Some Choice: John “McLess” or “Obama Drama”

Yes, the campaign season is upon us. Once again, this One Party Duopoly has forged another beaut. It seems they always give the suckers choices: column A) from the extreme Right and column B) from the Center Right. Yup, sorry all you 9 to 5 Americans who watch shrinking paychecks and shrinking home values as you pump what truly has become “Black Gold.” Let’s look carefully at these two major candidates from the self perpetuating “lesser of two evils” school of thought.

Say hello to Senator John McLess. Here is a man, with all due respect to the courage and strength he exhibited as a prisoner of war, that now lacks the courage of conviction. He was caught up in the Keating 5 scandel of the 80s, whereupon he said he became “born again” regarding money in politics. McLess co-sponsored the McCain-Feingold law, which was, to this writer, only the tip of the iceberg concerning the influence of money in politics. It actually did absolutely nothing to address the stranglehold that the lobbyist system has on our elected officials. Companies and (groups of) individuals could continue to “bundle” money to politicians. The state of Maine (1996) passed a Clean Elections Law which finally addressed the need for public funding of campaigns. Matter of fact, in the first election cycle the new law was active, 2000, almost one third of those who won office did so by not accepting or spending private funds. Amazing! Due to the Supreme Court ruling of 1976 (Buckley vs. Valeo) state governments (and the feds) could not outlaw money donations from campaigns. Thus, the Maine law had to be a voluntary system. Yet, if John Mcless really is the maverick he pretends to be, he would have stood up in the Senate and pushed for legislation to (at least) get rid of the lobbying system. How dare he, or any Congressperson, not be outraged that members of their club can leave office and go, almost immediately, into lobbying the same people they once sat with in the halls of Congress. Shameful! Senator McLess, when he announced for the Republican Party nomination, could have done what former California Gov. Jerry Brown did. Brown, running for the presidency in 1988, announced that he would only accept up to 100 dollars in campaign donations from any one person. Imagine, if you would, the precedent that could have been set. By now, 20 years later, our whole system of electoral politics as we now know it could have been reshaped. No, Senator McLess is too busy sucking up to the fat cats and Bush regime to dare touch that tip of the iceberg.

How about the subject of torture? Here we have a man, McCain, who was brutalized by the North Vietnamese for what, over five years? Now, understand, this writer realizes that McCain could have been convicted by those North Vietnamese for being a war criminal. After all, he was violating their sovereignty by flying over their air space in an act of aggression. But, weren’t we at war in Vietnam, you may ask? Forsaking the crap about the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, our nation never declared war on North Vietnam. Never! McCain, like hundreds of thousands of our brave young men at that time, was being used, perhaps illegally (according to both international law and our very own constitution) to carry out warped foreign policies. Did his captors have the right to torture him for his actions? Absolutely not!! Yet, he now turns a “half blind eye” to what the Bush gang has been doing. One the one hand, McCain speaks out against torture. Then refuses to hold this administration and its minions accountable for it. What message does that send to the rest of the world ?” Do as I say, not as I do.” McCain became more and more of McLess each time he ignored the Bush gang minions who sat there and out and out insulted the intelligence of the American public! And, these jokers still do it! This new gem of an Attorney General, Mooqueasy, sits there in front of the Senate committee and dares insult every family in every part of the world that has had a loved one (or themselves) “water boarded.” How dare the Congress and the press not stand up and shame this man out of office! Shame on my old grade school chum, Senator Schumer, for backing the nomination of this disgraceful man! As to Senator McLess, he of all people should have lambasted this new Attorney General. Lambasted him!

So, one could write a treatise on the reasons not to ever wish to see Senator McLess as president. His foolish sing song of “Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran” was perhaps the lowest of the low. His support for hacks like Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts on the highest court in the land is an insult to the intelligence of any American who studies history. By the way, how about this “clean cut” Johnny Boy Roberts, who the Democrats fawned over and rushed through confirmation (don’t forget that Obama voted to confirm him)? Roberts was a Reagan administration lawyer, at the time, who wrote the draft for the unitary executive principle. Matter of fact, Robert’s draft was so over the top that the Reagan boys pushed him out. Now, the unitary executive principle is what Bush Junior has been using each time he issues a “signing statement.” In layman’s terms, this ever dangerous unitary executive is when the president disregards enforcing laws that Congress passes. Rather than use his constitutional right to veto, Bush follows Johnny Boy Roberts’ credo and simply signs the law. With pen still in hand he then smugly states that he will refuse to enforce it. Do I hear monarchy anyone?

So onto this Obama Drama , but one more Democratic Party scam perpetrated on you by the rich and powerful who run politics. To all those sincere and dutiful Afro American neighbors of mine , sorry, but this guy is not even what you pray him to be. My brother, a white man, is married to my sister-in-law, a black woman, and they have two children. Are their kids white? Black? No, they are a mixture of two proud heritage’s. When I look at my niece and nephew I do not see color. Rather a blend of colors. So what!? Yet, Barack Obama played the race card (or allowed it to be played) when he ran for statewide office in Chicago. It served him then and it is serving him now. So much for that.


Senator Obama preaches it, over and over. Yet, when his top foreign policy advisor was interviewed by author Jeremy Scahill (Blackwater) , the question of using private military contractors was brought up. Scahill was told, categorically, that as president, Obama would still use private military contractors (AKA mercenaries) to operate in “any foreign situation where our military or business interests were involved.” Change. Hey third world countries, “The Prussians are coming, the Prussians are coming!” Does one need to recite the laundry list of negatives in having Blackwater, or any other private military contractor (AKA Mercenary Army) patrolling the streets of some foreign nation in our name? Isn’t it bad enough that they were doing their neo fascist shuffle in the streets of New Orleans right after Katrina? Read Scahill’s book and make up your own mind.


Senator Obama refuses to support Hearings of Inquiry into the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. He refuses to support Rep. Kucinich’s articles of impeachment (read Bugliosi’s new book The Prosecution of George W Bush). Senator Obama also voted to let the telecom companies off the hook (no pun intended) for their covert aid in spying on Americans under the guise of national security. Senator Obama has consistently voted more and more funding for the (illegal, by the way) occupation of Iraq. He now wants to transfer American forces into Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. This is the same Taliban that America once wholeheartedly supported until they a) reneged on an oil pipeline deal with Unocal and b) made it their policy to destroy the opium business that the warlords were running. Yes, the Taliban were fanatical religious dictators. But to Clinton and then to Junior Bush they were our bad guys. This was the same thinking that recent administrations had for Saddam Hussein for decades prior to the 1991 Gulf War.


Senator Obama, as President Obama, refuses to push for comprehensive Windfall Profits Taxes on Big Oil, though they secured record profits while the rest of our economy sputters. Senator Obama supported the bailout of Bear Stearns, at our taxpayer expense, while many of his Wall Street donors continue to earn tens of millions, hundreds of millions a year.

Iraq. What to do? Well, many in the Congress and the alternative media implored the Democratic Party to “Just Say No” when the annual funding bills for the occupation of Iraq came to the floor. No money, no occupation. The Democrats, 99% of them in fact, stated over and over again that it was a mistake to invade Iraq. They railed how we need to “get our troops out of harms way and leave Iraq to the Iraqis” etc. Blah Blah Blah!! Yet, the Democratic party never once supported those of us who were brave and principled enough to stand up and protest in our towns and cities across America. Few , if any, Democratic politicians would come and stand with us. Locally, we have a man running for Congress, Clint Curtis, who did just that. He came out for cutting funding for the occupation when he ran against incumbent Republican Tom Feeney in ’06. He stood with us on street corners. Now, the Democratic elites are running someone against him, a woman with lots of money behind her. She was AWOL since before the invasion of Iraq, never speaking out against it, right up to now. She supported the funding for the Iraq occupation. Matter of fact, she is on board with most of what the DLC (Democratic Leadership Committee) spews. Where is the Obama Drama on all this? He was so outspoken (he says) against invading Iraq. How often and how passionate did he speak at rallies and demonstrations in ’02, ’03, ’04 , ‘05, ‘06… You get the drift? No, Obama was too busy voting along with the mainstream Democrats on just about every major issue and bill. Did he join with 19 other Senators who wanted to filibuster Alito? Did he vote against the confirmation of Ms. “Smoking gun” Rice for Secretary of State ? Yeah, folks, real… Change.

Well, we do have choices in November. For those from the purist conservative way of thinking, you can vote Libertarian. For we on the progressive side of politics, there is Cynthia McKinney with the Green Party or Ralph Nader. Isn’t it time for the best choice to be the principled one?

Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on itstheempirestupid website. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 500 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the It’s the Empire… Stupid radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at Read other articles by Philip.

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  1. Martha said on August 25th, 2008 at 9:50am #

    This article I loved. Well done.