The Bankster Merry-Go-Round

Obama apologists are on a low rung of the ladder to hope, hoping that the president will, suddenly, fulfill some of his promises of, yes, hope.

Articles and letters have been composed, direct pleas to the president, by historians, economists, former politicians, retired veterans, physicians, educators, the underemployed, unemployed, and others, all people who just want the man they supported to do something, anything, indicating that he is real, that he works for americaville, for them, for the woe-man on the street.

This week we saw a fired-up Obama, defending negotiations with Republicans. The president explained his position on tax breaks for the wealthy, saying he compromised to insure tax cuts for the middle class. A majority of Americans oppose extending Bush-era tax cuts to the rich.

Let’s face it: Obama delivered what Wall Street expected of him. The GOP didn’t exploit him; he received corruption’s approval stamp before he snuggled in those high thread count sheets at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Once upon a time, Barack Obama bamboozled widely.

While campaigning, he talked hope, hope, hope, change, and “YES, WE CAN,” even saying that tax cuts for the wealthy offended his conscience. His performance on the trail was worthy of an Academy Award.

If you listened closely back then, you perceived something beneath the rhetoric and beyond the measured words about Iraq?that we had “to be as careful getting out, as we were careless going in.” A number of people heard dissonance?right-war-vs.-wrong-war ambiguity. Too many glommed on to “wrong war,” interpreting (hoping) that Obama was antiwar, although he clearly stated the opposite.

The wrong war (Iraq) continues, despite Obama’s declaration months ago that “now, it is time to turn the page.” Repackaged as “Operation New Dawn,” the occupation continues with 50,000 US forces remaining in “advisory and training” roles, at the ready for combat, if necessary. Plus, there are two combat aviation brigades in place as well as a large mercenary presence.

The right war (Afghanistan) was supposed to wind down in 2011. The date has been postponed to 2014, one digit easily manipulated. But who’s paying attention, other than peace activists, those whose loved one is on his or her fifth, sixth, seventh, even 12th deployment, and, of course, people who live in the lands we’ve ravaged.

A few days ago, I watched a video. Each scene conveyed doom. Black Friday shoppers charged through a store in lustful pursuit of bargains, pushing and thrusting. I’ve seen seedy porn that was less vulgar. In the interest of research, of course.

On Thursday, Republicans filibustered the Zadroga bill, a measure to provide aid to sick 9/11 first responders who were hailed as heroes when they dug through the rubble at Ground Zero, in a tireless rescue of life that became a grim excavation for remains. These honorable men and women just received a “f**k you” from sociopathic Senate Republicans who have pledged among themselves to block anything until they’re sure tax cuts for millionaires are a certainty.

Representative government by and for the people is dead, strangled by corporatism, codified by the Supremes.

So, what’s the answer? This from a reader: conduct business through a small local bank. Cut up the plastic. Use cash. If you must have a credit card to book flights, purchase one that’s prepaid. Thanks, Eliz.

This would work if enough of us agreed. I’m afraid we won’t. Too many of us are those shoppers in the video. Probably, most buy with credit’s revolving door of debt and high interest payments. Pick a card, any card. On and on it continues, a merry-go-round for banksters and a despairing ride for our growing underclass.


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: