Matt Stoller: Obama as Neoliberal Ideologue

Matt Stoller, in this video clip from an interview last week with Cenk Uygur (hat tip Doug Smith), sets forth what should be widely accepted truths about Obama: that he’s an aggressive proponent of policies that favor the 1%. Yet soi disant progressives continue to regard him as an advocate of their interests, when at best, all he does is pander to them.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a black woman after an Occupy Wall Street Alternative Banking Group meeting. She was clearly active in New York City housing politics and knowledgeable about policy generally. I started criticizing Obama’s role in the mortgage settlement. She said:

I have trouble with members of my community. I think Obama needs not to be President. I think he needs to be impeached. But no one in my community wants to hear that. I tell them it’s like when your mother sees you going out with someone who is no good for you.

“Why don’t you leave him? What does he do for you?”

“But Momma, I love him.”

“He knocked you down the stairs, took your keys, drove your car to Florida, ran up big bills on your credit card, and Lord only knows what else he did when he was hiding from you.”

“But Momma, I still love him.”

Her story applies equally well to the oxymoron of the establishment left in America. Obama is not only not their friend, but he abuses them, yet they manage to forgive all and come back for more.

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  1. sd

    I voted for Obama. At the time, it was an enormous leap of faith. I won’t make that mistake again. I have no idea who I will vote for. I was really hoping Stephen Colbert would run.

      1. chitown2020

        I like Eliot Spitzer for third party candidate. We need a sheriff in the White House. I am no saying he is perfect but he gets it. He is the only politician who ever went after Wall Street. I read Spitzer subpoenaed some bank docs that went down with building 7. He knew they were up to something. Eliot Spitzer 2012..

        1. Carbonel

          Eliot Spitzer is on record that Social Security needs to be cut. He’s lost his credibility on that issue and therefore can’t be trusted.

          1. Procopius

            Really? What a shame. I was hoping for more from him. At leaast he showed that, even if he has to pay for it, he has a pair.

        1. chitown2020

          I haven’t heard that but I believe it. Even Ron Paul who so many think will save us says it should be up to everyone to save for their own retirement. What a bunch…! This is reminds me of the George Carlin skit called the American Dream when he said… their coming for your Social Security money and their gonna get it. think I’m writing in Joe the Plumber.

          1. chitown2020

            I should say I wouldn’t find that hard to believe….I would look at Spitzers record and let that speak for him….Remember J.F.K really got what they were up to. Problem is…no one got his back and no man can go this alone…”I shouted out who killed the Kennedy’s, when after all it was you and me.” Medicare and Social Security has been stolen by the cabal. None of these politicians can go and accuse the crooks who stole it without all of us demanding to know where it all went and who stole it. We are just accepting our own robbery. We need to question more. Like why do they want to get rid of things that we already paid for? We have to stop accepting everything they tell us.

          2. Procopius

            chitown2020 said: “Medicare and Social Security has been stolen by the cabal.” Don’t propagate the lie. They are using that lie to spread despair and apathy so that they can, in the future, steal it. It hasn’t happened yet, but the last seven years have been an unprecedentedly sustained attack, supported by Obama (may he contract ringworm).

          3. chitown2020

            OMG …I should have said the cabal have stolen ALMOST ALL OF IT. So now wheres the cuffs..?

      2. Bev

        Especially if she puts Rep. Dennis Kucinich on the ticket and then lets Kucinich provide the economic fix of Monetary reform so that government can spend Debt-Free Money to provide jobs for needed infrastructure and scientific advancements to turn this economy around fast and humanely.

        They will need help though to win. See:

        Greg Palast’s Billionaires and Ballots Investigation

        We have the evidence, the inside documents and the internationally respected team — Greg Palast, Bobby Kennedy, Rick Rowley, ZD Roberts, Badpenny and the rest of the crew — whose reports you’ve seen on BBC-TV and Democracy Now!, PBS’ Now!, and in Rolling Stone, Harpers, and the Guardian.

        The top media outlets in the USA are prepared to print and broadcast our reports.



        Permission to reprint granted, with link to

        In a major step towards global centralization of election processes, the world’s dominant Internet voting company has purchased the USA’s dominant election results reporting company.

        When you view your local or state election results on the Internet, on portals which often appear to be owned by the county elections division, in over 525 US jurisdictions you are actually redirected to a private corporate site controlled by SOE software, which operates under the name

        The good news is that this firm promptly reports precinct-level detail in downloadable spreadsheet format. As reported by in 2008, the bad news is that this centralizes one middleman access point for over 525 jurisdictions in
        And growing.


        The Occupy Movement, Rigged Elections, and the
        Bastille Line: An Urgent Call To Action

        In the rigged game of American elections, it now often requires a 60% or greater supermajority to actually win an election against a candidate or proposition favored by the “1%.” And, because computerized rigging knows no theoretical bounds, it can get a lot worse, the thumb on the scale morphing as needed into a ham fist and, ultimately, an elephant—whatever it takes to stay in power. And every rigged election brings us one block closer to the Bastille, to a stark choice between retreat and revolution, an obscenely uneven playing field with no democratic alternative, no political means of redress and recovery.



        1. chitown2020

          I read they count the votes in Israel and have been for a long time. They are a sneaky bunch of crooks. We need write in paper ballots hand counted publicly by the citizens in America. We need a referendum on the 2012 ballot to ABOLISH the FED, restore the U.S. CONSTITUTION, and issue our own currency backed by our own Natural Resource revenues. Did anyone know most judges are appointed? All judges should be elected by WE THE PEOPLE..including the Supreme Court justices…NO MORE LIFETIME APPOINTMENTS FOR THE SUPREME COURT..OR ANY JUDGE OR POLITICIAN! The Supreme Court ruling that declares Corporations are people is fascist and must be abolished. We need an amendment that no politician or Governmeñt agency can lend, profit from or use a dime of the peoples money without our approval. We should demand full accounting of every dime of tax money they claim that we owed. We demand the return of our hijacked natural resource revenues and gold. We The People want to see their recepits for everything they claim to own and proof of where they got the money from… Just like they do to all of us.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            chitown, this shows we are a Nation of “Laws by software” written by the Lord High Executioners of Algorith for the Empire if Finance, with back-doors for looting by the 1%. Think Fannie Mae software leading to MERSmageddon for the 99%.

            The software is the “smoking gun” of INTENT to defraud and loot to the max. The well-paid geek writer of the software is a co-conspirator with the crime bosses giving the orders and the payday. (DidTony Soprano profit from “public housing?”. “DALLAS” and “THE SOPRANOS” were “tells” in the long con.

            The de facto writing of the Law of the Land surreptitiously through “software” written by someone not a Member of Congress is an act of treason, and the software is prima facie evidence of an act of treason.

          2. chitown2020

            Leonova…..I agree. MERS is Prima Facie evidence of fraud and is trying to mask the fact they were using that to hide massive mortgage note fraud. The only Prima Facie evidence they have is of their massive fraud. They are trying to hide the Origination Fraud with Robo-Signing..! A felony! Foreclosure fraud proves that once fraud enters a transaction it vitiates everything and therefore there is no legal fix .

          3. nonclassical

            Not “shunted” electronically to Israel-to Tennessee basement-check out detail on Michael Connel, Cheney’s I.T. man responsible for “vote shunting” scheme, midway through video-google Michael Connel and see what happened-after asking Mukasey-bush for witness protection:


          4. F. Beard

            and issue our own currency backed by our own Natural Resource revenues. chitown2020

            Say what!?

            Fiat is backed by the taxation authority and power of the issuing government; it needs and should have NO OTHER BACKING!

      3. Bev

        Green Party Plus Dennis Kucinich for monetary reform.

        Also, I fear that Obama (isn’t he also related to Bush and Cheney?) would just loose on purpose (his job being finished which was to make sure the last administration did not go to jail) so to then loose on purpose to let the gop’s Romney and Jeb Bush win. As if already planned.

          1. Bev

            a journalist needs to cover this:


            Digging into 9/11 beyond what the TV and politicians said: Jeb Bush and the whole PNAC-9/11 gang back in the White House?

            (don’t forget: Michael Chertoff & Dov Zakheim are listed as foreign policy advisors on Mitt Romney’s campaign website……who did 9/11: (referencing a two sided picture with different people) the guys on the left with boxcutters who live in caves and ride around on donkeys, or the TRILLIONAIRES on the right who control everything in the entire world? why would you think all these guys lied about everything…except 9/11???)

          2. chitown2020

   attorney told me if Barney Franks plane goes down then this is a Hitler Plan. As if Barney Frank has done a damn thing to hurt the WORLD BANKSTER CABAL..! Its a Hitler Plan alright. It is so obvious this because the U.S. GOV. has done NOTHING to stop them or prosecute them. That is because they are part of the cabal.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            ambrit, wasn’t Jeb Bush the son MEANT to be the next Dictator? “Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.” Jeb Bush undoubtedly is meant to ride Romney’s coat tails into the White House, so he can accomplish Poppy’s dirty work of “regime change” as Reagan’s VP. Poppy’s OLD “New World Order” is losing the war of “all against all.” Jeb Bush is the last “Great White Hope” of Reich IV, now in the mad throes of self destruction. “The Old Boys” of the 1% have met their match.

            “First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin” (L. Cohen) is prophecy. The global Open Society of Economics + Politics is being born, and it’s not slouching towards Bethlehem.

          4. chitown2020

            Did you guys hear the news this weekend? JEB might be picked as Romney’s running mate! God help us ..!

          1. nonclassical

            Jeb Bush is not the next corporate repubLIEcon-that will be Chris Christie, already anointed in Colorado meetings..

            read Paul Thompson’s, “The Terror Timeline” on 911-it was his work families of 911 victims used to remove Kissinger from 911 panel leadership, and to initiate
            panel in first place-note “911 Report” features not one bit of witness testimony…during which Condi Rice is caught in LIES…much more telling evidence turns up..Zelikof, who took over from Kissinger holds dual Israeli-American citizenship, and is signee on “Project For A New American Century”.

            But for real intel on 911, follow “Buzzy” Krongard from his Reagan years-banking-CIA, to Deutche Bank-911, including millions of $$$$ of “puts” placed on American and United Airlines…by someone at Deutche..never collected. Krongard, after CIA, international banking corruption-drug $$$ laundering, shows up at “Blackwater” after 911…

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Kissinger is the Z-Don, the treacherous “eminence grise” in the Wars for the 1%. Chris Christie is the M-Don. Either way, the 1% say: “It’s our thing.” You got a problem with that?

          3. F. Beard

            that will be Chris Christie, already anointed in Colorado meetings..

            Must have taken a lot of oil!

            But please, let’s have Chris Christie run – his girth almost perfectly symbolizes Republican greed.

        1. Bev

          Jill Stein, please consider Dennis Kucinich as a running mate.

          Stephen Zarlenga’s talk at the 2007 Green Party National Convention

          On November 24, 2010, in Uncategorized, by AMI

          After a high ranking member of the American Green Party heard my presentation on monetary reform at an AMI Chapter meeting in the midwest, I was invited to make a similar presentation at the national Convention in Reading Pennsylvania on July 12, 2007. I call it:

          Greening The Dollar –
          Reclaiming our democratic Values Through Monetary Reform

          They gave me an hour and 15 minutes. The talk was very well received. Afterwards people asked me to speak in their areas and want to work together. No one told me that this was difficult to understand, the way political people who want to avoid the issue sometimes do. The Greens are used to examining real issues.

          You can download my talk, with narration, at

          Its in powerpoint. You can download a powerpoint reader for free at

          When viewing my talk, follow the directions to advance pages by clicking the mouse.

          This presentation is about one and a half hours long, in three parts. Try to view it in three sessions when you can relax and absorb the message

      4. lambert strether

        Vote Green as a counterweight to the legacy parties, as realpolitik, no matter the candidate or the platform. Heck, I’ll vote Green if they nominate Roseanne, who say what you will was a great artist in a very demanding medium, and wasn’t crazy and narcissistic enough to write two autobiographies.

        Think of it as damage limitation. Anything that makes gridlock more likely is good, because the legacy parties are teeing up the Catfood Commission again for the lame duck session, and it would be useful to have some credible voice — i.e., not D and not R — to call bullshit on that.

    1. Thorstein

      Here’s another vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party. Yes, I know it’s quixotic, but so is voting for a Republicrat and thinking your going to get Dulcinea.

      What I like about the Green Party is its platform: “You can’t abuse Mother Nature forever.” Not the empty Republicrat platform of “We’re gonna make you rich.” In the Green Party there’s no place for lying politicians to hide.

    2. Pokey

      Rocky Anderson would be my choice, but I’ll probably vote for the betrayer in chief, again reluctantly, because I remember how Ralph Nader gave us W. Not that a vote for either matters in a state where the Rethug primary was carried decisively by Rick Sanitarium.

      1. Strangely Enough

        Somewhere around 70,000-90,000 people were disenfranchised before a vote was cast in Florida. Something like 350,000 registered Democrats voted for Bush there. About 90,000 voted for Nader.

        And somehow Nader cost Gore the election…

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        RD, see:

        “THE BUREAUCRATIZATION OF THE WORLD” by Henry Jacoby, translated [from the German] by Eveline Kanes (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1976, 1973).

        The “bad” is systemic. INET, Yves et al. have drawn a bead on this clay system.

  2. Paul P

    What if Romney were elected along with a Republican House and Senate? Kiss Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid goodbye. Of necessity, we will be stuck with the lesser evil until we have oganized a broad based oppostion to government of the 1%.

    Labor is lining up behind Obama like ducks. Having failed to educate its members and organize systematically in each Congressional district, it is stuck with supporting Obama.

    For those who would come to Labor’s defense by pointing out many good organizing efforts of Labor (which I don’t dispute),I ask how many times have you seen Labor tabling on the street, how many times has a union member knocked on your door to talk about an issue, how many times have you seen 10,000 union members working in unison to register voters?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      In case you missed it, Obama told a group of conservatives at a dinner at George Will’s house less than two weeks into his first term that he intended to “reform” as in cut Social Security and Medicare as soon as the economy was stabilized. The conservatives were very happy with what they heard.

      Obama plans to cut Social Security and Medicare as soon as he gets into office next term. Stoller’s point is that if Obama tries that, the Dems will fall into line, but if the Republicans do, they are more likely to fight, as they did under Bush. Remember, only Nixon could go to China, and it is highly likely that only a Democrat can gut Social Security and Medicare.

      You really don’t like to see that Obama is not on your side, do you? You need to get real as to whose interests he is defending, and they are not yours. It is not clear that he is the lesser of two evils. He is just a different evil.

      1. Heavy Armor


        Paul not only believes that Obama is the lesser evil, but also that Obama doesn’t “Govern from the Left” because he hasn’t been pressured by the “Left” – in Paul’s case, Big Unions, as Paul blames them for not electing “Left Democrats” (thus his big talking point on ‘organizing in each Congressional District’).

        I won’t go into how absurd the “Making Obama Govern from the Left” even sounds.

      2. chitown2020

        I totally agree Yves. I did not vote for Obama but I thought he deserved a chance. He had it and he blew it. The excuses have grown old. Obama is clearly a globalist idealog and America better wake up. As a result of this globalist ideology that has hijacked America, we are now at the precipice of nearly complete Totalitarianism. One politician describes it as stage 4 socialism. I believe it is much worse. We are near a complete Totalitarian Dictatorship. The most dangerous thing about Obama and his minions and cohorts are their cold, calculated deceptions. Like Obama signing the NDAA and adding he wont use it against the people. The healthcare bill is another dangerous law that attacks our infrastructure. I don’t believe most Americans would agree to be microchipped under the guise of healthcare. Obama is allowing the Federal Reserve to bankrupt us and pushed for the AG’s to settle for bank fraud. That man is a liar. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothes. A sweet talking deceiver who is handing America to the Globalists on a silver platter right under our noses. Congress, the Senate and the Supreme. Court are a cabal of traitors too….I dont want to hear the excuse that because we are at war the President can do what he wants….That is another dangerous lie. They are all traitors from within and the people need to remove them.

      3. Pokey

        We know that Romney would further income disparity and is certain to favor the rich in every instance when a difference could be made. We do not know that about Oblabla. In fact I harbor the hope and some suspicion that, knowing he cannot be reelected, he might stop being a whore for Wall Street.

        I despise Oblabla and gag at the thought of voting for him, but he probably is the lesser of two evils.

        1. Chauncey Gardiner

          Re: … “In fact I harbor the hope and some suspicion that, knowing he cannot be reelected, he might stop being a whore for Wall Street.”

          Highly unlikely IMO. All these guys since Carter, together with their principal advisors, have been mercenary. Think “post-public service” compensation for services rendered such as “speaking fees”, book deals, board memberships, university presidencies, consulting fees, etc.

          Not just US. True on the other side of the Atlantic, too.

          All very dispiriting.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            CG, “mercenary” – The Praetorian Guard in office for the global Holy Financial Empire. Do our “officers” in government not serve a “foreign power,” then?

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Did you miss the Stoller post where he showed that income disparity increased MORE under Obama than under Bush? That was despite the famed Bush tax cuts.

          As I said, you really don’t want to see that Obama is not on your side.

        3. propertius

          We have over three years of experience of President Obama ™ furthering income disparity and favoring the rich – as a lame duck, I see no reason why he wouldn’t look to secure his post-election fortunes by proving himself the most loyal of plutocratic servants.

      4. Anonymous Jones

        This whole thesis is so preposterous. Yes, the Ds did manage to block one single thing W tried to do, and yes, it would be easier for Obama to gut SS than for Romney to do it.

        That settles it in your mind?

        Did the Ds stop the new tax cuts for the rich that W wanted? Did the Ds stop the new wars that W wanted? Did the Ds stop any of the other unbelievably tragic transfers of money and power from the 99% to the 1% that W wanted?

        Alea iacta est. You understand? By the time 2008 had rolled around, the 0.1% had acquired so much power and wealth (as many including myself had predicted) that the checks and balances on political power effectively disappeared. There’s no getting this back until there is a major catastrophe. The 0.1% are not going to willingly give it back. They have too many resources and too much intelligence to let a little thing like a voting booth derail them. They use the media to spread propaganda and misdirection, and then if one or two politicians antithetical to their interests gets through the narrow hole of campaigns and elections, they target, lock in, and direct a firehose of money at those politicians until the politicians yield and genuflect appropriately.

        All of that said (!), the Ds and Rs are beholden to slightly different vested interests. Yes, neither is your friend. But one friend wants to kill you and your way of life sooner rather than later. I used to make the analogy that W was the train driver, and we could all see that the bridge was down in front of us. Neither the Rs or the Ds are willing to stop the train, but damn it, W is gleefully stuffing more coal into the locomotive.

        Listen, there is no doubt that Obama is not the messiah for the 99%. In fact, I generally agree with you that he is basically f*cking the 99% while claiming he is showering kissed down upon them.

        But if you think you’ve got this “lesser evil” argument wrapped up with your silly, tired example of SS privatization, forgive me if I remain skeptical. Obama is the lesser evil, I’m still relatively confident of that. It’s definitely “evil”*, but yeah, lesser.

        [*(which I don’t think exists in the general semantic sense that my fellow humans do)]

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Serious revisionist history.

          The Dems wanted war, which you misleadingly call the Bush wars as much as the Republicans did. I was in Australia during the runup to the war, and the disparity in coverage was astonishing. You had the putative organs of the left, like New York Times, warongering as fiercely as the ones on the right. Remember Judith Miller? And it started before then. I was in NYC on 9/11, and decided it might help to go hear a sermon, not that I’m religious, it just seemed a better way to be in contact with other people in the nutty period right afterwards than going to a bar (which I had also done, I was actually proud that it was a full five days after the event before I had a drink).

          This was a Unitarian church. As you know, the Unitarians are pretty pinko and barely religious.

          The church was packed. I would have left had it not been so crowded that I could not leave. The pastor keyed off the Bush speech at the national cathedral and was effectively calling for retaliation. I was stunned.

          Afghanistan was convenient, if woefully misguided, that might have satisfied the lust for revenge. But Iraq was well orchestrated and much of the Dem apparatus was keen for that too. ‘

          And what does Obama’s vote against Iraq mean when as president he expanded the wars after promising to wind them down pronto?

          And you miss some awfully inconvenient facts on the finance front. As I said above, income disparity increased MORE under Obama than Bush, markedly more. And your assertion re the 0.1% having so much power that Obama’s hands were tied is bullshit. When he came to office, the country was desperate and the 1%, including the banks, were chastened and scared. Obama could have gone the Roosevelt direction but chose not to.

          Barney Frank had gotten Paulson to agree to use some TARP money to write mortgages down, and Obama said no. Look at the mortgage settlement, that was a huge gimmie to the banks. Treasury and the Fed are working closely on bank regulation, and the Fed allowed banks to pay dividends and continue to pay ridiculous compensation (telling them to shore up capital more aggressively would have forced reining in comp). It’s gotten so out of line that normally complacent institutional shareholders are revolting, see Citi, GE, Barclays.

          And let’s talk about evil. Bush ended habeas corpus for non-US citizens. That was horrifying. But what has Obama done? Holder has maintained before Congress that execution of Americans without trial is permitted. You are designated a “suspected terrorist” and poof. Who are you kidding? Obama has also pushed for and won the expansion of the surveillance state in the US, has the Feds working to militarize local police (see New York City and the purchase of domestic drones generally). Richard Kline pointed out that the independence of local police was one of our big civil liberties protections. That is vanishing before our eyes.

          Go look at the evidence. Google “veal pen” and Hamsher. Obama has gone out systematically to silence critics on the left. You’ve really bought the Obama propaganda.

          1. Andrew not the Saint

            Yves, I agree with you what you’re saying, but the whole “[marginally] lesser of the 2 evils” concept is de facto a recognition of one being an obedient subject to the oligarchy. It’s akin to choosing which one of your children should die – any parent with integrity should never make such a choice.

            What free thinking people should be discussing instead is what the best way is of sending a clear F U message to the oligarchy.

          2. john c. halasz

            “Richard Kline pointed out that the independence of local police was one of our big civil liberties protections.”

            Umm…, sorry that one’s a fail. Look up, from a virtually infinite cornucopia of examples, Chicago, Austin district.

            Beware the dangers of ideological frustration and ranting!

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            And now U.S. (mercenary) troops stationed in Australia (“Chinese” threat, ya know). Will WWIV be cold or hot? Do fries come with that?

          4. Yves Smith Post author


            As Matt said, he was asked a relative question, Obama v. Romney. The fact that we have no real choices, and Obama and Romney are only slightly different variants on the same theme is a different issue than what to do about it.


            Go review what happened in NYC with OWS, for starters. The NYC police got military training. Bloomberg even said he has the seventh biggest army in the world. The integration and eventual subordination of local policing to the national security apparatus, if this trend continues, is a major advance in the surveillance state. I’m sure you are well aware that various corrupt municipalities (haven’t 2 of the last 4 mayors of Chicago been convicted?) can be thuggish, but local police heretofore have been accountable to local authorities, which IS generally a bulwark against authoritarianism.

        2. Christophe

          “the Ds and Rs are beholden to slightly different vested interests. Yes, neither is your friend. But one friend wants to kill you and your way of life sooner rather than later.” -Anonymous Jones

          You may have thought your juxtaposition clear, but I’m afraid it is not. Which party is the one interested in pulling off the slaughter sooner than the other? Why do you define both parties as not being my friends and, in the next sentence, personify them as my friends? And have I deduced correctly that you are encouraging me to vote for the party that wants to kill me and my way of life later? Forgive me if I seek political advice from a less bewildering and fatalistic coach.

        3. LeonovaBalletRusse

          AJ, our “election process” was prophesied. See:

          “Free for All” from “THE PRISONER: The Complete Series” starring Patrick McGoohan (Copyright by ITC Incorporated Television Company Ltd. 1967, Copyright by A&E 2009), available in a DVD boxed set from, itvGLOBAL, and distributed by NEWVIDEO (ISBN: 1-4229-7113-9; # 7 33961 20855 9). McGoohan was the Executive Director of the series, and he wrote screenplays for it. Didn’t he die young?

          This British series made its CBS debut “in the summer of 1968.” What does the date suggest? Was this series, like “DALLAS” and “THE SOPRANOS,” a “tell” of the long con?

          As William K. Black reminds us, the incentives of the 1% are “perverse.”

      5. Susan the other

        Because it was said in the 60s that LBJ pushed medicare through so he could get his hands on the money for the war in Vietnam, I wonder about FDR in the 30s setting up social security for the same purpose. The country was extremely anti-war in the 30s and FDR had to scheme to get us in and fund it. Just thinkin. It is usually conservatives who oppose war because it is such a waste of money. If Obama told the George Will gathering that as soon as he stabilized the economy he would cut social security, it may have been in the bigger context of getting us out of the war business altogether. I can see the possibilities of cutting medicare because modern medicine is going to create (imo) a huge savings via genetic medicines in the near future. But I don’t see how seniors can live on less than the pittance they now get from social security unless there are similar economies in living expenses. Those economies should be in place before any social security benefits are cut.

    2. Evan

      How do you know it’s campaign season?

      1.) You hear the lesser of two evils argument
      2.) Democrats try to scare you with the Republicans
      3.) Strange arguments like Paul P’s labor argument are made
      4.) Messageboards are aggressively monitored and commented on by campaign staffers

      1. chitown2020

        We are being swindled out of our remaining wealth, independence, freedom, prosperity and National Sovereignty a little bit more each day. This is all being done very strategically and deceptively by the same tricks they have always used secrets, lies, deception to commit fraud. Too many Americans don’t see what is being done right in front of their eyes..
        It is like the robbers are in the house and we are holding the door open for them.
        That is what the Globalist crooks are counting on to pull off the big heist of our National Sovereignty. That is what is the most evil thing about this IMHO..Too many don’t realize how bad things really are and how close we are to losing our freedom to some real psychopaths.

        1. G3

          My quip :
          Repubs are like the abusive guy who will hit and throw the wife out of the house. Dems are like the one who will hit but let her stay in.

          My friend’s quip :
          With Repubs, it is like outright rape. With Dems, it is like date rape.

      2. Valissa

        How do you know it’s campaign season? Part Two :)

        Campaign season in NH

        Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

        Politics and the reptilian brain

        Voter attitudes

        What I think every time a politician gives a campaign speech

        1. Literary Critic

          I’m getting in the mood by reading this 1994 oldie by Stephenson/George.

          “Interface is a near-future thriller, set in 1996, in which a shadowy coalition bent on controlling the world economy attempts to manipulate a candidate for president of the United States through the use of a computer bio-chip implanted in his brain.”

          Some really hilarious campaign/media/voter manipulation subplot too.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            LC, “THE PARALLAX VIEW” – Produced and Directed by Alan J. Pakula, 1974 – starring Warren Beatty and Hume Cronin, came many years before “Wag the Dog,” and was much more ominous. Re-viewing it brings to mind the Virginia Tech massacre and its “lone gunman” — as if another Lee Harvey Oswald, or the “loony” lone assassins who went for Reagan and the Pope.

            Was Pakula’s film a “tell” of the long con in political terms? Consider the films of Sidney Lumet. Were these directors patriots trying to open our eyes to “harsh realities” that dared not speak their names? The Coup began its Putsch in the 1960’s, and “British Rock” fueled the fire of ruin of the 99%.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Still can’t see the ravenous wolf under the sheepskin? Spend a little time at the BAR (, where Glen Ford wrote a compelling argument “Why Obama is the More Effective Evil” or the recent piece by Jemima Pierre:

      “The Obama administration has spent the last three years building the infrastructure of a totalitarian police state, that ‘has surpassed the Bush administration’s attempts to expand executive power by crushing the civil liberties of US citizens.’ At the center of the repressive edifice is preventive detention without trial, buttressed by various measures that, effectively, criminalize dissent. Clearly, and methodically, ‘the US government is preparing for domestic insurrection.'”

      As Yves notes, Obama will be able to do more damage in camouflage to New Deal pillars like Social Security and Medicare than Mitt could ever hope to achieve. And if the plantation gets uppity about coming austerity, the big house is clearly ready.

  3. G3

    I highly recommend the book “Democrats A critical history” by Lance Selfa written from a socialist perspective. Here is a review by Paul Street :

    Gem quote :
    “The U.S. ruling class profits from a narrow-spectrum system wherein one business party is always waiting in the wings to capture and control popular anger and energy when the other business party falls out of favor. The parties are not simply interchangeable, however. It is the Democrats’ job to police and define the leftmost parameters of acceptable political debate. For the last century it has been the Democrats’ special assignment to play “the role of shock absorber, trying to head off and co-opt restive [and potentially Left, P.S.] segments of the electorate” by posing as “the party of the people.” The Democrats performed this critical system-preserving, change-maintaining function in relation to the agrarian populist insurgency of the 1890s, the working-class rebellion of the 1930s and 1940s, and the antiwar, civil rights, anti-poverty, ecology, and feminist movements during and since the 1960s and early 1970s (including the gay rights movement today). “

  4. chitown2020

    They are not Republicans or Democrats. They are Globalists. Read the Patriot Act….the World Constitution, Agenda 21. This is a GLOBALIST IDEOLOGY.

      1. chitown2020

        You might want to do some homework. There is no differentiating between parties so what unites them? Globalization.

        1. chitown2020

          BTW…I don’t label myself with a party …That is creepy….I believe all parties are tainted and corrupt and I don’t like any of the liars.

          1. Christophe

            But you enthusiastically label yourself with that universal, fixed belief, complete with its overtones of personal exemption and exceptionalism. Less creepy?

          2. chitown2020

            Christophe ….when did I label myself exceptional or exempt….! I SAID THE AMERICAN PEOPLE GOT ROBBED…! Guess what…? After I told the FBI my story…..the FBI told me to call the cops..! So I did and guess what happened next…? The cops told me they have owners who own them…!!!!

          3. chitown2020

            Christophe…I think you have me confused with the crooks who robbed us. That’s o.k…thats what they do.

      1. chitown2020

        LOL Lenova….! Only the 1% deserve exemptions! I like Max Keisers take on the derivatives…They think they are God and they can turn water into wine!

  5. PaulArt

    One of the most important vote banks in this country that is chiefly responsible for driving us into a ditch are the Senior Citizens. They live in a bubble with their Social Security checks and Medicare and are clueless about Government, the economy and the labor market. A small margin of them lower down the income scale have come to know what is going on because they see their unemployed grand-kids. I advocate getting rid of Social Security and Medicare. I know this is a drastic step but if we are to make the boomers understand what is happening to the country then its time to hoist them on their own ‘austerity-deficit’ petard by slashing their benefits. I do not wish to defend Obama but if you go way back to the time of Jim Wright and Reagan, the Democrats have continually struggled with turning out the Democrat vote. I blame them for not using legislation to fix this, they could have made voting mandatory, they could have instituted week-end elections, any number of things they did not do but this has been a problem and it continues to be a problem.

    1. eclair

      Wow, your argument is a text-book example of how “they” define, divide, then set those separate factions of the 99% against each other.

      Cut off Grandma’s SS payments – and Medicare bennies (what, for 30% of seniors, SS bennies are their total income), and send her out into the street to join the swelling ranks of the “unhoused.”

      That’ll show those greedy seniors!

      Or, maybe you are being really really subtly snarky.

    2. ambrit

      Dear PA;
      If you haven’t noticed, the Republicrat Party has already adopted your agenda as part of their campaign platform(s.)

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      PA – No. The “Boomer” malefactors are the Boomer One-Percenters, the accomplices to the Bubbles that inflated their “Nest Eggs.” These co-conspirators who are “sitting pretty” on “retirement funds/trusts,” PLUS Social Security gravy, and Medicare Plus/Advantage programs/Drugs public largesse, are the ones whose publically-funded payouts should be re-evaluated. Don’t forget the Medicare largesse paying for their “nursing home” stay unto death after their material wealth has been “disappeared”into hidden family vaults and offshore accounts for the “next generation” of Rich Boomer DNA.

  6. John Halle

    Matt Stoller’s obviously a good guy and a smart guy, but he leaves out an important piece of the puzzle: back in 2007-2008 a few of us were trying to alert the left to the disaster which an Obama presidency would portend not just on policy but on the left itself, as it would find itself, through its investment in Obama, repudiating long standing definitional stands on foreign policy, civil rights, economic justice etc. There was, as anyone with the capacity to do so will recall, a fatwa on this discussion, one overseen by members of what could be called a left establishment. This category, unfortunately, includes Stoller himself who, in his capacity as proprietor of the widely read website “open left” banned those who tried to sound the alarm. An apology is in order to those of us who got it right, though I don’t imagine it will be forthcoming-two of the rules of the pundit game, of course, being never admit error and never apologize. Here’s a piece which covers some of this ground, for those few who will be interested:

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You’ve got this one wrong. Yes, Matt banned you from Open Left, he can’t recall why, but it was most assuredly not about Obama. Matt didn’t like Obama from early on. He was nearly thrown out of the 2004 Democratic convention for criticizing him, and in 2007 was calling him a liar and an authoritarian.

  7. mad as hell.

    If this was the 1800’s Obama would be a snake oil huckster.
    The 1900’s he would be a used car salesman. It’s the 21st. century and we are stuck with a liar that is so slick that he makes Richard Nixon look like a city alderman.

    I can’t even look at the comedian-in-chief at yesterday’s White House ( keep the press in your pocket) dinner. The amount of bullshit wrapped in hipness that comes from his mouth is astounding.

    Like Stoller says, let Romeny win then at least there will be some push back.

    1. chitown2020

      There was a headline on my local news that some Chicago law firm is the biggest revenue generator in the country…? WTF..? IS IT A FRAUDCLOSURE MILL…? THEY DID NOT GIVE A NAME. So many of these globalists come out of Chicago. Bill Ayers is a professor at The University of Chicago and his wife Bernadine Dohrn is a professor at another Ill College. La Guarde was with a big Chicago law firm before she became head of the IMF. Max Keiser discussed how the Wall Street scams like derivatives are created in Chicago. Rahm Emanuel came from Chicago and Hillary came from a suburb of Chicago…..Evanston. Since the Rahmfather became Mayor, the people are being annihalated. People are FED UP with our robbery because of massive corruption..Blago is a saint compared to the rest of these crooks. I expect a mass revolt by the people of this State. Gov. Quinn-ler is just as evil. It is becoming intolerable a dictatorship.. and too expensive live here….the BANKSTER/CME crooks who created the mess need to be handed the bills.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          But Chicago has always been the Homeland of Organized Crime in the “Heartland,” didn’t you know? Kansas City is Bush’s NAU transportation hub.

          The “Opium Wars” are now here, instead of in China. Same .01% DNA on top, with “a little help from their friends” to complete the 1% global grifter class.

          Not just opium any more. “METHLAND” the book is a “tell” about the 99% in what used to be called the “Heartland.” And then there a hurricanes.

          1. chitown2020

            Leonova…I know of the corruption. Believe me that is far from all of it. The point is what were people expecting from Bill Ayers buddy and Tony Rezkos buddy Obama? The real story behind Blagos downfall has more to do with Blago screwing with Obamas pick for his old Senate seat….. Alexi Gianoulias whose family owned the failed Broadway Bank. Did you know the winner of the bleeping golden piece of crap had a stroke a few months ago?

          2. chitown2020

            Alright I will cut to the chase…its way more than just a Midwest hub. People think NYC and D.C run the show. Think again.

  8. Ep3

    Isn’t part of the reason they “still love him” is because as head of the democrat party he controls most of the big groups’ decisions; as u say yves, the “veal one”? It’s like funding for particle accelerators; nobody really cares if we have them and they can be eliminated with negligible effect on the community as a whole, so the persons who directly benefit from them can’t step on the toes of the funders. Ya know, old school politics. If you dont do as I say, I will cut your funding (see ACORN) and then you are no more. And that was the story of acorn. They were a sacrificial lamb, like in the mafia (I may have the metaphor wrong). In the mafia, if things are getting undisciplined, they make an example of one person to scare everyone else in line.
    Not saying its right, just trying to figure it out.
    I was called last week by the local organizer about volunteering on this year’s campaign. I told him how disappointed my girlfriend and I have been in Obama and would in no way work to support him. My girlfriend worked very hard in 2008, even not working a regular job for a couple months, but working on that criminal’s joke of a campaign, only for him to get elected and have him turn his back on us all. The gentlemen on the other line said “it’s better than the republicans”. Ah, that old tried and true answer.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Ep3, it’s all about “patronage.” Obama “Patron,” Obama the Don. His wife was Big Med’s darling in “Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town.”

    1. jsmith

      In addition, the SEP party is the same group that puts out the World Socialist Website – – which no matter your political bent is informative and worthwhile as it provides an analysis of world events devoid of the neoliberal claptrap.

      It’s time for everyone to try and get their minds out of the propaganda and start thinking differently.

      1. ambrit

        Good link. I was taught that the essence of debate was the airing of opposing points of view; which we aren’t getting from the MSM. So what if it’s “propaganda?” What, at root, isn’t?

  9. Glen

    It’s at least progress to see this being discussed in supposedly “progressive” circles and hopefully the left comes to their senses when they vote. An Obama second term would be worse than a Bush second term. He would finish killing the New Deal and the Great Society. The Democratic party might fight this if Obama is not President. I say MIGHT.

      1. ambrit

        Dear John;
        Just suppose that the more ‘energetic’ elements of our society did not agree to further looting and degradation of our country, much less the world?

  10. Carbonel

    I believe Obama is evil. His civil rights record, his prosecution record of whistle blowers, environmentalists, his treatment of dissent, his record of support for assassination of American citizens, his complete support for illegal surveillance, his completely immoral drone record, his abysmal economic record, his history of widespread lying, his war prosecution record, his record on Iran, his fear of homosexuals, women (he pays lip service and does the least to hold on to their votes but is just another uptight dude regarding both groups–he’s no feminist regardless of how many daughters he has), all attest to it. He stomps on the constitution day in and day out and gets away with it. He is a bad man, no getting around it. He’s duplicitous at his core. A very dangerous man. Frankly, I would love to see the back of him. He doesn’t deserve four more years. That is the fix we are in. Never fear, our votes don’t count anyway. I am sure we will see the Republicans steal the election and maybe this time the Dems will steal it back, maybe we’ll see ping pong, tit for tat, across the electoral map this time around. Won’t it be grand? They have become that brazen.

  11. F. Beard

    Obama as Neoliberal Ideologue

    Yeah, that makes sense. Top Republicans generally know that they are greedy crooks so they are NOT Ideologues. Hence GW Bush’s stimulus checks and Nixon’s trip to China. But Obama, being a social climber, might have easily absorbed the indoctrination.

  12. Civics

    Fortunately, there’s more to civil society than electoral politics, because the kleptocracy doesn’t care who you vote for. Whoever you vote for, the looting class gets your consent-of-the-governed seal of approval and the permanent state doesn’t change.

    The last time anything scared the permanent state, it was not at all electoral. (It involved camping!) Then the state set up an interagency task force of NSA, FBI, Naval intelligence, Army intelligence, special forces detailed to reserve units, state and local law enforcement, and a CIA NOC called Dago who shot Martin Luther King.

    This time around, the criminal state can’t quite figure out who they need to kill. They’re hopeful that Israeli-style repression will do the trick in the meantime. They know sooner or later you’ll give up and vote.

  13. Jill

    I find it nearly impossible to have a rational discussion with Obama supporters. At the end of everything, no matter what atrocity Obama has committed, no matter how deeply he sells out the poor and vulnerable, they say: “but I’m scared of the Republicans”. Fine, be scared. But that’s not the same as being an idiot!

    After 9/11 people traded out the highest values of our nation for imagined “safety”. Gutting the constitution, torture, warfare, imprisonment of the innocent, all of it greenlighted because people were afraid. That was the “foreign” enemy.

    Republicans are the Democrats “domestic” enemy. One should not sign away the lives of others, the rule of law because one is afraid. That is the act of the coward. Either you stand for certain principles or you don’t. It is past time to stand for justice and the rule of law.

    Voting for Obama is giving consent to the dismantling of our society. You cannot have a functioning nation without the rule of law.

    I do see the full court press of propaganda that Obama is on “our” side. But it is necessary to look at actions rather than listen to comforting propaganda. It is the time to withdraw consent from either Romney or Obama.
    They both represent the same people, the same gutting of the rule of law.

    We should start acting like a free people who actually care about justice. No More Cowardice!

  14. sissy

    Obama has done something that I simply will never forgive. He has ruined an entire generation or two or more of young people that believed in him. He is a trojan horse wheeled in and now we are all paying for his lies. He actually disgusts me. I can’t even watch him anymore on television. Is there a difference between Obama and Romney? NO. There isn’t, they both serve the system in our one party system. Obama stands with his hands out for the money no matter what and he could have been the greatest Democratic President in the history of our nation. His image could have been placed on Mount Rushmore but he sold all of us out and that’s that.

    He could have been a contender as Marlon Brando said, but he ended up being a bum who lied to get into office. Sad day for America, sad day for those who believed his lies. Matt Stoller is perhaps the greatest spokes person for what really happened to our nation and the moral failure of Obama, and of course Bill Black and yourself Yves.

    1. JTFaraday

      Okay, so.. we lost “Rock the Vote.”

      Actually, the only thing I “like” about Obama is that his action and lack of actions– his refusal and/or inability to paper things over with anything but the cheesiest of cheesy rhetoric– has enabled more and more of us to better view things as they really are.

      Is “disillusionment” really such a negative?

    2. JTFaraday

      Okay, one thing I will concede is that it is a considerable cultural negative that the first black president turned out to be such a clunker. But that’s a different kind of argument.

    3. wunsacon

      >> He actually disgusts me. I can’t even watch him anymore on television.

      Same here. He disgusts me. I can’t stand seeing him, listening to his voice, or even reading any actual verbatim quotes from him.

  15. Peter Everts

    These are the seeds of revolution being sown. The destructive oligarchy set in place by both major political parties serve a small, global minority that must be destroyed for the good of the majority of western civilization – then, religious delusion and mindless hatred must be addressed – good luck.

  16. Kevin Egan

    It’s invigorating to hear Matt Stoller describing Obama so clearly, and every time someone does that, especially over the air, we make some crucial bit of progress in the struggle to undo “The Time of Illusion”, as Jonathan Schell called Nixon’s earlier incarnation of wholly deceptive government. (Obama is the closest to Nixon of any subsequent president, even to the extent of having good liberal intentions! See also Garry Wills’ great “Nixon Agonistes” on those “progressive increments” and how they become overwhelmed by the imperatives of Power in our constitutional system.)

    “If the kingdom is to be ruled properly,” said Confucius, “the first action we must take is to call everything by its right name.”

    That is the doctrine of The Rectification of Names.

    Thank you, Matt Stoller!

    1. Jill


      Would you please enumerate Obama’s “good liberal intentions” and your evidence for those intentions? I haven’t seen those and I believe this is exactly what Matt’s argument. Obama is a neo-liberal. He doesn’t have any good liberal intentions.

      1. Kevin Egan

        Sure, Jill–“universal healthcare” is certainly one of the holy grails of liberal intentions; my point is that what we got was a simulacrum of healthcare: if we called it by its right name, as Confucius required, we would call it “indentured servitude to corporations and the insurance cartel.”

        Richard Nixon tried for a bit to enact a “guaranteed income”–he never got far enough with it for us to discern what that “liberal intention” would have been in reality–but I think we can be fairly sure that it would have been a Faustian bargain of some kind: these devilish actors, Obama and Nixon, don’t do any other kind.

        I said that Obama=Nixon; was that not clear enough???

        1. Jill


          Obama is against universal health care. He told the Congress he would not accept it in their legislation and he had a group of doctors who were petitioning him about it arrested!

          Arresting people (as well as keeping them out of any discussions about healthcare in the first place) is showing Obama’s intentions, it’s just that they are not liberal intentions!

      1. Kevin Egan

        Well, Lambert, as you know from your fictional namesake, the labyrinthine modes of self-deception are almost endless! Obama is a complex fellow–I’d be very surprised indeed if it turned out that he didn’t in some Byzantine sense actually “mean well”–and that’s precisely the problem. This is a man who is exquisitely attuned to “the politically feasible”; which is why he must sell out every ideal and every hope for a better society and way of life.

        Shelby Steele had him pegged: he is the ultimate racial bargainer, which means he can’t possibly admit the truth of the African proverb: “The white man has no God: his God is money.” So he is condemned instead to live out and forward that truth, as the servant of Wall Street and the rest of the mostly white plutocracy.

        I can’t stand him and I never could, not for one moment, and I fought long and hard for Hillary–but in my more merciful moods, I actually feel sorry for him. Not for long, though–as soon as I remember the foreclosures and the drones (a few seconds later), I say again to Hell with him. A foolish, selfish deceiver, who wasted our moment of social truth. Away with him, and back to the task!

  17. briansays

    what would be interesting/entertaining is watching romney have to deal with pelosi as speaker

    meanwhile i will sit on my hands
    first democrat i’m not voting for since i voted in ’72 for mcgovern

  18. Buck Hayek

    Fraudulent foreclosure documents as “evidence” of crimes? Is this moron being serious?

    Robo-signing is a state civil infraction that calls for a small fine and nothing else. No one was ever going to face criminal charges for such. Get real.

    1. ambrit

      Mr Hayek;
      I beg to differ. All those people who have and increasingly will squat, trespass, and refuse to cooperate with ‘law enforcement’ officials as they try to find decent places to stay will most definitely suffer criminal charges. Another bit of fallout will be the burgeoning population of tramps and hobos. We here in my section of the Deep South recently have observed a slow but steady increase in destitute people. One ‘dishoused’ person was found dead of unknown causes at a local ‘begging corner’ early one morning recently. (A Wal Mart parking lot entrance.) A large portion of the homeless population around here is still comprised of mental health cases, a direct result of that conniving b—–d Reagans’ gutting of the Federal Mental Health programs, heavens, has it been thirty years already? I believe it was a Chinese government official who quipped, when asked about the prospect of having Reagan as American president, “We have severe doubts about the wisdom of having actors in politics.” He was referring to the Gang of Four, one of whom was Maos widow, a former actress herself. They almost started a civil war over the succession to the Communist Emperors Throne.

      1. chitown2020

        So in that psycho babble rant you are trying to say the victims of foreclosure fraud are the criminals? Occupy Everything America…! They don’t have the notes because they never lent you any money. They have no legal right to take anything from us… They are the DEBTORS to WE THE PEOPLE…! The FED and the corrupt politicians ransacked and robbed the Treasury Dept and the pension funds, Social Security money and Medicare money….! Those crooks stole it and they are robbing us into bankruptcy to this very minute… !

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Better trolls, please.

      Robsigning is forgery. There are criminal prosecutions under way in Nevada and Minnesota, including the ex-president of a fairly large vendor to servicers.

    3. chitown2020


  19. rps

    “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day. But a series of oppressions begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers [Presidents] too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery.” Thomas Jefferson. Rights of British America, 1774.

    The distinguished period of oppressions begin with Jimmy Carter’s union busting demanding UAW’s Chrysler concessions, onto Reagan firing union Air traffic controllers, undercover wars,recession, and Privatization of the commonwealth’s structures and services. Each president has been busily dismantling the past generations of egalitarian advancements. Obama isn’t a dismal failure for whom he serves, anymore than Bush the Xenophobic preemptive war imperialist, and the worse offender Clinton (destruction of Glass-Steagall Act). A series of oppressions that begun at a distinguished period of time…..

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      rps, many think the Coup d’Etat was put into motion by LBJ and Bush’s CIA, with the assassination of JFK.

  20. lambert strether

    On the whole tiresome and jejune lesser of two evils thing:

    Sure, the Rs want to rip out your heart. And the Ds only want one of your two kidneys (say). But the Ds are going to come after your other kidney next year, anyhow. The Ds are just as dishonest and vile as the Rs — and just as intent on offering you, personally, up as a sacrifice to the Austerity Gods — but where the Rs are honest and upfront about their intent, the Ds are not, like the shifty and sleazoid weasels they are.

    * * *

    It’s fascinating to me that the “lesser of two evils” crowd is gradually being forced back to the pathetically weak position of “Yes, they’re just as bad, just not so fast.” Since when was evil measured by whether it happens sooner, or later? Why is tomorrow’s evil “lesser” than today’s? The conflation of evil with putting off or avoiding resistance to evil is, I think, characteristic of D apologists. (Some thinkers on evil regard evil as a form of laziness. If so, the Ds are more evil than the Rs. Nobody, after all, ever accused the Rs of not working hard to achieve their goals.)

    1. Valissa

      So true…

      The trouble with the truth

      More troubles with truth

      Ain’t that the truth, part 1

      Ain’t that the truth, part 2

      Ain’t that the truth, part 3

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ls, Americans tend to feel ashamed of being duped, hence they tend to stick with the Con Man, so as not to incur the shame of being conned. This proven tendency of Americans to stick with their Con Man even after he goes to jail is the toughest nut to crack. American “pride” is fierce. That’s why Americans are so easily conned forever. P.T. Barnum knew his market cold.

  21. Dennis Redmond

    Two tentacles attached to the same Vampire Squid, that’s this soon-to-be-$5 billion Presidential auction in a nutshell. Yes, one billion-dollar tentacle will damage the country and the planet a tiny bit more than the other. But the parasite — Wall Street neoliberalism and its debt-collection agency, a.k.a. the US $1 trillion annual war machine — is toxic to US democracy, and is now destroying the entire American middle class.

    I should know. I’m one of those middle class debt-slaves who worked my fingers to the bone getting two advanced degrees, and have nothing to show for it but joblessness, 165K debt in student loans and absolutely no future.

    I have no hope to offer. I have none to give. I also don’t have despair to offer. Too busy surviving. There is only resistance. Stay strong, folks, and my thanks and appreciation to the incredible work of Yves and all the other blog posters.

    1. Managing Director, Capitalist Collections, Ltd.

      You quote-unquote “worked your fingers to the bone” getting not one but two “advanced degrees” to the tune of $165K ??

      Are you f***king serious? Can you hear yourself at all?

      One thing I will *not* be collecting is student loan debt for “multiple advanced degrees.” You get to stuff that in your mattress and keep it forever.

      Sorry, buddy. The Capitalist Collections buck stops here.

  22. Hugh

    It was clear from the beginning that Obama wasn’t progressive. I think that at the time, that is when it was still a race between him and another non-progressive candidate Hillary Clinton, progressives held out some hope that he was still a man they could do business with, that he would listen to them on some issues and on some nominees to his Administration, and if nothing else he was still better than any of the Republicans and besides the country was really sick of the Republicans. The event, at least for me, which defined Obama as not just non-progressive but anti-progressive took place in July 2008 with his support for the FISA Amendments Act which gave retroactive immunity to the telecoms which had aided and abetted Bush’s illegal wire tapping activities not just in the crazy days after 9/11 but for the following 6 years long, after any “emergency” had ceased to exist. Obama could have just punted this until after the election when he would have been in a much more powerful position to deal with it. But he didn’t. He actively whipped for immunity for the telecoms –before the election, and he did this even though he had the nomination sewn up at this point and despite this meaning that he was reneging on his pledge to filibuster the bill if it came up. This was about as big and clear a FU to progressives as any that could be made.

    But there were others. After the election when he was putting his Administration together, progressives were completely frozen out. It was all Clinton retreads and Bush holdovers. His economics team, Team Obama, of Rubin, Geithner, Summers was just the most salient example, but the model was repeated across the board. There were a couple of faux progressives who did manage to get low level jobs but they were quickly pushed out. Others like Dawn Johnsen never even made it in the door but were simply left to twist in the wind. To date, I cannot not think of a single true progressive being named to anything in this Administration.

    Re Obama’s neoliberalism, I think there were 4 early, clear indications.

    1) the massive support he was getting from Wall Street
    2) his support of the TARP
    3) the selection of Team Obama
    4) his decision to look forward, that is not prosecute Wall Street criminality and the largest frauds in world history

    Anyway, who and what Obama was, his anti-progressivism and neoliberalism was pretty much known before his inauguration. Much of it was known before the election. The last 3 1/2 years have been a daily demonstration of it. This is why I think it is important to call out faux progressives, Establishment liberals, and veal pen orgs and blogs. No one who pretends to be an opinion leader, either from insight or expert knowledge, can back Obama, or really any Democrat, and retain a scrap of credibility or integrity. At this point, if you do not condemn the con, you are part of the con. It’s that simple. If we can not draw a line here, we will never be able to draw it anywhere.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Well said, Hugh. And bravo to Matt Stoller for coming out so clearly. Cenk played a good foil for Matt, too, but it was clear where he stood back when he was fired from Obama campaign headquarters, MSNBC. Straddling the fence WRT Obama is to support his neoliberal agenda; the record is too long and clear now to have it both ways.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hugh, I was conned completely, and I admit it. Now, I cannot even look at Obama’s face in a photograph. He is evil incarnate, and Hillary is no better (she hasn’t had the same opportunity yet). Not that we have a choice in any election (see “THE PRISONER” series of 1967, on DVD 2009).

      Obama is the Hero in the Global Potemkin Village with a cast of characters from Central Casting. Behind the set, backstage the world is burning. Obama is a “CHICAGO” marionette. We must leave the theatre and never “return to the vomit.”

  23. subgenius

    Like many others, I see politics in the US as two sides of the same coin.

    There is NO way of getting a candidate into high office that hasn’t already sold out. The higher the office the bigger the sellout.

    Don’t vote. It only encourages them…

  24. NotTimothyGeithner

    The establishment “left” isn’t the left or even organization. The Democratic Party is just a club or a sports team.

    During the Clinton Impeachment shit show, the elected Democrats came out pretty early and stood in front of Clinton and applaud a guy who might let go at a company with a history sexual harassment issues. After Ben Rothesleberger and Kobe Bryant’s troubles, the fans embraced them because they are fans. Many of these people are just fans of Team Blue in the Village League.

  25. tdraicer

    I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 (so I won’t in 2012) because I realized what he was when he gave the keynote speech in 2004. I turned to my partner and said, “Better hope he never becomes President.” She agreed. I’m still amazed how he fooled (and continues to fool) so many people whose judgement I previously respected. Especially since Obama actually said out loud that his campaign was about presenting a blank screen people could project their hopes onto; I mean when someone tells you he is pulling one over on you, how can you not listen? Oh well…

  26. Kim Kaufman

    wow… Matt Stoller is awesome here. He totally articulates for me why I don’t give a s*** between Mitt and Obama — and even why I think Mittens would be preferable (notwithstanding the SCOTUS) — because the public won’t let a Republican do the evil things that Obama is doing.

  27. Stephanie

    Anyone know what happened to the video? I click on it and it says the video is private. I only breezed through the comments to see if anyone else had the same issue, and didn’t see it….forgive me if I’ve overlooked anyone asking the same thing.

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