President Barack Obama gave his last State of the Union address and if the truth be told the real state of America is she’s come undone. Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report described the State of the Union speech as such:
Swan Song for a War and Austerity President (Who is Also Black)
“Obama reserves for the U.S. the right to kill as many foreigners as it sees fit, and still claim to be technically at peace.”
It was like Reagan with a case of diversity. Instead of “Morning in America,” Barack Obama summed up his presidency as an arduous climb out of the Bush abyss, a return to sanity that is now threatened by the gathering darkness of Trumpist barbarity.
Obama’s fictional – and, thankfully, final – State of the Union address seems coherent only when juxtaposed with Republican counter-fictions. Together, the two interlocking narratives describe a nation and world of complete fantasy.
For the ruling class installed by Wall Street banks, life couldn’t get better. They are ready to install the next generation of privileged few to make the laws that they themselves need not abide by.
The primary election and the debates where the corporate media decides who will get a slot in the debates and who is not worthy of prime time is like a WWF wrestling match, all hype and fakery. Nothing more than a reality show that seems surreal. One thing is certain, the two parties hate Donald Trump and they hate Hillary Clinton and will do everything possible to ensure their defeat.
Obama doubled down on the policies of George W. Bush and took a bad situation and made it worse. There is no difference between the Bush/Cheney regime and the Obama/Biden regime, they are one and the same. So let’s look at the great “accomplishments” achieved by Obama/Biden that the next Wall Street approved Administration will build on.
Under his guidance, “we recovered from the worst economic crisis in generations” (by further consolidating the hegemony of the banks, pumping tens of trillions into the accounts of the Lords of Capital, and finally admitting that Wall Street was too big to jail);
In the 2008 primary campaign, Obama refused public financing which opened the door for Wall Street banks to funnel three-quarters of a billion dollars into his campaign, $300 million in pre-paid, untraceable $200 or less credit cards during the month of October 2008 alone. And what did the banks get from Obama and Biden? From International BusinessTimes:
Jamie Dimon Gets Pay Raise After Raking Up $25 Billion In Legal Fees
US Treasury Got $117B From The Fed In 2015; $19.3B To Fund Federal Highway Bill
The U.S. Federal Reserve sent a record $117 billion to the Treasury in 2015, it announced Monday, surpassing the record $96.9 billion in 2014….
The Fed had a net profit of $100.2 billion in 2015….
Most of the income was derived from interest on securities acquired from the open market. The Fed holds a big portfolio of assets such as Treasury bonds, as well as mortgage and debt instruments. Since the financial crisis, remittances to the Treasury have grown significantly from $31.7 billion in 2008…
With the economy recovering, an increase in interest rates is expected and when that happens, the Fed will have to pay out more money to other banks that deposit money with it. The central bank will also eventually reduce its investment, which has grown to about $4.5 trillion from $900 billion in 2008.
My, my, my. Let me see if I have this right, the Federal Reserve Bank had a net profit of $100.2 billion in 2015 which was income derived from interest on Treasury bonds, then they lent the U.S. Treasury $117 billion of those profits they received from those bonds to fund things like the Highway bill. Man, you can’t make that shit up. So what else did Obama/Biden chalk up as accomplishments? Back to Glen Ford’s piece in BAR:
“reformed our health care system” (through his 2009 bait-and-switch that further embedded corporate insurers and drug monopolists and set back true “universal” single payer health care, possibly for a generation);
And how has the Wall Street profit driven Obamacare worked out for everyday Americans? From Kate Randall at World Socialist Web Site:
Obamacare enrollment deadline: Fines mount for failure to buy costly, barebones insurance
Tuesday was the last day to choose a health plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for coverage beginning January 1. Penalties for those who fail to obtain insurance coverage for 2016 will rise dramatically—more than sevenfold—compared to the first two years of the ACA.
The “individual mandate” of Obamacare, as the ACA is popularly known, requires people who are not insured through their employer or a government program to purchase coverage from private insurance companies on the health care exchanges set up under the legislation….
The Obama administration is seeking to use the spiking penalties to browbeat those uninsured… This coercion for the benefit of the insurance giants is yet another exposure of Obamacare, which aims to force people to buy coverage from for-profit insurers under financial threat.
Meanwhile, people on the insurance exchanges are finding that the least expensive ACA plans come with massive deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs…
According to the government’s own projections, ACA enrollees face on average a 7.5 percent premium rate increase in 2016. Other sources predict rate hikes in excess of 20 percent….
The Fiscal Times reported last month that bronze deductibles for 2016 will average over $5,700, a nearly 10 percent rise. The deductible must be paid in full before any health coverage kicks in, except for those services deemed “essential” by the ACA…
For a patient suffering from a debilitating disease, restriction to an HMO likely means he will no longer be able to visit a specialist, such as an oncologist or rheumatologist, with whom he has established a relationship over months or years. The impact is potentially life-threatening.
At the same time, Obamacare prepares the way for the privatization of Social Security and Medicare and their transformation into voucher programs…
Yes the Obama/Biden Administration are frauds posing as Democrats but in reality they are Reagan Democrats ready to slash all social programs to preserve Wall Street bank profits. During the 2008 primary contest Obama/Biden attacked Hillary for her healthcare plan. From Fact Check.org:
One of Clinton’s signature claims has come under fire from political foes, quoted by the Boston Globe, who say she doesn’t deserve credit for expanding federal health insurance for millions of children.
We review the record and conclude that she deserves plenty of credit, both for the passage of the SCHIP legislation and for pushing outreach efforts to translate the law into reality…
She fought for universal health care long before it was popular. Got health insurance for six million kids, and expanded access to health care to the National Guard. Now she’s the only candidate for president with a plan to provide health care for every American. A top economist calls Hillary’s plan the difference between achieving universal health coverage – and falling far short.”
We had not previously had reason to question her role in the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) during her husband’s administration, but last week the Boston Globe ran a story with the headline, "Clinton role in health programs disputed."
The Globe said Clinton "had little to do with crafting the landmark legislation or ushering it through Congress, according to several lawmakers, staffers, and healthcare advocates involved in the issue."
This was quickly picked up and amplified in various political blogs accusing her of exaggeration and even "lying..."
How much you want to bet those lawmakers, staffers and healthcare advocates were from the Obama/Biden camp?
The pro-Republican Washington Times newspaper credited (or perhaps more accurately, blamed) Hillary Clinton for the program in a 1997 article. The paper said it had obtained documents from 1993 showing that the White House "plotted" to push a "Kids First" insurance program if Mrs. Clinton’s universal health care proposal failed.
Washington Times, Aug. 6, 1997: The plan signed into law yesterday by Mr. Clinton and pushed by the first lady is a duplicate of the 4-year-old health care task force idea, except that it is paid for by a 15-cent tax on cigarettes…
Years later, when Clinton was first running for the Senate, Kennedy’s aide Littlefield was still giving her credit. The New York Times quoted him as saying, ”She was a one-woman army inside the White House to get this done.”
He said that when President Clinton himself was showing reluctance to back the new legislation out of fear it would upset a budget deal with Republicans, "We went to Mrs. Clinton and said, ‘You’ve got to get the president to come around on this thing,’ " and she did…
Moreover, Hillary Clinton took a major role in translating the new law into action….
Kennedy, of course, is now backing Clinton’s rival, Barack Obama, for the nomination.
What else does Glen Ford have to say about Obama/Biden and the State of the Union speech?
In every State of the Union address, Obama poses as a champion of Social Security and Medicare. But, in January, 2009, before even taking the oath of office, the president-elect told the editorial boards of the Washington Post and the New York Times that “all entitlements,” including Social Security would be “on the table” for chopping during his administration.
He proceeded to seek a $4 trillion “Grand Bargain” with the Republicans, the scope of which was revealed in a leaked 2011 memo described by author Bob Woodward on NBC’s Meet the Press:
“...what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare….
In 2013, Obama took another stab at cutting Social Security, with an attempt to change the way benefits are calculated. Had he succeeded in his premeditated assaults, we would have watched him brag, last night, that he had “saved” the nation’s premier social safety net, trimming it down to affordable size. Social Security is fortunate to have emerged relatively intact from seven years of Obama.
Yes, the Obama/Biden legacy is the final chapter that Republicans have tried for years to achieve, the Reagan Thatcher dream. Joe Biden has always been the banker’s man, he likes to come across as an everyday “Joe” but it’s Joe Biden you can thank for enslaving a whole generation to a staggering trillions of dollars in student loans debt that can never be forgiven, not through bankruptcy nor death. Biden was chosen for VP by Obama as a quid pro quo. From The New YorkTimes in 2008:
Obama Aides Defend Bank’s Pay to Biden Son
During the years that Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. was helping the credit card industry win passage of a law making it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection, his son had a consulting agreement that lasted five years with one of the largest companies pushing for the changes, aides to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign acknowledged Sunday….
Campaign officials acknowledged that the connection between the Bidens and MBNA, the enormous financial services company then based in their home state of Delaware, was one of the most sensitive issues they examined while vetting the senator for a spot on the ticket….
The financial services industry began seeking relief from Congress in the mid-1990s from an increase in bankruptcies that was cutting into its profits…. During that time, executives at MBNA, which was bought in 2006 by Bank of America, began donating heavily to both major political parties and many national politicians, including Mr. Biden…
He was one of five Democrats in March 2005 who voted against a proposal to require credit card companies to provide more effective warnings to consumers about the consequences of paying only the minimum amount due each month…
Mr. Biden also went against Mr. Obama to help defeat amendments aimed at strengthening protections for people forced into bankruptcy who have large medical debts or are in the military;
In many of these battles, Mr. Biden’s Democratic colleagues often voiced their frustration with the big financial interests arrayed against them. Senator Paul Wellstone specifically cited MBNA during a floor debate in March 2001 over his call for stronger protections for debtors forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills — an amendment that Mr. Biden would later vote against.
“It just so happens that the people who find themselves in terrible economic circumstances through no fault of their own — major medical bills, they have lost their jobs, or there has been a divorce — it is my view as a former political scientist and now a senator for the State of Minnesota that those people do not have the same kind of clout that MBNA Corporation has,” Mr. Wellstone said.
Yes that’s old black hearted Joe Biden, voted against any protections for people in bankruptcy due to illness or military service. This is especially revolting because Joe is a war hawk, who was instrumental in overthrowing the government in Ukraine. And guess what old Hunter Biden is up to now, he and John Kerry’s stepson Chris Heinz are have million dollar jobs running Ukraine’s energy industry. From Boiling Frogs:
BFP Exclusive-Stench of Corruption a Ukraine Oligarch Shale Gas Civil War & Baby Biden
Hunter Biden & A Dodgy Company Called Burisma
Ukrainian politics has had the stench of corruption since the free-for-all to loot the country following the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. However today, some five months after the gangster-led Washington-orchestrated coup d’etat that put the present regime illegally in power in Kiev, that stench is becoming unbearable. Now it involves the case of Ukraine’s deposits of shale gas.
According to a survey done for the US Department of Energy two years ago, Ukraine could have 42 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas resources technically recoverable from 197 tcf of total shale gas in place….
So some shrewd Ukrainian businessmen along with the ever-politically engaged Royal Dutch Shell—the Dutch-UK energy giant, decided they would drill that shale and frack it like they are doing in Texas today. Here is where it gets really interesting.
The Ukrainian company that has grabbed (literally) the lease rights to the lion’s share of Ukraine’s shale area is called Burisma Holdings. Burisma Holdings is Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer so that in itself is not that surprising. But wait. It gets smellier.
Burisma Holdings is the company that raised eyebrows a few months ago when they announced they had hired the son of the US Vice President to handle their legal division and all international relations of the company. Hunter Biden was also given a seat on Burisma’s board of directors….
Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden came under fire back in 2005 when Joe Biden was an influential Senator before becoming Vice President. MBNA, then the world’s largest private credit card issuer hired Baby Biden as the company’s Vice President.
At the same time Senator Biden was then receiving his largest campaign contributions from MBNA and, conveniently for MBNA, was lobbying other Senators to pass bankruptcy reform legislation supported by MBNA. US media referred critically to Senator Biden at the time as the "Senator from MBNA."
But it gets far worse in Ukraine. This April Hunter Biden agreed to join the board of one of the most politically-charged, scandal-ridden companies in scandal-ridden Ukraine just as his father, Joe, is up to his eyeballs in US illegal operations with the State Department’s Victoria Nuland in orchestrating forced regime change in Ukraine.
The Biden board post at Burisma was made public at the same time Vice President father Joe was in Kiev wheeling and dealing with the new US-installed regime there.
And son Hunter also sits on the Chairman’s Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The NDI is a project of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the taxpayer funded organization that does what the CIA did covertly 25 years ago, according to one of its founders, Alan Weinstein.
Burisma Holdings is part of the vast business empire of Ukraine’s second richest billionaire oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky. Joining Hunter Biden on the Burisma Board of Directors is no less than Aleksander Kwaśniewski, named in January just weeks before the US Kiev coup.
Kwaśniewski was President of the Republic of Poland during the G.W. Bush presidency. Chairman of Burisma is a Wall Street former Merrill Lynch investment banker named Alan Apter. Finally, Burisma also at the same time named to the board Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s partner at a US investment firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, and a manager of the family wealth fund of Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife Theresa Heinz Kerry, widow of Henry Heinz III….
Burisma itself seems very dodgy as a company. It is based in Cyprus and little information about the business is possible to find. The company lacks a profile in Bloomberg, and had no Wikipedia presence whatsoever.
So with these two board appointments in April, Burisma gained the son of the Vice President of the United States and the financial adviser to the family of the Secretary of State. Not bad for an almost unknown Ukraine-Cyprus company
Not bad indeed, seems that Hunter Biden always fails up. Hopefully Burisma Holdings doesn’t have a drug screening requirement, as Hunter loves to blow the snow. So what else did Obama/Biden claim as their “great accomplishments?”
Obama brags that “we’re in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history.” Yet, most of them are bad jobs, at low wages and no security – a surge in the long-term capitalist Race to the Bottom, which will accelerate if Obama succeeds in passing his grotesque Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade treaty.
The outgoing Corporate Servant-in-Chief admits that “these trends have squeezed workers, even when they have jobs,” but he prescribes the usual bromide: education. As if what’s wrong with the economic system is that Americans are ill-educated, rather than globalized capital’s inability to provide good jobs at decent wages.
It’s the same garbage that has been shoveled to Black Americans for generations. According to this logic, Black people must be twice as badly educated as whites, since African American unemployment has been twice as high for more than half a century.
So is Glen Ford right about the “Corporate Servant-in-Chief”? Are the jobs created under Obama/Biden “low paying, low wage, no security?” Are Obama and Biden escalating a Race to the Bottom? Oh, oh what’s this? From World Socialist Website:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Saturday proposed a set of changes to the U.S. unemployment insurance system that he says would offer more security to out-of-work Americans and encourage experienced workers to rejoin the workforce, even if it means taking a pay cut….
The president's proposal would require states to provide wage insurance to workers who lose their jobs and find new employment at lower pay. The insurance would replace half of the lost income, up to $10,000 over two years. It would be available to workers who were with their prior employer for three years and make less than $50,000 in their new job…
The proposal comes as U.S. businesses, outside the manufacturing sector, are experiencing strong demand and adding employees. A recent government employment report showed that employers added a net 292,000 jobs in December as the unemployment rate held at 5 percent.
Experienced workers on average see a pay cut of 10 percent when they lose their jobs. Workers with more than 20 years on the job see an average 25 percent pay cut, according to the White House.
Obama's proposal will be included in the budget proposal he's set to send to Congress next month.
So the Obama/Biden prescription at a time when “U.S. businesses, outside the manufacturing sector, are experiencing strong demand and adding employees” is to maximize their profits by forcing states to purchase “employment insurance” to subsidize their low paid workers.
Just another Wall Street banker give away. He’s putting this proposal in his budget he’s sending to congress where his buddies Paul Ryan and Patti Murray will ram it through, along with the Trans Pacific Partnership. Yes, the Obama/Biden reign has devastated America, but the Bidens are doing very well. So what else did Obama/Biden brag about? Back to Glen Ford’s article:
“Obama has become the greatest privatizer of schools in history.”
To improve general educational levels and, presumably, make Blacks more employable, Obama has become the greatest privatizer of schools in history, through charters, resulting in unemployment for many tens of thousands of Black teachers.
In 2014 The Hill published an article calling on the Justice Department to investigate Obama/Biden’s charter school scam:
Charter schools, civil rights and the theft of education funds
As one means of fixing what is broken in our nation's public school system, the Obama administration, as well as a majority of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, supports the rapid expansion of publically financed charter schools.
However, given the startlingly large sums of money some in the charter school sector are stealing from taxpayers, and the disproportionate impact the expansion of such practices has on the civil rights of black, Latino and poor schoolchildren, it may be time for the judicial branch of government to question the unchecked expansion of this largely unregulated sector of the educational system. It seems clear that neither Congress, nor the White House, currently has the political will to do so.
For example, this past May, two nonprofit groups issued a research report titled "Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud And Abuse." Jointly authored by Integrity in Education and the Center for Popular Democracy, the report warned that the lax system of federal oversight of the rapidly expanding charter industry has led to the theft of more than $100 million due to fraud, mismanagement and outright theft…
However, despite such abuses, both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, as well as both major political parties, continue to support the largely unregulated expansion of charter schools.
Just this past April, Congress voted 360 to 45 to pass the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10), which, as stated in the bill, will "strengthen the Charter School Program and allow successful charter school models to be replicated nationwide to support choice, innovation, and excellence in education…."
If fraud and theft are not sufficient reason for the judiciary to become involved, perhaps the possibility of civil rights abuses will pique their interest….
As a result, the federally supported policy of aggressive charter school expansion now disproportionately impacts the educational futures of black, Latino and poor students much more often than it impacts students who are white.
And did Obama/Biden heed the advice of The Hill in 2014 and launch an investigation into the fraud, theft and civil rights abuses of the “unregulated” charter schools? Fast forward to 2015 from Truth in Media:
Exclusive: FBI Whistleblower and Teacher Expose Islamic Gülen Movement Infiltrating U.S. Through Charter Schools
The imam, Fethullah Gülen, came to the United States in 1999 due to cited health problems and has stayed in the United States after gaining his visa with help from former CIA officials. The FBI previously resisted granting permanent residency status to Gülen. According to leaked cables, parts of the U.S. government believe that Gülen “is a ‘radical Islamist’ whose moderate message cloaks a more sinister and radical agenda…”
Gülen-inspired schools are the largest charter network in the U.S. and receive approximately $150 million a year in taxpayer money. There are about 130 of these charter schools in 26 states where the majority of the teachers are from Turkey, as well as many of the contracts for construction and operation have gone to Turkish businesses. Those actions have raised red flags for the U.S. government.
Why Are My Tax Dollars Funding an Islamic Movement?
In the United States, many of the Gülen schools have long waiting lists. But that comes at a price for our American teachers:
“Our tax dollars are paying for them to come over here and take our jobs,” said Mary Addi, a teacher. “They want to give you the impression that they’re just hard-working guys over here to try and educate our kids, because American teachers are just too stupid…”
Gülen brings in foreign teachers and then takes a cut of their salary. She learned this after marrying a Turkish teacher. She said that after he was paid. He’d cash the check and return 40% of his salary back to the school for a secret fund used by the movement.
These allegations have caused the U.S. government to investigate for immigration fraud as well as misuse of taxpayer money. It has also caused many to wonder about the actual intent of the Gülen school…
We have multiple reliable reports that the Gülenists use their school network (including dozens of schools in the U.S.) to cherry-pick students they think are susceptible to being molded as proselytizers and we have steadily heard reports about how the schools indoctrinate boarding students.”
And when Donald Trump says we need to stop all Muslims from coming into this country until we can find out what the hell is going on he is vilified. From CNN:
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a campaign press release said….
His message comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers and the day after President Barack Obama asked the country not to "turn against one another" out of fear….
"Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine," Trump said in a statement. "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life…"
The release pointed to an online poll from the controversial Center for Security Policy, which claimed that a quarter of Muslims living in the U.S. believe violence against Americans is justified as part of a global jihadist campaign….
Obama's deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes reacted to Trump's call Monday on CNN, calling it "totally contrary to our values as Americans" and pointed to the Bill of Rights' protection of freedom of religion and pointing to the "extraordinary contributions" Muslim Americans have made to the U.S…
Yes, the two parties’ condemnation of Trump came fast and furious. They will do anything to keep Trump from becoming President of the United States. But their hatred of Trump pales in comparison to their hate of the Clintons. This is from a CNN interview with Joe Biden, who despises Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton:
Washington (CNN) Vice President Joe Biden offered effusive praise for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders Monday, lauding Hillary Clinton's chief rival for doing a "heck of a job" on the campaign trail and praising Sanders for offering an authentic voice on income inequality.
And while Biden said Democrats had a slate of "great candidates" running for president, he suggested Clinton was a newcomer to issues like the growing gap between rich and poor….
"It's relatively new for Hillary to talk about that," Biden continued, acknowledging that Clinton has "come forward with some really thoughtful approaches to deal with the issue" of income inequality.
"Hillary's focus has been other things up to now, and that's been Bernie's -- no one questions Bernie's authenticity on those issues," he said.
So Joe Biden says it’s relatively new for Hillary to talk about issues like rich and poor and she’s not authentic like Bernie. I guess Joe was busy at a cocktail party at MBNA when First Lady and President Clinton championed things like the Family Leave Act. From National Partnership:
The FMLA was introduced in Congress every year from 1984 to 1993 and was blocked repeatedly by entrenched, well-funded opponents. For years we built and nurtured a strong, broad-based coalition and led fierce and tireless advocacy. Congress passed the legislation in 1991 and 1992 — but it was vetoed both times by President George H.W. Bush.
However, under the leadership of former president, Judith L. Lichtman, today a senior advisor to the National Partnership, former legal director counsel, Donna Lenhoff, and current president, Debra L. Ness, we remained undeterred. And we got the job done — with help from a broad-based coalition, thousands of activists, and newly-elected President Clinton, who wholeheartedly supported our vision.
It’s the 2008 Presidential Primary all over again, with Obama/Biden attacking Hillary every chance they get. When Bill Clinton was President, it was Hillary who got the Family Leave Act passed, it was Hillary who got Children’s Health Insurance not only passed but implemented. The establishment hates the Clintons and will do everything they can to ensure she is not the candidate.
So one thing you can be sure of is that Obama and Biden are working behind the scenes anonymously claiming Hillary will be indicted, Hillary is a liar, Hillary has no credibility, and Hillary is unlikeable. Making and repeating these claims will enable the Super Delegates to override the will of the American voters just like they did in 2008.
And that is the State of the Union, America, she’s come undone.
By Patricia Baeten