He is a willful player in an epic drama of faux-politics, an operative for the money power, whose job is to neutralize the left with fear and distraction and then to pivot rightward and deliver a conservative result … a long-term lock-in of domestic spending cuts, and a path toward severe cuts in the core New Deal and Great Society insurance programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And, of course, no tax increases at all.


[T]he President too is a young man. Unlike say Lyndon B. Johnson or Jimmy Carter, when his term ends he won’t be able simply to go home. He’ll need a big house in a gated suburb, with high walls and rich friends. And a good income, too, from book deals and lecture fees.

He may be thinking about that now. … [But] it won’t save him.

For if and when he ventures out, for the rest of his life, the eyes of all those, whose hopes he once raised will follow him. The old, the poor, the jobless, the homeless: their eyes will follow him wherever he goes.

I think by threatening Obama with that fresh paint job now, starting today, we might frighten him into some mitigating action. Does he want to be “killer of Social Security“? No, he wants to be “savior of Social Security”. Well, we can fix that, but we have to decide to.

This is a call to action, and the time is now. By 2016 it will be too late — he’ll be on his endless (and undeserved) victory tour.

But we must be relentless. And bold. And frankly, honest. They can’t scare us with Republicans for another four years. Let’s do some good by doing some well-deserved damage, then negotiating from something like strength. For a change.

How about a stand-up Obama that catches the actual man?

Me, I’ll start with this. One of the best “scary Obama” stand-up routines I’ve seen. The eager glee expressed in this performance is frightening, but note how it gets the audience laughing. Pitch perfect from the performer:

Excellent impersonation, don’t you think? But with a twist; that’s a scary man. More please.

We have only four years to negotiate by broadcasting images like this. After that, the opportunity goes away. The gays were bold last round, and look what it got them — a big bunch of wins. Now it’s time for the rest of the progressive world to follow their lead.

Thank you, Smiley & West, for getting us started. (And points for the listeners who stayed for the phase “war crimes” — now go thou and … etc.)

UPDATE: And Obama responds, right on cue:

Already? Obama Tells Supporters to Expect ‘Bitter Pills’

In a conference call with key supporters Tuesday night, President Obama urged Democratic activists to stay engaged in the coming budget negotiations concerning the so-called “fiscal cliff” but also telegraphed plainly his intent to give away much in his showdown with Republican lawmakers.

As the [the excellent Sam Stein at the] Huffington Post, who listened in on the call, reports:

The president, speaking from a White House phone, cautioned listeners to expect disappointments during his second term. As he has in the past, Obama warned that he was prepared to swallow some bitter pills during the negotiations, including some that would agitate the base.

And that would be that. Game on? Better be, ’cause his is.

(UPDATED to correct several typos. Thanks to all in the comments for pointing these out.)


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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100 Responses to “Weekend thoughts: Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on Obama 2013”

  1. TheRight says:

    Us conservatives are happy to have Mr. West and Smiley on our side. People like Obama don’t have the capacity to govern a nation. Only whites like us do. So thank you gentlemen for making it known what the majority of us already know. While you folks fight amongst yourselves like typical gang bangers who hate each other and will kill with no remorse, we will take back our country.

  2. Eric Wattree says:


    You said, “West is brilliant.” What evidence do you have of that other than listening to the hype. The establishment have marketed Cornel West just like they’ve sold you on your favorite detergent:

    In Defense of My Stance Against Cornel West
    In response to my last column, Dr.
    Boyce Watkins Announces His Withdrawal from Cornel West Controversy , one reader said the following:
    “Wattree – you should stop kissing President
    Obama’s ass without thinking about your political decisions. He hasn’t done
    anything for you, but you talk about him like you work for
    Such comments are so typical of Cornel West supporters that they’ve become a mantra. They invariably accuse anyone who dares to point out that West’s blatant public slander of the President of the United States was counterproductive, unsubstantiated, and frankly, stupid, as only being interested in defending President Obama. They try to avoid the issue of West’s grossly unprofessional behavior by accusing his critics of being Obama cheerleaders. So let me dispose of that allegation at the outset.
    As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’ve written several articles that are highly
    critical of President Obama – one, long before Obama was even sworn into office.
    In the article, A Journalist’s First Responsibility, written on July 8, 2008, I point out
    unequivocally that it’s not a journalist’s responsibility to try to protect a
    favored candidate:
    “On June 20th Senator Barack Obama announced that he was supporting the current FISA bill before the senate. That bill gives retroactive immunity to all

    telecommunications companies against all private law suits for cooperating with the Bush administration’s program of spying on the American people without a court order, as currently required by current law .
    “I’ve been roundly criticized by fellow Obama supporters for bringing this issue out. They say that ‘I’m hurting our candidate’, and ‘I’m not seeing the big picture.’ But in response I suggest, when truth becomes a hindrance to a candidate’s viability, it’s not truth that’s the problem–it’s the candidate. And when the “greater good” involves journalists keeping the people in the dark, it becomes the nation’s problem. Thus, it’s not up to journalists to keep Obama’s candidacy viable–it’s up to Obama.”
    Thus, my strident criticism of Cornel West has nothing to do with trying to protect
    Obama. I’m speaking out against West’s unmitigated stupidity. Period.
    Any Black person who doesn’t recognize the importance of, at the very least, respecting the first Black President of the United States is an idiot. While that doesn’t preclude one from criticizing Obama’s policies, just like any other president, West criticized him as a Black man, which is an exercise in self-hatred, and betrays his true
    attitude toward Black people in general. So West didn’t merely make himself look
    stupid, he made the Black community look stupid as well.
    First, West clearly demonstrated that many of us don’t have any self-respect. And secondly, since his high profile sends the false impression that West is one of the best and brightest in the Black community, his reckless and unprofessional assertions and
    behavior reinforces the racist belief that Black professionals are something less than their White counterparts . . . MORE

  3. mpeasee says:

    mistake post..opps.

  4. mpeasee says:

    Keystone protesters

  5. mpease says:

    Keystone protesters.

  6. Stanley_Krute says:

    Thanks for injecting a nice fact-based dose of reality into this discussion.

  7. Stanley_Krute says:

    What is most bothersome to me about ALL of Gaius Publius’s posts are not the content, but the nasty angry tone. Similarly with Smiley and West in this video.

    None of these folks, of course, could be elected dog-catcher. Which is why, I guess, they are so angry at someone accomplishing so much in a complex environment a few levels above that lower office that they could never attain.

    As with the angry loons of the right, GP, and Tavis, and Cornel will never understand why anger doesn’t sell, doesn’t work, and is counter-productive to lasting forward progress.

  8. Eric Wattree says:

    Many of the people who go around talking about Obama hasn’t done anything for the poor are basing their opinion on what they’ve been told, because most of them haven’t read anything but the sports page in twenty years. If they had, they wouldn’t be spewing such nonsense. What has Obama done for the Poor, you ask? He’s done the following:

    1). He stopped the nation from hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs A MONTH under Bush, That helped the poor and middle class.

    2). He stopped the nation from going into a second Great Depression. That definitely helped the poor and middle class.

    3). He save the America auto industry. That helped the poor and middle class.

    4). He was the first president to successfully passed healthcare reform in 70 years. That not only helped, but will save the lives of many of the poor and middle class.

    5). He created more jobs in 27 months than Bush did in 7 years. Okay?

    6). And he managed to get Osama Bin Laden in his spare time. If you remember, Bush spent 7 years, upward of a TRILLION dollars, and killed or maimed thousands of American troops in that effort. That destroyed and disrupted thousands of families – because the rich don’t send their kids to die for this country; that’s a job for poor folks – and it played a major role in what got us in this economic mess in the first place. Then Obama managed to get him with two helicopers and a handful of men.
    In addition, Obama did the following:
    – Spur Job Creation: “In addition, to help those most affected by the recession, the Budget will extend emergency assistance to seniors and families with children, Unemployment Insurance benefits, COBRA tax credits, and relief to states and localities to prevent layoffs.”
    – Reforming the Job Training System: “The Budget calls for reform of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which supports almost 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers nationwide and a range of other services. With $6 billion for WIA at DOL—and an additional $4 billion in the Department of Education—the Budget calls for reforms to improve WIA.” Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Enforcement: “To strengthen civil rights enforcement against racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, religious, and gender discrimination, the Budget includes an 11 percent increase in funding to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. This investment will help the Division handle implementation of a historic new hate crimes law. The Budget also provides an $18 million, or 5 percent increase, for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), which is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee. This increased investment will allow for more staff to reduce the backlog of private sector charges.”
    – Support Historically Black Colleges and Universities: “The Budget proposes $642 million, an increase of $30 million over the 2010 level, to support Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In addition to this discretionary funding increase for MSIs, the Administration supports legislation passed by the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate that would provide $2.55 billion in mandatory funding to MSIs over 10 years.”
    – Help Families Struggling with Child Care Costs: “The Budget will nearly double the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for middle-class families making under $85,000 a year by increasing their credit rate from 20 percent to 35 percent of child care expenses. Nearly all eligible families making under $115,000 a year would see a larger credit. The Budget also provides critical support for young children and their families by building on historic increases provided in ARRA. The Budget provides an additional $989 million for Head Start and Early Head Start to continue to serve 64,000 additional children and families funded in ARRA.”
    – Reform Elementary and Secondary School Funding: “The Budget supports the Administration’s new vision for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) … The Budget provides a $3 billion increase in funding for K-12 education programs authorized in the ESEA, including $900 million for School Turnaround Grants, and the Administration will request up to $1 billion in additional funding if Congress successfully completes ESEA reauthorization.”
    – Increase Pell Grants: “The Recovery Act and 2009 appropriations bill increased the maximum Pell Grant by more than $600 for a total award of $5,350. The Budget proposes to make that increase permanent and put them on a path to grow faster than inflation every year, increasing the maximum grant by $1,000, expanding eligibility, and nearly doubling the total amount of Pell grants since the President took office.”
    – Help Relieve Student Loan Debt: “To help graduates overburdened with student loan debt, the Administration will strengthen income-based repayment plans for student loans by reducing monthly payments and shortening the repayment period so that overburdened borrowers will pay only 10 percent of their discretionary income in loan repayments and can have their remaining debt forgiven after 20 years. Those in public service careers will have their debt forgiven after 10 years. The Budget also expands low-cost Perkins student loans.”
    – Prevent Hunger and Improve Nutrition: “The President’s Budget provides $8.1 billion for discretionary nutrition program supports, which is a $400 million increase over the 2010 enacted level. Funding supports 10 million participants in the WIC program, which is critical to the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. The Budget also supports a strong Child Nutrition and WIC reauthorization package that will ensure that school children have access to healthy meals and to help fulfill the President’s pledge to end childhood hunger. The President continues to support the nutrition provisions incorporated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).”
    – Revitalize Distressed Urban Neighborhoods: “The Budget includes $250 million for HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program, which will target neighborhoods anchored by distressed public or assisted housing with physical and social revitalization grounded in promising, measurable, and evidence-based strategies.”
    – Increase Funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program: “The President’s Budget requests $19.6 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program to help more than two million extremely low income families with rental assistance to live in decent housing in neighborhoods of their choice. The Budget continues funding for all existing mainstream vouchers and provides flexibility to support new vouchers that were leased and $85 million in special purpose vouchers for homeless families with children, families at risk of homelessness, and persons with disabilities.”
    – Preserve 1.3 Million Affordable Rental Units through Project-Based Rental Assistance Program: “The President’s Budget provides $9.4 billion for the Project-Based Rental Assistance program to preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable rental units through increased funding for contracts with private owners of multifamily properties. This critical investment will help low-income households to obtain or retain decent, safe and sanitary housing. In addition, the Administration requests $350 million to fund the first phase of this multi-year initiative to regionalize the Housing Choice Voucher program and convert Public Housing to project-based vouchers.”
    – Promote Affordable Homeownership and Protect Families from Mortgage Fraud: “The Budget requests $88 million for HUD to support homeownership and foreclosure prevention through Housing Counseling and $20 million to combat mortgage fraud. In addition, the Budget requests $250 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation’s (NRC) grant and training programs. Of the $250 million, $113 million is requested for foreclosure prevention activities, a $48 million increase (74 percent) over 2010.”
    – Fight Gang Violence and Violent Crime: “The Budget provides $112 million for place-based, evidence supported, initiatives to combat violence in local communities, including $25 million for the Community-Based Violence Prevention Initiatives that aim to reduce gun and other violence among youth gangs in cities and towns across the country, and $37 million for the Attorney General’s Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, which targets the youth most affected by violence and most susceptible to propagating it as they grow up.”
    – Expand Prisoner Re-entry Programs: “The Budget provides $144 million for Department Justice prisoner re-entry programs, including an additional $100 million for the Office of Justice Programs to administer grant programs authorized by the Second Chance Act and $30 million for residential substance abuse treatment programs in State and local prisons and jails. In addition, the Budget provides $98 million for Department of Labor programs that provide employment-centered services to adult and youth ex-offenders and at-risk youth..”
    – Fully Fund the Community Development Block Grant Program: “The Budget provides $4.4 billion for the Community Development Fund, including $3.99 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Formula Program (CDBG), and $150 million for the creation of a Catalytic Investment Competition Grants program. The new Catalytic Competition Grants program uses the authorities of CDBG, but will provide capital to bring innovative economic development projects to scale to make a measurable impact.”
    Now, what has Tavis Smiley and Cornel West done – other than promoting their shows and trying to sell books?

  9. CaProgressive says:

    Take it however you want. It’s a fact. You weren’t needed. Period.

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    No politics, just lame, unoriginal personal attacks you picked up along the way.

    I think you’ll find that commenters at AMERICAblog are pretty sharp and no matter what side of the question they tend towards, thye like to see facts and analysis, which I’ve supplied all along, and that they tend not to like personal attacks meant to deflect the conversation by those who have no facts, no analysis and no clue.

    What facts have you offered to promote your idea that Obama’s betrayal of health care is ‘genius’ or that it helps patients by forcing them into HMO’s. None. That’s because there are none, But there is this. HMO’s murder patients http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqSshZZMHGA

  11. Bill_Perdue says:

    Obama is a warmonger and a mass murderer. He supports the mass murder of Palestinians by rabid IDF racists. Obama is a war criminal just like the Clinton’s and the Bushes.

    Obama is the Scab in Chief, whose campaign of busting unions is part of the utltraright agenda of the Koch Brothers and is deepening the Depression.

    Obama is the bigot who claims to have ‘evolved’ just in time for the elections after years of empowering and supporting more open bigots.

    Obama cancelled air quality standards and although it’s absolutely true that global warming and climate change are a global problem hes making it worse.

    Obama is a Bill of Rights buster – NDAA, he murders US citizens on a whim, he had Brad Manning and caused or permitted him to be tortured for a year, he supports FISA and he voted for the Paytriot act.

    Do the math.

  12. karmanot says:

    “Efficient thought requires that we give truth priority” BINGO!

  13. karmanot says:

    Beautifully written and interesting background. Rising above gossip, your points suggest the tragic implosion of one of America’s most imminent black intellectuals—very sad. For all of that, however, Dr West’s intellectual history will leave an enduring legacy of our racial times.

  14. karmanot says:

    False equivalency. Sorry, not working.

  15. karmanot says:

    Amazing ….we agree on something!

  16. karmanot says:

    neener, neener, neener

  17. GarySFBCN says:

    Wow. Strident stupidity complex must be a viral infection.

  18. ezpz says:

    Oops, sorry, I didn’t read your comment when I posted a similar one just above. It is the obvious reply.

  19. ezpz says:

    If you voted for and now defend Obama, then yes, you did vote “for his [Obama’s] policies of kidnapping, internal spying, murder and torture by Obama based on your vote, including the murder of a 16 year old boy from Denver,”

  20. Eric Wattree says:

    I’ve both criticized and defended Obama, so I don’t think the problem is exclusively with either Obama haters, or Obama Cheerleaders. The problem is with ideologues in general. Efficient thought requires that we give truth priority over ideology. But ideologues of every stripe invariably give ideology priority over truth. And the truth is, Obama has done good things, and he’s done things that are not so good, just as any of us would if we were president.

  21. Eric Wattree says:

    It’s a writer’s bain (make that “bane”). No matter how careful we are, typos seem to be inevitable. Sometimes after writing a piece my subconscious wakes me up in the middle of the day (I do my writing at night) to correct a typo. Then after correction and review, I want to rewrite the entire paragraph.

  22. Eric Wattree says:

    Tavis, West, and Malcolm
    While browsing the web this morning I came across an
    article written by Dr. Boyce Watkins blaring, “Cornel West Says that Sharpton, Dyson are “Up for Sale”: Let’s Talk about That One, Shall We?” My first reaction was, “Hmmmm, Dr.
    Michael Eric Dyson must have gotten a new job.”
    The reason that’s the
    first thing that came to mind was because Cornel West is rapidly building a
    reputation for attacking anyone in the Black community who tends to overshadow
    him. This tendency, and the reckless and petty way in which he pursues it, has
    become so pronounced in West that it’s beginning to betray his primary agenda as
    a whole. He’s not interested in the Black community at all. All Cornel West
    is interested in is keeping Cornel West in the media spotlight.
    Look at the facts. First he attacks Barack
    Obama. He was fine with Barack at first – as long as he could look upon him as
    subordinate. But once Obama began to get widespread public attention, West
    started to cool towards him. But when it became clear that Obama could actually
    become the President of the United States, and he had the audacity to refuse
    to dance to Tavis and West’s music, West went into wild-eyed opposition to
    everything he represented – only cooling off long enough to become certain that
    he wasn’t going to enjoy the notoriety of a prominent role in an Obama
    administration, and he wasn’t going to be able to strut around with the
    president on speed dial. Only then, did he see fit to publicly declare that the
    president was a puppet to plutocrats and afraid of “free Black men.” I don’t
    recall him ever being that disrespectful to George W. Bush.
    Then, he came out against Dr. Melissa
    Harris-Perry. But just like with Obama, West was fine with Dr. Perry at
    first. He recruited her to come to Princeton and they were colleauges. Once it
    became clear, however, that Dr. Perry had a mind of her own and that she wasn’t
    prone to hero worship, he began to undermine her at Princeton, so she quietly
    left. But once West found out that she had been given a show on MSNBC, all hell
    broke loose. Instead of this good brother – who only lives to serve his people
    – being happy over the prospect that another intelligent Black voice had gained
    access to the mass media, he saw fit to publicly proclaim that this very
    impressive Black woman was “a liar and a fraud.”
    So again, it seems that Cornel West is always
    prepared to preach a much better sermon on black love and respect than he’s
    willing to live. His comments were extremely disrespectful toward both Black
    women, and the Black community as a whole. A true brother – a true man –
    wouldn’t even speak to a lady like that in private, much less, badmouth her like
    that publicly.
    Whatever happen to the concept of cherishing our women?
    No one should have to teach Cornel about that. As a so-called Black
    intellectual, that’s exactly what he should be teaching our young people – that
    it’s impossible for them to have any respect for themselves, if they
    don’t respect the very womb of their culture. How can anyone profess to be an
    intellectual and fail to understand that very fundamental concept? West also
    betrayed his elitist sense of entitlement, and his disdain for the poor and
    working class when he complained about a mere baggage handler getting tickets to
    the Presidential Inauguration while he couldn’t.

    And it doesn’t end there. West has also seen fit
    to go after Jay-Z. Obviously Jay-Z was getting a little too much publicity over
    his part ownership of the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclay Center. So West took it
    upon himself to set the record straight. In essence, he said, “Wait a minute,
    world! That pickaninny don’t own nothing. TheWhite man owns it! So you see, I’m
    still the man!” Okay West, but what does fronting off Jay-Z have to do with
    moving Black people forward? . . . MORE


  23. CaProgressive says:

    Tavis Smiley believes that marriage is only between a man and a woman so I’ll stick with the “Rockefeller Republican in blackface.”

  24. Bill_Perdue says:

    Quit lying.

    If you voted for Obama you automatically voted for his murder of 16 year old boy from Denver, “Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old born in Denver, the third American killed in as many weeks by suspected CIA drone strikes in Yemen” Time Magazine

    Just as you automatically voted for his his union busting, his NDAA, his cancellation of air pollution policies, his betrayal of socialized medicine, which you describe as ‘genius’, and for his policies of policies of kidnapping, internal spying, murder, torture and maintaining concentration camp at Guantanamo and Baghram AFB in Obama/US occupied Afghanistan and for his support for zionist ethnic cleansers.

    What did you think you were voting for? Those right wing polices define Obama’s administration and they define you because you voted for him and his politics. Get used to hearing that.


  25. GarySFBCN says:

    Wow. You’re more deranged than I ever imagined.

    For the record, I did not vote “for his [Obama’s] policies of kidnapping, internal spying, murder and torture by Obama based on your vote, including the murder of a 16 year old boy from Denver,” regardless of what the voices in your head are telling you.

  26. Bill_Perdue says:

    Stop lying. “Federal Use of Wiretaps Sharply Rises Under Clinton Administration
    July 07, 1996|JIM McGEE | WASHINGTON POST WASHINGTON — The Clinton administration has sharply increased use of federal telephone wiretaps and other electronic surveillance in the United States since taking office, and official estimates foresee that the growth will continue in coming years.

    The point that real leftists, you’re not a leftist, you’re a right centrist and an Obama cultist make is that kidnapping, internal spying, murder and torture are not Republican policies, they’e bipartisan policies. Your continued shilling for Obama and your vote for his policies of kidnapping, internal spying, murder and torture by Obama based on your vote, including the murder of a 16 year old boy from Denver, prove that you’re an Obama cultist and a Democrat, in spite of your denials.

    Nuance that. We agree on nothing. Obama and his Democrat and Republican allies are the the enemy and you’re his shill.

  27. GarySFBCN says:

    “We agree on nothing.” Well, since I am against the continuation of Bush-era wiretapping on US citizens, and that was one of Obama’s broken promises, and since you say that we agree on nothing, I guess you support the Bush-era wiretapping.

    Thanks for making my case about nuance.

  28. Bill_Perdue says:

    There’s nothing nuanced about describing Obama’s capitulation to HMO’s and Big Pharma as ‘genius’. It’s not, nor is his attack on people who need medical care a step towards socialized medicine. It’s a capitulation to the health care industry – insurance companies, HMO.s and Big Pharma. It was a sellout, not ‘genius’. They bribed him with $20 million in contributions (1) and with whom he held a couple of dozen secret meetings before selling us out (2), something you describe as genius.

    1) “A new figure, based on an exclusive analysis created for Raw Story by the
    Center for Responsive Politics, shows that President Obama received a staggering
    $20,175,303 from the healthcare industry during the 2008 election cycle, nearly
    three times the amount of his presidential rival John McCain. McCain took in
    $7,758,289, the Center found.

    The new figure, obtained by Raw Story through an independent custom research
    request performed by the Center for Responsive Politics — a nonprofit,
    nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics — is the most comprehensive
    breakdown yet available of healthcare industry contributions to Obama during the
    2008 election cycle.”
    This is from Common Dreams and the same story appeared on AlterNet and Raw Story

    (2) “Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
    Washington (CREW) is filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security based on the refusal of the Secret Service to provide CREW with White House visitor records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). CREW is seeking records of visits by top health care executives in an effort to learn the extent to which these
    industry players may have influenced the administration’s health care policy.”

    As I said up thread, give us a fact or two instead of whining, lying and getting personal. Don’t worry, you have nothing in common with he truth, with the left, or with honesty. You’re a common, everyday Obama cultist. You voted for him and his mass murder, his union busting and his betrayal of the health care of American workers.

    We agree on nothing. Obama and his Democrat and Republican allies are the the enemy and you’re his shill.

  29. CaProgressive says:

    It’s even nicer to know that you’re irrelevant…

  30. GarySFBCN says:

    “That’s how I know you’re an Obama cultist. I criticize your cult leader and you get personal.”

    No, idiot. You attribute things to me that I never said or wrote. In essence, you are a lying about me and because of that I call you are a pathetic piece of shit. We disagree about the healthcare plan. I see it as an important step to socialized health care. And this step provides health care for 75% of the people who are currently uninsured, removes caps, removes the pre-existing conditions exclusions, allows kids to be covered by their parents until age 26, and will put the government in direct competition with insurance companies. Should it have been better? Hell yes. Could it have been better at the time? I don’t think so. Remember how Hillary Clinton’s plan got pummeled? And they weren’t even questioning her citizenship at the time.

    Regardless, you wrote that I posted this: “Most of your comments, like the one above, where you describe his trillions in gifts to HMOs and Big Pharma as ‘genius’.” I did not post that. It is a lie. You are a piece of shit for writing that I wrote that. I don’t care how you feel about Obama – your opinions are mostly irreverent to me. But when you misrepresent what I write and say, I have every right to call you the piece of shit that you are.

  31. Bill_Perdue says:

    Now you’re just squirming. If you had principles you wouldn’t have to backpedal.

    “Where did I write that we are in a recovery?” “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

    The rise of unemployment and related crises in Europe are created by German and bank imposed austerity measures. Look at Krugman’s graphs above and correlate them with the imposition of austerity.

    “Please indicate where I celebrate or even describe ‘trillions in gifts fo HMOs and Big Pharma” “I believe it is a pretty good plan and it puts our government in a position to negotiate prices with insurers and the health care industry. It also puts the insurance industry on a track of obsolescence. In short, I think Obama’s plan is genius.” It’s not genius, it’s betrayal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE Obama won the WH and Democrats won commanding majorities in the House and Senate. Obama refused to end the war in Afghanistan ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VlXfs1K04g ) and he refused to push for DOMA repeal and ENDA passage. He also betrayed his promise for single payer health care.

    “you pathetic piece of shit” That’s how I know you’re an Obama cultist. I criticize your cult leader and you get personal. I suppose that’s all you have but it’s still sad. I feel sorry for you.

  32. GarySFBCN says:

    “You’re an Obama cultist and an more than a little out of touch if you think we’re in a recovery.”

    Where did I write that we are in a recovery? Vivid imagination you have.

    “The situation in Greece and the rest of Europe was created by German imposed austerity.”

    Not exactly. The situation was created by global meltdown/theft. It was further exacerbated by the austerity measures. I believe that Greece never should have been admitted to the EU because of its lack of fiscal responsibility. Spain is suffering greatly from the austerity measures. I do not support the austerity measures, here or in Europe and yet you imply that I do. because in your idiotic world, everything is black and white. I don’t agree with your assessments so that makes me a supporter of austerity? Take a fucking pill.

    “Most of your comments, like the one above, where you describe his trillions in gifts to HMOs and Big Pharma as ‘genius’.”

    Once again, you tell lies about me, you pathetic piece of shit. Please indicate where I celebrate or even describe ‘trillions in gifts fo HMOs and Big Pharma.’

  33. Bill_Perdue says:

    Obama cultists and Democrats are not part of the left, never have been, never will be. (There, I fixed it.) If you voted for Obama you voted for war, for union busting, for bigotry and against the unemployed, against unions and against world peace. Most of your comments, like the one above, where you describe his trillions in gifts to HMOs and Big Pharma as ‘genius’. You’re an apologist for Obama, why deny it?

    The situation in Greece and the rest of Europe was created by German imposed austerity. The same will happen here and that’s opinion shared by several respected economists and commentators and in particular by the labor left. And. it appears, it’s by the AFL-CIO and CTW misleaders, who are about to get roasted in the political fires of the austerity measures of ‘their’ candidate, Obama. (See my quote above form LABORnotes.)

    “The nation’s high unemployment rate captures the headlines with each monthly jobs report, yet many Americans may be surprised to learn that real earnings, when adjusted for inflation, have declined across most industries and sectors since the Great Recession. Since 2002, in fact, it’s effectively been a lost decade for workers.

    Equally troubling, real wages are now about the same level as they were in December 2005. Put another way, wages have clawed back from the Great Recession only to the level of seven years ago.

    “The recession was unprecedented, and the stagnation of wages has really been going on for some time,” said Martin Kohli, the chief economist of the New York office of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/15/174797/us-workers-endure-lost-decade.html#storylink=cpy

    You’re an Obama cultist and an more than a little out of touch if you think we’re in a recovery. The rich are in a recovery. Workers are getting poorer and poorer with lower wages and fewer benefits because of union busting by Obama and his Democrat and Republican copycat governors.

    Next time try some facts and some analysis instead of your Pollyanna ‘things always get better’ opinions based on personal observation.

  34. karmanot says:

    My, aren’t you just the condescending know it all. You are out of your league with Bill_P. Your absurd projections and misinformed nonsense places you in troll territory.

  35. karmanot says:


  36. karmanot says:

    “And no, he did not sell himself as a progressive—-you imagined and bought him as a progressive.” Look at the record, Obama promised: closing Guantanamo (still open), still rendering, no torture ( except in foreign countries after rendered), stealth wars around the world, universal health care ( now an insurance give away without cost controls, the right of absolute power over individuals to kill without legal procedures, the abolishment of Habeas Corpus and a grand bargain that will cut Medicare, Social Security and Medicare.—to name a few. He did sell himself as a progressive and turned the country over to bankers and Wall Street. Your rewrite of history is absurd.

  37. GarySFBCN says:

    1) You start off by writing something about Democrats in response to my post. Just where in my post do I discuss Democrats? FYI, I am not a Democrat nor am I a Republican.
    2) You state that I am an “Obama cultist” which is pretty funny considering that for every 1 positive post I have about Obama, I have at least 100 negative posts. But in your deranged, strident view of the world, a broken clock is never right.
    3) You compare the US with Greece and that makes you ignorant. For decades, more than 70% of the Greek economy has been underground and off the books, and that is their biggest problem for reform. This is not at all true in the US.
    4) You constantly predict the worst, constantly project that the current trend will never change. If you examine economies (or any other ‘system’) over time, you will see peaks and valleys, and often predictable cycles. There’s little difference between you and the religious ‘doomsday’ end-of-the-world nutcases, except that you seem to have some intelligence, so in your case, it makes you more of a nutcase.
    5) As a resident in the US and Europe, my observation is that there is little in common between the two regarding the response to the global economic meltdown/theft. You can draw as many parallels as you want, but it is hardly logical.

  38. karmanot says:

    Are you a friend of Chicken Little and Henny Penny?

  39. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’m sorry that you’re incapable of making a political reply, but taking into account your political disability – you’re an Obama cultist – I can understand why you’re not really up to it. Poor thing.

  40. GarySFBCN says:

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

  41. karmanot says:

    Thank you…..my sentiments too

  42. karmanot says:

    karmanot repeats himself.

  43. karmanot says:

    It’s nice to know you are capable of gladness. Congratulations.

  44. Bill_Perdue says:

    “But the tone and despair in this post is just more hysteria from my brothers and sisters on the left.”

    Democrats are not part of the the left; they never have been and they never will be. Democrats, politicians and shills alike are right centrists who support warmongering, union busting supposedly ‘evolved’ bigots like Obama. They do that because they are pro-war, anti-union, anti-Bill of Rights and are prepared to believe that Obama, whose ‘gawds in the mix’ insured the loss of marriage equality in 2008 in California somehow ‘evolved’ although his blockage of efforts to pass ENDA and repeal Democrat (and mentor) Bill Clinton’s DOMA prove otherwise.

    By the end of this year or early next year it’ll become clearer as Obama and the Congress drop the austerity bomb. LABORnotes 11 12 2012 “Seniors and supporters demonstrated in nearly 100 cities to stave off cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They demanded “hands off” the programs and an end to tax cuts for the top 2%. If Congress and the President reach a “grand bargain” in the lame-duck session, seniors, the poor, and the disabled will pay for it—and it won’t be a good buy. … a deal that would give the Republicans something they want—cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—in exchange for something the president wants: letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire on December 31.”

    Obama has already given away the game. In exchange for a minor tax hike for the rich he’ll let the Republicans begin the process of gutting Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid in much the same way and for the same reasons he gutted the ‘single payer’ and ‘public option’ alternatives, abandoning health care reform for insurance reform. (In the late forties and the 1950′s tax rates on the rich were realistic as you can see in the graph below (2). Two things are of note – the low tax rates just before the Depressions of 1929 and 2007 and the 90% tax rates on the rich under Truman and Eisenhower.

    A look at what would happen if we fall off the fiscal cliff was recently published by the Washington Post, and deserves serious study.


    Whether Obama and Congress push us off the fiscal cliff or drop the Austerity Bomb the wages and benefits of workers will continue to fall catastrophically, the Depression will deepen (3) and unemployment will rise (4), as they did in Europe under the impact of German ordered austerity measures.

    A few months ago I published a post with the title Καλώς ήλθατε στην Ελλάδα! (Welcome to Greece). We’re a lot closer to that situation now. In fact, we face a crisis. Since the Carter and Reagan administrations the looters -the ruling class – have campaigned to lower wages and bust unions, (5) and make no mistake about it this latest development will be a major blow to our standard of living and a big victory for the rich.

    It will also inevitably deepen the radicalization and expose the misleaders of the AFL-CIO and CTW, creating new openings for the growing union left and the smoldering movement of the un and underemployed. Now the tables will be turned and for the looters and the banksters things are about to get interesting, in the Chinese way.

    (1) Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo seems to have been the first to use the phrase “austerity bomb” for what’s scheduled to happen at the end of the year.AMERICAblog.com

    (2) http://taxtherich2012.org/uploads/2/9/2/1/2921341/2069710.jpg?621



    (5) http://my.firedoglake.com/donal1944/2011/10/06/the-perfect-storm/
    You’re right about one thing though, Obama is a genius at fooling those eager to be fooled.

  45. CaProgressive says:

    You can do whatever you’d like… Now we know for a fact that you’re irrelevant…

  46. CaProgressive says:

    Whatever you are, you weren’t needed… And I’m very glad about that….

  47. karmanot says:


  48. CaProgressive says:

    You and the teabaggers have a lot in common but the one that I’m happy about the most is that Obama didn’t need either of you to win….

  49. karmanot says:

    John is rather conservative on some matters, but progressive, well informed , experienced in beltway masters and first/foremost wonderfully tolerant and engaging with the wide diversity of readers and commentators. He is not very patient with trolls, which I admit puts me on the line sometimes—especially dealing with trolls myself.

  50. karmanot says:

    My ears are ringing.

  51. karmanot says:

    Your false assumptions and the ridicule of the ‘homeless’ simple point to what I gathered from your holier-than-thou bourgeois blather. I suggest you look up the meaning of namaste.

  52. Garry says:

    So in your “intelligent” opinion you must believe that Smiley/West will be on a ballot? Get an understanding of concept smart guy b/c Limbaugh and Hannity will never be on a ballot. You know that and neither will West/Smiley. What a ill fated, poorly thought out, and even less intelligently expressed reply.You want to discuss it further find me @streetamerican on twitter. We can do it there. I want people to see me eviscerate your points. I’ll be waiting for your follow so we can do this COWARD.

  53. karmanot says:

    Condescension duly noted.

  54. karmanot says:

    Let’s start with NAFTA.

  55. karmanot says:

    True, I do take democracy personally.

  56. Leota2 says:

    West is brilliant. Smiley is an amazing entrepenuer. But they don’t equate into democracy. Together some of their critiques about the president’s handling of the country is indeed boring, democracy is not.

    You seem to be taking this all personally. You can believe what you like–I am not saying you are wrong to do so. These are my opinions based on actually
    having heard Mr.West speak in person, watching him the last five years, knowing a bit of background on his relationship–or lack thereof with President Obama. He is also
    progressive and that makes sense where his critisisms of the president abounds. But
    he is butt hurt. Sad and true.

  57. karmanot says:

    Drama queen, spare us the theatrics and go read some of West’s books and articles. Educate yourself. “Inviting a group over to watch me bleed out until the drones stop flying?” Like I observed, nothing demonstrates a more trivializing moral bankruptcy than the last sentence. Got any others?

  58. Leota2 says:

    Oh my . . . . .

  59. Leota2 says:

    I take it that you are homeless, at a library on a computer typing this and that you
    do not know where your next meal is coming from. If so—please let me help you. If not
    you need to stick with the topic.

  60. karmanot says:

    Yep, doesn’t have a cue.

  61. karmanot says:

    Israel is another.

  62. Leota2 says:

    Would you have wanted me to say “there they are not”?
    And somewhere I do believe I said I hated the drones. Read much?
    Or is your idea of moral bankruptcy me not cutting my wrist and inviting a group
    over to watch me bleed out until the drones stop flying? Too much?

  63. karmanot says:

    Start by reading West’s books and essays.

  64. karmanot says:

    West is channeling his inner Justice.

  65. karmanot says:

    Beneath this contemplative, civil and intelligent comment I feel the sickening aura of Stockholm Syndrome.

  66. karmanot says:


  67. karmanot says:

    And you are riding in the sweet center of delusion. Do you seriously believe that just being the first black president is substantively more important than the actual consequences of his actions? You just can stand the truth that illuminates the fraud of the Obama propaganda idol.

  68. karmanot says:

    Take your own advice. “just like Hannity, and Limbaugh”—idiotic comparison.

  69. karmanot says:

    “I hate the drones too but there they are.” nothing expresses a moral bankruptcy more than this statement.

  70. karmanot says:

    Obama is a con artist in the Clinton mode and his actions have clearly demonstrated it.

  71. karmanot says:

    Democracy is such a bore when it interferes with your immoveable and set views. West and Smiley are messengers of the truth and you just can’t handle it.

  72. karmanot says:

    Of course you are bored and probably well housed, well fed, and financially secure. You are the quintessential Obot.

  73. DonS says:


  74. Connor Cochran says:

    Deliberate extraordinary exaggeration — a response which is clearly not serious because it is SO over the top — is a standard comedic trope that goes back as far as the written record of history. Sorry if it doesn’t work for you in this case, but you need to keep in mind that you’re in a tiny minority of the population here. It takes a serious misinterpretation of basic human psychology to see dark implied secret meanings in a perfectly simple joke. Here’s the distinction: John McCain’s “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” gag was NOT funny because all available evidence indicates that McCain would really like the US to attack Iran. But there’s not so much as a scintilla of evidence that Barrack Obama would actually like to kill someone who dates his daughter. It’s just the old-as-dirt “Vigilantly Protective Dad” gag filtered through the fact that this particular Dad is the Commander In Chief of the United States. [And one more thing: 98% odds the line was written for the President by a member of his speechwriting staff. So yeah, really revealing about the secret recesses of his inner mind.]

  75. Leota2 says:


  76. DonS says:

    Fair enough. We each see a differently reality. Meanwhile, the US continues to slip further from it’s promise, and into plutocracy with a authoritarian flavor. Thanks for your civility.

  77. Leota2 says:

    I never once thought Barack Obama was a progressive. Only the pie eyed thought that. They filled all their hopes into him and when he didn’t fart rainbows he’s suddenly a tool of the “others”. I think he cares about the health and prosperity of Americans. I think he believes we could all be better, himself included. I never thought he was a pacifist–I hate the drones too but there they are. I never thought he was a sympathetic socialist. I think he has a dark adapted eye and is one of the most incredible campaigners there ever was and in the end is not a man who plays around. The positive changes he has made are amazing—yet they are overlooked by those who will never be satisfied. That is okay as history will judge that.

    It is okay to want more and want this president to do more, but it is quintessential hubris
    not to look around and garner what else is going on around D.C that might make it a bit harder to get progressive policies in place. And no, he did not sell himself as a progressive—-you imagined and bought him as a progressive. He is a man with liberal policies and would shoot a pirate at twenty paces–if he could shoot.
    He’s a mixed bag. Human, flawed, amazing, infuriating and for the next four years . . .

  78. DonS says:

    Like Malcolm X; or Huey Newton; or Angela Davis. Or Dylan for that matter. Guess they were/are all acting out some issues. Good for them.

  79. DonS says:

    OK, don’t listen to this messenger. But do we agree that Obama predominantly sold himself as a progressive? Has he behaved like one, caved to the right, or never really been a progressive? He was elected, twice, based on what he was perceived as being. Trying and not succeeding is one thing. Not trying and/or caving is another. We’ll just have to disagree on which it is.

  80. Leota2 says:

    Who is pushing the President? Many are. Democrats, Progressives, Republicans, Teabaggers, an obstructionist congress who stopped doing business four years ago, Wall
    St, insane senators with personal agendas, right wing media, hawks, loony secessionists, birthers, GOP governors. . . . Its a whole clown car of crazy out there with everyone thinking they know what is best for the country and the President better do what they say. And the worst of them are people who think they have to “push” the President ( who is a full grown educated adult—- to do anything.)
    And in this case–yes it is the messenger because the messenger has personal issues
    with the President and he has let them sometimes overshadow his message. But this is
    human–I bear Mr. West no animus—I just won’t listen to him.

  81. emjayay says:

    So his bizarre pose has been consistent over the years. So he never grew up and got over it? Too “obviously black” or too obviously acting out some issues?

  82. arcadesproject says:

    Some things just are not funny. Drones are one of them.

  83. DonS says:

    “He’s looked like this forever.” You mean he’s consistent; not putting on an appearance for show? Not erratically changing due to some instability or fashion. Truth can come in exotic packages — and not everyone is a spokesman for truth, as I would like to hear it, all the time. And not everyone, maybe no one is pure. Or humble. Maybe he’s just too obviously black for some people’s taste? p.s., I’m a psychologist as you requested ;-)

  84. emjayay says:

    Oh I get it, when the Disqus gears don’t work (they meshed on and on but nothing happened) and you just put in your name and email you don’t get to edit.

  85. emjayay says:

    Although I do appreciate most of the points he brings up. Although it’s never the whole picture, just one slice of whatever issue he’s talking about. Instead of a yes, yes tell us more please attitude from an interviewer I would appreciate a bit of probing and debate. It wouldn’t be hard, and would be a lot more interesting.

  86. arcadesproject says:

    The Progressive relationship with O reminds me of the joke Woody Allen tells at the end of one of his movies, maybe Radio Days. Guy goes to a psychotherapist and he says, Doc, we’re in an awful way. It’s my aunt, she thinks she’s a chicken. Psychotherapist says, Don’t worry! I can fix that, just have her come in to see me. And the guy says, We can’t doc, we need the eggs.

  87. Connor Cochran says:

    Using the Jonas Brothers video clip as proof that Obama is really Evil (and we just don’t know it yet) doesn’t make me believe your argument. It just convinces me that you have no sense of humor. Overreact much?

  88. GarySFBCN says:

    I agree that Obama is not a ‘progressive.’ But the tone and despair in this post is just more hysteria from my brothers and sisters on the left.

    A few years ago when the LGBT communities complained that there was little action on our issues, Obama told the us that we needed to force him to act. We responded in various ways, from lobbying from within to Choi chaining himself to a fence, more or less forcing him to act, and Obama did. There was a lot of criticism about Obama’s process, but in the end it isn’t the process that matters, it is the goal.

    In his victory speech, Obama said: “The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote.” I believe that he was telling us that we need to be more vocal, more involved to get the things we want. I believe that if we are strategic in acting-out our anger, we can get what we want.

    I wanted a single-payer health care plan more than anyone. And I was very disappointed that we didn’t get that. But reviewing what we do have, I believe it is a pretty good plan and it puts our government in a position to negotiate prices with insurers and the health care industry. It also puts the insurance industry on a track of obsolescence. In short, I think Obama’s plan is genius.

    Discussing the amount spent on the election is important but in a post that is otherwise limited to criticism of Obama seems to unfairly paint Obama as having some culpability for this. The Supreme Court created this mess.

    Finally, you can piss and moan about how things are or you can get off your asses and do something. I have participated in many Occupy marches here in the US and the Indignados demonstrations in Spain. I have worked to get candidates elected. I have worked to get propositions passed.

    Other than vote and complain on a blog, what have you done? Because more of the same isn’t going to achieve anything.

  89. DonS says:

    You say you’re right with West on poverty and empowerment. So the problem is the messenger, not the message? That seems a bit puzzling. I’m not crazy about the messengers either. But who is out there pushing Obama to the max?

  90. DonS says:

    For those who denigrate what Smiley and West are saying, or the manner in which they say it, please reflect that “brother Barry” get’s down with the black community — and manipulates their loyalties and support — I would say as opposed to their interests — when it suits him. This isn’t about skin color. It’s about fundamental class divides in America. Obama has ignored the poor. He has acknowledged the “middle class” but hasn’t produced much. If there’s one thing I take away from the video it’s the notion of needing to “risk”. Obama has a lot to overcome to elevate his game and be able to practice actual risk, versus risk appropriate to his “station”, which is what the elite establishment has successfully boxed him into thus far — and he’s acquiesced.

  91. emjayay says:

    OK, I know, this is totally shallow and all, but what’s up with Cornell West dressing up like Frederick Douglass including the hair, except Douglas’s wasn’t ever all unkempt and lumpy? Why the straggly beard? Why not get the huge gap in his front teeth fixed? It could be reduced by bonding in a half hour in the dentist’s chair for a couple hundred bucks. Not just aesthetic, but it would also improve his “s” sounds.

    He’s looked like this forever. It’s not fashion, it’s statement of some kind. There’s something wierd going on there, but I don’t really have a good explanation. I think a psychologist is called for. Anyone else shallow enough to hypothesize?

  92. DonS says:

    GP, thanks for following this, and putting it together for us. Glad you have a platform, but I’m not quite sure why John welcomes you at this blog, since he strikes me as not anything near to your point of view, and not nearly so honestly progressive. Maybe he’s just open minded, or willing to tolerate another’s open mind ;-)

  93. SDN says:

    These two disrespectful, envious, disingenuous opportunists are part of the problem that plague us with no solutions, just suspicions…No action, just lip service for which they are highly paid, like the hypocrites they are. As Al Sharpton pointed out, Martin Luther King never disrespected President John F. Kennedy by calling him names! So this is where they lost me, (and many like me) with their deceit and disrespect. They don’t acknowledge that Martin Luther Kings’ Dream is within our grasp, with the election of the first Black President. I am proud of his accomplishment…though I acknowledge the bitter/sweet of that high office. These two are on the wrong side of history. They would rather be on the side lines, like the devil’s advocates, dividing in order to conquer, like self loathing idiots who can’t beat ’em, won’t join ’em, so they make believe they are doing something…like John McCain.

  94. GaiusPublius says:

    Thanks to everyone in the comment for typo corrections. Much appreciated!


  95. Leota2 says:

    West and Smiley would carry more weight if I did not know for a fact that many
    of their ravings are sour grapes from before President Obama was POTUS. West is
    brilliant but bitter as early on he felt he should have had a place in the inner circle.
    Smiley is butt hurt and jealous. (Obama didn’t attend his summit and he has NEVER gotten over it.)
    Sadly, I started dismissing West when he went on a rant about how Michelle Obama should
    be ministering to prisoners instead of children’s health issues and military families. If he helps
    the incarcerated–great. But who is he to tell Ms. Obama what to do?

    I’ve heard Mr. West speak a couple of times and I am right with him on poverty and empowerment.
    And with that said—I tire of him whining about how imperfect everything the President does–is.
    I say, he needs to keep talking. Nothing is wrong with all points of view. Many will listen, many
    will discard. But I can’t help just feeling bored by him and Smiley.

  96. emjayay says:

    The last two lines there shouldn’t be there, obviously. Don’t know how that happened. Wait, didn’t there used to be an editing function here?

  97. emjayay says:

    “And Obama responds, right on queue.”
    A “queue” is a braid of hair worn hanging down behind, or a line of people waiting their turn (British, but catching on here), or in computers a sequence of items waiting for action.
    A “cue” is anything said or done, on or off stage, that is followed by a specific line or action,
    or anything that excites to action.
    Unless Obama was waiting in a line (or in NYC, on line) for his turn, you meant “cue.”
    or anything that excites to action.
    Unless Obama was waiting in a line (or in NYC, on line) for his turn, you meant “cue.”

  98. Garry says:

    Please the Covenant sucked and so did it’s following books. They gave NOTHING to the educated man, and are just an attempt for both of them to remain relevant, in a world where they are increasingly irrelevant. If you want to lead get on a ballot. But just like Hannity, and Limbaugh, West, and Smiley NEVER will. They’re talkers NOT doers. They should STFU.

  99. ezpz says:

    And thanks for posting this. I saw it on DN! when it first aired. Brutal. And true.

  100. ezpz says:

    A slight typo: I think you mean Cornel, not Dornel.

    Also, critizique?

    (Both are on the main page, not the actual entry.)

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