Thursday, April 3, 2014


The last thing Barack Obama wants to do is to spoil the appetites of his rich benefactors or even worse, make them throw up after an expensive meal. Vomitoria are not yet fixtures in the homes of our contemporary oligarchs, as they were rumored to be back in Caligula's day.
Obama told attendees at the fundraiser, held at the Lincoln Park home of a top donor, that he was late because of the situation developing at the military base.
According to the Associated Press, Obama's announcement drew gasps and cries of, "Oh no." 
"We're monitoring the situation carefully," Obama said, echoing a statement he made earlier in the afternoon at a Chicago steakhouse where he held the first of two fundraisers benefiting the Democratic National Committee.
Obama did not dwell on the shooting, instead telling donors that being back home was "invigorating, and it reminds you of why you got into this business in the first place — because you got a lot of people here who have taught me a lot about community, friendship and family and for that reason I'm really grateful."
"As I look around this room, I'm reminded of all the pieces of myself that are connected to individuals in this room," Obama said. "There are people here who have been friends of mine for a couple of decades now. There are folks here who were with me when nobody gave me a chance to even get to the U.S. Senate."
Once the president had determined that the shooter who'd terrorized hundreds of people in the latest massacre at Fort Hood was a mentally ill Iraq veteran and not some evil jihadist enemy of our Freedoms, he was free to continue his official function as legalized bribe taker at the home of Craig Freedman. From all indications, a good time was had by all who forked over $10,000 for a little food and a lot of political access. There are compromised pieces of Obama all over their marbled halls.

Barack Obama made no mention of Wednesday's Supreme Court decision allowing them to fork over nearly unlimited wads of cash in the future.

 Craig Freedman, decades-long friend of Obama and co-host of the event, just so happens to be one of those sociopathic poobahs selling the "skills gap" zombie idea as an excuse to pay skilled welders at his factories only $12-$15 a hour while collecting corporate welfare in the form of tax incentives. Just last February, he was on CNBC bitching about how hard it is to find good slave labor to construct his bus and truck seats, even though public money is financing the training of his workers. He also has the contract for seating for Chicago's buses, as part of a deal with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to hire the unemployed in the future, for something called "Skills for Chicagoland's Future." Notice how these public private partnerships are always about the future, and not for the calamitous reality of the present? Suck the public dry today, promise to hire a few lucky duckies tomorrow, and laugh uproariously all the way to the bank.

And just yesterday, before his private fundraisers (transportation to which was funded by public money) Obama was in Michigan, telling college students to get those skills and get that Obamacare to tide them over during their unpaid postgraduate internships. Rowdy protesters were not allowed inside, where, using his g-droppin' country twang for the occasion, he bellowed,
Now, here’s the context.  Our economy is doing better.  It’s growing.  Our businesses are creating jobs -- 8.7 million new jobs over the past four years.  (Applause.)  Our manufacturing sector, which had been losing jobs throughout the ‘90s and throughout the -- what do you call it -- aughts?  (Laughter.)  You know, the 2000 to 2010, whatever you call that.  (Laughter.)
But manufacturing had been losing jobs -- about a third of manufacturing had lost -- and obviously that hit Michigan really hard.  But we’re now seeing the manufacturing sector add jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  So that is good news.  (Applause.)
The housing market is recovering.  Obviously the stock market has recovered, which means people’s 401(k)s, if they have them, are doing a lot better.
Troops that were fighting two wars, they’re coming home.  (Applause.)   We just went through the first month since 2003 where no U.S. soldier was killed in either Afghanistan or Iraq.  (Applause.)
Oops. I guess he spoke just a couple of hours too soon in that last paragraph. But his "heartbreak" over four new soldier deaths was sufficiently healed later that day to carry on money-grubbing.

By the way, Obama did not eat with either the lesser $10,000-a-platers, or the greater $32,000 big ticket holders. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, his food was pre-tested, pre-tasted, and served by military waiters at a private soiree with Mayor One Percent Rahm Emanuel and propaganda flack David Axelrod. Even his water was brought into the restaurant separately by a Navy steward.

Security State-Tested, Plutocracy-Approved

As his motorcade snaked through Chicago between plutocratic events, Obama was greeted by block after block of protesters. And while the president was drinking his special water and scarfing down his special steak, one demonstrator outside grew so incensed about the relentless onslaught of vomitrocities that he grabbed a TV reporter's mic and yelled out "Obama is a war criminal!" as blue-helmeted Chicago police on their horses looked on. The video is here, with another angle here. A second reporter prematurely broke off her own live spiel because, she said, she was there to talk about Democratic fund-raising, not protesting from the riffraff. Actually, it was fairly obvious she feared that she would be next.


Zee said...

“Once the president had determined that the shooter who'd terrorized hundreds of people in the latest massacre at Fort Hood was a mentally ill Iraq veteran and not some evil jihadist enemy of our Freedoms, he was free to continue his official function as legalized bribe taker at the home of Craig Freedman.” —Karen Garcia

“Once the president had determined—in record trans-oceanic time—that the brutal murder of four diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was accidentally, unfortunately and most regrettably perpetrated by an entirely-spontaneous mob who were sincerely outraged at a cruel, anti-Muslim video created by a small-time American criminal whom nobody had ever heard of previously, rather than an attack carefully planned by an evil, jihadist enemy of our Freedoms to suspiciously coincide with the anniversary of 9/11/2001, Mr. Obama felt supremely comfortable boarding Air Force One to attend an all-important fundraiser in Las Vegas (After all, 'It's Vegas, baby!!') and subsequent parties with BFFs Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ©,* leaving Susan Rice and Hillary ('What difference does it make, anyway') Clinton holding a bagful each.”—Zee

Does anyone else sense a pattern here, or is it just me?

Kat said...

I took a look at the slideshow for the protests directed at the presidential motorcade. Many were protesting the Keystone. A large head shot of Obama said "legacy in jeopardy".
Here he is bragging about what will be his legacy:
(via Noam Chomsky)

One might even take a speech of President Obama's two years ago in the oil town of Cushing, Okla., to be an eloquent death-knell for the species.

“Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That's important to know. Over the last three years, I've directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We're opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We've quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We've added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.”

Jay - Ottawa said...

In theater studies they'll tell you that another meaning for vomitoria happens to be the major passageways by which a crowd can quickly exit an amphitheater or a stadium.

The term fits nicely in a discussion of political theater. And, as we know, Obama is our great man on the world stage. Just read his delivery of that speech to the college crowd at Ann Arbor (Karen links it, above.) He's got them all in his hand. Study the first paragraph. That's how you loosen up a crowd. Give him credit for talent. Besides, he's speaking persuasively for an increase in the minimum wage. You got a problem with that?

The reports of The Man's trips to Ann Arbor and Chicago mention protesters. Perhaps they did engage in some fine street theater, but the reporters and their cameras don't cover them that deeply. The guy -- a real but stupid protester or a plant? -- who grabbed the mike away from the TV announcer probably won still more sympathy for The Man.

Protests must be news wise as well as shocking. I recall one such protest when then (1981) Secretary of State Alexander Haig came to Syracuse University to give the commencement speech. This was shortly after a few nuns were murdered in El Salvador. Haig had suggested they were political trouble makers.,4743496

The protesters who got inside the Dome did ruffle feathers that day. Yes, most of the students and their parents applauded Haig, not the protesters. But the picture of 4 women dressed as nuns, splattered with blood and pointing to Haig throughout his speech, made the national news. The applause did not.

I still remember the cold, hard, even threatening, glares of the Secret Service agents -- are they trained to do this by acting coaches? -- as they passed by the protesters lined up along Haig's route into and out of the Dome. Later, I understood that some of that glare comes from fear of failure. They fear being overwhelmed by the mob. Another reason for a steadfast nonviolent approach to protests.

The Quakers have an arresting tactic of another kind. They dress up in their Sunday best, show up in numbers large enough to fill the sidewalk in front of that great background shot called the White House. And then they stand there in silence, for hours. Non-threatening and makes you think.

Things haven't changed much since Haig stood in the spotlight, except that the applause (or silence) from the great audience, the American people, is more widespread in favor of a finer cast so adept at further undermine democracy.

The protesters of today have to work so much harder for attention and a wholesale rewrite of the script.

Pearl said...

It seems to me that no matter what happens, the Congressional elections will favor the Republicans. But then, that will finish Obama and may be the only
way to wake up the democratic electorate. Patience, as this may be the only way to force a crisis in the Democratic party which may hopefully allow someone like Bernie Sanders to get a foot in the door whether in the party
or independently. I may be off base on this but otherwise if Obama comes out looking like a winner, we are stuck with those voters who will hold on to
him. Make him look like a failure and it might shake everything up. Anyhow I hear the sound of unraveling -how, where and from whom? How long can CNN fill their time with dramatic stories and avoid and ignore that swishing
sound of democracy imploding? It is amazing how difficult it is to get any political news between endless repetitive reports of the lost plane that no one knows what to do about plus the details over and over about the unfortunate mentally deranged soldier at Fort Hood. We are in a real big
crisis in American politics which is more confusing and lost than flight 370 or the mindset of the killer at Ft. Hood. Thanks for all the real facts and details of what is going on in the halls of decision making in Washington,
Karen, as it helps us get the facts of what we feel in our bones. There are a number of other articles in Truthout that are contributing the same kind
of information which give depth to what is happening but hard to digest.

fahrenheit451 said...

What a title: a little late Roman Empire, paranoia...when did this food tasters/tasting begin...?

It was the Right's obsession with the Founding Father's and their own with Rome - well, certain Romans, which sent me back to try to enrich my thin classical education. I started with Michael Grant, but end up recommending M.I. Finley.

In Judeo-Christian America - that's the culture's old immersion, like it or not - surely many still must wonder, leaving aside the politics above, what the world was like when it was pagan...just look at that word and you can hear the screams, but it's not so bad, relatively speaking (sorry, trouble again), put that time - 5th Century BC to Augustus...up against "The Walking Dead..."

Cheers everyone.

James F Traynor said...

Matthiessen is gone. Because of "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" and "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse", I forgive him his connection to the CIA (he was just a kid and a white shoe kid at that).

In "The Snow Leopard" he said he felt but did not see the animal. I doubted that, but then I'd forgotten my experiences as a boy in the wild places and become entranced with the metrics of science. He was right, as I remembered then, and have experienced since.

Sorry for the digression.