Love Notes From a Charlatan


I should unsubscribe to Organizing for Action (OFA)—a group supporting the election of Democrats, but I won’t, because I’m mining data from the obscenely insincere. The emails open with a clever ploy, use of the familiar, my given name. It’s almost intimate. Some are signed “Barack”. Here’s one, minus a few sentences:

Missy —

My administration is taking steps to cut carbon pollution, prepare our nation for the unavoidable impact of climate change, and put America’s best and brightest to work to solve this issue on a global scale.

One thing we know is we’ll face a well-organized and well-financed opposition by the special interests that profit from keeping things the way they are — and there are members of Congress who fundamentally deny the science on this issue.

I need to know you’ll fight alongside me. Say you will. [Subliminal, using the title of a love song.]

Over the next few months and years, I’m going to need the millions of OFA supporters who understand that we have a responsibility to future generations to fight climate change to join me, and be a force of change in your communities.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to take action — and now is the time.

Today, I’m here to tell you I am committed to doing my part.

Say you’ll do yours:



This deserves only an “oh, please.” But I have to challenge, because many “progressives” are applauding the recent climate speech.

And Barack’s “…we’ll face a well-organized and well-financed opposition by the special interests that profit from keeping things the way they are…” is maddening. As if he ever obstructs these profiteers. And what about those who don’t deny the science, yet fail to change the status quo?

Tossing the “children and grandchildren” card is exasperating when Barack’s consigned to the young a future grimmer than dismal. His climate plan is less ado about something, a gift to the special interests for whom he’s expressed disdain. And any time he says “children” and “future” I immediately think about the consequences of his domestic and foreign policies.

In pledging to do his part, Barack implies he’ll nurture our ecosystem, yet his loyalty is to the fossil fuel industry. His words speak a different language than his actions.

The next message, from the Executive Director of OFA, Jon Garson, is sent on Barack’s behalf. Again, I’ve deleted some sentences, but here’s most of it:

Missy —

I love this:

President Obama is going to meet three supporters backstage at an event next month.

If you’re picked, you’ll get flown out for free to meet him — and you can even bring a guest.

Think of how happy you’ll make the loved one you pick to join you — and the photos you’ll be showing off to your friends and family for years to come of the experiences you’ve had as part of the movement for a progressive agenda for the nation.

Wow, I want to be selected. I have so many peace friends who’d like a face-to-face encounter with President Obama.  Maybe, I’d invite A. as my guest. After reading one of my articles, he emailed. During an exchange, he wrote, “Current update on my Home country”—followed by:

In Baluchistan province of Pakistan, today the terrorists have blown up the museum-grade residence of father of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah; after few hours a bus full of female students of a women university was blown up in Quetta; and one and a half hour latter a tertiary hospital’s emergency ward was blown up where the injured female students were brought for treatment. Such is the state Pakistan is living after it has allied with the US in War on terror in Afghanistan.

Yes, A. described a single day. One day among many days and nights of terror—carnage countenanced and implemented by Barack Obama in countries across five continents, now.

Oh, my, I see two new messages from Jon Carson, neither of which needs to be opened. One of the subject lines is:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling this morning made history.”

I’m happy for the euphoric whose civil rights are recognized. I hope they’re inspired to end injustice in every area.

But really, this is our government deflecting, declaring DOMA unconstitutional while gutting the Voting Rights Act. As the NSA rapes our privacy. And GET this: A Democrat, one whose wife has received Gen. Wesley Clark’s endorsement for the 2016 presidential run, signed DOMA into law.

Again, I should unsubscribe to these OFA emails. But I can’t. They’re fascinating examples of hypocrisy. Like love notes from a charlatan.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.


Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate
Julian Vigo
A Brief Genealogy of Disappearance and Murder
John R. Hall
Stuck in the Middle With You
Barbara Nimri Aziz
McDonalds at 96th Street
David Rovics
At the Center of Rebellion: the Life and Music of Armand
Weekend Edition
November 20-22, 2015
Jason Hirthler
Paris and the Soldiers of the Caliphate: More War, More Blowback
Sam Husseini
The Left and Right Must Stop the Establishment’s Perpetual War Machine
Mike Whitney
Hillary’s War Whoop
Pepe Escobar
In the Fight Against ISIS, Russia Ain’t Taking No Prisoners
Ajamu Baraka
The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement
Andrew Levine
The Clintons are Coming, the Clintons are Coming!
Linda Pentz Gunter
Let’s Call Them What They Are: Climate Liars
Paul Street
Verging on Plutocracy? Getting Real About the Unelected Dictatorship
Nur Arafeh
Strangling the Palestinian Economy
Patrick Howlett-Martin
The Paris Attacks: a Chronicle Foretold
Vijay Prashad
Rebuilding Syria With BRICS and Mortar
Brian Cloughley
Why US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the Biggest Threat to World Peace