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Is Lame Duck Obama Ready to Fight?

The Last Two Rounds

Not TR's "man in the arena": The Ghanian actor Peter Mensah in the TV show Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

There’s a counter-intuitive power in being a lame duck president. There’s little to lose, while there's still an imposing array of weapons at hand with which to fight and do damage. Obama is also surely thinking of the Hispanic and African American votes that Republicans want to eat into. The harder Republicans fight the climate change and immigration decisions the harder it will be to gain votes in those blocks.

It's worth considering Barack Obama and his legacy issues in the light of Jimmy Carter, the president no sitting American president wants to be compared to. Carter is the well-known model for someone more successful as an ex-president than he was as president. Obama is young, smart, experienced and he should be rightfully quite bitter at how he has been treated by "the loyal opposition." Maybe his current lame duck stage is actually the beginning of his ex-president stage, taking place while he still has a bully pulpit. Maybe he's not so ashamed that he wants to disappear from view and paint his dog and his toes in the bathtub of a security-gated estate. Maybe he's ready to fight.

                 Dorothy, We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Thanks to computerization and other technological advances, traditional nation-state power centers are evolving into shifting sectors of globalized power. This is happening within the thing we call the United States. The more confusing this gets, the more uncertain people become and the more fear rises. Especially after 9/11, this has fueled militarism and a growing police state reality.

The New York Times just revealed an interesting wrinkle in this story. It seems 40 federal agencies each support their own programs of undercover agents posing in fictitious roles. The Agriculture Department has 100 undercover agents; the same goes for NASA, the Small Business Administration, the Education Department, etc. This has led to all sorts of confusions and corruptions. The most absurd problem is one we've seen in Mexico, where two secret police units will open fire on one other. The Times reports this has nearly happened here in the US among undercover units from the different agencies. The Supreme Court even has its own undercover agents in the street infiltrating demonstrations in front of the court.

It gets even more bizarre. Add to the mix a recent Mother Jones report on the national SWAT team competition at the annual Urban Shield conference in San Francisco, which is run in cooperation with the Homeland Security Agency. SWAT teams from local police forces and agencies as diverse as the University of California, NASA and the National Park Service compete against each other in phony scenarios. These days, all sorts of agencies are developing their own SWAT teams.

story | by Dr. Radut