Tag Archives: obama

Bill Maher Nails It.

Chrissy and I both agree that this is the most articulate narrative about Obama’s administration that we’ve heard from anyone in the mainstream media so far.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax15XRL1URQ&w=560&h=315]

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Shared Sacrifice

Le Candidat

(Photo: Philippe Moreau Chevrolet)

French President Francois Hollande’s new Socialist-led government adopted a 30 percent pay cut Thursday, a gesture of shared sacrifice by leaders who must now reduce the country’s massive debts and tackle spiraling unemployment. (AP)

Can you imagine the Australian government cutting their own pay by 30%?

On the contrary, they recently awarded themselves a massive pay rise.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s pay will soar by $90,000 to about $470,000 – more than either US President Barack Obama or British PM David Cameron are paid.

I appreciate that we need to offer reasonable compensation for people who devote many years of their life to public service, but surely their pay packets should be in line with the salaries of people in private enterprise. In 1999, PM John Howard had to survive on a paltry $289,270. It’s amazing that he could even get by.
It seems to me that we should have salary caps for our politicians and executives from private enterprise. How much is enough?
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Obama Targeting Journalists

According to Jeremy Scahill, the Obama administration (and President Obama directly) is running a campaign against whistleblowers and journalists (see article at RT.com).

Now it has been divulged that Obama even appealed with the president of Yemen to ensure that one of their own journalists would stay behind bars for telling the truth. Journalist Jeremy Scahill tells RT that Yemeni reporter Abdulelah Haider Shaye was instrumental in exposing the falsities of a covert war in Yemen. In December 2009, Scahill says the press reported that a Yemeni strike had killed 34 members of al-Qaeda. When Shaye went to investigate though, he soon learned through spending time on the ground that the US was actually directly involved in the attack — an attack which took the lives of civilians. Shaye was eventually put on trial for exposing the truth behind the event and allegedly the court introduced false evidence, which in the end yielded a conviction that potentially  carried a death sentence. But since the entire case against the journalist was fabricated by his government, the journalist got off with a relatively mild sentence of just five years. Under pressure, Yemeni President Saleh intended to pardon Shaye. This is when he got a call from President Obama himself, personally requesting that Saleh switch his stance on pardoning the reporter.

Is this the Obama people thought they were voting for in 2008? Chomsky says Americans should vote for Obama again in 2012 because he is “the lesser of two evils”. Perhaps. But it’s also important that they understand who they are voting for. Look behind the Hollywood-written speeches and shiny images and pay attention to what his administration actually *does*, not what it says.

Democracy Now has an excellent interview with Scahill who has just returned from Yemen.

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U.S. Senate Backs Indefinite Detention of American Citizens

Just in case you were wondering what happened with that bill before the U.S. Senate that I mentioned in last week’s show? Well… it passed.

Via the World Socialist Web Site:

The US Senate voted Thursday night to approve a military funding bill that codifies into law the criminal state practices begun under Bush — and continued under Obama — in the name of the “global war on terror.”

It explicitly authorizes the military’s indefinite detention without trial of American citizens and mandates that all non-citizens charged as terrorists—including those arrested on US soil—be detained indefinitely by the military rather than brought to trial in a civilian court.

The legislation was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides $662 billion to finance the US military machine and its multiple wars abroad. The act passed the Democratic-controlled body by an overwhelming margin of 93 to 7, underscoring once again that there exists no serious constituency for the defense of democratic rights within any section of the American ruling elite or its two big business parties.

Thrown out by this legislation is the right guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution for all those accused of a criminal offense to a “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury,” and the core provision of the Fifth Amendment declaring that no person shall be deprived of liberty “without due process of law.” It legalizes the abrogation in practice over the past decade of the bedrock principle of habeas corpus, which requires that the state bring a detained individual before an independent court and show just cause for imprisonment.

Read More: World Socialist Web Site

Here’s an interesting sidenote. When I searched for the NDAA in Google News, I was flat out finding a link to the legislation on many large news sites.

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No Illusions Podcast #40 – Doug La Follette, Wisconsin Secretary of State

Doug La Follette (born June 6, 1940) is an American academic, environmental activist, and politician from the state of Wisconsin. A Democrat, he is the current Secretary of State of Wisconsin and has served in that role since 1983. He is also a Fulbright Distinguished American Scholar and the author of the 1991 book The Survival Handbook: A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth.

I had the chance to chat with Secretary La Follette this morning for an hour about the attempts to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, President Obama’s track record in his first term and the trend of U.S. politics since Reagan.

 

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No Illusions Podcast #33 – The Pentagon Fraud

On today’s show, I talk about the following stories:

WORLD PEACE COULD BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK 

The Empire at Dusk  – How the Pentagon is a massive fraud on the American people.

The Great Splintering – What happens when you destroy the social contract.

Obama’s war on whistleblowers suffers setback

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No Illusion Notes 21/06/2011

  • Could Obama Be Impeached for Waging War in Libya Without Approval of Congress? Glenn Greenwald asks in Democracy Now. Apparently he decided to ignore the views of top White House lawyers when he decided to invade LIbya. My take on this is that while he probably COULD be impeached, he won’t. The elite don’t do that to each other except under EXTREME circumstances. Oh sure, they will huff and puff about blowing his house down, but it’s all political theatre designed to keep the people distracted, sell newspapers and bump up viewership to cable news and news sites. Meanwhile Goldman Sachs will continue to rape the U.S. blind.
  • The Liberty Scam – Stephen Metcalf in SLATE has written a terrific and timely article on why libertarianism fails as a political ideology. I have come to the same conclusions over the last ten years. None of us is an island, to paraphrase John Donne. If you live in a country such as Australia, you are taking advantage of the opportunities that our society offers. That doesn’t only include benefits such as public education and healthcare. It also includes people who build roads. People who collect your garbage. The people who grow your food and the people who sell it to you. It’s one big system and, because you are part of it, you are benefiting from it. If you’ve been successful and made a few bucks, you have to ask yourself the question – “Could I have done this if I had to carve my own roads, manage my own healthcare, grow and harvest my own food, dispose of my own garbage, protect yourself against burglary or enemy invaders?” Chances are you owe, in no small part, your success to the fact that many, many other people are doing the things you don’t HAVE to do, which has allowed you to focus on education or hard work. So you didn’t get to where you are all by yourself. That’s a fiction. You owe a large part of your success to the system you live in.
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No Illusions Podcast #26 – #RaptureFAIL

Note: This show is a week old, sorry about that folks. I had weird trouble uploading it to the server. Mostly relevant though, except I have more to say about Mr Rapture.

On today’s show I talk about Harold Camping’s failed Rapture, the International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants’s summary of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, @JINJIRRIE’s excellent notes on Obama’s latest speech about the Middle East, and reports that the US military drone strikes programme within Pakistan had more than just tacit acceptance of their top military brass.

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No Illusions 25 – Goldman Sachs

The majority of today’s show is about the most evil corporation on the planet, Goldman Sachs, and a great book about them called GRIFTOPIA by Matt Taibbi. I also cover recent news about Obama’s backing down on the Middle East peace process, how piracy drove a book called GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP to the Number One spot on Amazon.com, how a long-time US Government Insider believes that Bin Laden Died In 2001 and 9/11 was a False Flag op, and how deaths from the coal industry still out-weigh deaths from nuclear by about 4000 to 1.

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