Important Notice: WonderCafe has Closed

The United Church has sadly come to the decision that WonderCafe needed to close and all new discussion ended June 2014. Read More...

graeme's picture

graeme

image

The most important news story of the century?

This week, almost ignored by most of the news media except as a bare announcement, President Obama revealed he intended to raise a record one billion dollars for his next presidential campaign.

Can't discuss it right now. Children and wife demanding to be fed at a restaurant.

But think of the meaning of what he said. Hint- I said from the start Obama was bad news.

Share this

Comments

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

image

Why do they even bother to put up appearances any more?

 

MikePaterson's picture

MikePaterson

image

 Hitler invades Czecheslovakia?

 

Atomic bombs dropped on Japan?

 

 

graeme's picture

graeme

image

It beats both.

I never believed that Obama was significantly different from Bush. He has maintained a foreign policy and a taxation policty very similar to that of Bush. Indeed, he is, if anything, more aggressive than Bush was. That was to be expected.

Obama had a huge campaign fund. He didn't get that as pennies from elderly widows. Most of it came from large corporations. They weren't giving him money to get out of Afgfanistan or to close Guantanamo or to end torture - or to introduce medicare. (His original version of it was mild enough. The one he settled for was scandalously expensive and hugely profitable to private insurance companies for its small coverage)..

Now, he announces he's going to raise a billion for his next election. He would not have made that announcement without being pretty sure the money was in the bag. 

I don't think he can raise a billion from the unemployed, the minimally paid, the millions who have lost their homes.... Again, it's going to come from large corporations - the same ones who also pay the bills for the Republican party. Not surprisingly, the extremely rich pay very little tax. (of the leading 100 corporations in the US, almost all paid well below the offical rate, one going as slow as seven percent. Others avoid paying any income tax at all, using ficticious head offices.(Exxon oil tankers, for example, are owned by an Exxon subsidiary registered in Africa - very low taxes, very low wages.)

The American political system has always been undemocratic because of the undue influence of the very wealthy. It is now even worse, now that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have the rights of people, and therefore cannot be limited in their donations to politicians. That is why American government has been undemocratic for a very long time - probably to a degree unequalled by any other "democracy".. All that had happened before Obama appeared. He skyrocketed to fame with his promises of change. A nation, indeed, a world (remember the Nobel Prize for Peace?) almost wept with joy at the vision he spun.

By now, Obama has destroyed that vision of hope and change. A public already disillisioned by generattions of exploitation and greed has had its only hope for change shattered.  The Tea Party can become appealing for three reasons. It provides an outlet for fear and hatred. It can be fused with the Republican Party. It can get money from large corporations.

There is not the slightest possibility of any party of change raising enough money to host  a tea social.

Obama did not destroy anything real. He did something worse. He destroyed an illusion.

It's quite obvious what has happened. American democracy has been destroyed a long time ago. Now, even the illusion of it has gone. Most  people will not see that because us human types refuse to see what we don't want to see. But it has happened. And I expect the social consequences to be severe, especially as the US slides deeper into wars (with even greater dependence on mercenaries and mass killing) and  into debt.

Canada is followiing pretty close behind.  Harper is determined to make it even harder for third parties to get funding. Canadians are disillusioned and angry. But, like Americans, we show it by an indifference to politics that is reflected on voting day. Most Canadians, like most Americans, have lots of partisanship but almost no knowledge of party platforms. Nor do they have any sense of what the major issues are. That's why we are watching a compaign of trivialities.

Democracy requiresan informed public, informed by a non-partisan newsmedia that tells the whole truth.. There is no such thing in all of North America. Democracy requires public access to the views of everyone, including those not financed by corporations. That doesn't exist in the US, and it's close to non-existance in Canada..

Here, in New Brunswick, the whole province is a fiefdom of one family. We have elections in which the lord's newspapers provide us with a mix of partisanship, vitriol aimed at critics, misinformation, trivia, and even lies.

As as result (and as we can find in any province) most people are either exploited or neglected. Elections are fought on trivialities. Voter turnout is, predictably, low.  We are in the midst of the fastest and most radical social,  economic and morality changes in our hiistory.

It's right there in plain sight; but we will refuse to see it, just as we have been refusing to see it for decades. Instead, we'll react like the Tea Party - out of ignorance and fear

. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, the illusion has been broken.

Obama broke it. That was the significance of his announcement that he will raise a billion dollars for his campaign.

Saul_now_Paul's picture

Saul_now_Paul

image

Drama queen

graeme's picture

graeme

image

Paul is now Saul -though with a severely reduced vocabulary.

As I wrote, we will not allow ourselves to see what is there. We wouldn't allow ourselves to see what Obama was from the start. We certainly won't allow ourselves to see what is there now.

waterfall's picture

waterfall

image

Well I suppose we could let cynicism rule, but I do tend to believe that eventually the power that we hold as "the people" is a force that is often underestimated. We may not use that power today, or even tomorrow, but there will come a day when either absolutely no one shows up at the polls or everyone does. Push the elitist button too long and the people WILL push back.

Alex's picture

Alex

image

graeme wrote:

Paul is now Saul -though with a severely reduced vocabulary.

As I wrote, we will not allow ourselves to see what is there. We wouldn't allow ourselves to see what Obama was from the start. We certainly won't allow ourselves to see what is there now.

 

I am afraid it is similar to what happened with Bob Rae when he lead the Ontario NDP. Both Rae and Obama have done some good, by overall once in power they focus more on satisfing on the demands of business, than of the people.   

 

Althrough I worked in elections for rae, I was at the convention that elected him leader of the Ontario NDP, and saw how he was up close. i thought the problem was that Rae came from priveledge, and was spoiled. Obama did not come from priveledge, but I am afraid, his time in the Ivory league and among the priveledge essentially turned him into a man of the rich. 

 

In power, Rae turned his back on those that supported him, and catered to the concerns wealthy, who he grew up with and went to school with. Howver it seems that althrough Obama did not grow up priveldged, his time in University and afterwards were with peers who were much more priveldged and wealthy than even the family of Bob rae.

 

Alex's picture

Alex

image

MikePaterson wrote:

 Hitler invades Czecheslovakia?

 

Atomic bombs dropped on Japan?

 

 

 

The failure of the Weimar republic made the Third Reich possible, which lead to WW2 the Holocaust.

 

Obama's failure is a sign that democracy is failing, like it did in germany,  and the new facists (aka Tea party) rather than face reality, will likely wage war and cause unprecedant environmental destruction on a global scale scale that will make evryone forget about WW2. Even the Israelis.

graeme's picture

graeme

image

for those who doubt, look at what we do know.

1. It has been public knowledge for decades - and really for always - that both the Republicans and the Democrats get most of their support from large corporations and wealthy individuals.

2.We know that Obama's money last time came almost entirely from big business and the very wealthy.

3. If, with that support, Obama ran on a promise of change, and believed it, he was a fool. And I don't think he is a fool.

4. He is now confident of raising even more money from the same sources that supply the Republican party.

There's no speculation, here. This is quite solid, and it's public knowledge. Look at it.

In all of American history, there has never been a party aimed essentially at helping the poor that has ever been able to get significant funding or to mount a credible campaign. If you think there has been, please let me know. (And don't tell me about FDR's new deal. That was essential to prevent civil breakdown in the US. That's why the very pro-big business Mackenzie King imitated parts of the New Deal in Canada.)

Big money also works constantly on congressmen. Lobbyists are  paid a million and more a year to make sure the vote goes the way corporations want it to. When Obama's very modest medicaid bill was presented,, three to six lobbyists for the health industry are assigned to each congressman.

That's reality, and it is on political record. Look at it. See what is standing front of you.

The Supreme Court last year ruled that corporations are people, and therefore can give as much as they like to politicians.

We just saw the power of "the will of the people" in New Brunswick. They just voted out the Liberals because they were mad at them, and then voted in the Conservatives (who they were mad at when they voted the Liberals in. They've been playing that silly game for a hundred and fifty years.) Just check the list of the governments of New Brunswick. It's not a secret. Look at it.

Both Liberal and Conservative parties get most of their money from large corporations, and pretty much from the same ones. That's not a matter of opinion. it is on public record. Look at what is t here. Look at it, and see it.

A great concern, we know from opinion polls, is the environment. The only party dedicated to that has no significant money because corporations don't give money for groups that might cramp them. Lacking money, it has to rely access to News Media.

But most of our news media are owned by the same people who own the corporations. They'll offer the occasional polite note about the Greens, maybe even permit a commentary. But that's it.

Harper has stated that he wants to cut public funding for political parties.That's not speculation. He said so.  Look at it. That, as in the US, will consolidate the absolute control of corporations over government.

The US has no democracy. We have a rapidly fading one. That's reality. It's not a guess or a piece of speculation. It is obviously standing there in front of us. Look at it.

A lobbyist got through to Brian Mulroney. Do you seriously think he was the only lobbyist in Ottawa? Do you seriously think Brian Mulroney is the only person he ever got to? Why wasn't the case of Mulroney pursued? Why was there no attempt to examine Ottawa lobbying in general? The reality should be obvious. Look at it.

EasternOrthodox's picture

EasternOrthodox

image

My vote for story of the twentieth century is World War I.   So much of what followed came from that.

 

Graeme is talking about aspects of leader's personalities.  This is not news, it is more a discussion of pyschology, I would say. 

Saul_now_Paul's picture

Saul_now_Paul

image

Gaeme's tinfoil hat has a hole in it.  Still waiting for him to drop the bomb as to what is amazing about Obama getting reelected by big money.  Obviously they think it would cost more than a billion to train a new lacky.

Saul_now_Paul's picture

Saul_now_Paul

image

Certainly the Japan earthquake and resultant devistation ranks higher and more costly than the wad Obama has to run for reelection. (staying in this century)

Alex's picture

Alex

image

 i don't think it's about Obama, but the US is an oligarchy and not a democracy. I was worked in an election in Rochester New York in the 90s.  It was for a freind of my partner. I was shocked back than at the level of democratic values in the campaign. I was used to NDP campaifgns, where at the local level volunteers go door to door, or call people to identify supporters, and possible supporter to provide more information to.

 

In Rochester we spent most of our time, fundraising among the well to do to, and a lot of time trying to find mistakes that the other candiadtes made in filing for the election. I spent 2 weeks just looking at signatures on filing papers to see if it look liked anybody signed it multiple times, using different names. People win or loose often in NY state by elimating opponants before the elction. There was no effort spent on talking to the majority to encourage them to start voting. Mailings were sent out to only those who had voted. deals were being made, and rarely did the candidates say anything on issues, except to attack the other.

 

howevr I still have some hope for the world. Democracy is thriving in Brazil, South Africa, India, and other parts of the world where it has nevr done before. Also I have my eye on China, it might or might not be a savoriour for the world.    The US is done. the only thing I fear from them is that the will elect the tea party who refuses to acept that the age of the USA is over and will procide to wage war, to boost the economy or provide a scapegoat for their descent, into a middle to lower level economy. Its like a house of cards and when things start to go bad, it happens quickly.

 

I am also positive about Canada. Public financing and other reforms have limited the power of corporations. I think we used to be more of an oligarchy, but that we are headed in the right direction.  Also even if the US collapses completely we will remain healthy because China, and India and others will pick up what we used to sell to the US. The US will also become a good source of immigration for Canada, providing us with many highly educated people, and skilled trades people, as our standard of living becomes much higher than theirs. 

 

New Brunswick and Alberta has always been a wasteland for democratic values. Pure oligarchies run by business. Except in New Brunswick it just two families that run it., the Irvings and the Mcains, it's a banana republic. There is progress, even if it is only a little in other provinces. 

 

harper has brough American style poltics tot new heights in canada, but he has not been able to win a majority.

 

graeme's picture

graeme

image

Orthodox and Paul have both missed the pont.

1. My statement had nothing to do with human psychology. It was a statement that North American democracy is dead.

2. My statement was not that politicians raise money. It was that as a consequence of how theye raise money, democracy is dead.

3. How much the Japan earthquake cost is irrelevant.

See. You both looked. And you refused to see what was there.

Canada is not at all going in a better direction. It is well along in exactly the same direction. As for new markets, do you really believe that the US would allow us to export oil to Chna if it were running short? Do you seriously believe it would allow use to keep our fresh water if it were (as it is) runniong short?

Nations are often allies. They are often neighbours. They are never friends.

Saul_now_Paul's picture

Saul_now_Paul

image

Sorry Graeme,

 

In Calgary, almost as long as I can remember, the mayor was elected after developers threw their money behind one or two horses all the time. This is nothing new.  Gov't contracts are handed out to buddies all the time.  This is nothing new.

 

Yet this time we elected a dark horse who was not financed by the developers. Can he stay pure and unaffected by big money guys who are used to buying polititians and getting their way?  I don't know.  Gov't by it's very nature is corrupt.

 

Obama never has been in charge of the US, he's just the face.  Will he get reelected?  I don't think so, unless the fed steps in and makes it look like Obama has accomplished something.  I don't see that coming. They almost shut down the whole US government last night because they are out of money.  Why do you think our dollar is 1.04?

Jim Kenney's picture

Jim Kenney

image

There are a variety of forces at work pushing in different direction and changing in their influence.  A smart candidate, a credible platform, and social media combined to elect Naheed Nenshi in Calgary even though his opponents had buckets more money and influence with the main media.

 

The super wealthy, through their control of large multinationals are tightening their control on the currently elected politicians and the party apparati behind them, pushing towards a global oligarchy.

 

Religious fundamentalism among Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus is creating a large number of wild cards with difficult to predict consequences.

 

Social media is creating a wide variety of networks which work in various directions.

 

Activists are connecting with a wide variety of local groups to make various differences in their communities (I presently try to attend events sponsored by about 4 or 5 different groups, and there are many more in Calgary).  The outcome of these is going to be a large number of cell groups capable of providing surprising change such as was achieved by Real Caouette and the Creditistes, though with probably more staying power.

 

Student and teacher exchanges along with volunteer projects around the world are also creating new connections.

 

Most of us will accept that the American Empire is collapsing and that collapse will include violent and desperate attempts to salvage that empire.  I see the same thng happenng with men and some women who are opposed to equality between the genders, causing a variety of backlashes.

 

But I am not ready to surrender or accept there is no hope for democracy in Canada and globally.

graeme's picture

graeme

image

Paul - I did not say the situation was new. I said the illusion that things could change has been destroyed. That's the new part.(I know. You'll say most people knew it all along.

No, they didn't. Americans who voted for Obama didn't think that the possibility of change was just an  illusion. Many Canadians have a bague idea of the power of corporations. Few have any idea of the extent of that power or of the implications of it.

In your own posts, for example, you have shown a confusion. At first, I was all wrong. Then I was right, but this had always been going on. And you still hadn't caught on to the illusion that I was talking about.

 

Jim Kenney, I'm certainly not prepared to surrender. I'm saying the world is going through changes  that are both profound and rapid. We are living in times far more dangerous than we realize.

Oh, by the way. watch for western ground troops in Libya. In fact, some have been there (wihout being reported by,most of our news media) since the start. Today, two British special services officers were arrested by Bitish soldiers deep in Libya for leaking infomation about the presence of British troops in that country. American special forces are also there.

stardust's picture

stardust

image

graeme

A billion dollars for Obama's election campaign .......I heard this on CNN. I am totally flabbergasted!  Unbelievable!

 

In 2007 his net worth was 1.3 milion. Its now over 10 million. He sure climbed up the ladder fast. In an article below he talks about being poor in 2008 versus Mc Cain and  his wife worth 40 million I suppose. Of course Obama's books sold well because he's "Obama".

 

 

2011 Obama's net worth:

The first couple reported an adjusted gross income of $5.5 million, almost all of it from royalties associated with the president’s two bestsellers: “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” The first book — about Obama’s early life and his struggle to find a racial identity — earned about $3.3 million in 2009. The second, a more policy-oriented book, brought in $2.3 million for the president and his family. In 2008, the books together earned them $2.6 million. As president, Obama collected a salary of $400,000, an amount that reflects an increase that took effect in 2001.

 

Net Worth: $10.5 million (2011)

 

 
More Details here:
 
 
Aug. 2008

Obama also recycled an attack he used earlier this week, citing a comment McCain made last weekend where he defined "rich" as people making more than $5 million, a statement he quickly tried to correct.

"I guess if you think that being rich means you've got to make $5 million, and if you don't know how many houses you have, then it's not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong," Obama said. "But if you're like me, and you've got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective."

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers responded with a statement pointing to Obama's own increasingly comfortable life.

"Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?" Roger said. "Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans?"

Rogers said Obama plans are wrong for most Americans.

"The reality is that Barack Obama's plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he's completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans," he said.

scroll down on website:
 
 

 

 

graeme's picture

graeme

image

Nixon was the first president to become a millionaire WHILE in politics. And it was considered scandalous. Now, it's routine.

Back to Politics topics