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Obama Road Tests Hopey-Changey Big Lie 2.0: He’ll Reincarnate as Teddy Roosevelt if You Are Dumb Enough to be Fooled Twice

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Wow, I have to hand it to Obama’s spinmeisters. They’ve managed to find a way to resurrect his old hopium branding by calling it something completely different that still has many of the old associations.

And we have a twofer in Obama’s launch of his new branding as True Son of Teddy Roosevelt. Never mind that Teddy, unlike Obama, was accomplished in many walks of life and had meaningful political accomplishments (such as reforming the corrupt New York City police department) before becoming President at the tender age of 42. The second element of this finesse is that Obama is using the Rooseveltian imagery to claim he will pass legislation to get tough on Big Finance miscreants. That posture, is of course meant to underscore the idea that you just can’t get the perps with the present, weak set of laws.

Team Obama may have planned to wheel this new, improved image out later, with the timing accelerated by Judge Jed Rakoff’s decision against a proposed $285 million settlement between the SEC and Citigroup over a bum CDO in which Citi allegedly wielded considerable influence over its contents so it could bet against it. The SEC has gone on a full bore media offensive against Rakoff, with enforcement chief Robert Khuzami’s becoming uncharacteristically accessible to the media and also using scheduled speaking engagements to take issue with Rakoff’s ruling. And on top of Khuzami’s own efforts, the media has taken up some other dubious plants by the SEC. The biggest howler is a story in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week. Titled “Financial Crimes Bedevil Prosecutors,” not one of the sources for the story is a prosecutor!

The centerpiece of the piece is one David Cardona, who just joined the SEC. Gee, you think he is going to do anything other than sell the party line? And what was his last job? At the FBI, investigating financial crimes, which by the way, resulted in pretty much no criminal cases, except, curiously, Taylor Bean. But doesn’t count, since the wronged parties were even bigger fish.

Now why is Cardona’s opinion on these matters worthless? He was a cop, not an attorney. He is not a legal expert, and any opinion he has on the legal issues would come from the lawyers he worked with. And since neither the last nor the current DOJ has the slightest interest in getting tough on bank execs, you can be sure all he heard were persuasive rationalizations as to why all sorts of dirt he turned up just was not sufficient. It’s plenty easy to justify failure and timidity.

And who were the other sources for this dictation masquerading as reporting? Well, there was a lone dissenting comment by Phil Angelides of the FCIC, noting that the FBI investigations of mortgage fraud were inadequate. That’s one paragraph out of 24. Khuzami is quoted, as well as a Department of Justice in-house flack.

While we have the Feds insisting that it’s just too hard to go after miscreants in finance, this week we have Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto continuing with her step-by-step, classic prosecution strategy of going after low level organization members to roll the higher ups. As we’ve indicated, she has targeted Lender Processing Services and is going after more mid level employees. Her effort has the potential to bust open bad conduct across all major servicers. LPS has among other things, allegedly engaged in escrow abuses and charging other impermissible fees, as well as foreclosure related abuses. LPS maintains that everything it did was with the full knowledge and approval of its clients, meaning the big servicers.

And the reach of Masto’s effort, and the potential damage to the Administration’s credibility has just grown considerably. Yesterday, California attorney general Kamala Harris joined the Masto effort. This strongly suggests that Harris will also be seeking indictments. And remember, California, unlike Nevada, has a major bank headquartered in state (Wells) as well as other substantial banking operations (the legacy Countrywide units). For Harris, who is reputed to be, shall we say it politely, sensitive to the political winds, to make a shift like this, suggests a real change in the political climate is underway.

So let’s return to the rebranding of Obama. From the Financial Times:

Barack Obama outlined a plan to toughen penalties against banks that commit fraud in a speech on Tuesday that hardened his attacks on Republicans for “collective amnesia” in backing policies that caused the financial crisis and economic downturn.

Speaking in Osawatomie, Kansas, Mr Obama summoned the spirit of another president, Teddy Roosevelt, who spoke in the same city a century ago about his “new nationalism” and the need for a fairer system that supported the middle class..

Mr Obama was scathing about the banks’ opposition to new financial regulations, saying they were only feared by “financial institutions whose business model is built on breaking the law, cheating consumers or making risky bets that could damage the entire economy”.

“I’ll be calling for legislation that makes [anti-fraud] penalties count – so that firms don’t see punishment for breaking the law as just the price of doing business.”

The misdirection is blindingly obvious. The claim is that the Administration needs new tools to get tough on banks. No, it has plenty of tools, starting with Sarbanes Oxley. As we’ve discussed at length in earlier posts, Sarbox was designed to eliminate the CEO and top brass “know nothing” excuse. And the language for civil and criminal charges is parallel, so a prosecutor could file civil charges, and if successful, could then open up a related criminal case. Sarbox required that top executives (which means at least the CEO and CFO) certify the adequacy of internal controls, and for a big financial firm, that has to include risk controls and position valuation. The fact that the Administration didn’t attempt to go after, for instance, AIG on Sarbox is inexcusable. The “investigation” done by Andrew Ross Sorkin in his Too Big To Fail (Willumstad not having a good handle on the cash bleed, the sudden discovery of a $20 billion hole in the securities lending portfolio, the mysterious “unofficial vault” with billions of dollars of securities in file cabinets) all are proof of an organization with seriously deficient controls.

But more broadly, it’s blindingly obvious this Administration has never had the slightest interest in doing anything more serious than posture. As we wrote in early 2010:

Recall how we got here. Early in 2009, the banking industry was on the ropes. Both the stock and the credit default swaps markets said that many of the big players were at serious risk of failure. Commentators debated whether to nationalize Citibank, Bank of America, and other large, floundering institutions..

This juncture was a crucial window of opportunity. The financial services industry had become systematically predatory. Its victims now extended well beyond precarious, clueless, and sometimes undisciplined consumers who took on too much debt via credit cards with gotcha features that successfully enticed into a treadmill of chronic debt, or now infamous subprime and option-ARM mortgages..

The widespread, vocal opposition to the TARP was evidence that a once complacent populace had been roused. Reform, if proposed with energy and confidence, wasn’t a risk; not only was it badly needed, it was just what voters wanted.

But incoming president Obama failed to act. Whether he failed to see the opportunity, didn’t understand it, or was simply not interested is moot. Rather than bring vested banking interests to heel, the Obama administration instead chose to reconstitute, as much as possible, the very same industry whose reckless pursuit of profit had thrown the world economy off the cliff. There would be no Nixon goes to China moment from the architects of the policies that created the crisis, namely Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers..

Obama’s repudiation of his campaign promise of change, by turning his back on meaningful reform of the financial services industry, in turn locked his Administration into a course of action. The new administration would have no choice other that working fist in glove with the banksters, supporting and amplifying their own, well established, propaganda efforts.

Thus Obama’s incentives are to come up with “solutions” that paper over problems, avoid meaningful conflict with the industry, minimize complaints, and restore the old practice of using leverage and investment gains to cover up stagnation in worker incomes. Potemkin reforms dovetail with the financial service industry’s goal of forestalling any measures that would interfere with its looting. So the only problem with this picture was how to fool the now-impoverished public into thinking a program of Mussolini-style corporatism represented progress.

The list of evidence supporting this view is so lengthy that I am certain to miss quite a few items: the lack of serious investigation, the phony stress tests, the perpetually missing in action DOJ, allowing the banks to exit the TARP pronto, the mortgage fraud whitewash investigation, the clever sidelining of Elizabeth Warren, the way too weak Dodd Frank legislation, which is being watered down further with the blessing of Timothy Geithner. And speaking of legislation, gee, if it was really that hard to prosecute bank miscreants, why wasn’t that incorporated in Dodd Frank? Awfully convenient to notice that supposed oversight now, with no hope of getting a tough bill passed at this juncture and statutes of limitations running out.

Frankly, the fact that the Administration has joined Khuzami in the “oh, it’s SO hard to prosecute” messaging leads me to believe the SEC really will throw the case. It’s plenty clear this Administration has let the people who really count know it has no intention of ever carrying a stick.

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290 comments

    1. billh

      Barack Obama’s facebook avatar Quote of the day: “A strong middle class can only exist in an economy where everyone plays by the same rules, from Wall Street to Main Street.” –President Obama speaking today in Osawatomie, Kansas. What he didn’t say…”A strong middle class can only exist when my Administration enforces the same rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street.”

      1. Fifi

        No, no, you don’t get it.

        When it comes to Washington DC, a passive voice is always in order. “Mistakes were made”. “Feelings were hurt”.

        The English grammar even has had its own tense to conjugate verbs, just for politicians, the past exonerative.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_exonerative

        Now, Obama being about progress and the future and hope and good things, he brings us a new progress in Beltway English grammar, the future evasive :-)

        [ Joking set aside, Obama won't have a primary adversary and the GOP candidate, whoever it is, will be awful. So it looks we'll all be stuck with the usual lesser of both evils. Great. ]

        1. nun yerbizness

          this is what “muddling through” looks like…get used to it and never doubt for moment that it could all go horribly wrong very quickly

        2. orionATL

          fifi-

          “past exonerative”

          “future evasive”

          delightful!

          all perhaps part of the “exculpatory mode”;

          a form of the english language which is acceptable speech only when used by persons of high political or economic status.

        3. Richard Kline

          Obummer has not been, nor will he ever be, about anything other than Potemkin regulation.

          —But it if wasn’t him under the current political system, it would be another face, hopey or nasty, pasted on the same policies. Out with the Red-Blues, in with the Blue-Reds. Folks, vote for Green or Black if you’re voting for anybody on the ballot, if not for a change of scenery than at least a different color scheme, methinks. Me, I’m writing in for Mike Check.

      2. rps

        “Those who live upon ‘hope’ will die fasting.” Benjamin Franklin

        Obama’s anorexia is self-evident.

    2. KnotRP

      The Banker’s President is the current candidate for the Red-Blue Team (Republican operatives are trying really
      hard to make sure no electable candidate arises).

      I suspect 2012 will be the year of the anyone but Red-Blue vote.

      1. nun yerbizness

        it is odd that when the balloon was expanding there was no outrage.

        there was no calling for the heads of banks, hedge funds, rating agencies to have their heads placed on pikes.

        we have been here before, many times.

        President Obama did not run as a revolutionary—he is not a revolutionary. President Obama is behaving as an ethical physician would abiding by the principle of “first do no harm.”

        muddling through is the best we can hope for.

        do you really believe the golden rule—those with the gold rule—was first written in 2003?

        focus your anger and disappointment more precisely and be sure that what you say and do “first does no harm.” This is NOT the time for lashing out, throwing a tantrum and demanding to have NOW! that which you know is not achievable in the short run.

        mom and dad’s retirement, your future, the future of any children you have/expect to have/hopium to have are in their hands.

        this in not a video game.

        you are NOT in control.

          1. EH

            Will it translate your comment, or at least replace all the pronouns with whatever it is you’re actually talking about?

        1. Lafayette

          you are NOT in control.

          You-singular, no. You-plural, yes – you are in control.

          What is so thick about understanding democracy? We, the sheeple, want to sit out the midterms because we are sooooo tired of Obama not doing this or not doing that – which lets the T-Party (T for Troglodyte) into the HofR. Which promptly begins to stonewall any and all legislation from the Oval Office?

          Fifty-two percent of all American voters stayed away from the midterm elections. And that is nothing new. For all this bravura about being the Greatest Democracy One Earth, we are indolent about voting in elections.

          But getting pissed off at some PotUS who doesn’t do what we think he should do or should have done … well, that’s just up our alley. We sit behind a computer and bitch-in-a-blog.

          Big Effing Deal, that. What courage. What bravery. What nonsense.

          Democracy is a living thing. Either you participate or you spectate. Either you use it or you lose it.

          We’d had ample time to get over the euphoria of Obama’s win. But we didn’t. Like dreamers, we thought that he’d do what was right – even though the Dems lost the Senate (which scuttled the Public Option Health Care that we’ll never get). And with the mid-terms we lost the ball entirely.

          Yep, it’s all BO’s fault cuz it just can’t be ours, can it?

          Get out an militate for a profound reform of America by means of progressive values implemented into law. That means changing the denizens of this Congress, because they pass legislation. The PotUS only signs legislation into law. (Try to remember, it’s not hard – we have a tripartite system of government.)

          Pointing the finger of blame never solved a problem. It’s just a cathartic effort to make ourselves feel better.

          1. Vloxxap

            We, the sheeple, want to sit out the midterms because we are sooooo tired of Obama not doing this or not doing that – which lets the T-Party (T for Troglodyte) into the HofR. Which promptly begins to stonewall any and all legislation from the Oval Office?

            Not voting for an incumbent party that gave you the shaft?

            Horror.

            Fifty-two percent of all American voters stayed away from the midterm elections. And that is nothing new.

            It was rather new compared to 2008. Now why might that be?

            For all this bravura about being the Greatest Democracy One Earth, we are indolent about voting in elections

            Because we’re going to get shafted no matter whoever wins?

            But getting pissed off at some PotUS who doesn’t do what we think he should do or should have done … well, that’s just up our alley. We sit behind a computer and bitch-in-a-blog.

            Uh, that’s called a “public discourse”. It’s what’s supposed to happen in a democracy. I suppose sullen silence would look more “democratic” to you?

          2. JTFaraday

            “We’d had ample time to get over the euphoria of Obama’s win. But we didn’t.”

            Huh? What?

            “Like dreamers, we thought that he’d do what was right – even though the Dems lost the Senate (which scuttled the Public Option Health Care that we’ll never get).”

            You’re the one who’s dreaming. Obama moved the Public Option off the table in the back room and they voted on that POS *before* the 2010 elections… which is WHY the Dimwit-Party lost… the HOUSE.

            I don’t know why I bother. (And I don’t even pay attention to this crap).

          3. Fiver

            That is garbage. He did not do 1 single thing within his ambit of power as President to address any important aspect of the financial crisis – or anything else.

            He could’ve appointed quality people, not Wall Street scum and Bush war retreads. He could’ve instructed the DoJ, FBI et al to immediately mount SERIOUS criminal investigations aimed at SENIOR officers of every major entity involved. He could’ve fired, and perhaps charged, every regulator who failed to regulate, or actively conspired to defraud the US government and people. He could’ve told Bernanke to hit the fucking road. And by doing all these things (and more) he would’ve completely obliterated his political opposition, opening the path for real health care reform, real energy/climate legislation, a real end of the insane wars on Islam, and much, much more.

            All he had to be was even half-assed honest. He still managed to come up a half short. By NOT undoing the disasters of Bush and Clinton when it was absolutely vital, he goes down as the greatest failure in US Presidential history.

        2. ggm

          I take you are new to the financial blogosphere? There absolutely was outrage during the bubble years.

          1. nun yerbizness

            beg your pardon…

            “there was outrage during the bubble years…”

            which bubble would that be?

            savings and loan/junk bond fraud?

            tech “have I got a business plan for U” bubble years?

            “just go shopping” zero cost money/Greenspan-Gramm-Cheney-Bush guns and butter economy?

            there is thing called the internet please point me to the outrage.

            I can point you to my posts on WSJ blogs in 2007 that laid out where we were going and lo and behold here we are as forecast but then you aren’t really interested.

        3. orionATL

          non yerbizness -

          you’re an excuse maker and undeviating loyalist.

          obama’s “job” did not involve dealing with the the boom,

          only with the consequences of the bust.

          obama has not dealt with that bust in any but the most timid way.

          he has also gone out of his way to AVOID creating a public sentiment opposing corporations and politicians who have acted against the public interest.

          your “first do no harm” (from the physician’s oath) is a pitifully weak excuse for the behavior of an amoral, power-craving president.

          a president who, as a candidate, misrepresented his intentions to the public who came to support him so blatantly that his misrepresentations would have been legal fraud had he been selling a product.

          1. nun yerbizness

            can you be just a tad more specific?

            I mean throwing around the word fraud and all…

            what would you have had President Obama do that would have made a tinkers damn after the fact of global bank heist of mind numbing scale.

            you want to put someone in the stocks on the commons and hurl rotten veggies go drag Paulson out of his digs in Georgetown.

  1. rjs

    i think yves meant: “And the language for civil and criminal charges is parallel, so a prosecutor could file civil charges, and if successful, could then open up a related criminal case.”

  2. Sam

    Please tell us what you think a Republican President would do, given the Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.

    1. loyal dem

      Was my thought as well, the horns of a dilemma. Smoke, mirrors, flashpots will only obscure the fact that the ship of state is rudderless in regards to these issues. Hard to give full throated support to a favored incumbent who would rather refashion reality than to face it, although we face the related reality that without coattails we could lose Congress as well.

      1. Aquifer

        “we could lose Congress” Who is “we”?

        If by “we”, you mean Dems, yeah, maybe, but doesn’t seem like having them there has done much good, now has it ..

        If by “we” you mean the 99%, shucks, we lost Congress quite some time ago …

      2. shekissesfrogs

        Not that the Republicans don’t want to be, but if you look at the votes for TARP, the Democrats overwhelmingly voted yes. Mitt Romney is fighting for that position, but bain is his middle name.
        I just have to think about Barney Frank, Dodd, Corzine
        Who’s the R equivalent? Phil Gramm.

        This is the breakdown on the first vote for the TARP which failed:
        YEA/NO
        D) 140/95
        R) 63/133

        http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll674.xml
        The Vote that passed:
        YEA/NO
        D) 172/63
        R) 91/108

        http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll681.xml

        Call Republicans what you will, I think this is projection by DEMS.

    2. nowhereman

      The republican didn’t promise change we can believe in, and didn’t get elected as a result.
      Yes, THE BIG LIE.
      That’s what makes his crimes all the more heinous, we wouldn’t have expected much more from a republican, and that, my friend, is why it really matters.

      1. Tom B

        The Democrats aren’t really any different are they? They are simply less obvious and public about their subservience. Just as Republicans are currently hiding behind their (currently assumed) cloak of embracing “free markets”, the Democrats hide behind the cloak of defending the middle class. However, both take handouts from the Corporate Party (as I like to call them), and both are really no more than competing subsidiaries of the oligarchy, which is currently the true ruling class of this country, and perhaps even the whole planet.

        1. Seattle Andrew

          Tom,
          We tried the whole “Democrats aren’t different” thing in 2000. Ralph Nader, the third party spoiler, made it explicit. But look how that turned out. If you don’t think Gore would have done things differently than GBII you haven’t been paying attention. Finance IS this era’s bargain with the devil. Both sides have made it. Here’s something the media seem to have missed re: Osawatomie: It was John Brown’s base during the brush-fire civil war fought between abolitionist and pro-slavery forces in the 1850s. It’s not far from where Brown and his sons killed five pro-slavery farmers with broadswords in the Pottawatomie Massacre. Roosevelt probably picked it because of this history: It’s a place where dramatic change begins.

          1. Tom B

            Andrew, you think that Gore is different? I certainly have been paying attention. He’s complicit himself. Running a hedge fund that profits from his own “warnings” of the dangers of global warming? That’s not market manipulation I suppose?

            You really should read this whole paper to get the additonal background, however I start you off with this part, which I hope will wake you up from the misconception that any of the people in the Clinton/Bush dynasty are above board. They’re not.

            http://www.dunwalke.com/10_Clinton_Administration.htm

          2. Teddy

            He’s also in league with Van Jones who made a fiery populist pro OWS speech that was capped off with this plum:

            “we need to build a smart network in this country!” You know for jobs, social justice, to fight racism etc….

            Al Gore is, I believe, the main stockholder in Silver Springs Network which manufactures smart meters.

          3. Historicaecon

            Well, I’m fairly certain Gore would have responded differently to the challenges of the oughts. All we see from his hedgie activities is that he didn’t respond differently to the opportunities. No Gore, no Iraq. And significantly less all war all the time nonsense. That would have saved a few hundred thousand lives.

          4. Tom B

            Historicaecon, you’re totally missing the point I think. Al Gore didn’t just follow the crowd with his investment activity. His actions would get a smaller time schemer a few years in the pokey for market manipulation and insider trading. He brought to the forefront the “problem”, “Global Warming”, drummed it up, proposed solutions (that cost you and I money to implement), and all the while he was partners in a hedge fund that profitted from the solutions. Read the article Fitts wrote concerning his activities with the For Profit prison system, the so-called ‘War on Drugs”, the push for laws to ensure those prison beds got filled that he and others profitted from. The number of the people who are running this circus are profitting big time from their psotions, and doing it all at our expense (in more ways than one).

            Who cares what decision Gore may or may not have made regarding the war in Iraq. That’s academic. Yes, maybe it wouldn’t have happened, but like the Clinton admin, some kind of money making scheme would have ensued. Maybe different than the one Bush instituted, but one would have come up none the less. Certainly you wouldn’t try to argue that we weren’t engaging in hostilities/empire building during Clinton’s admin, would you? Serbia, Somalia, Iraq…. Like I said before, the Democrats are simply better than the Republicans at hiding their dirty laundry.

          5. Aquifer

            Tom B, do i take this to mean that you think the climate change scenario is a farce? Good grief, man, don’t let your dislike for Gore lead you to throw out the truth of this disaster in the making. That’s rather like saying, IMO, that because someone is making some money off the sun rising means that, in reality, it won’t …

          6. Aquifer

            Histori …

            “No Gore, No Iraq”? I think you may have meant “No Bush, no Iraq” but in any case, have you forgotten Clinton/Gore’s Iraq? Albright’s statement that half a million Iraqi children’s lives lost to the sanctions regime was “worth the price”? Or was that OK because no American lives were lost ..

        2. Dameocrat

          Given Gores selection of neocon Joe Lieberaman as his vp, I think it is highly unlikely he would have fought the Iraq war too. He didnt become serious about global warming till he was out of office and couldnt do anything about it. He was part of an adminstration that opposed ratification of Kyoto.

          1. Dameocrat

            edit Given Gores selection of neocon Joe Lieberaman as his vp, and other neocon foriegn policy wonks, I think it is highly likely he would have fought the Iraq war too. He didnt become serious about global warming till he was out of office and couldnt do anything about it. He was part of an adminstration that opposed ratification of Kyoto.

          2. Wasabi

            It’s also highly likely that we would have had the same housing bubble under Gore and the same Wall St. meltdown and bailout. And we would therefore now have a Republican president, probably with Palin as VP. The 99% cannot win under this system, and each Dem president is worse than the last, so the hope of progress under the two-party system is a dangerous distraction. The sign Dante read as he entered the Inferno was much more helpful.

      1. Seattle Andrew

        I’m wondering, instead, why the University of California is at the top, along with Columbia, Harvard etc. What have the big Universities gotten out of Obama? If you think this is about their students…

        1. Stephen Nightingale

          I looked at that U. Cal donation and at first thought about jiggery pokery with their pension fund and employment practices. But the other important place to look is at the budget of the National Science Foundation. This Agency operates out of two modest office buildings in Arlington, but they get $6.8 billion in 2012. Most of this is distributed in research grants to Universities. Not just some struggling Assistant Professor’s obsequious $50,000 ask, but big ones. Look also at how the Dept of Energy is structured. All those labs like Livermore and Berkeley (also the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena) are operated by Universities, and U Cal has a big stake in these. So $1.6 million to ensure that the billions keep flowing is really cheap insurance.

    3. steelhead23

      Your premise is wrong. The Republican Party is not wholly owned by Wall Street – its a long-term mortgage, and I think the party is underwater and the street is likely to take a loss on its investments. Also, folks like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson appear to be carrying protest signs down Maiden Lane.

    4. MarkJ

      It’s a Tortoise versus the Hare race. Republicans and Democrats reach the same destination just at different times and of course the same bad outcomes are bestowed upon the 99%.

    5. valerie

      I’d settle for just enforcing the laws we have, and complying with the procedures we already have in place. That, and get out of the business of looting government funds on behalf of my bundlers.

    6. JTFaraday

      “Please tell us what you think a Republican President would do, given the Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.”

      The point is that it’s not a convincing re-election campaign.

      The Bush II Administration probably prosecuted more corporate miscreants following Enron and WoldComm etc, than Obama did with MUCH more to work with. They also dissolved Arthur Anderson.

      Thus, there’s no reason for Republicans, Rep leaning independents, or disgusted Democrats to buy this new spin. The only people people buying this are those Bots who are going to vote for Bam no matter what he does.

      To have a chance with the rest of us, he’d have to have a record by now.

      If anything, Obama’s record is SO bad this plays right into the hands of the Republicans.

    7. EH

      Uh, both the Democrats and Republicans are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Wall Street. The result would have been the same as it is now, except probably using different language to describe it.

    8. par4

      No! The Republicans are a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Oil and Big Coal. Obama and the Dems are owned by Wall Street and the Telecoms.

    9. Binky the Bear

      Our choices are death or bongo bongo, as the joke goes. Our alternative is death by bongo bongo.

    10. orionATL

      and the democratic party, my party for many decades,

      is not?

      what you been smokin’ boy?

      ever heard of a senator named schumer?

      dodd?

      bayh?

      lieberman?

      just because some of these senators are gone or going means nothing.

      the dem party, indeed, the congress, is owned by the banks -

      summary of a quote from sen. durbin.

      you’re not, by any chance, a part of the O man’s campaign are you?e

  3. DC Native

    And why couldn’t he do this…you know…during the three years he’s already been in office? Funny how elections always change a president’s “priorities.”

  4. Frank Powers

    Great – getting a fake Teddy 2.0 when what you need is really anotehr Franklin Delano. They don’t make those any more these days…

      1. Soullite

        Give me internment over Guantanamo bay, torture prisons scattered around western Europe and a nation-wide crackdown on peace activists (that people like you haven’t said one word about for a year and a half)any day!

    1. mac

      The Depression ended when we entered WWII, FDR would never have ended it.
      We need first to throw out the Entire House and Senate and elect folks who will do reasonable things, no Tea Party, no hope and change folks, but mature rational honest folks.
      Then we all must stop trying for special deals for oureslves or some gang we join.

  5. Woodrow Wilson

    This piece just confirms that 300+ million Americans (and growing) are SOL.

    Regardless of your political persuasion, Democrats and Republicans have failed and sold most of us out. 2012 and beyond isn’t going to matter as the sucking sound gets louder and louder. The Rule of Law has been subverted to benefit only a very few, and the looting and pillaging will continue.

    Even with valiant efforts like Yves (and others) to inform, there’s just not enough of us. The current generation is too passive to truly fight.

    1. digi_owl

      And given the kinds of solutions the Euro-governments are cooking up, so are Europeans.

      Funny how the priority of the UK prime minister is to ensure any euro-zone restructuring do not unfavorably impact the city of London. Shows that they all are hooked on the same drug, the drug of finance.

      1. Vloxxap
        The current generation is too passive to truly fight.

        And given the kinds of solutions the Euro-governments are cooking up, so are Europeans

        Being vassal to a military colossus will do that to you.

        That’s why it’s called “pacification”.

    1. Steve Roberts

      People don’t have to protest, they have to think outside the box. Stop thinking their only two options are to vote Democrat or vote Republican. There are alternatives, vote for them. Republicans and Democrats are the same thing. When people buy into the hype of party talking points and think something major is on the line, we’ve all lost.

      As an example, Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and House and didn’t raise taxes at all. They lose the Senate and amazingly it’s life or death that they must change taxes (knowing Republicans will stop them). That’s how the parties lead in this country and it must be stopped.

      1. jonboinAR

        Always vote for exactly who you think should be president. Always!Stop falling for the “lesser of two evils trap.” IOW, pay no attention to any particular party affiliations. If your candidate is not one of the two on the printed ballot, write in your choice. That’s one way we’ll start making a difference.

  6. jake chase

    Anybody who knew anything about Obama’s history should have known he would prove an empty suit windbag politician beholden to those who financed him. He has never been anything else. Unfortunately, there is no suggestion that anyone among the Republican candidates intends serious financial reform (or prosecution of financial crimes either). What is most amusing is the continual corporate media broadsides blasting BHO as divisive and accusing him of inciting the sheeple to class war. As Buffet told us several years ago, we already have a class war, and his class is winning.

    The situation is much like the Viet Nam War. Nothing will change until enough people stage determined protests addressed to globalization and financialization and usury. Apart from that we can look forward to permanent unemployment of 12-15 million, and another 25 million at minimum wage. It is difficult to imagine the social result being attractive, even for those not completely squashed, even for those living on Easy Street. Growth is definitely not the answer, but the hope of growth is all the corporate manipulators have to offer.

    1. alex

      “Nothing will change until enough people stage determined protests addressed to globalization and financialization and usury.”

      You’re very very correct. Given a choice between a bought-and-paid-for party and a bought-and-paid-for-AND-JUST-PLAIN-CRAZY party we’ve limited electoral choices.

      OWS and its various affiliates having been chased from public spaces by riot police in the middle of the night, they’re now starting to occupy foreclosures. They’ve gone viral. God bless them – they’re the Republic’s best hope.

    2. EH

      Unfortunately, there is no suggestion that anyone among the Republican candidates intends serious financial reform (or prosecution of financial crimes either).

      This is exactly how and why the parties are the same. There is no point distinguishing between them until one or both start talking about prosecutions using existing laws.

    3. kemo sabe

      I’m not hopeful that protests alone will bring about real change unless the people in our country realize that there are no magic, instant solutions, no messiah who can flip a switch and instantly make things right and that neither of the two major parties are going to do anything for them. Things didn’t go bad all of a sudden and things are not going to get better all of a sudden either. We must work towards ridding ourselves of the boots placed on our necks by the wall street, insurance, oil and gas corporations and other multi-nationals. We can do it if we don’t get get fooled again by phonies like Obama.

    4. nun yerbizness

      what ever it is “like” it is not the least bit like Viet Nam!

      and direct action did NOT end the US’s prosecution of war in Viet Nam!

      Kent State ended direct action and the war did not end until 1975 despite Nixon’s “Secret Plan” of peace.

  7. fresno dan

    “Whether he failed to see the opportunity, didn’t understand it, or was simply not interested is moot.”
    You forgot corrupt.
    Now I don’t mean corrupt in so simple or venal a matter as getting a bribe and doing some specific action. I mean the defintion of changing something so that it is less pure or valuable. Whether it is the rule of law, and the impartial administation of the rules, in spite of TBTF, or the principal of capitalism as a profit and LOSS system, where the foolish and imprudent take the losses for their “investments” gone bad, instead of sloughing off onto the taxpayers.
    Or perhaps even failing to be true to oneself in being choate and coherent in one’s own beliefs – the corruption of expediency. I can understand what is said during campaigning – but after the election there was an opportunity for real accountability. The “safe”, the status quo, has not served the president well.
    President Obama had a once in a lifetime opportunity to point out the flaws of a system with too many Goldman Sachs people in the FED and treasury, regardless of republican or democratic administation, or rules not or unequally enforced, or worse, written by the very people they were intended to apply to, and of the lack of consequence to those who knew, or if they did not know, were derelect in the performance of their duties.
    Now the festering corruption of the financial system, once curable with a minor amputation, threatens the very existence of the body politic.
    Finally, I can’t help but note that “laws” are not the problem and are never the problem. Laws on the books were more than adequate to prosecute in the Savings and Loans scandal in the leate 80′s. We don’t need ever expanding laws – we need the will to enforce the ones we got.

  8. Wally

    Obama needs the bankers to fund his re-election campaign – He’s not going to get any help from the Oil, Coal, Healthcare or Pharma people, nor will he get the massive assistance from the general public in small donations ala 2008.

    He may be from the Land of Lincoln, but he’s also from the city that gave us Al Capone. The bankers will be paying protection money thinly disguised as campaign contributions.

    Having said that, I’ll support him because the Republicans are far, far worse on all the issues I care about. Not happy about it – wish it was different – but that’s how I see it.

    1. JCC

      Isn’t it a shame that our voting booth experience has come down to “Hmmm… Benito Mussolini… or Mohammad Reza Pahlavi ????”.

      I’m awfully tired of choosing the lesser of two evils… and the “Hope” choice was pretty much ruined 3 years ago.

      I would love to know what would happen if no one at all showed up to vote.

      1. Bill C

        “I would love to know what would happen if no one at all showed up to vote.”

        Why, the Supremes would appoint the Repug President, like they did in ’04.

      2. CaitlinO

        If no one showed up to vote, it would be taken as a sign that Americans don’t care enough about our democracy to defend it.

        I care and I believe you care. So I’m going to show up to vote and I’m going to write in William Black. It’s the best way I can come up with to communicate what I want from my country’s leadership.

        On a positive note, does anybody believe that Obama would have even bothered to blow this bit of blarney our way without OWS? The content of this speech at least says that he’s concerned enough about the growing disgust of the public to acknowledge it publicly. Granted, there’s no evidence yet that he’s concerned enough to acknowledge it with action – still, if the pressure can be continued maybe there will be actual movement from him and/or other candidates.

        1. KnotRP

          Maybe OWS needs to work on getting Bill Black to be a valid write in candidate in all 50 states before the election?

          It’s time to do something that produces a better choice
          at the polls. The party system is a complete failure.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      A few points in response to your post, Wally. I suspect there are a lot of people thinking like you are now, namely that they’ll vote for Obama as the least bad choice available. It remains to be seen, however, what will happen when they’re in the voting booths, pen in hand, ready to mark the ballot. I vividly recall my own experience in 1968 when, as I saw it, Humphrey was too closely attached to LBJ’s apron strings to pull the plug on Vietnam, and therefore had decided to vote for Nixon. But when I got in the voting booth I literally could not bring myself to pull that lever marked Richard M. Nixon and voted for Hubert after all. I think many who worked and voted for Obama enthusiastically in 2008 are going to have similar experiences next year.

      I do, however, believe Obama is likely to be reelected, first because many centrist voters will see him as the least-worse alternative, but also because he’ll get more contributions from the business community than you suggest, if only for “insurance” reasons. And that overflowing campaign chest will go a long way to compensate for greatly diminished turnout of campaign volunteers.

      And that leads into my final point, namely that while Obama has a good chance of being reelected, 2012 is going to be a down-ticket disaster for the Democratic Party as a whole. This is because a large part of the coat-tail effect of the presidential candidate is the number and enthusiasm of the volunteers he or she attracts to the campaign. In their door-knocking and phone-banking, those volunteers do as much for the candidates for the US Congress and state houses as they do for the presidential candidate. In this regard, 2012 will be a pale shadow of 2008.

      The best thing that could have happened to the Democrats would have been the emergence of a credible candidate to challenge Obama for the nomination, one who would have framed the race as a battle for the soul of the Party. As it is, the party may be only a few steps away from the ash heap of history.

      1. Yearning To Learn

        As it is, the party may be only a few steps away from the ash heap of history.

        we could only hope, but that is not the case. since we only have two parties, the Dems will be down for a while and then will simply re-emerge with new branding.

        Same as the Republicans. Everybody thought they were done after the routing they took after Bush. So they went, licked their minor wounds, and were back in full force 2 years later.

        not because they deserve to be back, but because the Dems were just so terrible.

        Thus: after a few years of Republican rule when things get even worse than now, people will clamor back to Dem rule.

        Of course, as we all know, the same small group of people pull the levers for both parties…

        It’s so soviet circa 1948.

        1. JTFaraday

          “So they went, licked their minor wounds, and were back in full force 2 years later.”

          Nuttier than ever.

      2. Gaggrevarr

        The best thing that could have happened to the Democrats would have been the emergence of a credible candidate to challenge Obama for the nomination, one who would have framed the race as a battle for the soul of the Party. As it is, the party may be only a few steps away from the ash heap of history.

        When the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party proposed a primary challenge to the One, they were suspended from the Party and threatened with expulsion.

        The fix has been in right from the start. The Democratic Party primary is a transparent sham.

    3. Soullite522@msn.com

      I’m voting Republican purely to spite people like you, who think that your ability to get an abortion trumps my ability to get a job, or send my kids of college, or not live in a police state.

      1. Yearning To Learn

        then you really are too stupid for words.

        We don’t talk about abortions on this site, and almost none of us care to. Thus, you voting R doesn’t spite any of us, it only affects you.

        But to continue your stupidity:
        you want to send your kids to college, huh?
        And voting Republican will help you do that? Please name the platform/plan that the republican party has that will help you send your kids to college.

        you want a job?
        you think voting Republican will help you with that either? please outline the Republican party’s jobs plan. Is it the one where they are trying to CUT hordes of public employees? Or is it the one where they want to make it easier to offshore American jobs? or is it their trickle down plan where they’ll shovel trillions of dollars to the 0.1% who will then “create” jobs?

        you don’t want to live in a police state?
        do you mean the police state that we started under Republican rule, that we extended under Democrat rule, and that will be extended again in 2013 no matter who is in office?
        you mean the Patriot Act police state, shoved down our throats by Republicans at every turn?
        you mean the Guantanamo police state, championed by Republicans.

        Yes, you go ahead and spite “my” dreams of abortion, and then vote republican so you can have a job, a kid in college, and extra Freedom. good luck with that.

        (disclaimer: voting democrat to spite me will also not work as you still won’t have a job, you still won’t have a kid in college, and you still will live in a police state.
        So sorry: both parties are bought and paid for by the same monied interests).

  9. William Beyer

    One of Gore Vidal’s novels, I forget which one, has Jay Gould commenting on Teddy Roosevelt’s new found populist fervor by noting: “He was bought, but he didn’t stay bought.” Effectively, the reason Teddy is on Mount Rushmore.

    We can only hope that President Obama is in the early stages of becoming unbought.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      It was former senator John Breaux of Louisiana who said that his votes weren’t for sale, but that they were available for rent. (http://bit.ly/uFrjDS) Perhaps that’s the best we can expect from the rentier class.

    2. Yearning To Learn

      We can only hope that President Obama is in the early stages of becoming unbought.

      a dubious hope indeed. Please don’t hold your breath on that one.

      He is the Trojan Horse President. As many have said, he did what no Republican could have done. With his help we have seen even greater gains go to the 1 and 0.1%, with his help we have extension of Bush Tax cuts, we have Medicare/SS on the chopping block, we have increased our numbers of wars, we have increased our torture around the world, increased deportations, increased TBTF institutions, sidelined any financial reforms, and the list goes on and on.

      If a R tried even half of this, the left would squawk out in anger. But with mighty O the left doesn’t dare… And just to remind them that they don’t dare the DEMOCRATS trot out Newt and Palin and Bachmann and Cain… if you don’t like O, then take Palin. hahahahahaha.

      O or the R? hmmm… it’s WORSE than a Sophie’s Choice. At least with Sophie one of the children got to live.

    3. Cynthia

      My faith in fairy tales ended long ago, William. But I still wish the spell on Pinocchio would work on our worst liars. What I would give to see Obama’s nose grow longer every time he opened his mouth!

  10. nowhereman

    What the Democrats fail to realize is, that this one man has done more damage to the party’s brand that could ever be imagined.
    Millions have had their eyes opened to the fact that party affiliation has no meaning, and that the oligarchs run the show.
    Thanks to Obama, it’s out in the open now, and you can’t put this genie back in the bottle.

    1. ArkansasAngie

      Sorry to say I was an original PUMA and I am now a full-fledged vote against all incumbents. Do it at least two election cycles.

      1. Aquifer

        Angie,

        Ok, so no incumbents – so if you vote for whom will you vote? Just a “new” Dem/Rep?

        I learned, the hard way, that just as important as, if not more so than, throwing the bums out was paying attention as to whom you were replacing them with …

      2. Rex

        Isn’t it that kind of strategy that got the upset Wisconsin voters the slash and burn tool of big money, Scott Walker, for governor?

        And what is PUMA? I tried to look it up and found nothing that made sense.

  11. Slim

    I’ll believe Obama supports the middle class – just as soon as I see Fuld and Mozillo perp-walked into a police station somewhere in NYC. Introduce legislation with a true progressive tax and an estate tax and a Tobin tax, increase capital gains tax and introduce and end to corporate person-hood. Otherwise, talk to the hand.

    That goes for pretty much all the Democrats at a national level. Last time all you needed was talk. This time, nothing but action is what will make my feet move. Think you can’t get it passed the opposition? Then have them vote it down.

    In the words of the Immortal(ly dumb) GW Bush “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice (stares blankly) uh, uh, can’t be fooled again!”

  12. BrettM

    Obama will only begin to regain traction if he fires Geithner and forces Bernanke and Holder to step down which I do not see him doing until he is desperate. The winds are against him but he can still see land. If the opposition continues to swell then he might take such drastic measures. We can only hope…

    1. Yearning To Learn

      But are the winds really against him?

      I have become a conspiracy theorist here… but I’d say the actual winds are in his favor.

      there is no way on God’s Green Earth that the Republicans couldn’t find more palatable options.
      Let’s do a run down on the front runners:

      Newt. (NEWT???)
      Mitt
      Cain
      Palin
      Bachmann
      Perry.

      You have got to be kidding me. You’d almost think the R’s are fielding this ragamuffin group to purposely lose. These might be the only 6 republicans that could lose to Obama.

      I know when a fighter is throwing a fight, and we see it now.

      Or are we really to believe that Newt with his 3 marriages and xxx number of concubines can really hold the Christian right together?
      Are we really to believe that the conservative right can get behind a Fannie/Freddie lobbyist?

      or is the thrown game just to get Mitt in there? Mitt is a dubious choice at best as well.

      Mitt vs O might have the lowest election turnout in election history. that’s a good thing of course, easier to manipulate.

      anyway, I read the political winds as saying that the elite who control our election process with the help of Citizens United are salivating to get the Trojan Horse President re-elected.

      There is NO WAY they can further their financial goals with an R in office. There just isn’t enough Pepper Spray and lethal “nonlethal” rubber bullets to get it done.

      Nah… much cheaper to buy O again for a measly $1B. they’ll make that back in a day.

      1. nowhereman

        Ron Paul you moron. And don’t kid yourself, the marginalization of Paul by the media is a direct result of the fear they have that he might succeed.

        1. F. Beard

          is a direct result of the fear they have that he might succeed. nowhereman

          His [Ron Paul's] gold-buggery is frightening. Not to mention his (Austrian) belief that deflation is good or at least is necessary.

          1. alex

            Many of Ron Paul’s positions scare me (although others I like). Nevertheless the good thing about him is that he’s not a Republican drone. His marginalization is suppression of the will of the voters. I fully expect him to have something like a “Dean scream” if he gets any more popular.

          2. EH

            The thing is that Congress may unite against his craziest ideas, being the regulator of the Executive branch that they refuse to be when a standard R/D president is in office.

        2. Yearning To Learn

          Ron Paul you moron.

          I’m not a moron. What are the chances that Ron Paul will win the nomination?
          Ron Paul (and John Huntsman) were both DELIBERATELY left off my list because both of them have a brain in their head.

          the fact that Ron Paul and John Huntsman are doing so poorly helps to SUPPORT my claim that the Republican Party is throwing this race.

          as I said above, the people I listed are quite possibly the ONLY people who could possibly lose to Obama. and thus they are the ones who are brought forward.

          those that could have an interesting chance (Paul/Huntsman) are purposefully being ignored.

          And don’t kid yourself, the marginalization of Paul by the media is a direct result of the fear they have that he might succeed

          perhaps. another way of looking at it though is that the marginalization by the media is often SUCCESSFUL.

          Thus, them marginalizing him keeps him off the ballot come Nov 2012.

          that said: although I admire some of Ron Paul’s positions, others are quite scary. He is not as Libertarian as people assume. he is a constitutionalist, but he is a biased constitutinoalist who will use the constitution when it suits his personal/religious beliefs. he’s better than most others up there but he is scary.

          John Huntsman (and even Tim Pawlenty) would have been far more desirable.. but they were torpedoed into obscurity. For a reason.

          anyway, Paul has as much a chance of running for Prez vs Obama as elizabeth warren has of primarying Obama.

          1. EH

            Ron Paul (and John Huntsman) were both DELIBERATELY left off my list because both of them have a brain in their head.

            You are doing it wrong.

      2. Soullite

        And if an incumbents challenger mattered for more than 1% of the vote total, you’d be right.

        As it is, the Republicans have just realized something that Dems don’t: You don’t win elections by picking the perfect candidate, but by lucking into the right circumstances. They have the circumstances (wage decline) to guarantee a victory, so they may as well nominate whoever they want.

        The Democrats would have won no matter who the nominated in ’08, too.

    2. Lidia

      The fact that he hired such people in the first place, along with the odious toad Summers (UGH!) is a clue that—if he does enact a sea change, it will be of the most superficial and face-saving sort, à la Bush/Rumsfeld. The war on terror and the war on the middle class are too damn profitable not to continue to prosecute.

  13. Peter Dorman

    My take is somewhat different from Yves’. I think we should find out who this speechwriter is, dump Obama, and run the speechwriter for president.

  14. ex-PFC Chuck

    Hopium The Audacity of Hopium. The 2012 Obama campaign in a nutshell. Great new meme, Yves. Thanks.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I didn’t coin it, and I can’t recall who did. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Lambert use it, and I’m not certain he originated it either.

      But I am always happy to take up good phrasemaking, I do note one of my favorites, austerian, has gotten traction, but pretty much no one gives the originator, our Rob Parenteau, credit.

  15. Jackrabbit

    Our campaign finance laws and corporate media turn the Presidency into a PR position.

    With apologies to OWS: This is what a PR-in-Chief (PRIC) looks like.

  16. K Ackermann

    What would happen if there were another financial crisis today… with all the same actors in-place and unpunished?

      1. aletheia33

        how imaginary?

        i have a sneaking suspicion this IS “the reality we have” (already unfolding but not yet graspable/validly observable by the general mass of poor finance-ignorant slobs–in which number i include myself, for still, even having discovered nc, i can’t seem to keep its teachings in my head long enough to gain a very deep understanding of them).

        i fully expect that there will be “another financial crisis today… (i.e., fairly soon) with all the same actors in-place and unpunished,” and that the same “remedy” will be applied as in 2008, whatever has to be done to make congress comply.

        then things will get interesting.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      1. No I never said that. But giving in to the “oh, we really have to vote for Obama, horrors,” plays right into his center-right with lefty PR headfake

      2. I am probably making a Presidential protest vote. I’ve done that in virtually every Presidential election, BTW.

      3. The real danger of discouraging the base is the impact on Congressional and state level elections.

      1. Bhikshuni Lozang

        Yes, every word out of Obama’s mouth should serve to remind us to work at the local and state levels; (re-)election of an impotent figurehead like QEII (King George?) with supreme-court appointment rights is the short-term affair here.

        He knows quite well that his speech is not directed at those of us who have been paying attention, watching him, fight the AGs attempt to take on the systemic financial corruption (for one example). He is talking to the sleeping beauties, as a way of counting how many of them are still asleep.

        O’s “used car salesman talk” serves to remind the awake among us to see our roles as far beyond the scope of merely electing a president for a single election, but as reconstructing the financial system and the narratives that drive our corrupt political system over decades and generations.

        The fact is OWS+economists/financial voices HAVE succeeded to get pinnochio’s strings dancing to a changed narrative.

        Let us continue, including to the state and local levels, and support words with our personal financial behavior.

  17. John

    Yves, Obama’s new populism is a disgusting pile of manure.

    I looked around some and yours is the first comment I’ve seen that points that out. Well done.

    And, more proof that the media are doing the bidding of the plutocracy.

      1. Rex

        I’ve commented elsewhere, they’re like abuse victims – “but he really loves me, he didn’t mean to do it, I know he won’t hit me again.”

        That’s a good analogy. Battered Libs syndrome.

      2. Bhikshuni Lozang

        I don’t know that RR is necessarily being naive here; he’s just playing his role in holding out carrots to get O & co. to move the narrative as progressive as possible for as long as the cheap talk campaign mode lasts.

        The rewards do nevertheless mask the crass corruption of the process.

  18. Robert Hurley

    This seems to say Obama has not done enough so why make the laws tougher. I will not contest the former, but it seems to me insane not to make the laws tougher.

  19. beowulf

    Ahh, Teddy Roosevelt. Now THERE was a man.

    “In the spring of 1895 I was appointed by Mayor Strong Police Commissioner…
    By this time, as I have said, I was getting our social, industrial, and political needs into pretty fair perspective. I was still ignorant of the extent to which big men of great wealth played a mischievous part in our industrial and social life, but I was well awake to the need of making ours in good faith both an economic and an industrial as well as a political democracy…
    I have always had a horror of words that are not translated into deeds, of speech that does not result in action—in other words, I believe in realizable ideals and in realizing them, in preaching what can be practiced and then in practicing it.”
    Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography
    http://www.bartleby.com/55/6.html

  20. Jill

    Obama is not the lessor of two evils. If you vote for him you are voting for a man that has engaged in torture, murder and financial crimes. He has undermined the rule of law, torn up the Constitution, sent the hounds of hell upon those who protest his actions. If you vote for this man, you vote for everything he does. You greenlight all of it. You have given your assent to the destruction of your own society.

    If you believe Obama will protect the right to abortion, think again. He already denied that to the most vulnerable women in society, forbidding them from purchasing insurance to cover abortion. These are women who may have cancer, who will die without abortion, who are the poorest of the poor.

    If you think he is going to “give” rights to the LBGT community, you may want to think again. Look at the record.

    Once a nation has passed from being under the rule of law that has a consequence. There is no rule of law to put a break on the president’s actions. How can anyone believe that a person who has done the things Obama has done during a time period when he needs votes, will get better, not worse, after he no longer even needs to pretend to suck up for those votes?

    To guarantee the rights of all people, we must actually care about the rule of law. Right now, it’s like the mafia. If you buy some protection your “rights” are somewhat protected. But those “rights” can and will be taken away should you displease your overlord. No, stop this.

    Rights are protected when we the people care about everyone’s rights.

    1. TK421

      Very well said.

      At least when Republicans start wars they get Congressional approval for it. And no Republican has ever said they can kill any American they want for any reason they want, based upon top secret evidence. Of course the next one certainly will, following Obama’s precedent.

      1. Lidia

        “no Republican has ever said…”
        Well, not PUBLICLY, anyway.

        What’s fascinating to me is how the Right has not made use of this in the least. It’s a huge weak spot as far as supporters of O. should be concerned.

        The expansion of the Imperial Presidency is -remarkably- the One Single Thing that dampens their frothy Obama-hatred for any period of time whatsoever.

        It just shows what actual political values are currently operative no matter which party is nominally in charge, and that “Freedom” is not among them.

    2. Valissa

      The latest in battle for female reproductive rights…

      HHS overrules FDA, blocks over-the-counter Plan B for younger teens http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-planb-20111207,0,4209118.story

      Teva, the manufacturer of the oral contraceptive that can be taken up to 72 hours after sex to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, requested approval from the FDA in February to make the drug available without a prescription to individuals aged 16 and younger. Currently, the drug, commonly known as the “morning-after pill” is available without a prescription to women 17 and older, and is kept behind the pharmacy counter.

      FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg expressed support for expanding access for the drug without a prescription. … However, Hamburg said she was informed this morning that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius disagreed with the FDA’s determination, and therefore the request by Teva, Plan B’s manufacturer, will not be approved.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Hear, hear, Jill! The greater evil, the father of lies, often masquerades as an angel of light.

  21. Gil Gamesh

    Paging Bill Black. The Roosevelt Obama, fixer par excellence, channels is FDR, widely credited with saving American capitalism from American capitalists. Our hopey-changey dude has saved finance capitalism, or at least postponed its deserved death for a quarter or 10. Working definition of a failed politics: Obama vs. Romney. Remember: don’t contribute. Don’t vote. If you must vote, vote third party.

      1. Gil Gamesh

        Hardly. Most people have integrity. Most people are honest…that’s why they are poor. Why should they, or you, confer even a scintilla of legitimacy on an utterly corrupted process? There is no democracy here. We are not represented. We do, regrettably, provide tribute or even worse, bodies and lives, to a system that holds us as non-persons. Do you think a gentle soul like Obama could order the assassination of an American if he thought otherwise?

        1. EH

          The corrupted process is interested in us even if we aren’t interested in it. I can’t say that participation will make a difference, but at the same time I also can’t say that it won’t.

  22. Norman

    Nothing like being late for tea here. A note Re: Kamala Harris, the California A.G., has been portrayed as a Demo player, regardless of what she does, going with which ever the wind blows. Perhaps, just perhaps, she senses correctly, that joining the Nevada A.G., going after the fraudster[s], this will propel her to higher office, of which she undoubtedly aspires, or else she wouldn’t be doing what she’s doing today. That said, she stands a very good chance of continuing her upward climb by joining the crusade, which by dint of hard work, will gain her more capital with the voting public, than hitching a ride on the “O”‘s coattails, as he’s proved that he doesn’t care about the middle class, or for that matter, anyone below the rank of millionaire. This would put her in line for Governor, replacing Brown, which would in turn position her to run & quite possible become the 1st Woman P.O.T.U.S. This may seem batty to some, but remember, “O” got to be P.O.T.U.S., and just what were his chances?

    1. TK421

      I prefer people who do the right thing because it’s the right thing, but I’ll take people who do the right thing because they perceive it to be in their best interest.

  23. Blurtman

    The same Obama whose administration is strongarming states’ attorneys general to take a crappy deal with the banksters. The same Obama whose track record to date for bringing criminal fraud charges is worse than George W. Bush’s. Amazing! Truly dark days in the USA.

  24. Aquifer

    Hmmm, what with getting older, et.al. I realize my short term memory ain’t what it used to be, but somehow i remember seeing the gist of this same line of thinking here not too long ago – both major parties are crumby at best and crooked at worst, but, sigh, sigh, they are the only choices we have so either don’t vote or pick lesser evil.

    Of course, stating the obvious, it should go without saying that limiting ourselves to these false choices is pretty much why we are in the pickle we are in ….

    Wonder if we are in the political version of Groundhog Day, forever doomed to repeat our screw ups until we make different choices – did Bill Murray ever get it right? How many retakes did he need? How many have we had? How long do we have left (double entendre intended)?

    This site does such a wonderful, incisive job of cutting through the BS of the financial world and pointing out what needs to be done, but, frankly, I think with regard to political solutions – it seems rather blind, shortsighted, etc. in basically suggesting TINA.

    Complaining about Dems and Reps ad nauseum, regardless of how incisive, in depth, and cogent such complaints are, is, frankly, rather useless unless one has an alternative.

    I have been choosing an alternative for over a decade – I invite you to join me – when enough of us do, we will win. Until we do, we won’t. It really is that simple.

    We were told this whole financial mess was too complicated for us to understand, until a few folks explained to us that, just as pate de foie gras is just fat liver with a fancy name, so all these clever financial devices were just gambling and fraud by other names.

    It is time for folks to realize the supposed political complexities which make it impossible to break the cycle are smoke and mirrors to keep us from seeing the obvious – there ARE other choices. And just as we may not need to make new laws to bring the financial miscreants to justice, but simply have the will to use the ones we have, so to do we not need an entire new system of elections to get those who WOULD enforce those laws, but simply use the one we have.

    Again, just to remind folks of another choice
    http://www.jillstein.org
    I realize my reposting of this repeatedly is not considered good form – but what is one to do when others keep saying there are no answers and you think you might have at least one. It seems that one is not allowed legitimacy until one appears in the MSM, for better or worse (“the only bad press is no press”). This is pretty silly when you think about it, especially when you are quite ready to admit that the MSM is as fraudulent as the folks it covers.

    You cannot achieve what you cannot conceive – so, until we conceive of the possibility of something better than what we have, we will have no possibility of achieving it. For folks who have such great practical ideas about how to fix finance, the poverty of political thought is a bit of a bummer ….

    1. steelhead23

      Thanks for introducing us to Jill. The TINA meme you mention is due to Gore Syndrome. Many wish that Al Gore had become president in Jan. 2001 and perceive that he would have won (in actuality, he did) Florida if only Nader hadn’t run. But the argument that you have to vote for Obama because if you vote for Jill, or any other third party candidate, you may facilitate election of the dreaded Republican candidate is pretty thin gruel given Obama’s performance to date. BTW – if oratory alone were the deciding factor, Obama wins, hands down. For those familiar with old musicals, Obama is the Music Man.

      1. Aquifer

        I am glad you brought that up – it is still making the rounds, have seen it here, i do believe. When you realize that more Dems voted for Bush than for Nader, so i understand, and that several other candidates got more than the number of votes difference between Bush and Gore – all in Florida, not to mention the SC intervention in the process, you have to ask yourself why was it that Nader was singled out for vilification?

        He presented as a credible, potentially viable alternative for lefties, able to pick up steam if not slapped down forcefully, so they did, with whatever garbage they could get their hands on. If you read Therese Amato’s book on how the Dems did everything they could to keep him off the ballot, you will realize what a potential threat to their power base they indeed saw him as and will understand the source of the “Nader got us Bush” nonsense.

        Those who “remember” Gore seem to forget he was not the Gore he “is” now. After his book in the early 90′s, he didn’t exactly spend the next 8 years championing CO2 reduction but he was a free trader – a NAFTA and WTO champ right up there with the rest. As for the war – well ask Iraqi’s how well they fared under Clinton/Gore …

        Much of this stuff is coming from Dems who are either quite happy with the DP as “Rep lite” or refuse to accept that the Dems ain’t the party of FDR, haven’t been for decades, and have no intention of becoming so again – the money is just too good on the other side. How sad for them and for the rest of us …

  25. psychohistorian

    It is interesting that none of the commenters so far have suggested voting for a Green of Socialist candidate in the upcoming election but are only considering voting for the lesser of D/R evils.

    Come on folks. As outside the norm as some of these existing alternative party candidates may be, why not get engaged in and support some folks outside the D/R box?

    Please tell me how it can be worse than where we are.

    Think about what would happen if all the dissaffected voters got behind or involved in alternative parties.

    We need to ACT outside the box we are forced to be in.

    1. psychohistorian

      Damn early morning eyesight, or lack thereof

      Green OR Socialist OR Communist OR ????

      Just not Democrat NOR Republican but not abstention that lets us be ruled by a smaller minority of actual voters. Not voting is a fools errand because it will not force change but a chuckle by those in control.

    2. Aquifer

      Hmm, I have long wondered whether i am posting in invisible ink, and your comment seems to support that conjecture ….

      Did you not catch my link, or have you discounted it?

      1. psychohistorian

        Aquifer,

        Look at the times of our postings and understand that I had read past all the existing comments and yours was not there yet. Not trying to ignore your contribution.

        1. Aquifer

          Sorry, mine was !!:10 and yours 11:17 – I guess i tend to think that everyone is a much faster typer than 2 fingered I …

          1. Aquifer

            oops – not only is that first finger slow, but it “shifted” when it shouldn’t (!!:10 for 11:10) tch, tch, tch …

    3. EH

      Please tell me how it can be worse than where we are.

      Well, we could be in a place like you are, where we upbraid people for not satisfying our wishes unbidden.

    4. JTFaraday

      I agree. We need a mass, coordinated effort to “vote something else” in 2012, followed up by the effort to create something else moving forward.

      There’s no point in pretending, with the Bots, that Obama means anything he says given his track record to date or that it’s possible to vote for whatever certified Nut the clown car posse spits out at us.

    5. Eureka Springs

      I sense a lot of the sentiment you note is absent in specificity. Frankly the D and R parties are two ongoing criminal enterprises (including Ron Paul the REPUBLICAN)… we must abandon them across the board. Not even for dog catcher! is my slogan.

      Green, Socialist, Martian…. all considerations outside of the proven two criminal party box is on my table.

  26. Concerned Citizen

    Since Presidential powers are not greater than those of either Congress or the Supreme Court, no president can simply walk into the position and make unilateral changes. It has been frustrating that Obama has been held back by Congress and a financial crisis that have limited his options. Even though I promote putting the pressure on for change, I’ve also seen how categorizing both major parties as being the same can be both inaccurate and lethal. Nader said that there was no difference between Bush and Gore when clearly there were huge differences, and those who were unwilling to support Gore in a tight election ended up giving us Bush and we have been suffering ever since.

    1. proximity1

      RE:

      “Since Presidential powers are not greater than those of either Congress or the Supreme Court, no president can simply walk into the position and make unilateral changes. It has been frustrating that Obama has been held back by Congress and a financial crisis that have limited his options. Even though I promote putting the pressure on for change, I’ve also seen how categorizing both major parties as being the same can be both inaccurate and lethal.”

      “Frustrating”? No. Frustrating is when your house refinancing deal does’t go through.

      Here, we’re talking about war, economic collapse, wholesale corruption of the political and economic systems; the gross inequality of a society in which a tiny 1/10th of 1% possess vastly disproportional wealth and the power and privileges that buys. Many thousands thrown out of home and out of their employments, their life-savings lost.

      “Frustrating”?

      It’s time Obama discovered what lies beyond “frustrating”–the sordid lot of the millions who he has systematically betrayed–and then disparaged and blamed for his own failings.

      GOD.DAMN.”FRUSTRATING”! and GOD.DAMN.OBAMA

      It’s much too late for such lame excuse-making.

      If Obama had negotiated for the “Indians” of Manhattan when they first met the Dutch, the Indians wouldn’t even have had a handful of beads to show for Manhattan.

    2. Bill C

      uh, the DOJ, part of the Executive branch, is not constrained by Congress in investigating and prosecuting Fraud……..

    3. avg cityzen

      Obama could have started the health care negotiations with single payer, he could have used his base to pressure pharmaceuticals instead of doing backroom deals, there is a lot he could have done, but he rolled over to special interests as soon as he got into office. He did NOTHING for students re: student loans.

      I was going to change my voter registration from democrat to independent, but but decided not to because then I would miss the opportunity to tell all the people who call from Obama For America (used to be Organizing for America) why I’m not giving them any money this election and why Obama will not fool me twice.

      I wish there was someone running against Obama.

      Saw Robert Reich on Olbermann last night, he was very excited about the Obama speech, poor guy.

        1. Teddy

          No there isn’t. She is a fantasy and Americans won’t vote
          for her…maybe you and your Mah Jong circle will, but few will.

          1. Aquifer

            Teddy – you aren’t the same Teddy who used to post on CD some time back, are you? Doesn’t sound like you, but hey, folks change, I suppose.

            In any case she is no fantasy. A long shot, but no fantasy. So you will not vote for her, would you care to explain why? I suspect i have heard the “reason” elsewhere, but maybe you have a new wrinkle in the old bedspread?

            As for Mah-Jong, sorry, don’t know how to play that one, do you give lessons?

      1. JTFaraday

        He’s just happy his talking head has something to go around nattering about. That all the credibility has been drained out of it seems to have escaped him.

        I wonder how he does in class these days? Ah, well, captive audience.

      2. Wellnow

        And, if that was taking on too much, I would say can the whole health care debate. He wasted a lot of political capital on a piece of crap bill.
        Anyway, it is my feeling that Obama will do more to destroy social security than Bush could have ever hoped for.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Nah, I was never keen about Obama (although I will confess to having voted for him, the idea of Palin as President was just too scary). I was not that political back then either. The failure to fix anything important in the wake of the crisis changed that. The minute Obama appointed Geithner and Summers I knew wed’ all been had, big time.

    2. Soullite

      No, they’re talking about him like someone who stabbed them in the back.

      You just ain’t smart enough to tell the difference between that, and the only situation where you’ve ever experienced betrayal.

  27. proximity1

    Well, when a people allow an elite-and-media oligarchy to pick their field of primary candidates for them, resigning themselves to sorting between a lot of sorry offerings, this is and shall remain the predictable result.

    What could people do differently? Organize popularly-run primaries is one possibility. That way, ordinary citizens would field the potential candidates from among their own likes. They’d formulate the questions rather than Wolf Blitzer or Chris Wallace or others who are part and parcel of the corrupt system’s self-selecting, self-approving perpetuating BS-machine.

    A popularly-devised primary system could set different ground rules such as, for example,

    1) You’re a current or former office-holder? Please go to the back of the line.

    2) Millionaires or greater need not apply.

    and like that.

    But, while we remain slavishly glassy-eyed in front of the television set, these possibilities shall remain pie-in-the-sky.

    So, starting with yourself, right at home, today, you can take these steps:

    1) Turn off your television set and leave it off. It’s Power’s propaganda tool and the most powerful influence over you. Don’t believe that? Then it’s an even more powerful influence over you.

    Read; read books, not Time or Newsweek magazines. Books, not USA Today.

    Certain sources on the world-wide web are useful but most of it is a waste of your time. You learn and retain more from reading book-sources, things which are the product of editorial review, not off-the-cuff blatherings.

    Find a place to begin–if you haven’t already, as, no doubt, many reading this site already have.

    As our circumstances are so varied, it’s not easy to prescribe a one-size-fits-all reading program. Start where you are, challenge yourself, read things that demand effort in thought and reasoning. Ask those you trust for suggestions. Take further reading ideas from the bibliographical sources that your current or recent reading has offered.

    For me, these would include authors recommended by Daniel Kahneman (2011); Robert Trivers (2011); Neil Postman (Technopoly); Nassim Nicolas Taleb, (The Black Swan); Benoit Mandelbrot, (The (Mis)Behavior of Markets); David Reisman (The Lonely Crowd); Thorstein Veblen (The Theory of the Leisure Class); C. Wright Mills (Power, Politics and People: The Collected Essays…); histories by Eric Hobsbawm, and any and all writings by Bertrand Russell and George Orwell and the literary critic John W. Aldridge.

    For many regular readers here who are older than 55 years of age, the list above will be familiar and they’ll have already read many of these. I recommend the titles more for readers who are in their teens or twenties (and even thirties), people who, whether college graduates or not, are unfamiliar with these authors and their works.

    In short, fight fatalism. Observe the OWS resisters and the masses in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya for inspiration. We don’t have to continue to be had.

  28. CaitlinO

    If Obama gave a rusty f*** about prosecuting bank criminals he could do one simple thing: Call William Black out of academia and give him the budget for investigators and criminal lawyers.

    Dr. Black was able to obtain 1000+ convictions with the laws that were on the books 20 years ago – laws that are still on the books today, one would suppose.

    There’s no need for new laws, no need for new lawmen. There’s simply a need for top administrators who care about law enforcement and that we do not have.

    1. Bill C

      “Call William Black out of academia and give him the budget for investigators and criminal lawyers.”

      AMEN, I might write him in next year.

  29. John

    “California attorney general Kamala Harris JOINED the Masto effort. This strongly SUGGESTS that Harris will ALSO be seeking indictments….For Harris, who is reputed to be, shall we say it politely, SENSITIVE TO THE POLITICAL WINDS, to make a shift like this, suggests a real change in the political climate is underway.”

    Actions speak louder than words or press releases. She is the queen of PR and sits atop a throne of mud.

    She’s just trying to jump onto the bandwagon late enough so that the president might remember her when it comes time to make new cabinet appointments.

    As San Francisco District Attorney she disgraced the office and presided over scandal after scandal. Then the state Democratic Party inserted her into the ballot as a place holder. She barely won by the skin of her teeth over a Republican that looked like a combination of Mr. Magoo and Elmer Fudd.

    Good luck Kamala. You’ll do whatever is right for the people of the fate of Kamala.

    1. Aquifer

      Hmmm, sounds a lot like Hillary – am surprised none of her fans have shown up, as i have seen her name floated as a “desirable” challenger! LOL

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, she’s committing resources to joint investigations, including CRIMINAL investigations. This is going beyond a photo op. And Masto is a kick ass, as we are seeing.

      Now something did occur to me: the LPS employees that Masto is busting were in California. Harris may realize that Masto’s investigation in gonna implicate practices in state big time, and she had better get on that bus or be under it. But why doesn’t that logic apply to other states? Coakley’s investigation (admittedly less far along) has to implicate AGs in neighboring states too.

      1. Aquifer

        Sounds like BINGO! to me. Maybe this AG stuff, if backbone, or at least covering one’s gluteus, proves contagious, will be the tipping point that brings down the house of cards. We can only hope …

  30. Hugh

    The Obama MO is to give a speech. Usually that’s about it.

    If that’s deemed not enough, he then proposes legislation to Congress in which the best ideas and most important points have already been removed. Think how Medicare for All never made it to the table on healthcare, or reimposition of Glass-Steagall never was seriously considered in financial reform, or just leaving as an option for Afghanistan, or how cramdowns were never considered on mortgages.

    At this point, Obama often fobs responsibility for the legislation off on to some “bipartisan” group or committee in Congress, rather than fighting for the legislation personally. This results in both long delays and extensive further slicing and dicing of the legislation. At the end of this process and before a vote, you are lucky to find even 10% of what was needed still in the bill.

    The Republicans at this juncture may choose to simply kill off the remnants not by conducting a filibuster but by threatening one.

    On the odd chance, the bill does pass. Implementation is either delayed for years as with healthcare allowing plenty of time for court challenges or given over, as with financial reform, to lapdog regulatory agencies for rule writing out of the public eye that can be massively influenced by lobbyists.

    The end result is that nothing changes. But then that is the essence of hopey-changey.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Yeah, but trust me, Hugh, this time, he really, really means it. This time, he’ll hold the football steady for Charlie Brown. This time, only three years into his first term, the great pretender has already actually “outlined a plan to toughen penalties against banks that commit fraud.” Wow! And at some unspecified future date, he says, “I’ll be calling for legislation that makes [anti-fraud] penalties count – so that firms don’t see punishment for breaking the law as just the price of doing business.” Now that’s jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring stuff. OWS flash-mobs will soon be dancing in the streets.

      Yes, the changeling’s speeches are well-crafted. So were Reagan’s, but as exercises in mass-deception and perception mangement, they only add insult to injury. They now sound incredibly tinny and hollow, the bits I can stomach, anyway.

  31. Peter Pan

    My reaction to snippets of Obama’s speech on the TV network national news yesterday was to laugh.

    If this douche bag of a President thinks he’s going convert anyone that views him as a corporate fascist whore with the regurgitating of the Audacity of False Hope speechifying then he is mistaken.

    Also, it doesn’t matter if the Presidential candidate is Republican or Democrat because they’re both going to be corporate fascist whores. The only difference is that the Republicans are street whores and the Democrats are low rent bordello whores.

    1. Aquifer

      Peter, Obama is a cartoon, a child of Disney – so what do you do when Tinker Bell is fading? Why get the folks to clap, of course! The problem may be that too many have already realized he’s given them the clap ….

  32. Timothy Gawne

    Well said. But.

    NONE OF THIS MEANS ANYTHING IF WE KEEP VOTING FOR THIS CORPORATE SHILL.

    WHERE IS THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY CHALLENGER?

    WHY AREN’T WE FINDING/SUPPORTING SOMEONE?

    WHY DIDN’T WE VOTE FOR NADER WHEN WE HAD A CHANCE? OR KUCINICH?

    WHNING IS NOT A STRATEGY. GIVE US ALTERNATIVES!!!!!!!!!!!

    CURRENTLY I AM A RON PAUL SUPPORTER BECAUSE THE LIBERALS HAVE NOT GIVEN ME ANYWHERE ELSE TO GO.

    1. Cal

      Paul gets my vote in the California primary, even if I have to request a Republican ballot.

      He’s the biggest nightmare for the GOP and the comeuppance of the Democrats. Who knows, the GOP might actually make them their candidate if they truly want to win.

      Otherwise I’ll vote for Obama.

    2. Aquifer

      Some of us did – I worked for Kucinich in the primaries, then switched to Nader in the election – same basic platform, different party. Problem – too few of us did and chose party over principle.

      After Kucinich Air Force One moment and his betrayal of single payer, it is clear that even the most “progressive” Dem reps will, when push comes to shove, choose party over principle.

      So, I don’t waste my time wringing my hands over looking for a Dem challenger – what’s the point?

      Go outside, try http://www.jillstein.org, see what you think – it is an uphill battle but some of us will be fighting hard to see that you get a real choice on the ballot.

      The sad thing is that even when there is a real choice, as in Nader, folks won’t choose it, blinded by the image of the great and terrible MSM wizard – when Toto pulls aside the curtain, we throw him a bone or kick him away …

  33. bigsurtree

    There are some very logical, out of the box, ways for the
    people to take back power. Here is one non-legal idea, so there will be no hindrances to effectuation. This is an example I’m working on: Organized, vocal and patriotic members of each House District can inform voters in their district of an oath they believe their representative should sign in order to represent them. This is a “people’s agreeement”, and is not connected to faction or party. It is a reassertion of Federalist Principles (some of which are clearly stated by John Marshall for example during his judicial tenure) This type of challenge will require the Representative to “take note”, and will be be a reminder as to who has the last word. The candidate for the House will be “toast” if he doesn’t sign it. Here is one example I’ve just begun to work on. It is not complete, as there will be negatives written in, but it is just a start (and there will be others for Senate and President). The SC will be more difficult.

    Example to a candidate: Do you agree that in our constitutional republic that all power emanates from the people and that all elected members of the House of Representative, Senate and Exective branch, as well as Jurists confirmed by the Senate to the Supreme Court, are servants of the people, mandated by them to represent their best interests under all circumstances, and shall be held accountable for any behaviour inconsistent with this mandate.

    I’m thinking of adding some constraints/negatives that are missing from article I. This is essentially a condition precedent agreement of the people, by the people and for the people (for elective purposes).

  34. brian

    In an early episode of Miami Vice a pre Pretty Woman Julia Roberts plays the girlfriend of mobster

    She engages Crockett/Burnett in a conversation

    I could date any kind of man I want. But I like to date hoods. They are more honest in their treachery.

    Sorta sums up the choice in 2012

    As someone who has voted democratic for every president since 1972 I will sit on my hands and to hell with the consequences. Its somewhat easier morally for me being in Cali since I see no way Obama fails to carry the state but if things continue to go to hell who knows. But it simply got to the point where my willingness to tolerate incompetance was overcome by my belief that the man is corrupt.

  35. Joe Buck

    I know and you know that Obama is not the second coming of Teddy Roosevelt, but I don’t look at this the same way. To the extent that the national conversation is shifted, and the president feels compelled to echo the language of Occupy Wall Street and Teddy Roosevelt rather than the language of Ronald Reagan combined with a bunch of stale proposals from moderate Republicans, it’s progress.

    I might wind up abstaining from the presidential vote unless Obama moves more in the correct direction, with actions and not just words. But I’m still happy that he said what he said. Yes, we need to watch that Democrats who adopt OWS language don’t get away with talking the talk, but still doing Wall Street’s bidding. But to the extent that the national conversation shifts, there’s hope of achieving real improvement.

  36. nun yerbizness

    sorry so many have been so rudely woken up to the fact that we in the US are not exceptional, your four, six eight years of education at a prestigious/semi-prestigious/not-so-prestigious degree factory didn’t land you in the lap of luxury like mom and dad promised/ expected/demanded.

    Hopium was not introduced into your mind stream by President Obama, hopium is the life blood of the “American Dream”.

    it is odd that when the balloon was expanding there was no outrage.

    there was no calling for the heads of banks, hedge funds, rating agencies to have their heads placed on pikes.

    we have been here before, many times.

    President Obama did not run as a revolutionary—he is not a revolutionary. President Obama is behaving as an ethical physician would abiding by the principle of “first do no harm.”

    muddling through is the best we can hope for.

    do you really believe the golden rule—those with the gold rule—was first written in 2003?

    focus your anger and disappointment more precisely and be sure that what you say and do “first does no harm.” This is NOT the time for lashing out, throwing a tantrum and demanding to have NOW! that which you know is not achievable in the short run.

    mom and dad’s retirement, your future, the future of any children you have/expect to have/hopium to have are in their hands.

    this in not a video game.

    you are NOT in control.

    1. Aquifer

      “it is odd that when the balloon was expanding there was no outrage.”

      Ah, but there was – I guess you weren’t listening then. Seattle, ’99 and before. “Blue collar” folk saw what was happening to them some time ago, because it happened to them first. The white collar folk were gorging on their tech stocks and telling the BC folk to “go back to school”. Then the swamp waters started getting deeper and now, finally, the white collars are getting wet.

      NAFTA and the WTO were a wake up call for many of us, long before the tech crash, the 9/11 wars et al, the housing bubble and the bank crimes. We have been wondering how long it will take for enough folks to catch on, crossing our fingers that enough will decide to make a better choice and working like hell to make sure that when they finally do there is one on the ballot for them to make …..

      1. nun yerbizness

        my point precisely…and I guess you are not comprehending now.

        so what ever one goes to Seattle in for a few days and then go home and go to sleep?

        Yeah Seattle made for a nice screen play and a lame movie and that is what “direct action” has devolved into. I’m sure OWS will be in theaters, on a cable channel by spring—probably already an entrant for Sundance this January.

        that “giant sucking sound” Ross Perot alluded to had nothing to do with a stained dress or what “is” is and it was brought to you by President Bill Clinton of NAFTA fame.

        Clinton didn’t bring us maquiladoras or braceros but he not only signed NAFTA it was his agenda.

        Try to find the Frontline episode broadcast on the eve of the 1992 election and see the old money toadies Clinton is sucking up to (perhaps that was the sucking sound Perot was alluding to)—I say try because it has been scrubbed from PBS’s archive and your only chance is finding an obscure or ethical reference library that may still have a VCR copy.

        Two more words on that topic “Ron Brown.”

        As for “”blue collar” folk”…by that if you mean workers whose collars are neither “blue” nor are they “folk ” but are the back bone of all that is of value in the United States and who as a class have been disenfranchised, betrayed and abandoned by those who were paid to be their champions—the labor movement—AFL-CIO.

        How far back do you want to go? The fifties, the sixties, the seventies, the eighties? You will have to read that history I lived it.

        1. Aquifer

          I think you may have misunderstood me because i think we are on the same page here. i admit that i hadn’t been paying enough attention in ’92. I wasn’t crazy about Clinton, but i thought Gore was “an environment man” and that was my focus back then. By ’96 I had wised up, “got ejicated” if you will. Voted Nader and haven’t looked back since.

          Sorry if you take offense at “blue collar folk”. I find nothing offensive about it – I come from what i would consider a blue collar family. Obviously the phrase has some negative connotations in your lexicon.

          I do believe that Big Labor, after marching in Seattle, betrayed its members by supporting Gore, just as i believe it continues to betray them as long as it supports Dems.

          In aiming at me, i think you are shooting at the wrong target, but that is up to you …

          1. nun yerbizness

            “voted Nader”…and that got us what?

            eight years of Cheney/Bush

            Iraq

            Greenspan’s Guns&Butter genuflection-ring-kiss to Cheney/Bush

            tax cuts for the one percent

            eight more years of Laffer Curve Economics

            the enshrinement of Phil and Wendy Gramm

            yeah lets all vote Nader in 2012 as it worked out so well in 2000

          2. Aquifer

            Nun, OK, now i admit I am confused – precisely what is your solution. You obviously have bitten on that Nader gave us Bush nonsense, so are you a disappointed but ever loyal Dem.? A Paulite? Please elucidate …

            If voting 3rd party “spoils” it for you – you intend to stick with the 2 we have? How’s that been workin’ out for you?

  37. Cynthia

    Does Obama’s hopey-changey speech he gave in Kansas yesterday mean that he has become a president who’s now anti-war, anti-Wall Street, and anti-police state? I seriously doubt it.

    To take an old line from Pink Floyd and change it up a bit, as so many have done over the years: “haven’t you heard, it’s a battle of words, and [most of them are lies]”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFiyEVaU8EU

    1. Jill

      Cynthia,

      It does. I am just sooo excited!!! Obama has done a 180 and he will save us this time for real!!! OMG, he is the bestest president ever!!!

      I know you feel the same way as I do!!! Isn’t it just fantastic to have such a caring guy as president?

      (Brain chip out. Snark off!) Obama really is a cult brand.

  38. Parvaneh Ferhadi

    I remember that he was hyped as being some mixture of Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy – he didn’t really deliver. Now he is channeling Teddy Roosevelt. The only thing we don’t see is Barack Hussein Obama, or do we?

  39. Seth

    There’s no Republican Party, there’s no Democratic Party. There’s only the Demopublican Party.

  40. Susan the other

    “Audacity of Deceit” (Schofield above) Good catch phrase. It is sickening. When Yves says: “It is awfully convenient to notice that supposed oversight now with no hope of getting a tough bill passed at this juncture and statutes of limitation running out.”

    If we are talking prosecuting for criminal or civil fraud the statue of limitations does not begin until you have “evidence” of the fraud and the banksters have been preventing anyone from finding sufficient evidence. There are bits and pieces but it is taking Nev. AG Masto and others to really dig it up and drive a stake through its heart. This is probably the source of Obama’s newly found religion as he spoke to a crowd of idiots the other day who cheered him enthusiastically. Yuck. It would probably be better if he just stayed in Hawaii.

    1. Teddy

      Are you saying that he thinks that the lid is going to blow off the scandal with the A.G. revelations and so he’s grooming himself to ride it like a magic carpet?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The folks in the NY AG’s office tell me otherwise, they are close to statute of limitation issues on legal theories they like.

      And for securities law violations (the best because failure to say things that are important is a basis for action) is effectively three years.

      1. Susan the other

        But doesn’t it change the timeline if the banks are intentionally concealing the evidence?

  41. nun yerbizness

    President Obama did not run as a revolutionary—he is not a revolutionary. President Obama is behaving as an ethical physician would abiding by the principle of “first do no harm.”

    muddling through is the best we can hope for.

    do you really believe the golden rule—those with the gold rule—was first written in 2003?

    focus your anger and disappointment more precisely and be sure that what you say and do “first does no harm.” This is NOT the time for lashing out, throwing a tantrum and demanding to have NOW! that which you know is not achievable in the short run.

    mom and dad’s retirement, your future, the future of any children you have/expect to have/hopium to have are in their hands.

    this in not a video game.

    you are NOT in control.

  42. Puck Beaverton

    I’ve also decided to vote for Obama as the lesser evil!

    Here I am, on you tube, weighing the pros and cons, pondering Emma Goldman’s words (“if voting changed anything they’d make it illegal”) but ultimately rejecting them in favor of lessor evilism.

    You can see the exact moment when I arrived at my decision to vote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOQDWQhwFo4

    1. crimestop

      I suspect you of engaging in thoughtcrime.

      It looks like this is a snark and you’re planning not to vote, therefore I’m reporting you to the Thinkpol. They’ll probably send you to joycamp for re-education.

      For not voting (or thinking about it) you could end up in Room 101.

  43. Westcoastliberal

    Nice speech. He’s no Teddy Roosevelt. Actions indeed speak louder and all we’ve seen so far is his Republican side. He’s accomplished nothing noteworthy to a Progessive p.o.v. and I’ve not seen ANY change, just more of the same failed Bush policies, including obfuscation and erosion of civil liberties.
    Let’s see if Obama 2.0 can change course. We could start by indictments of all the Banksters, a jubilee to citizens screwed by them, pull out of Afghanistan, and end the “emergency” in place since 9/11 while at the same time abolishing the Patriot act. Then and only then he might once again get my vote.

  44. Because

    You guys still don’t get it, without the bailouts, the US economy would be dead. Giving the financialization/offshoring program that began in the 80′s gutted the real us economy, without the leverage and credit, the economy would be much smaller and people much much poorer. People whine about “how bad” the economy is, when it fact, it has been doing as good as it can under the circumstances. “Old guards” of the revolution don’t like to give up control. Similiar to what happened in the 70′s and the previous regime.

    If we get rid of the model without a alternative building plan, we will have a dictatorship quickly. The problem is, we have 100 different ideas on how to do that.

    1. F. Beard

      The problem is, we have 100 different ideas on how to do that. Because

      A consensus is building. MMT is definitely part of the solution as is a general bailout (including savers) ala Steve Keen. And to placate the gold-bugs they should be allowed to use gold as a strictly private money form so long as all other potential private money forms are also allowed. And yes, let’s set Bill Black free on the financial criminals.

    2. EconCCX

      >>You guys still don’t get it, without the bailouts, the US economy would be dead.

      Without the bailouts, societies would have had to devise alternative means of exchange. Digital gasoline, digital bridge tolls, phone minutes, parcels of value that can actually be produced in the economy. As opposed to bank-issued digits of theft, and irremediable debt bondage.

      1. F. Beard

        I’ll second that; we don’t need banks. However, they should be euthanized in a manner that does the least damage to the economy.

        1. EconCCX

          >>I’ll second that; we don’t need banks.

          We very much need banks, but not bank-issued debt-money. Honest money built around services created fresh each day in the economy. And honestly foregone, and put at risk when it is lent.

          1. F. Beard

            Truthfully, I think even honest usury is obsolete. Why rent someone else’s money supply if one can create his own?

        2. nun yerbizness

          yeah right…

          and we can all go live on platforms 5 miles off the coast of Santa Monica…

          get a clue!

          read some history start with Weimar Republic and see where those bread crumbs led the world

          technology has changed nothing in the equations of power!

          1. EconCCX

            Tick tock, Nun. The world is catching on to theft-finance. It cannot persist in sunlight, and has never before contended with mass person-to-person communication, nor the mass education of women.

        3. EconCCX

          >>Truthfully, I think even honest usury is obsolete. Why rent someone else’s money supply if one can create his own?

          One can’t. Go in to purchase a computer, and tell them you’ll pay with these coupons from a bakery a few hundred miles away. Plus other odds and ends. No, my friend, money must be derived from services that are in wide demand, interchangeable, unitized, verifiable.

          And please reconsider your flogging of MMT. The sovereign issues money, it passes through a hand or two, then disappears as it is used to pay back principal. Solving nothing if it coexists with debt-money, and grandly inflationary otherwise.

          1. F. Beard

            And please reconsider your flogging of MMT. EconCCX

            “Flogging?” Isn’t that painful?

            But MMT is 1/2 of the solution. The government should spend freely with its only constraint being price inflation in its money. But since price inflation might be bearable to a majority of the population or the government might cook the inflation numbers then genuine private currencies good only for private debts should be allowed.

            I still assert that usury is obsolete due to computers and modern communications. The only thing propping it up is inertia and government privileges.

            It’s no biggy that you think otherwise so long as non-usury forms of money such as common stock are allowed (only) for private debts.

          2. nun yerbizness

            Margaret Thatcher

            Wendy Gramm

            Kay Bailey Hutchinson

            Elizabeth Dole

            Indira Ghandi

            Golda Meir

            Queen Elizabeth

            Meg Whitman

            Michelle Bachmann

            Jeanne Kirkpatrick

            the failed half term governor from alaska whose name I dare not speak

        4. EconCCX

          >>The government should spend freely with its only constraint being price inflation in its money.

          MMT perpetuates money without reciprocity, and thus our present thieving scheme. Real money is unitized barter, which is inherently non-inflationary, though relative prices will always adjust.

          1. F. Beard

            MMT perpetuates money without reciprocity, and thus our present thieving scheme. EconCCX

            If you don’t want any fiat beyond your need for taxes then refuse it and use private money supplies instead.

          2. EconCCX

            >>If you don’t want any fiat beyond your need for taxes then refuse it and use private money supplies instead.

            I think others share an interest in not being methodically dispossessed. Fortunate the fixed-rate borrower, who then may repay his debts in play-money. Unfortunate the saver, when money creation is subject to the caprices of the political system. They can promise to stay within inflationary bounds; but with competing, service-denominated currencies, fiat would be dumped, which would be inimical to the state.

            But let states circulate their digital bridge tokens as service-denominated money? Now you’re talking. Nothing wrong with institutions taking advantage of seigniorage if they deliver reciprocal value.

            I think we agree that production problems are easy, when no cartel controls the means of exchange. I’d forgive Obama his ineffectuality and his bromides for the middle class if only he’d ask, in this campaign: why is money created this way, and who benefits? Making the “Money Question” of FDR’s era once again a part of the national consciousness.

          3. F. Beard

            Unfortunate the saver, when money creation is subject to the caprices of the political system. EconCCX

            Only government money would be subject to the caprices of the political system. Savers could use private money supplies. In addition, if savers accepted common stock money then they would become co-owners of the issuing corporation and could vote on further issuance of the common stock money.

          4. Marley

            Oh Dear… “real money”? WTF is that? Commodity backed money??!! So that the likes of “JP Morgan’s gold” can be used to bail out the US Gov’t again? No thanks. If you don’t get that what you’re basically seeing get played out in Europe is a “paper version” of the “gold standard”, then you should abstain from commenting on macroeconomic matters. Sheeeesh.

          5. EconCCX

            >>Marley: Oh Dear… “real money”? WTF is that? Commodity backed money??!! So that the likes of “JP Morgan’s gold” can be used to bail out the US Gov’t again?

            Absolutely not. Service-backed money such as Forever Stamps and subway tokens. Value depends on their contract utility rather than their scarcity. They can’t be cornered, and they’re issued with no debt other than the obligation of the issuer to redeem and perform.

            And I do indeed know we’re on a digital replica of the fractional-reserve gold standard. Albeit one that even more insidiously concentrates wealth and ownership to the cartel.

          6. Marley

            EconCCX: “Absolutely not. Service-backed money such as Forever Stamps and subway tokens. Value depends on their contract utility rather than their scarcity. They can’t be cornered, and they’re issued with no debt other than the obligation of the issuer to redeem and perform.”

            Hmmm… The Chartalist in me digs the concept, but the (MMT) pragmatist in me just sees the equivalent of “borrowed-neighbor’s-sugar” IOU’s … :) I can understand the concept of a variety of service-backed private sector IOU’s, but their practicality at a macro level eludes me. It would be radical if you could engender the adoption of something similar but singular – I’ll confess to having thought of something like that for the Occupy movement, but I’d still want one central issuing authority which I’m not sure is compatible with your point of making such a “money” non-cornerable. Thanks for the response. Cheers.

      2. nun yerbizness

        and don’t forget your “smart phone”

        too bad smart gasoline and smart phones are possible but the trade off is more and more manifestly NOT smart people

  45. Hugh

    Just remember that no one owns your vote but you. You do not owe it to anyone or any party. Forget the lesser of two evils. That’s what got us where we are today. If a party or a candidate can’t give you substantive positive reasons for your support, don’t give it to them.

    A vote for any, and I mean any, Democrat or Republican is a vote for more of the same. If you want something different, then you can not vote for either of these parties. That is the first step. It really is that simple.

    1. nun yerbizness

      you are categorically wrong!

      profoundly incorrect!

      “vote Nader?” “vote Paul?”…and that got us what?

      eight years of Cheney/Bush

      Iraq

      Greenspan’s Guns&Butter genuflection-ring-kiss to Cheney/Bush

      tax cuts for the one percent

      eight more years of Laffer Curve Economics

      the enshrinement of Phil and Wendy Gramm

      yeah lets all vote Nader/Pual in 2012 as it worked out so well in 2000

        1. nun yerbizness

          so you were a McCain supporter?

          and how do you think that would have worked out?

          are living on the street?

          did you have your morning latte today?

          enjoying those apps on your smart phone?

          going to the movies tonight or staying in to check out the latest fare on netflix/HBO/Showtime or are you old school network tv?

          was the power on at your office today…do you expect it to be on when you get home tonight…will the water flow out of your tap when you brush your teeth and will you get cholera or dysentery from it?

          read some history—we dodged a bullet that had every man, woman and child’s name on it in 2008.

          President Obama wasn’t holding the weapon, he didn’t load the round or put it in the chamber and he sure as hell didn’t pull the trigger.

          please tell us what you would have done differently

          1. Aquifer

            OK, now i think i get it – you are a “lesser evil” or a downright supportive-of-Obama person …

            Good luck with that, you’ll need it ….

          2. Doug Terpstra

            Do you really think McCain could ever have achieved half the Neocon agenda Obama has, out-Bushed Bush, in so short a time? Obama has expanded rolling WS bailouts, now extended to Europe, shielded fraud and war crimes, kept SHAFTA intact and added new rigged trade pacts, escalated wars, extended Gitmo indefinitely, continued rendition, assassinated US citizens without judicial process, tortured and illegally detained Bradley Manning, squelched peace and human rights in Palestine, bailed out the healthcare rackets with individual mandates, expanded lobbying and secrecy, abandoned climate change legislation, expanded offshore and arctic drilling, put Medicare and Social Security on the block, etc, etc. It’s astonishing that anyone other than a paid shill or a veal-pen journalist, could possibly, honestly, still give this quisling a pass.

        1. nun yerbizness

          so nun schmuck are you diligently working on an app for world peace, global prosperity and doesn’t that black balaclava make it difficult to see your screen?

        2. nun cheeks

          All done! You’d know about it if your police state didn’t keep you in a total MK-ULTRA brainwashed state, fighting tooth and nail against universal minimum governance standards. You live in an isolated throwback of a third-world country, so you are naturally utterly ignorant of the accepted standards of the civilized world.

      1. Ames Gilbert

        In the end, you have to live with yourself.
        Did you spend a lifetime voting for the “lesser of two evils”? Or, did you take responsibility and vote according to your best information and your conscience?
        When the majority do the former, we get exactly what we have now, and there can be no possibility of change.
        Most good-hearted people long for the chance to do the latter, but wait for the change that must occur before they can take the chance of ‘wasting their vote’. So, there is no change.
        A person of conscience votes for what they truly want without waiting for the change that never comes by itself. If enough people vote their conscience, then the change will come. And in the meantime, they can comfortably live with themselves.
        So, what (not who) are you going to vote for?

  46. JamesW

    When Obama first campaigned for the presidency, he positioned himself as the defender of the American worker.

    Today, Obama is once again campaigning for the presidency, this time for reelection, and once again he positions himself as the defender of the American worker.

    So what’s Obama been doing the last three years in office?

    Recently, Obama actively supported, and signed, three more “free trade” agreements, conceived and written by the Bush Administration, to further offshore American jobs and aid in job creation overseas instead of in America.

    At every opportunity, Obama has been working on behalf of Wall Street and Republican agendas, undermining Social Security, appointing as FCC chair an AT&T lobbyist who had aided in writing both NAFTA and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which effectively negated any possibility of a free press.

    One of Obama’s first appointments to his economic advisory council was the non-economist and number one American jobs offshoring evangelists, Diana Farrell.

    Obama’s appointment as his job creation czar was the number two American jobs offshorer and corporate tax evader, Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE.

    Going for strike three, Obama appointed the number three jobs offshoring evangelist, Jim Kobe, as a trade representative.

    Obama has successfully put together a 100% neocon administration.

    His appointments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) have successfully altered and undermined regulations to roll back workers’ rights, environmental rights and greatly favor Wall Street over the American worker.

    Obama has pursued, and jailed, more whistleblowers than all previous US presidents combined.

    Obama has ignored due process and habeas corpus at every opportunity.

    Obama has expanded various Bush policies, including the most egregious “preemptive arrests” of activists; straight out of old Soviet totalitarianism!

    The one bright and brief moment in Obama’s presidency, when he vetoed the Senate’s cowardly and criminal unanimous voice vote to grant blanket immunity to crimes committed by the bankers, was quickly dispelled when his administration most stealthily and quietly created a 50-state attorneys general committee to grant that very same immunity.

    A common Obama Administration ploy: publicly and stealthily doing the opposite of what they voice publicly.
    Obama has continued the Bush bailout of the banksters and was responsible for the backdoor bailout of the health insurance industry.

    We have witnessed Obama’s almost endless appointments of Wall Street lobbyists, pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, Monsanto lobbyists and telecom lobbyists to circumvent network neutrality.

    Obama has been as silent on card check – the right of workers to organize – as he was on the public option, and his administration adamantly refused to even remotely consider single payer on his so-called healthcare reform.

    Obama, after nauseating real democrats with his constant admiration for neocon Ronald Reagan, is suddenly embracing Teddy Roosevelt!

    Sorry, Mr. President, but last-minute posturing as a populist doesn’t erase your record against the American worker and citizenry, and consistent support of the Wall Street and Republican agenda.

    A president appoints those people who support his platform, just as he fires those who do not.

    When President John F. Kennedy fired people, he fired the right ones: Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell, Charles Cabell and ultra-rightwing generals from the military.

    And who did President Obama fire?

    Vann Jones – the green jobs man

    Susan Crawford – advocate for network neutrality, the last vestige of a free press

    Shirley Sherrod – not even a presidential appointee, but an employee with the Department of Agriculture and small farmer advocate

    It’s time for a real democrat in the White House!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Well said, James. You nailed the shape-shifter’s biggest scandals and betrayals, but it’s still only a fraction. Even so, amazingly, there are still those like John L, immediately below, who truly believe Obama to be the lesser evil. And like lambs to the slaughter, they will dutifully punch the chad for the wolf in sheep’s clothing and meekly submit to the shearing.

      For a more exhaustive (and exhausting) compilation of Obama’s scandals and crimes, see Hugh’s growing rap sheet:

      http://obamascandalslist.blogspot.com/2009/10/table-of-contents.html

    2. SteveA

      Thank you for bringing up Farrell, a toady for the interests of US multi-nationals.

      Here she is, 2006: “…offshoring is a relatively small phenomenon in the scheme of total employment in any occupation, likely to have limited impact on average employment and wages in mature economies. Of course, this is of little comfort to those white-collar workers who do lose their jobs. But if companies and policymakers in developed countries help them retrain and find new work, the benefits of offshoring could be shared by all.”

      http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/mar2006/gb20060322_649013.htm

      Change you can believe in, right Mr. Obama?

  47. John L

    Yves, you act as if there’s a better alternative out there than Obama. That choice is certainly not on the Republican side; they’ve got religious fanatics, idiots, neofascists and hucksters over there, but no one who has a single viable idea on what to do with the economy.

    So, if you apparently are so disgusted with Obama and there’s no choice on the other side of the aisle, what are you suggesting? We stay home next November? That hands the Presidency to whoever they nominate, and we’ve seen what that will mean for the economy.

    I think I feel like a lot of other voters out there; we’ll vote for the candidate who will screw us over the least, and that will be Obama. Perhaps you think there’s a viable 3rd candidate who will magically do everything you hope for; if so, good luck finding him. I prefer real candidates to fantasy ones.

    1. Aquifer

      There is a better candidate out there – or do you insist that no one who is not a Dem or Rep could qualify as a better candidate?

      Ah yes, the “viability” qualification – and just what makes a candidate “viable”? Why being a Dem or a Rep, of course!? Or is even that not enough? Is it the size of his/her bank account? Is it how much the MSM covers him/her? In other words does a candidate become “viable” only after the MSM has given him/her their imprimatur as such?

      Hmm, wonder how you, or the MSM for that matter, would have dealt with Lincoln when he ran as a 3rd party candidate … Talk about “viability”..

      How sad, you have allowed TPTB to define your acceptable choices – as have too many others. This is why we are where we are ….

    2. zzzz

      Typical partisan dupe, can’t imagine any form of civil society other than voting, so you have to vote and you have to vote for the choices that are shoved down your throat, and the irrelevant platform that goes with it. No party represents me. Now go lose.

  48. kevinearick

    A little research on how the economy re-started after the depression is enlightening…

    Vortex to Learning

    On the tree of knowledge side, the consumption half-cycle, the energy scarcity trunk (multiplexer) is the focal point, from which branches (event horizons of anxiety consumption) form Pavlov swaps from food, clothing and shelter (guarantee insurance) to the false imprints of outcome objectives, bait and switch conditionals, bipolar behaviors, and cognitive dissonance habits (separation from nature), driving replication of the black hole loop through derivative twigs and leaves, to grow the ponzi fruit geographically, filling, slaughtering and evacuating the ponzi pipeline like a carcase traveling through a snake.

    So, nothing has really changed in California. Stimulus from one end to the other, exploding debt, and Governor Brown requesting a tax rate hike, in the prototype root for the global IC chip, in which the pay and pensions of the manufactured majority, entitlement children working directly or indirectly for Gubment, increases with the tax, which may only come from external sources, and the external sources have naturally dried up, because not everyone is as stupid as stupid assumes.

    It’s much easier to get Goliath’s attention after a heart attack. Circulation is the integral; resource deprivation is the derivative. Increasing tax rates on a declining tax base is the recipe for an aneurism, and the Fed is running out of aspirin and placebo. Heads / Black Swan, the heart attack works directly. Tails / White Swan, the blood becomes too thin to pump.

    Now, they are in the next bind; The ponzi has collapsed to the point where they must admit pension bankruptcies, assuming real ROI, or file municipal bankruptcies, all to save K-12. Isn’t it wonderful how much they care about children, many going without food, in transparently failed institutions, with pyramid administrators making six figures plus pensions, where the most ignorant college graduates get a guaranteed job to peddle propaganda control down the throats of the willing and non-willing alike, and the out-dated physical infrastructure, in a distributed communication world, chews up the biggest part of the budget. IN this world, people believe what they are paid to believe, regardless of cost to others.

    Again, the part no one wants to hear is that the standard marriage contract is the eye of the economic vortex, through which the economy must travel to convert the DC consumption back into AC investment. To invest effectively, the couple must forsake all other event horizons, and the woman, because of the natural biological variance, must forgo the money free to throw away and infinitely subsidized do-overs. That’s a tall order, and the couple cannot make the same mistake twice, without purpose, on the learning side, because the consumption machine is specifically designed (Family Law) to track down real investors for liquidation.

    Enjoy the holiday. Round 3 begins in January. Do not forget the endgame playing out here. Teach your children well.

    Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act

    The federal government spends more than $12 billion a year to help states with child welfare, the Casey Family Programs estimated in a 2010 report. Most of those federal funds come through Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, the same law that sets out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid policies.

    But the child welfare section of the law is worded so that states can use those federal funds only to pay for keeping children in foster care or group residential services. The money can’t be used to keep a family together or to provide in-home therapy, although another part of the Social Security Act does let states use federal money to prevent child abuse and neglect.

  49. Patrice

    “Unfortunately, you can’t vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.” – Chomsky

  50. Maine Independent

    Teddy R. is needed again, to complete reforming the corrupt New York City police department.

    As for Obama, well the comments section of the NY Times about his speechifying in Kans-ass demonstrates that there are still many, many Dems who are willing to drink the Kool Aid. What is with those people?

  51. RBHoughton

    The politicians don’t know what to do.

    I think the deal with the banks is “you got us into this mess, you get us out.” If they succeed it will be business as usual; if they fail we’ll see prosecutions aplenty and a guillotine in Wall Street.

  52. SteveA

    Ha, it’s deja vu all over again. When Clinton was running for reelection, suddenly his turd gilders were talking about ol’ Teddy R. That manly, decisive Bill Clinton, enemy of entrenched interests! The man who gave us Larry Summers, ended Glass Steagall, and ensured that derivatives would be unregulated bonanzas for Wall St.

    Please, Hopey Hoover, lead us up San Juan Hill!

  53. psychohistorian

    Damn Captain, we hit a nerve here.

    I just skimmed the rest of the comments piled on later today and I didn’t seen any talking about inheritance nor accumulated private ownership of things.

    I checked with the Oregon Secretary of State and got a link to 6 alternative parties registered in Oregon. How about the rest of the states? What is the chance of getting some decent candidates from one or more of the alternative parties by 2012?

    Given the energy on this forum, maybe there is a chance to break us out of the D/R trap….that is unless your world is still defined for you by the folks you see on TeeeeVeeee.

    1. Glen

      My personal theory is Mr Holder’s foot is exactly the right size to put under the short leg on the Cabinet table to make sure it don’t wiggle during Cabinet meetings.

      God knows, he sure as shit aint going to do ANYTHING about all the fraud and corruption in Wall St.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Eric Place-Holder at the Ministry of Justice has done a terrific job looking forward not backward. When not running guns into Mexico, he’s been all over this fraud thingy. Why, just this year, a mere three years into the Greatest Depression, according to Matt Taibbi, “Holder, 60, told reporters on April 26 his department is reviewing the conduct of Wall Street firms to determine whether crimes were committed.’There is certainly a basis for us to look, as we are, at some actions that were taken by some institutions and by some individuals,’ he said. ‘Whether those will result in prosecutable cases, I don’t know.’”

        Well, such determination is certainly inspiring, but alas, despite his herculean efforts at such breakneck speed, “reviewing conduct” only three years after the greatest finanical disaster in world history, the statute of limitations may run out the clock.

  54. rps

    Obama has been on the longest book tour ever, and now he wants another four years selling the sequel; Putridity of Hope.

  55. Typing Monkey

    I believe that Obama’s predecessor has already proven that Americans are dumb enough to be fooled twice (as in turn did his predecessor).

  56. Fiver

    Have said it before and will say again. I know it’s a real stretch, but let’s assume there’s still some tiny chance of turning this around via the ballot box.

    Obama has done more damage to the “liberal” or “progressive” or even “left” cause by his FAILURE TO ACT on Wall Street and war than the Reps possibly could. It would’ve been far better had McCain won. He would’ve been nearly identical on all the big issues, with the possible exception of health care – though given such an horrific bill that would likely have been better delayed than the turd laid as is. In any case, there would’ve been a far, far greater negative response from the “left” to giving WS a pass and continuing the wars, etc., and the public would now be in a mood to toss McCain out in a landslide for any Dem, a victory so big it would’ve been impossible even for as coldly, calculatingly feckless a creep as Obama to pretend to be stymied by an intransigent opposition.

    And I fear the same holds true now. Better Romney than another 4 of the Constitutional Lawyer and Assassin in Chief. Romney will do nothing damaging Obama would not also, perhaps even less, should he (Romney) actually possess some sort of spine that doesn’t automatically bow to ANY powerful domestic interest. Point is, you’re going to get pretty much the same policy set for the next 4 either way, so far, far better for those seeking REAL change that the public be in a frame to throw out a Rep than a Dem in 2016, allowing 4 years to either capture the Democratic Party or mount a serious 3rd party challenge organized around a few key principles. The one thing you do NOT want to see is a Rep landslide in 2016, which is what you get with another 4 from Obama and the certainty of ongoing, unresolved-due-to-horrific-policy crises during that timeframe – that would spell game over for any possible electoral path to reclaim lawful, democratic government entirely.

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