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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
More Ethical Than The Prez?

TV and Movie Villains Vs. Obama

by STEVEN SALAITA

Obama’s years in office have produced abysmal ethical failures. How does he compare to some of the most famous villains of the American zeitgeist?

*Avon Barksdale: he only kills children inadvertently

*Anton Chigurh: murders lots of people, but never children

*Walter White: has only murdered a few children

*Marlo Stanfield: at least he’s honest about murdering children

*Freddy Krueger: he only kills children who fall asleep

*Al Swearengen: violent but never sanctimonious

*Dwight Schrute: sycophantic and conniving, but too incompetent to wiretap the office

*Sue Sylvester (gym teacher in Glee): her evil is performed in the service of ultimate good

*Jar Jar Binks: an annoying spectacle of high-tech minstrelsy whose voting record in the Galactic Senate is more defensible than Obama’s voting record in the U.S. Senate

*Dexter Morgan: has a much more stringent code than Obama

*Pinhead: a literal name, he is more coherent than metaphorical counterparts Joe Biden and Samantha Power

*Tony Soprano: also heads a criminal enterprise, but detests government surveillance

*Nurse Ratched: loses her vocal chords, which leads to reduced lying and conniving

*Jason Voorhies: let’s be honest; most of his victims were asking for it

*Annie Wilkes (Misery): has one redeeming quality, her genuine love of reading

*Hannibal Lecter: he eats politicians; sounds like a decent chap to me

*Montgomery “Monty” Burns: evil personified, but not evil enough to have hired Larry Summers

*John Kreese (Cobra Kai sensei): tries to throttle Mr. Miyagi; even if he had succeeded he would have harmed less Asians than Obama

*Dr. No: atomic-powered radio beams are no match for drones and the Iron Dome

*Keyser Soze: actually, just as unethical as Obama, but way less irritating

*The Wicked Witch of the West: merely terrifies children, never bombs them

*Dr. Evil: ethically, a wash with Obama, but ultimately comes out ahead because his lackey, Mini-Me, is more tolerable than Matthew Yglesias, and Rachel Maddow

*Patrick Bateman: there’s a chance his violence is imaginary; Obama’s is undoubtedly real

*Livia Soprano: unlike Obama, she hates the healthcare industry

*Mrs. Carmody (The Mist): her cult is smaller and less indoctrinated than Obama’s

*Skeletor: like Obama, seeks total control of the universe, but keeps his tactics aboveboard

*O-Dog: redeemed himself and became the dashing poet Love Jones

*Tony Montana: a ruthless gangster whose refusal to bomb children precipitates his downfall

*Biff Tannen: treats McFly much better than Obama treats Manning and Snowden

*Darth Vader: he destroys an entire planet, but never pretends he wants to save it

*Gustavo “Gus” Fring: like Obama, excellent at public relations, but displays no evidence of fealty to Israel

*Mr. Rooney (Ferris Bueller’s principal): finally acknowledges the downside of habitual snooping and meddling

*Michael Corleone: more disappointed in Obama than he was in Fredo

*Bill O’Reilly: just kidding! He’s even worse than Obama

Steven Salaita’s latest book is Israel’s Dead Soul. Follow him on twitter @stevesalaita