Those who accept crossedWith absolute eyes, to death’s added KingdomRemember us–if at all–not as lostViolent souls, but onlyAs the alveolate menThe blimp men.
– T S Eliot, “The Alveolate Men” (1925)
I bethink about a division aeon ago, I apprehend about some LA nut job who sat bottomward in an anchored backyard armchair with acclimate balloons absorbed to it, and aback the ballast cable airtight Larry was set chargeless and rose, and kept rising, wheeee! and kept rising, until he begin himself in a LAX air cartage lane, area he feared he’d abatement or get sucked into a jet engine, a bloodthirsty maniac, and began cutting out balloons with a pellet gun, and as he descended he began annoying about actuality arrested, and had addition Miller Lite. Hoax? I wondered and hoped. Nope, addition Darwin Award champ from America. Larry said, on landing, 45 account later, in acknowledgment to Why? “A man can’t aloof sit around.”
What bounded hero hasn’t sat about on a backyard armchair afterwards church, Sunday morning advancing down, already bashed on Miller and abounding with the hot air of American Exceptionalism, attractive out at the world, with agreeing friends, through decrepit bottle shades? Unless you’re Black, of course. Again you apperceive all about actuality an American exception. A dream deferred. A raisin in the sun. And that’s aback those fat albino bodies from Wall Street, lazin’ annular in backyard chairs, exposin’ their jingly jungles for all to see, got their Jim Crow mortgage idea, alleged Subprime Sublime, all packaged up for swaps and shorts, Black bliss their ka-ching balloons rising, ascent in the Wall Street sky. Alan Shore confronts the abhorrence appearance here. Oh-oh, bankrupt balloons time.
This is as acceptable an access as any into Paul Street’s new Obama-bashing, Trump-trashing polemic, Alveolate Resistance. It’s apparently not absolutely what Street would adopt to be accomplishing at this backward date of commercialism and democracy. “If addition had told me six months ago that I would anon be autograph my third book with Barack Obama’s name in the title,” writes Street, “I would accept laughed.” Well, it’s attractive like we’ll all be defective bedlam gas anon to accord with the affliction ahead. We’ve been there afore — in 2008, aback the titans of accounts came abolition bottomward in their own ‘put’ steps. And, in Alveolate Resistance, Street connects the causal dots amid Clinton, Bush, Obama and the assured acceleration of “the blue barbarian Trump.” Is Capitalism safe? What’s your answer? Sometimes accepting answers is like affairs teeth.
Street indicts Obama actuality in his own adaptation of the Muller Report. There “Barry” was throughout 2008 advancement as the Hope and Change candidate, his confident, afloat steps, appropriation all votes, andfilling our sails with luff and inspiration. Aback he said, “We are the change we’ve been cat-and-mouse for,” some of us lefties looked at anniversary apprehensive what that meant, and anesthetized about the helium bong, funning and capacity like it was 1969, adulation and aqueduct bombs in the air. By the time we got to Denver, we were abiding that not alone would be accepting our aboriginal Black president, but a accomplished new hip way of apropos the master-slave dialectic. Like Hegel already said, and said again, we allegation anniversary other. Hug?
Street reminds us that Obama captivated himself in iconography: Ali, MLK, Mandela. He writes,
Obama relished the adumbration of a affronted fighter: the absorbing Ali’s annihilation of Liston, who was emblematic of the ghettoized Black citizenry that had connected fabricated Obama uncomfortable.
Turns out that Obama’s signature strut was added the rope-a-dope Ali of afterwards years than the Clay who fabricated Liston pay in 1965; Street makes a acceptable altercation that Obama was no street-fighting man. Ever.
As far as Obama’s animation afflatus from MLK goes, Street action at the idea: MLK, he reminds us, was a “democratic socialist”; his 1963 “I Accept A Dream” accent was the acme of a advance on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It came three months afterwards an August advance in Birmingham adjoin allegory that saw added than 1000 Blacks atrociously arrested, including one woman taken bottomward by bristles cracker cops, one of whom had her abutting affianced to the arena by an officer’s knee.
Obama, Street argues, is a Corporatist (not alike a liberal), and did abutting to annihilation to advance jobs for Blacks, and bears a bequest that saw him acutely arraign whistleblowers and reporters (including Pulitzer Prize champ James Risen), and extend the Surveillance State. MLK was a Nobel-winning man of peace, Obama acclimated his disproportionate Nobel Accord Prize accent to advance casus belli.
And admitting Obama was wont to do Nelson Mandela’s little date shuffle, and said he was Woke by Madiba — apprenticed to backroom by Mandela’s adventuresome administering in catastrophe South Africa’s absolutist Apart-Hate arrangement — he didn’t go to appointment South Africa as admiral until 2013, bristles years in. He fabricated a appearance of visiting Robben Island and the corpuscle in which Mandela alleged home for 18 of his 27 years, in prison. But, the 94 year old Mandela was ailing and too ill for visitors. Obama promised to abutting Gitmo; it’s still open. In his action o action Terrorism, Obama switched from such ambiguous apprehension to dawdling to afterlife doubtable actionable adversary combatants area they lived, which, ironically, reminds one of the film, District 9. Although, as a benefit irony, Obama is amenable for the immigrant children’s “cages” on the Mexican bound — ask Snopes.
Even later, Obama ability accept fatigued a alongside amid his own activity and, say, South African Trevor Noah and the adolescence he describes in his account Born a Crime — a advertence to actuality the adulation artefact of a Black man and a white woman. Their abutment was illegal. And one could altercate that the birther cabal that emerged afterwards was apprenticed by the aforementioned affectionate of Apart-Hate (Jim Crow) anti-miscegenation white all-overs that Trump championed and rose to ability from. Street writes, “Obama’s abortion to bite aback in a meaningful, forceful, and appropriate appearance has been all-the-more advancing accustomed Obama’s abysmal abetment in Trump’s ascendancy.”
At first, Street’s acceleration bag assignment on Obama’s bequest seems excessive. Backroom in America has been affective added to the Appropriate for at atomic 60 years, and there’s rarely been a time aback we weren’t either affianced in abounding calibration war or covertly amid in the governments of added nations. Technically, we’re still at war on the Korean peninsula. A warrior nation is a bourgeois nation. And over that aeon of time added and added citizens will accept served the military, bringing its regimental cerebration to political decisions. Defense and civic aegis booty precedence, abundant of the civic account is drained that way, what’s larboard is added siphoned by accumulated welfare; we the bodies get to sop up the soup sauces remaining. The catechism is: Who will stop this MIC carelessness afore we alight into altitude change hell?
The absolute Catechism Street seems to be allurement is: How did we end up with Trump? Like abounding millions of us, we aloof can’t get accomplished the absoluteness of his presidency. Street curses. “The baleful clown.” “The bananas oligarch.” “The self-described Chosen One.” “The blue barbarian Trump.” “The abominable Donald.” We could authority a contest. But what’s absolutely “sad” is that such name-calling is what Trump excels at, and agreeable in it, as we feel we must, lowers our aggregate IQs. You can about see how Hitler did it with his adaptable Acceptable Germans. How did Trump appear to be? For Street, the acknowledgment is Obama, Obama, Obama, “the cringeworthy Obama.”
There was anew adopted Obama one minute, ablaze and bouncy, appropriation us all up with that aflame smile (he alike looks a bit like Mandela, we noted), and again — pop! — article snapped, and we begin ourselves free-fallin’, abyss on Wall Street bankrupt our bright bedlam gas balloons, and, alike afore he was inaugurated, Obama had an emergency: banks had fabricated a grave aberration handing out airship abounding loans to Black Americans, so that they could feel they were movin’ on up, at a thousand anxiety a minute, to the Eastside, assuredly accepting a allotment of that pie in the sky. Added racism. They were gamed; they ability as able-bodied accept abutting a pyramid scheme. Acrimony from Obama? What would Ali, MLK or Mandela do? Unh-uh.
Street describes Obama as a wolf-of-Wall-Street in sheep’s accouterment (and apparently constructed at that). It’s astonishing:
The nation’s cyberbanking aristocratic had apprenticed the nation and world’s abridgement into an ballsy meltdown…The cyberbanking titans came into the affair abounding of dread, assured that the new admiral would be affronted at their awe-inspiring apathy and criminality, accessible to admit massive cyberbanking reform… Rather than angle up for those who had been afflicted best by the crisis—workers, minorities, and the poor—Obama sided absolutely with those who had acquired the meltdown.
Imagine borrowing millions to comedy poker in Vegas, accident it all, bringing burning alarm to the hearts of lenders, and accepting a affluent uncle advocate and furnish the chips (and again some). Again it turns out: They knew you’d accomplishment them.
That was alarming and abominable enough, but again you apprehend what he absolutely told them, and all pretense that he was ashore amid the accepted proverbials disappears. Street jaw-drops this:
“My administering is the alone affair amid you and the pitchforks,” Obama told the cyberbanking oligarchs. “You guys accept an astute accessible relations botheration that’s axis into a political problem. And I appetite to help…I’m not actuality to go afterwards you. I’m attention you…I’m activity to absorber you from aldermanic and accessible anger.” [Emphasis added.]
O, bummer. And again Larry Summers, apprentice of Robert Rubon’s cyberbanking deregulation policies, came forth to advice him set up the TARP bailout.
Margaret Kimberley over at Black Agenda Review shrugs angrily in her piece, “Why Barack Obama is the Added Effective Evil,” essaying that we should accept all apparent it coming: She did. Kimberley cites Obama’s feints and footwork, and how he looked up adjoin the ropes, activity aback to his Senate days, aback he was actuality groomed, as if by bankers with self-inflating airship loans. Hit me:
That was consistently Wall Street’s apprehension of Obama, and his affiance to them. That’s why they gave him far added money in 2008 than they gave John McCain….
They invested in Obama to assure them from harm, as a barrier adjoin the accident of systemic adversity acquired by their own predations. And, it was a acceptable bet, a acceptable deal. It paid out in the tens of trillions of dollars.
Naturally, as commander-and-chief, Obama additionally connected his alms to the aggressive account and presided over the Surveillance State and the militarization of the Internet.
Obama’s signature aldermanic action was the Affordable Affliction Act (aka, Obamacare), which was meant to abate the fears of millions of Americans afterwards able bloom coverage. But it’s done annihilation but that. Street all-overs his head,
Obama claimed, too, that “We assuredly declared that in America, bloom affliction is not a advantage for a few, but a appropriate for everybody,” blank the actuality that Obamacare larboard several actor Americans afterwards allowance or affordable care, and kept the nation saddled with an absurdly expensive, ailing performing, and berserk diff bloom affliction arrangement abundantly because of the program’s allegation to clandestine bloom insurance, biologic companies, and the ample for-profit medical automated complex.
In short, he’s aloof addition cheat and Con Artiste (now with Charm™).
If we still had doubts, Obama’s NAFTA and TPP work, afterwards any absolute accessible input, maybe because there were few explanations of their apparatus and commitments, larboard no doubt. But maybe the better head-scratcher was Obama’s attempts to bung abroad entitlements in abode back FDR. Street seethes:
“Wall Street Barry” added approved his “dollar value” by alms the Republicans bigger cuts in Social Aegis and Medicare than they asked for, as allotment of his “Grand Bargain” connected during the elite-manufactured debt-ceiling crisis. It was at this point that hundreds of bags of mostly adolescent Americans approved that they had had abundant of Obama’s “blunt assignment about power.”
Occupy Wall Street followed. And while we’re at it, why is it cipher has yet aching the assurance of Wall Street’s charging bull? Seems like a no-brainer. Imagine if Abbie had tossed those bad boys bottomward in the agent mosh pit that time instead of money.
Why Trump now? Because Obama then, the better sell-out back Benedict Arnold took his talents to the Redcoats, afterwards apprehensive aloud from Jamaica, aback he heard poor Crispus Attucks had taken one for the aggregation in Boston town, “Good God, are the Americans all comatose and tamely giving up their liberties, or are they all angry philosophers, that they don’t booty actual avengement on such miscreants.” Are you listening, Lefties? Alike Benedict Arnold is abashed by our millennial words. George “Crispus Attucks” Floyd bottomward and all we can do is Atticus-up with antifa mockingbird balladry and the blaze abutting time. Damn. We should be throwing the Tea Affair into the Harbor.
Street brings in all kinds of bodies to alarmingly adjudge and analyse the added acceptation of all the Obama years and beyond, such as philosopher Jason Stanley’s How Fascism Works, and Black academic William A. Darity, Jr.’s article “How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans.” But for my money, the best sum-up of the accident Obama has wrought and the consistent authoritativeness of Trump’s ascent is Conor Friedersdorf’s 2014 Atlantic piece, “The Decline and Abatement of ‘Hope and Change’.” In it, Friedersdorf laments,
[Obama’s] ancient promises to run “the best cellophane administering in history” are a accountable of mockery, accustomed how generally he has invoked the state-secrets advantage and acceptable national-security admiral in his administering to actively mislead the public.
Obama’s administering was ”transparent” the way Kathryn Bigelow’s blur Zero Dark Thirty was “journalistic.”
And speaking of journalism, while Street doesn’t columnist it, Obama’s aberrant use of the Espionage Act to accompany whistleblowers and his appearing vendetta adjoin Pulitzer Prize champ James Risen (now at The Intercept) and added journalists is anon amenable for the peril that Julian Assange is in now. Obama overclassified everything, authoritative countless, contrarily banal documents, “leaked” to the Columnist criminal, and set the date for the algid accept Democrats accord to Wikileaks today — this advertisement the Democrats for what they are. Indeed, the Democrat Affair should be clearly renamed the Accumulated Party. There is no best a affair that has an ear to the People’s needs and desires. There’s the aggressive affair and the accumulated affair (MIC).
Obama, admitting the Wall Street meltdown, was able with Democrat majorities in both accommodation of Congress. He could’ve got being done for the People. Instead, he cashed in. Street reckons that
the Obamas’ net account has risen by a agency of added than thirty from aback they entered the White House in 2009 (1.3 actor dollars) to 2018 (at atomic 40 actor dollars). This places them abutting to the top tenth of the high One Percent.
He afresh active a $40m book accord to acquaint his ‘memoiristic’ story. By the time it comes out in 2021, who will accord a shit?
Street spends absolutely a bit of time advertisement the monster in the White House now, as if to accomplish abiding the clairvoyant absolutely understands the antecedent abomination of the Obama administration. We could alpha with the bombinate warfare, including the unprecendented annihilation of 16 year old American Abdulrahman al-Awlaki who was taken out in Yemen at a roadside barbecue by a Predator bombinate — he didn’t see it coming, accomplished like a Jonas brother boring one of Obama’s daughters. (Breaking Wind: As if to beat Obama in evil, 8 year old American Nawar al-Awlaki was murdered in a U.S. commando advance in Yemen in 2017 that was ordered by Admiral Donald Trump.) You could about accept there’s some affectionate of accommodating accord amid Obama and Trump, admitting played out in Trump’s consummate animation absolutist fashion.
So, Street brings us through what we already apperceive about Trump’s aboriginal three years additional in office– his tear-down of MSM journalism apropos civic backroom to the point area it’s become a assortment of jingoes, japes, and white babble abridged pettiness. “Fake News”? The Fucker-in-chief is not bisected amiss a lot of the time. (See Matt Taibbi’s Hate Inc. to get the low down.) We the bodies accept no abstraction what’s absolutely activity on. The Columnist will accurately alarm Trump out on his ‘false’ claims of mail-in election fraud, but absolutely avoid the actual real, accurate instances of millions of Black votes tossed afterwards counting that analytic announcer Greg Palast has abundant in his How Trump Stole 2020.
The Columnist doesn’t accession the affair of the Trump administration’s appropriation of an Obama adjournment on gain-of-function viral analysis because of the abhorrence it could alpha a pandemic. The Covid-19 virus was already overextension during the 2019-2020 Trump allegation and follow-on Super Bowl in aboriginal February (that brought tens of bags of bodies from about the country to Miami, perhaps, allowance to advance Covid-19 — according to Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, afterwards the game.)
When George Floyd got murdered by badge in Minneapolis, riots ensued. As Trump has connected to alarm the virus a hoax, acutely alike afterwards he affairs it and continues to authority alive rallies afterwards a affectation (Herman Cain, a Black above GOP presidential contender, apprenticed Covid-19 at a Trump assemblage — and died.) The nation is in lockdown, but not in lockdown. And the monster in allegation may be worse than the virus. Street quotes Noam Chomsky, who calls Trump “the best alarming bent in animal history.”
Given what old Chomsky has apparent over his lifetime, that’s adage something.
Where, implores Street, has Obama been in all this? (You’d anticipate he’d at atomic accept harangued Trump about his taxes to acknowledgment the favor of the birther assault.) Enjoying a well-earned laissez-faire lifestyle, says Street. He concludes,
The “apocalypse” that Barack Obama told his staffers (as able-bodied as David Remnick) wasn’t advancing with the advantage of Donald Trump has absolutely appear to America in 2020, if it didn’t already access at the alpha of Trump’s reign. Trump is a absolutist afterlife machine.
Oh, the horror, the abhorrence of the apocalypse now.
And as far as Street is concerned, Joe Biden is an Obama burlesque to — a Lesser Angry that Street reminds us doesn’t alike apperceive what allowance he’s in bisected the time. And it aloof can’t be a acceptable augury that Larry Summers is on the Biden attack team. There’s addition Wall Street balloon ahead, but, damn, Trump has already bailed them out with the Covid emergency funds — trillions. Americans went forth with it because Congress chucked in a beggarly $1200 bucks for citizens. Aboriginal they apprehension our balloons; now they appetite to apprehension our bubbles. Nuff said.
Well, it’s like ol’ Backyard Armchair Larry said all those years ago, afore he up and committed suicide, “A man can’t aloof sit around,” activity all aerial by Capitalism and Freedom. Sometimes you accept to get up off your ass and be the ballast to your own dream, afore it lifts abroad always into the abysmal blues, with you bouncing goodbye. Or as baby Abbie, the Yippies, already said: “Democracy is not article you accept in; it’s article you do.”
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