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Barak Obama: A Lexicon of Disappointment

Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine has offered her critique of President Obama's incremental slouch toward embracing Bush Administrations policies; acts of criminality involving severe encroachments upon civil liberties -- some amounting to a total violation of international law including laws withing the Geneva Conventions.


Published on Friday, April 17, 2009 by The Nation

Hopebroken and Hopesick: A Lexicon of Disappointment

by Naomi Klein

All is not well in Obamafanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from reregulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack.

Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard.

This is a good thing. If the superfan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programs capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.

The first stage, however, is to understand fully the awkward in-between space in which many US progressive movements find themselves. To do that, we need a new language, one specific to the Obama moment. Here is a start.

Hopeover. Like a hangover, a hopeover comes from having overindulged in something that felt good at the time but wasn't really all that healthy, leading to feelings of remorse, even shame. It's the political equivalent of the crash after a sugar high. Sample sentence: "When I listened to Obama's economic speech my heart soared. But then, when I tried to tell a friend about his plans for the millions of layoffs and foreclosures, I found myself saying nothing at all. I've got a serious hopeover." Read more.


Published on Friday, April 17, 2009 by The Daily Beast

How Obama Excused Torture

Former Reagan Justice Department official Bruce Fein writes that Obama's decision to release CIA memos without prosecuting Bush administration officials flouts his constitutional duty. Read more.


Friday April 17, 2009 06:48 EDT

The significance of Obama's decision to release the torture memos

(updated below - Update II)

Glenn Greenwald @ - Numerous commentators are objecting to the idea that Barack Obama deserves credit for his release of the OLC torture memos yesterday in light of his accompanying pledge that CIA officials relying in good faith on those memos won't be prosecuted. Chris Floyd is one who articulates that objection quite well and, as is always true for Chris, his criticisms are well worth reading. Many others -- including Keith Olbermann, Jonathan Turley, John Dean and Bruce Fein -- yesterday lambasted Obama for his anti-prosecution stance. Since I gave substantial credit to Obama yesterday for the release of the memos and believe even more so today that he deserves it (despite finding the anti-prosecution case as corrupted and morally bankrupt as ever), I want to return to the issue of Obama's actions. Read more.


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