Barack Obama – Another Corporate Puppet?

I’ve expressed my doubts about the Cult of Obama here a few times. I spotted this video in a Twitter comment today who said it was “racist”. What?? I don’t see how it can be called racist. I think it points out the obvious – that in order to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, you have to be a “player”, that is, you have to be part of the system, accepted and acceptable to the corporations that run the United States. And if you are part of the system, you have already sold out to the rich, white guys that run things. He is pwned.

12 thoughts on “Barack Obama – Another Corporate Puppet?

  1. Peter

    I only watched the first 48 seconds, but during that time I got “sheep”, “one world government”, “bankers and corporations”, and The Council of Foreign Relations.

    These are all far right wing, white supremicist tropes.

    I’ve no doubt they’ve slipped a bit of dog whistling in as well, so the rascist charge is likely to have at least some merit. I just can’t be bothered wasting 8 minutes of my life to listen to it.

    I don’t really pay attention to the bleatings of fringe radicals and crazies.

    Now just a point regarding be ‘owned by the corporations’. Obama has refused 527 and Pac donations – ie. corporation and special interest money. I wouldn’t call that being owned.

    Contrast and compare: John McCain. Public money, 527 and PAC money. Consider also McCain’s role in the Keating Five scandal in the 1980’s where he only narrowly escaped punishment, and his current practice of breaking federal funding law (so far, also unpunished).

    If anyone’s owned, it’s McCain.

  2. Seems like one of those classic conspiratory type videos the internets are so good at, though seemed of the world order flavour rather than corporation will rule the world.

    Would not suprise me in the least if there are not groups looking into the creation of a North American Union, in fact it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea to me. Unions, particularly economic ones, seem to be perhaps the most effective way of putting the breaks on the urge toward war. It has, and continues, to do wonders in Europe.

    The politicians are even having trouble getting their own way, the recent constitution debacle, and the more recent lisbon agreement “NO” by Ireland, being great examples of “We The People”…..

    Seems to me that they are looking to take “Globalist” the same way of “Liberal”, making it a dirty word. But what is wrong with “Globalist”? To me it means you believe in decreasing the distance between the words rich and poor. Countries like Ireland and Spain are great examples in Europe, achieved via the EU, with new ones emerging in Poland and the other new EU members. This is not to say the EU counldn’t do much better helping those on the outside of its union, particularly via their insane agricultural policies.

    Anyway, I have gone on a little longer than intended, needless to say that all of this would of course sound like a very bad idea to the nice republican minute men who “Guard” Americas borders from their domestic help trying to arrive in time for work.

    I think there are much better examples of him, along with every other American politician, being pwned. I found the movie Skulls a much better viewing.

  3. JM, I posted a list of Obama’s top corporate contributors here a while back. Lots of rich white boys clubs in that list. Your suggestion that the meme that “bankers and corporations” run the USA is an idea only supported by “far right wing, white supremicists” is nonsense. John Pilger, Noam Chomsky and George Monbiot can hardly be called far right wing, white supremicists. You perhaps need to read more and stop turning things off after 48 seconds. Oh and my name isn’t Peter.

    Dan, the problem with “unions” or “free trade agreements” is that they sound nice and friendly enough but when you scratch the surface, they are normally crafted to the benefit of the wealthier, powerful countries in the alliance. Reduction of tariffs prevents poorer countries from developing internal industries which can compete on a global scale with similar industries in other countries. The USA has and continues to protect it’s own industries against foreign competition (think about intellectual property rights for example). It preaches “free trade” to poor countries in return for loans. During its formative years, the USA was incredibly protectionist. It only started preaching “free trade” when it wanted to stop the Third World from developing their own industries which could compete with American farmers.

    Charlie, saying “right wing propaganda” reinforces the point that this guy was trying to make with his video. If people buy into the Obama propaganda of “change”, they are sheep. Scratch the fucking surface, people. Why do you think it takes a warchest of a couple of hundred million dollars to run for President in the USA? It’s so the elite are the only ones who stand a chance to shape the government. We can’t let poor people run for President, oh my god, what would happen? The very fact that Obama gets as much positive media attention as he does (compared, lets say, with Ron Paul or Dennis Kuchnich) only because he is a company man. Classic examples of this recently as he distances himself from his pastor who was making sense! And as soon as he spoke the truth in public, Obama dropped him. Company man.

  4. I agree Cam, as always, it comes down to self-interest. However with “Unions” the great thing is that self interest starts to rise above the state and toward a collection of states. Of course, as I mentioned, if you are not inside the Union you still suffer as a result of that Unions self interest. The best and most severe example of this I think is the Common Agriculture Policy in Europe. It is almost single handedly keeping Africa poor.

    But it is not all one way, a more intesting element of the “North America Union” would be the impact it could have on Mexico. A country which I feel would benefit significantly by integration into a broader whole, much the same way Ireland and Spain have in Europe.

    More broadly still, and being incredibly speculative here, it could have a positive impact on its boarders by providing something people WANT (and I do mean people, freedom from restrictive immigration controls for example), and that is to JOIN the union. Turkey is just the latest (of many) example of a country which has passed progressive laws directly as a result of a desire to enter the EU.

    So, sure, there is still a problem of “INs” and “OUTs” with Unions, but I’m not sure they can simply be written off as a marketing campaign by the rich that enables them to hoodwink us into getting richer.

    I for one LOVE my EU passport.

  5. Cameron (sorry about the name, I just glanced at the top of your web page and got the wrong one)

    I’m sorry to say I don’t trust those figures, let me explain why:

    1. Obama has not raised 16M, he has actually raised 300M according to FEC

    The FEC report break out individual, soft and PAC contributions. Soft contributions (ie. from corporates) are shown as *zero* over the last 3 years (- which is as it should be since the passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform.) (See here)

    2. So the 16M refers to something else, it appears from this page at OpenSecrets (your source) that they are referring to Obamas total receipts over the 2003-2008 election cycles (ie. 2004 election, 2006 and 2008)

    3. At the bottom of that page is an interesting graph giving a break down over time.

    It shows that over 14M was donated in 2004 – ie.. Obamas senate campaign, with very little in the current 2008 cycle. (This figure is also confirmed by the query page I mentioned in point 1)

    4. Similarly, the Goldman Sachs etc numbers are over the whole 2003-2008 period

    Conclusion: Corporate contributions to Obamas Presidential campaign are basically zero. The numbers in your earlier list are mostly from 2004 *before* finance reform. Corporations haven’t been able to donate since.

    Sorry, I think you’ve misinterpreted the numbers. And even if you had interpreted them correctly 16M in 300M would be about 5% with the rest from individuals – hardly earth shattering influence.

    And remember each individual and PAC is limited to $2300 per candidate, so no-one contributor can be very influential at all.

    I can’t see how you can make the conclusion you do.

  6. Cameron

    Now that I’ve had time to see the whole video, I’ll add the following to my earlier list of tropes:

    – USA forced to merge with it’s neighbours via a so-called “North American Union”
    – “the UN is part of that government [New World Order}” Ron Paul
    – “elites” such as the Council on Foriegn Relations
    – Michelle Obama is a member of the CFR (so what?, so is Dick Cheney)
    – “strip US of its soveignity and [our] rights”
    – when Obama rightly describes the CFR as just a private debating forum (which it is) he is accused of “dodging the question” and putting on an Oscar-winning performance
    – they use Lou Dobbs as their authority on immigration(!) and the so-called “North American Union” to be formed by 2010
    – Obama will not “secure the borders”

    The makers also includes an attack on Obama from Fox New’s resident clown – Hannity, and has regular footage of sheep and baa-baa noises.

    I don’t know how closely you follow US politics, but all this is, is the same paranoid propaganda that gets pumped out every cycle – the slogans and accusations are the same and never differ. It’s been going on since Nixon.

    Lastly, I’ve read Chomsky and Pilger and I used to read Monbiot regularly when I lived in the UK. I know they would agree (strenously) that corporations run America, but I also know they wouldn’t have time for the paranoid delusion displayed in this video.

    But I’ll concede that I was wrong on one point – as far as I can tell, they didn’t get a dog whistle in.

  7. I think it’s shallow to define the Council on Foreign Relations as a “private debating forum”. It’s one of the most powerful groups in the US.

    I follow US politics pretty closely and I know this video is on the extreme side (and you’re right, Chomsky et al would cringe at it), but I think the main point it makes is valid – that people who are heralding Obama as the second coming of Jebus are just as deluded as your right-wing propagandists.

    Regarding the list of donors, I think in the comments to the original post I mentioned that this was a list of donations from corporate political action committees, employees, etc, not from the corporations themselves. And while you’re right, it is a small amount compared to the $300 million he has raised now, the way I understand it, is that many of these “PACs” work to raise the early funding for a candidate to get their campaign on the road and help them buy advertising which, in turn, helps them raise the rest of the people.

    The point of all this is something I said earlier. Any candidate that gets as much press as Obama has to be acceptable to the guys running the big media companies and the DNC. Otherwise they end up like Kuchnich and Paul – ignored at all costs. The very fact that Obama is getting the press and is on the radar at all means that he msut be “one of the boys”.

    You’re given the illusion of political choice so you don’t rebel, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter which party gets into the White House, they all obey the same corporate masters.

    Have you read “Legacy of Ashes”, Tim Weiner’s history of the CIA? It has some great evidence as to how every President since Truman has been down and dirty with the CIA, breaking laws (both domestic as well as international) all over the place, whenever it suits their agenda. And you can’t sideline Weiner as a “far right wing, white supremicist” – he’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning NYT journo.

  8. Cameron

    I think you mean that the CFR is influential rather than powerful – it has no power of its own, certainly nothing like what would be needed to abolish north american borders in a new North American Union by 2010. The Europeans haven’t even acheived that after 50 years of continuous overt effort by governments – how does a private group acheive it covertly in 5% of the time? (And no, Schengen does not mean that borders, soveignty and rights have been abolished, at least not in the way that gets the US paranoid fringe flapping their wings).

    Your description of the operation of PAC’s is correct, however my point that Obama and the DNC have refused PAC money (from now on, they accepted it earlier) still stands. PAC’s are also subject to the contribution limits I mentioned (albeit with a few large tunnels via loopholes)

    I think you’ve also ignored the point that the 16M you refer to is (mostly) 2004 money, before the current funding regime was brought in, and therefore offers no support for your point.

    The point that you’re missing – and why I think you’re wrong – is that Obama has a much broader contribution base (have a look on FEC’s site) than McCain and has been able to refuse all forms of non-individual (including public ie. taxpayer) funding. McCain on the other hand has both taken public funding to make up for his narrower (and therefore smaller due to contribution limits) funding base; and then turned around and is currently flouting the restrictions he had to accept in making that decision.

    It is McCain that is relying on PAC’s (and especially 527’s), not Obama. He’s then going further and taking soft money (eg. from his multi-millioniare wife) via loopholes left in his own legislation which made soft money illegal.

    I share your unease about the influence of corporate and special interest money, but Obama is the candidate least deserving of your fire, hence I question your aim.

    Obama has truly broad based funding, vastly from individuals. McCain has nothing like it. Obama may not be persil-white (let alone the second coming), but he is a damn site better than the business-as-usual McCain.

    I’ve paid a little attention to Legacy of Ashes. I haven’t read it, but I have read older books such as The Company and Wilderness of Mirrors (not sure about that title) which say much the same thing. However, it is a red herring and irrelevant to our little debate here.

  9. Sorry, mispoke. McCain is not utitlizing loopholes, he is outright flouting the law in taking the soft money keeping his campaign alive.

    Unfortunately, the FEC’s board lacks a quorum at the moment and is unable to take action against McCain. There are only 2 serving commissioners as Dubya has neglected to nominate new people to the vacant positions. Convenient, wouldn’t you say?

  10. Factcheck.org, a nonpartisan site with a history of attacking mostly the dishonesty of mainstream, debunked this NAU myth ages ago.

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/wrong_paul.html

    As did Snope.com

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/nau.asp

    Your video offers me no proof that the NAU conspiracy theory is at all well founded. It just has some people making sensational claims.

    The mainstream media had some articles on Ron Paul, and he was given some publicity. I saw articles on his fundraising success, his views on “blow back” from foreign interference, and the RP phenomenom on the internet. He was on a number of talk shows, including Bill O’Reilly’s which, embarassingly enough given Bill, I think has more viewship than any other news show in America. Ron Paul, an radical of scant support, got no less publicity than did Sen Joe Biden, an mainstream canidate of scant support. I think your over personifying the system again. AKA its more automatic than you think. Barack Obama is very likable, interesting, and inspirational (to many), so he sells papers.

    I haven’t read Wiener’s book yet, though that is on my to do list. However, as far I know Obama has very little to do with the CIA yet, and he is against torture and for oversight of domestic spying.

    In regard to him being insubstantiative, he details plenty of what he intends to do if he becomes president on his website. However, he only goes into broadest details in his speeches, and this is where the perception of him not really saying anything comes from. His speeches are meant to unify, motivate, and convert people. Not to explain plans indepth.

  11. Theirs only to put this, our government has been pirated by attorneys, drugs and oil is the; backbone of their deception. All the wasted lives: (cover-ups) and resources to keep up the propaganda. RDF hit the nail on the head when he said it’s the reasonability of the people to set things straight. Passing the hat to vote is based on trust, I trust one person myself because I see through my own eyes. Boycotting: A top heavy government with lined pockets, with a capital T is all we got. Do not let the US government prevent us from team work anymore.

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