“Team of Hustlers” – Dr. Michael Brenner

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TEAM OF HUSTLERS

 

 

 

The hustler is a special type.  An American original.  He may crave success, fame, money or power.  The real thrill, though, comes from playing the game and winning.  For some hustlers, it’s the game itself that counts above all else – gratification comes from beating the system even more that beating others.

 


 

Hustlers are in perpetual motion.  They are compulsive schemers – plotting strategems, working angles, recalibrating them.  It’s a non-stop activity. They are never at rest – physical or mental.  Hustling has no obvious starting point, no point of resolution.  Hustlers are utterly self-centered; it’s the hustler against the world.  Everyone else is a ‘player’ in the game, whether witting or not – a few close family members excepted.  Their ego mania is of the narcissistic sort.  Everything out there is screened so that it can be fitted to a mental map where he is the only pole.  That self is the one fixed reference point.  Convictions are alien to his personality – stable convictions anyway.  With the hustler relentlessly assaying everyone and everything, the field of play is in constant flux. He is always evaluating but never committing – to people, to ideas, to any external standard.

 

Totally lacking critical self-awareness, the hustler counts on quick reads and agility.  Tactical course correction is the norm, but the pattern remains the same.  He can't change.  His nemesis is a streak of lucky breaks.  Success inflates self confidence – and recklessness.  The predestined fall comes out of the blue.   

 

Hustlers can team up.  The mastermind and the nuts-and-bolts operator; the designer and the salesman; the aspirant and the fixer. They both admire the fit.  Each overestimates the other; they overestimate themselves. Politics is a natural habitat for the hustler – especially America's contemporary celebrity politics.  Formless and fluid, incoherent – intellectually and structurally, unaccountable and unmonitored, it's suits the hustler's skills and personality.  Motion masquerading as action is its hallmark, just as it is the hustler's trademark. Spin is what life is all about for the hustler.  He spins others, he spins life - and in the process spins himself. 

 

The hustler is drawn to other hustlers.  He understands them, he respects them – especially those good at the game.  Those whose trappings of success signal that they’ve come out on top irresistably attract him.  They also can serve his own unending craving for self-esteem.  The reflective, the habitually honest, the earnest, the selfless hold no interest for him – except as they figure in his calculations.

 

 

Mr. Cinderella Man, come forward.  Yes, please bring Mr. Emanuel with you.

 

Michael Brenner 

Professor of International Affairs

University of Pittsburgh

 

 

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37 Responses to “Team of Hustlers” – Dr. Michael Brenner

  1. lina says:

    I guess I’m supposed to conclude from this fluffy piece of prose that the writer falls into the “Rahm as Rasputin” camp. We used to be divided by party. Now we’re divided by faction.

  2. Binh says:

    Malcolm X was once a hustler, and whatever one thinks of him, I don’t think anyone can say he didn’t change.

  3. JohnH says:

    Touché! It’s amazing how few have noticed the disparity between Obama’s campaign style and his governing style. On the campaign, which was all about self-promotion, he was full of energy and driven to energize and organize others on his behalf.
    When it comes to governing and promoting policy, Obama gives every indication that he finds it distasteful. Somehow he can’t seem to put that golden tongue and community organizing talent to use solving problems. There is no fire in the belly to do anything that doesn’t enhance Obama’s immediate image, even though he must know that success in the pursuit of a challenging legislative agenda would make him shine eternally.
    I’m beginning to regard him as a pathetic figure.

  4. Paul says:

    A perfect description of the Wall Street gang.

  5. DE Teodoru says:

    Exquisite! But you left out the religious article of faith that there’s a sucker born every minute. You also should extend your remark to apply to a corps commander at a time when constipation and shoulder-parrot mentality freezes the Joint Chiefs while command retirees serve as agents of foreign powers. Then the hustler comes forward as the “intellectual” in the service, the answer man who turns everything he touches into victory, ie. With the public ready for yet another hustle while someone else’s kid dies in the hustler’s foolish paradigms– paradigms that he never revisits once set in motion except for photo-ops.

  6. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    So pertinent today.
    There are always Hustlers around war zones loving the absence of law and order. In the recent wars they have been getting DOD contracts. The higher proof versions migrated to Wall Street.
    The one thing that Corporate Media does not mention is how Hustlers have taken control of American finance and government. This is the real reason that the Middle East Wars continue unabated and the Democrats whimper as Health Care Reform is aborted. Washington DC politicians have all awoken with a Horse’s Head in their beds, and willingly take the kickbacks and marching orders from their crony capitalists.

  7. mlaw230 says:

    Wow. Does the esteemed Professor Brenner offer any support for this slander?
    He is long on record as opposing the “Mary Antoinette” camp but this one seems almost Olbermanesquely “over the top” as a foreign policy guy does psychobabble rant.

  8. jonst says:

    Wow! Not very eloquent of me, but it was the first thing I thought of after reading it. That, and man we are in trouble. From the blundering, blustering, spoiled child, coke head incompetent…..to the hustler.
    And this came out on the same day.
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/01/gitmo_obamas_si/
    A devastating set of indictments.

  9. walrus says:

    A subset of the Narcissistic personality disorder phenotype previously commented on.
    You forget the other side of the Hustler coin: “It’s not enough that I win, others must lose.”

  10. BillWade, NH says:

    Early this morning I read this in the Huffington Post:
    “Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, in a recent interview with Mike Allen of Politico warned that the financial markets could react negatively if Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke isn’t confirmed for a second term.”
    Now, later in the day, I see this on AOL’s Financial news:
    “Stocks are recovering Monday from last week’s bruising as prospects brightened that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke would be appointed to another term”
    Sounds like a hustle to me.
    I’ve been reading some “previews” of the upcoming “State of the Union” address, doesn’t sound like much of substance, sorta tepid really.

  11. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Grifters have been our companions for awhile.
    In recent times, we had the wise guys working their magic in the leveraged buyouts in the 80s, gutting the industrial base of the nation, and taking all of the jobs along in their slipstream. Then on to the savings and loan scam. Then NAFTA and the WTO batting cleanup to stomp down the industrial base for good and all. Then the Tech Bubble, and after that had worked its havoc, on to the Housing Bubble (Thanks, Greenspan!). But let me be understood, going by this list, grifting is a bi-partisan activity, and equipped with a self-supporting infrastructure. And now, thanks to the Supremes’ latest decision, corporate personhood will be even more entrenched than heretofore, which is really saying something.
    I am mindful of the words of a song from The Who’s masterful album, Quadrophenia, wherein the old, battle-scarred working class Da tells his son a bitter truth:
    “You’ve been screwed again,
    If you let them do it to you,
    You’ve got yourself to blame,
    It’s you who bears the shame,
    It’s you who feels the pain.

  12. Jose says:

    As an ardent supporter of Foolbama, despite being a registered Republican, I have to agree that Professor Brenner is correct.
    These people make Bill Clinton look like an amateur at playing the “game”.
    Remember the savings and loans scandal of the Papa Bush era, how many bankers were prosecuted and placed in jail?
    Name one banker brought to justice under the Fool’s regime?
    Name one promise kept?
    America deserves better than the past three morons elected to the highest post.
    “Change we can believe in!”

  13. jonst says:

    jonst
    Lina wrote: ” We used to be divided by party. Now we’re divided by faction.”.
    Yes, well when parties merge together on fundamental questions of the day, financial deregulation, national security, perhaps broaden executive authority, labor issues, off-shore trade agreements, intellectual property, and such, all one really has left ARE “factions”.
    MLaw 230…..unless these words were spoken, and transcribed here, you must mean libel, as opposed to “slander’, correct? And in any event, to the extent you are using the term in the legal sense I think you must realize there would be at least 3 defenses that spring to mind to repudiate the allegation you allude to.
    |

  14. Cynthia says:

    According to the New York Times (see link below),
    “Mr. Obama endorsed a bill scheduled for a Senate vote on Tuesday that would create a bipartisan budget commission and require that its recommendations for slashing deficits would get a vote in Congress this year. But he remained ready to establish a panel by executive order if the vote falls short, despite his support.”
    The way I see it is that Obama tried to quell the masses by hiring a pay czar to put an end to the practice of using taxpayer dollars to enrich our already enriched banksters. But at the end of the day, this czar of his has done nothing to end this and other forms of corporate welfare.
    Now Obama is trying to quell the deficit hawks by supporting his fellow Democrats in the Senate to create a deficit commission to cut the fat out of government. But because deficit hawks tend to be Wall Street tycoons who are heavily invested in the defense industry which makes a killing by keeping us bogged down in worthless wars around the world, they won’t demand that cuts be made to the military budget, much less demand that we put a stop to corporate welfare in America. Instead, they’ll demand that cuts be make in Social Security and Medicare: the two federal programs that do the most to meet the needs of ordinary Americans.
    What’s even worse about all of this is that it reinforces the myth held by tea partiers that the Democratic party advocates big government. The truth is that the Republican party advocates big government just as much as the Democratic party does. So it’s too bad that we don’t have a progressive populist counterpart to the tea partiers to let them know that the Democratic party is now playing second fiddle to its Republican counterpart as the party for the rich and only for the rich. Tea partiers need to know that thanks to Robert Rubin and his band of neolibs under Clinton’s leadership and now to Rahm Emanuel and his litter of blue dogs under Obama’s leadership, the Democratic Party is no longer the party that represents the non-rich of our country.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/us/politics/24bernanke.html?hp

  15. Cold War Zoomie says:

    First quibble: if Dr. Brenner thinks hustlers are unique to these here United States, then he’s never had a few pints with ex-cons in Peckham, South London.
    I don’t think Obama’s any more of a hustler than any other politician. ‘W’ hustled a useless war, for cryin’ out loud.
    I do think he will be a one-term wonder, especially now that those people called corporations can band together and drive the entire election narratives from here on out.

  16. Paul in NC says:

    I don’t find this to be a persuasive description of Barack Obama at all. Newt Gingrich? Maybe.

  17. Mark Logan says:

    Saw Krugman’s comment that
    he is beginning to think Obama is not “the One” (the horror…) over the weekend too. Seems disappointing the left only took about year.
    An exceptionally fast dog
    who caught the car is how I view his troubles to date,
    not a pure huckster. I’m going to give him some more time to figure out what he is going to do with it. Not much choice, really.
    He just might figure out how to lead. I can’t tell for sure yet.

  18. mlaw230 says:

    Jonst: I was not of course speaking/writing in the pure legal sense. Frankly, I have found no evidence that professor Brenner ever actually uttered these words- yet I assumed that he did because the Colonel quoted him and because there is no written record at his website. I assumed (I know, I know) that this was a quote from a speech.
    Nevertheless, you are technically correct, although it is a distinction without a difference, a spoken defamation is a slander and a written or otherwise published defamation is a libel.
    I frankly do not think you have a “truth” defense, but to argue it would be to concede the point; the President is clearly a NYT public figure, ; and it is arguably opinion although clearly thinly garbed in “uppity” euphemism as a statement of fact.
    Regardless it is an unsupported assertion of the most defaming kind.

  19. Redhand says:

    It’s amazing how few have noticed the disparity between Obama’s campaign style and his governing style. On the campaign, which was all about self-promotion, he was full of energy and driven to energize and organize others on his behalf.
    When it comes to governing and promoting policy, Obama gives every indication that he finds it distasteful. Somehow he can’t seem to put that golden tongue and community organizing talent to use solving problems. There is no fire in the belly to do anything that doesn’t enhance Obama’s immediate image, even though he must know that success in the pursuit of a challenging legislative agenda would make him shine eternally.
    Well, I haven’t failed to notice. But the bizarre passivity of recent presidents in pushing legislative agendas — leaving it to Congress to slice and dice — isn’t just an Obama phenomenon on “comprehensive health reform” (CHR). Bush had fairly early announced that he was for “comprehensive immigration reform,” (CIR) and then did nothing through two congressional sessions.
    That said, the policy disparities between Obama the candidate and Obama the President are far greater than the stylistic differences. The areas where he’s been a great disappointment to me are:
    1. Re-establishing the rule of law in America as it relates to torture, warrant-less surveillance, indefinite detention without trial of terrorist suspects, “state secret” privileges, etc. Bush made myriad unconstitutional power grabs; Obama is in the process of institutionalizing most of them, while turning a blind eye to real crimes committed by the prior Administration.
    2. Financial reform. Frank Rich’s column in the NYT yesterday says it best: “Obama’s plight has been unchanged for months. Neither in action nor in message is he in front of the anger roiling a country where high unemployment remains unchecked and spiraling foreclosures are demolishing the bedrock American dream of home ownership. The president is no longer seen as a savior but as a captive of the interests who ginned up the mess and still profit, hugely, from it.
    Contrary to his many protestations, Obama doesn’t “get it.”
    He won’t prove to me that he’s interested in real reform of Wall Street until he gets rid of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, and even them I want to see the fine print.
    3. Comprehensive Health Care Reform (CIR) itself. Obama has nobody to blame but himself for letting the Congressional Demos dither. His sleazy and unprincipled betrayal of the public option says it all. He didn’t even try.
    4. Afghanistan. As we shadow box in Iraq while withdrawing “with honor,” Obama caved on Afghanistan. Admittedly, he never clearly said he wouldn’t commit there, but the strategy he is pursuing is all wrong, at least I as surmise from reading these pages. I can’t believe that our currenty strategy is anything other than a prescription for wasting more American lives while we kill countless civilians with drones. Surely, there must be a better way to achieve our national security goals in AFPAK.
    That’s all that strikes me for now, but isn’t it enough?

  20. Patrick Lang says:

    mlaw
    “the Colonel quoted him” No. I posted Dr. Brenner’s article at his request. That is all. pl

  21. fanto says:

    how bad will economy need to be, before the whole nation (dems and reps…)”will get it” and rebel en masse??

  22. par4 says:

    Three more years of this crap administration and then we will probably get a worse one.

  23. jonst says:

    MLaw, ah, “uppity” is it? The race card is dropped on the table.
    Not much to say after that.
    To the other commentators: if the reports I read about Obama’s SOU speech are true he intends to institute a “spending freeze” on depts other than Defense, Homeland Security, other “veterans related spending” .
    Maybe he is not a hustler, a description I certainly buy about Rahm much easier than Obama, by the way. Maybe Obama is simply Jimmy Carter, all over again. Obama’s message is now simple….cut domestic spending, increase military spending.
    Let’s see how that plays with his base. And then lets see how his base plays with him.

  24. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    I couldn’t believe it last night when I heard “A Freeze on Government Spending” last night; words from an old nightmare in the middle of at least 18% real American unemployment and a higher percentage for males. Paul Krugman said it best it’s a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for.
    In the real world there is not a sliver of difference between the Obama Administration and the Bush Administration; the Middle East wars continue and American citizens get screwed. When American voters and reality are ignored, then those pulling the strings on policy decisions are easy to identify. They are from one Street in New York City and they have only one goal in life; Greed.

  25. Amazing post and comments. Bottom line–The President’s first SOU address looks like it will be significant to history of him and his administration. Maybe wrong of course. Forthcoming is Illinois election for his former Senate seat which will be the real take on how his SOU address was received by America. He was dealt a very bad hand IMO but he wanted to play the game and now has almost no chips left in his stash. And he is being called and raised! This might get really ugly.

  26. rjj says:

    I don’t think we can take credit for inventing The Hustler. Some of Shakespeare’s best comedy is based on grifter-gull reciprocity (can’t have one without the other).
    What may be peculiarly American is the mass demand for bunkum — much more interesting than the character defects of the suppliers.

  27. Mark says:

    WRC:
    IMO,
    I think it will get ugly.
    The spending cuts will be
    percieved as mere window dressing. It addresses the
    noise we hear in the media (they don’t “get it” either)
    and not the concerns of the people whose support was
    the real key to his election. These sentiments
    must be addressed in this SOU or they will look for someone else to replace him.
    A little entertainment.
    Done in 2007, so the title
    is unrelated to the townhalls.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUS8mWAxzHM
    Homespun maybe, but exactly what I hear from people today. It’s not his
    unforgivable blackness, it’s not his attempt to fix healthcare, it’s not even so
    much the spending, except to the issue of who is benefiting from it. It’s the perception that he is just another in a long line
    who are beholden to interests who do not have
    the working folks condition in mind. That is what he must change, and very soon.

  28. different clue says:

    I must confess that I didn’t get the Mr. Cinderella Man referrence, so I googled it and learned about Ron Howard’s movie about a Depression-era boxer. Seeing Mr. Emmanuel being referrenced in that context left me even more confused. I can certainly see Mr. Rahmbo Manual as a hustler. I imagine President Obama seeing himself as more of a Philosopher-UnitaryExecutive
    however. His apparent calm does not present the image of motion in pursuit of motion to me. But I will
    look again.
    The description of the Hustler as such reminded me of the description of hustlers from the musical Guys and Dolls..in it for the game more than anything.
    The years-old article describing those hustlers went on to compare them to the Wall Street people of their day…playing games to divert streams of money their way so as to use that money to buy the value created by others.
    But there are hustlers in it for the game, racketeers and embezzlers and ponzi pyramiders and other masters of the griftological arts who are in it for the money not the love. How do I or we protect different parts of our life and work from them all? One thing I have noticed is that after all the diversion and theft of untold billions of dollars worth of dollars by the practitioners of high finance; not one bit of the food inside my cans of canned food has gone missing. With all his powers of money-suction, Madoff didn’t suck a single sardine out through the metal of even one of my cans. Perhaps there is a lesson there somewhere.
    The iron spiderweb weavers of the MSM and the political establishments work very hard to prevent any non-hustler from reaching a position of visible credibility. I remember the Democratic Party nomination struggle for the 2000 election. Howard Dean seemed a non-hustler to me. I think the Establishment feared he was exactly that, so they co-ordinated their activities to image-assassinate him in Iowa. The “Dean Scream” never happened. It was a sonic photo-shop artifact; engineered after the fact by
    erasing the crowd noise he was trying to shout through and elevating his shout to be heard by the crowd. This was then constant cycle-feed-played all over the MSM to paint Dean as crazy. Such methods will be used against any non-hustler who threatens to lure citizens away from the game with a better truer alternative. What kind of “asymetrical political organizing” can citizens who want better wage against
    the MSM-political establishment who work to keep better from emerging?

  29. JM says:

    fanto: “how bad will economy need to be, before the whole nation (dems and reps…)”will get it” and rebel en masse??”
    And then what, after the “mass rebellion?” Put the tea-partiers in charge?
    Bring back high-wage manufacturing jobs? Those days are long gone, unless massive investments are made in education, to enable us to compete more effectively with the other advanced economies.
    Cut back on social programs? Yeah, that’s it. Gut what’s left of the middle class. Few people understand that it was precisely the development of social safety nets that contributed extensively to the development of a solid middle class in the US.
    The only thing that will keep the US from becoming a second-tier economy is the realization that without a highly educated, healthy population, we simply can’t compete in a extensively synchronized global economy.
    Obama as hustler? I couldn’t care less, as long as he pushes to lock in long term strategies for ensuring our prosperity. Unfortunately, he’s dropping the ball all over the place. I for one would like to see a bit more street smarts in our Hustler-in-Chief, thank you.

  30. optimax says:

    wrc,
    Nixon was good at poker. Obama’s game is basketball, he’ll pass. Different types of hustlers, the lone as opposed to the team hustler. Nixon was too paranoid to trust anyone else, except maybe Bebe.

  31. J says:

    Speaking of hustlers……………….
    http://mindbodypolitic.com/2010/01/18/spy-bosses-goldman-behind-full-body-scanner/
    Former Spy Bosses, Goldman Exec Behind Full-Body Scanner | LILA RAJIVA: The Mind-Body Politic
    It turns out that one of the scanner’s strongest advocate, Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Czar, stands to gain by the sale of the scanner, via his security consulting outfit, Chertoff Group.
    Its 8 members include 3 former senior executives from Homeland Security, 2 from the CIA, 3 from the NSA, 1 from FEMA, and 1 from Goldman Sachs.
    Or, to put it another way: 5 spy chiefs, 4 police state hacks, and their megabank paymaster, are making money from governments ordering more of their Peeping Tom machines.
    1. Michael Chertoff is a Co-Founder and Managing Principal, Former Homeland Security Chief
    2. Charles E. Allen: Formerly at The Dept. of Homeland Security along with Chertoff, 40 years at CIA , Central Intelligence Agency
    3. Larry Castro: 44 years at the NSA – the National Security Agency.
    4. Jay M. Cohen: Former Chief of Naval Research at the Dept. of the Navy (under George W. Bush).
    5. Michael Hayden: General US Army. Former Director of NSA, former Director of the CIA (under George W. Bush).
    6. Nathaniel T. G. Fogg: Top executive at FEMA (under George W. Bush).
    7. Paul Schneider: Senior Acquisitions Executive at the National Security Agency (under George W. Bush).
    8. Chad Sweet: Former Chief of Staff at The Dept. of Homeland Security (under George W. Bush). Previously, a top executive at both Morgan Stanley and Goldman-Sachs.

  32. BillWade,NH says:

    Dean, Paul, and Kucinich must put aside their political differences and form a new party that most of us will be able to believe in. I hope that will be our future. None of those 3 are hustlers, all have the best interests of the United States ahead of themselves.

  33. fanto says:

    JM – rebel en masse means to me calling out the National Guard and shooting people in the streets

  34. JM says:

    fanto: “rebel en masse means to me calling out the National Guard and shooting people in the streets”
    Thought so.

  35. DE Teodoru says:

    Ah, Redhand, brilliant observation. But rather than just using first name, “HUSTLERS,” let’s use their family name, CLINTONISTAS, for this PBS FRONTLINE: THE WARNING show is one of many indications of how everything we attribute to the Bush-it Thieves in the Temple began with Clinton:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/
    including our betrayal of the Arabs.
    Let us recall that binLaden sought to do damage to our ECONOMY, not kill Americans. He sought to cripple the “far enemey” economically so he couldn’t interfere while they disposed of the “near enemy” by force– crooked and rotten Muslim regimes that our guns prop-up. But it turns out that, STARTING WITH CLINTON’S CLINTONISTA HUSTLERS and then on to Bush’s “Conservative” (sic) WRECKING CREW, our bankers did a better job recking our economy than Osama would have ever dared dream to do.
    Alas, as the President of “CHANGE,” Obama had no “experts” to run that “change” for his executive branch as he had not been in politics long enough to gather a team of “experts” needed to run the Executive Branch; he only had a team of politicos to run his campaign. So, though he beat the Clintons in the primaries, he then wrapped himself in them, filling every “expert” slot with CLINTONISTAS– especially the Three Stooges who started the downfall of our economy as the saviors of it!!!!
    It was Michelle who pointed out to the Obama that if he wants the horse manure out of the White House he had better put the CLINTONISTA horses out to pasture. But Obama has this black thing that I saw since I came to America, living in Harlem. When a black man is recognized for his abilities he always focuses on how fast he can lose everything he won for he never sees himself as having earned his status, only tolerated by someone who finds him useful., given how often no matter what a black man does he never gets credit for it. So now the game boils down to “ya gotta go along to get along.” Rahm Emanuel has the Israeli Supermensch complex. Just as the IDF thinks itself a superman army because it beat rag-tag armies whose top generals were Israeli informants, Rahm thinks he’s the Al Capone of politics whose every “F—“ paralizes and cows everyone within range. But after an exchange of F-Us with him over how stupidly he ran the 2006 Congressional Campaign, let me tell you, his follow-up to the Fs is to run and hide behind the political machine. Howard Dean realized that too. Perhaps Michelle will put steel in Obama’s spine and insist that he break free of the CLINTONISTA boa-constrictor White House staff working to squeeze him out by 2012 so Hillary can take over. Black women know no fear and feel inferior to no one. But Michelle may conclude that it’s not worth it and wants a normal life for the girls (the assassination threats leveled at Obama run the Secret Service ragged), insisting that they should quit and just go home to a normal life after one term. Remember what Mrs. Pwell said.
    But if Hillary is the Dem in 2012, Petraeus will be the Republican candidate. Despite his many flaws, Hillary is no match. As SecState she shows why she always stuck by Bill no matter what degradation he inflicted on her: she’s a total dufus without him and needs his constant guidance!
    The hustlers in Wash DC go by the assumption that whoever is President is dumber than them so they can always manipulate him/her. I recall how Kissinger thought that about Nixon and, had Watergate not happened, Kissinger would have been exposed as the tool not the tool user on China and Vietnam.
    There is hope in Obama given the role he gave to Paul Volker. Even though he is in his 80s, Obama now chooses to go with Voler instead of the Three Stooges running economic policy. If he cleans the horse manure AND the horses out the White House we can expect real change. But even if he doesn’t, it is clear that Iraq/Afghan Wars are over because we can no longer afford a high-fat bumbling military establishment. We’ll quit our neocon “World War IV” on Islam, lock, stock and barrel by the end of 2011. NATO is in exit mode and Obama is too, despite a diplomatic ramp-up. So 2012 is going to be the “stab in the back” presidential campaign of Petraeus. It is only then that people will see his glaring deficiencies, especially when his “surges” come up. We’ll see that they were nothing but pre-retirement hot flashes covered up as “victories.”

  36. JM says:

    DE Teodoru: “…everything we attribute to the Bush-it Thieves in the Temple began with Clinton…”
    I didn’t realize that Clinton was W’s daddy…but, yes, US political history starts with the Clintons.
    More: “When a black man is recognized for his abilities he always focuses on how fast he can lose everything he won for he never sees himself as having earned his status, only tolerated by someone who finds him useful.”
    …ah, forget it…one man’s generalization is another man’s load of horse manure.
    But I would like to ask why a man is considered “black” when he’s got a white mom and a black dad. Why don’t we call him “white”…?

  37. DE Teodoru says:

    Because “black”– as I learned living in Harlem when I first came here is a features AND “sub-culture” mind-set attribute in the eyes of the white beholder, making the “black” identity of “blacks” reactive, not self initiated. Being black is not like being Jewish– whatever your mom is doesn’t count. It’s what you are and Obama’s two books make clear what he is. By the way, Reverend Wright is just as light and was a Marine who served honorably but somehow is still deemed a RENEGADE rather than an American who did his duty and, therefore, doesn’t have to be listened to when he explains why he’s disillusioned. Noooo, to emphasize his mom’s race, Obama had to abandon a very legit American, Rev. Wright (whose rage at America comes from his broken-hearted love for America). You know how blacks on the battle line are–all as green as whites– but come home and you’re just an uppedy N— if you dare demand your piece of the pie.
    In Europe we were real racists– why every East Euro nation was a race to us! But when you met an individual it was HIM in that skin that mattered most, not his race-nation. But in America racism is pragmatic and this Obama had to deal with: disarming race issue by emphasizing his mom and grandma…it was all a gimmick. But I’m sure you saw what his grandpa thought of all this. I’d like to say more of what I know of Obama’s feelings at Columbia, but I think it would muddle the issues. Suffice it to say that Petraeus/McChrystal silently played that issue to the hilt and for that will pay in history books because Obama’s “gotta go along to get along” has put mediocrity of command front and center, giving them enough rope to hang our troops. Had he not given McChrystal a “surge,” history would never know how much like Petraeus he is: more is better…to ME and history will prove that! There ain’t no “BETTER WAR” here as there was with Vietnam….Petraeus ain’t no Abrams and McChrystal ain’t no Westy!

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